What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:43 pm

Sue Grafton, V is for Vengeance. Enjoyed it, a good read, neither a particularly good or particularly bad book in the series.

One thing I found annoying. Increasingly frequently, I will notice that a book has a scene in it that seems to be written from a cinematic point of view, as if the author actually had a screen treatment in mind. Here, there is such a scene--the shootout at the warehouse. I think she even confesses to this when she says something like "It was almost like watching a series of short film clips."

The plot was, as usual, too tangled for me to figure out. Her fictional detective, Kinsey Millhone, solves crimes by writing details on index cards and moving them around to get brain working on seeing relationships and connections. I don't know whether detective work that way, but I feel certain that she is describing how she herself works out her plots!

I can't remember how her other books do this. This one, rather confusingly, shifts back and forth from an omniscient point of view in which she reports what characters are doing unbeknownst to Kinsey, and then to Kinsey's first-person point of view. She seems to have abandoned the framing device she used to use, of opening and closing in the form of a report, always ending "respectfully submitted."

I guess I can't quite buy her characterizations in this one--specifically, the good gangster and the bad gangster, brothers in fact. The good gangster is an honest, upstanding, man-of-his-word loan shark who. I think the good gangster only kills people who deserve it, whereas the bad gangster kills people when it isn't really necessary... I dunno.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby pennstater2005 » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:43 pm

"The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism." John Bogle

Good so far……...
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:17 am

"Trader of Secrets" by Steve Martini.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:42 pm

A Night of Long Knives, the second of a series of books by Rebecca Cantrell portraying a young journalist trying to survive in Nazi Germany.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby camontgo » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:59 am

Inspired by this thread, viewtopic.php?t=73748, I just started reading the 1973 edition of A Random Walk Down Wall Street. I was able to find a copy of the 1973 edition in very good condition for $4 (including shipping!) on Abebooks.com.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:03 pm

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

Postby OldOne » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:06 pm

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby norookie » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:00 pm

:D reading as much as I can!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:24 pm

norookie wrote:QUICK! for me anyway, another "The end of wall street as we know it" -Dave Kansas! initially, a good addition to an individuals financial literacy. :wink: Chaz reads to much.

I enjoy reading books and surfing the internet since retiring - better than working.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby lucky3 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:58 pm

Nelson DeMille's The Panther just came out and I bought it...one of the best suspense and crime authors.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby MP173 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:44 pm

Is The Panther by Nelson DeMille a John Corey series book?

I am currently reading Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby GregV » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:15 pm

Just finished 1491 by Charles Mann. After a short detour to read Black List by Brad Thor, I'm currently reading Mr Mann's followup book, 1493. Interesting and entertaining.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Five Scoop » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:23 pm

Common Sense by Thomas Paine
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby communipaw » Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:54 pm

Not Taco Bell Material [Adam Corolla] - a very bad family life and youth that he basically has overcome. Well written, funny --- but sad.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Fallible » Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:42 am

chaz wrote:
norookie wrote:QUICK! for me anyway, another "The end of wall street as we know it" -Dave Kansas! initially, a good addition to an individuals financial literacy. :wink: Chaz reads to much.

I enjoy reading books and surfing the internet since retiring - better than working.


No such thing as reading too much (of which there is too little), only reading too little (of which there is too much).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:42 pm

"A Wanted Man" by Lee Child.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby randomwalk » Thu Oct 25, 2012 2:55 pm

I just finished Titan by Ron Chernow.

Now reading King Leopold's Ghost by Adam Hochschild.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:20 pm

That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo. Not bad, kept me reading... if you like novels that describe the interior lives of unhappy writers, you'll like this one. Made me laugh out loud a couple of times. The passage where he remembers his picky-picky academic parents--always renter of housing from other academics on sabbatical--shopping for a Christmas tree:
Sometimes, just as it seemed a sale was imminent, Griffin's mother would sigh and say "There's a hole...." Griffin remembered one old guy who said, after his parents had rejected a dozen trees, "Lady, maybe there's something you don't understand. Those holes you keep seein's the space between the g*****n branches. Wasn't for the spaces, the tree would be solid f*****' wood....

