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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 119

post #1771 of 1927
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P4 - Robert Frost, A Boy's Will (1913)

P5 - Robert Frost, North of Boston (1914)

I was about to give up on old Bob Frost, or worse, decide to grit my teeth and nobly suffer through it, this mass of poems, the Collected, that would surely enrich me. (Enrichment frequently a synonym for boredom). I'd read the famous ones, the misunderstood ones. I liked them enough to seek out more, more being, at least at first, these rhymed and metered affairs, rustic and bloodless -- Ted Hughes without the bite. The second book was more interesting, beginning with his famous Mending Wall, then for some reason trailing off completely into little vignettes that resembled dramatic monologues, or scene-lets. Something that belongs to the theater, anyway, but metered. I was almost ready to pull my eyes out. And then Bob hit me with this. Thank you, Bob. I love you, Bob. This is why I dive into Collecteds. This is why I read:


THE BLACK COTTAGE (Click to show)

THE BLACK COTTAGE

We chanced in passing by that afternoon
To catch it in a sort of special picture
Among tar-banded ancient cherry trees,
Set well back from the road in rank lodged grass,
The little cottage we were speaking of,
A front with just a door between two windows,
Fresh painted by the shower a velvet black.
We paused, the minister and I, to look.
He made as if to hold it at arm's length
Or put the leaves aside that framed it in.
"Pretty," he said. "Come in. No one will care."
The path was a vague parting in the grass
That led us to a weathered window-sill.
We pressed our faces to the pane. "You see," he said,
"Everything's as she left it when she died.
Her sons won't sell the house or the things in it.
They say they mean to come and summer here
Where they were boys. They haven't come this year.
They live so far away--one is out west--
It will be hard for them to keep their word.
Anyway they won't have the place disturbed."
A buttoned hair-cloth lounge spread scrolling arms
Under a crayon portrait on the wall
Done sadly from an old daguerreotype.
"That was the father as he went to war.
She always, when she talked about war,
Sooner or later came and leaned, half knelt
Against the lounge beside it, though I doubt
If such unlifelike lines kept power to stir
Anything in her after all the years.
He fell at Gettysburg or Fredericksburg,
I ought to know--it makes a difference which:
Fredericksburg wasn't Gettysburg, of course.
But what I'm getting to is how forsaken
A little cottage this has always seemed;
Since she went more than ever, but before--
I don't mean altogether by the lives
That had gone out of it, the father first,
Then the two sons, till she was left alone.
(Nothing could draw her after those two sons.
She valued the considerate neglect
She had at some cost taught them after years.)
I mean by the world's having passed it by--
As we almost got by this afternoon.
It always seems to me a sort of mark
To measure how far fifty years have brought us.
Why not sit down if you are in no haste?
These doorsteps seldom have a visitor.
The warping boards pull out their own old nails
With none to tread and put them in their place.
She had her own idea of things, the old lady.
And she liked talk. She had seen Garrison
And Whittier, and had her story of them.
One wasn't long in learning that she thought
Whatever else the Civil War was for
It wasn't just to keep the States together,
Nor just to free the slaves, though it did both.
She wouldn't have believed those ends enough
To have given outright for them all she gave.
Her giving somehow touched the principle
That all men are created free and equal.
And to hear her quaint phrases--so removed
From the world's view to-day of all those things.
That's a hard mystery of Jefferson's.
What did he mean? Of course the easy way
Is to decide it simply isn't true.
It may not be. I heard a fellow say so.
But never mind, the Welshman got it planted
Where it will trouble us a thousand years.
Each age will have to reconsider it.
You couldn't tell her what the West was saying,
And what the South to her serene belief.
She had some art of hearing and yet not
Hearing the latter wisdom of the world.
White was the only race she ever knew.
Black she had scarcely seen, and yellow never.
But how could they be made so very unlike
By the same hand working in the same stuff?
She had supposed the war decided that.
What are you going to do with such a person?
Strange how such innocence gets its own way.
I shouldn't be surprised if in this world
It were the force that would at last prevail.
Do you know but for her there was a time
When to please younger members of the church,
Or rather say non-members in the church,
Whom we all have to think of nowadays,
I would have changed the Creed a very little?
Not that she ever had to ask me not to;
It never got so far as that; but the bare thought
Of her old tremulous bonnet in the pew,
And of her half asleep was too much for me.
Why, I might wake her up and startle her.
It was the words 'descended into Hades'
That seemed too pagan to our liberal youth.
You know they suffered from a general onslaught.
And well, if they weren't true why keep right on
Saying them like the heathen? We could drop them.
Only--there was the bonnet in the pew.
Such a phrase couldn't have meant much to her.
But suppose she had missed it from the Creed
As a child misses the unsaid Good-night,
And falls asleep with heartache--how should I feel?
I'm just as glad she made me keep hands off,
For, dear me, why abandon a belief
Merely because it ceases to be true.
Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt
It will turn true again, for so it goes.
Most of the change we think we see in life
Is due to truths being in and out of favour.
As I sit here, and oftentimes, I wish
I could be monarch of a desert land
I could devote and dedicate forever
To the truths we keep coming back and back to.
So desert it would have to be, so walled
By mountain ranges half in summer snow,
No one would covet it or think it worth
The pains of conquering to force change on.
Scattered oases where men dwelt, but mostly
Sand dunes held loosely in tamarisk
Blown over and over themselves in idleness.
Sand grains should sugar in the natal dew
The babe born to the desert, the sand storm
Retard mid-waste my cowering caravans--

