What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:52 am

gkaplan wrote:I am reading – almost finished – Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France by Caroline Moorehead.

During the Second World War, the inhabitants and parishes of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a tiny, remote mountain village in south central France, banded together to saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, Freemasons, communists, and, above all, Jews, many of them orphans whose parents had been deported to concentration camps. Remarkably, there were no informers, and there were no denunciations. No-one broke ranks. During raids, the children would hide in the woods, waiting to hear the farmers' song that told them it was safe to return. After the war, Le Chambon became the only village, and just one of two places, to be honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations.

This is an excellent book and difficult to put down.


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ordinary-Men-Re ... 0141000422 was a sobering addition to our understanding of the Holocaust.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humanity-Recent ... bc?ie=UTF8 is a counterpoint which will hopefully alleviate the depression of the previous book.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by dc81584 » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:54 am

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing, Second Edition

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

Post by Bustoff » Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:57 am

Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman

The book is too small. By that I mean it's dimension are much smaller than a typical hardcover book.
To make things worse, the print is too small. They really cheaped out with this book. :annoyed

I'm not able to comment on the content because I CAN'T SEE IT !

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:09 am

Bustoff wrote:Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman

The book is too small. By that I mean it's dimension are much smaller than a typical hardcover book.
To make things worse, the print is too small. They really cheaped out with this book. :annoyed

I'm not able to comment on the content because I CAN'T SEE IT !


In August 2015, it will become available in large print.

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

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:22 am

Bustoff wrote:Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman

The book is too small. By that I mean it's dimension are much smaller than a typical hardcover book.
To make things worse, the print is too small. They really cheaped out with this book. :annoyed

I'm not able to comment on the content because I CAN'T SEE IT !


This has become a major issue. I read that Penguin was actually addressing it - readers of books in North America are aging and they need bigger print.

15 years ago I never would have noticed. Now?

But I've seen little sign publishers acknowledge this problem (I doubt the people who run publishing cos read their own books).

It is one very great virtue of Kindle, etc., that you can easily change the font size.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by TarTar » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:52 am

Having previously read many of the wonderful books by Neurologist Oliver Sacks, here are some others I am working my way though the following:

[u]Consciousness and the Brain: Deciphering How the Brain Codes Our Thoughts[/u] by Stanislas Dehaene (Dec 30, 2014)

[u]The Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present[/u] by Eric Kandel (Mar 27, 2012)

[u]Connectome: How the Brain's Wiring Makes Us Who We Are[/u] by Sebastian Seung (Feb 5, 2013)

[u]The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload[/u] by Daniel J. Levitin (Aug 19, 2014)

[u]This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession[/u] by Daniel J. Levitin (Aug 28, 2007)

[u]A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)[/u] by Barbara Oakley (Jul 31, 2014). This was a background book discussing many of the same learning tools she discussed in an interesting Coursera course "Learning to Learn"

[u]Medical Neurobiology[/u] by Peggy Mason PhD (May 19, 2011). This was an optional background book for the excellent Coursera course "Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life"

[u]Thinking, Fast and Slow[/u] by Daniel Kahneman (Apr 2, 2013)

[u]The Glass Cage: Automation and Us[/u] by Nicholas Carr (Sep 29, 2014)

----

and the revised editions of

[u]A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (11th Edition)[/u] by Burton G. Malkiel (Jan 5, 2015)

[u]Irrational Exuberance 3rd edition[/u] by Robert J. Shiller (Jan 25, 2015). [His recent Coursera course "Financial Markets" was good.)

----

P.S. I agree with Victoria about small print books - Forgetaboutit. Kindle helps, but nothing as good as larger print book.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Bustoff » Sat Apr 11, 2015 8:10 am

Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman

This book is already driving me nuts. I'm not sure what they call this style of writing but here it is:
But how old are you and Jan? Larry asked.
What difference does it make? said Paul.
It makes a big difference, said Larry.
Here’s what you do, said Larry, never at a loss when it comes to speaking in the imperative.

