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What are you reading?
Posted: 16 March 2014 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 556 ]
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Just finished About Face David Hackworth (US Army Col. Ret.)
Excellent book.

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Posted: 16 March 2014 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 557 ]
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Occam. - 16 March 2014 05:21 PM

Re: Lolita. Yup, I read it in about 1959, and enjoyed it greatly.  Excellent writing, great humor, and especially trilingual puns.  LOL  (Yeah, I had to use a French dictionary and have a Russian speaking friend translate the third meanings.) 

I especially got a kick out of my quite dumb, conservative next door neighbors who couldn’t wait to read it for the prurient parts, missed all the humor, and were quite disappointed at the lack of explicit sex.  smile 

Occam

There’s another type, some of whom are in my book group. They cannot understand the difference between literature and real life.

Lois

[ Edited: 18 March 2014 10:49 PM by Lois ]
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Posted: 17 March 2014 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 558 ]
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Plague of Shadows by Howard Andrew Jones. Just some more escapist fantasy fiction. smile

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 20 March 2014 05:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 559 ]
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Hello every one, im new here - I am reading the hunger games - first book by Suzanne Collins

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Posted: 10 June 2014 04:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 560 ]
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The Book of Cthulhu, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Some fun creepy stories.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 10 June 2014 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 561 ]
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Unorthodox, by Deborah Feldman, a memoir of a Hasidic girl in Brooklyn who has an arranged marriage, gives birth to a son, and breaks away from the community where she was raised very conservatively. I recommend it.

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Posted: 11 June 2014 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 562 ]
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harry canyon - 10 June 2014 04:51 PM

The Book of Cthulhu, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Some fun creepy stories.

Take care,

Derek

A Lovecraft fan?
I read that book not long ago, it was quite good.

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Posted: 12 June 2014 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 563 ]
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Floods, Famines and Emperors: El Niño and the Fate of Civilizations (1999), Brian Fagan.
“Using the dramatic climatic shifts that accompanied the El Niño years of 1982-1983 and 1997-1998 as his point of departure, Fagan combines recent scientific advances in the understanding of El Niño events with archaeological data in order to highlight the role of climatic anomalies throughout human history.”

The Great Warming, Brian Fagan (2008)
”... fascinating account of shifting climatic conditions and their consequences from about A.D. 800 to 1300, often referred to as the Medieval Warm Period.”

Fascinating for sure - drives home our dependence on the climate while dishing out some interesting ‘the rest of the stories’ about what happened to various past civilizations

The Civilization of the Middle Ages (1994), Norman Cantor

It’s funny I just looked at http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/321173.The_Civilization_of_the_Middle_Ages
and I definitely find myself agreeing with various assessments of Cantor. 
“While most readers simultaneously love-hate Norman Cantor, even among his bitter critics he is considered a master in the field.”
“A thorough if sometimes tedious book about medieval Europe. Cantor’s scholarship is sound. His writing is accessible but not the easy-to-digest style he perfects in such later book as “In the Wake of the Plague” and “Antiquity.”

I do audio books and the first time through Civilization his style was driving me crazy, like a wonderfully interesting book I’d wish one else had written.  But, it was one of those deserving a second listening.  Upon the second listening the irritants, irritated far less and I was able focus even more on the substance.  Upon the third (so far partial) listening - the irritants have evaporated or perhaps been wallpapered over by the substance and I’m actually enjoying it.  Guess I gotta check out “In the Wake of the Plague” and “Antiquity” sometime.

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Posted: 12 June 2014 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 564 ]
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mid atlantic - 11 June 2014 08:04 PM
harry canyon - 10 June 2014 04:51 PM

The Book of Cthulhu, edited by Ross E. Lockhart

Some fun creepy stories.

Take care,

Derek

A Lovecraft fan?
I read that book not long ago, it was quite good.

Indeed! There have been some very entertaining stories thus far. (I’m about half way through.) Just finished ‘Jihad over Innsmouth’ one of my favorite stories so far.

I certainly do enjoy Lovecraft’s own stories, but in limited doses as many have the formula ‘I’d better tell this story before I go completely mad’. wink

Last weekend we found a Lovecraft biography by L. Sprague de Camp. I’m looking forward to reading that soon as well.

There’s a Book of Cthulhu II out… I’ll be picking that up when the budget allows.

