What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

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

Post by Finridge »

I am reading Anne Applebaum's new book, "Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure of Authoritarianism." Anne Applebaum is known for her books on Stalin and the Soviet Union. She is the author of "Gulag: A History" which has won the Pulitzer Prize some years back.

I was intending on reading "Gulag" but when I saw her new book, I thought it would be more relevant to current events, so I started with it. It is very will written. I recommend this book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ScoobyDoo »

Estudasses wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:51 pm Finishing up the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Surprisingly readable for a book so jam-packed with information.
Loved it! Read it few years ago in my obsession with WW2 books trying to understand the why behind the war!

Very readable!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Nicolas »

ScoobyDoo wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:41 pm
Estudasses wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:51 pm Finishing up the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Surprisingly readable for a book so jam-packed with information.
Loved it! Read it few years ago in my obsession with WW2 books trying to understand the why behind the war!

Very readable!
+1. I enjoyed it when I read it almost forty years ago. I’d like to read it again, but there are so many books and so little time. You should also read Berlin Diary and The Nightmare Years by the same author.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by NJGAEL »

The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans. The first of his trilogy on Nazi Germany. It obviously lacks the first hand account of Shirer but offers more context due to information gained in the interim. I may be overreacting but it offers some disturbing similarities to present day America.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ScoobyDoo »

NJGAEL wrote: Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:10 am The Coming of the Third Reich by Richard J. Evans. The first of his trilogy on Nazi Germany. It obviously lacks the first hand account of Shirer but offers more context due to information gained in the interim. I may be overreacting but it offers some disturbing similarities to present day America.
:shock:
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mancich »

The Luckiest Man, a biography about the late Senator John McCain. Pretty good
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Estudasses »

Nicolas wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:46 pm
ScoobyDoo wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:41 pm
Estudasses wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:51 pm Finishing up the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Surprisingly readable for a book so jam-packed with information.
Loved it! Read it few years ago in my obsession with WW2 books trying to understand the why behind the war!

Very readable!
+1. I enjoyed it when I read it almost forty years ago. I’d like to read it again, but there are so many books and so little time. You should also read Berlin Diary and The Nightmare Years by the same author.
Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely check those out after getting through The Splendid and the Vile, which is next on my list.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

T. R.: the last romantic, by H.W. Brands.

This is a biography of Theodore Roosevelt, one of my favorite and most admired Presidents. The author points out some shortcomings like his self-centeredness and vindictive nature toward those who disagreed with him. He see political disputes in terms of good and evil, good or bad motives of good or bad people. I still enjoyed the book.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by datadatum »

Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

I just read Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic, by Jennifer Niven. Despite not thinking I had much interest in such things, found it riveting. So riveting that I went on and just finished The Ice Master, by the same author. Also riveting. These are nonfiction accounts of two disastrous Arctic expeditions.

The Ice Master comes first in time, 1913-1914 and covers the same material as the Wikipedia article, The Last Voyage of the Karluk. What both expeditions had in common was that they were badly organized by a man named Vilhjalmur Stefansson, and had both one of its members one Frederick Maurer (who died on the second). About half the members of the first expedition died.

It is odd to think about a time when you could be reasonably sure of finding a telegraph office if you could reach a medium-sized city, but there was absolute no chance of aircraft searching for you.

I can't even begin to think about the sort of man it takes to say, in effect, "Don't worry, Kataktovik and I will go get help. Just wait here, it's only a few hundred miles to Siberia, we'll be right back with a ship in six months or so." Which is exactly what Captain Bartlett did on the first expedition. The expedition included an Inuk family with a cute little girl named Mugpi, and I flipped right to the end to see if the family was among the survivors, and they were. According to Niven, Mugpi's father was afraid they would die on the expedition and kept asking Mugpi every day "Will we live through this," and Mugpi always answered "Yes, we will live." And when he said "Are you sure we will live?" Mugpi always answered "We are living now, aren't we?"

