What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by ruralavalon » Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:57 pm

Pain Killer, by Barry Meier.

This is the story of how OxyContin, produced by Purdue Pharma, became a widely abused opioid responsible for widespread addiction and death, and how and why the opioid epidemic began. This is as very interesting book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by victw » Thu Oct 05, 2017 5:14 pm

Eligible - by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Interesting riff on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wilson08 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:26 pm

The Maine Woods
by Henry David Thoreau

Thoreau made three excursions to the Maine wilderness
between 1846 and 1857. He does have his philosophical
observations as in Walden but more prevalent are his
descriptive observations of his of his surroundings, arduous
travelling, and continual flora/fauna studies. Thoreau was
a forerunner of environmental consciousness in an era when
exploitation of animal and timber resources had very little
regulation. His vision and perceptions are surprisingly modern.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Oct 07, 2017 3:48 pm

Sleight of Hand by Phillip Margolin
Book 4 of Brad Miller & Dana Cutler series (No Brad Miller in this book)

A clever criminal defense lawyer murders a millionaire's wife, frames the husband for the murder, then gets himself hired on as defense counsel. In the meantime, private investigator Dana Cutler is following the trail of a gold sceptor dating back to the Ottoman Empire.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by RadAudit » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:26 pm

Stanley's "Stop Acting Rich ..."

OK. I'm a little slow in getting around to reading it. A little dry at the start, so far, because he spends a lot of time writing about vodka, cars, and watches. But he wraps up the points he wants to make very well. And unless you are either a balance sheet millionaire or a deca-millionaire, you might begin to feel a little self-conscious about your taste in cars and booze after this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sat Oct 07, 2017 7:52 pm

Inventing Money: The Story of Long-Term Capital Management and the Legends Behind It, by Nicholas Dunbar. I think it was ValueThinker's recommendation. It's pretty good.

The book I've enjoyed most in the last month or so has been re-reading The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk (and then watching the movie again). In my opinion, this is unquestionably Wouk's best book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MJW » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:36 pm

I just started "Lost Light" by Michael Connelly, a Harry Bosch novel. I've read a handful of Bosch novels but this is my first reading of one in which the character is portrayed in the first person. Not sure if there are others.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sandtrap » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:11 pm

Elizabeth Street by Laurie Fabiano

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bighatnohorse » Sat Oct 07, 2017 10:22 pm

"The Art of Power" bio of Thomas Jefferson. Excellent!

BTW; The Harry Bosch novels are best read in the sequence published. The author, Michael Connally was a LA Times crime reporter for many years and has an extensive inside pool of resources from which he draws. I've read them all and will read anything else he publishes.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" movie was a Michael Connally story - deals with the half brother of Harry Bosch in it's own story.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:34 pm

Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson

Engrossing coming-of-age story in a small Midwest town in the 60's involving two high school athletes, Tony and Sam, who are best friends and rivals. Things turn dark when Tony's girlfriend is brutally murdered in a park, shortly after the couple's first-ever sexual encounter. Tony is the main suspect and is shunned by the town, though he is never charged. He escapes to Harvard and becomes a successful criminal defense lawyer in San Francisco. Twenty-eight years later, best-freind Sam, who is now an assistant vice principal, is accused of killing a girl on the track team he coaches. Tony returns to his hometown to defend his friend in court. Fully fleshed out characters, lots of emotional drama, and the prejudices of a small town fully on display.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:42 am

I recently finished "Death's End" by Cixin Liu (as recommended in this thread). This is book #3 of the "Three Body Problem" series by the Chinese science fiction writer.

Book #3 was really quite enjoyable. The concepts and ideas (even if science fiction) were quite amazingly thought up. The amount of time covered. Hibernation. Light speed travel. Fascinating areas. If you like space science fiction, this 3 book series is a good one.

Now I am back to reading the Michael Connolly "Harry Bosch" series from the beginning. Currently on book #4.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by latesaver » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:03 pm

Misbehaving, by Richard Thaler.

