Our Reads of 2024

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

  1. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read Will Grant's entertaining The Last Ride of the Pony Express:

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    Grant is both an accomplished horseman and a journalist/writer, and he does a good job communicating about the trail, the people and endeavors along it still, and what it is like to be with horses in such an intimate way for so long. It took him 142 days; his horses Badger and Chicken Fry are truly presented as partners. It's a worthwhile read.
     
  2. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Buried In The Sky by Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan.
    It's a true story about 2 Sherpas who survive the 2008 K2 climbing disaster. Should be a gripping read.
     
  3. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    redacted
    Club:
    Lisburn Distillery FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Turks and Caicos Islands
    The Blue Tango - Eoin McNamee

    [​IMG]

    Novel based on murder case near Belfast in 1952.
     
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  4. rslfanboy

    rslfanboy Member+

    Jul 24, 2007
    Section 26
  5. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read about a third of this, and while it is engaging, I don't much want to spend time "with" the subject over 40 years of drugs and violence covered by the back two thirds of the book:

    upload_2024-6-20_21-37-31.jpeg

    I am super interested in the fellow who grew up in the Bay Area and formed Sly and the Family Stone, in how he built the band (an unlikely mix of black and white, male and female in a time when that was rare in a band - especially the roles he had people in), how he worked and how he saw the world. But as lame as it sounds, the part after that is stuff I'd rather read on, say, a Wikipedia entry rather than over 150 pages, especially since he's pretty unrepentant.

    But that first part is very interesting. And who knows, I don't have to have it back to the library for a couple of weeks, so maybe I will pick it up again.
     
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  6. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire

    I watched their Soul Train appearance on youtube recently. They were exhausted as hell, likely hungover or stoned. . . but as far as the make up of the band goes. . . there was a white guy playing violin in the band! (okay, it was electrified to make it sound as funky as a fiddle can sound, but. . . I don't recall that in any other soul group).

    Some colleagues are moving across the country to get a job at a college that will be more likely to be open in the next decade and they're shedding some books in the packing process. I picked up one that I read in college.

    [​IMG]

    Religious Diversity: Essays by Wilfred Cantwell Smith which hold up really well when you consider that they're academic papers first published between fifty and sixty years ago.
     
  7. rslfanboy

    rslfanboy Member+

    Jul 24, 2007
    Section 26
    Sorry to hear, mate. It’s going to be a rough ride in higher Ed for a while, so says my lady.
     
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  8. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    We just need two more years. They needed 25. And since one of them was downsized out of her job here (because we need money to pay administrators and consultants), it made sense to move. Sorry as hell to see them go, but hey, free books! And they have a better chance of making it until retirement in higher ed than they would staying here.
     
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  9. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    Meanwhile I landed in just the right spot in Higher Ed. Instructional Design for a highly ranked, rapidly expanding nursing school is about as safe as can be at the moment. We were literally hiring people and opening new campuses during Covid.
     
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  10. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I always take a look at the "free books" table that appears whenever a colleague retires or moves. I like to guess which will be the last book left there a few weeks later.
     
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  11. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Time to make one of those “loser-does-the-dishes” bets with my wife,
     
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  12. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I've toyed with making a pool but am afraid people will manipulate the results, so it stays a personal quirk for now.
     
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  13. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Everyone in that hallway is a Catholic (including two nuns), save for one Sufi. We're probably good to go.
     
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  14. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
    [​IMG]

    Relentless - Mark Greaney

    Book 10 of the Gray Man series. It started off with, easily, the most over the top action sequence in any of the books. I was mentally comparing it to the most absurd Jason Bourne moments, and feeling like it had strayed from what the Gray Man usually is, but then one character literally mentions how that felt like a Jason Bourne movie and the rest of the book was back to normal.

    This one centers around the UAE, Iran, and Germany with most of the action taking place in Berlin. Lots of fun conspiracies, a character from what I believe was the 2nd or 3rd book, and three very well intertwined storylines that pay off in some interesting ways for the next few books. I've already got the remaining three that have been published and should have them finished off before book 14 hits the shelves next February.
     
