What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Fri Jan 15, 2016 10:02 am

I have to thank "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" for making me aware of Lee Child and the Jack Reacher series. I just read my first one--Without Fail and will be reading more. Hard to believe they've been around for twenty years. It's almost like discovering the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series, which I'm ashamed to say I didn't read until, maybe 2006 or so, with the big difference of course that the Patrick O'Brian books are actually good while these are just good entertainment.

I don't know if the series is formulaic, but in this one Jack Reacher is your garden-variety Superman: he's just bigger and stronger than everyone, AND every single one of his guess and hunches pan out. Lee Child does a wonderfully workmanlike job on constructing and explaining all of the implausible plot twists and making them believable for just long enough for to believe them. Even the main premise--it's a plot to assassinate the vice-president of the United States--is interesting. Why would anyone want to assassinate the vice-president? Yes, there's a good-(enough) reason.

Funny thing about this one, in light of recent events, is that in this book the premise is that the Secret Service is the elite organization that is more-respected than the FBI.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:21 pm

Night Vision, by Randy Wayne White.

A Doc Ford adventure novel, involving the kidnapping of a young Guatemalan girl. This is a great story.

Florida's Civil War Battles, by Stephen Webb.

I was not aware that there was significant Union sentiment in Florida during the Civil War, or that significant numbers of Floridians served in the Union Army and Navy, or that black units served in Florida, or that most of coastal Florida was in Union hands throughout much of the Civil War. The book recounts battles near Pensacola, Tampa, Jacksonville, Gainsville and St Marks.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby market timer » Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:12 pm

A Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe

Just started reading this one. I'm a big fan of Bonfire of the Vanities.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby steve roy » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:03 pm

nisiprius wrote:I have to thank "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" for making me aware of Lee Child and the Jack Reacher series. I just read my first one--Without Fail and will be reading more. Hard to believe they've been around for twenty years. It's almost like discovering the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series, which I'm ashamed to say I didn't read until, maybe 2006 or so, with the big difference of course that the Patrick O'Brian books are actually good while these are just good entertainment.

I don't know if the series is formulaic, but in this one Jack Reacher is your garden-variety Superman: he's just bigger and stronger than everyone, AND every single one of his guess and hunches pan out. Lee Child does a wonderfully workmanlike job on constructing and explaining all of the implausible plot twists and making them believable for just long enough for to believe them. Even the main premise--it's a plot to assassinate the vice-president of the United States--is interesting. Why would anyone want to assassinate the vice-president? Yes, there's a good-(enough) reason.

Funny thing about this one, in light of recent events, is that in this book the premise is that the Secret Service is the elite organization that is more-respected than the FBI.


I should try another Reacher. A friend gave me a dog-eared paperback of a different Reacher adventure wherein the big guy spends endless amounts of time (i.e. pages) sitting in a vehicle with a pack of killers, going cross country. I plowed along, but petered out about 200 pages in.

I should try the thing again, but I find the prose pedestrian. I gotta admit, Raymond Chandler, all these years later, ruins a lot of thriller-mystery writers for me because Ray's prose gets up and walks, and many other writers' simply don't. (I do have a fondness for Robert Parker/"Spenser" and John D. MacDonald/"Travis McGee" however. And some of the Ross MacDonald books are quite nice.)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:09 pm

I'm a big fan of John Irving (The World According to Garp). I've started his new book, Avenue of Mysteries. So far a very different story than so many of his others. The blurb describes it as a "novel of fate and memory." I'm not enjoying it so far.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dave55 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:22 pm

Just read "A Drink Before the War" by Dennis Lehane - excellent.

Now reading,"The Forgotten Man" by Robert Crais

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dave55 » Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:34 pm

steve roy wrote:
nisiprius wrote:I have to thank "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" for making me aware of Lee Child and the Jack Reacher series. I just read my first one--Without Fail and will be reading more. Hard to believe they've been around for twenty years. It's almost like discovering the Patrick O'Brian Aubrey/Maturin series, which I'm ashamed to say I didn't read until, maybe 2006 or so, with the big difference of course that the Patrick O'Brian books are actually good while these are just good entertainment.

