What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Dave55
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

The Black Book by Ian Rankin. This is the 6th book in the John Rebus detective series which takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. These are good police detective mysteries, entertaining dialogue, great characters, a very mellow pace and being in Scotland is a lot of fun.

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

Post by bertilak »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:04 am Just finished Two on a Tower, by Thomas Hardy

...

one of the protagonists is a twenty-year-old amateur astronomer, without money or social status, but with ambitions of someday becoming the Astronomer Royal.

...

He falls in love with a wealthy twenty-eight-year-old woman, whose abusive husband has been absent for eighteen months doing something or other in Africa. This being the Victorian era, the loving couple doesn't do anything. Then one day the news arrive that her husband died. (Hooray!)

... lots of confusing plot points ..

THE END.
Those Victorian novels seem to be judged by the complexity of their plots, not the logic of the plots! Frustrated sex is also in the running for prime Victorian plot-motivator.

I read Tess of the D'Urbervilles many, many, years ago (the book still sits on my shelf) but remember absolutely nothing about it. I suspect it was just too complicated to follow so nothing stuck in my mind.

You deserve a prize for generating that concise summary! I suspect the wife's premature aging was not simply due to the elapsed five years but to the stresses of child bearing, child rearing, worry over her missing lover boy, and lack of a husband's support. Or was her wealth supposed to cover that last one?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 8:04 am Just finished Two on a Tower, by Thomas Hardy (best known for The Master of Casterbridge, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, and The Return of the Native.) What a stinker! But it held my interest from beginning to end... partly for weird reasons.
Now I really need to read one of Hardy's more-respected books, but I need a good long rest before I tackle that.
I enjoyed your synopsis. I recently read The Return of the Native by Hardy. First novel I have read by Hardy and probably the last. It had such a melodramatic and convoluted plot that it kept my interest. And moralistic, it was probably required reading in high schools for decades due to its depiction of horrors of premarital and extramarital relationships. And now I know where Snoopy got his “It was a dark and stormy night” beginnning of his never finished novel, the climax and denouement takes place on a fantastically dark and stormy night.
But I do have a weakness for Victorian novels, now starting my first Trollope novel, The Way We Live Now. Hoping for a good story.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by BarbBrooklyn »

You'll LOVE Trollope! Orley Farm is one of his best.

I'm reading the Splendid and the Vile about WWII England, Churchill and Hitler.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

jdb wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:05 pm But I do have a weakness for Victorian novels, now starting my first Trollope novel, The Way We Live Now. Hoping for a good story.
I have read two Trollope novels: The Warden and Barchester Towers. I enjoyed both very much. From my review of Barchester Towers:
  • As much as I liked The Warden, I like this one more. It is sort of a comedic soap opera.
Not slapstick comedy, more subtle situational comedy -- a smile generator not a laugh out loud generator.

Trollope at one point gives a little aside to the reader saying not to worry too much about an unpleasant situation, promising that in the end all the characters will end up just as the reader wants them to. (Maybe not good news for some of the more unpleasant characters!)
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Mr. Rumples
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mr. Rumples »

I bought several books in the Detective Rutlidge series today; I read two years ago and enjoyed them. Its time for a bit of escape. Charles Todd is the pen name of the duo Caroline Todd and Charles Todd, mother and son.

https://mysterysequels.com/charles-todd-books-in-order
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by BroIceCream »

Two great books I'm reading (just finished the first), in the middle of the 2nd.
  • Blackout - Candace Owens ; Excellent read. It is less about race, and more about instilling values, role models, and respect in our families.
  • Cigars, Whiskey and Winning: Leadership Lessons from General Ulysses S. Grant ; Great leadership lessons. Fast reading. I learned more about the operations and history of the war.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by VictoriaF »

