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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 2:00 PM What's on Your E-Reader? Caedy
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
alternate Mondays
2:00 PM Political Books Susan from 29
Mon 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery michelewln, 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 2:00 PM e-books Susan from 29
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
alternate Thursdays 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht; first one each month by ArkDem14
Fri 10:00 PM Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable shortfinals
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 12:00 PM You Can't Read That! Paul's Book Reviews pwoodford
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

Just finished

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 Blood of Tyrants: George Washington and the Forging of the Presidency  by Logan Beirne.  Washington wasn't quite the paragon of virtues we learned about in school; Beirne covers how Washington did things and how that could affect how later presidents did things.

Dune by Frank Herbert.  A re-read. I felt like reading this classic of SF, but I was somewhat disappointed by the experience.

Now reading

On politics: A history of political thought from Herodotus to the present by Alan Ryan. What the subtitle says - a history of political thought.  But he should add the adjective "Western" or something as he doesn't discuss other traditions or writings.

The Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois. My favorite of the annual collections of SF.

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt.  How the discovery of an ancient book helped create the modern world. Fascinating.  

A Wicked Company by Philipp Blom. About the radicals of the European enlightenment, especially Holbach and Diderot. Interesting. These two were the ideological ancestors of atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens, more than 200 years ago.

Just started

Leibniz: An intellectual biography by Maria Rosa Antognazza.  Leibniz was co-inventor of calculus (with Isaac Newton) but he also made contributions to law, philosophy, physics, economics, chemistry, geology, medicine, linguistics, history and more.

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Comment Preferences

  •  "Stations of the Tide" by Michael Swanick (11+ / 0-)

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:41:27 AM PDT

  •  Prodigy by Marie Lu, sequel to Legend. n/t (9+ / 0-)

    Find out about my next big thing by reading my blog. Link is here:

    by Kimball Cross on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 04:43:01 AM PDT

    •  I'm kind of enjoying these, or would be if I didn' (3+ / 0-)

      t have anything else to do... they're just a bit slow, meandering, take their own sweet time to get to the little bits of plot scattered through the story...

      I think it's partly because it's YA: many authors writing for this age feel they have to make sure their readers (who are smart but who DON'T have ca. 60 years background reading SF, like I do) will be able to tell what's going on...

      a few of the folks writing for YA can catch the balance of style and speed that I apparently need these days, but unfortunately many of them appear to also be relatively new themselves at SF or fantasy also.

      If the writer is also relatively new to the genre, they sometimes do a lot of "discovering the wheel" as they discover or re-invent ancient SF tropes, and exhibit their delight with themselves for doing so...

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

      by chimene on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 01:21:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just finished "Doctor Sleep" (9+ / 0-)

    One of King'd better recent efforts. Stil reading "The Sports Gene" by David Epstein.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:14:42 AM PDT

  •  The Warmth of Other Suns by (11+ / 0-)

    Isabel Wilkerson.  True story about the Black migration from the Jim Crow south to northern cities which began in the first part of the 1900s.  Long, but very readable.

    I see many similarities between that period of time and what is happening today in our country.  History is repeating itself. The characters and the situations differ, but the basic theme is the same.

    Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. Eric Hoffer

    by LynChi on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:19:19 AM PDT

  •  You're going to want to RUN, not walk (10+ / 0-)

    to get you a copy of Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (spoilers at that link).

    Also reading: Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey (it's going to be a miniseries!), New Earth by Ben Bova (really not his best), Engraved on the Eye by Saladin Ahmed (another one you need to run and not walk to get a copy of).

    hoping to finish up A Private Little War by Jason Sheehan this weekend.

    Lastly I can't resist pointing people to the analogy in my sigline, due to this:

    A Wicked Company by Philipp Blom. About the radicals of the European enlightenment, especially Holbach and Diderot. Interesting. These two were the ideological ancestors of atheists such as Dawkins and Hitchens, more than 200 years ago.
    but that said, this book looks like one for my list, even though I really cannot stand Dawkins the "theologian".

