What is everyone reading?

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Bert
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Post by Bert » Wed Jun 22, 2005 12:14 am

swiftnicholas wrote:

My new bedtime material (and this might interest you, Bert) is a book called "The Catalogue of the Ships in Homer's Iliad" by Simpson and Lazenby (Oxford, 1970). It offers a short passages on each of the kingdoms and communities mentioned in Homer's catalogue. I haven't gotten very far, but it surveys what we know (and what we don't know) about the location and archeology of each site. It has occured to me that many advances have probably been made since its publication.

Nicholas
(Thanks. I checked Amazon. Currently unavailable. Out of print.)
I just started "Pride and Prejudice".
It is probably required Highschool reading but I've never read it. My wife picked it up for a Buck.

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Post by nuntius » Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:52 am

Thinking about the free summer I'm deciding on reading Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom by Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath

It was recommended by my Latin instructor a while ago, but I've been quite busy. However, I've suddenly fallen into wanting to read the book after finding some new realizations in life. Plus, Victor Davis Hanson was my teacher's teacher, so, I had the opportunity to learn two years of Latin from a student of a very world reknown Classicists.

Currently I'm reading Jane Eyre over summer, but I can't wait to get a copy of Who Killed Homer, I've read some info on it online, but I want a copy of my own.

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Post by chad » Wed Jun 22, 2005 5:39 am

hi all, i've got a few new books to read now, just got back from hols overseas. i got a new book, Les catégories et leur histoire (Vrin 2005) at Vrin near the Sorbonne (along with ~300 euros of other books: that has to be my fav bookstore in the world :) ). i also got mazon's iliad and the 16-cd audio recitation of mazon: i know you can get it on 2 mp3 cds now but i couldn't find that version. started reading mazon on the painful 21 hour flight home

i was impressed with how many greek resources italy had. i don't know why but i thought it would be all latin stuff. i actually got lots of aristotle OCTS and Budé Les Belles Lettres in Herder in Rome: the top floor has lots of stuff you can't get in Sydney at all.

some other things i'm reading, i discovered in italy for the 1st time: the Società Editrice Dante Alighieri commentaries. you can buy them in little book stores and markets (in pisa and lucca at least, probably elsewhere too) second hand for 1 or 2 euros each. they don't publish them any more though i think. i couldn't find them in rome. each has lots of useful stuff in them: the greek text, then underneath a re-wording of the greek in a simplified word order, and the corresponding italian word under each greek word; then in the back there's a full list of the parsing of each verb in the order it appears in the text. even if you can't speak italian (like me) they are really useful. i bought these for some iliad books, demosthenes, lysias and plato. the only downside is that the greek text is not reliable; it's full of spelling mistakes.

apart from that the only thing i'm reading here and there is "Making Classical Art: Process and Practice" and "Personal Styles in Greek Sculpture" which I got here in Sydney second hand. :)

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Post by Johannes_Vigorniae » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:19 am

chad wrote:... the Società Editrice Dante Alighieri commentaries. you can buy them in little book stores and markets (in pisa and lucca at least, probably elsewhere too) second hand for 1 or 2 euros each. they don't publish them any more though i think. i couldn't find them in rome. each has lots of useful stuff in them: the greek text, then underneath a re-wording of the greek in a simplified word order, and the corresponding italian word under each greek word; then in the back there's a full list of the parsing of each verb in the order it appears in the text. even if you can't speak italian (like me) they are really useful. i bought these for some iliad books, demosthenes, lysias and plato. the only downside is that the greek text is not reliable; it's full of spelling mistakes.
Yes, and you can get other similar things too, but less thorough. Similar things used to be pulished here in Britian too, many years ago, when Latin and Greek were more widely taught at school: they're cribs. And useful too! Where were you based? Lucca?

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Post by chad » Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:40 am

hi, we spent 2 weeks in rome, then a week in florence and siena and a week in paris. we were going to do tuscany but you need a car and neither my girlfriend nor i can drive! :) :)

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Post by Misopogon » Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:27 pm

chad wrote: i was impressed with how many greek resources italy had. i don't know why but i thought it would be all latin stuff. i actually got lots of aristotle OCTS and Budé Les Belles Lettres in Herder in Rome: the top floor has lots of stuff you can't get in Sydney at all.

