What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sschullo » Thu May 26, 2016 9:34 pm

Wildebeest wrote:"GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth.

Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars.

Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compared to grit)

She is a great writer and her book is so much better than her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duc ... ccess_grit


Interesting. I am happy this line of research has continued.
20 years ago, I used Carol Dweck's General Theory of Intelligence in my PhD educational psychology dissertation at UCLA (Dweck's work is cited by Angela Duckworth). One of the findings was this: If female math students in algebra 1 used incremental belief system (working hard, persistence, or "grit") their final grades were higher than those female students who believed their intelligence was fixed. The female students reported working harder than the male students. With male students the fixed or the incremental beliefs did not matter, but with females students it did matter.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by snowshoes » Thu May 26, 2016 10:08 pm

100 Baggers: Stocks that return 100 to 1..by Chris Mayer. Advocating buy and hold, buying right, time in the market, and timing the market. :happy

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Fri May 27, 2016 9:47 am

Cat Among the Pigeons, by Agatha Christie.

Revolution in a small Arab country, missing gems, murder at an English girls school, a mystery for Hercule Poirot.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ricola » Fri May 27, 2016 10:26 am

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham. Grisham for me has always an enjoyable read. Main character has similarities to John Connelly's Mickey Haller character.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by doug1022 » Fri May 27, 2016 12:03 pm

Just finished "Running Money" by Andy Kessler - a very interesting inside look at a hedge fund manager's odyssey raising money, and finding quality investments during the tech bubble era (1996-2001). The author has a dry, irreverent style that is refreshing and honest.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Wildebeest » Fri May 27, 2016 6:29 pm

sschullo wrote:
Wildebeest wrote:"GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth.

Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars.

Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compared to grit)

She is a great writer and her book is so much better than her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duc ... ccess_grit


Interesting. I am happy this line of research has continued.
20 years ago, I used Carol Dweck's General Theory of Intelligence in my PhD educational psychology dissertation at UCLA (Dweck's work is cited by Angela Duckworth). One of the findings was this: If female math students in algebra 1 used incremental belief system (working hard, persistence, or "grit") their final grades were higher than those female students who believed their intelligence was fixed. The female students reported working harder than the male students. With male students the fixed or the incremental beliefs did not matter, but with females students it did matter.


Women by working harder and being more committed will out perform males now and in the long run. It is tough when reality strikes.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sschullo » Fri May 27, 2016 6:57 pm

Wildebeest wrote:
sschullo wrote:
Wildebeest wrote:"GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth.

Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars.

Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compared to grit)

She is a great writer and her book is so much better than her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duc ... ccess_grit


Interesting. I am happy this line of research has continued.
20 years ago, I used Carol Dweck's General Theory of Intelligence in my PhD educational psychology dissertation at UCLA (Dweck's work is cited by Angela Duckworth). One of the findings was this: If female math students in algebra 1 used incremental belief system (working hard, persistence, or "grit") their final grades were higher than those female students who believed their intelligence was fixed. The female students reported working harder than the male students. With male students the fixed or the incremental beliefs did not matter, but with females students it did matter.


Women by working harder and being more committed will out perform males now and in the long run. It is tough when reality strikes.

And women are better investors not because they are smart, its because they are natural Bogleheads in at least two key strategies, 1. buy and hold, and 2. think long term.
Public School K-12 Educators: "Ask NOT what your annuity sales person can do for you, ask what you can do to be a Do-It-Yourselfer (DIY)."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle » Fri May 27, 2016 7:35 pm

Dough, by Mort Zachter. A breezy, funny/sad memoir. The author discovers that his parsimonious uncles, who ran the family bakery, were worth millions. Mr. Zachter struggles with his bitterness over the situation. His parents, who knew about this great wealth, and worked at the bakery for nothing, could have used some financial help but were too proud to ask.