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by datadatum »

nisiprius wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:24 pm Despite not thinking I had much interest in such things, found it riveting.
The polar voyages certainly put our cushy lives into perspective.

If you liked those, you may also like Into the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. The author's ability to humanize the characters while staying accurate to historical information reminded me of Erik Larson.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by mak1277 »

datadatum wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:59 pm Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
Good book. If you like it, and you're also a baseball fan, you should check out Lords of the Realm by Helyar.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

The Dead Fall, by J. M. Dalgliesh.

An elderly environmental activist is murdered and found drifting in the harbor, then an investigative reporter is murdered in his home.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by datadatum »

mak1277 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:05 am
datadatum wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 7:59 pm Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco by Bryan Burrough, John Helyar
Good book. If you like it, and you're also a baseball fan, you should check out Lords of the Realm by Helyar.
I do, and I will!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Dave55 »

"Let It Bleed" by Ian Rankin, the 8th book in the Inspector John Rebus series. Entertaining.

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

Post by heartwood »

heartwood wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 5:56 pm I'm just starting My Darkest Prayer by S. A. Cosby. A former Marine and sheriff's deputy works in a funeral home in a southern town. I haven't gotten further than that.

I'm reading it because I read his Blacktop Wasteland earlier this year. That's a satisfying novel set in rural Virginia. A fast driving, small business owner needs some cash and gets into some bad situations. I enjoyed the descriptions of the characters and the unexpected happenings.
I'm now reading Cosby's Brotherhood of the Blade: The Invitation. I found it on Kindle Unlimited while looking around with my free trial subscription. I see that its actually his first novel from 2015. Very different than his recent novels that got him noticed. This one is an urban sword fantasy. An Order group battles a Chaos group to the death every hundred years or so. The outcome determines the path of the world for the next time sequence.

Gritty, raunchy, blood and gore. Should have had another edit; lots of punctuation errors, un-deleted words, etc. A good story so far.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by walks a lot »

A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

I might be the only person on earth who hasn't watched the Game of Thrones TV series. So I decided to do something about that. If a movie/series is based on a book, I like to read the book first. So it was off to the library.

The book is 843 pages, plus a number of more pages detailing the different houses. And it's hardback too, with rather large pages. Some of the pages are illustrations, but most of it is text. I'm thinking, how does an 843 page book cut it in our "Twitter, send me a text message and make it short" culture. I'm an avid reader, I can chomp through a 200 page book without breaking a sweat. But 843? That's testing my endurance.

Well, not to worry. The story is so compelling, the characters are so richly drawn they practically jump off the page. I found the pages just flew by.
My only critique of the book (and maybe it's my fault, my own memory capacity) is that there are A LOT of characters. Some of the lesser characters got jumbled up in my mind. I focused on the main and mid-level characters, that's where the bulk of the story is anyway.

The library only had the illustrated edition. I cringed, I don't need pictures, I'm a word guy, just give me the words. So I figured I'd just ignore the pictures. I was wrong (again). The artwork in this book is stunning. If you're going to get this book, get the 20th anniversary illustrated edition.

If there are any book fans of A Game of Thrones out there, I have some questions for you:

1. Is the TV series based on the first book (A Game of Thrones), or is it based on some/all of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series?

2. There are 4 more books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Does it go downhill? I'm guessing that's thousands more pages. I don't see how the author can keep the story going that long without it falling apart. But then again, I don't know how he kept this first loooonnnnggg book from falling apart.

3. If you read the book and watched the TV series, what was your impression of the TV series? I've found that movies/TV based on books are often a huge disappointment, capturing a small percentage of the book, and not even doing a very good job of that.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jdb »

walks a lot wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:51 pm A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

I might be the only person on earth who hasn't watched the Game of Thrones TV series. So I decided to do something about that. If a movie/series is based on a book, I like to read the book first. So it was off to the library.
You are not the only one. There are at least two of us. Good to know I am not alone.
Based on your recommendation may add this to my list of books to read. But just started my leisurely bi-annual re-read of War and Peace and have at least 1000 more pages so will be awhile but sounds like worth reading. But may skip the illustrated version. Thanks.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ScoobyDoo »

walks a lot wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:51 pm A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

If there are any book fans of A Game of Thrones out there, I have some questions for you:

1. Is the TV series based on the first book (A Game of Thrones), or is it based on some/all of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series?

