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Reading for Self Isolation

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 Hat Dude 13 Mar 2020

Look on the bright side! If you do have to self isolate, think of the opportunity to read all those books you don't normally have time for.

I'm itching to start my copy of Hilary Mantel's "The Mirror and the Light" but will hold off for a bit in case I end up in solitary.

Prompted by a couple of opposing posts on another thread, about whether society is on the cusp of collapse or things have never been better; I suggest trying to get hold of John Brunner's novels "Stand on Zanzibar", "The Sheep Look Up" and "Shockwave Rider".  Written in the late 1960s/early 1970s they are quite Wellsian in their predictions of what may happen in the then future. Like many books of this nature, some things are way out but many are startlingly prophetic.

In case a longer reading list is required, any other recommendations out there?

1
 DaveHK 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Nah, I'm just going to waste the time on social media.  

 DaveHK 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

What about appropriate recommendations?

100 Years of Solitude?

 Hat Dude 13 Mar 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Nah, I'm just going to waste the time on social media.  

Then this may be useful for you ;-)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/technology-51863924/coronavirus-how-to-safely-clean-your-smartphone

On second thoughts, what a pointless, dumb and scaremongering article!

As it's  you that pretty much exclusively uses your phone, how is it likely to become highly infectious!

 Hat Dude 13 Mar 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> 100 Years of Solitude?

Or "Love in the Time of Cholera"

 Sir Chasm 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

> As it's  you that pretty much exclusively uses your phone, how is it likely to become highly infectious!

How about, you're on a bus, you grab a rail that a skanky person has sneezed on, you then transfer skank to your phone, you go home, use your phone, make a cup of tea and transfer skank to kettle/milk bottle/tap etc. 

 DaveHK 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Maybe I'll write a book about my experience, Covid 19: My Part in Its Downfall.

A torrid tale of eating crisps on the sofa in my underpants and watching far to many episodes of Game of Thrones.

 Hat Dude 13 Mar 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> A torrid tale of eating crisps on the sofa in my underpants

I normally eat crisps straight from the bag

In reply to Hat Dude:

7 days locked in a room? Only one choice...Shogun by James Clavell

In reply to Hat Dude:

Reading if full of people 

"In the mid-2018 estimate, Reading had a population of 230,046 while the smaller administrative area covered by the Borough of Reading had 163,203 inhabitants and a population density of 4,040 per square kilometre (10,464/sq mi)"

Post edited at 14:40
 Sean Kelly 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

> Or "Love in the Time of Cholera"

Camus, The Plague?

 seankenny 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Margaret Atwood’s Oryx and Crake.

 DaveHK 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Sean Kelly:

> Camus, The Plague?

Just seen that on a philosophy FB page!

 Agar Jelly 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

You don't want to be reading about disease when it's all over the media too!

I recommend Cannery Row by Steinbeck, It follows the adventures of Mac and the boys in the Palace Flop House Grill.

“[Cannery Row's] inhabitants are, as the man once said, 'whores, pimps, gamblers, and sons of bitches,' by which he meant everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, 'saints and angels and martyrs and holy men,' and he would have meant the same thing.”

In reply to DaveHK:

> 100 Years of Solitude?

Far From the Madding Crowd

 DaveHK 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> Far From the Madding Crowd

Good.

 felt 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

Other People

 marsbar 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

It's been 5 years since Terry Pratchett left us.  I couldn't face reading the last book because then there would never be another to look forward to.  I think it's time.  

In reply to marsbar:

Enjoy it. It was rather sad in parts but to me it was more Terry that the previous few books had been. 

In reply to Hat Dude:

Alcohol wipes, the kind that they use at the doctors pre injection work a treat and cost buttons on Amazon. Using my phone at work means it gets totally minging so I clean it every few days. 

 bouldery bits 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Should I get a treadmill?

 Stichtplate 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

A journal of the plague year- Daniel Defoe

Across the empty quarter- Wilfred Thessiger

Consolidations of the forest: Alone in cabin in the middle Taiga- Sylvain Tesson

A man without a country- Kurt Vonnegut

The beckoning silence- Joe Simpson

Solo faces- James Salter

The English patient- Michael Ondaatje

Lonesome dove- Larry Mcmurtry

Goodbye to all that- Robert Graves

Bringing out the dead- Joe Conelly

What am I doing here?- Bruce Chatwin

World's end- Boyle T Coraghessan

Given the way things are going though, my personal choice would be:

A confederacy of dunces- John Kennedy Toole

In reply to Hat Dude:

Seems to me like the perfect time/situation to go back to some of the great classics of philosophy. Or to look at them for the first time, if you haven't done so. Most relevant for today remains Nietzsche (imho, though that may sound crazy). Reading him is quite hard work, but continually amazing. At his best, he's like a kind of intellectual gymnast, outwitting you at every turn, getting you to admit, with many a dazzling argument, that your ideas are crap, only to rip the rug from under your feet at the very last moment, in some new, totally unexpected way, and show that more or less everything he's said so far is crap.

 pasbury 13 Mar 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

So we’re all talking crap? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

 Blue Straggler 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> World's end- Boyle T Coraghessan

I bought this a couple of months ago in a charity shop supermarket sweep. I have not opened it. Remind me what it’s about and convince me that it’s really good please! 

