What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Postby LeeInTN » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:28 pm

Just finished Susan Cains "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that can't stop talking"

Excellent examples and analyses. Introverts are wired to be Bogleheads with a "stay the course" brain.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby aboose » Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:54 pm

"The Charisma Myth" by Olivia Fox Cabane

I am listening to this as an audiobook on my way to work every day.

It seems fairly interesting. I'm 25% in so I suppose there's a lot to go, but so far it is a lot of things I knew already and don't magically make one charismatic.

Frankly I think the secret to being charismatic is just to be very outgoing. The book claims that anyone with any personality type can be charismatic without changing who they are but I think it's unlikely that it's that simple.

I think the goodreads review of this captures it -- "charisma" is a term we assign to people who happen to be famous, successful, and well known. From such a position it is trivial to come off as charismatic. Simply mastering breathing techniques and other mental tricks won't make one into Steve Jobs. It requires an external validation, whether it be success or fame or power.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby amr » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:12 pm

I'm currently in the middle of 3 books.

1) The Healing of America

It's a book about the healthcare system in America and looking how other countries have cheaper and fairer healthcare systems. It came out in 2009 and I have found it interesting.

2) Do You Love Football?

This is written by Jon Gruden. So far it's been a good read. Gruden had to be the luckiest kid in Indiana during the 70s with his dad an assistant at IU and then at Notre Dame.

3) The Boglehead's Guide To Investing

No explanation needed.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:53 pm

The Quants: How a new breed of math whizzes conquered Wall St.and nearly destroyed it by Scott Patterson. A second read.

SPQR : A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard. Many history books differ in there various bias's. This ones no different

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bungo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:07 pm

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby deanbrew » Fri Oct 21, 2016 12:46 pm

heartwood wrote:Finders Keepers by Stephen King. It follows some of the same characters of Mr. Mercedes. I'm a third of the way through it. So far at least its a straight murder/detective/mystery book. None of the paranormal themes sometimes found in King. I've enjoyed so much of his ouvre; but not all. I look back at his works and just wonder where he gets it all across so many genre.


I am about 80 percent of the way finished with Finders Keepers. It's the best book I've read in quite some time, and I'm really enjoying it. As you said, no supernatural or paranormal stuff, just a couple of very interesting plots and really great characters. And excellent dialog, which is always a King strong point. I hope it doesn't crap the bed in the little bit I have left.

Having said that, book endings always seem to be difficult, and there are lots of books that have disappointing endings. Not disappointing in that they end differently than I had expected or hoped for, but that the ending was either contrived (one one hand) or there was no resolution at all (on the other hand). I'm listening to the audiobook version, so I don't know how soon I'll get to finish it, but I'm very pleased with it so far.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:47 pm

Just finished G. K. Chesterton's The Innocence of Father Brown, almost finished with The Wisdom of Father Brown, and nibbling away at What I Saw In America (nonfiction).

Nibbling away at Wall Street: A History--From Its Beginnings to the Fall of Enron, by Charles Geisst, and it is just excellent. And I am more than ever convinced that "long run" data spanning centuries has got to be total nonsense--there's no resemblance between the stock market he's describing and the stock market of today.
But the New York Stock Exchange still had a problem that was embedded in its reputation for years. It was the home of the railroad and bank speculator. The Boston Stock Exchange had more shares of industrial companies listed than did New York and was considered a safer place to invest....
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Fri Oct 21, 2016 3:13 pm

Bungo wrote:Salem's Lot by Stephen King


I read Salem's Lot several years after reading some of his later books. I was impressed by the language, story and plotting, perhaps more so than the later books. I still read almost all he writes, liking most of it. He's a talent, obviously.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bungo » Fri Oct 21, 2016 4:29 pm

heartwood wrote:
Bungo wrote:Salem's Lot by Stephen King


I read Salem's Lot several years after reading some of his later books. I was impressed by the language, story and plotting, perhaps more so than the later books. I still read almost all he writes, liking most of it. He's a talent, obviously.

When I was a teenager in the '80s, I read most of his books, up to and including It, but I haven't read anything after that. This autumn/Halloween season, I was in the mood for a vampire story and thought it would be fun to reread Salem's Lot, which I recall being the best of the King books I've read, except maybe Pet Sematary, which I remember being very creepy even though I have forgotten most of the details.

