Author Topic: What's in your stack of unread books?  (Read 1284 times)

TempusFugit

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What's in your stack of unread books?
« on: October 09, 2017, 04:42:13 PM »
If you're at all like me, you have a stack (a growing stack) of books that you intend to read but haven't yet tackled.   I'm especially bad about collecting nonfiction books that I really enjoy and will eventually get to (except for whatever is still in that stack when I die or go blind).  Yes, I suppose I've shown my colors as non-Mustachian in regard to buying books. 

I find that I kind of have to be in the right mood to start on some of these deeper books, so I tend to always be working on one of these while also reading something lighter (definitely fiction, probably scifi or fantasy).  I can burn through the 'fun' books in a week or so while it might take me 2-3 months to get through one of those more educational tomes.

Anyway, here's what's in my book in box at the moment:

The Last Lion  - The 3rd and final of Manchester's Winston Churchill biographies. The first 2 were fantastic, and he (Manchester) died before this one was published

If This is a Man  - Primo Levi's account of the concentration camps

Truman  - McCullough's bio


I'm currently casting about for a new 'fun' novel and am thinking something from Neal Stephenson might do the trick.   Seveneves was fantastic, and Cryptonomicon is a classic. Sadly, my (local public) library doesn't appear to have any of his stuff at the moment. See, I'm trying to do better!   

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 10:09:51 PM »
Yes.  And you've reminded me that I HAVE a stack of unread books.  A shelf, actually.  From my pre-Mustachian days, when I still bought, rather than borrowed, books.  Heh, I had a Churchill bio in my stack too: a man whose character shines through the ages.

It's dark in there or I'd start listing them for you.  But I know I have one Eric Metaxas book among them.  And the Churchill bio.  And Gulag Arhcipelago, which has been there for some time.  Also The Age of Deleveraging, just for kicks.  I like reading econ/finance books.

Wish I had a great recommendation for you.  Though I really like Metaxas' books/bios.  Bonhoeffer was particularly good. 

Dave1442397

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 07:22:31 AM »
If you want a fun SF novel, try Waypoint Kangaroo, by Curtis Chen.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Waypoint-Kangaroo-Curtis-C-Chen/dp/1250081785/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1507641590&sr=8-1&keywords=waypoint+kangaroo

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak was also a fun read, especially for someone who grew up with first-gen home computers.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Impossible-Fortress-Jason-Rekulak/dp/0571330630/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1507641670&sr=1-1&keywords=rekulak

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 07:31:40 AM »
My unread books are mostly "classics" that I can't bring myself to actually read, mostly bought second-hand or as gifts. Some that come to mind:
-Dramas of Shakespeare
-Anthology of Edgar Allen Poe works
-War and Peace (too many characters)
-Great Expectations/Tale of Two Cities (nope, nope, nope).


Kl285528

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2017, 07:57:54 AM »
My unread books are mostly "classics" that I can't bring myself to actually read, mostly bought second-hand or as gifts. Some that come to mind:
-Dramas of Shakespeare
-Anthology of Edgar Allen Poe works
-War and Peace (too many characters)
-Great Expectations/Tale of Two Cities (nope, nope, nope).
Oh, c'mon, you gotta read Dickens! :)
I love both Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, very funny and witty. Try 30 pages or so of one of the Dickens novels, and I'll bet you get hooked!
I'll admit that War and Peace is on my list...

MustachianKentuckian

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2017, 08:30:05 AM »
Why oh why do I have a stack of unread books?  Why do I keep borrowing more books without reading the unread???  WHY???  OK, here are mine:

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

I"m about 5% into both of them.  Both are very interesting.  Yet, I keep getting distracted by other books. As soon as I finish my latest distraction, I'm not reading any new books until I finish the two above.  I mean it this time. No, really.

:)

wenchsenior

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2017, 09:01:06 AM »
Considering I currently have ~150 physical books, and about 30 audio books in my 'stack' to get to...I won't bother listing titles.

I did manage a few years ago to finally break myself of the habit of buying books when I have more than 100 already in the house to read.  So that's good, I guess.

mathlete

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2017, 09:05:55 AM »
The peak of irony,

Getting Things Done by David Allen

I've read about half of it and adopted some good techniques though so it's not a total loss.

