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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / August Books
- - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-08-08 8:31 AM
I've not had the attention to make much progress on anything, but hopefully you're not suffering the same plight.
Parent - By Tim [us] Date 2017-08-16 1:33 PM
Confessions of a Mediocre Widow by Catherine Tidd
Boys, Booze, and Bathroom Floors by Michelle Miller

Hmm, I'm sensing a trend in genres here...(the second book chronicles the author on 46 dates in the aftermath of losing her husband to suicide...yes, 46, that's not a typo.)

Both books I found quite good. The first I would describe as a wholesome widow memoir. The second one is probably best described as "widow porn":laugh::laugh:.
- - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-08-08 8:33 AM
I did start O Lost, by Thomas Wolfe, after watching the movie Genius, about the relationship between Wolfe and his editor, Max Perkins.  The movie was excellent.
Parent - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2017-08-10 6:49 PM
I read the book after seeing the movie a couple months ago and both were excellent. Wolfe is a really rich and interesting read.
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-08 9:06 AM Edited 2017-08-08 9:13 AM
I'm reading The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan.

It's about invasive plant and animal species that have gotten into the lakes and the ecological problems that they have caused. Egan is a well respected journalist and has been a Pulitzer Prize finalist two times. Unfortunately the book just isn't all that good. It reads like a heavily padded newspaper/magazine article- regurgitating pretty simple facts over and over, never really digging into the subject and adding side stories that don't have much, if anything, to do with the main topic. Hopefully it gets better. Right now, I'd say it's hovering around a 4/10.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 8:00 AM
It got better. I'll bump my final rating up to a 6.5/10.
- - By sideshowbob Date 2017-08-08 10:01 AM
Well into Unfathomable City--A New Orleans Atlas edited by R. Hunt and A Snedeker . This is a fascinating and well written series of essay, by different authors, of the history culture and traditions of NOLO. Each topic included a detailed map. Great writing, hard to put down.
This was a Bday gift from DD # ! . We have holiday trip get together planned  for New Orleans and I should be an excellent tour guide by then. :wink:

Laissez les bon temps rouler

Also reading Richard Ford's tetraology about Ralph Bascombe.  The author's sidebars and insights really grab me.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-08 10:03 AM
Does it mention the lame NOLO FE that three people went to?
Parent - - By sideshowbob Date 2017-08-08 10:31 AM
Who  were the other two if you will ?
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-08 11:19 AM
Barney  rocker maybe. I'm not sure. I wasn't there so it sucked.
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2017-08-08 2:58 PM
: pbbt:
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-11 3:29 PM
You mean the one that involved me, LuckyDog, and jgrey? Mardi Gras Marathon before it became a lame RnR race?
- - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-08 11:05 AM
- I'm still busy with the third book of "1Q84". About 200 pages to go, but I'm working on it

- read a Belgian author that you probably don't know but he's a very famous figure here, writes lots of columns and sits in lots of panels on TV because of his humor (Herman Brusselmans). He's a serial writer (over 50 books) though and his books are rather vulgar and literary not always up to snuff. He's also a big Salinger fan. So I read the book "De man die werk vond" (The man who found a job). It's one of his early works (1985) and arguably one of his better ones.
His books are always somewhat autobiographic. It tells the story of a a young librarian who works at the recreational library of the ministry of Finance. He has very little work and sits alone in his library most of the time, so he keeps himself occupied doing the most ridiculous things, having weird thoughts and conversations with himself or people he does meet (actually it does sound a bit like characters from the Salinger Glass family). It's very funny and rather short (129p).

- bought the first book of the Millenium trilogy since it was only 5 euro : pbbt:
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-08-08 12:28 PM
I looked for an English translation of any of Herman Brusselmans' works, but so far nothing.  Nothing at my library either...  :sad:
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-08 2:09 PM
Well, most of his stories are very auto-biographic and heavily populated with current Belgian media people. He got a couple of lawsuits that way, talking very sexually and provocatively about some news anchors and such. Those books I'm not very interested in because it's just gratuitously vulgar. They may be funny for a couple of pages but I wouldn't consider it literature. Also, the references would be completely lost on foreign readers.

So, not sure he has ever been translated.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-08-08 8:45 PM
I did see one that might have been translated into Italian. :laugh:
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2017-08-10 8:45 AM
My sister passed off to me a book she couldn't finish, Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris. Super fast read and a definite page turner, about a woman kept prisoner by her husband. Good summer fluff if you need it.

