What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:37 am

All Joe Knight by Kevin Morris. An interesting ride thus far...about a quarter of the way through.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:08 am

Last night, I finished reading Light Thickens by Ngaio Marsh.

The bad news: This is the last in Ngaio Marsh's marvelous Inspector Alleyn series. The good: It's one of her very best. The secret to the success of Light Thickens may lie in its combination of some of Marsh's greatest passions, including her native New Zealand in the person of, unusually, a Maori character and the theater. The plot centers on a production of Macbeth, a play that Dame Ngaio produced and directed several times. Among theater folk, the play is considered unlucky.

I really have enjoyed reading these mysteries, which I have read in the order they were written, a project I started about ten years ago, although I had periodically read some of the novels previously. She also wrote a number of short mysteries and a teleplay for British television. I'm picking up an anthology of these this afternoon from my library. After I finish that, I'm going to start reading the Albert Campion novels of Margery Allingham in the order they were written.

(Edited once to correct punctuation.)
Last edited by gkaplan on Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MI_bogle » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:18 am

Currently working through The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition

Have long delayed reading them, but after being up in the UP this summer and doing some trout fishing while reading the Nick Adams stories (and drinking bourbon of course) I figured I owed it to myself to read the complete collection

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:53 am

I'm back to reading In the Woods by Tana French. I started it last year and got distracted by other books.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:52 pm

MI_bogle wrote:Currently working through The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition

Have long delayed reading them, but after being up in the UP this summer and doing some trout fishing while reading the Nick Adams stories (and drinking bourbon of course) I figured I owed it to myself to read the complete collection

Many years ago I got bogged down in some Hemingway novel. I don't even remember which one but I think there was a lot of bullfighting.

But then I found his short stories and they are great. The ones I remember:

    Indian Camp
    The Big Two-Hearted River (Parts I and II)
    The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Everybody should sample a few Hemingway short stories. I think they are very male-oriented so don't know if that "everybody" should just be "every male." I'd be interested in hearing from women who read any Hemingway.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MI_bogle » Thu Feb 09, 2017 2:15 pm

bertilak wrote:
MI_bogle wrote:Currently working through The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigía Edition

Have long delayed reading them, but after being up in the UP this summer and doing some trout fishing while reading the Nick Adams stories (and drinking bourbon of course) I figured I owed it to myself to read the complete collection

Many years ago I got bogged down in some Hemingway novel. I don't even remember which one but I think there was a lot of bullfighting.

But then I found his short stories and they are great. The ones I remember:

    Indian Camp
    The Big Two-Hearted River (Parts I and II)
    The Snows of Kilimanjaro

Everybody should sample a few Hemingway short stories. I think they are very male-oriented so don't know if that "everybody" should just be "every male." I'd be interested in hearing from women who read any Hemingway.


The bullfighting stories are the ones that I get bogged down in too.

They are definitely male oriented... I'll tell you the reaction of my MIL, who is very into literature. She hates Hemingway

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by trentwebb » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:25 pm

wow!howmuch? wrote:Unintended Consequences by John Ross

Every American should read it


Great book! I highly recommend the Bracken Trilogy (Enemies Foreign and Domestic) if you haven't read those yet!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Feb 10, 2017 3:59 pm

LadyGeek wrote:The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu. The first book of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. It won the Hugo award and I can see why.

I posted my review here: Subject: Good Modern Science Fiction

The Dark Forest, by Cixin Liu. Book 2 of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy. The first part seemed to drag a bit and was focused on building up background info to use later. "Later" occurred around 50% in. Wow, how does he come up with this stuff?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:26 pm

I just finished "Gone Baby Gone" by Dennis Lehane.

Outstanding book. I had seen the movie. This is much more detailed.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:34 pm

MP173 wrote:I just finished "Gone Baby Gone" by Dennis Lehane.

Outstanding book. I had seen the movie. This is much more detailed.

Ed


I find that I enjoyed his earlier work more than the most recent few years. Probably up until "Shutter Island". After that, mostly I could take it or leave it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:39 pm

MP173 wrote:I just finished "Gone Baby Gone" by Dennis Lehane.

