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  1. #421
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Just started Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for life. An anecdote to chaos.

    So far so good. Interesting dude.

  2. #422
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    St. Louis
    The Field of Blood, by Joanne Freeman. It's about violence in Congress in the times leading up to the Civil War. Very well written.

  3. #423
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Westport, CT
    Wow. I am almost done with "Heavy" by Kiese Laymon.

    When the preface grabs you by the throat and won't let go, you know it's going to be good.

    The writing is incredible.

    It's a memoir of a young African American man who grows up in Jackson Mississippi and his path to...well, I don't want to give away too much.

    But, I strongly recommend this book.

    Have others read it?

  4. #424
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest NC
    Just finished "Educated" a memoir by Tara Westover. I found this book both fascinating and frustrating as I learned about Ms. Westover's struggles to overcome her zealot family's hold over her. It's about her life growing up in a family where the government is the enemy and the "real" world is nothing but evil and is designed to pull her away from her faith and the narrow minded way her family thinks about almost everything. Raised without an education Tara somehow manages to escape to attend college and then on to graduate school. As she learns about the world outside her family's little bubble she struggles to completely break free from their hold over her, especially her father. I would definitely recommend.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  5. #425
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Virginia Beach
    I just finished reading Richard Preston's latest book called "Crisis in the Red Zone", a detailed summary of the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Mr. Preston has written other non-fiction books on infectious diseases like Ebola (The Hot Zone) and Smallpox (The Demon in the Freezer). You may recall the Ebola crisis of five years ago was the deadliest in history, and the virus ultimately made its way to Dallas and New York. It's a relevant read today because of the current, blossoming Ebola outbreak that has only recently gotten the serious attention of the WHO.

    "Crisis in the Red Zone" is fascinating, detailed and downright scary. Preston researches the heck out of the topic, travels to the "hot" spots (no pun intended) and conducts hundreds of interviews. Even with an influx of money, doctors, facilities and education, the virus can spread really easily. I gained a huge appreciation and admiration for the hospital staff and caregivers in West Africa, many of whom continued to work in the Ebola Wards knowing they would very likely catch the disease and die. It's no wonder Time Magazine named the Ebola Healthcare Workers "Person(s) of the Year" in 2014.

    A sobering read but well worth it. A two-year old eats some infected bat meat, which leads to 30k people contracting Ebola. Frightening.

  6. #426
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    Anybody interested in Calculus?

    OK, I know the interest in a book about calculus is likely pretty limited -- if not non-existent -- but due to my "issues" with the subject, I decided to take a leap and I really enjoyed the book. The book is "Infinite Powers" by Steve Strogatz. It explains calculus much, much differently than what I heard freshman year and has some good technical history accounts of how it has been applied that were pretty interesting stories.

    My issues with calculus came from the facts that:
    a) I came to Duke from a tiny high school in a small town in eastern North Carolina and had never seen or heard the word calculus until I signed up for the class - which as an engineer I couldn't avoid, and
    b) My first semester class was taught by the head of the math department, and my impression was that he was not pleased to be teaching calculus to incoming freshman. Honestly the only thing I remember from the class was him saying, "Well everything on this page is intuitively obvious, let's move on to the next page." And of course everything on the next page was intuitively obvious, too. It still make me cringe to hear those words.

    Anyhow it wasn't until my fourth semester that I finally caught someone who knew how to teach, and I finally saw the light. But it was a very painful process.

    Well about thirty minutes into this book, I felt like if I had read it fifty years ago before showing up in Durham, I would have aced every one of my calc classes. So really useful book, just fifty years late.

    And the technical history stories were neat to read too. There was a nice account of the totally non-medical trained guy who figured out how to do CAT scans. Which numerous doctors refused to believe was possible (I'm guessing they understood calculus no better than I did). Also the guy who figured out how to attack the AIDS virus through calculus.

    So if you've been desperate to get back into calculus again, this is the book for you.

  7. #427
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    President Carter, by Stuart Eizenstat (his domestic policy advisor). This is a detailed and authoritative 900-page tome. But hey, I served in government during the Carter years.

    Makes the case that Carter got a lot done as president (energy, Middle East peace, wilderness areas, inflation [Volcker], etc.) but was awful at and opposed to the normal political wheeling and dealing.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  8. #428
    Quote Originally Posted by left_hook_lacey View Post
    Just started Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for life. An anecdote to chaos.

    So far so good. Interesting dude.
    Yes he is....
    Don't waste your time on House of Cards S6!
    -We found out Frank was critical to making anyone else in the show interesting...not a surprise...