Take care,

Derek

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Posted: 13 June 2014 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 565 ]
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I’ve been reading The Case of the Socialist Witch Doctor and Other Stories, by Ethiopian author Hama Tuma. These stories satirize (what would very generously be called) the judicial system in Ethiopia from the 1970s-90s, when Ethiopia was taken by the communists. It’s a great read with a lot of black humor.

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Posted: 18 June 2014 04:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 566 ]
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I just finished reading “Surely Your Joking Mr Feynman” which is an autobiography by the Nobel prize winning physicist Richard Feynman. Some of you may remember him more for his dramatic but simple table top experiment during the Challenger disaster investigation when he demonstrated what happens to O-ring when exposed to cold. He did this with a glass of ice water and a clamp he bought at the hardware store. It was great example of what can be done with a solid understanding of the science and a little common sense.

The book is a bunch of anecdotes and stories about his life with only a little bit of physics here and there. At first I thought a biography of a physicist might be a little dull but he turned out to be quite a character. Through all the stories of his adventures and pranks, what comes through is an amazing intellect with a thirst for learning about all sorts of things from the mundane to the bizarre. His antics will make you laugh in parts and wonder how the heck he got away with the things he did in other parts.

Feynman died in 1988 not long after serving on the commission that investigated the Challenger disaster. After reading the book I decided to look on Youtube to see if I could find any videos of him when he was alive. I came across the one below. Its only ten minutes long but I think it should be required as part of every introductory science class and maybe again when kids conclude their education. It was filmed in the 50’s but it sums up what science is with intelligence and wit in a way that we need more of today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYPapE-3FRw

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Posted: 19 June 2014 04:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 567 ]
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Currently:  Stone Age by ML Banner, a novel about humanity being thrown back to the stone age by a massive solar storm.
Re-read: The Pledge by Howard Fast about the “commie scare” in the fifties.
Just finished: Hidden in Plain Site.  What this thing we call time really is according physicist by Albert Thomas and The Sirens of Titan by Vonnegut.

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Posted: 19 June 2014 06:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 568 ]
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Been reading a lot of books lately

I borrowed   “How Jesus became God” by Dr. Ehrman from a friend.  I only read about 20-30 pages of what I though was relevant, and then tried to read
one of the sources he used   “The son of god in the Roman world” by Dr.Micheal Peppard.

Its now that I realize that Dr. Ehrman really tones scholarly discussion in his book.  Dr. Peppards book is pretty deep so that it takes me almost an hour to read 10 pages !!! (while taking notes)

Beyond that Im also reading

“Delusion of Gradner” (a book about the united nations)
“How to watch tv news”  (a book written Dr. Postman and Dr. Steve Powers about why we should be skeptical of the news)

[ Edited: 19 June 2014 06:12 PM by I.J. Abdul Hakeem ]
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Posted: 19 June 2014 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 569 ]
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I’m currently reading Dennet’s Breaking the Spell again. A recent poster referenced the book several times and while checking a quote he mentioned I dove into it again. Now I want to read another Dennet book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea but have to finish Krauss’s book A Universe From Nothing first. I put that on the back burner to read Dennet. Sometimes I wonder if I have a touch of ADHD.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 20 June 2014 03:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 570 ]
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Thevillageatheist - 19 June 2014 07:51 PM

I’m currently reading Dennet’s Breaking the Spell again. A recent poster referenced the book several times and while checking a quote he mentioned I dove into it again. Now I want to read another Dennet book, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea but have to finish Krauss’s book A Universe From Nothing first. I put that on the back burner to read Dennet. Sometimes I wonder if I have a touch of ADHD.

I do that frequently. I’ll start reading something (and it’s interesting!) But something else will grab my attention instead. I frequently have 2 or 3 books I’m rotating through depending on my mood.

On topic…

I’m just about done with the Book of Cthulhu. I’m really enjoying it! (Now, where did I put that copy of the Necronomicon…?) cheese

Going to continue with the fiction for a while longer and read Hounded: The Iron Druid Chronicles (book 1). More modern fantasy (which I keeps claiming ‘I’m swearing off’) but I keep finding something in the genre that interests me.

I’m also reading Writing Science Fiction and Fantasy as time allows. (I leave it at home so only read it in the evening and weekends.)

Take care,

Derek

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