I don't know if the series is formulaic, but in this one Jack Reacher is your garden-variety Superman: he's just bigger and stronger than everyone, AND every single one of his guess and hunches pan out. Lee Child does a wonderfully workmanlike job on constructing and explaining all of the implausible plot twists and making them believable for just long enough for to believe them. Even the main premise--it's a plot to assassinate the vice-president of the United States--is interesting. Why would anyone want to assassinate the vice-president? Yes, there's a good-(enough) reason.

Funny thing about this one, in light of recent events, is that in this book the premise is that the Secret Service is the elite organization that is more-respected than the FBI.


I should try another Reacher. A friend gave me a dog-eared paperback of a different Reacher adventure wherein the big guy spends endless amounts of time (i.e. pages) sitting in a vehicle with a pack of killers, going cross country. I plowed along, but petered out about 200 pages in.

I should try the thing again, but I find the prose pedestrian. I gotta admit, Raymond Chandler, all these years later, ruins a lot of thriller-mystery writers for me because Ray's prose gets up and walks, and many other writers' simply don't. (I do have a fondness for Robert Parker/"Spenser" and John D. MacDonald/"Travis McGee" however. And some of the Ross MacDonald books are quite nice.)


Steve I read all of the Reacher books, some even twice - excellent series! Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Dennis Lehane and Robert Crais are my favorite authors.
Dave

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:53 pm

Women Who Run WIth the Wolves, by Clarissa Pinkola Estés. I first read this in 1995. Twenty years later, I saw it sitting on my bookshelf, the pages starting to turn yellow. I picked up the book and started reading.

This is a book that needs to be read at least every twenty years. It will recharge your soul.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby kommisarrex » Sun Jan 24, 2016 10:18 am

letsgobobby wrote:
letsgobobby wrote:
Bone Clocks, David Mitchell. Halfway through. Reminds me a bit of Junot Diaz. Wild ride. Some parts are heartachingly compelling..

The Bone Clocks has stayed with me. I read a review of it which highlighted in particular Chapters 1 and 3 (I think). At any rate, I have to say that I can't stop thinking about those 2 chapters. The first, and the one where a main character works at a ski resort in Switzerland. Those 2 chapters keep flooding back to me. So I think the book overall was only ok - the ending wasn't as powerful as the beginning - but that may only be because the beginning was so damn good.


Just finished Bone Clocks. A very compelling and intriguing build-up that devolves into the silly, superfluous, and preachy in the last chapter/time period of the book. It really deserved a more intelligent, nuanced, and well thought-out finish. I think the author just gave up (or was thinking about the movie rights).

The first part was good enough to make me want to read more of the author. What did folks think of Cloud Atlas? FWIW, I don't read a ton of fiction.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby dual » Sun Jan 24, 2016 1:12 pm

I just finished reading "SJWs always lie" by Vox Day, which has been the #1 best seller in political philosophy on Amazon for several months. It's really two books. The first part describes two recent skirmishes in the culture wars, #gamergate and the Puppies controversy of science fiction's Hugo awards, from a major participant. It is interesting to see how these play out in today's battlefield of social media. The second half is an instruction manual on tactics in the war comparable in some respects to Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals. It goes beyond the tactics in Alinsky's book, which can be used by either side, to discuss uses of Aristotle's rhetoric particularly well suited for the internet battlefield. A fascinating book well worth reading regardless your leanings.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fbone » Sun Jan 24, 2016 7:42 pm

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green.
I wanted to read an early detective story and chose this one. It was ok although I felt the ending was a bit "out there." The author used a reveal method that isn't my favorite type. It's a common one used in early mysteries so I was expecting it. I did enjoy how the author developed motives for each character except for the murderer (?) which was unexpected.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:35 am

Mangrove Squeeze, by Laurence Shames.

The woman who sells ads for the weekly paper in Key West wants to be a reporter. She thinks that all of the cheap T-shirt shops in Key West are run by Russian gangsters as a front for their criminal enterprises. Her amateur snooping gets her entangled with the local Russian Mafia, which is trafficking plutonium among other things. Everything turns out well, except for a couple of murders. A fun book, I recommend it.

Cuba Straits, by Randy Wayne White.

Another Doc Ford south-west Florida adventure, featuring his aging hippie pal Tomlinson and a Cuban illegal immigrant who wants to come to the U.S. to play shortstop in major league baseball. And of course it's all complicated by the Castro regime, Russian intelligence agents, Santeria, beautiful women, fast boats, and random craziness.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby patgrennan » Wed Jan 27, 2016 9:59 am

heartwood wrote:I'm a big fan of John Irving (The World According to Garp). I've started his new book, Avenue of Mysteries. So far a very different story than so many of his others. The blurb describes it as a "novel of fate and memory." I'm not enjoying it so far.


you should try Prayer for Owen Meany, if you like Irving....i loved this book.....