some other things i'm reading, i discovered in italy for the 1st time: the Società Editrice Dante Alighieri commentaries. you can buy them in little book stores and markets (in pisa and lucca at least, probably elsewhere too) second hand for 1 or 2 euros each. they don't publish them any more though i think. i couldn't find them in rome. each has lots of useful stuff in them: the greek text, then underneath a re-wording of the greek in a simplified word order, and the corresponding italian word under each greek word; then in the back there's a full list of the parsing of each verb in the order it appears in the text. even if you can't speak italian (like me) they are really useful. i bought these for some iliad books, demosthenes, lysias and plato. the only downside is that the greek text is not reliable; it's full of spelling mistakes.
Most of those booklets are used by high school students. I had a fair collection: it was very good for homework :wink: . I didn't know they don't publish anymore, I saw books published last year:
http://www.libreriauniversitaria.it/got ... hieri.html
More famous ones for students are the bignami's, but I have no idea who publishes them, sorry.

A good number of Latin & Greek books, similar to Loeb, double text Greek&Latin/Italian, is published by the Fondazione Valla. It is a foundation dedicated to classics. Have a look at the publisher's site:
http://www.liberonweb.com/mondadori/fvalla.asp
I've just received the 2 volumes antology on the ancient mysteries religions, very nice but I haven't start reading it yet
If you can read Italian, one of the biggest collection is B.U.R. It's similar to Fondazione Valla but much cheaper. The catalogue at:
http://bur.rcslibri.corriere.it/riscat.php?idcol=605

I am reading Memories of Hadrian by Yourcenar, in Italian traslation. I think I will go to a bookshop to buy the original French version sometime.

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Post by Carola » Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:03 pm

I've just finished my endless reading of Sallust's Bellum Catilinae, for an exam, but for enjoyment I am reading Paul Cartledge's "The Spartans" and an old copy of Jules Vernes "20,000 Leagues under the sea". Also another old book - Heiberg, J.L., Mathematics & Physical Science in Classical Antiquity, transl. by MacGregor.
But now my exams are finished I am going to look for a good detective story to read on the weekend! My idea of heaven is lying on a deck chair out in the garden with a good detective story and an endless supply of chocolates! At the moment, as it's the middle of winter and I am trying to lose weight I guess I will have to make do with just the book. :lol:

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Post by mariek » Thu Jun 23, 2005 6:19 pm

Bert wrote:I just started "Pride and Prejudice".
It is probably required Highschool reading but I've never read it. My wife picked it up for a Buck.
I love this book!!! You should also check out the A&E movie version starring Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle. I never tire of watching iit over and over again.

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Post by Adelheid » Thu Jun 23, 2005 6:56 pm

nuntius wrote:Thinking about the free summer I'm deciding on reading Who Killed Homer?: The Demise of Classical Education and the Recovery of Greek Wisdom by Victor Davis Hanson and John Heath
...
but I can't wait to get a copy of Who Killed Homer, I've read some info on it online, but I want a copy of my own.
I read 'Who killed Homer' while on holiday at Corfu. I was a bit disappointed in it. It will definitely not be put on my bookshelf when I come home next week, so if you haven't bought a copy yet?

Regards,
Adelheid

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Post by Misopogon » Thu Jun 23, 2005 7:26 pm

Adelheid wrote: I read 'Who killed Homer' while on holiday at Corfu. I was a bit disappointed in it. It will definitely not be put on my bookshelf when I come home next week, so if you haven't bought a copy yet?

Regards,
Adelheid
May I ask you why you were disappointed? I read the introduction on Amazon.com and the matter seems fascinating.
Regards
Misopogon

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Post by Johannes_Vigorniae » Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:01 pm

Misopogon wrote:If you can read Italian, one of the biggest collection is B.U.R. It's similar to Fondazione Valla but much cheaper. The catalogue at:
http://bur.rcslibri.corriere.it/riscat.php?idcol=605
Yes, they're cheap, but they really are a bit tatty too, on pulp paper. The worse thing is that they don't always give information on the edition followed.

The Fondazione Valla are excellent, especially as they've a number of post-classical Greek and Latin authors in the series. Their two volumes on the Fall of Comnstantinople ("Caduta di Costantinopoli") with Greek, Latin, Italian and French sources in the original with facing page Italian translations (and Arabic and Turkish sources in Italian translation only) are an excellent source book for the end of Byzantium.

Mondadori also do the series Oscar classici greci e latini, which are rather better produced than the BUR (and more expensive as a result - BUR are excellent value).

Other publishers: Marsilio do excerpts from the classics in facing page translation, good for beginners (like me!) as you don't feel intimidated by facing the whole of Thucydides, for example, but have just the Melian dialogue (Il dialogo dei melii e degli ateniesi) or the Sicilian campaign (La disfatta a Siracusa) to look at, again with facing-page Italian (and a Greek text generally from the Oxford Classical Texts).

