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Chicken
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i have read a lot of critical acclaim about rushdie but have yet to read any of his novels

is *midnight's children* as good as the reviews it gets?

I had this discussion with my oldest son, who turned me on to the book in the first place. He is a Rushdie fan and liked the book, but he's not sure if it really deserves all the critical acclaim it received. I think yes, it does. For me, it was one of those novels that just pulled me in and I couldn't read it fast enough. It's both historical and utterly magical. I think Rushdie is brilliant.

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A while ago I finished a great biography about the Russian revolutionary poet Majakovskij which was very interesting. Unfortunatly there are not many books about him in English, but there is a Swedish writer named Bengt Jangfeldt that has a deep interest for Majakovkij and is the first one who ever written a biography of Majakovskij. It might be published in English soon, as well.

Right now I am reading a great book about the battles at Peleliu and Okinawa. Eugene B. Sledge was a surviving marine of the Pasific war during WWII and when he got home after the war he started to write his story down. It was supposed to be a story he would share within his family, but sometime during the 70's they thought he should publish the story for everyone to read. It was first published in 1981.

Here's word about the book:

"A classic... In all the literature on the Second World War, there is not a more honest, realistic, or moving memoir. This is the real deal, the real war: unvarnished, brutal, without a shred of sentimentality or false patroitism, a profound primer on what it actually was like to be in that war." - Ken Burns (PBS)

I highly recomend this book.

www.amazon.com

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Finished With The Old Breed last week, which was a fantastic book. Now I picked up Lovesick Blues, The Life of Hank Williams by Paul Hemphill. I have only read about 40 pages, but I like it so far and it seems like a well written biography.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm about halfway through Andy Taylor's autobiography mostly about his time in Duran Duran. Pretty interesting so far, and he's mentioned Zep quite a bit so far. The funniest bit was how they had to go on right after them at Live Aid. He says "Which bastard put them on before us?". :)

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I never miss the annual Southern Music issue, now celebrating it's 10th anniversary with this edition of the Oxford American. Every year the Southern Music issue also comes with a CD, in commemoration of their 10th anniversary this year's is a double. If you're so inclined you can read the tracklisting and liner notes here.

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Read both halfs of the Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe while on holiday in New Zealand, the adventures of a banished torturer in dystopian slowly freezing future earth really got me into the holiday spirit. ;)

Seriously though if you like complex sci fi like Dune is definately worth a read.

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Peter Hennessy's Never Again: Britain 1945-51, which is really excellent.

Trying in vain to get back to serious work with G.R. Elton's Reform and Reformation, England 1509-1558, and Christine Carpenter's book on late medieval Warwickshire, Locality and Polity, but to no avail with the husband ill and all the hospital to-ing and fro-ing. Someday...

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Currently reading "The Man Who Loved China" by Simon Winchester.

This past year I mainly read along with the books my daughter was assigned in her middle school classes, some for the first time, others were repeats that I enjoyed as much the second time around. "To Kill a Mockingbird", "A Separate Peace", "The Outsiders", "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian" are a few titles that spring to mind.

The most fascinating book I read in 2008 was this one, "Crashing Through" --

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A story about Mike May who was blinded by a chemical accident when he was just a toddler and then had his sight restored at 46 years old. In many ways having sight turned out to be a far greater hardship and struggle than he (or anyone with sight) could possibly imagine. The greatest difficulty he had was in recognizing faces (everyone looked identical, he could distinguish male from female only if there was facial hair, for example). So much so that he finally gave up and resorted back to the other sensory cues he used while blind (such as hearing) to know who he was speaking with.

The book is supposedly being made into a movie but don't know when or if it will be released.

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Yesterday, I got cracking on "Sarum" an epic novel about England, specifically Salisbury and the surrounding area, spanning in time from the end of the Paleolithic era to World War II. I've gotten up to the Neolithic period, which is of a particular fascination to me, as this is the culture who built Stonehenge and all the other remarkable earthworks in the area.

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Yesterday, I got cracking on "Sarum" an epic novel about England, specifically Salisbury and the surrounding area, spanning in time from the end of the Paleolithic era to World War II. I've gotten up to the Neolithic period, which is of a particular fascination to me, as this is the culture who built Stonehenge and all the other remarkable earthworks in the area.

Sounds like an interesting read!

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