What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by seeshells » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:19 pm

nisiprius wrote:The Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre, Jon D. Markman. Specifically, The Reminiscences of a Stock Operator Collection, Wiley Investment Classics, a slightly weird offering containing three versions of the same book: the original book unadorned; the collection of magazine articles on which the book was based; and an annotated edition of the book, annotated by Jon Markman, which is what I'm reading. The notes are as interesting to me as the text, and there's not a chance I could begin to understand what's going on without them.

Now to begin with I have no idea what I'm actually reading here. It's a novel, folks. It's fiction. Markman says that it is a lightly fictionalized version of Jesse Livermore and that Lefevre made extensive interviews, and identifies other fictionalized firms and people such as E. F. Hutton. The fact remains it's a novel, and it is based on Livermore's own presentation of his own life--there's no particular reason to think anything in it is true or that Livermore was able to do the things he said he could do.

One thing. You don't have to read ten pages of this to realize that either the stock market of today is a totally different thing from the stock market of that era, in which case we shouldn't even think of combining pre-SEC and post-SEC data to create long-term data sets--or, and this is scary, that it really is essentially the same thing as the stock market of that era, in which case... well... even an index fund isn't a long enough pole with which to touch it.

I'm only a few chapters in. Biggest revelation so far: before they were outlawed, Livermore and most retail investors were using bucket shops which, I hadn't understood, did not trade stocks at all--they were gambling operations, pure and simple, based on reading a stock ticker without actually buying or selling stocks, with the bucket shop making its money on a (basically arbitrary, imposed by the shop) bid-asked spread and/or by cheating customers. The interesting thing is that Livermore claims that he did better at these than at the real stock market, before they kicked him out for winning too much, because the bucket shop was treating the ticker numbers as instantaneous--and unaffected by the bets placed by players--whereas in the real stock market, the ticker lagged behind the real price, and the price could be moved by a large trade. So if Livermore correctly sensed through his tape-reading intuition that a stock was about to move down, by the time his order was executed it had already moved down (and his trade might have moved it down even further).
Thanks for your assessment above Nis, it assisted my understanding of this unique collection of writings.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sun Jul 19, 2015 7:24 pm

I have been reading The Lady from Zagreb: a Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr.

Bernie Gunther is a former homicide detective totally unsympathetic to the Nazi regime but now an officer in the SD and forced to run errands for Joseph Goebbels. Amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic and the ultimate anti-hero whose instinct is to trust no one.

Kerr addresses two core ethical questions: What is the right conduct while operating within the filthy underbelly of Nazi Germany? How can the sardonic, tough-talking, anti-Nazi Bernie Gunther survive in a criminal state with his moral integrity and honor intact?

This is the tenth book in the Bernie Gunther series. I think it's his best.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Rexindex » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:11 pm

The Unlikely Spy by Daniel Silva.

I must say I read many strong reviews and he is a good spy novelist indeed.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Sun Jul 19, 2015 8:16 pm

Done reading these books:

(1) A Concise History of Spain (by William D. Phillips, Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips). This is a great book about the history of the place the Greek called Iberia and the Romans called Hispania. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.

(2) El Camino de Santiago: The ancient Way of Saint James pilgrimage route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago (by Sergi Ramis). This is a guide of El Camino from SJPDP to SDC in 30 stages. Included are states 31-34 from SDC to Finisterre. I have my copy from my favorite public library and will return it this week.

(3) A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean, Roncesvalles, Santiago (by John Brierley). This is the guide of El Camino from SJPDP to SDC in 33 stages. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.

(4) Camino de Santiago: To Walk Far, Carry Less (by Jean-Christie Ashmore). Great book. I bought this one for my wife and as of today I have read it twice. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.

(5) Pilgrim Tips & Packing List Camino de Santiago: What you need to know beforehand, what you need to take, and what you can leave at home (by S. Yates & Daphne Hnatiuk). I like this book because both authors have worked several years as Hospitalera Voluntaria in several refugios on El Camino. I bought this one for me and as of today I have read it twice. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.

I have these books on order:

(1) Walking Guide to the Via De La Plata and the Caminoa Sanabres: from Seville to Santiago and Astorga (by Mr Gerald Kelly). This is one of the guides I need, plus I need to find one for Camino Del Sur and Via Augusta. El Camino del Sur connects to Via De La Plata at Zafra, La Via Augusta connects to Via De La Plata at Sevilla.

