What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by wbarabas »

Someone here recently recommended RED NOTICE by Bill Bower.
Loved this book, the accuracy and the action. Thank you!
slippinsurlies
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by slippinsurlies »

Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom, by Thomas E. Ricks.

and

1984, by George Orwell.

I thought it would be fun and interesting to read the biography while also reading Orwell's seminal work. I'm about half through each book right now and I'm really enjoying the ride.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Calhoon »

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. Three quarters of the way through. Tried it out strictly on the volume of good reviews on amazon. I'd recommend it.

American Fire. Great book. Nonfiction again. Author is very good at what she does.

We Keep the Dead Close. Nonfiction. For the most part, it's a well-written book but there were over the top. I'd still recommend it if you're looking for a fast read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

Who Can Hold the Sea, by James D. Hornfischer.

The history the development of the U.S. Navy in 1945-1960.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Re-read Nigel Balchin, The Small Back Room, 1943.

Oh, my, that's an awfully good book, I'd forgotten how good it was (it's been decades). I want to rest and not start a Nigel Balchin binge immediately. I wonder if the movie made from that novel is anywhere near as good?

One thought that occurred to me sharply is that I think I see definite similarities--as in perfectly legitimate inspiration or influence--between this and the two Mick Herron "Slough House" books I've read. Or perhaps the British are just good at evoking the atmosphere of dysfunctional, politicized organizations (John LeCarre, The Looking-Glass War, only novel of his I've really liked).

The book flows nicely even though it tells two imperfectly connected stories. About two thirds of it is about the misery of trying to do a good job, in a small research group that is trying to do a good job... but is being destroyed by internal and external politics. The protagonist is an engineer in a small group of what, for want of a better word, I'll call "boffins." They exist in a kind of organizational limbo. People who know about them bring military-related technical problems to them and they work on them. They get in trouble for giving an honest assessment of a flawed weapons system a higher-up has oversold to even-higher-ups. And the protagonist gets in trouble for doing some very good work on "low-temperature lubrication" that the group never got a specific request to work on, which treads on the toes of some other group that thought they had the monopoly on that research area.

The second part of it is just an amazing, unbelievably well-written account of an effort to understand and disarm a new kind of bomb.

It is also notable in its convincing depiction of the protagonist's emotions. It reminds me of Dick Francis' horseracing/detective novels, which are some of the few novels in which the protagonist truly feels fear.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

I'm starting Mary Shelley's Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus. On the one hand, for me, reading it is long overdue. My interest was sparked by a podcast about the Year Without a Summer and how the novel came to be written.

But I don't know if I can actually slog through it. It's not just the 1800s literary style, I'm pretty good with that. It's the difficulty in suspending disbelief. (Really, even in those days, the protagonist has no clue that Agrippa, Paracelsus, and Albertus Magnus are... not quite up-to-date?)

But it is certainly surprising.

There's a framing story I'd been unaware of! The book launches off in to an account of a polar expedition. The main story, or what I think is going to be the main story, comes when they pick up a near-dead man struggling across the ice, and he is going to tell us how he happened to end up there.

Weird detail. The reason why he decides to build a giant is because the internal anatomy of a human is so tiny and fiddly and difficult to work with, and (he says) making a giant it a little bit easier.

I haven't read much about it--never saw the movie, either--and I'm trying to read it while resisting the temptation to read about it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

River of the Gods, by Candice Millard.

The tale of the Burton/Speke expeditions in the 1850s to locate the source of the Nile River. Focuses on the tensions between the two British army of officers and on their reliance on a native guide, an emancipated slave named Sidi Mubarak Bombay. Recommended.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by matti »

I'm rereading Paranormal Minnesota by Chad Lewis. I love reading about ghost stories, urban legends, etc.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elsebet »

Just finished:

"The Naked and the Dead" by Norman Mailer. Really enjoyed this book, I didn't expect to since I'm not a big fan of war stories but this one really focuses on the human element and has a cast of really good characters. it's pretty long but was really absorbing, I read it at night before bed and took it on a business trip and read it the entire plane flight both ways.

"Ellen Foster" by Kaye Gibbons. Enjoyed this one as well, it's short but potent. The main character's optimism and resourcefulness is amazing considering (maybe because of?) her extremely tough circumstances.