This back and forth goes on and on with each statement attributed to a person, said Bustoff, who was too annoyed to be objective.

Okay I'm putting the Kotlikoff book away and moving on to The Spectrum, by Dr. Dean Ornish.
If none of us are collecting SS until 70, we better listen to Dr. Dean Ornish.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by avenger » Sat Apr 11, 2015 9:40 am

Yesterday I finished The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder. Good biography, a bit of a slog for the first half. But really begins to highlight how ethical of a man he is. Overall recommend.
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 Petrocelli » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:22 pm

I just finished "Beatleness", which is supposed to be some sort of sociological study of Beatlemania. It was terrible. I only made it about 1/3 of the way through. Thank goodness I got it as a Kindle Deal of the Day for $1.99.
Petrocelli (not the real Rico, but just a fan)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Caduceus » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:40 pm

This book is already driving me nuts. I'm not sure what they call this style of writing but here it is:

But how old are you and Jan? Larry asked.
What difference does it make? said Paul.
It makes a big difference, said Larry.
Here’s what you do, said Larry, never at a loss when it comes to speaking in the imperative.


This back and forth goes on and on with each statement attributed to a person, said Bustoff, who was too annoyed to be objective.


Yes, this drove me nuts too. I think it's a rather ineffective style of writing - trying to be colloquial in such a random fashion. Or maybe that is just the way economists actually speak in real life ...!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by black jack » Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:58 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Bustoff wrote:Get What's Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Hardcover
by Laurence J. Kotlikoff , Philip Moeller , Paul Solman

The book is too small. By that I mean it's dimension are much smaller than a typical hardcover book.
To make things worse, the print is too small. They really cheaped out with this book. :annoyed

I'm not able to comment on the content because I CAN'T SEE IT !


This has become a major issue. I read that Penguin was actually addressing it - readers of books in North America are aging and they need bigger print.

15 years ago I never would have noticed. Now?

But I've seen little sign publishers acknowledge this problem (I doubt the people who run publishing cos read their own books).

It is one very great virtue of Kindle, etc., that you can easily change the font size.


At 56 and myopic all my life, now I can only make out the print in most books in bright light (preferably sunlight) or by holding the book about six inches away from my face. I'm loving my Kindle, and audiobooks.

Recently finished Ken Follett's "Winter of the World", the second volume of his 20th century trilogy; enjoyed it, and will begin the third volume shortly.

Since it covered WWII, it kindled my interest in the era. Just finished "Midnight in Europe," a "historical spy novel" around the Spanish Civil War. It was my first experience of Alan Furst, and I enjoyed it; I picked up his "Mission to Paris" to follow. Have started "Homage to Catalonia," by George Orwell, about his experience in the Spanish Civil War.

Also, in light of the news around the Iran nuclear deal, have started "The Ministry of Guidance Invites You Not to Stay," by Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American journalist who took his Midwestern wife and infant child to live in Iran for a year (that year being 2011).
Last edited by black jack on Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ricola » Sat Apr 11, 2015 7:07 pm

Recently finished:
Ghost in the Wires: My Adventures as the World's Most Wanted Hacker, by Kevin Mitnick
The Mark Inside: A Perfect Swindle, a Cunning Revenge, and a Small History, By Amy Reading
The Contortionist's Handbook, by Craig Clevenger
Flash Boys, by Michael Lewis

Now reading:
The Gods of Guilt (Mickey Haller Series Book 6), Michael Connelly

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:44 pm

The Metropolis, by Upton Sinclair (best known for The Jungle and The Octopus, and frequently quoted in this forum for having said "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it.") It's available online here.