(2) Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes (by John Vonhof). I like his website fixingyourfeet dot com which is packed with valuable information for long distance runner and long distance walkers, I could have used some of his tips when I was a very competitive long distance runner. Right now my number one concern is keeping my feet in good shape, injury prevention is paramount.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LazyNihilist » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:40 am

Fahrenheit 451
It was a pleasure to burn.

Felt the themes addressed similar to 1984.
The kindle version had lots of 'extra material' about the book. It felt like an abrupt ending when the book finished around 68% through and the rest was about the history of the book, reviews, movies and Ray Bradbury.

I wonder at what temperature a Kindle would burn.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:31 am

LazyNihilist wrote:Fahrenheit 451
It was a pleasure to burn.

Felt the themes addressed similar to 1984.
The kindle version had lots of 'extra material' about the book. It felt like an abrupt ending when the book finished around 68% through and the rest was about the history of the book, reviews, movies and Ray Bradbury.

I wonder at what temperature a Kindle would burn.


Kindle of course knows what you read.

And early on, and almost unbelievably, the Australian edition of 1984 was deleted from all the Kindle owners who had it, because of a copyright issue.

Amazon later apologized, but the irony that it was 1984 which was deleted by the all-powerful electronic corporate was just too unbelievable to make good fiction-- it could only happen in reality.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jul 20, 2015 7:33 am

gkaplan wrote:I have been reading The Lady from Zagreb: a Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr.

Bernie Gunther is a former homicide detective totally unsympathetic to the Nazi regime but now an officer in the SD and forced to run errands for Joseph Goebbels. Amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic and the ultimate anti-hero whose instinct is to trust no one.

Kerr addresses two core ethical questions: What is the right conduct while operating within the filthy underbelly of Nazi Germany? How can the sardonic, tough-talking, anti-Nazi Bernie Gunther survive in a criminal state with his moral integrity and honor intact?

This is the tenth book in the Bernie Gunther series. I think it's his best.


Kerr's historical research is very good, from little Gunther that I have read.

I am reminded, somewhat of 2 alternate history novels: SS GB about a British detective in Nazi Occupied London (SS Great Britain division) pursuing the murderers of a dead physicist; and Fatherland by Richard Harris about a Berlin detective tracking down the murder of a group of aging Nazi officials in a world where they won WW2. Both of these have that same sense of moral swamp.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by retiredbuthappy » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:26 am

Absolutely mesmerizing and exciting! Read it!
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:33 am

Valuethinker wrote:
LazyNihilist wrote:Fahrenheit 451
It was a pleasure to burn.

Felt the themes addressed similar to 1984.
The kindle version had lots of 'extra material' about the book. It felt like an abrupt ending when the book finished around 68% through and the rest was about the history of the book, reviews, movies and Ray Bradbury.

I wonder at what temperature a Kindle would burn.


Kindle of course knows what you read.

And early on, and almost unbelievably, the Australian edition of 1984 was deleted from all the Kindle owners who had it, because of a copyright issue.

Amazon later apologized, but the irony that it was 1984 which was deleted by the all-powerful electronic corporate was just too unbelievable to make good fiction-- it could only happen in reality.


The self-referential 1984 is not only ironic but also a vindication of modern Luddites who read books on paper, receive financial statements in mail, and are wary of the cloud storage.

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

Post by gkaplan » Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:55 am

Valuethinker wrote:
gkaplan wrote:I have been reading The Lady from Zagreb: a Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr.

Bernie Gunther is a former homicide detective totally unsympathetic to the Nazi regime but now an officer in the SD and forced to run errands for Joseph Goebbels. Amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic and the ultimate anti-hero whose instinct is to trust no one.

Kerr addresses two core ethical questions: What is the right conduct while operating within the filthy underbelly of Nazi Germany? How can the sardonic, tough-talking, anti-Nazi Bernie Gunther survive in a criminal state with his moral integrity and honor intact?

This is the tenth book in the Bernie Gunther series. I think it's his best.


Kerr's historical research is very good, from little Gunther that I have read.

I am reminded, somewhat of 2 alternate history novels: SS GB about a British detective in Nazi Occupied London (SS Great Britain division) pursuing the murderers of a dead physicist; and Fatherland by Richard Harris about a Berlin detective tracking down the murder of a group of aging Nazi officials in a world where they won WW2. Both of these have that same sense of moral swamp.


Thanks for the comment. A slight correction: it was Robert Harris who wrote Fatherland, not Richard Harris. (I'm sure you were thinking of the actor when you typed your comment.)
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Jul 20, 2015 12:29 pm

gkaplan wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:
gkaplan wrote:I have been reading The Lady from Zagreb: a Bernie Gunther Novel by Philip Kerr.