So far I'm enjoying it - I'm on about page 250 out of 650. It is considerably better written than I would have expected, given my rather unrefined adolescent tastes when I last enjoyed it. I am liking the slow buildup: there hasn't even been an explicit vampire sighting yet, but it doesn't feel at all overwritten/longwinded like his later books (especially It). All the more impressive considering that Salem's Lot was only his second book.

What is your favorite of his more recent books?

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Fri Oct 21, 2016 5:13 pm

Bungo wrote:What is your favorite of his more recent books?


11/22/63 Time travel centered on the JFK assassination.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:19 pm

nisiprius wrote:Nibbling away at Wall Street: A History--From Its Beginnings to the Fall of Enron, by Charles Geisst, and it is just excellent. I am more than ever convinced that "long run" data spanning centuries has got to be total nonsense--there's no resemblance between the stock market he's describing and the stock market of today.
But the New York Stock Exchange still had a problem that was embedded in its reputation for years. It was the home of the railroad and bank speculator. The Boston Stock Exchange had more shares of industrial companies listed than did New York and was considered a safer place to invest....
I'm sure your interpretation & understanding of Jessie Livermore's publications of his experiences in "Reminiscences of a Stock Trader" etc., in its multi-faceted selection piece you mentioned reading a while back confirmed your statement above also. From bucket shops, to europeans financial exchange stock certificate exchanges. Its not the same now as it was 50 yrs back, as it will be 50yrs from now, so data is suspect. Good catch on that one NIs, your written up analysis of his book "Reminisces of a Stock Trader"... helped me immensely, I read that publication 3-4 times!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:23 pm

Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

This is a very detailed biography. It covers Hamilton's youth, his Army service in the Revolutionary War, his many contributions to the formation of the Constitution and to legislation during the first years under the Constitution.

I was not aware how quickly the "founding fathers" degenerated into nasty squabbling partisan politicians, hurling public and private insults and lies at each other over both personal traits and political differences.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby soboggled » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:34 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

This is a very detailed biography. It covers Hamilton's youth, his Army service in the Revolutionary War, his many contributions to the formation of the Constitution and to legislation during the first years under the Constitution.

I was not aware how quickly the "founding fathers" degenerated ed into squabbling partisan politicians, hurling public and private insults and lies at each other over both personal traits and political differences.

It went even further. Read about the Sedition Act of 1798, which would make many of today's typical political activities a federal crime.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Oct 21, 2016 6:42 pm

soboggled wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

This is a very detailed biography. It covers Hamilton's youth, his Army service in the Revolutionary War, his many contributions to the formation of the Constitution and to legislation during the first years under the Constitution.

I was not aware how quickly the "founding fathers" degenerated ed into squabbling partisan politicians, hurling public and private insults and lies at each other over both personal traits and political differences.

It went even further. Read about the Sedition Act of 1798, which would make many of today's typical political activities a federal crime.

That's correct.

The only positive feature of the Sedition Act was that it provided that truth would be a defense to a defamation charge. Truth of the defamatory comment was not previously a defense.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Fri Oct 21, 2016 9:20 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

This is a very detailed biography. It covers Hamilton's youth, his Army service in the Revolutionary War, his many contributions to the formation of the Constitution and to legislation during the first years under the Constitution.

I was not aware how quickly the "founding fathers" degenerated into nasty squabbling partisan politicians, hurling public and private insults and lies at each other over both personal traits and political differences.


Also read it and thought it was outstanding. Other bios of Founding Fathers also go into the political squabbling and insults which could be funny. During heated debate on how to address the first president of the United States, the rather portly John Adams was mockingly referred to as "His Rotundity."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jdb » Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:22 am

So I started to read again one of my favorites, The Odyssey (Robert Fagles translation), but knew I would be distracted away from Odysseus. Coincidentally came across at Costco recent biography of one of his namesakes, the Latin version of the name. American Ulysses by Ronald White. I was very happy with the literary diversion, think that it is an excellent biography of a fascinating man and great military leader now under appreciated. Though after Appomattox, about two thirds way through book, left off on the Reconstruction and his political career to go back to reading about his original namesake. Once Odysseus is reunited with Penelope after ten year odyssey plan to go back to the Reconstruction and President Ulysses Grant. Highly recommend.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Oct 22, 2016 10:50 am

Fallible wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow.

This is a very detailed biography. It covers Hamilton's youth, his Army service in the Revolutionary War, his many contributions to the formation of the Constitution and to legislation during the first years under the Constitution.

I was not aware how quickly the "founding fathers" degenerated into nasty squabbling partisan politicians, hurling public and private insults and lies at each other over both personal traits and political differences.


