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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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Readers and Book lovers 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
TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views Brecht, 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 - on hiatus) 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
A Devil is Waiting by Jack Higgins. The president is going to visit London. Some Islamic terrorists plan to assassinate him. Sean Dillon has to stop them.  I gave up on this one. The writing was making it unenjoyable.

Master of the Senate by Robert Caro. The third in Caro's monumental, amazingly researched bio of LBJ. I had been reading this but put it down. Not because it's a bad book - it is a great book - but because Johnson was so viciously nasty that I had to stop for a bit. Johnson wanted, craved, needed power. And he was absolutely brilliant at getting it and using it. But he let nothing stand in his way.  Regardless, this is vital reading for understanding the senate. 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.

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.

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.

The irrationals by Julian Havil.  The history of irrational numbers, nicely presented.

Just started
On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says - a history of political thought.  Seems good so far.

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Comment Preferences

  •  A joyful new year to you! (10+ / 0-)

    I hope 2013 will be a year of delight, prosperity, health and creativity for all of us.

    Also, a year filled with poetry. Not my usual reading. In fact, hardly every read poetry. But for some reason the thought arose that what the world needs now (may Marvin Hamlisch rest in peace, and to be more modest, maybe it's just what I need) is poetry.  Hence, devouring Pablo Neruda and Gabriela Mistral to begin. Then off to wherever the path leads.

  •  Happy new year (11+ / 0-)

    I finished Anna Karenina and am now onto an Alan Furst novel called The Foreign Correspondent.  It was recommended by someone here.  Thanks.  I am enjoying it - very quick read and just has that noir feeling that I enjoy.

    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 Jan 02, 2013 at 04:53:45 AM PST

  •  The Fate of Africa by Martin Meredith (11+ / 0-)

    'The Fate of Africa' by Martin Meredith is an eye-opening book about Africa getting somewhat out from under mainly Europe's grasp after WWII.  There are many gut wrenching stories therein.

  •  Discovering Salman Rushdie (10+ / 0-)

    Finished his memoir, "I am Joseph Anton."  Started "Satanic Verses."  

  •  "There Was a Country:A Personal History of Biafra" (9+ / 0-)

    by Chinua Achebe - part biography, part history of Nigeria and part survey of Nigerian literature.

    Just finished "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri ... and then saw the movie.  This is the story of assimilation of a Bengali family as seen through the eyes of the first born son in American.   As usual, the book is better than the movie because you can get more insight into the characters and, in this case, the rituals.

  •  More than half way though (10+ / 0-)

    the final book in The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series by Michael Scott.  The last book is entitiled The Enchantress.  A real fast-paced entertaining read.  It's a young adult series (in fact our daughter's read the other books as well), but as with many of those types of books, older folks can enjoy it as well.  I highly recommend the entire series.

    Currently between audiobooks, but later today I'll be starting Birdseye: The Adventures of a Curious Man by Mark Kurlansky.  This is the story of Clarence Birdseye (you know - Birdseye frozen foods).  I'd heard an interview with Kurlansky on The Bob Edwards Show a few months ago and had been meaning to get this from our local library.

  •  Happy New Year (9+ / 0-)

    Just started "Next Stop" by Glen Finland.

    It is about a family working on transitioning their 21 year old autistic son one summer.  The mother is hoping to see her son gain independence and the same time maybe she will jump start her marriage.

    From the front cover:

    Next Stop recounts the complex relationship between an adult child with autism and his family as he steps out into the real world alone for the first time.
    But Next Stop is not just about autism. Rendered without sentimentality, the story is grounded in the personal narrative of a mother's perpetually tested hope.  Hardwired as she is to protect him, letting go turns out to be harder for her than for her son.  And in this way, Glen's story is not one specific to having a son with autism, it is a universal story of how our children grow up and how we learn to let go and reclaim our own lives, no matter how hard that may be.
  •  guides to southern mexico (9+ / 0-)

    trying to do some pre-planning for a proposed trip this summer...knowledgable recommendations more than welcome!

