What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by VictoriaF » Tue Dec 01, 2015 6:34 pm

Herekittykitty wrote:"the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. It is a quick read and worth it. I checked it out from the library.


A few people have highly recommended this book. Is it really life changing?

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

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:38 am

The Birth of Plenty: How the Prosperity of the Modern World Was Created, by William J. Bernstein.

This is a very informative and thought provoking history of economic development in societies. "The premise of this book is that prosperity flows automatically once a society acquires the four crucial factors -- property rights, scientific rationalism, capital markets, and modern transportation and communication." He uses Holland, England, the U.S., France, Spain, Japan, Latin America, and the Middle East as illustrations.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Thu Dec 03, 2015 7:36 pm

"A Cooks Tour" by Anthony Bourdain. He is as entertaining via the written word (more so) as he is on television. A great read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Fri Dec 04, 2015 3:22 pm

Alexander the Great: Makers of History (by Jacob Abbott)

I enjoy reading about Alexander, "King of Macedonia, Pharaoh of Egypt, King of Persia, King of Asia." On my last trip to Europe I had the opportunity to visit several cities conquered by the great general. This book was first printed in 1849, but don't let this stop you from reading this interesting book. The kindle copy is available at Amazon for free. Good book, easy to read, and easy to follow, but it should be noted that on the kindle version the links to the maps are not working. Again, oldie, but good referesher.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Fri Dec 04, 2015 4:40 pm

Just finished "Tripwire" by Lee Child. One of the earlier Reacher books.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Fri Dec 04, 2015 5:55 pm

The Blister Prone Athlete's Guide to Preventing Foot Blisters (By Rebecca Rushton, October 2015)

"Insider tips to take you from blister victim to champion." This book is available in kindle version in Amazon for free. Note, I use Kindle Cloud Reader. For this LUng distance runner and LUng distance walker injury prevention--including blisters--is paramount. I have only read 60% of this book, not finished yet, but so far this is one of the best books I have read on blisters prevention.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Fri Dec 04, 2015 6:24 pm

Finished Elizabeth George's A Banquet of Consequences. Very readable, satisfying to any fan, but she hasn't escaped the difficulties of a now-19-volume series... it's gotten to be a little too much like a sitcom ensemble cast each playing their beloved and familiar roles.

I'm halfway through Alistair Cooke's "Memories of the Great and the Good" which had been on sale in the Kindle edition, and I'm really enjoying it. It's hard to explain, it is a series of short vignettes, very interesting and very well written.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Fri Dec 04, 2015 8:29 pm

"The Conquering Tide" by Ian Toll. Covering the Pacific War from 1942 to 1944. One of three books covering the Pacific years with a wealth of information from a huge research base to bring the reader the full spectrum of those crucial and bloody island hopping years. Emphasis is on the Navies role with further insight into the foot soldier and aviators involvement along with the officer class perspective. 600 plus pages with photos.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Woodshark » Sat Dec 05, 2015 8:41 am

I just finished "I am Pilgrim" by Terry Hayes. (A wonderful book with a terrible title.)

I highly recommend it. A global spy, terrorist, murder mystery book with well constructed plots and sub plots. First book I have enjoyed for some time. It is by far the best book I have read this year and I can't wait for a sequel.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by HikerNC » Sat Dec 05, 2015 9:06 am

Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:54 am

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

This is is a short history of the First Barbary War, 1801 - 05. While Lewis and Clark were exploring the Far Wast, the tiny U.S. Navy was battling pirates in the Mediterranean and North Africa, trying to oust the Bashaw of Tripoli, and freeing U.S sailors held as slaves.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by a » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:08 am

VictoriaF wrote:Is it really life changing?

I'm only a little way through the book (Chapter 2
I think) but two things have found to be
notable. One is the "spark joy"
technique which she describes as the best way to
decide whether to throw something out. As I think
someone else said, it
captures a previously unknown and seeming to be
truthful way to look at and evaluate our
possessions. The other is
how you shouldn't ball up / scrunch up your
socks because they have worked hard all day and
deserve to relax while they rest in the drawer.
When I first read that I too thought (I think
these points were mentioned & read first by me
on this forum or online articles; I havent read
the actual text in the book about the socks yet)
it kooky but after thinking about it, if
you ran psychological tests on people as they
looked at things that are wound up or tight, or
precarious, on average people will be measured as
more anxious.