I'm thinking about finally starting the Dark Tower series. I've read just about all other SK books except these.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-10 8:53 AM
View The Gunslinger as an intro to the series. It's not an overly strong book on its own. The series really picks up steam with books 2 and 3. :cool:
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-08-11 3:37 PM
My 15-year-old daughter is halfway through Gunslinger and interested to keep reading. :shocker!:
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2017-08-10 8:54 AM
I agree with your take on it, quick fun thriller :grin:
- By cowboyjunkie Date 2017-08-10 9:07 AM
Started State of Wonder by Ann Patchett since I'm on a kinda kick with her. This is the third novel of her's that I'm reading.

Thinking of picking up Patti Smith's M Train next. I recently read thisarticle in the New Yorker about her friendship with Sam Shepard. A wonderful tribute to her friend and a moving account of friendship. Anyway, a close friend read M Train and liked it so I may read it next.
- - By N70SAK Date 2017-08-10 9:17 AM Edited 2017-08-10 9:20 AM
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.

I've started a few times, years ago, but never got too far into it.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2017-08-10 12:18 PM
I finished it once and have meant to re-read it.  I enjoyed the book, but there was one character on the bus I ended up feeling sorry for, and that diminished my enjoyment.  I do think it is an excellent record of a historical event.
- By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-10 9:42 AM
Val McDermid's Out of Bounds, the latest in the Karen Pirie series. I like this protagonist. She's a bit like Barbara Havers in Elizabeth George's Lynley books, though not quite as deliberately obstinate.

Dana Stabenow's Less Than A Treason. Finally she resolves the cliffhanger at the end of Bad Blood. (Not adding any spoilers!)

After attending Crossingscon last weekend, I want to go back and read Diane Duane's Young Wizards series in order. :grin:
- By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2017-08-10 7:20 PM
Finished Shipstar by Gregory Benford and Larry Niven. I only discovered that this was a sequel after getting it but it's good enough that I'll probably get the "prequel" to fill in the blanks on this sci-fi novel since there's certain to be another sequel.

Read A Dog's Way Home by W. Bruce Cameron, who also wrote A Dog's Purpose which I read a few months ago. Both books are wonderful if you're a dog person, and probably if you're not although they are written from the dog's first person perspective. Great insights not only into the dogs' lives but moreso into the humans around them. Crying moments in both books, especially the one I just read.

Starting Slide by Richard Peterson and Stephen Peterson (his son). Sort of clumsy but decent writing and really interesting if you are a baseball fan. If anyone is interested in the travails of a small market sports team in the declining rust belt, this is a must read. It's about the Pittsburgh Pirates, the title of the book coming from the moment that every Pirates fan painfully knows, the Sid Bream slide.

On deck is Richard Nixon by John A. Farrell, recommended by s&f. I can't wait to read it.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2017-08-16 6:33 AM
I started the Dark Tower series the other day. I'm a little over half way through with The Gunslinger now. I'm worried this is going to be 4,000 pages of a book similar to my review of Cold Mountain where it's just a guy walking and coming upon adventures along the way. Or, it could be like Lost where there is no payoff at the end. It's obviously a little tough to get into with the made up language and trying to piece things together but I'll stick with it. My first guess is people die and then die again and then die again...
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 7:57 AM
It's a quest but there is a lot of plot behind the story. It isn't an adventure here, wander around, another adventure, wander, adventure, etc.  everything has purpose and furthers the story. Admittedly, some story lines, especially later in the series, are less than great. Taken as a whole it is fantastic.

