What are you reading?
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
I am currently reading "Art and Fear". Well written but I am learning things about myself that I already know and don't like to admit. Confrontation with one's self can be daunting.
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Posted by Jack McRae (+356) 17 years ago
Gosh, I'm going to have to get that book so I can learn about Tucker.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
If you learn anything be sure and let me know. I can confuse and confound myself faster than anyone I know.

Jack, try and attend the initial meeting of the salon, if you can. At the bookstore at 7:00 today, october 1st.
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Posted by Jack McRae (+356) 17 years ago
Sorry Tucker but I have a conflict of schedule on Wednesdays so can't make the get together this evening.

It is sad because I am sure that the cosmopolitan view from Jordan would be helpful.

jack

P.S. I also don't remember Joe inviting curmudgeons as one of the types of people he wanted there.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
One curmudgeon more or less couldn't hurt. It went very well. Sorry about the conflict. I looked forward to meeting you.
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Posted by Joe Whalen (+182) 17 years ago
The most important thing I've read lately is an essay by Wendell Berry called, "The Idea of Local Economy". I found this essay in a little book by the Orion Society Press entitled, "In the Presence of Fear". It's also available online by Googling "Idea of Local Economy" and "Wendell Berry".

If there is a manifesto for reversing the decline of rural American communities, this may be it. Strong words, I know. But this is a mighty piece of work. It challenges conventional thinking about topics such as comparative advantage, division of labor, corporate structure, and the free market - particularly as these issues relate to agricultural production and rural community.

At the same time, the essay is hopeful in its re-evaluation of the idea of Local Economy. It argues that while not every need or desire is necessarily secured by local means, it is possible for Americans to retrieve some of the proxies forfeited to corporations and governments over the past few decades to provide many of the conveniences of modern life. Our personal lives and communities can be healthier, more just, and more satisfactory as a result.

That's all I'll say about that.

Joe

p.s.- I've just picked up a book out of the self-help section entitled, "Curmudgeonry, and the Curmudgeonly Curmudgeons Who Practice It". Jack, I'm not saying you should read this one, only that I'd be a hypocrite if I barred to door to "crusty irascible cantankerous old persons full of stubborn ideas"...
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Posted by Karen Stevenson (+45) 17 years ago
i've recently read "Grassland - The History, Biology, Politics, and Promise of the American Prairie" by Richard Manning. Here's a quote: "We are still adolescent enough to believe that our problems will be solved if Pop would only raise our allowance. We have gone on a 2 century binge, the sort of carousing fueled by the ability to deny mortality. Our society ran through the landscape like a hot rod full of teenagers full of beer." I'm presently reading "Desert Solitaire" by Marc Reisner. Guess I'm on a quest to get in touch with my homesteader/farming/rural roots and locate my place in the 'big open'.

I lighten the load with Bailey White's "Mama Gets Her Way and Other Dangers of Southern Living". Each chapter an essay and it is wonderful writing that will make you smile.

By the way, is curmudgeon a strictly masculine word or does the definition cover both genders?
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Posted by Jack McRae (+356) 17 years ago
I think the feminine form of curmudgeon begins with B.

(I reserve the right to edit this message out of existence and deny I ever wrote it)
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Posted by Karen Stevenson (+45) 17 years ago
OK...I think I'll defer to Kristi the Wordsmith on this one. So...Jack....what've ya been reading lately?
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Posted by Jack McRae (+356) 17 years ago
Sure Karen, you and Joe write about reading the type of books I tried to duck in college and then you expect me to admit to not reading any thing but tabloid headlines while in the checkout line.

I haven't read much this summer, however several books I read earlier this year that I really enjoyed were:

Political Prairie Fire: The Non-Partisan League, 1915-1922 by Robert Morlan. The Non-Partisan League was a political movement that had pretty good support in eastern Montana prior to World War I. Its opponents painted it with being pro-German in WWI and pretty well killed it in Montana. Some of its platforms still look fairly socialist while it is hard to believe others had any oposition (like public certification of grain scales.) It was often supported by the Republican party and opposed by the Democrats as anti-business (go figure).

Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker. It is an older book (1944) that is the story of a Montana farm girl finishing high school, heading off to college, and then getting a job teaching in a one room school. None of the book sounds like it couldn't have happened in our neighborhood however plot twists and interesting characters make it one of my favorites this year.