2. There are 4 more books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Does it go downhill? I'm guessing that's thousands more pages. I don't see how the author can keep the story going that long without it falling apart. But then again, I don't know how he kept this first loooonnnnggg book from falling apart.

3. If you read the book and watched the TV series, what was your impression of the TV series? I've found that movies/TV based on books are often a huge disappointment, capturing a small percentage of the book, and not even doing a very good job of that.
The first two years of the series are eerily similar to the book! Very good! Almost, the same exact criticism could be made of tv...so many characters...but the first two to four years of the show really was exquisitely done.

Does not go downhill....although i haven’t finished reading the series for no particular reason but you do start to enjoy/dislike the focus on one or to characters POV and thus your excitement wanes. Which is the same for the show!!! He’s a talented story writer and world builder for sure!

Both great! Although i'm not a fantasy/sci-fi type reader (but definitely watch that stuff obsessively. Who knows why??) and read these after seeing the show, which I loved. It’s possible my love of the show influenced my love of the books????

Last season controversial but Is what it is! Great run! loved it! Acting was phenomenal from so many!!!!
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GG1273
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by GG1273 »

Thanks to all for the great recommendations!

Right now, my nightly book has been Andrew Roberts' Napoleon: A Life
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by andypanda »

Carolina Flare: Outer Banks Boatbuilding & Sportfishing Heritage by Neal, John and Jim Conoley (father and sons) 2007, 286 pages, 600 pics.


From an article in www.soundingsonline.com/boats/carolina-on-our-minds

"Legendary builders and their boats fill the pages of North Carolina maritime history books, with names ranging from sportfishing icons Warren O’Neal and Omie Tillett to production boatbuilding legends, such as Grady-White’s Eddie Smith and Hatteras founder Willis Slane.

With some of the surliest waters on the East Coast serving as their proving grounds, an array of vessels with seakindly hulls and sturdy construction have emerged during the past 75 years to do battle in the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

“These [boatbuilders] are masters of balancing form and function,” says Neal Conoley, who with his two sons, Jim and John, authored Carolina Flare: Outer Banks Boatbuilding & Sportfishing Heritage. “They have to be part scientist and part artist. They are very talented people. Their boats must perform well, and they must look good.”

However, the traits that give the boats their pleasing profiles also are functional. The broken sheer allows builders to give the boats a large cabin. The sharp entry allows the hull to cut through a head sea. The flared bow throws down spray, and the shallow vee shape aft adds stability in a following sea."

"O’Neal and Tillett teamed up to build the first big sportfishing boat of the modern era — the 46-foot Sportsman, launched in 1960, says Conoley. “It was designed with all the characteristics that became known as the North Carolina style,” says Conoley, who owns a restored O’Neal-built boat, a 1979 28-footer named Carolina Flare."
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Small Savanna »

I just finished Boyd - The Fighter Pilot who Changed the Art of War. I found it fascinating, and with some lessons about how to approach a career. Boyd told his acolytes that they could either be something (get promoted) or do something (be a change agent). He chose to do something - he brought science to the art of dogfighting, and invented the famed "OODA" loop. He retired as a Colonel, but arguably had more lasting impact than most Generals.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Barkingsparrow »

GG1273 wrote: Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:13 am Thanks to all for the great recommendations!

Right now, my nightly book has been Andrew Roberts' Napoleon: A Life
This is a great book. I found it so engrossing that even at 900+ pages it never dragged.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by abuss368 »

John Bogle “Common Sense on Mutual Funds” updated for the 10th anniversary.

