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Up Topic General / Letters and Opinions / January book thread
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-02 9:24 AM
I finished Matthew McIntosh's Well a few nights ago. It is his first (of two) books. It's similar in a lot of ways to the more recent theMystery.doc but I liked it a bit more. Not a feel good book. I ordered it used through Amazon for something like $4 and happened to get a signed copy. Score!

Right now I'm about halfway through book 2 of Stephen King's Dark Tower series, The Drawing of the Three. I'm making my way through the series a third time, taking breaks in between books. This is one of my favorites of the series.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-06 11:21 AM
The Eddie and Jake (Jack Mort) sections are very good but I found the Odetta/Detta parts annoying this time through.
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-11 2:15 PM Edited 2018-01-11 2:17 PM
This may sound pretentious, but that's only because it is. 

I finally got tired of picking shitty books.  I have found that I am way too easily lured by attractive covers and popular trends.  I am now into my late fifties and do not have enough time remaining in my life to waste any of it finding out how much books like "The Da Vinici Code" suck (which is just one example).  I figured, or hoped at least, that there had to be a more reliable way to decide what to read.  So about a month ago I looked for lists of great books on the internet.  I immediately found the rather ubiquitous Modern Library's list of 100 Best Novels.  But it looked kind of top heavy with older classics.  So I looked further and found literally dozens of '100 Best Novels Ever" type lists.  Goodreads has one.  Amazon has one.  NPR has one.  Etc...  There were way too many to absorb, so I eventually settled on the four linked at the bottom of my post. I then took those four lists and compared them to each other.  Here is what I found:

There were 18 books that were on all four lists.  Of those the three I hadn't already read were To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov and Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.  I am now reading To the Lighthouse.  Tropic of Cancer and Lolita are next.  As a check on the reliability of this method I looked at the books that I had already read and found that I had liked all of them with the exception of On the Road by Jack Kerouac

There were 25 books that were on three of the four lists.  Of those I had read and liked 9.  That left the following list of 16 books in no particular order:

Beloved by Toni Morrison
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
An American Tragedy by Thodore Dreiser
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
I Cladius by Robert Graves
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Ulysses by James Joyce (will likely skip this one...I skimmed it once and absolutely hated it)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Under the Volcano by Malcom Lowry
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
Native Son by Richard Wright

So that's my list for now.  It will probably take me the next two years at least to get through it.  After that...well...there are 44 books on at least two of the lists and of those I have only read 15.  And there are 165 books on only one list...and I have only read 39 of 

When I finish this I will be insufferable.  I've already bought some bigger hats.  :mischief:
Modern Library's 100 Best Novels

A Reader's List of top 100 Novels

Time's All Time 100 Best Novels

A list of Student's Picks
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-11 6:26 PM
I'm curious, what were the other 15 books that were on all four lists?  (Or, I guess, 14, since you mentioned On the Road, too.)

That's quite a diverse list.  I've read six of them if I can count Ulysses.  (I skimmed and relied on reader's guide summaries for about the second half.  Otherwise I would've been completely lost!)  You know about Ulysses.  Beloved is beautiful.  The Sheltering Sky is haunting.  Portrait of the Artist is accessible (enough). French Lieutenant's woman is absorbing.  Naked Lunch is weird.  Looks like I have a lot of reading left to do to be fully cultured! :wink:
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-12 6:57 AM
Here are the other 14 that were on all four lists:

1984  by  George Orwell
A Clockwork Orange  by  Anthony Burgess
Animal Farm  by  George Orwell
Brideshead Revisited  by  Evelyn Waugh
Catch-22  by   Joseph Heller
Invisible Man  by  Ralph Ellison
Light in August  by  William Faulkner
Lord of the Flies  by  William Golding
Slaugherhouse Five  by  Kurt Vonnegut
The Catcher in the Rye  by  J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath  by   John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby  by   F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Sound and the Fury  by   William Faulkner
The Sun Also Rises  by  Ernest Hemingway

And the other 9 (out of 25) that were on three of the lists are here:

A Farewell to Arms  by  Ernest Hemingway
Brave New World  by  Aldous Huxley
Gone With The Wind  by  Margaret Mitchell
Heart of Darkness  by  Joseph Conrad
Midnight's Children  by  Salman Rushdie
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest  by  Ken Kessey
The Lord of the Rings  by  J.R.R. Tolkien
The Call of the Wild  by  Jack London
To Kill a Mockingbird  by  Harper Lee
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2018-01-12 12:11 PM
Most of those I read in HS english classes.
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-12 2:02 PM
I've read all but the Rushdie and Lord of the Rings :blush:  I suppose I should pick up a Tolkien book.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-12 4:18 PM
Midnight's Children is pretty amazing...
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-12 4:34 PM
okay, based on your recommendation, I'll add that to my list.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-16 12:07 PM
I either love Rushdie or hate him.  That was the first of his I'd read, and I still think it's the best, followed closely by The Satanic Verses and The Moor's Last Sigh.  I also liked The Ground Beneath Her Feet, but not as much as the others I listed.  The rest of his books ... and I've cracked the spine on nearly all of them ... I've despised.  Joseph Anton I loved at first and then, like a bad relationship, admiration turned to boredom and then contempt.
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 12:14 PM
then, like a bad relationship, admiration turned to boredom and then contempt.

:laugh::cry:  The fact that you understand and can express stuff like this is why I automatically put your recommendations on my list.  :cool:
Parent - By jennyO Date 2018-01-16 12:17 PM
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-12 10:45 PM
If you've never been tempted to read Tolkien, I suspect you'll be bored out of your skull by him. Tolkien is definitely a "love it or hate it" writer.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-13 8:16 AM
I agree. I’ve read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings.

I thought that The Hobbit was alright for a pretty simple kid’s adventure story. The Lord of the Rings I found VERY tedious with less plot than I would expect from such a long book.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-13 2:56 PM
LOTR is one of those I keep going back to.  I think I've read it five times, at least.  But I hate, really hate, the movies.

but I will admit that the portrayal of Gollum was pretty cool, and beyond anything I could have imagined.
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 12:15 PM
I wasn't tempted when my kids had their Tolkien turn, each in 5th and 6th grades.  Nonetheless it seems I should at least try.  :happy:
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-16 12:41 PM
I think life is too short to read books you don't want to read. There are so many that you will enjoy, why spend time reading one you won't?
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 1:05 PM
good point.  :cool:
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-16 2:20 PM
Parent - By ironjen Date 2018-01-13 12:55 PM
The Rushdie one is one I haven't read. I read about half of the Tolkien books but I didn't like them. much to my husbands geeky hearts dismay.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-16 10:25 AM
Interesting list, I actually agree with most. I had all of these save Brideshead Revisited in school. Much analysis of each... I've since read some again more broadly, without the extensive picking apart of the book. A very different experience, but both ways of reading were valuable.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-17 11:21 AM
Vonnegut is a pretty fun writer. Also his books aren't too long.
Same with Salinger.

