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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    I wish I read more -- it just seems that between work and family obligations (which include taking care of two kids under age 5), the time and/or energy are frequently lacking.
    You've got your priorities straight!
    One way to kill two birds with one stone: read to your kids. There's a lot of good stuff out there, and it's fun for both the reader and listener. Each age has their stages of favorite authors. You might be at a good stage for James Marshall books (George and Martha, Fox, etc). Before long you'll be reading them first Harry Potter, and they'll be reading on their own soon too. Enjoy it while it lasts!

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    First...holy crap, you people read a lot. I wish I read more -- it just seems that between work and family obligations (which include taking care of two kids under age 5), the time and/or energy are frequently lacking.

    Second -- I'm currently reading Built on Bones by Greg Ried. It's a bit of Civil War-era historical fiction written by a friend of my father-in-law. It's OK -- a fairly easy read, it might make a nice summertime beach or pool book.

    Next up on my nightstand is Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Seabiscuit plus Chariots of Fire plus Miracle plus the first part of Unbroken -- but about rowing.
    This one is in my queue as well. Christmas gift from the mother-in-law.
    Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

    - Twain

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    I have also been circling the new James Brown book, "Kill 'Em and Leave: Searching for James Brown and the American Soul" by James McBride. I stopped buying books because my backlog was too steep but I will get the one soon.
    I'm reading Kill 'Em and Leave right now. (Checked it out from the public library.) It looks like it would be a brisk read, and sometimes it is, but the rural backwater descriptions and modern estate squabbles can get a little depressing. So I'm taking it short chapter by chapter. James McBride is a bit of a literary celebrity, and he inserts a lot of himself into the story: his childhood reverence of Brown, his own past as a musician and music journalist, and his recent financial struggles that prompted him to take on this project. It's too early for me to decide if I like it beyond my natural inclination toward biographies of dead entertainers.

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mount Kisco, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom B. View Post
    First...holy crap, you people read a lot. I wish I read more -- it just seems that between work and family obligations (which include taking care of two kids under age 5), the time and/or energy are frequently lacking.
    Ha - a few things have helped...middle age insomnia and throwing in the towel on trying to keep up with scripted television.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by El_Diablo View Post
    This is what I am (re-)reading now. I highly recommend taking the plunge.
    I plowed through all those books in about a month right before the series started. It was a fun ride. Would definitely be a different experience reading them now that the TV series has permeated so much of our culture. Lots of plot points that were STUNNING to read or see on TV for the first time would feel diluted if you were peripherally aware of them impending excitement.

    Definitely worth a read though.
    Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

    - Twain

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ironically, the City of Angels
    I'm in the middle of JWill's book, which I saved for the off-season. I'm also reading the latest Batman graphic novel collection. I'd have to look at my kindle to remember what else I've read recently, but for comic book readers (though this is a novel), I recently liked A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King, who will be taking over Batman's main title with DC's Rebirth.

    Oh, I also recently read People Who Eat Darkness about the true crime case concerning a British national in Japan, but if you want to read about that sort of thing more generally, I recommend Tokyo Vice, Midnight in Peking (not set in JP, obviously, but very interesting), and Tokyo Underworld, which is about an American gangster in Japan. These are all based on true stories.

    The last novel I read other than the King book was A Midsummer's Equation, which is the latest in the Detective Galileo series. I didn't like it as much as the last one, which is my favorite that's been published in English, but it's still good if you like JP mysteries.

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Elon, NC
    Harlan Coben's first Myron Bolitar novel, Deal Breaker, in which Myron is a former Duke basketball star. After a NBA career ending injury, Myron becomes a professional sports agent and detective for his clients. Mryon Bolitar novels are suspenseful and comical. Great reading.
    Tom Mac

  8. #28
    I'm just starting a new book that has come out, written by the historian Douglas Brinkley, entitled "Rightful Heritage; FDR and the Land of America". An examination of FDR's role in conserving land and natural resources. It has gotten excellent reviews. Douglas Brinkley also wrote a book about Teddy Roosevelt called "The Wilderness Warrior" that examined his role in creating many of the national parks and wilderness areas in this country. I read that and enjoyed it very much. He is an excellent writer and a detailed researcher. I read a lot of history and biographies.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Doria View Post
    I'm in the middle of JWill's book, which I saved for the off-season. I'm also reading the latest Batman graphic novel collection. I'd have to look at my kindle to remember what else I've read recently, but for comic book readers (though this is a novel), I recently liked A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King, who will be taking over Batman's main title with DC's Rebirth.

    Oh, I also recently read People Who Eat Darkness about the true crime case concerning a British national in Japan, but if you want to read about that sort of thing more generally, I recommend Tokyo Vice, Midnight in Peking (not set in JP, obviously, but very interesting), and Tokyo Underworld, which is about an American gangster in Japan. These are all based on true stories.