A perceptive book about how some people's relationship with money can be complicated.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Fri May 27, 2016 7:43 pm

Ricola wrote:Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham. Grisham for me has always an enjoyable read. Main character has similarities to John Connelly's Mickey Haller character.
''


You mean Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller character, I'm sure.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Sat May 28, 2016 9:14 pm

Hell's Gate, by David Weber and Linda Evans. Two societies at different levels of technology and magic get connected through a multi-world portal. I like the writing style, it's keeping me interested.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rakornacki1 » Mon May 30, 2016 6:55 am

"Pope Francis Against the Wolves"
What an incredible leader! Faced with numerous, complex challenges he is trying to make major changes while enhancing the Catholic faith.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Mon May 30, 2016 7:13 am

Valiant Amibition by Nathaniel Philbrick. (A wonderful writer worth looking into for those who haven't picked up any of his fine histories.)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by woodwalker74 » Mon May 30, 2016 7:57 am

Social Security Works by Altman and Kingson - interesting and well researched. Topic that affects all of us.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jeremyl » Mon May 30, 2016 8:15 am

Since first week of April:

Bill Walsh's book on leadership- great for anyone in a leadership position. It conveys the importance of "culture" within an organization top to bottom.

The millionaire next door.
The only investment guide you'll ever need.

From Jon Gordon's books (I'm a teacher and coach and found these to help improve my attitude and be more positive in life):
The energy bus
The positive dog
The no complaining rule
Training camp.

Listening to The 4 hour work week.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Mon May 30, 2016 8:58 am

This morning, I'm reading Home staging for Dummies.

This afternoon, I'm cleaning out a couple of closets.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon May 30, 2016 3:50 pm

Just finished James Lee Burke - "Light of the World". Burke is just an outstanding author.

His novels always have a few interesting philosophical gems.

" Age if a clever thief. It takes a little from you every day, so you're not aware of your loss until it's irreversible."

Another:

"At a certain age, you realize the greatest loss you can experience is a theft you perpetrate on yourself - the was of days given us. Is there a more piercing remorse than the realization that a person has thrown away the potential that resides in every sunrise?"
Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Tue May 31, 2016 4:26 am

ruralavalon wrote:Cadillac Desert, by Marc Reisner.

This book is a recap of dam building and water projects in the Western US. This is the most negative book I have read in a long time. The author seems to think that almost everyone living West of Iowa is a fool a knave or both, including but not limited to farmers, ranchers, developers, city dwellers, liberals, conservatives, lawyers, engineers, Mormons, politicians of all stripes starting with Theodore Roosevelt, and especially the Department of the Interior Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.


It is, and was, a total classic.

He was being a Cassandra. And in fact he was right-- from the perspective of the environment (the physical capacity of an environment to produce water for development) the West was a total fiasco-- you couldn't have set out to make it worse.

And like Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) we can fairly say that Cadillac Desert changed history. It brought an environmental awareness to the book that has changed what and how we do things. Many of the ways water is used in the US West are still nonsensical, stupid and unsustainable BUT humans have found ways to use water more efficiently, to price water more optimally, and to accommodate further growth. Of course we still have the California drought, and the end of El Nino does not end that particular problem.

So the story he tells of historic greed, ignorance and wilful blindness is true, but there's also a story (since) of an awakening awareness of water sustainability, and what must be done to achieve that. Of major steps towards more sensible allocation and use of water in the US West.

In a very real sense it's a parable of human civilization. If you go with Garett Harding and Tragedy of the Commons, then humans never learn, and eventually we destroy our natural resource base by consumption and/ or effluent (followed by, see Jared Diamond, catastrophic collapse, but even Diamond is not a total pessimist).

Or, and this was Elinor Ostrom's Nobel Prize, we evolve ways, as a community, that allow us to live sustainably in the face of natural limits (yes, technology can move limits, but against exponential growth, even technology can eventually fail). Some civilizations do figure this out.

And so the 2 polarities: nihilistic pessimism (leading fairly inevitably to conflict, war, collapse) and (naive?) optimism.

We are capable of choosing either path. As we have been since we left the Garden of Eden. Evolution has embedded both the reason for our success, as history's most powerful primate, and the reason for our failure.
Last edited by Valuethinker on Tue May 31, 2016 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Tue May 31, 2016 4:29 am

LadyGeek wrote:Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, by Lois McMaster Bujold. This is a side story of the Vorkosigan Saga, where Miles is not the main character. It's space opera, but in this case more opera than space. Meh.


Either it's a desire to fill in readers about Cornelia, or it's a set up for something else. Not quite sure what was in her mind writing it.

Whereas the one about "that idiot Ivan" I rather enjoyed. Diplomatic Impunity?

