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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.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I've written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:
Book reviews on Yahoo

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 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
alternate Tuesdays 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
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
Thu (third each month) 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 4:00 PM Daily Kos Political Book Club Freshly Squeezed Cynic
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

Just finished
Louis D. Brandeis: A life by Melvin Urofsky. Supreme Court Justice Brandeis was fundamental in shaping the modern state of the law and of law firms and played a key role in many reform movements as well. A fascinating man and a well written biography.

Full review:

Moranthology by Caitlin Moran.  A collection of essay (some humorous, some political, some about pop culture) from the author of How to be a Woman.  Full Review:

Now reading

Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.

Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

The secret life of pronouns by James W. Pennebaker.  What our choice of pronouns and other "function words" says about our mood, our education, our personality and other things

What hath God wrought? by Daniel Walker Howe. Subtitled "The transformation of America 1815-1848. I am reading this with the History group at GoodReads.  This is very well written, and does a good job especially with coverage of the treatment of Blacks and Native Americans.

The hard SF renaissance ed. by David G. Hartwell.  A large anthology of "hard" SF from the 90's and 00's. I think Hartwell takes himself a bit too seriously, but the stories are good.

Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meachem.  So far I've only read a few pages, but this is an extremely admiring look at Jefferson.

Just started
The van Rijn method by Poul Anderson. The first volume of collected stories that make up Anderson's Polesotechnic League, when mankind spans the universe.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am reading the new book on Hawaiian (17+ / 0-)

    archaeology by Pat Kirch, A Shark Going Inland is My Chief. Other than that, I am grading papers.

  •  new Harry Dresden (11+ / 0-)

    It is complicated to return from the dead. And all the same peole who hated Harry before still want him dead. Oh and there's an island that's going to blow up because of a build up of supernatural energy.

    Also another John Scalzi - have now read the Old Man's War trilogy and Android's Dream, now on Redshirts. Love it.

    Will start soon on holiday stuff - Connie Willis' Miracle & Other Stories, Moore's Stupidest Angel, Asimov's Christmas collection & of course, Hogfather. Anyone have any suggestions?

  •  children (10+ / 0-)

    The Hidden Tragedy of the CIA's Experiments on Children

    http://www.alternet.org/...

    http://www.amazon.com/...

    MKULTRA : The CIA's Top Secret Program in Human Experimentation and Behavior Modification

    by George Andrews

    Simpson-Bowles Commission otherwise known as the Cat Food Commission, is pushing to initiate another phase for 'The Elite Americans Movement' towards their principle for budget deal slogan "making life miserable for everyone less fortunate than you."

    by anyname on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:09:54 AM PST

  •  "Art and Architecture of Rome" (10+ / 0-)

    "Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling" by Ross KIng.  And, ta-da, "The Baby Bebee Bird" ( I teach preschool).

    Sunlight is the best disinfectant

    by historys mysteries on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:25:13 AM PST

  •  "Zen Mind, Zen Horse" (8+ / 0-)

    by Allan Hamilton, M.D. I had the good fortune to participate in a weekend seminar with Dr. Hamilton, a neurosurgeon, and his wife Jane, a psychologist. What I learned during that weekend sent me to the store for his latest book.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by DaNang65 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:34:29 AM PST

  •  Did you guys know (9+ / 0-)

    James Doohan (with S.M. Stirling) wrote a sci-fi series, about a flight engineer?

    That's what I'm reading now. It's not written well (or the Kindle version is a really crappy draft) but it is rather fun.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:38:01 AM PST

    •  I've heard that big-name publishers (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Monsieur Georges, plf515

      often do a hideously poor job in copy-editing & formatting the eBook versions of their books. That might be the problem.

      (I haven't read many recent releases of big-name publishers -- I still prefer dead tree books -- so I'm repeating what I've read on the Internet. And we all know if it's on the Internet it must be true.)