Love it thus far and learning so much more the second time around.

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

Post by MP173 »

Found a Lawrence Block book at the library which I hadnt read - "Time to Murder and Create", written in the 1970s. A treat to find a Block book which I havent read.

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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by RJ5 »

Political Pilgrims by Paul Hollander
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by walks a lot »

Night Passage by Robert Parker.

I enjoyed the Jesse Stone TV movies, which starred Tom Selleck. They ran 10-15 years ago, I believe. When I found out the movies were based on books by Robert Parker, I had to check it out.

Jesse is an LAPD detective, with more than his share of personal problems. He gets fired from the LAPD, and ends up as police chief in a small New England town. The town is beautiful, and on the surface it appears to be an ideal place to live (the town is even named "Paradise"). But underneath, it is overflowing with corruption. With that, and his personal problems, Jesse has a full plate.

To me, the Jesse Stone in the book comes across as much more of a "tough guy" than the Tom Selleck character in the movie. I like the Tom Selleck character much better. This is one of those rare instances where I liked the movie version of a book better than the book itself.

Oh, and I liked the dog in the movie. I don't remember if it was an Irish Setter or a Golden Retriever. Great job as a supporting actor!!!
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger »

I'm reading Soul of America by Jon Meacham. Particularly meaningful with everything that we're experiencing now. Meacham explores different times in our history when the country was torn by divisiveness and there was real concern our democracy would not survive, but we've been able to pull through.

Listening to via Audible, Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, an autobiography of his childhood in South Africa.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Artful Dodger »

walks a lot wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 4:51 pm A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

I might be the only person on earth who hasn't watched the Game of Thrones TV series. So I decided to do something about that. If a movie/series is based on a book, I like to read the book first. So it was off to the library.

The book is 843 pages, plus a number of more pages detailing the different houses. And it's hardback too, with rather large pages. Some of the pages are illustrations, but most of it is text. I'm thinking, how does an 843 page book cut it in our "Twitter, send me a text message and make it short" culture. I'm an avid reader, I can chomp through a 200 page book without breaking a sweat. But 843? That's testing my endurance.

Well, not to worry. The story is so compelling, the characters are so richly drawn they practically jump off the page. I found the pages just flew by.
My only critique of the book (and maybe it's my fault, my own memory capacity) is that there are A LOT of characters. Some of the lesser characters got jumbled up in my mind. I focused on the main and mid-level characters, that's where the bulk of the story is anyway.

The library only had the illustrated edition. I cringed, I don't need pictures, I'm a word guy, just give me the words. So I figured I'd just ignore the pictures. I was wrong (again). The artwork in this book is stunning. If you're going to get this book, get the 20th anniversary illustrated edition.

If there are any book fans of A Game of Thrones out there, I have some questions for you:

1. Is the TV series based on the first book (A Game of Thrones), or is it based on some/all of the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series?

2. There are 4 more books in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Does it go downhill? I'm guessing that's thousands more pages. I don't see how the author can keep the story going that long without it falling apart. But then again, I don't know how he kept this first loooonnnnggg book from falling apart.

3. If you read the book and watched the TV series, what was your impression of the TV series? I've found that movies/TV based on books are often a huge disappointment, capturing a small percentage of the book, and not even doing a very good job of that.
1) It's based on A Song of Fire and Ice. The first season follows the first book. AS I recall the next two seasons follow the next two. Books 4 and 5 take place at the same time but in different locales, so the show follows but splits the material differently.

2) I think (as well as a lot of others) that books 1 thru 3 are real good, but Martin looses focus after that. I enjoyed books 4 and 5, but I think he went off on tangents and introduced characters and plots that really didn't add to the story. It's interesting that book 5 came out in 2011, and he hasn't written (or at least released) book 6. To be clear, he has never finished ASOFI. There's supposed to be two more books. I don't know if he ever will finish it. Instead of giving fans what they wanted, the next book (6), he put out a history of the Targaryens. So, yes, it does kind of fall apart.

