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For those who are new ... we discuss books.  I list what I'm reading, and people comment with what they're reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

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Book Readers schedule

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule

DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
Sun (hiatus) 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUE 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
Tue 10:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
alternate Thu 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

Just finished

[The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society 1250-1600] by Alfred Crosby. Crosby's idea is that the reason the west rose rapidly in this time period is because of the invention of the idea of quantification. Fascinating. Full review

Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch.  SF-Romance-comedy.  The Earth is being invaded by evil aliens. But don't worry, the Alpha-Centurions are here to help defend us (and have sex with us too!). When the heroine Katherine "Kitty" Katt defeats one of the aliens using a Mont Blanc pen, she is recruited by the ACers to join their secret organization. There's lots of "science" that's unexplained (many ACers have powers and abilities far beyond those of normal men) but never mind. There's lots of action (in both senses of the word) and humor and the plot keeps zipping along. Full review

Now reading

A Behavioral Theory of Elections by Jonathan Bendor et al. Traditional "rational choice" models of voter behavior don't mesh all that well with how voters actually behave, in particular, they don't do well with predicting turnout. This is an attempt at a different formulation. This will interest election geeks.

Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey by Peter Bowler and Iwan Rhys Morus.  A survey of the history of science from Copernicus to now.

Just started .
Cop hater by Ed McBain. The first in the famous 87th precinct series.

Existence by David Brin. A very complicated SF book; the main plot is about a guy who collects the garbage that's in outer space. Then he finds an alien artifact. Fairly dystopian.

Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. Just started, but I have high hopes.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This week's books (12+ / 0-)

    On the Nook:

    Dancing in the Dark, by Morris Dickstein - look at American popular culture during the Depression.  Interesting stuff.

    Traditional books:

    Reclaiming History, by Vincent Bugliosi - I'm finally starting to wade through this enormous, enormously detailed book about the Kennedy assassination.  Repetitive and clearly anti-CT, but so incredibly detailed that it changed the mind of at least one prominent doubter.

    In the queue:

    On the Nook:

    Not sure, but I am on a Depression/World War II kick and would appreciate suggestions.

    Traditional books:


    •  No End Save Victory (5+ / 0-)

      Perspectives on WW2.  A series of essays by Stephen E. Ambrose, Caleb Carr, John Keegan and William Manchester.  I took it right off cfk's reading list and it's excellent.

    •  Depression books (4+ / 0-)

      The Warmth of Other Suns, about the migration of blacks to northern big cities to escape Jim Crow laws.

      The Worst Hard Times, about the Dust Bowl days.

      The Quilts of Gees Bend, about black women in Alabama, who made beautiful quilts.  They were sharecroppers who had their loans called in at the beginning of the depression and so, were poorest of the poor.  Then the FDR administration helped them with Farm Services Administration, housing, and the Federal Quilting Bee.  There are interviews with many women.

      I also am on a WWI through WWWII kick.

    •  Depression WWII (0+ / 0-)

      David Kennedys' Freedom From Fear 1929 to 1945
      part of the Oxford History of America. Long book but filled with interesting detail. I think he works too hard to rehabilitate Hoover and is a bit hard on FDR and rather nasty to Eleanor. The section on Hoover draws too much on Hoovers' own justifications I think.  Referring to the young Eleanor as "goosey" among other things is a bit harsh. No matter how you slice it I can't accept that FDR is somehow responsible for Hitler and Japanese aggression because he killed the London Economic Conference went off the gold standard and tried to overcome the depression by focusing internally on the US economy. Hoover signed the law instituting the Hawley Smoot Tarifff ostensibly against his better judgment but sign it he did . I'm only a third of the way through it but will keep reading and checking the footnotes as it is well written and sourced.
      I'm a FDR New Deal buff and have been reading and collecting books on the New Dealers for over 50 years so admittedly biased in FDR s favor and Kennedy is biased against.

  •  Still working on Isabel Allende's (12+ / 0-)

    Ines of my Soul.

    A fictional retelling of the very real story of Ines de Suarez, a Spanish seamstress who came to the Americas in the 16th century, and ultimately became a conquistadora, participating in the conquest of Chile.  Fascinating stuff.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:42:29 AM PDT

  •  This week: (9+ / 0-)

    Shapechanger's Song - Cheysuli Omnibus 1 (books 1 & 2 of Chronicles of the Cheysuli) - Jennifer Roberson; a Fantasy series that I've not yet read and I'm really really liking it.