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  15. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    The Universalist Movement in America, 1770-1880, and interesting and readable history about the Christian Universalist movement which exists this day, mostly as a part of the "Unitarian Universalist Church," but also as a specifically Christian sect. . . though nowhwere near as big as it once was. Ann Lee Bressler is a solid historian and a good writer, based on this book. Though when she was writing about Universalist Christian colleges, she could have at least mentioned the location of the first (Lombard College in my home town). Alas, Lombard didn't make it out of the Depression, and unsurprisingly, St. Lawrence of NY and Tufts have pretty much secularized. It occurs to me that the church on the cover is the current Unitarian Universalist church in Gloucester, MA, where I've done Tai Chi in the basement on a couple of occasions. It was also the place where the first Universalist Christian church was established.
     
  16. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    [​IMG]

    Imagine a university where all of the disgraced folks who fell "victim" to wokeness could go work instead: your racists, your bullies, your profs having affairs with students, etc. Better funded than any other university and just interested in results. Now imagine a grad student in physics who goes there to follow the brilliant mentor with whom she is poised to prove superconductivity as viable. Now you have the premise of the Julius Taranto novel How I Won A Nobel Prize.

    It's pretty fun. Sly too. Unrealistic occasionally. And the author does have to downplay (or shift away from) some serious issues to keep the tone he's going for. But I liked it overall.
     
  17. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Haven't been posting in this thread much although I HAVE been reading. Here's the last book I finished:

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    Very short, but a bit dry so it took longer to read than the page count merited. But I'm glad I read it--the author argues for a "deep time" approach to global history, which he (convincingly, to my amateur understanding) argues re-incorporates Africa as a central player rather than a peripheral one in the development of human technological, cultural, social, and political history.
     
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  18. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Just Like You by Nick Hornby. Tale of odd couple romance. More romantic than I usually go. Could be interesting.
     
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  19. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I read Hornby's first six novels but none of the last three. Please let me know how this one goes down so I know to circle back or not.
     
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  20. Quango

    Quango BigSoccer Supporter

    Jul 25, 2003
    Colorado
    Club:
    Colorado Rapids
    [​IMG]
    One Piece (Box Set 2 - Volumes 24-46) ~ Eiichiro Oda

    Just a great manga series. This box covers Skypiea and Water Seven arcs, the latter of which has some tremendous moments and introduces some internal tension to the crew that really help develop the characters and relationships more. Much easier to binge than the anime which has to crawl along waiting for the manga to be written.
     
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  21. Excape Goat

    Excape Goat Member+

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


    A woman accepts a position as a maid of a wealthy family. However, she quickly becomes ensnared in a web of their dark secrets. This description sounds so tacky, right? Actually, this book is very good.
     
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  22. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Traditionalism: The Radical Project for Restoring the Sacred Order, a book about the major thinkers behind the attempt to reconstruct a past in which everything was hunky dory only to be ruined by modernity. Now, to be sure, I'm not one of those people who trash the past because things were different than they are now. And to be sure, modernity hasn't been a boatload of paradise either. But . . . come on. . . . Some of these ********tards want to restore things like the caste system and social immobility because TRADITION. I actually think the best thing about modernity and old time liberalism is social mobility and a broader equality AND (for now, anyway) Democracy. Author Mark Sedgwick does a great job presenting their ideas, good, bad, and loony.
     
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  23. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Nixonland by Rick Perlstein.
    It's a award winning history work about Richard Nixon and the world he created. Already, I can see why it won awards. I remember @superdave raving about this book. I'm finally getting around to this book. I expect to enjoy it.
     
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  24. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    I jumped on that book’s bandwagon, and more recently, Kazuma has read the whole series. Perlstein is a good writer.
     
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  25. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Finished Lena Andrew's Valiant Women: The Extraordinary American Servicewomen Who Helped Win World War II.

    [​IMG]
    Though I am a historian by training, I often read parts of history books rather than straight through. Not so this one; I read every word. It's thorough and succinct in equal measure, and presents a good mix of the grand overview of major military happenings along with the more individual case studies, which always propel the narrative rather than seeming out of place. It's skillfully done. At first I wanted more of the first person stuff the intro seemed to promise, but her focus on the establishment, evolution, and deployment of the women's auxiliaries was a wise choice.

    I think it works equally well for someone very well versed on the war, and someone new to it. It would be good for a book group while being more academic than many book club books.
     

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