Author Topic: What are you READING right now?  (Read 234429 times)

grantmeaname

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1100 on: January 31, 2018, 05:00:24 PM »
My history textbook said there weren’t any good podcasts back in 1985...

Malaysia41

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1101 on: February 01, 2018, 06:18:03 AM »
^I know I'm derailing the discussion a bit, but I find that concept very interesting. Did the author provide any potential possibilities to remedy this? E.g. are there any podcasts or more modern types of media that are similar in depth?

On whether a remedy is possible:

Quote from: Neil-Postman
In the first place, not everyone believes a cure is needed, and in the second, there probably isn't any.  But as a true-blue American who has imbibed the unshakable belief that where there is a problem, there must be a solution, I shall conclude with the following suggestions.

His suggestions for remedy:

Quote from: Neil-Postman
"only through a deep and unfailing awareness of the structure and effects of information, through a demystification of media, is there any hope of our gaining some measure of control over television, or the computer, or any other medium. How is such media consciousness to be achieved? There are only two answers that come to mind, one of which is nonsense ... the other is desperate:

1. "nonsense answer": Create TV programs whose intent would be ... to demonstrate how television ought to be viewed, to show how television recreates and degrades our conception of news, political debate, religious thought, etc.
2. "desperate answer": Education in our schools -to teach media consciousness . Rather than teachers attempting to use tv or the internet to help with or control education, teachers need to use education to help students control the media around them.

a couple other suggestions:
  - ban political commercials (as tobacco and alcohol commercials were banned) - but he doesn't believe this idea would be taken seriously.
  - have a national conversation about information, mediums of communication, and how modes of communication give new meanings to concepts such as 'piety' or 'patriotism' or 'privacy'. - but he doesn't think this will happen either.

To sum up - his suggestions are sparse and not at all hopeful.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2018, 06:40:06 AM by Malaysia41 »
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davisgang90

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1102 on: February 02, 2018, 06:28:17 AM »
Just finished The Cloud, by Ray Hammond.

Interesting sci-fi book about a giant gas cloud heading for our solar system in response to a radio signal from a nearby star.  There's some pretty cool Artificial Intelligence issues explored as well.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1103 on: February 05, 2018, 08:40:21 AM »
Just found the series Extinct, created by Orson Scott Card from a post on Quora where he occasionally writes (https://www.quora.com/How-long-until-the-second-book-of-the-second-trilogy-of-the-Formic-Wars-is-released-I-love-your-books-so-much-and-have-been-reading-them-since-I-was-in-the-5th-grade). It is created by Orson Scott Card and by Aaron Johnston and OSC is writing the novels.

This is not a book, but a serial with about 10 episodes. https://www.byutv.org/extinct

From the blurb on the page
Four hundred years after extinction, the human race gets a second chance at life on Earth-but why? Featuring the collaboration of science-fiction legend Orson Scott Card, BYUtv's Extinct explores a riveting new world characterized by extraterrestrial species, advanced technologies, and humankind's enduring search for purpose.

Since we were talking about sci-fi books, I thought I would point out this for fans of Orson Scott Card.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2018, 08:49:14 AM by CowboyAndIndian »

grantmeaname

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1104 on: February 05, 2018, 04:15:09 PM »
I've just finished the first set of the Lost Fleet books and now I'm on to the second. I'm normally not one for military science fiction but the writing is really good and it's nice to have a series to pull you along from book to book when you're busy. I love how I can visualize the battles in my head. Unfortunately the author is midway into a fourth series in the universe and I'll have to stop myself at the end of the third series until it's done for my own good.

I'm also reading At the Existentialist Cafe a bit more slowly. It's interesting because I spent a good chunk of last year reading a book called Postwar which emphasized Sartre's problematic political views, and this book paints him much more gently. Either way, Camus is a certified 100% badass.

