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Thread: Another Book Thread

  1. #81
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bostonewe View Post
    So I am doing the Goodreads challenge for 2019 to encourage myself to read more (and spent less time watching tv). I thought that 24 books for the year would be a reasonable place to start, but I'm at 23 for the year already now that I've really refocused on reading. How many books do you read in a year? Where do you get your recommendations? I was listening to the "What Should I Read Next" podcast, but I would say I've only enjoyed about 1/3 of the books that I've gotten from them. I prefer historical fiction, sci/fi, fantasy. And I'm trying to intersperse non-fiction with fiction (mostly I've just read memoir).
    So my total each year tends to fall between 175-195, though I set my goal each year at 150, the page counts remain pretty consistent around 65,000 the number varies based on number of e books as opposed to number of 700-1,000 page novels.

    I have a 20 page list of books to read. They are broken down into fiction authors I like, this totals about 80 most of whom I have read most or all of their books and are waiting for new ones, it does include a bunch of deceased authors like Vince Flynn, Mario Puzo etc. Authors I want to try, I take them from a variety of sources M&D who have similar tastes for fiction, some co- workers who read a lot, my fellow history geeks for non fiction.

    I use the goodreads recommendation section but my issue with that is they don't filter out authors/books you have read so they might have 50 recommendations based on one of my shelves, any author who I have read more than 5 books by gets their own shelf and I also have generic categories for fiction and non fiction, but I've read 20-25 of them already. I break down my non fiction by category not author, US History, European History, Other History, Crime, Sports, Travel, Politics, Biography's. For these a lot of times they are broken out more by subject than author though if their are multiple books on a subject I will do a little checking on goodreads prior to reserving a specific book.

    I tend to reserve the older, non new releases, prior to getting to the library, I'm obsessed with reading in exact order, then I look at new releases to get another 2-4 off those shelves. My one hard and fast rule is 1 book per author per trip to the library, so I don't overkill a series or author. The only real exception is Patterson who doesn't really write most of his anyway.

    IN regards to Cussler the older books are muuuuch better, their was a major addition/plot twist about 10 books ago that I wasn't crazy about. Also his son Dirk Cussler is his co writer on the Pitt books now, he is like 80+ years old, so I'm not sure how much is him and how much is his son. His other series's which he doesn't write I'm sure, are okay. I enjoy the Oregon series about good mercenaries and the Bell and Fargo series's are okay. The Austen series is probably my least favorite because it is so much like the Pitt series.

    For Historical fiction I really like Bernard Cornwell, his Sharpe and Starbuck series are very good but I really love the Saxon Chronicles, First Kingdom on BBC/Netflix is based on it. The Hornblower series is also really good. For whatever reason I wasn't crazy about the first couple of the Aubrey/Matin series so I switched to Boltholio which I like but the first few were really short, like finished in less than a day short, so I hope the next 25 or so get a little longer.
    Last edited by Probert; 05-27-2019 at 06:57 AM.
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  2. #82
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Ok, and what is your last book from the area you read? This one?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Probert View Post
    ...For Historical fiction I really like Bernard Cornwell, his Sharpe and Starbuck series are very good but I really love the Saxon Chronicles, First Kingdom on BBC/Netflix is based on it. The Hornblower series is also really good. For whatever reason I wasn't crazy about the first couple of the Aubrey/Matin series so I switched to Boltholio which I like but the first few were really short, like finished in less than a day short, so I hope the next 25 or so get a little longer.
    I have the complete Bolitho series. The first book written was "Command a King's Ship". The next one (and the first I read), was "Form Line of Battle!". Mr. Kent then when onwards in Bolitho's career and then a bit later, went backwards (as did Forester in Hornblower).

    Sadly, there will be no more books. Mr. Kent (Douglas Reeman in real life) passed in 2017.

    Oh, by the way, they're real good!

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by joecct View Post
    I have the complete Bolitho series. The first book written was "Command a King's Ship". The next one (and the first I read), was "Form Line of Battle!". Mr. Kent then when onwards in Bolitho's career and then a bit later, went backwards (as did Forester in Hornblower).

    Sadly, there will be no more books. Mr. Kent (Douglas Reeman in real life) passed in 2017.