    The last novel I read other than the King book was A Midsummer's Equation, which is the latest in the Detective Galileo series. I didn't like it as much as the last one, which is my favorite that's been published in English, but it's still good if you like JP mysteries.
    I read J-Will's book during the season this year (I know you and I have discussed it a bit). I wonder if there's enough interest to warrant a thread discussing it now that it's been our for three or four months?
    Repartee is something we think of twenty-four hours too late.

    - Twain

  10. #30
    About halfway though Edward Bonekemper's The Myth of the Lost Cause -- a pretty devastating (and convincing) attack on the idea that the Civil War was precipitated by something other than slavery and the South's desire to defend it.

    I got onto it after reading Our Man in Charleston by Christopher Dickey -- an examination of Robert Bunch, the British counsel in Charleston before and during the Civil War and how he came to despise the secessionist firebrands that he was forced to deal with ... and how his correspondence detailing secret Southern plans to re-open the slave trade helped prevent Great Britain from intervening in the war.

    I set Max Hasting's Catastrophe 1914 aside to read the Bonekemper book. I'll get back to it. It's an interesting parallel to Barbara Tuchman's classic Guns of August. Not great, but worth the read.

    I'm ready to read Forty-Seven Days by Michael Yockelson about the maturation of the AEF during the battle of the Meuse-Argonne in 1918. I've also downloaded Patrick O'Donnell's Washington's Immortals -- a focused study of the Maryland Line -- probably the single most important and successful regiment in the American Revolutionary War. I know a lot about their campaign in the Carolinas -- how they saved the Southern army during the defeat at Camden, crushed Tarleton at The Cowpens, frustrated Cornwallis during the Race to the Dan and outfought the most famous regiment in the British Army at Guilford Courthouse.

    Last week's Shakespeare anniversary inspired me to order The Millionaire and the Bard by Andrea Mays -- the story of how Folger came to assemble the finest collection of Shakespeare material in the world. I also spent some time re-reading books in my library -- Prosser's great Hamlet and Revenge and Wills' Witches and Jesuits.

    Also, Michael Haskew's West Point 1915 -- a book covering a subject I once considered writing -- about the famous "Class the Stars Fell on".

    I just finished Alistair Cooke's The American Home Front. Cooke, the famous BBC commentator on America, traveled across the country, mostly by motorcar, in the first months of WWII (in America) and left a fascinating account of the country and the attitudes of its citizens at that time. He actually wrote the book in late 1942, but it remained unpublished until after his death a few years ago. If you have any interest in that period, I strongly recommend it.

    I can't recommend Jay Wink's 1944, which is disjointed and unfocused. And while I don't always agree with Victor Hanson Davis, his Father of Us All, which I just finished, is a worthy addition to his oeuvre. But if you like Davis, I strongly recommend his Soul of Battle -- about the three greatest liberator generals in history ...

    Oh well, a new Daedelus catalogue just arrived, so give me a few weeks and I might have some more recommendations.

  11. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Cincinnati
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    You've got your priorities straight!
    One way to kill two birds with one stone: read to your kids. There's a lot of good stuff out there, and it's fun for both the reader and listener. Each age has their stages of favorite authors. You might be at a good stage for James Marshall books (George and Martha, Fox, etc). Before long you'll be reading them first Harry Potter, and they'll be reading on their own soon too. Enjoy it while it lasts!
    I'll second that. There are some great stories that will enthrall your kids and that you can get caught up in too. Things like Lassie, Call of the Wild, Black Beauty, Watership Down, etc. I used to read to my daughter (who ended up going to Duke) until she could read for herself and now she's 28 and tells me earnestly that she hopes I understand how much she appreciates all that reading I did.

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Ironically, the City of Angels
    Quote Originally Posted by swood1000 View Post
    I'll second that. There are some great stories that will enthrall your kids and that you can get caught up in too. Things like Lassie, Call of the Wild, Black Beauty, Watership Down, etc. I used to read to my daughter (who ended up going to Duke) until she could read for herself and now she's 28 and tells me earnestly that she hopes I understand how much she appreciates all that reading I did.
    One website I frequent (I forgot which it was, sorry) had a sidebar that Netflix will be adding Watership Down next month to their streaming catalog. Oh, I think it was maybe AV Club. Anyway, I wouldn't let children who are too young watch it, depending on their sensitivity to animated violence and the like, but it made a strong impression on me when I was a kid.

    Oh, back on topic(ish), I remembered that I read some of the new Star Wars books--the ones now in canon, I mean. For me, Dark Disciple was clearly the best of the lot, and it wasn't close. However, I am a big Ventress fan from The Clone Wars TV series, and it is now to my everlasting regret they were never able to do this arc for her. But the book is a good consolation prize. Lost Stars... Eh, it's a YA book, so it has the problems common to that genre, though I did appreciate that we are finally shown someone who does support the Empire and is not a crazy person or a villain. The original material (non-movie material) for The Force Awakens is pretty good, but the book doesn't really justify a read if you saw the movie already or plan to. And lastly, I tried to read Aftermath, but I have been unable to get past the first chapter. I will probably try again sometime, but I have a bunch of stuff on the kindle to read, so the incentive is not high.

