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Thread: Another Book Thread

  1. #21
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers - non-fiction about a Yemeni American guy who wants to export coffee from Yemen into the U.S. (coffee was supposedly invented - in its "modern" form - in Yemen, after being transported from Ethiopia). This makes it sound boring, but it was really interesting. He trains with different coffee people, and travels to Yemen several times, which is often exciting and extremely violent. Good read.

  2. #22
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Brenthoven View Post
    I want to throw that book into hell. Couldn't stand any of it.

    I did FINALLY start reading Down By The River by Charles Bowden. Excellent so far. The past year, I severely lacked in reading. Didn't read a page of anything. I felt shame.
    Update: this book is choppy as hell. Perspectives change by the paragraph, and you don't really know who's doing the narrating for a bit. Still a good story, but I have to knock it down a notch because it's so scattered. Just about done with it.

    I will admit, if it was smoother, I'd have finished it weeks ago.
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  3. #23
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Barely made it halfway through Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger. Sounded so promising. Maybe stories about cool out-of-the-way ice cream shops and how they do business or develop flavors? Regional differences in tastes or unique practices? Nope. It's mostly about Amy Ettinger. And she's an unlikable, self-important *****, the kind of person who name drops every chance she gets. She needs to repeatedly reference how she's green and recycles and is from California. She could have stuck in another mention about how she does yoga, but probably not. Did I mention this book is supposed to be about ice cream? I haven't hated an author this much since Eat, Pray, Love.

    edit: she's also the kind of person who will take shortcuts in a recipe and is unable to follow directions - then complains when it doesn't turn out.
    Last edited by jen; 08-27-2018 at 07:31 AM.

  4. #24
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jen View Post
    edit: she's also the kind of person who will take shortcuts in a recipe and is unable to follow directions - then complains when it doesn't turn out.
    Is someone ruminating about an old post from the Cooks thread?
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  5. #25
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jen View Post
    Barely made it halfway through Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America by Amy Ettinger. Sounded so promising. Maybe stories about cool out-of-the-way ice cream shops and how they do business or develop flavors? Regional differences in tastes or unique practices? Nope. It's mostly about Amy Ettinger. And she's an unlikable, self-important *****, the kind of person who name drops every chance she gets. She needs to repeatedly reference how she's green and recycles and is from California. She could have stuck in another mention about how she does yoga, but probably not. Did I mention this book is supposed to be about ice cream? I haven't hated an author this much since Eat, Pray, Love.

    edit: she's also the kind of person who will take shortcuts in a recipe and is unable to follow directions - then complains when it doesn't turn out.
    So she is Ree Drummond, whom I blame for the "chatty food blogger" trend, even though I usually like her recipes? OK.
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  6. #26
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Are her blog recipes better than her show’s? Because her show recipes are horrible. Or rather last I had checked they were just one or two steps up from Sandra whatsherface

  7. #27
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by FadeToBlack&Gold View Post
    So she is Ree Drummond, whom I blame for the "chatty food blogger" trend, even though I usually like her recipes? OK.
    Her recipes were the least of it. She traveled around, but had nothing good to say about anywhere that wasn't on the West Coast. She did get carjacked in Milwaukee, but you'd think it was Newark the way she described it. And describing people? Even if they were from the West Coast, it was all backhanded insults, like an evil mother-in-law.
    Last edited by jen; 08-28-2018 at 07:52 AM.

  8. #28
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    My recent reads

    House of Cards: A Tale of Hubris and Wretched Excess on Wall Street by William D. Cohan An interesting tale depicting the rise and fall of Bear Stearns and how they were the first domino in the mortgage crisis. It tells the tale of the 3 larger than life executives who ran the firm; Cy Lewis, Ace Greenburg and Jimmy Cayne how the decision they made helped set Bear up for a big fall. Good read.

    Trafalgar: The Biography Of A Battle by Roy A. Adkins A very good tale of the Battle of Trafalgar. It tells the events leading up to the battle. The major players on the English, French and Spanish sides. The sequence of the battle, as it can be best told and the aftermath. It also gives nice descriptions of what happened on individual ships. He also gives specific descriptions and blow by blow accounts of how a gun crew on a warship operated. What the surgeons did, were women really on board and what were there duties. Good read

    Twisted Prey by John Sandford Lucas is back trying to catch the one who got away. When an attempt is made on a Senator's life he feels he and Lucas's old enemy Senator Taryn Grant angling for the presidency is behind it. Lucas finds himself in Washington fighting against trained killers trying to solve the murder.

