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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 1:50 pm
by VictoriaF
¨I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago¨ by Hape Kerkeling, a German comedian, ¨a cross between Bill Bryson and Paulo Coelho.¨ I´ve just bought it and will be reading it during breaks in other activities.

Victoria

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun May 31, 2015 4:38 pm
by Valuethinker
black jack wrote:
bertilak wrote:
market timer wrote:Enjoying Morgenthal & Co. by Barrie Wigmore. It's about a fictional investment bank between the years 1972 and 2010, written by a retired Goldman Sachs partner.
I read that. I thought it was fascinating. If I didn't have so much other reading to catch up on I would probably go through it again.

Definitely worth a read by anyone who finds the world of high-finance and the types of people involved interesting. Even if you don't this book may put that bee in your bonnet.
I also enjoyed Blumenthal & Co., which I picked up on the basis of a recommendation here last year. It reminded me a little of Mad Men: a glimpse of a foreign (to me) office culture in New York City's past (though the book comes up to the present, or nearly so).
If you want to know what investment banking was like c. 2008, see Margin Call, which is Lehman (or Bear Sterns) on the brink of disaster. An exquisite little film.

Michael Lewis' Liar's Poker catches the end of the 1980s quite well.

These days, the action is really on the buy side, the hedge funds, and I don't know a good novelistic (or eyewitness) account.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 2:19 pm
by a
Rise of the Robots, Martin Ford:

Too much politics and not enough technology.

Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity Is Near

What I was looking for. Dense with new ideas. An amazon reviewer
said that he was wordy which is unfair. Actually, he communicates
a lot of new thoughts in not that many words. I am 10% of the way
through the book.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:47 pm
by MP173
A few comments:

gkaplan - I agree about Dakota...wasnt as good as Montana.
Girl on the Train - no it wasnt "Gone Girl", but it sure was good. I too like this type of book which seems to be showing up and are written by female mystery writers.
I have put Morganthal and Co on my list.

Just finished - "The Bone Tree" by Greg Isles. It is his second in a trilogy of Natchez, Ms based novels dealing with evil men (offshoot of KKK) and crimes committed in the 1960s and today. Very good book... Isles brings the JFK assassination into the plot and it is a major factor in the book. The third book should be very good. THe initial book in the trilogy was "Natchez Burning".

Now reading "The Stranger" by Harlan Corbin.

Ed

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:49 pm
by jebmke
Just finished Dead Wake by Erik Larson.

Starting World Gone By by Dennis Lehane.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Tue Jun 02, 2015 4:51 pm
by jebmke
MP173 wrote:Just finished - "The Bone Tree" by Greg Isles. It is his second in a trilogy of Natchez, Ms based novels dealing with evil men (offshoot of KKK) and crimes committed in the 1960s and today. Very good book... Isles brings the JFK assassination into the plot and it is a major factor in the book. The third book should be very good. THe initial book in the trilogy was "Natchez Burning".
I found the early books by Isles were kind of creepy. Has he changed his style any?

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:38 pm
by TimDex
Sometimes you go through a drought, and then get a deluge. Three books I've read or am reading, which are exceptional, are:

Roads Taken, the great Jewish migrations to the new world and the peddlers who forged the way, by Hasnia R. Diner.....excellent book, many personal anecdotes, a bit much of what I guess is the new way of writing history, with emphasis on interpersonal relations, etc, but very good, even to someone who grew up on r.r. Palmer

The rag race, how Jews sewed their way to success, by Adam Mendelssohn. Also good, more traditional history, covering both u.s. And England.

(My stepfather was a small town lawyer who knew a lot of local guys who grandfathers were peddlers. They had a lot more on the ball than other local businessmen, I thought. Those businesses they ran have all disappeared. Their children became professionals and now the only real retailer In town is Walmart, lord help us.)

And the third is Stalin, volume 1, paradoxes of power by Stephen kotkin. Worth it alone for the first part, with a discussion of russianhistory, tsarist absolutism, and a great corrective to the common understanding of ww one, and its causes. Long....