"There are bees in this wall." He struck the clapboards,
Fierce heads looked out; small bodies pivoted.
We rose to go. Sunset blazed on the windows.




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post #1772 of 1927

Will acquire new T Birch. Thanks for the review CD.

post #1773 of 1927

1-8:

 

 

Gentlemanners Series by Bridges/Curtis/West

 

Classic Wisdom for the Good Life 

50 Things Every Young Gentleman Should Know

How to Raise a Gentleman

Toasts and Tributes

As a Gentleman Would Say

A Gentleman Entertains

A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle

 

Life's Little Instruction Book by Brown Jr.

post #1774 of 1927
This looks good. Where to cop? ^^^
post #1775 of 1927

I bought the blue ones from Brooks Brothers. I got the others from several discount bookstores around my city. A friend from NJ will be giving me a copy of "A Gentleman Gets Dressed" in July.

 

I'm still missing the core "How to Be a Gentleman" book, "A Gentleman at the Table" and "A Gentleman Abroad". I don't mind skipping the latter two but I'm planning to order the first one online.

 

As a short review:

 

Classic Wisdom: My favorite book in the series so far. It's actually just a compilation of memorable quotes from famous people. Perfect for light reading.

 

50 Things Every Young Gentleman: This was actually made for preteens but I don't see why it cannot be of use to adults. People often forget basic courtesy anyway. If you have the chance though, get the "How to Be a Gentleman" book for more age-appropriate tips.

 

How to Raise a Gentleman: Just bought this haven't browsed through it yet.

 

Life's Little Instruction Book: My second favorite book in the list. The author gave this book containing several life tips as a gift to his son. The book is a compilation of short tips on every aspect of life such as "Don't talk about money with someone who makes more or less than you".

 

Toasts and Tributes: The book tells you what to say and what not to say during memorable occasions.I find the book very helpful in writing thank you and congratulatory notes and emails.

 

As a Gentleman Would Say: Let's face it, half of being a gentleman is knowing what to say and not to say in a particular situation. The book lists down awkward situations you often encounter and it provides you with phrases to say and to avoid.

 

A Gentleman Entertains: This is probably useful for those who often throw house parties. It's a comprehensive guide starting from picking the right guests all the way to providing you recipes for cocktails and food. I just can't use it that much since I live with my parents, brothers and sisters so I barely get any opportunity to throw a house party.