3) Overall, I thought the series was excellent. There's a lot of material in the books, and they did a good job slimming it down but giving you what was important. The characters, the actors who play them, and the world you encounter is spell binding. They do combine characters and eliminate some sub plots, but the finished product is really good. I do think the last two seasons suffer some as the show runners didn't have the depth of material that they had worked with previously, and season 7 seemed rushed to me.
Last edited by Artful Dodger on Mon Jan 18, 2021 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by siker »

Just finished Liars Poker. Interesting learning how mortgages were securitized and how junk bonds became popular.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Barkingsparrow »

The Great Influenza: Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History - John Barry

Currently reading this absorbing book. First part details the evolution of medical science in the US. The 2nd part, and where I'm at now, is a detailed look at viruses. Scary stuff.

Maximize Your Medicare: 2020/2021 Edition - Jae Oh

This read more like an info dump from medicare.gov. Could have done a much better job of taking a complex subject and distilling it into a more structured format.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by FreeAtLast »

"Hitler: Downfall 1939-1945", by Volker Ullrich (Alfred A. Knopf 2020)

This is the second volume of Ullrich's Hitler biography, the first having covered the years from 1889 - 1939. If you have already read a number of Hitler biographies, let's say those tomes written by Bullock, Fest, Toland and Kershaw, then why should you pick up this one? My answer - as a certifiable history addict - is that there is always more minutiae to be learned about the Fuhrer's life and this book provides many tidbits that I had not known of previously. Eva Braun was not a mousy, intimidated little hausfrau, but a vivacious, confident partner who was not afraid to complain when one of Adolf's long-winded lectures to his guests at the Berghof threatened to go into double overtime. Speaking of the Berghof, Ullrich devotes a whole chapter concerning what machinations occurred in Hitler's retreat in the mountains during the almost 400 days that he spent there during the war. A much more serious chapter follows the development of the Nazi thinking towards the Final Solution, starting with the original idea to exile all European Jews to Madagascar to the eventual machinery and administration of the infamous death camps. Hitler's multitude of generals come in for a justified battering, as we view their enthusiastic complicity with his aggressive war-mongering at the start of the conflict compared with their whining finger pointing at him after Germany's total defeat. The worst part of the book is that Ullrich as a good historian was obligated to analyze in detail all of Hitler's wartime speeches to his Volk. I respect him for his extraordinary fortitude in accomplishing this task but, as Hitler once complained after a tortuous meeting with Spain's dictator Franco, I would rather have a couple of teeth pulled without anesthesia before going through that again.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

The Luckiest Man, by Mark Alter.

This is a biography of John McCain chiefly focused on his years in the U.S. Senate. The author was an aide and speachwriter for McCain from 1989 thru the end of McCain's second Presidential campaign in 2008.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ScoobyDoo »

Barkingsparrow wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:37 pm The Great Influenza: Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History - John Barry

Currently reading this absorbing book. First part details the evolution of medical science in the US. The 2nd part, and where I'm at now, is a detailed look at viruses. Scary stuff.
Read this in April/May and was LITERALLY astonished 😧 at the exact same behaviors the U.S. has had as back then! From political calculations to anti-science rumors taking hold to economy over health rationalizations and mask/shutdown debates as well as protests! Absolutely uncanny...and quite frankly macabre to think we have learned nothing since then.

It’s an indictment on human beings that everything was foretold from the type of virus that would become a pandemic (a corona or other respiratory flu-like variant), to the deficiencies in our healthcare systems and manufacturing systems and supply chain issues, down to the knowledge that masks/ppes/swabs and vials would be in short supply.

This book (and many others) predicted our entire experience this past year in excruciatingly accurate detail AND no one particularly came out in opposition to these claims! Granted this books main purpose is to tell of the “Spanish Flu” —read the book to understand the quotations —-Barry does use at least one chapter if not more in the predicting future pandemics!