Enjoy reading. Tim wright

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 3:56 pm
by gouldnm
TimDex wrote:Sometimes you go through a drought, and then get a deluge. Three books I've read or am reading, which are exceptional, are:

Roads Taken, the great Jewish migrations to the new world and the peddlers who forged the way, by Hasnia R. Diner.....excellent book, many personal anecdotes, a bit much of what I guess is the new way of writing history, with emphasis on interpersonal relations, etc, but very good, even to someone who grew up on r.r. Palmer

The rag race, how Jews sewed their way to success, by Adam Mendelssohn. Also good, more traditional history, covering both u.s. And England.

(My stepfather was a small town lawyer who knew a lot of local guys who grandfathers were peddlers. They had a lot more on the ball than other local businessmen, I thought. Those businesses they ran have all disappeared. Their children became professionals and now the only real retailer In town is Walmart, lord help us.)

And the third is Stalin, volume 1, paradoxes of power by Stephen kotkin. Worth it alone for the first part, with a discussion of russianhistory, tsarist absolutism, and a great corrective to the common understanding of ww one, and its causes. Long....

Enjoy reading. Tim wright
Thank you so much for these reviews. You've persuaded me to buy the Stalin book, and maybe I'll get the one about the Jewish peddlers as well. My uncle was the son of a peddler who made his way to Sioux City, Iowa--right on the Dakota border!

Some other books you might enjoy on a similar subject include:
"The Jew Store"--wonderful story about a Jewish family who makes their way to a small town in Tennessee in the early 20'th Century
"The Rest of Us: The Rise of America's East European Jews"--While this book deals with the Russian Jews, the author wrote two other books about the German Jewish immigrants and the Spanish Jewish immigrants. The Spanish Jewish one had a lot of interesting things that I didn't know.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 5:06 pm
by LadyGeek
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5), by Hugh Howey. This is Book 1 of the Silo series. I really like the writing style, the plot builds in an enticing way. I can't put it down.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 6:46 pm
by jginseattle
I just started Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, The FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence, by Bryan Burrough. Looks promising.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:04 pm
by Levett
Richard Thaler, Misbehaving. Bracing.

Lev

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:38 pm
by Fallible
Levett wrote:Richard Thaler, Misbehaving. Bracing.
Lev
Reading and enjoying it now. Just finished a delightful chapter six, "California Dreamin," where he meets his "idols" Kahneman and Tversky for the first time - or, as he refers to them, "the Israeli gods who were about to descend on Stanford." A small sampling of the Thaler humor.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:40 pm
by nisiprius
LadyGeek wrote:Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 - 5), by Hugh Howey. This is Book 1 of the Silo series. I really like the writing style, the plot builds in an enticing way. I can't put it down.
I read the original short story, "Wool..." but I didn't get it. It had a clever plot twist, but I didn't understand the actual purpose of the deceptive digital displays... other than to be an extremely mean prank.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 8:22 pm
by gkaplan
I have been reading Death Gets a Time-Out by Ayelet Waldman.

Between juggling lunchboxes, piano lessons, and baby-sitters, public defender turned stay-at-home mom Juliet Applebaum promises to help her famous friend clear her brother's name of murder. What will she do when she begins to suspect her friend may not be as innocent as she seems, however?

This is the fourth in the author's Mommy-Track mystery series.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Wed Jun 03, 2015 11:33 pm
by a
More on Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near:

This is a great book. I suppose I could find the information
elsewhere but he gives a nice survey (though the book is
from 2005) of interesting facts about the brain. I shouldn't
say too much but one fact he delightfully chose to mention
was that spindle cells, which are a small number of cells
that pretty much only exists in humans and have a lot of
connections to disparate areas of the brain and are thought
to be the basis for emotional processing, do not form in
babies until about 3 or 4 years old. This coincides with
children being finally able to understand morality.