The Montana Committee for the Humanities is promoting the idea of everyone in Montana reading one book so that everyone could discuss it and Winter Wheat is the book they proposed. http://www.montanabook.org/onebook.htm

The first book is out of print but Winter Wheat is available thru the local book store in Miles City.
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Posted by Jill Rizk (+48) 17 years ago
I just finished "Winter Wheat" this morning. I have been reading "Parasite Rex" by Carl Zimmer - everything you'd rather not know about parasites and "Why People Believe Weird Things" by Michael Shermer - a study in science versus peoples continuing embrace of superstitions, extraterrestrials, past-life regression therapy, etc. I needed "Winter Wheat" to lighten my heavy reading choices.

What I found interesting about "Winter Wheat" was how frighteningly parallel it was to my own life growing up in Wyoming with parents who were at odds and being the unwanted child who forced a decision. My sister and I often talk about their obvious (to us) "unhappiness", but "Winter Wheat" gave me a new perspective on those WWII relationships and possibly why my parents remained married till their deaths. It also gave me perspective on why a child growing up in this land can't get it out of their system and why outsiders can't see the beauty in the sparseness. Most novels I just find entertaining as a good chocolate bar (specifically those Symphony bars with the nuts and toffee), but this one gave me something to think about.

With that, I will saddle my two horses and ride off to explore the dry bluffs and enjoy a warm fall afternoon in the company of my animals and new thoughts.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
I am in the throws of reading "By Way Of Hope" by Terry Taylor Dwyer (I say "throws" because I am forced by my schedule to read it in fits and starts). This is a well written account of a Mr. Dwyers journey back in time to revisit the places he was raised and the three extraordinary women who influenced him throughout his youth and early adulthood. The style is narrative with the actual trip and recollections parenthesized. The story transports me to a simpler time in our history. There are to many gems to quote but I will share one from the book that I heard my father say on numerous occasions, "When I was a kid, I didn't know we were poor".
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
I am, at this moment reading the print on a diet Coke can. Holy crap! do you know what's in one of these things? I have just learned that phenylketonurics contains phenylalanine. If you wanted to make this stuff at home which shelf would one search at the super market?
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Posted by Ralph McWilliams (+10) 17 years ago
I've found it does not pay to read the ingredients on pop cans,but then again it does help build a vocabulary.

I'm reading at moment "The Mystery of Capital"Why capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else,by Hernando De Soto.
Heavy reading,very mind provoking,

Benjamin Franklin by Walter Isaacson
fun to read,inrersting to find out,he was a big promoter of salon type meeting and various civic groups

Finally; Saying Yes,In defense of Drug Use,by Jacob Sullum
definetly for the more liberal minded person,When you check it out at the liberary,you will find out about the Patriot Act.

I like to keep a few books going at once,it helps stop the craving for tv
Ralph
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Posted by Lee Akers (+267) 17 years ago
Am currently reading "The Burning Tigris" by Peter Balakian.
It documents the Armenian Genocide by the Turks, and America's response. This is a new work, but I know my favorite bookseller Joe Whalen (Shameless plug) can get it for you. If you aren't moved by this book, you're probably dead.

Lee
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Posted by Karen Stevenson (+45) 17 years ago
Lee, another book with the same subject, is "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh" by Franz Werfel. Werfel, a Jew, wrote skillfully, thoughtfully, and hauntingly of the horrible extermination of the Chrisian Armenians --all this 25 years before Hitler began his own destructive course. This book was first publishised in 1933 with later editions in 1990.
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Posted by pulmonade (+119) 17 years ago
I am currently claiming to read "Ulysses" by James Joyce. I have this whimsical notion that it can be read. It is not a book to be approached with common methods of assimilation. Firstly, a degree in the classics should be a prerequisite. The main character in the first stage of the book,(I am only to assume that this book flows in stages) is (stephen)Daedalus, who you might remember as the father of Icarus. Who fashioned wings to escape from crete.
I think it is a book that you read once to establish coherency, and then another read to understand it. That said, it's an amazing novel. I've never read a book where every line could stand on it's own. You could flip the book open and throw a finger blindly upon a page and find a beautiful poem. Even so, this book requires a steady resolve. i would recommend it to everybody. I personally take it slow and read a couple pages a day and reread them until i think i have understood what is going on. It's not all complicated, the more you read the easier it becomes. I'm sure a lot of you have read it anyway, so perhaps I am merely making a fool of myself. a randomly selected paragraph by means i explained earlier on.