    Howard Fineman needs to have a chat with Chris Cilizza about Grecian Formula and its effects on punditry

    by memofromturner on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:11:16 AM PST

    •  What type of trip? (3+ / 0-)

      Archaeology, surfing, eco, jungle?

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 10:44:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  mushrooms, baby! just kidding :0) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, Sandy on Signal

        we're thinking 1/2 beach and 1/2 mountains with liberal dollops of ruinas

        my wife particularly likes crafts and art& culture, i like everything

        Howard Fineman needs to have a chat with Chris Cilizza about Grecian Formula and its effects on punditry

        by memofromturner on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 12:22:49 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Check out Puerto Escondido. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, Sandy on Signal

          With a side trip to Santos Reyes Nopala.

          That will give you beach (PE has FANTASTIC beaches - best surfing ever), plus good local crafts.  There is a nature reserve close by with excellent guided tours and a beach where people live to protect the eggs during sea turtle breeding season.  Then you can go to Nopala for the ruins and archaeology.

          A good hotel is Flor de Maria right on the playa.  Tel 954 58 205 36 (they do not take children under 12).  Web site  I was just on the website (checked to be sure it is still up).  The food at the hotel is also good if you are nervous about that sort of thing.  I never get ill when travelling.  Paul and Joanne are lovely people and very helpful with things to do and arrangements for cars, trips, etc.  

          Gosh, now I want to go back!

          "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

          by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 01:12:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good morning (9+ / 0-)

    And Happy New Year

    Currently reading "Righting the Mother Tongue" by David Wolman, about English spelling of all things. A decent book.

    Planning to try the first Harry Potter next. I'm mostly not into fiction, but occasionally I'm in the mood. I tried "Les Miserables" last week, but just couldn't do it. Decided to try something lighter and easier.

    I used to like mysteries years ago when the decent ones weren't so dark. Can anyone recommend any quality newer mystery series that are lighter, less full of angst and not thrillers in disguise?

    •  Maise Dobbs series is very nice (4+ / 0-)

      and not to violent.  Set in London right after WW 1.  You can dip into them but I'd start with the first one.

      Want light, funny and very different, try Cocaine Blues: Phryne Fisher #1 (Phryne Fisher Mysteries).   Both series first books will be a very quick read and you will know quickly if this is your cuppa tea.  

  •  I'm reading Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. (10+ / 0-)

    I'm about half way through, so far so good...possibly excellent (I'm withholding judgment). An enjoyable read, certainly.

  •  The Untethered Soul (6+ / 0-)

    excellent book on how to stop all the noise...

    My wife accidentally bought the version with giant lettering, but it's nice since now I don't have to wear my reading glasses :-)

    The Meek Shall Inherit NOTHING -- Frank Zappa

    by LickBush on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:24:36 AM PST

  •  Good morning.. not really awake yet (7+ / 0-)

    but I'll give this a try...

    Just finished:
    Coyote's Daughter by Corie Weaver
    The DoorKnob Society by  MJ Fletcher

    Both are YA novels. Coyote's Daughter is a fantasy based (loosely) on Native American legend. A young girl (Maggie) and her dog (Jack) get pulled into a different world (maybe the spirit world they don't really specify) to help a friend, a Native American boy they run into by accident while walking the bank of a river. The people of the boy's village have been transformed into crows by Shriveled Corn Husk Man, and with the "help" of Coyote, and the aid of Spider Old Woman and a family who changes into Bears she has to defeat Shriveled Corn Husk Man and restore the village.
    It was good, the story line was smooth and worked well. Coyote did help but in his own round about way. There are more books in the series, I'm looking forward to tracking them down. I think my 9 year old will like this one.