I have always wondered why in movies children are
sacrosanct. As a little kid I thought that other kids could
be pretty mean and didn't understand why nice adults
could be butchered in nasty ways and children always got
off scot free. Well, this does not explain the children but
it explains why no one would ever dare to hurt a baby in
a movie. At some level we humans know that babies are
not fully human and thus they are the only ones who are
truly innocent; even the best adults in having a moral
sense paradoxically are capable of evil.

I am about 25% through the book.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:09 am
by a
Ray Kurzweil, The singularity is near
(40+% through the book)

It is the mark of high quality thinkers that they
tear through the fabric of false notion and bring to
the forefront a new way of seeing things, which is
often phrased very simply.

Kurzweil describes his theory of the six epochs of
humankind's progress in the universe. Assuming he's
the originator, it is a very clear and perceptive
organization of human history.

Warren Buffett has said that the stock market in the
long run is a weighing machine. If you graph the
GDP of the United States (and probably the world)
over time, it is an exponential curve.

A refrain on this site is that just hold on to your
stocks; the stock market always picks back up (after
a recession) and then grows exponentially. Some fear
that we have
sucked out all the potential of Industrial Revolution
and technological advancement, thus the
exponential growth can't be expected to continue.

But why not have faith in humanity and the progress of
technology? (We thank Kurzweil for clarifying this) Perhaps
the
REASON the stock market / GDP grows exponentially is
that humanity is increasing its "base of production"
in two major ways, constantly. And the nice thing about
increasing the foundations of production is that barring
a nuclear war that decimates everything, once infrastructure
(the first major way the base of production is increased)
and technology (the second) are built / accumulated,
they stick and provide their benefits forever.
In other words, humanity has been steadily
accumulating improved roads, waterways, power generation,
methods of transmitting and storing information (books,
schools) knowledge in math and science, and so on.

This explains WHY the growth is exponential.
Technology and production feeds upon itself in
the same way that money growing in a bank account
feeds upon itself to produce exponential growth.
The reason more people do not think about
production that way is that they only focus on the
visible and ignore the invisible. (Money is visible.)

This is again why productivity is
valuable. When we choose or not choose to use our
opportunity, granted to us by the scientists before us,
the designers of the United States government that gives
maximal opportunity to produce, and the people who died
in various wars (and one could argue that all humanity
that has died to pave the way for various improved
structures to appear, which our lives ultimately stacked
up level by level and built on), we are either
disparaging or ignoring the
historical sweat our comfortable lives are built on,
or we are paying tribute to it.

--

The book is getting more repetitive. But the quality
of the ideas, most of which can be gotten from the first
25% of the book (Kindle percentage rating) is still
great.

--

As an example of why the book is worth reading, I just
realized that an analogy he makes involving bacteria, combined
with his views on the meaning of information, gives a new
way of looking at the "superorganism" view of human
history. Indeed, he has many novel
thoughts in his head so reading all of them will spur your
thinking in magnitude and directions.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:20 am
by market timer
Nonfiction: On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
Fiction: Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 3:32 pm
by Bungo
James Mann, The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War. This book focuses on Reagan's second term foreign policy toward Gorbachev. The author highlights several incidents where Reagan "rebelled" against the cold-war establishment wing of his party: on the one hand, many of his advisors (and West German allies) were against antagonizing the USSR with the "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" speech; on the other hand, the more hawkish Republicans were aghast at Reagan and Gorbachev's proposals to eliminate certain classes of nuclear missiles from Europe.

The author suggests that the cold war may have dragged out longer if Reagan had taken a harder line with the USSR rather than recognizing the opportunity presented by Gorbachev's desire to slow the arms race spending, even if it meant making concessions to America.

It's a decent book, but fairly repetitive. The author is a journalist, not a historian, and the book feels like several long newspaper articles padded to book length.

Next up is Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:05 pm
by ruralavalon
Sagas of the Icelanders, Penguin classics edition. Icelanders and Norwegians today are probably very nice, but their ancestors seem to have committed about one murder or maiming per page. Interesting reading.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:29 pm
by Non7WoodUser
11/22/63

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:43 pm
by dms1709
Dead Wake-a good read

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:53 pm
by gkaplan
I have been reading A Scourge of Vipers by Bruce DeSilva.