Cleaning is to her what the light bulb was to
Edison. She was obsessed
with cleaning rooms and houses since she was 5,
but it took years before she finalized upon the
ideas like "spark joy". She tried everything
she read and could think of until like Edison,
having eliminated 20,000 ways she found the
best.

I like hearing the decisions of true experts or
watching them at work. No
matter what the field, when you see someone who
has put more time energy and trial into a question
than anyone else, the conclusion they come up with
strikes one with an inimitable mix of bemusement
and delight.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Wed Dec 09, 2015 3:16 pm

VictoriaF wrote:
Herekittykitty wrote:"the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. It is a quick read and worth it. I checked it out from the library.


A few people have highly recommended this book. Is it really life changing?

Victoria

Haven't read it but apropos just signed up on Amazon for "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F#ck. How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do" by Sarah Knight, due out end of this month. Will report back as to whether life changing.
Last edited by jdb on Wed Dec 09, 2015 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by StoneyCWI » Wed Dec 09, 2015 5:55 pm

The Boys in the Boat and Endurance.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Wed Dec 09, 2015 9:56 pm

I just finished Tied Up in Tinsel by Ngaio Marsh.

Tied Up in Tinsel is the twenty-seventh novel to feature Roderick Alleyn and was first published in 1972. (This is a 2015 edition.) The novel takes place at a country house in England over the course of a few days during the Christmas season. Holed up at a manor estate for Christmas, Troy Alleyn is to paint the owner's portrait and, while she is there, view the Druid Christmas pageant. Along with a pack of eccentric guests, Troy enjoys the festivities – until one of the pageant's players mysteriously disappears into the snowy night. Did the hired help – each a paroled murderer from the nearby prison – have a deadly hand in this Christmas conundrum? Inspector Roderick Alleyn arrives to join his wife in finding the lost man – and unraveling the glaring truth from the glittering tinsel.

Another stellar Ngaio Marsh outing. I only have about five more books to read of hers.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Minot » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:30 pm

Derek B. Miller: Norwegian by Night. This book has been described as a thriller/crime novel, but it's a lot more than that. The protagonist is a recently widowed 82 year-old Jewish-American man, now living in Norway with his granddaughter and her Norwegian husband. He is possibly suffering from dementia; certainly suffering from loss and regret and haunted by his past. This sounds depressing, but the book is actually quite funny, deeply thoughful, moving, and ultimately very satisfying. I recommend it highly.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:45 pm

Dark Star Safari, by Paul Theroux.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Allixi » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:52 pm

The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

Gripping story, to say the least

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Thu Dec 10, 2015 7:31 pm

Allixi wrote:The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

Gripping story, to say the least

I have a couple of editions of the book and read it every few years -- or watch the movie (I have the DVD). It is amazing how the suspense can build even though you knew the ending before you ever read the book (1971) or saw the movie (1973). "Gripping" is the right word either way. I forget which came first for me, book or movie but it was back in the '71 - '73 time-frame. I was a voracious reader of those kinds of books back then.

If it ever comes out on Blu-ray I'll get that, too. It could use the Criterion treatment.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:05 pm

I just finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly.

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation to inside the police department.

This just one more in a long line of great Michael Connelly crime novels.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dantes » Fri Dec 11, 2015 9:38 pm

Essays by George Orwell. The Everyman's Library Edition, a very well made book, good paper, good typography. Its long, many of the essays are on topics that were important in the thirties and forties of the last century, and have been more or less forgotten, but never the less it was a pleasure to read, and sustained my interest over a period of a few months. Essays make great bedside reading.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:10 am

ruralavalon wrote:Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.

This is is a short history of the First Barbary War, 1801 - 05. While Lewis and Clark were exploring the Far Wast, the tiny U.S. Navy was battling pirates in the Mediterranean and North Africa, trying to oust the Bashaw of Tripoli, and freeing U.S sailors held as slaves.