I haven't read "To Kill a Mockingbird" yet but I listened to the Eminem song : pbbt:
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-11 6:27 PM
I feel you in the "trendy book" department.
I read the first book of the "millennium trilogy" (girl with the dragon tattoo) a month or two ago with the two others also on my shelve.
Somehow my brain put it in the "pulp" department. Not a bad book, but I saw an old Inspector Columbo episode a couple of days ago, and that's basically the level of the book.
I'm not a super reader that reads a book every 2-3 days, so I want big authors with meaningful contributions to the art of writing.
Parent - - By cowboyjunkie Date 2018-01-12 7:56 AM
You're really into Columbo :laugh::cool:
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 11:30 AM
Not really :laugh:

The joke about the writer I read somewhere after Peter Falk died. It was a page with his top 10 jokes or something.
And last week I just happened to come across an episode on TV. I hadn't seen one in 20 years probably.
Parent - By cowboyjunkie Date 2018-01-12 11:47 AM
Ahhh :laugh:
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-12 3:43 PM
I loved the Dragon Tattoo books.  I have the fourth, which was unfinished when the author died, but haven't read yet.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 4:51 PM
I'll definitely read the trilogy. The first book was enjoyable but it's not literature with capital L.
Since I'm not a big reader (a book a month maybe) I'd rather spend it on some classic authors.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-11 6:42 PM
I read Kerouac "On the Road" as well this year, the only reason being that a character in a Murakami novel was walking around with that book all the time :laugh:
Was a good read, but I thought it was a bit too shallow. Read most of Hunter S Thompson and found him much funnier.

Also read "unbearable lightness of being" from Kundera and there one of the characters always carries "Anna Karenina" from Tolstoj, so now I have to read that book too (it's over 1000 pages :cry:).
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-12 7:28 AM
Great novels are supposed to be timeless...unless they are period novels.   On the Road is a period novel.  I have often wondered why I had such a negative reaction to it.  I think it might be that it was not so much the book itself that turned me off but the historic setting or period in which it took place...i.e., the beatnik period.  I find beatniks (hippies, unemployed free spirits, bohemian flower children, etc...) annoying as hell and...well...completely and utterly useless.  They make me grind my teeth.  The characters in On the Road made me want to kill them.  That would have been okay I guess if Kerouac had intended you to want to kill them, but I didn't get that sense.  I got the sense that he wanted you to like them.  Let's just say I didn't.  It wasn't exactly a homicidal rage it put me in, it was more of a slowly simmering realization (or maybe even a wish) that if given half a chance I would gladly shoot both of them...right after I told them to get off my lawn.

On the other hand, the writing itself was not so great either.  I read somewhere that Truman Capote said On the Road wasn't writing at all, it was typing.
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-12 9:46 AM
I did hear that JK took some Dexedrine and a continuous roll of paper, stuck on end in the typewriter, and composed the novel in one sitting.  Not sure that's verified information though.  I liked the novel the first time I read it, but when I tried to read it again, last year, and even when I tried to listen to it (the book on cd), I couldn't get past the first few pages. 

Not sure I can justify it, but I've always had a distant fascination with the Beatnik movement, though I make no claim to being a fan of their writing.  Maybe it's that I see them as a counterweight to the status quo of their time period, and how they inspired others a little closer, but not in, the mainstream, who I could appreciate.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 11:42 AM
I read books just once. Don't remember a book I read twice.
But one of the reasons I wanted to read Kerouac was the big influence he had on writers like Hunter S Thompson.
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-13 7:09 AM
I don't know why, but there are books I go back to over and over.  Escapism, perhaps, or a really bad memory that allows me to enjoy the second reading almost as much as I enjoyed the first, even though I usually remember how the story ends.
Parent - By ironjen Date 2018-01-13 12:56 PM
I actually re-read quite a lot of authors. Very definitely a sense of escapism to rereading but often it's because nothing new is interesting me and yet idle time with no book is abhorrent to me.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 11:40 AM
In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote. Also a book I read last year :wink:

The good part about "On The Road" is that it's not too big. I don't mind reading books of 200 pages that I'm not really into. I'll still be able to tackle those in a week.

But yes, what annoyed me was the description of the parties. Stuff like "Ooh the Jazzman was tearing it up with the bipoo bapoo tudoo tadalaldaaa. And x was just jumping around bam bam bam.". The next page, they go some other place and it's exactly the same thing.
Like I said, not much real depth in the book, they just drive around, that's it.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2018-01-12 12:20 PM
In Cold Blood was very good.  The comments in this thread confirm that I do not ever need to bother with On The Road.
Parent - By BigTex [us] Date 2018-01-17 1:16 PM
I also tried to read On The Road last year.  My road ended about 2/3 of the way through.  I think I'm just too old - I might have liked it in my 20s.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-12 12:19 PM
Unbearable Lightness irritated me.  I loved Anna Karenina, though!
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-12 2:04 PM
completely agree!
Parent - - By BigTex [us] Date 2018-01-17 1:15 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one that wanted to throw that book out the window.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-18 9:18 AM
Another agree - couldn't stand the book.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 3:36 PM
but is was only 300 pages :laugh:
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-12 1:58 PM
I applaud your endeavor. I started reading classic literature some years ago because I found that even though I was an English major in college, there were giant holes in my education from a literary perspective, and also life is too short to read even enjoyable but ultimately mediocre stuff.  There are just too many good books to read.  

I am surprised by how much these lists skew toward English and American authors, with Nabokov being the only Russian?  It seems to me that you might want to read a few of the great Russian classics if you haven't already.  Also, no French authors?  Quelle horror!!!! Zola, Balzac, Dumas, Camus are all fantastic reads (in translation of course), among many others.  I also highly recommend reading some Thomas Mann, Stephen Zweig, and Erich Maria Remarque.  They all have terrific and very accessible books.   If you have already read a lot of these, then feel free to look down your nose at me. :happy:

I loved To the Lighthouse and Lolita (and everything else by Nabokov). Happy reading.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-12 3:37 PM
I had the same thought. These are all English authors :wtf:
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-13 12:07 PM
They are all novels written in English.  Nabokov was Russian and though he wrote some of his novels in Russian, Lolita was written in English. 