"Bowling alone : the collapse and revival of American community" by Robert Putnam. Honestly I started skipping the detail and just plowed ahead to the chapter summaries. This is a very academic read with very detailed notes and sources. I picked it up because it was recommended on a reddit thread about declining volunteerism in the US. I volunteer for 2 organizations and declining participation was brought up recently by both, so I wanted more information on the cause.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

ruralavalon wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:33 am River of the Gods, by Candice Millard.

The tale of the Burton/Speke expeditions in the 1850s to locate the source of the Nile River. Focuses on the tensions between the two British army of officers and on their reliance on a native guide, an emancipated slave named Sidi Mubarak Bombay. Recommended.
On my waiting list on Libby. I enjoyed her book on Roosevelt in South America.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger »

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy. A few months back I read The Master and the Margarita for my book club. I noticed in the back of the book a promotion for Anna Karenina done by the same translators (Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky). I was intrigued and not sure what I was getting into, downloaded the Audible version. It's a 36 hour listen and I'm about 8 hours in. I'm thoroughly enjoying it. I don't know if I've read anything that so accurately displays what people are thinking in the moment and that comes across as so authentic and real.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Makaveli »

Dis United Nations by Peter Zeihan.

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=disunited+na ... bcggi9xy_e

VERY insightful, enjoying the audiobook immensely. Recommend for those interested in geopolitics, past and future. It's also making me rethink my international component of my portfolio. Would be highly interested in starting a pseudo book club / separate thread if enough interest evolves.
Nowizard
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nowizard »

One called Markham Street about a 1960 police beating and murder of a young man in a southern town and the cover-up that was not made apparent until 1984. Written by the brother of the deceased, an African-American that gives a clear image of a poor but principled family. Since this happened in my childhood hometown, it is personal since there are names mentioned of people known personally who were involved in the events. It is a book that is sad, courageously written and ultimately remarkable in the closure it presented for the involved family.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tertre »

Reading for the fifth time 2666 from Roberto Bolaño. It's hard to read something after 2666 as everything seems vain and without substance.

"Forceful, alluvial, polymorphous and perverse, overwhelming and at the same time hilarious, 2666 can be defined as a "cosmic novel" because -just as it happens with the universe- what is decisive and admirable is not that it is unfinished, but that it has no end. It is then that 2666 -like the posthumous and inconclusive but definitive big bangs In search of lost time and The man without qualities- is consecrated as a limitless artifact where what counts is not the passing solution of the mystery, but its eternal and intact permanence".

https://elpais.com/diario/2004/10/21/cu ... 50215.html (translated)
jginseattle
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jginseattle »

I have become a fan of crime novelist Thomas Perry. I just finished Strip.

"Perry is the master and Strip is a slice of pure crime nirvana. You will not want to put it down. You will not want it to end. You will be very, very entertained."

- Josh Bazell, author of Beat the Reaper
hnd
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by hnd »

sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
Barkingsparrow wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:51 am
sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
I tried twice to get through the first Malazan book and just lost bogged down. The book seems overly convoluted and dense, and not all that well structured; with not one character that I could identify with. I don't want to waste my time reading something where I need copious notes to track the numerous plot lines and characters. I also don't think the writing was all that great either, unpolished and muddled. Only the fan-boys are calling it the "...greatest fantasy of all time...". The guy comes off as some Gene Wolfe wanna-be but lacking Wolfe's talent.
I searched the thread to see if its been mentioned yet.

I love fantasy epics and of course that all started with tolkein. But i've "slogged" through a number of these types of series. The appreciation I have for Erikson is mostly around the fact that he finished the series. He didn't A) Die before finishing (Wheel of Time) and B) get distracted by other projects (SOIAF)

I embarked on this journey in 2015. Gardens of the moon is definitely a slog. there is so much introduction and so much world building and people building and character introducing you feel like you are reading an encyclopedia while a story is going on. I stopped and then started again rereading it the first time.

I'm now on book 6. 4 out of the 6 have been really good. the 1st and the one i'm on now seem like necessary evils. I'm 3/4 of the way through it.

How I read is I read a fiction book, a religious book of some sort, then a financial/betterment book, then start over. My issue with the Malazan series is that if you let too much time lapse there is just too much information to forget. Its like a chore to read.

However, I really enjoy the history as well as many of the characters in the series now that I've made it this far and will definitely finish and likely pick up some of the prequel series. and be done with the series when I'm 70.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 »

Boomerang by Michael Lewis.