    Kindle For PC:
    Crimson Midnight - Amos Cassidy - free copy of this awesome book for read and review, YA novel.

    Up next:
    Legacy of the Wolf - Cheysuli Omnibus 1 (books 3 & 4 of Chronicles of the Cheysuli) - Jennifer Roberson

    Kindle for PC:
    His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire #1) - Naomi Novik - What the Napoleonic Wars would have been like if there had been DRAGONS in the mix - Historical Fiction/Fantasy

    “ go to a dance with a guy who has all the personality of a serial killer mixed with a sponge.” ― J.A. Beard

    by Caedy on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:46:51 AM PDT

  •  This week (8+ / 0-)


    Daniel Harris, The Rise and Fall of Gay Culture (diaried 7/11).

    John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead: Essays Fascinating: popular culture, Southern culture, Kentucky history. Some diary fodder in an essay on Andrew Lytle, one of the so called "Fugitive" critics and a contributor to I'll Take My Stand (1930), the manifesto of the Southern agrarians. Not sure when I'll get to it but it will be before the end of the year.

    Reading: Gary Weiss, Ayn Rand Nation: The Hidden Struggle for America's Soul. Anthropological/journalistic investigation of the people involved in promoting Rand's idea to the country. Fascinating, albeit creepy.

    David Reynolds, Waking Giant: America in the Age of Jackson. Political and cultural synthesis, 1824-1848. Covers ground that has been covered by Daniel Walker Howe and Sean Wilentz, but I'm still not sure who his "hero" is.

    In the queue:

    Sven Beckert, The monied metropolis: New York City and the consolidation of the American bourgeoisie, 1850-1896

    Barbara Will, Unlikely collaboration : Gertrude Stein, Bernard Faÿ, and the Vichy dilemma

    The Dickstein book might be a slog, Ellid, but he's an interesting thinker.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 04:58:30 AM PDT

  •  Plugging through (11+ / 0-)

    Alan Lomax: The Man Who Recorded the World.

    So far he has met Eleanor Roosevelt, Leadbelly, Carl Sandburg, Jelly Roll Morton, Muddy Waters, Pete Seeger, Jean Richie and a whole host of just plain folk who sing and dance and tell stories.

    For an old folkie like myself, its a fascinating read.

    White-collar conservatives flashing down the street, pointing their plastic finger at me..

    by BOHICA on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:15:19 AM PDT

  •  rereading Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (5+ / 0-)

    found it at a garage sale for fifty cents.

    on the nook have been reading Rachel Maddow's book Drift but get so mad i keep having to stop.  i am the daughter of an army officer that served for 32 years and to see the flippance with which his life and those of all soldier are civilians were treated is infuriating to me.  
    also get The Nation on my nook for cheap cheap cheap so that is a good read but can piss me off too so i have to read in fits and starts.

    just finished: As the Great World Turns by Colum McCann from the library - GREAT!

    We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams. - Peter S. Beagle

    by jk2003 on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:21:43 AM PDT

  •  Books (10+ / 0-)

    The Death of Artemio Cruz, which I think I've been plodding through since the author died on May 15.  I started reading it as a companion to a non fiction book Villa and Zapata.

    Anyway, I'm shamed and humiliated at my lack of progress as I see all the other books posted here.

    In my defense, I also squeezed in a rereading of Tropic of Cancer in the middle of all this, only because a friend was reading it, and we wanted to giggle at the dirty parts together.

    by kayebee on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:29:08 AM PDT

  •  Currently reading Steinbeck's (8+ / 0-)

    "Travels with Charley."

  •  Bob Edward's memoir (7+ / 0-)

    A voice in the box: my life in radio.

  •  A probably forgotten, chilling book. (6+ / 0-)

    Elena Poniatowska's La Noche de Tlatelolco ("Massacre in Mexico" in English). A recounting of the 1968 Mexican student movement that was brutally repressed and massacred by the PRI government of the time. This might be out of print, though you can get it used and/or at libraries. Not available as an eBook.

    The early parts of that idealistic, confident student movement sound so much like Occupy. Anyway, it's a breathtaking, if ultimately heartbreaking narrative. Highly recommended.

