So what, you are reading? v. 2017

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've also read some non-fiction this year. Breaking the Chains of Gravity by the wonderful You-tube v-loger Amy Shira Teitel (Vintage Space video shorts, mostly about NASA in the 1960s). This is about the history of getting into space *before* NASA is created, the book ending nearly on the page she describes the formation of NASA. Pre WWII work in the USA is mostly ignored in preference to the efforts in Germany which were much more important to the arc of history. She admits as much. I enjoyed it a lot, she's a good writer, so it called me back to keep reading, even late into the night on occasions.

    Unfortunately, it is marred by a handful of preposterous errors. One is the suggested speed of the X-15 being listed in the millions of miles per hour. Someone did a calculation and failed to do a 'does this remotely make sense' test to make sure a decimal place (or something) wasn't moved. Those errors can't help but make a serious reader wonder if other less obvious errors occurred. Also, I feel she dropped the ball a bit on the X-15. She spends a fair amount of pages discussing its development, but doesn't see it through to telling us anything about how it turns out. (My guess is that the development of X-15 is pre-NASA, but flight of it is all NASA).

    In sum, from the perspective of getting a good sense of what was happening in Germany prior to and during WWII, and how the US efforts in the 50s were affected by the importation of Germans, it is pretty good and I give it a strong positive recommendation.

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  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Scarp: In Search of London's Outer Limits by lifelong Londoner Nick Papadimitrious. Most books about London focus on places that, well, you know. people want to visit, etc. Papadimitriou writes about the escarpment at the northern edge of London interacting with the landscape in some rather interesting ways. Pretty decent walking book with a bit of nature writing thrown in, which is interesting because "London" and "Nature" are not words that usually go together. But its an exploration of the places where the city (and exurb, etc.) meets the country, which is an overlooked bit of geography, from what I can tell.
     
  3. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen

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    "If the heroine of one novel be not patronized by the heroine of another, from whom can she expect protection and regard?"
     
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  4. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Castle Rackrent - Maria Edgeworth

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    Fortunately, this novel is only 97 pages long.
     
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  5. Atouk

    Atouk BigSoccer Supporter

    DC United
    Apr 16, 2001
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    Queens Park Rangers FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
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    P.G. Wodehouse -- Carry On, Jeeves

    A year without reading Wodehouse is entirely too long. Glad I'm back.
     
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  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    For a class I'm teaching, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt. Working pretty well so far.
     
  7. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    As a psychologist, you may expect that I admire Haidt's work. It is intriguing and I'm glad someone has taken on the psychological dimensions of moral behavior. But, I have a feeling that a good number of his findings may not stand the test of replication. Time will tell.
     
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  8. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I agree. Evolutionary psychology is a new and, pardon the pun, evolving discipline. It will be interesting to see a few decades down the road what holds up and leads to increasingly fruitful research, and what looks to readers in 2045 like phrenology looks to us.

    But it does get some serious discussion going, which is one thing I like.
     
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  9. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

    Mar 18, 1999
    Hong Kong
    Club:
    Real Madrid
    [​IMG]

    I saw the movie "Mystic River" and "Shutter Island", but never read any of Lehane's books.I was lookig for a book to read while visiting Boston. I enjoyed reading a book at a location where I was visiting. This book was recommended as it took place in downtown Boston.

    Lehane did not get into the story until it passed half way of the book. The first 50% of the book covered materials that I do normally not enjoy to read, but I enjoyed it.... I had to put it down and googled to see it was a 'thriller" because the first 50% of the book dids not seem that way. so I supposed this must be a good book. I read through the first 50% even through I was looking for a thriller in Boston.. However, I did not like the ending.
     
  10. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    So you didn't like the first half or the end but there was a bit in the middle that you recommend? :cool:
     
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  11. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    Paterson, a book length poem (now a major motion picture directed by Jim Jarmusch and starring Adam Driver) by William Carlos Williams.
     
  12. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Frankenstein - Mary Shelley

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    "Of what a strange nature is knowledge! It clings to the mind when it has once seized on it like a lichen on the rock."
     
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  13. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Maggie Cassidy - Jack Kerouac


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    "Dizzy, sweet, all the combined ankles of your raving beauties couldnt measure against the atom of Maggie's flesh in the crook of her underarm, all their eyes, diamonds and vices no competition on the keen point of Maggie's Stardust Personal Me."
     
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  14. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland by historian Christopher R. Browning. I was hoping to be able to get a librettro for an uplifting musical out of this one, but I don't think that's going to happen.
     
  15. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Ivanhoe - Walter Scott


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    'A curious exemplification of the power of a single book for good or harm is shown in the effects wrought by "Don Quixote" and those wrought by "Ivanhoe." The first swept the world's admiration for the mediaeval chivalry-silliness out of existence; and the other restored it. As far as our South is concerned, the good work done by Cervantes is pretty nearly a dead letter, so effectually has Scott's pernicious work undermined it.' - Mark Twain
     
  16. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    The Storm Before the Storm: The Beginning of the End of the Roman Republic

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    The creator of the award-winning podcast series The History of Rome and Revolutions brings to life the bloody battles, political machinations, and human drama that set the stage for the fall of the Roman Republic.
     
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  17. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and Our Quest to Understand Earth's Past Mass Extinctions, and interesting cavalcade of catastrophe by Peter Brannen.
     
  18. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    Light in August - William Faulkner

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    "Memory believes before knowing remembers. Believes longer than recollects, longer than knowing even wonders."
     
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  19. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole

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    Generally regarded as the first Gothic novel.
     
  20. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Been a rough semester for reading for pleasure, but I squeezed this in:

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    It's the latest of the Dr. Siri mysteries - Colin Cotterill's The Rat Catcher's Olympics - not set in Laos this time but in Moscow during the 1980 Olympics. Good, fun stuff. The thing I like the best is how Cotterill is simultaneously respectful and mocking of the regimes within which the books are set.
     
  21. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    Waiting for the Punch a reader's digest like compendium of bits from the WTF podcast authored by its host, Marc Maron as well as the producer Brendon McDonald.
     
  22. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #172 BalanceUT, Nov 25, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
    Trudged my way through Cham and Whiteson's We Have No Idea. It shouldn't be a difficult read. Cham is the guy behind Ph.D. Comics. But, it just barely worked for me, not really engaging, but I wanted to finish it because I'm interested in the topics. Done. 3 out of 5 stars.

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  23. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When my non-reader daughter told me she read a book she liked for Senior English, I was definitely going to read it too so we could talk about it. I missed it at some point so I am glad I got to read it now - doubt I would have without her involvement. It's Albert Camus's The Stranger.

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  24. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]

    History Begins at Sumer: Thirty Nine Firsts in Recorded History by the legendary scholar of Sumerian cultures and languages Samuel Noah Kramer.
     
  25. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Itchycoo Park
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Thailand
    The Russia House - John le Carré

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    Good spy novel
     

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