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Old 08-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #1021
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I highly recommend The Psychopath Test: A journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats. It is a witty, entertaining look at what psychopaths are, how they are identified and how the are or are not "treated." Jonson is a journalist with a touch of Woody Allen. He has a refreshing, self deprecating voice and his subject is fascinating.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:33 AM   #1022
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I highly recommend The Psychopath Test: A journey Through the Madness Industry, by Jon Ronson, author of The Men Who Stare at Goats. It is a witty, entertaining look at what psychopaths are, how they are identified and how the are or are not "treated." Jonson is a journalist with a touch of Woody Allen. He has a refreshing, self deprecating voice and his subject is fascinating.
Just thought I'd mention this book which got a good review in the Economist recently: Amazon.com: A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness (9781594202957): Nassir Ghaemi: Books

Mentioned it to a librarian and she said it'd already been ordered and she too wanted to read it too.

Also noticed this one which got good reviews: Amazon.com: The Sociopath Next Door (9780767915823): Martha Stout: Books

Hard to keep one's sanity with all these good books to read.
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:17 PM   #1023
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At the library, opened this thread and got three books.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:04 PM   #1024
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I came across an interesting book, The Taint of Midas, by Anne Zouroudi. She left a lucrative career in England and moved to Greece some time back. Her mysteries feature a sort of Nero Wolfe type eccentric who solves problems and dispenses advice. She paints a nice picture of Greece.
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Old 08-22-2011, 05:57 PM   #1025
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I just finished my first Lee Child book Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher novel).

I enjoyed the suspense, and I want to ask, are all of his books that unrealistic and stupid?

For example, check out the thinking here:

Questions.jpg

Even if this were a reasonable way to send a message, 131 is also a prime number, and the sum of the digits is 5, so why not conclude that there are 5 hostiles?

Also, the protagonists do a lot of killing and mayhem, and the police never seem to catch up with them. Everything seems to go their way.

So, I'd like to read more of this author's books, but they have to be a little less silly.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:04 PM   #1026
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So, I'd like to read more of this author's books, but they have to be a little less silly.
"less silly"

This from a guy who spent years posting photos of a stuffed beaver on this forum...
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:20 PM   #1027
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...(snip)...
Even if this were a reasonable way to send a message, 131 is also a prime number, and the sum of the digits is 5, so why not conclude that there are 5 hostiles?
...

So, I'd like to read more of this author's books, but they have to be a little less silly.
I think the author was counting on readers who were less mathematically able . If the author hasn't figured out the silliness factor I'd move on.

The silliness (or maybe reality) issue is an interesting one. Is literature just an entertainment medium? Or should it also inform us in some way? I look for some insights and a good dose of realism (or at least something that doesn't involve wild coincidences) while being entertained. Many readers apparently are willing to go along with complete fantasy as long as they can be engaged to turn the page. That's not bad, just depends on what you want out of your reading.
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:47 PM   #1028
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I just finished my first Lee Child book Bad Luck and Trouble (Jack Reacher novel).

I enjoyed the suspense, and I want to ask, are all of his books that unrealistic and stupid?

For example, check out the thinking here: .....


Even if this were a reasonable way to send a message, 131 is also a prime number, and the sum of the digits is 5, so why not conclude that there are 5 hostiles?
Stuff like that bugs me too. I figure it is the writer's job to come up with believable situations. To not do so is just lazy, IMO.

But if we are watching a movie, and I 'sigh' at something like that, I immediately get "It's just a movie" from DW....



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The silliness (or maybe reality) issue is an interesting one. Is literature just an entertainment medium? Or should it also inform us in some way? I look for some insights and a good dose of realism (or at least something that doesn't involve wild coincidences) while being entertained. Many readers apparently are willing to go along with complete fantasy as long as they can be engaged to turn the page. That's not bad, just depends on what you want out of your reading.

And apparently, DW and many others are happy with that. I need more.

A friend of mine mentioned that he will accept one giant leap of faith in the story line, to allow a set up. But after you make that giant leap of faith, the rest should fall into place within that scenario. If the writer asks for multiple leaps, he loses you.

A similar concept was presented in the book:

James Kakalios - The Physics of Superheroes - Intro

(very good book, if you are into that kind of thing), he would allow one leap of faith (Superman can fly), but after that, the physics problem had to be applied with rigor. Unfortunately, this means that if Superman swoops down and grabs Lois Lane's arm right before she hits the ground after being thrown out of an airplane by Lex Luthor, her arm tears off and she dies. He can't just fly away holding her by the arm. I will leave the proof for the ambitious student.

-ERD50
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Old 08-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #1029
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I just finished Michael Connelly's "The Black Echo " . Good read . Barnes & Noble has the Nook version for .99.
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Old 08-22-2011, 08:16 PM   #1030
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...(snip)...
A similar concept was presented in the book:

James Kakalios - The Physics of Superheroes - Intro

(very good book, if you are into that kind of thing), he would allow one leap of faith (Superman can fly), but after that, the physics problem had to be applied with rigor. Unfortunately, this means that if Superman swoops down and grabs Lois Lane's arm right before she hits the ground after being thrown out of an airplane by Lex Luthor, her arm tears off and she dies. He can't just fly away holding her by the arm. I will leave the proof for the ambitious student.