Bernie Gunther is a former homicide detective totally unsympathetic to the Nazi regime but now an officer in the SD and forced to run errands for Joseph Goebbels. Amid the killing fields of Ustashe-controlled Croatia, Bernie finds himself in a world of mindless brutality where everyone has a hidden agenda. Perfect territory for a true cynic and the ultimate anti-hero whose instinct is to trust no one.

Kerr addresses two core ethical questions: What is the right conduct while operating within the filthy underbelly of Nazi Germany? How can the sardonic, tough-talking, anti-Nazi Bernie Gunther survive in a criminal state with his moral integrity and honor intact?

This is the tenth book in the Bernie Gunther series. I think it's his best.


Kerr's historical research is very good, from little Gunther that I have read.

I am reminded, somewhat of 2 alternate history novels: SS GB about a British detective in Nazi Occupied London (SS Great Britain division) pursuing the murderers of a dead physicist; and Fatherland by Richard Harris about a Berlin detective tracking down the murder of a group of aging Nazi officials in a world where they won WW2. Both of these have that same sense of moral swamp.


Thanks for the comment. A slight correction: it was Robert Harris who wrote Fatherland, not Richard Harris. (I'm sure you were thinking of the actor when you typed your comment.)


Yes, thank you. Most of Robert Harris' historical thrillers have been very good (as was the movie made of one, The Ghost - a genuine political thriller).

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:22 am

How to Lie With Statistics, by Darrell Huff. It's actually about how to detect misrepresentations in media reports.

Be suspicious of any report:
of averages which doesn't say if it's mean, median or mode;
of percentages without a stated margin of error;
of percentages without a stated sample size;
with small samples;
with no description of how the sample was selected;
of correlation with an unstated assumption of causation.

"There is something fascinating about science. One gets such wholesale returns of conjecture out of such a trifling investment of fact." Mark Twain.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Christine_NM » Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:11 pm

The Martian by Andy Weir.

Normally I am not a big sci-fi fan, but this book is amazing. Astronaut left behind on manned Mars mission. Science, bureaucracy, ingenuity, and luck -- everything that makes a planet go round. I especially enjoy it since I worked as a programmer at a national lab -- there's nothing sci-fi about the organizational politics.

Maybe I am the last to hear about this book, published on the web in 2014 and now officially published, with a Matt Damon movie to follow. Warning -- the suspense will keep you up reading late at night, so it is best read during the day.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Random Musings » Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:00 pm

Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant

Hiking Shenandoah National Park - Falcon Guide

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Bungo » Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:21 pm

Just finished The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham. This is a thick book (680 pages of main text) covering the period from 1878-1912, when various European powers carved up most of Africa for colonization. The main focus is on Britain, France, and Belgium, which makes sense since these were the primary "carvers" during this period. There's also a bit on Germany (Southwest Africa, East Africa, Cameron, Togo) and Italy (mainly its ill-fated invasion of Ethiopia), but nothing on Portugal as it had already established its colonies before the period covered.

The author strikes a nice balance among politics (especially interesting to see how the WWI entente alliance of Britain, France, and Russia was shaped in part by the colonization of Africa), exploration (I find it nearly impossible to imagine slogging across thousands of miles of dense pestilential jungle and harsh desert like Stanley, Brazza, and friends, even with African porters doing the harder job of carrying the supplies), and battles (Sudan, the Boer Wars, etc.).

Pakenham divided the book into 37 bite-size chapters which shift the focus from one region to another to keep things interesting. His writing style is economical but very readable. He has a dry wit which he deploys when describing both the farcical, such as the French invasion of Tunisia, and the macabre, such as a mention in passing that among a tribe of cannibals, "troublemakers were distributed as rations." There are also plenty of good maps, which is fortunate because I have yet to locate a usable African atlas, and googling around for a map which highlights the items of interest in this period (especially rivers) is hit-and-miss.

The book was published in 1991, and it was interesting to read the epilogue in which he talks briefly about the decolonization movement starting in the 1950s, through the independence of Britain's last remaining colony, Zimbabwe, in 1980. At the time he was writing, he was able to highlight Robert Mugabe as a positive model of restraint in gracefully handling the transition from white rule to black, quite striking considering how the next 20 years went. I guess that part will need a rewrite if he ever publishes a second edition. :D To his credit, his optimism about the direction South Africa was taking at the time proved to be largely warranted.

