Sunday Book Thread

My fellow Morons, the sad truth is that in the last week I've done precious little reading for pleasure of any kind, and the little bit that I did do was blog-related. (Apparently I am allowed to read this blog in addition to posting on it. Think of that!)

I am planning to pick up Erik Larson's new book In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin, about which I have heard lots of good things. I've heard Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America mentioned in several past book threads, so I'll get that book too while I'm at it.

What is everyone else reading?

Posted by: Monty at 08:11 AM



Comments

1 Still re-reading old stuff. Specifically Tom Clancy and his Jack Ryon series. He kinda went downhill after the last one of those.

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 08:15 AM (M9Ie6)

2 So, will George Will now say it's either Petey or Mittens?

Posted by: beedubya at May 22, 2011 08:22 AM (AnTyA)

3 Vic, last Clancy I read was Teeth of the Tiger. Anyone read the newest one?

Any good?

Posted by: XBradTC at May 22, 2011 08:23 AM (7O/jS)

4 I've been in a reading rut lately, but Larson's book (Devil in the White City), was a great read -- think I'll pick up his new book that you referenced!

Posted by: Crabby Appleton at May 22, 2011 08:23 AM (xEXzN)

5 3 books on Gettysburg, taking it one day at a time, by Harry W. Pfanz.

Posted by: oldirishpig at May 22, 2011 08:26 AM (XTXTe)

6 Vic, last Clancy I read was Teeth of the Tiger. Anyone read the newest one?

Yeah I read that one as well. That is when I noticed he was going downhill. I also started reading the next one in which he co-wrote with Tommy Franks concerning command and control. I haven't bought any more of his after that. I gave up.

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 08:31 AM (M9Ie6)

7 " (Apparently I am allowed to read this blog in addition to posting on it. Think of that!)"

I thought for sure that was against the rules!

Posted by: Stoop Davy Dave at May 22, 2011 08:32 AM (RbtQ7)

8 I actually had time to read while flying last weekend and finished two Brad Thor books. Really enjoyed them.

Is the skanky bitch senator with the initials HRC in Blowback supposed to be Hillary? I laughed my ass off.

Posted by: HeatherRadish at May 22, 2011 08:38 AM (0vDuM)

9 Call a Southerner an asshole and you a begging for a fight from Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers.

I also learned that I was born in the best year since 1835 for becoming a billionaire but I didn't have access to a timesharing terminal so SOL.

Posted by: tmitsss at May 22, 2011 08:38 AM (g2ucs)

10 just read Unbroken, review here
http://bit.ly/kegpB6

Posted by: jeff at May 22, 2011 08:42 AM (V59pD)

11 Devil in the White City is a very good book BTW

Posted by: jeff at May 22, 2011 08:43 AM (V59pD)

12 Vic, last Clancy I read was Teeth of the Tiger. Anyone read the newest one? I did. It was better.

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 22, 2011 08:43 AM (XdlcF)

13 Has anyone read Crichton's State of Fear? How was it?

Posted by: rdbrewer at May 22, 2011 08:48 AM (nAFjq)

14 Has anyone read Crichton's State of Fear? How was it?

I have, it was very good, especially since it was the first of the majors to debunk the phony AGW scam.

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 08:50 AM (M9Ie6)

15 I have a copy of Martha Dodd's, Through Embassy Eyes. Reading it, I thought it odd that the ambassador's adult children went to live with him in Berlin. Freeloaders.

Martha was definitely a leftard skank. She fucked anything in pants. Reading Wm. Shirer's comments about her in his books, I have no doubt that she fucked him, too.

And like a good little commie, she came home, married a millionaire, turned him, and then they both ended up on the lam for spying.

She's disgraceful. I hope your book has nothing good to say about her.

Posted by: Tough US Immigration Policies at May 22, 2011 08:52 AM (zL6Hj)

16 State of fear rocks, like all the other stuff Crichton wrote. Sucks balls he's not around any more

Posted by: Zakn..also a Cainiac at May 22, 2011 08:53 AM (zyaZ1)

17 I would hardly call the Dodds an American family in that they were decidedly anti-American. Screw them and their descendants.

Posted by: Tough US Immigration Policies at May 22, 2011 08:54 AM (zL6Hj)

18 Conan Book 4 The Wanderer.
For about the 6th time

Posted by: drolmorg at May 22, 2011 08:55 AM (QygYK)

19 Just finished Alan Bradley's "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" - first of three books narrated by 11-year-old chemist (with a special interest in poisons) and sleuth Flavia de Luce. A pure delight and I can hardly wait for the next two to get here. In the meantime, am reading David Peace's Nineteen-Seventy-Four. I feel as if I get a lot of tips on authors from these book posts, and these two might be among them. If so, thanks to everyone!

Posted by: Jaclyn at May 22, 2011 08:57 AM (HV1jm)

20 I hope someone reading this will want to check out my short story on Kindle, The Aristotelian. A little tale of blackmail, murder and Sherlock Mycroft Holmes' family dynamic. http://bit.ly/k9mtaG

Posted by: steve poling at May 22, 2011 09:01 AM (db5YN)

21 The Wallet of Kai Lung by Ernst Bramah. Free on Kindle. This was the inspiration for the wonderful, but surprisingly unknown Bridge of Birds by Barry Hugart. If you haven't read the latter, you really should. Simply terrific.