A Civil Campaign is Bujold's take on Jane Austen, btw, a Comedy of Manners in a world where genetic and birth technology has progressed enormously from the current day-- the Betan reaction to the phenomenon of live childbirth is fairly amusing.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Tue May 31, 2016 4:35 am

carolinaman wrote:Just read "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. This was a great and interesting read. I was already familiar with the issues and failings of the sub-prime mortgage debacle, but it was really interesting to read about how these three unconventional groups of outsiders figured out the fallacy of the sub-prime mess and bet against it and won big time. It was also disturbing about how greedy, manipulative and stupid most of Wall Street was about this. It is ironic that most of the people who caused this mess walked away with huge sums of money.



I don't think Steve Eisman was a real outsider. Come on, he worked for Oppenheimer, because his parents got him a job there? That sounds like a pretty inside outsider to me?

The key point is that the incentives of the system were all about annual bonus. That was a number people had to hit, so they hit it.

According to the author, the root problem is that the big Wall Street firms are all now corporations and their speculative gambles are risks to their shareholders and ultimately, the Federal government for these too big to fail firms. If that happens, they simply walk away from the mess with their fortunes, leaving the government to fix it. Simply put, their incentives or the risk/reward is out of kilter. That problem still exists and will no doubt cause financial crisis again and again.


There were banking crises before. Think the failure of the Grant-Cutler broking firm (yes, that General Grant) in 1871 which brought about a depression and financial panic probably as great as the 1930s or the 2008 one (we don't have the stats to fully know).

If you look at the firms where the employees held the most equity, Bear Sterns (25%) and Lehman were probably near the top of that list. So employee equity in and of itself does not solve the problem.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Tue May 31, 2016 11:59 am

sschullo wrote:
Wildebeest wrote:"GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth.

Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars.

Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compared to grit)

She is a great writer and her book is so much better than her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duc ... ccess_grit


Interesting. I am happy this line of research has continued.
20 years ago, I used Carol Dweck's General Theory of Intelligence in my PhD educational psychology dissertation at UCLA (Dweck's work is cited by Angela Duckworth). One of the findings was this: If female math students in algebra 1 used incremental belief system (working hard, persistence, or "grit") their final grades were higher than those female students who believed their intelligence was fixed. The female students reported working harder than the male students. With male students the fixed or the incremental beliefs did not matter, but with females students it did matter.

More recently, the research backing the assertions in this book have been shown to NOT prove the point. Duckworth herself has admitted that she drew conclusion that were not supported by the data.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/05/25/479172868/angela-duckworth-responds-to-a-new-critique-of-grit
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue May 31, 2016 6:28 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
carolinaman wrote:Just read "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. This was a great and interesting read. I was already familiar with the issues and failings of the sub-prime mortgage debacle, but it was really interesting to read about how these three unconventional groups of outsiders figured out the fallacy of the sub-prime mess and bet against it and won big time. It was also disturbing about how greedy, manipulative and stupid most of Wall Street was about this. It is ironic that most of the people who caused this mess walked away with huge sums of money.



I don't think Steve Eisman was a real outsider. Come on, he worked for Oppenheimer, because his parents got him a job there? That sounds like a pretty inside outsider to me? ...


True, Eisman was about as inside as an insider can get and even had some previous experience in the subprime market that was one reason he made ready for this one. Eisman, Burry, and the two Cornwall guys approached shorting for deeply personal, very different, and often comical reasons (leading, of course, to the movie).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sschullo » Tue May 31, 2016 7:26 pm

TheGreyingDuke wrote:
sschullo wrote:
Wildebeest wrote:"GRIT The power of Passion and perseverance " by Angela Duckworth.

Great non fiction. Highly recommended: Five stars.

Page turner, chuckful of great vignets/ studies with scientific underpinnings as to what leads to excellence. ( spoiler alert: IQ, talent, good looks are overrated compared to grit)

She is a great writer and her book is so much better than her TED talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duc ... ccess_grit


Interesting. I am happy this line of research has continued.
20 years ago, I used Carol Dweck's General Theory of Intelligence in my PhD educational psychology dissertation at UCLA (Dweck's work is cited by Angela Duckworth). One of the findings was this: If female math students in algebra 1 used incremental belief system (working hard, persistence, or "grit") their final grades were higher than those female students who believed their intelligence was fixed. The female students reported working harder than the male students. With male students the fixed or the incremental beliefs did not matter, but with females students it did matter.

