What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by quantAndHold » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:27 pm

Under the Net, by Iris Murdoch.

Well written and hilarious.

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

Post by Halicar » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:47 am

Calygos wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 6:56 pm
Just started H.P. Lovecraft: The Complete Fiction. I haven't read much fiction in a while but I love cosmic horror so I'm finally going to the source!
I haven't read it yet, but I just happened to pick up The Rim of Morning: Two Tales of Cosmic Horror by William Sloane. Two 1930's novels recently reissued by NYRB Press. Don't know if you're familiar--I had never heard of him. I'll update when I read them.

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

Post by MJW » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:36 pm

Just wrapped up Ron Chernow's sweeping biography of Alexander Hamilton. I highly recommend it for anyone who enjoys biographies and/or early US history.

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

Post by Glockenspiel » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:43 pm

WanderingDoc wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:10 pm
In a similar vein, what kind of (e)book reader would y'all recommend? I have realized that I cannot keep ordering books as it leads to a lot of clutter.
If you haven't already, please take a look at what your local library offers. With an app and a login linked to my library card, I can reserve and read books for free (other than my tax dollars), directly on my phone or tablet. They actually offer a very large selection and have most of the new releases. Sometimes I have to wait a couple months to read a hot new release, but I'm willing to do so in order to support my local library.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by WanderingDoc » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:49 pm

Glockenspiel wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:43 pm
WanderingDoc wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 6:10 pm
In a similar vein, what kind of (e)book reader would y'all recommend? I have realized that I cannot keep ordering books as it leads to a lot of clutter.
If you haven't already, please take a look at what your local library offers. With an app and a login linked to my library card, I can reserve and read books for free (other than my tax dollars), directly on my phone or tablet. They actually offer a very large selection and have most of the new releases. Sometimes I have to wait a couple months to read a hot new release, but I'm willing to do so in order to support my local library.
I wonder if I can get access to Japanese written content?
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bondsr4me
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bondsr4me » Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:59 pm

Ben Graham's "The Intelligent Investor". I have been on it for quite a while.
When I get bored with it, I set it aside for a while; days or weeks or longer.

Have a great weekend,

Don

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

Post by Artful Dodger » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:44 pm

bondsr4me wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:59 pm
Ben Graham's "The Intelligent Investor". I have been on it for quite a while.
When I get bored with it, I set it aside for a while; days or weeks or longer.

Have a great weekend,

Don
I picked up The Intelligent Investor along with Malkiel's A Random Walk Down Wall Street a week ago when someone posted in the Investing Theory forum that they were both on sale via Amazon Kindle for $2.99. I'm about a third of the way through Random Walk, and thoroughly enjoying it. I'll probably take a break for a non-investing read, then delve into Graham's book.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:01 pm

WanderingDoc wrote:
Fri Apr 13, 2018 1:49 pm
I wonder if I can get access to Japanese written content?
I'd float a question to the library staff. They'd be able to tell you if they have any and if so how to search for it.
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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bertilak
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:39 pm

Just finished Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith. Of course this was the basis for Hitchcock's like-named film.

Like much of Highsmith's work, the story can be labeed a psychologial thiller. It also questions right vs. wrong and how a "normal" person can stumble (or be driven) from good to evil and the psychlogical effects of that on the person. One can see why Hitchcock chose "Strangers" as the basis for a film. It is sure worth a read.

Highsmith later wrote The Talented Mr. Ripley and four others in the Ripley series. Highsmith had honed her talents somewhat by that time. I think "Ripley" would have made an even better movie! "Ripley" has been filmed several times but not by Hitchcock.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:30 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:40 am
https://www.amazon.com/Fate-Rome-Climat ... man+empire

The Fate of Rome: Climate, Disease, and the End of an Empire (The Princeton History of the Ancient World) by Kyle Harper

This is an amazing book. New archaeological tools, associated with a general massive scientific effort to map past climatic conditions, have given us the ability to sketch, at least in rough, the relationship between the natural environment and the Roman Empire. It's a story that's not been told (in one place), we tend to try to explain Rome, and its demise, on purely human factors (Edward Gibbon) and treat the natural environment as stable, when it was anything but.

