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Books Read 2018

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Jaddison
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jaddison » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 pm

Moliere wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 pm
Jaddison wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:20 pm
Don't think Patton is the greatest American general, not even close. It's clear we needed heroes for PR purposes and the press gave them to the public. Patton was pretty flawed- suggest reading An Army at Dawn to get a a more detailed look at Patton in North Africa. He was also morally flawed- the affair with his niece by marriage was an ongoing thing. Patton's wife was on her way to divorce him when the accident happened. Eisenhower, George Marshall, US Grant and probably Winfield Scott would be in the pantheon as would George Washington. If general means flag officer you can throw in Thomas McDonaugh from 1812, Nimitz, Ernest J. King...reluctantly MacArthur and the man who personally saved us from disaster in Korea Oliver P. smith....al these men are on par with if not better than Patton. Other than MacArthur none sought personal glory and press like Patton did.
Ike wasn't really a field commander as much as a politician and strategic director of the War. He was great at dealing with the personalities of all the competing Ally generals and politicians.

Washington was great because he understood that winning meant not facing the British and risking his entire army. As long as he could keep moving around and allow the Continentals to claim they had an army then they won the morale and PR battle against the British, giving time for the French to enter the war. And what made Washington greater was that twice he walked away from ultimate power.

If we're talking about field commanders then what about the Confederate generals like Lee? Grant won because he didn't care about losses. He knew it was a numbers game and the North had the numbers, finances, and infrastructure to grind the South down.
Lee is overrated in my opinion. Stonewall Jackson and perhaps Nathan Bedford Forrest,
Eisenhower out generaled the Gernans. He, Marshall and King are the reason there was a D-Day in 1944. Any major screw ups an the invasion is pushed off for quite a while. I think I would throw Curtis LeMay into the mix of great generals as well.
Grant gets a bad rap but he really was a brilliant commander just look at what came before him- they all had the same resources.
Do you think Patton could have done what Washington did? From all I have read I doubt it.

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Moliere
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Moliere » Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:12 pm

Jaddison wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 pm
Grant gets a bad rap but he really was a brilliant commander just look at what came before him- they all had the same resources.
Maybe I'm wrong
Some historians have viewed Grant as a "butcher" commander who in 1864 used attrition without regard to the lives of his own soldiers in order to kill off the enemy which could no longer replenish its losses.[3] Throughout the Civil War Grant's armies incurred approximately 154,000 casualties, while having inflicted 191,000 casualties on his opposing Confederate armies.[4] In terms of success, Grant was the only general during the Civil War who received the surrender of three Confederate armies.[3] Although Grant maintained high casualties during the Overland Campaign in 1864, his aggressive fighting strategy was in compliance with the U.S. government's strategic war aims.[3] Grant has recently been praised by historians for his "military genius", and viewed as a decisive general who emphasized movement and logistics.
"The world is suffering more today from the good people who want to mind other men's business than it is from the bad people who are willing to let everybody look after their own individual affairs." - Clarence Darrow

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El Guapo
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by El Guapo » Thu Mar 15, 2018 12:58 pm

Moliere wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 10:12 pm
Jaddison wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 pm
Grant gets a bad rap but he really was a brilliant commander just look at what came before him- they all had the same resources.
Maybe I'm wrong
Some historians have viewed Grant as a "butcher" commander who in 1864 used attrition without regard to the lives of his own soldiers in order to kill off the enemy which could no longer replenish its losses.[3] Throughout the Civil War Grant's armies incurred approximately 154,000 casualties, while having inflicted 191,000 casualties on his opposing Confederate armies.[4] In terms of success, Grant was the only general during the Civil War who received the surrender of three Confederate armies.[3] Although Grant maintained high casualties during the Overland Campaign in 1864, his aggressive fighting strategy was in compliance with the U.S. government's strategic war aims.[3] Grant has recently been praised by historians for his "military genius", and viewed as a decisive general who emphasized movement and logistics.
I'm most of the way through the Chernow biography of Grant, and it basically makes the case that the idea of Grant as a butcher is mostly a Lost Cause myth (part of glorifying Lee). There were significant casualties in the Overland campaign, but partly that's the result of Grant necessarily having to be constantly on the attack, plus Lee was really good at building strong defensive fortifications (and I think towards the end of the war you started to see carbines and early preludes to trench warfare). Grant didn't just throw his men at those for the most part, though - he tried to maneuver around where he could (though Richmond finally settled into kind of a siege situation).

