What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by abuss368 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 11:14 am

Has anyone read any of Donald Trump's books? Are they good, interesting, worth it?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:31 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Shakespeare wrote:Without giving away too much of the plot, the central character is an engineer who invents a household robot. The book title comes from his cat, Petronius, who on winter days insists on checking every exit door in the house in case there is one into summer. Since LG is an engineer, and knowing her attitude to 50's attitudes towards women, I felt she would enjoy it. It predates the sexual introduction and loss of writing power.
OK, I changed my mind. I'll read The Door into Summer next. Then, the Witches of Karres.
The Door into Summer, by Robert A. Heinlein.

It's been discussed before, no need to amplify further. I am enjoying it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by rakornacki1 » Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:44 pm

Currently reading 'Stress Test' by Timothy Geithner.
I never realized that we were that close to 'the abyss' in 2008.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:53 am

rakornacki1 wrote:Currently reading 'Stress Test' by Timothy Geithner.
I never realized that we were that close to 'the abyss' in 2008.
There were enough people saying it at the time-- Paul Krugman for one.

The key turning point, from my London-based perspective, was when Gordon Brown (Prime Minister, ex Chancellor ie Minister of Finance) and Alasdair Darling (Chancellor) got up and said they would back the British banks with equity. The government would take a direct equity stake in the threatened banks: led us to a $80bn (c.) bailout, owning 80% of Royal Bank of Scotland, 44% of Lloyds Bank. Once Britain announced it would do that, then other nations followed suit for their own banks.

That was the moment when it turned. It was bad after 13th October 2008, but somehow we knew we would get through it.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:57 am

Finished Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, mostly because having started it I wanted to at least finish it... this time.

I "get" why some people love her stuff, but I can't honestly say I did. I'm not in a big hurry to read another. Yes, I liked it when Elizabeth lets Lady Catherine have it. However that whole world is so far removed from anything I know that it's hard for me to relate to. And I can't figure out whether we're supposed to understand that people are having sex or not, I can sometimes decode Victorian-era literature but not this. I can't figure out whether Mr. Darcy has a first name. And I honestly don't understand and can't buy Mr. Darcy's transformation.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:02 am

telemark wrote:
LadyGeek wrote: Friday, by Robert A. Heinlein. I already had it in paperback, so I thought it was worth a try. The opening was interesting, but then he dropped down to the stereotypical female attitudes that I despised in I Will Fear No Evil.
That's the usual pattern for late Heinlein. A rattlingly good start, enough to tempt you into thinking the old Heinlein is back, and then he just loses interest in the story and rambles off into philosophizing. The only late book I can still read is Job, where he takes his attention deficit and turns it into a plot point. Not everyone likes Job, though.
And he has mannerisms, and they became self-indulgent. I don't think he ever broke the habit of having his characters begin sentences with a grunt, "Eh?" or "Huh?" etc.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by TareNeko » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:08 am

Ideas and Opinions by Albert Einstein.

Interesting read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:20 am

"Pastime" by Robert Parker.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:36 am

nisiprius wrote:Finished Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, mostly because having started it I wanted to at least finish it... this time.

I "get" why some people love her stuff, but I can't honestly say I did. I'm not in a big hurry to read another. Yes, I liked it when Elizabeth lets Lady Catherine have it. However that whole world is so far removed from anything I know that it's hard for me to relate to. And I can't figure out whether we're supposed to understand that people are having sex or not,
Wickham is having sex with nice girls. All other men are having sex with prostitutes until they get married.
nisiprius wrote:I can sometimes decode Victorian-era literature but not this. I can't figure out whether Mr. Darcy has a first name. And I honestly don't understand and can't buy Mr. Darcy's transformation.
It's a fairly common relationship scenario, in which a socially popular man does not value women who compete for his attention and falls for the one who's cold to him.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:05 am

VictoriaF wrote:
nisiprius wrote:Finished Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, mostly because having started it I wanted to at least finish it... this time.

