Our Reads of 2024

Discussion in 'Books' started by Ismitje, Jan 1, 2024.

  1. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Stephenson gets better as he goes on (and maybe he still is... I haven't read anything since Quicksilver). But don't make the mistake a lot of people did when Snow Crash came out and track down his first book. . .

    [​IMG]

    According to Wikipedia, where I got the image . . . Stephenson has said he is not proud of this book.[1] When Stephenson's Snow Crash was published in 1992, the book that became a best-seller and vaulted him to fame, The Big U was out of print and Stephenson was content to leave it that way. When original editions began selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars, he relented and allowed The Big U to be republished, saying that the only thing worse than people reading the book was paying that much to read it.
     
    bigredfutbol, Ismitje and TheJoeGreene repped this.
  2. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    I've got Cryptonomicon and Termination Shock in my pile to read and I intend to get to Seveneves and The Baroque Cycle trilogy at some point in the future.
     
    bigredfutbol and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  3. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Faith, Hope and Carnage, a book length interview/discussion between musical polymath Nick Cave and British journalist Sean O'Hagan. Pretty interesting, given the things that Cave was dealing with (death of his mother and his 15 year old son, etc).
     
  4. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Finished Spook Street last week, my brother gave me the next one and since I had jury duty yesterday I basically read the whole thing. Didn't get picked, just sat at the courthouse all day

    [​IMG]

    I enjoyed it, partly because the crew was all in one spot for most of it, including Lamb. Usually he pops up, saw some asshole-ish things, goes to do his own thing, then pops up again. Felt like he was around more in this one.
     
    bigredfutbol and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  5. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Flying Close To The Sun by Cathy Wilkerson. Wilkerson was a member of the controversial leftist group Weather Underground. She details her experiences. Personally, I never identified as a leftist revolutionary. Then, Trump happened. Should be an interesting book.
     
    bigredfutbol and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  6. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I worked at a Barnes & Noble in 2001; we hosted a reading by former Weather Underground member Bill Ayres (the one who was later associated with Obama) promoting his biography.
     
    Dr. Wankler and Chesco United repped this.
  7. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    The 25th Hour by David Benioff. I really liked the film of the movie with Anna Paquin, Edward Norton and actors like Philip Seymour Hoffman and gridiron player Tony Siragusa who have sadly since sadly since passed away. I believe that Benioff was later a writer on Game of Thrones. The book looks interesting.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  8. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    And now you can't run for public office.
     
  9. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Best Minds: How Allen Ginsberg Made Revolutionary Poetry From Madness. . . his own and as well as his mother's, by Stevan M. Weine, a trained psychiatrist who met Ginsberg during his (Weine's) undergrad years and who later went to med school to become a trained psychiatrist. Ginsberg gave him access to his own medical records as well as that of his mother, and Weine has turned out a pretty good book (since in his words, he doesn't glamourize madness, nor does he pathologize creativity).
     
    TheJoeGreene repped this.
  10. nopalnation

    nopalnation Member+

    Jun 2, 2007
    San Diego CA
    Club:
    CA Monarcas Morelia
    Nat'l Team:
    Mexico
    this book started a life long love for books. A teacher in high school made me read it and then I read Neuromancer… and hundreds of books later I have to thank snow crash for it all.

    ..
     
    Ismitje, Dr. Wankler and TheJoeGreene repped this.
  11. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Still making my way through Rhodes' "The Making of the Atomic Bomb". Just wanted to drop in and say it is fascinating. Some of the science goes over my head, but he does an excellent job of explaining things to someone who was ok at Biology, bad at Chemistry, and terrible at Physics (though the concepts of Physics were interesting to me). Watched Oppenheimer last weekend (great movie), but I do find it odd that I am over halfway through the book and Oppenheimer has only been mentioned a handful of times. Of course, at this point Fermi and Szilard haven't yet made Chicago Pile-1 go critical.
     
  12. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    The Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury and Laney Salisbury. I usually like books about Alaska, and this is no exception. I believe this is a tale of Balto's heroic serum run in 1925. The modern Iditarod sled dog race is based on this event. I should enjoy this.
     
    Dr. Wankler repped this.
  13. Belgian guy

    Belgian guy Member+

    Club Brugge
    Belgium
    Aug 19, 2002
    Belgium
    Club:
    Club Brugge KV
    [​IMG]

    Little under halfway through this, entertaining horror. In its format it borrows somewhat from Stephen King's Carrie.

    Boyscout troop and their scoutmaster spend a weekend on a (fictional) small uninhabited island not far from Prince Edward Island. On their first night there, an emaciated and very sickly appearing man shows up in a boat. Things unravel rather quickly from there.
     
    Bluto11, Chesco United and Dr. Wankler repped this.
  14. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    The Double And The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoevsky, translated by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volkhonovsky. This book is two novellas combined into one volume. Russian literature may not be chic at the moment, but it's still good. I expect to be enriched by this volume.
     
    bigredfutbol and Q*bert Jones III repped this.
  15. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    redacted
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    Killing Rage - Eamon Collins

    [​IMG]

    Insider account of "the grim business of political murder" by a former IRA intelligence officer who became disillusioned and left the IRA.
     
