What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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100 years or solitude. Recommended.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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The Snowball - about Warren Buffett
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Adam2413 wrote: Sat Apr 27, 2024 11:59 am Recently read these 2 books, I thought they were really good.

A Fever in the Heartland: The Ku Klux Klan's Plot to Take Over America, and the Woman Who Stopped Them by Timothy Egan.

The chip war by Chris miller.

Right now reading Elon musk book, halfway through. I think it’s very good so far
I found the Musk book to be excellent.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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If you enjoyed the glen cook garrett pi books you might like Bookshops & Bonedust by Travis Baldree.

https://us.macmillan.com/books/97812508 ... psbonedust
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Thranduil wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 9:09 am I highly recommend Chernow's Washington: A Life. Best book on the Revolution I have ever read - by far - and I came away from it understanding the view held by many historians that, without Washington, there would have been no USofA. At many critical moments, he was the sole "Founding Father" that revolutionaries from Maine to Georgia could support. And, Chernow does not shy away from Washington's failures, e.g., the Battle of Brooklyn and his failures on slavery.
Horologium wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 12:48 pm Agree 100%. Chernow is one of my favorite authors. He did a tremendous job with both Washington and his Alexander Hamilton. ..
I was really impressed by Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" biography.
I came away with a much better understanding of not just Hamilton, but also Washington and Jefferson.

Here’s a tidbit I was not aware of. Hamilton left the cabinet [he was the Treasury Secretary] about 2 years before the end of George Washington’s administration. He chose one of his proteges [Oliver Woolcott] to be his replacement. And because Thomas Jefferson was so ineffective as Secretary of State, Hamilton had previously convinced Washington to replace Jefferson with one of his Federalists. The War Secretary was also a Federalist.

When John Adams succeeded Washington as president, he didn’t name a new cabinet! Instead he kept all of Washington’s cabinet! And because Adams was a relatively weak president, the secretaries of treasury, war and state were all corresponding to Hamilton asking for his advice. Hamilton would reply with his opinions and arguments and those cabinet secretaries would often use his words verbatim in their recommendations to Adams! As a private citizen, Hamilton was still almost running the government! Adams was unaware of this for years.

From reading the book, I have a much higher opinion of George Washington. The book explains why Washington was a great leader, even if he wasn’t a great thinker, writer, orator, or even military commander. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are shown in a much more negative light compared to what most of history portrays.

Chernow's biography of George Washington is on my reading list.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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“Same as Ever: A Guide to What Never Changes”, Morgan Housel (2023)
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PL5JG93/?r ... l_huc_item

Like a Rolling Stone: A Memoir

After learning about it either in this topic or the What Are You Listening to topic and buying the book last October ... I finally started it today.

Am 100 pages into it.

Grade so far is a B.

He professes a great love for music but so far he's not communicating it in a way that conveys to me his love for it was ever at the level mine is.

He's 5 years older than me which puts him at 18 years old when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. And, somehow he was one of the few alive Americans who did not see them on that show? He did not know anything about them until he saw their movie - A Hard Day's Night - the following summer?

 
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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doobiedoo wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2024 3:56 am
Thranduil wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 9:09 am I highly recommend Chernow's Washington: A Life. Best book on the Revolution I have ever read - by far - and I came away from it understanding the view held by many historians that, without Washington, there would have been no USofA. At many critical moments, he was the sole "Founding Father" that revolutionaries from Maine to Georgia could support. And, Chernow does not shy away from Washington's failures, e.g., the Battle of Brooklyn and his failures on slavery.
Horologium wrote: Sun Apr 21, 2024 12:48 pm Agree 100%. Chernow is one of my favorite authors. He did a tremendous job with both Washington and his Alexander Hamilton. ..
I was really impressed by Ron Chernow's "Alexander Hamilton" biography.
I came away with a much better understanding of not just Hamilton, but also Washington and Jefferson.