Einaudi also do some classics and these are as well produced as anthing else by Einaudi.

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Post by Johannes_Vigorniae » Fri Jun 24, 2005 6:11 pm

chad wrote:hi, we spent 2 weeks in rome, then a week in florence and siena and a week in paris. we were going to do tuscany but you need a car and neither my girlfriend nor i can drive! :) :)
I lived in Tuscany for three years (in Lucca) without driving - the first time my Roman girlfriend drove me, I realised that Italian driving was scarier than being driven by a stoned Afghan taxi driver in Abu Dhabi!

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Post by Adelheid » Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:02 pm

Misopogon wrote:
Adelheid wrote: I read 'Who killed Homer' while on holiday at Corfu. I was a bit disappointed in it.
May I ask you why you were disappointed? I read the introduction on Amazon.com and the matter seems fascinating.
Regards
Misopogon
Hi Misopogon,

When I'm back from Corfu I will get into detail about why I was not so enthousiastic about the book.

To do the subject justice, I think I need more time than I can take in an internet cafe :)

Regards,
Adelheid

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Post by William » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:21 pm

I started reading "Who Killed Homer" this week because of this thread. I find it very interesting, and I didn't know it was so controversial. So far I am enjoying the read, but I'm only fifty pages in.

WB

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Post by Adelheid » Wed Jun 29, 2005 10:53 pm

As promised, my opinion of "Who killed Homer?"

Firstly, monocausality (is that an English word?) determines this book, and this oversimplifies the issue discussed.

Now, although I am a trained historian, taught to distrust anything that advocates monocausality, I don't mind this if authors intend to stir things up and make people think (wanting to create a pamphlet).

But reading "Who killed Homer" I was struck by the seriousness and lack of wit and sharpness that (in my opinion at least) would have to come with a pamphlet.

That is what disappointed me: the utter seriousness and dullness of the book.

I also disagree with the fundamental premisses of the book ('Homer is dead' and 'the professors of the last 2 to 3 decades killed him'), but that is not why I stopped reading this book. After all, I might be wrong about it and the authors might be right.

Right now I am reading "I classici nell'età dell'indiscrezione" by Bettini. Also about the relevancy of the classics.

A different approach, and not as deadly serious as "Who killed Homer?"

Regards,
Adelheid

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Post by chad » Wed Jun 29, 2005 11:33 pm

I read Who Killed Homer and found it good and funny as well, particularly the bit about how one of the Greek teachers the authors were criticising lashed out and publicly accused one of the authors of being a terrorist.

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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Thu Jun 30, 2005 12:50 am

mariek wrote:
Bert wrote:I just started "Pride and Prejudice".
It is probably required Highschool reading but I've never read it. My wife picked it up for a Buck.
I love this book!!! You should also check out the A&E movie version starring Colin Firth & Jennifer Ehle. I never tire of watching iit over and over again.
I started reading Pride and Prejudice about a year ago. I read about 60 pages, and while I did not dislike the book, I never managed to compel myself to read the rest. My only other exposure to Ms. Austen was seeing the second half of a theatre production of Emma. While it was a good production and watchable, the whole drama around how I managed to get into a sold-out show for free with gelato on the side is far more memorable to me than the story of Emma - though it might have been a poor adaptation or because I missed the beginning.

I have, since these two experiences, occasionally asked females if they love Jane Austen. Either they haven't read her or she's one of their faviorite authors. Some of the males I've asked, however, share my indifference. Methinks I'm a tomboy.

Anyway, what am I reading now ... well, I would call it chewing rather than reading, but I'm going through some really dense economic material from various sources. I have changed a great deal from a few years ago when I read a book or two a week.

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Post by Emma_85 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:23 pm

Hmm... not read Pride and Prejudice... after reading Middlemarch (different author I know, but same genre) I didn't really fancy reading another book where I'd most likely fall asleep.

I'm currently reading "In search of Schrödinger's Cat - Quantum Physics and Reality" by John Gribbin.
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Post by Bert » Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:40 pm

Pride and Predjudice did not grab me right away but after about 100 pages I'm getting a little curious how the characters are going to develop, especially the petty and pittyful ones like Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins.

