What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
gkaplan
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:48 pm

This morning, I finished reading Ngaio Marsh: a Life, by Margaret Lewis.

This is an “authorized” biography of Dame Ngaio Marsh, writer of thirty-two crime novels, legendary producer of Shakespeare, and accomplished painter.

This was excellent, interesting, and very well written. I certainly would it recommend it for those interested in Marsh's life and extensive travels and in an overview of her writing and theatrical production. I do have two nitpicks, however:

1. The book has extensive bibliographic references; however, it has no bibliography, other than one listing her Roderick Alleyn novels and her autobiography, her short non-fiction works, her short stories, her published and unpublished plays, and a television script she wrote. In other words, the book does not have a bibliography of works, other than hers, cited in the bibliographic references.

2. The book has a comprehensive index, better than many I have seen recently. It does have several glaring omissions, though, as well as many undifferentiated page locators. In addition, the index is strictly a proper name index (people, places, and productions). I think topical entries would have been useful.
Gordon

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 9916
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:08 pm

Back on the Road to Key West,by Michael Reising.

In the a 1980's two friends from the Florida Keys treasure hunt, outwit a series of dastardly villains, and have implausible adventures from the Bahamas to Bolivia to Honduras and back to Key West. More than a little bit juvenile but fun to read.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5734
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby market timer » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:30 am

My Struggle: Book 1, by Knausgaard.

Amazon blurb:
Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about his life with painful honesty. He writes about his childhood and teenage years, his infatuation with rock music, his relationship with his loving yet almost invisible mother and his distant and unpredictable father, and his bewilderment and grief on his father’s death.

When Karl Ove becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature. Knausgaard has created a universal story of the struggles, great and small, that we all face in our lives. A profound and mesmerizing work, written as if the author’s very life were at stake.

a2z
Posts: 75
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby a2z » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:40 am

I'm rereading Sapiens and it's even better the 2nd time around. It's about "us"- where we've been and where we might be headed. If you liked Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel you'll find even greater understanding of our species in Sapiens.

a2z

aqan
Posts: 118
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2015 7:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby aqan » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:17 am

LeeInTN wrote: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.

Thanks just started reading (actually listening) it. So far i like it (think I'm one)

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 9916
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sun Mar 19, 2017 3:29 pm

The Big Finish, by James W. Hall.

A man from Key Largo, a recluse with poorly developed social skills, is lured to the Neuse River area of Eastern North Carolina to rescue his son.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 16319
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Mon Mar 20, 2017 3:53 pm

Date-Onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger.

The book is about the statistics of dating and the resulting social, economic, and other effects. More specifically, it's about ratios of college and college-educated men and women, about the prevalence of women, and how these ratios have affected the dating culture and other phenomena.

We all are familiar with gender imbalances in the groups we belong to. However, it's revealing to see the overall picture, appreciate the ubiquity of the imbalances, and get surprised about how bad it really is. This is a Bogleheads type of a book with a lot of statistics, references to observational and controlled studies, and examples from many disciplines including animal behavior.

Women's problems start in college, if they choose a wrong college. The best college for women is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with 28% women and 72% men. The worst is Sarah Lawrence College with 75% women to 25% men. At RPI dating means relationships. At SLC "the girls complain about loneliness, the guys get more than they can handle ... and mindless, one-night stands are rampant."

Bogleheads believing in the prudence of saving may be startled by studies showing that "the men intended to save 42 percent less and borrow 84 percent more when they believed there was a scarcity of women" (p.67).

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

denismurf
Posts: 529
Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:29 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby denismurf » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:32 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
gkaplan wrote:This morning, I finished reading The Fateful Adventures of the Good Soldier Svejk During the World War : Book One by Jaroslav Hasek.

The Good Soldier Svejk is a series of tales about an ordinary man's successful quest to survive and to enjoy life in the face of the endless absurdities imposed on him by the effects of the complex institutions of modern society that magnify the rational and moral shortcomings of individuals in direct proportion to their positions in the hierarchies of which they are a part. (Synopsis taken from my library's catalog record.)