Posted by: countrydoc at May 22, 2011 09:02 AM (Fwb9h)

22 Qian, Hua and Sorensen, "Quantitative Equity Portfolio Management: Modern Techniques and Applications." This is my ticket to becoming a Wall Street quant. I've heard there is a hot all-girl scene in Chapter 7.

Posted by: GolfBoy at May 22, 2011 09:05 AM (WGL5k)

23 Recently started reading some of the H.P. Lovecraft. The Color of Space and Call of Cthulu. I could see where I would have enjoyed it as a kid or teenager, but I guess I no longer "get it".

Posted by: countrydoc at May 22, 2011 09:08 AM (Fwb9h)

24 I also enjoyed and recommend The Lincoln Lawyer (book) by Michael Connelly.

Next on my reading list, Little Fuzzies, by H. Beam Piper, then its "reboot" (fanfic?) Fuzzy Nation, by John Scalzi. Just for comparison of their writing styles and also to see how changes since the 1950s have affected the storytelling.

Posted by: steve poling at May 22, 2011 09:10 AM (db5YN)

25 Just started The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint by Edward R. Tufte. It's got too much rant (PowerPoint bad!) and not enough explanation on how to do better so far.

State of Fear is worth owning if only for the essay in Appendix I, explaining the mischief that comes from politicizing science.

Posted by: Deadly Dooright at May 22, 2011 09:12 AM (y9+q9)

26 Been reading Manchester's two - volume Bio of Churchill. The parallels are striking; the difference is frightening. Lots of appeasement ... no Churchill in sight anywhere.

Posted by: Frankns at May 22, 2011 09:15 AM (3K9mg)

27 All the Michael Connelly books are good. In fact, I don't like The Lincoln Lawyer nearly as much as a bunch of his other books.

Posted by: XBradTC at May 22, 2011 09:15 AM (7O/jS)

28 I have been thinking about writing a Cthulhu story, after watching the TV shows "Swamp People" and "Justified." In this story the Elder god ventures forth from the Miskatonic valley of Massachusetts to the hollers of eastern Tennessee. And is surprised at Walmart.

Would anyone want to read such a thing?

Posted by: steve poling at May 22, 2011 09:17 AM (db5YN)

29 Nonfiction--The Origin of Wealth, a treatise about evolutionary economics...I'm taking it with me on my trip to Shenandoah.
Fiction--Whatever they based that Banderas flick on.

Posted by: Big Fat Meanie at May 22, 2011 09:19 AM (DPM1U)

30 Lots of appeasement ... no Churchill in sight anywhere.

Oh there are probably lots of Churchills, it just that the MFM and the establishment elites wish to make sure that they get no good press.

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 09:19 AM (M9Ie6)

31 If anyone remembers, last week I asked about Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module written by Tom Kelly, the engineering leader of the LM project at Grumman. A day or two later I noticed the price dipped under ten bucks so I figured it was worth it and ordered the book.

I'm not much of a reviewer, and I'm only about 2/3 or so through it, but I'm liking it. Tom comes across as a an engineer (serviceable prose) who doesn't have a bad word to say about anyone. Everyone he meets is skilled, intelligent, dedicated, etc. The book doesn't really give you the feeling of being in the engineering/manufacturing trenches in the same way that the Spider episode of From the Earth to the Moon did. It's much more of a 'We did this, then that. About then this other thing happened. NASA got pissed, so we did this.' kind of narrative. Nonetheless, there are some very interesting anecdotes and it does bring the amazing attention to detail required for Apollo to succeed into focus.

One situation in particular impressed me, involving titanium pressure tanks. A supercritical helium tank for the LM propulsion system blew during a test. They went through all the 'standard' reasons for tank failure without success, so a team dug deeper into the situation. It turns out that the manufacturer of the tank switched from using new towels to wipe the to-be-welded surfaces of the tank to using towels that had been washed. Apparently the trace amounts of detergent left on the towels attacked the titanium of the tank and caused enough corrosion for the tank to blow during testing.

The book doesn't contain any soaring prose, in some respects it's a somewhat dull recitation of facts and events, but I'm enjoying it enough to finish reading and it was certainly worth the $9.79 that Amazon is charging right this minute.

Posted by: J. Random Dude at May 22, 2011 09:19 AM (72afg)

32 Game of Thrones on a recommendation, and starting the narnia series to my 4 yr old

Posted by: A.G. at May 22, 2011 09:22 AM (r1N2K)

33 This moron isgoing backto school to become a teacher, so is taking a class on YA fiction.(I look forward to defacing our statehouse capital buiding ina ew years.)Kinda depressing, though it is great because I know what to avoid. A lot of liberal didacticism in the genre,a lot of what in the movies that would be called "Oscar bait,"and a lot of junk in general, but there's some not bad writing.
I almost feel like I'm in a situation of "Know your enemy."

Posted by: Lee (in KY) at May 22, 2011 09:23 AM (k4Th7)

34 21 countrydoc,

I can't agree with you more about Bridge of Birds. It's a wonderful book. I picked up the other two books in the series and enjoyed them as well.

Posted by: J. Random Dude at May 22, 2011 09:24 AM (72afg)

35
I've been onan Alastair Reynolds kick for the last couple of weeks. Love the hard science in his fiction and the troubling societies that he creates with each book. Currently, "The Prefect."