 

A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle: The book teaches you what to do as the groom, and most importantly what to do as a guest of a wedding. Might be helpful to display some manners in a wedding since people meet a lot of single women there.

post #1776 of 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by blitzmage View Post

I bought the blue ones from Brooks Brothers. I got the others from several discount bookstores around my city. A friend from NJ will be giving me a copy of "A Gentleman Gets Dressed" in July.

I'm still missing the core "How to Be a Gentleman" book, "A Gentleman at the Table" and "A Gentleman Abroad". I don't mind skipping the latter two but I'm planning to order the first one online.

As a short review:

Classic Wisdom: My favorite book in the series so far. It's actually just a compilation of memorable quotes from famous people. Perfect for light reading.

50 Things Every Young Gentleman: This was actually made for preteens but I don't see why it cannot be of use to adults. People often forget basic courtesy anyway. If you have the chance though, get the "How to Be a Gentleman" book for more age-appropriate tips.

How to Raise a Gentleman: Just bought this haven't browsed through it yet.

Life's Little Instruction Book: My second favorite book in the list. The author gave this book containing several life tips as a gift to his son. The book is a compilation of short tips on every aspect of life such as "Don't talk about money with someone who makes more or less than you".

Toasts and Tributes: The book tells you what to say and what not to say during memorable occasions.I find the book very helpful in writing thank you and congratulatory notes and emails.

As a Gentleman Would Say: Let's face it, half of being a gentleman is knowing what to say and not to say in a particular situation. The book lists down awkward situations you often encounter and it provides you with phrases to say and to avoid.

A Gentleman Entertains: This is probably useful for those who often throw house parties. It's a comprehensive guide starting from picking the right guests all the way to providing you recipes for cocktails and food. I just can't use it that much since I live with my parents, brothers and sisters so I barely get any opportunity to throw a house party.

A Gentleman Walks Down the Aisle: The book teaches you what to do as the groom, and most importantly what to do as a guest of a wedding. Might be helpful to display some manners in a wedding since people meet a lot of single women there.

Have you considered any books by Bruce Boyer or Alan Flusser? Bernhard Roetzl wrote my personal favorite as well.
post #1777 of 1927
50. Jubal Sackett Louis L'Amour 1985

Jubal Sackett is the middle child of Abigail and Barnabas, and therefore a part of the first Sackett generation born on American soil. The book is set around 1650, and is longer than the other Sackett books I read. It involves the requisite Indians, one of whom Jubal marries. And a mastodon which Jubal kills with his gun and his pet buffalo, Paisano.

Guys- you can't make this stuff up. Unless you're Louis L'Amour.
post #1778 of 1927

Hi. I generally don't buy fashion books. I only ordered A Gentleman Gets Dressed to complete the series. However I have indeed read several of Flusser's books in the past which I found truly insightful, especially the portion on color and pattern matching. I'll try to read Boyer and Roetzl's books if I have the opportunity. Thanks for the recommendation.

post #1779 of 1927
Been busier then ever at work, so I have fallen a bit behind on updating my reviews, as well as being online in general...here are the most recent:

29/50 The Intern's Handbook by Shane Kuhn


This was a very entertaining easy read....Presented as a "how to" guide, the book provides a fictional account of a company providing assassination services. Posing as interns, homeless young people are recruited into the corporate workplace and contracts are completed. A unique premise that will make an excellent film.


30/50 The Boy Who Stole From the Dead by Orest Stalmach


Part 2 of the "boy who" trilogy. These must be read in order, and revolve around a mysterious teen who was smuggled out of post disaster Chernobyl. We care, because this particular individual may be in possession of nuclear secrets that will forever change atomic theory. Not a bad read, but series is starting to get a bit long....

