What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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apple44
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by apple44 »

arajeshn wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 3:05 am Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe
jaqenhghar wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:00 pm Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Roughly 100 pages in, and just wow.
I just finished Empire of Pain. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sandburg »

Just started "The Battle of Leyte Gulf" by Thomas Cutler.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

Finished The Ratline by Phillipe Sands.

Interestingly, he doesn't spend much time on the Ratline itself. It is more about the life and death of Otto Wachter. There is also an interwoven theme about denial and rationalization - both by Wachter and his wife during and after the holocaust as well as his son. Well worth reading.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek »

I removed some off-topic comments related to the background story for Empire of Pain. Please don't use a book review as a pretext to discuss topics which are outside the forum policy.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wabbott »

The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One of the better Sherlock Holmes stories. Stolen treasure, a boat chase on the Thames River, tales of the Indian Mutiny. Good stuff.

Earlier this month I checked off a bucket list goal by visiting Dartmoor, an area in Southwest England. That area is the setting for the most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I read that book some sixty years ago, when I was 12 years old. It was probably one of the most impactful pieces of literature I've ever read. It still is a great story.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

apple44 wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 10:14 am
arajeshn wrote: Sun Dec 12, 2021 3:05 am Empire of Pain by Patrick Radden Keefe
jaqenhghar wrote: Sun Dec 19, 2021 4:00 pm Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty

Roughly 100 pages in, and just wow.
I just finished Empire of Pain. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
I suggest Dreamland: the True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, by Sam Quinones.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mega317 »

Over a year since I've posted here.
I recently got back into fiction and have to say I'm disappointed so far. Have read 13 TYD. Maybe getting recommendations from the wrong places, but I just have a hard time getting interested enough in fake events made up in a stranger's mind to spend 10-15 hours on. Very different commitment from 30-60 minutes on netflix or even a 3 hour movie. I'll keep trying different things.

Recent nonfiction with overly simplistic summaries, in descending order of my enjoyment/value:
The Address Book by Dierdre Mask: a home address is not always a simple matter, and it is pivotal in so many aspects of life and history.
Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman: you will die, and the reason you work so hard and stress yourself out is your inability to cope with that, and attempting to prolong and control your time.
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl: some interesting stories but he tries so very hard to avoid any controversy, it gets a little boring/disappointing.
Think Again by Adam Grant: don't be so attached so your first instinct, be willing to change your mind and engage in difficult conversation. He grew up near me, same age, and he's a full professor at Wharton :o
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by HarmlessDrudge »

The Woman Who Fell from Grace, by David Handler. I've been sprinkling in some of his mysteries among my other reading after seeing a review of a new book in the series (he has recently resurrected his Stewart Hoag, a once-promising writing who has been reduced to "ghosting" for celebrities, who always have secrets that lead inevitably to murder). He is a clever writer. These aren't gritty, but they are fun.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wbarabas »

Just read Maus by Art Spiegelman. Never heard of it until lately in the news with schools banning it.
I enjoyed it quite a bit. Talented author and illustrator.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

wbarabas wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 7:56 pm Just read Maus by Art Spiegelman. Never heard of it until lately in the news with schools banning it.
I enjoyed it quite a bit. Talented author and illustrator.
There’s Maus II, I believe.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mr. Rumples »

The First Congress: How James Madison, George Washington and a Group of Extraordinary Men Invented the Government by Bordewich

There was nothing inevitable about the success or survival of the US Constitution when the first Congress met. (Two states still had not approved it.) The Constitution was the framework and now the government had to be created. If one could hear the debates - and the gallery was full, but listening over the din of all the cracking of nuts by the spectators - one paper pleaded that the nuts be shelled at home - they would hear the rivalry, the alliances and friendships created and then broken as the legal system was created, tariffs were set up, the Treasury and War Departments were established and the debate went on of where to have the new capital city and the assumption of state debt from the Revolution. By the end of the first session, they were debating on what the original intent was of many of the clauses in the Constitution. This book is less about the legislation, but more about the debates and the men who made the legislation.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tenkuky »

On a Larry McMurtry binge and how joyous it is.
After being introduced to Lonesome Dove by this board, I have made my way through the other 3 of the series (Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon, Streets of Laredo).
Comanche Moon was incredible and a little like that other devastating read (Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy).