An interesting walk through the fascinating history of behavioral economics.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by CoAndy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:33 pm

"The Strange Death of Europe" by Douglas Murray.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by CoAndy » Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:42 pm

azurekep wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 11:15 pm
Recently finished:

1. Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin
Brad Miller and Dana Cutler series, Book 2

Brad is clerking for a Justice on the Supreme Court who is the victim of an assassination attempt. The hit appeared related to a death row case in Oregon and a "ghost ship" tied to TLA (three-letter acronym) intrigue. The good-guy characters are likeable and the plot is suspenseful.

2. Capital Murder by Phillip Margolin
Brad Miller and Dana Cutler series, Book 3

Brad is now a legislative assistant to a Senator on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. This is the weakest of the series so far. Not enough Brad Miller/Dana Cutler and not enough focus on the Senate. Instead, we have a jihadist terrorist plot in DC (other authors have done better), and a lame subplot involving a female defense lawyer in Oregon who falls in love with her serial-killer client.
I read everything Phillip Margolin writes. He is fantastic.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by DDubya » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:12 am

A Small Death in the Great Glen by A.D. Scott.
In the Scottish Highlands of 1956 a child is murdered. The staff of the local newspaper, the Highland Gazette, investigates the case. Am about halfway through and enjoying, but sometimes the Scottish dialogue needs to be re-read to understand what is being said (who knew Scottish was such a foreign language). First book in a series of six. Likely to read each based on this one.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by blmarsha123 » Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:27 pm

The Fall of the House of Dixie by Bruce Levine. I think apropos of apologists for certain current events.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:51 pm

Commerce of the Prairies, by Josiah Gregg.

This book is a first person account of the author's trading activities in the 1830s in New Mexico and Northern Mexico. He describes travel on the Santa Fe trail and to Chihuahua, the geography and weather of the regions, agriculture and stock raising, customs of Indian tribes, buffalo hunting, other animals and plants.
"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 ruralavalon » Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:15 pm

Stop Acting Rich, by Thomas J. Stanley.

In many ways this merely reports on a 2005-06 survey updating the 1995-96 survey reported in his earlier book The Millionaire Next Door. There are no big surprises here, just a nice reaffirmation of prior insights.

It's comforting to learn again of right choices made like -- buying a nice home in a modest older neighborhood was a wise choice, buying used cars enabled funding college education of four children graduating without debt, no fancy watches, boats, vacation homes, or other attempts to imitate the wealthy in consumption.

The conclusion is that not acting rich is what can enable the actual accumulation wealth, and that acting rich when not rich likely prevents the actual accumulation of wealth. Another conclusion is that living within your means, charitable giving, spending on enjoyed activities not things, not spending on high-end consumption, is what leads so to happiness. And finally the conclusion that it's OK to spend on luxury items after becoming wealthy, because that is still living within your means.

This is definitely a feel good book for anyone with a modest lifestyle compared to their income and investable assets.
"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 azurekep » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:06 pm

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

An intelligent, well-researched international thriller with vividly written scenes. (Some suspension of disbelief is needed.) Most of the thriller-type action takes place on the Aegean coast of Turkey, in an atmospheric setting with historic ruins and mansions along cliffs. Prior to the action moving to Turkey, there are scattered scenes in other parts of the world and many readers give up, or almost give up on the book, since the multiple threads seem disconnected and the book is extraordinarily long (700 pages). But keep plugging and you likely will feel rewarded.

For those who have already read the book, the scenes that stick in my mind are when The Saracen, now a well-educated medical doctor, poses as a homeless man, setting up camp for weeks outside a Syrian research institute. This demonstrates his patience in his quest for a weapon and it's funny how everyone gets used to seeing him and ignores him — a kind of social engineering. Also, the episode involving the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was pretty amazing. I'm not sure if the whole premise was scientifically accurate, but it sure was an interesting twist.

If there is a follow-up book, it would be great if it concentrated on the Pilgrim's skill as a criminal investigator. The terrorist plot is done and over with and we all know Pilgrim is a great operative. But after 700 pages, I personally don't need to see more. :) But a criminal investigation following up on the thread left hanging would be interesting.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:27 pm

azurekep wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:06 pm
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

An intelligent, well-researched international thriller with vividly written scenes. (Some suspension of disbelief is needed.) Most of the thriller-type action takes place on the Aegean coast of Turkey, in an atmospheric setting with historic ruins and mansions along cliffs. Prior to the action moving to Turkey, there are scattered scenes in other parts of the world and many readers give up, or almost give up on the book, since the multiple threads seem disconnected and the book is extraordinarily long (700 pages). But keep plugging and you likely will feel rewarded.