Once the tree was upright, Griffin's father would pick the lock on the closet where the owners stored the stuff they didn't want ruined or broken, see what they had by way of Christmas decorations and berate their bad taste.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Fallible » Thu Oct 25, 2012 9:46 pm

nisiprius wrote:That Old Cape Magic, by Richard Russo. ...The passage where he remembers his picky-picky academic parents--always renter of housing from other academics on sabbatical--shopping for a Christmas tree:
Sometimes, just as it seemed a sale was imminent, Griffin's mother would sigh and say "There's a hole...." Griffin remembered one old guy who said, after his parents had rejected a dozen trees, "Lady, maybe there's something you don't understand. Those holes you keep seein's the space between the g*****n branches. Wasn't for the spaces, the tree would be solid f*****' wood....
...


I know I'm being picky-picky too, so forgive me, but a "hole" in a Christmas tree is usually where the space between branches is uneven and can't be covered up by decorations. I'm not even sure that in a large tree lot with hundreds of trees, it wouldn't be unusual to find a dozen or more trees with unacceptable "holes." I ended up wondering more about the lot salesman than the picky parents, who, btw, could be Bogleheads. :)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby tludwig23 » Thu Oct 25, 2012 10:01 pm

Currently reading Mortality by Christopher Hitchens. A very humorous account of a not very humorous subject.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby rmark1 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 10:02 pm

'Roundball to Rimfire, a history of Civil War small arms ammunition' - working on v.1 which covers muskets and rifles, later I'll move on to v. 2-3 carbines and handguns.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Five Scoop » Sun Oct 28, 2012 5:25 pm

Just finished reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine. It was always one of those works that I heard about in school but never got around to actually reading. I am impressed with the clarity of thought displayed in this work. Mind you, it is not very long (only 86 pages on my Kindle edition) but was still very powerful.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Mon Oct 29, 2012 4:20 pm

"Hell's Corner" by David Baldacci.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Mon Oct 29, 2012 7:47 pm

Just finished The Trembling of a Leaf: Little Stories of the South Sea Islands, by W. Somerset Maugham, which I'd never read... pretty good, although an awful lot of the protagonists commit suicide. The story "Rain" is, of course, sensational, one of those stories I'd heard of but never actually gotten around to reading.

Now I'm alternating between reading bits of The Magician, by W. Somerset Maugham, featuring a character loosely based on Aleister Crowley (of whom I know little), and The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, by Alexander McCall Smith. They balance pretty well, The Magician being just too, too dark-toned and creepy and The Limpopo Academy being just too, too saccharine.

Oh, The Magician has investing relevance:
'I am astonished that you should never have tried such an interesting experiment yourself,' said Arthur to Oliver Haddo.

'I have,' answered the other calmly. 'My father lost his power of speech shortly before he died, and it was plain that he sought with all his might to tell me something. A year after his death, I called up his phantom from the grave so that I might learn what I took to be a dying wish. The circumstances of the apparition are so similar to those I have just told you that it would only bore you if I repeated them. The only difference was that my father actually spoke.'

'What did he say?' asked Susie.

'He said solemnly: "Buy Ashantis, they are bound to go up."

