So what are you reading?

What books, zines or other pulp are you reading? What aren't you reading? What should everyone else read?
DCB
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby DCB » Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:09 pm

"The Best of Mike Royko - One more time".
Damn he was good.
And timeless.

Kenneth Burns
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:01 pm

"Infinite Jest"

snoqueen
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby snoqueen » Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:12 pm

Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols.

This one's about work in neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and medical research exploring processes in the brain and body that respond to our proximity to bodies of water, often with beneficial results.

We'll see if he makes sense or not; I'm still in the first chapters.

Mad Howler
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Mad Howler » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:56 am

Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451.
I *thought* I read this work before ... I didn't.
I think I read some cleansed pap rewritten for tweens - this was a thing for this title.
I am glad that I have read this book.

Now having read it - I don't understand Moore's title of that film other than provocation.
I am not saying the man known as Michael Moore didn't have something to say. But his efforts seems to - conveniently - provide a softball that is deftly batted about by stenographers.
I guess he has had a role to play - "same as it ever was"

M.H.

penquin
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby penquin » Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:08 am

Image

Political Mercenaries, by Lindsay Mark Lewis

Highly recommended for those who are interested in learning how things changed almost overnight in regards to politicians raising funds. It also gives a small peek into inter-party politics as well as the way campaigns are ran. The book points out, very clearly, exactly why the average citizen has even less of a voice than ever before.

I haven't finished it yet...hopefully the author will also offer some solutions.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby chainsawcurtis » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:05 am

"Cornflakes With John Lennon" by Robert Hilburn - rock critic for years with the LA Times.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Galoot » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:41 am

"Eleanor and Franklin", the 1971 biography by Joseph P. Lash.

Henry Vilas
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Henry Vilas » Mon Jan 18, 2016 12:19 pm

"The Cartel" by Don Winslow. A follow up to his "The Power of the Dog," this too is a novelization of the Mexican drug wars. Although the names have been changed, both books accurately follow real events. Winslow has more inside info as to what is occurring (on both sides of the border) than Sean Penn ever will.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby MPMay » Sun Jan 31, 2016 7:04 pm

MPMay wrote:I'm in the midst of William Shirer's classic, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich." A winner of the National Book Award.

I read almost exclusively non-fiction. I've had this for a time, never read it, and finally started it. What a great book! The writing is excellent and the story is horribly fascinating.

This is a continuation of my quest to read great history. Last year, I pulled another book from my shelf that I bought long ago and had not read, "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchman. A Pulitzer winner. If you have not read this book, you must. I am a slow reader and took this on vacation last August (the 100th anniversary of the start of WW 1, which the book recounts) and I devoured the thing in about 3 days. My wife kept asking if I wanted to do anything other than read that damn book.

"Not yet."

At 1,000 pages, about twice the size of Tuchman's masterpiece, I suspect Shirer's book will be more challenging, but equally satisfying. I'm about 1/3 through it.


I finally finished this tome today. What a book.

I'm simply going to quote this passage, which I found quite moving, from the final chapter:

"The guns in Europe ceased firing and bombs ceased dropping at midnight on May 8-9, 1945,and a strange but welcome silence settled over the Continent for the first time since September 1, 1939. In the intervening five years, eight months and seven days millions of men and women has been slaughtered on a hundred battlefields and in a thousand bombed towns, and millions more done to death in the Nazi gas chambers or on the edge of the SS Einsatzgruppen pits in Russia and Poland -- as the result of Adolf Hitler's lust for German conquest. A greater part of most of Europe's ancient cities lay in ruins, and from their rubble, as the weather warmed, there was the stench of the countless unburied dead.

"No more would the streets of Germany echo to the jack boot of the goose-stepping storm troopers or the lusty yells of the brown-shirted masses or the shouts of the Fuehrer blaring from the loudspeakers.