It has a lot of LOST like elements (which I posted about years ago when I was reading the books) but unlike LOST, the ending is absolutely perfect. Anyone that says otherwise can suck a tooterfish popkin.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2017-08-16 4:33 PM
I agree with you completely. :shocker!:
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 5:33 PM
I'm printing your reply and hanging it on my wall.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-08-17 12:22 PM
:laugh:
Parent - - By BrookieCookie (Canadian Beaver) Date 2017-08-22 6:51 AM
no :sad:
Parent - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2017-08-22 8:04 AM
:cool:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-22 8:22 AM
:cry:
Parent - - By triplejake (The Vampire Lestat) [us] Date 2017-08-16 10:57 AM
I think it is worth the trip if you enjoy King, but be warned that while the very end has its defenders ^^^,  I think even those defenders would agree the 500-1000 pages of the homestretch leading up to the very end can be tough going at times and contain some odd and unsatisfying narrative choices.  It does get better before it gets worse, though.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 11:25 AM
Certainly. Some points in Song of Susannah and The Dark Tower are pretty bad.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-08-16 4:34 PM
Yes.  I'm enjoying the hell out of Wolves of the Calla (Book V) right now.  My favorite in the series. :happy:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 11:29 AM
The Dark Tower Concordance is a helfpul resource.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2017-08-16 8:50 AM
Has anyone read The Hobbit to their kids? What age? I found a copy in a Little Free Library that I grabbed yesterday. I read it as a kid but can't remember how old I was.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-16 9:14 AM
There's an example of an "Adventure, wander, adventure, wander..." story.

: pbbt:

My son is 12 and has been wanting to read it but hasn't gotten around to it.

Its been a long time since I've read that book but I don't recall anything too intense or scary.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-17 5:12 PM
Yes. I think they were 8 and 6, somewhere around there, maybe 9 and 7. They were OK with it. I think DD reread it later but she has never read LOTR.
- By Mookiethedog Date 2017-08-16 10:44 AM
Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell....I'm almost done all of his books.  This one is interesting in most parts because I knew nothing about the Spanish Civil War.  He does go on a lot about the messed up political sides to it which gets kind of boring but his actual experience is cool.  I admire a guy doing what he did to fight fascism (and other bad ideas).  Not his best book but still good:hug:
- - By IB [us] Date 2017-08-16 2:00 PM
Two days ago I started The Destruction Of California by Raymond F. Dasmann and I'm almost two thirds of the way through it. Another used book I picked up at the bookstore. It was written more than 50 years ago, so it is quite interesting to read things like... "How many people will there be for each wild acre in 2000 A.D., or 2500 A.D.?". The answer to the first is about double what it was when he wrote the book.
Parent - By IB [us] Date 2017-08-22 7:47 PM
This was an interesting book to read, finished it late last week. I'm quite sure the author would be even more appalled at the situation in California today. Thought I would share just a few snippets from the book:

"What we do today must last forever. Perhaps there are a few more mountain lakes or chunks of chaparral that need saving. Perhaps we should not build another freeway down the shores of Lake Tahoe. Maybe there is some sagebrush or cactus desert, oak woodland or valley marsh, bold headland or quiet canyon that would be nice to have intact when tomorrow dawns. If they are not set apart from development, protected against the many abuses that a concrete-minded, bulldozer-oriented civilization can inflict on the land, they will not be here tomorrow. Perhaps it would not hurt now to do more. We could balance the cost by sending one less rocket into outer space. Earth, after all, is where we must live."

"...We have reached the point where we no longer even hope to eliminate pollution, but only to keep it within "tolerable" limits where it does not cause acute discomfort or danger. We no longer think that pure air or clean water is our natural right. We accept our daily potion of poison as a price for civilization."

"The greatest reality in California today is the population problem. It touches on every facet of the land and its life, from the conservation of wilderness and national parks to the restoration of meaning and pleasure to life in the cities. Unless the rate of population increase can be checked and slowed to a point where planning can overtake it, there can be no good answer, only stopgap emergency measures for preserving the landscape and making life bearable in this once-golden state."
- - By george [us] Date 2017-08-17 8:04 AM
I'm reading Angeles Crest - A Memoir, by Michael Modzelewski. It's extremely interesting and he has led an incredible life. I highly recommend it for anyone interested in ultra running, travel, spirituality, and nature.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-08-17 12:23 PM
:cool:
- - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-22 6:21 PM
finally done with 1q84.

I have now officially read all Murakami books :cool:

Was a hard read though in the end, as Beard said. The end is also very un-Murakami, it's usually more open.

Will start with the millennium trilogy now :grin:
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-22 6:39 PM
The ending SUCKED.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-23 9:40 AM Edited 2017-08-23 9:43 AM
I feel like he just wanted to end the story.
<SPOILER> Okay, so they find each other and all is well. I understand the girl's POV, because she has always been an outcast and he was the only one giving her the time of day when they were kids. But his POV doesn't really make sense. Oh yeah, you're my one and only let's run off into the sunset together :wtf::roll:</SPOILER>
Murakami has ended zero books this way :roll:

The only bright spot in the 3rd book was the introduction of Ushikawa. I liked his character.
Parent - - By george [us] Date 2017-08-24 7:11 AM
1Q84 reminded me of a Neal Stephenson book. It was very fun to read and I didn't want to put it down, but then it just fizzled out at the end. Luckily, the rest of the book was good enough to mostly make up for it.

