What Book(s) Are You Reading Now (WBAYRN)?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by woodychandler, Apr 11, 2020.

  1. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    Check their Facebook page, now that I think about it, can't remember if they are going to be open Sunday, or if its just Saturday for now?
     
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  2. toolbrew

    toolbrew Defender (640) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana
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    Just discovered this thread and read through its entirety!

    @roan22 - I echo the praise for Everybody Loves Our Town. The best biography of the grunge scene.

    @PapaGoose03 - What are some of the AT books you’ve read other than A Walk In the Woods?

    Lots of praise for Tolkien! I reread LOTR every couple years and recently reread Children of Hurin - which I thought was much better on my second read. Still haven’t reread the Silmarillion.

    I too, am currently reading Sapiens. About 200 pages in and am enjoying learning about human history. Had to pause Feather Thief because Sapiens is only a two-week library loan.

    Recently finished Survivor Song which seemed relevant given the current pandemic.

    Generally I like books about the outdoors, WWII European Theater, fishing, but will read just about anything.
     
    #162 toolbrew, Oct 4, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
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  3. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,784) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    Going to check out notes From The Underground. Supposedly these experiences Dostoevsky went through inspired his conversion to Catholicism
     
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  4. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    One book is still on my Kindle and one is a book that was gifted to be that i still have, so two books that I can add to the first part of the list are:
    Painted Blazes: Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Jeffrey "Loner" Gray
    Alone Together by Wally Miars (The author of this book lives in a nearby town and is why I have this book. It was likely a small printing and may be hard to find. But I think it's the one that got me started reading all of the others, including Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods.)

    Because I deleted all of the ones that I downloaded and read on my Kindle, the rest of the list below is recreated from memory by looking thru a list of books on the AT hiking topic.
    Whistler's Walk: The Appalachian Trail by William Monk
    Hellz Yeah It's Possible!: A Journal and Guide to Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail by Kevin 'Possible' Kiernan
    Balancing on Blue: A Thru-Hiking Adventure on the Appalachian Trail by Keith Foskett
    How the Wild Effect Turned Me into a Hiker at 69: An Appalachian Trail Adventure by Jane Congdon
    My Appalachian Trial I: Three Weddings and a Sabbatical by Steve Adams
    Hiking the Appalachian Trail is Easy: Especially if You've never Hiked Before by Steve Adams
    Where's the Next Shelter? by Gary Sizer

    I have a feeling that there were more because this list isn't as long as I thought it would be, but I'm probably thinking about the other books that I've read about hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail.

    I enjoyed all of the AT books (except maybe Painted Blazes didn't seem very inspiring) and can't recommend one above another because they all just kind of run together in my mind. But every story is unique.

    If I remember correctly, the second from last book in the list above by Steve Adams was just a fairly short 'how-to' book (about planning, equipment, etc.) and not a story of his hike, which was told in the book just above this one.
     
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  5. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    Trailer for News of the World just came out with Tom Hanks. Its an excellent book by Paulette Jiles.

     
  6. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (268) Jan 16, 2007 New York
    Trader

    Moved on to Robert Remini’s The Revolutionary Age of Andrew Jackson. The critique of Remini is that he’s probably a little too soft on Jackson, which is likely true. At the same time, he just knew Jackson so well that his books are always informative. And he got his PhD under Richard Hofstadter at Columbia, who is my favorite American historian, period.
     
  7. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Started/finished The Zombie Survival Guide. It was ok, had some interesting, legit tactical advice that runs counter to what has been Hollywoodized. I read the same author's World War Z a few months back, and the movie should have been called something else it was so different. Basically I've dried the Libby app up of anything I want to read that's not a 6 month wait.
     
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  8. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    Louise Gluck wins the Nobel Prize in Literature

    https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/nobel-laureate-louise-gluck-in-the-new-yorker

    Interesting for a few reasons. She mainly writes poetry, and the Nobel usually goes to literary fiction writers. Also, she is from the US, and the Nobel comity doesn't usually give the award to someone in the same nation so soon. Bob Dylan won it in 2016, which was a huge boondoggle then. Since, again he wasn't writing literature, and it basically took away any chance of Philip Roth winning it (you have to be a living writer to win and Roth passed away soon after Dylan was announced). And, most people, assumed anyone else from the US for a long time.