Overall very highly recommended; one of the best history books I've read, and on a subject which I didn't expect to be half as interesting as it turned out to be.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FRANK2009 » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:34 pm

Just borrowed "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown. American history from the American Indian perspective. A very good book but a bit repetitious. It was interesting to read the American history that was not taught in school.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:40 pm

Dead Wrong, by Richard Phillips. This is Book 2 of the Rho Agenda Inception series. I like it just as much as the first one - can't put it down. The long-term story is starting to come together.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:42 pm

Amsterdam: A History . . . . ., by Russell Shorto. His thesis is that the Dutch, and Amsterdam in particular is entitled to much of the credit for the development of Western ideas of individual liberty. He attributes the onset of that development to individual ownership of reclaimed land, the cooperation needed to do the reclamation, and the general absence of large feudal estates. "[I]n the province of Holland, circa 1500, only 5 percent of the land was owned by nobles, while peasants owned 45 percent of it." He proposes that Dutch ideas of individual liberty including religious tolerance were transmitted in the 1600's to North America through the early Dutch settlement of New York, and to England through the rule of William of Orange.

Shorto's Island at the Center of the World, about the early Dutch settlement in New York, covers that part in much greater detail and I thought was more interesting and better written.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sat Jul 25, 2015 8:35 pm

I have been reading Midnight in Siberia: a Train Journey into the Heart of Russia by David Greene.

As an NPR host and correspondent, Greene has shared stories and political situations from all over the world. Here, in this Library Journal star-rated book, he narrates his experiences traveling across Russia on a 6,000-mile Trans-Siberian Railway journey with his faithful friend and translator Sergei, after having lived in Moscow for several years. Much more than a survey of the top sights, this is a close look at the people who embody the beautiful and chaotic spirit of Russia. The author's tales of his encounters delve into the history, politics, and culture that make Russian people tick. His observations of the lingering effects of communism are particularly striking as he meets residents grappling daily with wanting to escape their communist past while hoping to retain their traditions, even at the cost of a more democratic future. Greene brings the reader into direct contact with myriad Russians struggling and surviving in their snowy, expansive homeland.

The book has an index that is so-so at best. Strangely, it has no entry for the author's wife, Rose, who accompanies David and Sergei on part of their journey. The book does not have a bibliography, which is not surprising in a book of this nature. The book should have had bibliographical citations, though. Not only does it cite historians and academics and Russian writers, such as Gogol, Chekhov, and Pushkin, but also quotes op-eds from Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Jul 27, 2015 3:45 pm

Just finished "Golem of Hollywood" by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman (father & son). I like Jonathan's books very much, he is on my top five author list ... his Alex Delaware series is excellent.

This took awhile for me to warm up to and in fact 100 pages in (of 548 pages) I just about returned it to the library. Glad I didnt as it was one of the most interesting books of the year for me. I am not much on paranormal (although I loved X Files so many years ago), but this one hooked me.

It is a combination of a present day Jewish detective in LA (demoted to traffic from homicide), Biblical history (Cain and Able and the first murder...over a woman...their sister), 16th century Jewish Rabbi and family in Prague and weird beetles that were extinct and have returned.

Kellermans (or should it be Kellermen?) pull this off. It was a typical Jonathan murder with a lesson in Jewish religion and history.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:56 am

Headhunters On My Doorstep by Maarten Troost

The author recounts his adventures in the South Pacific following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Troost is also the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals which almost made me sick from laughing so hard.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:06 am

MP173 wrote:Just finished "Golem of Hollywood" by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman (father & son). I like Jonathan's books very much, he is on my top five author list ... his Alex Delaware series is excellent.

This took awhile for me to warm up to and in fact 100 pages in (of 548 pages) I just about returned it to the library. Glad I didnt as it was one of the most interesting books of the year for me. I am not much on paranormal (although I loved X Files so many years ago), but this one hooked me.

It is a combination of a present day Jewish detective in LA (demoted to traffic from homicide), Biblical history (Cain and Able and the first murder...over a woman...their sister), 16th century Jewish Rabbi and family in Prague and weird beetles that were extinct and have returned.

Kellermans (or should it be Kellermen?) pull this off. It was a typical Jonathan murder with a lesson in Jewish religion and history.

Ed


Not sure if you know this, but wife of Jonathan and mother of Jesse, Faye Kellerman, is as good author as the two of them. And, IIRC a younger daughter has penned a teen book. Pretty impressive family.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Jul 28, 2015 9:20 am

lthenderson wrote:Headhunters On My Doorstep by Maarten Troost

The author recounts his adventures in the South Pacific following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Troost is also the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals which almost made me sick from laughing so hard.

You will likely also enjoy In Trouble Again: A Journey Between Orinoco and the Amazon by Redmond O'Hanlon.