Here’s a tidbit I was not aware of. Hamilton left the cabinet [he was the Treasury Secretary] about 2 years before the end of George Washington’s administration. He chose one of his proteges [Oliver Woolcott] to be his replacement. And because Thomas Jefferson was so ineffective as Secretary of State, Hamilton had previously convinced Washington to replace Jefferson with one of his Federalists. The War Secretary was also a Federalist.

When John Adams succeeded Washington as president, he didn’t name a new cabinet! Instead he kept all of Washington’s cabinet! And because Adams was a relatively weak president, the secretaries of treasury, war and state were all corresponding to Hamilton asking for his advice. Hamilton would reply with his opinions and arguments and those cabinet secretaries would often use his words verbatim in their recommendations to Adams! As a private citizen, Hamilton was still almost running the government! Adams was unaware of this for years.

From reading the book, I have a much higher opinion of George Washington. The book explains why Washington was a great leader, even if he wasn’t a great thinker, writer, orator, or even military commander. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are shown in a much more negative light compared to what most of history portrays.

Chernow's biography of George Washington is on my reading list.
I think you will like Chernow's Washington book. As I wrote in a previous post, I came away from the book thinking that Washington was the only truly indispensable "Founding Father."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by zincTwo »

Today, two friends recommended this to me:
Attack from Within: How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America, by Barbara McQuade

Interestingly, both friends are on opposite ends of the political spectrum... so it should be a good time.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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vnatale wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2024 7:27 pm https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09PL5JG93/?r ... l_huc_item

Like a Rolling Stone: A Memoir

After learning about it either in this topic or the What Are You Listening to topic and buying the book last October ... I finally started it today.

Am 100 pages into it.

Grade so far is a B.

He professes a great love for music but so far he's not communicating it in a way that conveys to me his love for it was ever at the level mine is.

He's 5 years older than me which puts him at 18 years old when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. And, somehow he was one of the few alive Americans who did not see them on that show? He did not know anything about them until he saw their movie - A Hard Day's Night - the following summer?

Eh, lots of us never appreciated Beetle music 'til much later.

 
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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vnatale wrote: Sun Apr 28, 2024 7:27 pm He's 5 years older than me which puts him at 18 years old when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. And, somehow he was one of the few alive Americans who did not see them on that show? He did not know anything about them until he saw their movie - A Hard Day's Night - the following summer?
So, he's a little slow on the uptake? Jann Wenner is supposed to be (to have been?) on top of these things!

Even my mother came out of the kitchen to watch.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Elsebet »

Currently reading:

"The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri - I started reading the work but in the Oxford edition I have from the library, there is an extensive set of notes for each canto along with a summary. I found the notes much more interesting than the actual prose so I'm just reading the canto summary and notes.

"Rabbit Redux" - This is book two of the Rabbit series by John Updike. I am really enjoying it and plan to finish the series.

Just finished:

"Bastard out of Carolina" by Dorothy Allison. Really enjoyed this book and plan to buy a copy but fair warning, it has some very dark subject matter that may be upsetting to some.

"Run, Rabbit, Run" - book one of John Updike's Rabbit series - enjoyed it!

Next up:

"The Diary of a young girl: the definitive edition" by Anne Frank
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power, by Jefferson Cowie. 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner for History.

A gripping account focused on one Alabama’s county reactions to Native American treaty claims for Federal protection, Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War, New Deal progressiveness, and the Civil Rights Movement — with the latter focusing on the politics of George Wallace.

[Political comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy]
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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ChrisC wrote: Wed May 01, 2024 7:11 am Freedom’s Dominion: A Saga of White Resistance to Federal Power, by Jefferson Cowie. 2023 Pulitzer Prize Winner for History.

A gripping account focused on one Alabama’s county reactions to Native American treaty claims for Federal protection, Reconstruction in the aftermath of the Civil War, New Deal progressiveness, and the Civil Rights Movement — with the latter focusing on the politics of George Wallace.

[Political comment removed by moderator oldcomputerguy]
Yes, good one!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

I'm about halfway through--I think--about half the book is notes which makes it a little hard to judge in a Kindle book--and ready to declare Chamber Divers, by Rachel Lance, is one terrific book and not to be missed if you have even the faintest interest in the subject.