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility- mperiousRex.

    by terrypinder on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:20:44 AM PDT

  •  "Inventing America" by Garry Wills (9+ / 0-)

    Garry Wills is my personal candidate for the Nobel Literature Prize. I see no reason to restrict that award to novelists, poets, and playwrights.

    When I finish I plan on re-reading "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" and "Mr. Ives' Christmas" by the late Oscar Hijuelos. I still haven't processed his too-early death.

  •  Just finished Michael Harris' (9+ / 0-)

    The Atomic Times: My H-Bomb Year at the Pacific Proving Ground, an account of a year stationed at Eniwetok Atoll during the Redwing H-bomb tests. Very frank and personal, it is less a study of the testing regime or the atomic veterans issue than a window into psychological hell of living on a treeless, monochrome spit of sand, swimming with 3-eyed fish and coping with the knowledge that the country you serve doesn't care squat for your life or your genetic integrity.

    Currently reading Robert Levine's "Free Ride" (, a front row seat to the business and legislative decisions that have led to our current, intellectual property marketplace, where creators cannot expect to be paid for their works, but are expected to cheer on the people getting rich by pipelining their  purloined creations.

    A shorter version of the discussion can be found in David Byrne's recent Guardian piece, "The internet will such all the creative content out of the world" or just listen to Gillian Welch's song "Everything is Free" (stolen and posted to YouTube, with adverts, by someone else).

    Levine's book is definitely worth the read, if only because he remembers "Information wants to be free" was only half the quote.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:58:42 AM PDT

  •  I'm still working on the NPR list. . . (8+ / 0-)

    NPR's poll of the best science fiction/fantasy has kept me busy for a while, but after the Erickson series, a lot of the rest is falling short. I won't even bother with the Terry Brooks (I thought it was bad when I was fourteen) and I took a break with "Redshirts" by Jon Scalzi.

    I've broken up the Neil Gaiman so I don't get frustrated with the list, so I'm reading:

    "Stardust" by Neil Gaiman

    It seems a bit formulaic, but Gaiman is easy to read, so I'm staying with it.

    The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

    by Pacifist on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:17:50 AM PDT

    •  Interesting list (6+ / 0-)

      I've read quite a few of them and nearly all of the SF ones.

      •  I'm down to about ten. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        plf515, Monsieur Georges, Limelite, LynChi

        I might go back and read volumes 2 and 3 of Jim Butcher's series. My last was Goodkind and it wasn't good enough (imo) for me to read more than the first volume (yet).

        The Erikson series was a treat for me. I hadn't really heard anything about it before starting the list. Some of the books dragged in places, but it was about 12000 pages, so some impatience is to be expected.

        Overall, it has been a fun list.

        The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

        by Pacifist on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:48:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  NPR list... interesting, thx for the ref. I'm def. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Pacifist

      gonna' read through all 483 (or whatever) comments, 8-).

      It's a strange list. Very contemporary (writers of the last 3 decades mostly?), very "popular". I don't think a lot of the listeners who participated have read a lot of SF or have read it for very long.

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

      by chimene on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:54:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has its drawbacks. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chimene, RiveroftheWest

        How Terry Brooks could have been included when Glen Cook wasn't is beyond my comprehension. Goodkind, Feist, Jordan, and the graphic novels seemed a waste of time. Alternatively, the Gene Wolfe and the Steven Erikson were superb and were exactly the result I was hoping for when I started the list.

        Part of the difficulty in good science fiction/fantasy is in how bookstores separate the genre from what would otherwise be called "literature." You'd never find Cormac McCarthy, George Orwell or Stephen King in the science fiction section. The motive is probably in the publishers' desire to make the most money as possible from the genre designations. I understand that, but the relegation of sci-fi/fantasy to the backwaters of literature seems a self-fulfilling prophecy. If publishers were more severe in their characterizations of what should be in science fiction/fantasy, it would be much better.

        I apologize to anyone who voted for Brooks, Jordan, Goodkind, Feist, Salvatore, or the graphic novels as the best in science fiction and fantasy. In some ways, the list is a good overview and in others it falls victim to the pitfalls of the genre.

