What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by Swansea » Fri Nov 24, 2017 5:54 am

The Big Short by Michael Lewis (second time through). A good story telling of what led up to the financial crisis of 2008. On the second reading, I have somewhat begun to understand how "credit default swaps" worked.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:12 am

Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History, by S.C. Gwynne
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mcblum » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:24 am

Patrick Leigh Fermor's Time of Gifts. This is the first volume of his trilogy, the 1933 walk across Europe at 18 years of age.
Fermor became a war hero when his team of SOE operatives captured a German general in Crete and, despite hot pursuit, spirited him to Alexandria, Egypt. Great read!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Fri Nov 24, 2017 11:04 am

I read PLF's Abducting a General: The Kreipe Operation in Crete. This is an interesting and well-written first-hand account of a WWII SOE operaton. The post-war meeting of Fermor and the general (Heinrich Kreipe) is included in this story.

You may also like William Stanley Moss' Ill Met by Moonlight which is another first-hand account of the same SOE operation, WSM was the other main SOE participant, PLF contributed an afterword.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mcblum » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:34 pm

thanks. I've read Ill met by Moonlight. Not a bad movie, either. Dirk Bogarde if i'm not mistaken.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:37 pm

Just finished "Blue Heaven" by CJ Box and now reading "The Neon Rain" by James Lee Burke

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:48 pm

Just re read The Lunatic Express by Carl Hoffman. How 90% of the worlds population travel on incredibly dangerous modes of transportation on a daily basis ........and pay the price! Hoffman joined them on his own entertaining romp.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sixtyforty » Fri Nov 24, 2017 6:00 pm

I just finished The Plant Paradox: The Hidden dangers of "Healthy" foods that cause disease and weight gain. by M.D. Gundry. It is a real eye opener if accurate. I would be curious if anyone here is following a diet like this.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:17 pm

^^^ FYI - Discussions on the health benefits of diets are off-topic as medical advice. See: Medical Issues
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:51 pm

End Game by David Baldacci
Will Robie/Jessica Reel series, book 5

The Agency's top handler, Blue Man, goes missing while vacationing in his home town in rural Colorado. Fearing he may have been captured, operatives Will Robie and Jessica Reel are dispatched to find their boss. Rural Colorado is sparsely populated, with limited law enforcement, and inhabited by white supremasits, neo-Nazis and other fringe groups — some with fortified compounds and heavy-grade miltiary weaponry. Will and Jessica have their work cut out for them. The book is eye-rolling at times, and somewhat tainted by the ripped-from-the-headlines feel. Defintiely not the best in the series, but a good airplane read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:15 pm

I've had a lot of luck getting current popular novels as ebooks via my library. I started and did not finish Nelson DeMille's The Cuban Affair. A change from his long time NYC protagonist to a Maine born, Florida boat captain by way of the US Army in Afghanistan. As the title implies the story is set mainly in present day Cuba. Demille's a good writer; I just moved on to one of the other books available. I might go back eventually.

Next was John Sandford's Deep Freeze. It's a Virgil Flowers story. I liked it in general but found so many characters thrown into the mix that I wished I'd started taking notes. Most are not fleshed out in any way. He also drags in most of his cast of characters from previous novels. For example, about 20 pages from the end, Lucas Davenport calls Virgil for about 2 paragraphs of text. It's his only appearance in the book.

I recently finished Dan Brown's Origin. Dan knows how to write. There's a bit too much description for me, but its a decent story in the end. I haven't liked his recent novels but this was better. It's a long way into the book before you learn the "secret". Well done.

I just finished Lee Child's The Midnight Line. I liked it as I have most of his work. I read it in just over a day. It's a little different than many of his novels. Others have mentioned how its more humanizing or sympathetic? He does ask some interesting questions, e.g., what's it like to be beautiful. No, he's not asking about Reacher.