Probably the weakest in his portfolio. Written in 2011 it covers the financial meltdowns in Iceland, Ireland, Greece, and the fallout of Germany bailing out those countries. Not a bad book, but I am curious what his purpose was in writing this book. It really didnt
tell much of a story.

It was ok, but I expect more from Lewis.

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

Post by nisiprius »

Slogging through "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus," by Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley, but finding it rough going. If I havent lost count, I am now four deep within a-story-within-a-story. Captain Walton is relating a story of an Arctic expedition, in which he picks up Victor Frankenstein, who tells him the story of how he created Frankenstein's monster, who one day told tells Frankenstein his story--and I have just gotten to the point where the monster is relating the story of Safie (one of the humans he had been watching).

So at this point, Shelley is telling the story about Walton telling the story of Frankenstein telling the story of the monster telling the story of Safie.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tooluser »

nisiprius wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 1:35 pm Slogging through "Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus," by Mary Wallstonecraft Shelley, but finding it rough going. If I havent lost count, I am now four deep within a-story-within-a-story. Captain Walton is relating a story of an Arctic expedition, in which he picks up Victor Frankenstein, who tells him the story of how he created Frankenstein's monster, who one day told tells Frankenstein his story--and I have just gotten to the point where the monster is relating the story of Safie (one of the humans he had been watching).

So at this point, Shelley is telling the story about Walton telling the story of Frankenstein telling the story of the monster telling the story of Safie.
Sometime try "The Expedition of Humphry Clinker", by Tobias Smollett. It was John Adam's favorite piece of fiction. It probably pays off later, but I was completely lost in just the first paragraph. :confused https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Exped ... ry_Clinker
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by homesleym »

Killing the killers : the secret war against terrorists / Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard.
Andy Warhol was a hoarder : inside the minds of history's great personalities / Claudia Kalb.
Stay off my operating table : a heart surgeon's metabolic health guide to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best every day / Philip Ovadia.
Uranium : war, energy, and the rock that shaped the world / Tom Zoellner.

Iif you like British historical 18th century Naval fiction. In the age of Google we can just look up the archaic nomenclature specific to sailing at that time. If you want to do it the old fashioned way, pick up John Harland's "Seamanship in the Age of Sail" and the nautical dictionary "The Sailor's Word-book"

Man of war / Sean Parnell.
Kydd : a novel / Julian Stockwin.

Following is a new author for me, probably the best I've read in describing surface engagements of the era.
Under enemy colors / S. Thomas Russell.
A battle won / S. Thomas Russell.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by oldcomputerguy »

I just started re-reading Raymond Feist's "Riftwar" series, beginning at the beginning with "Magician: Apprentice". I'm going back and forth between that and Mark Esper's memoir "A Sacred Oath".
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by LadyGeek »

I've read the Riftwar series in paperback many years ago and liked it. It's categorized in the fantasy genre.

The sci-fi genre is discussed here: Good Modern Science Fiction
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

wbarabas wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:30 pm Someone here recently recommended RED NOTICE by Bill Bower.
Loved this book, the accuracy and the action. Thank you!
Check out Bill Browder's new book: "Freezing Order". It is as good as "Red Notice".

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

Post by sureshoe »

hnd wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:36 pm
sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
Barkingsparrow wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:51 am
sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
I tried twice to get through the first Malazan book and just lost bogged down. The book seems overly convoluted and dense, and not all that well structured; with not one character that I could identify with. I don't want to waste my time reading something where I need copious notes to track the numerous plot lines and characters. I also don't think the writing was all that great either, unpolished and muddled. Only the fan-boys are calling it the "...greatest fantasy of all time...". The guy comes off as some Gene Wolfe wanna-be but lacking Wolfe's talent.
I searched the thread to see if its been mentioned yet.

I love fantasy epics and of course that all started with tolkein. But i've "slogged" through a number of these types of series. The appreciation I have for Erikson is mostly around the fact that he finished the series. He didn't A) Die before finishing (Wheel of Time) and B) get distracted by other projects (SOIAF)

I embarked on this journey in 2015. Gardens of the moon is definitely a slog. there is so much introduction and so much world building and people building and character introducing you feel like you are reading an encyclopedia while a story is going on. I stopped and then started again rereading it the first time.

I'm now on book 6. 4 out of the 6 have been really good. the 1st and the one i'm on now seem like necessary evils. I'm 3/4 of the way through it.

How I read is I read a fiction book, a religious book of some sort, then a financial/betterment book, then start over. My issue with the Malazan series is that if you let too much time lapse there is just too much information to forget. Its like a chore to read.