What other Murakami books do you recommend?
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-24 2:24 PM
If you like the magic realism (and Neal Stephenson :wink:), I'd go for "Hard Boiled Wonderland and the end of the world".
I kind of liked "Kafka on the beach more" than "wind-up bird chronicles" as well.
Norwegian Wood is very good but no magic realism.

Which books did you read already and what did you think of them?
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-24 5:10 PM
It's Kafka on the SHORE, moron.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-24 6:53 PM
:laugh:

The Dutch version title is "Kafka on the beach" :wink:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-24 7:28 PM
:blush:
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-24 10:53 AM
I liked Ushikawa but his presence did NOTHING in the overall plot.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-24 2:27 PM
<SPOILER> Well it brought them together at the end. But it's true that it's one of the factors that just dragged the whole thing on. First you have Aomame calling with Tamaru (the body guard) and him explaining how Ushikawa could uncover the plot. Next chapter you have 20 pages of Ushikawa uncovering the plot, re-iterating exactly the things Tamaru said in the previous chapter :roll:
- - By IB [us] Date 2017-08-22 8:23 PM
On Monday I started Islands In The Net by Bruce Sterling, the third used book I purchased back in June. I'm already 110 pages in, a little more than one quarter of the book & I'm really enjoying it. Another 'old' book (published in 1988) which looks into the future = 2023.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-23 9:45 AM
I read his non-fiction "The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier" when I was much younger which I really liked.
Parent - - By IB [us] Date 2017-08-23 7:46 PM
:cool:

This one is heavy on tech but not in an overwhelming way.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2017-08-24 7:14 AM
Well the hacker crackdown is also heavy on tech mainly because it describes the story of some famous hacks and the aftermath.
Also, it's set before the internet, back in the days of modems and phreaking (hacking the telephone system for free dials).
I think I read that back in the 90s.
Parent - By IB [us] Date 2017-09-06 2:17 PM
I finished this towards the end of last week. It was a really good book right up until the very end.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2017-08-25 7:46 AM
I'm on DT book 2, The Drawing of the Three and so far it has been WAY better than book 1. I've really enjoyed the first half of it (and the lobstrosities are creepy as hell).
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-25 5:57 PM
Exactly. I always tell people not to quit with The Gunslinger (which is not really all that great)
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-26 8:58 PM
The second book is far better than the first.
Have fun with the series!
Parent - By jennyO Date 2017-08-29 11:17 AM
Yep, first book was a necessary hurdle to set up the larger themes in the series, but now the fun begins!
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-29 8:54 AM
I ordered November's Fury: The Deadly Great Lakes Hurricane of 1913 by Michael Schumacher (not the race car driver) and will start that next.

I have read his book about the Edmund Fitzgerald and liked it so I will likely enjoy this as well. I recently finished another book about this same storm, White Hurricane: A Great Lakes November Gale and America's Deadliest Maritime Disaster by David G. Brown, and really liked it.

I'm already getting stoked about The Familiar, Volume 5: Redwood which comes out on Halloween. He will be going on a book tour in early November but cities/dates have not been sent. When he was in Madison for the Volume 4 tour he mentioned that he might be coming back to Chicago again. I hope that's true because I would definitely make the drive down.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-29 11:26 AM
There was a hurricane on the Great Lakes? Massive storm, I could believe, but doesn't a hurricane require surface water temperatures of 80 F or greater? I didn't think the Great Lakes got that warm.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2017-08-29 11:41 AM Edited 2017-08-29 11:57 AM
It wasn't technically a hurricane but due to the hurricane force winds and waves it has commonly been referred to as such.

The storm killed more than 250 people, destroyed 19 ships, and stranded 19 others. Lake Huron was hit especially hard.

There were multiple factors that contributed to the loss of ships/lives. The unprecedented severity of the storm, poor weather forecasting/monitoring, poor communication techniques, ship design, and pressure to ship late in the season.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2017-08-29 12:32 PM
Wow. *scoots off to put book on ever-lengthening library hold list* Thanks!
Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / August Books

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