  13. #33
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Quote Originally Posted by swood1000 View Post
    I'll second that. There are some great stories that will enthrall your kids and that you can get caught up in too. Things like Lassie, Call of the Wild, Black Beauty, Watership Down, etc. I used to read to my daughter (who ended up going to Duke) until she could read for herself and now she's 28 and tells me earnestly that she hopes I understand how much she appreciates all that reading I did.
    My mom read Charlotte's Web to me as I sat on the potty. Don't know why I felt the need to share that, but there you have it.

  14. #34
    I have The Plantaganets and queued The War of the Roses, both by Dan Jones. Getting ready for the second Hollow Crown cycle being released.

    Summer reading will take a different, less geekish spin .

  15. #35

    The Real Story of the DC Vampires

    The Real Story of the DC Vampires was a fun read. Subtitle "It's Not Like The Movies" gives a hint that it's a bit of a different take. While set in and around the nation's capital for the most part, characters also take in the CDC in Atlanta and there's even a trip to Durham.

    Vampires are created accidentally (? maybe not) by a brilliant research scientist. His young cohort witnesses the first attack and spends the rest of the time following the trail of the vampires, why and how they exist. Could be a good summer read.

  16. #36
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Quote Originally Posted by aimo View Post
    My mom read Charlotte's Web to me as I sat on the potty. Don't know why I felt the need to share that, but there you have it.


    I think Harry Potter might be of more use to me in such a situation, but hey, TMI, right?

    One can do a lot worse than read your kids (in no particular order) E.B. White, Roald Dahl, A.A. Milne, Shel Silverstein, and of course Dr. Seuss!

    Protip for reading more: keep a book with you wherever you go. Traveling for business? Definitely - for the plane (and gate area), before trying to sleep in a strange bed, ... Taking a kid to the doctor's office? Absolutely - you know how long those waits can be. Going to see family? If you're typical - you're going to need a little quiet time each day!

    Long car drives: get books on "tape" (MP3) either paid or, for stuff out of copyright, Librivox.

    Note: Project Gutenberg can get you free e-books of stuff out of copyright too, if you don't mind reading them on a computer screen.

  17. #37
    Wow, lots of readers. It's great to see the diversity!

    About a third of the way into A Brief History of Seven Killings, set in 1970s Jamaica. Author, Marlon James.
    Very intense and about half of it in Jamaica patois. Took some time to adjust to the vocabulary but it's a riveting story.

    Next up, A Perfect Crime by A Yi. Translated from Chinese.

    Need to add to the summer list though. Let's see some more recommendations here...
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Here are several that I enjoyed over the last couple of months...

    "Into the Black" - Rowland White
    A lot of interesting details on the people, technology and politics of the Space Shuttle program.

    "Lingo" -- Gaston Dorren
    A surprisingly humorous and interesting summary of the sixty or so languages that are spoken in Europe - I had no idea. It's a nice easy read with a four or five page chapter devoted to each of the sixty or so languages. You get a little bit of history, linguistics, and background for each language. I spent a fair amount of time in Europe (and South America) in my career so I picked it up just out of curiosity, but the entire book ended up being a really fun read. And I'm REALLY glad I never needed to learn Welsh, Scots-Gaelic, Manx or any of the other pretty bizarre languages floating around the continent.

    "Battle of the Atlantic" - Jonathan Dimberly
    This is a very good account of the two most dangerous jobs that were part of World War II - U-boat crew or merchant marine. It also addresses the strategic decisions made by Germany and England - which had they been handled differently might have resulted in a very different outcome of the war. Germany might easily have ended the war sooner and victoriously had they focused their resources on the U-boats, and England might have shortened the war had they dedicated their resources to suppressing the U-boat threat.

    "Split Second" - Douglas Richards
    I have to read something "fun" sometimes. This is a science fiction, murder mystery about the creation of a time machine - but the machine will only allow you to travel back in time for a small fraction of a second. That's the hook that got me. So why would you start murdering people if they learned how to travel back in time a few milliseconds????

  19. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Greenville, SC
    I've been revisiting some old friends recently.

    The Atrocity Archives - Charles Stross

    The Android's Dream - John Scalzi

    And for some reason I went way back to Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delaney

  20. #40
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Wherever the wind blows and the leaves dance.
    Currently reading "Girl on a train" by Paula Hawkins. It is a fun, quick read.

    Just finished a jog thru some of Arthur C Clarke's books. I really liked "Rendezvous with Rama". I thought it captured the essence of good sci-fi, filled with wonder and exploration.

    Next up was "Childhood's End", which I liked on the whole but struggled with the pacing of the middle of the book. But there were some ideas in that book that made me want to look to the stars again for questions and answers.

    Lastly, I read "The Songs of Distant Earth", and wouldn't recommend that one. Neat idea but Clarke's weakness of character development comes through and it became a struggle to finish.

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