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:52 pm

I have just finished Two Awesome Hours by Josh Davis. I have read many books and blog posts on personal productivity and expected that this one would present the information I already knew in different ways. The book has delivered what I expected and offered some new ideas. The book is built around five productivity strategies:
1. Recognize your decision points
2. Manage your mental energy
3. Stop fighting distractions
4. Leverage your mind-body connection
5. Make your workplace work for you

The topics and ideas that were new to me included:
1. The concept of decision points and the tips for utilizing them
2. Recommendation to let the mind wander (but NOT to use it as an excuse to check social media, etc.)
3. Discussion of the effect of carbohydrates, proteins and fats on mental sharpness
4. References to recent neuroscience findings

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby blmarsha123 » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:33 pm

Someone mentioned "The Golem of Hollywood" by Kellerman. I just finished the follow on, "The Golem of Paris" which among other things, fills in a very big part of the back story.

Someone mentioned the Reacher books by Lee Child, which I like for my "got two hours what I can consume" pleasure reading. Same holds for the the Swagger books by Stephen Hunter, Lucas Davenport (by John Sandford), the Spenser, Jesse Stone books by the late Robert Parker and Dave Robicheaux by James Lee Burke.

I also just finished "Depraved Heart" by Patricia Cornwell, another of the Scarpetta novels. I think Patty's got more than a little paranoia going on with data fiction and the dark web not to mention a super psychopath. Almost too much.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby BeerMoney » Wed Jan 27, 2016 6:49 pm

For Whom The Bell Tolls by Hemingway. Liking it so far. Now I want to go to Spain and drink some wine and absinthe in the mountains.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:04 pm

Boomerang: Travels in the new third world, ( :wink: USA) by Mike Lewis.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sun Jan 31, 2016 12:25 pm

Trawler Trash, by Ed Robinson.

His wife has died and a middle-aged man cashes in his retirement fund, embezzles from his employer, buys a boat and heads for the British Virgin Islands to spread his wife's ashes on the beach where he had proposed to her.

The Seminole Wars, by Joe Knetsch.

Covers the three Seminole Wars, the short periods of relative peace between them, and the settlement of Florida in the years 1817 - 1858.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Sun Jan 31, 2016 1:45 pm

I just finished "The Guilty Novel by David Baldacci". Started off well and really died at the end. Only the 2nd or 3rd Baldacci I've read and I might read more depending upon availability through Overdrive. I wouldn't pay for this one.

I'm into my first Ruth Rendell novel, Dark Corners. So far OK. Seems to be several interlocking plots connected by a single friend in common.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Leeraar » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:38 pm

Gary Smith: "Standard Deiations" (2014).
"Flawed assumptions, tortured data, and other ways to lie with statistics"

Robert Schiller says: "A very entertaining book about a very serious problem. We deceive ourselves all the time with statistics, and it is time we wised up."

I see this book as simply generating trouble for me, in my campaign against data-mining (he calls it data-grubbing) to concoct theories.

So far, a great read as I enter Chapter 3.

L.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:28 pm

Finishing the first of the highly-regarded "Ancillary" SF series by Anne Leckie, Ancillary Justice. Far-future space opera background. The central character is the sole remaining ancillary (One Esk 19) of the troop ship "Justice of Toren". Ancillaries are people that were converted to controlled servants of a ship's central mind. One Esk 19 has an ambitious revenge plot that includes attempting to destroy as much of the ruler of the empire as possible. The leader itself uses ancillaries, and at some point became divided into at least two opposing factions. One of those was responsible for the destruction of JoT.

A bit talky in the beginning, but there was a lot of background information to get through. The action has picked up and I will go right to Ancillary Sword immediately.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:33 pm

^^^ Thanks! I'll put it on my "what to read next" list.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby goldendad » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:47 pm

"The Time of Our Lives" by Peggy Noonan

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:31 pm

Earl Lemongrab wrote:Finishing the first of the highly-regarded "Ancillary" SF series by Anne Leckie, Ancillary Justice. Far-future space opera background. The central character is the sole remaining ancillary (One Esk 19) of the troop ship "Justice of Toren". Ancillaries are people that were converted to controlled servants of a ship's central mind. One Esk 19 has an ambitious revenge plot that includes attempting to destroy as much of the ruler of the empire as possible. The leader itself uses ancillaries, and at some point became divided into at least two opposing factions. One of those was responsible for the destruction of JoT.