But, yes. This book about the pandemic was a great, informative, if depressing read, especially in the time of Covid-19
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

ScoobyDoo wrote: Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:23 pm
Barkingsparrow wrote: Mon Jan 18, 2021 12:37 pm The Great Influenza: Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History - John Barry

Currently reading this absorbing book. First part details the evolution of medical science in the US. The 2nd part, and where I'm at now, is a detailed look at viruses. Scary stuff.
Read this in April/May and was LITERALLY astonished 😧 at the exact same behaviors the U.S. has had as back then! From political calculations to anti-science rumors taking hold to economy over health rationalizations and mask/shutdown debates as well as protests! Absolutely uncanny...and quite frankly macabre to think we have learned nothing since then.

It’s an indictment on human beings that everything was foretold from the type of virus that would become a pandemic (a corona or other respiratory flu-like variant), to the deficiencies in our healthcare systems and manufacturing systems and supply chain issues, down to the knowledge that masks/ppes/swabs and vials would be in short supply.

This book (and many others) predicted our entire experience this past year in excruciatingly accurate detail AND no one particularly came out in opposition to these claims! Granted this books main purpose is to tell of the “Spanish Flu” —read the book to understand the quotations —-Barry does use at least one chapter if not more in the predicting future pandemics!

But, yes. This book about the pandemic was a great, informative, if depressing read, especially in the time of Covid-19
I read the book too. It's very interesting and informative my opinion. I didn't find the book depressing.

The "Spanish Flu" probably started in Kansas, not Spain. Wartime censorship suppressed discussion of the pandemic, President Wilson never publicly commented on the panpidemic.

A lot is unchanged in 100 years like arguments over masks, isolation, crowds, and travel restrictions. The gauze masks of that time were probably useless.

In 1918 we didn't even know what a virus was, that influenza was caused by a virus, or how to create a vaccine for a virus. We now have masks that work. A lot of progress has been made, but politics still gets in the way.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by nisiprius »

1) The Wordy Shipmates, by Sarah Vowell. Wonderfully irreverent description of the Puritans and the Massachusetts Bay Colony who sailed on the Arbella a few years after the Mayflower.

2) American Gods by Neil Gaiman. Better late than never! Pretty weird because the bargain-priced eBook edition is a re-release of the tenth anniversary edition, ten years after the tenth anniversary. Not sure what I think about it yet, but I was drawn to it simply because of having been enchanted by a visit to The House on the Rock in 2014.

3) La fórmula del doctor Funes, de Francisco Hinojosa. Just about the right level of Spanish for my abilities.

4) Conversational Portuguese Dialogs by LingoMastery. Total-beginner "Hi, Marta! The pleasure is mine" stuff. I don't know how far I'm going to get on that, but I have to say the similarities and differences between Spanish and Portuguese are fascinating. How similar are they? Well, let me put it this way. I read La fórmula del doctor Funes on a tablet where I can invoke Google Translate if I get stuck. One day, I noticed that the quality of the translations seemed really bad all of a sudden. I couldn't figure it out. And then finally, I did. I had accidentally set Google Translate to translate from Portuguese and it was trying to interpret Spanish as Portuguese!

5) Just finished The Ice Master: The Doomed 1913 Voyage of the Karluk, by Jennifer Niven, the book preceding Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic. These were two terribly failed Arctic expeditions. One can't call them "ill-fated" because both were planned and managed by a strange personage named Vilhjalmur Stefansson, who had been on some successful expeditions led by others. He was... casual about equipping his expeditions, partly because he espoused a doctrine of the "friendly Arctic" in which he insisted that it was easy to live off the land and that it was a myth that the Arctic was a cold, hostile, dangerous place. The Ice Master is fascinating for its extraordinary interpersonal dynamics... as in: was the gunshot death of George Breddy accident, suicide, or murder? (Unanswered in the book which synthesizes a story from accounts of others).
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by GG1273 »

Artful Dodger wrote: Sun Jan 17, 2021 7:33 pm I'm reading Soul of America by Jon Meacham. Particularly meaningful with everything that we're experiencing now. Meacham explores different times in our history when the country was torn by divisiveness and there was real concern our democracy would not survive, but we've been able to pull through.
Thanks for the mention, picked it up yesterday and will start it next week :thumbsup
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ScubaHogg »

On Nisiprius's recommendation (I think), I read The Great Depression: A Diary. Definitely recommend. I had two main takeaways.