I haven't read as many novels written in other than the English Language as I should.  I have done the really big names (Dostoyevsky - Brothers K, Crime and Punishment, The Idiot...Victor Hugo - Les Miserable, Hunchback of Notre Dame) but only a few others besides those.  I hit two more when I went on my magical realism kick (100 Years of Solitude and the Tin Drum).  I also read Don Quixote and The Count of Monte Cristo.  That's about it. 

I also once tried an experiment in order to teach myself Portuguese.  I need to be able to speak Portuguese so that I can speak with my wife's family in greater depth than "may I have another beer please" when we go down to Brazil to visit them.  I picked up an original Portuguese Language version of The Cave (or "A Caverna" in Portuguese) by José Saramago along with a copy of the book that had been translated into English.  My grand plan was to read one page from each book at a time and try to force my brain into learning Portuguese without the rest of me knowing about it.  It was an interesting experiment but it did not succeed.  I got so wrapped up in the English version of the book that I started to read several pages at a time before I attempted to read the Portuguese version.  Soon it was a chapter at a time...and then two.  Eventually I put the Portuguese version out of sight so it would stop making me feel guilty as I read the English version through to the end.  It's still out of sight now although I do occasionally run across it...and whenever I do it admonishes me for being the lazy ignorant non-Portuguese speaking nit wit that I so clearly am.  I have been considering a new plan of late.  Instead of putting it out of sight myself (which is kind of like telling yourself you aren't going to think about something) I am going to instead leave it somewhere clearly visible in our living room.  My wife will then take it and hide it somewhere as punishment and if I don't ask her where it is I will never ever see it again.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 12:16 PM
or alternatively, there is duolingo, although from what you describe, it seems more like a complex, possibly Freudian cry for help and not just the need to learn a somewhat obscure language : pbbt:
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-16 3:53 PM
There are also some books published with the original language on the left pages and the English translation on the right. They can be very helpful, if done well. I have Seneca's works in this format, to name just one, and even though I do fairly well with Latin alone, from time to time it is nice to check myself if I'm in doubt. It also helped when I was learning various languages because it let me read native text of high quality right from an early point; I used it for Spanish, Hebrew, and a couple others. (I think the one I haven't used with this is French, as I started that far too young to understand the classic works; by the time I was age-suited, my language skills were also there.)
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2018-01-13 1:02 PM
also life is too short to read even enjoyable but ultimately mediocre stuff.  There are just too many good books to read.  
By that same vein just because a book is tooted as the be all end all of books or a classic or whatever doesn't mean it's great and that a simpler easier to read (any genre not of the "literature" heading) is crap. It always cracks me up that Eloisa James a best selling romance authors is also a full professor of literature at a well known university and yet she get shit about writing "drivel". She had written some really great essays and articles on the dichotomy of fiction genres and why some are the be all end all and some not so much and how the not so much genres really are not "trash". Sorry, I went off on a tangent and I don't think you were at all implying negative of the tangent I just went on  : pbbt::blush:
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-13 3:12 PM
Speaking of romance, or "drivel," a person I'm more and more considering a friend wrote this.  She also writes a lot of regency romances.  She has an adult fantasy series also that a lot of men supposedly enjoy.  I tried this one, but didn't get very far.'s been a cool experience to sit among writers like her, listen to her first drafts, offer critique, while being simultaneously in awe at her work ethic, skill at creating tension, and ability to draw a listener into her story and make her care about the characters within the first 10-12 pages.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-17 4:48 PM
First link didn't work.
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-14 8:55 PM
There's enough room in the world of art for both Michelangelo and Thomas Kinkaid.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-15 7:26 AM
Well played...
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-15 10:17 AM
One of them is the Painter of Light and the other is shit.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-17 12:52 PM
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 12:26 PM
Just because a book has made the canon (or a canon) of well regarded books doesn't mean it is complicated or hard to understand.   Some of my favorite classics seem very easy to read and understand (for example Dumas -- his books just have an excellent story).   Most classics though, have withstood the test of time, meaning they have some universality to them which has made them live on.  Of course some classics and well regarded books are outdated and no longer enjoyable today, and of course, other genres and books can be good and/or great.  I guess the issue for me is that I don't have the time to read everything I want, and so I would rather read something that has been well regarded and acclaimed by others (which of course, could be unfair, wrong, and too limiting), because the alternative is to read a lot of unknown stuff and hope to stumble across some good stuff along the way.
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-16 3:53 PM
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2018-01-17 9:53 AM
I am not saying that they are hard to understand or complicated. Though usually there are more questions that must be discussed about them hence the use of them in schools. My problem is that most (NOT ALL) people who tend to read the "well regarded" books view them as the be all end all and ANYTHING else of any genre is limiting and a waste of time. And I am not saying the classics are bad because I read most of the books listed above and I've enjoyed them. For some reason today's well regarded books often contain subject matter that doesn't interest me or that is too serious for me right now. To me, reading should be about enjoyment and learning. It's not about struggling to read something, or reading something because Oprah or the NYT says its awesome. Like Arithmea said above, life is too short to waste time reading (or doing anything) that one doesn't enjoy
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-17 10:53 AM
We should all feel free to read what we like, whether the "hot" new book, classics, non-fiction with a tiny audience, fantasy, or whatever else strikes at the moment. Once out of school, it is not an obligation on which one is graded - it is for enjoyment and learning I think, not an obligation. Just recognizing that what is enjoyable and a learning experience etc. may vary amongst people. And that's okay.
Parent - - By Schantzie [us] Date 2018-01-13 4:20 PM
I'm surprised that no novels by Wallace Stegner made the list.  "Crossing to Safety" is one of those books I will only loan to someone I think has a very good chance of appreciating it.
"Angle of Repose" is also very, very good.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-16 12:20 PM
I admit ignorance of this author who google has informed me, has won a pulitzer prize among other acclaim.  I will check him out.
Parent - - By BigTex [us] Date 2018-01-17 1:18 PM
I think we have discovered this in common before, but "Crossing to Safety" is possibly my favorite novel ever.
Parent - By Schantzie [us] Date 2018-01-24 6:39 AM
If you had mentioned it before, I had forgotten, but thank you for the reminder!
Parent - By moonglow9 Date 2018-01-16 10:26 AM
Have always felt similarly about trendy books, hence I read mostly only non-fiction... and not the trendy non-fiction, :laugh:
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:05 PM
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is one of my all time favorites. The book was beautiful, but even moreso when you realize the writer was so young when she wrote it.