More recently, the research backing the assertions in this book have been shown to NOT prove the point. Duckworth herself has admitted that she drew conclusion that were not supported by the data.

http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/05/25/479172868/angela-duckworth-responds-to-a-new-critique-of-grit


My research data was taken from lower SES (social economic status) students in public schools here in California in the early 1990s. It was from the learned helpless studies from the 70s and 80s. This line of motivational research is nothing new, I am surprised that TED choose her to speak.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Tue May 31, 2016 7:32 pm

Please stay on-topic, which is about a book - not the author's on-going activities.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Wed Jun 01, 2016 12:04 am

I just finished reading Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall.

By sixteen, the author of this memoir was dealing marijuana, bedding her instructors at a performing arts high school, and studying the oboe. Later, her blossoming career as a freelance musician in New York introduced her to cocaine parties and group sex that had her wondering why she "got hired for so many of my gigs in bed." As she heads toward forty, and the sex and drugs recede along with dreams of stardom, the reality of a future in Broadway orchestra pits, where she reads magazines as she plays to stave off boredom sets in. Tindall escaped to journalism, but she harbors a resentment of an industry that "squeezed me dry of spontaneity" and turns other musicians into hollow-eyed "galley slaves.” She mounts a biting critique of the conservatories that churn out thousands of graduates each year to pursue a handful of jobs, the superstar conductors and soloists who lord it over orchestral peons, and a fine arts establishment she depicts as bloated and ripe for downsizing. (Summary gleaned from a Publishers Weekly review.)

This book is the basis for the Amazon-produced series of the same name.) The series, at least Season One, is nothing like the book. For one, the series does not delve into the early life of the author. More to the point, the book is quite depressing, much too depressing for a television network to accurately portray what Tyndall has written.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Jun 02, 2016 6:18 pm

Five Little Pigs, by Agatha Christie.

Sixteen years after the fact, the daughter of a woman convicted of murdering her husband asks that Hercule Poirot determine what really happened. We it the step-daughter, a long-frustrated admirer of the mother, the father's latest paramour, or the jealous mother after all?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:50 am

ruralavalon wrote:Five Little Pigs, by Agatha Christie.

Sixteen years after the fact, the daughter of a woman convicted of murdering her husband asks that Hercule Poirot determine what really happened. We it the step-daughter, a long-frustrated admirer of the mother, the father's latest paramour, or the jealous mother after all?


I don't know if you have read any Dorothy L Sayers? (the BBC did a magnificent series about him with Ian Carmichael, and then there was a radio series where he was the voice of Lord Peter Wimsey). Dr. Lucy Worsall (who is the keeper of the Queen's art collection I think, and has done several culture shows on TV) did a series on the history of murder mysteries, and ranks Sayers as the highest of the high--social commentary.

I read American thrillers for the same reason-- as social snapshots of their times. So Chandler of course (haven't managed to crack Hammett), Ross Thomas on occasion (the crazy 70s), Ed McBain (ditto - 70s and 80s Manhattan), George V Higgins (Boston). I have been reading graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake's Parker (Richard Stark).

If you read Murder Must Advertise - about cocaine dealing in an ad agency in London in the 1920s, one realises there is nothing new under the Sun, with a few changes it could have been 1980s London or early 2000s dot com London.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:55 am

gkaplan wrote:I just finished reading Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music by Blair Tindall.

By sixteen, the author of this memoir was dealing marijuana, bedding her instructors at a performing arts high school, and studying the oboe. Later, her blossoming career as a freelance musician in New York introduced her to cocaine parties and group sex that had her wondering why she "got hired for so many of my gigs in bed." As she heads toward forty, and the sex and drugs recede along with dreams of stardom, the reality of a future in Broadway orchestra pits, where she reads magazines as she plays to stave off boredom sets in. Tindall escaped to journalism, but she harbors a resentment of an industry that "squeezed me dry of spontaneity" and turns other musicians into hollow-eyed "galley slaves.” She mounts a biting critique of the conservatories that churn out thousands of graduates each year to pursue a handful of jobs, the superstar conductors and soloists who lord it over orchestral peons, and a fine arts establishment she depicts as bloated and ripe for downsizing. (Summary gleaned from a Publishers Weekly review.)