Fallible wrote: Thu Sep 24, 2020 12:10 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:12 am
Fallible wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 4:50 pm
VictoriaF wrote: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:34 am
Getting back to your question, Stanovich believes that if you understand the practical implications of the axioms of rationality and high-level probability rules, you can avoid many of the System 2 decision mistakes. He also believes that you can train your System 2 to override System 1 when it encounters challenging questions. I am still trying to understand the latter part. I have downloaded a number of papers by Stanovich and others but have not had a chance to read them yet.
Victoria
Thanks and I'll check out the book. I assume by "challenging questions" you mean biases. It would seem possible, probably for some more than others, to "train" System 2 to override System 1 provided one is willing to work hard at it. Of course, human aversion to hard work is what gets us into System 1 thinking in the first place, and it doesn't help that System 2 is considered to have a lazy streak of its own.
Some "challenging questions" are the ones that System 1 does not know how to answer. Kahneman's example is multiplication of 18 x 24. But these could also be questions for which the WYSIATI heuristic conflicts with something else one knows. For example, the bat and the ball problem has an easy heuristic, i.e., if together they cost $1.10 and the bat is $1 more expensive, then their respective prices must be $1 and $0.10. A lazy System 2 would endorse it. But System 2 is also aware that this is a trick question and upon some additional work would override the heuristic answer. What I am trying to understand is whether the trigger for additional verification comes from System 2 (as I wrote above) or System 1 itself flags judgments it's not sure about.

I would love for you to check out this book and be able to discuss it with you.
Victoria
I'm two-thirds into the book and, since I was looking for more on bias, especially liked the chapter on "Myside Processing," or myside bias, and its relation to "higher intelligence" and to overconfidence. Some interesting points:

_"People not only evaluate arguments in a biased manner, they generate arguments in a biased manner as well."

_There is a "tendency to have misplaced confidence in our ability to control events." (Bogleheads would be familiar with this one, i.e., forecasting, predicting.)

_Findings by Justin Kroger, etc., that illustrate "how automatically we egocentrically project what we know into the minds of others."

_"...most social and cognitive biases that have been uncovered by research operate unconsciously. Thus, when we go on the introspective hunt for the processes operating to bias our own minds we find nothing."

The book's main theme, of course, is about rational thought (judgement and decision-making skills) vs. the intelligence (algorithmic) assessed in IQ tests. To this layperson, it seemed straightforward, but what did you think of the term he invented: "dysrationalia" (inability to think and behave rationally despite having adequate intelligence) and other psychology lingo such as "dysrationalia as an Intuition pump"? Sheesh... Maybe fodder for a standup routine? :)
Hi Fallible,

Thank you for the excellent commentary! One thing that I am trying to understand is how System 2 processes can override System 1 processes that operate unconsciously. I can see that when I am influenced by a heuristic but have some doubt in my judgment I can force myself to slow down and think about it deliberately. But if I think or do something unconsciously I can't see how System 2 could take it over. I am planning to review some of Stanovich's references to find the answer.

Stanovich has invented the word "disrationalia" for the people who have high IQ scores but low rationality scores. The public does not appreciate the difference between the IQ (a product of the algorithmic mind) and rationality and Stanovich wanted to have a special word to emphasize this contrast. Also, many social scientists try to create new words or name new phenomena. Not all of them are successful. For example, Herbert Simon has introduced the word "satisficing." Behavioral science papers do refer to "satisficing" but the public at large is ignorant of it. Compare it to Taleb's term "antifragility" which is now widely used.

I put my standup on hold until I can perform in person. My accent does not work well on zoom. For the next 6-12 months I'll focus on my research and the blog.

It's pleasure to discuss these topics with you,
Victoria
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ruralavalon
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny.

Three deaths and three mysteries are linked by their connection to Chief Inspector Gamache, the novel is centered in Quebec City. I recommend this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

finished this week - Twisted Prey; Neon Prey (both by John Sandford) and America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History by Andrew Bacevich.