Surprised A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (another of my most favorites) isn't on multiple lists. :wtf:
Parent - - By george [us] Date 2018-01-12 11:22 AM
A coworker let me borrow Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I loved it; very reminiscent of The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy in terms of humor and cheekiness, with some Neal Stephenson-esque qualities as well. Now I have two new authors I need to check out!

I am also reading the third Harry Potter book on my kindle. Don't judge me.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2018-01-12 12:18 PM
That was a fun book.  I heard they're making a TV miniseries of it.  (Edit:  I'm referring to Good Omens.)
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-12 3:47 PM
The sixth Harry Potter book is my favorite book of all time.  Don't judge me.  I've read that one three times.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-02 10:08 AM
Pandemic by A.G. Riddle. This book is all over the place so far (about 25% in) so I'm not sure what to think. There is a murder mystery, a bio-terror event, a terrorist kidnapping, someone lost in a cave, someone with amnesia and it seems filled with epidemiologist propaganda.
Parent - - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-10 9:07 AM
Holy shit this was terrible.
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-12 3:47 PM
- By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-02 10:20 AM
Besides all the other books I put on hold just before Christmas, I've got another to pick up:  Walkaway by Cory Doctorow.  1A on NPR did a show on new dystopian novels, and this one was mentioned.  I also learned that there is a class of dystopian novels where major climate issues create societal upheavals.  Some of these are classified as "cli-fi."
- - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-03 9:44 AM
I went to the VOX magazine site and found our former President's reading list for 2017, which he posts on Facebook every year.  I thought a few of you might enjoy:

During my presidency, I started a tradition of sharing my reading lists and playlists. It was a nice way to reflect on the works that resonated with me and lift up authors and artists from around the world. With some extra time on my hands this year to catch up, I wanted to share the books and music that I enjoyed most. From songs that got me moving to stories that inspired me, here's my 2017 list — I hope you enjoy it and have a happy and healthy New Year.

The best books I read in 2017:
The Power by Naomi Alderman
Grant by Ron Chernow
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond
Janesville: An American Story by Amy Goldstein
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
Five-Carat Soul by James McBride
Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
Dying: A Memoir by Cory Taylor
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
*Bonus for hoops fans: Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Basketball (and Other Things) by Shea Serrano
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-03 4:31 PM
I MISS HIM SO MUCH!!! :cry::cry:

There.  I feel a little better now.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-04 10:01 AM
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-04 12:56 PM
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-09 12:09 PM
The Amor Towles book is an interesting choice.  Well written and enjoyable certainly, but as historical fiction it is utter and complete horseshit which completely overlooks all of the atrocities and horrors that took place in the Soviet Union from the 1930s to the 60's.   If you are going to pick this book off his list, read the amazon book reviews first.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-09 2:04 PM
Thanks for the info.  I will do that...
Parent - - By Quagmire [us] Date 2018-01-11 10:41 AM
Here's Trump's reading list:

Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-11 12:23 PM
Parent - - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:20 PM
oh I'm reading The Power! Yay I'm smrt

I want to read Exit West soon as well.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-17 2:43 PM
Parent - - By BigTex [us] Date 2018-01-17 1:23 PM
Hey, we have two books in common!  I read Janesville last fall, and just finished A Gentleman in Moscow about an hour ago.  The writing was really good, but it moved slowly and it was very LONG.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-17 2:38 PM
- - By jennyO Date 2018-01-03 4:34 PM
I started Marlon James's A Brief History of Seven Killings but was finding it a little too hard to concentrate on all the characters - and deciphering the Jamaican dialects - when I was sick.  It seems well worth the effort, though, so I will pick it up again when I finish my current read:  Kate Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog.  The only Jackson Brodie novel I haven't read, and it's such a delight.
Parent - - By Mookiethedog Date 2018-01-04 1:51 PM
jennyO...I read A Brief History of Seven Killings as I lived in Jamaica in the mid-late 70's which is where a lot of this takes place.  I understand the patois but I agree keeping track of the characters was difficult.  It is a very violent story too which kind of turned me off.  I'd be interested to see what you think.  My sister recommended the book to me before she read it (because of the Jamaican link) and so I ended up reading it before her.  She quit reading it because of the violence.  I did like that I knew/remembered a lot of the places and I also remember Bob Marley (The Singer) being wounded in December 1976 as I went by the house the next day (in a car) on my way to a trip out to a reef at Rocky Point.
Looking forward to read what you think about it.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-16 12:19 PM
Alright, finished the Kate Atkinson this weekend and am back on Brief History.  I'll let you know when I finish. :happy:
Parent - - By Mookiethedog Date 2018-01-16 4:22 PM
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-02-13 12:53 PM
Okay, finally finished the book yesterday.  Wow!  You're right, it was incredibly violent.  I warned my mother-in-law away from reading it for that reason.  (Also the graphic gay sex. :shocker!:)  But there was also a lot of gruesome violence, often self-inflicted, in A Little Life, which was also up for the Booker in the year A Brief History won.  I think the violence was appropriate and not gratuitous given the subject matter.  And I did finally get used to the Jamaican patois.  He did an amazing job with all the different voices and perspectives.  I'm sure lots of things went WAY over my head, but to me that's a sign of a very rich book.  I don't know that I enjoyed it, but I did appreciate it.
Parent - By Mookiethedog Date 2018-02-13 1:33 PM
I would echo your review.  If I had not had a Jamaica experience in and around that time I'd likely have quit reading it.  He makes references to lots of places I knew and had seen and lots I knew but would never go.
When the story shifted to New York I lost a bit of interest in it.