I "get" why some people love her stuff, but I can't honestly say I did. I'm not in a big hurry to read another. Yes, I liked it when Elizabeth lets Lady Catherine have it. However that whole world is so far removed from anything I know that it's hard for me to relate to. And I can't figure out whether we're supposed to understand that people are having sex or not,
Wickham is having sex with nice girls. All other men are having sex with prostitutes until they get married.
nisiprius wrote:I can sometimes decode Victorian-era literature but not this. I can't figure out whether Mr. Darcy has a first name. And I honestly don't understand and can't buy Mr. Darcy's transformation.
It's a fairly common relationship scenario, in which a socially popular man does not value women who compete for his attention and falls for the one who's cold to him.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm

nisiprius wrote:Finished Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, mostly because having started it I wanted to at least finish it... this time.

I "get" why some people love her stuff, but I can't honestly say I did. I'm not in a big hurry to read another. Yes, I liked it when Elizabeth lets Lady Catherine have it. However that whole world is so far removed from anything I know that it's hard for me to relate to. And I can't figure out whether we're supposed to understand that people are having sex or not, I can sometimes decode Victorian-era literature but not this. I can't figure out whether Mr. Darcy has a first name. And I honestly don't understand and can't buy Mr. Darcy's transformation.
I thought the plot 'twist' rather obvious.

But it's a study of manners. In fact someone has written a book 'Jane Austen: Game Theorist' about the intricate interpersonal play of the book.

As a study of a period and class in time it is exquisite. Is it as good as Dickens' 'Great Expectations'? I don't think so.

We know someone who knows a *lot* about Jane Austen's merits though.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:14 pm

Valuethinker wrote:In fact someone has written a book 'Jane Austen: Game Theorist' about the intricate interpersonal play of the book.
I have the book but have not read it yet. When I do, I'll post a review here.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Aug 30, 2014 2:18 pm

I have just found out that a free 10-hour audio of Taleb's "The Black Swan" is available on YouTube.

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WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by BenBritt » Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:59 pm

Just finished Natchez Burning by Greg Iles and started Breach of Trust by Andrew J. Bacevich.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:06 pm

I am reading Don't Ever Look Back. This is the second crime novel by Daniel Friedman, featuring the eighty-eighty year old Baruch "Buck" Schatz, the long retired Memphis police officer who is reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that he can only move around with the aid of a walker and that his dementia is getting worse.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Sat Aug 30, 2014 7:23 pm

I'm going to nibble here and there at Stocks for the Long Run, by Jeremy Siegel, 5th edition, 2013. It's actually hard to know how to approach a new revision of a book you've already read. This seems to have a fair amount of new material in it.

I want to give him credit right off the bat. In the past I've wondered how he was going to approach the statement he's made in his previous editions:
never in any of the past 175 years would a buyer of newly-issued 30-year bonds have outperformed an investor in a diversified portfolio of common stocks held over the same period.
Well, I was too cynical. This is what he says:
In the first four editions of Stocks for the Long Run, I noted that the last 30-year period when the return on long-term bonds beat stocks ended in 1861, at the onset of the Civil War. That is no longer true. Because of the large drop in government bond yields over the past decade, the 11.03 percent annual returns on long-term government bonds surpassed the 10.98 percent on stocks for the 30-year period from January 1, 1982, through the end of 2011.
He goes on to explain why it doesn't matter much and why it is "almost impossible" for it to happen again. Nevertheless, this is an admirably forthright statement. In fact not only does he state plainly "I noted... This is no longer true." He goes beyond that with a slight shift of emphasis. Previously it had been "never in any of the past 175 years" to "the last time this happened was in 1861." Subtle, but meaningful.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by ruralavalon » Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:28 pm

Blood and Thunder, by Hampton Sides. A very interesting biography of Kit Carson, with lots of history of the Navaho tribe and New Mexico. The book covers Carson's scouting for Fremont and Kearney in California and the far west, his Army service during the Civil War and the Navaho wars in New Mexico, the Navaho reservation at Bosque Redondo, and the fight at Adobe Walls, through Carson's death in 1868.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by bertilak » Sun Aug 31, 2014 1:47 pm

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain.

I mention it because of the following quote:
No sound and legitimate business can be established on a basis of speculation.
Mark Twain was notorious for making bad investments so I'm not sure what to make of this advice! The book was written in 1885-1889 and he filed for bankruptcy in 1894.

Interesting fact about Mark Twain: He was born in 1835 and died in 1910. Two years that Halley's comet approached Earth: In 1909, the year before his death, Twain said:
I came in with Halley's Comet in 1835. It is coming again next year, and I expect to go out with it. It will be the greatest disappointment of my life if I don't go out with Halley's Comet.
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker (aka S.O.B.), the Cowboy Poet

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by d0gerz » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:27 am

Finally finished reading The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa.

