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
User avatar
Blues
Posts: 1481
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Blues » Fri Dec 30, 2016 8:16 am

MJW wrote:I am in the middle of Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey, who also wrote One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest. It is widely considered to be one of the great American novels.

It was given to me by a friend, and I initially started reading it as somewhat of an aside. About 60 pages in I realized I had absolutely no idea what was going on, as the writing style is difficult to follow if you aren't paying close enough attention. I decided to start over and reread from the beginning -- this time more seriously -- and I am enjoying it much more giving it the attention it deserves.


Stick with it. It's a great, powerful book. I read it many years ago but it left a strong impression on me.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

charleshugh
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:09 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby charleshugh » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:58 pm

Michael Lews - The Undoing Project.

Quarter of the way in and I love it!

User avatar
bertilak
Posts: 5272
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 » Mon Jan 02, 2017 5:50 pm

Here's one from a while back. I am referring to Greenmantle.

nisiprius wrote:I'm starting Mr. Standfast by John Buchan, author of The Thirty-Nine Steps. It features the same protagonist, Richard Hannay. I'm not at all sure I'll finish it, but we'll see. I did read The Thirty-Nine Steps and Greenmantle (which was weird). I'm quite bemused by a little bit of... high-quality tradecraft. In one chapter, Hannay is told by a woman who is obviously very important,
From a little gold satchel she selected a tiny box, and opening it extracted a thing like a purple wafer with a white St Andrew's Cross on it. 'What kind of watch have you? Ah, a hunter. Paste that inside the lid. Some day you may be called on to show it ...
A few chapters later, the day arrives:
He extricated from his trousers pocket an ancient silver watch, and regarded it with disfavour. 'The dashed thing has stoppit. What do ye make the time, Mr Brand?'

He proceeded to prise open the lid of his watch with the knife he had used to cut his tobacco, and, as he examined the works, he turned the back of the case towards me. On the inside I saw pasted Mary Lamington's purple-and-white wafer.

I held my watch so that he could see the same token. His keen eyes, raised for a second, noted it, and he shut his own with a snap and returned it to his pocket. His manner lost its wariness and became almost genial.
Yeah, right. What better way can two secret agents recognize each other? Can you imagine, testing acquaintances by finding an excuse to pry your watch open and turn it at an awkward angle so that they can see that there is "a thing like a purple wafer with a white St Andrew's Cross" pasted inside?

And if the other person is not a secret agent and doesn't have a matching purple wafer with a white St. Andrew's Cross pasted inside their watch, what is the other person going to think?

"Oh, look at that purple wafer with a white St. Andrew's Cross pasted inside the lid of your watch. Very nice. Mine has an green wafer with a red dragon on it, would you like to see it?"

I am just embarking on Peter Hopkirk's Like Hidden Fire: The Plot to Bring Down the British Empire. In his introduction Hopkirk compares this book to his The Great Game. He says just as that book told the real-life background for Kipling's Kim, this book expands on the real-life background for Buchan's Greenmantle. Kirkpatrick claims there is much real-life in Greenmantle and that Buchan was involved in British Intelligence in the time-period.

I want to comment on the tradecraft mentioned by Nisiprius above. The idea of having a locket with a secret sign was used in Kim. It's use did not come across as being awkward even though it involved the additional step of a little back and forth conversation that one could ease oneself into, a bit more than "the ship sails at midnight" passphrase. I thought it interesting that a phrase of that conversation had to be spoken with a particular inflection, a subtle pause. Those expected to use this method of identification were highly skilled at disguises and role playing. I think the idea was to make it difficult for someone to fake it. This is similar to the modern security concept for identification requiring three things: something you have (distinctive amulet), something you know (passphrase) and something you are (skilled actor to get the inflection right and natural). Kipling knew a thing or two!

I am anticipating a rewarding journey and will also likely re-read Greenmantle with my new-found insights. I know The Great Game helped give me a better feel for Kim.

P.S. Greenmantle outsold Thirty Nine Steps before Hitchcock made his movie.