Malaysia41

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1105 on: February 06, 2018, 12:03:38 AM »
I've just finished the first set of the Lost Fleet books and now I'm on to the second. I'm normally not one for military science fiction but the writing is really good and it's nice to have a series to pull you along from book to book when you're busy. I love how I can visualize the battles in my head. Unfortunately the author is midway into a fourth series in the universe and I'll have to stop myself at the end of the third series until it's done for my own good.

Have you read any Jeff Shara? You're describing his writing too, at least from my perspective.
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grantmeaname

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1106 on: February 06, 2018, 12:07:05 AM »
Have you read any Jeff Shara? You're describing his writing too, at least from my perspective.

Yeah! I read his and his dad’s main Civil War series in the fall and his Mexican-American War book last month. I’m trying to decide whether to go back in for the Western Campaign books or another war.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1107 on: February 06, 2018, 07:17:33 AM »
Continuing my Robert D. Kaplan kick with: Mediterranean Winter: The Pleasures of History and Landscape in Tunisia, Sicily, Dalmatia, and the Peloponnese
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Warlord1986

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1108 on: February 06, 2018, 11:33:02 AM »
'Darling Beast' by Elizabeth Hoyt. Love me some romances. <3

grantmeaname

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1109 on: February 25, 2018, 11:41:07 AM »
I'm halfway through a four-week business trip, so I've had unbelievable amounts of time to read lately.

This afternoon I finished Barbarians at the Gate, which I've always heard is one of the rare works of business history on the pedestal with Liar's Poker, When Genius Failed, and Too Big to Fail. I've got to say, it totally lived up to the hype. It hasn't aged a day since it came out 30 years ago, it's unbelievably thoroughly researched, and it's as much of a page turner as I've read in a long time. Highly recommended.

Now I'm halfway through At Home. It's odd, but Bill Bryson is a total prick in half his books (like I'm a Stranger Here Myself, The Road to Little Dribbling) and a methodical researcher who's really enthusiastic about his subject in the other half of his works. I almost wonder if there are two different authors with the same name sometimes. At Home is really good so far, but I just finished The Lost Continent and the contrast in tone is really striking.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1110 on: February 25, 2018, 01:59:08 PM »
Finished all 11 books of the Hornblower series. I went thru these in chronological order, not in the order they were written in.

So, some books which are later chronologically, but written earlier did not read as well.

This time, I make sure I had google ready while I read it.  Once you know the layout of the area he is talking about, the actual story makes more sense. Also, to figure out things like mizzenmast ;-)

@davisgang90, trying to read Monsoon. He seems to be an academic writing a book. Not very easy to read, I guess he did not listen to Mark Twain
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chaskavitch

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1111 on: February 27, 2018, 06:33:05 AM »
I just read Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer - there's a movie of it now, so of course I wanted to read the book first.  It's...interesting.  It's only ~ 200 pages, so it seems like it's a pretty quick read, but it's really intense.  And you're never quite sure what's real.  I enjoy sci-fi/fantasy a lot, so the weirdness was appealing, and I quite liked it.  I should probably read it again before I give it back to see if I catch anything new.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1112 on: February 27, 2018, 07:02:15 AM »
I read Annihilation a couple years ago and wasn't really sure what to thing of it, it was just really bizarre. I liked it overall, but I had a lot of questions that the book clearly had no intention of answering. I never got around to reading the sequels after that, but my brother just read all three of them and recommended that I re-read Annihilation and then the sequels- he said if I go into it knowing that not everything is going to be answered I won't be setting myself up for disappointment.

Also, he said the movie is really good, but does deviate from the book a bit, especially towards the end, though he didn't spoil anything for me. Apparently the screenplay was adapted from just the first book before the other two were written, so he didn't have the whole story to work from.

chaskavitch

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1113 on: February 27, 2018, 07:11:42 AM »
I read Annihilation a couple years ago and wasn't really sure what to thing of it, it was just really bizarre. I liked it overall, but I had a lot of questions that the book clearly had no intention of answering. I never got around to reading the sequels after that, but my brother just read all three of them and recommended that I re-read Annihilation and then the sequels- he said if I go into it knowing that not everything is going to be answered I won't be setting myself up for disappointment.