31/50 Fault Line by Barry Eisler


The first in the Ben Traven series. The main character is an ex-military alphabet soup operator. He is estranged from his family, and in this story, he is required to rescue his little brother after some unusual circumstances. Full of action, this is a welcome series from the author of the John Rain series.

32/50 Inside Out by Berry Eisler


Book 2 in the Ben Traven series. This story picks up immediately after Fault Line. The main character is coming to terms with reintegration into society, and is working to repair familial relationships. He is involved in cleaning up a mess within the D.C. power structure, and interagency struggles keep the action fast paced. This appears to be the last title in the series, and more would be welcome. These 2 are worth reading.

33/50 The Kraken Project by Douglas Preston


Another solo title from the Pendergast series in which Preston partners with Douglas Child. This is an interesting take on the eventual "Skynet" artificial intelligence scenario. In this interpretation, the software jumps to the Internet, and develops several human characteristics. Enjoyable read even if one does not buy into the AI/humanity philosophy.
post #1780 of 1927
17 POLICE by Jo Nesbo I read the first book in this series and wasn't overly impressed but this is a real page turner with some very sick fucks off the leash and causing mayhem. Very interesting in terms of its psychological observations in terms of character observations and motivational assesment, highly recommended.
post #1781 of 1927
My wife is a Nesbo addict, but I haven't tried him. He has just published a new novel, BTW: The Son.

Any idea how you pronounce his name? I'm sure my guess would be wrong (Yo Nesbuh).
post #1782 of 1927

I finally found a copy of "How to Be a Gentleman: Revised and Updated" by John Bridges. A copy just suddenly popped up at my local discount bookstore. Got it for $3. As I have mentioned in my earlier post, this is the core book in the "Gentlemanners" series by John Bridges.

 

This is a more updated version of the previous version with the subtitle "A Timeless Guide to Timeless Manners". Bridges incorporated rules on many aspects of modern life such as texting and online social networks.

 

Just to quote the introductory description on the book jacket:

 

"Being a gentleman isn’t just being a nice guy, or a considerate guy, or the type of guy someone might take home to meet their mother. A gentleman realizes that he has the unique opportunity to distinguish himself from the rest of the crowd. He knows when an email is appropriate, and when nothing less than a handwritten note will do. He knows how to dress on the golf course, in church, and at a party. He knows how to breeze through an airport without the slightest fumble of his carry-on or boarding pass. And those conversational icebreakers—“Where do I know you from?” A gentleman knows better. Gentlemanliness is all in the details, and John Bridges is reclaiming the idea that men—gentlemen—can be extraordinary in every facet of their lives"

 

You can actually skip the other books and just read this book if you just want a general guide to etiquette. From what I have read so far, the Core Book was designed to be a summary of the series since it includes table manners, dressing, hosting parties etc. If you want more details on Dressing for example then you should get the "A Gentleman Gets Dressed" book.

 

I have read countless books on etiquette for men such as those by Emily Post yet I still find my way back to this series. I'm not surprised that Brooks Brothers decided to choose this series for its own publication.

 

The only book on etiquette I think that was written better than this is "Gentleman's Book on Etiquette" published in Boston in the 1860s. It was concise, comprehensive and offers a lot of insights you probably weren't aware of before. However I still recommend the books by John Bridges because a little over a third of the materials in the 1860 book seems outdated already. 

post #1783 of 1927
List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties
2. Undivided: Part 3
3. High Fidelity
4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World
5. Polysyllabic Spree
6. Armageddon in Retrospect
7. South of the Border, West of the Sun
8. What we talk about when we talk about love
9. Norweigan Wood

10. The Master and Margherita

11. The Fault in Our Stars

12. Of Mice and Men

13.Fade to Black

14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

15. Watchmen

16. Captains Courageous

17. A Brief History of Time

18. The Trial

19. Wind up Bird Chronicle

20. A Visit from the Goon Squad

21. Neuromancer

22. Count Zero

23. Shadowboxing

24. Hell's Angels

25. Anansi Boys

26. Steelheart

27. A Hero of Our Time

28. Mona Lisa Overdrive

29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor

30. The Last Blues Dance

31. Gularabulu

32. The Glass Canoe

33. The Lies of Locke Lamora

35. Handmaid's Tale

 

