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Old 02-20-2011, 02:02 PM   #821
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Some months ago I picked up "Veiled Freedom" by Jeannette Windle in a pharmacy. I have a fascination with the Middle East and this sounded like an interesting contemporary story about a young American aid worker in Afghanistan. It was very well written with good character development, and almost unputdownable. Here are the reviews on Amazon.com:

Amazon.com: Veiled Freedom (9781414314754): Jeanette Windle: Books
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:12 PM   #822
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Just finished:

Amazon.com: Fat,Forty,Fired: One Man's Frank,Funny,and Inspiring Account of Losing His Job and Finding His Life eBook: Nigel Marsh: Kindle Store

Very relevant for the ER forum, since he essentially retires for 9 months. There were about 10 laugh-out-loud stories, like this one:

Excerpt.jpg

The guy struck me as dishonest, however. For example when he would pretend to be a guest at a fancy hotel in order to use their pool (every day for weeks).

Recommended. 7.5/10.
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Old 02-20-2011, 05:10 PM   #823
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Just started "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" by Rebecca Skloot.

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"There's no way of knowing exactly how many of Henrietta's cells are alive today. One scientist estimates that if you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons-an inconceivable number, given that an individual cell weighs almost nothing."


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Her cells were part of research into the genes that cause cancer and those that suppress it; they helped develop drugs for treating herpes, leukemia, influenza, hemophilia, and Parkinson's disease; and they've been used to study lactose digestion, STDs, appendicitis, human longevity, mosquito mating, and negative cellular effects of working in sewers."

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Old 02-20-2011, 07:24 PM   #824
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I finished "The girl with the dragon tattoo " and thought it was great . Has anybody read the other books in the trilogy and are they as good ?
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:02 AM   #825
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I finished "The girl with the dragon tattoo " and thought it was great . Has anybody read the other books in the trilogy and are they as good ?
IMO. the other two are just as good (if not better). The last two are really more like one book split into two volumes.
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Old 02-21-2011, 01:55 PM   #826
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Well, I didn't exactly read it since it was an audio book--but, it is out in book form: "Naked in Baghad" by Annie Garrels who was working for NPR. Anyhow, she's sort of covering the war with Iraq, the one where the USA is looking for WMD. She's not exactly where the fighting is. But, her experiences in Baghdad were just incredible. The people she comes into contact with are fascinating. Most everyone she comes talks with are conflicted about the war. Nothing just falls into place for her, everything is difficult. Paying off everyone in sight makes her life bit easier. And, she just has a great voice.
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Old 02-23-2011, 07:41 AM   #827
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Just finished reading "In the Empire of Ice" by Gretel Ehrlich. It documents the lives of indigenous Artic people in this time of climate change. It conveys lots of facts about the uncertainties of ice and the unimaginable changes taking place on the land and livelihood around Artic Ocean and how that life is also affected by global warming. I like the way it is written - very engaging and hands on.
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Old 02-23-2011, 08:27 AM   #828
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The Corps Series by WEB Griffin. Currently half way thru Line of Fire. Next up gotta finish the Brotherhood of War Series.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:46 AM   #829
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I finished "The girl with the dragon tattoo " and thought it was great . Has anybody read the other books in the trilogy and are they as good ?
I just finished The Girl Who Played with Fire yesterday. I really enjoyed it. I thought it was better than the first. I still need to get the third one.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:17 AM   #830
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Jusy back from Maui where I read a few good books. Among them the most recent version of A Random Walk down Wall Street. Malkiel's most recent version is as good a read as ever. A good thriller - Dead Like You, by Peter James follows a British detective's investigation of the "shoe man" serial rapist. It is a good 8.5-9.0 read.

And for those who like a little reality (or unreality depending on your perspective) In Search of the Multiverse, John Gribbin is a very readable addition to the growing list of books covering the modern views on cosmology. I still agree with Feynman who said, "I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics."
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Old 02-24-2011, 09:51 PM   #831
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Just finished Moby Dick. I checked my previous post in this thread for a start date.
It took me a few days over a year to complete. I am a ponderous reader.
Reading season will be ending soon (I hope).

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Old 02-24-2011, 10:56 PM   #832
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I've been reading some Roald Dahl books (Matilda, BFG) with my daughters (aged 7 and 5) - I'm not sure which of us enjoyed them the most.

