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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:
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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
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM All Things Bookstore Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 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 - on hiatus) 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 6:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht
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
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 SF a bit too seriously, but the stories are good.

Protector by Larry Niven  Another novel set in the same universe as the Ringworld novels

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.

On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says - a history of political thought.  

He, she and it by Marge Percy. Near future dystopian SF set on Earth.

Measurement by Paul Lockhart. About mathematics and, especially, how it should be taught and learned. Lockhart is wonderful; his first book A Mathematician's Lament was, in my view, the best book on teaching math ever written.

Just started
Standing in another man's grave Another in the Rebus series of Scottish noir crime novels. Here, Rebus is investigating a series of girls who have gone missing over a number of years.

Weird Life by David Toomey. Life is weird. But, in this book, Toomey discusses weird living things and even weirder things that might be living somewhere else; that is, unusual life on Earth and the possibilities for life elsewhere. Recent years have seen a great expansion in the regions of Earth that are known to have life: Inside of rocks; far under the sea; in places previously thought too hot, too cold, too dry or too acidic for life to exist. Then Toomey goes farther and discusses life that might not be based on DNA or even on carbon. Fascinating and accessible.

The Butcher's Boy by Thomas Perry.  A hit man and the attempts to find and stop him.

Visions of Infinity by Ian Stewart. A nontechnical look at 11 famous problems of math. So far, it's a little too nontechnical for my taste.

Woodrow Wilson by John Cooper, Jr. A fairly admiring look at Wilson.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Just Finished Brad Meltzer's (12+ / 0-)

    The Book of Fate. Not very good IMHO.

    Just started Glenn Greenwald's With Liberty and Justice for Some. Also just bought the entire Game of Thrones on my tablet. Going to hop into that soon.

    When opportunity calls pick up the phone and give it directions to your house.

    by webranding on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 04:33:48 AM PDT

  •  almost done with Children of God (9+ / 0-)

    I can see why Sparrow & CoG are really big book club books. No one does anything "wrong", yet horrific harm is done. Well, one person does do something that he knows is wrong. I'm waiting to see what the consequences will be.

    Also reading Pale Demon, part of Kim Harrison's Hollows books. Cute, fun.

    I'm done listening to Neil Gaiman's narration of Neverwhere. As amazing at the print version of the book is, listening to Neil Gaiman read it to me..... wow. And I can still hear his voice in my head. But now in the car, I'm listening to You Are An Iron Man, about 6 normal people who trained for and did an Iron Man race. Inspiring.

  •  almost finished with Pete Townsend's autobio, (11+ / 0-)

    "Who I Am".    Very hard to put down  if you are a person of a certain age.  

    ecstatically baffled

    by el vasco on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:16:06 AM PDT

  •  Recently finished... (10+ / 0-)

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.  Good book.  Keeps you thinking after you've finished it (at least I kept thinking about it).  Now onto the movie version!

    Also finished the audiobook version of
    Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History
    by Antonio Mendez  and Matt Baglio.  Also very good.  And also now onto the movie version.

    Currently working on Deck Z: The Titanic: Unsinkable. Undead by Chris Pauls and Matt Solomon.  Something light and inconsequential after the two I just finished.  Fun and adventure on the Titanic with zombies!!

    Later today I'm going to start Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief by Lawrence Wright.

  •  Right now (13+ / 0-)

    Working my way through Existence by David Brin (who, BTW, just happens to be a member of DailyKos). It's a near future look at first contact, in a different way then normally imagined. Definitely worth your time if you enjoy science fiction.

    Do Pavlov's dogs chase Schroedinger's cat?

    by corwin on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:22:37 AM PDT

    •  Read that - Quite a tale (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corwin, RiveroftheWest

      Brin's extrapolation of our near future is just a little too convincing to make for comfortable reading, though he does manage to work in some hopeful threads.

      Definitely a thought-provoking book.