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Scuzz
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Scuzz » Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:25 pm

Moliere wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 pm
Jaddison wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:20 pm
Don't think Patton is the greatest American general, not even close. It's clear we needed heroes for PR purposes and the press gave them to the public. Patton was pretty flawed- suggest reading An Army at Dawn to get a a more detailed look at Patton in North Africa. He was also morally flawed- the affair with his niece by marriage was an ongoing thing. Patton's wife was on her way to divorce him when the accident happened. Eisenhower, George Marshall, US Grant and probably Winfield Scott would be in the pantheon as would George Washington. If general means flag officer you can throw in Thomas McDonaugh from 1812, Nimitz, Ernest J. King...reluctantly MacArthur and the man who personally saved us from disaster in Korea Oliver P. smith....al these men are on par with if not better than Patton. Other than MacArthur none sought personal glory and press like Patton did.
Ike wasn't really a field commander as much as a politician and strategic director of the War. He was great at dealing with the personalities of all the competing Ally generals and politicians.

Washington was great because he understood that winning meant not facing the British and risking his entire army. As long as he could keep moving around and allow the Continentals to claim they had an army then they won the morale and PR battle against the British, giving time for the French to enter the war. And what made Washington greater was that twice he walked away from ultimate power.

If we're talking about field commanders then what about the Confederate generals like Lee? Grant won because he didn't care about losses. He knew it was a numbers game and the North had the numbers, finances, and infrastructure to grind the South down.
Yea, Eisenhower was not really a field commander. And as for MacArther, he is perhaps one of the most over rated Generals in American history.

As for Lee and Grant, Lee was a great counter puncher, but he was not a great offensive general. Grant was a great general I think because he did what he had to do against the enemy he faced. He did what what countless others could not do. And while he regretted a few moves (the attack in Richmond I think), his aggressive nature won the war.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jaddison » Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:42 pm

Scuzz wrote:
Thu Mar 15, 2018 1:25 pm
Moliere wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:31 pm
Jaddison wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 6:20 pm
Don't think Patton is the greatest American general, not even close. It's clear we needed heroes for PR purposes and the press gave them to the public. Patton was pretty flawed- suggest reading An Army at Dawn to get a a more detailed look at Patton in North Africa. He was also morally flawed- the affair with his niece by marriage was an ongoing thing. Patton's wife was on her way to divorce him when the accident happened. Eisenhower, George Marshall, US Grant and probably Winfield Scott would be in the pantheon as would George Washington. If general means flag officer you can throw in Thomas McDonaugh from 1812, Nimitz, Ernest J. King...reluctantly MacArthur and the man who personally saved us from disaster in Korea Oliver P. smith....al these men are on par with if not better than Patton. Other than MacArthur none sought personal glory and press like Patton did.
Ike wasn't really a field commander as much as a politician and strategic director of the War. He was great at dealing with the personalities of all the competing Ally generals and politicians.

Washington was great because he understood that winning meant not facing the British and risking his entire army. As long as he could keep moving around and allow the Continentals to claim they had an army then they won the morale and PR battle against the British, giving time for the French to enter the war. And what made Washington greater was that twice he walked away from ultimate power.

If we're talking about field commanders then what about the Confederate generals like Lee? Grant won because he didn't care about losses. He knew it was a numbers game and the North had the numbers, finances, and infrastructure to grind the South down.
Yea, Eisenhower was not really a field commander. And as for MacArther, he is perhaps one of the most over rated Generals in American history.