This book is the basis for the Amazon-produced series of the same name.) The series, at least Season One, is nothing like the book. For one, the series does not delve into the early life of the author. More to the point, the book is quite depressing, much too depressing for a television network to accurately portray what Tyndall has written.


Very interesting. Matches much of what I have heard about careers in the Fine Arts and in Publishing, say. Also Antiques. If you don't have a Trust Fund you are going to be fundamentally disadvantaged. And you get "emotional" and "artistic" personalities, so the drugs and the emotional turmoil goes with that-- not so very different from rock musicians ;-).

The death of the CD has really hurt classical music. That small but continuous stream of revenue going on for decades. The only way to monetize is live performance, and there are limits to what people will pay for concert tickets (also a preference for the "mainstream" classical pieces-- I forget how many hundred of them there are, but there is a standard canon) and also to what benefactors will give.

At the same time, my *impression* is that teaching classical musical performance to North American kids has declined, thus reducing the teaching market (music is also something that gets cut in budget cuts).

Tough times.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:40 am

Valuethinker wrote:I have been reading graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake's Parker (Richard Stark).

I have all those graphic Parkers. They are by Darwyn Cooke.

Cooke's Parker books capture the spirit of the times, the 1960s, and the spirit of Westlake's (AKA Richard Stark) Parker. Anyone interested in that moment in time should head to Cooke's Parkers and of course to the Westlake originals. All are Noir classics. Another classic is Lee Marvin's Point Blank, an adaptation of the very first Parker book, The Hunter (one of the Cooke graphic novels). As a bonus, this film has John Vernon (Dirty Harry, Animal House and even Killer Klowns from Outer Space!) in his first major film role.

Unfortunately, Darwyn Cooke passed away last month, May 14. RIP Darwyn Cooke.

We of course lost Westlake himself in 2008. RIP Donald E. Westlake.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:28 am

bertilak wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:I have been reading graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake's Parker (Richard Stark).

I have all those graphic Parkers. They are by Darwyn Cooke.

Cooke's Parker books capture the spirit of the times, the 1960s, and the spirit of Westlake's (AKA Richard Stark) Parker. Anyone interested in that moment in time should head to Cooke's Parkers and of course to the Westlake originals. All are Noir classics. Another classic is Lee Marvin's Point Blank, an adaptation of the very first Parker book, The Hunter (one of the Cooke graphic novels). As a bonus, this film has John Vernon (Dirty Harry, Animal House and even Killer Klowns from Outer Space!) in his first major film role.

Unfortunately, Darwyn Cooke passed away last month, May 14. RIP Darwyn Cooke.

We of course lost Westlake himself in 2008. RIP Donald E. Westlake.


Thank you.

I saw Point Blank and it makes more sense having read the Crooke adaptation of Westlake.

I'll have to look up John Vernon. What I remember was James B Sikking, who plays an assassin, and reprised basically the same character as Lieut Howard Hunter in Hill Street Blues.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Jun 03, 2016 11:06 am

Valuethinker wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:Five Little Pigs, by Agatha Christie.

Sixteen years after the fact, the daughter of a woman convicted of murdering her husband asks that Hercule Poirot determine what really happened. We it the step-daughter, a long-frustrated admirer of the mother, the father's latest paramour, or the jealous mother after all?


I don't know if you have read any Dorothy L Sayers? (the BBC did a magnificent series about him with Ian Carmichael, and then there was a radio series where he was the voice of Lord Peter Wimsey). Dr. Lucy Worsall (who is the keeper of the Queen's art collection I think, and has done several culture shows on TV) did a series on the history of murder mysteries, and ranks Sayers as the highest of the high--social commentary.

I read American thrillers for the same reason-- as social snapshots of their times. So Chandler of course (haven't managed to crack Hammett), Ross Thomas on occasion (the crazy 70s), Ed McBain (ditto - 70s and 80s Manhattan), George V Higgins (Boston). I have been reading graphic novel adaptations of Donald Westlake's Parker (Richard Stark).

If you read Murder Must Advertise - about cocaine dealing in an ad agency in London in the 1920s, one realises there is nothing new under the Sun, with a few changes it could have been 1980s London or early 2000s dot com London.

I have read much of Sayers,Chandler and McBain.

Thanks for the suggestion on Murder Must Advertise, I will get a copy soon.