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

      by xaxnar on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:06:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  After todays terrible news (13+ / 0-)

    I@M taking a couple of days out to read some Iain Banks (and M version)

    A Personal Statement from Iain Banks

    I am officially Very Poorly.

    After a couple of surgical procedures, I am gradually recovering from jaundice caused by a blocked bile duct, but that - it turns out - is the least of my problems.

    I first thought something might be wrong when I developed a sore back in late January, but put this down to the fact I'd started writing at the beginning of the month and so was crouched over a keyboard all day.  When it hadn't gone away by mid-February, I went to my GP, who spotted that I had jaundice.  Blood tests, an ultrasound scan and then a CT scan revealed the full extent of the grisly truth by the start of March.

    Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

    by ceebs on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:28:41 AM PDT

    •  I saw that (5+ / 0-)

      and will be doing the same.

      You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

      by northsylvania on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:33:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the man has style and courage. Love it. (6+ / 0-)

      ecstatically baffled

      by el vasco on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:43:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Two in a few weeks (5+ / 0-)

        After the Guitarist Wilko Johnson, who also displayed similar

        Wilko Johnson interview: 'It's a bloody good feeling being alive' | Music | The Guardian

        John Wilkinson is demonstrating his guitar technique to a television news crew, his Telecaster plugged into a little practice amp in the living room of his semi in a Southend suburb. He shows how he tightens and loosens his fingers on the strings to make his guitar, already trebly, sound like it is chopping and slashing. The demonstration done, the reporter produces a couple of old albums Wilkinson had played on; he professes his adoration and asks for a signature. And then a photo. "With the guitar, please," he requests. Wilkinson takes up the Telecaster and holds it up for the picture. For a few seconds, his lower jaw juts forward, his eyes bulge in a manic stare – and he is becomeWilko Johnson, amphetamine-powered goblin of Dr Feelgood, an inspiration to thepunk legions.

        Sometime later this year, we will say goodbye to Johnson. Before Christmas he wasdiagnosed with pancreatic cancer, then on 2 January he was told he had no more than a year to live.

        "It was a surprise," Johnson says, "but it didn't disturb me. We came out of the hospital and I was feeling high, elated. Normally I suffer from depression, and I thought maybe this was a reaction, but then a few nights later I was sitting in my room upstairs. I've got my room really nice, and it feels great sitting in there with my things around me. And I thought: 'I love being in my room.' Normally, I'd be sitting there thinking: 'My room is very groovy … but I'm really hung up about this.' I'd be worrying away about some rubbish. And now, suddenly, nothing mattered. Nothing mattered. I'm just sitting here in my room, and I love this room, and ain't this nice just sitting here? And I realised: you are alive and you are existing in the moment. You're not worried about the tax return. And it's a bloody good feeling being alive. Sometimes this feeling is almost ecstatic, and I can say that I haven't plunged into despair at all."

        Interviewer: What do you believe is behind this recent increase in terrorist bombings? Helpmann: Bad sportsmanship

        by ceebs on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:22:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Titian: His Life (11+ / 0-)

    by Sheila Hale. This time, I'm commenting on a book I've almost finished, rather than just started, and I highly recommend it. It's not so much a treatise on his painting techniques, or how his style evolved as he aged (think Botticelli to Rubens in 60 years), although there is much if that in this quite lengthy (750 page) biography. Rather, it sets Titian in his time -- late Renaissance/Counter-Reformation -- and place  -- Venice at the peak of its power and fame, with all the troubles that entailed. Since Titan was so renowned, he was much sought-after by the rich and famous of his day. Even when they were at war with each other, they were still promising (and mostly not delivering) funds in exchange for a painting by the Master. I was most struck by how much more I learned about Phillip II of Spain by reading this, and I had read a least one biography of him, as well as the lives of various other royals with whom he had interacted (Mary and Elizabeth Tudor, for instance).