I'm about halfway through. I don't know where the plot is going and I suspect the reason it's not famous is that the plot probably doesn't go anywhere, but it's certainly an interesting exploration of New York wealth circa... when? Well, it was published in 1908 but I imagine it describes life prior to the Panic of 1907.
Montague did his best to accustom himself to the gowns of the women, which were cut lower than any he had ever seen in his life; but he hesitated every time he turned to speak to the young lady beside him, because he could look so deep down into her bosom, and it was difficult for him to realize that she did not mind it.
Old Simpkins had been very poor as a boy, it appeared, and he had never got over the memory of it. Miss Yvette spent fifty thousand at a clip for Paris gowns; but every day her old uncle would save up the lumps of sugar which came with the expensive lunch he had brought to his office. And when he had several pounds he would send them home by messenger!"
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by abuss368 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:22 pm

Dave55 wrote:The House that Bogle Built
Excellent read!

Dave


Great book. On my book shelf.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:20 am

Wow. Look at Upton Sinclair's The Metropolis, go to chapter 14 if this link doesn't take you there, and read it. Caveats: a) it's a work of fiction, b) I have no idea whether Sinclair knew what he was talking about, c) Sinclair was one of the people Teddy Roosevelt called "muckrakers." Nevertheless, read it and then tell me that stock market data from the early 1900s and before is relevant to the early 2000's.

There are fascinating (to me anyway) period details:
Within a few minutes, however, he was back at it again, with the result that by the time they reached the banking-district, Montague had agreed to draw sixty thousand.

They stopped at his bank. "It isn't open yet,—" said Oliver, "but the paying teller will oblige you. Tell him you want it before the Exchange opens."

Montague went in and got his money, in six new, crisp, ten-thousand-dollar bills.
One forgets they used to have those denominations. I could look up whose portrait was on them, I guess.
by way of breaking the monotony, Oliver suggested that his brother might like to see the "Street." They went around the corner to Broad Street. Here at the head stood the Sub-treasury building, with all the gold of the government inside, and a Gatling gun in the tower. The public did not know it was there, but the financial men knew it, and it seemed as if they had huddled all their offices and banks and safe-deposit vaults under its shelter.
One forgets that there wasn't always a Fort Knox.
opposite to this was the white Grecian building of the Stock Exchange. Down the street were throngs of men within a roped arena, pushing, shouting, jostling; this was "the curb," where one could buy or sell small blocks of stock, and all the wild-cat mining and oil stocks which were not listed by the Exchange. Rain or shine, these men were always here; and in the windows of the neighbouring buildings stood others shouting quotations to them through megaphones, or signalling in deaf and dumb language. Some of these brokers wore coloured hats, so that they could be distinguished; some had offices far off, where men sat all day with strong glasses trained upon them.
That's the AMEX, ... or what later became the AMEX. (If you are too young to know what the AMEX was... and you want to know... click the link).
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:39 pm

black jack wrote:
At 56 and myopic all my life, now I can only make out the print in most books in bright light (preferably sunlight) or by holding the book about six inches away from my face. I'm loving my Kindle, and audiobooks.

Recently finished Ken Follett's "Winter of the World", the second volume of his 20th century trilogy; enjoyed it, and will begin the third volume shortly.

Since it covered WWII, it kindled my interest in the era. Just finished "Midnight in Europe," a "historical spy novel" around the Spanish Civil War. It was my first experience of Alan Furst, and I enjoyed it; I picked up his "Mission to Paris" to follow. Have started "Homage to Catalonia," by George Orwell, about his experience in the Spanish Civil War.

Also, in light of the news around the Iran nuclear deal, have started "The Ministry of Guidance Invites You Not to Stay," by Hooman Majd, an Iranian-American journalist who took his Midwestern wife and infant child to live in Iran for a year (that year being 2011).


Ohh I envy you-- to discover Furst from fresh.

The early Furst I like better than the later.

The favourites:

- Dark Star about a Soviet spy during the show trials
- Night Soldiers about a Bulgarian spy during late 1930s and WW2

- The World at Night and sequel Red Gold - about a French filmmaker who joins the Resistance in Occupied France

- Blood of Victory

There are these recurrent motifs in his novels: Heninnger's Brasserie and the bullet holes in the mirror.