      •  it's true. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llywrch, plf515

        these were published by a big-name publisher, and it's not the first horribly formatted ebook i've read from this publisher.

        pseudoscience can kill

        by terrypinder on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:29:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  sounds like Baen to us (one of our major sources) (0+ / 0-)

          not all the people e-booking their stuff seem to understand that different browsers, are DIFFERENT!

          there are also different individual editors preparing these. some do NOT understand that just because things look OK in THEIR browser, doesn't mean what they're doing is acceptable HTML. Trying to make what shows on the screen look identical to the text that got printed in the book DOES NOT WORK, and too many alleged "professional" preparers do not seem to understand this, because they don't really understand HTML. (which is not really that complicated, fer pete sake!)

          Others DO know what the fr*ck they're doing. (It can take my DH anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 days to clean up a new title!)

          This mixture of competency levels is EXTREMELY frustrating to users. Baen is actually one of the better ones.  Only about a third of their books are messed up. Other publishers have a MUCH worse track record. Some take text that has been illegally (& poorly) OCR'd and sell it as their own.

          Biggest problems seem to include: doing Headers as Formatted Paragraphs, instead of as Headers; Tables of Contents that do not work; elimination of ITALICS; and not recognizing that many e-readers substitute their own paragraph formatting for the CSS formatting the publisher produces. (Messing up the italics in military SF is a particular pain, as all your starship names go wonky! Also all the thinking to yourself that characters do, etc.) ALSO SVG is NOT a universally supported format for images (i.e. covers, etc.)

          The bad editors also fail to recognize that page breaks will translate differently in different e-readers and that they have to accommodate for this.

          "real" work : a job where you wash your hands BEFORE you use the bathroom...

          by chimene on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:49:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  I don't have as much time to read as I wish... (8+ / 0-)

    But, right now...

    Rachel Maddow's Drift
    David Frum's Why Romney Lost....And the President's Club--which is absolutely fascinating!

    On my list of books to read after the holidays when I go on a major reading gorge--The Hobbit--again, and Alice I Have Been, This list will grow no doubt! :o)

    Aisha Taylor on meeting Barack Obama..."He smells like cookies.....and freedom"

    by left over flower child on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:01:45 AM PST

  •  Game of Thrones series (A Song of Ice and Fire) (7+ / 0-)

    I'm into the second book, so still not caught up with the tv series. It's an unusual experience for me, reading a book after having seen a visual representation of it; it's usually the other way around, if at all. I find I picture the characters as the actors from the series, even when the written description contradicts the look of the actor. Part of that may be because there are so many characters in this, it would be really hard to keep them straight otherwise. While these books are far from great literature, they're definitely entertaining, and I'm enjoying them.

    Just got a whole stack of Dr. Seuss books for my daughter. Her favorite (as was mine) is Green Eggs and Ham. So far, I'm more interested in them than she is, so I'm a little disappointed. She knows her letters, but she's not reading yet (she's only 2). Maybe in a year she'll be more interested. She's more into the "who's hiding behind the flap" type books for now.

    Mitt Romney = Draco Malfoy

    by ubertar on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:21:54 AM PST

    •  I've read all the Ice and Fire books. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, ubertar, Brecht, MT Spaces, barbwires

      I really like the series.  Arya and Jon Snow are my two favorite characters.  I know what you mean about visualizing the characters.  Even though I started the series before the HBO adaptation, I could only see the actors in my head as I read subsequent books in the series.

      Your daughter might enjoy the series of books by Sandra Boynton (if you're not familiar with them already).  Both of our two kids loved these books when they were very little (and my wife and I found them very cute as well).

  •  Jhumpa Lahiri, 'Interpreter of Maladies' (7+ / 0-)

    her first book, a short story collection, and it won the Pulitzer Prize. She's very good at adding up the subtle details, especially interpersonal, and how they concatenate into unexpected, meaningful karma.

    Michael Crichton, The Great Train Robbery. I've now read 8 Crichtons. He writes reliably interesting and easy airplane books. I like how he always researches first, and brings new ideas. This was his third book, a departure into history for him. Crammed with Victoriana, but less polished and developed than his later formula.

    Elmore Leonard, Killshot. I'd never read a Leonard. He's good at bringing characters to life, twisting plots, being funny and exciting. I'll read more of him, but maybe in a couple of years (so many other books).