    The Joy of Hate: How to Triumph over Whiners in the Age of Phony Outrage by Greg Gutfeld Interesting book full of short tales, opinions and anecdotes from Gutfeld with his points of view on the left media, environmentalists etc.

    Tom Clancy's Point of Contact (Jack Ryan Universe #23) by Mike Maden A Jack Ryan Jr novel, this finds him going to Singapore on a “white collar” mission for the campus. His partner is a non descript forensic accountant. He suddenly finds himself beset by terrorists and wonders what kind of trouble he has gotten into. OK but not as good as the ones written by Greaney and Cameron.

    United States of Jihad: Americans Fighting for Radical Islam--from al-Qaeda to ISIS by Peter L. Bergen Ok Book about homegrown Jihadists. He tells the stories of various US jihadists how they converted and what they did. OK read but a lot of parts are a bit dry with statistics, studies and the like rather than stories.

    Hunted by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Andrew Holmes A Patterson bookshots novel about a bunch of rich men hunting people for sport. Ok read

    Nooners by James Patterson A book about several murders which seem to be happening around one member of a Manhattan ad agency.

    The Force by Don Winslow Interesting book following Denny Malone a corrupt cop in Manhattan as he struggles to keep his sanity and keep one step ahead of the cops trying to put him away and the drug dealer attempting to kill him. Not nearly as good as Power of the Dog or Cartel but a good read.

    Hidden (Mitchum #1) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), James O. Born A bookshots series about a man who delivers papers in the morning and then he becomes a private eye in his upstate NY town. In the first of the series his niece is missing and he must find her when everyone else thinks that she has run away.

    Malicious (Mitchum #2) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), James O. Born The second of the Mitchum books finds Mitchum seeking to clear his drug dealing brother who has been charged with a crime.

    The Moores Are Missing by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Loren D. Estleman, Sam Hawken, Ed Chatterton A short bookshots novel where a man shows up at his friends house to play basketball and finds that the family has vanished without a trace sending him on a mission to find them.

    The Housewife by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Sam Hawken A short novel about a former police detective who is now a stay at home Mom who starts to investigate a murder in her neighborhood when she was the last person to see the woman alive.

    Absolute Zero by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Ed Chatterton By far the best of the Patterson Bookshots I have read and not at all like his typical books as this feels more like a Brad Thor or Vince Flynn novel. Cody Thurston is a former Australian special forces soldier working at a bar in London when he gets involved in a heap of trouble and is framed for murder and is forced to travel the world to clear his name.

    The Victims' Club (Kindle Single) by Jeffery Deaver Interesting short story about a detective who takes over a case of revenge porn on a college professor. He meets all kinds of obstacles when the college throws up all kinds of obstacles when they close ranks to protect the offender.

    Buy a Bullet (Orphan X #1.5) by Gregg Hurwitz This is a short Orphan X story which tells of the origins of The Nowhere Man where Evan Smoak attempts to help save a young woman from the clutches of a sadistic tech billionaire.

    Shooting Gallery (Dewey Andreas #8.5) by Ben Coes A short Dewey Andreas e book where he is tasked with rescuing the Vice President’s son who has been kidnapped while on spring break in Mexico.

    Shot All to Hell: Bad *** Outlaws, Gunfighters, and Law Men of the Old West by Nick Vulich Read this prime book on my way back from vacation because all of the library books had expired. An okay overview of lawman, gunfighters and outlaws of the Old West. Covers some of the best known and some obscure ones of the Old West, Each outlaw or gang is covered in a few pages.

    Fodor's Alaska by Fodor's Travel Publications Inc. Got this for my Trip to Alaska, mainly because it included the Yukon which I was also going to. Decent descriptions and ok but not really a great guidebook.

    Ride Guide to the Historic Alaska Railroad by Anita Williams, Linda Ewers I bought this guidebook when I was traveling the Alaskan Railroad between Fairbanks and Denali, and then subsequently Denali to Anchorage. It tells the story of the railroad and give a mile by mile description of what you will see.

    Denali by Alaska Geographic Association, Penny Rennick Got this on my Wilderness Tour of Denali. A short book with lots of pictures which tells the history of the park and the wildlife that lives in the park.

    Floaters by Joseph Wambaugh OK book but certainly not one of Wambaugh’s better ones. This involves a murder and sabotage plot involving the America’s Cup.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Deutsche Gopher Fan View Post
    I don’t like dickens either with one exception- tale of two cities. And I hated the first 100 pages. Probably the first time I came to love a book after loathing the beginning.
    I read Dickens when I was somewhere around 11 and and ate it up. (We were living in England and my folks got a large lot of old books at the local auction market)
    Quote Originally Posted by Probert View Post
    Did they differentiate between books that had great critical acclaim and books that were massive bestsellers?