I've started The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. I've critiqued his several recent novels in this thread. This one seems like a light weight effort at first. Giving nothing away (I hope since I'm only a few pages into it) it seems to be about for-profit law schools catering to less than top notch applicants so the schools can tap federal education funds via student loans. Didn't seem like a barn burner to me. Then I read today's WSJ and the front page story is about for profit law schools, student loans and how few pass the bar. It was like reading Grisham for real. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-a ... 1511544524

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:15 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:15 pm
I've had a lot of luck getting current popular novels as ebooks via my library. I started and did not finish Nelson DeMille's The Cuban Affair. A change from his long time NYC protagonist to a Maine born, Florida boat captain by way of the US Army in Afghanistan. As the title implies the story is set mainly in present day Cuba. Demille's a good writer; I just moved on to one of the other books available. I might go back eventually.
I've been gradually moving to audiobooks, and the John Corey (NYC protagonist) books read by Scott Brick are a match made in heaven. It's probably my favorite pairing. DeMille has done various changes over the year, not all of them to my liking. Your comments give reinforcement to the decision to stick with the John Corey series. (Though I'm not sure any more are in the works.)
I just finished Lee Child's The Midnight Line. I liked it as I have most of his work. I read it in just over a day. It's a little different than many of his novels. Others have mentioned how its more humanizing or sympathetic? He does ask some interesting questions, e.g., what's it like to be beautiful. No, he's not asking about Reacher.
Both Lee Child and David Baldacci have new books out that have one area of overlap, which I won't reveal here. Having read the one after the other, I had to laugh out loud because it's obvious they're piggybacking on current news topics and the releases were timed for the holiday season.

That said, Child's book was great. I broke off reading the Reacher series for awhile so I can't comment on how much of a departure it was. But it retained the elements of Reacher books that we all like (riding buses, walking, black coffee, puzzling out Army-related problems, being idiosyncratic in general) and got pretty deep as the story unfolded. It probably did have more depth, and the episode you refer to asking about what it's like to be beautiful...and what followed later on.... was not the usual twist you see in a book with a macho, hero-like character. Then again, Reacher's brand of macho has always been humanizing. He can't help it that he has an mposing frame and that he's capable. That's both genetics and Army training. But at his core, he's a sympathetic guy who likes to help people, and his norms may not always be society's norms, but they're humanistic ones.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:46 pm

Moby-Dick or The Whale (1851) by Herman Melville

After years of putting it off, I have finally decided to go to sea. That is, I will embark on the reading of Moby-Dick! This will be a long journey, some 730 pages. I am only on page 7, but have already decided I quite enjoy the narrator’s musings. Here is an example I like. It is representative of the little I have read so far. It also seems appropriate for a financial web page.
  • Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid, —what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
Hmm, "orchard thieves" and "perdition." Does that hint at darker times to come in the remaining 700+ pages?
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:04 pm

Currently reading "Lights Out" [by Mark Steyn] this is a non-pc book, proceed with caution. Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and thanks for reading.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:05 pm

Now reading "The Deep Blue Good-By" by John D. MacDonald

Loved the first Dave Robicheaux, "The Neon Rain" by James Lee Burke.


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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bberris » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:42 pm

The Art of Racing in the Rain. (for the second time)

After losing my dog to cancer

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:55 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:15 pm

<snip>

I've started The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. I've critiqued his several recent novels in this thread. This one seems like a light weight effort at first. Giving nothing away (I hope since I'm only a few pages into it) it seems to be about for-profit law schools catering to less than top notch applicants so the schools can tap federal education funds via student loans. Didn't seem like a barn burner to me. Then I read today's WSJ and the front page story is about for profit law schools, student loans and how few pass the bar. It was like reading Grisham for real. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-a ... 1511544524
Recently finished The Rooster Bar, and won't say too much here.
I did enjoy the story line, and the way it played out. Classic Grisham, to some extent, in terms of a few plot twists.
But the very ending, which I'm sure is always tricky to write, was a bit incomplete.

Still, I enjoy that genre very much.