To solve Rhode Island's budget crisis, the state's governor wants to legalize sports gambling, but her plan has unexpected consequences.
Organized crime, professional sports leagues, and others who have a lot to lose – or gain – if gambling is made legal flood the state with money to buy the votes of state legislators. Liam Mulligan, investigative reporter for The Providence Dispatch, wants to investigate, but his corporate bosses at the dying newspaper have no interest in serious reporting, so Mulligan digs into the story on his own time. When a powerful state legislator turns up dead, an out-of-state bag man gets shot, and his cash-stuffed briefcase goes missing, Mulligan finds himself the target of shadowy forces who seek to derail his investigation and worse.

A Scourge of Vipers is the fourth in the author's Liam Mulligan series. I think this is his best one. Of course, I said that about the last one, I think – and the one before that, probably.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:48 am
by a
Final Jeopardy, Stephen Baker

I'm over half through the book.

The book contains good uses of English. He describes Watson's
method of searching for the answer as "spectacular and flamboyant
inefficiency." (Watson starts 1000 or so processes each of which
analyzes the clue with a different heuristic: for example, one may
try to look up word associations in a somewhat search engine style,
while another seizing upon the fact that a country's name is in the
clue consults a list of countries and related facts. Then it picks
the answer from the process that is most confident about its
answer.)

Yet I don't feel I've learned that much. I know it's a popular book,
but the Kurzweil book is a popular book and I learned a lot. You
don't need equations for a book to contain useful ideas. It's not
that I don't enjoy the book or there is wasted space. He includes
a small portion on Watson's humorous answers which got me laughing
out loud.

A good reporter should provide his own take on what he is reporting.
I find it helpful to state positions that I am only partially sure of,
as the debate it engenders pokes holes and seals many logical (or
illogical) links all at once, rapidly. Also, facts by themselves in
history are useless; they only gain power when they are used as
an argument to prove some theory.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:53 pm
by Retired1809
Over the last three weeks, I've read three books, all by Kent Haruf after reading a review of his last book. I read the first two while waiting for the publication of his latest book. I enjoyed each of the three books and am looking forward to reading more of his early works:

"Plainsong." To me, this was a book about givers and takers. Great character development.

"Eventide." Same comment as above for "Plainsong." I was fortunate to have luckily read Plainsong first, not realizing that Eventide layers upon Plainsong.

And last, "Our Souls at Night." A sweet story about two 70 year-old residents who got together after their respective spouses died. If you like Garrison Keilor tales, I think you'll like this. It's only around half the length of either of the first two books listed above, perhaps, because the author wrote this during the final year of his life.

All three books take place around a small town in Colorado or on a cattle ranch 17 miles south of town.

The last time I got this excited about an author was when I read three books by Tom Wolfe (not Thomas Wolfe).

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:46 pm
by jdb
ruralavalon wrote:Sagas of the Icelanders, Penguin classics edition. Icelanders and Norwegians today are probably very nice, but their ancestors seem to have committed about one murder or maiming per page. Interesting reading.
That brought back memories. Bought book in Reykjavik during memorable week vacation in Iceland last summer, rented 4WD vehicle and spent most of time in North Iceland, including 200 km drive on the gravel road of Kjolur Route in driving rain and getting flat tire and stopping for occasional sheep crossing road. Highly recommend the trip, but the Sagas (farmers fighting farmers) really best if go to Iceland to purchase. Then it is worth a read.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:14 am
by jebmke
The Poacher's Son, Paul Doiron. Fast read, airplane book; can complete in a 3 hour flight. Muddled ending.