1) The author accurately saw a lot of opportunities in the low equity prices, but never had any cash to take advantage of those opportunities

2) Despite the wide-spread deflation that the author witnessed he seemed to be much more concerned with the inflation that was always just around the corner. Especially telling that we now think of The Depression as a deflationary event.

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Depression ... 1586489011
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jason2459 »

ScubaHogg wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:20 pm On Nisiprius's recommendation (I think), I read The Great Depression: A Diary. Definitely recommend. I had two main takeaways.

1) The author accurately saw a lot of opportunities in the low equity prices, but never had any cash to take advantage of those opportunities

2) Despite the wide-spread deflation that the author witnessed he seemed to be much more concerned with the inflation that was always just around the corner. Especially telling that we now think of The Depression as a deflationary event.

https://www.amazon.com/Great-Depression ... 1586489011
Just read that recently last year as well. Great book.

1a. He also commented several times on the importance of holding safer assets like government bonds and if those that held both bonds and equities would have faired much better then those holding just equities and even worse all those stories he was told of leveraged equities.
"In the short run, the stock market is a voting machine; in the long run, it is a weighing machine" ~Benjamin Graham
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tj218 »

After seeing it talked about both good and bad and on numerous best book lists (Economist) I decided to read Abigail Shrier's "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters "
https://www.amazon.com/Irreversible-Dam ... B07YL6XK55
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ososnilknarf »

Estudasses wrote: Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:21 pm
Nicolas wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:46 pm
ScoobyDoo wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 9:41 pm
Estudasses wrote: Mon Jan 04, 2021 5:51 pm Finishing up the The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. Surprisingly readable for a book so jam-packed with information.
Loved it! Read it few years ago in my obsession with WW2 books trying to understand the why behind the war!

Very readable!
+1. I enjoyed it when I read it almost forty years ago. I’d like to read it again, but there are so many books and so little time. You should also read Berlin Diary and The Nightmare Years by the same author.
Thanks for the tips, I'll definitely check those out after getting through The Splendid and the Vile, which is next on my list.
Continuing on this thread, I haven't read many books on the topic, but I have read, "In the Garden of Beasts" which is about the American ambassador to Germany who was living in Berlin with his family during the rise of Hitler. It is excellent.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by sandburg »

Just finished "Countdown 1945:The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb" by Chris Wallace. Tomorrow I'll start "Grant" by Ron Chernow.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by familythriftmd »

Death of a President - by William Manchester. About JFK. Good read. Learned a lot of new words.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tooluser »

"Beyond Heaven's River", a sci fi novel by Greg Bear. I bought it at a used bookstore probably 25-30 years ago, and it has sat on my shelves unread all that time, until now. A WWII Japanese soldier is discovered on a planet after his alien captors abandon it suddenly 400 years later. By galactic rules at that time, as the sole occupant of the planet he now owns it.

The most remarkable part is that it was written in 1980, and everyone in the novel uses handheld wireless computers (called 'tapas') as portable libraries and super calculators. A good technology call by the author, barely imaginable in 1980.

I'm about 3/4's of the way through it, but it's just okay, not really heading anywhere special that I can tell. High technology, a little bit of Japanese history, a love story, and a mystery as to why the aliens abandoned that planet.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by Finridge »

tooluser wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:32 pm "Beyond Heaven's River", a sci fi novel by Greg Bear. I bought it at a used bookstore probably 25-30 years ago, and it has sat on my shelves unread all that time, until now. A WWII Japanese soldier is discovered on a planet after his alien captors abandon it suddenly 400 years later. By galactic rules at that time, as the sole occupant of the planet he now owns it.

