What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Tue Apr 09, 2013 4:18 pm

The Fair Maid of Perth, by Sir Walter Scott. Just a frivolous fun read, another quasi-historcal story of Scotland.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:38 pm

"Payment in Blood" by Elizabeth George.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby randomwalk » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:11 am

I just finished Justice Brennan by Seth Stern and Stephen Wermiel.

Now reading Thurgood Marshall by Juan Williams.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby MP173 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:09 am

Fear the Worst by Linwood Barclay.

Has anyone else read any of his books? This was the first for me and I enjoyed it.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby jginseattle » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:17 pm

Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. It's a hoot!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:26 pm

Halfway through The Great Depression: A Diary, by Benjamin Roth, and many thanks to jimkinny for suggesting it. I'm finding it enthralling, it's almost like reading a Bogleheads thread from the 1930s. I made a long posting about it here.

Finished Henning Mankell, Kennedy's Brain. I did not like it at all. Chaotic, couldn't even figure out the ending. JFK's brain in fact does make a literal appearance at one point, but I couldn't figure that out either. I gather than Mankell is angry about the AIDS epidemic in Africa and Western reactions to same, and believes Western pharmaceutical companies are exploiting the situation for profit, I get that much. Whether he's suggesting the conspiracy he depicts in the book has any real-world correlation, I can't figure out.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby dewey » Thu Apr 11, 2013 9:32 pm

"Drinking with Men" (2013). It's a memoir. Very interesting--well written. Not completely what the title implies.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Barefootgirl » Thu Apr 11, 2013 10:28 pm

Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta



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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Bungo » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:00 pm

Recently finished The Grapes of Wrath, a rare re-read (first time was about 20 years ago). Now starting volume 1 of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power, as well as Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby randomwalk » Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:39 pm

Bungo wrote:Now starting volume 1 of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power...


I've been wanting to read that for awhile, but I try not to start a series until I know it is finished. Caro has been particularly frustrating, since what was supposed to be a three-volume series then became four volumes, and now is set to run to five volumes if Caro survives to finish.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Bungo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:14 am

randomwalk wrote:
Bungo wrote:Now starting volume 1 of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson, The Path to Power...


I've been wanting to read that for awhile, but I try not to start a series until I know it is finished. Caro has been particularly frustrating, since what was supposed to be a three-volume series then became four volumes, and now is set to run to five volumes if Caro survives to finish.

I've been postponing it for many years, for the same reason, but by this point I figure there is a good chance that either the final volume will be published or Caro will die before I get through the first four books, so I may as well finally get started.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:10 pm

Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski. This is an extremely well written, difficult-to-put-down, book about American diplomats, journalists, and writers living and working in Germany in the twenties and thirties (and forties, I suppose, but I am only about one-third of the way through the book).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Blues » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:20 pm

gkaplan wrote:Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski. This is an extremely well written, difficult-to-put-down, book about American diplomats, journalists, and writers living and working in Germany in the twenties and thirties (and forties, I suppose, but I am only about one-third of the way through the book).


Gordon, I don't recall if you were one of those who mentioned having read "In The Garden Of Beasts" by Erik Larson.

I read it a year or so back and found it provided an interesting perspective. I know some members (perhaps yourself) had mentioned it here recently.

http://www.amazon.com/In-Garden-Beasts-American-ebook/dp/B004HFRJM6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:51 pm

Blues wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski. This is an extremely well written, difficult-to-put-down, book about American diplomats, journalists, and writers living and working in Germany in the twenties and thirties (and forties, I suppose, but I am only about one-third of the way through the book).


Gordon, I don't recall if you were one of those who mentioned having read "In The Garden Of Beasts" by Erik Larson.

I read it a year or so back and found it provided an interesting perspective. I know some members (perhaps yourself) had mentioned it here recently.

http://www.amazon.com/In-Garden-Beasts-American-ebook/dp/B004HFRJM6/ref=tmm_kin_title_0



Yes, I did read it. It was very good, as are most of Larson's books. If nothing else, his bibliography is worth the price of the book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:58 pm

gkaplan wrote:Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski. This is an extremely well written, difficult-to-put-down, book about American diplomats, journalists, and writers living and working in Germany in the twenties and thirties (and forties, I suppose, but I am only about one-third of the way through the book).


Come to think of it, there probably weren't that many, if any, Americans living and working in Germany in the forties, since they probably were expelled after the United States declared war on Germany shortly after Pearl Harbor, except those who decided to throw in their lot with the Nazis.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby randomwalk » Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:39 pm

I just finished Thurgood Marshall by Juan Williams.

Now reading The Outpost by Jake Tapper.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby aquifer » Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:49 pm

I'm reading Blackett's War by Stephen Budiansky. A true story about the men who helped neutralize the U-boat threat.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:33 pm

"Live Wire" by Harlan Coben.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ofcmetz » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:16 am

jginseattle wrote:Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. It's a hoot!