Finished Six Frgates, Epic History of founding of the US Navy Ian Toll.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:18 am

Started, The Conquering Tide: Pacific War 1942-1944, vol2, Ian Toll

On the shelf:
Second Chance, for Your Money, Your Life, and Our World., Robert Kiyosaki
The Righteous Mind, Why Good People are Devided by Politics and Religion, Jonathan Haidt
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:13 am

itstoomuch wrote:Started, The Conquering Tide: Pacific War 1942-1944, vol2,

I'm starting to get a little aggravated. Ordered The Conquering Tide from Amazon several months ago, arrived with two other books, remember opening box and removing books, other two I have now read. But can't find The Conquering Tide. Looked in all the likely places. Not first book misplaced, typically am reading several at any time and they do get misplaced, but almost always find them within month or so. And I don't consider myself a hoarder, though have lots of bookshelves and books. So what should I do? Order another one? Wait patiently for it to appear? Or get The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up?

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Sat Dec 12, 2015 8:27 am

"The Confession" by Olen Steinhauer
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle » Sat Dec 12, 2015 5:43 pm

gkaplan wrote:I just finished The Crossing by Michael Connelly.

Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. The murder rap against his client seems ironclad, but Mickey is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch takes the case. With the secret help of his former LAPD partner Lucia Soto, he turns the investigation to inside the police department.

This just one more in a long line of great Michael Connelly crime novels.


I have this one on order at the library.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by market timer » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:23 pm

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, by Martin Ford. Selected by FT and McKinsey as the 2015 business book of the year. I'm about halfway through. Ford sees us moving to a world where IT and automation are displacing workers, so there won't be enough jobs for everyone who wants one. It's a common theme these days. I'm inclined to agree with the author that we'll need major policy reform to deal with the surplus of labor in the developed world. The author supports a basic income, such as what Finland is now planning to offer its citizens.

Ford discusses many recent developments in robotics, machine learning, and IT. He talks about how two industries in particular are ripe for disruption: education and health care. He's critical of academic economists for continuing to teach undergrads that wages trend with productivity, noting that median wages have been flat for the past 40 years and labor share of national income has plunged. There is a lot of food for thought, and I often find myself wondering how I can be a part of the disruption.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by NYBri » Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:08 pm

I just read The Return of George Washington, Uniting the States 1783-1789 by Edward J Larson - and discovered it is really the story of the ratification of the Constitution - and how Washington declined to be involved, because he was sure he would be drafted to be the 1st President.

Subsequently, I bought Washington & Hamilton, The Alliance that Forged America - by Stephan F Knott & Tony Williams - but before I could start it I came across The United States Constitution, A Graphical Adaptation - by Jonathan Hennessey.- a quick fun read.

Amazingly, that same day, I received unsolicited, from CATO, a pocket size The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Every American should know the story of drafting and ratification of the Constitution, that made America what it is today, after 27 amendments.
BTW - Thomas Jefferson did not help write the Constitution, he was in Paris, France at the time.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:49 pm

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard. A history from myth, to kings, to republic and empire.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke » Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:59 pm

ruralavalon wrote:SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard. A history from myth, to kings, to republic and empire.

What did you think of this? It is on my list.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:30 pm

Dantes wrote:Essays by George Orwell. The Everyman's Library Edition, a very well made book, good paper, good typography. Its long, many of the essays are on topics that were important in the thirties and forties of the last century, and have been more or less forgotten, but never the less it was a pleasure to read, and sustained my interest over a period of a few months. Essays make great bedside reading.
Some twenty or thirty years ago, I idly checked out the first volume of the four-volume Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell. (This is not any for-the-record academic complete collection, it's edited by Sonia Orwell and Ian Angus. It was so long ago that I might have been steered to it by a recommendation in the Whole Earth Catalog. Quite to my surprise, I read it straight through from start to finish, borrowed the next volume, read it straight through, then the third, then the fourth. Then a few years later I bought the set in paperback, and have since read through it two or three times more. So you might think about it as a possibility if you want more.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Tycoon » Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:52 pm

NYBri wrote:Every American should know the story of drafting and ratification of the Constitution, that made America what it is today, after 27 amendments.


I could not agree more. A truly unique occurrence in human history.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Leeraar » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:04 pm

"The Food Lab" by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.

As a devotee of food and cooking science, I saw it at Costco and just had to have it.