Thanks for your update and I like your mention of things going WAY over your head.  It seems I've re-read many books in the last 2-3 years and realized I missed so much the first time around. :hug:
- - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-04 10:59 AM
Finished The Shining.
Enjoyed it. The ending isn't perfect, but better than some of the other King novels I've read. Now reading a home brewing book and will start Ready Player One soon.
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-18 12:25 PM
Now I'm done with those I have nothing to read and this thread has not been helpful. :happy:
- By cowboyjunkie Date 2018-01-04 1:21 PM
About half way through Fannie Flagg's The Whole Town is Talking. Not really enjoying it as much as I have enjoyed her other books. Also reading here and there a book called Toxic Parents. Forget the author's name.
- - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-04 1:50 PM
Just finished Bill Pronzini's The Violated, S.M. Stirling's The Sea Peoples, and Emily Nunn's The Comfort Food Diaries. Halfway through Marcia Muller's The Color of Fear, with David Grann's Killers of the Flower Moonnext up. Library visit tonight before choir rehearsal to pick up a few more books on hold, too.

Pronzini: nonseries book, not bad, though I do like his Nameless Detective series better. I didn't see the ending coming.
Stirling: more of a very long saga. Postapocalyptic fiction from a military historian. He wrote two trilogies that were vaguely related, one dealing with Nantucket being flung back to the Bronze Age with technology/inhabitants intact, the other about the rest of the world as a result of the same Event-with-a-capital-E which changed the laws of physics so that neither electricity nor explosives still work.  Once he'd finished that trilogy, he then started a long continuation of the happenings after the Event (the "Change") which is now 10 books and not finished yet and has delved far deeper into religious and mythical themes than I think he ever anticipated. I like them but not everyone does. Definitely should be read in order.
Nunn: not bad, some good recipes (I may check it out again after Easter when I'm likely to be cooking with eggs and dairy again), a lot about how her family has so many issues, which is wny she went on a quest for comfort food, and I'm wondering what her family members would say if they had a chance to tell their side of the story.

Muller: not finished but again one in a long series and I have been enjoying these since the mid-1980s. The central character, Sharon McCone, PI in San Francisco, has grown immensely while the books have managed to stay fresh. I don't get the feeling of "oh, here we go again, same plot, slightly different presentation" that I do with some series.

Grann: looking forward to this one.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-08 12:26 PM
The Grann book was interesting, I didn't know much about that period or the situation the Osage were in. It's nonfiction, about the Osage tribe in northern Oklahoma in the 1920s -- they had been resettled involuntarily from their ancestral lands in Kansas, which the settlers wanted, to a particularly rocky, arid, and uninviting part of Oklahoma, and the land nobody wanted turned out to be sitting on top of a massive oil field. And the Osage held the mineral rights. Instant riches, and the whites promptly decided the Osage could not be trusted to manage their own affairs and started appointing white "guardians" who were in charge of the Osages' finances. Also the right to a share of the oil revenue was inheritable. A lot of people started dying and revenues wound up concentrated in the hands of a few of these guardians. You can see where this is going.

I did think this could have been two books, one investigating the historical murders (and some deaths not previously tagged as suspicious) and another being the hstory of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the Texas/Oklahoma area, but that's a quibble.
- - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-06 8:55 AM
Who's now planning to read "Fire and Fury" after the news coverage this week?

I'm guessing the library hold list is going to be very long indeed.

I do have to hand it to Michael Wolff, though. It appears he has been able to manage something that very few others have achieved:
he has pushed Donald Trump into opening a book.
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2018-01-06 9:40 AM
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-06 11:57 AM
As of right now, I am #25 out of 160 on my library's hold list :laugh:
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-08 12:16 PM
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 5:07 AM
Makes me think of an Inspector Columbo joke (or rather burn :wink:).

He's talking to a writer in a murder case and he says "my wife is a big fan of yours, she read all your books. In fact, whenever a new book comes out, she's the first to put her reservation in at the library." :laugh:
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-10 10:00 AM
That would be me :laugh::laugh:
Parent - By ironjen Date 2018-01-06 12:43 PM
I'm not sure I believe that DT actually opened the book. It wouldn't surprise me in the least just to find he was reacting to the book jacket blurb and other comments he's heard about the book. But holy hell his reaction sure is making a lot of people run out and buy/borrow the book!
Parent - - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-09 4:46 AM
I learned I could download the book for free from Wikileaks.  I decided against it...
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 5:08 AM
I'm sure you could find it all over the place in the internet.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 5:10 AM
Personally I don't need to read it. I saw a documentary about him done in the early '90s (Donald Trump: What's the Deal?) about all his shady deals and tactics in the 80s and that kind of tells you all you need to know.
Back in the day he managed to pressure all the broadcasting companies with lawyers not to play the documentary, but it came out recently anyway.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-09 12:34 PM
We used an Audible credit to download the audiobook.  I think SNF has finished it already.  I'm finding it amusing listening while i cook dinner.
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-09 2:05 PM
That might be the best way to digest the book :happy:
- - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 6:50 AM
I was done just in time with The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood on Sunday to watch the series beat GoT and Stranger Things at the Golden Globes :cool:
Haven't seen the series, just read the book though.

For those who don't know, the story is taking place in the US when an extreme Christian (or at least a part of it) faction seized power after a series of environmental catastrophes occurred rendering a big part of the environment toxic and many people sterile.
A very literal interpretation of the Bible ensues, especially the story of Jacob and Rachel (Where Rachel offers her maid to Jacob as she has trouble getting pregnant). Households are re-organized in a way where prominent -older- men of the system are head of the household and have handmaids just for the sake of getting pregnant.
This is the story of a handmaid.

Not gonna lie, I had some issues in the middle of the book trying to stay interested in the story, since it just seemed to drag on describing the lifestyle in the dystopian theocratic environment.
I had to reach for the dictionary quite a few time, she likes to use words like palimpsest, demure, cornucopia, compunction, penultimate, diffident, etc...
After awhile the plot thickens though. Many maddening cringe-worthy parts too.

A good read!

Just started with the new Murakami "Killing Commendatore".
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-09 8:40 AM
I haven't seen the series either, but read the book many years ago and just lent my copy to SIL.