Also, he said the movie is really good, but does deviate from the book a bit, especially towards the end, though he didn't spoil anything for me. Apparently the screenplay was adapted from just the first book before the other two were written, so he didn't have the whole story to work from.

...I definitely put both sequels on hold at the library immediately after I finished the book.  If I like the first book AT ALL I have a real problem not finishing the series.  I always feel like I might be missing out on something awesome :)

TempusFugit

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1114 on: February 27, 2018, 04:52:34 PM »
Finally finished the Lewis & Clark book (Undaunted Courage - Ambrose).  Man that drug on for a while. 

I have read quite a few biographies (Hamilton, Franklin, Churchill x3, Roosevelt x3, Adams) and other historical books (Battle Cry of Freedom, The Greater Journey, military histories) and my experience is almost always the same.  I am very glad to have read them, and find them fascinating and encouraging to ruminate about after reading them, but the actual reading process itself can be a bit of a haul.  I will consume them in small doses of 5-10 pages after lunch.   

Fiction just motivates me to read so much more by virtue of the pure entertainment value.   I have to always be reading a fiction book along with the heavier things.  I'll get through 3,4,5, maybe even a dozen novels in the same time it takes me to finish a biography.

I've got the last Manchester bio of Churchill on my 'to read next stack' along with Primo Levi's Holocaust book If This is a Man.  But I'm gonna have to read something way lighter for a bit before those. 

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1115 on: February 27, 2018, 05:32:28 PM »
Just finished Homo Deus by Harari.  Great read and thought provoking.  I'd give and A.

Following it up with a Calvin and Hobbes book collection.  Also excellent and thought provoking. Also gets an A rating. 

At night I'm listening to the Count of Monte Cristo on audio, after having read it about 10 times.  It's a good as ever.  If I'm on the 11th go around of a thousand page book, I should probably give that an A too:)

TempusFugit

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1116 on: February 27, 2018, 08:01:53 PM »
Just finished Homo Deus by Harari.  Great read and thought provoking.  I'd give and A.

Following it up with a Calvin and Hobbes book collection.  Also excellent and thought provoking. Also gets an A rating. 

At night I'm listening to the Count of Monte Cristo on audio, after having read it about 10 times.  It's a good as ever.  If I'm on the 11th go around of a thousand page book, I should probably give that an A too:)

Props on the C&H.  I have the multi-volume bound collection. Thought provoking and insightful to the human (& tiger) condition. Very anti-snowman, though, so might be not politically correct.

I've got Count of Monte Cristo on the shelf but confess I haven't read it.  That might be a perfect bridge between historical/biographical books that I should read and fiction that I enjoy reading.  It's a classic, so that counts as a should read selection. 

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1117 on: February 28, 2018, 04:07:12 PM »
Finally finished the Lewis & Clark book (Undaunted Courage - Ambrose).  Man that drug on for a while. 

I have read quite a few biographies (Hamilton, Franklin, Churchill x3, Roosevelt x3, Adams) and other historical books (Battle Cry of Freedom, The Greater Journey, military histories) and my experience is almost always the same.  I am very glad to have read them, and find them fascinating and encouraging to ruminate about after reading them, but the actual reading process itself can be a bit of a haul.  I will consume them in small doses of 5-10 pages after lunch.   

Fiction just motivates me to read so much more by virtue of the pure entertainment value.   I have to always be reading a fiction book along with the heavier things.  I'll get through 3,4,5, maybe even a dozen novels in the same time it takes me to finish a biography.

I've got the last Manchester bio of Churchill on my 'to read next stack' along with Primo Levi's Holocaust book If This is a Man.  But I'm gonna have to read something way lighter for a bit before those.
I liked Undaunted Courage.  It was perfect bedtime reading.  Interesting, but it drug on enough that a few pages would put me to sleep!

