What book are you reading right now?

Jeff Anderson posted:
Haim Ronen posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:

Ben Caspit  -  "The Netanyahu Years"  (2017)  

Jeff, 

Let us know how the book is. Bibi used to be our neighbor in Jerusalem when he was in the business world and his younger brother Ido was a class mate of mine in high school.

H

Haim, just started the first couple chapters.   Will try to comment when I have completed the book.  Jeff A

Haim (and anyone interested)

Wanted to get back to you before any more time passes.  I am about half-way through the book, and though I read it daily, it is slow going.  Not turning out to be a pick-it-up-every-spare-moment (see below) kind of read.  I am definitely not well-versed on the topic of the Middle East, either historically or in the fundamental differences between the players and neighboring cultures.

My original interest in Netanyahu goes back many years, perhaps to when he was UN ambassador.  I saw him on a talk/interview show, quite possibly Charlie Rose.  I came away at that time impressed with his charisma, his obvious intellect, his scholastic accomplishments and his hopes for things he wanted to accomplish.  I have vaguely followed his path since then and now that I have more time for reading I thought I would try to read more about him, what he has done and try to learn more about the Middle East in turn.

I am really struggling with the author of this book.  I  know nothing about him (and doubt I want to) but from my territorially/historically uneducated perspective this book is so blatantly one-sided to beg for an accuracy check.  The author takes every opportunity to mock, trash, and berate Netanyahu and his family to a point that displays  to me a completely one-sided agenda by the author.  I could be wrong, but it is the endless perspective on every page I have read so far.

I could be way off base and I didn't expect it to necessarily be all positive, but to me it beggars for some balance.  I will complete the book and in the near-future try to read others about the man and the history of the area to see if in fact there is another side to this and perhaps the balance I might expect.

Not sure if that makes any sense to you.  Any further comments on the topics of the man, his politics, your knowledge of him and perhaps any suggestions on further reading are most welcome.  regards, Jeff A

Hardy - The Woodlanders

Mr Melbury is ambitious for his daughter, Grace, and sees to it that she is exceptionally well educated, and in manners too, so that she may escape the confines of Little Hintock.

Grace marries Dr Fitzpiers, who looks a wrong'un despite his apparent breeding.

Meanwhile what of the love between Grace and her childhood sweetheart, Giles Winterbourne, now that Grace is married?

Am about half way through. This doesn't feel like it's going to end well (). There seem to be elements of similar themes at work here as in Jude, where Jude is torn between the lusty farmgirl, Arabella, and the modern blue-stocking, Sue Brideshead.

Enjoying it.

 

Jeff Anderson posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:
Haim Ronen posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:

Ben Caspit  -  "The Netanyahu Years"  (2017)  

Jeff, 

Let us know how the book is. Bibi used to be our neighbor in Jerusalem when he was in the business world and his younger brother Ido was a class mate of mine in high school.

H

Haim, just started the first couple chapters.   Will try to comment when I have completed the book.  Jeff A

Haim (and anyone interested)

Wanted to get back to you before any more time passes.  I am about half-way through the book, and though I read it daily, it is slow going.  Not turning out to be a pick-it-up-every-spare-moment (see below) kind of read.  I am definitely not well-versed on the topic of the Middle East, either historically or in the fundamental differences between the players and neighboring cultures.

My original interest in Netanyahu goes back many years, perhaps to when he was UN ambassador.  I saw him on a talk/interview show, quite possibly Charlie Rose.  I came away at that time impressed with his charisma, his obvious intellect, his scholastic accomplishments and his hopes for things he wanted to accomplish.  I have vaguely followed his path since then and now that I have more time for reading I thought I would try to read more about him, what he has done and try to learn more about the Middle East in turn.

I am really struggling with the author of this book.  I  know nothing about him (and doubt I want to) but from my territorially/historically uneducated perspective this book is so blatantly one-sided to beg for an accuracy check.  The author takes every opportunity to mock, trash, and berate Netanyahu and his family to a point that displays  to me a completely one-sided agenda by the author.  I could be wrong, but it is the endless perspective on every page I have read so far.

I could be way off base and I didn't expect it to necessarily be all positive, but to me it beggars for some balance.  I will complete the book and in the near-future try to read others about the man and the history of the area to see if in fact there is another side to this and perhaps the balance I might expect.

Not sure if that makes any sense to you.  Any further comments on the topics of the man, his politics, your knowledge of him and perhaps any suggestions on further reading are most welcome.  regards, Jeff A

Jeff,

Thanks for your input. I can easily see that it is no fun reading a non-stop trashing, regardless who the person is. Bibi dominates the news on a daily basis (including the four police investigations he is involved in) so much that I have no inclination to read anything more about him. Same with Comey. I watched so many interviews with him that I already got my fill.