Homage to Catalonia is my favourite Orwell -- there's more than one version out there, the one where he goes into explaining leftwing Spanish politics is interesting (if somewhat incomprehensible).

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:03 pm

Just finished "Wanted Man" by Lee Child.

Before that - Six Years by Harlan Coban

Before that - Montana by Gwen Florio....picked up her "Dakota" book today at the library.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by frugalguy » Mon Apr 13, 2015 7:56 pm

Currently listening to:

The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell. Excellent; has deservedly gotten great reviews. Is a Vatican intellectual thriller cerntered around a mysterious museum exhibit (involving the Shroud of Turin) whose curator is murdered before its scheduled opening. Unlike The DaVinci Code, it is centered around real people with real emotions. The protagonist is a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. (Yes, Greek Catholic priests can marry and have families.) Audiobook narrator Jack Davenport is supurb. He brings all the characters to life, and is masterful with all the various accents.

Recently listened to:

Personal by Lee Childs. Okay as Jack Reacher books go, but not my favorite. It dealt with the search for a long-range sniper expected to disrupt a G-8 meeting. The ending was unexpectedly dark for a Reacher novel. I could not get behind the audiobook narrator, Dick Hill, who is considered by many to be Jack Reacher. I thought he sounded way too old and his diction was so slow I dozed off a few times. His reading of female characters was especially awful. While I eventually got used to Reacher, the female partner was cringeoworthy the entire time. I'll probably stick to Reacher books in regular book format from now on.

The Expats by Chris Pavone - Pretty bad, but I stuck with it because of the European setting (Luxumbourg, France, etc.) and the premise of a female ex-CIA operative with a lot of dark secrets. Was also interested in learning about life inside an expat community. In the end, the book turned out to be a psychological thriller with numerous twists. Unfortunately, you had to sit through a lot of amateurish, repetitive writing to get to the end. Audiobook narrator Mozhan Marno was okay, but probably would have come off better if the writing itself was better. Her French was more interesting than her English.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by snowshoes » Mon Apr 13, 2015 10:17 pm

The Investors Manifesto : By, BH.org's contributor, William Bernstein.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 1:29 pm

Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. I am an Android guy, and have never owned an Apple product. Still this is a very interesting and compelling biography, and an inside history of a part of the computer industry.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:37 pm

I have been reading FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, two history professors at American University.

Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler's Europe. Defenders claim that FDR saved millions of potential victims by defeating Nazi Germany. Others revile him as morally indifferent and indict him for keeping America's gates closed to Jewish refugees and failing to bomb Auschwitz's gas chambers.

In an extensive examination of this impassioned debate, the authors find that the president was neither savior nor bystander. In FDR and the Jews, Breitman and Lichtman draw upon many new primary sources to offer an intriguing portrait of a consummate politician, compassionate but also pragmatic, struggling with opposing priorities under perilous conditions.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Van » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:03 pm

THE LOST CITY OF Z.

Fascinating account of the exploits in the Amazon of the British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett and those that followed him.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:59 am

gkaplan wrote:I have been reading FDR and the Jews by Richard Breitman and Allan J. Lichtman, two history professors at American University.

Nearly seventy-five years after World War II, a contentious debate lingers over whether Franklin Delano Roosevelt turned his back on the Jews of Hitler's Europe. Defenders claim that FDR saved millions of potential victims by defeating Nazi Germany. Others revile him as morally indifferent and indict him for keeping America's gates closed to Jewish refugees and failing to bomb Auschwitz's gas chambers.

In an extensive examination of this impassioned debate, the authors find that the president was neither savior nor bystander. In FDR and the Jews, Breitman and Lichtman draw upon many new primary sources to offer an intriguing portrait of a consummate politician, compassionate but also pragmatic, struggling with opposing priorities under perilous conditions.


Sounds like a pretty fair description of FDR and an appreciation of him.