A bit talky in the beginning, but there was a lot of background information to get through. The action has picked up and I will go right to Ancillary Sword immediately.

Earl


I've read and enjoyed each of the three volumes. I had some adjustment to gender pronouns and am still unsure of M/F assignments. Nonetheless an enjoyable read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Wildebeest » Sun Jan 31, 2016 10:02 pm

Finished "Swiped" by Adam Levin. Non fiction on how to protect yourself from phishers, scammers and identy thieves. Interesting but did groundbreaking.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Leeraar » Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:38 pm

Leeraar wrote:Gary Smith: "Standard Deiations" (2014).
"Flawed assumptions, tortured data, and other ways to lie with statistics"

Robert Schiller says: "A very entertaining book about a very serious problem. We deceive ourselves all the time with statistics, and it is time we wised up."

I see this book as simply generating trouble for me, in my campaign against data-mining (he calls it data-grubbing) to concoct theories.

So far, a great read as I enter Chapter 3.

L.

Now at page 100, starting Chapter 7. It was getting a little lame, until I read his discussion of the Monty Hall problem, and the two-child paradox. Read on!

L.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dantes » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:47 am

One Man's Meat by E. B. White. Essays written from 1938 just into 1942; an interesting
contrast to George Orwell's Essays which I also read recently. Orwell's essays are outward-
looking, socially and politically oriented; White's are more personal, centered on his
experience of life on a small farm on the coast of Maine. In both cases the war comes
to assume a dominant focus.

My favorite line is his description of farming in rural areas at that time as 20%
agriculture and 80% repairs.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:43 pm

Couple Mechanics by Nelly Alard, translation from French. I have heard a discussion of this book on one of the NPR programs and decided to read it.

The book is about a married couple. The story starts when the husband calls to tell his wife that he can't go with her to the movies, because his girlfriend is having an epileptic fit. The plot unfolds in strange ways. It's not a caricature on French relationships, where everyone has sex with everyone else without giving it the second thought. It's a deep dive into the psychological essence of the couple relationships, of the couple mechanics so to speak. The three main characters defy stereotypes. While there is a lot of talk, my pulse was racing in anticipation of extreme events. In addition to the surprises spread throughout the book, there is one at the very end.

It is not a chick-lit. It is about relationships, but it's an intelligent book about relationships.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Billrich3 » Mon Feb 01, 2016 6:26 pm

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
Sep 20, 2011
by Candice Millard. biography of Pres J. Garfield
For me rated 10 stars !!

Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West 2007
by Hampton Sides
Another great book by author Sides. Hated for the story to end.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Leeraar » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:19 pm

Leeraar wrote:Gary Smith: "Standard Deiations" (2014).
"Flawed assumptions, tortured data, and other ways to lie with statistics"

Robert Schiller says: "A very entertaining book about a very serious problem. We deceive ourselves all the time with statistics, and it is time we wised up."

I see this book as simply generating trouble for me, in my campaign against data-mining (he calls it data-grubbing) to concoct theories.

So far, a great read as I enter Chapter 3.

L.

Just about done with the book, it's quite dispiriting. The issue at hand is looking at the data before forming a theory, which is about the only thing you can do in investing.

The depressing thing (to me) is how easy it is to come up with and be misled by plausible inferences. People do this all the time, sometimes with good intent, sometimes not. (And, very often on this site.)

The book is a good read for anyone interested in data, statistics, and analysis. I come away with new respect for people who are responsible to figure this stuff out. The book is worth reading just for the explanation of why we sort of believe that power lines cause childhood leukemia. (Actually, there may be a stronger correlation with Little League ball fields than with power lines.) Also, the discussions of Regression to the Mean, The Law of Averages, and the like.

For example, while I was trapped in Washington DC by the snowstorm, my wife was sick for a week. It turns out there were three bags of salad in our fridge, all from that same (Dole) plant in Ohio, all different brand names. How would we have figured that out, if not for the news reports? (The real useful lesson might be that Aldi packaged salad comes from Dole.) It might have helped that the person who died was in the next county, but news reports only document less than two dozen Listeria illnesses, over a period of months. How on earth do you trace that back to a single facility?

