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Thread: Another Book Thread

  1. #101
    Veteran leswp1's Avatar
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kepler View Post
    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.
    As a woman I find this a microcosm of our current society- schizoid on what it would like to expect from women. Clever way to make sure no women is never enough and great way to sell a whole lot of things to make her try to be anyway. This has definitely escalated with the increase of media at your fingertips.

    Media is saturated with things that publicly celebrate all the demigod characteristics, the implication being if a woman doesn't try to have a face that launched a thousand ships then there is something wrong with her and she is deficient. It is getting ridiculous- wildly exaggerated characteristics-long and intricately painted fake nails, fake eyelashes, fake eyebrows, fake hair color ad extensions, heavy make up to sculpt the face smooth and perfect, all sorts of shapewear/surgery to magnify or diminish attributes- women are starting to look like cartoon characters blown all out of proportion).

    We get told the ideal is to be all things- smart, funny, self sufficient, not be dependent on men, happy with out bodies, be fit, organized- the feminist ideal but.... At the same time if the woman does these things and is even slightly successful then she is not meeting the expectation of emulating Beaver Cleever's Mum and is criticized for being to beautiful, smart, pushy. It is impossible to be all things simultaneously but if you read the media aimed at women they imply it is and also sell all sorts of articles, classes, seminars with hints of how that are impossible to implement

  2. #102

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by leswp1 View Post
    As a woman I find this a microcosm of our current society- schizoid on what it would like to expect from women. Clever way to make sure no women is never enough and great way to sell a whole lot of things to make her try to be anyway. This has definitely escalated with the increase of media at your fingertips.
    Kind of.

    Yes, the consumer economy harms people in order to sell them things. Advertising only exists to make you feel like sh-t so you'll expend the wages of your substantial work for their worthless garbage. This is true for any group of people you can imagine. Consumerism is fundamentally anti-human and we have lived under its brainwashing now for close to 100 years. We are bombarded with propaganda 1000x times as lethal and dehumanizing as the worst police state, in the service of commerce. Unless we reject it we will just be the customer serfs this system is designed to produce.

    But the Homeric Greeks were very, very different. They don't fit that pattern, except by analogy. They sucked, of course, because all societies suck, because all societies are the imposition of the bigotries and fears and vanities of the numerous dumb at the expense of the few smart. But they sucked in a very different way than we do. In a millennium the next culture will suck differently than both of us.
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  3. #103
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    True.

    We had the feminist movement that told us to shake all that but as women have gone more into the workforce things seem to have escalated rather than decreased. It is some kind of masterful marketing to keep women believing all this sh1t and I am not sure why women are so influenced. Men don't seem to have as much aimed at them regarding their attributes. Seems mostly to be about virility issues and bald head products but even then they don't seem as pervasive as the nails, hair, makeup, body shape, any attribute you can think of for women. I can't see that same strategy working when you try to tell men they should wear fake eyelashes so long they look silly, they should have eyebrows a certain shape, nails abnormally long, etc. Some guys do it but most of them would roll their eyes and laugh

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by leswp1 View Post
    True.

    We had the feminist movement that told us to shake all that but as women have gone more into the workforce things seem to have escalated rather than decreased. It is some kind of masterful marketing to keep women believing all this sh1t and I am not sure why women are so influenced. Men don't seem to have as much aimed at them regarding their attributes. Seems mostly to be about virility issues and bald head products but even then they don't seem as pervasive as the nails, hair, makeup, body shape, any attribute you can think of for women. I can't see that same strategy working when you try to tell men they should wear fake eyelashes so long they look silly, they should have eyebrows a certain shape, nails abnormally long, etc. Some guys do it but most of them would roll their eyes and laugh
    Men are marketed to on their ability to protect and provide for the womenfolk, but it's the same sh-t.

    Marketing is finding the target's psychological vulnerability and exploiting it. Find a potential source of anxiety and then crack it wide open like an egg. It's how cults operate.

    After generations of this, our population is chronically neurotic and hustles desperately to buy the fulfillment they naturally have by simply turning off every advertisement they would otherwise be exposed to. Advertising is radiation poisoning. It is lethal to the spirit.

    At least religion actually gave a placebo in return for your soul. Consumerism is just a pusher whose product is the perpetuation of need and self-loathing.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    "A Queer and Pleasant Danger" by Kate Bornstein.

    It's about a Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology, gets excommunicated, and discovers she's a transwoman. The part where she's describing her time in Scientology was truly fascinating and I couldn't put the book down during that part. I plan on finishing the book tonight, but it's worth the $13 I spent on it.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    The Unity of Philosophical Experience, Eitenne Gilson.