    Well worth the time, for the art, history, and politics of an age not so different from our own,


  •  Suddenly, A Knock on the Door by Etkar Keret (12+ / 0-)

    I was in Barnes and Noble on Rittenhouse Square a couple of weeks ago, on the third floor.  For some reason, the one area which used to be populated with tables and chairs has been emptied.  So, unless you wish to sit in the cafe area on the second floor, you have to spy out and claim one of a very limited number of chairs and step-stools interspersed throughout the store.

    It so happened that there was one unpopulated step-stool in the fiction section on the third floor, hard upon the shelving for books by authors whose surnames begin with the letter "K".  Having finished whatever it was that I had claimed the step-stool in order to do, I decided to look at the books on the shelving directly next to me.  One book was by this author, and was entitled The Nimrod Flipout.  It consisted of several short stories, most of a length of between 4-7 pages.  

    The first story I read concerned a man who had a beautiful girlfriend.  Except that, at night, she transformed into a short, stocky man who loved to drink and watch soccer matches.  After that, I couldn't stop reading.  I was going to buy the book, but having already read so many of the stories, I bought the above-mentioned book instead, which is his most lately published book of short stories.

    What to say about these stories...just this.  Keret does more in three or four pages than most writers can do in twenty pages.  Without detriment to the story itself, he is able to craft his writing like a fine jewel.  The stories are funny, tragic, surreal, surprising, personal.  It's the best thing I've read in a while.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:35:54 AM PDT

    •  a couple of possibly similar writers (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aravir, inHI, plf515, RiveroftheWest, xaxnar

      Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing this. I'll try to look for it.

      Your description immediately reminded me of Ray Vukcevich, who I think is an unappreciated genius. His short story collection, Meet Me in the Moon Room, is a favorite of mine. He wrote a novel, too, but I didn't think his style worked as well in the longer form.

      I just finished reading Kelly Link's anthology, Magic for Beginners, which also has a similar style. There are some gems in that collection, too.

      Thanks again. Cheers,

      Most models are wrong, but some are useful.

      by etbnc on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:43:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I just lucked into a copy of Max Brooks' (7+ / 0-)

    World War Z down in the basement of my building. I can't wait to read it.

    Too many in this country feel the Constitution should include the 2nd Amendment. And nothing else.

    by blueoregon on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:40:25 AM PDT

    •  I've listened to the audiobook version (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LinSea, plf515, blueoregon, RiveroftheWest

      of WWZ.  You might want to check that out as well.  Max Brooks, being Mel Brooks' son, got some real good talent to read the different parts - Henry Rollins, Mark Hamill, Alan Alda and a bunch of others.  

      Although I"m looking forward to the movie version coming out later this year, I'm fully aware it's going to bare just a passing resemblance to the source material.

  •  A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (8+ / 0-)

    just finished "Spin" by Robert Charles Wilson

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 05:42:42 AM PDT

    •  One of My Favorite, if Sometimes Plodding (4+ / 0-)

      authors.  His books are so varied.  Arthur & George, Flaubert's Parrot.  Sense of an Ending was the first of his I ever read.  

      Even though he frustrates me at times, I admire him like no other writer for how he is so able to get inside his characters.

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:12:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I had no Sense of an Ending with the Barnes Book (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

      There was a great build up and then it started going no where. The ending was highly unsatisfactory.  There is a discussion on Goodreads about different interpretations.

    •  Spin is awesome! (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, RiveroftheWest, Brecht

      Thank you for mentioning it.

      I heard the audio version.

      One day, all the stars disappear. The reason turns out to be that we are consuming all evalable resources on the planet and somebody figured out how to save us from ourselves.

      And their names were: "The hypotheticalables."

      •  well.. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ender, plf515, RiveroftheWest

        A) we never learn the identity of the Hypotheticals
        B) it was also to force us, at risk of extinction, to come up with a technology to propigate life outside of our solar system, which it turns out is just a mechanism for these alient-sentient ecologies to obtain new food/connections

        Good book though, and well written.  Good science and good fiction; oh and...

        C) know there is a sequal as well, right?  Axis.   ...its on my list after I finish A Sense of an Ending tonight and then blitz through Godslayer since I already read Banewreaker I'd like to finish that odd inverted-homage to Tolkien.

