What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Postby VictoriaF » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:53 pm

gkaplan wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:
Based on your recommendation, I decided to place a hold on this book at my library. I taking Modern Hebrew language classes at Portland State. I finished my first year in June and will start my second year September 26th. I'm doing okay, if grades are any judge, but it's incredibly difficult. I asked my instructor before I started the first year how much studying he thinks one should do outside class. He said one hour a day. I find that I have to do much more than that, like two or three hours a day in addition to class time.


Benny Lewis's recommendations are different for beginners and those who want to improve already strong language skills. Beginners should emphasize communications with native speakers and deemphasize classes. After picking up a few key phrases from a phrasebook, one should dive right into conversations without using English. Continuing with the water analogy, in direct language communications, every extra word makes difference between sinking and swimming and the learning process driven by the survival instinct becomes more effective. You may consider traveling to Israel and speaking Hebrew there. Alternatively, you could find people who would speak Hebrew with you over Skype or similar systems.

Lewis has many recommendations for communications, including language exchanges where you speak with someone in English for 30 minutes, and then they speak in Hebrew with you. He warns about language partners who shift to English when conversations become difficult and provides tips for selecting free partners and paid instructors.

The total daily amount of time dedicated to the language learning should be over two hours, but these two hours do not have to be in one block of time. When people become really excited about language learning they do it all the time, e.g., reviewing new words for a few minutes while waiting for a bus.

I am contemplating learning the Czech language, and that was the reason for reading Lewis's book. If I decide to proceed with it, I will study on my own for a month using a phrasebook and online courses for beginners. Then I'll spend two weeks in Prague at an intensive language school. Then I'll spend a week at a health spa where I will try to communicate with people I don't know in Czech. After that, I will spend a week with some friends trying to impress them with my Czech.

Victoria


I am almost finished reading this book, and I don't have the same good vibe that you do, Victoria. I think the author is way too optimistic about a person attaining fluency in the time frame he writes about, no matter how motivated that person might be. Most people have other commitments besides learning a language and don't have the time to use the techniques and methods the author discusses in his book.


The author uses himself as an example, which may suggest bias. But I know of others who have followed Lewis's advice and learned four languages in a year. Scott Young and his friend Val Jaiswal have learned Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Korean. Young blogged about it in The Year Without English which includes the details of how they did it and videos of their conversations in various languages.

There is no guarantee that you or I will be able to replicate Lewis's and Young's achievements, but their accounts are a strong motivation for learning languages. And there is a lot of useful advice in Lewis's book to help us achieving fluency in three months, or in thirteen months.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Wed Sep 21, 2016 11:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby drwtsn32 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:57 pm

Recently finished "Seveneves" by Neal Stephenson. First 2/3 of the book I liked, but had a hard time getting into the last 1/3 when the story shifted.

Currently reading "Story of your life and others" by Ted Chiang....

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby d0gerz » Thu Sep 22, 2016 12:07 pm

heartwood wrote:
MJW wrote:
d0gerz wrote:Just started reading The Circle by Dave Eggers, the first book by this author I'm reading. About a young woman who goes to work at a software company that sounds a lot like Google, except creepier.

I will be interested to know what you think of The Circle after finishing it. I read it a year or two ago. It was interesting to me for about the first third of the book but then became too "out there" for me. Also, I can't think of the last time I read a book with a more unlikable main character.


Since you ask, I read The Circle when it first came out. I recall it was OK but not a read I enjoyed. The company seemed to mainly suggest Google, but it also had hallmarks of other tech companies: Apple and Facebook come to mind. I had already read his A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and later read his A Hologram for the King, a National Book Award finalist, and asked myself what each was about as I read, several times. I read several of the reviews and still don't get the acclaim.

When his Heroes of the Frontiers came out this past summer I skipped it. He's obviously a prolific author and has an audience for his style of novel. It's just not what I enjoy reading.