    I'm always fascinated by the Nobel's selection as sometimes it can be contrarian just to be so. It can also bring light to someone completely out of the blue who deserves recognition. I have never been a big poetry reader, though I have heard of Gluck before. I'm certainly going to check her out soon because of this though.

    Currently reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore. Which is wild, and he is always mentioned as a front runner for the Nobel as well, but never seems to win.
     
  9. SFACRKnight

    SFACRKnight Poo-Bah (1,784) Jan 20, 2012 Colorado
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    WwZ was a great read. The movie was awful.
     
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  10. traction

    traction Defender (678) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
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    This may be cheating because I'm not reading it but listening to the audio book while I drink beers...

    A People's History of American Empire by Howard Zinn

    RIP Howard Zinn and thank you for teaching the people

    I've read enough Zinn books I think I get a pass for listening to this one on audiobook :wink:
     
  11. RutgersBeerGuy

    RutgersBeerGuy Aspirant (268) Jan 16, 2007 New York
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    Read Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in a day while waiting for the girlfriend to finish her book, so that we can begin a re-read of Tocqueville’s Democracy in America together.
     
  12. mendonjoebeer

    mendonjoebeer Aspirant (247) Nov 9, 2010 North Carolina

    America might be a better place if more folks read this book.
     
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  13. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Not that I need to become a better person (:slight_smile:), but you got me curious about this book. It's going on my 'to read' list.
     
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  14. mendonjoebeer

    mendonjoebeer Aspirant (247) Nov 9, 2010 North Carolina

    There is also a version that is written more for middle school age kids.
    After reading the adult version, you may want to recommend it to any you know.
    Then again, after reading it, you may not want to.
    I can already tell what a wonderful person you are my your many posts!
     
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  15. jeebeel

    jeebeel Initiate (192) Jun 17, 2003 Texas

    If you enjoy the book and the stories it tells about our national history, looking up the author’s bio is worthwhile too.

    When my daughter was in middle-school, the version mentioned by @mendonjoebeer was part of her reading list. My wife and I were glad, and I read my copy again. Just to be ready for the questions that followed.
     
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  16. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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  17. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
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    I downloaded a sample of A Peoples History of the American Empire by Zinn to my Kindle, and I also downloaded a sample of another of his books, A Peoples History of the United States. The 'Empire' book is a square-shaped format and wants to load two pages at the same time in a horizontal screen, which means that the text is so small that it's not readable without a magnifying glass. So I deleted it and will read the other sample (which doesn't demand a horizontal screen and is one page at a time). If I really like that one I may order a hard copy of 'Empire'.

    After I finished Blue Highways (mentioned in one of my last posts), I then read three books that my daughter loaned me (we have similar reading tastes). Two of them are about hiking, which I've mentioned above is a frequent subject of my reading. They are Lost In The Wild by Gary Griffith, and Grandma Gatewood's Walk by Ben Montgomery.

    The first book is about two solo hikers in separate incidents getting lost in the wilds of northern Minnesota (and across the border into Ontario for one of the hikers), and their efforts to get back to civilization and the efforts by searchers to find them. The book is very descriptive reporting of both stories (inter-mingled so that you tend to get lost between which of the stories that you're reading).

    Grandma Gatewood was the first lady to thru-hike the AT so the bulk of the book is about that. She was 67 years old in 1955 when she did it. However the book is also a biography about her which adds to her hiking story and the trials and tribulations of a battered wife with 12 kids to make her achievement all that much more unlikely of seeing her successfully complete that hike (and then do it again, and then a third time during the years after her first completion).

    The third book of this group is Destiny of the Republic by Candace Millard. It's essentially a biography of President James A. Garfield, but it also looks at tangents surrounding his assination, i.e. the 'nutcase' who pulled shot him, and the quality of medical procedures and doctors back then. This book makes me want to read a biography about every president.

    All three books are well written and highly recommended if these topics are to your liking.
     