I agree, very fun book to read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby stratton » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:04 pm

Expected Returns by Antti Ilmanen. Really, really good roll up on current theory with examples. Almost no math. Dense. If you've only read the Bogleheads guide this is not a good book for you. Read some of Rick and Larrys more advanced books such as All about Asset Allocation and Alternative Investments.

Dick Davis Dividend return. Pretty good if you haven't read any other Boglehead style books. Has multiple lazy portfolios from 28 different sources which means there is about 40 of them to look at.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:30 am

nisiprius wrote:Halfway through The Great Depression: A Diary, by Benjamin Roth, and many thanks to jimkinny for suggesting it. I'm finding it enthralling, it's almost like reading a Bogleheads thread from the 1930s. I made a long posting about it here.

Finished Henning Mankell, Kennedy's Brain. I did not like it at all. Chaotic, couldn't even figure out the ending. JFK's brain in fact does make a literal appearance at one point, but I couldn't figure that out either. I gather than Mankell is angry about the AIDS epidemic in Africa and Western reactions to same, and believes Western pharmaceutical companies are exploiting the situation for profit, I get that much. Whether he's suggesting the conspiracy he depicts in the book has any real-world correlation, I can't figure out.


It feels as if John Le Carre has made the point, better. The Constant Gardener. And the movie with Raph Fiennes very good, too.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:35 am

ofcmetz wrote:
jginseattle wrote:Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. It's a hoot!


I agree, very fun book to read.


And then to read Moneyball and The Big Short-- the latter about the Credit Crunch of 2008 (but not really intelligible without Liar's Poker, first). The Big Short is just a harder read (products more complex).

The films which logically lead on are then 'Inside Job' (Matt Damon) and 'Margin Call' (Kevin Spacey). Probably also Too Big to Fail (have not seen).

Boomerang is just not as good, but funny in parts (the Credit Crunch goes global).

The intermediate story between Liar's Poker (1989) and The Big Short (2009) is really Roger Lowenstein 'When Genius Failed' (Long Term Capital Management - 1998), And 2 others: Frank Partnoy FIASCO (really Liar's Poker with derivatives in the 1990s) and Paul (Bluefeld? Bluestein?) The Chastening (the Asia Crash).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:35 am

stratton wrote:Expected Returns by Antti Ilmanen. Really, really good roll up on current theory with examples. Almost no math. Dense. If you've only read the Bogleheads guide this is not a good book for you. Read some of Rick and Larrys more advanced books such as All about Asset Allocation and Alternative Investments.

Dick Davis Dividend return. Pretty good if you haven't read any other Boglehead style books. Has multiple lazy portfolios from 28 different sources which means there is about 40 of them to look at.

Paul


i am still working on Ilmanen but found out about it here, and it is very good.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:46 am

gkaplan wrote:
gkaplan wrote:Hitlerland: American Eyewitnesses to the Nazi Rise to Power by Andrew Nagorski. This is an extremely well written, difficult-to-put-down, book about American diplomats, journalists, and writers living and working in Germany in the twenties and thirties (and forties, I suppose, but I am only about one-third of the way through the book).


Come to think of it, there probably weren't that many, if any, Americans living and working in Germany in the forties, since they probably were expelled after the United States declared war on Germany shortly after Pearl Harbor, except those who decided to throw in their lot with the Nazis.


The interesting thing was that there were still American journalists, heavily circumscribed, in Berlin 1939-1941, giving a unique Anglo view of Nazi Germany at war. I think Shirer was the one who said the day war was declared there was no visible reaction in Berlin. People were just tense. In 1914, on the streets of Paris, London, Berlin, the armies marched off to slaughter to ecstatic crowds.

There was a German magazine, Signal, published in English in that period for the American market. There was a collection of pieces from it: interesting to read German propaganda of the time 'restoring peace to Europe' etc.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Signal-Hit ... 0138100519


I don't think there were very many American collaborators. As I recall when they tried to form the 'George Washington Brigade' of the SS (to go with the Dutch one, the Ukrainian one, the Croation one etc.) I think they had a handful of men?

http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=54351

at least tells me this is a historical myth.

When Otto Skorzeny's special forces tried to penetrate American lines during the Battle of the Bulge, using Germans who spoke English or had perhaps lived in America, they were very quickly detected. Although it caused panic within American lines (Eisenhower complained he was required to have an armed escort to the bathroom) it had no discernible military effect.

5 (6?) Germans who had lived in America were landed on a beach (New Jersey?) as saboteurs, summarily caught and executed-- including an 18 year old boy.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Valuethinker » Wed Apr 17, 2013 10:47 am

ericd67 wrote:I'm reading Blackett's War by Stephen Budiansky. A true story about the men who helped neutralize the U-boat threat.