Also read it and thought it was outstanding. Other bios of Founding Fathers also go into the political squabbling and insults which could be funny. During heated debate on how to address the first president of the United States, the rather portly John Adams was mockingly referred to as "His Rotundity."

In those days they seemed to be much more inventive in their insults.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby a » Sun Oct 23, 2016 2:31 pm

Full Catastrophe Living - Jon Kabat-Zinn

Meditation from a Western perspective.

--

Habits of a Happy Brain - Loretta Graziano Breuning

p.68: Once your physical sense of threat is turned on, your cortex
looks for evidence of threat. It will find evidence because that
eases the "do something" feeling.

p.124: Whatever [neural] connections you have, you don't experience
them as tentacles grown by well-used neurons. You experience them as
"the truth."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby d0gerz » Tue Oct 25, 2016 9:12 am

Just finished The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, English translation from the Swedish by Rod Bradbury. Hilarious, great satire. Reminded me of Catch-22 and the movie Forrest Gump.

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

Postby Ricola » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:10 pm

Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right by Jane Mayer
Enthralling!

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

Postby ruralavalon » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:19 pm

White Nights, by Ann Cleeves.

In a village in the Shetland Islands a stranger disrupts a party at a small art gallery, then is found hanged, and old events and persons from years ago come back to snarl the investigation of the death. I recommend this mystery.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jebmke » Sat Oct 29, 2016 3:49 pm

just finished Razor Girl by Carl Hiassen

now starting True Believer, Stalin's Last American Spy by Kati Marton
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:09 pm

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

Set in a small Georgia town in the early 1900s this is
an engaging story of family, life, and society witnessed
by Will Tweedy the young narrator. Will's grandfather
who has been a widower for only a few weeks announces
to a shocked family he plans to marry a younger women.
This sets off a maelstrom of events.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby moshe » Sat Oct 29, 2016 11:33 pm

Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo - an interesting look at late 80's rural America and the characters that inhabit the fictional town of North Bath, NY.

On Negotiation by Mark McCormack (founder of IMG sport management) - Fascinating insights into the sales and negotiation process.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby market timer » Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:30 am

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon. Listening to this on Audible during my commute.

Amazon blurb:
A “towering, swash-buckling thrill of a book” (Newsweek), hailed as Chabon’s “magnum opus” (The New York Review of Books), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a triumph of originality, imagination, and storytelling, an exuberant, irresistible novel that begins in New York City in 1939. A young escape artist and budding magician named Joe Kavalier arrives on the doorstep of his cousin, Sammy Clay. While the long shadow of Hitler falls across Europe, America is happily in thrall to the Golden Age of comic books, and in a distant corner of Brooklyn, Sammy is looking for a way to cash in on the craze. He finds the ideal partner in the aloof, artistically gifted Joe, and together they embark on an adventure that takes them deep into the heart of Manhattan, and the heart of old-fashioned American ambition. From the shared fears, dreams, and desires of two teenage boys, they spin comic book tales of the heroic, fascist-fighting Escapist and the beautiful, mysterious Luna Moth, otherworldly mistress of the night. Climbing from the streets of Brooklyn to the top of the Empire State Building, Joe and Sammy carve out lives, and careers, as vivid as cyan and magenta ink. Spanning continents and eras, this superb book by one of America’s finest writers remains one of the defining novels of our modern American age.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby nisiprius » Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:00 am

ruralavalon wrote:White Nights, by Ann Cleeves.

In a village in the Shetland Islands a stranger disrupts a party at a small art gallery, then is found hanged, and old events and persons from years ago come back to snarl the investigation of the death. I recommend this mystery.
Yup, read it a month ago and am now on Red Bones. Anyone else think of John D. McDonald's "color" titles in the Travis McGee thriller series?

Also, Charlie y La Fabrica de Chocolate--correction, make that Charlie y la fabrica de chocolate, they don't capitalize words in book titles in Spanish--de Roald Dahl--i.e. a Spanish translation. It turns out to be just exactly right for my current level of Spanish--just the right mixture of verb tenses, just the right vocabulary so that I can usually guess the words I don't know from context, entertaining even for adults, and not too much in the way of cultural context. A good workout on the European Spanish third-person plural imperative, which I'll probably never use as it isn't used in the Americas. Willy Wonka is constantly giving the kids "Listen!" and "Don't touch anything!"
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby drawpoker » Mon Oct 31, 2016 2:38 pm

"American Heiress" by Jeffrey Toobin, the real story behind the notorious Patty Hearst kidnapping case of 1974.
For anyone who remembers the events of that era this is a fascinating read. Full of unbelievable bits of info that never made the news back then.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:42 pm

I just finished "Heaven and Hell, My Life in the Eagles, 1974 - 2002" by Don Felder.

