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Old 09-08-2019, 10:08 PM   #3261
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Not really a Sci-Fi buff, (except perhaps for Heinlein), but I'm enjoying Saturn Run by John Sanford, (a little different from Lucas Davenport & Virgil Flowers), in cooperation with Ctein:
I'm listening to the audiobook version of this book and it is really good.

I was out this evening and got to the point where the folks from the ship head over to meet the "visitors". I was just a few minutes from home and had to decide to continue home or just keep driving. I ultimately decided to go home, but will be taking a leisurely drive tomorrow to find out what happens.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:15 PM   #3262
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Just Finished Crisis in the Red Zone, by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone. Crisis tells the story of the major Ebola outbreak a few years back. Its a harrowing thriller that presents tough ethical and practical quandaries. Not quite as riveting as The Hot Zone but very much worth a read.
I'm going to have to check this book out. I loved both 'The Hot Zone' and 'The Demon in the Freezer' -- both scary as heck.
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Old 09-09-2019, 12:55 AM   #3263
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I finished “Finn” by Jon Clinch and immediately bought his “The Thief of Auschwitz” and “Kings of the Earth.” What an outstanding, original writer!

Finn is an amazing reimagining of Huckleberry Finn, only it’s exclusively about his father. An exploration of evil, very much set in its time and place. Hard to describe, but very much worth reading. The sort of book that stays with you for weeks afterward.
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Old 09-11-2019, 04:25 PM   #3264
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Just finished reading a book 'Playing with FIRE' by Scott Rieckens. True story about a millennial couple living in California, who wanted to spend more family time together, and decided to make life style changes to save more money and retire early. Book is also a promoting a new documentary film on FIRE to be released in 2019.
I am most of the way through the book and I can't say I am very impressed. Scott and his wife are a pair of spendy people who are struggling to figure out how to spend less so they can FIRE early. Looks to me his wife will keep working, even remotely, so he can retire. That makes him a SAHD for their little daughter. He hasn't said squat about how they will obtain health insurance, something we here talk about all the time, especially for those of us younger than Medicare age. (I guess his wife will get it for the 3 of them through her JOB.)

I just got up to the part in the book where he visits his relatives in Iowa to tell them how he "discovered" frugality, only to have his relatives reply as if he had just discovered the sky is blue.
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Old 09-12-2019, 07:59 AM   #3265
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Just on a second reading of the three long historical novels by Adrian Goldsworthy that comprise his "Vindolanda" saga about Roman Britain. He is a noted historian (nonfiction) whose specialty is Roman military history. It is rare for a "real" historian to produce fiction, and rarer to produce pretty good fiction! But there was a big cache of documents - real documents - found at a long gone British Roman outpost called Vindolanda which gave unrivaled information about the real life of Roman soldiers at provincial postings, so I'm guessing he seized the opportunity to bring the documents to life.

Given his interest in military history, the novels have a LOT of bloody fighting. Goldsworthy gives the details about the damage the various types of swords floating around at that time could do the human body. Spouting blood, gouged eyes - mucho of that. But, for some reason, even though I don't like bloody fiction on the page or the screen, I seem to be able to glance over those parts pretty easily.

What grabs me are the many fascinating details. I have to compare the series to the 20+ Jack Aubrey and Steven Maturin novels about the British navy produced by Patrick O'Brian, likewise an enthusiast and learned man on his subject. Similarly, Goldsworthy's novels focus on two characters, particularly his hero the centurion Flavius Ferox, and his friend Vindex. Goldsworthy is able to imbue these characters with a surprising amount of nuance, and even manages to make the other characters distinct and memorable - again, this is very similar to what O'Brian accomplishes. Alas, the women are not so well drawn - again similar to O'Brian in this. But the novels are not really about women.

There's also something about his writing style that I am still trying to figure out. That's one of the reasons I'm rereading. I'd like to describe his plotting as "intricate," but that's not the right word. The plot is jerky rather than smooth, but "confusing" isn't right either. It's more that his writing style manages to capture the rhythm of how real life might have unfolded for a centurion on the border. Time moves slowly - it's a pre-modern culture - and events only belatedly fit together. I like the way the writing style conveys the swirl of events.