I am now reading through the Thalia trilogy; finished Horseman Pass By and Leaving Cheyenne (just started Last Picture Show).
Leaving Cheyenne is wonderful and so well narrated by the characters.
RIP Larry :beer
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by heartwood »

Starting Don Winslow's City on Fire. A New England Irish and Italian crime family story. Supposedly the first in a trilogy.

Quite good so far, more like his earlier California surfer/marijuana novels. Lighter, not so brutal and humorless as his Cartel novels.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Gratitude by Oliver Sacks. A very short book of essays of reflections written as he was approaching death.
“To be a Virginian either by Birth, Marriage, Adoption, or even on one’s Mother’s side, is an Introduction to any State in the Union, a Passport to any Country, and a Benediction from Above.”—Anonymous
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wilson08 »

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneggar

The premise of a guy, who at different ages would travel back or
forward in time and have a meeting, past or future with his wife
(or wife to be), was intriguing but it was so scattered and frequent
it was like hearing the same joke or same story for the 100th time.
An ok concept but too diffused, strewed, and chaotic for me.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by abuss368 »

Mar - A - Lago

Incredible.

https://www.amazon.com/Mar-Lago-Inside- ... C86&sr=8-1

Best.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible »

wabbott wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:03 pm The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One of the better Sherlock Holmes stories. Stolen treasure, a boat chase on the Thames River, tales of the Indian Mutiny. Good stuff.

Earlier this month I checked off a bucket list goal by visiting Dartmoor, an area in Southwest England. That area is the setting for the most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I read that book some sixty years ago, when I was 12 years old. It was probably one of the most impactful pieces of literature I've ever read. It still is a great story.
The 1939 film, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is a worthy tribute to the book and I think the best of the "Hound" movies.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wabbott »

Fallible wrote: Sun May 01, 2022 12:23 pm
wabbott wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 12:03 pm The Sign of the Four, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. One of the better Sherlock Holmes stories. Stolen treasure, a boat chase on the Thames River, tales of the Indian Mutiny. Good stuff.

Earlier this month I checked off a bucket list goal by visiting Dartmoor, an area in Southwest England. That area is the setting for the most famous of the Sherlock Holmes stories, The Hound of the Baskervilles. I read that book some sixty years ago, when I was 12 years old. It was probably one of the most impactful pieces of literature I've ever read. It still is a great story.
The 1939 film, The Hound of the Baskervilles, is a worthy tribute to the book and I think the best of the "Hound" movies.
I was always partial to the Granada Television tv series produced in the mid 80s to the mid 90s. Jeremy Brett's Holmes was quite faithful to Doyle's character, imo.
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the Archimedes codex

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How one of Archimedes lost books was recovered from a prayer book safeguarded through the ages at a monastery. Something for everyone: The history of books, Archimedes' mathematics, advanced imaging technology to extract the original Greek writing. Well written and easy to read.

"The Archimedes Codex: How a Medieval Prayer Book Is Revealing the True Genius of Antiquity's Greatest Scientist" by Reviel Netz, William Noel

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by placeholder »

Just did a reread of discworld book The Truth by Terry Pratchett the story of the first newspaper in the fantasy city of ankh moorpork which in typical discworld fashion goes from nothing to an investigative reporting marvel in about a week or so.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by matti »

I'm rereading The Sterling Legend by Estee Conatser. It talks about the "facts" and lore surrounding what many consider the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history, the Lost Dutchman Mine in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona. This legend has fascinated me since I first heard about it, and the book scratches my itch.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

daytime reading: Last Call at the Hotel Imperial by Deborah Cohen (just getting started).

night-time mental chewing gum: Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger »

I’m listening to book 7 of Will and Ariel Durant’s Story of Civilization. This volume is titled “The Age of Reason Begins” and starts with Elizabeth I of England’s ascension to the throne.