The book is a fictional biography of Roger Casement, a leading figure in Irish nationalism. Professionally he was a diplomat in the service of the Crown and was responsible for documenting terrible human rights abuses in the Congo and the Amazon. Disillusioned by human greed in the name of colonialism he became a very staunch anti-colonial activist and in the end wholeheartedly supported the campaign for Irish independence.

The book was enjoyable, although at times I felt it dragged on a bit and perhaps could have been shorter. But I learnt a great deal of history - about the shocking level of exploitation and slavery in the rubber forests of Africa and South America around the turn of the 20th century, as well as events leading up to the Easter Uprising of 1916 and ultimately the Irish War of Independence.

Next on my list is The Quiet American by Graham Greene, came recommended as I'm planning a trip to Vietnam soon.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Valuethinker » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:47 am

d0gerz wrote:Finally finished reading The Dream of the Celt by Mario Vargas Llosa.

The book is a fictional biography of Roger Casement, a leading figure in Irish nationalism. Professionally he was a diplomat in the service of the Crown and was responsible for documenting terrible human rights abuses in the Congo and the Amazon. Disillusioned by human greed in the name of colonialism he became a very staunch anti-colonial activist and in the end wholeheartedly supported the campaign for Irish independence.

The book was enjoyable, although at times I felt it dragged on a bit and perhaps could have been shorter. But I learnt a great deal of history - about the shocking level of exploitation and slavery in the rubber forests of Africa and South America around the turn of the 20th century, as well as events leading up to the Easter Uprising of 1916 and ultimately the Irish War of Independence.

Next on my list is The Quiet American by Graham Greene, came recommended as I'm planning a trip to Vietnam soon.
It's worth seeing BOTH film versions. The first was made in the Cold War and they rewrote the script for that reason. The second (w Michael Caine) came out at a sensitive moment and so was overlooked I think, but is fairly faithful to the book.

Read the book first, then see the Michael Caine version of the film.

The other books that I know of to read about Vietnam and its history are

- Vietnam by Stanley Karnow - good overview of 'the American War' as they call it (to separate it from the war with the French, earlier). Came out with the PBS Series of the same name
- Dispatches by Michael Herr - at times slightly surreal, but a great description of the Vietnam War from a journalist who was there, and who wrote the screenplay for Apocalypse Now. People who were there are polarized on this one-- either they describe is as 'perfect' or 'he has no idea what he is talking about'

I don't know of a good general history of Vietnam

Amazon gives me

http://www.amazon.com/Travellers-Histor ... 1566564395

http://www.amazon.com/Vietnam-Travelers ... 1883513022

but there might be something else.

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Apparent-T ... XNTJVZHF7Z

Written in the late 1950s (before the war really heated up, after the French had been defeated). Lewis is one of the great travel writers.

Charles McCarry's Tears of Autumn is a great book about the time period (a spy thriller) but isn't descriptive enough of Vietnam itself.

The below is not a notable thriller. About 2 military investigators trying to solve a crime. Lots of issues with it. But I found it to be quite evocative of the conditions in provincial Vietnam during the war:

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Flags-Juris-J ... gs+vietnam

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:21 am

bertilak wrote:A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain. I mention it because of the following quote:
No sound and legitimate business can be established on a basis of speculation.
Mark Twain was notorious for making bad investments so I'm not sure what to make of this advice!
A wonderful if flawed book.

Of Bogleheadish relevance is chapter XXXIII, "Sixth Century Political Economy," where poor Hank completely fails to explain inflation and real wages to his audience. He comes up with an absolutely crushing argument,
But, alas! it didn't crush. No, I had to give it up. What those people valued was high wages; it didn't seem to be a matter of any consequence to them whether the high wages would buy anything or not.... I proved to them that in a quarter of a century their wages had advanced but 30 per cent., while the cost of living had gone up 100; and that with us, in a shorter time, wages had advanced 40 per cent. while the cost of living had gone steadily down. But it didn't do any good.
The reference to knights mounted on bicycles is interesting. The "bicycle craze" only last a few decades before being supplanted by automobiles, in part because bicycles almost literally paved the way for cars--cyclists demanded better roads--but I think bicycle-mounted troops actually were tried at one time.