As for Lee and Grant, Lee was a great counter puncher, but he was not a great offensive general. Grant was a great general I think because he did what he had to do against the enemy he faced. He did what what countless others could not do. And while he regretted a few moves (the attack in Richmond I think), his aggressive nature won the war.
Lee wasn't a very good general if you take away the myths. Grant basically sealed the Souths fate at Vicksburg before he ever got overall command- Vicksburg was crucial. If field commander only means ground we miss a lot of great commanders. One name I forgot was Pershing who held his own in WW1. MacArthur had his moments but his reputation was inflated a lot like Patton though Patton was probably a more skilled general tactically. What Thomas McDonaugh pulled off in the War of 1812 is one of the greatest feats of American military history

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Scuzz » Fri Mar 16, 2018 1:21 pm

Lee did pretty damn good for three years. He was either exceptional or the Union commanders were terrible. Well, it might have been a little of both. But I think the general consensus is that Lee was a very good defensive general who was willing to take chances with his numerically inferior force.

Pershing probably only ran one offensive. Other than that he was a politician and organizer. Eisenhower did much more than that.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:02 pm

Leonardo DaVinci by Walter Issacson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Leonardo was the quintessential Renaissance man, although not the first. Enamored with all things artistic, scientific, mathematical, and biological, he spent his life painting, engineering, and recording in his journals studies from the world around him. Only late in his life did he even leave Italy. His lifestyle was one that could be dangerous outside of enlightened communities, but such was his creative genius that he was a coveted associate of brutal warlords such as the Sforza's (Milan), the di Medici's (Florence) and the Borgia's (Valencia, Rome).

Da Vinci was a perfectionist and procrastinator. The Mona Lisa was a commission he never actually finished. Other commissions similar were never completed. One masterpiece, The Last Supper, started degrading after just 10 years. Many of his engineering projects were never realized. He was even a consultant on warfare, but his siege ideas were never implemented.

Unfortunately, the library audiobook doesn't include the PDF with all of the images referred to in the book. I might have to buy it because as good as this book was, it's probably 10x better with pictures.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:06 pm

An Illutrated Book of Bad Arguments by Ali Almossawi (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Nice breakdown of various insidious argument types (AKA Facebook Newsfeed). It could have been better developed with more examples, but this is a nice summary.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:13 pm

The Lawyer Lifeguard by James Patterson (A)

A short story about a lawyer who survives a bombing, only to find out he's a person of interest . Among the victims are his fiance; they were in the process of packing for a trip. Then he is unceremoniously fired from his job, runs into an old associate and begs her to allow him to return working for her as a lifeguard. He passes the test, but manages to keep his sordid customers from the law firm follows the breadcrumbs to some serious mobster types. And a girl he thought he knew very well.

This is a fast paced story, not terribly original but it'll keep you entertained if you have a couple of hours to kill.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:22 pm

The Gangster by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Gangster is #9 in the Issac Bell series and takes place in 1906 New York. The Italians and the Irish are having a culture war, neither are well regarded by the general population. Italians in particular are underestimated, fostering an environment conducive to the rise of Sicilian organized crime.

A new aquaduct is being built, and the corruption is thick. Teddy Roosevelt succeed the assassinated William McKinley but seems not to have learned from the demise of his precessor. He's popular with the masses, but the powerful wealthy find him an impediment to their interests.

While Bell continues to come off as super-human, the story is steeped in period history and flavor. Very entertaining ride.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Mar 24, 2018 5:28 pm

The Cutthroat by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Nobody knows what became of Jack the Ripper - nobody was ever indicted in connection to the London murders attributed to him. Lots of theories are abound to what became of him. Cussler treats us to another -- he never stopped, just changed venue.

A string of murders of young women catches the attention of Issac Bell and the Van Dorne agency. As the investigation widens, a pattern emerges...victims are appearing along the route of the traveling production of the show Jekyll and Hyde. The investigation takes Bell to England and back, and he's sure the perp is one and the same.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:55 am

Finished Grave Peril, book 3 in the Dresden Files. Vampires and ghosts and demons and ghosts of demons. Fun, but these books are exhausting. Just when you think Dresden is doomed, Butcher puts him in even more peril (which he naturally overcomes).

Up next is a Kindle First free book, Punishment by Scott J. Holliday. It's a crime/detective novel, with the twist being some kind of technology that gives the cops access to the memories of the dead.
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Archinerd » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:06 pm

The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin. This one was a lot harder for me to get into than Left Hand of Darkness, and I don't think I enjoyed it quite as much. My one big criticism is the two ideologies of the two societies were taken too far at times and ended up feeling like caricatures instead of plausible places. All in all, another worthwhile journey into her world(s).