Right now I'm reading The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1118 on: February 28, 2018, 05:51:39 PM »
Just finished Homo Deus by Harari.  Great read and thought provoking.  I'd give and A.

Following it up with a Calvin and Hobbes book collection.  Also excellent and thought provoking. Also gets an A rating. 

At night I'm listening to the Count of Monte Cristo on audio, after having read it about 10 times.  It's a good as ever.  If I'm on the 11th go around of a thousand page book, I should probably give that an A too:)

Props on the C&H.  I have the multi-volume bound collection. Thought provoking and insightful to the human (& tiger) condition. Very anti-snowman, though, so might be not politically correct.

I've got Count of Monte Cristo on the shelf but confess I haven't read it.  That might be a perfect bridge between historical/biographical books that I should read and fiction that I enjoy reading.  It's a classic, so that counts as a should read selection.

Yep, C&H is the best.  I think because I currently have a 6 year old son who LOVES playing outside, this one actually made me tear up a few days ago:  https://twitter.com/calvinn_hobbes/status/815418141308092416

grantmeaname

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1119 on: March 01, 2018, 10:26:33 AM »
I’ve picked Postwar back up after reading the first half last summer and it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time. I can’t recall ever seeing a work with so much breadth and depth. It’s brilliantly written, just a touch ironic and whimsical, and profoundly thought-provoking.

But man is it discouraging to see at the bottom that I have an estimated 7h 55m left to finish the final 45% of the book...

grantmeaname

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What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1120 on: March 04, 2018, 06:26:33 AM »
I’ve picked Postwar back up after reading the first half last summer and it’s the best book I’ve read in a long time. I can’t recall ever seeing a work with so much breadth and depth. It’s brilliantly written, just a touch ironic and whimsical, and profoundly thought-provoking.

But man is it discouraging to see at the bottom that I have an estimated 7h 55m left to finish the final 45% of the book...

And I’m done!

Malaysia41

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1121 on: March 04, 2018, 07:38:28 AM »
I just finished William Catton’s Overshoot. 

If you’re human, it’s worth a read. Concepts like homo colossus provide a useful means of coneptualizing our species ecological predicament on this finite planet.

Now I’m starting Robert Sapolsky’s ‘Behave: the biology of humans at our best and worst’ as well as Melanie Joy’s ‘Why we love dogs, eat pigs, and wear cows.’

Maybe I should start a story of fiction instead. I’m turning into a Debbie downer in everyday conversation. Fun for all!
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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1122 on: March 04, 2018, 07:04:49 PM »
Currently reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I am enjoying it so far, about half way through

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1123 on: March 07, 2018, 03:16:09 PM »
Just literally finished " The Kind Work Killing" by Peter Swanson. Excellent book. Going to Start Heavens Keep by Williams Kent Krueger Tonight/Tomorrow
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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1124 on: March 08, 2018, 08:32:58 AM »
Another book on the Crusades. It's a little less dense than the last book I read.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1125 on: March 10, 2018, 04:33:36 PM »
Oathbringer, Brandon Sanderson. Patchy but very enjoyable.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1126 on: March 10, 2018, 05:52:38 PM »
Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark 
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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1127 on: March 14, 2018, 03:10:48 AM »
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
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chaskavitch

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1128 on: March 14, 2018, 06:42:36 AM »
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein

I started that book thinking "oh, this is an interesting new premise, I can get down with this", and then everything just got SUPER weird.  I still finished it, and I still think the premise is cool, but wow, it did not go where I expected AT ALL, despite the fact that I was warned.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1129 on: March 14, 2018, 07:39:48 AM »
I'm slogging through The Half Has Never Been Told, by Edward Baptist, which is a fascinating economic history of American slavery, but also not exactly light bedtime reading. I also picked up Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple, this weekend, and it's been a fleet and pleasant respite from my learning and grappling with history. :)