P.P.S. Nisi, did you ever finish Mr. Standfast?
Last edited by bertilak on Sat Jan 07, 2017 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
I have a strong moral sense - by my standards. | -- Rex Stout

gkaplan
Posts: 6768
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Mon Jan 02, 2017 9:27 pm

I finished reading the latest from Michael Connelly early this morning, The Wrong Side of Goodbye. Great book.
Gordon

User avatar
black jack
Posts: 641
Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:13 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby black jack » Tue Jan 03, 2017 6:42 pm

For Michael Lewis fans, a nice brief profile by Walter Isaacson: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/becoming-michael-lewis/2016/12/29/5b412c54-c0a3-11e6-897f-918837dae0ae_story.html?utm_term=.70d6eb42d85f
[in case of difficulty with link, search for "Becoming Michael Lewis"]
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

quantAndHold
Posts: 910
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby quantAndHold » Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:53 pm

Just finished Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann. Jane Austen meets Sex and the City during the Mad Men era, with plenty of drug addiction thrown in. A great read.

I'm reading The Shining right now. Just started...

Fallible
Posts: 5878
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:44 pm
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Fallible » Tue Jan 03, 2017 8:59 pm

black jack wrote:For Michael Lewis fans, a nice brief profile by Walter Isaacson: https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertainment/books/becoming-michael-lewis/2016/12/29/5b412c54-c0a3-11e6-897f-918837dae0ae_story.html?utm_term=.70d6eb42d85f
[in case of difficulty with link, search for "Becoming Michael Lewis"]


Thanks for the link. Lewis and Isaacson are two of my favorite authors.

The profile doesn't go into detail on why Lewis became a writer, but Isaacson includes a link to Lewis's 2012 speech to graduates at Princeton, his alma mater. There he majored in art history, which sparked his interest in writing. It's a good read about finding one's call in life and about understanding and appreciating luck.
https://www.princeton.edu/main/news/arc ... /87/54K53/
Bogleheads® wiki | Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle

jdb
Posts: 1168
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:21 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby jdb » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:35 pm

Just finished News of the World by Paulette Jiles. Texas in 1870, 72 year old widower who survived three wars starting with War of 1812 asked by friends to take 10 year old girl who had been captured by Kiowa Indians 4 years earlier from Indian Territory, now Oklahoma, to her aunt and uncle near San Antonio, a trek of over 400 miles through lawless country. The writing was lyrical, to say that I enjoyed this short novel is understatement, was sorry to see it end. Highly recommend.

User avatar
Thrifty Femme
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Thrifty Femme » Sat Jan 07, 2017 7:56 pm

Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 16464
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:21 pm

I've read several books in the past few months. The one I particularly recommend is Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport.

Newport's general thesis is that ever fewer people are capable of deep work, whereas employment and self-employment are requiring ever more deep work. Thus, those who do deep work get premium opportunities for income, creativity, flexibility, autonomy, and other desirable work features. The book provides several examples of successful people and how they work deeply, lists several types of schedules for doing deep work, explains why deep work is difficult and how the workplace is encouraging shallow work, and recommends techniques for establishing a deep work habit.

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

MP173
Posts: 1739
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:54 pm

Just finished two more mysteries:

Dennis LeHane's - "A Drink Before the War" - two private investigators in Boston (the same two as in Gone Baby Gone) are looking for a woman who disappears from a job with a powerful politician...and allegedly took sensitive political info.

David Levien - Where the Dead Lay is a Frank Behr series novel (second in series) about an Indianapolis PI who is tracking down the murder of a friend and is contacted by Indianapolis police to do a little investigation that stretches the boundaries.

Both were good....I am amazed at LeHane's writing ability. He is not too far from Michael Connelly...at least in my opinion. He has had a couple of great movies from novels - the aforementioned "Gone Baby Gone" and "Mystic River".

Ed

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:51 am

The History of the Roman Republic, by Cyril E. Robinson.

Interesting but disappointing, the book features endless run on sentences making it hard to follow the narrative.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

sschullo
Posts: 2186
Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:25 am
Location: Rancho Mirage, CA
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby sschullo » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:08 pm

Just finished Meryl Streep's biography-"Her Again." It's requires a knowledge of the theatrical performances. Part of the reason I was attracted to her from way back since her performance in "The Deer Hunter" and Kramer vs. Kramer was that her mother has a Quaker background. I am not a Quaker but respect their philosophy. Theatrical scholar and students of the theater would best benefit from the book. I would love to read her autobiographic account rather than from a professional critic.
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)."