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:54 pm

The Bathwater Conspiracy by Janet Kellough (K) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The Bathwater Conspiracy is about as interesting a premise as I've seen in a long time. A war involving biological weapons lets loose a virus called "Mighty Mite." This virus attacks only the Y chromosome, so soon, men have been extinguished from the planet. Women still manage to procreate through a difficult process, but towards an evolutionary dead end. In this world, we find ourselves involved in a murder mystery.

Mac (it's funny how many women in this book take on traditionally masculine names) is a cop of some skill but an unpleasant disposition. She is tapped to investigate the brutal murder of a college student, one that the "Darmes" (Genderarmes, think military police) are covering up. The investigation takes her to a lawless region inhabited by religious zealots, as well as to towns outside of her jurisdiction. Mac has a crush on the superior officer that recruited her for this assignment, and meanwhile she obtains a new partner who develops a crush on her. The sexual tension is not overbearing and does not detract from the main action in the story).

The investigation leads to a secret government lab producing...what's that thing dangling between their legs?

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:04 pm

City of Endless Night by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Special Agent Pendergast had a bad time of it in the last book. His status with his FBI boss is at a low tide, certainly in the dog house. Even though he gets to work with a NYPD associate DiGusta at his new assignment, Pendergast certainly doesn't relish the case. And the case involves a body found in a warehouse. Sans head.

When other decapitation murders start piling up, Pendergast suddenly becomes very interested. The pacing of the story, however, follows what DiGusta knows or thinks he knows. Playing coy as usual, Pendergast frustrates his fellow law officer and some of the book involves him tracking down dead ends.

The UBG was not a surprise to me, I guessed it early on although the clues were scarce. I would have much preferred a book that provided all of the clues in the course of the story instead of a lengthy AAR following the climax. This was the second book in a row that ended this way...and it's a cheap ending IMO. Still, the story is notable for two things: (1) Pendergast very nearly meets his match in spite of knowing what he knows and (2) this book uncharacteristically avoids supernatural elements, and that is a plus.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:11 pm

Stealing Gulfstreams by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky:

Rarely do I find a story glorifying criminals all that entertaining, unless it's Robin Hood. This ain't Robin Hood.

Two brothers watch their father die in a plane crash during a plane race in Nevada. Fast forward and they are crack pilots, determined to make good on their father's passion to win this particular race. The problem is, racing planes is expensive. Ostensibly, they have a plane repair and customization business, but it doesn't bring in enough clients to pay the bill for their racing. They make up the difference stealing planes for a mobster, who pays them a fraction of the value.

The story has very much a "Smoky and the Bandit" vibe and is an entertaining short story if you're into that sort of thing.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:20 pm

The Exile by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

Finn is self-exiled cop from Ireland who leaves into a self-imposed exile after a murder investigation goes bad. He returns when the sister of the victim becomes concerned that a fairytale is playing out, targeting her family. While Finn does not believe in "The Green Man", someone certainly is using the tale as a template for murders that are terrorizing her and her family. Local law enforcement is not happy to seem him back in town and animosity rules the day.

The ending has an unexpected twist, that's a plus side. Mostly though the story was steeped in stereotypical Irish ruffians, most who get what's coming to them. The ending might have been unpredictable, the fate of most of the characters however was not.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:22 pm

1st quarter in the books. Stats: Books read: 29 Pages read: 9,086 Pages per day: 101

Off to my best start since i started tracking. If I don't slack off, I'm well on a pace to break 100.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Scuzz » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:20 pm

I have just finished reading The Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb.I was kinda leery of reading this as a quick look made me think it might be a YA novel, but I was convinced to give it a try. And I am glad I did.

This is the first book in the Farseer Trilogy. It reminds me somewhat of the Harry Potter series and somewhat of the Name of the Wind. This book is about the childhood and education of young FitzChivalry, a bastard of the Prince of the Realm.

