So! You Are Reading What? v. 2018

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Welcome to the new thread! I am ringing in the new year with two. The first is The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World's Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer, published in 2016. It's both historical and contemporary; Hammer does a nice job with the backstory of Timbuktu's prominence as a scholarly center for several hundred years, with as many as 25,000 students at a time. It also suffered a couple of purges of its manuscripts from jihadis, prompting folks to hide their manuscripts hither and yon. When Mali gained its independence, UNESCO and the government set out to gather those manuscripts again - a great heritage until Al Qaeda happened on the scene, with a propensity to destroy such heritage. And that's where the librarians came in, shepherding and smuggling and otherwise getting the manuscripts out from under threat of Al Qaeda. It's good.

    [​IMG]

    The second is a graphic novel (i don't read many of these) from Christoper Moore (most of whose novels I've read) and Ian Corson, with illustration from/by Jennyson Rosero; the work is called The Griff. I don't know exactly where I got the idea to read it - it was in my "list" section of my library account - but while it's nothing special, it's fun enough. It's about the small band of folks who survived an alien invasion and are resisting.

    [​IMG]
     
    BalanceUT and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  2. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Houston Dynamo
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Waddling through these currently:

    The formative years of Hemingway as man and writer are explored in a fairly dry, but still hugely informative, manner.

    [​IMG]

    Andy Weir tries to follow up his smashing debut success of The Martian with his newest book Artemis. It's set on the moon in the near future and has been solid, if not formulaic, for the first half of the book.

    [​IMG]

    Finally, now that I've landed a good university job (Texas Tech) I can focus on killing my credit card and student loan debt. While I don't subscribe to any one financial philosophy specifically, I'm a fan of Dave Ramsey for debt elimination and initial wealth building. The planner is better than the book. The debt snowball idea is worth the price of everything he does alone, just don't use his Everydollar budgeting software as it's less robust and more expensive than YNAB.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    chaski, Atouk and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  3. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Congratulations!
     
    BalanceUT and TheJoeGreene repped this.
  4. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    First, congrats on the university job. Seriously. Those of us who remember our job hunts know well the seemingly never-ending search.

    And, Debt Snowball method is overwhelmingly the best way to payoff multiple sources of debt, not the least of which is the psychological value of early reinforcement of the benefits of pursuing it. You can ever take a small bit for personal enjoyment as a reward and still be taking increasingly large chomps out of the debt. Just keep the focus up!
     
    TheJoeGreene repped this.
  5. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    LeCarre, The Honorable Schoolboy. I'll be finishing off the early Smiley trilogy soon.
     
  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Lost Knowledge of the Imagination, a book on "traditional" forms of knowledge of the sort German and English romantic poets really dug, by Gary Lachman, who, as Gary Valentine, was Blondie's original guitarist.
     
  7. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I noticed the "!" in the thread title. Is that an attempt to get us to read more?
     
  8. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I noticed that, too.

    Just looking back a few years, this thread had 548 posts in 2015, 338 posts in 2016, and in 2017, we readers posted only 208 times.

    I read less last year, and posted even less, just because oh-so-many of my books were clunkers. My resolution is find better books sooner. I must have bought 2 dozen books last year that are still sitting in a pile behind my bed, so I have a lot to choose from....
     
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I think the new format BS adopted plays a role, too: some forums like the education thread, the health thread, and a lot of the other sports are a lot slower than they used to be (if not moribund). Something about the new format seems to have changed people's thread-browsing patterns. I know it has mine.
     
    TheJoeGreene and Val1 repped this.
  10. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    God, it was cold yesterday. Global warming is a lie.

    So, I stayed in and read this puff piece:

    157974.jpg

    That Quail, Robert by Margaret Sanger

    On one hand, this story about a quail who hatched from her egg under a bedroom lamp and subsequently imprinted on her human keepers, is charming. On the other hand, it seems to have been a very early precursor to the veritable flood of Me and My (dog / cat / bird) pet anthropomorphising books that so bedevils my mom's book club. Yeah, we get it, animals are cute. And I like birds (I've had a couple of great budgies in my time), and this book got me even thinking about getting that hand fed cockatiel. But ultimately, this would have made a better 10 minute video. And that's something I almost never say.
     
  11. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    About 25 pages into it and enjoying it. It could be even more formulaic then ever and I probably would not care.
     
    TheJoeGreene repped this.
  12. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read a lengthy series (Sharpe's Rifles) and opted not to post all of them. I've also purchased several back issues of Fantasy & Science Fiction magazine to read during busy work times, and the short stories and novelettes don't lend themselves to this thread so much.
     
  13. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    It's also possible that BS has fewer active posters. I'm guessing this kind of forum has become less popular as Big Social Media has become more popular. Just as old school Usenet forums was where all the soccer talk would have been, but now are, I'm guessing, nearly completely silent.
     
  14. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    BigSoccer peaked user-wise during the 2006 World Cup. After that, the rise of social media (especially Facebook) ate inevitably into this sort of platform. You can really get a sense from the declining importance of team boards as MLS expansion kept going.
     
    EvanJ, BalanceUT and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  15. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    BalanceUT repped this.
  16. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    @Ismitje t might be a good time to close the 2017 thread since it's getting more traffic than this one.
     
  17. BalanceUT

    BalanceUT RSL and THFC!

    Oct 8, 2006
    Appalachia
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I enjoyed it, a lot. A friend of mine who thinks herself a writer hated it... wondered what it had to do with cats... I had to explain that the main character acted like a cat. LOL! I've tried reading my friend's stories... to each their own, I guess.
     
    Q*bert Jones III repped this.
  18. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Just finished Carl Hiaasen's 2002 novel Basket Case.

    [​IMG]

    This was fun (as I expect from a Hiaasen book). I enjoy the way he channels his outrage against corrupt Florida politicians and developers into humorous situations, and this book offers that. It centers on a demoted journalist in a corporatized newspaper, a (possible) murder of a once-famous rocker who fronted Jimmy and the Slut Puppies, and the music industry and is brisk, funny, and enjoyable throughout.
     
    Dr. Wankler repped this.
  19. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Finished Artemis over the weekend. I enjoyed it, quick read, interesting take on a thriller type novel.
     
    TheJoeGreene repped this.
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, another funny, though a bit cranky, book by Bill Bryson.
     
  21. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Book one of Bernard Cornwell's Grail Quest Trilogy - The Archer's Tale here in the US, Harlequin everywhere else - focuses on an individual fighting in several of England's wars in/with France in the fourteenth century. I am not sure I'll read the other two any time soon but will get around to it in the summer, as they are enjoyable books. And since the tactics and battles are lifted from historical accounts, there's some pretty cool stuff in those parts of his books (other series too).

    [​IMG]
     
  22. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Houston Dynamo
    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yep. Followed a bit of a formula but enough twists to keep me engaged.
     
  23. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    James Gleick's 2016 work Time Travel: A History is more or less a 300-page think piece, with musings about the human relationship with the concept ever since HG Wells put the two words together in 1895. Much of it works, but I get lost sometimes - Gleick knows too much for me, which may not make sense but he interweaves so many scientific, cultural, philosophical, and other quotes and ideas that I can't always keep track. That said, I like it.

    [​IMG]
     
  24. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Strangely enough, a fictional relative of Ismitje's book, for an intro to world literature class.

    [​IMG]


    The Complete Cosmicomics, short stories about the history of everything including time and space narrated by the a character named Qfwfq, by Italo Calvino
     
    Ismitje repped this.
  25. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator
    Staff Member

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Now that's one I'm getting hold of. Sounds fun.
     

Share This Page