    To me those are two separate categories, a lot of books that are massive bestsellers like 50 Shades of Gray are loathed by the critics. While some greatest books of all time, per critics weren't huge hits or bestsellers at the time and get read now because students have to read them.

    For me under the Critically acclaimed two stand out Ulysses and The Great Gatsby. I like Shakespeare and Dickens and love the Iliad and the Odyssey, which I am sure were high on the list.

    For the huge bestseller, movie, popular buzz Cold Mountain would probably be at the top of my list, probably partially because I thought it would be more of a Civil War book than a romance novel. Another one would be Dutch Edmund Morris's biography of Ronald Reagan, I have loved his Theodore Roosevelt trilogy but this one was complete dreck.
    I loved the Odyssey and the Illiad when I was a kid- read them the same time as Dickens. Tried to read them when I was older and hated them!

  10. #30
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Picked up "The Subtle Art of Not Giving A *****" from Amazon; I heard it's a self-help book worth reading.
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  11. #31
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Still working on Patterson's Spenser books, but I am nearing the end. On #35 now.

    Been going through Beatriz' Williams books - the all follow the same kind of timeline (starting with a vague reference to future drama, switching between two time periods, then finally meeting up near the end in an unpredictable way). Really enjoyed almost all of them.

    Read Shark's Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China by Fuschia Dunlop - very interesting about her travels and time in China (including attending a cooking school), but she got a little holier-than-thou with her stories about all the unusual things she ate, and how her attitude changed about eating. Also some poor editing, which I find distracting.

    Also read Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman's Awakening by Manal al-Sharif - one of the organizers of the "women's movement" in Saudi Arabia who drove in public and was put in prison. This was really interesting - I enjoyed the glimpses into her changing attitudes, and the environment she grew up in (and the role the government played in the religious attitudes in the region). She started out as a religious fanatic as a kid, and returning after a business trip to the U.S. changed her views.

  12. #32
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Parker's

  13. #33
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mookie1995 View Post
    Parker's
    gah. Parker. I always get them mixed up (although I find I like Parker's books more than Patterson's). Not the first time I've made that mistake.
    Last edited by jen; 10-13-2018 at 07:39 AM.

  14. #34
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Which one is 35? How many in total (mookie has never counted),

    The most recent (Gardner museum heist) was decent enough.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mookie1995 View Post
    Which one is 35? How many in total (mookie has never counted),

    The most recent (Gardner museum heist) was decent enough.
    35 is Now and Then - Spenser is hired to find out if an FBI agent's wife is cheating, and it turns out she's involved with a crazy political movement, and both husband and wife are killed. Not one of my favorites, but pretty good (they're all pretty good - haven't disliked any). There's 46 in total (counting the one you mentioned that came out in May).

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jen View Post
    35 is Now and Then - Spenser is hired to find out if an FBI agent's wife is cheating, and it turns out she's involved with a crazy political movement, and both husband and wife are killed. Not one of my favorites, but pretty good (they're all pretty good - haven't disliked any). There's 46 in total (counting the one you mentioned that came out in May).
    Thanks
    Just went and checked. Don’t remember much of that one. See you have 4 and a 1/2 to go until he passes

  17. #37
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Recent reads

    Extraordinary Powers by Joseph Finder I enjoy Finder’s Nick Heller books. This is one of his stand alone novels where the son-in-law of the CIA director who was killed in an accident that he and his wife believe was intentional becomes involved in an investigation to track down a secret cabal within the agency. I thought it was an okay read but the extraordinary power seems to have little effect on the plot and the storyline so I am unsure why it was put in.


    Running with the Demon (The Word & The Void #1) by Terry Brooks I am a big fan of Terry Brooks, Wishsong and Elfstones are amongst my favorite books. The Word and the Void is where many years ago I stopped reading him as it seemed as if he had veered off into something else. Many years later I realized that they were all connected and with him writing what he claims is the final Shannara set I decide to finally sit down and read this series. It is okay but with the setting in modern times with demons and Druids, i.e. Knights of the the Word being the few magical creatures. John Ross a Knight of the Word who see’s visions arrives in town to save a young woman Nest Freemark who has magical ability and must be stopped from turning to the Void.

    A Knight of the Word (The Word & The Void #2) by Terry Brooks The second book in the Word and Void Trilogy finds that John Ross has lost his way and is in danger of turning to the Void. His friend Nest Freemark travels to Seattle to try and save him. As I stated in my review of Running with the Demon, definitely way down on my list of Shannara books.