The subject is the secret research conducted by J. B. S. Haldane and his team of scientists, on diving and respiratory physiology, during World War II, and their genuine heroism. They used themselves as experimental subjects, which was extremely dangerous, and did some real harm to their own health in the process. To say nothing at all about unbelievable discomfort.

I knew of J. B. S. Haldane as the author of On Being the Right Size, a classic essay on scaling, which I'd read as a kid in an anthology of essays about math. I also knew him for his wisecrack; to the question "From the evidence of the Creation, what can we deduce about the Creator," to which Haldane replied "He has an inordinate fondness for beetles." And I did vaguely know that he had led experiments on the physiology of gas inhalation while diving.

But this book is amazing. The depth and detail of Rachel Lance's research is incredible, and it is full of insights on how England was responding to the war in general and the Blitz in particular. And I had no idea at all how many of the very basic insights on diving that anyone who's taken a SCUBA course takes for granted, were due to his group's research. Things like scrubbing carbon dioxide being just as important as maintaining a supply of oxygen, for example.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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nisiprius wrote: Sat Apr 20, 2024 11:01 am Just finished Stephen King's The Mist. Awful. Stephen King at his laziest and self-indulgent worst. And The Mist comes to its unsatisfying non-ending only 45% of the way through the Kindle edition. More than half of the Kindle edition is taken up by a sample portion of another book. So we have two unfinished books, the second unfinished by design, and the first complete-but-unfinished due to King's failure to write an ending.

Just finished Lee Child's Jack Reacher book, Past Tense, which was everything the Stephen King book wasn't. Sure, it is Jack-Reacher-formulaic but satisfying and well-constructed.

Just started Jeff Shaara's The Glorious Revolution, one of his historical novels, the one about the American Revolutionary War... because I want to know more about the American Revolutionary War. I realized that for some reason my high school U.S. History course was actually very weak on details of what happened between the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and the election of George Washington in 1789. David McCullough wrote 1776 which filled in that year for me, but unfortunately he didn't write follow-up volumes for 1777, 1778, ... 1783. Somehow I have a much more complete mental list of "names of Civil War battles" than "names of American Revolutionary War battles." And I grew up near White Plains, where one of them was fought--but know nothing about it.
If you are interested in books on the Revolutionary War may I suggest Rick Atkinson's "The British are Coming". It is part one of an expected trilogy. I found it fascinating.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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"The Maze", A John Corry novel by Nelson DeMille.

Always a good author.

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

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The Demon of Unrest, by Erik Larson.

This is a very detailed yet readable history of the run-up to the rebel shelling of Fort Sumter in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina, the beginning of the Civil War.

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

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vnatale wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 8:35 pm
turtlebug wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 11:54 am Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health by L. Ron Hubbard.

This is some pretty weird pseudo-science crap. Hogwash for the brain. I've never read anything like it. Can't wait for our book club discussion! :twisted:
This book on him was excellent.

Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard

https://www.amazon.com/Bare-Faced-Messi ... 127&sr=1-2
Also about him, "Let's sell these people A Piece of Blue Sky" by Jon Atack (free with Kindle Unlimited). Note, an early hardback version of the book is simply titled "A Piece of Blue Sky"

And to read about Hubbard's legacy, and who succeeded him (David Miscavige), you might read "Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me" by Ron Miscavige.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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“Warren Buffett and the Interpretation of Financial Statements”, by David Clark & Mary Buffett
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by urrutiap »

busy with Wheel of Time Winter's Heart

then I preordered the new Stephen King You Like it Darker so Ill be reading that later on this month
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Tyrael314 wrote: Sat May 04, 2024 8:08 pm

If you are interested in books on the Revolutionary War may I suggest Rick Atkinson's "The British are Coming". It is part one of an expected trilogy. I found it fascinating.
Great recommendation -- probably the best book I have ever read on the early part of the Revolutionary War. And, if anyone is interested, his series on WW2 in Western Europe & the Med is equally as good.

https://liberationtrilogy.com/books/
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by rockstar »

Finished up last night the first Dresden Files book: Storm Front. It was an enjoyable read. Fast read too.

