Off topic: The "I read, tried to read, or want to read this book" thread
Thread poster: Dan Lucas

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
Mar 8, 2015

We're supposed to like the written word, right?

Books you liked. Books you hated - and everything in between.

I can do no better here than borrow the words of Italo Calvino who offers many categories of book, including "Books That If You Had More Than One Life You Would Certainly Also Read But Unfortunately Your Days Are Numbered", as well as this handy list:

"The Books You've Been Planning To Read For Ages,
The Books You've Been Hunting For Years Without Success,
The Books Dealing With Something You're Working On At The Moment,
The Books You Want To Own So They'll Be Handy Just In Case,
The Books You Could Put Aside Maybe To Read This Summer,
The Books You Need To Go With Other Books On Your Shelves,
The Books That Fill You With Sudden, Inexplicable Curiosity, Not Easily Justified."

Here's one to kick the thread off, nothing too heavy. "Hens Dancing" by Rafaella Barker. Light-hearted, funny, a good spring/early summer read. Those who live in the country will enjoy its confirmation of a certain way of life, some urbanites will no doubt enjoy dreaming about the life it reveals.

And another: The Little Prince. Can this really be called a children's book...?

Go and enjoy.

Regards
Dan


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:11
Chinese to English
A heavy one Mar 9, 2015

Unruly Words by Diana Raffman: http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199915101.do

Mostly I think philosophy of language has very little to offer language professionals (the exception being How To Do Things With Words http://www.amazon.com/How-Do-Things-Words-Lectures/dp/0674411528), but this book by Raffman looks like it might be sensible. It offers a model for how to understand why vague words are vague, and it sounds like it could be adapted to explain why two almost synonymous vague words in different languages work differently. If I get the time, I'm going to go through it and try to work out what message translators could take away.


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Ambitious Mar 9, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:
It offers a model for how to understand why vague words are vague, and it sounds like it could be adapted to explain why two almost synonymous vague words in different languages work differently.

And her model claims to resolve the Sorites paradox as well. Can't accuse her of lacking ambition as a theorist - or you of lacking ambition as a reader!

Dan


 

Suzan Hamer  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 01:11
English
+ ...
The link led to a 404 message, Phil, Mar 9, 2015

Phil Hand wrote:

...
Mostly I think philosophy of language has very little to offer language professionals (the exception being How To Do Things With Words http://www.amazon.com/How-Do-Things-Words-Lectures/dp/0674411528) ...


but I googled and found this http://www.dwrl.utexas.edu/~davis/crs/rhe321/Austin-How-To-Do-Things.pdf. Are these the lectures to which you refer?


 

Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
French to English
+ ...
Rookie mistake... Mar 9, 2015

I tried to read Lord of the Rings, but unfortunately had already seen the film, and somewhat gave up when I found myself halfway through the book and they still hadn't left The Shire.

On my current reading list is Rebecca and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West after seeing the stage productions of both recently. I hear that the book version of Wicked is slightly more depraved than the stage version, so we'll see how I go!
My partner also insists that I read one of the Biggles books. Man, I have a lot to catch up on!


 

Dan Lucas  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:11
Member (2014)
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Mixed feelings Mar 9, 2015

Natalie Soper wrote:
My partner also insists that I read one of the Biggles books. Man, I have a lot to catch up on!

I loved Biggles as a child; very "boy's own" style of adventure story. Re-reading them a few years back I realised that some are steeped in the racist attitudes of the time. If I remember correctly "Biggles in the Orient" was a particularly obvious example of this. That doesn't to my mind mean they should no longer be read, but probably better to choose one based in a European setting.

Cheers
Dan


 

Lingua 5B  Identity Verified
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Local time: 01:11
German to Serbian
+ ...
The Little Prince - child fiction but metaphors for grown-ups Mar 9, 2015

The Little Prince story-line is with child-like characters, but it's really about solitude and friendship in metaphysical sense. An interesting thing about this book is that the author A.S. Exupery was a pilot and the book was praised so much that a hard-copy was set off to space with an astronaut expedition.

 

Anna Sarah Krämer Fazendeiro
Germany
Local time: 01:11
English to German
+ ...
No Princes for me Mar 9, 2015

I never liked The Little Prince. I am a rather pragmatic person and have always been bored to death by poetic novellas full of metaphors. Well, I guess there's a reason why I translate manuals and guidelines.

There is also a lot of literature I love. One of my favourite Portuguese writers is Eça de Queiroz - he writes in a witty way about his contemporary 19th century Portugese society. Try "O crime de Padre Amaro", for example.

As for non-fiction, I really liked "Why the West rules - for now" by Ian Morris, an analysis of world history from the perspective of economic power - to be taken with a grain of salt, but with an interesting line of thought and a wealth of information about world history that our teachers never told us about - the book also shows how hopelessly eurocentric our history education is.

I've tried to read "Gödel, Escher, Bach" from Douglas R. Hostaedter several times and wish I could finish it - but I always give up somewhere in the middle. The book is about - I don't know, it's just great. I guess I have to try reading it again. Maybe this time!


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 07:11
Chinese to English
That's the one, Suzan Mar 9, 2015

Sorry, I was caught by the classic parenthesis-on-the-url there. JL Austin, a British philosopher, who seemed to notice for the first time that language was not just a logical, grammatical system, but a tool for acting in the world. I'm not convinced that his locution/illocution/perlocution holds up, but can still be a useful distinction.

 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 01:11
Member (2003)
German to Dutch
+ ...
I tried to read Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book Mar 10, 2015

I saw the movie when I was young and decided to add Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book to my required reading list in highschool.

I regretted that; it was the most boring book I've ever read - and I had to reread every sentence 3 times to even understand it.

Cheers,
Gerard


 


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