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1130 on: March 15, 2018, 06:52:32 AM »
Just finished An Unkindness of Ghosts as part of my 'I need to read more novels to make a good Hugo ballot' push. It's a very well written, but exceptionally brutal story about slavery on a generation starship. It seems to be an inadvertent theme of my reading lately. After Atlas, Autonomous & this are all about some form of slavery or indentured servitude. Stone Sky not as much as the previous books in the trilogy, but it still has an impact. (ETA:even Leckie's Provenance has a component of the indentured servitude if you look at it sideways)

Plus I just read The Cosmopolitan Canopy (a personal ethnographic story of Philadelphia race relations) and The Chitlin' Circuit about the black music touring scene of the big band era and the birth of rock & roll (which also deals with the aftermath of slavery in the American south) and The Cooking Gene (food plus the author's desire to understand his family's slavery experience).
« Last Edit: March 15, 2018, 06:54:06 AM by plainjane »
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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1131 on: March 15, 2018, 07:48:41 AM »
Wow! An Unkindness of Ghosts sounds really unique! I’m adding it to my list.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1132 on: March 18, 2018, 06:30:39 AM »
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein

I started that book thinking "oh, this is an interesting new premise, I can get down with this", and then everything just got SUPER weird.  I still finished it, and I still think the premise is cool, but wow, it did not go where I expected AT ALL, despite the fact that I was warned.
I'm in the same boat.  It is a long read and weird, but I'm enjoying it.
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plainjane

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1133 on: March 18, 2018, 11:26:19 AM »
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein
I started that book thinking "oh, this is an interesting new premise, I can get down with this", and then everything just got SUPER weird.  I still finished it, and I still think the premise is cool, but wow, it did not go where I expected AT ALL, despite the fact that I was warned.
I'm in the same boat.  It is a long read and weird, but I'm enjoying it.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1134 on: March 19, 2018, 07:32:03 AM »
I'm not sure if listening to an audiobook counts as reading, but with the new job and medium-length commute I've been listening to The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life. I've really enjoyed it a lot so far and it has made my commutes much more bearable.

I especially found his speech that "innovation is great for humanity, but a bad bet for investors" (he gave during a 1990's Sun Valley conference) to be relevant. I bring it up now whenever people ask me about investing in some high-tech startup, space company, etc.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 07:37:01 AM by BuffaloStache »
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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1135 on: March 19, 2018, 09:09:17 PM »
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert Heinlein

I started that book thinking "oh, this is an interesting new premise, I can get down with this", and then everything just got SUPER weird.  I still finished it, and I still think the premise is cool, but wow, it did not go where I expected AT ALL, despite the fact that I was warned.
I'm in the same boat.  It is a long read and weird, but I'm enjoying it.

I finally got around to reading this last year (holy crap it was back in 2014, what happened..?) 

Ok hang on a sec, mind blown by that 4 year passage of time.   

Anyway, back to the book, I did think it was both good and weird.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1136 on: March 20, 2018, 10:15:09 PM »
Brothers Karamazov.  For the last 3 months.  I get through about 1% a day on a good day, so it's gonna be a while!  I'm at 63% right now and the bummer is I just don't love it as much as Crime and Punishment, which I found delightful, thought-provoking and, at times, hilarious.  BK is a slog so far.  Not uninteresting, but I just want to take a big fat blue pen to over half of it.

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1137 on: March 21, 2018, 08:24:49 AM »
The Divide: Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets by Jason Hickel

I would call this a must read.

MrsDinero

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1138 on: March 21, 2018, 09:25:38 AM »
Cemetery Girl by David Bell.

Terrible name but really good story, so far.  I'm about 3/4 of the way though and don't have time to finish before work starts.

"Four years after Tom and Abby's 12-year-old daughter vanishes, she is found alive but strangely calm. When the teen refuses to testify against the man connected to her disappearance, Tom decides to investigate the traumatizing case on his own. Nothing can prepare him for what he is about to discover."
~~Mrs. D.