Margaret Atwood does like her unusual words, and she is a good writer.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 8:51 AM
It was very well written. Definitely a masterclass in style.
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-09 12:15 PM
I thought this book was brilliant and harrowing.  I liked how she maintained the emotional tension throughout and didn't fall into overly dramatic traps. 
The series is very different - highly dramatized in a way that doesn't always work.  However, the acting is so good and the message has been revised in a way that made it equally  interesting to watch.  I can hardly wait for the second season.
Parent - - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-09 12:39 PM
Yes, it's also the things that she doesn't say. Like there is a war ongoing. Against who? Where are the borders?
At a certain point I saw thinking this is how living in North Korea must feel like.
Parent - - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-09 12:55 PM
yes the NK analogy seems apt.  As well as life under the Taliban, etc.  The unknown makes it all the more scary -- you really feel you are with the main character as she goes through the events, and lack of transparency is often used by totalitarian regimes to keep people in line.    I read somewhere that Atwood only documented atrocities in her book which had happened somewhere at some time.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-12 10:48 PM
I was thinking life under Daesh.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-15 9:24 PM
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-09 2:38 PM
I read The Handmaid's Tale when it was published.  I recall being creeped out by it while enjoying it.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-10 5:59 PM
It is creepy because you really feel like there's no way out.
Parent - - By Schantzie [us] Date 2018-01-10 5:08 PM
What no one has mentioned is that the book was published in 1985, so either it is very much ahead of its time, or we have regressed.  Hard to know.  I read it around 2000 and gave it to my mom to read.  She was raised a fundamentalist in the South and fought her way to a different consciousness, shall we say.  She said the book was beautifully written but her worst nightmare.  She was a voracious reader, and I was surprised at how emotionally she responded to the story.
Parent - By Tommeke Date 2018-01-10 6:17 PM
I actually thought when picking up the book that it was more recent, but you get a lot of clues that it's indeed from the 80s.
I think she mentions the "20th century" a couple of times. Also the events that triggered Gilead seem to relate to that era.

Read a bit about the context of the book and it was a reaction about Reagan's election and the rise of the Christian right.
It seems to be worse now, but looking at movies like footlose, it seemed to be well present back then.
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:17 PM
I listened to that one, Claire Danes did a great job narrating. I was fascinated by it and enjoyed the creepy, possibly creepier than the book, series.
- By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-09 8:35 AM
I'm rereading Clifford Simak's Ring Around the Sun. It was mentioned in Stephen King's story Low Men in Yellow Coats and King has said that it was probably the inspiration for the idea of multiple universes in The Dark Tower series. It's a good pulpy read.

Simak was born in Millville Wisconsin, attended UW-Madison and lived in Wisconsin and Minnesota so it's kind of cool having a local connection to the book.
- - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-09 12:15 PM
I'm reading The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood.  Very interesting so far.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-09 12:37 PM
Have you read Alias Grace?  It's been a while, but I remember enjoying the unreliable narrator in that one, along with the strong feminism throughout.  I thought the series did a pretty good job capturing both.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-09 12:56 PM
No, I haven't read Alias Grace but it's on my list.  I never read Atwood in college or growing up so am making up for lost time.
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:15 PM
I haven't read that one but watched the show on Netflix too, so good.
Parent - - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-09 2:41 PM
I read Blind Assassin a long time ago and have no recollection of the story, though I recall liking the book.  I am going to cheat and watch Alias Grace on Netflix.
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-11 1:12 PM
it definitely seems like one of those books whose plots are too complicated to remember for very long. :laugh:

You can't cheat!!! You have to read Alias Grace first : pbbt:
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-10 9:15 AM
After finishing an awful book I needed something easy and for some reason I had Furiously Happy on my Kindle. I sometimes download a bunch of books at once from the library and then put my Kindle on airplane mode so they can't take the books away from me :laugh: Anyway, this is a book about depression and it's funny, I guess. The author seems slightly annoying occasionally but there are some humorous parts.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2018-01-10 3:46 PM
Watch out!  Elmtree LOVES Jenny Lawson. :wink:
Parent - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-14 9:48 AM
This was not great. Some funny moments but she should maybe just stick to blog posting.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-12 2:32 PM
I'm reading the book Wonder to my kids and I end up in tears just about every night. It's been interesting to see my kids reactions to it so far. In the beginning the boy says he won't describe how he looks and that is really bothering my youngest. He keeps looking at the book cover thinking that's him. My oldest asks a lot of questions about why I'm sad and why some of the people are so mean.
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-12 3:50 PM
When your kids don't understand why people are so mean, that means you are doing a great job as a parent!!
Parent - By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:14 PM
Oh that book was so lovely. I'm afraid the movie won't do it justice. Oh well. It is always checked out here and on reading lists, but I hadn't read it until last year and I also cried. Now I understand the love of the book.
- - By jennyO Date 2018-01-12 4:26 PM
This isn't  about what I'm reading, but I'm having a lot of fun right now getting my daughters to read books I enjoyed.  My 10th grader picked up The Goldfinch on her own.  She found it slow going at first but then was enjoying it.  I imagine it'll be hard for her to finish it with her busy schedule.  (It's sooo long.)  I've pulled out Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep for her, too, because I think she'll totally relate to the teenage-girl angst in it.

And Zoe, who's just finished her first semester at community college, is headed in an English major direction and loves short stories.  As an antidote/update on the Raymond Carver stories her prof suggested to her, I just loaned her George Saunders's Tenth of December and A.M. Homes's The Safety of Objects, two collections I just loved by quirky writers.

Having my kids read and appreciate things I love is such a treat!
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-14 4:51 PM
Amen. I love it when one of my kids reads and likes a book that I also enjoyed and is eager (or at least willing) to talk about it!
- - By sideshowbob Date 2018-01-13 7:10 PM
Just finished The Shipping News by Annie Proulx . Yes, I know it's not recent. Somehow i missed it when first published . Great story,dark humor with great characters in a rugged locale . I do recall the movie starring Kevin Spacey (before he was outed I think); another case where the movie didn't do justice to the book .
Looking for another read; any suggestions ?
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-14 6:19 AM
The Da Vinici Code
Parent - - By sideshowbob Date 2018-01-14 3:25 PM
I tried that years back but alas. Back in the last century , when I was a techy college student taking required English lit  courses , I recall the profs  mentioning " the willing suspension of disbelief ". Well, I still can't suspend very far. My bad ; I guess I need more realism  and less improbable conspiracy type plots.