User avatar
FreeAtLast
Posts: 499
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2014 9:08 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby FreeAtLast » Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:15 pm

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA, by Brenda Maddox, Harper Collins (2002).

Don't be put off by the title, this book is not a trashing of Dr. Franklin. Instead, it is a well-researched and eminently fair biography of a superb scientist (who happened to possess XX chromosomes) who has often been inaccurately portrayed, on one side by emotionally immature Nobel Prize winners (Watson, Crick and Wilkins) and on the other side by outraged feminists who want to re-write scientific history.

I am not going to recapitulate the entire history of the discovery of DNA's structure here. Just know that Franklin's exacting and difficult analysis (especially her photograph) of the hydrated B helix of DNA by X-ray crystallography was one of the major keys to Watson and Crick's famous letter to Nature announcing their opinion of that molecule's structure. BUT - it was not the only key (read the book). And, without a doubt, the Watson/Crick/Wilkins triumvirate attempted to diminish Franklin's contribution in a shabby and reprehensible manner.
Also - Franklin participated in the review of their analysis and published her data in a subsequent joint papers with W/C/W expanding on all the technical details of the possible structure. She was naturally a cautious scientist and did not completely buy into their leap of faith about the structure (and many other prominent scientists agreed with her caution). She put her doubts in writing; you can still download Acta Crystallographia (1953) 6, 678 - read the last sentence of the paper.
Franklin did NOT suffer fools gladly at any time and seemed to have adversely affected the timorous Maurice Wilkins for life. But she also had a sweet and passionate side to her personality that many people never saw and of which this biography establishes without a doubt. Franklin died much too young of cancer. Would she have won the Nobel Prize for her work if she had lived to a ripe old age? My cynical opinion is that she would have not. Please note that her young collaborator, Aaron Klug, won it 25 years later by using her methods and following in her footsteps; so maybe there is some minimal justice in the universe after all. In summary, this book is one of the best and concise biographies of an important scientist that I have ever read.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

Dantes
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Dantes » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:58 pm

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.

wilson08
Posts: 319
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:37 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wilson08 » Mon Jan 16, 2017 3:36 pm

The Inheritance
by Louisa May Alcott

The 1st novel by Louisa May Alcott written in 1849
when she was just seventeen. Some may view it as
a little sentimental and corny but it is a nice story
about the nobility of character. The novel has the
usual plethora of improbable ironies that were
popular in novels of that era(e.g. Dickens).

User avatar
Thrifty Femme
Posts: 192
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2015 1:54 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Thrifty Femme » Tue Jan 17, 2017 10:40 pm

Hidden Figurese by Margot Lee Shetterly.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 37519
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:17 pm

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

LadyGeek wrote:
Juliajones54 wrote:
larrydmsn wrote:There is considerable excitement in the SciFi community about The Remembrance of Earth's Past Trilogy by Cixin Liu. All three books were beautifully translated and the last one "Death's End" came out 3 months ago. They read like Clarke's or Asimov's classics but with lots of refreshing modern ideas. The first one "The Three-body Problem" won last year's Hugo Award (one of the highest awards for SciFi novels) and many believe the next two are better. You will need to be a HARD SciFi fan (vs Soft SciFi or fantasy fan) to really enjoy them. Each novel in this trilogy expands its scope and depth tremendously. Very thought-provoking and mind blowing.

The books in this trilogy:
    The Three-Body Problem
    The Dark Forest
    Death's End


Thank you, we will be looking for these!

Yes, thank you! I downloaded all 3 books to my Kindle. The series is a bit pricey, but I think it's well worth it. I'm a little over 60% done the first book - The Three-Body Problem.

Wow, this is indeed "hard" sci-fi. I appreciate the translator's footnotes explaining details related to China and Chinese history. After working through the first part of the book, things started to come together.

I can see why this book won the Hugo award. A number of concepts are put together in a very unique way that makes you think. From a scientific perspective, it's very creative. Thought-provoking and mind blowing, indeed.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

MP173
Posts: 1739
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:08 pm

Just finished "All Joe Knight" by Kevin Morris.