    #177 PapaGoose03, Oct 28, 2020
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  18. BuffaloBill12

    BuffaloBill12 Initiate (148) Oct 21, 2011 Illinois
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    Reading "The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American" by Andrew Seidel. Obviously this won't appeal to the broadest audience possible but given the current electoral calendar and our newest Supreme Court Justice, it makes for a compelling read. The author is a constitutional lawyer so the book isn't filled with beautiful narrative but rather with succinct, declaratory prose. Would I recommend it to devout Christians (or anyone who considers themselves one)? No, but I would recommend it to anyone interested in early American history, the Founding Fathers and Constitutional theory.
     
  19. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Finished Cixin Liu's The Three Body Problem (on audio book, the only version available on Libby).

    Never read a book like this. It's billed as sci fi, and has won many sci fi awards, but nearly all of it is not at all sci fi. The tone/setting/main subject of the book changes quite a few times. I did enjoy it and will continue with the second book in the trilogy. I enjoyed how the book never telegraphed or led the reader, how some subjects are relatively trivial and others become important later. I have one minor gripe but it's a huge spoiler.

    One pretty challenging thing about this on audio book is that (nearly) all the characters have very Chinese names, and when the narrator flies through them it can be difficult to remember who that is. Fortunately, the author does frequently tie them in with some defining characteristic narratively. It would have been easier in this respect to have a print version.
     
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  20. jeebeel

    jeebeel Initiate (192) Jun 17, 2003 Texas

    Next up for me is the "The Yellow House" by Sarah M. Broom. A family memoir about their life and history in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities.
     
  21. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    Interesting that you say its not really sci fi. I tend to agree, its more speculative fiction with some schi fi/fantasy elements. I know a lot of people that say its "classic sci fi" though. Not really sure what book they read, but anyway. Overall now that I finished all three, I enjoyed parts of the trilogy, other parts I didn't, and thought it was just kind of OK and bit overrated. At least for the hype I was getting from it.
     
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  22. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    I mean, I get why it's classified as sci-fi - ultimately, that's what it is about. But it takes most of the book to arrive at the place that it is sci-fi. For most of it, it's more standard fiction, and the start of the book is historical fiction - it starts at the outset of the Cultural Revolution.
     
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  23. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    It gets more sci fi in the next book. The Dark Forest is probably the best in the series IMO, if looking at a strictly sci fi genre, and as far as character development. Though its still not perfect, the next gets wild and much more speculative fiction than the others. Throughout the entire series though, I had a feeling of disconnection and not ever feeling anything for any of the characters. Most of what was happening was some existential stuff, which I do enjoy but you can't rely entirely on that.

    Anyway, just my rambling thoughts, not that it makes much sense ha. Let me know if you continue reading and what you think of everything.
     
  24. stairway2heavn

    stairway2heavn Initiate (98) Aug 17, 2017 New Jersey

    Beer and racism: how beer became white, why it matters, and the movements to change it
    By Chapman and Brunsma

    Halfway thru. Some familiar territory if you've read books on institutional racism, but with a real focus so far on the development of the craft beer industry and how non whites were left behind.

    Honestly, in the context of this website and... Well...2020 and the entirety of American history... Everyone should probably consider reading it.
     
  25. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    I started listening to The Dark Forest yesterday. For whatever reason, 3BP has a 6 week wait on Libby for audio book (no e-book in the catalog) but The Dark Forest was instantly available. Considering 3BP only got sci-fi at the end, it's not surprising that TDF is solid sci-fi and from what I gather most ppl think that's the better book.
     
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  26. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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  27. champ103

    champ103 Poo-Bah (4,851) Sep 3, 2007 Texas
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    I have been reading Ben Okri's African fantasy trilogy. I finished The Famished Road and Songs of Enchantment, and am just about to start Infinite Riches. The first two books are amazing. A fantastic mix of magical realism/low fantasy that at times read like poetry, fever dreams, and a fable all mixed together.

    [​IMG]
     
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  28. traction

    traction Defender (678) Dec 4, 2010 Georgia
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    [​IMG]

    I am spending a lazy weekend lying around and reading. I have heard good things about the this one and am interesting in the material. I have been meaning to read it for awhile now but I made the mistake of reading multiple books at the same time the past couple months from now on I am going to try to stick to one book at a time.
     