We shouldn't underestimate the degree of casual (as opposed to blackshirt wearing) antisemitism amongst upper middle class WASPs (and society generally) at that time. Whether it's George Orwell's comments ('you always so many Jews taking cover in the Underground from the Blitz') or the general tenor of the time. No evidence (that I know of) that FDR had this, but he was surrounded by it.

The societal experience of holocaust generally was limited. We didn't then talk about the death of the American Indians as a genocide. Armenia was a long way away. So I have some sense that even when faced with the evidence people couldn't quite believe it was happening. I do remember a friend of mine's father, who grew up in Scotland during the war, saying 'we thought it was Allied propaganda'. Even when by 1942 (?) there was photographic evidence of what was going on at Auschwitz.

The Romanians at one point via a back channel offered to deport their Jews to the British. The British, not wishing to further inflame Arab sentiment in Palestine, thought that it was better that the Axis powers should have to feed those people rather than the British at some refugee camp in Cyprus. So the deal never happened, and that group went to Auschwitz.

FDR used to drive his advisers nuts: he'd have 2 meetings, and send 2 different advisers on overlapping tasks, or with conflicting instructions. He thrived on that tension amongst his close circle it seemed.

And he never forgot elections and winning them. He could count on the Jewish vote in electorally key states like New York (then much more of a Republican state). But (back to the point about a general background noise of antisemitism) he was vulnerable to isolationist sentiments in the Midwest and other places. Not allowing that ship of Jews to land was his way of addressing that, as I understand it.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Kuota Rider » Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:18 am

The Short and Tragic life of Robert Peace; very good so far. A good kid from inner city Jersey who makes it to Yale on a merit scholrship. Tragic ending because (in this case) you can take the kid out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the kid.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by frugalguy » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:12 am

Van wrote:THE LOST CITY OF Z.

Fascinating account of the exploits in the Amazon of the British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett and those that followed him.


Excellent book. Hard to put down.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by a » Wed Apr 15, 2015 11:26 am

I am 23% through Limbo by Alfred Lubrano,
recommended by TresBelle65 in the Household
Gross Income Poll thread.

I find Lubrano's writing surprising and titillating.
He comes up with effective, original uses of
every day words.

In describing the contrast between white collar
work and blue collar, (the book's theme is the
differences between blue collar life and white
collar life) he says that white collar work can
stress a person out, but blue collar work will
"bite, maim, and wither."

In relating how one blue collar father saw his
daughter's aspirations of college education,
he says that some blue collar families see
college simply as a "crowbar to pry money out
of corporations." (My quotes are from memory.)

Thanks to TresBelle65 for the recommendation.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by a » Wed Apr 15, 2015 2:04 pm

Here's another nice passage, describing the lot of
coal miners:

"Coal dust invaded miners' orifices, darkening
and slowly sickening their lungs. It made for a
troubling symmetry: The miners were in the
earth, and the earth was in the miners."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:28 am

I just finished Housekeeping: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson. It is a beautifully written story and I highly recommend it. I just started the author's next novel, Gilead, which won the Pulizer Prize.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:29 am

frugalguy wrote:
Van wrote:THE LOST CITY OF Z.

Fascinating account of the exploits in the Amazon of the British explorer Percy Harrison Fawcett and those that followed him.


Excellent book. Hard to put down.


This has been on my short list of books to read. I will move it up to the top. Thanks for the recommendations.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by JW-Retired » Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:42 am

Petrocelli wrote:I just finished All the Light We Cannot See, which is the best fiction book I have read in years.

I can 2nd this. Really a good one.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Petrocelli » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:10 am

JW Nearly Retired wrote:
Petrocelli wrote:I just finished All the Light We Cannot See, which is the best fiction book I have read in years.

I can 2nd this. Really a good one.


I know two other people who have read it and agree it is one of the best books they have ever read. This book is a masterpiece. Great story and well-written.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:56 pm

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1900.