"Ugly and futile: lean neck and tangled hair and a stain of ink, a snail's bed. Yet someone had loved him, borne him in her arms and in her heart. But for her the race of the world would have trampled him under foot, a squashed boneless snail. She had loved his weak watery blood drained from her own. Was that then real? The only true thing in life? His mother's prostrate body the fiery Columbanus in holy zeal bestrode. She was no more: the trembling skeleton of a twig burnt in the fire, an odour of rosewood and wetted ashes. She had saved him from being trampled under foot and had gone, scarcely having been. A poor soul gone to heaven: and on a heath beneath winking stars a fox, red reek of rapine in his fur, with merciless bright eyes scraped in the earth, listened, scraped up the earth, listened, scraped and scraped."

That one makes more sense than some. It's a great book.



[This message has been edited by pulmonade (edited 11/11/2003).]
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Posted by Richard Wheat (+14) 17 years ago
I am currently wrapping up an intense reading of Three Dialogues on Knowledge by Paul Feyerabend. Mr. Feyerabend presents his very idiosyncratic views on epistemology. This series of dialogues is based on the Socratic model, and provides a modern touch to a most interesting subject. If anyone out there is interested in the philosophy of science this is the book for you.

"Cowtown" Rich
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Posted by Jack McRae (+356) 17 years ago
This thread is no place for those of us who just read trashy novels.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
Just finished the new National Enquirer. That Ben and Jaylo, they are a stitch. Who knows what those crazy kids will do. Oh! it mentioned that Elvis is alive and is in orbit with a Hitler clone waiting to come back and conquer Rock and Roll. They feel the war will be shortened if they wait until the rappers and hip hop bands have shot one another.

This weekly can be purchased at any super market check out counter. I have chosen to subscribe. By the way, Ellen Degenerus is gay, who knew?
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Posted by Jill Rizk (+48) 17 years ago
I was enjoying reading magazines like Equus, National Geographic and Readers Digest until I moved to Miles City. Now my mailbox is packed with Western Farmer-Stockman, Prairie Grains and Trader Dispatch (farm equipment auctions). What universal Miles City mailing list did I get on? At least I'm now current on Clearfield production tips.

I just finished Lance Armstrong's "Every Second Counts". Besides being a recovered cycling addict who enjoys anything bikes, I just enjoy Lance as a person. If you get tired of his philosophizing, you'll enjoy the insider blow by blows of the last Tour de Frances.

I also just finished the novel "Peace Like a River" by Leif Enger. One of the strangest books I've ever read, but very well written and pure entertainment.

On the serious side, I'm reading "To Engineer is Human" by Henry Petroski. This is keeping me in touch with another past life and confirming that my rearrangement of the hay in the loft for equal weight distribution over a shaky support system was the right thing to do....also I shouldn't put on a square dance up there.

Back to my cup of coffee and Farm Journal.....

Ellen's gay?
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Posted by Robin Gerber (+42) 17 years ago
I think I've got you all beat. For humor, for adventure, for true human drama, I'm reading...Western Civilization I midterm essays! Bluebooks, gotta love 'em.
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Posted by Noel (+8) 17 years ago
Hi Ralph,

Nice to see you are keeping yourself busy reading all these books... Hope you are reading something interesting matters on sheep shearing in Western Australia.

Cheers


Noel L
(West Aust)
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
"Cowboy Curmudgeon" by Wally McRae, This is an excellent collection of his most popular poetry. I must admit to missing his voice and presence. The best way to enjoy this old dog is live and in person. Anyone want to sponser my trip to Elko, Nevada for the annual debauch?
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Posted by Vato Elwood (+12) 17 years ago
I am reading what I am typing so that it makes sense to me. It is also the only way that I can check my spelling.
Merry Christmas to all!
cb
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Posted by sean bolton (+11) 17 years ago
You dont want to know.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
Larry McMurtry's "Walter Benjamin At The Dairy Queen" hovers between an essay of rural America, biography and mostly an opinion not shared by other Archer City residents. As always with this Texas curmudgeon, it is a great read. The text begins around a central charactor and quickly evolves into the first person.