Noodle

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1139 on: March 21, 2018, 10:35:18 AM »
Just finished "The Lost Art of Reading" by David Ulin on how the Internet and e-books have changed the reading experience. It was OK, although already feeling dated eight years after publication--his issues include the technical limitations of e-book readers and limited books available in Kindle format, and neither of those are really true any more. Ironically, I read it on my iPad!

A new reading habit I am trying to adopt is to read a review or two of a book after I finish it and think about whether I agree with the author's take. I discovered in Googling that there was also an book with the same title published in 1903! Clearly, this is not a new concern for humanity...

BuffaloStache

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1140 on: March 22, 2018, 04:04:35 PM »
Just finished "The Lost Art of Reading" by David Ulin on how the Internet and e-books have changed the reading experience. It was OK, although already feeling dated eight years after publication--his issues include the technical limitations of e-book readers and limited books available in Kindle format, and neither of those are really true any more. Ironically, I read it on my iPad!

A new reading habit I am trying to adopt is to read a review or two of a book after I finish it and think about whether I agree with the author's take. I discovered in Googling that there was also an book with the same title published in 1903! Clearly, this is not a new concern for humanity...

Lol that you read it on an iPad.

Also, are there any particular websites you use to find book reviews, or do you just Google and click on whatever comes up first? I think this is an interesting idea...
"As a cure for worrying, work is better than whisky." -Thomas Edison

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1141 on: March 22, 2018, 04:40:14 PM »
Just finished "The Lost Art of Reading" by David Ulin on how the Internet and e-books have changed the reading experience. It was OK, although already feeling dated eight years after publication--his issues include the technical limitations of e-book readers and limited books available in Kindle format, and neither of those are really true any more. Ironically, I read it on my iPad!

A new reading habit I am trying to adopt is to read a review or two of a book after I finish it and think about whether I agree with the author's take. I discovered in Googling that there was also an book with the same title published in 1903! Clearly, this is not a new concern for humanity...

Lol that you read it on an iPad.

Also, are there any particular websites you use to find book reviews, or do you just Google and click on whatever comes up first? I think this is an interesting idea...

I wasn't the one you asked, but have a few suggestions.  I often read what the Slate Audio Book Club picks for their monthly book and really enjoy listening to a panel of thoughtful people discussing the book.  I track my reading on Goodreads and there are a lot of reviewers there that post very thoughtful reviews even though they are not actual critics.  I think you could do a little poking around and find a few to particularly follow and read their reviews of books you read.  Otherwise, yes, I have googled and sometimes found good, thoughtful reviews (vs. just promotional blurbs). 

I would also like to hear recs for good reviewers/sites to have in my hip pocket....

TempusFugit

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1142 on: March 22, 2018, 04:45:48 PM »
Started on Primo Levi's Holocaust book If This is a Man the other day. About 70 pages in. 

Pretty much what you would expect from a first person account of the death camps. It's hard to understand how people did these things. 

So far the most insightful thing from the book is Levi's statement that it isn't the body that dies first, but the personality. The thing that makes you you

It's a hard read in the sense that you know it isn't fiction, so there is this darkness that is put in front of you that you have to somehow reconcile with the idea of humanity and civilization that we have in our heads.

Even though it isn't a 'fun' book to read, I think it's a important book because we all - all of us - need to remember what happened. Not because some brutish Germans committed crimes against humanity 80 years ago, but because it shows us something deeper about human beings in general; how a society that had some of the most intelligent and cultured people on earth could turn into this.  We need to remember not just because it honors the Jews who were treated this way but because we need to always be watchful in our own societies to be sure we don't allow it to happen again. 

Levi has already said more than once that one of the motivations to survive was simply to make sure someone could tell others what had happened.  That it would be known and not forgotten.

