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dan300's Avatar
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Default 18-10-2019, 11:41 PM

This week I completed 2 books.

The first was "Ordinary Men" which was about a battalion of police officers who were instructed to carry out brutal murders of innocent Jews doing world war 2. Ultimately, the theme of the book was that none of the men were forced to do any of it. There were many psychological theories such as the pressure of social conformity etc. It painted some pretty grim imagery; how Jews so calmly accepted their fate, laying down to take a bullet in the back of the head; infants and old people being immediately executed etc. That's not even the tip of the iceberg.

Second book was "No Surrender - My Thirty Year War". This story is based on an incredible man named Hiroo Onoda, who spent 30 years "in combat" in the jungle of Labang Island, Philippines. Just before the end of the war, him and 2 comrades retreated into the jungle, and stayed there, convinced the war continued for all those years. Over time they received continuous messages that the war was over, but, being truly loyal to their country and more importantly, Hiroo being true to his orders, decided to never give up without receiving a direct reversion of those orders. Eventually the 2 comrades got killed by gunshots after 10 and 28 years respectfully, during gun-battles that were uncalled for, what with their being no actual ongoing war. Then, after being located by a young adventurer who had taken a keen interest in the story, Hiroo eventually received those direct orders after 30 years, and surrendered. A truly amazing story.

Next I need to go for something different. So I'm going to choose one of Robert Greene's collection. Perhaps, The Laws of Human Nature.

Then it'll be The Gulag Archipelego.

Then I'm probably not going to read anything further until I take a good hard look at some potential new business ideas.


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Last edited by dan300; 18-10-2019 at 11:56 PM.
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(#72)
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kowalski's Avatar
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Default 18-10-2019, 11:55 PM

Hiiro was an idiot. His story is tragic. He knew the war was over long before he left the jungle and was embarrassed about it. He wrote that book and is an unreliable narrator.


Peace,

kowalski


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Default 19-10-2019, 12:07 AM

I have to be honest there were points of the story where I was like wtf, you really thought all those newspapers were faked? That the news reports you heard over the radio you stole were faked purely for you guys? That there was something fishy about the photos of your family? That your brother standing 150 yards away from you talking to you over the loudspeaker wasn't your brother? Amongst many other such instances.

Are you calling him an idiot because he must have known the truth deep down yet decided to stay under the fake guise that he was "still at war"?


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Default 17-12-2019, 06:31 PM

Just completed Robert Greene's "The 48 Laws of Power"

Of all the self-development books I've read, this is the best so far.

I like the way each "power" is backed up by linking it to anecdotal evidence and events from history.

So you're getting solid, helpful information that you can use in your life, whilst also learning cool shit about history, some of which has even encouraged me to download further reading about some of these interesting real-life historical figures. A a lot of whom I actually thought were fictional.


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Default 17-12-2019, 07:07 PM

It has a lot of good stuff in it but at least a quarter of them are self contradictory.


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kowalski


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Default 17-12-2019, 07:21 PM

Can't say anything like that stuck me, at least on the first read.

Can you remember an example of a contradiction that jumped out at you?


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Default 21-12-2019, 02:48 PM

Visited the library whilst in town today and picked up a book called "How to Analyze People"

It's only a 50 page book so I decided to sit here and read it within an hour.

I quite like the library. I sometimes feel I can read quicker and more efficiently here. Or perhaps I just appreciate the surroundings.

I'll probably be spending a lot more time here whilst I'm off work injured.


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Default 23-12-2019, 09:59 PM

This is a good thread, not a big reader but trying to work towards reading more so this will help a lot.

I’m currently reading Robert Iger, The Ride Of a lifetime. He’s the CEO of Disney world and I’m into business books, quite interesting so far.
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Default 04-01-2020, 09:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by ephemeris View Post
Some right gems in there. Down and Out in Paris and London is probably one of the best books I've ever read, and rather surprisingly underrated. Orwells vrious shorts stores are rather good too, such as The Hanging. On the topic of short stories, Dubliners by Joyce is well worth a read!

I see your love for Dostoyevsky is strong, but see nothing of Tolstoy. How come?

If you like science fiction or intelligent adventure novels, check out anything by Jules Verne. His Voyages extraordinaires. The series includes ourney to the Center of the Earth, Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Seas, Around the World in Eighty Days and The Mysterious Island. #1 is one of my all time favourite books. The series was well researched for the time and most are considered encyclopedic novels.
I've not read "Down and Out in Paris and London", but I'd recommend "The Grass Arena" it's the account of John Healy who had an abusive home life, suffered from alcoholism and lived on the streets of London for about 15 years. Orwell is a good writer, but from what I know of that book, it seems a bit inauthentic to me, middle class guy looking for new writing material, decides to rough it with the homeless, but I'm sure it's still worth a read.
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Default 07-01-2020, 05:03 AM

Just finished reading, The Gulag Archipelago.

It was as grim a read as one might assume. However, in my opinion the levels of brutality vary in comparison to what I know about the Holocaust.

In the Soviet union they were savages to prisoners and treated them horribly, granted. But I'm yet to come across anything that suggests there were mad scientists carrying out highly unnecessary and sadistic human experiments on children. Perhaps I'm wrong, but perhaps not.

I'm tempted to start reading "The Holocaust - The Nazi Persecution and Murder of Jews" by Peter Longerich, or "KL - A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps" by Nikolaus Wachsmann.

Both enormous books, but I think I need to take a bit of a mental breather from this totalitarian atrocity stuff for a while. This last month I've spent a lot of time watching documentaries about it and reading about it. I'm done for a bit.

Instead I'll maybe go for an interesting work of complex fiction coupled with a helpful psychology book. Gunna try this alternating 2 different styles of book at the same time thing.


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