Nearly 1,000 letter-sized pages, it will probably take me years to get through it.

I believe that understanding the science has made me a much better cook. I recently figured out how to "cold smoke" fresh cod to make the best haddock ("finnan haddie") I have ever tasted.

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

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Dec 14, 2015 7:22 pm

jebmke wrote:
ruralavalon wrote:SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, by Mary Beard. A history from myth, to kings, to republic and empire.

What did you think of this? It is on my list.

I found it interesting. I know so little about ancient history that I can't say if it's accurate, or how well it compares to other books about the subject.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Zott » Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:15 pm

"My Adventures with Your Money" by T.D. Thornton. It's the story of a stock swindler (George Graham Rice) who operated in the early 20th century, and who focused on mining stock. It's not technical, but should be interesting to Bogleheads. It also Illustrates how far we've come since such swindling can't be done now (at least not as openly).

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by black jack » Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:39 pm

NYBri wrote:I just read The Return of George Washington, Uniting the States 1783-1789 by Edward J Larson - and discovered it is really the story of the ratification of the Constitution - and how Washington declined to be involved, because he was sure he would be drafted to be the 1st President.

Subsequently, I bought Washington & Hamilton, The Alliance that Forged America - by Stephan F Knott & Tony Williams - but before I could start it I came across The United States Constitution, A Graphical Adaptation - by Jonathan Hennessey.- a quick fun read.

Amazingly, that same day, I received unsolicited, from CATO, a pocket size The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States.

Every American should know the story of drafting and ratification of the Constitution, that made America what it is today, after 27 amendments.
BTW - Thomas Jefferson did not help write the Constitution, he was in Paris, France at the time.


Relatedly - I saw Colbert interview the creator and star of the musical "Hamilton" on the Late Show Friday night. Intrigued, I listened to the cast recording on YouTube on Saturday - and repeatedly since. It is amazing.

I really had little idea of what an amazing guy Hamilton was. He was truly a self-made man, aide to Washington during the war, wrote over half of the Federalist Papers, established the federal banking system, all before the age of 49 (when Burr killed him).

That I got from the musical. Now I've started Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, the inspiration for the musical.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Tue Dec 15, 2015 12:26 am

black jack wrote:...

That I got from the musical. Now I've started Ron Chernow's biography of Hamilton, the inspiration for the musical.


The Chernow bio is wonderful; you're in for a great read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:30 pm

Robert Crais has a new one "The Promise" which combines Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, and Officer James Scott and his trusty partner Maggie (K9). Pretty good book.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Beck49 » Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:47 pm

MP173 wrote:Robert Crais has a new one "The Promise" which combines Elvis Cole, Joe Pike, and Officer James Scott and his trusty partner Maggie (K9). Pretty good book.

Ed


This book and the earlier "The Suspect" featuring Maggie is a remarkable insight into the mindset and physical capabilities of dogs. Of course, I don't know if any of it is true, but the narrative from the dog's perspective is the best part of the book.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gkaplan » Wed Dec 16, 2015 4:53 pm

I have been reading Red Icon: an Inspector Pekkala Novel of Suspense by Paul Watkins writing as Sam Eastland.

The German Army begins to shatter before the advancing Soviet forces in 1944. Two Russian soldiers burrow into the crypt of a German church, where, clutched in the hands of a priest's skeleton, they discover a priceless icon last seen in the grasp of Rasputin, the mad monk who mesmerized the Romanov family. When news of the discovery reaches Moscow, Stalin calls upon his most trusted investigator, Inspector Pekkala, to unravel the secret of the icon's past.

(Sam Eastland is the nom de plume of novelist and memoirist Paul Watkins when he writes the Inspector Pekkala novels set in Soviet Russia.)

While an interesting read, I don't think this is one of the better entries in this series.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Wed Dec 16, 2015 7:33 pm

jdb wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Herekittykitty wrote:"the life-changing magic of tidying up" by Marie Kondo. It is a quick read and worth it. I checked it out from the library.


A few people have highly recommended this book. Is it really life changing?

Victoria

Haven't read it but apropos just signed up on Amazon for "The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F#ck. How to Stop Spending Time You Don't Have with People You Don't Like Doing Things You Don't Want to Do" by Sarah Knight, due out end of this month. Will report back as to whether life changing.