And I have never ever ever been able to figure out whether "I knew that the only total eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century occurred on the 21st of June, A.D. 528, O.S., and began at 3 minutes after 12 noon" is a joking reference to improbabilities in other books--maybe some specific other book--or whether it's a really clumsy and implausible plot device. Hey, I don't remember that date and I've read the book! Transport me to 6th century Camelot and if my life depended on being able to remember that date I'd be in trouble. Come to think of it, I've never fact-checked that date--I assume it's authentic but if he just made it up I'd be none the wiser.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by bertilak » Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:54 am

nisiprius wrote:And I have never ever ever been able to figure out whether "I knew that the only total eclipse of the sun in the first half of the sixth century occurred on the 21st of June, A.D. 528, O.S., and began at 3 minutes after 12 noon" is a joking reference to improbabilities in other books--maybe some specific other book--or whether it's a really clumsy and implausible plot device. Hey, I don't remember that date and I've read the book! Transport me to 6th century Camelot and if my life depended on being able to remember that date I'd be in trouble. Come to think of it, I've never fact-checked that date--I assume it's authentic but if he just made it up I'd be none the wiser.
I wondered myself but also never bothered to check it out ... so, I took a look. if the following web page is correct, Twain made it up.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_so ... th_century

There is possibility of date mismatch due to the differences between Gregorian and Julian dates and whatever Twain means by "O.S.", but that should only be a few days. Nothing looks even close and all the actual June 528 eclipses are partial.

That web page shows a huge number of solar eclipses just for that century. Even if Hank was an avid astronomer it is beyond belief that he would know all of those dates by heart (plus those for about 13 or more additional centuries) and it would be a wild coincidence that he happened to remember one (actually two in the book) that happened to be in the time period of interest.

I didn't count them but I think that page lists over a dozen, maybe over two dozen, total eclipses for the first half of the 6th century.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:05 am

Jerome Weidman, Letter of Credit, 1940. Jerome Weidman was a wonderful novelist who seems to be pretty thoroughly forgotten, best known for his 1937 novel I Can Get It For You Wholesale, and for the book for the musical comedy Fiorello! I'm filling in a few chinks of books of his I've never read. My favorite is--I think it's this one, don't have it handy--Word of Mouth. The interesting idea is that a writer of a Broadway play based on his personal family history is having terrible second-act problems because the boring facts just aren't dramatically satisfying, and in his search to fictionalize them into something that makes dramatic sense he discovers that his dramatic intuitions are in fact accurate and are leading him to concealed dark family secrets that shake his world.

Letter of Credit is nonfiction and pretty interesting. It is a travel book, and apparently poor Weidman had longed to take a trip around the world and finally got enough money to realize his dreams just as World War II was beginning. He was desperate to do it anyway while it might still be possible, determined to try to ignore the gathering storm but of course found it impossible.

One of the interesting things to me is the title and chapter headings. I've always wondered just how people traveled before the invention of a) travelers' cheques and b) credit cards. In an amazing number of picaresque books people simply travel for months and years with no visible means of finance. In really old books, of course, people travel with bags of sovereigns and if a cutpurse literally cuts their purse and literally removes their money, that's that.

I'd love to know more about what a letter of credit was and how it worked. I suspect it probably belonged to the era beginning with Thos. Cook and ending with the American Express card. Anyway, it is 1940 and he keeps talking about having a luxuriously large "letter of credit." Every chapter begins with a long heading, presumably an entry in a ledger or from a statement, or receipt slip, such as
June 6, 1939--The American Express Co., Inc., 11, Rue Scribe, Paris, France, $35.00--Thirty-Five Dollars."
I'd completely forgotten the existence of corporate names with both "Co" and "Inc," "The XYZ Co., Inc."

I wonder if a "Letter of Credit" really looked like a letter, or whether it was some more complicated apparatus--a booklet with tear-out coupons maybe?

Obviously it was necessary for Weidman to make periodic visits to places that would honor the letter of credit, which seem to be major banks (Royal Bank of Scotland is mentioned), Thos. Cook, and American Express.

Were fees charged? Was interest charged? Or was it just a customary complimentary service rendered by banks to their depositors?