I started In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune. I’ve read this author before and enjoy his books. I needed something fun to go along with my read of Demon Copperhead, which is a pretty depressing read so far. It’s gonna take me a bit to get through it.

Once those are knocked out I’ll go back to the other books I started.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by lemon_lime »

Outlive by Peter Attia. I have mixed feelings about the author, but that's probably my own biases. There's some actionable, interesting stuff regarding exercise in particular. It's a pretty quick read, I would recommend it.

Shakespeare Was a Woman and Other Heresies by Elizabeth Winkler. I really like this author, I like the way she writes and it's a fascinating story that has really made me rethink what I know about English literature. I learned a lot from this book, but it does tend to drag in the beginning. The last half makes up for it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Finished Jeff Shaara's The Glorious Cause, covering more or less 1776 through Yorktown. It's exactly what I wanted: education on the basic events of the Revolutionary War as a war, reasonably factual, with presumably accurate interpretations of what was really happening to the soldiers and how the various generals were thinking about the war and each other. His villains are a little too villainous to believe.

At the same time, I've been listening to a podcast called "Revolutions," by Mike Duncan, which is a podcast exploring great revolutions of history... specifically the second season, which is about the American Revolution. It's very good, and of course much less "novelized" than Shaara.

I've just started Melville Goodwin, USA by John P. Marquand, which I found that I had put onto my Kindle and forgotten about. I'm not sure I know what it's "about" yet, other than it's a 1951 book, set in 1951 or thereabouts, about a two-star general, who fought in World War II, did something pressworthy in Berlin, and is therefore about to be the subject of a radio interview. The first-person narrator is the interviewer, a radio star, who met Goodwin glancingly during the war. He and Goodwin both had brief affairs with the same woman. The general theme seems to be: what are generals really like, and what makes them the way they are.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by HoosierJim »

JD2775 wrote: Mon Mar 18, 2024 10:58 am Recently finished a re-read of "City of Thieves" (David Benioff). Great book
Great and QUICK
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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The Gold of Kalimantan by Michael Vernon Harding. I am enjoying the book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nivek »

The Murderbot Dairies - Martha Wells. Read the first four novellas and onto the first novel. Enjoyable read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Happygo »

Recently finished Indianapolis, which I thought was extremely well-researched and an overall outstanding history. For those interested in WWII, I highly recommend this one.

I’m almost done with the Anxious Generation, which is excellent and perhaps even a “must read” for parents currently raising children.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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Nivek wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 3:20 pm The Murderbot Dairies - Martha Wells. Read the first four novellas and onto the first novel. Enjoyable read.
This is a fine series and there's also another novella Fugitive Telemetry that was written after the first novel but is set in time right before it and is sort of a bottle episode where murderbot investigates a murder on preservation station.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Adam2413 »

The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness By Jonathan Haidt

Excellent book
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FootballFan5548 »

I'm currently reading, "On Desperate Ground" by Hampton Sides.

It's the 4th book in a row I've read by Sides and it's been very good so far. I've read hundreds of books on WW2 and Vietnam, but have skipped over the Korean War so this is a first for me. The struggle of those marines and army soldiers was incredible. Very good book that weaves intense action with political background.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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FootballFan5548 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 6:49 am I'm currently reading, "On Desperate Ground" by Hampton Sides.

It's the 4th book in a row I've read by Sides and it's been very good so far. I've read hundreds of books on WW2 and Vietnam, but have skipped over the Korean War so this is a first for me. The struggle of those marines and army soldiers was incredible. Very good book that weaves intense action with political background.
Great book. I've enjoyed each of the books I've read by Sides. Always look forward to a new release.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Horologium »

Nivek wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 3:20 pm The Murderbot Dairies - Martha Wells. Read the first four novellas and onto the first novel. Enjoyable read.
I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but someone turned me on to this series and I really liked it.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Horologium »

Earlier this year I read Cormac McCarthy's The Road and No Country for Old Men and really enjoyed both of them.