However, I really enjoy the history as well as many of the characters in the series now that I've made it this far and will definitely finish and likely pick up some of the prequel series. and be done with the series when I'm 70.
Interesting time for you to post on this. I'm just about to wrap up "House of Chains". Interestingly, it is my favorite of the batch. Out of curiosity, I looked at book rankings, and it is generally toward the bottom. I found it a much more coherent narrative. Maybe it's just that I finally understand the world.

[very very very minor spoilers below]
"Memories of Ice" is typically the top of the list, but I really found it uneven. I enjoyed the journey against the Pannion Domin and such, but there was just a lot of really confusing stuff where I sat there thinking "wtf is going on", which is a trend I've had through most of the series. Maybe "House of Chains" is dumbed down or I need to read the first 3 books again, but there's a point where I don't want to work too hard. The whole ice tigers and Toc the Younger being hugged to death by a t-rex... just weird.

"Deadhouse Gates" also was up there. I think I liked it more in retrospect. The Chain of Dogs is definitely the highlight of the series. But, maybe after finishing "Gardens of the Moon", jumping into all new storylines and characters was just incredibly jarring. Instead of building on that, it felt like I was starting a whole new series. So it was just tough.

"Gardens of the Moon" typically ranks low. Erickson was figuring stuff out, and it's just horribly dense and confusing. It did wrap nicely and by the end, I was getting into it.

Anyhoo - really looking forward to the final conflict between in the whirlwind. We'll see how the rest of the series goes.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wilson08 »

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I occasionally read an iconic classic novel that I bypassed during my student
years and such was the case with the well known Robinson Crusoe. The novel
starts off well with the adventures and misadventures of Crusoe as he goes
to seek fame and fortune in opposition to his parents' more realistic advice.
The crux of the story is where it bogs down for me. The years of survival on
an unknown island becomes a monotonous and laborious narrative pretty quickly.

To be fair and to put things in context we have been so inundated in my lifetime
with books, articles, cartoons, movies, and TV programs that capitalized on
the castaway-marooned-deserted island genre that I may have become jaded
to the whole subject. At the time the book was written, circa 1720, I am sure
it was fresh, unprecedented, and fascinating. Perhaps the younger set today
would enjoy it. For me I give it a C+.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by hnd »

sureshoe wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 10:19 am
hnd wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:36 pm
sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
Barkingsparrow wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:51 am
sureshoe wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:24 am Slogging through Malazan Book of the Fallen. I keep hearing it's the greatest fantasy series ever... but 2 books deep and I'm struggling to like it.
I tried twice to get through the first Malazan book and just lost bogged down. The book seems overly convoluted and dense, and not all that well structured; with not one character that I could identify with. I don't want to waste my time reading something where I need copious notes to track the numerous plot lines and characters. I also don't think the writing was all that great either, unpolished and muddled. Only the fan-boys are calling it the "...greatest fantasy of all time...". The guy comes off as some Gene Wolfe wanna-be but lacking Wolfe's talent.
I searched the thread to see if its been mentioned yet.

I love fantasy epics and of course that all started with tolkein. But i've "slogged" through a number of these types of series. The appreciation I have for Erikson is mostly around the fact that he finished the series. He didn't A) Die before finishing (Wheel of Time) and B) get distracted by other projects (SOIAF)

I embarked on this journey in 2015. Gardens of the moon is definitely a slog. there is so much introduction and so much world building and people building and character introducing you feel like you are reading an encyclopedia while a story is going on. I stopped and then started again rereading it the first time.

I'm now on book 6. 4 out of the 6 have been really good. the 1st and the one i'm on now seem like necessary evils. I'm 3/4 of the way through it.

How I read is I read a fiction book, a religious book of some sort, then a financial/betterment book, then start over. My issue with the Malazan series is that if you let too much time lapse there is just too much information to forget. Its like a chore to read.

However, I really enjoy the history as well as many of the characters in the series now that I've made it this far and will definitely finish and likely pick up some of the prequel series. and be done with the series when I'm 70.
Interesting time for you to post on this. I'm just about to wrap up "House of Chains". Interestingly, it is my favorite of the batch. Out of curiosity, I looked at book rankings, and it is generally toward the bottom. I found it a much more coherent narrative. Maybe it's just that I finally understand the world.

