23 June 2009

Read Any Good Books Lately?

Well let's see...

Greek island travel guides to places I'll likely never visit (Rhodos and Kritim). Great reads for travel and geography enthusiasts like me, though.

Ephraim Kishon humourous play. Thought up in Hebrew, written in German, then translated back to Hebrew.

An Open University of Tel Aviv introduction to the history of ancient Greece. A great starter before tackling the next more complicated level of ancient Greek history.

Autobiography of General Avigdor Kahalani, IDF armour corps commander of renown. You name it, and he's done it, and lived to tell the tale.

Ah, an old favourite in both English and Hebrew: The Old Man and the Sea. Say no more. Hemingway's perfect tale-telling language loses nothing in the translation.

Jewish history during the Second Temple period. Very scholarly. Either you're into it or not.

Kikero, aka Cicero. Definately ditto above, into it or not. I am. Probably why I paid 80 sheqels for this old used copy.

Jews of Ancient Rome. What a rich, lively world full of intrigue, and few who profess an interest in Bible or Jewish history knows about this not inconsiderable world.

The other stack includes early modern Common Law crime and punishment in England and Wales; Jews of the Russian Empire (who were forbidden from living in Russia); a charming little volume on the reasons why Rome declined and fell (none of which I believe--it was the lead pipes and the venereal disease, and besides they didn't really fall even if they did decline); and a slim slip-in-the-back-pocket hardcover account of a Boston man who sailed round the world before the days of radio or radar in a small wooden sailing vessel.

Plus a liberal sprinkling of techno-military thrillers (which certainly do not thrill me), spy novels, and murder mysteries. I used read a lot of science fiction, until most of the post-WWII biggies died of old age. I hate seeing "fantasy" in the sci-fi section of book stores. Much like a category of literature called "home repairs and soil science" (ok, houses usually sit on soil), or "French provincial cooking and non-malignant skin diseases" (hmm, who knows what they throw in the pot in deep countryside). You get what I mean anyway.

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