This has very mixed reviews. It is not a very politically correct book as it deals with a very damaged middle aged man (orphaned before age 1, raised by an aunt who dies while he is a teen, not a high regard for women, makes a large sum of $$$ selling his business, and then is pursued legally by his former high school basketball teammate for alleged tax evasion). The author centers the novel around a high school basketball team (then) and Joe Knight's current problems (now).

So, the reviewers have basically said...1. They are not into reliving high school basketball. 2. They are not into women being treated as sex objects. 3. They do not wish to read a story about Philadelphia and the complex political, social, and racial issues. 4. They cannot relate to a man with flaws.

To that I say...this is an amazing book, with a flawed yet very interesting charactor. This novel has been compared to John Updike's "Rabbit" (both are middle age former high school jocks) and the comparisons are valid.

This book was a train wreck in slow motion...no doubt about it. All along I kept wishing Joe Knight would turn it around, "come on man, see what you have in your life".

Morris writes a heck of a novel, in my opinion. As a former basketball player, his descriptions of the team, teammates, coaches, and season is very spot on. His description of the politics and history of Philadelphia (including the hockey Flyers) is impressive.

This is one of the best novels I have read...period. Flaws and all.

Ed

User avatar
Blues
Posts: 1481
Joined: Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:58 am
Location: Blue Ridge Mtns

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Blues » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:19 pm

Thanks, Ed. I've had that one on my to-do list. Maybe I'll move it up. :beer
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

MP173
Posts: 1739
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:34 pm

Blues:

I strongly recommend this, but also realize my feelings are swimming against the current of most reviews read.

I do not recall too much of Updike's Rabbit books (read them decades ago) but the foundations are similar....

Ed

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

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby snowshoes » Mon Jan 23, 2017 12:00 am

Clintons Cash! by Peter Schweizer, examines the intersection of the last Federal .gov's administration, Clintons US State Dept., NGO's, :moneybag and it's intermingling of many private entities interest's & avenues of favoritism for donations.

burgerman
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:03 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby burgerman » Mon Jan 23, 2017 3:44 am

Men Without Women by Ernest Hemingway Does this count? I really like this book. :beer

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Tue Jan 24, 2017 11:28 am

Thin Air, by Ann Cleeves.

A theatrical producer and her friends are in the Shetland islands to celebrate a wedding, begin to see the ghost of a your girl who drowned a century before, and then the murders start.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Jan 25, 2017 5:21 pm

Best State Ever: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland, by Dave Barry.

This is a typical Dave Barry book. It's gross, disgusting and juvenile, also very funny :) .
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 16464
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Thu Jan 26, 2017 1:49 am

The Writer's Guide to Training Your Dragon: Mastering Speech Recognition Software to Dictate Your Book and Supercharge Your Writing Workflow by Scott Baker.

The book is short and packed with useful tips. I've read it once and now I'm referring to it as I am training my Dragon.

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

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 921
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Thu Jan 26, 2017 2:07 am

Finished "Last Year" by Robert Charles Wilson. Described as a book about time travel. Well written and interesting but, for me, more a conventional story that happens to have characters from an 1870s time and characters that are visiting that time. I just went to goodreads.com. There its described, in part, "as SF tale that poses searching questions about tourism and colonization". Perhaps but I didn't get that impression.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Jan 27, 2017 7:19 pm

Deep Blue, by Randy Wayne White.

This is a thriller about an crazed international cyber criminal and a great white shark.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
Ricola
Posts: 574
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 10:38 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Ricola » Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:14 pm

How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon by Rosa Brooks.
Our new Secretary of Defense recommends :) : “One of the most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read. It’s as if we have been sleep walking into this new world and Rosa has turned on a flashlight to show what we are doing and where we are going.” (General James Mattis (USMC, Ret.), former CENTCOM Commander)

gkaplan
Posts: 6768
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:36 pm

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.
Gordon

User avatar
htdrag11
Posts: 835
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:22 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby htdrag11 » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:33 pm

Enjoyed The Man Who Knew: The Life and Times of Alan Greenspan by S, Mallaby.

I actually skipped the middle part since it was quite long winded. However, I found his upbringing years bore much influence into his psyche. For the role of a Fed chairman, he outmaneuvered even savvy politician like Kissinger. However, he was his own worst enemy in not knowing when to quit.