I also re-read The Richest Man In Babylon and am wondering when to ask my daughters to read it.
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Old 02-25-2011, 07:39 AM   #833
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Just finished "The Big Short" by Michael Lewis. Highly recommended for anyone who wants a better understanding of the sub-prime mortgage mess and the ensuing Wall Street bailouts.
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Old 02-25-2011, 10:50 AM   #834
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Originally Posted by Free To Canoe View Post
Just finished Moby Dick. I checked my previous post in this thread for a start date.
It took me a few days over a year to complete. I am a ponderous reader.
Reading season will be ending soon (I hope).

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You'll enjoy Three Years Before the Mast
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Old 02-27-2011, 02:51 PM   #835
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Just finished

Amazon.com: Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery eBook: James R. Benn: Books

on my iPod Touch (got it when it was free). Not bad, 8/10. A good mix of war stuff, whodunit and adventure.
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Feel Free by David S. Viscott, M.D.
Old 03-02-2011, 09:39 AM   #836
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Feel Free by David S. Viscott, M.D.

This book was written in 1971, so while some of the references to the early days of women's liberation and the sexual revolution may seem not applicable to our present day situation, it is remarkable how the basic struggle for self knowledge, happiness, and the ways society and one self create barriers have not changed one iota. Here is an excerpt from pp. 71-73. I typed the quote, so any spelling error unless otherwise indicated are entirely mine.

Quote:

What the rat race offered you as a youngster was an escape from your insecurity, your fears of facing he world alone and also facing yourself. Many of the needs that made you choose that safe direction in the first place do no exists any more. Your ability to hold a job or run a home has been proven. You have shown people that you can fulfill your role. If you fell into the rat race during the Great Depression you may have felt that it was impossible to get a job, that any job was good and that you should fee grateful for it and not complain.

Your needs in the beginning were the needs over young person at the beginning of the quest for identity and fulfillment. your fears were the fears of being rejected, of being worthless as a businessman, as a mother or whatever. If you look you will see that somehow during the years many of these feelings have been mellowed by age, even if they haven't gone away. Sure, maybe you aren't the wonder child who was going to tear the world apart -- but you didn't do so badly either. Really you didn't. In the old days you were afraid you couldn't survive. The point is: why stay on at what you are doing just because you are trying to prove you can survive? You've already done that. It's time to do something else. You've grown up and your decisions about yourself have to grow up, too.

You've survived. Maybe now it's time to live.

It should be obvious that when you decide to change that the people around you, who are in the same boat as you, are going to be enormously threatened by your move. More than likely they have not reevaluated themselves, and so they regard your leaving the old ways as a dire threat. Perhaps they fear that they, too, have been doing the wrong thing all their lives. You must be stopped before you upset their lives. Your compatriots are going to be jealous. Don't expect any of them, except the most open of them, to express feelings of warmth toward you. They have to put you down because what you are doing is something they may not even be able to think of. Most likely they will agree that things could be better. Since they are not doing any better themselves, the idea of a change is something they don't really want to cope with. If you were merely talking about a change of homes or a job in a different company, it would be a different story. It would be less of a threat to others, though still upsetting. To make a real change, to give up something and start fresh somewhere, is thought to be the idea of a dreamer, a kook. In a flash you will hear all of the arguments you have been struggling with, and they'll be presented to you as if they are absolutes pointing only in one direction, the one opposite your choice.

Whether your change involves your family, your job, or just your attitude toward work, pleasure and what you consider to be important to your life, the people you will speak to will react with fear and offer you very little comfort. What you will hear is a recitation of the reasons and rationalizations they use to keep their own minds in place. This is a very tiresome business.

Why can't they let you go? The answer is simple. Society fears a free man. Whenever society sees someone who is truly free, it feels compelled to bind him up again. The person must be branded as an outcast and categorized as odd and unconforming (s.i.c.). Society must do this merely because, by definition, society is an arrangement of rules to be conformed to. Not to conform is not to belong in society. But you'll do well to remember: the greatest accomplishments do not necessarily happen within the confines of the usual social restrictions.

(paragraph on artists skipped)

A person who is truly free to follow the dictates of his own conscience and heart threatens that part of society that depends on reliable productivity and consumption. If a person had the right to choose whether the will or will not serve in the army, stay at a boring job because he is told he is supposed to, drive a dozen screaming Cub Scouts to the zoo, then the entire distribution of labor may be upset. When people leave the rat race, they become more whole and less of a cog in some giant apparatus of gears grinding ceaselessly toward a goal that the individual worker doesn't see or understand. once someone is free, it becomes increasingly difficult to find meaning in attaching the same bolt to a thousand different cars every day, or to sweep the same floors each morning. The person who breaks away and becomes free, feels whole and wants to see the entire operation from beginning to end. He wants to be in control himself. He wants to feel that his entire world is his. it is a feeling of self-sustenance, increased self-worth, and self-assuredness. It is the ability to say "no" to nonsense. It is being free.
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How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World by Harry Browne
Old 03-02-2011, 10:08 AM   #837
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How I Found Freedom in An Unfree World by Harry Browne

Here is another classic from the 1970s. The entire Harry Browne collection can be bought as ebooks from his site www.harrybrowne.org.

