Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

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Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Thu May 09, 2013 8:47 pm

This thread is inspired by the "What Book are you reading now? Part V which is into it's 29th page as I type this. The list is varied with some seemingly interesting topics, most of which are not business or finance related. So Bogleheads, what is your method if you have one of selecting your reading list? Especially when time is a precious commodity.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby VictoriaF » Thu May 09, 2013 9:57 pm

I don't have a single method, and the selection depends on whether it's fiction or non-fiction--and what type of non-fiction.

These days, I only "read" fiction via audio books. I get them from my library where I select fast-paced mysteries written by the Brits and some male American authors.

The process of selecting non-fiction is much more involved. I have a long backlog of books I want/need/must read. Unfortunately, the order of these books continuously get reshuffled, and new books jump the line. New books come from two major sources: (1) They are written by someone I already know and like; (2) I browse Amazon.com and one book's featured ads or reviews lead to other books.

Occasionally, I become interested in a new topic. I go to Amazon.com and start with the key words. After I stumble on popular books, I review the top-100 list. After that the details of what I am looking for become clearer in my mind and I start a more-targeted selection of books and reading their reviews.

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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby Calm Man » Thu May 09, 2013 10:08 pm

I have been reading novels for the last few years in "streaks". So I read every one of the Sherlock Holmes series, then everything by Dostoevsky, all Charles Dickens novels and I have recently begun John LeCarre novels. The latter may be the best yet and there are something like 20 of them. After that, I have everything by Edgar Alan Poe then Tolstoy. Then maybe some non-fiction: I have a slew of books about wars and things like that.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby chaz » Thu May 09, 2013 11:23 pm

I like the crime and mystery genre. I get the novels from the library.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby saurabhec » Thu May 09, 2013 11:53 pm

I was an avid reader of fiction till I went to college. I then decided I did not have the luxury of reading fiction and should only read non-fiction that would further my career or somehow contribute to success. In my late 30s I was prompted by life events to pursue reading fiction with no end in mind other than to nourish and comfort the soul and perhaps gain some insights into how to live. I basically read on train commutes to work and back and focused on American fiction writers in the pantheon of literary greats who appealed to me (Philip Roth, John Updike, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen among others). I have recently branched out into also reading women writers who I think have always been underrated (Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro). I do all my reading on a Kindle smartphone app and an iPad and find that the Amazon recommendation engine does a fine job of pointing out stuff I might be interested in.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby scrabbler1 » Fri May 10, 2013 12:19 am

I get a lot of my non-fiction book ideas from C-Span, particularly BookTV. I don't read a lot of fiction, but I recently began reading more books which were made into movies I saw and liked, even if they came out years ago. There was even a list of books like this on the Net. Other sources of book ideas are from talk show interviews. For example, comedienne Jen Kirkman was recently interviewed on Jay Leno about her latest book and I was able to snag it from the library.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby letsgobobby » Fri May 10, 2013 1:08 am

I just look at bookshelves in the library and choose. Latest author I "discovered" was Kazuo Ishiguro. Yeah, I'm kind of late to the game. Never Let Me Go is not letting me go. I've got this indelible stain of sadness and horror and tearful thankfulness for all those things we take for granted but shouldn't.

Also I belong to two library systems and both have extensive collections of Kindle books to borrow. I peruse those lists til I find something intriguing and available.

In other words, it's mostly random.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby bertilak » Fri May 10, 2013 9:14 am

I love mystery/detective books. When I find an author I like I hunt down everything by the author I can. I'm knid of dry right now, not having picked up on a new author in a while. Favorites:

    Rex Stout (Nero Wolfe)
    M.C. Beaton (Hamish Macbeth)
    Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot)
    Donald E. Westlake (Dortmunder), aka Richard Stark (Parker), aka several others
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby FabLab » Fri May 10, 2013 9:41 am

My "method" is scattershot. There's so much I want to read. Insufficient time to do it all. I guess I do have an ongoing mental list of next books, then someone on bogleheads goes and asks whether there are any major changes in Rick Ferri's latest version of All About Asset Allocation ...