Finished the book today. I enjoyed it in general in that I kept reading till I finished.* It raised some interesting topics to think about. For example the role of privacy in the social media age, that there's potentially a group of people out there that thinks all information should be knowable and accessible as a fundamental human right, and that "privacy is theft" as it prevents the sharing of information. Don't agree with the notion but interesting to think about nevertheless.

As for plot changes and character development, they seemed quite abrupt at times and hard to make sense of but not to the point of making me lose interest. I don't know anything about the author so maybe not having any pre-conceived notions helped here.

*I've had a big problem in being able to finish books. I'll get stuck halfway, stop reading, and then after a certain point it's too late to restart. This year I learned a technique that I've put into practice with good results (no unfinished books thus far!). The trick is I read with a postcard size bookmark obscuring each sentence as I finish reading it, so that the only text I can see is what I haven't yet read. It prevents me from reading and re-reading the same passage over and over, and generally speeds things up a lot.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Texanbybirth » Thu Sep 22, 2016 1:49 pm

(re-reading) A Tale of Two Cities

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Sep 23, 2016 8:50 pm

Dreamland, by Sam Quinones.

This is an excellent book on the origins, causes and responses to the prescription drug and heroin addiction epidemic in the U.S. This is a very worthwhile book in my opinion.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:33 pm

Just finished Johnathan Clements 2016 Money guide 2016; IMO: Outstanding read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:20 pm

Amber Magic, by B. V. Larson. This is book 1 of 6 in the sci-fi fantasy Haven series. Not great, but readable. meh.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sun Sep 25, 2016 3:03 am

I just finished The Black Widow by Daniel Silva.

Gabriel Allon, the art restorer, spy, and assassin, is poised to become the chief of Israel’s secret intelligence service. On the eve of his promotion, however, events conspire to lure him into the field for one final operation. ISIS has detonated a massive bomb in the Marais district of Paris, and a desperate French government wants Gabriel to eliminate the man responsible before he can strike again.


This is one of the best books in this series, and I have read them all.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:37 pm

Elephants Can Remember, by Agatha Christie.

Many years ago her parents died by gunshot in a what seemed to be a suicide pact, but without an apparent reason for suicide. Now that she plans to marry her potential mother in law wants to know who killed whom. This is of course not an easy question to answer after so many years.

And why does the potential mother in law care anyway?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:55 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:
Based on your recommendation, I decided to place a hold on this book at my library. I taking Modern Hebrew language classes at Portland State. I finished my first year in June and will start my second year September 26th. I'm doing okay, if grades are any judge, but it's incredibly difficult. I asked my instructor before I started the first year how much studying he thinks one should do outside class. He said one hour a day. I find that I have to do much more than that, like two or three hours a day in addition to class time.


Benny Lewis's recommendations are different for beginners and those who want to improve already strong language skills. Beginners should emphasize communications with native speakers and deemphasize classes. After picking up a few key phrases from a phrasebook, one should dive right into conversations without using English. Continuing with the water analogy, in direct language communications, every extra word makes difference between sinking and swimming and the learning process driven by the survival instinct becomes more effective. You may consider traveling to Israel and speaking Hebrew there. Alternatively, you could find people who would speak Hebrew with you over Skype or similar systems.

Lewis has many recommendations for communications, including language exchanges where you speak with someone in English for 30 minutes, and then they speak in Hebrew with you. He warns about language partners who shift to English when conversations become difficult and provides tips for selecting free partners and paid instructors.

The total daily amount of time dedicated to the language learning should be over two hours, but these two hours do not have to be in one block of time. When people become really excited about language learning they do it all the time, e.g., reviewing new words for a few minutes while waiting for a bus.

I am contemplating learning the Czech language, and that was the reason for reading Lewis's book. If I decide to proceed with it, I will study on my own for a month using a phrasebook and online courses for beginners. Then I'll spend two weeks in Prague at an intensive language school. Then I'll spend a week at a health spa where I will try to communicate with people I don't know in Czech. After that, I will spend a week with some friends trying to impress them with my Czech.