Thanks anyway.:grin:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-15 10:17 AM
: pbbt:
Parent - - By Photocat [us] Date 2018-01-18 9:41 AM
Angels & Demons was so much better than DaVinci Code. Neither movies were good.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 9:46 AM
I read both because my mom kept telling me to and I felt obligated. I thought that they were pretty much the same story with different characters.
- - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-16 12:48 PM
Just finished Nora Roberts' Year One . Not overly impressed -- a mishmash of a number of other "it's the end of the world as we know it and here is a band of survivors grappling with Some Unknown Force to save themselves and possibly all of humanity". She's obviously read The Stand , I think that's probably the biggest influence, but I saw a number of other authors mixed in there as well.
Parent - - By ironjen Date 2018-01-17 9:54 AM
I have that in my TBR pile. I'm probably going to wait until all of them come out before reading it (It's supposed to be a trilogy right)? Most of the time I love her stuff but every once in a while I get one and I'm all, ugh.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-17 11:38 AM
Pretty sure it will be a trilogy, yes.
- By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-16 2:34 PM
I'm reading He-Man and the Masters of the Universe: The Newspaper Comic Strips. I'm enjoying it though a lot of the artwork is black and white (no surprise since it is from the newspaper) and not overly great.

I also own the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe Minicomic Collection, which I read last year. This was a collection of the mini comic books that came with He-Man toys in the 1980s. All of it is in color and the artwork is surprisingly good.

Both are good retro fun.:cool: Both belong on the hoity toity lists that Quagmire is lording over all of us.
- - By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2018-01-17 10:27 AM
Just finished Run Fast Eat Slow which is Shalane Flanagan + friend's cookbook. There are a lot of interesting recipes, but I haven't tried any of them yet since most of them use odd ingredients that I don't have on hand. There was some narrative in the book that gives context to why the recipes were created, which was decent.

I am also in the middle of Meb for Mortals which I am finding very insightful.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-17 11:38 AM
What are some of the odd ingredients? I find Sprouts is often a good source, and much more reasonable than Whole Foods.
Parent - - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-17 12:09 PM
I hear a lot of them call for penguin. Hard to get good penguin in some places.
Parent - By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2018-01-17 12:12 PM
Parent - By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2018-01-17 12:12 PM
There are some odd spice blends, coconut oil, coconut milk, almond butter, teff, some different types of grains, and some other things. Not all odd, but things I just don't have lying around and would have to make a special trip to the store to purchase.
Parent - By ironjen Date 2018-01-18 7:34 AM
I got Shalene's book cheap (Amazon had a sale). Hearing that it was weird ingredients does not bode well as I have no looked at it yet.
- By noel (Kilotons of Honky Tonk Badonkadonk) Date 2018-01-17 12:12 PM
I'm reading The Power by Naomi Alderman. It is really good so far...suddenly all these teen girls from all over the world get this weird electrical power and then they start to waken it in older women. They start to separate the boys from the girls b/c people are getting hurt. I assume the patriarchy is about to be over turned but I haven't gotten that far yet.

Listening to Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I tried to read it a year or so ago but I just wasn't into it. The audio is great though...especially since I can kind of tune out the techy descriptive stuff for short spells and still get whats going on. I've got maybe 40min left of that one.

Going to listen to Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman next. Its the sequel to Scythe that he put out last year. Very creepy/Shusterman-like. So far the reviews of the sequel are really good, I hope so.
- - By jennyO Date 2018-01-17 12:42 PM
Finished listening to Salem's Lot.  (Listened once before, about 10 years ago.)  I think that does it for my revisiting -books-with-a-connection-to-The-Dark-Tower phase. :happy:

False starts on two other audiobooks:  Cop Town, by Karin Slaughter, and Midnight, by Dean Koontz.  Audible had Midnight on sale really cheap recently, so I got it, thinking it would be fun.  It seemed very weirdly familiar.  I've only ever read two Koontz books in my life, way back in my teens/early 20s, but what do you know?  This was one of them!  I thought I'd give it a listen anyway, but some of the shitty writing (think: exposition through dialogue :roll:) was too much to bear.  I tried Cop Town again, too, but just can't do it.  The book is probably fine, but the narrator is so fracking irritating!  Her enunciation drives me up the wall. :cry:

So, I've decided I'll finish listening to Fire and Fury - which is fun in a gossipy kind of way - and then move on to Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann.  Sounds kind of heavy, but at least it should be well written.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-17 5:01 PM
Killers of the Flower Moon: see above. I read it a couple of weeks ago.

Koontz -- no thanks. I read some of his books, years ago, and got annoyed because the characters were all so lucky. Mostly wealthy, mostly healthy, and most of all they were helped out constantly. If one of King's characters is flat broke in Arizona and needs to get to Maine, it's going to be a long, tough slog hitching or hiding in a truck with likely some misadventures along the way. If one of Koontz's characters is in the same situation, the person sticks out his/her thumb, gets picked up by a motorist, and after the character decides the motorist is a nice person the character confides in the motorist and the motorist promptly drives character to the airport, books him or her a flight, and slips the character some cash for the taxi at the other end. Everything works out perfectly for Koontz's characters, at least in the books I read.
Parent - By jennyO Date 2018-01-17 5:34 PM
Oh, I missed that before.  Thanks for alerting me and for your review.  Sounds like it will be pretty interesting!
Parent - By Photocat [us] Date 2018-01-18 9:42 AM
Koontz and King aren't even similar:roll:. I don't get why he must be compared to King in any way. They are both great but you get different things out of their work.
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 9:47 AM
Dean Koontz isn't fit to hold Stephen King's jock.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-22 12:15 PM
I decided to hold off on Killers for a bit.  Listening to Fire and Fury at times and reading a Brief History of Seven Killings is giving me enough political intrigue for the moment.  I needed escapism, so I started listening to The Handmaid's Tale, one of the few Margaret Atwood books I never read.  Clare Danes is the narrator.  It's fantastic so far!
Parent - By gadget girl Date 2018-01-22 2:15 PM
Your idea of escapism is very different than mine.  :laugh::laugh:

enjoy :cool:
- - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 9:26 AM Edited 2018-01-18 9:50 AM
I started my third reread of The Wastelands last night. I had forgotten how much I like this one. So far I'm liking it more than The Drawing of the Three, which I'm pretty sure I've consistently rated higher in my DT rankings.
Parent - - By jennyO Date 2018-01-18 12:47 PM
The whole thing with Blaine the Mono is so much fun. :happy:
Parent - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-22 8:16 AM
It is.

It's always been one of my favorites in the series but I forgot just how good it is. The parts about Jake are fantastic.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-18 9:52 AM

Tons of rare Stephen King books lost in a flood
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 10:03 AM
Putting anything of value in the basement of an old building doesn't seem like the best idea.
Parent - - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-18 10:33 AM
And where do you keep your My Little Ponies, Beanie Babies and Cabbage Patch Dolls?
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 10:38 AM
I'm not mkh.
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-18 12:23 PM
My pound puppy hates you.
Parent - - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-18 11:19 AM
It's not a good idea at all. But many places use basements as storage rather than moving items offsite during renovation.