  9. #429
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Skinker-DeBaliviere, Saint Louis

    A movie is not about what it's about; it's about how it's about it.
    ---Roger Ebert


    Some questions cannot be answered
    Whoís gonna bury who
    We need a love like Johnny, Johnny and June
    ---Over the Rhine

  10. #430
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California
    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms, by Hannah Fry.

    Fascinating account of being manipulated. Highly recommended. Author is a math prof in London. Expert on algorithms and their misuse, a la Cambridge Analytics. Pretty easy read; no math required.

  11. #431
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim3k View Post
    Hello World: Being Human in the Age of Algorithms, by Hannah Fry.

    Fascinating account of being manipulated. Highly recommended. Author is a math prof in London. Expert on algorithms and their misuse, a la Cambridge Analytics. Pretty easy read; no math required.
    I very much enjoyed the excerpt in The New Yorker's Sept 9 issue...can't wait to show this to my primary care doc regarding the statin issue...(which is a whole discussion in itself)...

  12. #432
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Arlington, VA
    I finished Battle Cry of Freedom. I thought it was phenomenal. Should be mandatory reading. After that I read Challenger Deep which is a YA book (not really my thing). But this one was ok. Based on the authorís real life experience with his sonís schizophrenia diagnosis. Now Iím on to Slaughterhouse-Five. Little embarrassed to admit itís taken me this long to read it. After that, itís October so itís time for some spooky reads. Jack Ketchumís Open Season, Meddling Kids, and then Salemís Lot.

  13. #433
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Walnut Creek, California
    The Woman Who Smashed Codes, by Jason Fagone. Real life spy story.

    This is a biography of Elizebeth (correct spelling) Friedman (1892-1980). She and her husband William (who received much of the fame), were a husband and wife team who created the science of modern cryptology. They both had a knack for it, meeting each other in 1916 at a sort of modern science laboratory, created by millionaire George Fabyan. She was a year or two out of college; he was an early geneticist working with crops.

    This eventually led to marriage and then to decryption in the most unlikely way. No spoilers, except to say that they became apex-level decoders in both WW I and WW II. Today, both are credited with being the parents of the NSA, though that certainly was not their intention. (And William later thought the NSA was going too far.)

    He got the publicity because he was the man and the first-listed author of their manuals. Their public history has been split apart initially due to the fact that she was the Coast Guardís only anti-smuggler codebreaker between the wars while he worked for the Army. Later, they were split by secrecy rules. He was outstanding and the Army knew it. She was equally outstanding and nobody knew it--except for those in the field. Much of her work was suppressed by J. Edgar Hoover, so that didnít help. But second, she never sought recognition, even though her work brought down a German master spy and she had hundreds of other successes. Moreover, she also promoted her husbandís legacy after he died, never seeking the limelight. So she has been in the shadows.

    Her work did not become available until 1990 when her documents were declassified. But it is truly fascinating. A real spy story. Women may find her to be a prime example of both scientific and spiked talent.

    The guts of the book are 340 pages of easy and well-written text. It is supported by another 100 pages of references.

    BTW, the book and her Wiki page are not entirely consistent. The book is far more thorough; the Wiki page references some successes that the book does not.

  14. #434
    Thought I'd throw this fascinating-to-me fact into the reading thread. Civil War historian/VT professor Bud Robertson died -- and his obit notes how he worked as an ACC football ref for 16 years.

    https://vtnews.vt.edu/articles/2019/...ppPA5m2A-UsVfs

  15. #435
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Vonnegut's Player Piano.

  16. #436
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northwest NC
    A few I've read lately:

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - I started section hiking the Appalachian Trail 10 years ago, now have 3/4's of it complete, and read this book after having been on a few hikes. I loved it then and decided a few weeks ago I would re-read it. I think I loved it even more this time. The stories of their escapades on the trail are absolutely hilarious! I have seldom ever literally laughed out loud while reading a book but did several times throughout this one. Even if you don't know anything about the trail you will love this book.

    Cold Mountain - I saw the movie years ago but had never read the book. I love period pieces and love reading about the era during the civil war so decided to give it a go. I absolutely loved the story. The movie is good but the book is better. Most everyone knows the story so I won't get into it but if you've never read the book I would highly recommend it.

    For the Sins of My Father - I really enjoyed this book although enjoying such a sad story isn't really the right word I guess. Just a tragic and true story of a mobster who drags his son along for the ride involving him indirectly in his secret life. Without giving too much away the story is told by the son and it basically chronicles his life as a child, teen and then adult dealing with the repercussions of his father being in the mob. Like I said, tragic. Highly recommend.