Which now awaits pickup at my village library thanks to interlibrary loan, in order to see.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby jeffyscott » Sun May 12, 2013 12:14 pm

I've been going through the Modern Library "board's list" of 100 best novels:

http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/

In some cases this has led to reading more works by one of the authors.

Recently ran across this list of "books everyone should read". I've saved a copy of the google spreadsheet linked there and plan to use this to find things next:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog ... s-read-100
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby leo383 » Wed May 15, 2013 11:49 am

I get a lot of book ideas here, and have read several books simply because Value Thinker mentioned them.

I also try to fill in gaps in my reading that school didn't cover. I am currently working my way through my 9yo son's Battle of the Books list:

http://www.ncslma.org/uploads/8/4/7/0/8 ... rected.pdf

I also am always chipping away at a Shakespeare play I haven't read.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby ruralavalon » Wed May 15, 2013 12:00 pm

I have had a Kindle for about three years, since getting it I don't believe I've bought a physical book. My reading picked up considerably after my retirement, starting with re-reading old favorites starting with The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

I browse Amazon for kindle books, including their recommendatins, editor's picks and top sellers. Then I sample whatever grabs my interest, which changes constantly. Current interests include detective fiction, U.S. frontier history, travel, and occasionaly something on investing.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby letsgobobby » Wed May 15, 2013 1:25 pm

This was a great idea for a thread, thanks for initiating. Now instead of lists of books I need to read, I have lists of lists of books I need to read...
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby bengal22 » Wed May 15, 2013 1:44 pm

jeffyscott wrote:I've been going through the Modern Library "board's list" of 100 best novels:

http://www.modernlibrary.com/top-100/100-best-novels/

In some cases this has led to reading more works by one of the authors.

Recently ran across this list of "books everyone should read". I've saved a copy of the google spreadsheet linked there and plan to use this to find things next:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog ... s-read-100


OK, you got to tell us what you thought of Joyce's Finnigan's Wake.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby af895 » Wed May 15, 2013 2:16 pm

I don't read much fiction but of the non-fiction I read, I start with books that are cited in books I'm currently reading. I also look for reading lists of authors of those books. (William Bernstein etc).

I started a thread over on the Canadian counterpart to Bogleheads and asked the good folks there for opinions on what direction my reading list should take: http://www.financialwebring.org/forum/v ... 1&t=115831
Last edited by af895 on Wed May 15, 2013 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby Blues » Wed May 15, 2013 2:21 pm

I have eclectic tastes so I try to rotate the various genres between current and past classics of literature, history and non-fiction, mysteries and police procedurals etc, etc. I get my ideas for what to read next from a variety of online sites and discussions as well as bibliographies and various library listings.

Reading is fundamental. 8-)
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby jeffyscott » Wed May 15, 2013 6:35 pm

bengal22 wrote:OK, you got to tell us what you thought of Joyce's Finnigan's Wake.


I've not read that yet, actually (whew, dodged that one, good thing you didn't ask about Ulysses or Becket's trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable).
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby vveat » Wed May 15, 2013 7:36 pm

I use a few different methods to come up with new titles to explore:
- book reviews or comments in blogs I frequent
- half an hour each week browsing at the library shelves (while my daughter is listening to storytime in the kids section)
- random searches on Amazon, jumping from review to review
- husband and I have a weekly "date" night which more often than not we spend browsing at Barnes and Noble (yes, geeky, I know, but we live in a relatively rural area and do not like dining out:-) - the social science section usually yields something good

And I also tend to read everything from authors I "discover". A year and a half ago I stumbled upon urban fantasy, which now account for some 70-100 books in my home library (Ilona Andrews and the like).

Regretfully most of my friends and do not have the same literary preferences as me, neither do they read as much as I do, so I cannot rely on their recommendations. Otherwise this would be a terrific option.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby bengal22 » Wed May 15, 2013 8:37 pm

jeffyscott wrote:
bengal22 wrote:OK, you got to tell us what you thought of Joyce's Finnigan's Wake.