This book gives great insight to the popular band, from the guitarist who was fired in 2002 and didnt go away quietly. Excellent look at his life and the in fighting of a great group. Henley and Frey were very talented, but very difficult to work with.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jebmke » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:48 pm

drawpoker wrote:"American Heiress" by Jeffrey Toobin, the real story behind the notorious Patty Hearst kidnapping case of 1974.
For anyone who remembers the events of that era this is a fascinating read. Full of unbelievable bits of info that never made the news back then.

PBS Newshour interviewed Toobin about this a few weeks ago. One thing he mentioned (which I had forgotten -- and many people either don't remember or didn't exist then) is that terrorist incidents (especially bombings) were happening at quite alarming rates compared to today.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby drawpoker » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:26 pm

jebmke wrote:......mentioned (which I had forgotten -- and many people either don't remember or didn't exist then) is that terrorist incidents (especially bombings) were happening at quite alarming rates compared to today.


Yes, and the SLA members that carried out the Hearst kidnapping were very inept at that. They were very envious of the other counter-culture revolutionary groups that had successfully carried out bombings, feeling that those groups were getting more publicity than the SLA was getting. But the bombs they placed around S.F. and L.A. police stations were duds, and failed to go off.
One of the most interesting chapters centers on the role of the Rev. JIm Jones and his Kool-Aid followers. Remember him?
When Patty's father, Randolph Hearst, was obliged to undertake the millions of dollars food giveaway that the SLA made part of their demands, turns out that the Rev. Jim Jones tried to muscle in at the central Bay area location and take over the project. With an eye to taking the credit and ingratiating himself with his Kool-Aid drinking followers.
Didn't work. He was given the bum's rush and told not to come back again.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby soboggled » Mon Oct 31, 2016 5:49 pm

"Deep South" by Paul Theroux, who is an outstanding novelist and travel writer. Uneven.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jebmke » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:13 pm

drawpoker wrote:One of the most interesting chapters centers on the role of the Rev. JIm Jones and his Kool-Aid followers. Remember him?

Oh yes, I remember this well. A lot of people fixated on this story. The origin of the term "drink the Kool-Aid."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby d0gerz » Tue Nov 01, 2016 9:48 pm

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. Childhood memoir of growing up in extreme poverty in Limerick, Ireland. Incredible storytelling. Style of writing is very lyrical with no quotation marks for speech and sparing use of the comma, almost reads like poetry at times.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby PandaBear » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:10 pm

The first five novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Nov 02, 2016 1:59 pm

PandaBear wrote:The first five novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Barsoom series.

Those are among my favorites for pure fun reading.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby steve roy » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:16 pm

"Wealth and Democracy" by Kevin Phillips.

Written in 2002, Phillips does an artful job walking the reader through two hundred-plus years of American economic policy, and detailing how the country's economy has evolved and where it is today. He warns against America's over-sized financial sector, which seems rather prescient as it was written six years before the 2008-2009 problems.

Recommended.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby deanbrew » Wed Nov 02, 2016 2:35 pm

deanbrew wrote:
heartwood wrote:Finders Keepers by Stephen King. It follows some of the same characters of Mr. Mercedes. I'm a third of the way through it. So far at least its a straight murder/detective/mystery book. None of the paranormal themes sometimes found in King. I've enjoyed so much of his ouvre; but not all. I look back at his works and just wonder where he gets it all across so many genre.


I am about 80 percent of the way finished with Finders Keepers. It's the best book I've read in quite some time, and I'm really enjoying it. As you said, no supernatural or paranormal stuff, just a couple of very interesting plots and really great characters. And excellent dialog, which is always a King strong point. I hope it doesn't crap the bed in the little bit I have left.

Having said that, book endings always seem to be difficult, and there are lots of books that have disappointing endings. Not disappointing in that they end differently than I had expected or hoped for, but that the ending was either contrived (one one hand) or there was no resolution at all (on the other hand). I'm listening to the audiobook version, so I don't know how soon I'll get to finish it, but I'm very pleased with it so far.