Paul Kennedy has a new book out about scientists in WW2 which focuses on this same issue.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/10/books ... .html?_r=0
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Thu Apr 18, 2013 12:39 pm

"School Days" by Robert Parker.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby randomwalk » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:38 pm

I just finished The Outpost by Jake Tapper.

Now reading Immortality by Milan Kundera.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Go Blue 99 » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:01 pm

I just finished "Horns" by Joe Hill (Stephen King's son). Now I am starting "Touch and Go" by Lisa Gardner.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby denismurf » Fri Apr 19, 2013 4:36 pm

Just finished The Antidote: Happiness for people who can't stand positive thinking, by Oliver Burkeman.

Lots of funny stuff.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:44 am

"Caught" by Harlan Coben.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby MP173 » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:21 pm

Small Town by Lawrence Block.

A pretty good erotic murder mystery set in New York City. This is different than most of Block's in that this is an independent book without continuing charactors.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby jginseattle » Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:52 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
ofcmetz wrote:
jginseattle wrote:Liar's Poker, by Michael Lewis. It's a hoot!


I agree, very fun book to read.


And then to read Moneyball and The Big Short-- the latter about the Credit Crunch of 2008 (but not really intelligible without Liar's Poker, first). The Big Short is just a harder read (products more complex).

The films which logically lead on are then 'Inside Job' (Matt Damon) and 'Margin Call' (Kevin Spacey). Probably also Too Big to Fail (have not seen).

Boomerang is just not as good, but funny in parts (the Credit Crunch goes global).

The intermediate story between Liar's Poker (1989) and The Big Short (2009) is really Roger Lowenstein 'When Genius Failed' (Long Term Capital Management - 1998), And 2 others: Frank Partnoy FIASCO (really Liar's Poker with derivatives in the 1990s) and Paul (Bluefeld? Bluestein?) The Chastening (the Asia Crash).


Yes, I plan on reading The Big Short and Moneyball. I saw the film version of the latter.

I've also seen Inside Job (it won an Academy Award for best documentary in 2010), and Margin Call. Good stuff.

Thanks.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:38 pm

All You Could Ask for by Mike Greenberg. Greenberg is the co-host, with Mike Golic, of ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning, which I tune in to on the radio on my drive in to work on weekday mornings. They've co-hosted the show for over ten years and have great camaraderie, and the show has a lot of good natured give and take. Anyway, as for the book, I'm only about ten pages into the book, so I really cannot comment one way or the other. Amazon reviews seem quite favorable, however, particular those from women reviewers.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby bengal22 » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:24 am

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby xram » Mon Apr 22, 2013 7:47 am

Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes And How To Correct Them: Lessons From The New Science Of Behavioral Economics

http://www.amazon.com/Smart-People-Mone ... 0684859386
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:01 am

Mr. Prohack by Arnold Bennett; River of Stars by Guy Gavriel Kay.

Mr. Prohack has financial/investment overtones. I haven't quite finished it and I admit to some curiosity as whether pride will cometh before a fall, but I don't think it's going to. It's actually quite a funny novel, about a mid-level, mid-paid civil service functionary, who inherits a fortune out of the blue.

He'd loaned a hundred pounds to an unreliable associate and the associate became rich and left him ₤100,000 in his will. He promptly risks about ₤80,000 of it on an investment venture suggested by new acquaintance of his who's his social superior, and it pays off. He now has ₤250,000. He then proceeds to invest that in the 1920s-England equivalent of Treasuries and municipals.

The novel is mostly about his experiences adapting to his new wealth, and at this point I think he's actually going to get to keep it. I know that these quotations below sound as if they are telegraphing mysterious future disaster, but I think he's actually going to keep it. But, we will see. When I'm done I'll edit this post and say how it turned out.
Paul handed over to his crony saleable securities, chiefly in the shape of scrip of the greatest oil-combine and its subsidiaries, for a vast amount, and advised Mr. Prohack to hold on to them, as, owing to the present depression due to the imminence of a great strike, they were likely to be "marked higher" before Mr. Prohack was much older. Mr. Prohack declined the advice, and he also declined the advice of solicitors and stockbrokers, who were both full of wisdom and of devices for increasing capital values. What these firms knew about the future, and about the consequences of causes and about "the psychology of the markets" astounded the simple Terror of the departments; and it was probably unanswerable. But, being full of riches, Mr. Prohack did not trouble to answer it; he merely swept it away with a tyrannical and impatient gesture, which gesture somehow mysteriously established him at once as a great authority on the art of investment.