Similarly for the GM ignition switch thing. During the time about 130 people died in crashes in cars due to defective switches, over 130,000 people died in crashes in GM cars. No excuses for GM, but I can't imagine how one would start to connect the dots in cases like these.

(These two cases are mine. They are not in the book.)

The statistics of rare events are very interesting to me. And yes, I drove twice to the store to buy PowerBall tickets, ignoring the fact I was hundreds of times more likely to be killed on the two-mile drive than I was to win the jackpot.

L.

P.S. Next up: David J. Hand, "The Improbability Principle". "Why coincidences, miracles, and rare events happen every day."
You can get what you want, or you can just get old. (Billy Joel, "Vienna")

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:07 pm

I just finished Black As He's Painted by Ngaio Marsh.

Ngombwana is a fictional African nation that emerged in the wake of colonialism. Its President is an old school chum of Inspector Roderick Alleyn. The President, on an official visit to London, insists that Alleyn handle his security, rather than Special Branch. Special Branch is not pleased about this, since the President is known to have some very deadly enemies, and the threats only increase when the ambassador to Ngombwana is slain, apparently in a case of mistaken identity.

This is another superb Ngaio Marsh crime novel. I have just four more books to read in my endeavor to read all her books in the order in which they were written. Beyond that, I plan on reading her autobiography and at least one of the biographies that have written of her.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:49 pm

Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, By James Gleick.

A good biography. The book covers both Feynman's very interesting personal life, and his contributions to physics (which I largely did not understand).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby mlott1 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:37 pm

market timer wrote:A Man in Full, by Tom Wolfe

Just started reading this one. I'm a big fan of Bonfire of the Vanities.
For some reason I have always had trouble reading Wolfe, even books that I really wanted to like and enjoy, like the Bonfire of the Vanities. Just something about his style that tends to annoy me just a little. Having said that, A Man in Full is one of the few books of his that I read all the way through and enjoyed.
Hope this formats OK, I just joined this site yesterday.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby mlott1 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 2:43 pm

The Intel Trinity was a very good book. I'm not a tech person at all, so I was surprised at how much I liked it. Don't remember the author, and I've already turned the book back into the library, but it is a fairly recent book, I seem to recall a 2014 copyright.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby dubsem » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:39 pm

G.O.O.D.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Leeraar » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:11 pm

David J. Hand, "The Improbability Principle". "Why coincidences, miracles, and rare events happen every day." (Scientific American, 2014)

A very interesting, sometimes amusing, book. The Improbability Principle is made up of a number of threads on very small probabilities, very large numbers, and the like. His Chapter 7, "The Probability Lever" explores all those impossible things that did happen in the last couple of decades: For example, the crash of 1987 was expected to happen less than once in 20 billion years, the age of the universe. Similarly the collapse of Long-Term Capital Management, etc.

L.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby SailingAway » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:20 pm

The Girl in the Spider's Web, a new author David Lagercrantz, picking up the series where Larsson left off at his death.

About a third of the way through and pretty good, similar writing style and form as the first three.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Wildebeest » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:35 pm

Faceless Killers by Henning Mankell. "Sweden's greatest living mystery writer" LA Times

First Kurt Wallander novel set in 1990. Remarkably current. I enjoyed it and plan to read the next nine.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Sconie » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:40 pm

Just finished "The Oregon Trail - A New American Journey" by Rinker Buck. Found it to be a wonderful and enchanting "read"---a modern day account of traveling the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon---only a 150 years later. A charming book; reminiscent of Bill Bryson's comical "A Walk in the Woods." A Publisher's Weekly and NY Times bestseller.
I know that you think you understand what you thought I said, but I don't think you realize that what I said is necessarily what I meant......