 Stichtplate 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

T Coraghessan Boyle of course (danger of reading down the list on my Goodreads profile and writing shit down after a 12 hour shift and half a bottle of red). Just lifted it off my shelf and realise I have almost zero recollection of reading it, 25 or 30 years ago. Great reviews on the back from (in descending order) The Times, Observer, TLS, and USA Today, plus it won the Pen/Faulkner.

What I do remember is that it was a bit of a slog fest. My personal favourites of his are Drop City, The harder they come, Budding prospects and Riven Rock (well, I can at least remember enjoying them).

Also, the book I should have recommended (on my shelves but missed it off my Goodreads list) 

After The Plague- T Coraghessan Boyle.

In reply to pasbury:

> So we’re all talking crap? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

What he's talking about are very difficult, abstract philosophical questions (such as certain kinds of moral judgements and the validity of certain kinds of beliefs, such as the existence of God). And very often the ready answers that people give he shows do not stand up to scrutiny. Also, when people give psychological explanations for things, these often do not go deep enough: there's sometimes a truer explanation hidden 'under' the explanation (he anticipates Freud with this). Overall, his philosophy is a warning not to talk nonsense – he particularly anticipates Wittgentstein, when the latter said, 'What we cannot speak about, we must pass over in silence.' By reading Nietzsche we actually learn a lot about ourselves, so it's the opposite of a waste of time. It's also highly thought provoking and a good mental exercise, and thus beneficial in the way that physical exercise is. Exercising the brain cells rather than the muscles.

 Blue Straggler 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

Thanks, I don’t have it to hand but I remember flicking through it and seeing that it was “quality, therefore probably heavy going”!

 Trangia 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Now's your chance to read War and Peace!

Has anyone on here actually read it?! I haven't  -  yet......

In reply to Trangia:

> Now's your chance to read War and Peace!

A mere warm-up for something properly epic: this is the time for Finnegans Wake. Cometh the hour cometh the book. 

In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

Surely, reading Nietzsche for mental exercise is a bit like "doing weights" for physical exercise. Not everyone's cup of tea!

In reply to John Stainforth:

Pretty much, yes. But the person 'doing weights' ends up stronger ...

 DaveHK 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Gordon Stainforth:

> Pretty much, yes. But the person 'doing weights' ends up stronger ...

Unless it kills them...

 Blue Straggler 14 Mar 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Unless it kills them...

I see what you did there! 

 Offwidth 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

A few that suit the times...

The Trial; Kafka

Something Happened; Heller (or ...Good as Gold)

The Plague; Camus

Cats Cradle; Vonnegut

 Blue Straggler 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I just bought Camus’ The Plague in a local charity shop. They said it had just been donated this morning! Make of that what you will 

In reply to DaveHK:

Yes, one of his better known aphorisms.

In reply to Andy Clarke:

> A mere warm-up for something properly epic: this is the time for Finnegans Wake. Cometh the hour cometh the book. 

When you've finished it I'll look forward to you posting a synopsis of the plot for everybody who has tried but failed to read it. 

 Hat Dude 14 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

> A mere warm-up for something properly epic: this is the time for Finnegans Wake. Cometh the hour cometh the book. 

A la Recherche du Temps Perdu ?

In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

> When you've finished it I'll look forward to you posting a synopsis of the plot for everybody who has tried but failed to read it. 

I'm a dedicated Joycean so spent almost a year of my life reading it closely. Sorry, but no synopsis from me. That would be like bolting Echo Wall. 

In reply to Hat Dude:

> A la Recherche du Temps Perdu ?

Read it some time ago. Can't remember a damn thing. 

 BrendanO 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Stichtplate:

> T Coraghessan Boyle ... T Coraghessan Boyle.

I did very much enjoy Water Music. Read it many times, and often read the bit about infection by tropical parasites  to kids.

But I recommend everyone tries Overtaken, by Alexei Sayle. 

In reply to Andy Clarke:

> I'm a dedicated Joycean so spent almost a year of my life reading it closely. Sorry, but no synopsis from me. That would be like bolting Echo Wall. 

Genuinely glad you enjoy it. Admire your patience and dedication. My comment was a bit smart *rsed. Sorry.

In reply to Wingeing Old Git:

No need to apologise - my response was tongue in cheek, although I am a huge Joyce fan. Sadly I think my visit to this year's Bloomsday festival in Dublin may fall victim to the virus. I'm hoping flights are back on come June.

 Offwidth 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

"Can't remember a damn thing. "

Maybe not focusssing hard enough where the moments can be overlooked?

In reply to Offwidth:

Wasn't it about a girl - Madeleine somebody? I confess I was trying to be witty with my memory crack. I'm actually a fan. I spend a great deal of my life reading!

 Offwidth 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Andy Clarke:

I'm pretty sure I haven't read it but I might be wrong with the state of my recall these days .

In reply to Hat Dude:

Room by  Emma Donoghue

 Hat Dude 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

I am now praying that i don't have to self isolate!

Mrs Dude has decreed that if I'm well enough to read, I'm well enough to deorate so has gone out and bought a load of paint ;-(

 alx 15 Mar 2020
In reply to Hat Dude:

Go out for a walk in the woods, could find yourself a vintage copy of razzle


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