I know Archer City. We had a weekend retreat in town that my dad bought for the back taxes owed. Nine hundred dollars bought us as fine a place as you can expect nestled amongst the tumbleweeds, goathead stickers and blowing dust. The photo on the jacket is of the Archer City "DQ". We were there during the filming of "The Last Picture Show". My Dad drove us out to see whe ruins of Anarene(sp?), the name McMurtry chose to fictionalize his first big hit, a thin, even transparent disguise to the residents of Archer City.

My dads first cousins, uncle Sam, uncle Dewey and aunt Elsie(RIP to all), were life long residents of Archer County. McMurtry's "fiction" can be mean spirited, vitriolic and angry but damn if it ain't fun. The essay shares the same qualities. Maybe you would have had to been there.



[This message has been edited by Tucker Bolton (edited 1/1/2004).]
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Posted by pulmonade (+119) 17 years ago
Currently reading "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig. It is a great working of fact, fiction, and philosophy. It proposes many great questions. Resolves to answer those that can be answered, and explains why the ones that aren't cannot be. The book starts as a the author and his son ride upon a motorcycle, accompanied by friends from Minnesota to Montana. He stops along the way in Miles City and devotes a couple of pages too it. The book gradually shifts from story-oriented material to technical material concerning his philosophies. i don't want to describe to much, because reading up to the point i'm at was something of a journey and I shouldn't taint the experience for any prospective readers. It is a great book the philosophies can become weighty, but he crafts many a great analogy to aid those igonorant of the philosophies' roots. The new age paperback edition(the old lavender version) is a mere 7.99.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" WOW! a blast from the past. It has been a couple of decades since I read this remarkably insightful book but I suspect that when I have the time, it will be worth a re-read.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
Walter Benjamin!!!! Man, did I stick out my ignorance on the McMurtry book or what? I referred to the title charactor as fictional. Am I ever red faced. Can you see the red glow from where you are sitting? It is not the beautiful Montana sunset. It is my embarrasment.

How is that for self flagulation.

[This message has been edited by Tucker Bolton (edited 1/4/2004).]
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
Pulmonade,

"Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". What a great re-read. When you first mentioned the book it began a glow of recollection that would not go away. I am enjoying it more now than in the seventies when I first read it, especially after having lived in Montana for the past several years. I never realized how much of it was wasted on my then "urban commando" mentality.
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Posted by pulmonade (+119) 17 years ago
Tucker,
I am glad to hear you re-read it. It is one of my favorite books now. I have recommended it to everyone I know, and have purchased it for a few friends and relatives. I really believe it can change your perspective on a lot of things. I believe it to be timeless, so it has not grown insignificant over the past thirty years. Everyone should read the book, I believe our culture has foresaken the concept of quality. I am now reading the sequel "LILA" it was the only other book Pirsig authored. It is very similar to ZAMM structurally. It continues his pursuit into quality, although this time he attempts to craft a metaphysical philosophy around it. I am also reading "Fingerprints of the Gods." It too is an amazing book. It deals a lot with the ignorance of ancient cultures, and the advanced knowledge they had, how they acquired it, and why we ignore it. The author Graham Hancock has done some amazing research. Some people might find it mythical, I believe it to be factual. Even an objective reader would find the material interesting. With 2012(the end of the mayan calender and the fifth and last age of man) approaching, it is wise to find out as much as you can about the subject. It is a very large book with a lot of great pictures and diagrams to accompany the text. If you have any interest in the origin and the future of man, this is required reading.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
P,

"With 2012(the end of the mayan calender and the fifth and last age of man) approaching, it is wise to find out as much as you can about the subject."

Wisdom and the quest for wisdom is as lost to us as the "concept of quality". The ability to create a quality environment is an individual choice. In our disposable society it has become far to easy to believe in the concept of purchased happiness and a quick fix. Once we have lost the ability to rely on ourselves, how can we feel confident in our community or fellows in general?

