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FlamesHockey.ca • View topic - Book Club Thread

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 12:03 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 12:25 pm 
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For the Mark Twain fans on the board, and I know there are a few...

The book section of the L.A. Times had a lot of coverage about Mark Twain today. The first volume of his autobiography is being printed by the University of California Press and will be released on Nov. 30. Twain wrote his autobiography over 35 years and ordered it embargoed for 100 years after his death. The book is over 700 pages long, but about 200 of it is notes.

The Times liked the autobiography, calling him a “proto-blogger”: “This was his version of reality, and what an entertaining record it is. Twain has given us "an astonishment" in his autobiography with his final, beautifully unorganized genius and intemperate thoughts. Pull up a chair and revel.”


There’s another article that’s an appreciation of Huck Finn on its 125th anniversary.


The essential, overrated and overlooked works by Mark Twain.


Twain wrote for the L.A. Times from 1900-1902. Here are his works.


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I'm reading Russell Brand's autobiography, My Booky Wook. Brand is an intelligent writer, and funny, but his constant need to screw up his life and take a lot of drugs gets depressing after awhile. Like Frank McCourt (Angela's Ashes) said, the normal childhood isn't worth writing about.


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Mark Twain's autobiography has made him the hottest author ever for UC (University of California) Press, and today, he made the front page of the L.A. Times, which is pretty damn good for a guy who's been dead for 100 years. This article is about the editing of volumes two and three of his autobiography at UC Berkeley.


The good news--UC Berkeley has a free online edition of the first volume of Twain's autobiography. You can read it at:


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Only Mark Twain could be a bestselling author in three centuries - that is, with three distinctly new books.

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“You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” -- Harlan Ellison

"Don't start chasing applause and acclaim. That way lies madness." -- Ron Swanson


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:55 pm 
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Buzz Killington

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I'm reading Cleopatra: Histories, Dreams and Distortions by Lucy Hughes-Hallet. It's an older book (1991), but well written. Hughes-Hallet says that a lot of the information about Cleopatra was propaganda sponsored by Octavius, Julius Caesar's heir. He sponsored Virgil's The Aenid, which was about Marc Antony and Cleopatra in allegory, with the fainting Dido as Cleopatra.

Since Marc Antony was instrumental in holding the Roman Empire together after Caesar's assassination and was part of the Triumvirate, it wouldn't be a good move to drag Antony through the mud, so Octavius turned Cleopatra into an evil nympho. Actually, she was a scholar who wrote on philosophy, economics, and gynecology.

There's a newer book, Cleopatra: A Life, which just won the Pulitzer Prize. There's a movie adaptation in the works, reportedly with Angelina Jolie playing Cleopatra. The thing about Cleopatra is that she wasn't that attractive. Hughes-Hallet pointed to a coin from Cleopatra's reign which is in the British Museum. Notice the large hooked nose.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:04 pm 
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Buzz Killington

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I read this article about Denis Avey, who wrote a memoir about his experiences breaking into Auschwitz, twice. Avey was a British soldier who worked in the prisoner of war camp near Auschwitz. Some of the workers in the POW camp were sent in from Auschwitz, who told the POWs about the mass extermination of Jews and they could smell the stench from the crematorium. Avey arranged to switch uniforms with a Dutch Jew and bribed a guard with cigarettes to get into, and out of, Auschwitz. Avey said he kept quiet about this for 60 years because he thought no one would believe him. His story has been verified by an Auschwitz survivor.

Avey is 92 years old and his book is called The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz. It looks like quite the read.


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