What are you reading? (2 Viewers)

Sandman

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Thought I would start a thread about books we have read, are currently reading, or plan to read. I am always looking for good suggestions for books (Goodreads and such). I thought I would see what y'all are reading.

I'll start. I just finished reading I am Watching You (mystery), and I am reading Dan Brown's new book Origins. I am also listening to Anna Karenina on audiobooks (I have a long commute, so this is how I am passing that time).

I am Watching You is good, and a fairly easy read. I am only a few chapters into Origins, but it is good so far.

Anna Karenina is really good, but it is extremely long. I am about a 1/3 of the way through it. It is my "large book" that I want to knock out this year. Last year, it was the Count of Monte Cristo. Great story, but it was really long.

So, what are y'all reading? Any particular genre you prefer?
 

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The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories.
An autobiography by NoFX.

Really liked it - good description of the SoCal punk scene in the early 80s, the history of each band member, the highs and lows of fame, really detailed insight on substance addiction, at times sad, hilarious, and poignant. Melvin's rally is worth it on its own. Good read.
 
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Sandman

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After a long break, I just started Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I am liking it so far.
 

saintmdterps

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Just ripped through all of the Michael Connolly books in sequence for December/January/February. Started March with the most recent Frontlines book, followed by Tuxedo Park by Jennet Conant, The Honest Spy by Andreas Kollender and A World Undone by G. J. Meyer.

Just picked up three Richard K. Morgan books, recently finishing Altered Carbon.
I read The Irregulars by Jennet Conant and found it to be a fascinating account of the lead up to US involvement in WWII.
The intrigues and the characters involved were gripping.
 

saintmdterps

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I'm re-reading a mix of stuff for work right now.

J.M Coetzee's The life and times of Michael K. This is a Kafkaesque novel that many read as a tribute to Kafka. The protaganist, Michael K., is a small, but complex, tortured soul who is pressed and sqeezed by a dark and haunting environment. Imagine this as a treatment to the question "What if Kafka was writing as a black man in Apartheid era S.Africa?" Great read.

Nancy Easterlin's A Biocultural Aproach to Literary Theory and interpretation. Nancy is an Professor emeritus of Literature at U.N.O, Head of the Woman's studies program, and is one of the more influential academics in my life. She was also my thesis director during my M.A. The attempt is to synthesize literary theory with recent advances in cognitive science. This is a re-read for me, one of many, but I find her ideas on place, space, and environment particularly insightful.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance. I have just begun this book as I am traveling and wanted something light for the long plane ride back to the states. It's one of those books that I have heard about for years and just never got around to. It's too early for much of a review, but, as someone who has done a lot of long distance motorcycle adventuures, I can say that I really appreciate his handling of the feel of a long ride through the countryside.

William Godwin's Caleb Williams. Godwin is often cited as the father of modern anarchism. This novel was inteneded to popularize the radical politics of his "Enquiry Concerning political Justice" It shows how instiututions and power can and do
crush the individual. It's a fast moving, perhaps somewhat poorly written, entertaining book that is an early detective or pursuit story.
Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance is excellent as regards both Zen and Chautauquas, despite the authors assertion that his book does not do well with “either Zen or Motorcycle Maintenance” :)
 
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Sandman

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After a long break, I just started Beneath a Scarlet Sky. I am liking it so far.
Finished Beneath a Scarlet Sky. It is supposed to be a mostly true novel. I don't know how much of the story is true, but it was a good story.

I have also read the first two novels in the "Troy Rising Series" about Earth's 1st contact, its subjugation to an alien race, and its rise via the power of maple syrup. The first two books have been very enjoyable.
 
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Sandman

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I finished the Troy Rising series. It looks like he is set up to write more on that. I really liked that group of books.

I also just finished (after putting it down and picking it back up a number of times) A Brief History of Time by Steven Hawking. Great book that gets you thinking on a whole different level, but it isn't light reading even though he has clearly "dumbed down" a lot of the subjects. You have to really be concentrating (and go back and re-read a lot) on this--at least I had to.

I am now reading a book about Bella Gunness--The Butcher of Men. A serial killer from the late 1800s to early 1900s. She lured men to her farm with want ads in a paper. I have seen her described as the first "Craig's List Killer." Killed over 40 men. Faked her own death in a house fire, and got away with it. Interesting as hell so far.
 
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Just finished reading "If Kennedy Lived: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternate History" by Jeff Greenfield. Pretty interesting premise; begins with the weather in Dallas not clearing up and the presidential limo keeping the "bubble top" on, which allows JFK to survive the one shot he sustained...

I've read a similar book about Bobby Kennedy surviving his assassination and becoming president in 1968, but that was a fawning fantasy by a terrible amateur author. Greenfield is a erudite journalist and author, and this stuff is well-researched and cited in the last chapter-- his alternate history is not just some flight of fancy, there's a lot to back it up.

It gets a little cutesy at times with foreshadowing (a young Al Gore. Jr. telling his dad, " Makes sense --you can't expect to be elected President if you can't carry your home state"; Barry Goldwater suggesting that "some enterprising person may start a private delivery service that would give the Post Office a run for their money"). And, despite his credentials, I think that Greenfield falls a bit to the typical feel of his generation, that, "if Kennedy had lived, everything would not only be different, it would have been GREAT".

But it was overall a good read.
 

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Twilight of the Gods: A Journey to the End of Classic Rock by Steven Hyden

It's a very fun read if you're of a certain age and consumed tons of Led Zeppelin/Stones/Springsteen growing up
 

saintmdterps

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The Dream and the Tomb by Robert Payne-so far excellent account of the Crusades, but I’m only about 30 pages in :)
 
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Sandman

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Just finished a three part series on Jon Reznick (Hard Road, Hard Kill, and Hard Wired). It is about an ex-special forces CIA hitman that is about to do a hit and realizes that something is wrong with the hit. Turns out he is being set up and has to figure out who wanted him to kill this guy. Better than average story, but the writing was a bit simplistic. I needed something a little light to read and this fit the bill.

Now I am reading Wolves at the Door. About an American spy in WWII. She was the head of the spy ring/resistance in Lyon, France, but has just been forced to flee as the Allies just landed in North Africa and the Nazis are about to occupy Vichy France (I am a little over half the way through). Pretty cool story, especially when you consider that she was a below the knee amputee from a hunting accident before the war and still did all of the training for this. Really impressive woman.
 
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Sandman

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Wolves at the Door was good but it seemed rushed at the end with little details of her work around the time of the D-Day landing. Still, a good read to get a feel of what was going on in France during the German occupation (both resistance and collaborators).

I am on to a biography on John Adams (my favorite of the founding fathers). Very interesting for a biography (which can be a little dull).
 

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