Now on A Hero of France by Alan Furst and The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero, by Timothy Egan. Also still plodding along on The Greenlanders by Jane Smiley - this one may take me a while.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sandburg »

"Conquistador" by Buddy Levy.
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Artful Dodger
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger »

Deacon King Kong by James McBride. McBride wrote The Color of Water and later, The Good Lord Bird, which won the National Book Award. I listened to it on Audible because my wife recommended it after she read it for her book club.

It takes place in 1969 in the Brooklyn housing project called The Causes. The main character is a 70 year old black deacon who is a heavy drinker and his favorite choice of booze is a moon shine called King Kong brewed by one of his friends. He is bound to try and rehabilitate one of the boys who he coached for youth baseball and taught in Sunday school. The boy, Deems, has turned into one of the local top drug sellers with his own gang. Unfortunately for the deacon, he drinks too much, and went and shot the boy while he was holding court over his corner...and then doesn't even remember it. This caused a sequence of events bringing in other characters of the neighborhood, the "ghost" of the deacon's wife, the local white cop, church ladies, other warring drug factions, and a local Italian mobster.

There is a lot of humor, and at times I laughed out loud. It was also a warm story about the life in the changing neighborhood. The stories and characters develop and come together, and the book just became better and better as I listened to it. I recommend it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold »

Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.

The book the Hitchcock movie was made from. Manderley, Mrs. Danvers, and the whole nine yards. Very entertaining.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

quantAndHold wrote: Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:47 pm Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier.

The book the Hitchcock movie was made from. Manderley, Mrs. Danvers, and the whole nine yards. Very entertaining.
She wrote some short stories which were equally original and interesting.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Barkingsparrow »

Saililng Alone Around The World - Joshua Slocum

This is a personal narrative of the author's solo journey around the world - the first such solo journey in history. In 1895 Joshua Slocum set out from Boston on his wooden sloop/sailboat (?); 46,000 miles and 3 years later he arrived safely back in the US. The book is relatively short - under 300 pages which makes for a very concise account of his long journey. I'm a sucker for these sailing around the world books, even though my knowledge about sailing is about as extensive as my knowledge of quantum mechanics - and I'm constantly having to google all these nautical terms - jib, tacking, foresail, yawsail etc. I cannot believe the guy did this and did not know how to swim!

While I admire the author, I felt he spent too much time on his personal meetings with governors, island chiefs, or various dignitaries, as opposed to describing the actual sailing in terms of dealing with storms /various weather conditions or maintenance of his ship. Basically, the book seemed more about just hopping from port to port, giving short shrift to the fact he had just sailed a long way to get to the port. While an interesting book due to the times and the circumstances, the book felt somewhat shallow.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Barkingsparrow wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:28 am Saililng Alone Around The World - Joshua Slocum

This is a personal narrative of the author's solo journey around the world - the first such solo journey in history. In 1895 Joshua Slocum set out from Boston on his wooden sloop/sailboat (?); 46,000 miles and 3 years later he arrived safely back in the US. The book is relatively short - under 300 pages which makes for a very concise account of his long journey. I'm a sucker for these sailing around the world books, even though my knowledge about sailing is about as extensive as my knowledge of quantum mechanics - and I'm constantly having to google all these nautical terms - jib, tacking, foresail, yawsail etc. I cannot believe the guy did this and did not know how to swim!

While I admire the author, I felt he spent too much time on his personal meetings with governors, island chiefs, or various dignitaries, as opposed to describing the actual sailing in terms of dealing with storms /various weather conditions or maintenance of his ship. Basically, the book seemed more about just hopping from port to port, giving short shrift to the fact he had just sailed a long way to get to the port. While an interesting book due to the times and the circumstances, the book felt somewhat shallow.
Haven't read it, probably won't read it, but did listen to a great podcast about it: Captain Joshua Slocum Sailing Alone Around the World, in "Stuff you Missed in History Class."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

jdb wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:05 pm...And now I know where Snoopy got his “It was a dark and stormy night” beginnning of his never finished novel, the climax and denouement takes place on a fantastically dark and stormy night....
Oh, no. That line is the beginning of the opening line of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel, Paul Clifford:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
I don't know why it has been seized on as being particularly bad, but it inspired the annual "Bulwer-Lytton" contest, an annual contest that gives a prize for people's suggested ideas for the opening sentence to the worst of all novels. I haven't read anything by Bulwer-Lytton and have no immediate plans to.