    It took all of my knowledge and experience to read and derive what understanding I did from this beautiful book. It's difficult and rewarding. I recommend it to everyone interested in philosophy and/or intellectual history. This is one of those inexhaustible books like Hamlet, Moby Dick, The Name of the Rose, and The Great Gatsby I will be reading again every five years or so to find more.
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  7. #107
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I'm looking forward to reading some of the stuff by Frank W. Abagnale. I heard him speak recently.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Recent reads

    Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean up Sin-loving New York by Richard Zacks This book details Theordore Roosevelt’s brief career as police commissioner of NYC, one of 4 and his campaign to clean up New York. A lot of the book details the fight to close saloons on Sunday which was a big thing back in the late 1800’s but very unpopular amongst the lower classes because it was their only day off of the week. It shows how this raised his political profile enabling him to get a job in the McKinley administration which led to San Juan Hill, NY Governor, Vice President and President within a 5 year history. A lot of the book is very similar but interesting the commissioners battle’s with Captain Bill Bevery to remove him from his job, he would later be police commissioner and the 1st owner of the NY Highlanders i.e. Yankees and design the iconic logo based on a police badge. It was also interesting that some of Teddy’s theatrics have had similar things play out on Blue Bloods, Frank Regan’s hero, like sending a bunch of Jewish cops to protect a anti semitic speaker.

    The Darker Side (Smoky Barrett #3) by Cody McFadyen Another Smoky Barrett novel where the team is tracking down a serial killer who killed a senators child on a plane and may have a body count in the 100’s. Another good read though Mcfdyen’s books are very graphic and detailed in the descriptions of the killings.

    Dark Hollow (Charlie Parker #2) by John Connolly The second book in the Parker series finds him back in his hometown in Maine trying to recover from his actions in the first book of the series. Working for a old friend he has a confrontation with a volatile young man which puts him in the path of a myriad of criminals. Threatened at every turn by contract killers, the mob and a man from his families past he must search to solve the mystery while staying alive. I could kind of do without the “premonitions” and visions and just have it be a straight detective story.

    The 18th Abduction (Women's Murder Club #18) by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Maxine Paetro A pretty good Women’s Murder Club book which finds Joe helping a woman put the war criminal who had escaped justice get charged with a crime and Lindsey searching for some missing teachers who have been abducted.

    House Arrest (Joe DeMarco #13) by Mike Lawson (Goodreads Author) This is much more of an Emma story than a Joe DeMarco story because early on in the book Joe is sent to jail for the murder of a congressman. He calls on his friend Emma to clear his name. Very good and with DeMarco now “out in the open” it will be interesting to see where the books go in the future.

    The Girl in the Glass Box (Jack Swyteck #15) by James Grippando The latest Swyteck novel finds Jack defending a woman who is scheduled to be deported. It follows the immigration and asylum process. I thought there were some plot holes, 1 of the people in the woman’s life appears from nowhere into the story with little build up. Interesting in that unlike the last 3 or 4 books his wife Andie does not have an undercover assignment for the FBI which conveniently intersects with Jack’s case.

    Tombstone Courage (Joanna Brady #2) by J.A. Jance The second Brady novel takes up almost right where book 1 with the conclusion of her race for Sheriff. On the eve of the election a man is found dead with a decades old mystery surrounding his murder. Can the new sheriff adjust to the new job and solve the murder. A good read but a lot of characters in a relatively short book at times makes it a little tough to follow.

    Unsolved (Invisible #2) by James Patterson This book follow Emma Dockery from the 1st book once again trying to track down another “invisible” serial killer. Fighting against her FBI bosses and a diabolical killer after her.

    The Doll Maker (Jessica Balzano & Kevin Byrne #8) by Richard Montanari Another good Byrne and Balzano mystery where they are tracking down a killer who leaves invitations to his next murder with his current victim. It had some rough spots but overall a good read.


    Stand into Danger (Richard Bolitho #4) by Alexander Kent The 4th of the Bolitho books, chronologically, finds him a newly minted 3rd Lieutenant aboard a frigate headed on a top secret mission to the Caribbean. There he finds himself fraught with danger as they confront pirates and the uneasy going on in the region. Good read.

    Outrage, Inc.: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood by Derek Hunter Basically you get what you think it is. A book detailing the way the left seeks to control and dominate the narratives in certain areas, like climate change and how they are backed up and abetted by the media and Hollywood.