    What makes a good lowbrow book? It seems to me that each book should grab you freshly. A lot of authors figure out their own formula. Crichton did this, but at least he never wrote the same book twice. After reading three John Grishams, I felt like I knew 80% of what the next one would say.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:33:03 AM PST

    •  I have read several of Elmore Leonard's books. (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, plf515, ferg, Brecht, inHI, MT Spaces

      I was told that he was very good at dialogue. I agree.

      So as an exercise I wrote a thriller that was almost entirely dialogue. It was fun, and it made appreciate even more how good the pros are.

      Might and Right are always fighting, in our youth it seems exciting. Right is always nearly winning, Might can hardly keep from grinning. -- Clarence Day

      by hestal on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:40:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. I'm in awe of writers who craft crackling (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MT Spaces, Monsieur Georges, ferg, plf515

        dialog, where you can tell who said what from how they speak. Really capturing different personalities in separate voices.

        I've been thinking I'll never write like that, just can't create on demand contrasting shades of speech. Perhaps, though, there's another way there. If I can create in my imagination living characters - well, I'm very fluent, have no trouble expressing myself - so perhaps these different ghosts in my machine will speak naturally in different shades.

        I don't know how to make the ghosts yet, either, but I can see that's a problem I might solve one day.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:38:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Leonard is a lot of fun to read n/t (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monsieur Georges, Brecht, MT Spaces
    •  yep, there is only one Grisham book (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Monsieur Georges


      with minor recastings from one to the next, and all of his main characters are the same guy.  (And after seeing the film of "The Firm" - that same guy is Tom Cruise, who plays himself in every movie he's in!

      "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

      by louisev on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree, but I give him a little bit of credit. (0+ / 0-)

        After all, there are writers who have based their whole career around rewriting the same bad book. Grisham's was fun, the first time I read it.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 01:44:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin (7+ / 0-)

    Slowly and very painfully.  Someone please tell me it's worth slogging through another 700 pages of this twee garbage.  I have seen some very glowing comments about this book, and I hate to, and almost never, drop something once I've started it, but so far, this is really testing my patience.

    •  As I get older I find myself (4+ / 0-)

      stopping reading more and more books.

      Even if someone else likes it - so?  Tastes differ!

    •  Had the same experience with the book (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Brecht, MT Spaces

      I really loved A Soldier of the Great War, and picked this one up to read after.  It was styled as a fantasy of sorts, and I do like fantasy.  My first attempt fell well short.  This is not unusual for me.  I am a rhythm reader, and if I don't get into the rhythm of the book, I will generally put it down, and try again later.  In this case, it took me a few years to get back to it, and my next attempt was more successful.  Still, I have never finished the book.

      Helprin is one of a number of authors whose writing I admire, but all of whom's books I have not been able to finish.  Two others who come to mind are Eco and Rushdie.  Just one of those things.

      Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

      by aravir on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:20:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Our Book Group read this ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515

      ... and it was a (sort of) split decision.  Generally more people liked it, and really liked it, than didn't.  I was in the minority ... I enjoyed big stretches of it, it is really well-written, but the fantastic elements finally exhausted me ... I couldn't figure out what sort of book it was trying to be.

      So, well-written, and clearly an original ... I just found it too hard to make it all the way.  And I've finished 'House of Leaves', so that's saying Somehting.

  •  Ford Maddox Ford (8+ / 0-)

    The Good Soldier (1915).

    This is a second read of this novel. Don't know if I'll re-do the whole Parade's End Trilogy or not. But I'm really enjoying TGS. Still in the beginning, but it's witty, clever, has an unreliable narrator, and it is a long read. A perfect book for creeping up to Solstice.

    Is it out of line for me to say that everyone's stockings would be better stuffed if they had a copy of my novellas, Tulum and The Dream Antilles, in them? Available at Amazon and BN and some local bookstores. Also available in all eBook formats at the same places.

  •  Just finished (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Brecht, inHI, MT Spaces

    Circle of Bones by Christine Kling. It was good, don't know that it was good enough to purchase the second one in the series.