For those who have already read the book, the scenes that stick in my mind are when The Saracen, now a well-educated medical doctor, poses as a homeless man, setting up camp for weeks outside a Syrian research institute. This demonstrates his patience in his quest for a weapon and it's funny how everyone gets used to seeing him and ignores him — a kind of social engineering. Also, the episode involving the Uffizi Gallery in Florence was pretty amazing. I'm not sure if the whole premise was scientifically accurate, but it sure was an interesting twist.

If there is a follow-up book, it would be great if it concentrated on the Pilgrim's skill as a criminal investigator. The terrorist plot is done and over with and we all know Pilgrim is a great operative. But after 700 pages, I personally don't need to see more. :) But a criminal investigation following up on the thread left hanging would be interesting.
There is a follow-up that's been promised and rescheduled several times. "The Year of the Locust" now due May 2018. Rumors are that it's been rejected several times by the editor and continues to be massively rewritten.

In fact there are reviews here https://www.amazon.com/Year-Locust-Terr ... B00YK763WI but the book appears to have been withdrawn.

My mileage varies from yours. I thoroughly enjoyed I am Pilgrim and considered one of the best of its genre in recent years.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by azurekep » Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:38 pm

heartwood wrote:
Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:27 pm
My mileage varies from yours. I thoroughly enjoyed I am Pilgrim and considered one of the best of its genre in recent years.
I'd probably give the book 4 out of 5 stars. I thought the actual writing was great. Hayes is a screenwriter so most of the scenes were vivid and memorable. For that, alone I'd give five stars.

And I don't have anything against 700-page books per se. The breadth of things covered was immersive and revealed the level of research done by Hayes. Even things like the look inside Saudi intelligence was something I've never seen covered before.

Plus, the plot itself was thought-provoking. The Saracen has been described as a new breed of terrorist -- a brilliant loner, not reliant on an organization, able to develop a deadly weapon -- and with much of the research being done on the internet.

It was simply the way the book was structured. Too much detail up front. I felt I was being force-fed detail on multiple, co-equal threads before I was ready. That's where I'd knock off a star.

I read a lot of reviews by people who said don't give up, so I soldiered on, and the last half of the book with it's thriller action made up for the first part of the book which was a lot of explainers and backgrounders -- some absolutely necessary, some not.

So my review of the book is actually a good one, though hedged a bit. :)

(For context, I've dinged other well-liked authors for their structure. Dennis Lehane comes to mind.)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by SirRunsabit » Sun Oct 22, 2017 5:27 am

On the Road. An American classic. First time in years my life has slowed to be able to read.
Hi!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Oct 29, 2017 3:09 pm

Lord Peter Views the Body, by Dorothy L. Sayers.

This is not a novel, it is a collection of 12 short stories. Some of the conundrums are these.

A severed head in a satchel is found on a highway by a motorcyclist.

Several people see the death coach coming up the lane, a ghostly white, no more sound than the dead, going at a gallop, horses hooves didn't touch the ground, there was no sound, the horses and driver had no heads.

Two Peter Whimseys arrive at a French country home to buy a secret weapon.

Where are the Fortunate Isles, and did the old pirate hide something there or not?

A dead man is found on an isolated beach, no foot prints or other indication that anyone else had been there, was he strangled or knifed or neither or both, and why?

The newspapers report "the will of Lord Peter Whimsey who was killed last September while shooting big game in Tanganyika was proved yesterday . . ."
"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 azurekep » Wed Nov 01, 2017 9:48 pm

The Draining Lake by Arnaldur Indridason
An Inspector Erlendur Novel, Book 4

As the water drains from an Icelandic lake due to recent seismic fissures, a human seketeton is revealed. The skull has a hole in it and the body is attached to a Soviet-era listening device. In a historical flashback, the story looks at a group of idealistic Socialist students from Iceland who studied in East Germany in the 1950s. It follows their disillusionment, especially with the so-called`"interactive surveillance" that has friends reporting friends to the authorities. These university relationships form the backdrop to the present mystery of who is the skeleton in the lake and how did it end up there? Recommended.