    The DoorKnob Society is a book about a race of magic users older than humanity but integrated with us. There are different factions and each one uses a different focal point for casting their magic (like a door knob, or a key). The 16 year old girl never knew she was part of this race, or even that they exist, her familiy kept it from her even though both her parents, her grandparents and her Uncle are, until she and her father are attacked while out of the country. This is a book of self discovery and a fight between good and evil. There's a bit of teen romance thrown in as well. It wasn't bad. I liked Coyote's Daughter better. I don't think my son would be interested in this one, too much romance for him, but it's still too old for my daughter.

    Currently Reading:
    Slaves of Valhalla (The Prometheus War book 2) by Luke Romyn.  This is the sequel to Beyond Hades that I read last week. I've only just started it.  

    "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 Jan 02, 2013 at 05:33:20 AM PST

  •  I am Finally at Long Last Reading... (10+ / 0-)

    Fear & Loathing on the Campaign Trail - Hunter S. Thompson's book covering the 1972 POTUS campaign with George McGovern. I'd like to think HST & Senator McGovern are taunting Dick Nixon in the great beyond. :D

    "HERPES was more popular than Dick Cheney when he left office!" Rachel Maddow 5/23/12

    by CityLightsLover on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:37:05 AM PST

  •  Finally reading Nuala O'Faolain, after all these (8+ / 0-)

    years.  Heard of her long ago, just never got around to reading her until now.  I'm in an Irish mood because Imbolc is looming at the end of the month.  The book is called Are You Somebody?

    I knew Ireland wasn't, er, the greatest place for women to live but I had no idea it was such a living death in the 1950s.

    Also reading Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper and not enjoying it as much as I should because she writes inauthentic English diction.  English people don't "fix" the broken clock, they mend it.  There are a couple of similar mistakes that bother me in this one.  Oh, well, I'll eventually find my way to the end of it.

    Have to, because I've got Call the Midwife waiting on Kindle, as well as War Brides.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 05:43:54 AM PST

  •  Don Delillo (6+ / 0-)

    White Noise about halway through that.

    Be on the lookout for my review of the DT Max biography of David Foster Wallace,Every Love Story is a Ghost Story,  a collection of Wallace essays, Both Flesh and Not, and David Foster Wallace: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations.

    Titled:  How 2012 Became the Year of the (DFW) Gravy Train on the lookout, it will be out late this morning or early in the afternoon.

    Also readin Percival Everett's Erasure.

    You know that when you run across anything in a text that says, All propositions are of equal value to pay attention to it.
    As soon as I knew that the character Thelonious "Monk" Ellison was going to pen a "ghetto novel" why did I know that this novel (within the novel) going to be as bad as it was?

    I may do a little something later on in the year on Percival Everett, after all, anyone the would write a novel titled A History of the African-American People (Proposed) by Strom Thurmond, as Told to Percival Everett & James Kincaid (A Novel) can't be bad at all.

    But...The Year of the Gravy Train essay has to get finished first.

  •  The International Bank of Bob (4+ / 0-)

    Remarkable book - about half way through it.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 06:57:03 AM PST

  •  DK Godwin's Team of Rivals unhappily (7+ / 0-)

    I like reading the book to see that of which the movie is made, without expecting them to be at all alike.
    PBO like it. Am I the only one then who did not?

    Specific complaints
    --her aversion for specific dates, one needs to infer when things happened (Just got Lincoln elected so the structure of the four threads for each man will be be united into one....and the dating problem will end)

    --minor geographical errors that should be part of the author/editors' general knowledge, while unimportant in the short and long run make me worry about all the midwestern place knowledge that is not and the Civil War where geography is critical has not yet started.

    General complaint: rosy to the point of unreality**

    *Phi Beta Kappa was founded in William and Mary College, VA (she leaves it our entirely), Cooper Union in not in Brooklyn
    **Can it possibly be that all the rivals' women and daughters were above average? Did noone in the Lincoln camp ever make a misstep or did he ever betray anyone?