        ... since I mentioned it, and for those that may not know of it, Jacqueline Carey's The Sundering duology is a very thinly-veiled rewrite of Lord of the Rings except that it is told sympothetically from Sauron's perspective.  Its well written fantasy that you can easily get into until you realize that you are actively rooting for the Witch-King of the Nazgul and hoping like hell that someone can kill Gandalf.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 11:00:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The hypotheticals live in the oort cloud (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          plf515, RiveroftheWest

          (Maybe they are the oort cloud) It was as explained as well as it will ever be. Yes, I read the sequel. There is a big arch in the ocean that leads us to another world.

          So, you are suggesting a book where Sauron is the good guy? You know that they are going to use that against you at your trial.

          •  Im looking forward to Axis (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            plf515, RiveroftheWest, Ender

            Yeah, Spin ends with them going through the arch.  I assume Axis is all set on the "new world".  I hope its as good.

            Yeah... its weird to read it from the "dark side" but very compelling.  If you are a fantasy fan its an interesting take on the otherwise generally juvenile genre that Michael Moorcock superbly dubbed "Epic Pooh".

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 11:51:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  When I Can Find Time (7+ / 0-)

    I'm reading Chattanooga by Chet Raymo with Dan Raymo, a Prime members borrowed book from Amazon.  I love reaching my hand into the black bag of unknown writers and pulling out a surprise book that might turn out to be a good read.  The gamble can happen once a month.

    This gamble is proving interesting if not compelling.  So far I'm in the midst of one of those remarkably dysfunctional and entertainingly eccentric Southern families.  The story unfolds in chapters each told from a different p.o.v. character.  It's a L A R G E family and incestuous sexual tension runs rampant. I'm reminded of Tobacco Road.

    Finished the story of Harold Fry's "unlikely pilgrimage," and recommend it as a non-religious inspirational kind of novel.  Watch for more by Rachel Joyce. She's very good.

    Closed the book on the best Ivan Doig novel I've read to date (and I've read several of his), The Whistling Season.  An early 2oth C. Montana homesteading widower in search of a housekeeper for himself and his three sons answers an ad that describes the placer as one who "can't cook but doesn't bite."  They need a cook, but the ad is too intriguing to pass up.  Gentle but strong in the telling, the novel Doig has really created is a paean to the one-room school and the American ideal of free public education.  Hooray!  Full of incident and wonder, this novel is a delight.

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:00:00 AM PDT

  •  Almost finished with Temple Grandin's (8+ / 0-)

    Thinking in Pictures, which is her account of what it's like to have autism.

    Like many with autism, she doesn't consider her autism to be a disability at all. She values the different way her brain works for giving her insight into areas that neurotypical brains miss.

    April is Autism Awareness month and 1 in 88 children will be diagnosed with some form of autism.  Temple Grandin's insights are like peeking through a window into this population.  

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:06:12 AM PDT

  •  Racheltracks (6+ / 0-)

    by our very own - well Racheltracks.

    I plan to review it this weekend, so I wont go into a lot of details here. But, if this book doesn't make you feel something, than you are probably a Cyborg, or maybe a robot. Set in early 1980's Florence Italy, it chronicles the life of an American expat as she struggles to reconnect with her teenage daughter.

    There is more to it than that - but you will have to wait for my book review this weekend. :)

    It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. - Molly Ivins

    by se portland on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:31:05 AM PDT

  •  "They Passed This Way" by Barry Ralph (7+ / 0-)

    This is about the American "invasion" of Australia in WW II, which came to around 1 million service men and women by the time it was over.  Fairly arcane stuff - although readable and interesting - for a writing project.

    Few Americans know that the Japanese attacked Australia during WW II.  Most who do probably know it from the movie, "Australia," with Nicol Kidman and Hugh Jackman.  In fact, the US had troops arriving in Australia within weeks of Pearl Harbor.