Outstanding book. I had seen the movie. This is much more detailed.

Ed

The various Kenzie books are a lot of fun. Lehane used these to really polish his craft. His real break to serious literary novels came with The Given Day which was a few steps up from the usual crime fiction he had written for several years. Probably the best thing he has written.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:55 pm

Razor Girl, by Carl Hiaasen.

Set in Key West this hilarious story involves an ex-cop turned restaurant inspector, a Mafia boss, local low lifes, a reality TV star, and a girl with an unusual occupation involving a razor.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Fri Feb 10, 2017 5:58 pm

jebmke wrote:
MP173 wrote:I just finished "Gone Baby Gone" by Dennis Lehane.

Outstanding book. I had seen the movie. This is much more detailed.

Ed

The various Kenzie books are a lot of fun. Lehane used these to really polish his craft. His real break to serious literary novels came with The Given Day which was a few steps up from the usual crime fiction he had written for several years. Probably the best thing he has written.


May well be. It was certainly a corner turned.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by GKSD » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:21 am

The Gene, by Siddhartha Mukherjee

A magnificent history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

Fascinating read thus far.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 10:41 pm

This evening, I finished Collected Short Mysteries, an anthology of Ngaio Marsh mysteries.

Edited, and with an excellent introduction, by Douglas G. Greene, this anthology consists of two essays on the creation of Chief Inspector Roderick Alleyn and of Agatha Troy; three short cases of Alleyn originally published in periodicals over the space of thirty-four years; five other short stories, some of the true crime nature; and a previously unpublished telescript produced in 1975, in which the viewer (or reader) must act as detective.

My only criticism is that the essays and short stories do not indicate date of publication (or authorship). Other than that, this is a typically well-written and interesting Ngaio Marsh book.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:09 pm

Their Finest Hour (1947) by Winston Churchill. An island is threatened with invasion by a megalomaniac. But he never quite pulls it off.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Mon Feb 13, 2017 2:04 pm

Dantes wrote:The Long Ships by Frans Bengtsson; a historical novel original published in Sweden in the 1940's. New York Review Books Classics reprinted it a few years ago, I picked up a copy on sale at a local bookstore. Vikings in the 10th century. Its been at least a decade since I have enjoyed a historical novel so much; as soon as I finished it I turned back to the beginning.

Its funny in a very understated way; the blurb on the back calls it irony. The author's only novel, which is a great pity.

It is such a pleasure to find an enjoyable book to spend time with, especially an unheard of Swedish novel published over 50 years ago. Thanks Dantes for the recommendation. Thoroughly enjoying, especially the humor and pathos. Very very good.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dantes » Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:54 pm

jdb wrote:
Dantes wrote:The Long Ships by Frans Bengtsson; a historical novel original published in Sweden in the 1940's. New York Review Books Classics reprinted it a few years ago, I picked up a copy on sale at a local bookstore. Vikings in the 10th century. Its been at least a decade since I have enjoyed a historical novel so much; as soon as I finished it I turned back to the beginning.

Its funny in a very understated way; the blurb on the back calls it irony. The author's only novel, which is a great pity.

It is such a pleasure to find an enjoyable book to spend time with, especially an unheard of Swedish novel published over 50 years ago. Thanks Dantes for the recommendation. Thoroughly enjoying, especially the humor and pathos. Very very good.


My pleasure! I still think about it. My followup, which I just finished, is Heimskringla or the Lives of the Norse Kings by Snorre Sturlason. Nowhere near as much fun asThe Long Ships - in fact its a pretty depressing narrative history of murder and mayhem - but very readable for a 738 page book written in the 13th century.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:17 pm

Cross Creek, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

This is a very nice memoir about rural life in Central Florida in about 1930. I found the stories about the people far more interesting that descriptions of the land, weather, animals or foliage.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:37 pm

I read about half of Kill the Next One by Federico Axat. I stopped, for now. Even at half way I'm not sure what to make of it. It starts with a man about to commit suicide, interrupted by a stranger at the door offering him options ... Then it seems to repeat with more or different information. Another unreliable reporter novel?