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Post by Emma_85 » Sat Jul 02, 2005 11:24 pm

Bert wrote:Pride and Predjudice did not grab me right away but after about 100 pages I'm getting a little curious how the characters are going to develop, especially the petty and pittyful ones like Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Collins.
I know what you mean... that's why I finished Middlemarch - I thought something interesting must happen to them. I guess something interesting did - but well, I just didn't find it that interesting really. It was a bit like a soap opera in some ways. I mean, of course much better script and all - a soap opera doesn't give you much insight into human nature, but well... the book was just boring.

I started reading Thackeray's Vanity Fair ages ago... it was sort of the same - well, it was much more interesting and has great characters and much better plot and much better author - but it's still very boring in passages, which is why I put it away for a while and have only now found time to pick it up again the other day.

I guess I'm just used to books that have more action and suspense in them and not so many descriptions. In those days without tv and all those descriptions probably didn't annoy anyone, but now that we're used to fast moving plots ... well... all this description is rather unnecessary, I usually read it and imagine it differently in my mind anyway, despite what the author says (he can tell me as much as he wants to what kind of coat this gentleman is wearing, as soon as he mentioned a coat I gave him one in my mind's eye, and that first picture of a coat I gave him won't change no matter if the author tells me it's green and not red). :lol:
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Post by GlottalGreekGeek » Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:56 am

I, for one, find most television boring (there are, of course, delightful exceptions). For me, most television is like Pakistani restaurant in my neighborhood - very cheap prices, but the food covers the plates only milimeters thick. It is at a faster pace, but by the time I'm interested, they have moved on.

While I was not impressed by Pride and Predjudice, one of my faviorite books is Anna Karenina, so I certainly have no prejudice against the 19th century (I also like Nathaniel Hawthorne). Anna Karenina is slow and long, but I agree with the statement that Tolstoy is more like real life than fiction. One watches the characters not so much as part of a plot, but as one would watch two peers who have started dating who one suspects might be incompatible, and each day look to see which direction their relationship is taking. Also, if Tolstoy spends time describing a coat, then there is something important about the coat.

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Post by Kopio » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:14 am

I just finished The DaVinci Code.....it wasn't too bad. Nothing to write home about....I bet it'll make a great movie (especially since Ron Howard is directing) All in all it was pretty good. Of course, I can see why the Catholic Church is a little upset about it, and the "scholarship" that he uses to make his points are more often than not completely shoddy....but it is a work of fiction, and it is portayed as nothing but that. I thought his Hebrew transliteration was especially funny....he translated an English H in to a Hebrew Waw!!! Pretty funny if you ask me, of course that's the only way he could make the word he wanted in English, so he just did it that way! I'm back into Aasimov's Foundation Trilogy at the moment...truly sublime!

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Post by Misopogon » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:57 am

Adelheid wrote:As promised, my opinion of "Who killed Homer?"
Thanks, Adelheid. Your opinion has been usefull (the book is not in my wishing list anymore :D ). I will read the Bettini's book that should also be available from my local library.
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Misopogon

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Post by ingrid70 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:00 am

Emma_85 wrote: I know what you mean... that's why I finished Middlemarch - I thought something interesting must happen to them. I guess something interesting did - but well, I just didn't find it that interesting really. It was a bit like a soap opera in some ways. I mean, of course much better script and all - a soap opera doesn't give you much insight into human nature, but well... the book was just boring.
I must confess, I started Middlemarch when it was a set text for a literature course, but I didn't finish it. Then my mother, my sister-in-law and I started watching costume drama one evening a week, and we watched Middlemarch. With the characters from the series in my head, I started reading again, and finished it in a jiffy. Now I've got to watch Tom Jones, there's another bookmark halfway a book staring reproachfully at me...(and another set text I never finished).

Ingrid

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Post by Bert » Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:14 am

Kopio wrote:Of course, I can see why the Catholic Church is a little upset about it, and the "scholarship" that he uses to make his points are more often than not completely shoddy....but it is a work of fiction, and it is portayed as nothing but that.
It is portrayed by Brown, as a fiction based on facts but is it based on facts?