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:55 pm

Extraordinary popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles Mackay, very enlightening.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Sun Feb 07, 2016 2:57 pm

Just discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and am at the glorious stage of having discovered a new series author that I like, and but not yet at the stage where I've cracked the "formula" and get disappointed at their being formulaic. Currently reading Nothing to Lose. What to call them? Thrillers, I guess. I haven't even figured out yet how seriously Child expects us to take the tales. As probably everybody already knows, Jack Reacher is your basic knight-errant, an ex-MP who (I think I've got some of the formula) bums around aimlessly around carrying nothing but cash, an ATM card, ID and a toothbrush. No clothing, and he never does laundry, he just buys new cheap clothing every few days. He continually stumbles on fiendish plots which he foils. The series is full of practical tips on how to manage those everyday situations here you need to take on six men in a fistfight. Reacher is your basic superman, he always wins. He's also fairly intellectual and knows how to respond when female police chiesf of small towns make references to Zeno, as female police chiefs of small towns so often do.
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 VI

Postby Ricola » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:25 pm

Just finished The Closers (Harry Bosch) by Michael Connelly, I always enjoy Michael Connelly novels as entertainment. Now readying Company Man by John Rizzo and The Pentagon's Brain by Annie Jacobsen, both non fiction and interesting historically.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Sun Feb 07, 2016 3:26 pm

nisiprius wrote:Just discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and am at the glorious stage of having discovered a new series author that I like, and but not yet at the stage where I've cracked the "formula" and get disappointed at their being formulaic. Currently reading Nothing to Lose. What to call them? Thrillers, I guess. I haven't even figured out yet how seriously Child expects us to take the tales. As probably everybody already knows, Jack Reacher is your basic knight-errant, an ex-MP who (I think I've got some of the formula) bums around aimlessly around carrying nothing but cash, an ATM card, ID and a toothbrush. No clothing, and he never does laundry, he just buys new cheap clothing every few days. He continually stumbles on fiendish plots which he foils. The series is full of practical tips on how to manage those everyday situations here you need to take on six men in a fistfight. Reacher is your basic superman, he always wins. He's also fairly intellectual and knows how to respond when female police chiesf of small towns make references to Zeno, as female police chiefs of small towns so often do.


I discovered Lee Child while on a business trip to NZ many years ago. Two of his books were on the bestseller list in the Wellington newspaper. I'd never heard of him or Jack Reacher before. I picked up the first upon return to the US. Since then I've read each book, eagerly waiting for the next to arrive in the Fall(?).

There is at least one formula to his writing, for many of his books. In the interest of your continued enjoyment, I won't reveal it here.

If you haven't seen the Tom Cruise movie "Jack Reacher", it's worth a view to see how Tom compares to your image of Jack. A second movie is scheduled for release later this year.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Feb 08, 2016 1:26 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
jdb wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
jdb wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
A few people have highly recommended this book. Is it really life changing?

Victoria

Haven't read it but apropos just signed up on Amazon for "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F#ck. How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do" by Sarah Knight, due out end of this month. Will report back as to whether life changing.


Yes, please report back! In the mean time, I'll try the tidying up magic.

Victoria

Just received and read the book. And can truthfully say, excuse the language, that I do not give a f**** about the book. Way too sophomoric. But probably would feel same way about the tidying up book. In fact kind of felt that way about many books read in 2015 with a few exceptions, ...


Thank you for the feedback. I decided to check the book out from the library, and if the first few pages appeal to me, I'll order my own copy from Amazon.

Generally, I take a pragmatic approach to my environment and don't like touchy-feely recommendations. The 80/20 approach to tidying up could be to adapt a few key concepts from the book and ignore the rest. The most useful recommendation is to evaluate every item NOT on whether it could be useful BUT whether one can live without it; and get rid of those one can live without. I already know this concept but don't always practice it. The book may provide me with images that would trigger my subconscious mental processes towards better decisions.

Victoria


The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up has become available at my library and I read it in one sitting. My plan was to stop reading the book as soon as I found it useless, but I ended up reading the entire book. It's not a GREAT book by my standards, not even a VERY GOOD book, but it's a USEFUL book, and I have picked up some useful TIPS.

A negative part, mentioned by the others, is recommendations to talk to your things and to care about their feelings. But the psychology of things is not the essence of the approach. The main reason for Kondo's system effectiveness is that you work on your own psyche, on your own subconscious processes, which are in charge of your messiness or tidiness.

The value I've derived from the reading was three-fold:
1. I picked up some interesting practical tips.
2. I identified some Behavioral Economics and Cognitive Psychology principles that make Kondo's approach work.
3. I self-diagnosed an issue that is tangentially related to tidying up and keeps me ineffective in my main pursuit.