This is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of satirical writing. It's an acquired taste, however. At least it was for me. The author intended to follow up Book One with five more books. He lived only to publish two more parts of the Svejk saga. He began writing a fourth book but only completed about eighty pages before his death. My library, a major metropolitan library, has only Book One. Judging from my library's inter-library loan database, apparently only Book One has been translated into English.


Extraordinary book!

Victoria


I just finished reading Svejk for the second time, in English translation. I know just enough Serbian and Russisan to get a lot of the humor I might otherwise miss.

For extremely graphic descriptions of the horrible war Svejk did so much to avoid, including bitter indictments of the officers, who displayed extremes of cruelty and stupidity toward the men they were supposed to be leading, read Poilu, The World War I Notebooks of Corporal Louis Barthas, Barrelmaker 1914 -1918. I read an English translation from the French, so missed much (maybe most) of the colorful language used by Barthas to describe both the company level officers and the colonels and generals way up the chain of command.

The officers I encountered as a grunt in the cold war US Army of 1960-63 were nowhere near as mean and downright incompetent as those described in most books about WWI, regardless of which armies the officers were in.

I would guess that The Good Soldier Svejk was ordered burned by Hitler.

The Barthas notebooks are not something to read while eating.

galectin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby galectin » Mon Mar 20, 2017 6:15 pm

I am halfway through From Bacteria to Bach and Back by Daniel Dennett. It is about human consciousness. So far, I think it is pretty good.

gkaplan
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:38 pm

This morning, I finished reading Call for the Dead by John le Carré.

"With the incomparable opening chapter of Call for the Dead, John Le Carré introduces his legendary spy George Smiley and immediately ensnares you in the shadowy world Smiley inhabits.

"Pulled back from overseas duty during World War II, Smiley was redirected to face the threats of the Cold War. He had been asked to interview Samuel Fennan of the Foreign Office after an anonymous letter accused Fennan of Communist Party membership. Smiley's report cleared him of the allegations, so he was stunned to learn that Fennan had died the day after the interview, leaving a suicide note that claimed his career had been ruined. Investigating circumstances that make no sense to him, Smiley gradually uncovers a spy ring and in so doing is led into a lethal duel of wits with the best of his war-time pupils.

"Call for the Dead marks the beginning of the brilliant literary career of John Le Carré, just as it launches the life of one of the most memorable fictional characters of the twentieth century."

(Publisher provided summary.)

At one time I had read all the John lé Carre novels, but I quit reading them sometime in the late eighties. I've decided to go back and read them all, in the order in which they were reading. Call for the Dead, the first of these novels and the shortest of them by far, originally was published in 1961, and the copyright renewed in 1989.

This particular edition was published in 2004 and is graced with a forward by crime novelist P. D. James. One of the things she points out is that le Carré wrote Call for the Dead when mobile phones were unknown, telephone services provided wake-up calls, and more sophisticated criminal investigative tools were to come.

The author also has provided an introduction to this edition, in which he talks about his background and how and why he came to write his novels, "Call for the Dead," in particular.
Gordon

User avatar
snowshoes
Posts: 348
Joined: Tue Feb 03, 2015 12:33 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Tue Mar 21, 2017 9:53 pm

The Education of a Speculator by Victor Niederhoffer
The Seven Laws of Money by Michael Phillips.

CynthiaCPdx
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 1:30 am
Location: Portland

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby CynthiaCPdx » Tue Mar 21, 2017 11:58 pm

The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

A book about the African American migration across our country from WW1 to the 1970s.

She is a beautiful writer and the stories are fascinating.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 9916
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:03 pm

Pirate by Steven.Becker.

In 1821 in Southwest Florida pirates have stolen treasure from other pirates, flee the U.S. Navy by heading into the Florida interior and across the Everglades, and arrive in the Florida Keys where they bury the treasure and learn of a possible new line of work. Wrecking.

This is the first book of a series. It is not very well written, but is still enjoyable frivolous reading.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

gkaplan
Posts: 6669
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sat Mar 25, 2017 7:59 pm

This morning I finished reading Snowblind written by Ragnar Jónasson and translated by Quentin Bates.