Now on to Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, by Margaret MacMillan.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:41 am
by TerryDMillerMBA
I am currently listening to "Poison Pill" by Glenn Kaplan.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:23 am
by Valuethinker
a wrote: --

As an example of why the book is worth reading, I just
realized that an analogy he makes involving bacteria, combined
with his views on the meaning of information, gives a new
way of looking at the "superorganism" view of human
history. Indeed,
he has many novel
thoughts in his head so reading all of them will spur your
thinking in magnitude and directions.

And therein lies the rub.

If you plot populations of bacteria in, say, a glass of water, they grow exponentially.

And then they collapse. Catastrophically collapse as they exceed their food supply and begin to choke on their own waste effluent. Peak population to zero in a fraction of the time it took to grow to that number.

Exponential growth in technology, infrastructure, GDP can imply exponential growth in effluent, and resource exhaustion. At which point, total collapse, and possibly extinction.

Now there's an argument about whether resources ever get truly scarce (substitutes and alternative sources are always found). Looking at the amount of solar radiation hitting the surface of planet Earth, let alone what could be captured in orbit, we are a long way from using all the energy available to us. Similarly having shown exponential growth since the early 1600s, roughly, world population growth is flattening out at a fantastic rate (the rate keeps dropping although is still positive). So we are not likely to get to the "Make Room, Make Room" (Soylent Green)--Harry Harrison or the "Stand on Zanzibar" (John Brunner) scenario.

Although space travel makes a nice escape hatch for nearly 10 billion of us alive now on in the next few decades, this planet is all we will ever have to live on. Unless we can find some significant holes in the laws of physics as we currently understand them.

But effluent? And the associated destruction of vital habitats? Well 'the 6th great extinction' is well and truly started. At some point we will extinct a piece of the food chain that will have significant blowback on us*. Nature has a way of breeding its own antibodies-- for example a zoovirus which might wipe out a significant fraction of the human race. It's almost certain such a virus or bacterium will emerge (probably from chickens or some similar allied species) what's not clear is how fast we will be able to react. The Black Death took half the population of some medieval countries.

Techno-optimism has a distinguished history. But history itself teaches you that no civilization has gone on growing forever. And nature says no single species can stay dominant forever.


* New Scientist suggested the domestic chicken. Basically the same species, 10s of billions of them in the world, every poor family probably has a couple of chickens. Kill all those in some plague? Not just chicken mcnuggets, but eggs.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:39 am
by a
Perhaps Kurzweil has truly brainwashed me, but I'm not
worried about climate change, extinction of crucial species,
or new viruses.

It's the same argument why no one is very concerned about
an asteroid hitting the earth. We know that it would be
catastrophic, but we also know that we can expect it not
to happen for tens of thousands of years realistically,
and we know that technology will have progressed by then
where the problem is easily solved.

Although climate change and viruses / plagues will be
a problem in 50 years, thanks to the wonder of exponential
growth technology will have progressed to such heights
by then that not only will those problems will have been
deemed easy ones and solved, but the real issues of that
age are difficult to guess at.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:22 pm
by pezblanco
The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George Higgins .... a classic crime novel that for some reason I never read. I thought it was excellent. The mean streets of Boston.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 2:35 pm
by heartwood
Seveneves: A Novel by Neal Stephenson. A sci-fi story about the breakup of the moon and the next 5000 years. I've only gotten to day 7 so far, but generally enjoying it.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 3:31 pm
by Van
BOYS IN THE BOAT

I just finished it. Very, very good read in my opinion.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:15 pm
by bertilak
pezblanco wrote:The Friends Of Eddie Coyle by George Higgins .... a classic crime novel that for some reason I never read. I thought it was excellent. The mean streets of Boston.
:thumbsup

Great book. Told almost entirely in dialog. "Life is hard. It's even harder if you're stupid."

P.S. there is a movie staring Robert Mitchum that is very well done and very true to the book. The whole cast is like they were lifted from the real mean streets of Boston. Besides Mitchum there ae some others you will recognize:
  • Peter Boyle (The monster in Young Frankenstein -- Puttin on the Ritz)
  • Joe Santos of Rockford Files fame.
  • James Tolkan with several roles in the old Nero Wolfe series (with Timothy Hutton). Also the High School principal in Back to the Future.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 4:44 pm
by JupiterJones
Just finished "The Martian". I thought it was great, but then again, I'm squarely in the target demographic for that type of book.