[very very very minor spoilers below]
"Memories of Ice" is typically the top of the list, but I really found it uneven. I enjoyed the journey against the Pannion Domin and such, but there was just a lot of really confusing stuff where I sat there thinking "wtf is going on", which is a trend I've had through most of the series. Maybe "House of Chains" is dumbed down or I need to read the first 3 books again, but there's a point where I don't want to work too hard. The whole ice tigers and Toc the Younger being hugged to death by a t-rex... just weird.

"Deadhouse Gates" also was up there. I think I liked it more in retrospect. The Chain of Dogs is definitely the highlight of the series. But, maybe after finishing "Gardens of the Moon", jumping into all new storylines and characters was just incredibly jarring. Instead of building on that, it felt like I was starting a whole new series. So it was just tough.

"Gardens of the Moon" typically ranks low. Erickson was figuring stuff out, and it's just horribly dense and confusing. It did wrap nicely and by the end, I was getting into it.

Anyhoo - really looking forward to the final conflict between in the whirlwind. We'll see how the rest of the series goes.
House of chains is one of my favorites. Karsa Orlong and Quickben are probably my favorite characters. The story line of Mappo and Icarium is also fascinating. Also amazing enough, the whole use of Demonry is pretty unique IMO.

I will say the use of Warrens can really get confusing. the K'Chain Chamelle race is just odd too.

book 5 is good but very different.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by wbarabas »

Dave55 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:02 am
wbarabas wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:30 pm Someone here recently recommended RED NOTICE by Bill Bower.
Loved this book, the accuracy and the action. Thank you!
Check out Bill Browder's new book: "Freezing Order". It is as good as "Red Notice".

Dave
Will do! Thank you!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

wilson08 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:48 pm Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I occasionally read an iconic classic novel that I bypassed during my student
years and such was the case with the well known Robinson Crusoe....
It is always, at least, interesting to read classics that have become bywords. (I'm working on Frankenstein; or, the New Prometheus.)

What often happens is that a book is a huge success, and becomes a byword; then they make a movie or movies or plays from it, and to a large extent the movie or play supersedes everyone's idea of what the story is; and then large numbers of pop-culture glancing references, jokes, moments in comedy routines or sitcoms, supersede even the movie.

And the original often gets mixed up with various books that are inspired by, or have borrowed ideas from, the original. Thus, our ideas of Robinson Crusoe probably get mixed up with The Swiss Family Robinson, and a book, no longer well-known--at least not in the US--The Coral Island, by R. M. Ballantyne. By now, the movie Castaway has probably gotten mixed in, too.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tooluser »

wilson08 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:48 pm Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

At the time the book was written, circa 1720, I am sure
it was fresh, unprecedented, and fascinating. Perhaps the younger set today
would enjoy it. For me I give it a C+.
I read this book when I was 9 years old. It was fantastic and kept me occupied thoroughly. I am 56 now, and suspect I would reach the same conclusion as you upon a reread.

I have still not read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, though I have a copy of it waiting for the right time.
Like good comrades to the utmost of their strength, we shall go on to the end. -- Winston Churchill
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas »

tooluser wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:59 pm I have still not read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, though I have a copy of it waiting for the right time.
I first read Treasure Island as an adult and absolutely loved it. RLS had me talking like a pirate by the time I finished it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

tooluser wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:59 pm I have still not read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, though I have a copy of it waiting for the right time.
I reread Treasure Island after retirement, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by bertilak »

ruralavalon wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 9:57 am
tooluser wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:59 pm I have still not read Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, though I have a copy of it waiting for the right time.
I reread Treasure Island after retirement, and thoroughly enjoyed it.
The classics are classics for a reason!

If one is looking for a "good read" the pickings are better if you extend your search into the past.
  1. There is a bigger pool to choose from.
  2. The past selections have been curated: The junk has been excluded from ready availability. and even from memory.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sureshoe »

hnd wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 3:35 pm House of chains is one of my favorites. Karsa Orlong and Quickben are probably my favorite characters. The story line of Mappo and Icarium is also fascinating. Also amazing enough, the whole use of Demonry is pretty unique IMO.