        The victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory.

        by Pacifist on Thu Oct 17, 2013 at 07:11:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Went back last night and reread two of (5+ / 0-)

    James Blish's short novels; The Star Dwellers (written for the young teenage market) and The Night Shapes (everybody's gotta try writing Tarzan of the Apes at least once) from the early '60s.

    Still fun, still good reads. Happy Wednesday!

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:37:12 AM PDT

  •  "Hanns and Rudolf" because I'm a sucker for (9+ / 0-)

    anything about WWII.  Rudolf commanded the notorious Auschwitz concentration camp.

    Just ordered The House at Tyneford on Kindle. Finished Fatal Exchange on Kindle and am still reading the free download, Ditch the Publisher, on Kindle. I'll have plenty to read while walking on the treadmill at the gym!

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

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 06:55:47 AM PDT

  •  House to House (8+ / 0-)

    by David Bellavia, a true life account of the second Battle of Fallujah.

    I've read a lot of works about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but this is by far the most visceral. Not just a description of the carnage of war, but of the emotional toll and compromise that soldiers make to survive, with vivid descriptions of a moral gray zone that combat veterans are hesitant to share.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:16:44 AM PDT

  •  Few Eggs and No Oranges..... (10+ / 0-)

    ...............Vere Hodgson's Diary, 1940-45

    This personal account of the Second World War, through the eyes of a social worker for a charity, is absolutely rivetting. It tells of dramatic events in a matter-of-fact way, and the cast of characters is spread far and wide (the diaries survived the war because they were sent in installments to some of her family in Rhodesia).

    Review to follow, when its more than 600 pages is done!

  •  Battleship: A Daring Heiress, A Teenage Jockey, (5+ / 0-)

    and America's Horse

    The true story, a story to reveal Seabiscuit, of the first American horse to win England’s monumental, century-old Grand National steeplechase.

    "Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army" Edward Everett 1852

    by Alan Arizona on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 07:24:12 AM PDT

  •  This past week, finnished Divergent (6+ / 0-)

    by Veronica Roth, as well as the second book in the trilogy, Insurgent.  I would have blown through the third book, Allegiant as well, but discovered only after I finished Insurgent that Allegiant isn't being released until next Tuesday.   On the one hand, this series is sort of a weak tea Hunger Games, hewing closely to the formula of the near future American dystopia with a dauntless (pun intended) teenage heroine.  On the other, it is entertaining and absorbing enough in its own right.  So, I will go on to finish it, and will promptly forget all about it until the Divergent movie opens in the spring.

    Filling time before Allegiant, I also read Hey Nostradamus, by Douglas Coupland, an author I've enjoyed before, although am not addicted to.  The aftermath of a school shooting over a decade and a half, told in the voices, one after the other, of four persons deeply affected, a victim, her boyfriend, his much later significant other, and his hyper-religious father.  Much different in tone and subject matter from other Coupland I have read, but ultimately surprisingly affecting.

    With less than a week to go, I will fill in with a few Kindle singles.  then next up will be Allegiant and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, also out next Tuesday, which I am very much looking forward to.

  •  The Great Dissent (7+ / 0-)

    The back story on Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr, and his creation of the modern interpretation of First Amendment free speech protections in an evolving series of Supreme Court decisions.

    Heady stuff for me, as I think the World War One era is far more important than people credit.

    Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies have nothing to lose but their chains -Marx (-8.75,-8.36)

    by alain2112 on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 08:07:38 AM PDT

  •  Finished Lucretius (6+ / 0-)

    On the Nature of the Universe.  The Epicurean way of figuring out the universe was a combination of observation, analogy, and informed guesswork.  Many of their explanations might sound silly to us today, but I've got to say that their ideas sound quite modern for having been thought up back in BC times.

    If you're interested in the history of scientific thought, you'll love this.

    I haven't read The Swerve, and I'm wondering if the author says anything about Lucretius's description of the Plague of Athens.  Or maybe that's outside of The Swerve's area of interest?