    The Perk by Mark Gimenez I enjoyed the book quite a lot about a HS football star, which is huge in Texas, returning with his two children after a 20 year absence following the death of his wife. He finds himself embroiled in small town politics, running for judge and helping an old buddy investigate the death of his daughter while trying to connect with his kids and reconnect with his estranged father. There are a lot of stereotypes in the book but it was an enjoyable read.

    Paul Revere and the World He Lived In by Esther Forbes This is truly a full and highly detailed look at the life of Paul Revere a man best remembered by most people for his one night ride in 1775. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the Sons of Liberty Days leading up to the Revolution. The true story of what happened on his famous ride and how he spent his time during the Revolution. There are lots of details and some of them probably could have been omitted to make it more readable especially some of the engraving/silversmith details.

    Damaged (Rosato & DiNunzio #4) by Lisa Scottoline Like a lot of books in the series this book deals with one character Mary and the others in the firm play a supporting role. Mary is called to help a special needs child who is accused of assaulting a school aide and faces problems with the system. When Mary meets him her heart goes out to him and all he is going thru as she takes on his case. Good read.

    Never Tell (Detective D.D. Warren #10) by Lisa Gardner This book involves DD investigating one of her earliest cases where a young girl had accidently shot her father. Now years later she is called to the scene where the same woman is found standing over her husband’s body. A complicated case where the woman claims she is innocent and DD investigates her husband’s double life. OK read but thought the plot was a little weak.

    Three Weeks, Eight Seconds: Greg Lemond, Laurent Fignon, and the Epic Tour de France of 1989 by Nige Tassell I have never been a big fan of Lemond or Fignon but this book was pretty good. It gives an overview of their early careers including Lemond’s shooting after winning the tour in 1986 that left many feeling he would never return to cycling. The rest of the book is a day by day summary of the tour from defending champion Pedro Delgado’s showing up late to the prologue to the battles in the Alps and Pyrenees for victory and then the final time trial to settle it all on the Champs e Lysee.

    The 13-Minute Murder by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Shan Serafin This is a review of the single Bookshot book name 13 minute murder not the 3 bookshot compilation. This was an okay story about a hitman and his partner who are doing a hit when something goes wrong and they find themselves fighting for their lives.

    Dead Man Running by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Christopher Farnsworth This short bookshots novel finds a therapist on the run and accused of plotting to murder the president after one of his patients is killed in front of him. Can he survive?

    113 Minutes by James Patterson (Goodreads Author), Max DiLallo I enjoyed this bookshots novel about a woman whose son is killed and the revenge she plots against who she feels is responsible for his death.

    Indigo Slam (Elvis Cole/Joe Pike #7) by Robert Crais Elvis Cole ace private detective is hired by 3 children to find their father who has disappeared. Thinking this will be an easy assignment he doesn’t realize what he is getting into when he finds himself involved with freedom fighters, mobsters and cops. Good read.

    Field of Valor (Logan West #3) by Matthew Betley This 3rd Logan West book finds Logan and his team fighting against the conspirators within their own government. The book is pretty much non stop action. Not a whole lot of development in the storyline of ending the vast cabal that is seeking to control the world.

    In Gallant Company (Richard Bolitho #5) by Alexander Kent, Douglas Reeman I found myself torn in this 5th Bolitho book on who to root for. Richard is fighting against the dastardly rebels in North America who are course American Revolutionaries. A very good read as Richard finds himself a 4 Lieutenant aboard the Trojan which is doing harbor duty in NY during the Revolution. Dispatched on several missions against Rebel privateers Richard continues to distinguish himself and rise up the ranks. A good read.

    Shoot Don't Shoot (Joanna Brady #3) by J.A. Jance The 3rd book in the Brady series finds her taking her training courses in Phoenix. When their she is asked to investigate the arrest of a local woman. Of course she finds herself involved in the case which gets her involved in the hunt for a possible serial killer. Good read.
    Last edited by Probert; 07-13-2019 at 06:54 AM.
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  9. #109
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by The Sicatoka View Post
    I'm looking forward to reading some of the stuff by Frank W. Abagnale. I heard him speak recently.
    Before I could get anything by Abagnale someone gave me a couple books by Mark Manson that I'm not supposed to give a **** about.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Reading the Nicholas Flamel series up to the last book. For a YA series it is pretty good. Sometimes not so much but overall engaging for light summer reading. I think I would have liked it a bit more when I was reading all the mythology book to lil-not-so-lil when he was a kid. Lots of connections to myths from various cultures that I was way more well versed in when I was reading them to him every night. When he was 4 he wanted me to read - i mean really read, not just the pictures "Social Aspects of Saxon Villages'.
    And any other history from the Norse, Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, all of anything to do with Europe. And my personal favorite request- He asked the kids librarian for a book on Visigoths. She cracked up. No one in 30 yrs had asked her for that. What kid asks to have that read to them?