From the publisher...
    "O'Hanlon takes us into the bug-ridden rain forest between the Orinoco and the Amazon--infested with jaguars and piranhas, where men would kill over a bottle of ketchup and where the locals may be the most violent people on earth"
The book is not only about the natural science, but about the outrageous situations O'Hanlon finds (gets) himself into and the characters he meets along the way. It is a cross between National Geographic and Monty Python with a touch of Benny Hill. It will make you laugh.

This is his second travel book, following Into the Heart of Borneo which is also good, some say better, but I read "In Trouble Again" first so it impressed me the most of his several books.

Get the hard cover version. You will want to display it proudly! Easily available on the secondary market via (ironically!) Amazon.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by lthenderson » Tue Jul 28, 2015 1:04 pm

bertilak wrote:
lthenderson wrote:Headhunters On My Doorstep by Maarten Troost

The author recounts his adventures in the South Pacific following in the footsteps of Robert Louis Stevenson. Troost is also the author of The Sex Lives of Cannibals which almost made me sick from laughing so hard.

You will likely also enjoy In Trouble Again: A Journey Between Orinoco and the Amazon by Redmond O'Hanlon.

From the publisher...
    "O'Hanlon takes us into the bug-ridden rain forest between the Orinoco and the Amazon--infested with jaguars and piranhas, where men would kill over a bottle of ketchup and where the locals may be the most violent people on earth"
The book is not only about the natural science, but about the outrageous situations O'Hanlon finds (gets) himself into and the characters he meets along the way. It is a cross between National Geographic and Monty Python with a touch of Benny Hill. It will make you laugh.

This is his second travel book, following Into the Heart of Borneo which is also good, some say better, but I read "In Trouble Again" first so it impressed me the most of his several books.

Get the hard cover version. You will want to display it proudly! Easily available on the secondary market via (ironically!) Amazon.


Thank you for the suggestion. I'm always open to good travelogue books and these two seem to fit the bill. I also added his last book No Mercy to my order.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Tue Jul 28, 2015 6:14 pm

Just finished The Beekeeper's Pupil by Sara George. Saw it by happenstance lying on one of our bookshelves, suspect daughter had as assigned reading in high school literature class, but as a backyard beekeeper the title caught my attention and started reading out of curiosity. Much to my pleasure it is excellent historical fiction, based upon Swiss-French Naturalist at turn of 18th century who, although blind, with assistance from young man from neighboring town wrote some of seminal observations of honeybees based on years of experimentation. Took place during French Revolution, lots of comparisons of human society both family and nations to more rational one of honeybees. Highly recommend, even if not beekeeper.
Last edited by jdb on Wed Jul 29, 2015 10:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle » Tue Jul 28, 2015 7:14 pm

Worth Dying For, by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel. It's violent, improbable and highly entertaining.

This was the first book by Lee Child that I've read, and I'll certainly be checking out more of his stuff.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by theunknowntech » Tue Jul 28, 2015 8:12 pm

I'm reading Ang's book on Asset Management, because I'm a total freak, and I like that sort of thing. Strictly academic, nothing to do with transient economics. As Scotty would say, "I like to read engineering manuals in bed." It's so well-written, it may as well be a glass of warm milk.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:48 am

jginseattle wrote:Worth Dying For, by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel. It's violent, improbable and highly entertaining.

This was the first book by Lee Child that I've read, and I'll certainly be checking out more of his stuff.


I've read 2 or 3 of his Jack Reacher novels. For me, they are boringly formulaic. It's the same book more or less.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco » Wed Jul 29, 2015 9:57 am

I've been reading a string of OK but not particularly noteworthy books. Here is a couple of recent ones that
stood out:

Proof: The Science of Booze by Adam Rogers This has won various science book awards. The author keeps
a nice light tone even when discussing the effects of drinking methanol instead of ethanol on the human body (just to name one topic). He goes into history, the effects of aging of spirits, the production of whiskies and brandies, the biological effects including the science of hangovers ... etc. etc. Highly recommended.

Pirate Hunters: Treasure, Obsession, and the Search for a Legendary Pirate Ship
by Robert Kurson From the Amazon review: Finding and identifying a pirate ship is the hardest thing to do under the sea. But two men—John Chatterton and John Mattera—are willing to risk everything to find the Golden Fleece, the ship of the infamous pirate Joseph Bannister. At large during the Golden Age of Piracy in the seventeenth century, Bannister should have been immortalized in the lore of the sea—his exploits more notorious than Blackbeard’s, more daring than Kidd’s. But his story, and his ship, have been lost to time. If Chatterton and Mattera succeed, they will make history— My take was that the book delivered on its promise of a real life search. There were many interesting tidbits on how modern submarine archeology is carried out. The author is a big of a hero worshiper to the two main protagonists but it doesn't detract from the story too much.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:07 pm

cfs wrote:Done reading these books:

(1) A Concise History of Spain (by William D. Phillips, Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips). This is a great book about the history of the place the Greek called Iberia and the Romans called Hispania. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.