  29. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    finished Cixin Liu's The Dark Forest, which is book two of the famous Three Body Problem trilogy.

    Really good stuff, it's almost entirely exposition. There were a few 'side quest' stories that branched off from the main plot but in the end just sorta die on their own, and there were a few fairly strange sections - not strange in a sci-fi sense. There was a specific aspect of the ending that I've put to Reddit's 3BP to help me on. But I really like how it doesn't go where a lot of sci fi would. Also the author is very clear in what he's trying to relate to the reader.

    This was on audio book, and I just started the last one of the trilogy. It hasn't picked up where things left off yet.
     
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  30. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    I posted this also in the Beer Talk forum, but in case you didn't see it there:

    "I just finished reading The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John "Chick" Donohue and J. T. Molloy. It's copyrighted in 2015 but the story is set in Viet Nam during late 1968 and early '69, a lot of it during the Tet offensive. It's a quick read and I highly recommend it, especially if you're a Viet Nam vet.

    "(There's also a 13-minute YouTube video from 2015 and sponsored by PBR that uses the same title as the book, and it kind of retells the story during a reunion of the characters. However, the video makes more sense if you read the book first and then join in the laughs with the guys over a beer.)"

    Now I'm reading another book about a thru-hike on Appalachian Trail. This time it's about two sisters in their 20s who hike southbound while being barefoot. They're only on their 4th day so I don't know how it ends up or whether they buy some hiking shoes.
     
  31. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (557) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Since we do a lot of this here:

    [​IMG]

    Basics are not too different from Vermont, as you would expect, but a couple of small good ideas I will use going forward. Good cultural portrait.
     
  32. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (557) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    BTW, this book is associated with 2 special programs on Norwegian TV. They are serious about their firewood.
     
  33. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Apparently so if someone wrote a book about it. But I find it curious that a topic like this could go beyond a dozen pages. :wink: Must be a lot of cultural discussion included in there.
     
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  34. skivtjerry

    skivtjerry Zealot (557) Mar 10, 2006 Vermont

    Well, some people don't believe you could write more than a dozen pages on beer...

    Believe me, you could go way beyond a dozen pages just discussing the proper way to stack wood (much disagreement). The book delves into the science of how cut wood loses its moisture and similar topics. It overlaps with a lot of US Forest Service research there. There are several digressions too, such as a brief history of chainsaw manufacturers and personal cultural anecdotes. Adds up to 235 pages.
     
  35. pjbear05

    pjbear05 Initiate (134) May 28, 2008 Florida

    Total Power by Kyle Mills (Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp series)
     
  36. BuffaloBill12

    BuffaloBill12 Initiate (148) Oct 21, 2011 Illinois
    Trader

    Battle for Skyline Ridge: The CIA's Secret War in Laos. The author was one of the first Marines in Vietnam and then later returned as a CIA officer in Laos so the personal insight is fascinating. At times the narrative suffers from too much military jargon and too much detail in the "play-by-play" but I think that's canceled out by the fact that you won't get that level of detail elsewhere. From a macro perspective it does a great job showing just how messed up U.S. policy in SE Asia was.

    I'd recommend for any fans of military history and at ~180 pages it's a quick read too.
     
  37. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,864) May 30, 2005 Michigan
    Society

    Sounds like that one is right up my alley. Thanks for the mention.
     
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  38. VitisVinifera

    VitisVinifera Initiate (149) Feb 25, 2013 California

    Finished the third (audio) book of Three Body Problem trilogy called Death's End.

    If that trilogy is not the very best thing I've read in my life, it's at least the best series. I love how each book is a bit different in scope while maintaining a seamless continuity. The final book took sci-fi in directions no book, movie, or tv show would have the balls to do. The awards and praise of this series are well-deserved. There's a lot to the assertion that because the author is Chinese, none of the tired Western sci-fi tropes got recycled. This is the first book I've finished and wanted to re-read. I'll get a print version because there were footnotes not in the audio version, and so that I can take a bit more time when things go fast that in audio format you can't slow down for.
     
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  39. toolbrew

    toolbrew Defender (640) Feb 26, 2008 Indiana
    Trader

    Ratner’s Star...two chapters in and this may either be a slog for me or I’ll just push hard to burn through.
     
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