I bought a book club edition of the entire 11 volumes back in the day and have read parts of many of them. Unfortunately they were cheaply made, and the binding hasn’t held up well. Durant does a good job of weaving different aspects of the times into his books, art, philosophy, religion, along with biography and the inevitable wars. He (they) are great storytellers and this is an enjoyable listen.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jumbopapa »

I've started reading Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. I recently learned there is a Hulu show that is airing now based on this book. It's a book looking at a famous murder of a women and her child in a Mormon community. The book is about Fundamentalist Mormons that believe in polygamy. It is crazy what people will do when they think they are fulfilling the will of God.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

jumbopapa wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 9:28 am It is crazy what people will do when they think they are fulfilling the will of God.
And who doesn't? (At some level)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by apple44 »

Fallible wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:10 pm Finished Klara and the Sun, a fascinating novel by Kazuo Ishiguro about a gifted robot who is purchased as an AF (artificial friend) for a young girl suffering from a mysterious illness. It's all wonderfully about Klara, how her machine works its wonders for the humans, who for me were interesting, but only bit players created to showcase Klara. It's so well written by this Nobel laureate that I was fully drawn into it from the beginning, the store where Klara and other AFs are put on display to sell and we begin to learn that Klara has special qualities for a humanoid such as feelings, being observant, insight, imagination, curiosity, fear, etc. But Klara also has limitations in perception and how she handles this often has humorous qualities. It's possible to get to know Klara so well that a reader could predict when "boxes" suddenly appeared to help her understand.

A minor frustration throughout for me was not being able to imagine what Klara looks like, other than a few features such as short, dark hair; yet humans in this near-future world immediately recognized all AFs. Also, my not being up enough on AI to better understand Klara's place among her kind, I was left with many questions about these machines in general. I thought finding answers would take away from the book, but they've only made it more interesting.
I just finished Klara and the Sun. Great story and great writing. The interesting part to me is the human elements of Klara and the non-human elements. E.g., her worship of the Sun is not unlike the early humans' worship of the sun, the moon and the rain and the other gods that are supposed to control natural phenomena. On the other hand, she's so likable partly because she's child-like, pure and good, and whole-heartedly devoted to Josie even if it means sacrificing herself. This can only work when she's non-human, because she's human, we'd feel such a character is less believable, and we may want that character to develop her own dreams and ambitions and not like a slave devoted to her master.

So on the whole, I like the book but at the same time, I feel the main characters are a bit one-dimensional, especially Klara. The adult characters are more nuanced.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible »

apple44 wrote: Mon May 02, 2022 1:34 pm
Fallible wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 6:10 pm Finished Klara and the Sun, a fascinating novel by Kazuo Ishiguro about a gifted robot who is purchased as an AF (artificial friend) for a young girl suffering from a mysterious illness. It's all wonderfully about Klara, how her machine works its wonders for the humans, who for me were interesting, but only bit players created to showcase Klara. It's so well written by this Nobel laureate that I was fully drawn into it from the beginning, the store where Klara and other AFs are put on display to sell and we begin to learn that Klara has special qualities for a humanoid such as feelings, being observant, insight, imagination, curiosity, fear, etc. But Klara also has limitations in perception and how she handles this often has humorous qualities. It's possible to get to know Klara so well that a reader could predict when "boxes" suddenly appeared to help her understand.

A minor frustration throughout for me was not being able to imagine what Klara looks like, other than a few features such as short, dark hair; yet humans in this near-future world immediately recognized all AFs. Also, my not being up enough on AI to better understand Klara's place among her kind, I was left with many questions about these machines in general. I thought finding answers would take away from the book, but they've only made it more interesting.
I just finished Klara and the Sun. Great story and great writing. The interesting part to me is the human elements of Klara and the non-human elements. E.g., her worship of the Sun is not unlike the early humans' worship of the sun, the moon and the rain and the other gods that are supposed to control natural phenomena. On the other hand, she's so likable partly because she's child-like, pure and good, and whole-heartedly devoted to Josie even if it means sacrificing herself. This can only work when she's non-human, because she's human, we'd feel such a character is less believable, and we may want that character to develop her own dreams and ambitions and not like a slave devoted to her master.