  16. Quango

    Quango BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2003
    Colorado
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    #66 Quango, Feb 26, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2024
    [​IMG]
    Same Bed Different Dreams ~ Ed Park

    About 2/3rds through and really enjoying this. Tells three separate stories that slowly start to entwine around the concept of a secret Korean Provisional Government working to liberate and then reunify Korea. Blends historical fiction, surrealism, and a bit of sci-fi in ways that remind me of Murakami and Vonnegut, so really hitting a sweet spot for my taste.
     
  17. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Our departmental icebreaker the past two Januarys is something we call "Mappy Hour:" print out a map of anything that interests you or a place you've been, then visit over juice and fruit and cheese. My map last year was of Marian Apparitions, and this year per capita medal winners at the Olympics (both population and GDP). This year I met one student who had made this very interesting map of four different Londons, each a different color corresponding to her favorite fantasy series about linked Londons from different realities. I was super intrigued by what she had done and so ordered the first book in the series:

    upload_2024-2-26_18-52-50.jpeg

    VE Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic. My complaint is that the world building she got started on was cut short by the dastardly people and dark magic; I could have used a whole novel with the lighter level stakes it opened with. Because that was truly novel stuff, whereas the rest was kind of boilerplate.
     
  18. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    School of Instructions: A Poem which is really a serious of short (half page) prose poems in which time is unstuck. The work depicts the WWI experiences of Jamaican soldiers fighting on behalf of the British Empire through the eyes of one guy named "Godspeed." Pretty damn good book that channels a diverse range of influences like Welsh post David Jones, William Blake, and many others, by Jamaican-born, London-raised American poet Ishion Hutchinson
     
  19. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
  20. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    [​IMG]
    Confronting History: A Memoir a rather interesting short autobiography of a German Jewish refugee who wound up teaching history quite well at Iowa and Wisconsin and who, when offers to teach at Princeton or Harvard came, turned them down in large part because he was all in on the great American experiment that is the American Land Grant University. Written, alas, before midwestern Republicans started to strip them of all value. Given how rich George L. Mosse was when he was growing up, it's an interesting testimony (like... he grew up in a mansion: not only did he have his own bedroom, he had his own living room and dining room as well).
     
    Val1 repped this.
  21. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    I've decided that when I retire I want to go back and finish my history masters.

    I want to write a history of the US in the second half of the 20th Century and I think I am going to use the city of Pittsburgh as my leitmotif. Pittsburgh is home to George C Marshall, Rachel Carson, Mr Rogers, and Jonas Salk developed the polio vaccine while he was there. I figure you can tell a pretty comprehensive story from the rise of American empire, the environmental/green movement, the ever-increasing valuation of childhood, and improvments in medical care. And Pittsburgh is there at the start of these threads.

    So, I'm getting started on my background material:

    upload_2024-3-1_11-4-23.png

    Marshall: A Statesman Shaped in the Crucible of War -- Rachel Yarnell Thompson

    Thompson is a former high school history teacher who, I gather, discovered her first ever hero rather late in life in Marshall and she now runs the George C Marshall International Center. Highly informative, but written as if the author was a former high school teacher.

    upload_2024-3-1_11-10-56.png

    Fred Rogers: The Last Interview -- Edited by David Bianculli

    Fabulous collection of interviews, including the text of Rogers' testimony on the Hill widely credited with saving PBS funding. Each interview is smartly annotated and Bianculli's intro is masterful. This is about as perfect an introduction into any person as I've seen. The "Last Interview" is apparently a series. Mostly writers, some musicians and movie stars, but also Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Maradona, and Julia Child. I've just ordered the Hannah Arendt volume. (Obviously, you gotta be dead, but this was a helluva memorialization.)

    The tl;dr on Fred Rogers: he REALLY was that nice.

    I never cared for Mr Rogers' Neigborhood, but my wife lost her brother when she was five. My in-laws were emotional cripples -- they never actually told Linda that Billy had died -- and my wife had to figure it out on her own. So they weren't going to be able to help her recover. Fred Rogers did that. As an adult I love that man.
     
  22. Q*bert Jones III

    Q*bert Jones III The People's Poet

    Feb 12, 2005
    Woodstock, NY
    Club:
    DC United
    He was an idol of mine.
     
    Dr. Wankler repped this.
  23. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    All My Knotted Up Life by Beth Moore. I haven't read a memoir in a while, so this one will do. Moore is a female Christian theologian who recently left the Southern Baptist Convention. My personal belief is that the SBC hates women. Like Sarah Vowell, Moore does not use chapters in her book. That frustrates me at times, but I manage. Hopefully, I will enjoy this read.
     
    Dr. Wankler and Val1 repped this.
  24. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    She actually does, as I learned last night.
     
  25. Val1

    Val1 Member+

    Arsenal
    Mar 12, 2004
    MD's Eastern Shore
    Club:
    Arsenal FC
    Does what? Use chapters?
     

Share This Page