No new books for three months

Daniel
Read Daniel from the King James version, including the chapters from the Septuagint that the KJV includes as an appendix: Bel and the Dragon, The History of Susanna, and Song of the Three Children.

Two things stuck out at me. First was how the Babylonian kings repeatedly fell into idolatry. The Jewish God kept showing his superiority, and yet they kept scurrying back to prostitute themselves to idols. The second was in the story of Susanna, how completely female the old men's behavior is. Women lying is understandable: it's just how they are. But that behavior coming from men seems so much more disgusting.

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
I've always liked Benjamin Franklin, though this was the first time I read his memoirs. More than anything else, his politeness showed very strongly. Even the way he insults people was polite. There was none of the irreverence that Twain showed in A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Franklin, despite his disagreements with the Church and the crown, clearly saw both as worthy of respect.

He even manages to talk about sleeping around in a polite manner, and how "familiarities" with women of low repute bring the risk of "distemper".

There were many lessons in the book, and here are two that stuck with me to the completion:
- If you want someone to change their mind on an issue, you're better served by befriending them and making them want to agree with you than by OWNING them with FACTS and LOGIC, Ben Shapiro style.
- The best way to keep bad apples from joining an organization is to keep the organization a secret and accept members by invitation only.
 
I broke the rule and just started reading Grendel by John Gardner. It’s the story of Beowulf but from the monster’s perspective. Thus far it’s funny, engaging and beautifully-written.
 
Enigma said:
^ I would also highly recommend Gogol, who was very Orthodox and is probably the most influential Russian (technically Ukrainian) writer in Russia, other than Pushkin. "The Portrait" is one of my favorite short stories of his.

Michael, have you read Flannery O'Connor? Her works aren't over 100 years old but her writing is packed with Christian and moral themes and really packs a punch, in my opinion.

By the way, I think the thread is an interesting idea. Unfortunately, I have the bad habit of starting too many books at once, and I'm currently reading a couple that are not old enough, but maybe I'll give it a go once I'm finished with those.
I also tried to read Pushkin, he was very talented person
 
Jeremiah
From the KJV. This is probably not how I should have reacted to it, but I found myself feeling sympathetic to Jeremiah's persecutors. They're being attacked, and here's this guy announcing that they should roll over and accept defeat. They were wrong to doubt him, since his message was from God. But it's easy to see why they did.

Jeremiah 24 explained a lot about how the Jews would end up.

And chapters 46-48 kept making me think about the Lord of the Rings. So much talk about swords and valiant men and strongholds.
 

Brother Abdul Majeed

Kingfisher
Gold Member
ed pluribus unum said:
Anyone who wants to dip their toes in this water could start with short stories by Joseph Conrad. He left to go to sea at a young age and travelled the world to its most exotic locales, at a time when the transition from sail to steam was still underway. His prose is very rich and reflects his experiences, all the more fascinating since English was not his mother tongue.
When I read a Joseph Conrad novel, it amazes me to know that English wasn't his mother tongue. He must have been such a talented linguist. It's incredible, he wrote so well. To have such a command of another language that you are able to write a masterpiece is a true gift from God. I read "Heart of Darkness" in High school, and I never forgot that novel, I have read it several times since as well as reading just about everything he wrote.

I'm reading a lot of Graham Greene these days. Him and Somerset Maugham are the authors I constantly go back to. I love how Graham Greene can take a small problem in a man's heart and chew it over like a Rottweiler on a tennis ball. It's incredibly relatable. Out of all of his works, I'd recommend "The Heart of the Matter" or "Our man in Havana". All but three of his many books are a great read. The times were so much simpler then. I would quite like to go back to that era.
 
Brother Abdul Majeed said:
ed pluribus unum said:
Anyone who wants to dip their toes in this water could start with short stories by Joseph Conrad. He left to go to sea at a young age and travelled the world to its most exotic locales, at a time when the transition from sail to steam was still underway. His prose is very rich and reflects his experiences, all the more fascinating since English was not his mother tongue.
When I read a Joseph Conrad novel, it amazes me to know that English wasn't his mother tongue. He must have been such a talented linguist. It's incredible, he wrote so well. To have such a command of another language that you are able to write a masterpiece is a true gift from God. I read "Heart of Darkness" in High school, and I never forgot that novel, I have read it several times since as well as reading just about everything he wrote.

I'm reading a lot of Graham Greene these days. Him and Somerset Maugham are the authors I constantly go back to. I love how Graham Greene can take a small problem in a man's heart and chew it over like a Rottweiler on a tennis ball. It's incredibly relatable. Out of all of his works, I'd recommend "The Heart of the Matter" or "Our man in Havana". All but three of his many books are a great read. The times were so much simpler then. I would quite like to go back to that era.
Agreed 100%. Interestingly, which Graham Greene books were you not a fan of? I read through "The Power and the Glory" and "The Heart of the Matter" in a couple of days, they really drew me in and Greene's descriptions of place and setting are second to none, mainly because he actually traveled to a lot of places he mentions in his books.

I was never a huge fan of "Brighton Rock" personally; it reads like one of his earlier works and is wildly inconsistent in quality throughout.
 