    Oh, by the way, they're real good!
    I think I have them set to read in Chronological order, which is how I read Hornblower and Sharpe. The first 2 were actually in one book when I got it, Richard Bolitho Midshipman and Midshipman Bolitho and the Avenger, I think they were originally published as magazine articles? I just got Band of Brothers which is #3 chronologically but was published in 2005 but it's only about 150 pages.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Probert View Post
    I think I have them set to read in Chronological order, which is how I read Hornblower and Sharpe. The first 2 were actually in one book when I got it, Richard Bolitho Midshipman and Midshipman Bolitho and the Avenger, I think they were originally published as magazine articles? I just got Band of Brothers which is #3 chronologically but was published in 2005 but it's only about 150 pages.
    Everything before Stand into Danger is short. Then Richard assumes more responsibility.

    Sloop of War is like Hornblower & the Hotspur, but on this side of the Atlantic and the end of the Revolutionary War.

    You'll enjoy To Glory We Steer (which, come to think of it was written book #1). We meet many of the Bolitho supporting characters that make the rest of the series a grand read.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    My brother just recommended The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming. Any of you read it?

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Cheating with an audio version of All Things Shining. I very much recommend it. It's about the search for meaning after the death of god and what people need to find fulfillment. It has a hardcore philosophical angle (Hubert Dreyfus, the best Heideggerean interpreter in history) and also a pop psych angle (presumably the co-author) so there are levels for everyone and it's very accessible. A+.

    I'm going to pair this with a post in the movie review thread of Being in the World, which covers similar themes in a quite similar way and is a very enjoyable watch.
    Last edited by Kepler; 05-28-2019 at 09:30 AM.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Has anybody read 'Where the crawdads Sing'? At the Southern Wisconsin library system there were over 1300 holds with over 60 available a few weeks ago. It's been on the 'Top 20 fiction' list in the local paper, all but 1 week at #1, for 38 weeks now.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I just read a dozen or two pages of a sample. Itís good writing. Very artistic. Wonít be for everyone. Iím definitely interested in reading the rest.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Just finished reading Silmarillion. The coolest Tolkien's work I think, even better than LOTR

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by RustyLO View Post
    Just finished reading Silmarillion. The coolest Tolkien's work I think, even better than LOTR
    Wait, didn't you just start that about a week ago?

    I thought it was like 3000 pages long?

    Next time you have a 6-hour flight you should read Infinite Jest.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    Wait, didn't you just start that about a week ago?

    I thought it was like 3000 pages long?

    Next time you have a 6-hour flight you should read Infinite Jest.
    Wait, am I missing something here. He has two posts on here and only one is about the book.

    Do I not know something about this person?


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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Color me lost.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Thanks to everyone who chimed in. If nothing else, I have a few new authors to start reading which will keep me busy for the foreseeable future.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Recent Reads

    Faithless (Grant County #5) by Karin Slaughter I had read a couple of Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series but this was the first of the Grant County I had attempted. It was an okay read as they struggle to find who buried a woman and left her to die in a shallow grave. I think I probably would have benefitted from starting this at the beginning as there appears to be some stuff covered in the earlier books that wasn’t rehashed here.

    Mission Critical (Gray Man #8) by Mark Greaney The 8th of the Gray Man series finds him involved in a situation after the plane bringing him back to the United States is attacked and a prisoner being transported is taken off. Following the kidnappers he gets involved in the case which involved the Russians plotting something in the UK. His friend Zoya just escapes death and goes to the UK and gets involved in the case as well. Good read.

    The First Lady by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Brendan DuBois This book was okay as it follows the President of the United States caught cheating just before the election and then the 1st Lady vanishes. Following the Secret Service as they seek to find her before everything spirals out of control.

    Celtic Empire (Dirk Pitt #25) by Clive Cussler, Dirk Cussler The latest Dirk Pitt novel finds he, Giordano and the twins trying to track down a scientist who is putting a chemical in various cities drinking water. At the heart is an ancient Egyptian princess who may hold the key to it all.

    Neon Prey (Lucas Davenport #29) by John Sandford The latest Lucas Davenport thriller finds him tracking down a killer on the run thru several states across the US but he seems to be thwarted at every turn. It’s a little interesting that the books have veered away from the Minneapolis locale but it does help keep it from getting stale.