A couple of weeks ago I started Blood Meridian and, even though I disliked it, I stuck with it. I finished it two days ago and the last two chapters knocked me back on my heels. So much so that I went back and reread those last two chapters yesterday. The ending put the book in a completely different light for me.

It is by far the most unique and interesting book I've read so far this year. I will definitely read it again, maybe even this year.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by book lover »

Poor Charlie's Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T.Munger, Expanded Third Edition
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by placeholder »

Horologium wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 11:15 am
Nivek wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 3:20 pm The Murderbot Dairies - Martha Wells. Read the first four novellas and onto the first novel. Enjoyable read.
I'm not a big sci-fi fan, but someone turned me on to this series and I really liked it.
I've seen suggestions of a murderbot tv series but they'd really have to figure out how to do the internal monologue which gets going right from the start of the first book:
I COULD HAVE BECOME a mass murderer after I hacked my governor module, but then I realized I could access the combined feed of entertainment channels carried on the company satellites. It had been well over 35,000 hours or so since then, with still not much murdering, but probably, I don’t know, a little under 35,000 hours of movies, serials, books, plays, and music consumed. As a heartless killing machine, I was a terrible failure.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by vnatale »

Happygo wrote: Mon May 13, 2024 3:36 pm Recently finished Indianapolis, which I thought was extremely well-researched and an overall outstanding history. For those interested in WWII, I highly recommend this one.
Wonder if it is the same one that I read. I think I have three different books covering the subject.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Charles Joseph »

I just finished "Inside Vanguard" by Charles Ellis. I thought it was an interesting history of Jack Bogle's career and of Vanguard and its leadership. However I think Ellis was unduly harsh on Bogle and Ellis seemed to almost deify the other leaders of Vanguard going forward from Jack.

In any event, I enjoyed it very much and found it to be a worthwhile read.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

Getting there. Robert Caro, 1975, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. P. 1083 of 1162 pages (not counting notes, index, etc.) Part VII, "The Loss of Power." Chapter 47 (of 50), "The Great Fair."

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by vnatale »

Charles Joseph wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 7:32 pm I just finished "Inside Vanguard" by Charles Ellis. I thought it was an interesting history of Jack Bogle's career and of Vanguard and its leadership. However I think Ellis was unduly harsh on Bogle and Ellis seemed to almost deify the other leaders of Vanguard going forward from Jack.

In any event, I enjoyed it very much and found it to be a worthwhile read.
Highly valued book in that it's been out nearly two years yet you cannot buy a used version of it for less than $21.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by vnatale »

nisiprius wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 7:42 pm Getting there. Robert Caro, 1975, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. P. 1083 of 1162 pages (not counting notes, index, etc.) Part VII, "The Loss of Power." Chapter 47 (of 50), "The Great Fair."

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You are nearing the finish line! All of Caro's books on Johnson were uniformly excellent. I assume it'd be the same for this book, though he was 50 years younger when he wrote the one you are reading.
Above provided by: Vinny, who always says: "I only regret that I have but one lap to give to my cats." AND "I'm a more-is-more person."
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obafgkm
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by obafgkm »

The New York Game, by Kevin Baker.

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I just finished it. It is a wonderful history of baseball (through a New York City lens) from the mid 1800s to the mid 1940s, just before Jackie Robinson re-integrated "organized baseball."

But it is not just baseball history. Baker looks at the politics and culture of New York City as well, to give context to baseball in the city. His writing is quite good (and there were several times I laughed out loud at one of his turns of phrases).