Posted by: Tommy Gunnarson at May 22, 2011 09:25 AM (ybA9f)

36 I really enjoyed the audio book of Devil in the White City, but realized afterwards that I reallyshould have read the book. The a.b. was abridged, only 5 discs total, and I could tell that a lot of details usually present in such books had been cut out.
Just started "Gideon's Sword", the first of a new Preston/Child series featuring Gideon Crew, an ex-thief who gets corraled by a mysterious agency into doing their dirty work for them. Not great, but I'm only about 100 pages in.

Posted by: Lincolntf at May 22, 2011 09:27 AM (Z05lF)

37 3000 Calculus Problems
So You Want To Play Go? Volume 1
On Literature, by Umberto Eco

Posted by: Alex at May 22, 2011 09:38 AM (J2ejK)

38 24
I also enjoyed and recommend The Lincoln Lawyer (book) by Michael Connelly.

I just requested this at the library based on your recommendation.

I am currently re-reading Clash of Kings, as I have to be ready for A Dance with Dragons in July!!!
I had forgotten so much from these books, love them.

Posted by: Stormy70 at May 22, 2011 09:40 AM (OxJtj)

39 Picked up The Divine World by William Young. Pretty good supernatural action-adventure tale about a former Green Beret who winds up on an uncharted island in The Bermuda Triangle inhabited by a centuries-old wizard hiding from skeleton pirates and a band of other wizards.

Posted by: Prismatic_Ghost at May 22, 2011 09:41 AM (d2WSd)

40 I read Devil in the White City too. It was both informative and quite disturbing. But by the end I felt it had meandered a bit.

Right now I'm reading "Brideshead Revisited" (99 cents on the Kindle), something I've wanted to read for a long time.

Waugh's "Handful of Dust" was one of the best things I've ever read, even if it is quite a devastating as the title makes it sound.

So far I'm waiting for this book to get as great as folks seem to think it is, not there yet, but it's early.

Posted by: Jocon307 at May 22, 2011 09:42 AM (aSjX3)

41 Random, there's a longish interview with Tom Kelly in the Nova documentary "To the Moon", which you'd probably enjoy. Kelly reminds me of my late father-in-law - an Irish New Yorker, with a strong Noo Yawk accent (or at least, strong to my Midwestern ears) who comes across as affable and understated, but extremely competent.

As for my reading, I started "Cryptonomicon", but set it aside after about 50 pages. The author's decision to use Alan Turing as a sock puppet really irritated me, while the material he presents is also covered by James Gleick in "The Information", only Gleick does it better.

Right now, I'm into "The Brothers Karamazov", in the translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky. I first read the novel, in Constance Garnett's translation, when I was 18 - that is, when I was younger than the youngest of the brothers. Now, 41 years later, I'm older than their father was. It's interesting how my take on the characters and the story have changed with the passing of the years, and the accumulation of experience: the first reading was animated by the desire of a young person to learn what life is about; and the second, by the desire of an old person to reflect on what life has been about. Two different views of the same thing, one loking forward, the other looking back; but the book has a great deal to say to young and old alike.


Posted by: Brown Line at May 22, 2011 09:48 AM (ZeOlz)

42 The Roots Of Obama's Rage, by Dinesh D'Souza. Confirms a lot of my worst suspicions about His Royal Assholiness.

Posted by: Tubby Curls at May 22, 2011 09:50 AM (uPJN8)

43 Re-reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago."
It should be required reading for every high school senior.

Posted by: Sam Adams at May 22, 2011 09:50 AM (ItW3y)

44 Just about to finish (98% done) The Name of the Wind: The Kingkiller Chronicle: Day One, by Patrick Rothfuss. I normally don't read two books in the same series back to back, but this one I am ready to dive into the next one.

Very richly textured for a "fantasy" story, without becoming a history lesson for a make believe world.

Posted by: VA Gator at May 22, 2011 09:52 AM (uZdxA)

45 Andrew Vachss, "Two Trains Running." -- a brilliant step away from his great Burke-series, about the forces gathering to collide in 1959 America.
Larry Alexander, "Shadows In The Jungle" -- incredible stories of bravery and cunning about the Alamo Scouts of WWII, who operated behind Japanese lines and wrought havoc there.

Posted by: garycooper at May 22, 2011 09:54 AM (beegY)

46 Rawhide Down: The Near Assasination of Ronald Reagan is currently on my Kindle, and is an excellent read. Well recommended.

Posted by: itzWicks at May 22, 2011 09:55 AM (zsKNZ)

47 I agree with the previous post about Alastair Reynolds - just a tremendous writer. House of Suns and Pushing Iceare great reads.Also, I am revisiting Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein, which is a bit dated now. The Prince Roger series by Ringo and Weber is good. Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Weatherford is worth looking at. Unbroken by Hillebrand is tough to stomach, but a good source of how WWII POWs were treated in Japan. The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism by Wiliamson FINALLY explains the difference between an entitlement society and a socialist society so that the next time I hear someone say that we have been a socialist country since Social Security was instituted, I have a great response. The Windup Girl by Baciqalupi is a stunning novel. Endurance by Alfred Lansing is a great true adventure novel. Getting back to science fiction, The Mote in God's Eye by Niven and Pournelle is one of the best. Spin by Robert Charles Wilson is a fantastic book. A Beautiful Mind by Nasar is one of the best. I could go on and one (Maybe I already have!), but these are a few of my favorites ands worth a look.

Posted by: Kirk Turner at May 22, 2011 09:56 AM (g7i13)

48 Heinlein

Moon is a Harsh Mistress? Cat Who Walks Through Walls? Should probably save that one til you've read most of the others. Hell, I even liked Podkayne of Mars, which I think he wrote for pre-teen girls.