"After twelve years, four months and eight days, an Age of Darkness to all but a multitude of Germans and now ending in a bleak night for them too, the Thousand-Year Reich had come to and end. It had raised, as we have seen, this great nation and this resourceful but so easily misled people to heights of power and conquest never before experienced and now it had dissolved with a suddenness and a completeness that had few, if any, parallels in history."

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Ttusker » Sun Jan 31, 2016 9:41 pm

MPMay wrote: I finally finished this tome today. What a book.


"The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" is, to me, so much more than a history of the Third Reich. Besides the incredible amount of research Shirer did on the subject with the advantage of hindsight, the fact that he was also there when it was happening lends an immediacy and urgency to his writing that just blows me away. I don't think I've ever read a more dramatic book: it sucked me in and made me feel as though I was there too. Shirer's book is and will remain without equal.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Mon Feb 01, 2016 11:53 am

Kenneth Burns wrote:"Infinite Jest"

"Infinite Jest." The post I quote is from November.

Henry Vilas
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:05 am

Just finished "My Cross to Bear" by Gregg Allman. An easy read with the typical sex, drugs and rock n roll. The band was ripped off by management in their early years, even after having sold out concerts and big album sales. I was surprised to read how they were just scraping by.

Allman's story gets a little dreary at the end, when he talks about kicking drugs and finding Jesus.

And he still hates Dicky Betts.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:42 am

What I'm actually reading
The book I keep in my car for reading over lunches out, in waiting rooms, and anywhere else I might need to kill a little time: Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson -- I never tire of reading about this era of American history. I've been working on this for a few months because again, I only do a few pages at a time, but it's a brisk, entertaining read. I have another Franklin biography waiting on my bookshelf now which I will probably replace this one with when I finish as last year I read two Louis Armstrong biographies back-to-back and found that experience to be very satisfying.
The book I keep on the nightstand: Steve Martin's Born Standing Up -- actually just started this last night before bed. Pretty damn entertaining so far and he's not even out of his teens yet.
The book I keep in the bathroom: VJ: The Unplugged Adventures of MTV's First Wave an oral history sort of thing as told by the four still-living original VJs (RIP J.J. Jackson). Perfect for reading in very small chunks. Got it for $2 at Half Price and the opening chapter on David Lee Roth has already made it worth the investment.

What I'm not reading:
I've had to abandon two books recently, which always makes me sad.
Dava Sobel's The Planets -- I've read and enjoyed two of her other books, Galileo's Daughter and Longitude. But this one is a real piece of shit and given that I found several errors before I even got to Jupiter, now I'm questioning what I thought I'd learned from those previous two. Not only does it not even adhere to its own premise (there's a chapter on the moon, which last time I checked, was not one of the planets) it's just poorly written and worst of all, boring. It touches on the mythology associated with the planets, which is interesting, but also throws out tons of astrological information without ever making it clear what utter nonsense those beliefs are. (It does the same thing in the aforementioned non-planetary chapter regarding people's bullshit beliefs about all the terrible things that happen during full moons.) And I couldn't have been less interested whenever she interjected personal stories into the narrative.
Paul Kurtz's The Turbulent Universe -- I know Kurtz best from the pages of Skeptic magazine and he was (he died in 2012) a leading light in the secular humanist movement but damn, this treatise was so badly written I gave up after three chapters. Ostensibly a philosophical treatise, it was mostly just endless lists of boring crap that seemed to have no actual points to make. What a shame. Came highly recommended by other authors I admire but I have to assume that's simply because of who Kurtz was, not what he wrote here.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby chainsawcurtis » Tue Feb 02, 2016 9:17 am

Just Finished Corn Flakes With John Lennon by Robert Hilburn. I got a new (sort of) appreciation for Bono from this book. I don't much like U2s later work but it seems like he really believes in what he's doing.

Kenneth Burns
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:Steve Martin's Born Standing Up

After I read that I forgave Steve Martin for getting out of standup. And I didn't even realize I'd been holding a grudge. His act was really important to me when I was a kid in the '70s.


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