I think The Firm was the best, but perhaps that's because the style/plot was all new then.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Retired1809 » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:32 pm

Upon hearing Michael Lewis (author of Moneyballll, The Big Short, etc.) list it as one of his favorite three books of all time, I read A Confederacy of Dunces," by John Kennedy Toole. And yes, it's hilarious. ROFL funny at times. The forward by Walker Percy explains so much.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:35 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:46 pm
Moby-Dick or The Whale (1851) by Herman Melville

After years of putting it off, I have finally decided to go to sea. That is, I will embark on the reading of Moby-Dick! This will be a long journey, some 730 pages. I am only on page 7, but have already decided I quite enjoy the narrator’s musings. Here is an example I like. It is representative of the little I have read so far. It also seems appropriate for a financial web page.
  • Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid, —what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
Hmm, "orchard thieves" and "perdition." Does that hint at darker times to come in the remaining 700+ pages?
Good question. I got to the part where he was describing each and every on of his shipmates in excruciating detail, and I just didn’t have it in me to go any farther.

Maybe I’ll try again someday...

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast » Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:54 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:46 pm
Moby-Dick or The Whale (1851) by Herman Melville

After years of putting it off, I have finally decided to go to sea. That is, I will embark on the reading of Moby-Dick! This will be a long journey, some 730 pages. I am only on page 7, but have already decided I quite enjoy the narrator’s musings. Here is an example I like. It is representative of the little I have read so far. It also seems appropriate for a financial web page.
  • Again, I always go to sea as a sailor, because they make a point of paying me for my trouble, whereas they never pay passengers a single penny that I ever heard of. On the contrary, passengers themselves must pay. And there is all the difference in the world between paying and being paid. The act of paying is perhaps the most uncomfortable infliction that the two orchard thieves entailed upon us. But being paid, —what will compare with it? The urbane activity with which a man receives money is really marvellous, considering that we so earnestly believe money to be the root of all earthly ills, and that on no account can a monied man enter heaven. Ah! how cheerfully we consign ourselves to perdition!
Hmm, "orchard thieves" and "perdition." Does that hint at darker times to come in the remaining 700+ pages?
I read Moby Dick when I was in graduate school back in the early 1980's. I found that for me, the best way to enjoy this classic was to savor it one chapter at a time. My humble opinion is that the only other American novel demonstrating its brilliant intensity is Mark Twain's "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (unexpurgated version).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MJW » Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:04 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:55 pm
I think The Firm was the best, but perhaps that's because the style/plot was all new then.
The Firm is my favorite of Grisham's, as well...followed closely by The Rainmaker and The Client.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Blues » Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:32 am

Recently finished "Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI" by David Grann.

An eye opening read about a shameful period in American history. Compelling story worth your time.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by investingdad » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:31 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 1:15 pm
I've had a lot of luck getting current popular novels as ebooks via my library. I started and did not finish Nelson DeMille's The Cuban Affair. A change from his long time NYC protagonist to a Maine born, Florida boat captain by way of the US Army in Afghanistan. As the title implies the story is set mainly in present day Cuba. Demille's a good writer; I just moved on to one of the other books available. I might go back eventually.

Next was John Sandford's Deep Freeze. It's a Virgil Flowers story. I liked it in general but found so many characters thrown into the mix that I wished I'd started taking notes. Most are not fleshed out in any way. He also drags in most of his cast of characters from previous novels. For example, about 20 pages from the end, Lucas Davenport calls Virgil for about 2 paragraphs of text. It's his only appearance in the book.

I recently finished Dan Brown's Origin. Dan knows how to write. There's a bit too much description for me, but its a decent story in the end. I haven't liked his recent novels but this was better. It's a long way into the book before you learn the "secret". Well done.

I just finished Lee Child's The Midnight Line. I liked it as I have most of his work. I read it in just over a day. It's a little different than many of his novels. Others have mentioned how its more humanizing or sympathetic? He does ask some interesting questions, e.g., what's it like to be beautiful. No, he's not asking about Reacher.

I've started The Rooster Bar by John Grisham. I've critiqued his several recent novels in this thread. This one seems like a light weight effort at first. Giving nothing away (I hope since I'm only a few pages into it) it seems to be about for-profit law schools catering to less than top notch applicants so the schools can tap federal education funds via student loans. Didn't seem like a barn burner to me. Then I read today's WSJ and the front page story is about for profit law schools, student loans and how few pass the bar. It was like reading Grisham for real. https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-rise-a ... 1511544524
Just got done with Origin, good read.