    I haven't decided what I'm reading next yet. I have a whole bunch of free ones I've downloaded, just haven't decided what my mood is yet. I also have a few that are coming from the library, so not sure when those are going to arrive. Maybe I'll pick up one of the anthologies so if my library books arrive I can put them down easily enough.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:50:42 AM PST

  •  Still slowly diving through (5+ / 0-)

    Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

    Hasn't been much of a week for reading, much craziness at work and holiday shopping fa la la la la.

    Coming up, Richard Evans' Third Reich trilogy (first one here) which will take a while. May work odds and ends in between to lighten things up.

  •  I tend to read several books at once (9+ / 0-)

    Not sure why but it might be because for decades I taught 3 different courses each semester - I hated teaching two of the same course even though it would mean 2 rather than 3 preps.

    Anyway, I'm currently reading Thinking, Fast and Slow which is also on your list.

    Steven Pinker's The Better Angels of Our Nature is my second book.

    My third is The Golden Ratio by Mario Livio.

    Half through all of them and would recommend all.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:56:58 AM PST

  •  Finn by Waino W. Korpela (5+ / 0-)

    I can't find a link. My grandma and great-uncle worked on getting it published and it just recently was. I don't think it's on Amazon yet. It was an interesting read. Poetry telling the story of Finland, a short story about St. Urho, a paper on why the Finns don't speak a European language, more poetry...

    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:10:05 AM PST

  •  Just into the first pages of (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Brecht, Chitown Kev, inHI, MT Spaces

    Europe Central by William T. Vollmann.

    •  Now remember... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, Monsieur Georges, plf515

      Europe Central is technically fiction. :)

      I do like the way, though, serious writers are learning to sping serious fiction with serious themes sorta as alternate and very possible universes and outcomes.

      Used to be only comics and sci fi did that.

      •  Yeah, I don't often read (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515

        historical fiction, but I love Vollmann.  I can see where the author, by calling it fiction, can tell the true story, while at the same time imagining conversations and incidents he or she couldn't possibly know about in such detail.  More freedom than a historian could get away with.

  •  Just finished one, in the middle of another. (5+ / 0-)

    I just finished "The Twilight of Lake Woebegotten" by Harrison Geillor. It's a hysterical send-up of both the Twilight books and Garrison Keillor's "A Prarie Home Companion," complete with a narrator who narrates his own life. The twist is that the main character, Bonnie, is actually a very intelligent, calculating, and horribly manipulative sociopath, while the vampires are some of the more upstanding characters. I won't spoil the ending, because it's both hysterical and amazingly dark at the same time.

    I'm currently in the middle of a non-fiction book, a biography: "Tesla: Man Out Of Time," by Margaret Cheney. It's so far an excellent piece on the man, how he thought, his life, his style, and his inventions. I've learned a lot that I never knew about the king of geeks. I'll let y'all know next week (hopefully) how it was. I've taken nearly a month to get this far into it, what with work being a screaming pain in the behind.

    Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. -Harry S. Truman / -8.00, -6.77

    by Shadowmage36 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:17:18 AM PST

  •  The Providence Rider by Robert McCammon... (5+ / 0-)

    ...which is the fourth in his "Speaks The Nightbird" series. As beloved as they are, these books are nearly indescribable. Colonial New York Whodunnit/Mystery/Horror, maybe? Addictive, certainly.

  •  Reading The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt (7+ / 0-)

    I think someone here may have recommended it.  It is the story of the re-discovery, in the early 15th century, of Lucretius's On The Nature Of Things.  So far, only 75 pages in; it's a train commute book.  Pretty interesting.  Turns out this discovery was, literally, a world-changing event.  

    I have spent most of my life in the Stoic camp; big fan of Marcus Aurelius.  Maybe it's time to invest some intellectual capital into the other side.  Whatever my ultimate judgement of this book, I plan to read Lucretius next.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:25:10 AM PST

    •  Post I made last year on "The Swerve" (6+ / 0-)

      I wanted to mention a current pick.I ’ve just begun, Steven Greenblatt’s  “The Swerve”  How the World Became Modern.  This is the story of discovery of a long lost poem by Lucretius titled “On the Nature of of Things” long hinted at by historians but undiscovered until the 15th century. Lucretius beautifully captures the philosophy of Epicurus in verse. I’m not yet half way through this book, but I do know that what I imagined the Epicurean world view has been greatly malformed by competing philosophies over the past two millenium.