The history of Rome cannot be separated from its natural environment. Evidence suggests it was the largest empire in human history up to that time: both in geographic area and population (between 40 and 100 million people depending on date and estimate). They were civil engineers of impressive skill and scale, not really rivaled again (in Europe) until the 18th & 19th centuries. But the expansion of Rome began when the Mediterranean climate was unusually benign, a trend which broke around 150 AD which is when the Roman Empire really reached almost its maximum extent.

The book eruditely discusses what the documentary evidence (scattered, incomplete) shows us about the Roman Empire and its series of great plagues: the Antonine Plague (probably smallpox, about 151 AD); the Cyprian one (c. 250-270 AD i.e. during the "Third Century Crisis" of the Roman Empire) and the Justinian one (541 AD and then for the next 2 1/2 centuries). It shows how it is quite plausible that these are related to climate cycles (although our ability to explain why a sharp cooling of the Mediterranean world around 500s allowed the Black Death to spread through rodents is not complete*) as well.

The Cyprian plague is connected to the rise of Christianity-- an obscure cult with a few thousand or 10s of thousands of adherents, in 250 AD, would become the religion of Europe and much of the Middle East.

And he makes a pretty good case that the end of Late Antiquity, and the genuine fall of the Roman Empire, is connected to Justinian's Plague. Followed by a brutal war between Persia and the Eastern Roman Empire, this led to the main powers in the Middle East, Constantinople and Persia, being totally exhausted, with populations restive from religious oppression and heavy taxation. The way for the Muslim conquest of the 600s (one of the great campaigns in all of history-- the speed which they overran from the Spanish border with France to the gates of India) was open.

To do so he discusses what the religious writings say, secular writings, what other archaeological information says, what we know, what we can infer, what we don't know. Ranges over the economics, geopolitics & administration of the Roman Empire.

This was an awesome book. My understanding of Rome and in particular Late Antiquity (roughly 300 AD to 700 AD, usual right hand bookend is rise of Islam) was vastly enhanced.

* if you ever read Rosen Justinian's Flea, which is a more popular treatment of the same topics (and excellent), then Harper makes a pretty good case the Black Death arrived via the Roman trading network in the Indian Ocean- -rats on ships. From memory, Rosen suggests it came up the Nile Valley.
Just finished this book, The Fate of Rome, bought because of Valuethinker recommendation. And very glad I did, agree with his review, a wonderful history, highly recommend. Thanks Valuethinker.

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steve roy
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by steve roy » Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:23 am

Three quarters of the way through "Pride and Prejudice". Enjoyed the movie with Ms. Keira Knightly and Donald Southerland, liking the book less.

But I will finish the tome because it's good for me.

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

Post by bertilak » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:18 am

steve roy wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:23 am
Three quarters of the way through "Pride and Prejudice". Enjoyed the movie with Ms. Keira Knightly and Donald Southerland, liking the book less.
I gave up on it part way through. For some reason I simply could not make myself care about ANY of the characters so curiosity did not drive me forward.
But I will finish the tome because it's good for me.
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Roy!
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lthenderson
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:24 am

Recently finished "Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future" by Rob Dunn

This definitely was an eye opening book about the problems we already have had and will have in our future by raising large mono-culture crops like coffee, bananas, potatoes, rubber and such. I've had "real" bananas during my trips to the Pacific rim and have always wondered why our bananas here in the U.S. are so blah tasting in comparison. After reading this book, I now know that it wasn't always that way and those tasty bananas were wiped out due to disease and our current bananas came into being only because they were resistant to this disease.