Working on Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. I like the story but not sure how I feel about the collaboration. I can't tell if it's SK, or his kid trying to write in the style his father perfected.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:02 pm

The Frozen Hours, Jeff Shaara's novel about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War. Not one of his best in my opinion. My wife thought it was excellent, though.

Alexander McCall Smith, Precious and Grace, number 278* in the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series but I must say he keeps the quality fairly high for unbelievable number of books he writes...

*Just kidding, but it must be like the eleventh or twelfth or so...
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:38 am

nisiprius wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:02 pm
Alexander McCall Smith, Precious and Grace, number 278* in the "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series but I must say he keeps the quality fairly high for unbelievable number of books he writes...

*Just kidding, but it must be like the eleventh or twelfth or so...
I found "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" at an airport book store and ended up buying a half dozen more but that was it for me -- I simply got burned out on them. They do make interesting reads in the way they very successfully immerse you in a different culture, different from my culture anyway. They are character studies as well as who-done-its. I sympathized with the characters because they always did their best and did so as gracefully as they could manage.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:05 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sat Nov 25, 2017 5:46 pm
Moby-Dick or The Whale (1851) by Herman Melville

After years of putting it off, I have finally decided to go to sea. That is, I will embark on the reading of Moby-Dick! This will be a long journey, some 730 pages. I am only on page 7, but have already decided I quite enjoy the narrator’s musings.
I am a bit further along and was surprised by a reference to Mungo Park in one of Ishmael's musings. Mungo Park has come up here before in reference to his book, Travels in the Interior of Africa (1799). Ishmael was comparing travel by sea to travel on land by foot. Park's travel did not turn out very well, having never been seen again after starting his second journey into Africa.

It's an odd feeling knowing that Herman Melville and I read the same book. I wonder what's become of his copy?
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:31 pm

Just finished Paul Shirley's "Can I Keep My Jersey".

Shirley writes about his professional basketball career...this book covers 4 seasons, 11 teams in 5 countries. He is a very good writer and good enough to make $$$ in a very difficult profession.

BTW, he graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Engineering and was a starter on very good ISU teams. He was recruited due to his high academics allowed him to be on full scholarship (academically). I understand he has a new book out....will definately read it.

One of my favorite books read this year.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Wed Nov 29, 2017 8:57 pm

Just finished Birdmania, A Remarkable Passion for Birds, by Bernd Brunner with translation from the original German edition by Jane Billinghurst. A fascinating book chock full of interesting facts about birds and the humans who since recorded history have interacted with them. Who knew that birdwatching is the second most common outdoor hobby in North America, second only to gardening. Or that 280 species of birds have been observed in Central Park. Or that there is a male stork which has spent every summer last 14 years on the same rooftop in Croatia, raising a brood of chicks with his mate, but every Fall he migrates 5000 miles by himself to Africa, his mate was shot by a hunter and cannot fly, the owner of house takes care of her in his house each winter, and in spring releases her onto the roof when her mate returns, when they again raise a brood of chicks. The book has hundreds of beautiful drawings and illustrations, a pleasure to read. I am not a bird watcher but after reading this book may become an amateur Patchworker, observing birds within my own backyard. Needless to say highly recommend.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:05 pm

bengal22 wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:07 pm
A Legacy of Spies by John LeCarre

The return of George Smiley. Very good so far.
Reading this now. That man can still tell a story.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:23 pm

Recent reads:

1. Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason
An Inspector Erlendur Novel, Book 9

The frozen fjords of eastern Iceland are where people go missing. Decades ago, a woman started her way across a fjord and was never seen again. People who might have known something are either dead or old, but Erlendur manages to uncover the dark tragedy behind the young woman's disappearance. Having grown up in the eastern fjords himself, Erlendur also pursues his life-long obsession of finding clues to his little brother's disappearance in a blizzard when they were children. We finally learn why Erlendur is so haunted by this tragedy and cannot move beyond it. An absorbing story with lots of Icelandic village culture. Sad and moody at times, with quiet horrors revealed. Excellent.