It is well written, different in just the right ways and has enough action and questions to keep you interested.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Rumpy » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:24 pm

American War by Omar El Akkad. The author's a war correspondent, having covered Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay among other things, and he uses his experience to craft a believable dystopia in which amid an environmentally ravaged near future, a second American civil war breaks out. He essentially poses the question: What if the things we hear happening in the middle-east were to happen on American soil? The result was a gripping read and a thought-provoking one at that.
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Archinerd » Thu Apr 05, 2018 8:32 am

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling. (re-read)

I originally read this when I was in college working a temp job at a glue factory. I was there for 2-weeks and my only responsibility for 8 hours a day was to make copies of stacks and stacks of paperwork. There was some sort of internal company audit and a woman was at the facility from the main office (which was overseas) and needed copies of a ton of documents to take back with her as reference. The internet hadn't quite come into it's own yet so that's probably part of the reason these documents weren't just emailed to her. I also don't know why they couldn't have been copied and just sent to her either. It doesn't really matter though. The point is, I would have a lot of time just standing around waiting for the copier to finish after I put a giant stack of paper on it, so I needed something entertaining and easy to read (it was also too loud in the copy room to listen to my discman). Harry Potter was perfect.

I'm reading it now because it's on Amazon Kindle Unlimited, my subscription to it expires at the end of the month and I didn't see anything else on there I wanted to read. I haven't read any of the others before and I've never seen the movies. I did needed a refresher so I re-read the first one. One down, six to go. Also, I can't believe this book is already over 20 years old.

Next up, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by ImLawBoy » Thu Apr 12, 2018 12:05 pm

Finished Punishment by Scott J. Holliday, which I got as an Amazon First Read book for free a few months ago. This one was actually quite good. While I does use the genius serial killer trope that I have previously mentioned I'm bored with, the rest of the book was well done. It's set in modern day Detroit, with the twist that there is a technology that allows one to extract memories from a person (living or recently dead), and then those memories get shoved into another person's brain. For entertainment purposes, some celebrities will hook into the machine and record things, and then regular schmucks can pay to essentially be that celebrity for a bit. For crime fighting purposes, it's used to allow detectives to see from the victim's eyes how that person was killed, including possible clues to the identity of a killer. The machine is risky, though, as it has addictive qualities (those addicted are called "munkies", for "machine junkies"), and the trauma received by detectives who live through multiple murders isn't fully understood.

This story follows Detective Barnes, who is investigating the Pickax Man, or as he's known to the cops, Calavera. He wears a mask in the form of a candy Day of the Dead skull while murdering (to hide his identity from the machine when the cops eventually view the memories of the deceased). He also knows that Barnes is on the case, and he talks to his victims as though they are Barnes just before killing them, leaving Barnes clues to be followed. Barnes is slowly losing it with all of the memories of Calavera's victims rattling around his brain, and he finds that he might also be on the hit list.

I liked the writing and the characters, and the plot had a lot of fun twists that I didn't always see coming. I thought things got a little bit muddled toward the end, particularly around the motivations for the killings, but it was still an entertaining ride. The book says that it's "Book 1 in the Detective Barnes series", but the ending doesn't seem to leave a lot of room for more books. If another comes out, though, I may look into it.

Up next, I'm going back to the Dresden Files for book four - Summer Knight.
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by xenocide » Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:34 pm

Finally got around to updating for the first time this year. After ripping through all 14 Wheel of Time audios back to back fairly quickly I slowed my reading down some at the end of Jan/ beginning of Feb (Wheel of Time is still awesome and still my favorite fantasy series of all time). Added my 13 finished to the first page if anyone is interested, I'll just hit a few highlights here.

Time for the Stars - Good silver age Sci-Fi. Worth the read if you like Heinlein. Not as good as "Moon is a Harsh Mistress" or "Orphans of the Sky" but it's in that syle, much better than "Stranger in a Strange Land".

Dune - My personal favorite novel of all time, I reread it every now and then. You can look up what it's about, I'm just going to talk about the audio version I listened to. Irrespective of the content, this is the best done audio book I've ever listened to (maybe I'm biased by my love of the content, who knows). Simon Vance (prob my favorite narrator, yes, yes, lots of my favs in this review 8-) ) is the main narrator, but there is also a cast. Certain sections are read by the cast with some sound effects in the background and certain sections are narrated completely by Vance like a normal audio book. The cast sections are NOT an audio play with the sound of a door slamming instead of reading "the door slammed" , just some subtle sounds like wind blowing during desert scenes with Vance reading the book but the dialog voiced by the cast. It's really well done. If someone had explained it to me before I listened I would have been very skeptical as I generally just like the book read straight out but this version is great. All the cast members do a wonderful job, the subtle background sounds are just right, and even though it seems weird the transitions from fully voiced cast to just Vance reading all are seamless. Well worth a listen.

