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the captain
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« Reply #525 on: July 04, 2018, 11:05:19 AM »

I might check out Singer's work, as I find stories about extended families particularly fascinating.

I can't recommend him highly enough. The Manor reminds me of great Tolstoy works in some ways, but where a Tolstoy or Dostoevsky often seems to be talking about grand affairs, somehow Singer usually comes across as about humble, everyday life ... which somehow feels even more grand and epic for it.
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« Reply #526 on: July 05, 2018, 10:21:57 AM »

Buckethead:  Now I'm wondering if the Twain might be of help.  Perhaps you could select a few passages from Roughing It.
Twain's language, phrasing, humor, much more.  That could get the students going.  It got me going a long time ago.

Here is the beginning of Chapter 18:

"
At eight in the morning we reached the remnant and ruin of what
had been the important military station of 'Camp Floyd', some forty-five
or fifty miles from Salt Lake City. At 4 p.m. we had doubled our distance
and were ninety or a hundred miles from Salt Lake. And now we entered
upon one of that species of deserts whose concentrated hideousness
shames the diffused and diluted horrors of Sahara--an 'alkali desert'.
"

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« Reply #527 on: July 05, 2018, 01:48:59 PM »

Love it! "...concentrated hideousness..." Thank you - might be useful.
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« Reply #528 on: July 05, 2018, 05:04:25 PM »

I read "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Would like to read "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches", shorts' collection. Twain is good author.
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« Reply #529 on: July 15, 2018, 04:59:43 AM »

"Legend Of Turaida Rose", thin book about real Latvian girl Maija who lived in early 17th century. It's got ravishing pics displaying Turaida Castle in Riga, Latvia capital. Castle is older than girl, built in 13th century. Not sure why it's dubbed "legend", it's real events, read episode in Latvian history. 3/5
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« Reply #530 on: July 15, 2018, 05:29:18 AM »

At present I'm reading Richard Miles' spell-binding book Carthage Mvst Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization. Hannibal and the Carthaginians have fascinated me ever since we covered this topic at primary school, in the days when they had radio programmes for schools with accompanying booklets.

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« Reply #531 on: July 15, 2018, 08:45:28 AM »

JK - I have always found Hannibal and co. fascinating, as well. Imagine your average Roman soldier seeing elephants for the first time!

RRA1 - For some reason, a large number of Latvians settled near my little town in Pennsylvania. Otherwise, I would never have known much about the place. They came after WWII and maintained their language and culture to a great degree. They send their kids to Latvian camps in the summer and seem to know peers all over the country. In my twenties, I came across a diary of a girl/young woman who endured the revolution and occupation and was forced to move, alone, to the USSR to work in various industrial jobs. It is really depressing reading. Her happiness in life was reduced to the degree to which she could avoid hunger and cold. I Only Wanted to Live is the title. (Sorry I can't seem to italicize on this website - when I try, this is what happens.)
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« Reply #532 on: July 16, 2018, 07:07:59 AM »

Quote
Otherwise, I would never have known much about the place.
You & me. Except that Turaida castle, I dunno anything about Latvia & Baltic states generally. Ditto languages. Zero interest too.

Thanks to the caution re: depressing reading. Will pass it by. What's your town's library system like? F.ex. here if you're citizen, you're given reader's ticket & free access to books; if you're foreigner, you leave document or money till you bring the book back.
Btw, iir reading, Philadelphia &/ or Pennsylvania is famous for being the leading reader city/ state. Is it right?
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« Reply #533 on: July 16, 2018, 07:50:13 AM »

Buckethead, where in LA do you live? I live in the city of Sharon, PA.
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« Reply #534 on: July 16, 2018, 05:40:53 PM »

Jay - I live in Upper Bucks County in the town of Perkasie. (Lenni Lenape for something like place where the bears crack walnuts by the creek). It's about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia city limits. Sharon is north of Pittsburgh, near border with Ohio?

RRA1 -  I never heard that Pennsylvania was known for leading in terms of reading/readers. We do have a city called Reading, however.  Our library system is quite nice. Borrowing cards are free, although I pay fines all the time for bringing books back late. In my state, they will order from other libraries, including those in public universities, any book not available in your local one.
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« Reply #535 on: July 17, 2018, 05:48:02 AM »

Here readers pay fines as well. But - it's good "but" - we've got forgiving day, if you bring book that day, you don't pay anything. Many people use forgiving day if they're late. I'm lifehacker & use that day conveniently as well. I use cool rules to the fullest. 3D
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« Reply #536 on: July 17, 2018, 07:28:43 AM »

Sometimes our Library waives late fees if the person brings a can of food, which will go to our Food Pantry to feed the needy.
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« Reply #537 on: July 17, 2018, 09:15:35 AM »

Thatís a cool idea re donations in lieu of fines.