Posted by: FUBAR at May 22, 2011 10:00 AM (1fanL)

49 42 - Brown Line,
Thanks for the Nova rec. It looks like it was in my Netflix queue, but somewhere in the 400's. I pushed it up quite a bit.

Cryptonomicon is one of my favorite books, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I'm always hesitant to say "read a bit further" since not everyone is going to like everything I do. But I really do love that book.

I'll have to throw The Information on my Moron Reading list.

Posted by: J. Random Dude at May 22, 2011 10:01 AM (72afg)

50 Currently (re)reading the Honor Harrington series on my Kindle, in prep for the new one. You guys would recognize Haven; it's basically the Soviets fused with modern Dems and equipped with a military, aside from the actual decent people, who are themselves awakening.

Posted by: GamerFromJump at May 22, 2011 10:07 AM (DOjzE)

51 There's also a novel set in 1930s Berlin called "Garden of Beasts" (or somethihg very similar.) It's ok. Like "Fatherland" w/o the alternate-history angle.

Posted by: Knemon at May 22, 2011 10:14 AM (zi4Q4)

52 51, I'm just starting Mission of Honor again. It's kinda weak compared to some of the earlier books, but still a good read.

When's the next one coming out?

Posted by: XBradTC at May 22, 2011 10:17 AM (7O/jS)

53 Colleen McCullough's Caeser. Read her First Man of Rome and The Grass Crown years ago and really enjoyed them. Finally found more of her Rome stuff. Probably won't be reading The Thornbirds, but I like these. Just fininshed Silva's ADeath in Vienna and looking for more of his.

Posted by: bigred, Gators Got Your Granny, Inc. at May 22, 2011 10:24 AM (weBtw)

54 Currently (re)reading the Honor Harrington series on my Kindle, in prep for the new one. You guys would recognize Haven; it's basically the Soviets fused with modern Dems and equipped with a military, aside from the actual decent people, who are themselves awakening.
Posted by: GamerFromJump at May 22, 2011 10:07 AM (DOjzE)
Actually, Haven is the Pre/Post Revolutionary French for the most part. Come on, one of the leaders is Rob S Pierre

Posted by: Oldcat at May 22, 2011 10:27 AM (CN+Qv)

55 Just finished Snow Falling On Cedars by David Guterson and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, both of which are excellent reads. Have just begun A Soldier of the Great War by Mark Helprin, which came highly recommended.

Posted by: euzkadi at May 22, 2011 10:30 AM (QjcGn)

56 Colleen McCullough's Caeser. Read her First Man of Rome and The Grass Crown years ago and really enjoyed them. Finally found more of her Rome stuff. Probably won't be reading The Thornbirds, but I like these. Just fininshed Silva's A Death in Vienna and looking for more of his.
Posted by: bigred, Gators Got Your Granny, Inc. at May 22, 2011 10:24 AM (weBtw)
That's a great series, although I almost wish she was able to hold the same level of detail for the last few as the first ones. I haven't read the Anthony/Cleopatra one yet, and it may be tough sledding without any sympathetic characters in it. She's pretty cool on Augustus and Anthony in the earlier books.

Posted by: Oldcat at May 22, 2011 10:31 AM (CN+Qv)

57 The Duel: The Eighty-Day Struggle Between Churchill & Hitler got a recommendation last week on the WSJ's opinionjournal page. I'm about half-way through it, and finding it excellent.

Posted by: Iowa Jim at May 22, 2011 10:35 AM (K1u2J)

58 Just got Jeff Shaara's The Final Storm: A Novel of the War in the Pacific delivered to my Kindle. Fired up and ready to rip through it.

Posted by: Soap MacTavish at May 22, 2011 10:36 AM (vbh31)

59 This moron isgoing backto school to become a teacher, so is taking a class on YA fiction.(I look forward to defacing our statehouse capital buiding ina ew years.)Kinda depressing, though it is great because I know what to avoid. A lot of liberal didacticism in the genre,a lot of what in the movies that would be called "Oscar bait,"and a lot of junk in general, but there's some not bad writing.
I almost feel like I'm in a situation of "Know your enemy."
Please share what you learn. Or at least what's good...

Posted by: Mama AJ at May 22, 2011 10:38 AM (XdlcF)

60 Thomas the Train! It goes WOOO WOOO!

Posted by: VP Joe Biden at May 22, 2011 10:47 AM (JZXZc)

61 Reading Michael Totten's Road to Fatima, about his time in Beirut. Very good!

Posted by: PJ at May 22, 2011 10:53 AM (tybhV)

62 @53,

A Rising Thunder is due Jan 2012, that's why I'm doing the reread now. Note that the short story collections are in continuity, but not necessarily in the order the collections were released, a list of the chronology is here.

Posted by: GamerFromJump at May 22, 2011 10:56 AM (DOjzE)

63 Well, Mama AJ, the class started two weeks ago,and I'm starting the third of five books I need to read for the class, but my professor, while a little on the left but not an ideologue and certainly a sweet person, warned us about Tender Morsels, which has been nominated for all sorts of awards, and is basically a retelling of some of the female-centric Grimm fairy tales, but with ramped up, perverted (my professor's word, not mine) sex. And this from a professor who in the previous class said don't be afraid of adult topics (sex) when selecting works.
Or as she also said, "We don't censor, but... we select the books that we give and recomend our students."
Of course, now that I know about it, I may buy a used copy just to see how bad it really is.