FireHiker

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2017, 09:17:19 AM »
My unread books are mostly "classics" that I can't bring myself to actually read, mostly bought second-hand or as gifts. Some that come to mind:
-Dramas of Shakespeare
-Anthology of Edgar Allen Poe works
-War and Peace (too many characters)
-Great Expectations/Tale of Two Cities (nope, nope, nope).
Oh, c'mon, you gotta read Dickens! :)
I love both Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations, very funny and witty. Try 30 pages or so of one of the Dickens novels, and I'll bet you get hooked!
I'll admit that War and Peace is on my list...

I finally read Great Expectations last year and Tale of Two Cities is my current read (free on kindle). Both are very, very good!

The only actual books I have left on my shelf to read are ones I can't check out from the library as ebooks. I am hooked on my kindle and it has paid for itself 5x over now with the amount of books I've read from the library. So, I have One Hundred Years of Solitude on my shelf, since I can't get it as an ebook from the library.

My "to read shelf" is now my wish list in Overdrive online/to-read shelf in goodreads. Many classics I still need to work my way through (trying to get through the "BBC 100 books everyone should read" list), the Philippa Gregory series, Krakauer's Missoula (I think I've read everything else he's written now), War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Crime and Punishment, complete works of Shakespeare (read a lot of it, need to fill in gaps). The gauntlet "read 50 books in the year" thread got me motivated this year. Now that I'm on #54 I'm reading some of the longer ones. I think Bleak House may be up next.
One Hundred Years of Solitude

wenchsenior

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2017, 09:35:02 AM »
The peak of irony,

Getting Things Done by David Allen

I've read about half of it and adopted some good techniques though so it's not a total loss.

HA! Me too...I also read half and adopted a few techniques.  I'll finish it eventually.

TempusFugit

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2017, 10:18:41 AM »
Bonhoeffer was particularly good.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer?  Yes he's one of those on my list to read one day.

Re: Dickens  It took my about 6 months to get through Pickwick Papers

Re: Dostoevsky  I started Brothers Karamatsov but keeping up with the names is a bear.  I remember reading Nicholas and Alexandra in like 8th grade and it almost put me off reading. 


Re: Kindle  I have a Kindle Touch (2012?) and I do like it and use it.  You can't beat the convenience factor of being able to read on a kindle at home and then continue the same book on your phone while you stand in line someplace or wait at the DMV or whatever.   But I do have sort of a fundamental suspicion about having my books electronically, where technically they could be altered (shades of Orwell) or removed without my consent.   But still, I have one and I love it.  Convenience wins over privacy and security every time. 


Re: Getting things done - yep, sitting on the shelf, unread. 

Lulee

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2017, 10:47:29 AM »
I love books and have them by the hundreds, many not yet read, some re-read a dozen or more times over the decades.  A work friend and I once agreed that this was our definition of rich, having not just enough to pay the bills with some for savings, but enough to feel like any book you were interested in, you could just buy then and there.

In my stacks and stacks of books of all creeds and persuasions, are:

William Gibson's The Peripheral
Joel Spolosky's Joel on Software and More Joel on Software
Gary John Bishop's Unfu*k Yourself
bunch of cooking technique/cook books by James Peterson
Traditional Boats of Ireland

finishing Frances Mayes' Under the Tuscan Sun (very different from the movie) and then planning to re-read my book on Stik, the street artist, if reading is the right word as it's mostly just his artwork with very little text



A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2017, 10:55:58 AM »
Sorry, Dickens fans, I just can't get through this:
Quote
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this. Mrs Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.

I like much more Hemmingway style writing:
Quote
In the morning I walked down the Boulevard to the rue Soufflot for coffee and brioche. It was a fine morning. The horse-chestnut trees in the Luxembourg gardens were in bloom. There was the pleasant early-morning feeling of a hot day. I read the papers with the coffee and then smoked a cigarette. The flower-women were coming up from the market and arranging their daily stock. Students went by going up to the law school, or down to the Sorbonne. The Boulevard was busy with trams and people going to work.
Just much easier for my brain to process! Everytime I read Dickens I feel like I'm trying to cut through an overgrown jungle.