2. Into Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason
Inspector Erlendur series - book 11 (a young Erlendur novel)

Young detective Erlendur investigates a case set against a latish Cold War backdrop. An unidentified body is found in a thermal lagoon near a US air base, with the body's condition indicating it fell from a great height. The Icelandic police suspect a connection to the base, but the base won't cooperate. Finally, a black, female MP reluctantly agrees to help and together they investigate shadowy goings-on at the base. In his spare time, Erlendur also investigates a cold case involving a schoolgirl who vanished 25 years prior near some WWII barracks -- a site now buried under modern developments. Excellent.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:11 am

Started The Delirium Brief, the latest in Charles Stross's Laundry series. An American televangelist whose organization had been devoted to bringing "The Sleeper in the Pyramid" into our world was seemingly defeated by banishing into the Sleeper's dimension. Now he's back, but different. And more motivated. His organization is moving to take over the UK from the inside, with key Parliament members onboard. The first move is to abolish the Laundry. Now Bob Howard, his wife Mo, and a handful of others in a contingency organization must counter.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Serie1926 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:14 pm

"Third Calling: What are you doing the rest of your life?"

by Dr. Richard Bergstrom and Leona Bergstrom (Author).

4 chapters in, so far quite interesting.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:27 pm

Five Red Herrings, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

This is a very hard to follow murder mystery with six suspects, set in Scotland and involving artists and fishermen
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:40 pm

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] by Mark Manson (sold a million+ so far).
A buddy of mine recently had a near death experience and came across this book during his convalescence. Being highly recommended I bought it and started reading it before I went to sleep. As I typically wake at 4am and start "thinking" for a few hours I decided to chant "[(removed) --admini LadyGeek]" and immediately fell back to sleep. I highly recommend this book for all insomniacs and anyone suffering a near death experience.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:47 pm

^^^ I removed the last word in the book title, which is not family friendly. Google will find the title without it.

(The last word is missing a letter, but it's the intent that counts.)
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mancich
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mancich » Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:19 pm

Just finished "A River in Darkness", about a man who escaped North Korea after 36 brutal years. Really a fantastic (though heart-breaking) book

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:44 pm

I am very excited, received from Amazon today the just published The Landmark Julius Caesar, The Complete Works including Gallic War, Alexandrian War, African War and Spanish War, with maps, annotations, appendices and encyclopedic index, with translation by Kurt Raaflaub. I very much enjoyed the Landmark Herodotus and Landmark Thucydides, find that these complete works of translation with their extensive footnotes, maps and illustrations are fascinating for a general history reader like me. This will be my leisure time reading during month of December, am in no rush to get through the 700 or so pages, will report back next year. Cheers.

MP173
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:56 am

Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosch - "Two Kinds of Truth".

Great book about an old friend Harry Bosch. I enjoyed this one as much as any of the others.

Also recently finished John Sandford's "Deep Freeze". Not nearly as good as Connelly's latest.

While Harry Bosch's charactor continues to evolve and grow, even with his "retirement" from LAPD, I cannot say the same about Sandford's Virgil Flowers. The book was entertaining, but is Sandford running out of ideas? Barbie Dolls with naughty mouths?

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:31 pm

Hit Parade by Lawrence Block
John Keller series - Book 3

Keller is sticking to his ordinary schedule of contract killings assigned through his handler Dot of White Plains. In between, he relaxes with his stamp collection. Then 9/11 hits and security becomes tighter at airports and other transportation hubs and Keller thinks about retiring. But his taste in stamps is getting pricier and the cash paid to him for each job goes immediately into buying thousands of dollars worth of new stamps, causing his retirement fund to dwindle. Keller needs to find the right balance between work (killing people) and leisure (stamp-collecting). I recommended that he post in the Bogleheads Personal Finance forum, but he turned me down since he didn't want a lot of exposure. (Okay, I made that up.) The book really is a Hit Parade because there is a wide variety of hits, one after the other. They are all interesting and take place in different parts of the country. The hardest one is where he inadvertantly becomes friends with the target. Great fun. My favorite Keller installment to date.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by blmarsha123 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:09 pm

Grant by Ron Chernow

Another excellent biography by the author of Washington and Alexander Hamilton. Briefly (well, at least for this epic) covers his early days with the bulk of the book dedicated to the War years (about 400 pages) and after the war through the Presidency (another 300 pages). The final part of the book (less than 100 pages) covers the post-Presidency years and the toil of finishing his memoirs.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:33 pm

bertilak, I’m curious...how is Moby Dick coming along?