But purple prose is hardly gone from the world. I present this, from Ray Bradbury's classic-but-IMHO-overwritten story, "All Summer in a Day:"
It was as if, in the midst of a film concerning an avalanche, a tornado, a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, something had, first, gone wrong with the sound apparatus, thus muffling and finally cutting off all noise, all of the blasts and repercussions and thunders, and then, secondly, ripped the film from the projector and inserted in its place a peaceful tropical slide which did not move or tremor.
Read that in one breath--with expression.

Of course many know the paragraph Mark Twain put into a story as a joke:
It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and laburnums, lit with the glory-fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind nature for the wingless wild things that have their home in the tree-tops and would visit together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of woodland, the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere, far in the empty sky a solitary œsophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God.
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 rockstar »

And Then There Were None.

I finished last month: The Man Called Ove and the Martian.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bighatnohorse »

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mancich »

"Lives of the Stoics" by Ryan Holiday and Stephen Hanselman. I have enjoyed his books on Stoicism and this one is very good so far. Each chapter is a brief biography of the Stoics from Zeno to Marcus Aurealis.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

Driftless by David Rhoades. I usually only read mystery thriller, but DW suggested this one and it is a very well written and entertaining novel set in rural Wisconsin.

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

Post by mega317 »

Into the Raging Sea by Rachel Slade. Account of the sinking of El Faro in hurricane Joaquin. About halfway through and I am mixed on this book. She does a good job describing events on the ship and the various factors that seem to have contributed (politics at the company, technological limitations, mental state and recent history of some of the mariners, for example). But the asides that are interspersed in all books of this type are sometimes pretty boring. Those are easily skimmed though.

Mindful Tech by David Levy. A communications professor looking at how we use technology and ways to use it more mindfully and productively. Meh. There are some nice techniques offered but it's quite repetitive and overwritten IMO.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast »

"Operation Vengeance", by Dan Hampton (HarperCollins Publishers 2020)

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese Navy was the originator and directing force for the 12/07/41 attack on Pearl Harbor. As such, he was probably a more despised figure than Adolf Hitler in the USA of 1943. Therefore, you can imagine the frisson of excitement among the top US Navy brass when deciphered Japanese naval transmissions revealed the exact aerial schedule for Yamamoto's planned visit to his frontline troops for morale purposes. Admiral Chester Nimitz did not hesitate; he ordered that a deadly ambush be carried out by a flight of P-38 Lightnings originating out of Guadalcanal.
The author is a veteran, decorated US pilot who graduated from the Top Gun school. He does not immediately get to the mission, but starts out by providing a lot of excellent background about Yamamoto, the build-up of the US Navy for WW2, and especially about the successful battle to control Guadalcanal. He really shines when he describes in minute detail what it is like to pilot a P-38 and also in describing the planning for and the minute by minute evolution of the assault squadron towards its unsuspecting target. When Hampton gets to the point where the P-38s' flight leader sights Yamamoto's bomber and orders the attack to proceed, I can tell you that my (minimal) hair stood on end and my blood pressure just about doubled - great stuff!
Final point - Yamamoto contributed greatly to his own demise - he was well-known on both sides on being a stickler for always conforming exactly to schedule. He should have been more like Hitler, who saved his own life repeatedly by randomly juggling the announced times for his appearances.
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Dantes
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dantes »

I just re-read all five of Dashiell Hammett''s novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, The Thin Man. I read them first back in the seventies. This is not the first time I have reread them, its the third or fourth or fifth - they really hold up. Can't make a stronger recommendation than that.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Barkingsparrow »