Thank you for the reference, I should read it, too!

cfs wrote:(2) El Camino de Santiago: The ancient Way of Saint James pilgrimage route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago (by Sergi Ramis). This is a guide of El Camino from SJPDP to SDC in 30 stages. Included are states 31-34 from SDC to Finisterre. I have my copy from my favorite public library and will return it this week.

(3) A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino de Santiago: St. Jean, Roncesvalles, Santiago (by John Brierley). This is the guide of El Camino from SJPDP to SDC in 33 stages. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.


Brierley has very small mapbooks and larger books with more details. I carried a mapbook and found it adequate; other pilgrims had larger books. I valued small weight and size of my book; they valued the descriptions of each stage and of albergues. One mistake I made was that I had purchased Brierley's book a couple years before I went to the Camino, and it was slightly out of date. Next time, I will get the latest version.

cfs wrote:(4) Camino de Santiago: To Walk Far, Carry Less (by Jean-Christie Ashmore). Great book. I bought this one for my wife and as of today I have read it twice. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.


This book was my principle source for deciding what to take with me. I did not follow it precisely, but I appreciated the analysis and applied it to my own preferences.

cfs wrote:(5) Pilgrim Tips & Packing List Camino de Santiago: What you need to know beforehand, what you need to take, and what you can leave at home (by S. Yates & Daphne Hnatiuk). I like this book because both authors have worked several years as Hospitalera Voluntaria in several refugios on El Camino. I bought this one for me and as of today I have read it twice. I plan to read this book a couple of times before my trip to Spain.

I have these books on order:

(1) Walking Guide to the Via De La Plata and the Caminoa Sanabres: from Seville to Santiago and Astorga (by Mr Gerald Kelly). This is one of the guides I need, plus I need to find one for Camino Del Sur and Via Augusta. El Camino del Sur connects to Via De La Plata at Zafra, La Via Augusta connects to Via De La Plata at Sevilla.

(2) Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes (by John Vonhof). I like his website fixingyourfeet dot com which is packed with valuable information for long distance runner and long distance walkers, I could have used some of his tips when I was a very competitive long distance runner. Right now my number one concern is keeping my feet in good shape, injury prevention is paramount.


There is a lot of information about dealing with blisters and other feet/ankles/shins/knee problems in the Camino Forum.

Buen Camino, Shipmate CFS!
Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Wed Jul 29, 2015 5:32 pm

Thanks.

Thanks shipmate Victoria for all the information and thanks for the link to the Camino de Santiago Forum.

Buen Camino.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Jul 30, 2015 4:18 pm

Grant, by Jean Edward Smith. This biography of Ulysses Grant covers more than just his Civil War record. It also covers his earlier Army career, the Mexican War, his Presidency, and his times out of office. I found it interesting to have those other aspects of his life covered in detail. I didn't know much about his record as a President enforcing Reconstruction and protecting the rights of Freedmen. Also I found interesting the years he spent travelling around the world after leaving office. I did not know that he came close to being nominated for a third term.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Sat Aug 01, 2015 12:50 pm

In preparation for my trip to that area of the planet, currently reading:

(1) A Traveller's History of Turkey (4th Edition) by Richard Stoneman (2006) -- "Modern Turkey is the creation of the present century, but at least seven ancient civilizations had their home in the region. Turkey also formed a significant part of several empires--those of Persia, Rome, and Byzantium, before becoming the center of the opulent Ottoman Empire. All these great cultures have left their marks on the landscape, architecture, and art of Turkey--a place of bewildering facets where East meets West with a flourish."

(2) Gardens of Hell, Battles of The Gallipoli Campaign by Patrick Gariepy (2014) --- "Gardens of Hell examines the human side of one of the great tragedies of modern warfare, the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. In February 1915, beginning with a naval attack on Turkey in the Dardanelles, a combined force of British, Australians, New Zealand, Indians, and French troops invaded the Gallipoli Peninsula only to face crushing losses and an ignominious retreat from what seemed a hopeless mission. Both sides in the battle suffered huge casualties, with a combined 127,000 servicemen killed during the action."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:27 pm

Sunshine on Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith.