Saw the movie (who hasn't?) several times but never read the book. Turns out the book is quite charming. Only about quarter of the way through it so far.

The book reads smoothly and naturally without the language seeming to be an artifact of the time period, perhaps because it was written for children, but without being preachy. It keeps this grown-up's attention despite knowing the plot ahead of time. One thing I didn't get from the movie: The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion demonstrate the very qualities they think they are missing. The "brainless" Scarecrow comes up with the ideas needed to get them out of trouble, the "heartless" Tin Man is the most considerate and the "cowardly" Lion saves the day with his bravery -- and I am only part way through!

The Dorothy in the movie is a bit more (ahem) mature than she comes across in the book. This opinion is also encouraged by the illustrations:
Image

It has been called the first truly American fairy tale and I like fairy tales. Besides, my grandmother's middle name is Dorothy. I wanted to name my daughter Dorothy but dear wife wouldn't hear of it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Igglesman » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:31 pm

Comments on recent posts:
Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace. A very depressing read. Well researched and written. This is the problem with non-fiction, sometimes the story does not go the way you want it to.

All The Light We Cannot See - Well written. Liked it tons more than the Book Thief. May recommend it to my book group.

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania -- Now if you really want to get depressed...Larson provides a minute by minute, second by second accounting. Non-Fiction, but the author makes the story very dramatic.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:32 pm

Sad Cypress, by Agatha Christie. Two murders, and only one person has both motive and opportunity.

Live Right and Find Happiness (although beer is much faster),by Dave Barry. Hilarious, I recommend this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:03 pm

I have been reading Dead Water by Ngaio Marsh. A week of death threats at a faith-healing resort ends in murder. What makes matters worse is that one of the suspects is the oldest friend of Inspector Roderick Alleyn.

The 23rd of the thirty-two Roderick Alleyn crime novels, this really is a fun and enjoyable read. I highly recommend.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Christine_NM » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:26 pm

Faceless Killers, by Henning Mankell

I missed the whole Wallander series on PBS and never read any of the novels, so thought I'd try the first one, from 1990. I liked the Martin Beck series and the Stieg Larsson series, and in style this one falls somewhere in between the two.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by frugalguy » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:39 pm

Just finished The Stranger by Harlan Coben. The audiobook was narrated by Eric Meyers.

It was a fast and fun read (i.e., "listen") with a lot of plot twists, and an unexpected (to me) ending.

For the first minute or two, I didn't care for the narrator...since I'm used to serious mysteries/thrillers. Then, I realized both the author and the protagonist are wise-crackers, so the narrator choice made sense.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:36 am

"Take it to the Limit" by Marc Eliot.

This book, written in 1998, is an indepth look at the band The Eagles, tracing their Southern California roots (four musicians from Mi, Tx, Ne, and Mn who moved to LA) and the development of the LA sound. The four eventually tour as Linda Ronstadt's band and sign a record deal.

Much of this has been covered in the Showtime documentary released a couple of years ago, but the book goes into much greater detail on the business end of the band and the personalities (cruel dudes seems to not only be a description in "Life in the Fast Lane" but also appropriate for Frey and Henley).

Probably the most interesting was Henley's description of his relationship with Stevie Nicks and the foundation of her writing the song "Sara".

Pretty good book, I would read another of Eliot's.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:34 pm

I finished Dennis Lehane's World Gone By. It's the third and last in a series he's written over the last several years. The protagonist in all of them is Joe Coughlin. The first novel is set in Boston; the second in Tampa and Cuba, as is the third. While the third can be read without reading the prior books, it helps to place some of the characters.

I like Lehane's writing, especially some of his early work.

Next on my reader is The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro. Or Cane and Abe by James Grippando.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by frugalguy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:47 pm

MP173 wrote:"

Probably the most interesting was Henley's description of his relationship with Stevie Nicks and the foundation of her writing the song "Sara".