    And Nora Roberts. One of her trilogies involving witches and legend, etc. Was at the lake house and it was the only book that looked halfway decent (not into Barbara Bradford and potboiler types). I like her JD Robb stuff. This isn't that well written but for a summer read when my brain is boiling from heat it is OK
    Last edited by leswp1; 07-15-2019 at 09:32 PM.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I'm enjoying the hell out of Jasmine Gillory's novels. I've read the first two a few times from the library and am anxiously awaiting a chance to get to the independent bookstore (Wednesday) to buy all 3 of her books. Fun modern romance novels set in California featuring black and POC protagonists. Well written characters and enjoyable stories.
    Last edited by bostonewe; 07-15-2019 at 09:55 PM.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KevSlots View Post
    Today I began to read the Confessions written by Tolstoy. I wanted to immerse myself in the classics of Russian literature
    That's an excellent book. When I read it a long time ago it was the only convincing book I'd ever read by a believer explaining/defending his theism. Tolstoy gives exactly zero f-cks for all the casuistry that typically comes with religiosity and he destroys it in the space of about 40 pages with far more rigor and passion than any atheist could. His explanation of his occult mysticism is a lot less convincing but he has explicitly stated that there is no defense of spirituality in reason and he still feels the desperate need for it (without it he sees only suicide) so one is very strongly moved to cut the poor guy a break.

    Leo wasn't what one would call a good man, but nobody ever tried harder to be. I've always thought of him as my aspirational spirit animal: what I could be if I had more intellect. Oh, and serfs. I would very much like both of those things.
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  13. #113
    If Only You Knew MissThundercat's Avatar
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    So I have books to read:

    Fun Home: A Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
    Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
    Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin

    Really grateful I joined an LGBT+ book club. Great discussion, great books, and gives me plenty to do while I recuperate from surgery.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Am looking for some new authors to try and wondering if any one reads and would recommend any of the following

    J.D. Robb these are set in the future so I'm wondering how Sci Fi they are as compared to a detective novel.
    Greg Iles
    James Lee Burke, The Robicheaux books.
    Andy McDermott These seem similar to Clive Cussler/Steven Berry?

    I have a couple of all of these that I have picked up over the years at used book sales probably not in order.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Starting to reread the Ross Macdonald Lew Archer books. He's somewhere high in the pantheon of detectives including Holmes, Poirot, Wolfe, Spade, Marlowe, and the Continental Op.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Have to assume you have knocked off ian Fleming

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Probert View Post
    Am looking for some new authors to try and wondering if any one reads and would recommend any of the following

    J.D. Robb these are set in the future so I'm wondering how Sci Fi they are as compared to a detective novel.
    Greg Iles
    James Lee Burke, The Robicheaux books.
    Andy McDermott These seem similar to Clive Cussler/Steven Berry?

    I have a couple of all of these that I have picked up over the years at used book sales probably not in order.
    I read JD Robb. I like her. She has a lot of intensity and some twists I haven't expected. Not sure I would read them all in a row or some of them might seem like they have similar themes. From what I recall in the first ones the main character Eve was a bit undeveloped. Part of the story is her struggle with what someone with a 'normal' upbringing would do but it didn't seem as deep. As things have gone on there is a little more focus on developing her and fleshing her out.

    They are more like detective novels but some of the tools/tech/things like cars are capable of doing things we imagine will happen in the future. They reference off planet but it really isnt set off planet. Her earlier ones were prescient. Things like carrying Links which seemed a bit far-fetched then but are the smart phones of today. You can read them stand alone but there are references to previous stories that make some of the current story more fleshed out if you know what she is referencing.

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by mookie1995 View Post
    Have to assume you have knocked off ian Fleming
    If this is to me, not really my thing. I tried to get into Bond but... meh. I don't do Le Carre either and he's objectively great. Just not a spy guy.

    If it's to Probert:

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    Re: Another Book Thread

    I found the perfect setting in which to read Kropotkin's Conquest of Bread.

    Waiting at the DMV really helps bring the message of anarchist communism home.

    Last edited by Kepler; 07-29-2019 at 01:38 PM.
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    Re: Another Book Thread

    Probert

    Mookie finished You Only Live Twice, and now started Diamonds Are Forever.

    The bond Fleming wrote IS NOT the movie bond. Incredibly better. Not comparable (and mookie likes the movies). Human. Mookie is just shocked. He has to go get them all and read.

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