This comic tells you all you need to know about whether or not you'll like it too: http://xkcd.com/1536/

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:27 pm
by jdb
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/ ... the-summer
Interesting article in Fortune and Bloomberg about summer reading lists of, as Fortune gushed, "Wall Street's top minds" (is that an oxymoron? Or just faint praise). But now have new appreciation of Bill Gross. Thought that I was only person crazy enough to read all 1450 pages of War and Peace at least 3 times. Also liked reading lists of Lloyd Blankfein and Jim Chanos. Who says you can't judge someone by the books they read?

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 2:07 pm
by cfs
Received today:

A Concise History of Spain (by William D. Phillips, Jr. and Carla Rahn Phillips)

Oh by the way, I was surprised to see the US Post Office delivering my package on a Sunday (happy FLAG day).

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:04 pm
by black jack
With the Tour de France only weeks away, taking a break from WWII to read The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. Hamilton was one of the world's top cyclists, a teammate of Lance Armstrong for his first two Tour victories, and a Tour contender himself on a different team - before being disqualified, twice, for doping. Coyle is a journalist who's written books about Lance Armstrong.

It's an intriguing look inside the world of elite cycling, including how some people dealt with the issue of doping. Hamilton says that at the time Lance (and by implication himself) didn't consider doping as cheating because they assumed everyone else was doing it - and those that weren't (since it's clear that not *everyone* else was doing it - by Hamilton's account some of the people on their own team weren't) weren't willing to do what it took to win. Hamilton comes across as open and reflective, neither bitter towards others nor (very) self-defensive about his own choices.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:50 pm
by Fallible
black jack wrote:With the Tour de France only weeks away, taking a break from WWII to read The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. Hamilton was one of the world's top cyclists, a teammate of Lance Armstrong for his first two Tour victories, and a Tour contender himself on a different team - before being disqualified, twice, for doping. Coyle is a journalist who's written books about Lance Armstrong.

It's an intriguing look inside the world of elite cycling, including how some people dealt with the issue of doping. Hamilton says that at the time Lance (and by implication himself) didn't consider doping as cheating because they assumed everyone else was doing it - and those that weren't (since it's clear that not *everyone* else was doing it - by Hamilton's account some of the people on their own team weren't) weren't willing to do what it took to win. Hamilton comes across as open and reflective, neither bitter towards others nor (very) self-defensive about his own choices.
As the Armstrong scandal became known, I read that phrase many times about him - "willing (or not) to do what it took to win." Except that "winners" like Armstrong weren't winning, just cheating. Cheaters are just cheaters, never winners.

I bike for pleasure (extreme pleasure :) ), but used to enjoy watching some of the Tour de France, mainly because Greg LeMond, a local guy and Tour winner, was riding. I haven't read the book you mention, but LeMond is surely in it.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:41 pm
by black jack
Fallible wrote:
black jack wrote:With the Tour de France only weeks away, taking a break from WWII to read The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France by Tyler Hamilton and Daniel Coyle. Hamilton was one of the world's top cyclists, a teammate of Lance Armstrong for his first two Tour victories, and a Tour contender himself on a different team - before being disqualified, twice, for doping. Coyle is a journalist who's written books about Lance Armstrong.

It's an intriguing look inside the world of elite cycling, including how some people dealt with the issue of doping. Hamilton says that at the time Lance (and by implication himself) didn't consider doping as cheating because they assumed everyone else was doing it - and those that weren't (since it's clear that not *everyone* else was doing it - by Hamilton's account some of the people on their own team weren't) weren't willing to do what it took to win. Hamilton comes across as open and reflective, neither bitter towards others nor (very) self-defensive about his own choices.
As the Armstrong scandal became known, I read that phrase many times about him - "willing (or not) to do what it took to win." Except that "winners" like Armstrong weren't winning, just cheating. Cheaters are just cheaters, never winners.