In the 1960s I remember someone saying that a good tip for meeting friends or at least countrymen who might be traveling in the same place at the same time was always to go to the American Express office, and I suppose the reason was that everyone had to go there to get their periodic cash infusions.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letter_of_credit is only slightly helpful. Rich detail on the legal underpinnings and current use institutionally, not a hint as to what a 1930s traveller might have been carrying or what it would have looked like.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 8:45 am

I am about halfway through The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, the best crime novelist out there. This is from the Lincoln Lawyer series of Connelly. Somehow after having seen the movie made from the initial book in this series several years ago, I can only see Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by heartwood » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:06 am

I'm half way through The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling). It's the second in her Cormoran Stike detective novels. It's a mixed book with some interesting passages, but many very tedious ones as well. I'm having trouble keeping track of the various suspect characters. The development of his assistant, Robin Ellacot is interesting. The literary references that precede each chapter are a mystery to me!

My next book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho in 1988. He has a new novel, Adultery, that has had many reviews, all of which refer back to the Alchemist. He was just profiled by the WSJ. It mentioned that he's sold over 165 milliion books in some 80 languages. They mention that he considers himself hyper-rich. It seem to imply that he became so by his writing.

The new Lee Child book, Personal, is out today. I just signed up for it at the library, but it has a huge waiting list already.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:32 am

heartwood wrote:I'm half way through The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a pseudonym for J.K. Rowling). It's the second in her Cormoran Stike detective novels. It's a mixed book with some interesting passages, but many very tedious ones as well. I'm having trouble keeping track of the various suspect characters. The development of his assistant, Robin Ellacot is interesting. The literary references that precede each chapter are a mystery to me!....
I read the first book in her series several weeks ago. I thought it was pretty mediocre, but I'll probably read the second one.
Gordon

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by d0gerz » Tue Sep 02, 2014 10:52 am

Valuethinker wrote:It's worth seeing BOTH film versions. The first was made in the Cold War and they rewrote the script for that reason. The second (w Michael Caine) came out at a sensitive moment and so was overlooked I think, but is fairly faithful to the book.

Read the book first, then see the Michael Caine version of the film.

The other books that I know of to read about Vietnam and its history are

- Vietnam by Stanley Karnow - good overview of 'the American War' as they call it (to separate it from the war with the French, earlier). Came out with the PBS Series of the same name
- Dispatches by Michael Herr - at times slightly surreal, but a great description of the Vietnam War from a journalist who was there, and who wrote the screenplay for Apocalypse Now. People who were there are polarized on this one-- either they describe is as 'perfect' or 'he has no idea what he is talking about'

I don't know of a good general history of Vietnam

Amazon gives me

http://www.amazon.com/Travellers-Histor ... 1566564395

http://www.amazon.com/Vietnam-Travelers ... 1883513022

but there might be something else.

http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Apparent-T ... XNTJVZHF7Z

Written in the late 1950s (before the war really heated up, after the French had been defeated). Lewis is one of the great travel writers.

Charles McCarry's Tears of Autumn is a great book about the time period (a spy thriller) but isn't descriptive enough of Vietnam itself.

The below is not a notable thriller. About 2 military investigators trying to solve a crime. Lots of issues with it. But I found it to be quite evocative of the conditions in provincial Vietnam during the war:

http://www.amazon.com/Red-Flags-Juris-J ... gs+vietnam
I knew I should've asked for Vietnam recommendations on this thread!

Thank you very much for these links. Stanley Karnow's book was the other one I was searching for but our local bookstore didn't have it. Then again seeing its length made me think twice as I have a really bad habit of starting long books and leaving them unfinished a quarter of the way through. Although it looks like the PBS series that you mentioned is available on YouTube so I might start there.

I will as recommended read the Greene book and then watch the movie. Thanks again.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Sep 02, 2014 3:56 pm

The Witches of Karres, by James H. Schmitz.