"Siglufjörður is an idyllically quiet fishing village in Northern Iceland, one where no one locks their doors and accessible only via a small mountain tunnel. Ari Thór Arason is a rookie policeman on his first posting, far from his girlfriend in Reykjavik with a past that he's unable to leave behind.
When a young woman is found lying half-naked in the snow, bleeding and unconscious, and a highly esteemed, elderly writer falls to his death in the local theater, Ari is dragged straight into the heart of a community where he can trust no one, and secrets and lies are a way of life.
Past plays tag with the present and the claustrophobic tension mounts, while Ari is thrust ever deeper into his own darkness, blinded by snow, and with a killer on the loose." (Edited synopsis provided by publisher.)

This book is quite good. Library Journal and Publishers Weekly both gave the book a starred review. The book is the first in the author's Dark Island series. It was first published in Iceland in 2015 but not translated into English until 2015. This U.S. edition was not published until 2017. From what I can ascertain, Ragnar Jónasson has written four other books in his Dark Island series: Nightblind, Blackout, Rupture, and Whiteout.
Nightblind is scheduled to be published in the U.S. in December 2017, but the U.S. publication dates for the other three books are currently unknown.

The author has another series going, as well, the Hulda series. This series revolves around female detective Hulda (literally meaning “hidden woman”) and is set in Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands, in an isolated fjord, and on one of Iceland’s most picturesque and inaccessible islands.
Jónasson has written two books in this series: Dimma ("Darkness") and Drungi ("The Island"). The former was published in Iceland in 2015 and is scheduled for publication in the U.S. in 2018. The latter was published in Iceland in 2016 and is scheduled for publication in the U.S. In 2019.
Gordon

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 16319
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Sun Mar 26, 2017 9:56 am

gkaplan wrote:This morning I finished reading Snowblind written by Ragnar Jónasson and translated by Quentin Bates.


Thank you for a review, Gordon. I have ordered it from the library.

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

User avatar
Blues
Posts: 1470
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Blues » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:03 am

"SIlence of the Grave" by Arnaldur Indriðason. (Inspector Erlendur #4)

More Icelandic crime fiction. 8-)

Having grown up with a best friend from Reykjavik during my junior high through college years, this fiction is like an old friend coming around for a visit.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

Valuethinker
Posts: 30905
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:18 am

market timer wrote:My Struggle: Book 1, by Knausgaard.

Amazon blurb:
Karl Ove Knausgaard writes about his life with painful honesty. He writes about his childhood and teenage years, his infatuation with rock music, his relationship with his loving yet almost invisible mother and his distant and unpredictable father, and his bewilderment and grief on his father’s death.

When Karl Ove becomes a father himself, he must balance the demands of caring for a young family with his determination to write great literature. Knausgaard has created a universal story of the struggles, great and small, that we all face in our lives. A profound and mesmerizing work, written as if the author’s very life were at stake.


I have not gotten over the fact that Knausgaard chose to use the name of one of the world's great works of evil. There is no doubt some irony in there, somewhere, that is present in the book?

Translated into German, literally, it is Mein Kampf. As in, the book that every German household owned, in 1939. And had people read it, and taken it more seriously, in say 1930, we might have saved the world over 50m dead, destruction of historic cities and relics, near obliteration of an ancient and venerable religion from European civilization, Auschwitz etc...

I therefore suspected boyscout Nietsche.

The title just doesn't want to make me read it.

Valuethinker
Posts: 30905
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:23 am

VictoriaF wrote:Date-Onomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game by Jon Birger.

The book is about the statistics of dating and the resulting social, economic, and other effects. More specifically, it's about ratios of college and college-educated men and women, about the prevalence of women, and how these ratios have affected the dating culture and other phenomena.

We all are familiar with gender imbalances in the groups we belong to. However, it's revealing to see the overall picture, appreciate the ubiquity of the imbalances, and get surprised about how bad it really is. This is a Bogleheads type of a book with a lot of statistics, references to observational and controlled studies, and examples from many disciplines including animal behavior.

Women's problems start in college, if they choose a wrong college. The best college for women is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with 28% women and 72% men. The worst is Sarah Lawrence College with 75% women to 25% men. At RPI dating means relationships. At SLC "the girls complain about loneliness, the guys get more than they can handle ... and mindless, one-night stands are rampant."