Saturn Run - Near future sci-fi about a race to be the first to contact a strange object in orbit around Saturn. I liked this novel a lot. In the hard sci-fi vein, kind of reads like "The Martian". Heard Howard Tayler (author of Schlock Mercenary) recommend this. One of my top reads of 2018 so far.

The Water Knife Good not great. When I read Bacigalupi I sometimes feel like I should like his novels more than I actually do; this book felt that way.

The Handmaid's Tale Eh... interesting concept, kind of a boring read. Overrated IMO.

Lovecraft Country Read based on the 2017 book thread. Really good book. Not sure I liked it quite as well as Yellowking though.

Falling Free first chronologically in the Miles Vorkosigan saga which I have heard a lot about but never read. This actually takes place about 200 years before the birth of Vorkosigan (which I didn't know when I started reading it). Liked this quite a bit. Some interesting concepts and some very frustrating antagonists (in the good way that makes for a better read). Looking forward to more in the series (although it looks like the next chronological book does not feature Miles yet either, that's ok though :D )

One Did Not Finish so far this year. Kushiel's Dart. Very well reviewed, also very boring. No more for me.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Moliere » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:11 pm

Below is the list of America’s 100 most-loved books brought to you by The Great American Read.
Spoiler:
1984 by George Orwell
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Alex Cross Mysteries (Series) by James Patterson
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Another Country by James Baldwin
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Bless Me Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
The Chronicles of Narnia (Series) by C.S. Lewis
The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel
The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Doña Barbara by Romulo Gallegos
Dune by Frank Herbert
Fifty Shades of Grey (Series) by E.L. James
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Foundation (Series) by Isaac Asimov
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Game of Thrones (Series) by George R R Martin
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Hatchet (Series) by Gary Paulsen
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hunger Games (Series) by Suzanne Collins
The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
Left Behind (Series) by Tim LaHaye / Jerry B. Jenkins
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Looking for Alaska by John Green
The Lord of the Rings (Series) by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Martian by Andy Weir
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Mind Invaders by Dave Hunt
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Outlander (Series) by Diana Gabaldon
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Shack by William P. Young
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
The Stand by Stephen King
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon
Tales of the City (Series) by Armistead Maupin
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
This Present Darkness by Frank E. Peretti
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Twilight Saga (Series) by Stephanie Meyer
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Watchers by Dean Koontz
The Wheel of Time (Series) by Robert Jordan
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
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xenocide
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by xenocide » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:25 pm

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi - I know I said it in my last post on Scalzi books but I didn't listen to myself. I have to read Scalzi not listen to audio. This is two in a row now; does every f'n character have to say every f'n line f'n sarcasticly!? :grund: Other than that a good start to a new series from Scalzi. I liked the world and the plot. Will READ more in the series.


Ubik by Philip K. Dick - This was only my 2nd Philip K. Dick novel after The Man in the High Castle (which I found to be one of the most plot-less boring books I have ever read). Maybe K Dick is just not for me. Did not really enjoy this, I had to speed up the audio to 3x speed to get through it. I know part of the point of the book is to be ambiguous about the actual nature of what's going on/where people are, but that didn't work for me. It's laid out too soon as to what could be going on even if ultimately it's not spelled out 100%. I would have liked it more as a short story where the nature of where the people are is hidden until an end reveal. I might still read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as I love Blade Runner but if that does not wow me I will be done with Philip K. Dick books.


All Systems Red by Martha Wells - I loved this. Impulse buy as a daily deal for super cheep. Novella length. Sci Fi about a cyborg security bot who has hacked his own programming, told 1st person from the bot's perspective. Awesome main character and a good story. First in a series, I can't wait for the rest.