    "Are you bluish? You don't look bluish," attributed to poet Roger Joseph McGough, for the Beatles' Yellow Submarine (1968).

    by BlueStateRedhead on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:13:21 AM PST

  •  FINALLY finished Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin. (8+ / 0-)

    Some may know that I posted about 6 weeks ago about my frustration and rapidly vanishing patience with this book, and the fact that 20% of the way in, I was seriously considering abandoning it.  Well, I hung on and managed to get to the end waiting for the ball to drop on New Year's Eve.  Over time, I found myself a little more in sync with the rhythm of the writing, at least enough to slog through more than 750 pages of whimsical (and I don't mean that in a good way) fantasy, but never enough to call it enjoyable reading.

    Also, although perhaps colored by awareness of Helprin's apparently very conservative politics, I found bleeding through the fairy tailish veneer a worshipful view of both an agrarian idyll and a golden age in New York City's past that never was.  Yes, this is meant to be a fantasia, but his exaltation of a utopian past reeks of the right wing vision of an American dreamland that existed only in Frank Capra movies.

    Anyway, onward (and hopefully upward).  Just starting Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.

  •  just reread 'apathy' by neilan (5+ / 0-)

    helps me to not feel so apathetic after all.

    any Scandinavian or n european crime fiction-
    esp all the ian rankin books involving inspector rebus.
    characters you get to know quite well

    and smacks of realism as opposed to--

    what's littering so many bookstores-

    "cia black-ops antiterrorist expert mitch ryder is called from his his secret cabin in the smokey mountains- where he has been recovering from the death of his wife Shaka at the hands of the evil Sheik Mohammed." .. we know how it goes.

    would be a great for a parody or satire


  •  Happy new year. (7+ / 0-)

    I just finished The City and the City by China Mieville and Pump Six by Paolo Bacigalupi. Both excellent, although Bacigalupi's stories tend to be quite disturbing.

    Also, I was reading a collection of stories by Dorothy Parker but that has to go back to the library and I haven't finished it. Still working on a few others too. I haven't been able to read much this month due to migraines.

    Thanks to a gift card, I have a huge pile of new books waiting. I've started Un Lun Dun, also by China Mieville.  And I'm reading some stories from a Weird Tales anthology (Poe, Bradbury, Lovecraft, etc)

  •  hi (7+ / 0-)

    I have finished reading:

    The Tainted City by Courtney Schafer

    Bone Dance by Emma Bull

    The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie (Yes, that Hugh Laurie.  Bad stuff is happening and I am laughing out loud in other parts of the story. Oh, my!)

    I am reading:

    Young Flandry by Poul Anderson (pg. 556 of 726) (part 4 of the Technic Civilization Saga)

    Challenge books:

    The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings  (pg. 52 of 293)

    The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth (pg. 31 of 307)

    Prague Winter by Madeleine Albright (pg. 28 of 416)

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

    by cfk on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:12:54 AM PST

    •  Prague Winter is very good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It was a book I'd been waiting for because it tells, in layman's terms how an "Iron Curtain Country" became one.   As a bonus you get 500 years of background.

       I'd like to see something like this for Poland, Latvia, Yugoslavia (although PW sheds some light on this) and others.

      It is personalized with MA's story. Her father was a correspondent and his experience as seen through her eyes is worth noting.

  •  Great North Road (5+ / 0-)

    by Peter F. Hamilton

    It's a decent read, but there are no really new ideas here. A lot of the tech feels borrowed from his previous epics--the Commonwealth/Void Saga and the one with the ghost zombies--Night's Dawn Saga.

    A good deal of the "tech" is extrapolated from what we have now, and is quite believable.

    His female characters are written a bit better than previous books, though.

    just a little bit bored.

    by terrypinder on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 08:35:51 AM PST

  •  Last week while browsing the new book section of (7+ / 0-)

    my local library, I spotted a new book by Michael Shermer called “The Believing Brain.”  Since I am interested in what makes people tick, I checked the book out.  The premise of the book is that the human brain is constructed so that beliefs come first and explanations for the beliefs follow.  Shermer uses examples from politics, economics, religion, conspiracy theories, etc.