Bogleheads believing in the prudence of saving may be startled by studies showing that "the men intended to save 42 percent less and borrow 84 percent more when they believed there was a scarcity of women" (p.67).

Victoria


Couple of points.

For the younger generation (and maybe for the older ones too, now) sexual orientation seems more fluid.

The second might be that perhaps young women are well served by mindless one-night stands ;-). Given that they are at the beginnings of their professional lives, which will take long hours and heavy commitment, and boyfriends are going to be handicaps in that.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Valuethinker
Posts: 30905
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Valuethinker » Sun Mar 26, 2017 11:25 am

a2z wrote:I'm rereading Sapiens and it's even better the 2nd time around. It's about "us"- where we've been and where we might be headed. If you liked Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel you'll find even greater understanding of our species in Sapiens.

a2z


OK that's a good recommendation for a book that, by and large, I was not sure about given the hype.

Bryson gets lots wrong, btw. It's not a reliable book according to all the commentary that I have read.

I've also read lots of critiques of Diamond, although as a non-specialist I felt he made a lot of sense.

Jeff Albertson
Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:11 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Jeff Albertson » Sun Mar 26, 2017 12:06 pm

a2z wrote:I'm rereading Sapiens and it's even better the 2nd time around. It's about "us"- where we've been and where we might be headed. If you liked Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything and Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel you'll find even greater understanding of our species in Sapiens.

a2z

Barry Ritholtz interviewed the author, Yuval Noah Harari, on his 'Masters in Business' radio show / podcast.
http://ritholtz.com/2017/03/mib-yuval-noah-harari-2/

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5193
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:23 pm
Location: East of the Pecos, West of the Mississippi

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bertilak » Sun Mar 26, 2017 1:11 pm

I just finished Part I of Cervantes' Don Quixote, the 2003 translation by Edith Grossman. It is a pretty good translation, an easy read in English and, per reviews, very true to the original.

I read this once before many years ago. I don't remember whose translation. My memory of it is vague. I don't think I made it to Part II back then.

I'm sure you all know the general "plot," if you can call it that: Don Quixote goes quite mad as a result of reading many books of chivalry and knights errant (the popular "pulp fiction" of Cervantes' time) so goes out in the world to perform knightly deeds and revive the profession of knight errantry, a task he is completely unfit for. The odd thing is that he is a very intelligent and well educated man who is quite sane, and even erudite, in all other respects. Sancho Panza says of him that, if not discouraged, he can talk as much as thirty lawyers. Unfortunately Quixote is prone to drastically misunderstanding many situations and drops into his knight-errant fantasy world with disastrous consequences for him, Sancho, and those around him. Sancho sees through most of Quixote's obvious misunderstandings but his greed lets him fall for the big one: Quixote truly is a knight errant (if somewhat inept) and will win an island for Sancho to govern.

It turns out this is partially a wrapper story for the adventures of the people he meets on the road -- they all have their own stories to tell. I would guess they make up about half of Part I. I found them entertaining. They are mostly tales of young men who have fallen in love with young women and have many obstacles to overcome to win the lady. Some are personal stories and some are stories in manuscripts our little group of companions run across. The "little group of companions" is more than just Quixote and Sancho Panza. There is the Barber and the Priest, both friends of Don Quixote, and those people they meet on the road. Sometimes individual stories will come together for mutual resolution. (Cervantes was not embarrassed by unlikely coincidences!) These people range from illiterate shepherds through soldiers, priests, and people of noble lineage. An innkeeper and a couple of "ladies of easy virtue" play parts.

The whole thing is quite a romp and with all those embedded stories reminds me of Canterbury Tales.

Sancho Panza is rightly recognized as a classic character. Both he and Don Quixote gain our sympathy and admiration. We forgive them their obvious, and serious, faults.

In Part I poor Don Quixote and Sancho (and others) suffer quite a bit of physical abuse. I hear Part II is even more unkind to them. In any case, I am off to Part II!
I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. | -- Rex Stout

galectin
Posts: 145
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 1:57 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby galectin » Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:45 pm

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben. It is about how trees grow and interact with other trees and their environment, both as individual trees and within a forest. I have found it to be fascinating and highly recommend it.


Return to “Personal Consumer Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: andy2012, Bfwolf, TD2626 and 28 guests