Yes, please report back! In the mean time, I'll try the tidying up magic.

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

Post by reggiesimpson » Fri Dec 18, 2015 6:54 pm

Based on recommendations from fellow BHs I went to the library and read The China Study by Campbell. I finished it and ordered it from Amazon. Read it. It may change your life.......for the better.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Yukon » Sat Dec 19, 2015 4:16 am

The China Study has been refuted by many folks and appears to be nothing more than data mining. China Study: Fact or Fallacy is a nice primer to balance Dr. T. Colin Campbell's book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by market timer » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:07 am

Purity, by Franzen. From the Amazon blurb: "Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity, and murder. The author of The Corrections and Freedom has imagined a world of vividly original characters--Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers--and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes. Purity is the most daring and penetrating book yet by one of the major writers of our time."

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World, by Schneier. From Amazon: "In Data and Goliath, security expert Bruce Schneier offers another path, one that values both security and privacy. He shows us exactly what we can do to reform our government surveillance programs and shake up surveillance-based business models, while also providing tips for you to protect your privacy every day. You'll never look at your phone, your computer, your credit cards, or even your car in the same way again."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Dec 19, 2015 6:59 pm

Akerlof, G.A. and Shiller, R.J."Phishing for Phools".

On 17 December 2015, I attended Akerlof's and Shiller's presentation of the book at the Smithsonian. That was my fist time in the presence of two Nobel prize laureates at the same time. I came in early and sat in the front row. Akerlof and I have exchanged some smiles before he started and later he took my question.

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

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:31 pm

nisiprius wrote:Just finished Mr. Standfast, by John Buchan, best known as author of The Thirty-Nine Steps. Pretty good, quite readable. But I'm getting too old for this kind of melodrama.

Just started this myself.

There is something about the Hannay books. Objectively they are quite bad. Hanney is the most self-satisfied, condescending, braggart and name dropper there is. The plots are -- well, whatever the word is for plots where there is an evil, super capable, villain about to destroy all that is good with the world. The ease with which Hannay deals with everything is unbelievable. Sure, he takes his lumps, but he is tough whereas you, the poor reader, could never be strong and clever enough -- you'd curl up and wet your pants. That is if you really swallowed the plot.

But somehow you keep reading! Works for Ian Flemming and James bond, too. (Flemming is hands down better at it.)

Oddly enough, Buchan's short stories are completely different, and of the few I have read so far, completely different from each other, too. I guess the Hannay books are like comfort food. You are already familiar with the protagonist and the kinds of things he gets into. You know you aren't going to get hurt or emotionally challenged. This is like all the series books including Agatha Christie (Poirot and Miss Marple), her contemporaries and on up through the modern crime and mystery writers, my favorite being the late Donald E. Westlake who has several unique series, primarily Parker and Dortmunder -- each in a class of its own. The formula works.

So I continue to read Buchan's Hannay, having exhausted all of Christie, Flemming, Westlake, and a some others.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Sat Dec 19, 2015 10:41 pm

VictoriaF wrote:Akerlof, G.A. and Shiller, R.J."Phishing for Phools".

On 17 December 2015, I attended Akerlof's and Shiller's presentation of the book at the Smithsonian. That was my fist time in the presence of two Nobel prize laureates at the same time. I came in early and sat in the front row. Akerlof and I have exchanged some smiles before he started and later he took my question.
Victoria


Victoria, how did the presentation go? Were they asked what was really new in the book? I've read only a Kindle sample while awaiting the library book, but it seemed they were anticipating readers would wonder this. Want to share your question to Akerlof and his answer with us?

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:36 am

Fallible wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:Akerlof, G.A. and Shiller, R.J."Phishing for Phools".

On 17 December 2015, I attended Akerlof's and Shiller's presentation of the book at the Smithsonian. That was my fist time in the presence of two Nobel prize laureates at the same time. I came in early and sat in the front row. Akerlof and I have exchanged some smiles before he started and later he took my question.
Victoria


Victoria, how did the presentation go? Were they asked what was really new in the book? I've read only a Kindle sample while awaiting the library book, but it seemed they were anticipating readers would wonder this. Want to share your question to Akerlof and his answer with us?