I've not read that yet, actually (whew, dodged that one, good thing you didn't ask about Ulysses or Becket's trilogy, Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable).


I don't think anyone has read Finnigan's Wake. I read Ulysses but I had to do it in a Joyce class where the prof explained all the allusions, metaphors, and humor.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby wacobay » Wed May 15, 2013 9:48 pm

I primarily read history and biography, not surprising I guess given that I was a student and teacher of history for forty years. I also like books on psychology, philosophy and science. I get my ideas mainly from book reviews in the magazines and websites I read and from my local library, which has a new books section. O.K I also "geekily" browse around Barnes and Noble too. :D
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paper not kindle

Postby manyness » Sat May 18, 2013 1:33 am

Is there no recommendation engine for books? I'm NOT amused at amazon's recommendation "service". I use jinni for TV.

http://jinni.com -- for TV and movies 'better' than netflix. Yes, I have netflix but I watch the actual-hd they NEVER deliver via usenet.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby Lacrocious » Sun May 26, 2013 10:04 pm

My wife and I have been tracking books we read via [url]GoodReads.com[/url]. You can make lists of books "to read" and track that way if you want. Alternately, I have gotten more into [url]fictfact.com[/url] - which tracks series - and gives you updates when new books are released in series that you are tracking and shows you a list of the "next book" to read in each series you are watching. Neither Goodreads or FictFact are comprehensive for what I want, but combined - they work. FictFact doesn't track books by an author that are not part of a series. GoodReads doesn't give you the series tracking. Together, they help.

- L
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hooray paper books

Postby manyness » Thu Jun 20, 2013 3:57 pm

Lacrocious wrote:GoodReads.com, fictfact.com


thank you for sharing those

- L


P.S. you need not sign forum messages as your name is already attached to them ;)
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Re: hooray paper books

Postby Default User BR » Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:03 pm

manyness wrote:
Lacrocious wrote:
- L

P.S. you need not sign forum messages as your name is already attached to them ;)

What? Many people sign their posts, especially when their user name is not what they want to sign.


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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby david99 » Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:30 pm

I read articles on the internet such as on the New York Times and then I get the book through the library. I usually read nonfiction.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby nonnie » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:19 pm

bertilak wrote:I love mystery/detective books.


Since you're the second one to mention mystery/detective--that's 75% of what I read- I'm going to share a few of my favorites. Thanks for the tips on this thread; for other mystery novels I tend to take the recommendations of my favorite authors- below. I tend not to like the gruesome thrillers, can even be found reading "cozy genre" (Cozies don't usually involve a lot of gory details)
http://www.cozy-mystery.com/

Other resrouces:
http://www.mysterylovescompany.com/centurylist.htm
http://www.mysteryreaders.org/macavity.html

Other favorites:

My all-time favorite author for any genre is *Barry Eisler* He's former CIA, will turn 50 next year and he's a huge proponent of self-publishing and has gotten back all of his novels from original publisher and renamed them. He writes thrillers so well I make an exception and read the gruesome parts really fast :-)
http://www.barryeisler.com/

Robert Crais--wonderfully written and with humor
http://www.robertcrais.com/

Michael Connelly
http://www.michaelconnelly.com/

James Lee Burke- an old favorite but he's getting darker and darker with each book
http://www.jamesleeburke.com/

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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby MP173 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:23 pm

nonnie:

I read many of the same authors as you...Crais, Connelly, Burke (love all three) and some others....have you tried the other Connelly (John...his books are really dark, but well worth the effort). One of my favorites is Lawrence Block.

My book selections tend to fall into several categories:
1. Favorite mystery writers (see above). Once I find a good author (or series as I like to get to know the characters such as Harry Bosch) I tend to read most if not all of those books written.
2. Books on finance and business.
3. Books on hobbies I enjoy (railroad history such as Klein's works on Union Pacific or Rush Lovings' "The Men Who Loved Trains")
4. Political books (Robert Caro's work on LBJ, Ron Paul, etc. One book I couldn't finish was Bill Clinton's "My Life").
5. Sports books that detail a certain team or period of time (such as John Feinstein's books...my favorite is "The Last Amateurs" on the Patriot League).
6. "Heavy books" which deal with major issues. My favorite of this group is Neil Shesham's "A Bright Shining Lie"...absolutely a great book looking at Viet Nam thru one man's life - John Paul Vann.
7. Biographies of interesting people (other than Bill Clinton's "My Life").

