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Thread: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

  1. #76
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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Now that it is the offseason, I'm reading some baseball books. Recently finished Ron Guidry's autobiography - short, somewhat interesting version of his pov on the 70's Yankees - would have liked more of his years as a coach for the Yankees. Reading Felipe Alou's autobiography now. It's ok - the baseball stories are interesting but he repeats himself somewhat.
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    cumberlandreds (10-11-2018)

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    I am continuing my reading of American history from its beginnings by following the Presidential line. I am up to the Andrew Jackson era and just finished a biography on him by H.W. Brands. It was very thorough and very well written. The times were certainly much different then. What we would find abhorrent in Jackson now was thought of much differently then. We have come a long way to say the least in how tolerant we are of differences in people and races.

    Also just finished a short book called Run,Rabbit,Run. It was stories told by Rabbit Maranville who played MLB in the early 20th century. He died before completing it and his manuscripts were found years later and saved. They are mostly funny stories of his playing days. Its only about 100 pages long.

    I have maybe over 150 books on Kindle that I haven't read. I divide my reading up by American history timeline, sports,mainly baseball, and what I call miscellaneous. Books that don't quite fall into those two categories.
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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    I am continuing my reading of American history from its beginnings by following the Presidential line. I am up to the Andrew Jackson era and just finished a biography on him by H.W. Brands. It was very thorough and very well written. The times were certainly much different then. What we would find abhorrent in Jackson now was thought of much differently then. We have come a long way to say the least in how tolerant we are of differences in people and races.

    Also just finished a short book called Run,Rabbit,Run. It was stories told by Rabbit Maranville who played MLB in the early 20th century. He died before completing it and his manuscripts were found years later and saved. They are mostly funny stories of his playing days. Its only about 100 pages long.

    I have maybe over 150 books on Kindle that I haven't read. I divide my reading up by American history timeline, sports,mainly baseball, and what I call miscellaneous. Books that don't quite fall into those two categories.
    I'm curious; how did the author treat the bigamy accusations? I've read some writers who say it was all a misunderstanding and others, including Daniel Walker Howe in What Hath God Wrought (my favorite history of the era) who say he knew exactly what he was doing? Kind of a tragedy in the end, since they likely led to (spoiler alert) his wife's death.
    “It is quite possible--overwhelmingly probable, one might guess--that we will always learn more about human life and personality from novels than from scientific psychology” ― Noam Chomsky

    “Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another’s skin.” -- Joyce Carol Oates

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Billion Dollar Whale. Jho Low is my new hero.

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by marcshoe View Post
    I'm curious; how did the author treat the bigamy accusations? I've read some writers who say it was all a misunderstanding and others, including Daniel Walker Howe in What Hath God Wrought (my favorite history of the era) who say he knew exactly what he was doing? Kind of a tragedy in the end, since they likely led to (spoiler alert) his wife's death.
    Brands acknowledged that Jackson likely knew Rachel was still officially married to her first husband when they were married. Back then it was tough to get a divorce. Not nearly as simple as it is now. So he said they just went ahead and married knowing there could be repercussions later. But he also points out that at the time Jackson had no way of knowing he would ever be a Presidential candidate and be no more than a military leader. Her divorce was finalized some years later. That ordeal more than likely lead to her death as the campaign in the year of her death was very nasty with all sorts of personal things exposed and overblown and some just out right lies. No doubt the stress of that election was a direct result of her death.
    Last edited by cumberlandreds; 10-11-2018 at 01:23 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    I'm looking for non-fiction, though historical-fiction will do if it's researched well and ties into non-fiction similar to Gore Vidal's works.

    The topic I'm looking for is the history of a town through multiple generations covering the area from the Ohio River Valley to the Great Lakes. I'm not looking for documentary writing, but story-telling.

    I know this interest went away a century ago when those interested would have had Grandparents growing up during this period. For too long, anyone writing anything that comes close to this topic swings heavily towards Civil War narrative. I'm a Civil War buff, and this isn't where I want to cover that topic. I'm interested in a town, the growth and changes of the town from it's inception through multiple generations. I feel there's 1000's of good stories here, but I am probably a small minority as far as their interest.

    Any suggestions?
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by cumberlandreds View Post
    I am continuing my reading of American history from its beginnings by following the Presidential line. I am up to the Andrew Jackson era and just finished a biography on him by H.W. Brands. It was very thorough and very well written. The times were certainly much different then. What we would find abhorrent in Jackson now was thought of much differently then. We have come a long way to say the least in how tolerant we are of differences in people and races.