    Looking forward to an interesting read.

    And thanks, Peter, for providing us readers with a place to come and share the books we find interesting.

    Religion - the ultimate weapon of mass manipulation

    by LynChi on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 09:18:27 AM PST

  •  Almost Chimpanzee (5+ / 0-)

    by Jon Cohen. It's about the similarities between our two species, but, as one might gather from the title, it doesn't assume we're the superior of the two. I've just started it, and it's leading off with Jane Goodall, but, it's well-written and summarizes a fair bit of research I haven't had the time to keep up with.

    Radarlady, who was shocked yesterday to read in Sunday's Washington Post that Americans read, on average, four books a year. Now I'm really going to have to keep a reading diary...

  •  Just finished Churchill by Roy Jenkins. (5+ / 0-)

    It is my third biography of Churchill.  I like to read more than one and try to get authors who like, dislike, love or loath the subject.  I have been reading this one for months.  It is HUGE and not an easy read.  

    I am reading:

    The Path to Tranquility by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
    The God of the Hive by Laurie King (a Mary Russel, Sherlock Holmes story - I don't usually read pastiche but I like King's stories.  They can stand alone without the Holmes connection.)
    The Mountains of St. Francis by Walter Alvarez (a painless way to read geology)
    The Panic Virus by Seth Mnookin (because my grandson is autistic and I read everything remotely connected.  I do not, and never have, thought the mmr vaccine caused autisim.)

    For the first time in years I do not have a stack of books waiting.  Haven't been to the library in months and haven't ordered anything on-line.  A nasty side effect of working nights since October.  I am too exhausted.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 11:11:58 AM PST

  •  Caught up on series books, (4+ / 0-)

    Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb

    A Wanted Man, a Jack Reacher novel, by Lee Child

    Lawless, originally published a The Wettest Country in the World  by Matt Bondurant.

    Also went through a couple of excellent cookbooks, pure simple cooking by Diana Henry and Vegan Bake Sale by Carla Kelly.  Both were very good and will help with reconnecting with non holiday food this month.

    Over the holidays, we all read books and all got gift cards to purchase or download more.  But I have made my vow to attack the stack before I add to it.  

  •  Paging R.L. Stevenson (4+ / 0-)

    I started a re-read of The Strange Case of Doctor Jeckyll and Mister Hyde.   It's interesting, because the story is told from the point of view of one of Jeckyll's friends who is trying to discover the secret of Hyde's connection to him.  It's a case where the big reveal at the end is something that everyone today already knows.

    It's still a good story and perhaps is all the more suspenseful because we know more than the protagonist does.

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

    by quarkstomper on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 04:02:25 PM PST

  •  Flagrant Conduct (5+ / 0-)

    Flagrant Conduct: the story of Lawrence v. Texas

    by Dale Carpenter

    This hit the news last year because Dale Carpenter found evidence that the two gay men who were arrested for having sex in their own bedroom were not in fact having sex but were charged with sodomy by homophobic police who didn't like having been called to the apartment on a false alarm (a report of a crazy black man with a gun).

    It's a real story about justice, though. Whether or not anybody was engaging in sodomy when the police walked in hardly matters. So long as there was a law against it the police could use that law to harass people. And they certainly did. Besides, criminalizing sodomy served to criminalize the entire gay community as we were all (not unreasonably) suspected of breaking the law on a regular basis. We wouldn't be talking about same sex marriage without Lawrence v. Texas - it would be far harder, at any rate.

    My favorite (sic) line:

    "Harris County [Texas] GOP chairman Gary Polland ... told the press that the state sodomy law was not unconstitutional and should not be repealed. ... [P]rivacy [Polland said] was not an issue in the case because the sexual conduct of the men became public when police entered the bedroom."

    Ah, Republicans!