Victoria


I am almost finished reading this book, and I don't have the same good vibe that you do, Victoria. I think the author is way too optimistic about a person attaining fluency in the time frame he writes about, no matter how motivated that person might be. Most people have other commitments besides learning a language and don't have the time to use the techniques and methods the author discusses in his book.


The author uses himself as an example, which may suggest bias. But I know of others who have followed Lewis's advice and learned four languages in a year. Scott Young and his friend Val Jaiswal have learned Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin and Korean. Young blogged about it in The Year Without English which includes the details of how they did it and videos of their conversations in various languages.

There is no guarantee that you or I will be able to replicate Lewis's and Young's achievements, but their accounts are a strong motivation for learning languages. And there is a lot of useful advice in Lewis's book to help us achieving fluency in three months, or in thirteen months.

Victoria




Learning a language is one of the most difficult things you can do. (also apparently one of the best for fighting off dementia).

There seems to be a point, around age 14, where it becomes monumentally harder to learn foreign languages. Easy to be bi or even tri lingual up to that point.

Accent is also a problem. It is *very* hard to lose your foreign accent. Particularly if you acquire a language after childhood. Joseph Conrad was one of the most superb writers of English ever, but he apparently always spoke with a thick Polish accent.

Therefore learning a foreign language takes typically a minimum commitment of 3-4 hours a day. And possibly a lot more (for Chinese for example). The US Army approach (Monterey CA) is full immersion, and there is a school in Vermont that does the same thing-- they throw you out if you speak English too many times. The Army added incentive in the day (one of my professors learned Hungarian there, he was of Norwegian-American extraction) was that if you flunked, you were on the plane to a posting in Vietnam within 72 hours!

Accent is really difficult because you may just not have the "ear". I am fairly tone deaf, and tonal languages like Chinese just kill you.

European languages, and particularly Indo-European ones (ie not Basque, Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian) are probably somewhat easier, if English is your native tongue then Dutch, the Scandinavian languages, German, French all have a lot of similarities. Spanish Italian Romanian similarly etc.

So yes, learning Modern Hebrew in your 50s? 60s? is going to be really rough. It's a Semitic language to start with. And at least 3 hours a day is a reasonable expectation of the workload.

Victoria's various suggestions like having a "buddy" on the other end of Skype (a paid tutor) is a very good one.

Interestingly I have read that a lot of Anglo-American Jews who migrate to Israel in later life never master Hebrew, live in their own "ghettoes" (to use the term ;-)).

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby FreeAtLast » Wed Sep 28, 2016 2:02 pm

Well, I saw Valuethinker has a recent post above in this thread, so I thought I would mention a book that he would appreciate (although he has probably read it already):

The Battle of Cassino by Fred Majdalany, Houghton Mifflin (1957). If it is not in your local library, you can buy it on Amazon.

Majdalany was a British officer who served in the African and Italian campaigns and won a Military Cross. His history and analysis of this grueling and bloody struggle is precise and technically spot-on with no B.S., as you might expect from an intelligent veteran officer. He is able to present everybody's viewpoint well, from generals to privates. For the Allies, Cassino was a continuing nightmare of repeatedly having to pick the "best" choice out of a bunch of miserable options. For the Germans, who fought a superb defensive battle, it was hanging on under horrendous conditions until they were eventually outflanked and forced back to another line. Majdalany fairly and accurately evokes the courage and the suffering on both sides.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:04 pm

Hero of the Empire, by Candice Millard.

This is the gripping true story of Winston Churchill's work as a newspaper correspondent during the Boer War in 1899, and his capture, imprisonment and escape.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Sat Oct 01, 2016 12:06 pm

White Nights, by Ann Cleeves. The second of a series of mystery novels set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 1:57 pm

Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Excellent book, won Pulitzer prize for fiction.

"Thirteen Moons" by Charles Frazier
Started but just could not get into this book. Although
not for me those who like the frontier/western genre
may enjoy this book. By the author of "Cold Mountain".
Last edited by wilson08 on Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Sat Oct 01, 2016 2:31 pm

wilson08 wrote:"Empire Falls" by Richard Russo
Excellent book, won Pulitzer prize for fiction.