I cheated and googled. Never would have guessed. :o

I thought it was just more of that Welsh Witch stuff. :D

There was a recent feature article on Stevie Nicks in Rolling Stone. She apparently has a book out. There apparently is a new biography out on her.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:52 pm

I just finished reading The Burning Room by Michael Connelly, the 27th novel of Michael Connelly and the seventeenth featuring Los Angeles Police Department Detective Harry Bosch.

This is a terrific read from America's premier crime novelist. I'm not sure where the series is heading the way this book ended.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by telemark » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:34 pm

Ray Bradbury, The October Country.

I grew up always hearing how great Bradbury was, but never really saw it. I preferred authors like Heinlein and Asimov. Giving him another try now.

What I notice immediately is how many of the stories are about middle-aged, apparently childless married couples.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by telemark » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:38 pm

bertilak wrote:The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum, 1900.

Saw the movie (who hasn't?) several times but never read the book. Turns out the book is quite charming. Only about quarter of the way through it so far.

The book reads smoothly and naturally without the language seeming to be an artifact of the time period, perhaps because it was written for children, but without being preachy. It keeps this grown-up's attention despite knowing the plot ahead of time. One thing I didn't get from the movie: The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion demonstrate the very qualities they think they are missing. The "brainless" Scarecrow comes up with the ideas needed to get them out of trouble, the "heartless" Tin Man is the most considerate and the "cowardly" Lion saves the day with his bravery -- and I am only part way through!

The Dorothy in the movie is a bit more (ahem) mature than she comes across in the book. This opinion is also encouraged by the illustrations:
Image

It has been called the first truly American fairy tale and I like fairy tales. Besides, my grandmother's middle name is Dorothy. I wanted to name my daughter Dorothy but dear wife wouldn't hear of it.

I read through the Oz books when PDAs first came out and I discovered that I could load mine with Gutenberg editions. I agree that they stand quite well on their own. Not sure why so many writers insist on putting a spin on them.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:20 pm

telemark wrote:I read through the Oz books when PDAs first came out and I discovered that I could load mine with Gutenberg editions. I agree that they stand quite well on their own. Not sure why so many writers insist on putting a spin on them.

I think i's because the Oz story is a very successful fairy-tale. The more successful the fairy tale or myth, the more it is borrowed. Just think how many times the Odyssey has been borrowed. These are stories that reach deep down. Authors want to express how the stories reach them.

That reminds me of another book I recently read but don't think I mentioned here: The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories by Angela Carter. In these stories Angela Carter re-interprets several fairy tales, myths, legends into sensual Gothic horror stories. Of course many of these stories have a bit of that flavor to begin with. Carter amps it up without overdoing it. Very atmospheric and un-put-down-able. Note that her stories are based less on he plot of the originals and more on the atmosphere. There are no characters in her stories named Red Riding Hood nor Dracula, etc.. The connection is much more subtle.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by TresBelle65 » Thu Apr 23, 2015 10:46 am

a,

I am glad you are enjoying Limbo.

I almost feel as if Lubrano is my twin, separated at birth lol.

Belle

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:13 pm

Islands of Rage and Hope, by John Ringo. Book 3 of 4 in the Black Tide Rising series (zombie apocalypse).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by protagonist » Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:55 pm

Visions of Jazz, by Gary Giddins.

Giddins is probably the #1 jazz journalist in the world, and this is a series of short essays on various musicians and topics. It could probably be opened at random and read as such.

I just got the book, have just started it, and I am finding it impossible to put down. His insights are brilliant and his writing is fast-paced and often humorous, drawing from many sources outside of jazz. I think it would be of interest to not only jazz musicians and enthusiasts, but to anybody even casually interested in jazz who wants to learn a bit more or even those interested in American history and culture. Though I am a jazz musician myself, I find most books on the history of jazz dry and have a hard time finishing them. With this one when I start reading it's hard to get up off the toilet to go to sleep.