Posted by: Lee (in KY) at May 22, 2011 10:56 AM (k4Th7)

64 Soap MacTavish, also picked up his Gone For Soldiers, about the Mexican War. ooks good, will be getting to it shortly.

Posted by: bigred, Gators Got Your Granny, Inc. at May 22, 2011 10:59 AM (weBtw)

65 @64.

Thanks. Just went to check that. I see I missed Storm from the Shadows.

That explains why some of the stuff from Mission of Honor doesn't quite make sense.

Posted by: XBradTC at May 22, 2011 11:00 AM (7O/jS)

66 And Dodd's son was also a commie. If the father hadn't kicked the bucket in 1938, I'm sure he too would have been exposed as a commie. The whole Dodd family disgusts me. And no, they were not brave antifascists soldiers. They had no problems with the terror in the USSR and the children had no problems with the Nazi-Soviet pact. Sorry, but the subject pisses me off. It's a liberal whitewash, Monty.

Posted by: Tough US Immigration Policies at May 22, 2011 11:01 AM (zL6Hj)

67
Here's a couple I'm looking forward to when they come out:

Chinese journalist Yang Jisheng's TOMBSTONE: The Untold Story of Mao's Great Famine, a graphic and personal account of one of the devastating famines in human history, Farrar, Straus (World English).

Alexander Pantsov and Steven Levine's MAO: His Life and Times, a new biography of the Chinese leader with access to previously-sealed Soviet and Chinese archives, Simon Schuster.

Posted by: arhooley at May 22, 2011 11:04 AM (uR2iO)

68 That explains why some of the stuff from Mission of Honor doesn't quite make sense.

Those short story books by different authors messed up the series in some respects. Weber said in an interview a while back that he had intended to kill off Honor in that "Battle of Honor" book and continue the series with her children. But someone did a short story that messed up the continuity of it.

I'm sort of glad that he didn't get to kill her off. I hate in when authors do that. I don't read SF just to get depressed.

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 11:07 AM (M9Ie6)

69 Oops Battle of Honor was meant to be "Mission of Honor".

Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 11:08 AM (M9Ie6)

70 Just remembered to ask:
Has anyone here read the Young Adult series (I have no idea how many books there are) "The Hunger Games"? I read an article about the movie they're making and the books sounded pretty good.Sounded like a combo between"The Long Walk" by Stephen King and "The Running Man".

Posted by: Lincolntf at May 22, 2011 11:11 AM (Z05lF)

71 The series was originally an in space version of Horatio Hornblower, but it's gotten away from that. I just hope it ends with the titular character getting some peace.

Posted by: GamerFromJump at May 22, 2011 11:14 AM (DOjzE)

72 Those short story books by different authors messed up the series in some respects. Weber said in an interview a while back that he had intended to kill off Honor in that "Battle of Honor" book and continue the series with her children. But someone did a short story that messed up the continuity of it. I'm sort of glad that he didn't get to kill her off. I hate in when authors do that. I don't read SF just to get depressed.
Posted by: Vic at May 22, 2011 11:07 AM (M9Ie6)
Well, Honor is based quite a bit on Lord Nelson, and he did die in the wars.
But I agree that its probably better that he adapted along the way, as especially in the later books with the expanding cast and locations, having a central character to rally around is pretty important. And he's had enough character casualties to avoid the charge of making war seem too safe.

Posted by: Oldcat at May 22, 2011 11:15 AM (CN+Qv)

73 On a F Paul Wilson kick currently, finished 'Quick Fixes - Tales of Repairman Jack', an enjoyable collection of short story Jack fixes, and in the middle of 'Aftershock Others: 19 Oddities', another collection of short stories. Enjoy the fact that so much of his oeuvre is available on e-book, which is almost a requirement for me nowadays.

Posted by: waelse1 at May 22, 2011 11:19 AM (Xn9hQ)

74 I just finished A Game of Thrones and Born to Run. I never expected a book about running to be so good - it was hard to put down at times.

Next will be the sequel to A Game of Thrones followed by Scalzi's new book Fuzzy Nation.

Posted by: onabuc at May 22, 2011 11:19 AM (XCylm)

75 @33
From looking at YA fiction, would you have any suggestions for liberty-oriented books for younger readers? I have been working on a reading list - fantasy, historical fiction or science fiction.

Posted by: ThroughtheRavenglass at May 22, 2011 11:34 AM (CI22O)

76 Pippa Middleton's arse is like a JK Rowling book.You know Harry's going to be in it.

Posted by: garycooper at May 22, 2011 11:36 AM (beegY)

77 The Killing Ground by Graham McNeil. Part of the Warhammer 40,000 series.

The Ultramarine Omnibus wasn't bad so picked up the next few books about the Ultramarines from McNeil.

Science Fantasy isn't a bad escape.

Posted by: catmman at May 22, 2011 11:43 AM (DTzwU)

78 "Rising Tide" all about how the 1927 flood changed America.

Posted by: Soozer at May 22, 2011 11:50 AM (hYCMn)

79 Re-reading Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago."

It should be required reading for every high school senior.

Posted by: Sam Adams

In Sonlight Curriculum, (homeschooling) it is required reading. My son graduated Thursday,(from, gasp, public school) so I think that would be a great grad present for him, along with Dave Ramsey's books on monetary management.