On Hammett, if you have seen the movie then there is no need to readd The Maltese Falcon. But you might like others of his books, The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, or Red Harvest.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by avenger » Sat Jun 04, 2016 7:15 pm

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley. Great novel.
cheers ... -Mark | "Our life is frittered away with detail. Simplify. Simplify." -Henry David Thoreau | [3 fund portfolio: VTI, VXUS, SV fund (yield 3.01%)]

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by market timer » Sun Jun 05, 2016 6:59 am

The Elementary Particles, by Michel Houellebecq.

Amazon blurb:
An international literary phenomenon, The Elementary Particles is a frighteningly original novel–part Marguerite Duras and part Bret Easton Ellis-that leaps headlong into the malaise of contemporary existence.

Bruno and Michel are half-brothers abandoned by their mother, an unabashed devotee of the drugged-out free-love world of the sixties. Bruno, the older, has become a raucously promiscuous hedonist himself, while Michel is an emotionally dead molecular biologist wholly immersed in the solitude of his work. Each is ultimately offered a final chance at genuine love, and what unfolds is a brilliantly caustic and unpredictable tale.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:14 am

Houellebecq is an interesting writer. I've read "Particles" as well as a few additional titles. Some more engaging than others but always provocative.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by stumblebum » Sun Jun 05, 2016 7:43 am

Neil Armstrong : a life of flight / Jay Barbree

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:33 am

Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill (1949). Right now I'm reading the sad tale of the fall of France. Mechanized German troops pouring through the gap in the French line, with France having no backup plan. Government officials dumping wheelbarrow loads of state documents onto huge bonfires in Paris, expecting the German takeover within days. Churchill is fun to read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:47 am

One of my favorite mystery writers is John Dunning. Dunning has a small series (4-5 books) called the Bookman series in which a former Denver cop is involved in buying/selling of rare books. Dunning's passion for books is evident in this series.

I just finished "The Sign of the Book" which I believe is the last Bookman series book written (2005). Perhaps another is out there, or one is in the works, but Dunning's books have always been a favorite of mine.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Jun 07, 2016 7:31 am

Nicolas wrote:Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill (1949). Right now I'm reading the sad tale of the fall of France. Mechanized German troops pouring through the gap in the French line, with France having no backup plan. Government officials dumping wheelbarrow loads of state documents onto huge bonfires in Paris, expecting the German takeover within days. Churchill is fun to read.

You might find Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch interesting. This is also about the fall of France. It was written contemporaneously. Marc Bloch examines the reasons for France's surprisingly quick collapse. He blames it on the failure of high command to understand and react to the situation and France's lack of will to survive as a nation or culture. The French got both lost and soft (it disturbs me to say). I suspect Churchill would agree with him completely.

If there is an index in the Churchill book, look for Marc Bloch.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:34 pm

bertilak wrote:
Nicolas wrote:Their Finest Hour by Winston Churchill (1949). Right now I'm reading the sad tale of the fall of France. Mechanized German troops pouring through the gap in the French line, with France having no backup plan. Government officials dumping wheelbarrow loads of state documents onto huge bonfires in Paris, expecting the German takeover within days. Churchill is fun to read.

You might find Strange Defeat by Marc Bloch interesting. This is also about the fall of France. It was written contemporaneously. Marc Bloch examines the reasons for France's surprisingly quick collapse. He blames it on the failure of high command to understand and react to the situation and France's lack of will to survive as a nation or culture. The French got both lost and soft (it disturbs me to say). I suspect Churchill would agree with him completely.

If there is an index in the Churchill book, look for Marc Bloch.


I checked the index and there's no mention of Bloch, but I'll look up his book, thanks.
Certainly you're right about Churchill's opinion of French war-readiness. He writes that when told there was no strategic reserve he was "dumbfounded". And he also writes "I admit this was one of the greatest surprises I have had in my life."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:44 pm

Re-reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré.

I don't remember the last time I read it and think it's possible I didn't even make it through.

It takes some concentration to keep up with the different characters and their stories. Some characters have multiple names (fake spy identities) and I just read through a passage where one character, in telling his long involved story, is quoting, verbatim but with asides, a long and detailed written report by another and that report includes quoted dialog of yet other characters. The main characters of the first couple of chapters have been completely abandoned and we are now moving along with this new set of characters. I am sure the stories will converge eventually. This is all part of the plot set-up so things may smooth out.