Here are some examples:
1. Practical tips that I did not know or use before:
- start tidying up with easier categories (clothes) and end with difficult ones (former boyfriend's letters)
- reduce the number of categories, do not separate clothes into "winter" and "summer"
- store clothes vertically, and tips on how to fold them so that they would stand

2. Behavioral Economics and Cognitive Psychology principles:
- We resist throwing things away due to the endowment effect.
- When considering throwing things away we experience loss aversion. However, our cognition treats a loss as a loss regardless of its magnitude. One session of discarding several bags of stuff is less painful than several sessions of discarding smaller amounts of stuff. Thus, Kondo's recommendation to discard in one large swoop is right on.
- Decision-making depletes willpower, and exercise of willpower depletes decision-making ability. Deciding what to discard and where to store the remaining things is a very heavy decision-making activity. It undermines the willpower required to part with familiar things. Thus, psychological shortcuts are important including a good mood, no distractions, and most importantly, making emotional rather than rational decisions, i.e., "Do I like thing thing?" rather than "How likely am I to use this thing?"

Victoria
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dutch » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:42 pm

nisiprius wrote:Just discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and am at the glorious stage of having discovered a new series author that I like, and but not yet at the stage where I've cracked the "formula" and get disappointed at their being formulaic. Currently reading Nothing to Lose. What to call them? Thrillers, I guess. I haven't even figured out yet how seriously Child expects us to take the tales. As probably everybody already knows, Jack Reacher is your basic knight-errant, an ex-MP who (I think I've got some of the formula) bums around aimlessly around carrying nothing but cash, an ATM card, ID and a toothbrush. No clothing, and he never does laundry, he just buys new cheap clothing every few days. He continually stumbles on fiendish plots which he foils. The series is full of practical tips on how to manage those everyday situations here you need to take on six men in a fistfight. Reacher is your basic superman, he always wins. He's also fairly intellectual and knows how to respond when female police chiesf of small towns make references to Zeno, as female police chiefs of small towns so often do.


Try to resist the temptation to read the books one-after-another. When you space them out a little, the recurring elements don't become as annoying.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Mon Feb 08, 2016 2:48 pm

Dutch wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Just discovered Lee Child's Jack Reacher series and am at the glorious stage of having discovered a new series author that I like, and but not yet at the stage where I've cracked the "formula" and get disappointed at their being formulaic.
Try to resist the temptation to read the books one-after-another. When you space them out a little, the recurring elements don't become as annoying.
I did try. In fact I read Nelson DeMille's Radiant Angel as a spacer in between two of Lee Child's, and the only think I could think of during the story is that John Corey is like Jack Reacher but not as good. The old Donald Hamilton Matt Helm series is now being re-released in ebook format and I have one of those cued up, and maybe I'll read another of my remaining unread Desmond Bagley novels.
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 VI

Postby Fallible » Tue Feb 09, 2016 12:14 pm

Having lots of fun with "Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words" by Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic "xkcd." It's really less about simplifying complexities, of course, and more to do with just having some very clever fun with them. He should now take up Wall Street. :P
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby patrick013 » Tue Feb 09, 2016 6:55 pm

The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need - Larry Swedroe
& Joseph H. Hempen covers all the nuts and bolts quite well.

and

The Strategic Bond Investor - Anthony Crescenzi has alot of general economic
info related to bonds. Has a whole chapter on the yield curve, etc.. Close
to 400 pages.


Decided I was becoming too heuristic and needed a little paperwork.
Swedroe's book is the econometricians delight where Crescenzi's book
is more broad and rule of thumb but comprehensive and proven observations.
What one book doesn't have the other does. Good library if needed.

Crescenzi's new edition has a foreword by the former CEO of PIMCO, which
I haven't read.
age in bonds, buy-and-hold, 10 year business cycle

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby HikerNC » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:15 pm

Taking a break from John Grisham by reading Harry Markopolos's "No One Would Listen," about the writer's repeated attempts to tell the SEC that Madoff was a fraud without success. I got interested in reading his book after viewing the two-episode movie on Madoff last week on ABC TV.

I'm sure that sharks will always be looking to steal. Let's just hope we recognize their game before it's not too late.

Stay the course with Vanguard.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Wildebeest » Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:18 pm

Finished "The pyramid" by Henning Mankiel, The first Wallander Cases. This is the prequel.

Actually I like the foreword best. I read it after I read the book and was frustrated by the inconsistencies.

May be I should have waited with The Pyramid till I finished the series.
The Golden Rule: One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.


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