Don't know if I mentioned it before, but I'm still slogging slowly through The Innocents Abroad, by Mark Twain.

Oh, and I'm also in the middle of re-reading A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Aug 01, 2015 1:56 pm

Dead Shift, by Richard Phillips. This is Book 3 (of 3) of the Rho Agenda Inception series. After that, I'll read the Rho Agenda series.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sat Aug 01, 2015 4:46 pm

I just finished Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes by John Vonhof. I believe someone here recommended it; however, this book seems to be geared toward the ultra-runner, rather than the casual ten-k or half-marathon runner that I am, so it did not hold much interest for me.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Sat Aug 01, 2015 9:49 pm

Today, I also finished Portland's Goose Hollow by Tracy J. Prince. The images and maps seemed blurry at times, and the text was confusing at times, as well. Still as a newcomer to Portland, in general, and Goose Hollow, in particular, the book provided some insight to the neighborhood.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by AstroJohn » Sun Aug 02, 2015 12:15 pm

The Men Who United the States by Simon Winchester, a nice exploration of the events and people--some famous some not--who helped unify a growing nation.

One pleasant aspect of being a Boglehead is that managing investments takes so little time that there is more left for reading and other leisure activities.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by srt7 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 3:37 pm

Managing Humans - Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager
Very interesting read!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Mon Aug 03, 2015 7:41 pm

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper. This history of Bitcoins is a case where truth is stranger than fiction. Many odd characters acting strangely. Interesting saga though somehow author is able to make a fascinating story somewhat boring, especially in later chapters when hedge funds and Silicon Valley try to figure out how to make money on this strange crypto currency. The currency itself may be a short term fad, though would be missed by online purchasers of illicit drugs, money launderers, recipients of hostage ransom payments and intelligence agencies seeking ways to pay covert agents, but process of creating with blockchains may end up revolutionizing stock trading. Worth a read.
Last edited by jdb on Tue Aug 04, 2015 6:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pytheas2.0 » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:40 pm

"The Lost World" by Michael Crichton. I had never read his books, and I'm getting a kick at how great and imaginative they are. Different than the movies in so many ways, and paced very well. I read "Jurassic Park" a few months ago, and it too was different than the movie, but just as good.

I'm not as sure I completely buy into the socio-technological world views he espouses throughout, but 'wow!'--the man could write. :)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Aug 03, 2015 8:48 pm

^^^ You should read "The Andromeda Strain" - the 1969 classic that made a lasting impression with me. If you haven't seen the movie, read the book first.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Aug 04, 2015 8:57 am

Ranch Life and the Hunting-Trail, by Theodore Roosevelt. Descriptions of Roosevelt's experiences in cattle ranching, including trail drives, herding, roundup, and branding, in the 1880's near the Badlands of South Dakota. Includes descriptions of frontier characters, as well as his hunting experiences.

His writing is sometimes so vivid that I felt like I had been there.

"It was now the heat of the day, the brazen sun shining out of a cloudless sky, and not the least breeze stirring. At the bottom of the valley, in the deep water-course, lay a few tepid pools, almost dried up."

"The clear weather had grown colder. At night the frost skimmed the edges of the ponds and small lakes that at long intervals dotted the vast reaches of the woodlands."

Also contains dozens of excellent illustrations of men and animals.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Bungo » Tue Aug 04, 2015 11:40 am

Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa by Martin Meredith. I'm about halfway through so far. It's a pretty good complement to the South Africa/Rhodesia sections of Thomas Pakenham's The Scramble for Africa, which covers the same period (1870s to early 1900s).

The two books have different emphasis.

Pakenham:
* 680 pages of main text, of which ~200 are on South Africa and Rhodesia.
* Political focus is on London: Prime Ministers Disraeli and Gladstone, and the Colonial and Foreign Offices
* Has much more battle coverage: a chapter each to the key skirmishes preceding the (second) Boer War, namely Isandlwana and Majuba
* Mining and economy are a backdrop, not a focus
* Many good maps, almost sufficient to read it without looking for supplementary maps on the web.

Meredith:
* 526 pages of main text, but with a much larger font than Pakenham's
* Not much about London, political focus is domestic, primarily Cape Colony and Transvaal
* Very perfunctory mention of Isandlwana and Majuba (a paragraph or two each). I haven't reached the Boer War yet; I expect this will be covered in some detail since "War" is in the title of the book.
* Good coverage of diamond and gold mines, and the financial machinations of the main players such as Cecil Rhodes.
* Only one map, covering all of southern Africa, spanning two pages with the center of the map falling into the crease. Close to useless. I would be more irritated by this if I hadn't already obtained a good mental picture of the geography, partly through Pakenham's book.