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

Post by Artful Dodger » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:34 am

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:24 am
Recently finished "Never Out of Season: How Having the Food We Want When We Want It Threatens Our Food Supply and Our Future" by Rob Dunn

This definitely was an eye opening book about the problems we already have had and will have in our future by raising large mono-culture crops like coffee, bananas, potatoes, rubber and such. I've had "real" bananas during my trips to the Pacific rim and have always wondered why our bananas here in the U.S. are so blah tasting in comparison. After reading this book, I now know that it wasn't always that way and those tasty bananas were wiped out due to disease and our current bananas came into being only because they were resistant to this disease.
I forget the exact title but I read a book a while back with a similar theme. It talked about the bananas as well, along with many of the fruits and vegetables we eat. Often what we get now are the varieties that can be picked prior to full ripening, that travel well, and look good (not bruised, spotted, etc) on arrival. Actual taste is not a priority concern.

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

Post by Koogie » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:03 pm

You both might enjoy this book.

“The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.”
Adam Leith Gollner
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/book ... ach-t.html


I read it about 10 years ago and remember enjoying it.

They made a lightly related documentary of the same name, featuring Bill Pullman.
Didn't really care for it. The book was far more interesting.

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

Post by ruralavalon » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:16 pm

Implacable Foes, by Waldo Hendricks and Marc Gallachio.

This history focuses on the last year of World War II in the Pacific, the battles in the Philippines, Guam, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, including preparations for the invasion of Japan. The book discuses the extreme difficulty in balancing partial demobilization following the defeat of Germany, redeployment of troops from Europe to the Pacific, the bottlenecks in transportation, the need to increase coal production, the desire to prepare for the switch to a peacetime domestic economy and to aid Europe, and the desire for early discharge or furlough troops with railroad or coal mining experience. This is all in conjunction with continuing debates on the feasibility of an invasion of Japan, expected casualties, intelligence about the heavy Japanese reinforcement of the invasion target of Kyushu, about the meaning of the goal of "unconditional surrender", and about the post war occupation of Japan.

I recommend this book.

I did feel that the detailed descriptions of land battles were impossible to follow, because detailed maps were not provided.
"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 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:07 pm

Koogie wrote:
Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:03 pm
You both might enjoy this book.

“The Fruit Hunters: A Story of Nature, Adventure, Commerce and Obsession.”
Adam Leith Gollner
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/book ... ach-t.html


I read it about 10 years ago and remember enjoying it.

They made a lightly related documentary of the same name, featuring Bill Pullman.
Didn't really care for it. The book was far more interesting.
I love this quote from the NYT article -

Having bred fruits to the pinnacle of sweet, plump perfection, we then proceeded to breed them back into unpalatability. Supermarket-bound fruit has been engineered for looks, durability and a long life span. It’s bred to be hard and picked before it’s ripe, so that it holds up on the trip to the store and the long stay in the produce department. “The result is Stepford Fruits: gorgeous replicants that look perfect, feel like silicon implants and taste like tennis balls, mothballs or mealy, juiceless cotton wads.”

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

Post by Elsebet » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:25 pm

Emily, Alone by Stewart O'Nan. It's set in Pittsburgh, PA which is near my hometown and the local references are making me so homesick. :(

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

Post by lthenderson » Fri Apr 20, 2018 1:27 pm

"The Wilderness of Ruin: A Tale of Madness, Fire, and the Hunt for America's Youngest Serial Killer" by Roseanne Montillo

The book is pretty much about what the title says it was about and took place in Boston. I guess my only "disappointment" was that the serial killer in question only killed two people. I would have thought to be called a serial killer, one would need to kill more than two people. The book dives off the story of the serial killer here and there to tell you things like how Melville's book relate to the insanity defense, history of Boston prisons and other topics.

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

Post by Nicolas » Fri Apr 20, 2018 5:59 pm

Best Russian Short Stories

Excerpt From: Mikhail Petrovich Artzybashev, Mikhail Evgrafovich Saltykov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Alexander Pushkin, Vsevolod Mikhailovich Garshin, Ignatii Nicholaevich Potapenko, Антон Павлович Чехов, Aleksandr Ivanovich Kuprin, Leonid Nikolayevich Andreyev, Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev, Fyodor [pseud.] Sologub, Thomas Seltzer, Leo Tolstoy, Sergei Terentyevich Semenov, Vladimir Galaktionovich Korolenko, Nikolai Gogol & Maksim Gorky.