I just finished Jane Eyre, which I had avoided in high school-I preferred Russian Lit and Dickens to the female writers back then. It is infinitely better than Wuthering Heights, but both the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen read like grammatically correct romance fantasies. I enjoy the books, but I don't really see the contribution or impact on literature, other than they were written by women.

And yes, I denounce myself, as a woman.

Posted by: moki at May 22, 2011 11:50 AM (dZmFh)

80 Plato's Republic and an outdated history of Kyrgyzstan. Yeah, I'm a hit at parties.

Posted by: Sobek at May 22, 2011 11:51 AM (iLSHN)

81 The Forgotten 500, by Gregory Freeman, about the OSS rescue of airmen downed in Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia.
Witness, by Whittaker Chambers.
The Fifth Witness, by Connelly, the latest in the Mickey Haller "Lincoln Lawyer" series.
Gotta mix up a bit o' fun with the grim.

Posted by: ColoComment at May 22, 2011 11:55 AM (kWXIZ)

82 Just finished Paul Johnson's "A History of the American People" - excellent although opinionated - ie we don't always share the same opinion and his are not always supported by evidence and argument.
Still, he makes a strong case that the success of America is due to the culture it has developed- the legal and constitutional innovations were sucessful because they reflected the moral and common sense foundations of the people. Some rainbow, salad bowl, open immigration advocates say America can absorb any other cultures and survive. Not so argues Johnson - debase the Protestant culture and religious foundations (and the closely related European imports like Germans and Catholics) and you destroy the country.
More recent history (Truman to Clinton) had facts I never was told about from watching media and reading newspapers and magazines. Nixon comes off a a great president.
Highly recommended - the 1000+ pages flew by.
Then I picked up "Theodore Rex" by Edmund Morris about Teddy Roosveldt's time as president. The beginning is about the struggle of TR to bust the trusts. However, there's not quite enough arguments either way to it is a political tale and not an economic one. Why was Standard Oil Trust so evil if prices kept studily declining?

Posted by: Whitehall at May 22, 2011 11:55 AM (Ou6gY)

83 I have to disagree with the positive review of Crichton's State of Fear. As a work of fiction, it didn't seem particularly interesting. None of the characters, from what I remember, were all that deep or well-written. Most of the plot points seemed predictable. The only parts I recall liking were the chapter where one character gives a long explanation of how the modern-day environmental movement came into being after the fall of communism in Russia and Eastern Europe. The environmental movement basically succeeded the pro-Communist movement.Also the appendix on junk science was illuminating.

Posted by: Book Geek at May 22, 2011 11:59 AM (1+OO5)

84 Been on a fantasy kick lately. Reading a couple of anthologies edited by P.N. Elrod-- Strange Brew and My Big Fat Supernatural Wedding. Some great stories by Jim Butcher, Charlaine Harris, and others.

Posted by: RigbtWingProf at May 22, 2011 12:20 PM (gihPk)

85 72 Has anyone here read the Young Adult series (I have no idea how many
books there are) "The Hunger Games"? I read an article about the movie
they're making and the books sounded pretty good.Sounded like a combo
between"The Long Walk" by Stephen King and "The Running Man".

I loved this trilogy, and I highly recommend it to you. The first book is spectacular.

Posted by: Stormy70 at May 22, 2011 12:26 PM (OxJtj)

86 Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen. History tells us that Magellan was the first to circumnavigate the globe (he wasn't; he was killed in the Philippines.) The an amazing story of how five sailing ships and 260 sailors set out to find a western route to the Spice Islands. One ship returned with 18 emaciatedmen still alive.
An incredible tale of mutiny, starvation, and warring island tribes. If you like true adventure, I cannot tout this one high enough.

Posted by: Libra at May 22, 2011 12:28 PM (kd8U8)

87 Bout 1/3 done with the Hangman's Daughter - was free on amazon a bit ago but it's a german novel and it's pretty decent. I'm also 60% or so done with Adam Carolla's biography, which is pretty funny at parts if you like his schpiel

Posted by: Defector at May 22, 2011 12:31 PM (BxxIm)

88 Am waiting for my turn in the library queue for Jo Nesbo's The Snowman. Read a greatarticle aboutthis Norwegian crime fiction author in the WSJ couple of weeks ago.

Posted by: lauren at May 22, 2011 12:31 PM (ibCFU)

89 Also picked up a magazine for the first time called "Trains."
I took a trip on Amtrak's California Zephyr from San Jose to Denver (connection in Oakland.) It was very pleasant with great service, good food, spectaular scenary, much socializing. For overnight travel, go first class - for my daughter and I it was on short notice and cheaper than flying!
The magazine covers "railfan" activities like where to watch the most freight trains go by but had good business coverage too. This issue was on short lines and I was aghast at how much the federal government STILL subsidizes railroads.
One could argue that such private infrastructure is vital to shippers and consumers and government help for the private owners pays back to the commonweal. Yet, the temptations for crony capitalism is apparent.

Posted by: Whitehall at May 22, 2011 12:46 PM (Ou6gY)

90 I thank the morons who led me to "Cryptonomicon".

Great book.

Recommendation: "Thunder at Twilight", by Frederic Morton. An absolutely fascinating book focusing on Vienna and the court of the doddering Emperor Franz Josef during the year leading up to the assassination in Sarajevo of the Archduke Ferdinand and his "commoner" wife, and the subsequent descent into mad patriotism and the headlong rush into what became to be called the Great War.