    •  Halfway through 'The Swerve' (5+ / 0-)

      Nothing about the Plague of Athens yet, but there's time. :o)

      So far the book mostly deals with Poggio Bracciolini's re-discovery of the book as one happy outcome of his efforts to locate copies of classical Greek and Roman works.  So, a great deal about Poggio and Petrarch and Niccoli and the recovery efforts they and others took part in.

      Fascinating stuff, although I've already bookmarked a translation of Lucretius on Amazon in case it turns out that we don't get much more detail about that.

  •  Quality, Not Quantity (5+ / 0-)

    Departing from my habit of literary inhalation, I have in progress one tree book, Claudius the God; one audio book, The Book of Jonas; and one book on CD, The Commoner.

    One TBR book, one Kindle audio, and one library loan for entertaining me when behind the wheel.  All of them excellent.

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

    by Limelite on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:03:23 AM PDT

  •  October so far: (4+ / 0-)

    Code Talker by Chester Nez with Juith Schiess Avila
    Quilting for Beginners by Coats and Clark
    Quilter's Academy Vol. 1 Freshman Year by Harriet Hargrave and Carrie Hargrave
    Imager's Challenge by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.
    Just Evil by Vickie McKeehan

    Currently reading: Shadow Bound by Erin Kellison

    "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 Oct 16, 2013 at 10:25:37 AM PDT

  •  hi (6+ / 0-)

    I have finished reading:

    Transcendental by James Gunn, space fantasy

    Jinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood

    I Never Thought I’d See You Again ed. by Lou Aronica, short stories (wonderful world has a story in this collection)

    I am reading:

    Curse of the Pogo Stick by Colin Cotterill (pg. 68 of 240)

    Sunflower Splendor: Three Thousand Years of Chinese Poetry Co-edited by Wu-chi Liu and Irving Yucheng Lo (pg. 180 of 522)

    Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust (pg.136 of 447)

    Challenge books:

    With My Face to the Enemy: Perspectives on the Civil War ed. by Robert Cowley (pg. 298 of 522)  (The last challenge book of 20).

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

    by cfk on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 10:49:52 AM PDT

  •  YA Fiction (4+ / 0-)

    because it's Teen Read Week.  My plan is to post a book that fits the theme on my blog every day this week; still working on today's.

    Currently reading Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson & Maxine Paetro.

    I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library. -- Jorge Luis Borges

    by Marlyn on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 11:59:40 AM PDT

  •  Finally finished (4+ / 0-)

    Killer Angels by Michael Shaara yesterday.  Half-way through A Casual Vacancy by J.K.Rowling.

  •  Finished audio of "The Boys in the Boat," by (5+ / 0-)

    Daniel James Brown. Excellent narrator. Non-fiction about the 1936 men's 8 crew (U of Wash.) which won the Berlin Olympics. Lots of detail re U.S. and Germany.

    Listening to another intriguing audio:  "Birds Without Wings," by Louis de Bernieres. Fiction set in a small town in present-day Turkey. Lots of interesting characters and a terrific and funny narratorbb

    Reading:  "Where China Meets India:  Burma and the New Crossroads of Asia," by Thant Myint-U, who isbthe grandson of U-Thant. Good writer of accessible history.

    Finished "Caleb's Crossing," by Geraldine Brooks. Excellent historical fiction re the first anative American grad. Of Harvard College. 1665.

  •  History (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest, Brecht

    I'm going to start soon on the new Woodrow Wilson biography by A. Scott Berg (rumour has it that there's a film in the works with Leonardo DiCaprio set to star) but first I have to finish Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

    Just finished the novella 63:Dream Palace by James Purdy and the novel Someone by Alice McDermott and the story collection Fools by Joan Silber. Purdy is highly recommended (the last line of his novella "Up we go then, motherfucker" prevented the book from being commercially published here in 1956) --- there have been good reviews of McDermott and Silber but I found their works uneven and, while promising in certain respects, mostly bland.

    The Democrats care about you after you're born. --Ed Schultz

    by micsimov on Wed Oct 16, 2013 at 05:18:00 PM PDT

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