I think I am on top of it so far!

We have already seen out hero ("Smiley") cleverly poke holes in the story being told so we can't be sure what we understand of all that complexity is even true!

It is too early to pass judgement on the book. I am assuming its very positive reputation is warranted.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elsebet » Tue Jun 07, 2016 2:55 pm

I just finished Restoration London. I picked it up because I subscribe to the daily Samuel Pepy's Diary emails and it is often referenced there. Good read although it's a little depressing as life was brutish and short back then for most.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by plumberboy » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:55 am

Wins,Losses and Lessons.
Autobiography by Lou Holtz
Very interesting read. Couldn't put it down .

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:03 pm

Just received in the mail yesterday: The Iliad, a 2015 translation by Peter Green. I will put it off until I finish Tinker, Tailor (see above).

I did take a few minutes to glance through it. Here is a comparison of the first few line to the Fagles translation:

Fagles (so far, my favorite translation):
    Rage --- Goddess, sing of the rage of Peleus' son Achilles,
    murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses,
    hurtling down to the House of Death so many sturdy souls,
    great fighters' souls, but made their bodies carrion,
    feasts for the dogs and birds,
    and the will of Zeus was moving towards its end.
    Begin, Muse, when the two first broke and clashed,
    Agamemnon lord of men and brilliant Achilles.
Green (what do you think? I am encouraged):
    Wrath, goddess, sing of Achilles Peleus's son's
    calamitous wrath, which hit the Achaians with countless ills ---
    many the valiant souls it saw off down to Hades,
    souls of heroes, their selves left as carrion for dogs
    and all birds of prey, and the plan of Zeus was fulfilled ---
    from the first moment those two men parted in fury,
    Atrius's son, king of men, and the godlike Achilles.
As claimed by each translator: Green sticks closer to the original Greek metric (hexameter) while Fagles leans a little more to free verse while preserving some of the original metric. You can see (hear?) that in the above translations.

Green's introduction discusses how there are many allusions to the (at the time) well known story of which the Iliad is only a small part, the last few weeks of a 10-year siege. The siege itself is only part of the larger story. This story is summarized in the introduction so we at least have the chance to be as up-to-date as the original audience. There is also a 40-page synopsis of the Iliad that goes almost stanza-by-stanza detailing the action and the allusions.

There is a footnote in the above Green translation clarifying "the plan of Zeus:" One of Agamemnon's past indiscretions offended the mother of Achilles. She prayed that Zeus impede Agamemnon's success in the siege of Troy until the offense is atoned. Honoring this prayer is Zeus' plan.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:34 pm

Finally am reading "The Intelligent Investor," by Benjamin Graham, the 1973 edition extensively annotated by Jason Zweig and it's as great as everyone says. I think I need to buy it. The fact that both Graham 's and Zweig's (2002) material is "out of date" almost makes it better. Much, much more Bogleheadish than I expected.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:53 pm

Murder Must Advertise, by Dorothy L.Sayers.

Lord Peter Wimsey takes an alias and a job at an advertising agency, to look into a possible murder.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:24 pm

The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch.

The book has a peculiar story. When people prepare for the Camino, they buy a special scale to weigh every item they put into a backpack and cut labels to lighten their load. I did not go to such extremes but ensured that my full pack was less than 20 pounds with food and water. Importantly, I optimized my reading and writing materials (I didn't carry any electronics apart from my digital watch).

It helps that on the Camino people participate in book exchanges; they leave books they have finished and pick up books left by others. Unfortunately, most books are in Spanish, and those I found in English were quite shallow. And so I was pretty shocked to find The Beginning of Infinity in one of the albergues. It was in English, and it was a great book. The drawback was that it was huge, adding a couple pounds of weight and taking a lot of space in my pack.

I decided to carry the book for a couple days, read the beginning, the end, and then leave it in another albergue. However, I got so attached to the book that I ended up carrying it to the end, reading and rereading it.

Deutsch is a terrific writer. He writes very well, he is very knowledgeable, he makes difficult topics more manageable. The main thesis of the book is that the human knowledge has passed a threshold and now we have the potential for acquiring infinite knowledge. The key is to focus on good explanations (his term) and follow a process of (1) conjectures, (2) criticism (starting with self-criticism), and (3) evidence (experimental or otherwise).