The third novel just came out and "completes" the series (he is working on a new trilogy), but the door was left open, and I have a feeling that eventually there will be more.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:24 AM   #3266
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The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean, by Susan Casey, is a fascinating look at big wave surfing, ship swallowing freak waves, and the scientists, and surfers who study them. If you have ever wanted to get into Laird Hamilton's head this is your book. Spoiler alert: the author surfs down the face of Jaws on the back of a jet ski.
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The End of Doom
Old 09-12-2019, 08:49 AM   #3267
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The End of Doom

What a great book. Mostly about the environment, also covers some human health issues. I know some others have mentioned books by Hans Rosling, this seems similar with an eco-focus. That's what I needed, being a very strong environmentalist. The enviro movement feels like it has been subsumed by NGO's and charities, all of whom need more and more of your money, none of which will happen unless you are sufficiently scared.

Reading this book seems to have achieved some sort of mental purge for me. I feel as if I have walked out of an existential crisis fog. Any way, obviously I highly recommend this book.

The End of Doom: Environmental Renewal in the Twenty-first Century - Ronald Bailey
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Old 09-12-2019, 09:11 AM   #3268
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I finally read The Millionaire Next Door. I was underwhelmed.
The methodology didn't seem too clear and the parts that were clear seem to contribute to pretty crappy data gathering. The overall view of the authors that the wealthy are better than the rest and have higher morals probably led to the great book sales. I probably would have liked it more if I read it back in the 90s.
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Old 09-14-2019, 07:58 PM   #3269
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El Sid by Chris Haslam

https://www.bookdepository.com/El-Si.../9780349118871

The International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War, juxtaposed with a latter day treasure hunt by a wily old veteran of the conflict and his two ex-con compatriots.

Enjoyed it.
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:57 PM   #3270
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"We were the lucky ones " by Georgia Hunter . A Jewish family in Poland during World War 2 . A really good read .
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:09 AM   #3271
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Currently reading The Feast of the Goat (English translation) by Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, a novel about the last days of, (and the prior & subsequent impact on the Dominican Republic), dictator Rafael Trujillo.

I recall Trujillo's assassination, but knew little or nothing beyond that. Enjoying the book.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/...st_of_the_Goat
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Old 09-25-2019, 08:21 AM   #3272
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Enjoyed Dark Age, Book 5 of the Red Rising series, by Pierce Brown. Red Rising is a fantasy/SF series that's sort of a distant future, Game of Thrones. I don't know how I got started on this series since I don't normally go for fantasy but I have enjoyed it. I hope book six will close this one out.
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Old 09-25-2019, 12:35 PM   #3273
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Just finished 'Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story'. Bruce was a caddy for Tom Watson and died from ALS. You don't have to be a golfer to appreciate the book. Have a tissue handy......
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Old 10-10-2019, 09:39 AM   #3274
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The Lie by Hesh Kestin:

https://www.jewishbookcouncil.org/book/the-lie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesh_Kestin

The author packs a helluva lot into a mere 229 pages, and even tosses in a surprise ending.

Loved it!
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #3275
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You have to stop all this reading Nemo. Putting us all to shame.
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #3276
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You have to stop all this reading Nemo. Putting us all to shame.
There's a stack of books alongside the bed.......seems every time I finish one it's already been replaced by three or four more.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:49 AM   #3277
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I just looked.....there are about 50 (as yet unread) books on the bedside shelving unit.
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:55 AM   #3278
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I always have 5 or 6 books going at once on my Kindle, with another half dozen in the queue. Plus an average of one a month from the library.

Currently enjoying I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life about our microbiomes.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:27 PM   #3279
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You guys are great readers.

I have recently been guilty of spending too much time on the web. But then we had this PGE shutdown (power just back up now!). So I had to read books on my Kindle app. Poor me.

Just before the power shutdown (2 full days off line) I downloaded Shiller's new book, Narrative Economics. It's pretty interesting so far and I'm hoping to pick up some insights.

Link: https://smile.amazon.com/Narrative-E...0821865&sr=8-1
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