    Still early into the book - it's setting up a good context about the friendly cultural accommodations on both sides.  There were some serious problems later, which the book gets into.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:40:58 AM PDT

  •  Just about to finish (6+ / 0-)

    Gitta Sereny's The Healing Wound, which is pretty much a summation of all the research and journalism she's done concerning Nazi crimes.

    Just about to start J.A. Baker's The Peregrine.

  •  I'm reading this diary. Does that count? (6+ / 0-)

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:21:31 AM PDT

  •  Just finished (4+ / 0-)

    a biography of Stalin - profoundly depressing.  Immensely evil, and yet died in his bed.

    Starting a biography of Einstein, which is considerably less depressing.  Though it is interesting that the religious fundie types thought relativity was subversive - very similar to some of the discussions about AGW>

    The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

    by fladem on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 07:25:35 AM PDT

  •  Critical Reviews of Beethoven by his (5+ / 0-)

    German Contemporaries.  Fascinating.

    There are reviews of concert performances and published music.  It covers most of the genres that Beethoven wrote in.  

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

    ... 'The Battle for Spain' by Anthony Beevor. I've a lot of respect for his histories.

  •  Oryx and Crake, by Margaret Atwood (3+ / 0-)

    About 2/3 of the way through, and finding it to be very standard fare post-apocalyptic.  I expect there are a few revelations yet to come, but it really hasn't set its hooks in me yet and it's getting late.

    •  Oryx and Crake (3+ / 0-)

      I enjoyed it, but the sequel, The Year of the Flood, is much better. Some characters from O & C appear, so your time is not wasted. The Year of the Flood is a dystopian post-apocalytic but with unique features. I'll have to reread it; I am having such a hard time finding something new that I like.    

    •  just trying to start O&C... hope your experience (4+ / 0-)

      isn't an omen...

      hmm... "very standard ... post-apocalyptic"

      I was just thinking the other day, how very very slowly most (that I've tried lately) of the big-name 21stC YA SF moves... ; how gently and gingerly and drawn-out currently lionized YA AND "adult" authors are about introducing standard SF tropes that were last new in the 1940's & 50's!!!

      of course, IMNSHO it's because the AUTHORS don't really have much grounding in classical SF, or not nearly as much as they think they do. personally I expect the kids would catch on just about as fast as an experienced SF-old-hand to most of what seems so daring and avant-garde and new-new-new to some of these authors!

      that's one of the things I really like about Cory Doctorow and young Bacigalupi -- they really tear along, assuming all sorts of background in their readers which will allow them to short-hand ideas!

      If you like a deliberate pace, but still with lots to discover, try Cherryh's Foreigner series, for something immediately available right now...

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

      by chimene on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 02:18:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I take your point, although I didn't think (3+ / 0-)

        that O&C was targeted as a YA novel.  In general, I agree that when mainstream authors venture into SF, perhaps thinking that it's "just" genre writing and easily done, they often embarrass themselves.  Atwood is a bit anomalous in that she is more or less a mainstream author, but the book for which she is perhaps best known, The Handmaid's Tale is by any reasonable definition SF, subgenre alternative history.  (And though it's many years since I read it, very good as I recall.)  My complaint with O&C isn't so much that it's slow moving.  It's actually well enough written.  More that I feel like I've read this same story many times, and often better done, starting with A Canticle for Leibowitz and running all the way up to The Road (McCarthy being a counter-factual to my point above about mainstream writers dabbling?).

        On a related but slightly different note, it is interesting how much YA SF is in fact dystopian and/or post-apocalyptic.  If you're not a zombie or a vampire, civilization as we know it probably just ended.  I'm sure the success of The Hunger Games has a lot to do with that, but it must also say something about what appeals to the millenial audience.  

  •  Mohsin Hamed' "How to get filthy rich ..." (5+ / 0-)

    Very creative (as are his other works).  It's a novel styled as a self-help book - 12 chapters.  It artfully describes the life of an entrepreneur in a developing country.