The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

I picked up this book due to a prior recommendation on this thread, and I'm glad I did. Entertaining, easy read, with some clever plotting and writing. The only nit that irritated me was all these references to his other books, shows, etc; as though some sort of blatant product placement that you might see in a movie.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco »

nisiprius wrote: Sat Oct 03, 2020 11:52 am
jdb wrote: Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:05 pm...And now I know where Snoopy got his “It was a dark and stormy night” beginnning of his never finished novel, the climax and denouement takes place on a fantastically dark and stormy night....
Oh, no. That line is the beginning of the opening line of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1830 novel, Paul Clifford:
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
I don't know why it has been seized on as being particularly bad, but it inspired the annual "Bulwer-Lytton" contest, an annual contest that gives a prize for people's suggested ideas for the opening sentence to the worst of all novels. I haven't read anything by Bulwer-Lytton and have no immediate plans to.

But purple prose is hardly gone from the world. I present this, from Ray Bradbury's classic-but-IMHO-overwritten story, "All Summer in a Day:"
It was as if, in the midst of a film concerning an avalanche, a tornado, a hurricane, a volcanic eruption, something had, first, gone wrong with the sound apparatus, thus muffling and finally cutting off all noise, all of the blasts and repercussions and thunders, and then, secondly, ripped the film from the projector and inserted in its place a peaceful tropical slide which did not move or tremor.
Read that in one breath--with expression.

Of course many know the paragraph Mark Twain put into a story as a joke:
It was a crisp and spicy morning in early October. The lilacs and laburnums, lit with the glory-fires of autumn, hung burning and flashing in the upper air, a fairy bridge provided by kind nature for the wingless wild things that have their home in the tree-tops and would visit together; the larch and the pomegranate flung their purple and yellow flames in brilliant broad splashes along the slanting sweep of woodland, the sensuous fragrance of innumerable deciduous flowers rose upon the swooning atmosphere, far in the empty sky a solitary œsophagus slept upon motionless wing; everywhere brooded stillness, serenity, and the peace of God.
My favorites in the genre of "bad literature" has always been the Imitation Hemingway contest: From the great "The Old Man and The Flea" by Kathryn Bold:

At times he would strike out in frustration. How vividly he recalled the day he bit a man, drawing blood as he had so many times before. He had been sitting in Harry's Bar on a hot August afternoon when the strange man approached. "Go," said the man. "Go fetch." The man had tossed a tennis ball across the tile floor. It was an old tennis ball, and yellow, and he remembered liking the way the lights from the bar reflected off the ball's fuzzy skin. So he had chased the ball, and the ball offered no resistance as he put it in his mouth. Then the man wanted the ball back. So he had bit him. He had earned the ball. It belonged to him. He knew it and the people in the bar knew it and the ball knew it and now the man with the bloody hand knew it, too.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco »

Barkingsparrow wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:29 pm The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

I picked up this book due to a prior recommendation on this thread, and I'm glad I did. Entertaining, easy read, with some clever plotting and writing. The only nit that irritated me was all these references to his other books, shows, etc; as though some sort of blatant product placement that you might see in a movie.
I didn't read his references to his other (real) work as blatant or "product placement". He IS a real successful person with all those references as being to his real life. You better not read the sequel as it will be more of the same, I'm afraid.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco »

I just finished Great Adaptations: Star-Nosed Moles, Electric Eels, and other Tales of Evolution's Mysteries Solved by Kenneth Catania. I enjoyed this book immensely. The author is a professor of biology at Vanderbilt. He brings to the reader the thrill of doing research and investigating life's mysteries. In the great tradition of Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould, and other great science writers.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

pezblanco wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:38 pm
Barkingsparrow wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:29 pm The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

I picked up this book due to a prior recommendation on this thread, and I'm glad I did. Entertaining, easy read, with some clever plotting and writing. The only nit that irritated me was all these references to his other books, shows, etc; as though some sort of blatant product placement that you might see in a movie.
I didn't read his references to his other (real) work as blatant or "product placement". He IS a real successful person with all those references as being to his real life. You better not read the sequel as it will be more of the same, I'm afraid.
The unusual aspect of those two books (and a third on the way?) is them being first-person fictional accounts of and by a real person, the author. Fiction and reality go hand in hand. Background is real, plot is fiction. I guess it's like today's scripted reality TV shows in novel form. I found the concept and execution intriguing but the novelty is wearing thin and I may not go for number three.