FireHiker

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2017, 11:16:33 AM »
Sorry, Dickens fans, I just can't get through this:
Quote
It was the year of Our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five. Spiritual revelations were conceded to England at that favoured period, as at this. Mrs Southcott had recently attained her five-and-twentieth blessed birthday, of whom a prophetic private in the Life Guards had heralded the sublime appearance by announcing that arrangements were made for the swallowing up of London and Westminster. Even the Cock-lane ghost had been laid only a round dozen of years, after rapping out its messages, as the spirits of this very year last past (supernaturally deficient in originality) rapped out theirs. Mere messages in the earthly order of events had lately come to the English Crown and People, from a congress of British subjects in America: which, strange to relate, have proved more important to the human race than any communications yet received through any of the chickens of the Cock-lane brood.

I like much more Hemmingway style writing:
Quote
In the morning I walked down the Boulevard to the rue Soufflot for coffee and brioche. It was a fine morning. The horse-chestnut trees in the Luxembourg gardens were in bloom. There was the pleasant early-morning feeling of a hot day. I read the papers with the coffee and then smoked a cigarette. The flower-women were coming up from the market and arranging their daily stock. Students went by going up to the law school, or down to the Sorbonne. The Boulevard was busy with trams and people going to work.
Just much easier for my brain to process! Everytime I read Dickens I feel like I'm trying to cut through an overgrown jungle.

I like both! But, I have also read The Silmarillion twice and read the entire unabridged Les Miserables when I was 13, so I acknowledge I am (very) outside the mainstream when it comes to the ability to read anything...

TempusFugit

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2017, 11:56:41 AM »
I have a copy of the Silmarillion from the 80's.   Can't get through it.  And I've read LOTR and Hobbit probably 15 times.  When I first read them back around middle school, I would re-read LOTR every year.   Those are without a doubt the most read books in my collection, and I own three editions of the series.  I read them again within the past year.*

One thing I like about physical books is that now when I read one, I write the date inside the cover.  I often re-read books that I enjoyed** and it's fun to see the dates inside to remind me of how long ago it was that I last read it.  Which is one thing I do not like about the Kindle.  I haven't seen anyplace that records when you read the book. 

* just checked the cover and it was July 2016
** I think C.S. Lewis wrote that he couldn't imagine enjoying a book and not re-reading it.

FireHiker

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2017, 12:30:07 PM »
I have a copy of the Silmarillion from the 80's.   Can't get through it.  And I've read LOTR and Hobbit probably 15 times.  When I first read them back around middle school, I would re-read LOTR every year.   Those are without a doubt the most read books in my collection, and I own three editions of the series.  I read them again within the past year.*

One thing I like about physical books is that now when I read one, I write the date inside the cover.  I often re-read books that I enjoyed** and it's fun to see the dates inside to remind me of how long ago it was that I last read it.  Which is one thing I do not like about the Kindle.  I haven't seen anyplace that records when you read the book. 

* just checked the cover and it was July 2016
** I think C.S. Lewis wrote that he couldn't imagine enjoying a book and not re-reading it.

Now that I've gotten a kindle I plan to track re-reads via goodreads online. Not quite the same as writing on the inside cover. But, I've read and re-read my LOTR books so many times that I am on I think my third copy of the books after wearing them out anyway. :)

BAM

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2017, 02:02:25 PM »
Prefer real paper books here too. Tried a kindle - just hated it. And, with homeschooling and using living books for most subjects, we own many many books. It's our main decorating strategy.

On the list at this point:
Charlotte Mason's 6 volume series on schooling - we follow her methods for homeschooling, I've read many abridged volumes but am now working my way through the original - about 350 pgs each. Some of her stuff, like the health stuff, is out of date but the her info on how children learn and remember is genius.
Hitler's Cross
In the Garden of Beasts- this is an easier read
Jane Eyre - never read but heard good things
Animal Farm - my oldest two loved this book but I didn't have time then. I'm going to read it with my next two when we get to the Russian Revolution this year.
And some pre- reading for my kids schooling.

CS Lewis' quote was: "I only read it once; mind you, a book's no good to me until I've read it two or three times - I'm going to read it again".

TempusFugit

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2017, 03:38:42 PM »
CS Lewis' quote was: "I only read it once; mind you, a book's no good to me until I've read it two or three times - I'm going to read it again".

Nice catch.  I actually have a big book of C.S. Lewis quotes  (The Quotable Lewis).  I just pulled it from the shlef and turns out the guy references this many times in some of his letters. 

This is the one I was thinking of: "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once."  This from one of his letters to Arthur Greeves.