I hope Pirsig's old Honda Hawke and his traveling companions BMW are still running the roads.
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Posted by Tucker Bolton (+3669) 17 years ago
Holy cow! I just read my last post and it sounds like "abandon hope all ye who enter here". I really haven't lost hope and the people that participate in this wonderful tool, that is "milescity.com" bolster that notion.
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Posted by Hill girl in West Virginia (+54) 17 years ago
I've been reading the Left Behind Series. They are releasing the next book (the glorious appearance) on March 30th. I just pre ordered it on walmart.com. I can't wait.
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Posted by salli starkey (+66) 17 years ago
I too await what is to be the final book - should be good. I also read the kids series, which was just as good, but it might scare hell out of kids (which might be the point). Frank Parette (sp) "This Present Darkness", and "The Prophet" are also very, very good. Saw "The Passion of the Christ" last week end ...... kept my eye closed a lot - it was VERY POWERFUL!
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Posted by kyle wolff (+63) 17 years ago
The passion of the christ was very good.
Hats off.
Hill girl, you need to read the left Behind
Series over again. For you were left behind.
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Posted by StoveGirl (+190) 17 years ago
Maybe we could pick her up in our horse and buggy.
Hill girl, left behind series? Tell us more.
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Posted by Hill girl in West Virginia (+54) 17 years ago
Maybe Kyle Wolff, StoveGirl and I can get together and have a discussion on the series. Sound good to you? My house, tonight, 7PM. BYOB and no smoking please.
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Posted by StoveGirl (+190) 17 years ago
I'm game. Kyle, I'll be over in my horse and buggy (made in the USA) and not by illigal imigrants.
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Posted by Brady Stone (+167) 17 years ago
I just reread Erasmus-Luther Discourse on Free Will. A good read if anyone is interested as to where Protestantism came from.

Dun Scotus
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Posted by kyle wolff (+63) 17 years ago
Robin,If you would like more drama,
adventure,but no humor,lets go back to the
dentist.
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Posted by Gunnar Emilsson (+16971) 17 years ago
I just read the lyrics to the song "Highway to Hell", by the Australian rock-n-roll band, AC/DC, that was printed on the CD jacket.

"I'm on the highway to hell,
highway to hell,
highway to hell,
highway to hell,
I'm on the highway to hell...."

and so forth....

(this post is for Dave S.)
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Posted by Brady Stone (+167) 17 years ago
"If your in to evil you are a friend of mine." Rock and Roll will never die.
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Posted by cheryred1973 (+189) 17 years ago
I just finished Prospect Street, good stuff...Also, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. I read this awhile ago, but I loved it!!! A different view but one that makes you think....

Would like to know what else is being read these days???
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Posted by Damian (+80) 17 years ago
I have been reading the "Left Behind" series of books by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. These are a great series of books About Armegedon and the second coming of Christ. Not a religious man myself but these are a great read that I would recomend to anyone.
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Posted by StoveGirl (+190) 17 years ago
My husband just finished the last book in the series and he said it was very good. He enjoyed all the books.
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Posted by Inspector Gadget (+1) 17 years ago
Shouldn't you be afraid of Armegeddon??
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Posted by Angela Setera (+99) 17 years ago
Geez. The only thing I've been reading lately are these forums here at milescity.com. Of course I read the occasional email, sometimes a forward or survey...but I haven't even been getting my fair share of forwards lately! Not that I particularly like most of the forwards I do get, but still, it is strange. I guess my friends all have better things to do with their time than me.
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Posted by Lee Akers (+267) 17 years ago
Just finished reading the last book in the "Left Behind" series. Good series. Kept my interest all the way through. Seems like I saw one at Joe's bookstore the other day.
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Posted by John Wayne (+118) 17 years ago
Wild Orchids - By Jude Deveraux. Entertaining!

The Only Good Bear is a Dead Bear - by Jeanette Prodgers

Yellowstone Vic Smith: Frontier Memoirs of the Champion Buffalo Hunter - also by Prodgers
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Posted by salli starkey (+66) 16 years ago
My best friend since 2nd grade, (forever ago)just sent me 4 "Chicken Soup for the Soul" and by golly, they are full of gold. Lots of heart warming inspiration. If your ever down in the dumps, these will pick you up in a hurry.
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Posted by Buck Showalter (+4456) 16 years ago
I've been reading pornography. I guess I'm not really reading it.
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Posted by cheryred1973 (+189) 16 years ago
I have been reading Vanity Fair in anticipation of the upcoming movie. So far, it's very entertaining with the best part being the narrator. He/she is highly entertaining...
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