I did finish Conclave by Robert Harris. I've enjoyed several of his books. This one is set in the election conclave for a new pope. IMO, not his best, by far.

I'm about to start The North Water by Ian McGuire, a novel about 19th century whaling in the Arctic. The NYT described it as "a great white shark of a book―swift, terrifying, relentless and unstoppable."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rbwb » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:23 pm

Two Gary Paulsen books:

The Hatchet which is a "young adult" book that I was going to give to a nephew but thought I should read it first and I'm glad I did. I enjoyed it.

Winterdance which is about the author's experience racing the Iditarod. Hilarious and interesting. I'll be following the race the best I can next month.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Calygos » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:29 pm

I finally just started The Horus Heresy last night, only a chapter in so far. I've never had any prior involvement with Warhammer in my life, I'm reading it based on a colleague's suggestion. I love world-building science fiction (especially post-human stuff). I started watching this video about the Emperor and rise of humanity, fascinating stuff).

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Calygos » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:30 pm

ruralavalon wrote:Cross Creek, by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

This is a very nice memoir about rural life in Central Florida in about 1930. I found the stories about the people far more interesting that descriptions of the land, weather, animals or foliage.


I vaguely remember reading that and then visiting her house when I was in middle school (I think). I grew up in Florida so it was for a school field trip.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elena » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:40 pm

El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Where it all began, you know, modern novel.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:21 pm

Elena wrote:El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Where it all began, you know, modern novel.

Very cute. I am about half way through the Edith Grossman translation but keep on getting sidetracked by other books many of which are mentioned in this site. But it probably is the first modern novel, and and if you can read it in Spanish you have my respect.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:34 pm

Elena wrote:El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Where it all began, you know, modern novel.

Elena,

Do you have a preferred English Translation?

I read the Ormsby translation (Part I only) 30+ years ago and was thinking of going back for Part II but decided I really need to re-read Part I first. I also own the Grossman and Cohen translations. I read a few sample pages here and there and think I like the Ormsby best.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elena » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:00 am

bertilak wrote:
Elena wrote:El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Where it all began, you know, modern novel.

Elena,

Do you have a preferred English Translation?

I read the Ormsby translation (Part I only) 30+ years ago and was thinking of going back for Part II but decided I really need to re-read Part I first. I also own the Grossman and Cohen translations. I read a few sample pages here and there and think I like the Ormsby best.

Bertilak,
I read it (and teach it) in Span., but I recommend Edith Grossman's translation to students. I have not compared it with others, but have read several Span. reviews that spoke highly of it. The e-version is quite affordable. And yes, I would re-read Part I before Part II, since the whole "game" begins in Part I Prologue and chapter VIII (skip "El curioso impertinente", irrelevant to the plot, as Cervantes himself recognized). Part II is better, of course.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elena » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:03 am

jdb wrote:
Elena wrote:El ingenioso hidalgo don Quijote de la Mancha. Where it all began, you know, modern novel.

Very cute. I am about half way through the Edith Grossman translation but keep on getting sidetracked by other books many of which are mentioned in this site. But it probably is the first modern novel, and and if you can read it in Spanish you have my respect.

Thanks! It is my job to teach it, too. Grossman has quite a reputation. Her translation of Quijote's death stirred debate in Spain back when it came out.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Feb 16, 2017 9:39 am

Elena wrote:Bertilak,
I read it (and teach it) in Span., but I recommend Edith Grossman's translation to students. I have not compared it with others, but have read several Span. reviews that spoke highly of it. The e-version is quite affordable. And yes, I would re-read Part I before Part II, since the whole "game" begins in Part I Prologue and chapter VIII (skip "El curioso impertinente", irrelevant to the plot, as Cervantes himself recognized). Part II is better, of course.

Thanks Elana.

I'll take another look at my Grossman. It certainly gets good reviews from those who should know.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by itstoomuch » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:39 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:The Three-Body Problem, by Cixin Liu. The first book of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy. It won the Hugo award and I can see why.