    Angel Fire East (The Word & The Void #3) by Terry Brooks So the final book in the Word and Void series finds John Ross and Nest Freemark together again fighting against a team of demons to protect the powerful magic of a Gypsy Morph. Ok a little better than the first 2 of the series but still probably my least favorite of the Brooks works with the exception of Magic Kingdom for Sale.

    The Story Of Lee's Headquarters, Gettysburg, Pa by Timothy H. Smith I received this book as a bonus from the Civil War Trust when I donate money for them to buy and restore the Thompson House aka Lee’s headquarters at Gettysburg. The book tells the story of the house and the families who lived there focusing on the Thompson’s who owned the house during the battle. It tells the actions that happened around the house and what they think Lee used it for during the battle. It tells of the controversy 50 years later over where the headquarters actual was and the various uses of the house over the years since the battle. OK but a quick short read.

    Line of Sight (Jack Ryan Universe #25) by Mike Maden Not a bad Jack Ryan Jr book but it is mainly just that a Jack Ryan Jr book. Very little involvement with the campus or Jack Ryan Sr. When on a business trip to Eastern Europe Jack’s mother asks him to go to Sarajevo to find a young woman she operated on during the Civil War and see how she is doing. Jack finds himself being hunted by members of the Iron Syndicate who want his head literally and involves himself in the politics of Bosnia that are threatening to run out of control.

    Spymaster (Scot Harvath #17) by Brad Thor The Harvath books have dropped off a bit but are still readable though I hated the ending. Harvath and his team are trying to track down what they believe is a plot to break NATO apart, which appears to be a popular theme since I just read a Jack Ryan book with a similar plot. Harvath and his team try to utilize all their resources in order to stop this from happening.

    The Lawyer Lifeguard by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Doug Allyn I found this an entertaining bookshot from Patterson about a young lawyer who is dealing with the death of his fiancé in a car bomb that almost kills him. Fired from his job he ends up working at his high school job as a lifeguard and going thru his old cases to try and find out who targeted him and his fiancé for death.

    The Doctor’s Plot by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Connor Hyde Another short bookshot from Patterson that was not that enjoyable. Read more like a Steven King or Dean Koontz novel than a Patterson book, though I am sure his actual involvement was minimal. A new medical examiner arrives in the Napa Valley to find strange things happening in town and mysterious deaths. Kind of a surprise ending but a weird plot and storyline.

    The Shut-In by James Patterson An Okay bookshots book which follows a woman who is trapped in her apartment due to a rare disease. To get a glimpse of the outside world she flies a drone from her window. One day she unexpectedly witnesses a murder and decides to solve it on her own.

    Shadow Tyrants (The Oregon Files #13) by Clive Cussler, Boyd Morrison An interesting Oregon book which starts with 9 men being given access to scrolls of great power by an emperor. Fast forward to the modern times and their descendants now amongst the most powerful people in the world are launching a plan that could change the earth forever. In steps the Oregon and the crew to try and stop it. The Oregon novels are probably my favorite of Cussler’s series and this is a solid effort.

    Hellbent (Orphan X #3) by Gregg Hurwitz Another excellent Orphan X novel which finds him on the hunt trying to take the battle to the other Orphans who are trying to kill him. Beset with an unusual situation he is not prepared for he must push thru in order to stay alive.

    Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man #6) by Mark Greaney Another interesting Gray Man book. A young member of the Chinese army who works for their elite hacker corp is on the run trying to defect. The Gray Man is sent in to locate him and try to retrieve him for the US. Finding himself pitted against the Russians, Chinese, organized crime and even the CIA to try and complete his mission.


    Think Twice (Rosato and Associates #11) by Lisa Scottoline Bennie Rosato’s twin sister Alice steals her identity and is trying to take all her money while trying to fool all her associates and friends. When Bennie tries to rectify the situation nobody believes her. Thought this was a pretty weak effort.

    Siege of Darkness (Legacy of the Drow #3) by R.A. Salvatore The conclusion to this Drizzt trilogy finds the Drow planning to invade Mithril Hall. Had an up and down plot. Liked the machinations and plots amongst the Drow when magic wasn’t working, which really wasn’t explained other than Deities were fighting and doing stuff. The final battle was really lacking and kind of meandered back and forth and many points seemed to be glossed over.
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  18. #38
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I recently read Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi. I enjoyed it.

    I also read The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons. If you dig Sherlock Holmes, you should definitely check it out. Sherlock Holmes and Henry James attempt to thwart an attempt to assassinate President Cleveland, as well as try to clear up Holmes's suspicion that he may actually be a fictional character and not a real person. It was mos def entertaining.
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