    And a great companion read to Paco Taibo II's 68, a memoir of the movement, which as an old hippie who graduated from college in that year of worldwide upheaval, I especially enjoyed.

    And no, I'm not finished with Infinite Jest, though the end is probably still a few weeks away.

    Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

    by davidseth on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:49:35 AM PDT

  •  Running With the Mind of Meditation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aravir, Aunt Pat, plf515, Louisiana 1976

    mostly about meditation, by a monk who runs. Interesting. Just finished Eat & Run, by Scott Jurek. also really interesting, and not what I expected when I saw a book by a vegan ultramarathoner.

    Lots of feng shui, furniture arranging & decorating books. Moving back in to my flooded apartment this weekend (I hope).  The colors are all picked & going up on walls, but I'm checking to see if there are any other ways to arrange the furniture..... probably not, but it never hurts to see.

    Finished listeniong to Name of the Wind, it is a different experience readint it in audio rather than on paper. Going to re-read book 2 soon.

  •  Currently: (6+ / 0-)

    A Century of Revolution: Insurgent and Counterinsurgent Violence during Latin America’s Long Cold War, by Greg Grandin.

    Of some note, Crosby also wrote America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, which is a tremendous work that I highly recommend to anyone interested in history or epidemiology.

    I miss history so much my heart does seem to physically ache. Sometimes I think after the MLIS, I may just gun and get that MA.

    It gives a lovely light.

    by CayceP on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:52:24 AM PDT

  •  I'll have to check out Cooler, Smarter. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, inHI, plf515, Louisiana 1976

    Almost too busy to read anything for fun.  Will be focused on working with OFA though the election.  Fl is neck & neck and every vote counts...and I hope is counted!

    Macca's Meatless Monday

    by VL Baker on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:59:54 AM PDT

  •  Continuing my Spenser (4+ / 0-)

    novels in order.  Just some fun and easy reading inbetween more serious stuff.  Did we really wear those horrible fashions?

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

    by Ohkwai on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:11:42 AM PDT

  •  my list (6+ / 0-)

    Reading: Stop This Depression Now by Paul Krugman.

    Finished (recently): No Apology by Mitt Romney (no ghost writer), The Rogue (about Sarah Palin) by Joe McGinniss (gossipy, really)

    "Obama won. Get over it."

    by onanyes on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:23:37 AM PDT

  •  still working on the complete fiction of (6+ / 0-)

    H.P. Lovecraft. Before I was breaking it up with Richard Feynman's, "Surely You're Joking..." but that went quick. Now I'm reading his "QED" (quantum electrodynamics) which is also a short book but requires a bit more thinking. It's still a good contrast from the Lovecraft, to get something different in between those eldritch stories.

    Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

    by ubertar on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 06:35:22 AM PDT

  •  Working on a couple of things. (6+ / 0-)

    Almost finished (finally!) with Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper - Case Closed.  Have to say I've been tempted to just quit on it but I've only got ~30 or so pages left so I may as well finish it.  Had high expectations when I started it but it hasn't panned out.  She covers stuff that I find pretty irrelevant and her "evidence" is largely circumstantial.  The one positive for me was that she did present some convincing evidence that excludes certain individuals who have been proposed as being The Ripper.  Case NOT closed as far as I'm concerned.

    Recently finished the audiobook of Erik Larson's most recent work, In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin.  Not his best work IMO, but still worth a look at.  I was struck by accounts of actual Nazi's at work and how those who are labeled Nazi's today really don't come close to matching the real thing.  I will say, that Ambassador Dodd's daugher, Martha, was definitely an interesting person.

    Currently working on the audiobook version of Salt: A World History by Mark Kurlansky.  About 1/3 of the way through and, although it's not the best of this genre that I've read or listened to in the past, it's still interesting.

  •  Finished Among Others (7+ / 0-)

    by Jo Walton.  An English public school coming of age novel with a couple of twists.  Set in 1979, the 15 year-old heroine is a fanatic reader of then contemporary SF, and there is a lot of discussion of Delany, Zelazny, Le Guin, Brunner, et al.  The story itself though is a lovely meditation on growing up an outsider, learning the limits of self in a grown-up world and making a place for oneself in that world.  This is not for those who like their SF hard, but if you are a fan of the authors above, check it out.

    Just started The Liminal People by Ayize Jama-Everett.  This looks to be a very fast read, so more about it next week.