I got started on them because Horowitz is a master story-teller. He scripted much of the first season of Midsomer Murders. I think he set the tone. He also scripted ALL 8 seasons of Foyle's War -- quite an achievement.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco »

bertilak wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:53 pm
pezblanco wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:38 pm
Barkingsparrow wrote: Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:29 pm The Word is Murder - Anthony Horowitz

I picked up this book due to a prior recommendation on this thread, and I'm glad I did. Entertaining, easy read, with some clever plotting and writing. The only nit that irritated me was all these references to his other books, shows, etc; as though some sort of blatant product placement that you might see in a movie.
I didn't read his references to his other (real) work as blatant or "product placement". He IS a real successful person with all those references as being to his real life. You better not read the sequel as it will be more of the same, I'm afraid.
The unusual aspect of those two books (and a third on the way?) is them being first-person fictional accounts of and by a real person, the author. Fiction and reality go hand in hand. Background is real, plot is fiction. I guess it's like today's scripted reality TV shows in novel form. I found the concept and execution intriguing but the novelty is wearing thin and I may not go for number three.

I got started on them because Horowitz is a master story-teller. He scripted much of the first season of Midsomer Murders. I think he set the tone. He also scripted ALL 8 seasons of Foyle's War -- quite an achievement.
I like it when authors try to think outside the box ... versus the same old same old (think of the popular Jack Reacher series going on 25 novels now or many many other long long series). I also thought that the detective introduced by Horowitz is interesting ... so if there is a third one, I'll read it although as I've indicated I'm usually not much of a series reader.

Another great recent book about a mystery/detective/thriller writer thinking outside the box is The Eighth Detective ... by Alex Pavesi. Just this last Sunday it got a strong review in the NYT ... VERY highly recommended.
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ruralavalon
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

The Seagull, by Ann Cleeves.

Two skeletons are found in a seaside culvert, and a mystery developes involving old cronies of the detective's father.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

Just starting: "Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler" by Lynne Olson.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sleepwell »

I also am reading The Eighth Detective. So far I am enjoying it. Just finished the latest Hercule Poirot novel by Sophie Hannah, The Killings At Kingfisher Hill. And I believe I mentioned this book quite a while ago, but since Anthony Horowitz has re-appeared in this thread, I will repeat myself and recommend his novel Magpie Murders, which I thought was excellent. (And I believe there is a sequel coming out later this year.)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Dead Land, by Sara Paretsky, the newest V. I. Warshawsky novel. Only fair.

Would it make me a bad person if I say that I keep getting Paretsky and V. I. Warshawsky mixed up with the late Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jjunk »

On a Pale Horse by Piers Anthony.

I rarely read fiction but I remember loving this book as a kid and wanted to finish the entire series now that I am looking to read more fiction again. Still excellent 30yrs later.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by chipperd »

Breath
Really interesting stuff in that one.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by TimDex »

If you are interested in history, works by Correlli Barnett will make you happy. Finished his Collapse of British Power, about the interwar period. Interesting dissection of the Versailles settlement, and a penetrating look at the failure of British society to modernize.

Now reading the Desert Generals, about North African campaign. Excellent so far.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bighatnohorse »

The Rosie Project
by Graeme Simsion

Recommended by Bill Gates reading list - I like this one - very entertaining and couldn't put it down.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Van »

HOAX. Details the symbiotic relationship between FOX News and Donald J. Trump.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by pezblanco »

WINTER COUNTS, by David Heska Wanbli Weiden. (Ecco, $27.99.) Justice is hard to come by on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, so Virgil Wounded Horse — the hero of this gritty, gripping thriller — dispenses it on a freelance basis. Weiden is from a branch of the Lakota tribe himself, and his book relies on deep research into its history and traditions. “In the grand tradition of trouble-seeking, down-at-the-heels private eyes with strong moral codes, Virgil must confront many obstacles at once,” Sarah Lyall writes in a roundup of recent thrillers. “‘Winter Counts’ is written with a light touch and a good deal of humor.”