Just started this book and am reading Pushkin, it's promising so far. I need to read more Russian authors. I'm especially looking forward to Turgenev. Knausgaard had such nice things to say about him.

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

Post by FreeAtLast » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:05 pm

"Greeks Bearing Gifts" by Philip Kerr (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2018)

If I counted correctly, this book is the 13th Bernie Gunther novel. As such, the reader can expect at least the following:

1) Bernie is forced against his will to dance to somebody else's tune, either by threat of imminent death, imprisonment, or blackmail.
2) A number of foul Nazis are running around loose after the War, creating intricate conspiracies and causing fatal mayhem.
3) A gorgeous young woman (well, significantly younger than Bernie) falls head over heels for our hero for no discernible reason.
4) But here's a surprising little spoiler: for once, Bernie is not severely beaten to a pulp and does get to pummel someone else into bloody unconsciousness during a nasty altercation.

It's around 1957. Bernie has obtained an actually respectable, well-paying job and has been sent off to Greece on an investigation of potential fraud for an insurance company. This normality cannot last and, in the pursuit of his inquiries, he happens on a warm corpse that had been pitilessly shot in the face. Of course, he becomes the prime suspect for the murder and off he goes, under extreme duress to clear himself (or else).Other than that, all I will tell you is that two incidents occur during this tale which give a strong foreshadowing of where Bernie's life is heading for in his next novel.
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BrooklynInvest
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by BrooklynInvest » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:20 pm

"The Force" by Don Winslow. Such style and grit. Everything he does is great for different reasons. "The Cartel" and "Walking the Dog" I especially loved but his earlier, and somewhat less grand books I liked for different reasons.

On other end of spectrum I'm really enjoying the Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series by Laurie King. A road well travelled but for fans of the canon, the stories with a later-in-life Holmes (sans Watson) and his new protege are very worthwhile.

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

Post by Blues » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:28 pm

BrooklynInvest wrote:
Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:20 pm
"The Force" by Don Winslow. Such style and grit. Everything he does is great for different reasons. "The Cartel" and "Walking the Dog" I especially loved but his earlier, and somewhat less grand books I liked for different reasons.

On other end of spectrum I'm really enjoying the Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell series by Laurie King. A road well travelled but for fans of the canon, the stories with a later-in-life Holmes (sans Watson) and his new protege are very worthwhile.
I think you mean "The Power of the Dog".

(You must've been a yo-yo enthusiast or a fan of Rufus Thomas. 8-) )
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ruralavalon
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:50 pm

Cave of Bones, by Anne Hillerman.

A troubled Navajo teenager and a staff member from a program for difficult youth both go missing in a very rough wilderness area. The teen soon turns up, but the staff member does not, and a search is launched with a blizzard closing in. It's all complicated by issues of financial fraud in the program, hallucinogenics, and illegal trafficking in antiquities from burial caves.
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PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:54 pm

Paul Johnson’s History of Christianity, a fascinating one-volume history. Even though it is a long book, It is impossible for a single-volume history to to address every important topic. Still, Johnson writes and argues well and crafts a fascinating narrative.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/894 ... ristianity



My favorite book in this area is a philosophical masterpiece that I should re-read: Charles Taylor’s A Secular Age.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/824 ... ecular_Age
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Mon Apr 23, 2018 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:34 pm

I just finished a blast from the past: "John Blaine" (Hal Goodwin)'s The Rocket's Shadow, the first in the juvenile series of "Rick Brant Electronic Adventures."

When I was reading them at about age 9 or 10, I felt faintly dissatisfied by the science and engineering details, but couldn't quite put my finger on the problem.

But now... oh... my... goodness. I don't know what Hal Goodwin's background was really like but: a small team of scientists are competing for a prize, and hope to win by sending a small unmanned rocket to the moon. The event is about to take place, and a scientist is talking to reporters. He is explaining that they are going to start the rocket off at less than escape velocity.
“Since the fuel and the jet engine are controllable by radar, we will start the rocket off at a moderate speed.”

A reporter spoke up. “What do you consider a moderate speed, Dr. Wisecarver?” The doctor’s eyes twinkled. “Oh, perhaps two miles a second.”