      Three centuries before Christ, Epicurus proposed a structure that today’s particle physicists would be quite comfortable, reducing all life and matter to tiny packets of atoms that spin and bump and join in all kinds of ways-----and this was all that existence depended on.

         

      “That explanation will inevitably  lead you back to atoms. If you can hold on to and repeat to yourself the simplest fact of existence--atoms and void and nothing else, atoms and void and nothing else---your life will change. You will no longer fear Jove’s wrath when you hear a peal of thunder, or suspect that someone has offended Apollo when there is an outbreak of influenza. And you will be free from a terrible affliction of dread of something after death”.
      Epicureans didn’t deny Gods, they simply felt they were not interested in a man’s soul that ceased to exist when the body was no more. Therefore one should take pleasure in this life cause it’s the only shot we get.... Anyone can see how this may run counter to the Christian cosmology of the divine.....your suffering and sacrifice on earth will be rewarded with all of heaven’s bounty. Other monotheistic religions throw in 72 virgins for good measure.  It’s not difficult to see why “On the Nature of Things” became lost for 1400 years. I’m looking forward to the fireworks that are about to be unleashed which if the title is to be believed, one of the founding forces behind the Renaissance.

      "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Immanuel Kant

      "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." Immanuel Kant

      by Rented Mule on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:55:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just finished Louise Erdrich's dazzling ... (5+ / 0-)

    ... Round House as well as T.C. Boyle's San Miguel, a fine novel and something of a stylistic departure for him.

    I'm currently sampling through Spirit and Reason: The Vine Deloria, Jr. Reader while I await delivery of Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth and Jim Harrison's In Search of Small Gods.

  •  Cloud Atlas - like, I'm told, everyone else ;) (8+ / 0-)

    It's an intriguing book, and I really was caught up in it, though liked some of the narrators better than others. I read a review of the movie in the SF Chron, which made me interested in the book. Pixxer-son said it was terrific, so I bought a copy. I read only horizontally - from head-hits-pillow to eyelids-close-involuntarily - and also very slowly, so it's hard for me to get through many books.

    I picked up CA in the middle of Katherine Graham's Washington, which I bought on a whim, somewhere like the Friends of the SF Library bookstore at Fort Mason. It's been on my shelf for awhile, and I finally started reading it. This is a set of essays about Washington chosen by the late publisher of the Post, and covering the years she spent in the town - which is to say, most of the 20th Century. There are sections about politics, social life, etc. - some serious, some humorous. I was born in DC and my parents were there from WWII, so I'm learning something about their lives and my childhood from this book. For example, it never occurred to me that the social conventions I grew up with (where at the table the honored male guest sits - even if it's your brother home from college; the dress code for certain events) are not universal! Anyway, I'm enjoying those essays a lot, and will get back to them shortly.

    While at Black Oak Books at the end of a long walk,  whilst I was picking up Cloud Atlas, pixxer-son dug up a hardback copy of Heinlein's Red Planet, one of the favorite books of my teen/pre-teen years, so that is on my bedside table for a fun trip to yesteryear in the near future.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 07:43:51 AM PST

  •  sans "fun" as always, I'm starting (4+ / 0-)

    Understanding Film: Marxist Perspectives by Mike Wayne

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:14:09 AM PST

  •  I convinced my book study book to do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, Monsieur Georges

    AMERICAN PROPHET: Moses and the American Story. by Bruce Feiler for our January study.  This book is so informative about the history of American political icons which serves as a guide to cut through the retoric. For example the number of political movements claiming the Liberty Bell as their icon has varied from the Civil War (both North and South), the early Woman's Sufferage Movement up to modern gay/lesbian groups have used tthe Bell to illustrate their philosophy.  