I posted my review here: Subject: Good Modern Science Fiction

The Dark Forest, by Cixin Liu. Book 2 of the Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy. The first part seemed to drag a bit and was focused on building up background info to use later. "Later" occurred around 50% in. Wow, how does he come up with this stuff?

Read book #3, have not done 1 or 2. Interesting concept of 2 dimensions hole. PBS s NOVA, THE ORIGAMI REVOLUTION, 3 dimensions can be expressed in 2 dimensions :oops:
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:11 pm

The Mango Opera, by TIm Corcoran.

On Key West a photographer is involved in solving a long and very complicated series of murders of his ex-girfriends.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:17 pm

"The Humor Code: A Global Search for What Makes Things Funny" by Peter McGraw and Joel Warner. I have just started reading it in order to prepare for my upcoming Standup Comedy course. As a pleasant surprise, the book has some behavioral economics connections. It turns out that McGraw has closely interacted with Danny Kahneman during his post-doc work at Princeton.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sun Feb 19, 2017 9:28 pm

I just finished Ngaio Marsh's autobiography, Black Beech and Honeydew .

Marsh wrote her one and only autobiography in 1965, some seventeen years before her death, so I would like to read at least one biography of her that was written both before and after her death. (Wikipedia says that there is a 1981 revised edition, but my library has only the 1965 edition.)

I have to say that this is, for the most part, dry reading, maybe even boring, so uncharacteristic of Marsh, so now I really want to read that biography. Another thing: the book is more of a memoir, than a true autobiography.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:20 pm

Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. First rereading since high school. Didn't grab me then, doesn't grab me now. Eh, it's OK.

It's drives me bananas that nobody ever says anything about the coincidence of Sir Walter Scott being a Scot, writing novels about historical Scotland, and being named Scott.

I am, however, coming to appreciate that (I think) Ivanhoe is basically the source of most of our cultural ideas about knights, castles, moats, drawbridges, tournaments, Robin Hood, minstrels, jesters, yeomen, etc. etc. There's some from La Morte D'Arthur, some from The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle--but I think mostly it's Ivanhoe.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:32 pm

"The Overlook" by Michael Connelly - the 13th in the Harry Bosch series. I have been glued to this series since early January. All are outstanding, top notch reads. If you love police procedural, look no further. The TV series "Bosch" on Amazon Prime is also excellent. Titus Welliver does a brilliant job portraying Bosch.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Minot » Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:42 pm

Dave55 wrote:"The Overlook" by Michael Connelly - the 13th in the Harry Bosch series. I have been glued to this series since early January. All are outstanding, top notch reads. If you love police procedural, look no further. The TV series "Bosch" on Amazon Prime is also excellent. Titus Welliver does a brilliant job portraying Bosch.
Dave

Even if you're not a lover of police procedurals (I'm not) you may like the Bosch series. I do. I also enjoy Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer series.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by d0gerz » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:35 pm

Alif the Unseen by G Willow Wilson. Has elements of fantasy/magic along with hacker culture and Arab Spring themes, set in a fictitious, contemporary Middle East. Have enjoyed it for the most part, though at times the story drags, and perhaps the novel could have been a bit shorter.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by d0gerz » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:37 pm

Minot wrote:
Dave55 wrote:"The Overlook" by Michael Connelly - the 13th in the Harry Bosch series. I have been glued to this series since early January. All are outstanding, top notch reads. If you love police procedural, look no further. The TV series "Bosch" on Amazon Prime is also excellent. Titus Welliver does a brilliant job portraying Bosch.
Dave

Even if you're not a lover of police procedurals (I'm not) you may like the Bosch series. I do. I also enjoy Connelly's Lincoln Lawyer series.

Love the TV show and have also read the first two books in the series, found another couple of books randomly at book sales but waiting to read them in order.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Tue Feb 21, 2017 5:46 pm

d0gerz wrote:Love the TV show and have also read the first two books in the series, found another couple of books randomly at book sales but waiting to read them in order.

I have read them all. The Poet books (there are two, I think) are the best of the bunch as I recall.

