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In this series I note what I am 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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Just finished
The Bat by Jo Nesbo. The first in the Inspector Harry Hole series, this one finds the Norwegian policeman in Australia, investigating the death of a Norwegian woman. Or more than one.  Very good.

Now reading

Everything I need to know about __ I learned from Monty Python" by Brian Cogen.  The Monty Python crew weren't just funny, they were very smart and knowledgeable (the five English members all went to Oxford or Cambridge) and they used that in their skits. This book shows how. But I need to watch more of the Python episodes to fully appreciate this.

Plato at the Googleplex by Rebecca Goldstein.  Plato comes back to life. He's written some books and he's doing things. Stop 1 is the Googleplex, home of Google. Goldstein interweaves stories of Plato at various places with writing about why philosophy matters. Wonderful

Dialogues of Plato ; Plato wrote really well.  I decided to re-read. I'm amazed that Socrates made it to 70.

The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour. I am only a few pages into this one, but it has grabbed my interest. Gilmour has not written a traditional history of Italy (although it is partly that) rather, he is in pursuit of Italy - how it became a country, what it means to be Italian and so on.

Just started

The Kill List by Frederick Forsyth.  A mysterious radical Islamic cleric is telling all Muslims to kill Americans. The hero has to track him down.

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


Is this time (8:30 Eastern) better than 7:30 Eastern?

56%13 votes
4%1 votes
39%9 votes

| 23 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  August reading: (16+ / 0-)

    Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (re-read)

    Currently reading:
    Green Rider by Kristin Britain

    Shadow People by James Swain

    I also have the 7th Dresden Files book on hold at the library, but it's not in yet. I'll probably get a lot more read in August since NaNo is done. Hopefully I'll also be able to work more on my book this month, it's not quite finished yet.

    "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 Aug 06, 2014 at 05:41:56 AM PDT

    •  Just coincidentally (10+ / 0-)

      I'm traveling to PCB FL on Friday to visit my mother. I've got the latest Dresden for the trip, (Skin Game) and it's been an exercise of will power to leave it untouched until then.

      I'm also looking forward to Coyote Blue by chris Moore. I've read most of his stuff, but that one had eluded me. It should be handy for the trip home. Sadly, I devour books rapidly, so I need a steady stream.

      I hope y'all enjoy your reads, and have a good August.

    •  Just finished the compleat Patricia Briggs, 8-) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, FloridaSNMOM

      Don't know why these werewolves have hit a chord with me, but these sure have, 8-). Kinda like Linda Hamilton's Faerie Princess, Merrie Gentry. or Wen Spencer's stuff...  

      sheesh, maybe my brain is melting in my old age, 8-). I started out (5th grade???) as a nuts-n-bolts (& math) HARD SF person! that stuff is just not as interesting as more people-oriented stuff these days.

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

      by chimene on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:17:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Werewolves (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I love them too! So does pretty much everyone in the house (the only exception being the 19 year old). They're just so... complex and personable and mostly likable (even Ben but don't tell him I said that).

        I like the hard SF as well, but I don't have the focus for it most days. Lately with the hard stuff, I stick to short stories these days. Too many seizures, too much fibro fog to make it through Foundation and the harder novels any longer.

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

        by FloridaSNMOM on Thu Aug 07, 2014 at 02:56:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Mixed bag (10+ / 0-)

    Read Michael Lewis's latest, 'Flash Boys', which doesn't quite come together.  I usually like his books and like the way he spins out a story.  This one feels like it was rushed to market (I had a similar feeling about Dave Eggers' send-up of Google, 'The Circle') ... like he was worried someone would write a book about this (high frequency traders manipulating the electronic equity markets) before he did, so it was a rush job.  A couple spurs of the story don't seem to lead anywhere.  As with all of his books you feel that he is clearly onto something, but in this case it feels like there was more research to be done.

    Reading 'Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)' by Mindy Kaling.  It was assigned as summer reading for our resident high schooler.  Otherwise, I don't know why I'm reading this.  It seems intentionally aimless.  But it is also targetted to a much younger readership, of course, so that I'm missing point is not a big surprise to me either.

    Also reading 'The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business' by Charles Duhigg.  This has been pretty good.  It could have easily veered off into self-help land and did not.  An interesting read.

  •  "Journey of Awakening," by Ram Das. (16+ / 0-)

    It came out in the 1970s. It's a handbook for meditators and people considering meditation practice. It engages in discussion I hadn't seen in other sources, contrasting, not only styles of meditation, but reasons people meditate. He doesn't shy away from either science or from spiritual considerations. The book is rich with aphorisms from diverse poets and thinkers and line drawings. Though it's completely antiquated today, I especially appreciated Ram Das's loving, painstaking compilation of names and addresses of different meditation centers throughout the country, with an individual blurb on the distinctive philosophy and culture of each place.

    Ram Das, aka Richard Alpert, is an iconic countercultural figure, trained as an academic psychologist. He was booted off the faculty of Harvard University, among other things, for giving students psychedelic drugs during the 1960s. He still teaches meditation today, though he's confined to a wheelchair from the effects of a severe stroke in the 1990s.