I bike for pleasure (extreme pleasure :) ), but used to enjoy watching some of the Tour de France, mainly because Greg LeMond, a local guy and Tour winner, was riding. I haven't read the book you mention, but LeMond is surely in it.
I haven't finished the book, but I'm not sure LeMond is in it, since it's focused on the period of Hamilton's career, roughly 1997-2008. LeMond is a hero of mine; he was winning the Tour (repeatedly) around the time I took up cycling, and with better luck (not having to rein it in to work for Hinault in Hinault's final Tour victory, not getting shot by a relative while hunting) he could have won the Tour five times.

Armstrong seems to be a extreme jerk, as well as a great cyclist and a great executive (possibly in the sociopathic group of executives). He came into a sport where doping was going on, and he went along, as did many others, rationalizing their choices by saying they needed to do it because others were doing it. It seems clear that in any arena where there are incentives for performance and the opportunity to get an advantage by breaking the rules, some people will do so - in some circumstances, the cheating becomes so widespread that it becomes an unspoken part of the system (as in the case of the Air force nuclear launch personnel who were cheating on their exams, and the bank traders who were manipulating exchange rates). This human tendency must be magnified among competitors in sporting events where there can be only one winner. I hope that sports bodies are able to develop tests that can detect all unauthorized performance aids; in the meantime, I'll watch the Tour - and wonder about what is going on behind the scenes.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:47 pm
by gkaplan
I have been reading Shakespeare's Hamlet.

This is the Folger Shakespeare Library edition. The prefatory information is very useful, giving hints on the language of Shakespeare, briefly summarizing his life, providing background to the Hamlet story, and describing theater life in Shakespeare's time.

I often got bogged down with the frequent soliloquies, most notably those of Hamlet. Shakespeare scholars point to Polonius for his long-winded orations and for his pontificating ways, but Hamlet seemed just as long-winded. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's tragedies, but it does read like history at times.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 5:23 am
by 4nursebee
I've recently finished the new book on Elon Musk, a good read to me but I am a bit of a fan boy
Some of the luster came off his glow
And some new luster was added

I also picked up a used copy of Charles LaLoggia's The Superstock Investor. His comments against index investing were simple, mainly I think he wanted more of a return and worked for it. Like the Foolish Dogs of the Dow or the Greenblatt value investing books, it provides what seems to be a workable plan on how to consider companies and stock valuations, especially turn around industry consolidation type plays. I'll keep the book to re read again but likely not implement the strategies, though I believe them workable. I just dont think I can work them.

Currently reading the first volume of the Harvard Classics. Ben Franklin and John Woolman were neat fellas

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:44 am
by rakornacki1
Stocks For The Long Run by Jeremy Siegel (5th ed.).

A truly comprehensive, objective argument for why equities will always boost one's investment portfolio. I found his supporting evidence (graphs, tables, etc.) to be very convincing.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:17 pm
by Fallible
gkaplan wrote:I have been reading Shakespeare's Hamlet.

This is the Folger Shakespeare Library edition. The prefatory information is very useful, giving hints on the language of Shakespeare, briefly summarizing his life, providing background to the Hamlet story, and describing theater life in Shakespeare's time.

I often got bogged down with the frequent soliloquies, most notably those of Hamlet. Shakespeare scholars point to Polonius for his long-winded orations and for his pontificating ways, but Hamlet seemed just as long-winded. Hamlet is one of Shakespeare's tragedies, but it does read like history at times.
I've read Hamlet many times over my many years and am sure I will again because there's always more to understand about Hamlet the man, who is really separate from the play and the ultimate human.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:13 pm
by FabLab
Just don't read many detective stories. But, one day at the library I saw Michael Connelly's The Burning Room on the fast-loan shelf. Grabbed it, gave it a try, and enjoyed. Then for my birthday, my better half surprised me with a hardback edition of Connelly's The Black Echo. I think that may have been his first Bosch, and I couldn't put it down.