I put the recent blurb from the NYT above. I didn't like it as much as their reviewers did ... I thought that a lot of it was pretty pedestrian except for the exotic (for most readers) locale.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by diabelli »

The Prophets, by Abraham Heschel.
Fascinating.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bfeenix44 »

Pulitzer Prize winner, "The Overstory."
Love it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Barkingsparrow »

Meet Me in Atlantis: My Quest to Find the 2,500 year old Sunken City - Mark Adams

Normally, I would not waste my time with book such as this, but as it was written by Mark Adams I decided to give it a shot. Most people can tell you that they have heard of Atlantis, but fewer know the source of the legend - the writings of Plato. Adams spent 3 months traveling through Europe and the Mediterranean meeting with a few reputable scientists, along with a larger number of nutters, examining the validity of the Atlantis legend. Along the way, he dives into the works of Plato, visits some potential Atlantis sites that could have informed Plato's writings - all with an open-minded yet skeptical eye. Learned some things that I did not know, such as the discovery and excavation of Helike, a Greek city/state that was destroyed by a tsunami around 370 B.C.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

I just finished re-reading A Tan and Sandy Silence, by John D. MacDonald, and I don't know if it's just me... but his books don't seem to have aged well. It's the 13th book about fictional detective Travis McGee, so some fading would be expected. But too much of his writing seems too full of his mannerisms, and I couldn't suspend disbelief over some parts of it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas »

The Rise and Fall of Comradeship: Hitler's Soldiers, Male Bonding and Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century — Thomas Kühne

How comradeship shaped German soldiers’ attitude and conduct across both world wars and how it helped enable the Holocaust. The book also tries to answer the question of why the majority of the troops fought to the bitter end in the face of certain defeat in WWII.

https://www.amazon.com/Rise-Fall-Comrad ... 1602530176
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:47 pm Dead Land, by Sara Paretsky, the newest V. I. Warshawsky novel. Only fair.

Would it make me a bad person if I say that I keep getting Paretsky and V. I. Warshawsky mixed up with the late Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone?
They are distant cousins. :D
I read both, good entertainment. I am a few books behind you on V. I. though.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

"The Searcher" by Tana French. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. Tana French's latest mystery thriller, takes place in rural western Ireland. A retired Chicago police detective thought he was done being a detective and was going to live a new life in this beautiful quiet countryside. He is taken by events that lead him into an investigation he didn't want. Brilliant writing, great characters and excellent plot. Highly recommended reading as are all of her books. Tana French is a world class writer.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood »

Dave55. you beat me to it! I wrote mine but walked away for awhile before posting.

I just finished Tana French's The Searcher. I recommend it I've enjoyed all but one of her books. All set in Ireland, but this one is a bit different in that its not a Dublin Murder Squad story, and the protagonist is an American, a retired Chicago detective. He's moved to a very rural Irish village and sets out to renovate an old house and become part of the village life.

There were at least two unexpected turns in the 2nd half of the book. I didn't see either coming!

I'll probably go back and give The Witch Elm, the one I had a hard time with, another go.

But before that, I'm finally starting Louise Penny's latest Gamache novel, All the Devils Are Here. Apparently set in Paris (France), not Three Pines (Canada). I wonder whether Ruth will make an appearance?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mfswatz9 »

The Best Land Under Heaven, the story of the ill-fated Donner Party, by Michael Wallis. I'm halfway through. It's written in an easy to read style but based on historical facts.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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The Brutal Telling, by Louise Penny.

A hermit lives deep in the forest in a simple log cabin filled with priceless antiques, but turns up dead in the bistro in Three Pines, Quebec.
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