Both are worth reading, but if I were to choose only one, it would be Pakenham's easily. He's an excellent writer and the narrative just flows, across the whole continent of Africa and the home capitals of the colonizing powers. Meredith's writing is competent but unexciting, and even at the longer page count, I feel like he is omitting some important details that were covered by Pakenham.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Ricola » Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:34 pm

jginseattle wrote:Worth Dying For, by Lee Child. A Jack Reacher novel. It's violent, improbable and highly entertaining.

This was the first book by Lee Child that I've read, and I'll certainly be checking out more of his stuff.


The author has described the character of Jack Reacher as the classic Errant Knight. Bogleheads might find Reacher's life style interesting in that he owns nothing, no house, no car, and only the cloths on his back and his fold-able toothbrush. He throws his cloths out every few days and replaces with inexpensive clothing suited for the weather he is in at the time. He rationalizes this as being less expensive than owning a washing machine, house, etc. His only identification is an old expired passport. His money is all in cash and he leaves no traceable trail when needing withdraws. Sometimes works short job stints to raise money, he travels continually with no planned schedule, sleeps in cheap motels or even on a park bench sometimes.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:35 pm

I just finished "Suspect" by Robert Crais which is different than his past novels which feature Joe Pike and Elvis Cole.

An LA policeman who was gunned down and recovered (but lost his partner) is now in the K9 department and is matched up with a German Shepherd who was gunned down in Afghanastan (and lost his partner). It gave insight into training and use of dogs in police settings. Not a bad story.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:09 pm

Bungo wrote:Diamonds, Gold, and War: The British, the Boers, and the Making of South Africa by Martin Meredith. I'm about halfway through so far. It's a pretty good complement to the South Africa/Rhodesia sections of Thomas Pakenham's The Scramble for Africa, which covers the same period (1870s to early 1900s).

The two books have different emphasis.

Pakenham:
* 680 pages of main text, of which ~200 are on South Africa and Rhodesia.
* Political focus is on London: Prime Ministers Disraeli and Gladstone, and the Colonial and Foreign Offices
* Has much more battle coverage: a chapter each to the key skirmishes preceding the (second) Boer War, namely Isandlwana and Majuba
* Mining and economy are a backdrop, not a focus
* Many good maps, almost sufficient to read it without looking for supplementary maps on the web.

Meredith:
* 526 pages of main text, but with a much larger font than Pakenham's
* Not much about London, political focus is domestic, primarily Cape Colony and Transvaal
* Very perfunctory mention of Isandlwana and Majuba (a paragraph or two each). I haven't reached the Boer War yet; I expect this will be covered in some detail since "War" is in the title of the book.
* Good coverage of diamond and gold mines, and the financial machinations of the main players such as Cecil Rhodes.
* Only one map, covering all of southern Africa, spanning two pages with the center of the map falling into the crease. Close to useless. I would be more irritated by this if I hadn't already obtained a good mental picture of the geography, partly through Pakenham's book.

Both are worth reading, but if I were to choose only one, it would be Pakenham's easily. He's an excellent writer and the narrative just flows, across the whole continent of Africa and the home capitals of the colonizing powers. Meredith's writing is competent but unexciting, and even at the longer page count, I feel like he is omitting some important details that were covered by Pakenham.


Thank you for an extremely thorough and helpful review.

Packenham's book is a classic-- The Folio Society did an edition. Like Library of the Americas, that's a good sign.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Valuethinker » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:13 pm

LadyGeek wrote:^^^ You should read "The Andromeda Strain" - the 1969 classic that made a lasting impression with me. If you haven't seen the movie, read the book first.


It's one of his best. The movie was pretty good also.

Readers should be aware that his science is sometimes distorted. The Terminal Man got a lot of criticism for that (the concept that an epileptic could be dangerous). There is at least one other example which discretion forbids me from citing.

He was a cracking writer of the techno-thriller.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by kommisarrex » Thu Aug 06, 2015 7:40 am

Just finished The Martian. Despite the hype, it was pretty disappointing. The science was pretty interesting, but the author spent basically zero time on character development. The genre of castaway fiction begs for some introspection by the protagonist and there was basically none in this book. It was more of a how-to survival guide if you ever get stranded on Mars. A missed opportunity.

Just started Napoleon. Promising so far, but a lot of battle detail which I have trouble following. You almost need a map handy at all times for reference.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 9:30 pm

Just finished Lee Child's "61 Hours". Perhaps his best Jack Reacher book? How did he escape from that inferno?

Ed

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