Yawn!, you might say, but you would be wrong. It's not a dry "history" book (I'm thinking Tuchman's "The Proud Tower"), but a lively social-political-intellectual overview of Viennese society, and a dramatis personae ranging from Freud to Trotsky and even a young Stalin, with the starchy and insufferable Archduke at the center of events. There's a surprise on every page. Trust me.

Or go to Amazon to read the reviews. (but buy the book for a buck at Abebooks.com).


Posted by: Jim Sonweed at May 22, 2011 12:58 PM (FVhEi)

91
State of Fear - enjoyed the skewering of the enviros; good hard laugh at the "Martin Sheen" character.
Been wanting to read Witness but will have to buy it. Our library, which serves parts of three counties and major population centers, does not have a single copy in its collection.
I have a short stack of Paul Johnson that I am working through. His books, Creators and Intellectuals, are perfect while nursing a couple of beers on a summer afternoon.

Posted by: The Poster Formerly Known as Mr. Barky at May 22, 2011 01:08 PM (w4l4r)

92 Good God, Monty, all I had to see was that Larsen had a new book out, and I immediately ordered it. Devil in the White City is a tremendously exciting read, and Thunderstruck, about Crippen and the laying of the first Atlantic telegraph line, is thrilling. Larsen is a fantastic historical writer!

Posted by: QUnit& Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK at May 22, 2011 01:51 PM (GkYyh)

93 Oh, finishing up The Moonstone again, and Blood Crimes, about the funeral train for Lincoln and the hunt for Jefferson Davis. Both great reads. (I generally read at least 2 books at the same time--have done so since I was a child--great for getting me through my doctoral exams and dissertation, and a nice timesaver).

Posted by: QUnit& Jessel, Sea of Azof, Bly, UK at May 22, 2011 01:53 PM (GkYyh)

94 Bloodlands next. I just hope I can get through it in the three weeks alotted by the library. I also wish I could come into several million dollars so I could just buy books and have the time to read all of them.
Also reading Living Low Carb which is proving a not-too-dreadfully technical read, and a collection of suspense stories for my bedtime book.
And No. 28, I would totally read that.

Posted by: Tonestaple at May 22, 2011 01:54 PM (8bxEz)

95 American Lightning by Howard Blum is tremendous. One of the worst acts of domestic terrorism--the blowing up of the LA Times building--and how the Left tried its best to cover it up and then excuse it.

Posted by: Mr. Naron at May 22, 2011 02:08 PM (hB7lM)

96 Sadly not a lot of fiction lately, wish I had made the time. For rdbrewer - yes, State of Fear is excellent, I was just talking to someone about it yesterday. The most heavily footnoted and documented fictional novel I've ever read.

I've been reading nonfiction lately, a brief summary:

1) They Must Be Stopped by Brigitte Gabriel - a fairly short and tightly constructed "reminder" of the radical nature of Islam. Probably a better primer than anything else, essentially a list with examples of what radical Islam is and why it's not really radical. The final chapter about "what to do about it" is the weakest part of the book. I got it in the discount bin so it was more than worth it. Not as weighty as other works, for example, by Spencer.

2) Roots of Obama's Rage by Dinesh D'Souza. Somewhat controversial attempt to psychologize Obama's ideological origins, but I think relatively successful. Very heavily referenced and tightly reasoned. Not a terribly long read, but with very few weaknesses. I don't think it tries to do an "everything" job about Obama's ideas but more about his motivations. Has had a great deal of predictive power since it was written, which suggests that the idea is pretty close to reality. Short version - Obama is so hard to nail down because his ideology is obscure, if similar to and allied with the socialist left - he's primarily an anti-colonialist. It explains his political alliances, his unusual enemies (like Jackson and some black radical activists), his love for third-world thugs and disdain for our allies, etc.

3) A Slobbering Love Affair by Bernard Goldberg. Kind of short, mainly a repetition of what we all know about the MBM's shameful behavior during the 2008 election. One or two minor revelations from personal interviews or encounters. No real solutions or advice, chapter 19 kind of shoots himself in the foot by claiming all the horrible things he has been describing had little effect (far less than they actually did, IMHO), but you're still supposed to be outraged. Meh. Might have been more impressive to someone who had no idea about the MBM.

4) Radical in Chief by Stanley Kurz. Much weightier and more heavily documented book than what I've been reading. Not finished with it yet, but the first portion of the book is an excellent and detailed summary of the radical socialist and communist community in the US centering around the early 80s (when Obama began his "community organizing" training and career), also centering around Chicago (which was the "mecca" of this movement at that time, to use the metaphor correctly). It turns out that we know a little bit more about Obama's activities and connections with leftist radicals than I thought we did, though most of this was still unknown (and deliberately hidden) at the time of the 2008 election. Most of the information is from secondary sources, a few witnesses but mainly membership lists, seminar or conference information and community and ideological newsletters and newspapers (communist world daily, etc.).

Most of the people involved in this movement *still* do not give interviews outside their community, which is one reason why most people are still not aware of Obama's connections, which are even more extensive than I thought. This is the kind of research the press corps is supposed to do but never does - on the left, anyway. More when I finish, I also picked up about 4-5 other books on similar subjects which I will hopefully finish by next Sunday, though I may not report on them until the next week (family visiting).

Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith at May 22, 2011 02:14 PM (bxiXv)

97
Also reading Living Low Carb which is proving a not-too-dreadfully technical read, and a collection of suspense stories for my bedtime book. Posted by: Tonestaple at May 22, 2011 01:54 PM (8bxEz)
There is now a lot of good material on the web for low-carb diets, from Taubes and his articles to places like the Junk Food Science blog (I always like to mention that place), which is not currently updated but has a huge archive which is searchable. JFS is not a "low carb place" per se but there's a lot of relevant info there.I think we simply don't know enough about metabolism and don't do enough individual testing and research, and treat dietary needs like they're exactly the same for all people, and it just isn't so.

Posted by: Merovign, Dark Lord of the Sith at May 22, 2011 02:18 PM (bxiXv)

98 I'm still in Build a Complete Metalshop from Scrap by David Gingery.

He's writing from the "I'm a cheap bastard" perspective, not the "Zombie Apocalypse" perspective, so now that I've read all seven books, I'm going back through and making a list of handy crap that he didn't explicitly make. (Screws, flat bar stock, etc.)

Also looking at the designs at Bing://"Low-RPM Disk Alternator.

The only crucial bits being magnets and magnet wire, I figure I can manage to stock some.

Next, I need to do the research on: "So, you have a lathe, how do you make a gun?"

Posted by: Al at May 22, 2011 03:21 PM (MzQOZ)

99 Rereading the entire series of the HITCHHIKERS GUIDE TO THE GALAXY".
By DOUG ADAMS.
Some interesting parallels, as the President of the Galaxy , one Zaphod Breeblebrox, is also a complete bumbling,totally inept idiot.
Was Doug trying to tell us something before he passed away a few years ago.
I guess a trip to Millies is the only way to find out.
I am waiting for Marvin to bring the starcruiser right now so grab your towel and let's go
,

Posted by: MR MIKE at May 22, 2011 04:24 PM (/Io9u)

100 @72 Just remembered to ask:
Has anyone here read the Young Adult series (I have no idea how many
books there are) "The Hunger Games"? I read an article about the movie
they're making and the books sounded pretty good.Sounded like a combo
between"The Long Walk" by Stephen King and "The Running Man".
The RightWingDaughter is 10 years old and wise beyond her years (she favors her mother in wisdom but me in terms of twisted sense of humor). She's also an avid reader. She loved Hunger Games and both sequels.

Here are two picks for YA fiction. The first is Neil Gaiman's The GraveYard Book. It starts off with an stranger entering a house and killing off the entire family (nothing explicit - all suggested) while the 18 month old manages to (unawares) get out of his crib, up the hill, and into a graveyard. His mother's ghost (just murdered) asks the denizens of the graveyard (mostly ghosts of 15th and 16th century people) to save him. So, they adopt him and raise him as their own. What makes it unusual is that all the good guys are ghosts, witches, and vampires, and the only bad guys are the humans. - I used to read it to my two kids (daughter was 8 at the time and son was 10) before bed (yeah - sounds weird, but the kids loved it)

The other is the Wingfeather trilogy by Andrew Petersen. The first book, On the Edge of The Dark Sea of Darkness: Adventure. Peril. Lost Jewels. And the Fearsone Toothy Cows of Skree, may be the some of the best writing I've seen in a long time. It has a strong sense of the heroic (often from the youngest characters in it), adventure, mystery, great antagonists, and a bitingly sharp sense of humor. And the world he creates is almost Tolkienesque in it's richness.

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Posted by: venoous at May 22, 2011 04:41 PM (Wz2eP)

102 I just finished Dinesh D'souza's book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage". It has a very good analysis of Obama his life and policies. It covers Neocolonialism and shows how he created his persona and many of his odd quirks, and reasons his beliefs are being sucessfully being carried out. He uses Obama's books as sources of information plus his speeches and appearances in the media. I have read four books on this man. I also read Stanley Kurtz's book "Radical-In-Chief" which has covered American Socialism and has drawn interesting connections to Obama's place in the movement.

Posted by: WeAreLegion at May 22, 2011 04:47 PM (RoVwa)

103 Just for grins, I ran that Arabic spam through Google Translate, and got the following ancient desert wisdom:

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Iraqi Songs Music Ringtones Kurdish traditional music concerts Iraqi Iraqi Iraqi Iraqi Rap teams felt Iraq

Kinda makes you think, doesn't it.

Posted by: Splunge at May 22, 2011 05:34 PM (2IW5Q)

104 105
Just for grins, I ran that Arabic spam through Google Translate, and got the following ancient desert wisdom:

105 Also for shits and giggles I ran the same post thru Babble fish and i got the following:

Die you infidels. Obama is our savior and he will deliver us to the promised land very soon. Just as soon as he destroys your ecomony and installs sheria law throughout your stinkin country. Oh yeah, we want to burn down all you churches too.

Posted by: MR MIKE at May 22, 2011 05:58 PM (COUtZ)

105 John Ringo - Hot Gate

It was good by the measure of "drew me in and kept me reading" but to be honest, not a whole lot happened. Middles will be middles, but the next one needs to be *soon* and needs to be *good*.

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Posted by: chaeli at May 22, 2011 11:08 PM (6clMr)

107 Some recent readings (I'm retired so I'm able to do a lot more reading than I used to):
The Book Thief (Marcus Zusak) It took awhile for it to catch my interest
King Leopold's Ghost (Adam Hochschild) A good read if you're unfamiliar with how the Belgium Congo came to be and what an evil rotten bastard person Leopold was
Stalin The Court Of The Red Tsar (Simon Sebag Montefiore)... speaking of rotten bastards
Rising 44 (Norman Davies) The "other" Warsaw uprising - the one most Americans aren't familiar with

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