Voices by Arnaldur Indridason
An Inspector Erlendur Novel, Book 3

A Santa is found in a compromising position stabbed to death in a Reykjavik hotel at Christmas. As a child, the man was a famous "choirboy" with an extremely bright future. (I don't make these things up. ;) ) As an adult, he took up residence in the hotel's basement and became the doorman, Santa and handyman. There are few clues as to why the man was killed. Among the issues explored are specialty record collecting, and the volatile lives of child stars.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Zott » Thu Nov 02, 2017 10:03 pm

Rediscovering Nero Wolfe and my favorite, Archie Goodwin, by Rex Stout. Just finished Too Many Cooks, now on to Plot it Yourself.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Veiled » Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:05 pm

Watchers, Dean Koontz and Creasy's Maternal Fetal Medicine. :D
Pardon me as I read these one hundred and fifty-seven SP vs LLC vs Scorp threads...

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:08 pm

The Sagrada Familia: The Astonishing Story of Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece, by Gijs van Hensbergen. Believe it or not, I literally had never heard of or seen a picture of this church. My interest was sparked by an episode of the podcast, "99% Invisible," La Sagrada Familia. As probably everybody but me knows--my wife knew all about it from a sidebar during the Barcelona Olympics. It is, I gather, the iconic building of Barcelona.

Nothing I can say can convey how startling and original this building is--especially when I have only seen pictures of it.

However, while I'm about halfway through the book and enjoying it, this is emphatically a case of "what is the use of a book,’ thought Nisiprius ‘without pictures or conversations?’" Practically every page is describing some carving or sculpture or architectural detail of some building by Gaudí or one of his associates or rivals, and there's not a single picture in it other than on the jacket. Not that it isn't easy enough to fine images on the Internet, but I find it unfathomable why the publisher didn't at least create a companion website with page-by-page photographs.

One of the most interesting things to me, mentioned in the "99% Invisible" episode, was Gaudí's use of a kind of analog computer: the ideal architectural arch is an inverted catenary, and he made force models with hanging strings and weights which were then inverted to produce models for the complicated arch systems in the building.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wilson08 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:47 am

Starting Over by Robin Pilcher

A family in Scotland has a farm stretching back generations but a
debt burden and an offer to turn part of the land into a modern
golf course call for some difficult decisions.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 » Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:49 pm

Yesterday started and finished "Keller's Fedora" by William Block. This is a short (90 page) novella if you will in the Keller (the killer) series. I absolutely love Block. Would not pay for the book due to shortness, but it is at our local library.

I picked up Broken River by J Robert Lennan...new author. Will let you know how it is.

#Ed

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:11 am

Just finishing Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison. I very much enjoyed the Fourth Voyage of Columbus recommended on this site (thanks ruralavalon) and decided to go to one of its principal source books. The author, perhaps more famous for his multi volume History Of United States Naval Operations in World War II, personally retraced Columbus voyages on a sailing ship over several years immediately prior to WW II, one of the pleasures of this book is to view the many landing places 450 years later. The book, which was awarded Pulitzer Prize in History in 1942, focuses primarily on Columbus at sea. Morison was a devoted fan of the navigation and ship sailing skills of The Admiral, claimed he was probably the best sailing ship navigator and captain in history, especially in shallow reef strewn waters, along with Captain James Cook. So coincidentally leads into my next book, continuing my literary voyages of exploration, the biography of Captain James Cook by Richard Hough. And I don’t even know how to sail anything larger than a small sailboat.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:54 am

jdb wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:11 am
Just finishing Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Eliot Morison. I very much enjoyed the Fourth Voyage of Columbus recommended on this site (thanks ruralavalon) and decided to go to one of its principal source books. The author, perhaps more famous for his multi volume History Of United States Naval Operations in World War II, personally retraced Columbus voyages on a sailing ship over several years immediately prior to WW II, one of the pleasures of this book is to view the many landing places 450 years later. The book, which was awarded Pulitzer Prize in History in 1942, focuses primarily on Columbus at sea. Morison was a devoted fan of the navigation and ship sailing skills of The Admiral, claimed he was probably the best sailing ship navigator and captain in history, especially in shallow reef strewn waters, along with Captain James Cook. So coincidentally leads into my next book, continuing my literary voyages of exploration, the biography of Captain James Cook by Richard Hough. And I don’t even know how to sail anything larger than a small sailboat.
I think Admiral of the Ocean Sea by Samuel Elliot Morison is by far the best book I have ever read about Columbus. It shows all his skills as a sailor, navigator and explorer, his enormous accomplishments against great odds, and his personal flaws as well.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 am

A standard "book", when books were only made of paper, used to contain approx. 400 pages and 100,000 words. According to writer guidelines for publishing == and the accompanying standards to be met for "quality writing".
Self publishing used to be called "vanity publishing".