    Lie Down with Lions by Ken Follett A very good book by Follett though a tad out of date as it deals mainly with the Mujahedeen fighting against the Russians in Afghanistan. I tend to prefer his WWII books but this does have a very interesting and compelling storyline that was current at the time it was written.

    Richard Bolitho — Midshipman (Richard Bolitho #1) by Alexander Kent, Douglas Reeman So I have been searching for a new historical fiction writer to read. I loved the Hornblower series and most of Cornwelll’s series’s. I tried Master and Commander and they were okay so decided to give this one a try. It appears as if this is two short stories that tell 2 adventures of young Mid Shipman Richard Bolitho the first one where he is aboard a Man o War fighting pirates was quite good and very similar to an early Hornblower. The second where he is at home on leave and gets involved with his brother to take on smugglers is okay.

    Sunset Express (Elvis Cole #6) by Robert Crais This Elvis Cole book finds him and Joe working for a celebrity and his celebrity lawyer trying to determine if evidence was planted. Pretty good read with lots of action and Elvis wisecracks.

    Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends by Peter Schweizer Another good effort from Schweizer detailing the corruption of Washington. This focuses on just a few people mainly and the ways they get around the various laws enacted to stop corruption. How John Kerry and Joe Biden’s sons made tons of money while their parents were VP and Sec of State. How Mitch McConnell has huge ties to China thru his wife and how the Trump Presidency will be plagued by the same thing due to his worldwide business dealings.

    Trial by Fury (J.P. Beaumont #3) by J.A. Jance The Third in the Beaumont series finds him investigating the death of a high school coach who may have been lynched. Another good quick read from the series. These tend to follow a similar format a damsel in distress who has to be rescued by JP and confrontation with his nemesis Maxy the newspaperman. I kind of liked the old school aspects, pay phone’s, searching for a place on a map and a location by reverse directory instead of googling it or using the GPS.

    Taking the Fifth (J.P. Beaumont #4) by J.A. Jance Another good read from Jance finds JP investigating the deaths of two men who live together. They seem tied together by a show visiting the area for a short period of time. Teamed with a new partner JP has to solve the case before they leave town.

    We are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and His Friends by David Herbert Donald This is partly a tale of Lincoln’s life and partly a tale of his psyche as the author examines his friendships, of which their were few, throughout his life. I particular enjoyed the section about Joshua Speed, William H. Herndon and Orville H. Browning having already read much about his relationships with William Seward, Nicolay and Hay. It’s not a fabulous book but it isn’t too long and gives some insights into Lincoln’s character.

    The Border (Power of the Dog #3) by Don Winslow The last of the Power of the Dog books is the finale in the trilogy and by far my least favorite. Keller is now the head of the DEA and the gangs in Mexico are fighting over turf after Adan Barrera’s death. There are parts of the book that are top notch, especially the interplay and fighting amongst the members of the cartels. I just felt that there were parts of the book, mainly the DC politics part, where Winslow was jamming his political views down my throat. I can get this 24/7 on cable news which is why I read books to get away from this crap. If I choose to read a non fiction book about politics that is one thing but like to keep it out of my fiction reading as much as possible.

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    On Desperate Ground: The Marines at The Reservoir, the Korean War's Greatest Battle by Hampton Sides A very telling tale of the Marines battle for survival at the Chosin Reservoir when the Chinese Army came over the border to defend their North Korean allies. It follows the events leading up to the battle from the landing at Incheon, the battle for Seoul and Macarthur’s decisions which helped leave the Marines and Army divisions strung out and more vulnerable to attack. He goes into great detail about the battle for survival and the heroism amongst the men as the Chinese attack them in huge waves.

    Sea of Swords (The Legend of Drizzt #13) by R.A. Salvatore The 4th book in this Drizzt set finally brings back Drizzt who has been missing since early in the 1st book as with the exception of book 3 it has been very Wulfgar centric. This book finds the friends reuniting after and absence and going on a quest for Wulfgar’s missing warhammer. A much better read than the first 2 of the series.