The Essential Lewis and Clark edited by Landon Jones

This was a selection of Lewis’ and Clark’s journal entries from their journey to the Pacific and back. The full set of journals is twelve volumes, so this single volume edition is a pretty tremendous reduction. It focuses on the action while leaving out a lot of what I imagine must be slightly less thrilling material and scientific notes. Jones updated capitalization and punctuation, but for reasons I can’t imagine left the original spelling. This though, is only a mild annoyance.

The most interesting part for me was learning about the native Americans that the explorers encountered. I knew previously America was a barbaric place before the Europeans settled, but seeing Lewis’ descriptions of tribal life really hammered that point home. While the explorers were able to set the example for the natives in terms of honesty and respect for human life, they happily joined in with the natives’ rampant promiscuity.

I was amused to see one manosphere talking point: Lewis mentions that the most warlike tribes, in which men die early and often, have the most subservient women. Favorable sex ratios for the win!

A couple other things that stuck out:
- Apparently childbirth was usually easy for native women, unless they were having a white man’s baby.
- The explorers ate a great deal of dog and horse meat, and found that dog meat had a very positive effect on their strength and endurance.
 

911

Peacock
Gold Member
Funny thing about the explorers' diet, is that at one point they've rioted because they were eating mostly salmon (smoked, grilled) when they got to the Pacific NW, where at that point wild salmon was still almost limitless. So they rioted, and had a couple horses slaughtered for food...

Can you imagine soldiers or prisoners rioting today because they get served too much smoked salmon, rioting for horsemeat instead? Lol... Similarly, in N. England, lobster was very abundant and considered a poor man's seafood...

I am planning on catching up on my classics, starting with the basics, Aristotle and Plato, which I've barely covered in high school.
 

Talus

Pigeon
Hey guys. Great thread and recommendations. Thought I would drop off a book I read a month ago by Herman Melville, called Bartleby the Scrivner. It's a quick read, only 70 pages or so. It starts off comedic but slowly transitions into a somber tragedy of sorts. The centerpiece of the book is the character Bartleby and his repeated quotation, "I'd prefer not to,". Whenever he is asked to do something, to do anything, a chore or a task, he just simply says, "I'd prefer not to." I think this novella, boiled down, is probably an experiment by Melville to see how far he could develope a story where the rule was, '*named character* politely says No to everything asked of him'.

My take away from the book: saying No has a lot of power, but also a lot of rammifications when confronting authority. By saying No politely, you can reduce the immediate effect of the rammifications, but this will only draw out the eventual outcome of some sort of compliance or confrontation.

Next time I go to the grocery store and they tell me to put on my mask, I'm going to see how far I can take Melville's experiment by telling them, "I'd prefer not to."
 

Vienna

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Ordered The Landmark Thucydides which Roosh reviewed a long time ago on RoK. Can’t wait for it to arrive. The Ancients never cease to capture our imaginations.

My ambition is to catch up on some classics and revisit Stoic writings during the summer. Like someone above here stated, we’ve all read the classics in high school, but we must seek out knowledge on our own if we wish to truly retain it.
 

Salinger

Woodpecker
I started Lolita at one point when I was a kid, largely because I'd been told not to read it. I was somewhat disturbed and never finished it or started anything else by Nabokov.
I don't see why it's so disturbing. The girl is a teenager. Big wup.

Nabakov's writing is amazing. His command of the English language is unlike anything I've ever seen before, the way he describes things...I was blown away reading the book.

I saw that there is an audio book of the novel read by Jeremy Irons who played the main character in the 1997 version of the movie (good film!) His voice was perfect for that character so I'm thinking about picking up that version too.
 
Read Paul's epistles from the KJV. What stuck out the most was that how many of the bad ideas floating around in Christianity today are directly addressed - denying the resurrection, claiming that since we're under grace it's okay if we sin, the man isn't the head of the household, etc.

I don't see why it's so disturbing. The girl is a teenager. Big wup.
She was twelve, and I was twelve. The thought of adults screwing kids my age made me uncomfortable. Good on you for being a tougher kid than me, Mr. Epstein.
 
Finished The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, a very thought provoking read. I was impressed by how much Chaucer’s characters quote the Bible. The whole thing is dripping with the language and lessons of scripture. At the same time, there was a lot that would make modern Christians blush. For example, adultery pops up relatively often, and Chaucer gets pretty descriptive, though not in a pornographic way. It made me wonder to what extent the prudishness of later English literature was a product of the Protestant reformation.

I liked that Chaucer phrases his insults as compliments, something he had a real talent for. Like Benjamin Franklin on steroids.

Two of the morals that stuck with me to the end:
- Be very careful what you say. It’s better to avoid opening your mouth than to say something you shouldn’t.
- Jealousy doesn’t help a husband. If your woman is a sloot, she’ll manage to sleep around no matter how carefully you watch her. And if she’s virtuous, you have no reason to worry excessively about where she is and what she’s doing all the time.
 

Talus

Pigeon
Just burned through Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, per the suggestion of ed pluribus unum. In light of current events, it provides an interesting contrast to our definition of oppression. These protesters out on the streets are just larping for virtue. If you want to know what systematic racism looks like, Conrad will give you a glimpse.
 
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