We have fines without exception as far as I recall. I end up paying them often, but I plead innocence: itís the fault of she with whom I reside, I swear! But the fines are more symbolic than anything, so itís not such a problem.
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« Reply #538 on: July 18, 2018, 07:29:28 PM »

Love the idea of a food donation in lieu of fine. "Forgiving Day" is even better. I accumulate a lot of fines because I get books for my students, who rarely have access to libraries.
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« Reply #539 on: July 18, 2018, 07:36:45 PM »

Yep, we got forgiving day. It's the best idea, it weirds me out that Americans didn't think up sth. like that. Brow I figured America is very creative country.
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« Reply #540 on: July 19, 2018, 03:14:45 PM »

Come to think of it, I have read of library "amnesty," in which if patrons just give back the darn books, they are not required to pay fines. New York City Public Library did it for kids recently. Some municipalities, and the US government may offer amnesty for taxes. This typically means forgiveness of all or part of penalties, interest, or some of the original amount owed. 
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« Reply #541 on: July 20, 2018, 05:48:32 AM »

Besides forgiving day, librarians here arrange annually The Library Night at 27th May. The day when library works 24 hours, at midnight everybody gathers to play various book-related games, quizes, win prizes, visit book exhibitions in different cabinets & many others. Fun guaranteed. You got sth. similar in your state/ city, Buckethead?
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« Reply #542 on: July 20, 2018, 07:23:26 AM »

Yep, we got forgiving day. It's the best idea, it weirds me out that Americans didn't think up sth. like that. Brow I figured America is very creative country.

But American libraries are also often funded by their local governments, and usually not very well funded. They also have an issue with people simply taking and not returning books. So the mission isn't making things easy for the delinquent borrowers so much as maintaining the library's ability to stay open and serve. The fines are also both used to raise funds (though they can't raise much, being relatively small) and just to put a little pressure on the borrowers to keep them from being thieves. It is definitely a balancing act, though, because once fines become too large or books are too long overdue, people feel too ashamed to bring them back and instead just keep them.
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« Reply #543 on: July 20, 2018, 07:27:00 AM »

I started reading Margaret Barker's "The Older Testament," which suggests and tries to describe a polytheistic core of what became early Judaism after the Babylonian exile, with some aspects of this earlier core showing through not only in the Torah but apocalyptic writing of the Maccabbeean era through the birth of Christianity, including the Qumran/Essene writing and some gnostic works. It's really dense stuff and hard to wrap the mind around in spots, but very interesting. I'm nowhere near far enough through it to say whether I think it's plausible, but it's certainly interesting.
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« Reply #544 on: July 20, 2018, 07:58:18 AM »

The purpose behind forgiving day here is precisely making readers bring books back. In big cities, f.ex. Moscow, the libraries give few forgiving days. Elsewhere it's usually single day in whole year. In tiny village & town libraries, sometimes librarians start calling people to notify about books if the return date is soon/ today. Here libraries mainly funded by government as well but since they decided to create special day without fines, it speaks volumes that they've no problem with losing money they'd get that day if people paid fines daily. Maybe they think "it's just single day, why not".
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« Reply #545 on: July 20, 2018, 08:19:56 AM »

It really is a difficult position for libraries. They need patrons or they would cease to exist. (No government is going to maintain a library for a tiny, tiny percentage of people.) So they can't be TOO nasty to people who are delinquent returning books, or people just won't go. But at the same time, if they have no punishment at all, people will abuse the system, and that doesn't work well in the grand scheme of things either. I sympathize. Really, people just need to be responsible in their behavior and consider the overall good.
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« Reply #546 on: July 20, 2018, 03:05:42 PM »

RRA1 - I'd LOVE to attend Library Night! Do you live in Moscow? That sounds so very cool. our libraries have a lot of kids' programs, lots of reading-related activities, crafts, teddy bear tea parties, etc. I've not heard of anything like you describe, though. Some schools have overnight sleep-overs on a Friday or Saturday in which there is a lot of reading, aloud and/or not, discussions, pizza, and the like.

The Captain - Now THAT'S entertainment! Seriously, whether or not Barker's tome is all accurate, I think that it would be very unlikely that the texts that we today consider essential to early Judaism and Christianity did not have antecedents that likely featured polytheistic frameworks, or, at least, in more monotheistic thinking, lesser gods. Many people seem unaware of the selectivity with which texts were used, altered, borrowed, synthesized and edited over the centuries into what we have today.
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« Reply #547 on: July 20, 2018, 03:46:43 PM »

2the captain: I got what you said re: it's balancing act/ difficult 1st time around. You said what it's like in American libraries, the reasons why. I, as smb. who likes to compare, brought the vs. thing, what's in Russian libraries.

2Buckethead: it seems libraries in your state pay attention exclusively to kids. I think it's plain wrong. Libraries should think about creating sth. to entertain readers of all ages. I don't live in Moscow, Library Night is held the same day at 27th May in all libraries nationally. Including in the city (town, really) I live.
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« Reply #548 on: July 20, 2018, 04:32:05 PM »

The Captain - Now THAT'S entertainment! Seriously, whether or not Barker's tome is all accurate, I think that it would be very unlikely that the texts that we today consider essential to early Judaism and Christianity did not have antecedents that likely featured polytheistic frameworks, or, at least, in more monotheistic thinking, lesser gods. Many people seem unaware of the selectivity with which texts were used, altered, borrowed, synthesized and edited over the centuries into what we have today.

Religious history--and specifically the history of Christianity (and consequently, necessarily the history of Judaism)--is probably my main interest in the past few years, especially as someone raised as a pretty conservative Lutheran Christian who has become an atheist over time. It's an academic interest to me that I can't quite seem to get enough of. Ideas like this underlying polytheism, or Jesus mythicism, or the Jamesian-Essene ideas...absolutely fascinating, whatever is actually true. The puzzles have so many layers.
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« Reply #549 on: July 20, 2018, 06:44:39 PM »

I read a book about my namesake, Brooks Robinson.
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