Poor store owner. He must be devastated.
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-18 11:30 AM
Definitely. My guess is that many small businesses like this can't afford the time or money to properly move/store things during other projects. It doesn't seem like the owner in this case was using his basement as long term storage. It seems like a case of bad timing. I do feel bad for him.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-19 10:48 PM
And unless he has flood insurance none of this will be covered. :sad:
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-18 2:20 PM
I would be devastated, regardless of the rarity or estimated worth of the objects.  A friend of mine had made the transition to cd's, but kept his albums in his basement, only to lose most of them when it flooded, likely due to a sump-pump failure.
- By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-18 2:13 PM Edited 2018-01-18 2:15 PM
I finished Meacham's American Gospel.  An excellent read, so much so, I'll likely buy a copy so I can underline and highlight to my heart's content.

Just started Eli J. Finkel's The All-or-Nothing Marriage: How the Best Marriages Work.  You'd think after 38 years, I'd already know...

there's an interview with the author here.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-19 7:49 AM
Not a good start to my reading year, so far it's been all crap that I have finished.

Just read Artemis by Andy Weir, the guy who wrote The Martian. I really enjoyed that book but Artemis is total garbage. Bad on so many levels, don't even waste your time.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-19 4:47 PM
Thanks for the tip. I also enjoyed The Martian, it's one of DS's favourite books of all time, so put a hold on Artemis. At least I didn't buy it!
- - By jaszflamus (I like wool!) Date 2018-01-19 7:27 PM
Really busy the past few months, not much time for fun reading but I did read Finding Gobi, a Little Dog with a Very Big Heart by Dion Leonard on the flights to and from Arizona the first part of the month. Outstanding running, animal and human story. :cool::hug:

I also finished Nixon by John Farrell a week ago, a book recommended by s&f a few months ago and which I started then but just finished. :blush: It really is an excellent detailed account of something I lived through but learned and was reminded of so much. History and politics repeat themselves. One major thing, despite how flawed Nixon was, is how he had good ideals behind the political whore he could be. Modern politicos could learn from that.
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2018-01-22 7:48 AM
Re Nixon--I agree with the above. The positive things he accomplished are pushed aside by Watergate and Vietnam. LBJ 's legacy also was destroyed by the war. :sad:
- By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-22 7:25 AM
Well into North River by Pete Hamill.  This was recommended by runnerjim, who turned me on to Russo.   I've put his (Hamill's) memoir, A Drinking Life on hold. 

The All-or-Nothing Marriage was worth my time and trouble.
- - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-22 10:16 AM
The Familiar Vol 5 is waiting for me at the library!
Parent - - By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-22 11:06 AM
:cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool::cool: should be buying these to help out Mr. Danielewski.
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-22 11:28 AM
I know, but I don't need 5 giant books taking up space in my house.
Parent - By mkh (Mr. Fashionista) Date 2018-01-31 11:34 AM
I don't get it.....:wtf:
- - By Beastie Girl [us] Date 2018-01-22 10:39 AM
Do audiobooks count? :wtf: I just finished Orphan X by Gregg Hurwitz. It was an engaging story and kept me entertained while running. The narrator was very good. It is the first on a series and I will definitely be listening to the second book as well.
Parent - By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-01-22 11:17 AM
Of course audio books count! It is the tale, not he who tells it. Or she. Or how it is told, whether in print or audio or electronically. Or Braille for that matter.
- By The Beard (is wearing Arm Panties) [us] Date 2018-01-31 11:03 AM
Started my third reread of Wizard and Glass last night. I was pretty tired so I only made it about 30 pages in.
- - By insistor (needs a bigger dick) Date 2018-01-31 11:16 AM
Finished Apollo 8: The Thrilling Story of the First Mission to the Moon by Jeffrey Kluger. It was a good, fast read and if you are interested in the moon (not Uranus) I would recommend it.

Started The Handmaid's Tale (both the book and the TV series) and I'm not sure which one I love more. They are both very, very good.

I'm halfway through the Audiobook version of Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson. I'm really not sure what I am learning with this. It's an overwhelming amount of information, very little of which I understand, and it just keeps piling up.
Parent - By sideshowbob Date 2018-01-31 12:08 PM
As a former science teacher, I think that the Astrophysics book leaves much to be desired, such as some graphics and charts to visually explain some concepts. One picture== 1000 words of text.
Parent - By blazer85 [us] Date 2018-01-31 1:53 PM
This past summer, my nerd, 20 yo daughter gave me Astrophysics for People in a Hurry as SHE LOVES PHYSICS!  She told me it was a very basic read so I could get a handle the subject.  I barely made it 20 pages before deciding I was a total dumbass......I could not comprehend anything.
- - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-01-31 12:22 PM
Since we last talked:

Pete Hamill's A Drinking Life- very very good memoir
Fire and Fury - entertaining
and, thanks to a couple of "you people", Stegner's Crossing to Safety
Parent - - By Schantzie [us] Date 2018-01-31 1:21 PM
Well?  What did you think about "Crossing to Safety"?
Parent - By LDR (100 Mile Stud) [us] Date 2018-02-01 11:37 AM's on the stack, for after I've finished Fire and Fury.  (I should have been more clear on what I've read and what I have yet to read.)
Parent - By brneydrnnr (barney cougar) [us] Date 2018-01-31 2:11 PM
I have Crossing to Safety on hold at the library - picking it up tonight :cool:
- By Arimathea [us] Date 2018-02-02 3:41 PM
Finished Kathryn Miles' Quakeland: On the Road to America's Next Devastating Earthquake and checking things like our water supply.

Also Victoria Redel's Before Everything. I wasn't riveted. This is a book about five women who have known each other since junior high school, they're now all around 50, and one of them has decided not to continue cancer treatments. (After four times I think I might feel the same way.) Family and friends are not united behind her decision. It was reasonably good but the author alludes to some factors and then never mentions them again, and at times I found it difficult to remember who was who.

Halfway through Ruth Hogan's The Keeper of Lost Things and I'm enjoying this a lot more. Definitely light reading however the story is interesting, there are some zingers I wasn't expecting, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the various threads tie together. Also I am thinking happily how much my mother is going to enjoy this book.

Next up is a complete change of pace: Antonio Iturbe's The Librarian of Auschwitz.
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