Haim

When I finish the Comey book, I am going to get away from politics and government for a bit.  I just need a break from it.  I prefer to read non-fiction but I think I am going to read a novel.  Willy Vlautin is a Portland area musician who headed the alt-country band Richmond Fontaine.  He has written a number books and several have been made into movies.  I also want to complete my re-viewing of The Post and research on Mr. Bradlee (which is politically related but historical rather than current) and also want to watch The Spotlight which you recommended.  I am blessed to have the time to do these things.  I am more excited about learning at this age than I ever was during school years.  Take care, Haim.  regards, Jeff A

Jeff Anderson posted:

James Comey  -  "A Higher Loyalty:  Truth, Lies, and Leadership"  (2018)  Former FBI director.

Interestingly, I finished reading this book this morning (I thought it was good, partly because my employment history includes a fair amount of government and law enforcement exposure).  When I checked current news online next, guess who was front and center.  Apparently a Department of Justice investigation is nearing completion and the media is referencing unnamed sources who have received briefings that some unkind things are going to be said about Mr. Comey and associates.  And then what has been "revealed" is being speculated upon by the media.  Whether it be Comy, Giuliani, or 3/4 of the American legislature, 98% of lawyers give the other 2% a bad name.  And nowadays, the same applies to the media.  (IMO).

Can't stand up for falling down - Allan Jones.

This kept me highly amused whilst flying back to the UK yesterday. It's a collection of stories from his column in Uncut magazine called Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before, based on his experiences as a music journalist in the 70s and 80s.  

A story of an Australian doctor haunted by memories of a love affair with his uncle's wife and of his subsequent experiences as a prisoner of war. Post-war, he finds his growing celebrity as a war hero at odds with his sense of his own failings and guilt. Exquisite writing.

Reading the late great John Julius Norwich’s exquisitely written ‘biography’ of France*, with a small sherry (just to be contrary) in the late afternoon sun. Formidable!

*Nearly two years after having deposed my dossier for acquisition à la nationalité française, my convocation meeting is likely to be soon...

I struggled with the Zakaria book and ultimately gave up.  I like the man and will try another of his books later but this one was too dry for my frame of mind at the moment.

Plus, I was intrigued by the above book posted by Haim.  Have it now and am finding it an educational read.  I served my duty in the US Army back in the early seventies and the 8 weeks of basic training was, uh, an interesting experience.  I matured more in 8 weeks in the arm pit of South Carolina than I had in 4 years of college.  I ended up with an easy tour desk job in Washington DC which matched my naivety at that young age.

My first reaction early in the read is levels of courage beyond the imagination and the numbing futility of it all.  

Haim Ronen posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:

My first reaction early in the read is levels of courage beyond the imagination and the numbing futility of it all.  

Jeff, two that I can highly recommend on a similar topic but not involving the US forces:

  

Haim

Thanks Haim, I look foward to reading those.  Jeff A

Jeff Anderson posted:
Haim Ronen posted:

Jeff, two that I can highly recommend on a similar topic but not involving the US forces:

  

Haim

Thanks Haim, I look foward to reading those.  Jeff A

Haim, thanks so very much for recommending "Pumpkin Flowers".  An amazing book, amazing writer and I like Matti Friedman as a human being if this is an accurate reflection (I have no reason to believe it is not).   I have placed a library hold on Friedman's book "The Aleppo Codex" and then I will follow with your second recommend "Beaufort".  Thanks again, I expect I will reread Pumpkin Flowers in the not too distant future.

Jeff Anderson posted:
Jeff Anderson posted:
Haim Ronen posted:

Jeff, two that I can highly recommend on a similar topic but not involving the US forces:

  

Haim

Thanks Haim, I look foward to reading those.  Jeff A

Haim, thanks so very much for recommending "Pumpkin Flowers".  An amazing book, amazing writer and I like Matti Friedman as a human being if this is an accurate reflection (I have no reason to believe it is not).   I have placed a library hold on Friedman's book "The Aleppo Codex" and then I will follow with your second recommend "Beaufort".  Thanks again, I expect I will reread Pumpkin Flowers in the not too distant future.

Glad you liked it, Jeff. I served there too so I could easily relate to the story. Friedman has a unique clarity in his writing. Here is an article by him from the NY Times this week. I grew up a mile from the village he talks about. At the time, it was situated across the border in Jordan and I could only view it from a distance:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/0...em-palestinians.html

 

 

Haim, thanks for the link, I look forward to reading the article and the others referenced there, as well.

I thought my experiences in basic training so many years ago were challenging, but your service experience was certainly more "real", and probably surreal, than what tiny bit I went through.  

If you have any other recommended readings regarding the complexities of the Middle East I would welcome receiving them (my email address is in my profile if preferred).  regards, Jeff A

rodwsmith posted:

Reading the late great John Julius Norwich’s exquisitely written ‘biography’ of France*, with a small sherry (just to be contrary) in the late afternoon sun. Formidable!

*Nearly two years after having deposed my dossier for acquisition à la nationalité française, my convocation meeting is likely to be soon...

French history and Spanish wine. Are you toasting  the Treat of the Pyrenees or the Napoleonic invasion of northern Spain?

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