Quote:
The Future

Another way many people keep themselves on the treadmill is by being preoccupied with the future. It’s easy to justify a rigorous schedule in the present as an investment in the future. Many people work long hours, put up with disagreeable effects of their work, and forego enjoyments — all because it promises a brighter future. But what if the future never comes? Who knows what will happen to the economy, to your ability to enjoy yourself, to the things you’d planned to spend your money for?

I don’t believe in committing my future to pay for indulgences of the present. But neither will I sacrifice today for a vague, indefinite tomorrow. I could die next week. What then would be the worth of my well-laid plans for 20 years from now?

It makes sense to enjoy yourself at the time when you’re best able to do so mentally and physically. At 65, the luscious dreams of today may not be so attractive. So leave 65 to be handled at 65. Do what you can to be sure you can provide for yourself then — but don’t put off your dreams until then.

The time to be free, to start living, to enjoy yourself, is right now. Now is the time when you can best appreciate the unplanned hours that can be enjoyed as you choose at each moment.

If you don’t have any free time or money, do something about that. If you don’t know where your time and money are going, stop everything and check your expenditures and activities carefully. Find out how you’re spending your life. Get rid of all the nonessentials — especially those that are vague investments in the future.

Don’t feel that you have to give sixty hours a week to your work unless that’s what you enjoy most. Be free — free to act upon opportunities as they arise, free to take advantage of the things you’ve wanted to do. Find ways to satisfy your dreams. After all, what is life for? If it’s really just a vale of tears, what’s the point in being alive?

I believe that life is to be enjoyed, to be tasted — or there isn’t any point to it. I’ve found ways to live freely and joyously — because I am convinced there is no other reason for living.

I didn’t become free by working 60 hours a week — except during very brief
periods when there were immediate and important rewards for doing so. I didn’t become free by accepting the routine that others expected of me.

There will be plenty of people to tell you that you must go along with things as they are, that you have no right to expect a happier, easier life, that there are other people who have less than you do. But so what?

There’s so much to be had from life. There’s pleasure and satisfaction and love and entertainment and excitement. And there are enjoyable ways of earning a living, and there are adventures, uncommitted hours, challenges, and happy surprises.

Use your imagination. Look for alternatives. Don’t settle for less than the kind of life you need to make it worth having lived.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:39 AM   #838
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Buns, that last one really resonated with me. I'll have to check out his books! Thanks for the excerpts (especially the one you had to type out)!
This was my fave:
It makes sense to enjoy yourself at the time when you’re best able to do so mentally and physically. At 65, the luscious dreams of today may not be so attractive. So leave 65 to be handled at 65. Do what you can to be sure you can provide for yourself then — but don’t put off your dreams until then.
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Old 03-02-2011, 11:44 AM   #839
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Buns, that last one really resonated with me. I'll have to check out his books! Thanks for the excerpts (especially the one you had to type out)!
This was my fave:
It makes sense to enjoy yourself at the time when you’re best able to do so mentally and physically. At 65, the luscious dreams of today may not be so attractive. So leave 65 to be handled at 65. Do what you can to be sure you can provide for yourself then — but don’t put off your dreams until then.
Hey, I'm only 62 instead of 65, but from my point of view I would add the footnote "But then again you may have dreams at 65 that are pretty attractive too at that age, even if they are different from your dreams at younger ages." I don't sit around wishing that I could climb Mount Everest, but it is nice to be able to have some luxuries that make life easier.
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Old 03-02-2011, 12:42 PM   #840
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Hi

I am glad someone else found these authors' words to be enlightening. Note that these are excerpts meant to jar the conventional way of thinking that not only prevents many from taking action but also prevents the examination of what cause the dissatisfaction in many's lives. Neither author was an impulsive human being. One was an M.D., and the other was the author of numerous finance books. Harry Browne also was the author of the Permanent Portfolio, so while both advocated reflection followed by concrete action, neither said jump on the first thing that comes to your mind. You'll discover in the chapters on actually taking action, the authors advocated that you note the bad feelings, note what caused them, try out corrective actions in the direction you want to move, make course corrections, and when both the monetary and psychic rewards of your actions mesh with your imagination of the new course, then commit to the new course. Viscott went as far as pointing out specifically when to hand in one's resignation letter (as late as possible).
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