The most remarkable part is that it was written in 1980, and everyone in the novel uses handheld wireless computers (called 'tapas') as portable libraries and super calculators. A good technology call by the author, barely imaginable in 1980.

I'm about 3/4's of the way through it, but it's just okay, not really heading anywhere special that I can tell. High technology, a little bit of Japanese history, a love story, and a mystery as to why the aliens abandoned that planet.
"Darwin's Radio" by the same author is pretty good.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by tooluser »

Finridge wrote: Sat Jan 23, 2021 3:13 am
tooluser wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:32 pm "Beyond Heaven's River", a sci fi novel by Greg Bear. I bought it at a used bookstore probably 25-30 years ago, and it has sat on my shelves unread all that time, until now. A WWII Japanese soldier is discovered on a planet after his alien captors abandon it suddenly 400 years later. By galactic rules at that time, as the sole occupant of the planet he now owns it.

The most remarkable part is that it was written in 1980, and everyone in the novel uses handheld wireless computers (called 'tapas') as portable libraries and super calculators. A good technology call by the author, barely imaginable in 1980.

I'm about 3/4's of the way through it, but it's just okay, not really heading anywhere special that I can tell. High technology, a little bit of Japanese history, a love story, and a mystery as to why the aliens abandoned that planet.
"Darwin's Radio" by the same author is pretty good.
Yep! I have read that but have not read the sequel. Also The Forge of God/Anvil of Stars, which I intend to reread at some point. I think the common theme amongst all of them is a very good exploration of the concept of existential dread (sentient species' fear of being wiped out by forces beyond their control). But yet the characters are optimistic and heroic in the face of almost certain doom.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by jebmke »

Finishing up The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee - really good overview of the history of genetics

also reading

1947: Where Now Begins, by Elisabeth Asbrink and

Law of Innocence by Michael Connelly
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by ruralavalon »

The Nature of the Beast, by Louise Penny.

Back in Three Pines Quebec a 9 year old boy, who frequently cries wolf, tells everyone that he has seen a giant gun, bigger than a house, with a monster and on it, hidden in the forrest. No one believes him, then he is found dead. The mystery deepens.
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Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Post by MP173 »

"Post Covid" by Scott Galloway.

I have read "The Four" and listen to Galloway's podcasts and find him on point regarding technology today (he wants to breakup The Four - Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google). He is a highly regarded Professor at NYU Stern Business School and has started a number of businesses, all tech / marketing / brand related.

Galloway states the COVID has greatly accelerated change in our society and economy and many of these changes will be permanent such as the WFH trend will greatly reduce the need and cost of commercial real estate.

Higher education, Galloway forecasts, will be greatly disruptive as COVID not only accelerates the off campus education, but also delays those going to campus (Gap year) which in turn will result in a number of college closings. Plus by 2026 the number of High School seniors will be 9% lower than today. Galloway predicts 25% - 50% college closings. I think that is too high, but have no doubt that the salad days of colleges and universities are in the rear view mirror.

His look at government is...well I do not wish to get this thread locked. Lets say he has ideas. Read the book to find out what his thoughts are.

Pretty good book.

We need to be ready for change. It will be forthcoming in his opinion...rapidly.

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

Post by jebmke »

MP173 wrote: Sun Jan 24, 2021 5:51 pm Galloway states the COVID has greatly accelerated change in our society and economy and many of these changes will be permanent such as the WFH trend will greatly reduce the need and cost of commercial real estate.
Have heard this before and maybe it will stick this time. But I found that WFH people (pre-pandemic era) eventually realized they were missing out and drifted back. In many cases, they realized that a lot of informal interaction was critical not only for getting their job done but also, it affected who got promoted. Probably varies a lot depending on what the job actually is.
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