Another reporter had been figuring rapidly on his pad. “Then the rocket will reach the moon in about thirty-five seconds, Doctor?”

“That would be true,” Dr. Wisecarver replied, “if we maintained the speed needed to tear it away from the earth’s gravity. But you must remember that, large as the moon is, it is a small target when we consider the distance. Therefore we slow the rocket down in order that we may control it better. Hartson Brant has calculated his firing table so that the rocket will take almost a minute and a half to reach the moon.”
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by drhcc » Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:39 pm

Exact Thinking in Demented Times: The Vienna Circle and the Epic Quest for the Foundations of Science by Karl Sigmund

I tend to only read nonfiction books, and a large majority of them are history books. This one’s a history of science book!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mrsbetsy » Mon Apr 23, 2018 7:10 pm

As a prologue to a planned trip to Prague, I read Helga's Diary: A Young Girl's Account of Life in a Concentration Camp. We took the time to visit the Terezin Concentration camp. Her diary painted a picture that was easily felt when we toured. We felt we were standing where she was standing and could envision all of it. Highly recommend.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:58 am

Jar City, by Arnaldur Indridason.

A mystery set in Iceland, involves a murder, a 40 year old rape case, and genetics. I recommend this book.
"Everything should be as simple as it is, but not simpler." - Albert Einstein | Wiki article link:Getting Started

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

Post by Blues » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:10 am

ruralavalon wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:58 am
Jar City, by Arnaldur Indridason.

A mystery set in Iceland, involves a murder, a 40 year old rape case, and genetics. I recommend this book.
Read the first few of that series. They were pretty good. Started to get a little repetitive after three or four as I recall.
“Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” - Sun Tzu | "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." - Mike Tyson

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by champion_ham » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 pm

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Finished with about 1/3rd of the book, and it's fascinating!

Amazon description: James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:47 pm

I have finished reading "A Concise History of Portugal, 2nd Edition" (by David Birmingham). Now reading "A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino Portugues, Lisbon - Porto - Santiago" (by John Brierley), covering Camino Central, Camino da Costa, Variante Espiritual, & Senda Litoral. Great guide with a lot of good information and plenty of options, planning to use it for my walk from Lisbon to Santiago via Fatima (as a companion I have the "Wise Pilgrim's App for Camino Portugues" in my cell phone). Good luck, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
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cfs
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cfs » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:43 pm

Received my copy of "Reducing the Risk of Black Swans" 2018 Edition (by Larry Swedroe and Kevin Grogan). Purchased from Amazon and it took forever to arrive, I don't have Prime, so, I guess it came via The Pony Express (actually, it was out of stock for a couple of weeks). Good luck, y gracias por leer ~cfs~
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Nicolas
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas » Sat Apr 28, 2018 1:49 pm

champion_ham wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 pm
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Finished with about 1/3rd of the book, and it's fascinating!

Amazon description: James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.
What those doctors did to Garfield was criminal, or incompetent. Also the assassin was raving mad but they hanged him anyway.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:48 pm

The Value of Debt in Retirement, by Thomas J. Anderson. I found this to be very interesting, although, due to my circumstances and current market conditions I will not be implementing the various strategies in the book.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:48 pm

Oxford by Jan Morris, a book about the English town where I lived for two years in the late 1980s while earning a graduate degree.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/100057.Oxford

Andy.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MJW » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:38 am

champion_ham wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:18 pm
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President

Finished with about 1/3rd of the book, and it's fascinating!

Amazon description: James A. Garfield was one of the most extraordinary men ever elected president. Born into abject poverty, he rose to become a wunderkind scholar, a Civil War hero, and a renowned and admired reformist congressman. Nominated for president against his will, he engaged in a fierce battle with the corrupt political establishment. But four months after his inauguration, a deranged office seeker tracked Garfield down and shot him in the back.