It is also interesting to note that our country's economy had deteriorated under both Clinton (repealing the Glass-Steagall Act, thus creating mega-banks) and Bush (supporting Fannie and Freddie in becoming the biggest mortgage lenders).

This is a must read to understand our recent economic history and its lasting impacts to today.

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 921
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:58 pm

The Old Man by Thomas Perry. I generally enjoy Perry. This was no exception. An on the run special agent forced to use his old skills when targeted by his old agency.

User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 16464
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby VictoriaF » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:29 pm

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.


I am now reading The Good Soldier Švejk in Russian. What a coincidence! My volume has four parts in 746 pages. My Czech friends insisted that I read it in Russian rather than English to better appreciate Hašek's humor. I have not seen the English translation, but in Russian the book is hilarious. Every paragraph has something so funny that I have to underline it or comment in the margins. Hašek reminds me of Douglas Adams, but he's done it long before Adams, and he found endless humor in the surrounding life --and war-- rather than on imagined planets.

Extraordinary book!

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

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Sun Jan 29, 2017 10:12 am

One Strange Date, by Laurence Shames.

In Key West mobsters pursue a con artist seeking revenge, while the con artist unaware of the mobsters is fleeing the police.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

quantAndHold
Posts: 910
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby quantAndHold » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:13 am

The Shining, Stephen King. Horror isn't my usual thing. But...it was a page turner.

The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen. This one is a treasure. A rambling story of a family with problems, each dealing with them in his or her own way. Alternately hilarious and heartbreaking. One of the best I've read in awhile.

wstrdg
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:43 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wstrdg » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:50 am

The Case Against Sugar, Gary Taubes.

Dense and compelling case that based on history and science, sugar is a toxin. Consumption of any amount may not be safe. It sounds like a crazy hypothesis, but Taubes supports it well.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 37519
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby LadyGeek » Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:56 am

Welcome! Please bear in mind that discussion of the book's content is off-topic for this forum. See: Medical Issues
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

MP173
Posts: 1739
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:03 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby MP173 » Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:11 pm

quant:

I am a Franzen fan, having read 3 of his novels. The last one "Purity" is very, very good. I recommend it, particularly if you enjoyed "Corrections".

Currently reading two:

"The Science of Selling" by David Hoffeld. After 27 years in sales, it is interesting to read the current theories on motivation (of both buyer and seller).

"Allen Klein" by Fred Goodman. This is a look at the music manager of Sam Cooke, Beatles, Rolling Stones and others. He changed the industry and how performers are compensated.

Typically I only read one book at a time, but am reading "Science of Selling" almost as a text book, with comprehensive notes and reflections on my career and current accounts. Basically reading each chapter twice.

Ed

User avatar
Bustoff
Posts: 1979
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:45 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bustoff » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:00 am

The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:40 am

Everglades, by Randy Wayne White.

This thriller is about a phony New Age guru and his cult followers, who are trying to con some Seminoles into fronting their gambling operation.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

User avatar
heartwood
Posts: 921
Joined: Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:40 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby heartwood » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:56 am

The Mandibles: A Family, 2029–2047 by Lionel Shriver.

I'm about a quarter into it and enjoying the characters. I won't try to summarize the plot myself, but here's a lift from Goodreads: "The year is 2029, and nothing is as it should be. The very essence of American life, the dollar, is under attack. In a coordinated move by the rest of the world’s governments, the dollar loses all its value. The American President declares that the States will default on all its loans–prices skyrocket, currency becomes essentially worthless, and we watch one family struggle to survive through it all."

gkaplan
Posts: 6768
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 8:34 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby gkaplan » Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:09 pm

I just finished A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. As everyone seems to have said, this is a great book.
Gordon

User avatar
market timer
Posts: 5759
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:42 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby market timer » Sat Feb 04, 2017 7:20 pm

Freedom, by Franzen. This is the 3rd Franzen novel I've read. They're all very good.

Here is the Amazon blurb:

This is the story of the Berglunds, their son Joey, their daughter Jessica and their friend Richard Katz. It is about how we use and abuse our freedom; about the beginning and ending of love; teenage lust; the unexpectedness of adult life; why we compete with our friends; how we betray those closest to us; and why things almost never work out as they ‘should’. It is a story about the human heart, and what it leads us to do to ourselves and each other.