And now that I'm looking at them, this one really strikes me: "There is something awfully nice about reading a book again, with all the half-unconscious memories it brings back."   Same source, so he and Arthur must've gone on about this topic quite a bit. 

The only downside to re-reading books is that there is only so much time and time spend re-reading one is time you can't spend reading a new one. 

BAM

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2017, 03:55:51 PM »
Yes, that's the other CS Lewis quote. For some reason, I couldn't find that one in my common place book but the other one was in there.

My oldest has a book quote in his signature line: "I was born with a reading list I will never finish". Attributed to Maud Casey. Re-reading makes that even more true.

Cork

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2017, 05:22:00 PM »
-The Violinist's Thumb: And Other Lost Tales of Love, War, and Genius, as Written by Our Genetic Code ~ Sam Kean
Basically the advances we've made in gene therapy since we sequenced our genetic code.

-Thanks Obama ~David Litt
David Litt wrote lots of Obama's jokes and his speech at the Correspondent's Dinner.
Prost!

Institutionalized

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2017, 06:17:36 PM »
Everyone should move War & Peace to the top of the pile.

I have far too many books in my unread stack.  Most are (hopefully) waiting for my impending retirement, but I do make a small dent from time to time.

rainbow_unicorn

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #21 on: October 12, 2017, 09:39:52 AM »
This reminded me about how much more reading I want to do! In terms of books on my shelf:

In Search of Lost Time, by M. Proust - all six volumns in English Translation

I have read a good part of vol. 1, and have really enjoyed it - but my sheer love of highlighting/taking notes in margins/ and pondering of sentences (or just one of many independent clauses in one sentence) for a luxuriously long duration has me dusting those books instead of finishing them.

Acastus

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2017, 10:24:18 AM »
My wife reviews books, so my to-be-read pile is so big, it is curated. Some recent ones:

The Name of the Wind, Rothfuss - harry potter for grownups
Pelucidar series, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Ill Met in Lankhmar, Leiber


TempusFugit

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #23 on: October 18, 2017, 05:35:01 PM »
My wife reviews books, so my to-be-read pile is so big, it is curated. Some recent ones:

The Name of the Wind, Rothfuss - harry potter for grownups
Pelucidar series, Edgar Rice Burroughs
Ill Met in Lankhmar, Leiber

Personally, I think Harry Potter is Harry Potter for grownups  :)   I love those books. 
 

Acastus

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #24 on: October 19, 2017, 08:25:56 AM »
Harry Potter is young adult. The kids know what to do, but the adults are clueless, or at best mentors for the true heroes. All interpersonal relationships are mortal enemies, simple friendships, and chivalric love. There is nothing messy on that front. The basic framework is classic YA.

that said, I loved them, too.

Raenia

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #25 on: October 19, 2017, 08:40:34 AM »
My actual physical stack isn't very large at the moment, but I do have a list of books to get from the library at some point.  I'm trying very hard not to buy more books until I have enough shelf space for the ones I already own!

Current stack:
 - The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
 - On War - Carl von Clausewitz (only planning to read part of it, for a discussion group my SO wants to do)
 - Wolves of the Calla - Steven King (Book 5 of the Dark Tower series, in progress)
 - 10% Happier - Dan Harris (in progress)
 - Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking - Susan Cain (stealing from my SO when he finishes it)

On Deck:
 - Song of Susannah (Dark Tower book 6)
 - The Dark Tower (Dark Tower book 7)
 - Beauty is a Verb : The New Poetry of Disability
 - The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
 - When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor

TempusFugit

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2017, 04:51:03 PM »
Harry Potter is young adult. The kids know what to do, but the adults are clueless, or at best mentors for the true heroes. All interpersonal relationships are mortal enemies, simple friendships, and chivalric love. There is nothing messy on that front. The basic framework is classic YA.

that said, I loved them, too.

Agreed.  Same can be said of Lord of the Rings.  But that's ok, I think there is a place for these stories for both younger and older readers.  Just don't limit yourself to only these kinds. 

greengardens

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Re: What's in your stack of unread books?
« Reply #27 on: Today at 06:24:08 AM »
I hate not finishing books, it physically pains me to know that, for whatever reason, Ill never know the ending but like everyone else I have a few:
- Anna Karenina
- The Brillent Disaster (non fiction about the Cuban missle crisis)
- a clock work orange
- catch 22