35. Handmaid's Tale

 

Set in Gilead - a fictional future evolution of the US - this story follows Offred who is a Handmaid - basically a woman who's job it is to breed. The story largely juxtaposes the time 'before' and the current time - one charactertised by incredibly strict laws placed on inter-gender conduct, roles and responsibilities. Offred and her fellow women have to dress as (basically) nuns, and are allowed no freedom at all. The government of Gilead has strong overtones of the Taliban and the Uzbek government, which I also found pretty cool.

 

Throughout the story, Offred constantly thinks through the relationship between men and women and provides some real insights (for me). Atwood's writing is incredibly severe at points, and mimics perfectly the near resignation and bluntness of the main character.

 

I was initially really uncertain about this book - it is often assigned for High School reading here and I find many of those books just don't do anything for me anymore - however, this book was actually both interesting and insightful. In light of the notallmen/yesallwomen debacle this was refreshing and interesting.

 

This is not a difficult or mind-bending read - it won't shift anyone's paradigms, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing. It's a dystopic novel that is really honest and non-dramatic, which is rare (I think The Road is probably the only other not super dramatic dystopic novel I can remember reading).

post #1784 of 1927
Quote:
Originally Posted by LonerMatt View Post

List (Click to show)
1. All Tomorrow's Parties

2. Undivided: Part 3

3. High Fidelity

4. Hard Boiled Wonderland at the End of the World

5. Polysyllabic Spree

6. Armageddon in Retrospect

7. South of the Border, West of the Sun

8. What we talk about when we talk about love

9. Norweigan Wood
10. The Master and Margherita
11. The Fault in Our Stars
12. Of Mice and Men
13.Fade to Black
14. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
15. Watchmen
16. Captains Courageous
17. A Brief History of Time
18. The Trial
19. Wind up Bird Chronicle
20. A Visit from the Goon Squad
21. Neuromancer
22. Count Zero
23. Shadowboxing
24. Hell's Angels
25. Anansi Boys
26. Steelheart
27. A Hero of Our Time
28. Mona Lisa Overdrive
29. The Complete Collection of Flannery O'Connor
30. The Last Blues Dance
31. Gularabulu
32. The Glass Canoe
33. The Lies of Locke Lamora
35. Handmaid's Tale

35. Handmaid's Tale

Set in Gilead - a fictional future evolution of the US - this story follows Offred who is a Handmaid - basically a woman who's job it is to breed. The story largely juxtaposes the time 'before' and the current time - one charactertised by incredibly strict laws placed on inter-gender conduct, roles and responsibilities. Offred and her fellow women have to dress as (basically) nuns, and are allowed no freedom at all. The government of Gilead has strong overtones of the Taliban and the Uzbek government, which I also found pretty cool.

Throughout the story, Offred constantly thinks through the relationship between men and women and provides some real insights (for me). Atwood's writing is incredibly severe at points, and mimics perfectly the near resignation and bluntness of the main character.

I was initially really uncertain about this book - it is often assigned for High School reading here and I find many of those books just don't do anything for me anymore - however, this book was actually both interesting and insightful. In light of the notallmen/yesallwomen debacle this was refreshing and interesting.

This is not a difficult or mind-bending read - it won't shift anyone's paradigms, but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the writing. It's a dystopic novel that is really honest and non-dramatic, which is rare (I think The Road is probably the only other not super dramatic dystopic novel I can remember reading).

There is a film of this that I recommend came out in 90's. Mrs GF dragged me to off to see it at the time.
post #1785 of 1927

...and now you're buying her rubies. Someone more clever than I could make a cheeky Atwood-based joke.

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