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What Book Are You Reading?


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15 hours ago, DizRotus said:


I agree.


I'm guessing you are closer to the author's age than I. Though I was just a kid I toughly enjoyed that period. I've had a 1971 Monte Carlo (had to living in Detroit, no?) a 1971 Breitling Top Time watch and currently own a pinball machine from 1971. I also have most of music mentioned in the book


Author was 21 in 1971 what is the over/under on who is closer to his age? My birthday is late in the year (November) so I was 5 most of 1971. I just peeked at your profile only off by 2. I'm jealous. Would have loved to have been in teens/20s during that period. As it is, I'm just dealing with everything you all messed up. 😉


The writer is a Brit. I've had to get used to his writing style and re-read a few passages to get the contest. You?

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1 hour ago, rplace said:

I’m guessing you are closer to the author's age than I.


You’re guessing right.  Jackson Browne, Prince Charles and I are the same age.  My wife gave me this book because I graduated from college in 1971.  


I too frequently needed a translator from British to American English.

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"A Hero on Mount St. Helens" Melanie Holmes; University of Illinois Press, 2019.


The author relates two intertwined subjects: Mt. St Helens and why it blew up (again) and the life and work of David A. Johnston. He was the young vulcanologist whose famous last words "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" have become one of those memorable quotes of science. She explains these complex subjects very well, and also relates the bureaucratic issues and media circus that surrounded the watch over the mountain. Johnston saved lives by running off the curiosity seekers and media who wanted to stand next to him in case "something happened." 


Since this is the Klipsch forum, I'd also add that Alan Hovhaness's "Mount St Helens" symphony is a fantastic piece of music and great way to show off your system.

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Finished up James Rollins  The Last Odyssey last night.  It brings ancient mythology into modern times, full of action too.  The themes are a combination of Dan Brown meets Michael Crichton with a dash of Clive Cussler.  Interesting read, and a page turner.


Next up is Baldacci's Walk the Wire, in his memory man series.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Just finished Stephen Hunter's Night of Thunder, part of the Bob Lee Swagger series.  The backdrop to the story is Bristol and the big race, set in 2008.  Previously I have read the successor in the series I, Sniper which is also excellent.  Hunter is very good at fluid description, and detailed exposition.  He won a Pulitzer for his work as a critic, and it's easy to see why.  I recommend.

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  • 1 month later...

We sometimes talk about how musicians hear and think about music and how that differs from common listener perceptions (...well in this case, perhaps not so common music listeners) how each think about the music. 


Having grown up immersed in serious music ("classical") during my childhood, it turns out that I apparently do understand how the musicians themselves perceive music and its performance, i.e., the music that's survived the gauntlet of time because it's so good. 


What was generally not well understood by me was how and why those that aren't really musicians but rather music enthusiasts listen to music...and what they get from it.


So I found a relatively recently written book (ca. 2014--2016) on conversations with the noted orchestral conductor Seiji Ozawa, a former understudy to Leonard Bernstein and Herbert von Karajan, et al, 50-60 years ago, as he convalesced from surgery and was interviewed in his home on several occasions by a blogger/author/classical music enthusiast.  The book is a capture of the direct conversations of the maestro's insights on specific music performances from the author's extensive recording collection. The resulting book was condensed from their conversations--before, during, and after the recordings were played, revealing the musician's extensive performance memory of individual performances, insights on soloists and noted orchestra personnel, etc. 


What was actually a revelation (to me) wasn't so much the conductor's insights, but rather the author's viewpoints that were liberally used to stimulate conversation (sometimes using embarrassingly novice insights), but insights, nevertheless. 


The original language was, of course, Japanese, translated to English here, but very plain-spoken (sort of like North American speakers typically speak to each other, very similar to a lean/six sigma "sensei" of the 1980s, who often talked in clipped but diplomatic fashion to their "students"). 


Ozawa's revelations on famous orchestras' internal cultures, playing styles, and internal social structures (as it relates to how much a conductor can get out of the orchestra what he wants) was a real eye opener, and brought home the human side of these famous organizations.  It also includes insights and stories on very famous soloists. I particularly enjoyed the stories told on Glenn Gould.  But other incidental information on Ozawa's mentoring conductors was extremely interesting at times, and sometimes generated a chuckle (as the comments from Ozawa were obviously meant to elicit). 






The book is recommended to those interested in bettering their understanding of the differences between musicians and listening enthusiasts.  I find it's better if taken in smaller episodes or chapters that correspond to the listening sessions between conductor and author.



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I finished reading Practicing Forgiveness a path toward healing while we were snowed in without electricity for 38 hours. Until then, I had been reading it a chapter at a time the week before trying to understand the clinical process as it related to the different individuals involved in the scenarios presented. I hadn’t realized I’d had learned so much until I got to the end. It provided a good foundation for me to understand what they were going through and how to deal with similar situations where someone has been injured by another but is dealing with it. The chapters flow with continuing stories and different aspects of forgiveness to consider. They are situations we are all familiar with even though it’s hard to talk about. It gives insight on how forgiveness correlates interpersonally with traditional moral views seen in a different light and reanalyzed when personal safety is an issue.

Insofar as my personal journey is involved, the book helped me to think about close personal friends whose political views seemed highly offensive to the point of being treasonous. I understand that some of my views aren’t shared by people I care about, but some of theirs this political season made me wonder how I could even talk to them about other issues. As I got more into the book, I realized this process could help either me or someone I love/really like mend fences or go our separate ways while feeling better about how we handled deep disappointment in one another. Practicing Forgiveness a path toward healing gave me a mental thought process to deal with it called (spoiler alert) the Forgiveness Reconciliation Model, or FRM. When I got to the Reconciliation Forgiveness Inventory during the big freeze and the lights came back on, I also realized I had gained insight on a subject I had never considered before. This book is well written, entertaining and would be a good gift for a friend who may need a process to deal with someone where forgiveness is an issue.

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9 hours ago, Zen Traveler said:

Insofar as my personal journey is involved, the book helped me to think about close personal friends whose political views seemed highly offensive to the point of being treasonous.


I don't need your book for that, I've forgave you a long time ago. 😉

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