  •  Just finished Gaiman's American Gods (4+ / 0-)

    Entertaining take on the picaresque novel, but I was disappointed in that the characters weren't as fully developed as I wanted them to be.

    Still working my way thru John Man's The Great Wall -- which offers an overview of Chinese history as told thru its most familiar yet badly known landmark. And I have a couple more books waiting on my nightstand for me to finish.

  •  Started "Naples Declared" by Benjamin Taylor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, plf515

    It's neither a travel book or history of Naples.  20+ pp into it, and I'm not sure I have the background to enjoy it.

    Finished "The Tigress of Forli" by Elizabeth Lev. If you are interested in Renaissance Italy, you'll be interested in this book.  Caterina was amazing for any man or woman of her time. She held Rome at by holding position at the Castel Sant'Angelo (while 7 months pregnant) and later stood up to Cesare Borgia's (Alexander VI).  

    Then finished "Exit the Actress" a novelization of Nell Gwynn, which, had I not been interested in the people and times I would not have stayed with it.

  •  Finishing a writing project. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, plf515

    Totally in "editor" mode.

    Can't read for fun with my mind churning this way.

    Millions of us – the majority – must come together to insist that President Obama and the Democrats stand up and fight for the things we sent them there to do ... Michael Moore

    by MT Spaces on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 09:29:36 AM PST

  •  the master of the spy novel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Monsieur Georges


    Alan Furst - I just finished "Mission to Paris" and then went back to his first novel, "Night Soldiers" - lots of detailed research about Europe in the decade leading up to WWII.  Chilling and engrossing.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:43:52 AM PST

  •  I don't make enough time to read but when I do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Monsieur Georges

    I really enjoy it.

    I just finished, "Proof of Heaven," by Dr. Eben Alexander which I thought was fascinating.  I'm sure there will be a lot of debunkers and naysayers but personally I do believe in Heaven, God...Maybe I've been thinking a lot about my mom because it's the holidays and I miss her, love to think of what she is doing in Heaven.

    I am also reading, "Cat Daddy," by Jackson Galaxy.  I just loooooooooove this guy and his show on Animal Planet, "My Cat from Hell".  Anyway so far a good read for me as I was curious how he got to be one of the premier cat behaviorists in this country.  I'm a pootie mommy.

    I've also purchased several more books, these are about death and angels: "Where Angels Walk," "Angelic Tails," by Joan Wester Anderson; "To Heaven and Back," by Mary C. Neal, M.D., "40 Days in Heaven," by Rev. Elwood Scott, and "My Descent into Death," by Harold Storm.  Could say I'm intrigued about the death concept these days...

    Peace to all,
    DES

    "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die." Ted Kennedy 1980 DNC Keynote Speech

    by Dumas EagerSeton on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:44:49 AM PST

  •  hi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Monsieur Georges

    I have finished reading:

    A Question of Identity by Susan Hill
    Some Kind of Fairy Tale by Graham Joyce
    David Falkayn: Star Trader by Poul Anderson
    Operation Mincemeat by Ben Macintyre
    Crossed Blades by Kelly McCullough (part three of the Fallen Blade series)

    I am reading:
    Rise of the Terran Empire by Poul Anderson (pg. 158 of 662) (part three of the Technic Civilization Saga)

    The Limpopo Academy of Private Detection by Alexander McCall Smith (pg. 154 of 257)

    Adrian Mole: The Lost Years by Sue Townsend (pg. 44 of 309)

    Cast in Peril by Michelle Sagara  (pg. 13 of 538)

    plf...I am not sure what you will think of the Poul Anderson books.  I am afraid that I gloss over some remarks and keep reading for the adventures.  As the books progress the treatment of women gets better.  Nick is a reprobate and yet when you get to the end of the story...David Falkyn and his two partners are much better.

    Also some of the stories are hard to follow at first and then they explain things later.   That gets better, too.  

    The merchants are out for profits for sure and yet the worlds seem to usually benefit from the good traders in the end...

    I will be interested in what you think, of course.  

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

    by cfk on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 01:52:19 PM PST

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