  •  Just a couple notes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, plf515

    Started, but gave up on 'Dhalgren' by Saumuel R. Delaney.  Well reviewed and highly recommended, I know, but it seemed to be going for obscurity for its own sake, and as I get older, my patience for that sort of experience is easily spent.

    Read "Shakespeare: The World as Stage" by Bill Bryson.  Well done.

    And for Book Club I re-read Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods' which I combined with a short story of his called 'Monarch of the Glen' from 'Fragile Things', which involves the same protagonist.  I love these stories!

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

    “Untouchable: The Strange Life and Tragic Death of Michael Jackson”  by Randall Sullivan

    For someone who so often professed his loneliness, Michael Jackson spent a remarkable amount of time avoiding people. He lived most of his life behind gates and walls or in surreptitious transitions from one hiding place to another.

    He wore disguises, broke off relationships, and changed telephone numbers constantly, but still paparazzi, process servers, delusional women, and desperate men pursued him wherever he went. The saddest part of his situation, though, was that the people Michael took the greatest pains to elude were the members of his own family. In the late summer of 2001, they were after him again. It was just two days before his scheduled departure for New York, where his “30th Anniversary” concerts were to be staged at Madison Square Garden on September 7 and September 10.

    Jackson’s friend and business partner Marc Schaffel, in collaboration with producer David Gest, had assembled a collection of performers who would stretch across the years since the recording of Michael’s first solo single, “Got to Be There,” in 1971.

    The gamut ran from Kenny Rogers to Usher, and included such disparate talents as Destiny’s Child, Ray Charles, Marc Anthony, Missy Elliot, Dionne Warwick, Yoko Ono, Gloria Estefan, Slash, and Whitney Houston. Samuel L. Jackson had agreed to serve as master of ceremonies, while Michael’s friends Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando were recruited to deliver televised speeches.

    Just days before the first concert, though, Jermaine Jackson read an article that said his brother would be making as much as $10 million from the two concerts and convinced his parents that Michael should pay the three of them another $500,000 apiece. Jermaine and his father Joe actually drew up a contract and, with Katherine Jackson in tow, chased Michael around Southern California to try to get him to sign, threatening all the while not to show up in New York unless he did.

    Michael took refuge for several days at Schaffel’s house in Calabasas, in the hill country at the far western edge of the San Fernando Valley. The day before their scheduled departure for New York, though, Michael said he needed to make a quick trip north to Neverland Ranch to collect some clothing and other personal items for the trip.

    He and his two young children, four-year-old Prince and three-year-old Paris, had barely set foot inside the main house at Neverland when the security guards alerted Michael that his parents Joe and Katherine, and his brother Jermaine, were at the main gate, saying they had some papers they needed Michael to sign and demanding to be admitted.

    Michael told Schaffel what he was going to do, he explained, was instruct the guards to tell his family again that Mr. Jackson was not on the premises, but to admit them to the property so that they could use the facilities.

    As soon as Joe and Jermaine were through the main gate, though, they drove straight to the main house and pushed their way inside to search for Michael. “They literally ransacked the place,” Schaffel remembered.

    Michael retreated with the kids to a hiding place that was concealed behind a secret door at the back of his bedroom closet and phoned Schaffel from there. He was in tears by then, literally whimpering into the phone as he asked Schaffel, “You see what they do to me? Do you understand now why I don’t want anything to do with my brothers, why I hide from them and refuse to answer their phone calls?” “I’ve supported my brothers, supported them all,” Michael cried into the phone. “I’ve put their kids through school. But they still come after me, still wanting more. It never ends. And my father’s worse than they are.” Michael choked up and couldn’t continue for a moment, Schaffel recalled, then sobbed, “The worst part, the part that kills me, is that I have to lie to my own mother.”

    Coriolis Effect: a plane headed from Miami (where the Earth's rotation is more pronounced) to New York would end up in the Atlantic Ocean if the pilot ignored the effects of the Earth's rotation.

    by anyname on Thu Jan 03, 2013 at 03:44:47 AM PST

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