I Wish I had started counting sooner

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Spock
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I Wish I had started counting sooner

#1 Post by Spock » Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:27 pm

Books read, that is.

Since about Nov/Dec 2009-Ten years ago, I started keeping track of books read. 903 as of the end of Dec. Mostly non-fiction.

Interesting factoid from a current read. "The British Are Coming" which is Volume 1 of Rick Atkinson's Revolution Trilogy.

About one out of 8 of all British officers killed in combat in the war died at Bunker Hill.

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silverscreenselect
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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#2 Post by silverscreenselect » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:47 pm

Spock wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:27 pm
Books read, that is.

Since about Nov/Dec 2009-Ten years ago, I started keeping track of books read. 903 as of the end of Dec. Mostly non-fiction.
I'm up to about 1,500 reviews on Amazon since the summer of 2013 when I got my first Kindle. I would guess that about 2/3 of those are book reviews. However, that number is a bit deceptive, since there are a lot of short stories that are available for sale individually, and if you review a story, it counts as a "book." So, sometimes I will read an anthology and discover that half the stories in the book are available separately and I can generate 6 or 7 reviews from one full-length book. Also, some books have separate listings for different editions, so I can post the same review for several different "items."
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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#3 Post by Spock » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:15 pm

>>>"I'm up to about 1,500 reviews on Amazon since the summer of 2013 when I got my first Kindle. I would guess that about 2/3 of those are book reviews. However, that number is a bit deceptive, since there are a lot of short stories that are available for sale individually, and if you review a story, it counts as a "book." So, sometimes I will read an anthology and discover that half the stories in the book are available separately and I can generate 6 or 7 reviews from one full-length book. Also, some books have separate listings for different editions, so I can post the same review for several different "items."<<<

Have you read Stratton's book on the Wild Bunch? I really have to read that book. A while back there was a long discussion of The Wild Bunch over on Frontier Partisans. It is a movie near and dear to many there.Given the reaction I described it as the "Quintessential Frontier Partisans" movie, which went over very well.

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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#4 Post by silverscreenselect » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:17 pm

Spock wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:15 pm
Have you read Stratton's book on the Wild Bunch? I really have to read that book. A while back there was a long discussion of The Wild Bunch over on Frontier Partisans. It is a movie near and dear to many there.Given the reaction I described it as the "Quintessential Frontier Partisans" movie, which went over very well.
I've got Stratton's book and a biography of Peckinpah by film historian David Weddle called If They Move... Kill Them. I haven't read either book yet but I'll try to make time soon.
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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#5 Post by Bob78164 » Thu Jan 02, 2020 4:33 pm

I'm jealous. When I was a kid I'm pretty sure I averaged a book (or more) per day, but nowadays I'm lucky to finish a book a month. That doesn't stop me from buying them anyway, but I'm facing the serious likelihood of simply never finding the time to get to books I'd really like to read. --Bob
"Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear." Thomas Jefferson

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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#6 Post by Bob Juch » Fri Jan 03, 2020 8:11 am

Spock wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 1:27 pm
About one out of 8 of all British officers killed in combat in the war died at Bunker Hill.
After that, they learned to duck.
I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)

Si fractum non sit, noli id reficere.

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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#7 Post by themanintheseersuckersuit » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:04 am

Just finished Malcolm Gladwell's Talking to Strangers and I recommend it
Suitguy is not bitter.

feels he represents the many educated and rational onlookers who believe that the hysterical denouncement of lay scepticism is both unwarranted and counter-productive

The problem, then, is that such calls do not address an opposition audience so much as they signal virtue. They talk past those who need convincing. They ignore actual facts and counterargument. And they are irreparably smug.

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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#8 Post by silverscreenselect » Sat Mar 28, 2020 4:19 pm

Spock wrote:
Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:15 pm
Have you read Stratton's book on the Wild Bunch? I really have to read that book. A while back there was a long discussion of The Wild Bunch over on Frontier Partisans. It is a movie near and dear to many there.Given the reaction I described it as the "Quintessential Frontier Partisans" movie, which went over very well.
I finally read Stratton's book, and I enjoyed it a lot, although I think that it's primarily for people who are already familiar with the movie. It goes into a great deal of detail about a lot of the people involved in the making of the film, and you can get a real good idea of what it takes to bring a movie together. Time after time, you read about some line of dialogue or bit of business that would later find its way into the movie. I also think the book could have used some judicious editing. There's a good bit in here that really doesn't have much to do with the actual film itself but that Stratton felt he would include because it was entertaining trivia.

An interesting detail is that the man who wrote the original screenplay draft, Roy Sickner, was a stuntman who thought the movie would be a good showcase for stuntwork (The Wild Bunch was his only writing credit and earned him an Oscar nomination). Sickner envisioned his drinking buddy Lee Marvin in the lead role, and Marvin was very interested in the project for a long time and contributed several bits that made their way into the film. However, his agent didn't want him to make another movie set in Mexico about the time of Pancho Villa right after he made The Professionals (another excellent film), so he wound up making Paint Your Wagon with Clint Eastwood instead. The Wild Bunch was one of the first films to use almost exclusively Mexican actors to play the many Mexican roles in the film (Jaime Sanchez, the one Mexican member of the Wild Bunch itself, is a Puerto Rican stage actor who had appeared in West Side Story).

Another weakness of the book is that, while it details the careers of a lot of the principals before they made The Wild Bunch, for the most part, there's little detail about what happened afterward. Stratton does spend a few pages about Sam Peckinpah's later career, but pretty much nothing about any of the actors or behind-the-camera crew. One semi-exception is Albert Dekker, who finished filming his scenes fairly early during the production and went back to Los Angeles (the movie was shot entirely in Mexico). He died of auto-erotic asphyxiation while the rest of the movie was still filming, an event that was widely discussed on the set. Another risque detail involves the casting of two prostitutes who cavorted with Warren Oates and Ben Johnson in a vat of wine in one scene. Peckinpah found two actual prostitutes from the town where they filmed and cast them in the roles (many of the townspeople became extras in the film).

I thought of Stratton's book today because I read that Chalo Gonzalez died last week at age 95. Gonzalez was a drinking buddy of Peckinpah who had become his production assistant on several earlier films. On The Wild Bunch, he found the actual shooting locations and helped ensure that the Spanish dialogue in the film was what would have actually been used in Mexico at the time. He also procured the dynamite used in the big set piece in which a bridge is blown up. He wound up in the movie playing one of the Mexican officers killed in the final shootout. (Almost all the Mexican members of the crew wound up having parts in the movie as well). I would never have known about Gonzalez before last month, but he played as much of a part in the making of the film as anybody (he was also one of the interview sources for Stratton's book).

All in all, this is a great read for fans of the film or movie Westerns in general or even those interested in the craft of film making.
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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#9 Post by kroxquo » Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:49 am

How many of you are on Goodreads? I keep track of my books read, want to read and post reviews there. I agree; I wish I had started keeping track earlier.
You live and learn. Or at least you live. - Douglas Adams

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Re: I Wish I had started counting sooner

#10 Post by Vandal » Sun Mar 29, 2020 9:05 am

kroxquo wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 8:49 am
How many of you are on Goodreads? I keep track of my books read, want to read and post reviews there. I agree; I wish I had started keeping track earlier.
I’m on Goodreads, although I haven’t been reading nearly as much as I should, lately.
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