Always be mindful, fellow Americans, that our own society has its dark past as well. As a society, we also enslaved and abused and murdered a race of people.  The idea that people of a past time were just not as smart as we are is a fallacy.   We have more knowledge now, yes, but we aren't any smarter or better in our natures than were our forebears.  We are just as susceptible to the forces of group psychology and manipulation as they were.


Noodle

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1143 on: March 22, 2018, 08:57:14 PM »
Just finished "The Lost Art of Reading" by David Ulin on how the Internet and e-books have changed the reading experience. It was OK, although already feeling dated eight years after publication--his issues include the technical limitations of e-book readers and limited books available in Kindle format, and neither of those are really true any more. Ironically, I read it on my iPad!

A new reading habit I am trying to adopt is to read a review or two of a book after I finish it and think about whether I agree with the author's take. I discovered in Googling that there was also an book with the same title published in 1903! Clearly, this is not a new concern for humanity...

Lol that you read it on an iPad.

Also, are there any particular websites you use to find book reviews, or do you just Google and click on whatever comes up first? I think this is an interesting idea...

I have several book blogs and sites that I go to for recommendations, but when it comes to a review to read after the book, I just Google and see what pops up. (If I were really organized, I'd bookmark the original recommendation and go back to it...but I am not.) I tend to like blogger reviews better than reviews from newspapers or magazines...I feel like the writers on deadline don't have as much time to ponder so the reviews tend to be a bit superficial. I hadn't thought of Goodreads, but I will have to try that!

I started doing this with movies...I realized that if I read reviews ahead of time, I often got steered away from things I would otherwise have liked (every reviewer apparently hated Passengers, for instance, but I liked a lot about it) but if I read a review afterwards it gave me a lot to think about.

mm1970

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1144 on: March 23, 2018, 01:18:56 PM »
Reading 2 books right now:

$2 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
https://www.amazon.com/2-00-Day-Living-Nothing-America/dp/054481195X

It's...really depressing. And eye-opening.  And sad and scary.  I grew up poor, but not that poor.  And I am somewhat familiar with this whole thought - a fair number of people in my small rural hometown are on welfare.  Where we live now, there are plenty of homeless children in our schools.  It's the nitty-gritty details that get you, especially in the "post-welfare reform" age.

Last year I read This House Protected by Poverty, about living on and getting off welfare, and this was before welfare reform.
https://www.amazon.com/House-Protected-Poverty-Frances-Ransley/dp/1481915959/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1521832586&sr=1-1&keywords=frances+k+ransley

I'm also reading Tears of the Giraffe.  It's fiction, and my neighbor was unloading a bunch of them (never did read book 1).  It's enjoyable.  About a female private eye in Botswana.
https://www.amazon.com/Tears-Giraffe-Ladies-Detective-Agency/dp/1400031354

Malaysia41

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1145 on: March 30, 2018, 12:43:39 AM »
Started on Primo Levi's Holocaust book If This is a Man the other day. About 70 pages in. 

Pretty much what you would expect from a first person account of the death camps. It's hard to understand how people did these things. 

So far the most insightful thing from the book is Levi's statement that it isn't the body that dies first, but the personality. The thing that makes you you

It's a hard read in the sense that you know it isn't fiction, so there is this darkness that is put in front of you that you have to somehow reconcile with the idea of humanity and civilization that we have in our heads.

Even though it isn't a 'fun' book to read, I think it's a important book because we all - all of us - need to remember what happened. Not because some brutish Germans committed crimes against humanity 80 years ago, but because it shows us something deeper about human beings in general; how a society that had some of the most intelligent and cultured people on earth could turn into this.  We need to remember not just because it honors the Jews who were treated this way but because we need to always be watchful in our own societies to be sure we don't allow it to happen again. 

Levi has already said more than once that one of the motivations to survive was simply to make sure someone could tell others what had happened.  That it would be known and not forgotten.

Always be mindful, fellow Americans, that our own society has its dark past as well. As a society, we also enslaved and abused and murdered a race of people.  The idea that people of a past time were just not as smart as we are is a fallacy.   We have more knowledge now, yes, but we aren't any smarter or better in our natures than were our forebears.  We are just as susceptible to the forces of group psychology and manipulation as they were.