I will say the use of Warrens can really get confusing. the K'Chain Chamelle race is just odd too.

book 5 is good but very different.
Just about to start it, curious to see how it goes. Yeah, I'm with you on Karsa and Quick.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by gubernaculum »

Currently reading "Over the Edge of the World", by Laurence Bergreen, about Ferdinand Magellan. The true risk takers, that risked their lives to get the spices, and whose profits were precisely calculated on type of spices, quantity, pecking order on the ships, etc. They invested their lives into becoming wealthy, and less than 10% came home alive.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas »

bertilak wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:15 pm If one is looking for a "good read" the pickings are better if you extend your search into the past.
  1. There is a bigger pool to choose from.
  2. The past selections have been curated: The junk has been excluded from ready availability. and even from memory.
They are also likely to be free.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

Nimitz at War, by Craig L. Symonds.

The story of Admiral Nimitz's tenure as Commander in Chief U.S. Pacific Fleet in World War II. Recommended.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mega317 »

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman. Kind of a goofy book--essays on words, reading, and writing. I especially liked the one on plagiarism.

I'm working my way through Investing in fixed income securities: understanding the bond market by Gary Strumeyer. I felt I needed to understand bonds a little better. It's kind of slow going but there is some dry humor mixed in and I am enjoying it. I also have The Bond Book in the queue.

If Part 6 of this thread is 6000 posts does that mean there are at least 30,000 posts elsewhere? What is the max?
https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6212
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MGBMartin »

The Napoleonic Wars by Michael Glover.

Kind of forgot I had this book, found on the bottom of a pile of other books.
That’s one good thing about getting old, you forget you bought something then it is a joy to discover it later.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Calhoon »

Nissipus --

Just started Frankenstein myself.

I know what you mean. The style is a little different than what you might read today. I'm sure I'll get used to it after 50 pages or so. Hoping.

No, I think it's hillarious. Here this explorer is out of in the middle of nowhere who is venturing off into the unknown and is going to tread where no man has gone before...only to find that there's some guy up there already chasing around some other guy.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Zeno »

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by breakaway »

Just finished Leviathan wakes by James S. A Corey, and am now waiting for the Caliban's war to arrive.
Also waiting for The 6:20 man by David Baldacci to get released. I have read almost all his books.
I get them from the local library. :D
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Calhoon wrote: Fri Jun 24, 2022 8:02 am Nissipus --

Just started Frankenstein myself.

I know what you mean. The style is a little different than what you might read today. I'm sure I'll get used to it after 50 pages or so. Hoping.

No, I think it's hillarious. Here this explorer is out of in the middle of nowhere who is venturing off into the unknown and is going to tread where no man has gone before...only to find that there's some guy up there already chasing around some other guy.
It picks up about halfway through, but it is seriously weird. One curious point is that she is extraordinarily vague about the "materials" and the process involved. Electricity and galvanism are not mentioned, incidentally. It seems clear that the "creation" is made out of pieces of dead bodies, but for some reason it isn't practical simply to reanimate a fully-assembled fresh corpse. Frankenstein needs to reassemble them, somehow, and "As the minuteness of the parts formed a great hindrance to my speed, I resolved, contrary to my first intention, to make the being of a gigantic stature, that is to say, about eight feet in height."

Here's the full description of how Frankenstein brings the creation to life:
I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet.
That's it. Period.

Even stranger, the "creation" is somehow so horrible in appearance that no human can tolerate it, but she hardly even tries to explain what is wrong. The most complete descriptions of the creature's appearance are:
His limbs were in proportion, and I had selected his features as beautiful. Beautiful! Great God! His yellow skin scarcely covered the work of muscles and arteries beneath; his hair was of a lustrous black, and flowing; his teeth of a pearly whiteness; but these luxuriances only formed a more horrid contrast with his watery eyes, that seemed almost of the same colour as the dun-white sockets in which they were set, his shrivelled complexion and straight black lips.
...gigantic in stature, yet uncouth and distorted in its proportions. As he hung over the coffin, his face was concealed by long locks of ragged hair; but one vast hand was extended, in colour and apparent texture like that of a mummy.... Never did I behold a vision so horrible as his face, of such loathsome yet appalling hideousness.
Doesn't seem any worse than Shrek. (In appearance).

Unexplained and illogical connections and coincidences abound. She isn't the only writer to paper over unlikely coincidences simply by acknowledging them:
Guided by a slight clue, I followed the windings of the Rhone, but vainly. The blue Mediterranean appeared, and by a strange chance, I saw the fiend enter by night and hide himself in a vessel bound for the Black Sea. I took my passage in the same ship, but he escaped, I know not how.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

I've started Darkness Falls from the Air, by Nigel Balchin. I don't like it nearly as well as The Small Back Room.

