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What are you reading? Jan 22, 2013comment 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

Just finished
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.

Kansas City Lightning  by Stanley Crouch. A start of a biography of jazz great Charlie Parker, but Crouch uses Parker's life as a focus with which to examine the role of music and the entertainment industry more generally in Black culture, and much else about Black life in the period from the end of the Civil War onwards. So, we read not only about jazz, but about ragtime and swing; and not just about music but about Jack Johnson and Joe Louis. Well-written and researched; one odd not is that Crouch inconsistently refers to Black people as Negroes and Blacks. (Full review to come on Yahoo!)

Now reading

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. This book is good, but fairly dense.

21st Century Science Fiction ed. by David Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden. A collection of shorter length SF from the first decade of the 21st century.

Leviathan Wakes by James Corey.  Recommended here on WAYR a couple weeks ago. Space opera set solely in the solar system. Good fun.

The Yamato Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave. The "secret" history of Japan's emperors, especially during World War II and after.  A bleak story of how the Japanese people have been manipulated and how MacArthur made people lie about war crimes.

I play bridge and I decided to start listing bridge books I am reading

Bidding, probability and information by Robert MacKinnon. Appeals to both the bridge player and the statistician in me. Not very well written, unfortunately, and aimed at better bridge players than me, but still interesting.

Card Play Technique by Victor Mollo and Nico Gardner. One of the classics of bridge literature. Subtitled "The art of being lucky". Very well written, intended for that huge class of bridge players called "intermediate".

Just started

Citizens  by Simon Schama. The French Revolution.

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

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Comment Preferences

  •  The boy and I are... (11+ / 0-)

    about two-thirds of the way done with Walter Moers' "13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear."

    Bluebear has finally reached Atlantis.

    We're both enjoying it.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:53:58 AM PST

  •  January's list: (12+ / 0-)

    The Cat Who Robbed a Bank by Lillian Jackson Braun
    Vector Prime by R. A. Salvatore
    Alas Babylon by Pat Frank
    Fun with Chinese Cooking by Frances Lee
    Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance
    Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
    Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low
    Seasons of the Moon Series Books 1-4 by S.M. Reine
    The Colorado Kid by Stephen King

    Currently reading: Whisper by Michael Bray (Kindle)
    Unexplained Mysteries of WWII by William B. Breuer (With Draco for school)
    The Science of Stephen King by Lois H. Gresh and Robert Weinberg


    Ancient China by Arthur Cotterell
    Ancient China Beyond the Great Wall by Muriel L. Dubois and Kathleen W. Deady

    "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 29, 2014 at 04:58:18 AM PST

  •  On hold and ready for pick up (12+ / 0-)

    Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941

    Olson’s fourth history pivoting around the year 1940 chronicles America’s debate about intervention in WWII. To recall its vituperative tone, something long since forgotten by the popular memory of wartime national unity, Olson incorporates the venomous vernacular in which advocates and opponents of intervention assailed each other into her time-line reportage of the controversy as it was affected by war news, the 1940 election, and such war preparations as the enactment of conscription and lend-lease. FDR’s brawling secretary of the interior, Harold Ickes, took naturally to the idiom of vitriol, labeling isolationists as Nazis and traitors. As for the isolationist organization America First, Olson recounts its campaign to sway public opinion, which was more hindered than helped by the political obtuseness of its celebrity spokesman, Charles Lindbergh. Underscoring the period’s passionate animosities, Olson parallels their playing-out in mass media and their sub rosa manifestations in illegal wiretaps and British espionage. Humanizing public events with private strains, on, for example, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Olson delivers a fluid rendition of a tempestuous time. --Gilbert Taylor

    "If you pour some music on whatever's wrong, it'll sure help out." Levon Helm

    by BOHICA on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 05:09:08 AM PST

  •  Cory Doctrow's "FTW" (9+ / 0-)

    which delves deep in the game of gaming and gamers, gold farmers and level-boosters.

    Aside from being a very good novel, it has a couple of other interesting aspects. He offers it as a free download on his site, but so many have offered him money for it that he's set up a page to buy paper copies from the publisher or a bookstore and donate them to schools.

    And, speaking of bookstores, each scene/chapter in the book is dedicated to a different bookseller, independent, chain and online.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:06:00 AM PST

    •  that's "For the Win", for the uninitiated! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yeah, that was lots of fun! Fascinating that this, and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and Reamde by Neal Stephenson all came out at the same time!

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

      by chimene on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 03:50:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very early on in Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. (8+ / 0-)

    All I can say so far is that her use of feminine pronouns for all characters, regardless of sex, is kind of disconcerting :-), and the world-building in the first few chapters is fast and furious.  But it is off to a promising start.

  •  I just finished (8+ / 0-)

    Jinx and Jinx's Magic by Sage Blackwood, our own Sensible Shoes, and loved them.

    Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

    by elfling on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 06:46:22 AM PST

  •  Reading Divergent (6+ / 0-)

    because I've had the book for a few years and it is coming out as a movie...not bad dystopian future but a tad violent for 16 yr olds who will probably love it in a Hunger Games way.