'I did as he told me; but my father was always unlucky in speculation, and they went down steadily. I sold out at considerable loss, and concluded that in the world beyond they are as ignorant of the tendency of the Stock Exchange as we are in this vale of sorrow.'
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:16 pm

Perilous Statecraft: An Insider's Account of the Iran-Contra Affair by Michael A. Ledeen.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby blacktupelo » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:42 pm

"Garlic Ballads" by this year's Nobel Literature prize winner Mo Yan. A story of love, and the struggles in China by the poor peasant farmers. Like nothing else I've read in its setting and description of life.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Fri Nov 02, 2012 9:58 pm

Just finished The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection, by Alexander McCall Smith. The mixture as before. Readable, enjoyable, but he's probably written too many, it's beginning to sound a little formulaic. It really bothers me how McCall Smith neglects the two kids, Motholeli and Puso, that Mma. Ramotswe and J.L.B. Matekoni adopted, fairly early in the series. Click, click, yes, the very second book in the series, The Tears of the Giraffe. Motholeli is confined to a wheelchair. They do get mentioned from time to time in the series, but they play an astonishingly small role in the life of Mma. Ramotswe; on the testimony of amount of time the book spends describing it, one would think that bush tea was more important to Mma. Ramotswe than her kids.

Jack London hired Sinclair Lewis to write plots for him. I do sometimes wish McCall Smith would hire someone to work out slightly better plot gimmicks to explain how Mma. Ramotswe extricates people from difficulties and solves mysteries. But one must suspend disbelief. I did see a TV documentary in which McCall Smith explains how he deliberately underplays some of the dark aspects of life in Botswana; HIV is never mentioned, and until I saw the documentary, it had never occurred to me to wonder how the orphans in the orphan farm had become orphaned.

Have started Rifleman Dodd, C. S. Forester's novel of the Peninsular War.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby denismurf » Sat Nov 03, 2012 2:28 am

Just finished God and the New Physics by Paul Davies. No answers here, but plenty of astonishing facts and plausible speculation about the universe, at one end of the size scale, and quantum mechanics, at the other end.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby market timer » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:45 am

1Q84 by Murakami.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Blues » Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:47 am

Just finished "Into The Fire" by Dakota Meyer...

...and now starting "Sutton" by J.R. Moehringer
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Fallible » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:15 pm

nisiprius wrote:...
Jack London hired Sinclair Lewis to write plots for him. ...


I didn't know that and it sounds a bit like Shakespeare's plays using plots from various historical and other sources. I wonder how common this is in fiction, but I suppose it doesn't make that much difference since it's mainly what you do with what you borrowed that counts. Interesting though and I'm glad you mentioned it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby MP173 » Sun Nov 04, 2012 6:26 pm

The Price of Politics by Robert Woodward was read this week.

Now reading Extreme Productivity by Rober Pozen.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:12 pm

Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard P. Feynman.

Funny, inspiring and informative.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby gkaplan » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:58 pm

The One from the Other by Philip Kerr. This is the fourth Bernie Gunther novel, written in 2006, some fifteen years after the third.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Sun Nov 04, 2012 8:59 pm

Fallible wrote:
nisiprius wrote:...
Jack London hired Sinclair Lewis to write plots for him. ...
I didn't know that and it sounds a bit like Shakespeare's plays using plots from various historical and other sources. I wonder how common this is in fiction, but I suppose it doesn't make that much difference since it's mainly what you do with what you borrowed that counts. Interesting though and I'm glad you mentioned it.
Jack London apparently had a lot of trouble with plots, and admitted that "Expression, you see—with me—is far easier than invention." He was accused of plagiarism or at least stealing ideas on a number of occasions. I think most creative people "borrow" ideas to some extent, and work and rework our great cultural commons; it's part of what Pete Seeger calls "the folk process."
Last edited by nisiprius on Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Default User BR » Mon Nov 05, 2012 3:33 am

ruralavalon wrote:Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard P. Feynman.

Did you get to the part about the dollar?


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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Fallible » Mon Nov 05, 2012 11:12 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fallible wrote:
nisiprius wrote:...
Jack London hired Sinclair Lewis to write plots for him. ...
I didn't know that and it sounds a bit like Shakespeare's plays using plots from various historical and other sources. I wonder how common this is in fiction, but I suppose it doesn't make that much difference since it's mainly what you do with what you borrowed that counts. Interesting though and I'm glad you mentioned it.
Jack London apparently had a log of trouble with plots, and admitted that "Expression, you see—with me—is far easier than invention." He was accused of plagiarism or at least stealing ideas on a number of occasions. ...