You are probably familiar with his most famous, Nobody's Fool, which was made into an excellent movie with Paul Newman and Bruce Willis (1994). I liked both the book and the Movie. Upstate New York, an area I am familiar with, is not your usual setting.

If you like Russo, you will probably like John Gardner, not because of the similar upstate NY settings but because of the overall quality of writing. This is the John Gardner of Sunlight Dialogs, not the John Gardner who wrote some James Bond books a while back.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Sat Oct 01, 2016 3:42 pm

bertilak wrote:
wilson08 wrote:"Empire Falls" by Richard Russo
Excellent book, won Pulitzer prize for fiction.

You are probably familiar with his most famous, Nobody's Fool, which was made into an excellent movie with Paul Newman and Bruce Willis (1994). I liked both the book and the Movie. Upstate New York, an area I am familiar with, is not your usual setting.

If you like Russo, you will probably like John Gardner, not because of the similar upstate NY settings but because of the overall quality of writing. This is the John Gardner of Sunlight Dialogs, not the John Gardner who wrote some James Bond books a while back.


Thanks

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bustoff » Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:48 am

The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby black jack » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:03 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Elephants Can Remember, by Agatha Christie.

Many years ago her parents died by gunshot in a what seemed to be a suicide pact, but without an apparent reason for suicide. Now that she plans to marry her potential mother in law wants to know who killed whom. This is of course not an easy question to answer after so many years.

And why does the potential mother in law care anyway?


This week's episode of Radiolab mentions this book; in a linguistic analysis of Christie's books, this, her 72nd book, showed a significant decrease in range of vocabulary, as well as a confused plot, leading the analyst to conclude that she had begun to lose her memory (http://www.radiolab.org/story/96063-searching-clues/). They describe the book as being about an aging female novelist who tries to solve a mystery, but keeps forgetting things. And the final line in the book is about coming to terms with memory loss. The Wikipedia entry for the book notes that "The novel is notable for its concentration on memory and oral testimony."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dave55 » Sun Oct 02, 2016 12:47 pm

"Home" by Harlan Coben. For any Myron Bolitar fans, he is back. Harlan does not disappoint, excellent read.
Dave

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby hudson » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:08 pm

I read Stephen King's (Written originally as Richard Bachman) The Long Walk.
It's a story written in 1979 about 100 boys that are on a long walk contest...sometime in a fictional future. Anyone that slows below 4MPH is shot. The last boy standing wins. It takes a long time for King to kill all but one off; I don't know how he kept my interest, but he did. Did King include his usual off the wall humor? Yes!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Long_Walk

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby letsgobobby » Tue Oct 04, 2016 11:25 am

Bungo wrote:I recently read The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Excellent book, a rare five star rating from me.


I just read this.

Ishiguro's command of the language is astounding, and I found many moments of comedy and laugh out loud humor. But I did not find the book as satisfying as the rave reviews would have had it. The hints of insight and awareness the character develops late in the book were simply too little, too late for me. Within the bounds of the era and the character, perhaps those hints were all that could be allowed, but I wanted more.

Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books of all time.

I tried the Unconsoled and quit it after about 300 pages. He could have said just as much in about 1/4 the space and I figured the next 300 pages would be about the same.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bungo » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:46 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books of all time.

I tried the Unconsoled and quit it after about 300 pages. He could have said just as much in about 1/4 the space and I figured the next 300 pages would be about the same.

I agree with both of these remarks. Never Let Me Go is one of the best books I've read in the past ten years or so, better than The Remains of the Day. On the other hand, I abandoned The Unconsoled after about 100 pages as it simply wasn't holding my interest.

I recently finished Ghost Story by Peter Straub, a little pre-Halloween reading. It wasn't particularly scary (I'm not sure I would find any "horror" books scary these days). It was well written, especially compared with most books of this genre, but it meandered quite a bit and would have benefited from a tighter focus. As I suspect is often the case with ghost/supernatural stories, the buildup was better than the payoff. Still, a decent read. 3.5 stars out of 5.