The precursor to this was that we had watched the first season of Bosch as an Amazon original series. It seems like the start of a terrific TV detective series! So, that leaves me looking for which Bosch book to follow up from The Black Echo ...

Suggestions?

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:17 pm
by jebmke
FabLab wrote:Suggestions?
The Poet books are among my favorite. I think there are two, the first of which is "The Poet".

The Lincoln Lawyer series is good as well. Those are not Bosch.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:39 pm
by snowshoes
"National Security and Double Government"/ Mike Glennon

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:10 pm
by LadyGeek
Shift, by Hugh Howey. This is book #2 of the Silo series. I like it nearly as much as the first one.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 6:12 pm
by Ostentatious
Just finished:
The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton G. Malkiel.

It looks like it an abridged version of the bigger and highly recommended Random Walk Down Wall Street.

Completed the following week about a week ago:
THE 4-HOUR WORK WEEK : ESCAPE 9-5, LIVE ANYWHERE, AND JOIN THE NEW RICH
Ferriss, Timothy

Interesting read but not for me and not for most people, I believe

I completed reading the following book about two weeks ago:

The Wall Street Journal Guide to the New Rules of Personal Finance: Essential Strategies for Saving, Investing, and Building a Portfolio in a World Turned Upside Down
Dave Kansas -

Very simple, and interesting read but many on this forum may find it too basic.

I completed the following book in May:
THE ONE THING : THE SURPRISINGLY SIMPLE TRUTH BEHIND EXTRAORDINARY
RESULTS
Keller, Gary
Very interesting book and quite beneficial.


I completed the following book in April:
Dead aid : why aid is not working and how there is a better way for
Africa / Dambisa Moyo.
Moyo, Dambisa.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Mon Jun 15, 2015 8:38 pm
by gkaplan
FabLab wrote:Just don't read many detective stories. But, one day at the library I saw Michael Connelly's The Burning Room on the fast-loan shelf. Grabbed it, gave it a try, and enjoyed. Then for my birthday, my better half surprised me with a hardback edition of Connelly's The Black Echo. I think that may have been his first Bosch, and I couldn't put it down.

The precursor to this was that we had watched the first season of Bosch as an Amazon original series. It seems like the start of a terrific TV detective series! So, that leaves me looking for which Bosch book to follow up from The Black Echo ...

Suggestions?
I've read all his books, both his Bosch series and his Lincoln Lawyer series. I highly recommend you read the books in the order in which they were written.

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Posted: Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:44 pm
by gkaplan
I have read and finished two books this week.

The first was Killer Dolphin, another interesting, enjoyable, and fun Ngaio March mystery. The once-dilapidated Dolphin Theatre, now restored to its former glory, is open again – and all of London is buzzing about its new play, The Glove, inspired by the discovery of a genuine Shakespearean glove. All goes well until a murder shatters the dignified atmosphere. Superintendent Alleyn and Inspector Fox are called in to investigate. As in many of her novels, Killer Dolphin has a theater theme to it, not surprising given her background in theater. In some ways, the novel even reads like a play.

Just this morning, I finished Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors. Egeon, an old merchant from Syracuse, and his wife Aemilia had twin sons, both named Antipholus and provided with twin slaves, both named Dromio. Because of a shipwreck, the members are separated, Egeon taking with him to Syracuse a son (Antipholus of Syracuse) and one Dromio, Aemilia taking with her to Ephesus one Antipholus (Antipholus of Ephesus) and one Dromio. When the Syracusans encounter the friends and families of their twins, a series of wild mishaps based on mistaken identities ensues, thus the comedy of errors. This comedy of errors leads to wrongful beatings, a near-seduction, the arrest of Antipholus of Ephesus, and false accusations of infidelity, theft, madness, and demonic possession. It gets really confusing at times, at least it did for me. In some respects, this is a late sixteenth century sit-com. This play, unlike Hamlet or Macbeth, does not seem to have any memorable lines or phrases.