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'll read whatever Connie Willis feels like writing, so this was a sure thing when it came out (the only question was to jump while it was still in hardcover or wait for paper - hardcover won out).

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    The Road to Roswell has the protagonist traveling to Roswell to be maid of honor in an alien-themed wedding during the annual celebration of the 1940s era landing. She's a major skeptic but it's her friend so she's headed there. And then she's kidnapped by the many-tentacled alien she comes to fondly call Indy (after Indiana Jones and his trusty whip), leading to a whole series of kindappings of what becomes a mostly merry band of folks trying to help Indy get back to his people.
     
  2. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
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    Mennonite in a Little Black Dress: A Memoir of Going Home a reasonably entertaining story of a girl who goes to grad school, becomes a professor, marries a sociopath, and returns home after her divorce in her early 40s. Good humor about her family, herself, and her friends. I had no idea there were Mennonites in California, so I was mostly imaging this in the Midwest or in rural PA, but it’s mostly set in Fresno. That doesn’t ruin Rhoda Janzen’s book, fortunately.
     
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  3. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Marries? Trying to figure out who Mattie is/was in the write-up and deciding it's marries.
     
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  4. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

    May 2, 2001
    The Electric City
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Fixed it. Autocomplete on this iPad is a complete batch.
     
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  5. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I checked this out of the local library in my last "impulse borrow" session, though I had forgotten you posted about it earlier this year. It's an older book (2003 original publication) so I did a forum search to see if anyone read it before - and yes, all of four months ago. :)

    I find the authorship interesting, since it would seem an Alaskan or a sled dog person would have tackled it. But instead it's a pair of cousins from New York City, who like many kids in the city visited the statue of Balto in Central Park which honors the lead dog from the team which brought the antitoxin to Nome.

    The core story itself is not enough for a book, so there's a chapter on various dog breeds, another on the history of Nome, the native communities, and more. The chapter on the natives using the Bering Sea to hunt and gather reminded me of this video from several years ago:

     
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  6. chaski

    chaski Moderator
    Staff Member

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

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    Novel based on murder case in Newry, N. Ireland in 1961.
     
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  7. Bluto11

    Bluto11 The sky is falling!

    May 16, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Finished this one

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    I enjoyed it, but man do some parts of it drag. I know I was warned, including on this thread! So far all three books could've been trimmed by like 200-250 pages each, and all three have involved traveling/hunting something. Not sure I can handle 11 more of this, but we will see.

    my hold for "Three Body Problem" at the library came through, so starting that one next!
     
  8. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Ain't My America: The Long, Noble History of Anti-War Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism a book from 2008 that, tragically, isn't dated because there hasn't been a resurgence of conservatives rejecting empire and war in the meantime -- sure, there were some that took the opportunity to criticize Obama, and more recently, Biden, but . . . come on. Man, do Republican neo-cons, especially the architects of our Gulf wars, take it in the teeth. It's hard to tell who Bill Kauffman despises more, Bush, Cheney, or Rumsfeld. But there's plenty of vitriol to go around.
     
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  9. TheJoeGreene

    TheJoeGreene Member+

    Aug 19, 2012
    The Lubbock Texas
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Germany
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    In The Blood - Jack Carr

    The 5th book in the Terminal List series sees James Reece alerted to the location of the sniper who killed his friend in Russia when that same sniper is captured in Burkina Faso after a commercial airliner is shot down with an RPG. Reece traces him through Africa, Italy, and then Montenegro for a final showdown in the mountains.

    Just as Reece returns home to finally start his new life with Katie, his final enemy executes a plan that sees James arrested for conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. Pretty wild to read that ending this weekend.

    Carr still struggles writing dialogue outside of action scenes. Other than that, his writing continues to improve. It's a really interesting contrast to alternate between these books and the Gray Man series as both cover quite a few similar themes but they still feel quite different with Carr being a former SEAL and Greaney having learned under Tom Clancy.
     
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  10. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    A Long Petal Of The Sea by Isabel Allende. This is a novel about two Spanish Republican refugees who emigrate to Chile during the Spanish Civil War and their adventures in a new country. I'm already enjoying this.
     
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  11. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Finished Peter Winn's excellent Narcotopia: In Search of the Asian Drug Cartel That Survived the CIA:

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    I like the approach: it's about the ambitions of a nation-within-a-nation, the Wa State of the Myanmar-China border region, and the group's utilization of the heroin trade (and the eradication of the heroin trade) that allows them to self-realize. They go from loosely related headhunting groups 75 years ago to a cohesive (more or less) group of some means, still holding onto their relative freedom.

    The main protagonist is a fascinating fellow named Saw Lu, a Christian and a long-time CI for the DEA who dedicated his life to Wa autonomy, and a shift to licit trade - he envisioned the Wa as benefitting from US and/or UN investment, with roads and clinics and schools. It doesn't always go well for him - he spends several stints being tortured but somehow endures.

    The secondary story is the rivalry between the State Department and CIA on the one hand, and the DEA on the other. They don't show up until about page 100 but it's fascinating and frustrating to see how their machinations play out in/with the Wa, and Myanmar, and other groups.

    That the Wa ended up with the roads and clinics and such, but as a pseudo-client state of China, is the great irony of their trajectory.
     
  12. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Unworthy Republic by Claudio Saunt. It's a historical work about Amerindian deportations here in the US and the road to Indian Territory. I enjoyed the first chapter. The rest of the book should be good.
     
  13. Dr. Wankler

    Dr. Wankler Member+

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

    Bye Bye Miss American Empire: Neighborhood Patriots, Backcountry Rebels, and their Underdog Crusades to Redraw the Political Map an interesting history of various attempts (besides the big one) to consider seceding from the union, or more typically, to divide existing states (outstate NY from NYC and Environs, etc) into other entities. If you like reading about political cranks, the vast majority of whom are harmless, Bill Kauffman has written the book for you. Interesting asides on those who wanted to keep Alaska and Hawaii OUT, including of course residents of those states, but that ship sailed once the Second World War morphed into the cold war.
     
  14. Ismitje

    Ismitje Super Moderator

    Dec 30, 2000
    The Palouse
    Club:
    Real Salt Lake
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Looks like a fun read.

    I am wrapping up The Day the World Came to Town: 9-11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede. He did a great job not over-telling the story. Lots of people did remarkable things for the thousands of people stranded there. The women who realized there were animals in the holds of several planes, for example, and the dogged work by local pharmacists to figure out thousands of prescriptions from around the world.
     
  15. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    A Moment In The Sun by John Sayles. This lengthy novel covers the state of our union in the late 19th century. I like the writing of Sayles. Should be a good read.
     
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  16. Chesco United

    Chesco United Member+

    DC United
    Jun 24, 2001
    Chester County, PA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    Argentina
    Praying Like Monks, Living Like Fools by Tyler Staton.
    I'm reading this book in addition to A Moment In The Sun. It's a tale of how to improve your Christian prayer life. My church is reading this book in August, so I figured I'd get a head start. Seems interesting.
     
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