His Majesty's Dragon: Temeraire Book 1 by Naomi Novik - I enjoyed this quite a bit. Think Napoleonic wars from the British side but with dragons. I heard someone say it reads a lot like Master and Commander, I've only seen the movie but this is a good way to describe it. It's obviously a fantasy, Dragons, but it's not Tolkien style fantasy. There are no mages or elves, just our world as it was in Napoleonic times but with dragons. There are different breeds and sizes that they use a lot like navel vessels. Really good relationship between the main character and his dragon Temeraire. Looking forward to more.

xenocide
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by xenocide » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:41 pm

Moliere wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:11 pm
Below is the list of America’s 100 most-loved books brought to you by The Great American Read.

......
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Twilight Saga (Series) by Stephanie Meyer
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Watchers by Dean Koontz
The Wheel of Time (Series) by Robert Jordan
.......
God what a great mix of a Lit professor's dream and the hoi polloi.

Said from the hoi polloi side of the fence :lol:

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:00 pm

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

In a Stephen King novel, the protagonist, himself a novelist, explains that it is common for authors to have several books in the vault ready for submission for those times when their muse fails them. In Creighton's case, it would be post-mortem.

Dragon's Teeth is a historical novel that his widow suggests influenced Jurassic Park. Unlike the blockbuster story of an implausible scientific breakthrough regenerating dinosaurs in our time; Dragon's Teeth is a well-grounded story based on the rivalry between two famed paleontologists back in the day when the science was just getting off the ground.

The most lucrative hunting grounds were in territories controlled by Indians who, prior to the story, gave Custer his comeuppance. The protagonist, a college student posing as a photographer, is an entirely fictional character, caught up as a pawn in the middle of the rivalry.

It's an interesting story -- one that not only covers the ever-present danger in the wild west, but also the impact of "The Octopus" (railroads) on the frontiers and the passion the main characters had for their scientific discoveries - discoveries of which they could scarcely grasp the nature of.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Rumpy » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:17 pm

I read it last summer. I thought it was fun, but quite thin on actual building up the rivalry. There was a very thin framework, and It felt like he meant to return to flesh it out but never did. There are some parts of it that seem to happen far too quickly as a result. Having written it before Jurassic Park, I think he got waylaid by that when he had the idea for Jurassic Park. The first half was rough, and it was only when they got to Deadwood that things started to feel more fleshed out and things picked up. Having an Uncle in paleontology and being quite familiar with the rivalry, I was quite disappointed with how it was treated in this. It would have benefited from a bit more back-and-forth between the two. Still, quite a fun novel and was a very quick read.
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:16 pm

The Assassin by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The 8th Issac Bell novel (I've not read them all) has our intrepid private detective agent seemingly discovering teleportation. Not only does he cover vast swaths of the country by steam train in seemingly no time at all, but also by boat to the Middle East and Russia all in a sequence of events that would make Jack Bauer seem like a laggard. If you could ignore such things in the TV version of A Game of Thrones, then you'll probably give it a pass here too.

Otherwise, the novel is entertaining enough. An aged Rockefeller is flexing his formidable muscle in an attempt to gain a stranglehold on the growing gasoline industry, and those squashed in his wake have an axe to grind. Bell finds himself guarding the tycoon against an attempt to bring down his empire. The identity of the assassin was somewhat of an unexpected surprise.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:25 pm

Never Never by James Patterson (A) :binky: :binky:

Usually I am entertained by Patterson books, even if the legion of co-authors are sometimes uneven. Everyone though I listen to on audiobook, and the performance of the reader can be a turn-off. This is such a case.

In general, foreign accents can be a distraction, although I've gotten used to most of them and I've previously listened to books read by an Aussie (such as in Private: Down Under). The woman reading this book though is remarkably uninteresting, rambles and drones, making it hard to follow the story, much less care about the characters. This is the start of a series - my library already has the second book - but I think I'll pass. The protagonist, Harriet Blue, is not an interesting character, nor a pleasant person.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Scuzz » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:42 pm

Jeff V wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:16 pm
The Assassin by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

The 8th Issac Bell novel (I've not read them all) has our intrepid private detective agent seemingly discovering teleportation. Not only does he cover vast swaths of the country by steam train in seemingly no time at all, but also by boat to the Middle East and Russia all in a sequence of events that would make Jack Bauer seem like a laggard. If you could ignore such things in the TV version of A Game of Thrones, then you'll probably give it a pass here too.