[Added] And now I've finished it. Its an unremitting downer. I guess I can praise it in the sense that it got to me and left me even more depressed than, say, the John LeCarre novels I've read.
Last edited by nisiprius on Sat Jun 25, 2022 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by leviathan »

Dave55 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:02 am
wbarabas wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:30 pm Someone here recently recommended RED NOTICE by Bill Bower.
Loved this book, the accuracy and the action. Thank you!
Check out Bill Browder's new book: "Freezing Order". It is as good as "Red Notice".

Dave
I really enjoyed both books. Thanks for the recommendation.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Mr. Rumples »

Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge by by Erica Armstrong Dunbar

When Ona Judge was 21 years old, she ran away from the home of the President. She was not his slave, but his wife's and Martha Washington was going to give her as a gift to Elizabeth Parke Custis Law, her granddaughter, who was known to have a terrible temper. This is the story of how she managed to live free from her escape until her death in 1848.
Last edited by Mr. Rumples on Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

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"Reality always wins, your only job is to get in touch with it." Wilfred Bion
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

leviathan wrote: Sat Jun 25, 2022 3:51 pm
Dave55 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:02 am
wbarabas wrote: Wed Jun 15, 2022 7:30 pm Someone here recently recommended RED NOTICE by Bill Bower.
Loved this book, the accuracy and the action. Thank you!
Check out Bill Browder's new book: "Freezing Order". It is as good as "Red Notice".

Dave
I really enjoyed both books. Thanks for the recommendation.
You are welcome!

Dave
"Reality always wins, your only job is to get in touch with it." Wilfred Bion
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

nisiprius wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:54 pm
wilson08 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:48 pm Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I occasionally read an iconic classic novel that I bypassed during my student
years and such was the case with the well known Robinson Crusoe....
It is always, at least, interesting to read classics that have become bywords. (I'm working on Frankenstein; or, the New Prometheus.)

What often happens is that a book is a huge success, and becomes a byword; then they make a movie or movies or plays from it, and to a large extent the movie or play supersedes everyone's idea of what the story is; and then large numbers of pop-culture glancing references, jokes, moments in comedy routines or sitcoms, supersede even the movie.

And the original often gets mixed up with various books that are inspired by, or have borrowed ideas from, the original. Thus, our ideas of Robinson Crusoe probably get mixed up with The Swiss Family Robinson, and a book, no longer well-known--at least not in the US--The Coral Island, by R. M. Ballantyne. By now, the movie Castaway has probably gotten mixed in, too.
I found that to be true with Gone with the Wind. I saw the movie several times, as most of us of a certain age and place have, and never dreamed the book, which I read much later in life, could outdo the film. It did. Such richness of detail, and gripping from start to finish even though the ending is known to us.

Drat that Ashley Wilkes!! He really did love Melanie more than he loved Scarlett, after all.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by 59Gibson »

Travels with Charley - Steinbeck
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Fallible »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Sun Jun 26, 2022 6:51 pm
nisiprius wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:54 pm
wilson08 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 2:48 pm Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

I occasionally read an iconic classic novel that I bypassed during my student
years and such was the case with the well known Robinson Crusoe....
It is always, at least, interesting to read classics that have become bywords. (I'm working on Frankenstein; or, the New Prometheus.)

What often happens is that a book is a huge success, and becomes a byword; then they make a movie or movies or plays from it, and to a large extent the movie or play supersedes everyone's idea of what the story is; and then large numbers of pop-culture glancing references, jokes, moments in comedy routines or sitcoms, supersede even the movie.

And the original often gets mixed up with various books that are inspired by, or have borrowed ideas from, the original. Thus, our ideas of Robinson Crusoe probably get mixed up with The Swiss Family Robinson, and a book, no longer well-known--at least not in the US--The Coral Island, by R. M. Ballantyne. By now, the movie Castaway has probably gotten mixed in, too.
I found that to be true with Gone with the Wind. I saw the movie several times, as most of us of a certain age and place have, and never dreamed the book, which I read much later in life, could outdo the film. It did. Such richness of detail, and gripping from start to finish even though the ending is known to us.

Drat that Ashley Wilkes!! He really did love Melanie more than he loved Scarlett, after all.
After reading the book and seeing the movie, I finally decided that among the three, everybody loved, liked, respected, hated, and/or feared everybody else and maybe even including themselves. It's part of what made the movie so memorable, I think.
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