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:23 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:33 pm
bertilak, I’m curious...how is Moby Dick coming along?
It is going slow because of other distractions, but the deeper I get into it the more I like it and want to continue.

There are great characterizations of some old ship's captains. Ishmael had to negotiate with two of them to settle on his pay for signing up. The two captains did a bit of a good-cop/bad-cop routine on Ishmael to settle on pay. (This is not in terms of a salary but in terms of some small percentage of the profits. I think one in 300 was settled on.) Those two captains had obviously done this before! Neither of those two captains was Ahab, but they discussed Ahab in passing with a bit of awe and respect. We don't know how much of this was to impress Ishmael.

Another interesting section was a fiery hell-and-damnation sermon from a church pulpit made to look like part of whaling ship. Every analogy or metaphor in the sermon had to do with whaling. Quite a speech!

Besides being so well written I keep seeing things I have some connection to! (I mentioned Mungo Park, above.) Back in the '60s some friends and I went to Sag Harbor, Long Island, to watch whale boat races. This is not the big whaling ships, but the small boats they would row out from the ship to the whale. Well, not that small. Wikipedia says 30 by 6 feet with a six-man crew. The races we watched required the men to carry the boat from on-shore into the water, climb in row out to a canvas whale and harpoon it. Pretty exciting. In Moby-Dick Ishmael discusses both the town of Sag Harbor and of course whale boats.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

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

Post by quantAndHold » Sat Dec 16, 2017 7:06 pm

I may have to try Moby Dick again.

Currently I'm reading Alice Munro's short stories. Very interesting. A different storytelling style. Ordinary people with ordinary lives, to which not all that much happens. Told from the perspective of someone too intimate with the situation to see the forest for the trees, the narrator both leaves out details in the telling, forgetting that they're not common knowledge to the reader, and is too close to the story to see what's really going on until late in the story. Not really stream of consciousness, but a very fluid relationship with time, bringing the past into the present as part of the telling.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by black jack » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:06 pm

bertilak wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 5:23 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sat Dec 16, 2017 4:33 pm
bertilak, I’m curious...how is Moby Dick coming along?
It is going slow because of other distractions, but the deeper I get into it the more I like it and want to continue.

There are great characterizations of some old ship's captains. Ishmael had to negotiate with two of them to settle on his pay for signing up. The two captains did a bit of a good-cop/bad-cop routine on Ishmael to settle on pay. (This is not in terms of a salary but in terms of some small percentage of the profits. I think one in 300 was settled on.) Those two captains had obviously done this before! Neither of those two captains was Ahab, but they discussed Ahab in passing with a bit of awe and respect. We don't know how much of this was to impress Ishmael.

Another interesting section was a fiery hell-and-damnation sermon from a church pulpit made to look like part of whaling ship. Every analogy or metaphor in the sermon had to do with whaling. Quite a speech!

Besides being so well written I keep seeing things I have some connection to! (I mentioned Mungo Park, above.) Back in the '60s some friends and I went to Sag Harbor, Long Island, to watch whale boat races. This is not the big whaling ships, but the small boats they would row out from the ship to the whale. Well, not that small. Wikipedia says 30 by 6 feet with a six-man crew. The races we watched required the men to carry the boat from on-shore into the water, climb in row out to a canvas whale and harpoon it. Pretty exciting. In Moby-Dick Ishmael discusses both the town of Sag Harbor and of course whale boats.
Bertilak, it's been 40 years since I read Moby Dick; you may inspire me to read it again.

Its content has mostly washed out of my memory, but one passage has stuck with me all these years, as a person who considers a steak cooked beyond medium rare to be ruined. The crew having killed a whale, the second mate wants a whale steak. He feels the cook overcooks things, so has the cook called up on deck in the middle of the night to instruct him in how the mate would like it prepared:
Hold the steak in one hand, and show a live coal to it with the other; that done, dish it...
I've occasionally used that line to tell friends how I'd like my steak cooked.