But the shot didn’t kill Garfield. The drama of what hap­pened subsequently is a powerful story of a nation in tur­moil. The unhinged assassin’s half-delivered strike shattered the fragile national mood of a country so recently fractured by civil war, and left the wounded president as the object of a bitter behind-the-scenes struggle for power—over his administration, over the nation’s future, and, hauntingly, over his medical care. A team of physicians administered shockingly archaic treatments, to disastrous effect. As his con­dition worsened, Garfield received help: Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, worked around the clock to invent a new device capable of finding the bullet.
This looks worth checking out. Thank you for mentioning it!

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Sockpuppet » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:59 am

The Vanishing American Adult by Ben Sasse.

Sasse describes an incident where a number of honor students at the college where he was president were tasked with decorating a 20-foot Christmas tree. When they finished it turned out they had had only decorated the first 8-feet of the tree and left the top half of the tree barren. When asked why they didn't decorate the top half of the tree the students responded "we weren't provided with a ladder."

Sasse uses this story to demonstrate a problem he sees plaguing America: the ill preparement of young people to be active and independent adults.

Note: Sasse is now a U.S. Senator but this book is devoid of partisan politics.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger » Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:01 pm

I was in Chicago last weekend, and stopped into the local Barnes and Noble. Spent some time perusing some travel books on Crete, as my wife wishes to visit there soon. I also picked up James Comey's A Higher loyalty, which I found well written and interesting, and ended up buying. I read the better part on the train ride home, and have about 30 pages left to finish.

While working in the yard this weekend, I began to listen to the second book of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson, Means of Assent, which covers his career from early WW2 to his campaign for the Senate in 1948. As many others have noted, this series is one of the best biographies written of an american president.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by reggiesimpson » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:02 pm

Pacific Crucible by Ian Toll. Part one of a trilogy depicting the Pacific war in WW11. I actually read part two The Conquering Tide first as the reviews were so good. That was a mistake. They obviously are meant to be read in sequence. Toll is a seasoned writer and knows how to keep ones attention. Two of the finest books on that theater of WW11 I have ever read. Not only gripping but revealing as far as the roll of cryptanalysis and luck play out in helping turn the tide. I highly recommend them and the forthcoming part three to be released this fall.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:42 pm

Coffin Road, by Peter May.

A half-drowned man regains consciousness on a beach on the island of Harris in the Outer Hebrides following a storm, with no memory of his past or even his name. He then struggles to learn who he is, and whether he is connected with a murder at an unmanned lighthouse.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:47 pm

Artful Dodger wrote:
Sun Apr 29, 2018 3:01 pm
While working in the yard this weekend, I began to listen to the second book of Robert Caro's biography of Lyndon Johnson, Means of Assent, which covers his career from early WW2 to his campaign for the Senate in 1948. As many others have noted, this series is one of the best biographies written of an american president.
Caro’s boographies of Johnson are superb — perhaps the best biographies I’ve read. I’ve not yet read his biography of Robert Moses, but I want to read it.

Andy.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by latesaver » Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:57 am

Stumbling into Happiness.

Dan Gilbert

Very interesting topics re: memory, reality, projecting into the future. I envy his writing style, very well done.

A great compliment to the behavioral economics books by Thaler, Ariely, Kahneman, etc.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rokidtoo » Mon Apr 30, 2018 11:45 am

"The [(removed) --admin LadyGeek] Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives" by Jesse Eisinger. An interesting and entertaining book. A lot of the people highlighted in the book, e.g. Robert Mueller, Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani, and James Comey, are in today's news.

The book's big revelation for me is that, unlike street crime "where ignorance of law excuses no one", white collar crimes require prosecutors to show intent on the part of the perpetrators. In other words, there's a dual standard.

Finally, "The [(removed)] Club" was established by James Comey in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. On his first day as head of the office, Comey asked all the assembled prosecutors to raise their hand, if they had never lost a case. Ambitious hands shot up. Comey then announced that the hand raisers were members of the "[(removed)] Club". If they had never lost a case, obviously, they weren't taking on enough risk.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by lthenderson » Tue May 01, 2018 11:07 am

Truck: A Love Story by Michael Perry

An excellent book that chronicles a year in the author's life as he works to fix up a 1953 International Harvester truck, raised a vegetable garden and met and married his wife. I'm addicted to Michael Perry's writing style which is in essay form and those essays are put together in book form to tell an overall story. I recently read his earlier book Population 485 and will soon move onto his next book Coop which continues on where Truck leaves off.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Wed May 02, 2018 1:04 am

“Cat’s Eye”, by Margaret Atwood.