In his first novel since The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has given us an epic of contemporary love and marriage. In charting the mistakes and joys of Freedom's intensely realized characters, as they struggle to learn how to live in an ever more confusing world, Franzen has produced an indelible and deeply moving portrait of our time.

wow!howmuch?
Posts: 14
Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:45 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby wow!howmuch? » Sat Feb 04, 2017 10:29 pm

Unintended Consequences by John Ross

Every American should read it

User avatar
bengal22
Posts: 1192
Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Ohio

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby bengal22 » Sat Feb 04, 2017 11:03 pm

I would recommend Franzen as well. Enjoy Richard Ford too.

Halfway through hillbilly elegy and find it fascinating.

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Mon Feb 06, 2017 4:49 pm

The Road to Key West, by Michael Reising.

This novel chronicles the adventures of two friends in the Caribbean in the 1970s. The adventures begin with drug fuelled crab racing in a Key West biker bar, and then start to become even odder.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

a
Posts: 279
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:00 pm

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby a » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:37 pm

The only other neuroscience textbook I have in-depth read is
Levitan's The Neuron (4th ed.), but Mark F. Bear et al.'s Neuroscience:
Exploring the Brain (4th ed.) is compact. It is true
pedagogy - The purpose is to teach. They choose good
illustratory descriptions.

p.419:
Pacinian corpuscles are most sensitive to vibrations of about 200-300 Hz,
while Meissner's corpuscles respond best around 50 Hz. Place your hand
against a speaker while playing your favorite music loudly; you "feel"
the music largely with your Pacinian corpuscles. If you stroke your
fingertips against the coarse screen covering the speaker, each point of
skin will hit the bumps at frequencies about optimal to activate
Meissner's corpuscles. You feel this as a sensation of rough texture.
Stimulation at frequencies from about 1 to 10 Hz can also activate
Meissner's corpuscles, yielding a "fluttering" feeling.

This textbook (I've read the second half and am working
through the first half now) is a reliable source of pleasure each
morning. The authors obviously have invested much
time, loving effort into the goal of informing "undergraduates".

Levitan and Kaczmarek's The Neuron has its laughs:

"The stomach of such crustaceans is, like all of Gaul, divided into three
parts.." (p.462)

"If learning and memory involved simply strengthening selected excitatory
synapses, life would involve a continual increase in excitability, which
might constitute a problem for those of us who are already rather
excitable." (p.521)

--

Alberts et al.'s Molecular Biology
of the Cell has an excellent set of associated
videos. You can view
them on the Garland Science website for free.

The text for figures as well as the text of
the sidebar boxes "Brain Food" in Bear et al. seem to have been written
by the same people who did the figure texts for Alberts. The text is
tight and free of ambiguity, giving a polished feel.
In Janeway's Immunobiology (9th ed.), the chapters
are written by different people, holding a wide swath of variation in
quality.
But the figures for all chapters in Janeway's
seem to have been written by this same tight, polished hand.

Perhaps it's not the same person doing the figure texts for all these
books and just the necessity of constraining the number of words that
fit under a picture causes words to be omitted maximally.

Accrual
Posts: 24
Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:22 pm
Location: Durham, NC.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Accrual » Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:37 pm

My first post after many months of lurking, yay!

I just finished Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Fantastic book. While I am not super into Buddhist principles, I greatly enjoyed the book and the philosophical undertones it presented.

Onward to Of Mice and Men next.

-Ev

User avatar
ruralavalon
Posts: 10256
Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:29 am
Location: Illinois

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby ruralavalon » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:16 am

Accrual wrote:My first post after many months of lurking, yay!

I just finished Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. Fantastic book. While I am not super into Buddhist principles, I greatly enjoyed the book and the philosophical undertones it presented.

Onward to Of Mice and Men next.

-Ev

Welcome to the forum :) .
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | | Wiki article link:Getting Started

Bungo
Posts: 806
Joined: Wed Sep 28, 2011 11:28 am

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Postby Bungo » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:19 am

The Lady in the Lake, by Raymond Chandler.


Return to “Personal Consumer Issues”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Koogie, NotWhoYouThink, Rupert, scooterdog, Shackleton, The Wizard and 42 guests