    Also just finished a short book called Run,Rabbit,Run. It was stories told by Rabbit Maranville who played MLB in the early 20th century. He died before completing it and his manuscripts were found years later and saved. They are mostly funny stories of his playing days. Its only about 100 pages long.

    I have maybe over 150 books on Kindle that I haven't read. I divide my reading up by American history timeline, sports,mainly baseball, and what I call miscellaneous. Books that don't quite fall into those two categories.
    That's a fantastic venture...American History timeline.

    I just have to say that there's a lot of bad writing out there. Some of the most famous (copies sold) writers are the worst, but that's often been the case on any subject as publishers control output more than quality of work.

    I find numerous errors in every Stephen Ambrose work, for example. So many that the work becomes unreadable, as I can't read the work of a lazy author. He repeatedly fails to cross-check his references and is content to copy-and-paste bad and incorrect information, and because his works are published in high volume, he's guilty of spreading disinformation that people who read his works accept as truth.

    David McCullough is worse. He flat out makes things up, creating storylines that simply don't exist and painting completely incorrect pictures of personalities of historical figures that are flat out lies. If the people he wrote about were alive, they would sue him for slander. He's the Jacqueline Susann of historical novels. His publishers drive his book factory very well.

    There are excellent historical novelists out there. Rhys Isaac won the 1983 Pulitzer Prize in History (not that a Pulitzer Prize guarantees an author's accuracy) for the novel, "The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790". This was one of the cultural centers of the birth of the United States, and Isaac does as well as anyone I've read in attempting to describe the social framework of a long forgotten period.

    Just a word of caution because it's easier than ever for writers to work with publishers in order to quickly put out books that are poorly researched (sources aren't cross-checked), and the more famous the writer, the more likely there's a book factory behind their work. Book factories that put out fiction are fine (Alexander Dumas' book factory is a great example where he had over 100 staffers collaborating to create his works), but non-fiction book factories are not OK, because they are spreaders of disinformation.

    It's a pet peeve of mine: famous writers republishing false information, or just flat out making up stuff about historical figures' personalities just to make a buck.
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 11-06-2018 at 02:49 AM.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

    I'm looking for non-fiction, though historical-fiction will do if it's researched well and ties into non-fiction similar to Gore Vidal's works.

    The topic I'm looking for is the history of a town through multiple generations covering the area from the Ohio River Valley to the Great Lakes. I'm not looking for documentary writing, but story-telling.

    I know this interest went away a century ago when those interested would have had Grandparents growing up during this period. For too long, anyone writing anything that comes close to this topic swings heavily towards Civil War narrative. I'm a Civil War buff, and this isn't where I want to cover that topic. I'm interested in a town, the growth and changes of the town from it's inception through multiple generations. I feel there's 1000's of good stories here, but I am probably a small minority as far as their interest.

    Any suggestions?
    This is historical fiction but I think you may find it interesting if you've never read it - it won the pulitzer prize in the '50s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Aw...g_Land_trilogy
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    Kingspoint (11-06-2018)

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Strikes Out Looking View Post
    This is historical fiction but I think you may find it interesting if you've never read it - it won the pulitzer prize in the '50s. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Aw...g_Land_trilogy
    Thank you. I have a feeling that most of the works that I'm interested in are long out of print. The world-wide library connection gives me access to almost anything thankfully.

    Just this little blurb gives it promise:

    "Richter extensively researched the mode of speech of the early-19th-century pioneers of the Ohio Valley, many of whom originally emigrated from Pennsylvania and the Upper South. (For example, they referred to “trees” as “butts.”) In order to convey in writing an historic sense of the dialect, Richter studied rare collections of old manuscripts, letters, and records which demonstrated or documented the speech of late-18th- and early-19th-century residents."
    Last edited by Kingspoint; 11-06-2018 at 11:52 AM.
    "One problem with people who have no vices is that they're pretty sure to have some annoying virtues."

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    Re: What Are You Reading Now Part Two

    Quote Originally Posted by Kingspoint View Post
    Thank you. I have a feeling that most of the works that I'm interested in are long out of print. The world-wide library connection gives me access to almost anything thankfully.

    Just this little blurb gives it promise:

    "Richter extensively researched the mode of speech of the early-19th-century pioneers of the Ohio Valley, many of whom originally emigrated from Pennsylvania and the Upper South. (For example, they referred to “trees” as “butts.”) In order to convey in writing an historic sense of the dialect, Richter studied rare collections of old manuscripts, letters, and records which demonstrated or documented the speech of late-18th- and early-19th-century residents."
    It's very good. You'll enjoy it.
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    Kingspoint (11-08-2018)


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