I just finished Finders Keepers, and was very pleased with it. Terrific characters, dialog and plots. It appears that this is the middle installment of a three-book trilogy, but it's quite satisfying on its own. I guess I'll have to read the first book in the series, Mr. Mercedes, and then decide whether to move on to the third book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:10 pm

deanbrew wrote:
deanbrew wrote:
heartwood wrote:Finders Keepers by Stephen King. It follows some of the same characters of Mr. Mercedes. I'm a third of the way through it. So far at least its a straight murder/detective/mystery book. None of the paranormal themes sometimes found in King. I've enjoyed so much of his ouvre; but not all. I look back at his works and just wonder where he gets it all across so many genre.


I am about 80 percent of the way finished with Finders Keepers. It's the best book I've read in quite some time, and I'm really enjoying it. As you said, no supernatural or paranormal stuff, just a couple of very interesting plots and really great characters. And excellent dialog, which is always a King strong point. I hope it doesn't crap the bed in the little bit I have left.

Having said that, book endings always seem to be difficult, and there are lots of books that have disappointing endings. Not disappointing in that they end differently than I had expected or hoped for, but that the ending was either contrived (one one hand) or there was no resolution at all (on the other hand). I'm listening to the audiobook version, so I don't know how soon I'll get to finish it, but I'm very pleased with it so far.


I just finished Finders Keepers, and was very pleased with it. Terrific characters, dialog and plots. It appears that this is the middle installment of a three-book trilogy, but it's quite satisfying on its own. I guess I'll have to read the first book in the series, Mr. Mercedes, and then decide whether to move on to the third book.


Third in the Mr. Mercedes series is End of Watch. Another good story. I enjoyed each of the books. There is some paranormal aspects but not to the point of taking away from the story.

I'm currently a third through The Legal Limit by Martin Clark. The kindle jacket copy suggests "Clark (is) not only the thinking man's John Grisham but, maybe better, the drinking man's." I'm unsure what that's supposed to mean other than comparing him to Grisham. Two brothers from small town Virginia. One a lawyer, the other in prison. Lots of good, sometimes salty, dialogue, plus a decent story so far. It is reminiscent of Grisham, more so his earlier, more entertaining works.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Wed Nov 02, 2016 3:34 pm

About a third of the way through Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War by Kenneth Daigler.

Very interesting study of the use of spies just before and during the revolutionary war. At least at the beginning the Patriots were not very good at it. At one point Washington needed someone to monitor and report back on British troop and supply movements, etc. between Connecticut and Long Island. In an open meeting one of Washington's Colonels asked for a volunteer. Nathan ("but one life to give") Hale volunteered so it was hardly a big secret that he was taking on a "secret" mission! To make things worse, Hale went on to discuss the mission with friends. Hale was overly trusting of the value of a "gentleman's word" or a sworn allegiance. This was in part the general attitude at the time although Hale seemed extra naive.

There were apparently inadequate plans for how to conduct Hale's mission, how to report information back, escape plans, cover stories*, and various other operational details. This ended in the tragedy of Hale's capture and execution by the British who were much better at this game. They had a working counterintelligence organization that was able to spot the activity, track down Hale, trick him into admitting to his involvement in front of witnesses, and then find damning documents in his shoe.

I believe Washington's skill in planning and conducting undercover activities improves as the war proceeds. The next chapter is titled "Washington Establishes His Intelligence Credentials."
______________________
*Note about cover stories: The book identifies three types, each of which has its own "rational:"
  1. Status: the spy's identity. ("Your papers please!")
  2. Action: the spy's daily activities should not be suspicious. ("I'm looking for a job as a schoolteacher.")
  3. Access: the spy should have a reason for being near the target of his spying. ("Why are you in the shipyard?")
That is a new idea to me. Apparently Hale's covers were not very convincing. ("There are no schools near the shipyard!" "Why do you have musket-fire powder burns on your cheek?")
I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. | -- Rex Stout

wilson08
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 1:51 pm

The Last Tycoon
by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Behind the scenes look at Hollywood in the pre Word War II
era. Fitzgerald died before completing the manuscript but
notes and outlines he left behind gave an indication of how
the novel was to end.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby SGM » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:00 pm

The Vinegar Girl by Ann Tyler latest book is a modern take off on the Taming of the Shrew. Tyler's stories generally take place in Baltimore. The book was a fun and easy read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby terminer » Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:32 pm

Just finished "I Contain Multitudes, the Microbes within us and a Grander View of Life" by Ed Yong.