    Highly recommended, if you're embarking on a meditation practice, or for the meditator in your life.

    Supple and turbulent, a ring of men/ Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn...

    by karmsy on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:05:28 AM PDT

  •  The Far Right (10+ / 0-)

    The Far Right By Donald Janson and Bernard Eismann

    Published in 1963  'The Far Right' alluded to an atmosphere which had built up in the American military that was conducive to creating the circumstances for the emergence of fascism or a military junta.

    If eavesdropping on anything you say, write, or do could increase someone's wealth or influence you are a potential target. ~ Senator Al Franken

    by anyname on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:19:52 AM PDT

  •  A bit of weirdness (11+ / 0-)

    Most of the books I've been reading lately have been to keep the rat in my head from chewing out.  But I did find one which -- though flawed in many ways -- was thought provoking.  

    The book is "Blindsight" by Peter Watts.  In some ways -- novel as novel, looking for certain kinds of narrative coherence -- it's flawed.  But it's one of the more interesting meditations I've seen on whether consciousness is even necessary to an intelligent species.  It's a SF novel with a references section.  

    And while we've all read too many books with vampires, he is a biologist and uses a charming conceit in his worldbuilding.

    ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

    by jessical on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:32:10 AM PDT

  •  Various Jorge Luis Borges (11+ / 0-)

    essays and stuff...the summer ain't over yet and Borges is my summer project.

    Rysard Kapuscinski: A Life by Artur Domoslawski- a biography of the Polish journalist is pleaseantly much better than I thought it would be; I can't put it down.

    Kapuscinski himself, of course, wrote that great book Travels with Herodotus so Kapuscinski kind of uses a Herodotus a guide of sorts in writing and structuring the biography.

    WK did not tell the exact truth in some of what he wrote but he had some dam good reasons for telling the stories that he; stories which illuminated the truth of revolution as much as any 20th century writer.

  •  Just finished Wayfaring Strangers (7+ / 0-)

    By James Lee Burke. Reving up to start The Invisible Bridge by Rick Perlstein.

    Just another day in Oceania.

    by drshatterhand on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 06:46:30 AM PDT

  •  Finished (9+ / 0-)

    Catch-22 Much better reading than when I was a teen.

    Vixens, Vamps & Vipers:Lost Villainesses of Golden Age Comics compiled by Mike Madrid

    Stars & Stellar Evolution

  •  Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies (3+ / 0-)

    About halfway done.  It is in the style of a fake autobiography, but I am oblivious to the fact that it is written in the first person and it is much more interesting than actual autobiographies.  Though it was mildly annoying when I started trying to determine definitively that it was in fact fiction since I wasn't really interested in an actual autobiography.  There is an Author's Note explaining it at the end, but still more confusing in an ebook than I imagine it would have been in an actual book.  Felt like the Author's Note would have been better placed in the beginning.   It is not as if he is trying to trick the reader after all.  Or maybe he is.  Who knows.

  •  Finished Tigerman by Nick Harkaway. (4+ / 0-)

    Another rollicking great ride from the author of The Gone Away World and Angelmaker.  If not quite as good as TGAW, it's only because I think TGAW is one of the great SF/genre novels of recent memory.  In Tigerman, a British veteran of Iran and Afghanistan is put out to pasture on an out-of-the-way Arabian Sea island, formerly a British possession and now facing environmental apocalypse, and in an entirely believable (but no less stirring for that) way, becomes a superhero and worldwide celebrity of sorts.  Tigerman has less formal daring than TGAW, but in other ways reflects a maturing sensibility, particularly in the ending.  In any event, Harkaway is now three for three.

    Just started Riven Rock by T.C. Boyle.

  •  as for the time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Most Awesome Nana, plf515

    8:30 am is better for me in that I am unlikely to be up at 7:30, but as I don't find these diaries from the recent list it doesn't make much difference to me.  It's not as if the diary closes an hour earlier because it was posted an hour earlier.

  •  Lots of summer reading going on. :-) (4+ / 0-)


    Sense and Sensibility and Pride and Prejudice. Next up is Mansfield Park - my least favorite Austen. Fanny and Edward are so boring.

    The Affair by Lee Child. I do like his writing. And Reacher is a big favorite. I am still pissed they had Tom Cruise play him in the movie. Just WRONG.

    The Third Twin by Ken Follett. Such a convoluted plot. And ultimately not plausible.

    A Life on the Road by Charles Kuralt. I was hoping for a road trip book. This was more bio.

    Killer and The Murder Book by Jonathan Kellerman. Killer is the better of the two. The Murder Book has a plot that just doesn't work.


    Daddy's Gone A Hunting, Mary Higgins Clark (what else do you read at the lake on a hot summer's day?).

    Three Stations, Martin Cruz Smith. Haven't read any of his books in years. They are pretty formulaic: Renko sees a crime where no one else does, fights criminals and a corrupt justice system, gets beat up at least once, has extremely athletic and energetic sex a couple of times, solves the puzzle but makes even more enemies doing so. Oh well, back to the more serious stuff next month. ;-)

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

    by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:29:54 AM PDT

  •  Several books this week (6+ / 0-)

    Ten Years In A Tub, by Nick Hornby - I'd never read any of his books, but that's going to change.  This is a "best of" Hornby's monthly book column for a magazine, and it's hilarious.  

