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Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-02-2004, 10:18 AM   #1
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Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Whatcha reading? If you're like me, you probably have at least a couple of things going at once. I'm trudging through Das Kapital by Karl Marx as my educational project of the moment, savoring small portions of The Power of Natural Healing by Hua-Ching Ni for personal development and falling to sleep by The Jester by James Patterson. Got any hot tips for us?
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-02-2004, 12:00 PM   #2
 
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Except for Hemingway (mostly autobiographical anyway)
and Ayn Rand, I go almost exclusively for non-fiction.
A recent exception was "Jennie". Don't know the
author. My wife picked it up on the "free table"
somewhere. It's about a home-raised chimp.
Very entertaining but somewhat dark.

John Galt
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-02-2004, 01:20 PM   #3
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Ronin, have you tried Ken Follet? I just read Hornet Flight. I've enjoyed all of his books, especially "Eye of the Needle" and "Pillars of the Earth".

Also I just read "A Matter of Honor", by Jeffrey Archer which was good.
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Re:  I keep a list.
Old 03-02-2004, 10:08 PM   #4
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Re:  I keep a list.

It's really tough to chime in on a post that starts with Karl Marx, Ayn Rand, & Hemingway!

I've seen the Disney movie about Jennie; now I'll have to see if the book matches (probably not). I've consumed all of the Follett & Archer books. And I'll read anything by Robert B. Parker.

During my working years, at first I'd see "Top 10" lists or book ads and I'd put them on the pile.

After the pile grew an inch high I transferred it to my hard drive. When it expanded to three single-spaced pages, I yearned for the day that I'd be able to retire and read as much as I wanted.

I've been retired for 21 months. The list has expanded to six pages. By the time I'm 90 I'll have a full library catalog and no books.

Despite retirement I'm still having trouble switching from "educational" to "recreational" reading. I still read vegetables instead of desserts-- William Bernstein on allocation, books on inspecting houses or wiring or plumbing them, and a half-dozen books on Vegas blackjack basic strategy.

I tremendously enjoyed Trevor Cralle's "Surfin'ary". It's literally a dictionary of surfing lingo (mutating over the decades) but it's full of photos, cartoons, sidebars, and explanations that you just can't get in the lineup.

I also enjoyed Jay Winik's "April 1865: The Month That Saved America". As a Marine, Jarhead will particularly appreciate Lee's controversy over abandoning Richmond for a 200-mile death march (literally) to link up with another general in North Carolina, or to take to the hills for guerrilla warfare. Winik's description of the first presidential assassination and the political maneuvering amid a constitutional crisis-- where the heck was this stuff during our high-school history classes?!?

Books I'm waiting on my local library to stock:
- The Dumbest Moments in Business History: Useless Products, Adam Horowitz & the editors of Business 2.0
- Warren Buffett Wealth by Robert P. Miles, releasing 11 Mar 04
- The Complete Guide to a Creative Retirement by Rob Kelley
- Playboy Book of Science Fiction, Alice K. Turner, Editor (I literally do read it for the writing!) and, of course,
- When Body Language Goes Bad: A Dilbert Book by Scott Adams. (Dilbert is even funnier when it can no longer happen to you but your spouse is still working...)
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Re: *I keep a list.
Old 03-02-2004, 10:33 PM   #5
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Re: *I keep a list.

Quote:
William Bernstein on allocation, books on inspecting houses or wiring or plumbing them, and a half-dozen books on Vegas blackjack basic strategy.
Heh, that must be the canonical list for the start of retirement. Although, I only read one book on BJ (Bringing Down the House). How many different ways are there to present basic strategy?

There's a nice Indian casino about 15 minutes from me. Since retirement, I've become a card-counting mini-whale. Every pit-boss knows me by name, even if I've never seen them before....
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-02-2004, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

More Archer books are in the pipe now that he's a free man.
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-03-2004, 09:46 AM   #7
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

My reading has gone to hell in a handbasket. I used to devour almost a book a day but lately I seem to be spending more time interactively reading (and writing) on the web.

I have this poor stephen king short story book that I bought about a year and a half ago. I've managed to get through about half of it. Fortunately the weather forecast is for upper 60's and sunny the rest of the week so I might hear my hammock calling me outside to read a while.