Great book on our microbiome and the microbiome of the world around us. It's hard not to be staggered by the integration of (mainly) bacteria through every thread of life - including us. Lots of latest research and insights - much of the knowledge and understanding is quite recent, enjoyable to read, not deeply technical, excellent popular science.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby corwin » Sun Nov 06, 2016 9:03 pm

heartwood wrote:
Bungo wrote:What is your favorite of his more recent books?


11/22/63 Time travel centered on the JFK assassination.


I agree. Finished and started watching the mini-series on Hulu. It's awful. They've rewritten the story for no discernible reason.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Thrifty1 » Mon Nov 07, 2016 9:54 am

The kindle version of The Mandibles by Lionel Shriver is on sale through Amazon. It is a hilarious/frightening story set in the near future in which the US economy is sent into a tailspin when the national debt becomes out of control and the US president declares that the country will default on its debt obligations. Hyper-inflation and job loss ensue. The Mandible family members go from comfortable upper and middle class lifestyles to poverty and homelessness as they have to re-invent themselves.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby praxis » Mon Nov 07, 2016 11:40 am

nisiprius wrote:Anyone else think of John D. McDonald's "color" titles in the Travis McGee thriller series?



Yes. Every one. Wish there were more. If you liked him, I suggest trying John Sandford's "Prey" series, if you haven't already.
Maybe start with Easy Prey.

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

Postby heartwood » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:35 am

praxis wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Anyone else think of John D. McDonald's "color" titles in the Travis McGee thriller series?



Yes. Every one. Wish there were more. If you liked him, I suggest trying John Sandford's "Prey" series, if you haven't already.
Maybe start with Easy Prey.


Any suggestions on where to start with the McDonald series? I see that there are several co-authored with Lee Child.

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

Postby praxis » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:42 am

heartwood wrote:
praxis wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Anyone else think of John D. McDonald's "color" titles in the Travis McGee thriller series?



Yes. Every one. Wish there were more. If you liked him, I suggest trying John Sandford's "Prey" series, if you haven't already.
Maybe start with Easy Prey.


Any suggestions on where to start with the McDonald series? I see that there are several co-authored with Lee Child.


I didn't have a problem when I read them out of order. They are light, fast reads that I enjoyed a lot and kept coming back for more.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bungo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:03 pm

corwin wrote:
heartwood wrote:
Bungo wrote:What is your favorite of his more recent books?


11/22/63 Time travel centered on the JFK assassination.


I agree. Finished and started watching the mini-series on Hulu. It's awful. They've rewritten the story for no discernible reason.

Thanks, I'll check it out (the book, not the mini-series).

I ended up not enjoying Salem's Lot as much as I expected. It was a fairly standard vampire tale, which is fine, but it seems to have been written before King worked out how to pace his novels effectively. He spends the first several hundred pages developing characters and background before anything really happens, and while this part was interesting enough, it would have been better if he had used the opportunity to build more creepy tension and/or give us a reason to care about the characters rather than just telling us about them.

To his credit, once the story gets going, the vampires are pretty relentless and end up killing nearly everyone in town, including most of the main protagonists, over a rather short span of time (a matter of a few days). It's reasonably fun to read but not very scary. The characters weren't developed well enough for me to respond with more than a shrug of the shoulders as he killed them off. The dialog is also not very well written, so most of the characters simply end up sounding like Stephen King. Certainly if you like vampires you should read it at some point, but if you already read the book as a teenager like I did, don't be surprised if it isn't as good as you remembered. (Probably the same would be true for any book I enjoyed as a teenager.)

Current reading: I'm about halfway through Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, and also slowly making my way through The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard Evans.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Blues » Tue Nov 08, 2016 3:57 pm

Bungo wrote:Current reading: I'm about halfway through Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner


An excellent work of literature.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:23 pm

Just started A. A. Milne's The Red House Mystery. Yes, this is the A. A. Milne of Winnie the Pooh fame.

In his introduction he says he wrote the book (his only mystery story) in part because ...

    What satisfaction is it to you or me when the famous Professor examines the small particle of dust ... and infers that the murder lives between a brewery and a flower mill? ... when the blood-spot on the missing man's handkerchief proves he was recently bitten by a camel?
Apparently it was well received at the time: 1920's. This was before Agatha Christie. I think he was taking a shot at Sherlock Holmes, although the style of near-magical deduction was then very popular.

So far, I am anticipating some fun. They say it is even better at second reading when you already know how it turns out.
I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. | -- Rex Stout


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