I like the series but struggle a bit with the character. In the books, Bosch has to be at least in his mid-sixties by now given that he was a tunnel rat in Vietnam during the war.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:00 pm

The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas.

Long (1250pp), rambling, entertaining melodrama, with a side of commentary about the state of polite society in Paris during the restoration. Deserves to be a classic. I started with the uncredited public domain translation, and after the 1st third, switched to the Robin Buss (Penguin Classics) translation. The Buss translation is more readable.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Tue Feb 21, 2017 8:00 pm

jebmke wrote:
d0gerz wrote:Love the TV show and have also read the first two books in the series, found another couple of books randomly at book sales but waiting to read them in order.

I have read them all. The Poet books (there are two, I think) are the best of the bunch as I recall.

I like the series but struggle a bit with the character. In the books, Bosch has to be at least in his mid-sixties by now given that he was a tunnel rat in Vietnam during the war.


I don't think this is unusual. Two crime writers I've read through the years are Ngaio Marsh and Sue Grafton. Marsh wrote from the mid-thirties up until her death in 1982. Her protagonist, Roderick Alleyn, never seemed to age. Likewise, Grafton started her Kinsey Millhone series in 1982 with "A" is for Alibi. Her latest, "Y" is for ....", is due out later this year. Kinsey seems to have aged about five years in that thirty-five year span.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rakornacki1 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 7:29 am

Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile.
A fascinating, memorable chronology of how this Texas congressman was truly behind the scenes during the end of the Cold War through the Iraq invasion.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by BashDash » Wed Feb 22, 2017 11:53 am

Just read Ghostman by Roger Hobbs. I would call it a thriller-heist novel. There is a sequel called Vanishing Games. I found it very unique and a much needed break from the Jack Reacher series that I love. Something about the Ghostman character is profoundly unique. If you liked Oceans Eleven then I think you might like this too.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Feb 23, 2017 11:54 am

The Republic of Pirates, by Colin Woodard.

This is the very interesting history of pirates and piracy during 1715 - 1725 in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. The focus is on the lives of pirates Samuel "Black Sam" Bellamy, Edward "Blackbeard" Thatch, Charles Vane, and their mentor Benjamin Hornigold, and on the life of their nemesis Woodes Rogers later Governor of the Bahamas.
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quantAndHold
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Feb 23, 2017 12:00 pm

The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway.

A man vs fish love story.

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

Post by FreeAtLast » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:00 pm

The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote.

Vol. I: Fort Sumter to Perryville
Vol. II: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Vol. III: Red River to Appomattox

I have been studying the Civil War intermittently for over 35 years, so don't ask me to explain why I waited until now to read these classic histories. Having just finished Volume III today, I must say I am very gratified that I finally made the effort. Foote fills his text with extensive details and explanations that I have never seen before anywhere. Of course his trilogy, at about 3,000 pages, almost doubles the size of Bruce Catton's famous Centennial CW trilogy. While he views the war from a Southern perspective, I found Foote to be fair in his judgments, criticizing Confederate notables when necessary and giving credit when credit was due to their Union counterparts. He illuminates the careers of two Confederates in particular: President Jefferson Davis and the redoubtable cavalry leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The accompanying maps, while uncomplicated, are among the best I have ever seen in presenting easily comprehensible, visual descriptions of all the battles and military excursions. My advice is if you a a novice to learning about the Civil War, then don't start with Foote! Instead, begin with Catton's trilogy and sprinkle in some other authors (for example, Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson); then once you have a decent overall conception of the outline of this horrific cataclysm, move on bravely to Foote's Volume I. If you love American history, these three tomes are a must-read. Enjoy!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:20 pm

Big fan here of Shelby Foote, (the unapologetic Mississippian), and his three volume work on the Civil War. :beer
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ruralavalon
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Feb 24, 2017 9:20 am

FreeAtLast wrote:The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote.