    In Retrospect, by Ellen Larson - interesting time travel/future history story by a writer I met at PI-Con.  I've just started it but it looks good.

    I also picked up two books in New York as a birthday gift to myself and will be starting them this weekend:

    New York WPA Guide - one of a series of comprehensive travel guide/surveys produced in the 1930's by WPA writers for each state.  I started with New York and am looking forward to acquiring the rest either in book form or electronically, because holy Christmas this is absolute gold for the mid-century history buff.

    Ernie's America:  The Best of Ernie Pyle's Travels in the 1930's, ed. David Nichols - collection of columns by legendary war correspondent Ernie Pyle written during his "roving reporter" days in the 1930's.  Pyle was physically frail, had a drinking problem, marital issues, and what was probably an anxiety disorder, but dear God in heaven could he write.  I started this on the train home from New York yesterday and am already in love with his beautifully lucid, laconic, perfectly nuanced prose.

    This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

    by Ellid on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:31:33 AM PDT

  •  The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (6+ / 0-)

    At least, that's what I mean to be reading. I read the start of it, and now I seem to have misplaced it. (I expect that if I pick up my room, I'll find it again.) The beginning seems slower to me than that of American Gods or Neverwhere.

    I'm also avoiding reading Warped Passages by Lisa Randall, which is about string theory and additional dimensions, and Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko, which is about the shift to militarized policing in the U.S. By avoiding, I mean I've started both of these and put them aside to read other things. I'm much better at starting books than finishing them. Balko is a bit libertarian but his documenting of this disturbing trend in American policing is indispensable. Randall is brilliant and I'd really like to get back to trying to bend my mind around extra dimensions, but I'm determined to finish Ocean this month.

    Oh, and I also started reading the first Game of Thrones book, A Song of Fire and Ice. Another one I've started and set aside. Really, really good at starting books. Not very good at finishing them, at least these days.

    La majestueuse égalité des lois, qui interdit au riche comme au pauvre de coucher sous les ponts, de mendier dans les rues, et de voler du pain.

    by dconrad on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:33:38 AM PDT

    •  Ocean at the End of the Lane (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, plf515, RiveroftheWest

      I read that a couple of months ago.  It was very good.  Strange, but good.  It is amazing how fantastical he makes something nominally set it reality.

      Oh, don't know if it was a slip or what, but it would be the first A Song of Ice and Fire book, Game of Thrones. ie Game of Thrones is the title of the book, and A Song of Ice and Fire is the name of the series.  I know it can be confusing because of the TV show.

  •  In queue: "Catastrophe 1914," Sir Max Hastings' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, RiveroftheWest

    history of the onset and 1st year of WW I; and Thomas Cahill's Heretics and Heroes: How Renaissance Artists and Reformation Priests Created Our World.

    Finished (and repeating) Cahill's Mysteries of the Middle Ages: The Rise of Feminism, Science, and Art from the Cults of Catholic Europe; #s 8-10 of Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series; Hull Zero Three, quite entertaining sci-fi by Greg Bear; Shella by the amazing and extremely disturbing Andrew Vachss; and a sprinkling of mediocre thrillers and whodunits as ear candy.

    And I found audio versions of #s 2 and 3 of Alan Garner's Alderley series. Listened yesterday to The Moon of Gomrath, and may try to find The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in audio format before I venture into the audio version of the challenging and tragic Boneland.

    What on earth am I going to do with the 60 or so paper books piled in my car and on my living room floor??? Paper just is not fitting into my so-called lifestyle anymore. Perhaps I need to hire a bevy of bright urchins to record bootleg audio versions of them! ;D

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 09:46:12 AM PDT

  •  hi (3+ / 0-)

    I have finished reading:

    Travels: Collected Writings 1950-1993 by Paul Bowles

    Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi

    The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen

    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

    A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy by Thomas Buergenthal

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Re-read  

    Firebirds:  An Anthology ed. by Sharyn November, fantasy short stories. Not about firebirds at all

    I am reading:

    Sisters in the Resistance by Margaret Collins Weitz (pg. 52 of 312)

    Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche (pg. 23 of 477)

    Challenge Books:

    The First World War by John Keegan (pg. 228 of 427)

    Africa: A Biography of the Continent by John Reader (pg. 25 of 682),  pub. 1997…my last challenge book for this year and it will probably take me to the end of December to read it.  There are notes, a bibliography and many pictures.  I should learn a lot.

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

    by cfk on Wed Aug 06, 2014 at 01:23:04 PM PDT

  •  Joshua Ferris - "To Rise Again at a Decent Hour" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Finished last week, so may have posted about this already.  I really loved the beginning, and was hooked in for most of it, but found it declined as I went on.

    I'm feeling in general that there are just not as many editors around as there once were, and very, very good writers (like Ferris and Lewis) have works that aren't pushed up to great they way they once might have been.

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