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Red805's 2009 books

What have you read in 2009? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
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red805
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Post by red805 » Wed March 4th, 2009, 11:24 pm

Not a book, but an audiocourse - Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment taught by Professor Alan Charles Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, from The Teaching Company. 4.5/5 stars. Wonderful course on the man who wrote 15 million words, who inspired the US founding fathers, who fought against intolerance, and whose most often-quoted saying he never spoke. Plus a reminder of the great gift we have in most of the West of living in countries free from government persecution of groups that practice the wrong religion.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat March 7th, 2009, 10:51 pm

[quote=""red805""]Not a book, but an audiocourse - Voltaire and the Triumph of the Enlightenment taught by Professor Alan Charles Kors of the University of Pennsylvania, from The Teaching Company. 4.5/5 stars. Wonderful course on the man who wrote 15 million words, who inspired the US founding fathers, who fought against intolerance, and whose most often-quoted saying he never spoke. Plus a reminder of the great gift we have in most of the West of living in countries free from government persecution of groups that practice the wrong religion.[/quote]

I've tried several of the courses from the Teaching Company, and have enjoyed them very much. The science courses are very good, especially on DVD.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Sat March 21st, 2009, 10:14 pm

Telynor,

I've been thinking about ordering a dvd course. I've always gotten the audio cds because I listen to them during my drive to/from work, but they have a new course called "Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire", which has computer animation that reconstructs ancient Roman buildings, original art commissioned for the course, & photographs taken by instructor Steven Tuck, so I've been tempted to buy a dvd course.

Maybe I'll look into some of the science courses.

I just looked in my bookcase at my office where I keep the courses I've finished, & realized how many courses I've bought from The Teaching Company - egads! But they've all been great. My favorite so far was "A History of England from the Tudors to the Stuarts" taught by Robert Bucholz from Loyola University of Chicago. He has a new course titled "London: A Short History of the Greatest City in the Western World" that I'm also tempted to buy on dvd.

I guess I'd better get back to work if I want to keep adding to that overstuffed bookcase ;)

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red805
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Post by red805 » Wed April 22nd, 2009, 10:26 pm

Another audio-course, From Yao to Mao:5000 Years of Chinese History by Kenneth J Hammond from The Teaching Company - 4/5 stars. A sweeping overview, but I missed learning more details about the key periods.

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Telynor
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Post by Telynor » Sat April 25th, 2009, 6:30 am

[quote=""red805""]Telynor,

I've been thinking about ordering a dvd course. I've always gotten the audio cds because I listen to them during my drive to/from work, but they have a new course called "Experiencing Rome: A Visual Exploration of Antiquity's Greatest Empire", which has computer animation that reconstructs ancient Roman buildings, original art commissioned for the course, & photographs taken by instructor Steven Tuck, so I've been tempted to buy a dvd course.

Maybe I'll look into some of the science courses.
[/quote]

Well, i started to realize that I was forgetting a lot of what I had learnt in university, so TTC was a good way to brush up, and maybe learn some new things as well. I'm assuming that you get their catalogs. That one on Experiencing Rome sounds terrific -- I'm going to have to get my hands on a copy. The DVD production values are very good, and having a picture to go with the narrative really does help to burn the information into your head.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Tue June 2nd, 2009, 11:41 pm

The Josephine Bonaparte Trilogy by Sandra Gulland - 5/5 stars - Loved them! The author distilled so much detail into a very intimate portrait of someone who now seems like a friend. Very easy to read, as the often short "diary entries" meant that I could pick up whichever book I was reading & immediately get back into it.

Also read Mistress of the Sun by Gulland - 4/5 stars. Very entertaining & sympathetic portrait of the mistress of the Sun king, Louis XIV.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Tue June 2nd, 2009, 11:45 pm

Oh, also sped through The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - 4.5/5 stars for me. It was hard to put down, & it deserves all the popularity it enjoys. My friend read it at the same time, & she loved it too. A little gem.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Wed June 10th, 2009, 8:10 pm

Another Teaching Company audiocourse - A Brief History of the World, taught by Peter N. Stearns of George Mason University - 4.5/5 stars. Wow, does Professor Stearns know a lot! He basically covers the entire history of civilization(s), and not just the Western ones that we're more familiar with. This was why I chose this course, because I wanted to know what was happening in China, India, etc during the different periods in Western history that I'd learned about. The only thing that would've made it perfect for me would be to throw in a few more details than he did and come down from the bird's eye overview more often. Anyway, if you want to know what was happening on the other side of the world during the time of classical Greece & Rome, or wondered about the Silk Road, or how Japan and China interacted through history, etc, etc, etc, this course is for you.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Tue June 23rd, 2009, 11:39 pm

The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant - 4/5 stars - A nice pageturner, never read about Florence before, more fiction than history I thought, made me look up Michaelangelo on Wikipedia. I really got confused at the part where the painter disappeared with the daughter in England. I guess I don't know enough about Renaissance era art and history to get all the references and figure things out.
Last edited by red805 on Wed June 24th, 2009, 4:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Oops, didn't want to spoil it for anyone.

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red805
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Post by red805 » Sat August 8th, 2009, 7:02 pm

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas - 5/5 - I began with the audio book, but on disc 4 it would not play, so I checked out the paperback from the library to fill in the gaps. Unfortunately I got an abridged version (which did not say abridged anywhere:mad :) , which I didn't know until I had read about half, and after trying many times to match up the book & audiobook! So it was back to the library to return the mal-functioning audiobook & abridged paperback & check out the unabridged book, I finally got to finish it. I loved it, but now I keep wondering what I missed in the first half that got snipped out :confused:

After reading the book I borrowed my sister's dvd with Jim Cavaziel (sp?), which I would not recommend. But I don't have it out of my system yet, so I just ordered the Richard Chamberlain dvd. Hope that one sticks more to the story!

Anyway, now that I've finally read/heard (most of) my first Dumas, it's off to Borders to pick up The Three Musketeers!

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