This book was nominated for a Hugo award in 1967, and I can see why. It's a very enjoyable read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by jebmke » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:49 pm

gkaplan wrote:I am about halfway through The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connelly, the best crime novelist out there. This is from the Lincoln Lawyer series of Connelly. Somehow after having seen the movie made from the initial book in this series several years ago, I can only see Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller.
Same here. I can hear his voice every time I read the dialog. I just finished this a couple weeks ago. Unlike many authors, Connelly seems to be producing as taught a novel now as he did early on. Often they start to get sloppy and/or the editors lose control.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by placeholder » Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:23 pm

LadyGeek wrote:The Witches of Karres, by James H. Schmitz.
There are a number of very good Schmitz works (I particularly enjoyed The Demon Breed which is included in the collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory) and it should be noted that there were some follow up books to the one you just finished but were written years later by other authors and for which the reception on rec.arts.sf.written was mixed.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by bcboy57 » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:32 pm

just finished " Before I Go to Sleep", by SY Watson.....a real page turner that I read in 2 days while on vacation last week.

I won't tell what its about, because that's the real surprise that's the first chapter.....strongly recommended ....Doug

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Ged » Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:47 pm

placeholder wrote:
LadyGeek wrote:The Witches of Karres, by James H. Schmitz.
There are a number of very good Schmitz works (I particularly enjoyed The Demon Breed which is included in the collection The Hub: Dangerous Territory) and it should be noted that there were some follow up books to the one you just finished but were written years later by other authors and for which the reception on rec.arts.sf.written was mixed.
I was a subscriber to Analog from about 1960 - 2010 and remember reading quite a few Schmitz stories there. I remember enjoying them quite a bit.

I'd recommend looking out for collections of his work. Wikipedia probably lists them.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Sep 03, 2014 6:42 pm

Yes, Wikipedia has a list. James H. Schmitz

I'm working off a backlog. Perhaps Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper would be next.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by placeholder » Wed Sep 03, 2014 7:59 pm

Ged wrote:I'd recommend looking out for collections of his work. Wikipedia probably lists them.
Baen Books reissued and formed new collections of much of his work some of which was in their free library but I believe none are currently:
http://www.baen.com/author_catalog.asp?author=jhschmitz
There was a bit of controversy on rasfw regarding updates to the stories by the editors but some of the older collections can be found used:
http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchR ... ames&sts=t

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Ged » Wed Sep 03, 2014 8:17 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
I'm working off a backlog. Perhaps Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen by H. Beam Piper would be next.
I really liked that one, as well as the rest of the Paratime stories by Piper. These were collected in a book by that title. Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen was probably the best.

There were also some stories in that setting by other authors. I haven't read those so no opinion.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Angst » Wed Sep 03, 2014 9:57 pm

Recently I've enjoyed reading a variety of books r/t Roman history. I started with Pompeii, a novel by Robert Harris about Pompeii and Herculaneum and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, and then a couple other novels by Robert Harris ("Imperium" and... I can't remember the others name) that followed the life of Cicero. All very entertaining and interesting; breezy, easy to read. Then I moved to a biography of Caesar by Christian Meier and then a History of Rome by Michael Grant, both of which were much more dense and scholarly, but fascinating and fairly easy to read and certainly enjoyable. I found that the easy novels about Cicero whetted my taste for something more substantial, and these other books in particular were great to follow up with. In particular, the "History of Rome" seems to have pulled me to into wanting to pursue more about the history of Christianity next. We'll see. [As a somewhat related aside, I also read Robert Harris's book on Albert Dreyfus which I thought was fairly well done - can't remember the title but his most recent, I believe. I'd read something years ago by Emile Zola on the subject, but had long forgotten the interesting story about a Jewish french soldier who was falsely implicated in a seditious plot c. late 1800's. I guess I like to read a lot of things by any given author at one time.]

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by VictoriaF » Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:28 am

VictoriaF wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:In fact someone has written a book 'Jane Austen: Game Theorist' about the intricate interpersonal play of the book.
I have the book but have not read it yet. When I do, I'll post a review here.

Victoria
I started reading "Jane Austen, Game Theorist" and came across this citation:
[quote="Joel Stein in "Stein and Sensibility," Time, 19 August 2013."]I'm worried that maybe I hate Jane Austen not for her writing or her effete characters but because I don't want to know how women really think.[/quote]

The author of the book comments:
Michael Suk-Young Chwe, in [i]Jane Austen, Game Theorist[/i] on page 236, wrote:After Caroline Criado-Perez's (2013) campaign to keep a non-queen woman on British currency, which resulted in choice of Austen, she and her supporters, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, received several hundred online death and rape threats. What makes some people react with hostility as opposed to indifference? ... Perhaps, even now, in 2013, a woman figuring out how to get what she wants is something that some people find profoundly threatening.
I used to think about Austen haters as a curiosity. After reading this book, I am wondering if there is more to it.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Dave_M » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:14 pm

Angst wrote:Recently I've enjoyed reading a variety of books r/t Roman history.
On a similar note - you might try I, Claudius (and others along the same theme) by Robert Graves.