The local library offers a great selection. The "What book are you reading" thread is a great resource for me.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby eucalyptus » Sun Jul 07, 2013 5:59 pm

- Magazine reviews, often Atlantic, Economist, Scientific American

- New book by a favorite author

- New book in an area of personal interest

- Barnes & Noble browsing (hope they stay in business)
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby nonnie » Sun Jul 07, 2013 6:13 pm

MP173 wrote:nonnie:

I read many of the same authors as you...Crais, Connelly, Burke (love all three) and some others....have you tried the other Connelly (John...his books are really dark, but well worth the effort). One of my favorites is Lawrence Block.


I've picked up John Connelly books, started reading them, and then figured out I picked them up by mistake -- they're not Michael. They don't do much for me at first glance. I used to really love Block esp. the Matthew Scudder and Bernie Rhodenbarr books. The last one I read , "Getting Off: A Novel of Sex and Violence"- was more soft porn that mystery.

I subscribe to B&Ns: books@bookgorilla.com for tips on e-books. There's a similar Amazon site. I read "real" books during the day, e-books in bed when I can't sleep at night or to lull me to sleep because I find it much easier to wrassle with a tablet than book in bed.

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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby MP173 » Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:40 pm

"Getting Off" was a bit of a departure for Block. I was a little puzzled...but the motives for the killings was a bit unusual. Try the Keller series (about the for hire killer)...excellent.
John Connolly is an excellent novelist, but it gets really really dark. I swear that every time one of his books was finished, my declaration was "never again" only to pickup another one later. He is very good.

Have you tried John Sandford? Greg Isles? Lee Child? All are excellent.

Ed
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby nonnie » Mon Jul 08, 2013 2:14 pm

MP173 wrote: Try the Keller series (about the for hire killer)...excellent.

John Connolly is an excellent novelist, but it gets really really dark. I swear that every time one of his books was finished, my declaration was "never again" only to pickup another one later. He is very good.

Have you tried John Sandford? Greg Isles? Lee Child? All are excellent.

Ed


I've read all the Keller books and love them. I'm just afraid he's going to stop writing them. Maybe I'll try Connolly but I'm at a stage in life where "dark" is NOT what I want. I've read all of Sandford's books; I recently discovered Lee Child (strangely enough it was from a critical review of David Baldacci's [another author I like] "The Hit" which said, "In his Puller books, Baldacci shamelessly steals from Jack Reacher." I didn't find that true and I enjoy Lee Child but it's more something to read when I want to be totally distracted and brain dead. I'll have to look into Greg Isles. I'm really picky about the mysteries I read-- only American and only contemporary--strange, eh?

Nonnie-- PS--Interestingly enough, I just got a B&N email reminding me that Sanford's new Virgil Flower novel will be released 10/1. I'm receiving promo notices earlier and earlier sometimes even before it shows up on my library's "ordered and in process" list.
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby MP173 » Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:56 pm

I am with you in that I like American and contemporary.

Try Greg Isles. Most of his are set in Mississippi. I enjoy regional novels in that it gives me a feel for the area. James Lee Burke's novels paint quite a picture of Louisiana, don't they?

I believe Block is finish with Keller, based on the last one I read "Hit and Run" as he "retired" to New Orleans.

Did you ever read any John McDonald series of Travis McGee? Granted it is not contemporary (set in the 60's/70s) but these were excellent.

Ed
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Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?

Postby nonnie » Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:42 pm

MP173 wrote:I am with you in that I like American and contemporary.

Ed

I'm surprised a moderator hasn't kicked us out of this topic and/or moved us to:
Re: Method of Selecting: What Book are you reading now?.

I've responded to your post here:

posting.php?mode=edit&f=11&t=91646&p=1744445

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