    Desert Heat (Joanna Brady #1) by J.A. Jance The first book by Jance I had read was a Beaumont/Brady crossover. Since then I have read several of the Beaumont books but decided to cross over and read a Brady book. This is a fast moving crime novel where Joanna must get involved to save the reputation of her husband after his is shot and said to be a cop on the take.

    Band of Brothers (Richard Bolitho #3) by Alexander Kent The Third of the Bolitho books, chronologically, finds him still a midshipman but taking his exam to be named a Lieutenant. Afterwards this short story finds him heading out to deliver a schooner when they get involved in another smuggling plot. Very good book which reminds me a lot of Hornblower but the book was a quick read at about 120 pages.
    Last edited by Probert; 06-01-2019 at 06:26 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadTownSioux View Post
    Has anybody read 'Where the crawdads Sing'? At the Southern Wisconsin library system there were over 1300 holds with over 60 available a few weeks ago. It's been on the 'Top 20 fiction' list in the local paper, all but 1 week at #1, for 38 weeks now.
    I did and loved it. Iím a big fiction reader along the lines of Lisa Scotoline and Sidney Sheldon. If you enjoy that genre I think youíll like it.
    Last edited by hockeymom of 2; 06-08-2019 at 08:11 AM.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Probert View Post
    Trial by Fury (J.P. Beaumont #3) by J.A. Jance The Third in the Beaumont series finds him investigating the death of a high school coach who may have been lynched. Another good quick read from the series. These tend to follow a similar format a damsel in distress who has to be rescued by JP and confrontation with his nemesis Maxy the newspaperman. I kind of liked the old school aspects, pay phoneís, searching for a place on a map and a location by reverse directory instead of googling it or using the GPS.

    Taking the Fifth (J.P. Beaumont #4) by J.A. Jance Another good read from Jance finds JP investigating the deaths of two men who live together. They seem tied together by a show visiting the area for a short period of time. Teamed with a new partner JP has to solve the case before they leave town.
    .
    My favorite Jance series. Really enjoyed all of them. The theme does change over time with the damsels in distress.

    I've also read the Ali Reynolds ones - those are OK, but not as good. Didn't really like the Joanna Brady ones.

  18. #98
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    My LGBT book club is reading Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown.

    Just started it; haven't formed an opinion yet.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by jen View Post
    My favorite Jance series. Really enjoyed all of them. The theme does change over time with the damsels in distress.

    I've also read the Ali Reynolds ones - those are OK, but not as good. Didn't really like the Joanna Brady ones.
    The first one I read, I had picked up several at the libraries used book sale on the recommendation of my Mom, was a Brady/Beaumont crossover, the second one with both of them. I enjoyed it so I went back to the beginning. I've read the first 4 of Beaumont and just read the 1st of the Brady series. I kind of like both of them but one of the Beaumont ones, I think it was #2 I wasn't that enthralled with. They are quick reads as I can read them in less than a day.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Starting The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendahl, the book about which Tolstoy said he hadn't understood war until he read it. The author is very witty and so far the book is a good companion. I read very slowly so I am looking forward to this as my summer fiction book.

    I am also still reading (auditing) the non-fiction All Things Shining; it's a wonderful book. I'll illustrate with a very short note. At one point the authors talk about a chapter in the Odyssey which frankly I don't remember. Helen is back home after the events of the Iliad and she's at a dinner feast. The guests are trading stories, as in the Decameron or Canterbury Tales. As hers she tells the story of her going off to Troy with Paris. All the guests are enchanted by her story, especially Menelaus, the husband she cuckholded. Homer is highly complimentary of her and describes her as at her most beautiful and emblematic of "all things shining," hence the title of the book.

    The question is: w t f do we make of this? The Homeric Greeks thought differently than us and they admire Helen both as a wife and mother in her domestic role and as a demigoddess of erotic love as the face that launched a thousand ships. They have no trouble with the contradiction between these and simply would not think to reconcile them: they are just different contexts for her as a woman. We lack the mental equipment to do this because we have a completely different sense of being as something coming from inside us that should be consistent. But the Greeks viewed being as winds and muses that blow through us, so just as the wind can shift suddenly, our being can shift and all we can do is behave excellently given the context.

    I didn't expect the book to be anywhere near as thoughtful and deep as it is. I highly recommend it.
    Last edited by Kepler; 06-09-2019 at 12:37 AM.
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