I just recently picked up (kindle daily deal) I am Livia, by Phyllis T. Smith; it is supposed to be Livia's response to the allegations made against her character by Claudius, et al. Haven't started it yet, but it sounds interesting if you're into that period.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by ruralavalon » Thu Sep 04, 2014 4:52 pm

Crooked House, by Agatha Christie. The entire Leonides family is a bit twisted, and they all live together in the same house, making this an interesting mystery.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Sagenick48 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:59 pm

1. I really enjoy Jane Austin because if you look at her characters and read at the same time the DSMs, you will see she exposes all of our human frailties.

2. As to my most recent book, I just finished reading "The Boys in the Boat" by Dan J. Brown. The boat is about the US 8 crew team from U Washington in 1936 that won Gold at the Berlin Olympics. Extremely well researched. As a rower it not only ran true, but it also gave an incredible picture of what a real Depression was like.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Dave55 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 8:01 pm

"Personal" by Lee Child...New Jack Reacher just out. Excellent read.
Dave

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:40 am

Desmond Bagley, The Tightrope Men. Old thriller, very entertaining, held my interest throughout, despite unconvincing plot. Man wakes up to find he apparently has a new identity--new face in the mirror, partial and confused old memories, partial and confused new memories, etc. He is a scientist, yet tight situations evoke a strange instinctive competence in physical self-defense. The explanation is not too convincing, and the plot device that restores his memories is unforgivable, but, hey.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by protagonist » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:09 am

Sagenick48 wrote:1. I really enjoy Jane Austin because if you look at her characters and read at the same time the DSMs, you will see she exposes all of our human frailties.
by nisiprius » Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:57 am:
Finished Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen, mostly because having started it I wanted to at least finish it... this time.

I "get" why some people love her stuff, but I can't honestly say I did. I'm not in a big hurry to read another. Yes, I liked it when Elizabeth lets Lady Catherine have it. However that whole world is so far removed from anything I know that it's hard for me to relate to. And I can't figure out whether we're supposed to understand that people are having sex or not, I can sometimes decode Victorian-era literature but not this. I can't figure out whether Mr. Darcy has a first name. And I honestly don't understand and can't buy Mr. Darcy's transformation.
"Whenever I take up "Pride and Prejudice" or "Sense and Sensibility," I feel like a barkeeper entering the Kingdom of Heaven. I mean, I feel as he would probably feel, would almost certainly feel. I am quite sure I know what his sensations would be -- and his private comments. He would be certain to curl his lip, as those ultra-good Presbyterians went filing self-complacently along. ...

She makes me detest all her people, without reserve. Is that her intention? It is not believable. Then is it her purpose to make the reader detest her people up to the middle of the book and like them in the rest of the chapters? That could be. That would be high art. It would be worth while, too. Some day I will examine the other end of her books and see."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:24 am

Finishing "Murder Is Binding" by Lorna Barrett. Very good.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by jebmke » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:26 am

Dave55 wrote:"Personal" by Lee Child...New Jack Reacher just out. Excellent read.
Dave
Ever since they cast Tom Cruise as Reacher I can't read these.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by chaz » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:45 am

jebmke wrote:
Dave55 wrote:"Personal" by Lee Child...New Jack Reacher just out. Excellent read.
Dave
Ever since they cast Tom Cruise as Reacher I can't read these.
I didn't see the movie due to the casting.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by Jozxyqk » Mon Sep 08, 2014 11:46 am

VictoriaF wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:In fact someone has written a book 'Jane Austen: Game Theorist' about the intricate interpersonal play of the book.
I have the book but have not read it yet. When I do, I'll post a review here.