Not intentionally done for comparison, but I recently read two books about classical Chinese philosophers: "The Path: What Chinese Philosophers Can Teach Us About the Good Life" by Michael Puett, a professor of philosophy, and "Trying Not To Try: The Ancient Art of Effortlessness and the Surprising Power of Spontaneity" by Edward Slingerland, a professor of Asian Studies and cognitive science (quite a combination). Both books discuss the same philosophers (Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu) but from different perspectives.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by SrGrumpy » Sun Dec 17, 2017 8:34 pm

The Herbert Hoover book by Kenneth Whyte - a very, even-handed survey of a remarkable American who got himself in a pickle. The bits on the Wall Street Crash and the Depression (neither really Hoover's fault) obviously have modern-day relevance.

The Jann Wenner/Rolling Stone book - grubby stuff. Ha!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:14 am

Dunmore's War, by Glenn F. Williams.

This is a history of th he 1775 war between the colony of Virginia and the Shawnee and their allies over Virginian settlement of the East bank of the Ohio River. It includes the disputes between Virginia and Pennsylvania over jurisdiction of the area around Fort Pitt, the relations among the Iroquois Confederation, and the Shawnee, Delaware and Cherokee tribes, and an interesting discussion of laws governing the militia before the Revolutionary War.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:40 pm

Just about done with "Night School" by Lee Child.

Reacher (late 1990s) is in Germany and is tracking down a AWOL soldier that is selling something for $100 million.

Very good.

Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast » Sat Dec 23, 2017 5:49 pm

"Berlin Red" by Sam Eastland (a.k.a. Paul Watkins), OPUS Publishing (2017).

I have been very lucky at my local library lately. Two new books that I really wanted to read, I have signed out two weeks in a row. I will get to the other book in a later post.

This is another story about the famous Inspector Pekkala. I am not giving away any secrets here by telling you that it is the final story about the Tsar's and Stalin's personal investigator. This unwelcome news is announced in a blurb located on the inner leaf of the dust jacket. I don't understand why Watkins felt that he had to take this drastic step. I can only hope that he will pull an Arthur Conan Doyle reversal and write up another Pekkala tale after some careful reconsideration. (What, he wasn't making enough money from these popular novels? :annoyed ).

Well, now Pekkala fans know that they will have to read this last adventure. Pekkala is on another perilous mission, to Berlin of all places in April 1945, at the behest of the demanding Stalin. He is accompanied by his colleague Major Kirov, who is supposed to be giving the orders now (yea, right). Hitler and Himmler are extensively involved in the story, as well as a German Pekkala named Hunyadi. I will provide no more illuminating details; but, as always, you will not be disappointed by the Emerald Eye.

Edit: I forgot to mention: if you are buying the book, open it up and check out the formatting of sentences and paragraphs in it. The latter was all screwed up throughout my copy. Many times it was difficult to follow and understand the proper sequence of a character's (or characters') quotes. I don't ever recall seeing so many irritating syntax errors in a $28.00 book before.
Illegitimi non carborundum.

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

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:55 pm

A Year in the South, by Stephen V. Ash.

Tells the interesting stories of four Southerners in 1865, and their different transitions from last months of the Civil War and slavery to the first months of peace and freedom.

1) A slave at a salt works Alabama returns to a plantation in Northern Mississippi, has to buy help of two enlisted Federal cavalymen to get away of the owner, and moves to Memphis, Cincinnati, Ontario, Chicago, and finally Milwaukee.

2) A teenage Confederate veteran in East Tennessee is studying to become a preacher, is threatened by the local Unionist majority, moves to Iowa and back, in the process losing his fiancee.

3) The widow of a Confederate general lives in Lexington in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, and struggles to support her seven children.

4) A plantation owner in Northern Mississippi.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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Artful Dodger
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger » Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:58 pm

American Dreamers / How the Left Changed the Nation by Michael Kazin. Traces American progressivism from the abolitionists and early feminism through the labor movement, socialists, communism, and up to the New Left of the 60's and 70's. He portrays it as a movement that never receives wide support, but over time has made lasting contributions to our culture, society, and politics.

Just finished listening to the Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly. It was an Audible daily deal so 3 or 4 bucks. If those Harry Bosch books you all keep mentioning are half as good as this, I'll definitely have to check some out. This was a thrill.

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