From the wiki link, it appears that only "The Bishop's Vision" contained blatant plagiarism, but it's not clear whether Harris got the 1/60th royalties he wanted.
Plagiarism to one degree or another may be tolerated more in the world of fiction than in, say, academia or journalism, but I think in this case London crossed the line, wherever the line may be.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby chaz » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:39 pm

"Death in Paradise" by Robert Parker.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Mon Nov 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Default User BR wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard P. Feynman.

Did you get to the part about the dollar?
Brian

Huh? I must not be that far yet.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Default User BR » Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:03 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
Default User BR wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard P. Feynman.

Did you get to the part about the dollar?

Huh? I must not be that far yet.

According to the Table of Contents on Amazon, it's a bit less than halfway in.


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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 05, 2012 6:58 pm

Which is the book in which he relates an incident in which agrees to accept a speaking invitation at a state university, on condition that he will not have to sign his name more than thirteen times, including the check?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby nisiprius » Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:04 pm

Just finished Plain Murder, by C. S. Forester (best known for the Horatio Hornblower books). It's very good, although the ending isn't too satisfying. I wish he'd written more of his psychological murder "mysteries" (in quotes because this is the genre, like Columbo, in which there is no mystery, you know from the beginning whodunnit, you just don't know how they are going to be brought to justice).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Bungo » Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:43 pm

Just started The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Fallible » Tue Nov 06, 2012 8:23 pm

Read David Freedman's "Wrong." "Why experts keep failing us - and how to know when not to trust them" after Nisiprius nicely referred to the book in a previous thread (viewtopic.php?f=10&t=104656&p=1520583). Would especially recommend reading Chapter 9 on "rules for not being misled by experts" and even writing them down for reference and application the next time a new expert forecast comes along.

Now starting on "Bull by the Horns," (neat subtitle: "Fighting to save Main Street from Wall Street and Wall Street from Itself") by former FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair, once referred to (as she rather proudly mentions and details here) "The Skunk at the Garden Party."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Patience » Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:32 am

Few pages into The Accidental Investment Banker, by Jonathan A. Knee, and is very interesting and edifying!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby Tim_in_GA » Wed Nov 07, 2012 12:10 pm

Currently reading "Empire of Shadows: The Epic Story of Yellowstone."

After visiting Yellowstone for the first time this year I wanted to read more about the history behind the first explorers and the names behind the various valleys and mountains. It really gets into the backgrounds and adventures of men like Jim Bridger and Nathaniel Langford as well as the struggles with the Indians. But sometimes it goes on a little long and dry and you wish they would just get to the point. It's been slow to get through it but there are enough fascinating parts to keep me going. Hopefully I can finish before it has to go back to the library.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby bungalow10 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:28 pm

I'm currently reading The Source by James Michener. So good!

I have a request for this group - I just found out I'm absorbing a small team at work - they will all be reporting to me on Monday. I haven't had direct reports in a few years, so I feel I'm a little rusty. Anyone have any book suggestions on helping them (and me) with this transition, as well as a book or two on managing people in general? These are knowledge workers, but they have jobs that are fairly uninspiring and the group isn't very self-motivated. Motivating them will be important.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:39 pm

In the Heart of the Sea, The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, by Nathaniel Philbrick.

Just started this, but already learning a lot about 19th century whaling from Nantucket.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby ruralavalon » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:41 pm

nisiprius wrote:Which is the book in which he relates an incident in which agrees to accept a speaking invitation at a state university, on condition that he will not have to sign his name more than thirteen times, including the check?

Thats in this one, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Postby westcoast » Thu Nov 08, 2012 6:51 pm

Just started Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. First few chapters have been very good, hard to put down the kindle.
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