Victoria
I started reading "Jane Austen, Game Theorist" and came across this citation:
[quote="Joel Stein in "Stein and Sensibility," Time, 19 August 2013."]I'm worried that maybe I hate Jane Austen not for her writing or her effete characters but because I don't want to know how women really think.
The author of the book comments:
Michael Suk-Young Chwe, in [i]Jane Austen, Game Theorist[/i] on page 236, wrote:After Caroline Criado-Perez's (2013) campaign to keep a non-queen woman on British currency, which resulted in choice of Austen, she and her supporters, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, received several hundred online death and rape threats. What makes some people react with hostility as opposed to indifference? ... Perhaps, even now, in 2013, a woman figuring out how to get what she wants is something that some people find profoundly threatening.
I used to think about Austen haters as a curiosity. After reading this book, I am wondering if there is more to it.

Victoria[/quote]

Interesting comment. I am male, and I have what I consider troubling relationship with Jane Austen. About once a year time I pick up one of her books and begin to read. I always start off enjoying her mastery of the language, of observation, etc., and yet I have never been able to finish a single one her novels. I think at one time or another I've started all of them except perhaps Northanger Abbey. I have always considered it evidence of something deeply broken within me that I cannot finish these books that I so obviously see are brilliant. My main other data point to this conclusion is my love of Patrick O'Brian's work. His prose style and settings both owe a great debt to Austen. The critical (to me, apparently) difference is that his books are almost exclusively about men doing manly things and thinking about relationships from a male perspective, and hers largely focus on women doing womanly things and thinking about relationships from a female perspective.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:10 pm

Jozxyqk wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:
Valuethinker wrote:In fact someone has written a book 'Jane Austen: Game Theorist' about the intricate interpersonal play of the book.
I have the book but have not read it yet. When I do, I'll post a review here.

Victoria
I started reading "Jane Austen, Game Theorist" and came across this citation:
[quote="Joel Stein in "Stein and Sensibility," Time, 19 August 2013."]I'm worried that maybe I hate Jane Austen not for her writing or her effete characters but because I don't want to know how women really think.
The author of the book comments:
Michael Suk-Young Chwe, in [i]Jane Austen, Game Theorist[/i] on page 236, wrote:After Caroline Criado-Perez's (2013) campaign to keep a non-queen woman on British currency, which resulted in choice of Austen, she and her supporters, including Labour MP Stella Creasy, received several hundred online death and rape threats. What makes some people react with hostility as opposed to indifference? ... Perhaps, even now, in 2013, a woman figuring out how to get what she wants is something that some people find profoundly threatening.
I used to think about Austen haters as a curiosity. After reading this book, I am wondering if there is more to it.

Victoria
Interesting comment. I am male, and I have what I consider troubling relationship with Jane Austen. About once a year time I pick up one of her books and begin to read. I always start off enjoying her mastery of the language, of observation, etc., and yet I have never been able to finish a single one her novels. I think at one time or another I've started all of them except perhaps Northanger Abbey. I have always considered it evidence of something deeply broken within me that I cannot finish these books that I so obviously see are brilliant. My main other data point to this conclusion is my love of Patrick O'Brian's work. His prose style and settings both owe a great debt to Austen. The critical (to me, apparently) difference is that his books are almost exclusively about men doing manly things and thinking about relationships from a male perspective, and hers largely focus on women doing womanly things and thinking about relationships from a female perspective.[/quote]

Michael Suk-Young Chwe makes a point that those in power (or those who feel superior) are not interested in the feelings of those without power (or of those whom they consider inferior). In the book Jane Austen, Game Theorist, he explains that women in Jane Austen's time had to be strategic to compensate for having fewer rights and opportunities. The majority of these strategies were aimed at getting married.

Today, the balance of the male-female power is more even, but still, it's usually women who are interested in the matrimony more so than men--numerous exceptions notwithstanding. A modern woman reading Jane Austen finds some similarities with her own feelings, behaviors. and experiences. A modern man probably has difficulty appreciating female strategies and is more likely to dismiss them as being out of date. If a man is not interested in Jane Austen it's not a problem. What puzzles me is an intense dislike of Austen, expressed in extreme statements I cited above or repeated negative references to Austen's work. This active hatred is unfounded and probably indicates some deep-seated issues related to interpersonal relationships.

Victoria
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part V

Post by gkaplan » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:29 pm

I am about a fifth of the way through The Heist by Daniel Silva.

re: Jane Austen. I have read everything she wrote, as far as I know.
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