So on the whole, I like the book but at the same time, I feel the main characters are a bit one-dimensional, especially Klara. The adult characters are more nuanced.
Klara's human elements are indeed what's fascinating and what almost immediately snag the reader's attention, never to let go. And they are some of the most human of human elements. I even thought she might break out of her servant-role programming and become human, or try to. I felt that way right to the end, even after seeing where she inevitably ends up, even after she accepts it. Really, she's too nice to be a robot, but also too nice to be human. Maybe that’s grist for another novel?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mega317 »

mega317 wrote: Fri Apr 29, 2022 3:42 pm I recently got back into fiction and have to say I'm disappointed so far.
Found one I liked. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides. Suspenseful, nicely paced, twists. I enjoyed it.

Starting The First World War by Keegan.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mancich »

"Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice" by Bill Browder. Reads like a thriller, highly recommend
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

Key West Normal, by Laurence Shames.

A mobile beach front dog stand used for mysterious drops of smuggled goods goes missing, hijacked by two homeless men wanting a place to live, and the crooks involved in the drops blame each other and search fruitlessly for the missing goods. Funny.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by quantAndHold »

Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng. Outsiders move into suburban utopia and are adopted by a wealthy family. It ends with the house going up in flames.

The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison. Devastating novel. Ohio town in the 30’s. I’m still sorting this one out in my head.

Of Women and Salt, by Gabriela Garcia. Multigenerational story of the women in a Cuban family, some in the US, some in Cuba.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

The Last Tourist, by Olen Steinhauer. Fourth and latest book in the Milo Weaver series.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

ruralavalon wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 9:37 am Key West Normal, by Laurence Shames.

A mobile beach front dog stand used for mysterious drops of smuggled goods goes missing, hijacked by two homeless men wanting a place to live, and the crooks involved in the drops blame each other and search fruitlessly for the missing goods. Funny.
I read all of the early Shames's Key West books. He went dark for a while (at least I didn't notice anything new) and I lost touch. Eventually a new release came to my attention, but I never got back into the habit.

I did thoroughly enjoy the books I read. I liked the setting (Key West) and the retired Mafia Don and his little dog.

This was back in the days that I perused the shelves of a local Barnes & Noble and picked up paperbacks from there.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mike Scott »

If you like the Robert Parker "Spenser" character, Bye Bye Baby fits neatly into that universe. It's mass market pulp fiction but I sometimes find it entertaining.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by abuss368 »

Mar A Lago

It is good and I am enjoying.

Best.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mike Scott »

I just finished The Devil's Dictionary. It's a pretty dark eco/social/genetic/near future science fiction. It's a fairly well woven and complicated story strand (with an occasional hiccup). The most believable and scary part of the story is that people really are capable of doing horrifying things to other people very casually.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 »

"The Missing Piece" by John Lescroat.

Having pretty much exhausted the inventory of my favorite mystery writers, it was delightful to pickup Lescroat's "The Missing Piece" to discover a "new" author for me and then to realize he has quite a catalog.

Enjoyed it. Will read more of Lescroat.

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

Post by Opinika »

Reading Richard Pipe's A Concise History of the Russian Revolution. A very well-written book.

Turns out that Russia has been messed up for a really, really long time. Who knew?
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

Victory at Sea by Paul Kennedy.

This is a history of naval warfare and development of ship types through World War II and the rise of the U.S. as the leading naval power. Not just a description of battles or size of fleets, but focusing on geography and economic capacity, and the rise and fall of great powers in that time
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elsebet »

Just finished Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth. I really enjoyed the first half of the book, especially the funny stories of daily life in the young character's household, but the second half could not keep my interest quite as much even though I did finish the novel.

Currently about halfway through The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. I watched the excellent TV series awhile ago and just got around to reading the book. I think both are great, the book obviously has a lot more history and detail but the series is also excellent so I'd recommend both.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ekid »

Opinika wrote: Sun May 15, 2022 5:28 pm Reading Richard Pipe's A Concise History of the Russian Revolution. A very well-written book.

Turns out that Russia has been messed up for a really, really long time. Who knew?
"Who knew?" (good one!)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by darkhorse346 »

"The Essential Retirement Guide - A Contrarian's Perspective" by Frederick Vettese

Are you a Slave to the Grind and think you'll never be able to retire? This book is for you.
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