The only books I've completed in recent history are:

Gillette Edmunds "retire early and live well". I found it to be a nice easy to read tome on investing that would be suitable for both novice and experienced investor.

Dean Ornish's "Eat more, weigh less". Excellent book, excellent strategy for sustained health.

Maria Goodavages "The California Dog Lovers Companion". More of a reference really, but its taken us to a lot of cool and interesting places I didnt know existed. Oh yeah, the dogs enjoyed it too.

I also have the last six Wall Street Journal's laying in a pile threatening to become recycleables.
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Re:  I keep a list.
Old 03-03-2004, 12:34 PM   #8
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Re:  I keep a list.

Quote:
Despite retirement I'm still having trouble switching from "educational" to "recreational" reading. I still read vegetables instead of desserts-- William Bernstein on allocation, books on inspecting houses or wiring or plumbing them, and a half-dozen books on Vegas blackjack basic strategy.
If you're retired I don't see the distinction between educational and recreational. Learning can be more fun than flights of fantasy when you're interested.

Most of the books I've ever read are computer technical reference manuals, and most of that reading was because I wanted to, not because I needed the information immediately.

Every now and then I read some gambling strategy, but I usually quit when it feels like work or study. Yeah, maybe it's possible to beat the house or at least minimize losses, but to me it's just entertainment. When it becomes work it'll be easier and more interesting to work on computers instead.
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Re:  Waaaaal, I'll be darned.
Old 03-03-2004, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re:  Waaaaal, I'll be darned.

Thanks, Ronin, I'm surprised to learn that my local library has several of Nunn's books. This should be lots of fun at our surfer's book discussion group-- wonder why I never ran across him earlier.

BigMoneyJim, I spent years reading Navy reactor plant manuals & Naval Warfare Pubs. I don't know if they're as riveting as a Unix manual but I do have two editions of Mueller's "Upgrading & Repairing PCs". But in that last hour between the end of homework and putting the kid to bed, I'm usually looking for less "education" and more "mindless"!

This'll be my first trip to Vegas, and I'd hate to miss an opportunity to buy a new longboard on their generosity...
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-04-2004, 09:03 AM   #10
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

I recently finished The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown and really enjoyed it. I always enjoy anything written by John Grisham. (I was just reading his latest "The Last Juror" on my lunch hour before logging into this site.)
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 03-04-2004, 10:36 AM   #11
 
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?


I looked around here at some of the books I have finished lately:

The American West........Dee Brown
The Last Lion.................William Manchester
American Caesar............William Manchester
Rise and Fall of the Third Reich...William Shirer

I do sometimes polish off some lighter fare in between.

John Galt


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Re:  Kem Nunn book(s) report
Old 04-01-2004, 07:20 AM   #12
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Re:  Kem Nunn book(s) report

Ronin,

Hey, thanks for recommending the Kem Nunn books! I never would have stumbled across them on my own. Nunn has clearly been caught inside more than once, a position with which I can empathize.

His first book, Tapping the Source, is still his best for all of the "hero"s tragic descents into depravity. Dogs of Winter is a close second. Pomona Queen was a nice rebound from book #2 but the #2 Unassigned Territory was just too weird to be anything but art. (Must've been a publisher's frantic attempt to capitalize on the "Tapping" buzz.)

I especially liked Nunn's unkind characterization of Dogs' "Sonny Martin"-- the pro who wimps out on the Heart Attacks chase just because he can't handle 30-foot waves and a coxswain gets killed. I think "Sonny" is a swipe at Ewa's bad boy Sonny Garcia...

Nunn has a fifth-- Tijuana Straits-- coming in August.

For anyone who hasn't read Nunn's books yet, most surfers aren't like that. And there's nowhere near that many sharks at surf spots. But the few of each who are like that have certainly given the sport its notoriety.
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 09:58 AM   #13
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

John C. Bogle's Common Sense on Mutual Funds. I don't need to elaborate on this one, at least not in this forum.

