Runners Who Read

Who knew? A bunch of runners who enjoy reading and discussing what they read.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ian McEwan on End-Times thinking

That's what I'm reading now. Anyone else catch it? It was posted on 31 May at the Guardian UK's website, in the culture/books section. A fair primer that tries to, briefly, collect up all the various end o' life on earth movements.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Bard bags big bucks

It's not at all a rarity, is riddled with margin scribbling and more printing errors and typos than your average current trade paperback, and features a portrait of the author that is believed to be more than a little dodgy. Nonetheless, a first folio of Shakespeare's plays just sold in London for 2.8 million pounds.

Why? Good question.

Friday, June 30, 2006

A Rumor of War--"then and now"

Just in time for 4th of July, I reread Philip Caputo's 1977 "A Rumor of War" about his experiences as one of the first US Marine combat troops sent to Vietnam in 1965. Caputo gives his opinions and observations about his experiences, and so many of them translate into today's headlines. With exception of the jungle, the discussions, views, arguments, and opinions that come through this book could have been written in 2006 instead of 30 years before.

Caputo enters the war as a gung ho lieutenant, ready to "win the war" with one USMC company. He quickly finds out that there are no battlefields and little strategy except "kill the enemy" and "help South Vietnam defend itself against communism." He learns that this is a war of terror, of daily mine explosions, roadside bombs, and snipers. He can't figure out what he's there for, or what he's supposed to do. His company is reduced, one at a time, until rage and frustration allow the elements of humanity we keep secret to surface and there is tragedy and violence beyond the "guidelines for war."

Even in 1966, Caputo recognized that lives were being thrown away for a cause that could have no successful resolution. Caputo suggested, while still in Vietnam, that the war was unwinnable and troops should be withdrawn before more men died. Others looked at him in disbelief--"if we pulled out now, all our efforts will have been in vein." Caputo replies: "In other words, because we've already wasted a thousand lives, we should waste a few thousand more. If you really believe that crap, you should go volunteer for a rifle company and get yourself killed, because you deserve it."

Caputo departs Vietnam and the Marines and becomes a reporter for the Chicago Tribune. In 1975, he asks to return to Vietnam to cover the final days of Saigon, and is one of the last Americans to leave in the evacuation.

He has a new novel out about the efforts (or lack of efforts) in Somalia called "Acts of Faith." I look forward to reading it.

--Clothes D

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'm a Library Thing

Okay, so after Nels posted the bit on Library Thing just below, I created a free account there and quickly listed 200 of my books. You can view my virtual shelf here.

I'm trying to figure out how useful/entertaining this really is before plunking down $10, which will allow me to list more than 200 books.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Doin' that library thing?

Library Thing.

Explained, briefly, here. Click!

Thoughts? I think it's a neat idea, but on the other hand (paranoia here), volunteering this information...who is to say how it will be used, and who will look it over?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

For those who go in for it...

Here's a link to a piece on attending a reading by poets Robert Bly and Li-Young Lee (a favorite).


Friday is Bloomsday!

A piece on efforts to control the Joyce estate.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Weekly (Sony) Reader