Check out this five page essay on the recordings Louis Armstrong did with the Mills Brothers in the late thirties ("Signifying"): https://books.google.com/books?id=MH0bt ... ns&f=false
Last edited by protagonist on Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:10 pm

bertilak wrote:
telemark wrote:I read through the Oz books when PDAs first came out and I discovered that I could load mine with Gutenberg editions. I agree that they stand quite well on their own. Not sure why so many writers insist on putting a spin on them.
For an almost creepy experience... try L. Frank Baum's The Master Key: An Electrical An Electrical Fairy Tale.
Founded Upon The Mysteries Of Electricity And The Optimism Of Its Devotees. It Was Written For Boys, But Others May Read It.
The setup:
When Rob became interested in electricity his clear-headed father considered the boy's fancy to be instructive as well as amusing; so he heartily encouraged his son, and Rob never lacked batteries, motors or supplies of any sort that his experiments might require.

He fitted up the little back room in the attic as his workshop, and from thence a net-work of wires soon ran throughout the house. Not only had every outside door its electric bell, but every window was fitted with a burglar alarm; moreover no one could cross the threshold of any interior room without registering the fact in Rob's workshop. The gas was lighted by an electric fob; a chime, connected with an erratic clock in the boy's room, woke the servants at all hours of the night and caused the cook to give warning; a bell rang whenever the postman dropped a letter into the box; there were bells, bells, bells everywhere, ringing at the right time, the wrong time and all the time. And there were telephones in the different rooms, too, through which Rob could call up the different members of the family just when they did not wish to be disturbed.
And then, one day:
One day when he had locked himself in to avoid interruption while he planned the electrical illumination of a gorgeous pasteboard palace, he really became confused over the network of wires. He had a "switchboard," to be sure, where he could make and break connections as he chose; but the wires had somehow become mixed, and he could not tell what combinations to use to throw the power on to his miniature electric lights.

So he experimented in a rather haphazard fashion, connecting this and that wire blindly and by guesswork, in the hope that he would strike the right combination. Then he thought the combination might be right and there was a lack of power; so he added other lines of wire to his connections, and still others, until he had employed almost every wire in the room.

Yet it would not work; and after pausing a moment to try to think what was wrong he went at it again, putting this and that line into connection, adding another here and another there, until suddenly, as he made a last change, a quick flash of light almost blinded him, and the switch-board crackled ominously, as if struggling to carry a powerful current.
And, lo and behold, he has summoned the Demon of Electricity, who in due course gives him three gifts. One of them is pretty interesting:
The Being paused, and drew from an inner pocket something resembling a flat metal box. In size it was about four inches by six, and nearly an inch in thickness.

"What is it?" asked Rob, wonderingly.

"It is an automatic Record of Events," answered the Demon.... "Suppose you wish to know the principal events that are occurring in Germany at the present moment. You first turn this little wheel at the side until the word 'Germany' appears in the slot at the small end. Then open the top cover, which is hinged, and those passing events in which you are interested will appear before your eyes."
So, it is a remote real-time viewer and recording device for anything taking place anywhere. And, most amazing to me of all, Baum comments:
During the evening he found that an "important event" was Madame Bernhardt's production of a new play, and Rob followed it from beginning to end with great enjoyment, although he felt a bit guilty at not having purchased a ticket.

"But it's a crowded house, anyway," he reflected, "and I'm not taking up a reserved seat or keeping any one else from seeing the show. So where's the harm? Yet it seems to me if these Records get to be common, as the Demon wishes, people will all stay at home and see the shows, and the poor actors 'll starve to death."

The thought made him uneasy, and he began, for the first time, to entertain a doubt of the Demon's wisdom in forcing such devices upon humanity.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sat Apr 25, 2015 7:12 pm

Just finished Dead Wake, Erik Larson's account of the sinking of the Lusitania. Excellent.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:43 pm

The Little Sister, by Raymond Chandler. A very good Phillip Marlowe mystery.
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