Richard Conniff's The Natural History of the Rich: A Field Guide. By this Conniff's definition, none of us here are rich even though we're probably in the top 10% for our respective age group. His definition puts $5 Mil as "starter wealth." Don't read it unless you're somewhat immune to envy.
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 11:20 AM   #14
 
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Well, I am almost completely immue to envy, but will
not be reading the books mentioned as I am not
interested. I think it's fine that others are.

I do read financially oriented magazines and recently
saw some data re. average net worth of families
broken down into various categories, including age
group. The one number that really jumped out at me
was that my wife and I were in a very high bracket for our age group (Im guessing maybe top 5%). I was
actually a little shocked because I mainly ERed
on brainpower and willpower, certainly not financial
power. The other message is that it appears
there are many families (even close to retirement age)
that don't have a helluva lot, at least not from a financial
point of view.

John Galt
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 01:06 PM   #15
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Reading Now:
Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell
Alternating chapters of a first hand account of the Spanish civil war with chapters on the larger political issues.

Recently Read (last month or so):
Wall Street: How it Works and for Whom - Doug Henwood
An interesting look at money and finance from a "not quite" capitalist perspective.

The Secrets of Successful Practising for Guitarists - Kevin Downing
As an INTP who has never really needed to study for anything but has been struggling with the whole concept of practicing to get better at his guitar playing this book is a god send.

Heaven's Reach - David Brin
Book 6 of the Uplift Saga. *A very well thought out and interesting SF universe.

Work Related:
The Elements of Typographic Style - Robert Bringhurst
As the title suggests it's a discussion of type in general.

Calendrical Calculations - Nachum Dershowitz and Edward Reingold
Detailed discussion of calendars and how to make calcuations in them (i.e. what day is 26 days from now; what day of the week will it be exactly one year from now) with code examples. *Following this I have Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History on my "to read" list.

As someone who read a lot as a kid and student (perhaps 4-5 books a week) being able to read more is one of the things that I look forward to in retirement. *At one point work stuff got so hectic that I really wasn't reading much in the way of fiction (or even books in general - just some tech stuff). *I made it a point a couple of years ago to read at least one fiction or "fiction like" book (i.e. Homage to Catalonia) every month.
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 01:22 PM   #16
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Quote:
The other message is that it appears there are many families (even close to retirement age) that don't have a helluva lot, at least not from a financial point of view.
This comment underscores my thinking about ER. I will retire at age 52 with more than most financially. I won't have as much as many who post here, but I'll have far more than most of my 52 year old peers. By the time I'm 62, I'll probably still have at least as much, and probably more than most of my 62 year old peers who will be just about to retire. So what I'm really doing is buying 10 years of my life between age 52 and 62. I can't imagine anything I'd want more than those 10 years.
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 01:38 PM   #17
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

11 - 1 year of temp work = ten years in ER. The first ten were so much fun - I think we'll keep it up. If we enjoy ourselves too much - I can always get a job, tick myself off, and re - remember why we ER'd in the first place.
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gRe: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-09-2004, 11:00 PM   #18
 
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John Galt:

You stated that you were in top 5% regarding net worth in your age group.

You have to have net worth of $3,400,000.00 to be in that category. If you do, congratulations, if not welcome to the club
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-10-2004, 10:46 AM   #19
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

Looks a little closer to $1.4M by this accounting
http://www.dallasnews.com/s/dws/bus/...line/score.htm

And a few others were fairly close to this.

What source are you using?
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?
Old 04-10-2004, 11:54 AM   #20
 
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Re: Speaking of writers, how 'bout readers?

TH:

The figures you are looking at is correct about 3 or 4 years ago.
Using the same Web page, and John Galt age at 60, they have a revised page. The latest, actually shows about 2,800,000.oo. But that was about 2 years ago, the figure I used was plugging in the best estimate that could be figured, re: current average increase in net worth during that period. (Even if they are wrong, it is certainly more than 3,000,000.00 at this date.)
To be in the upper 5% , for most folks, would be damn near impossible for most early retirees, after 10 or 15 years of being out of the work force.
Makes no difference to me personally, because about 1,500,000.00 at least is overkill for the way we live.
I think most of us that retired early, did so with the idea that accumulating the extra wealth wasn't worth the price of admission.
Regards
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