The book is philosophical, but it's much more than that. Deutsch covers topics such as neo-Darwinism, genes and memes, fungibility, multiverses, quantum theory, and quantum computing. The latter is his academic area at Oxford.

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

Post by Ricola » Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:28 pm

bertilak wrote:Re-reading Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré.

I don't remember the last time I read it and think it's possible I didn't even make it through.

It takes some concentration to keep up with the different characters and their stories. Some characters have multiple names (fake spy identities) and I just read through a passage where one character, in telling his long involved story, is quoting, verbatim but with asides, a long and detailed written report by another and that report includes quoted dialog of yet other characters. The main characters of the first couple of chapters have been completely abandoned and we are now moving along with this new set of characters. I am sure the stories will converge eventually. This is all part of the plot set-up so things may smooth out.

I think I am on top of it so far!

We have already seen out hero ("Smiley") cleverly poke holes in the story being told so we can't be sure what we understand of all that complexity is even true!

It is too early to pass judgement on the book. I am assuming its very positive reputation is warranted.


When you get done reading the book, suggest you watch the BBC TV version with Alec Guinness as smiley. Even Le Carre thought Guinness was the perfect George Smiley. Also the newest movie version with Gary Oldman is good too. After that you might want to finish the other books in the Karla Trilogy. Another wonder book along the same lines is The Company by Robert Littell.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ricola » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:51 pm

Currently reading; Treat Your Own Back by Robin McKenzie, The Mindbody Prescription by Dr John Sarno, and The Divided Mind, The Epidemic of Mindbody Disorders by Dr John Sarno. You can guess why I am ready these books, and if you don't know who Dr Sarno is see the link.

http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/John_E._Sarn ... s_Patients

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by montanagirl » Sat Jun 11, 2016 10:06 pm

I found a new book at the library, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace by Nikil Saval. All about office workers in history and popular culture, starting with the old counting-houses and Bartleby the Scrivener and into the glass-tower era. Lord! it was the story of my life, my father and mother's lives, and most of my family, since we were all basically office workers of one sort or another in a lot of different industries.

Now that my working life is over and the pressure is off, it was fascinating to go back and delve into what made office life what it was without the fear and loathing I had when it was actually going on. I didn't want the thing to end.. :sharebeer

https://www.amazon.com/Cubed-History-Wo ... 0385536577

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:09 pm

Just finished Nobody's Fool by Richard Russo. I read a good review of his sequel novel just published, Everybody's Fool, but figured needed to read original before reading sequel. One of most enjoyable novels which I have read in past few years, almost laughed out loud every few pages, very touching and witty story of residents of small town in upstate New York at end of last century. Now looking forward to reading the sequel. Highly recommend.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by carolinaman » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:07 am

I just completed “Makers and Takers” by Rana Foroohar, a noted business columnist with Time and a CNN economic analyst who has 20+ years of experience writing about the economy and business. She describes the problem of Financialization of the US economy, which is the short term focus of business. She describes how American business companies like GE and Apple have used financial measures to manipulate their stock value rather than long term investment in products. She describes how Wall Street, investment banks, private equity, hedge funds and others damage our economy with all of their manipulation and risk. I was surprised to learn how investment banks like Goldman Sachs have such a significant role in commodities and how they often drive commodity prices higher due to their manipulation of this market.

It is a good book overall which identifies many problems with our current economy and how our economy has evolved into its current state over the last 30 to 40 years. She has a brief chapter on how to change things. She has some good ideas but does not discuss HOW these would be accomplished. I would like to have seen something more actionable to improve our economy and address this problem. She discusses a lot of things throughout the book in a somewhat shotgun fashion. I think a big improvement to the book would be an expanded section discussing tactical and strategic actions that could improve our economy that includes ideas scattered through the book as well as some of the big ideas at the end. Realistically, the financialization problem will persist until we see a change in our political system that reduces the impact of lobbying. We had a near meltdown of our economy in 2008 and have not adequately corrected the problems which caused that, so I do not see how we can fix this either.

Also, she seems to have a liberal perspective and therefore sees many problems from that perspective. In spite of that, I believe she is on target in most of her commentary. I rate it 4 stars in a 5 star scale.

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