Thanks for writing up your thoughts on This is a Man. I think about the rise of nazis quite a bit lately. For example,

The way my dad and his sister talk about “damned liberals” - with such seething hate -  I’m not certain they’d oppose putting “liberals” in concentration camps. I *think* they’d oppose shipping “them” off. I’m just not 100% on that. It’s a terrifying revelation.
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BuffaloStache

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1146 on: April 15, 2018, 11:14:35 AM »
I just finished Artemis; Andy Weir's next novel after the Martian. It definitely isn't as good as the Martian, but still scratched an itch.

It also was a super quick read. I read it in 2.5 days, and I'm a slow reader.
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Noodle

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1147 on: April 15, 2018, 12:49:39 PM »
I just finished "A Pelican at Blandings" which is one of P.G. Wodehouse's more obscure novels. As per usual with Wodehouse, it was light and fun. I spent the whole novel waiting for the pelican to turn up (Wodehouse novels frequently include eccentric animals and animal lovers, so it wasn't that big of a stretch) and then in some embarrassment realized the title referred to one of the human characters who was constantly referencing his experiences as a member of the Pelican Club. Oops.

mxt0133

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1148 on: April 15, 2018, 01:55:53 PM »
Reading 2 books right now:

$2 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
https://www.amazon.com/2-00-Day-Living-Nothing-America/dp/054481195X

It's...really depressing. And eye-opening.  And sad and scary.  I grew up poor, but not that poor.  And I am somewhat familiar with this whole thought - a fair number of people in my small rural hometown are on welfare.  Where we live now, there are plenty of homeless children in our schools.  It's the nitty-gritty details that get you, especially in the "post-welfare reform" age.


I made sure to read this during a spring break trip to Florida last week.  We passed through some places where most people lived in similar circumstance described in this book.  The discrepancy in wealth even in this country is truly incomprehensible.  It really put into perspective how lucky my family and I truly have it.

The book "Evicted" is a more personal account of poverty where the author follows a landlord and tenants in Milwaukee.  Like me, I think most of us here take for granted how our circumstances enabled us to use our skills and work ethic to get us to where we are and are a bit to harsh on those that can't seem to make sound financial decisions.  As these books point out, most of those in poverty are dealing with other priorities that prevent them from optimizing their finances, even if they know that what they are doing is sub-optimal. 

mm1970

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Re: What are you READING right now?
« Reply #1149 on: April 17, 2018, 02:27:07 PM »
Reading 2 books right now:

$2 A Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America
https://www.amazon.com/2-00-Day-Living-Nothing-America/dp/054481195X

It's...really depressing. And eye-opening.  And sad and scary.  I grew up poor, but not that poor.  And I am somewhat familiar with this whole thought - a fair number of people in my small rural hometown are on welfare.  Where we live now, there are plenty of homeless children in our schools.  It's the nitty-gritty details that get you, especially in the "post-welfare reform" age.


I made sure to read this during a spring break trip to Florida last week.  We passed through some places where most people lived in similar circumstance described in this book.  The discrepancy in wealth even in this country is truly incomprehensible.  It really put into perspective how lucky my family and I truly have it.

The book "Evicted" is a more personal account of poverty where the author follows a landlord and tenants in Milwaukee.  Like me, I think most of us here take for granted how our circumstances enabled us to use our skills and work ethic to get us to where we are and are a bit to harsh on those that can't seem to make sound financial decisions.  As these books point out, most of those in poverty are dealing with other priorities that prevent them from optimizing their finances, even if they know that what they are doing is sub-optimal.
I'm a bit bummed that I didn't pick up "Evicted" the 3 times I saw it in the neighborhood little free library.  But I thought it would depress me too much.  The author was at our local university for a talk recently, I think.

Right now I'm reading Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.  Maybe it will help me sleep?