    Also just finished "Howard Zinn: A Life on the Left", an interpretive bio by Martin Duberman.

    and "the Second Empress" a light fictional treatment of Napoleon's second wife.

    Not sure what I'll start reading today.

  •  All That Is by James Salter, and it's (3+ / 0-)

    a big deal for me to actually pre-order any novel.

    I've not read any of his books before this, but the reviews have been outstanding so I was compelled to order it.

    However, last month I bought The Dinner as the result of an author interview on NPR and it sucked. Enormous potential, but dismal execution. Lame.

    I'm hoping this is far more literary to wipe the bad taste of The Dinner out of my mouth. (pun was fully intended, thank you)

  •  hi (4+ / 0-)

    I have finished reading:

    Destiny of the Republic: Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President by Candace Millard

    Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson

    Savage Run by C. J. Box

    “Cast in Moonlight” by Michelle Sagara from Harvest Moon

    Body Work by Sara Paretsky

    I am reading:

    Turn of Light by Julie Czerneda (pg. 506 of 849)

    The Chains of the Sea by Joe Green ( the DKos author john keats) (pg.634 of 749)   Joe was kind enough to send me the book as a gift.

    Challenge books:

    A History of London by Stephen Inwood (pg. 332 of 937)

    The Swerve: How the World became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt (pg. 135 of 263)

    The Hornet’s Nest by Jimmy Carter: A Novel of the Revolutionary War (pg. 32 of 465)

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

    by cfk on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 02:01:35 PM PDT

  •  about half-way thru "Your hate-mail will be graded (4+ / 0-)

    by Scalzi. Interesting enough to make me add the website url to my currents list...

    what else... almost halfway through the current read-aloud, What Distant Deeps, I think it is (RCN series, David Drake)

    a lot of glancing at stuff I've collected from the library (many from info gleaned here, thank you all very much)... enough to decide if it's a keeper or not (well, keep to read).

    About half goes back after the first couple of paragraphs -- "not finishing something I've started" is a permission I finally gave myself in my 30's(?). It's been a real time-saver, 8-)

    Just opened Learning in Depth, Kieran Egan. I love the idea, hope it reads well. (non-fic, an education theory that besides the broadscale exposure kids are supposed to get in school, they would also benefit from studying one thing in depth, like pick a subject and work on it all the way through H.S.)

    I'm sure there are other things, but too busy to fiddle right now.

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

    by chimene on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 03:26:55 PM PDT

  •  Just started The Eliminationists, by D. Neiwert (3+ / 0-)

    Am now officially terrified.

    •  I've been reading Neiwert for a while (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monsieur Georges, RiveroftheWest

      Ran across him when he was still writing at his old blog Orcinus; lots of good material archived there, including some excellent stuff by Sarah Robinson. He's now at Crooks & Liars.

      If you want to see the dark underbelly of America conservatives have tapped into, Neiwert makes a great tour guide.

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

      by xaxnar on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:19:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just finished "Red Planet Blues" (3+ / 0-)

    Fun romp - Film Noir style detective story set on Mars. Murder, mystery, valuable objects, corruption, beautiful dames, deception....

    Here's the blurb:

    My name is Alex Lomax. I'm a P.I. working the mean streets of New Klondike, the domed Martian city that sprang to life in the wake of the booming fossil market. Roughly forty years ago, Simon Weingarten and Denny O'Reilly discovered evidence of ancient life on Mars, and these fossils quickly became valuable sought-after antiquities for collectors on Earth. Then the wannabe treasure hunters swarmed here, suffering from fossil fever, to take part in "the Great Martian Fossil Rush," hoping to strike it rich.

    So I ply my trade among the failed prospectors, corrupt cops, and "transfers" — folks wealthy enough to upload their consciousness into near-immortal android bodies — trying to make an honest buck in a dishonest world. But now the motherlode of all cold cases has just landed in my lap: the decades-old murders of Weingarten and O'Reilly — and God only knows what I may dig up...

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

    by xaxnar on Wed Apr 03, 2013 at 06:03:44 PM PDT

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