With digital publishing. . . and now with "self publishing" on Amazon.com. . . (and the lowering of composition standards) a "book" is now loosely defined as anything from the former to what amounts to no more than a chapter. . . to a pamphlet.

Am I the only one that notices this?

j :D
Per topic: A am currently re-reading "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing".

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:22 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 am
Am I the only one that notices this?
Absolutely not.
Listen very carefully. I shall say this only once. (There! I've said it.)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:38 am

bertilak wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:22 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 am
Am I the only one that notices this?
Absolutely not.
Whew! :oops:
Not going to mention lowering writing standards. . . .

Thanks"bertilak".
j :D

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sandtrap » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:41 am

Veiled wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 5:05 pm
Watchers, Dean Koontz and Creasy's Maternal Fetal Medicine. :D
Koontz has always been one of my favorite authors in that genre. Will check it out.
Thanks
J :D

Beautiful Avatar!!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:51 am

The Spear by Louis de Wohl
nisiprius wrote:
Sun Nov 05, 2017 6:08 pm
The Sagrada Familia: The Astonishing Story of Gaudí’s Unfinished Masterpiece, by Gijs van Hensbergen. Believe it or not, I literally had never heard of or seen a picture of this church. My interest was sparked by an episode of the podcast, "99% Invisible," La Sagrada Familia. As probably everybody but me knows--my wife knew all about it from a sidebar during the Barcelona Olympics. It is, I gather, the iconic building of Barcelona.

Nothing I can say can convey how startling and original this building is--especially when I have only seen pictures of it.

However, while I'm about halfway through the book and enjoying it, this is emphatically a case of "what is the use of a book,’ thought Nisiprius ‘without pictures or conversations?’" Practically every page is describing some carving or sculpture or architectural detail of some building by Gaudí or one of his associates or rivals, and there's not a single picture in it other than on the jacket. Not that it isn't easy enough to fine images on the Internet, but I find it unfathomable why the publisher didn't at least create a companion website with page-by-page photographs.

One of the most interesting things to me, mentioned in the "99% Invisible" episode, was Gaudí's use of a kind of analog computer: the ideal architectural arch is an inverted catenary, and he made force models with hanging strings and weights which were then inverted to produce models for the complicated arch systems in the building.
Fascinating, thank you for sharing the article/podcast. I'm familiar with the church, but not the design process. I'm excited to listen to this podcast.

You might be interested in this story about this man at the opposite end of the spectrum, so to speak.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by flamesabers » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:01 am

I'm reading Grant Comes East by Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. It's a historical novel following the aftermath of a Confederate victory at the battle of Gettysburg.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:56 am

Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:38 am
bertilak wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:22 am
Sandtrap wrote:
Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:13 am
Am I the only one that notices this?
Absolutely not.
Whew! :oops:
Not going to mention lowering writing standards. . . .

Thanks"bertilak".
j :D
It would be hard not to notice.
"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 azurekep » Thu Nov 09, 2017 10:45 pm

Almost finished reading The Man from the Train -- the Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James

Bill James, a pioneer in baseball analytics, is also a long-time fan of true crime and Man from the Train is his second book in that genre. The book focuses on a number of axe murders that took place in the early 1900s. The killings were actually mass murders with entire families -- including babies and children -- bludgeoned to death in their sleep (using the blunt side of the axe). The number of murdered may have been as many as 100. All the killings took place near a rail line, ostensibly for a quick getaway.

James' goal is to determine if, and how many, of these mass murders were by the same killer, which he has nicknamed The Man from the Train. He approaches the task systematically and involves the reader in the process. In the "low-information" events, where the details are sketchy, James presents a list of pros and cons to help sort out whether a particular killing event should be attributed to the Man from the Train. The high-information events are where the actual signature elements of the killer are developed.