An artist tells the story of her childhood and teen years in a series of flashbacks, as she’s back in her hometown for the first time in many years, preparing for an art show. Ultimately, the main character is exploring how her art became what it became.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold » Wed May 02, 2018 1:10 am

“Old Path White Clouds,” by Thich Nhat Hanh.

The story of the Buddha’s life. When I reserved this at the library, I was expecting it to be the typical Thich Nhat Hanh 150 pager. It’s 700 pages. A well researched history of the Buddha’s life, told in Thich Nhat Hanh‘s lovely and simple storytelling style. It’s hypnotic.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon » Thu May 03, 2018 7:54 pm

The Long Surrender, by Burke Davis.

This is a history of the April 1865 flight of high officials the Confederate government following the fall of Richmond, the capture of Jefferson Davis in Georgia, the success of others in reaching Florida and sailing to Cuba or the Bahamas, and continues on until about 1877. I was disappointed that the book was predominantly about the flight of Jefferson Davis, his capture, his imprisonment and his life thereafter, and contained very little discussion about Reconstruction.

The interesting parts of the book dealt with the other Confederate officials, their fight from Richmond, and what became of them afterwards.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius » Thu May 03, 2018 8:31 pm

The Midnight Line, by Lee Child, the latest Jack Reacher thriller and a good one. (I felt that Night School was not up to snuff).

The Whispering Box Mystery, by "John Blaine" (Hal Goodwin), one of the juvenile "Rick Brant Electronic Adventures" and one of my favorites when I was a kid. Given the recent mysterious sound attacks on the US embassy in Cuba, I have to feel the basic premise was sounder (pun intentional) than I thought.

The "whispering box" is a portable ultrasonic weapon about the size of a Speed Graphic camera, which apparently is basically nothing more than an ultrasonic dog whistle powered by CO2 cartridges. In the novel, the ultrasonics (somehow) render a person paralyzed for half an hour or so, with no other harm done. It contains the wonderful line,
[Rick] had the sudden feeling that he and Scotty had been projected into the middle of a novel, a thriller about spies.
As I've gotten older, I've become more and more aware of the often-clumsy devices thriller writers use to paper over plot holes. In this case, Rick and Scotty are pursued on a very long chase through the streets and back ways of Washington, D.C. and are rescued when Scotty yells "Sergeant of the Guard! Help!" and are rescued by a squad of marines vaulting over a nearby wall. Afterwards, their mentor says:
"I guess you know how lucky you are. Many people right here in Washington don't know there's a Marine barracks behind that wall."
"I didn't remember myself until it was almost too late."
The good-guy scientists build a defense against the Whispering Box: an electronic device that senses the frequency the box is tuned to and emits a counter-sound at a slightly different frequency, creating a heterodyne which (in the book) basically converts the ultrasonic sound into a harmless but very loud audible sound. I'm pretty sure it couldn't work that way.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible » Fri May 04, 2018 8:13 pm

Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson. Highly recommended, especially if you value what must be close to the ultimate in curiosity, observation, imagination, intuition, creativity, and innovation in one astonishing mind. Also good detail on two of his greatest paintings, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa (although I still think the famous smile is not just on her lips (if it's really there at all?), but in her eyes and, thus, maybe the entire facial expression?). Also, a solid piece of reporting (Isaacson is also a journalist) on the enduring mystery of who drew the La Bella Principessa and the difference this meant between the $20,000 once paid for it and the $150 million it was estimated to be worth if it was by Leonardo.

This is the fourth Isaacson bio i’ve read, the others being on Einstein, Steve Jobs, and Benjamin Franklin. A most important similarity he brings out among all of these geniuses is in how their minds intersected the humanities and the sciences, what he called "the formula for true innovation."
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