Vol. I: Fort Sumter to Perryville
Vol. II: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Vol. III: Red River to Appomattox

I have been studying the Civil War intermittently for over 35 years, so don't ask me to explain why I waited until now to read these classic histories. Having just finished Volume III today, I must say I am very gratified that I finally made the effort. Foote fills his text with extensive details and explanations that I have never seen before anywhere. Of course his trilogy, at about 3,000 pages, almost doubles the size of Bruce Catton's famous Centennial CW trilogy. While he views the war from a Southern perspective, I found Foote to be fair in his judgments, criticizing Confederate notables when necessary and giving credit when credit was due to their Union counterparts. He illuminates the careers of two Confederates in particular: President Jefferson Davis and the redoubtable cavalry leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The accompanying maps, while uncomplicated, are among the best I have ever seen in presenting easily comprehensible, visual descriptions of all the battles and military excursions. My advice is if you a a novice to learning about the Civil War, then don't start with Foote! Instead, begin with Catton's trilogy and sprinkle in some other authors (for example, Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson); then once you have a decent overall conception of the outline of this horrific cataclysm, move on bravely to Foote's Volume I. If you love American history, these three tomes are a must-read. Enjoy!

That is an excellent series by Foote, well worth reading.

I agree with all of the other recommendations. I would add the trilogy on General Grant -- Lloyd Lewis' Captain Sam Grant, and Bruce Catton's Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command.
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jdb
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:39 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
FreeAtLast wrote:The Civil War: A Narrative, by Shelby Foote.

Vol. I: Fort Sumter to Perryville
Vol. II: Fredericksburg to Meridian
Vol. III: Red River to Appomattox

I have been studying the Civil War intermittently for over 35 years, so don't ask me to explain why I waited until now to read these classic histories. Having just finished Volume III today, I must say I am very gratified that I finally made the effort. Foote fills his text with extensive details and explanations that I have never seen before anywhere. Of course his trilogy, at about 3,000 pages, almost doubles the size of Bruce Catton's famous Centennial CW trilogy. While he views the war from a Southern perspective, I found Foote to be fair in his judgments, criticizing Confederate notables when necessary and giving credit when credit was due to their Union counterparts. He illuminates the careers of two Confederates in particular: President Jefferson Davis and the redoubtable cavalry leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest. The accompanying maps, while uncomplicated, are among the best I have ever seen in presenting easily comprehensible, visual descriptions of all the battles and military excursions. My advice is if you a a novice to learning about the Civil War, then don't start with Foote! Instead, begin with Catton's trilogy and sprinkle in some other authors (for example, Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson); then once you have a decent overall conception of the outline of this horrific cataclysm, move on bravely to Foote's Volume I. If you love American history, these three tomes are a must-read. Enjoy!

That is an excellent series by Foote, well worth reading.

I agree with all of the other recommendations. I would add the trilogy on General Grant -- Lloyd Lewis' Captain Sam Grant, and Bruce Catton's Grant Moves South and Grant Takes Command.

All great Civil War reading suggestions. Though as to Grant would suggest his autobiography, probably ranks with Benjamin Franklin as greatest American historical autobiographies, and recently published biography, American Ulysses by Ronald White.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:03 pm

gkaplan wrote:...I don't think this is unusual. Two crime writers I've read through the years are Ngaio Marsh and Sue Grafton. Marsh wrote from the mid-thirties up until her death in 1982. Her protagonist, Roderick Alleyn, never seemed to age. Likewise, Grafton started her Kinsey Millhone series in 1982 with "A" is for Alibi. Her latest, "Y" is for ....", is due out later this year. Kinsey seems to have aged about five years in that thirty-five year span.
That's a very conscious and open strategy, Grafton has mentioned it a couple of times and has stated that Kinsey ages one year per 2.5 books. So... she should have aged, and the "present time" of the books should have advanced, just about ten years from A to Y.

It's much more fun to have Kinsey going to the library and paging through Polk's Directory than just using Google.

Since the Sherlock Holmes stories are reminiscences and files from his "case book," it isn't necessary that he age, but (quickly checking Wikipedia) the stories were written from 1891-1927 but are set in the years 1880-1914. And P. G. Wodehouse's stories with Bertie Wooster and Jeeves were published from 1915 to 1974 but are set, I think, just before World War I. Of course I guess they are really set in a fictional universe.
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