    Moneyball - Another one where I saw the movie but hadn't read the book. I thought this was fascinating. As a baseball fan obviously I was interested but I think anyone would find this to be a great read. It's really more of a character study of Billy Beane, the A's manager, than it is anything else. Funny, insightful and really enjoyable read.

    No Country for Old Men - I remember thinking the movie version didn't really live up to the hype but man the book is really great! I loved it. Gruesome violence, great storytelling and one of the scariest characters in any book I've ever read. It's just straight forward storytelling without any fluff. This one is high on my favorites list now.
    "The future ain't what it used to be."

  17. #437
    Quote Originally Posted by DUKIECB View Post
    A few I've read lately:

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - I started section hiking the Appalachian Trail 10 years ago, now have 3/4's of it complete, and read this book after having been on a few hikes. I loved it then and decided a few weeks ago I would re-read it. I think I loved it even more this time. The stories of their escapades on the trail are absolutely hilarious! I have seldom ever literally laughed out loud while reading a book but did several times throughout this one. Even if you don't know anything about the trail you will love this book.

    Cold Mountain - I saw the movie years ago but had never read the book. I love period pieces and love reading about the era during the civil war so decided to give it a go. I absolutely loved the story. The movie is good but the book is better. Most everyone knows the story so I won't get into it but if you've never read the book I would highly recommend it.

    For the Sins of My Father - I really enjoyed this book although enjoying such a sad story isn't really the right word I guess. Just a tragic and true story of a mobster who drags his son along for the ride involving him indirectly in his secret life. Without giving too much away the story is told by the son and it basically chronicles his life as a child, teen and then adult dealing with the repercussions of his father being in the mob. Like I said, tragic. Highly recommend.

    Moneyball - Another one where I saw the movie but hadn't read the book. I thought this was fascinating. As a baseball fan obviously I was interested but I think anyone would find this to be a great read. It's really more of a character study of Billy Beane, the A's manager, than it is anything else. Funny, insightful and really enjoyable read.

    No Country for Old Men - I remember thinking the movie version didn't really live up to the hype but man the book is really great! I loved it. Gruesome violence, great storytelling and one of the scariest characters in any book I've ever read. It's just straight forward storytelling without any fluff. This one is high on my favorites list now.
    Cold Mountain is an exceptionally well written book, IMHO.

  18. #438
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Raleigh
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Cold Mountain is an exceptionally well written book, IMHO.
    Pretty tasty beer, too.

    [redacted] them and the horses they rode in on.

  19. #439
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wilmington, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by DUKIECB View Post
    A few I've read lately:

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson - I started section hiking the Appalachian Trail 10 years ago, now have 3/4's of it complete, and read this book after having been on a few hikes. I loved it then and decided a few weeks ago I would re-read it. I think I loved it even more this time. The stories of their escapades on the trail are absolutely hilarious! I have seldom ever literally laughed out loud while reading a book but did several times throughout this one. Even if you don't know anything about the trail you will love this book.

    Cold Mountain - I saw the movie years ago but had never read the book. I love period pieces and love reading about the era during the civil war so decided to give it a go. I absolutely loved the story. The movie is good but the book is better. Most everyone knows the story so I won't get into it but if you've never read the book I would highly recommend it.

    For the Sins of My Father - I really enjoyed this book although enjoying such a sad story isn't really the right word I guess. Just a tragic and true story of a mobster who drags his son along for the ride involving him indirectly in his secret life. Without giving too much away the story is told by the son and it basically chronicles his life as a child, teen and then adult dealing with the repercussions of his father being in the mob. Like I said, tragic. Highly recommend.

    Moneyball - Another one where I saw the movie but hadn't read the book. I thought this was fascinating. As a baseball fan obviously I was interested but I think anyone would find this to be a great read. It's really more of a character study of Billy Beane, the A's manager, than it is anything else. Funny, insightful and really enjoyable read.

    No Country for Old Men - I remember thinking the movie version didn't really live up to the hype but man the book is really great! I loved it. Gruesome violence, great storytelling and one of the scariest characters in any book I've ever read. It's just straight forward storytelling without any fluff. This one is high on my favorites list now.
    This is on my list of things to do. I'd love to know your do's and don'ts and where you started, time of year, etc. PM me if you're interested in sharing. Thanks.

  20. #440
    Quote Originally Posted by devildeac View Post
    Pretty tasty beer, too.

    Some years are better than others, IMHO.

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