    Next book is Looking for Alaska by John Green because it is on the Banned Books Lists for schools, etc. and my Presentation at the Illinois Reading Council in March is about Banned Books, so I usually read the ones I haven't read to prepare. ("The Black and Bluest Eye of Censorship: Censorship and the Common Core" - the title of this year's presentation. )

    I am in the middle of a Murder Mystery fit and have read Children of the Storm and The Serpent on the Crown both by Elizabeth Peters....I have really enjoyed these Victorian Egyptologist/archeologist mysteries. A Great escape...but have only one left in the have started to read some "Scottish-themed" Highland Laddie Gone by McCrumb and Kilt Dead by Kaitlyn Dunnet. McCrumb is a better writer and Dunnett's main characters are a little too young for me, now that I'm on Medicare. They are no Ian Rankin but they are light and fast moving.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 07:12:56 AM PST

  •  One Chapter a Day (6+ / 0-)

    is all I allow myself to read in the delicious Zafon novel, The Shadows of the Wind.  I'm beginning to feel like a citizen of mid-20th Century Barcelona as I become increasingly familiar with its backstreets, its shops, and its quirky inhabitants.  Anyway, the plot thickens as villains begin to emerge and their nefarious purposes unveil.

    On the Kindle Fire is Sydney and Violet by Stephen Klaidman, a biography of the host, mentor, critic and friend of Modernist writers comprising the Bayswater group: T.S. Eliot, Marcel Proust (their idol), James Joyce, Aldous Huxley, Katherine Mansfield, Edwin Muir; and the Bloomsbury bunch (the Woolfs, Bells, Lytton Strachey, J M Keynes, Bertrand Russell, and the art critic Roger Fry.  The irascible artist/writer, Wyndham Lewis was more a "frienemy."  Sydney also wrote -- books I've never heard of, much less read.  

    Another good book for anyone interested, as I am, in early 20th C. English writers and all things Bloomsbury.  

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

    by Limelite on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 08:19:13 AM PST

  •  Just started (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, plf515, RiveroftheWest

    Ulysses, by James Joyce. A classic I never before got around to.

  •  other than work reading (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, plf515, RiveroftheWest

    Alain Badiou Number and Numbers (2008)

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:00:53 AM PST

  •  Late to the party, but reading an interesting book (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, plf515, RiveroftheWest

    The Trip to Echo Spring; On Writers and Drinking by Olivia Laing.

    Laing literally follows the life and geographical journeys in the US of Fitzgerald, Hemingway, T. Williams, Berryman, Cheever and Carver.  She writes with great empathy, and not a little talent, placing the literary works in context of time and place.

    In this passage, Laing narrates a conversation between a man and a woman she overhears, having noticed them after the man says he is from Ossining, associated with Cheever, and the location of the mental institution in which Williams's sister resided:

    'So,' she said.  'What is your marriage?  Are you happily married?  What is your home situation?
    'Happily?  Happily would be the right word.  I guess I'm happily married.  But I'm attracted to you.  I can't control that.'
    'I'm just wondering what you've been doing since this morning.'  
    'As a matter of fact I went home around noon.  I told work I had a very important client to entertain.  Don't be hurt or confused if I say I have a happy marriage.  Really, if I was truly happy I wouldn't be here with you.'

    Jeez.  I wondered for a minute if they could be actors, rehearsing for some rotten soap, though perhaps I'd just seen Tootsie one too many times.  The man got up and moved around the table, sliding in beside her on the banquette.  'I think most men would think they'd have sex with a Russian woman with their wallet in their hand,' he said.  'Russian women are crazy about money.'  She looked at him blankly and he added: 'Oh come on, you've heard that before.'  I began to gather my things, and as I did I heard him say: 'It was the most important moment of my life.  I remember every second of it.  And now you've ruined it for me.'

    This lady has the fly on a wall perspective of very good writers.  It carries into her analysis of the writers' works and lives.  I give in 4 stars.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:07:09 AM PST

  •  The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (4+ / 0-)

    by Christopher Clark.

    Recently finished:

    Rex Stout, Fer-de-Lance, the first Nero Wolfe mystery.

    Ari Shavit, My  Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedyof Israel

    Yossi Klein Halevi, Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation.

    Shalom v' salaam; peace and wholeness

    by another American on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:09:33 AM PST

  •  Just started reading (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, RiveroftheWest

    Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, which is about World War I. It starts when 13-year-old Billy starts working in a coal mine.

    So many books--so little time. Economic Left/Right -7.88 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian -6.97

    by Louisiana 1976 on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 10:52:41 AM PST

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

    I have finished reading:

    The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay

    Wolf’s Head, Wolf’s Heart by Jane Lindskold

    I am reading:

    Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton  (pg. 645 of 1008)

    The Dragon of Despair by Jane Lindskold (pg. 80 of 729)

    Challenge Books

    The Proud Tower by Barbara Tuchman (pg.249 of 463)

    If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino (pg. 103 of 260)

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

    by cfk on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 11:41:46 AM PST

  •  just finished Modesitt's Of Tangible Ghosts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and have started Ghosts of the Revelator (#2)

    Have finished the first 5 vol.s of The Bride's Story, YA graphic novel series by Kaoru Mori. An accidental find, I'm a fan of MEastern costume and the covers are in color! Apparently her first 2 series were set in Victorian (Emma) and Edwardian (Shirley) England.  Bride's Story is set in the Caucasus, "Turkic Central Asia," pretty much same period.

    Am also nattering around in Lord of Opium; bogged down in Eight Millions Gods as well as Jinx; have Silver Dream (InterWorld #2/Gaiman etc) waiting; and STILL have the last volume of Zahn's Dragon and (Liberator) series hanging around! Among others.

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

    by chimene on Wed Jan 29, 2014 at 04:13:08 PM PST

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