Now reading The Cartel by Don Winslow. This is the sequel to The Power of the Dog, which I read last year and enjoyed despite the rather mediocre quality of writing. I'm only 100 pages in, so far so good.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Hector » Tue Oct 04, 2016 6:26 pm

I just finished Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. Its a biography. He is the first black coach to win superbowl. He talks how he did not raise his voice or use curse words, stuck the the basics, followed Jesus, gave family higher priority than what I thought a typical football coach would, adopted few kids.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby 6miths » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:47 pm

Just downloaded 'The Gene' by Siddhartha Mukherjee from the library. Have some traveling coming up so will be able to listen to it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby RoadHouseFan » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:27 am

RoadHouseFan wrote:
TheRightKost87 wrote:
Non7WoodUser wrote:Crisis of Character. Should be required reading prior to the election.


This one is next on my "To Read" list. I've heard good things and definitely want to read it prior to the election. Should be pretty eye-opening.


We're reading it with great interest.


Highly recommend Crisis of Character. Just finished it - very courageous and honest writing.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:03 am

I just started in on a collection of Father Brown short stories by G. K. Chesterton. I have not read enough to form a solid opinion yet as I am not even through the second story. But I thought I'd post to point out one thing ...

Father Brown has an acquaintance who is a private detective named ... Hercule Flambeaux!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Thu Oct 06, 2016 12:03 pm

bertilak wrote:I just started in on a collection of Father Brown short stories by G. K. Chesterton. I have not read enough to form a solid opinion yet as I am not even through the second story. But I thought I'd post to point out one thing ...

Father Brown has an acquaintance who is a private detective named ... Hercule Flambeaux!

Flambeau actually started out as a notorious thief that Father Brown thwarted.

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

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:39 pm

SPQR by Mary Beard.
A different look at the Roman empire sans military conquests and more in depth Roman society. So far so good.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby d0gerz » Thu Oct 06, 2016 9:07 pm

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Great story, was moved to tears at times. Also enjoyed the humor. Tough book to read at times, had to look up a lot of words in the dictionary. But still was able to finish it pretty quickly. I get the hype.

Sanshiro by Natsume Soseki. This was a translation by Jay Rubin, who has also translated works by Haruki Murakami. Book is a coming of age tale, the setting is one semester at Tokyo Imperial University in the early 20th century, and draws in parts from the author's own life story. At times a critique of the Japan of that era. But mostly about a young college student and his interactions with women. Enjoyable read, humor is quite subtle.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:33 pm

A post and reply which discussed a Washington Post review of Crisis of Character have been removed. As are reminder, political discussions are off-topic. See: Unacceptable Topics

Politics and Religion

In order to avoid the inevitable frictions that arise from these topics, political or religious posts and comments are prohibited. The only exceptions to this rule are:
  • Common religious expressions such as sending your prayers to an ailing member.
  • Usage of factual and non-derogatory political labels when necessary to the discussion at hand.
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  • Proposed regulations that are directly related to investing may be discussed if and when they are published for public comments.

Please stay focused on books.
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Ego is the Enemy

Postby schoolboyguy » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:46 pm

Ego is the Enemy

by Ryan Holiday

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:01 pm

Silver Girl
by Elin Hilderbrand

In this novel inspired by the Madoff scandal a woman being hounded by
the press and angry investors flees to Nantucket with her lifelong friend
after her husband has been arrested for a multi billion dollar Ponzi
scheme.
Last edited by wilson08 on Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:18 pm

Diary of a Hedge Fund Mgr: from the top to bottom and back again: by McCullough & Blake.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:48 pm

White Nights by Ann Cleeve. Detective story set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
Bread by Ed McBain, an 87th Precinct police procedural.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sat Oct 08, 2016 10:34 pm