Though the book is scholarly in attempt, the writing style is conversational and engaging. As for methodology, James takes advantage of modern analytical tools, especially the availability of hundreds of small town newspapers in computerized historical databases.

James clearly separates facts, speculation and opinion, which is appreciated since he has some definite opinions. He ties everything up near the end, outlining the 33 signature elements (comprising the modus operandi) of the killer and the geographical patterns to the killings. He attempts to convince any remaining skeptics.

I'm currently near the end of the book, and the identity of the killer will soon be revealed. Too late to be brought to justice, but still...

I'd recommend the book to people who like analytical methodologies, especially as applied to historical detective work. Of course an interest in true crime would also be a plus. In the process, you will probably learn more than you want about early 20thC rural and small town America -- nonexistent police investigative units, corrupt private detective agencies, biased and sloppy justice systems, lynch mobs...

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

Post by JPH » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:35 pm

I picked up a copy of The Best American Short Stories (2017 edition) edited by Meg Wolitzer at the airport. The stories all are great, and the book is perfect reading on a flight.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

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

Post by jginseattle » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:10 pm

I just finished the new Jack Reacher novel, Lee Child's The Midnight Line. It's a good one.

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

Post by MP173 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:59 pm

"Broken River" by J. Robert Lennon.

Set in rural New York, a family moves from NYC upstate to escape infidelity issues and moves into a house where an unsolved double murder was committed 10 years previous.

Infidelity and the murderers return with a predictable ending.

It was ok. One never quite understands a few of the main characters. One views the events somewhat from a distance...and thru an "observer" which is never explained.

Ed

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

Post by WestUniversity » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:25 pm

House of Spies - Daniel Silva

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mfswatz9
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mfswatz9 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:45 pm

I'm working my way through Louise Penny's mystery novels featuring Chief Inspector Armand Gamache. The crimes take place in and around a little village called Three Pines in Quebec. I thoroughly enjoy a good suspense or mystery book and these are very readable.

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

Post by MidwestMike » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:19 pm

Barry Ritholtz who writes The Big Picture blog wrote some finance recommendations in Bloomberg.

See.

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

Post by azurekep » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:00 am

MP173 wrote:
Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:49 pm
Yesterday started and finished "Keller's Fedora" by William Block.
A quick and fun read. 8-)

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

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:08 am

How the Scots Invented the Modern World, by Arthur Herman.

This is an interesting history of the Scottish Enlightenment of the 18th and early 19th centuries, with worldwide impact in literature (Burns, Scott), science (Kelvin, Maxwell), economics (Adam Smith), engineering (Watt), transportation (MacAdam), exploration (Livingston), politics (Hume) as well as religion, commerce, medicine, and education.

In 1700, at the start of the enlightenment, Scotland was Europe's poorest independent country and in 1707 lost it's political independence on union with England. Then things really took off.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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

Post by azurekep » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:40 pm

jginseattle wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:10 pm
I just finished the new Jack Reacher novel, Lee Child's The Midnight Line. It's a good one.
Agreed. I'm near the end and not only is it one of the more enjoyable Reacher reads, but it touches on some important issues...which I won't bring up here for fear fo spoiling it.

But since I just commented on another aspect of the book in the "My Dad's Army Jacket" thread, I might as well repeat it here.
Just as an aside, as sort of an illustration of the meaning imbued in various military items, the latest Jack Reacher book is all about Reacher trying to locate the owner of a pawned West Point class ring. The premise is that it took four hard years to earn the ring, so if it ended up in a pawn shop, the owner must have fallen on hard times. Reacher felt his duty as a former cadet and military officer was to look into the circumstances which led to the owner giving up the ring, find the owner and return the ring. This is all fiction of course and this is Reacher we're talking about, but I think the book, in a small way, illustrates the emotional impact of military symbolism.

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

Post by goldendad » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:46 pm

Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series.

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

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:02 am

Woodward and Bernstein, All the President’s Men. A very interesting read, especially considering current events. I was 10 when Nixon resigned. I knew the basics of the story, but had no idea how bad it was.

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