Fallible


Hi Fallible,

I was highly attuned to the presentation and was catching interesting bits. For example, Shiller mentioned that Jason Zweig said that it's remarkable that Akerlof and Shiller co-authored books twice (the first one was Animal Spirits). Shiller also made several book recommendations including Ariely's The Honest Truth About Dishonesty and Dean Buonomano's Brain Bugs. He seemed uncomfortable marketing his own book and tried to focus on the message that the card deck is stacked against a consumer.

Shiller gave tribute to Akerlof's work citing his papers "Market for Lemons" and "The Economics of Caste and of the Rat Race." He referred to John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society. He mentioned a new free electronic journal eLife that contrasts itself with Nature and Science, the latter being expensive and popularizing.

My question was "Much of the presentation is about what the Phishers do. Do you also explain Phools' behavior?" I was interested in cognitive biases, but Shiller's response was about policy. He said that many people need financial advice and are not getting it. He recommends making expenses on financial advisers a tax credit, rather than an itemized deduction, because most people who need financial advice don't itemize. I responded that many financial advisers do more harm than good. Shiller responded that unfortunately they don't have the same ethics code as doctors do, but did not elaborate any further.

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

Post by Valuethinker » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:22 pm

bertilak wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Just finished Mr. Standfast, by John Buchan, best known as author of The Thirty-Nine Steps. Pretty good, quite readable. But I'm getting too old for this kind of melodrama.

Just started this myself.

There is something about the Hannay books. Objectively they are quite bad. Hanney is the most self-satisfied, condescending, braggart and name dropper there is. The plots are -- well, whatever the word is for plots where there is an evil, super capable, villain about to destroy all that is good with the world. The ease with which Hannay deals with everything is unbelievable. Sure, he takes his lumps, but he is tough whereas you, the poor reader, could never be strong and clever enough -- you'd curl up and wet your pants. That is if you really swallowed the plot.

But somehow you keep reading! Works for Ian Flemming and James bond, too. (Flemming is hands down better at it.)

Oddly enough, Buchan's short stories are completely different, and of the few I have read so far, completely different from each other, too. I guess the Hannay books are like comfort food. You are already familiar with the protagonist and the kinds of things he gets into. You know you aren't going to get hurt or emotionally challenged. This is like all the series books including Agatha Christie (Poirot and Miss Marple), her contemporaries and on up through the modern crime and mystery writers, my favorite being the late Donald E. Westlake who has several unique series, primarily Parker and Dortmunder -- each in a class of its own. The formula works.

So I continue to read Buchan's Hannay, having exhausted all of Christie, Flemming, Westlake, and a some others.


Buchan is significantly earlier than the others. It's a bit like complaining a crime writer isn't any good compared to Hammett and Chandler, if he wrote *before* Hammett and Chandler. Those two moved the genre so far forward. Or similarly writing about science fiction before Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein in that period 1940-1960 and comparing it adversely to them-- the period that saw stories like "Nightfall", "The Roads Must Roll", "Blowups Happen", "The Man Who Sold the Moon" and novels like Foundation, Childhood's End and the Heinlein "juveniles".

The modern spy thriller, in the genre that became Alan Furst, John Le Carre, Robert Littel etc. was created by Eric Ambler.

(probably the first modern thriller is the Edwardian one "The Riddle of the Sands" by Erskine Childers-- that one led to questions in Parliament and some money being spent on sea defences).

Ian Fleming is almost a parody although a gripping writer-- he's the linear extension of Buchan, the muscular he-man with a way with the ladies. Interesting for the reflections of the author's own character (interest in sado-masochism etc.-- he's pushing it for what was allowed in publishing at the time) and life experiences. Note that the Alfred Hitchcock movie version of The 39 Steps has the sado-masochism again.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:41 pm

Valuethinker wrote:Buchan is significantly earlier than the others. It's a bit like complaining a crime writer isn't any good compared to Hammett and Chandler, if he wrote *before* Hammett and Chandler.

Right, I didn't mean it to sound quite so much like criticism, just noting my opinion! Right, Bond is direct descendant of Hannay.

I've only read a couple of Ambler's. Quite different. Protagonist is not a superman. Could be you or me.
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