This morning I finished reading Shoot 'Em Up by Janey Mack. This is the third in the Maisie McGrane series. Meter maid turned undercover cop Maisie McGrane managed to survive her first sting operation with just a few minor stab wounds – and some lingering emotional scars. An assassination attempt on the mayor brings the ATF and DEA to Chicago, and they’re counting on Maisie’s underworld connections to help them infiltrate and cripple a cartel running guns and drugs into the city. She won’t be going it alone, however. The DEA has hand-selected charismatic hard-case Lee Sharpe as her partner and protector, and he’s taking his assignment seriously in every way. With her meddling Chicago PD family threatening to expose her true identity at any moment, though, Maisie will have to scramble to stay one step ahead of them, the cartel, and her new partner before her cover is shot. (Summary edited from an Amazon review.)

The politics of the protagonist, or that of the author, or both, are totally opposite to those of mine, unless it's a put-on. The plot is convoluted and frequently muddled. Despite all that, I still liked the book and am looking forward to the fourth book in this series.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Sun Oct 09, 2016 3:01 pm

"Charlie y la fabrica de chocolate" (Spanish translation of Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.") I'm learning Spanish and it's just about at the right level for me.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 3:17 pm

Guy Novel by Michael Ryan. I really enjoyed it. The year is 1996 and Robert Wilder is en route to his wedding. He never makes it, as he stops by a bank to cash a check and gets involved with a bank teller...rather quickly. A month later he has literally been around the word attempting to stop Osama bin Laden from assuming power with the so called bank teller.

Very entertaining.

Currently reading "Silent Partner" by Jonathan Kellerman (written in 1989). Interesting to view the world 20 and 27 years ago.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby quantAndHold » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:13 pm

Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson - The best book I've read in a very long time. "Every time Ursula Todd dies, she is born again. Each successive life is an iteration on the last, and we see how Ursula's choices affect her, those around her, and--so boldly--the fate of the 20th-century world."

The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak - WWII from a different perspective. Excellent book.

Outlander, by Diana Gabaldon. First book of the 8 book series. Straight people boinking and fighting in the 18th century. And boinking. And fighting. The two gay characters are a pedophile and someone who's pure evil. It's a page turner, and I finished it, but I didn't feel the urge to read any of the others in the series.

The Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett. The first hundred pages made me think it was going to be another Outlander, only set in the middle ages. But it settled down into a very nice story of politics and scheming, good and evil, and cathedral building in the 12th century.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bengal22 » Mon Oct 10, 2016 6:28 pm

The Bruce Springsteen autobiography is a good read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Tue Oct 11, 2016 11:18 am

nisiprius wrote:White Nights by Ann Cleeve. Detective story set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland.
Bread by Ed McBain, an 87th Precinct police procedural.

Thanks for the Ann Cleeves mention, it led me to start her Shetland series. I am now reading Raven Black the first book in that series and have White Nights on my Kindle to read next.

I just finished Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves.

This is an engrossing mystery set in the Shetland Islands in mid winter. Two young girls are murdered in the same locality about 8 years apart. In the tiny local population everyone knows everyone and the relationships are tangled. I had to pause to Google local terminology and geography, but the book is well worth the effort. This is very interesting reading.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Wed Oct 12, 2016 9:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby camper1 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 12:29 pm

Just started reading a new book called On Trails: an Exploration by Robert Moor. I would highly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in hiking and a deeper exploration of meaning of trails. It's causing me to look at our world and nature in a a different way.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Crimsontide » Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:01 pm

Killing the Rising Sun, by Bill O'Reilly. Fantastic read. Really brings the fight in the Pacific to life.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby belowthefold » Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:43 am

Island by Aldous Huxley
Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few by Robert Reich

Recently finished Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby FreeAtLast » Sun Oct 16, 2016 6:10 pm

Let's get this thread moving again now that the forum is back up:

Tuxedo Park by Jennet Conant, Simon and Schuster (2002).