Otherwise, the novel is entertaining enough. An aged Rockefeller is flexing his formidable muscle in an attempt to gain a stranglehold on the growing gasoline industry, and those squashed in his wake have an axe to grind. Bell finds himself guarding the tycoon against an attempt to bring down his empire. The identity of the assassin was somewhat of an unexpected surprise.
I got a bunch of Cussler's at a used book sale awhile back but didn't get any of the Isaac Bell series. All NUMA stuff. I will have to look for this series next time they have the sale. The current Dirk Pitt one I am reading is full of climate predictions that probably would have made more sense written farther into the future.
Last edited by Scuzz on Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:42 pm

The Eye of Heaven by Clive Cussler (A) :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky: :binky:

If Sam and Remi were real people, friends would probably tire of the company in hurry. The sugary banter between them really is tiresome (think "Schmoopy" episode of "Seinfeld"). When they aren't drinking like sailors, they off to the corners of the globe doing their best Indiana Jones impersonations.

The Eye of Heaven takes them from the Mediterranean (initial encounter with UBG), then to Greenland (shocking discovery) to Mexico (payoff - and end game vs. UBG). Probably the best thing to happen to the story was a detour to Laos to retrieve a former academic who abandon a project and just stayed there becoming an alcoholic. After several weeks of treatment, the friend was well into recovery, but Sam and Remi couldn't booze it up with him around. The story seemed to focus better at that point.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by MonkeyFinger » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:57 am

Okay, guess it's time to expose either my ignorance or lack of puzzle solving skills early in the morning. Don't really hit this thread often but today I'm wondering about the use of (A) at the end of a book title with the very occasional (K) by Jeff V.

A is for... Audible? :|
-mf

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by hitbyambulance » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:09 pm

xenocide wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:25 pm
but if that does not wow me I will be done with Philip K. Dick books.
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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by WYBaugh » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:39 pm

MonkeyFinger wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:57 am
Okay, guess it's time to expose either my ignorance or lack of puzzle solving skills early in the morning. Don't really hit this thread often but today I'm wondering about the use of (A) at the end of a book title with the very occasional (K) by Jeff V.

A is for... Audible? :|
K is for Kindle

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:25 pm

MonkeyFinger wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:57 am
Okay, guess it's time to expose either my ignorance or lack of puzzle solving skills early in the morning. Don't really hit this thread often but today I'm wondering about the use of (A) at the end of a book title with the very occasional (K) by Jeff V.

A is for... Audible? :|
This year I omitted the legend I had last year.

A - Audio
K - Kindle
B - Archaic thing made of paper (I'm reading one of those for the first time this year).

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by MonkeyFinger » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:54 pm

Jeff V wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:25 pm
MonkeyFinger wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:57 am
Okay, guess it's time to expose either my ignorance or lack of puzzle solving skills early in the morning. Don't really hit this thread often but today I'm wondering about the use of (A) at the end of a book title with the very occasional (K) by Jeff V.

A is for... Audible? :|
This year I omitted the legend I had last year.

A - Audio
K - Kindle
B - Archaic thing made of paper (I'm reading one of those for the first time this year).
Thanks! Wasn't sure at first when all I saw were (A) books but then saw a lone (K) and thought I was on the right track. :wink:
-mf

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by Jeff V » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:25 pm

Lone K? I've finished 8 of them so far this year! Most, but not all, of the Kindle books are Librarything early review copies that I'm obliged to review.

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by MonkeyFinger » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:40 pm

... that I noticed before asking the question. That was all I meant.
-mf

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Re: Books Read 2018

Post by ImLawBoy » Tue May 01, 2018 3:30 pm

Finished Summer Knight by Jim Butcher, book four in the Dresden Files. I think I probably liked this one the best so far. While the previous books often seemed to focus on the limits of Dresden's powers, this one allowed him to flex a bit more, and that made things more fun.

BTW, I always imagine Alan Rickman in Snape mode with an American accent when I read these books.

Next up is Bandwidth by Eliot Peper. This is an Amazon first free book, and it's some sort of sci-fi political thriller or something. I don't have terribly high hopes, but I've been wrong before.
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