"Now listen to me," said he imperiously, and the manipulators of shares listened, recalling to themselves that Mr. Prohack had been a Treasury official for over twenty years and must therefore be worth hearing—although the manipulators commonly spent many hours a week in asserting, in the press and elsewhere, that Treasury officials comprehended naught of finance. "Now listen to me. I don't care a hang about my capital. It may decrease or increase, and I shan't care. All I care for is my interest. I want to be absolutely sure that my interest will tumble automatically into my bank on fixed dates. No other consideration touches me. I'm not a gambler. I'm not a usurer. Industrial development leaves me cold, and if I should ever feel any desire to knit the Empire closer together I'll try to do it without making a profit out of it. At the moment all I'm after is certain, sure, fixed interest. Hence—Government securities, British Government or Colonial! Britain is of course rotten to the core, always was, always will be. Still, I'll take my chances. I'm infernally insular where investment is concerned. There's one thing to be said about the British Empire—you do know where you are in it. And I don't mind some municipal stocks. I even want some. I can conceive the smash-up of the British Empire, but I cannot conceive Manchester defaulting in its interest payments. Can you?" And he looked round and paused for a reply, and no reply came. Nobody dared to boast himself capable of conceiving Manchester's default.
And, later:
He turned, in another paper, to the financial column, for, though all his money was safe in fixed-interest-bearing securities, the fluctuations of whose capital value could not affect his safety, yet he somehow could not remain quite indifferent to the fluctuations of their capital value
I've finished it. It is actually a fairly strange book. Yes, he gets to keep his money. All through the book there are things that seem to be telegraphing possible financial disaster ahead and they never come to fruition.
Last edited by nisiprius on Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Marjimmy » Mon Apr 22, 2013 2:55 pm

The Republic - Plato
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby runthetrails » Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:30 pm

The Price of Inequality by Joseph Stiglitz (link is NPR piece)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:41 pm

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, by Paul Theroux. I was disappointed in this 2008 book retracing parts of the jouney in his earlier book, The Great Railway Bazaar, which I had enjoyed.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:05 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, by Paul Theroux. I was disappointed in this 2008 book retracing parts of the jouney in his earlier book, The Great Railway Bazaar, which I had enjoyed.
I remember reading through "The Kingdom by the Sea," his trip attempting to trace the coastline of England, and finding it interesting but what a downer... it seemed as if every place he visited struck him as being drab, depressing, and disappointing.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:09 pm

"Flesh and Blood" by Jonathan Kellerman.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby fidelio » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:30 am

just finished "prague fatale," p. kerr. diff. title in european ed. i believe. have degree in european hist., love both kerr and alan furst.

if you're not familiar w/ kerr's protagonist bernie gunther, and you like chandler, you can't miss. he's a detective w/ berlin's criminal police and not a party member. no spoilers, but "prague" is brutal, as most novels full of nazi ss members must be, but also includes a "locked room" mystery, which gunther solves. both kerr and furst provide a fascinating viewpoint on a fascist europe.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:53 am

nisiprius wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, by Paul Theroux. I was disappointed in this 2008 book retracing parts of the jouney in his earlier book, The Great Railway Bazaar, which I had enjoyed.
I remember reading through "The Kingdom by the Sea," his trip attempting to trace the coastline of England, and finding it interesting but what a downer... it seemed as if every place he visited struck him as being drab, depressing, and disappointing.

My general impression of some travel writers (e.g. Bill Bryson) is that they complain a lot about traveling, the places they travel to, and the people they meet, so they might as well stay home. But I had recalled Theroux's earlier train travel books (The Old Patagonion Express, Dark Star Safari, and The Great Railway Bazaar) as different and better than other travel stories.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:59 am

Potsdam Station by David Downing. British Journalist, who fled Germany in 1941, has returned to Germany in the closing days of the war looking for his German girl friend who has gone underground and his German son who is stationed on the Eastern Front.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Blues » Thu Apr 25, 2013 2:06 pm

Just finished "Angle of Repose" by Wallace Stegner...following it up with something quite a bit lighter: "The Fire Engine That Disappeared" by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby SurfCityBill » Thu Apr 25, 2013 8:52 pm

The Egyptian - Mika Waltari - (Best selling book in the US in 1947)

The Assyrian - Nicholas Guild - 1987

Both historical fiction at it's finest.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gatorman » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:41 pm

Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton by Edward Rice, an excellent biography of the great, and truly unconventional, explorer of the 19th century.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Apr 27, 2013 9:11 am

The Lost World, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Its intended as entertainment for young boys, but fun to read anyway. Maybe I'm regressing? I had forgotten he wrote anything other than Sherlock Holmes stories.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby xram » Sat Apr 27, 2013 10:15 am

Re-Reading Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:41 am

"A Small Death in Lisbon" by Robert Wilson.
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