I hope Baker writes a second volume, from 1947 onwards.
"I'm investing in stocks... chicken, beef, and vegetable. It's risky, but I know one day it'll pay off & I'll be a bouillonaire. Who knows, I might even open up a Broth IRA."
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miles ahead
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by miles ahead »

The Covenant of Water. Excellent book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by brandy »

Recently finished NO VISIBLE BRUISES, by Rachel Snyder--about domestic abuse (and other relationship abuse) and about changes that are happening in this field.
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Flymore
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Flymore »

vnatale wrote: Wed Mar 06, 2024 9:08 pm
Flymore wrote: Mon Mar 04, 2024 10:01 am The Greatest Capitalist Who Ever Lived, Tom Watson Jr. and the Epic Story of How IBM created the digital age.

Few corporation survive for 100 years, 2024 is the 100th year for IBM.

In 1964 IBM invested 5 billion (40+ billion today) in the development of the non-specific, non-specialized computer system. A computer that could be used for any purpose from business to scientific. It was called System 360, because the machine provided 360 degrees of computing capability. The s360 also provided a platform for expansion where software developed on the s360 could be used later as the system grew. These were huge changes for an industry that hardly existed. Even today some software developed back then can still run on zOS the current mainframe OS.

The the operating system os360 developed for the s360 is listed under the top 10 best software ever written. There is a mainframe emulator, Hercules available for download and there're numerous youtube videos on installing and using the Hercules emulator and the IBM mainframe.

1960's COMPUTER HISTORY: REMEMBERING THE IBM SYSTEM/360 MAINFRAME
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npgvV_-Nh60
Did the book cover IBM's role in World War II?
There were several references to World War II. Tom Watson Jr. loved to fly and served as a pilot for the US air force during the war. IBM pulled out of Germany at the beginning of the war. This is from memory, I returned the book to the library.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Enganerd »

VictoriaF wrote: Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:24 pm The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch.

The book has a peculiar story. When people prepare for the Camino, they buy a special scale to weigh every item they put into a backpack and cut labels to lighten their load. I did not go to such extremes but ensured that my full pack was less than 20 pounds with food and water. Importantly, I optimized my reading and writing materials (I didn't carry any electronics apart from my digital watch).

It helps that on the Camino people participate in book exchanges; they leave books they have finished and pick up books left by others. Unfortunately, most books are in Spanish, and those I found in English were quite shallow. And so I was pretty shocked to find The Beginning of Infinity in one of the albergues. It was in English, and it was a great book. The drawback was that it was huge, adding a couple pounds of weight and taking a lot of space in my pack.

I decided to carry the book for a couple days, read the beginning, the end, and then leave it in another albergue. However, I got so attached to the book that I ended up carrying it to the end, reading and rereading it.

Deutsch is a terrific writer. He writes very well, he is very knowledgeable, he makes difficult topics more manageable. The main thesis of the book is that the human knowledge has passed a threshold and now we have the potential for acquiring infinite knowledge. The key is to focus on good explanations (his term) and follow a process of (1) conjectures, (2) criticism (starting with self-criticism), and (3) evidence (experimental or otherwise).

The book is philosophical, but it's much more than that. Deutsch covers topics such as neo-Darwinism, genes and memes, fungibility, multiverses, quantum theory, and quantum computing. The latter is his academic area at Oxford.

Victoria
This is an excellent book. Some chapters are a bit too deep for me to fully appreciate but I really enjoy Deutsch's writing style and the topics covered. If one is interested in science, philosophy and epistemology I strongly recommend this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by cs412a »

brandy wrote: Fri May 17, 2024 11:24 am Recently finished NO VISIBLE BRUISES, by Rachel Snyder--about domestic abuse (and other relationship abuse) and about changes that are happening in this field.
It sounds like a tough read, so kudos to you. More people should know about the extent and effects of domestic abuse.
InMyDreams
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by InMyDreams »

Myths of the Hindus and Buddhists by Ananda K Coomaraswamy and Sister Nivedita. It's an inherited copy that's sat on my shelf for years.

Who knew, it's a thing, and even has a wikipedia page
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myths_of_ ... _Buddhists
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by notBobToo »

City in Ruins by Don Winslow. Final part of the Danny Ryan story. Could be Winslow's last novel.

Just finished Extinction by Douglas Preston. A little too Jurassic Park for my liking.
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