  •  I read Joan Didion's "Year of Magical Thinking". (5+ / 0-)

    I've requested more of her writing from the library, some of which I've read, some stuff I missed over the years.

    This is, of course, the difference between republicans and human beings. - Captain Frogbert

    by glorificus on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 07:16:19 AM PDT

  •  I finished Euripides' "Helen," (5+ / 0-)

    which will be performed at the amphitheater at Getty Villa in September.  

    I am reading "The Candidate," by UCSD politica science Professor Samuel Popkin, who has worked for Dem. presidential candidates beginning with Jimmy Carter.  Reminiscent of "The Making of a President."  Good, clear writing with lots of detail to back up his opinions.

    I am listening to Sarah Vowell's "Strange Fishes," a historical view of Hawaii.  Quite interesting.  

  •  Recently acquired a copy of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Louisiana 1976, myrealname

    "American Jesus" by Stephen Protheroe, and am reading it now and then. Though not so much now as am dealing with horrific cognitive fog, and it's tough to read a good book through fog. But I'm enjoying what I've managed to see through the fog so far.

    When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

    by Alexandra Lynch on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 07:41:36 AM PDT

  •  this week (3+ / 0-)

    just finished Wild by Cheryl Strayed, her memoir of her Pacific Coast Trail backpacking trip, it is less about backpacking than it is about her personal journal through loss of her dear mom. I could not put this book down, meaning I finished this in one day. Loved her vulnerability. At the same time, she won't like this, I really did not like her.

    Plodding through Villette by Charlotte Bronte for my book group and thinking I am going out of my mind. Hope it gets better.

  •  Stalemate by John Philpen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976

    truly disturbing and creepy book (needs an update though as some of the cases were resolved a couple years ago)

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 09:17:43 AM PDT

  •  Just finished Taraborelli on Michael Jackson (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Louisiana 1976, myrealname

    It's mostly a page turner. The title says that it goes 2009, but the final years are pretty slim.  There are a lot of direct quotes and some stuff so you just wonder how anyone could know... but the reporting part seems solid and it may be the closest portrayal the public will ever get of Jackson and his family.

    Now reading The Shadow of the Sun. It's a series of reports on Africa by a Polish reporter. The reports are about how he lived, traveled from country to country on a tight budget, since his paper couldn't really afford an international correspondent.

  •  Flagrant Conduct by Dale Carpenter (3+ / 0-)

    Background and history of Lawrence v Texas which overturned sodomy laws (over Scalia/Thomas dissent).

    In the queue: Radioactive, about Pierre & Marie Curie, which to my displeasure turned out to be a graphic book. I was hoping for something more scholarly.

    Also, the science behind 100 garden tips - not the exact title but something like that.

  •  hi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, myrealname

    I have finished reading:

    Revenge of the Wrought-Iron Flamingos by Donna Andrews

    Death in a Strange Country by Donna Leon

    I am reading:

    No End Save Victory, Essays on WW II ed. by Robert Cowley  (pg. 566 of 688)

    Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire (pg. 268 of 387)

    A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo (pg. 153 of 356)

    I have Existence on my TBR pile and I am not sure when I will start it.

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 03:10:45 PM PDT

  •  Current Books (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I finished reading Everything is Broken by John Shirley; a disaster novel about a small community called "Freedom" dealing with the aftermath of a tsunami.  Some of the people band together for the common good; others are only looking out for Number One.  I don't think anyone here will be surprised to learn that the town's Tea-Baggist mayor is one of the bad guys.

    Perhaps I was subconsciously inspired by the "Freedom" theme of the previous book, but I'm currently re-reading Patriots by A.J. Lagguth, a very good overview of the American Revolution which I like to revisit every now and then.

    My wife did a lovely thing.  She bought a copy of The Story of Doctor Dolittle four our youngest, little Rodan.  Doctor Dolittle was a favorite of mine when I was her age.  This edition has been "adapted" for younger readers, so naturally the first thing I did was paged ahead to see how they handled the chapter with Prince Bumpo, which is the big embarrassment of the book and the reason you don't see it in libraries much any more.  It required some major surgery, but they managed to eradicate the offensive parts and make Bumpo a sympathetic character rather than the butt of a rather cruel joke.

    I haven't talked to our youngest one about Bumpo yet; but she read and enjoyed the story.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Wed Jul 18, 2012 at 05:05:22 PM PDT

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