Biography of Alfred Lee Loomis, an amazing man in extraordinary times. Financial wizard who made millions trading in utility companies during the 1920's and then got out of the markets before the Depression hit. Before WWII, was a very well-respected amateur scientist (no PhD) who helped to make significant advances in electroencephalography and ultrasonography in his own state-of-the-art laboratory. During the war, contributed with his brain, money, and political influence to help develop radar and multiple uses of its technology by-products, especially Loran. Good friends with and respected by Nobel Laureates Ernest Lawrence and Luis Alvarez. While he obviously had a healthy ego, never requested any sort of recognition or recompense for his multiple and significant contributions to help the Allies win the war. This man should not be obscure.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:51 pm

Yesterday, I finished The English Teacher by Yiftach Reicher Atir ; translated from the Hebrew by Philip Simpson.

After attending her father's funeral, former Mossad agent Rachel Goldschmitt empties her bank account and disappears. Not knowing her whereabouts or her intentions, the Mossad opens an urgent investigation to track her down, fearing the incalculable damage she could do to Israel. What unfolds is a story that explores how love, loyalty, and truth can get caught between an agent's assumed identity and her real one. Yiftach Reicher Atir draws on his own career in intelligence to delve into the inner workings of the mind of a spy, hewing so closely to actual operations that Israeli military censors redacted several details. The result is a psychologically nuanced thriller that explores the pressures and uncertainty of living undercover for months at a time. (Synopsis taken from publisher information on back cover.)

The redacted text mentioned above must have been quite sensitive, because what remains is fairly explosive. The publisher's brief biography of the author says he has written four novels. This one, the third, which originally was published in Israel in 2013 and translated in 2016, apparently is the only one to be translated into English. That's too bad, because I liked The English Teacher.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby d0gerz » Mon Oct 17, 2016 8:59 am

Just finished The Blind Side by Michael Lewis. Story about how a kid from an impoverished background in inner city Memphis is taken in by a generous southern family who try to help him achieve his athletic potential. Also a story about how changes in football strategy made the position of the left tackle - the guy who protects the quarterback's blind side - extremely important and thereby expensive.

Really enjoyed this book, especially the parts about on-field football. Much of football tactics are a mystery to me. The book talks about how even pros won't know fully about everything that happens on a play until they study it later on video review. So that made me feel a bit better about myself for not knowing a whole lot. If anyone has recommendations for other books on football that do a good job of explaining the tactics so that a layperson can understand them, would appreciate it.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:34 am

A Widow for One Year
by John Irving

This novel is a mixed bag. An interesting and unusual plot but
excessive profanity and vulgarity which is not needed to enhance
the story(notice I said excessive of course there will be
some in most all novels) in my opinion is off-putting. Legendary
writer John Irving treats the reader to a lot of twists and turns
and there are some brilliant moments so if you can separate the
wheat from the chaff it may be a worthwhile journey.
The plot is too multifaceted to briefly summarize so I would
recommend viewing a plot summary(numerous on the internet)
before taking the plunge.
Last edited by wilson08 on Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby BogleMelon » Wed Oct 19, 2016 10:37 am

I am now reading: "Why smart people make big money mistakes and how to correct them"
"One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby alpha423df » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:59 am

"The fifth law" by 50 cents and Robert Greene

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Thu Oct 20, 2016 9:21 am

FreeAtLast wrote:Let's get this thread moving again now that the forum is back up:

Tuxedo Park by Jennet Conant, Simon and Schuster (2002).

Biography of Alfred Lee Loomis, an amazing man in extraordinary times. Financial wizard who made millions trading in utility companies during the 1920's and then got out of the markets before the Depression hit. Before WWII, was a very well-respected amateur scientist (no PhD) who helped to make significant advances in electroencephalography and ultrasonography in his own state-of-the-art laboratory. During the war, contributed with his brain, money, and political influence to help develop radar and multiple uses of its technology by-products, especially Loran. Good friends with and respected by Nobel Laureates Ernest Lawrence and Luis Alvarez. While he obviously had a healthy ego, never requested any sort of recognition or recompense for his multiple and significant contributions to help the Allies win the war. This man should not be obscure.
Read the same book a while ago, had the same reaction.
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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