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Post by Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:22 pm

Bert wrote:
Kopio wrote:Of course, I can see why the Catholic Church is a little upset about it, and the "scholarship" that he uses to make his points are more often than not completely shoddy....but it is a work of fiction, and it is portayed as nothing but that.
It is portrayed by Brown, as a fiction based on facts but is it based on facts?
I haven't read the DaVinci code, only Demons and Angles, which many people told me was better than the DaVinci code. I enjoyed it as light reading, but I could tell from reading that book, that his books are probably good reads, but nothing out of the ordinary, as in extra special or at all thought-provoking.
I should read the DaVinci code soon though, so that i can join in on the debates on it :lol:
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Post by Emma_85 » Sun Jul 03, 2005 1:24 pm

ingrid70 wrote:
Emma_85 wrote: I know what you mean... that's why I finished Middlemarch - I thought something interesting must happen to them. I guess something interesting did - but well, I just didn't find it that interesting really. It was a bit like a soap opera in some ways. I mean, of course much better script and all - a soap opera doesn't give you much insight into human nature, but well... the book was just boring.
I must confess, I started Middlemarch when it was a set text for a literature course, but I didn't finish it. Then my mother, my sister-in-law and I started watching costume drama one evening a week, and we watched Middlemarch. With the characters from the series in my head, I started reading again, and finished it in a jiffy. Now I've got to watch Tom Jones, there's another bookmark halfway a book staring reproachfully at me...(and another set text I never finished).

Ingrid
there are only two books that i was supposed to have read at school that I didn't finish: Death in Venice and Goethe's Faust part II - and I know that I will never pick those books up again.... never ever... :roll:
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Post by edonnelly » Tue Jul 05, 2005 10:57 pm

Bert wrote:
Kopio wrote:Of course, I can see why the Catholic Church is a little upset about it, and the "scholarship" that he uses to make his points are more often than not completely shoddy....but it is a work of fiction, and it is portayed as nothing but that.
It is portrayed by Brown, as a fiction based on facts but is it based on facts?
It is based heavily on a book called Holy Blood, Holy Grail written in the 80's. It's a nonfiction book that tells the story of how the authors slowly came to learn about different facts and theories related to the story of the holy grail but with implications back to the time of the crucifixion. As this story progresses even the authors are very cautious to repeatedly state that these are only theories and that the evidence is rather thin. It's a great read, though, especially if you are interested in the time period of the crusades.

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Post by Kevinnnnn » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:18 am

Right now I'm reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I just finished Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut.

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Post by Carola » Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:25 am

I just found another book which might be of interest to people studying Latin - it's "The Romans and their Gods" by R M Ogilvie, and it gives a lot of facts about the religious beliefs of the Romans. I now find that some of those more puzzling passages in Latin poetry etc are now much easier to understand!

The discussion about "The DaVinci Code" has reminded me about all those books that Eric von Danikan (not sure of spelling) wrote about 20-30 years ago with "evidence" that spacemen built the pyramids and so on. His research was very dubious to say the least, but it was surprising how many people believed the whole thing! The books certainly gave a lot of real scientists and historians a good laugh if nothing else!

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Post by Yhevhe » Wed Jul 06, 2005 1:33 pm

If not real, they gave me a good time at least. I remember reading one of his books with a lot of interest. Maybe not aliens, but still is curious to know of those weird things that are scatered all over the planet.

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Post by Kopio » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:44 pm

Bert wrote:It is portrayed by Brown, as a fiction based on facts but is it based on facts?
I don't really think so. As far as Holy Blood Holy Grail goes.....one of the authors was on a TV show talking about his book and the "factual" evidence for what he was reporting. I wasn't convinced.....not only did the man not come off as a scholar at all (he had such a horrible comb-over it was comical) he left me with the impression that he was quite off his rocker. I just don't buy the story....not only that, but there isn't a stitch of solid historical evidence to support his claims. There are a few gnostic gospels (branded by the early church as heresey), that contain some things that could be suggested as support, but none of it blatantly so. I pulled out my Nag Hammadi Library and browsed through the Gospel of Mary, and didn't find it to reveal anything like Brown or others are suggesting. What there is, is a bunch of "hidden" stuff that you must be "enlightened" to understand.....but that is just how gnostic writing is, that's just what gnosticicm is all about...at least in the early first few centuries that the gnostic cult was flourishing.....but now I'm rambling on.....sorry :oops:

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Post by Kopio » Wed Jul 06, 2005 8:46 pm

Emma_85 wrote:I should read the DaVinci code soon though, so that i can join in on the debates on it :lol:
For me....there isn't much to debate, other than the fact that it was a pretty good book.....it kept my interest, and suprised me a couple of times. All the rest of the "controversy" I feel is quite silly. Evangelicals (a group I bemoaningly include myself in) get their panties in a bunch over the silliest things :lol:

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Post by primitive » Mon Jul 11, 2005 4:21 am

I just read a short book called The Perks Of Being A Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky. One of my friends said the main character was a lot like me. Besides the drug usage and alcohol usage, she was pretty close.
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