-ERD50
LOL!!! ERD50, have you considered writing? Maybe this would be a big hit, taking physics seriously in the movies. You could have an Alister Cook type commentator come in and briefly explain why Lois is dieing. Very dramatic and we get a physics lesson too.
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Old 08-23-2011, 01:49 PM   #1031
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The Hearing by J. Lescroart. Readable.
Dexter Is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay. So so.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:06 PM   #1032
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Just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
Although it came as no surprise, this was one depressing dystopian tale.
I typically enjoy dystopian stories but this one...whew. It is the way that he just drops these horrible small details into the fabric of the story that blow you away.
And if you ever wanted to know how many ways you can describe gray and black, this book is for you.

I can't exactly say I liked it, but I thought it was important to read it.
FWIW, I would not ever see the movie, as a friend ambushed me into seeing his other, more famous book made into a movie, No Country for Old Men. I still want those 2 hours back. Utterly lacking in any redemptive quality and pointless in its violence and callousness. It is one thing to read a disturbing book, but quite another to sit through visual confirmation of the gratuitous violence. Give me Yellowbeard, any day!
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:14 PM   #1033
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Just finished Cormac McCarthy's The Road.
Although it came as no surprise, this was one depressing dystopian tale.
I typically enjoy dystopian stories but this one...whew. It is the way that he just drops these horrible small details into the fabric of the story that blow you away.
And if you ever wanted to know how many ways you can describe gray and black, this book is for you.

I can't exactly say I liked it, but I thought it was important to read it.
FWIW, I would not ever see the movie, as a friend ambushed me into seeing his other, more famous book made into a movie, No Country for Old Men. I still want those 2 hours back. Utterly lacking in any redemptive quality and pointless in its violence and callousness. It is one thing to read a disturbing book, but quite another to sit through visual confirmation of the gratuitous violence. Give me Yellowbeard, any day!
I thought the book was excellent and the movie a pretty good portrayal. But then, I like dystopian.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #1034
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I thought the book was excellent and the movie a pretty good portrayal. But then, I like dystopian.
Any other suggestions, then?
I think my favorite ever is the rather slim Anthem, by Ayn Rand. I also really enjoyed the Lois Lowry trio that included The Giver. Concrete Island, by Ballard, was fascinating.
I also like a few post apocalyptic novels, among them Alas, Babylon, the Handmaiden's Tale, and the more recent Robopocalype. A favorite from childhood was the quite Libertarian-influenced Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:58 PM   #1035
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Any other suggestions, then?
I think my favorite ever is the rather slim Anthem, by Ayn Rand. I also really enjoyed the Lois Lowry trio that included The Giver. Concrete Island, by Ballard, was fascinating.
I also like a few post apocalyptic novels, among them Alas, Babylon, the Handmaiden's Tale, and the more recent Robopocalype. A favorite from childhood was the quite Libertarian-influenced Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson.
I liked Handmaid's Tale. I guess you have to go with the classics: Time Machine, 1984, Brave New World, Fahrenheit 451, maybe Lord of the Flies fits. And Neuromancer probably fits the category.

I'm glad you put Robopocalypse in the category. I recently downloaded it from the library.
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:41 PM   #1036
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LOL!!! ERD50, have you considered writing? Maybe this would be a big hit, taking physics seriously in the movies. You could have an Alister Cook type commentator come in and briefly explain why Lois is dieing. Very dramatic and we get a physics lesson too.
Thanks, but Professor James Kakalios beat me to it. Plus he has the credentials, and is probably a much better writer than I am ( I bet he knows how to use possessives and apostrophes correctly!). And he actually finished a book or two. I can start things, finishing, that's another story ...

-ERD50
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Old 08-23-2011, 09:59 PM   #1037
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Any other suggestions, then?
I think my favorite ever is the rather slim Anthem, by Ayn Rand. I also really enjoyed the Lois Lowry trio that included The Giver. Concrete Island, by Ballard, was fascinating.
I also like a few post apocalyptic novels, among them Alas, Babylon, the Handmaiden's Tale, and the more recent Robopocalype. A favorite from childhood was the quite Libertarian-influenced Girl Who Owned a City by OT Nelson.
A really great post-apocalyptic tale, both thought provoking and often quite funny, is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:57 PM   #1038
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A really great post-apocalyptic tale, both thought provoking and often quite funny, is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.
I enjoyed World War Z. The format was interesting. It was done in the form of a documentarian interviewing people after the fact (of a near zombie apocalypse). They're making a movie of it also..
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:46 AM   #1039
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A really great post-apocalyptic tale, both thought provoking and often quite funny, is A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller.
My father used to tell a story about convincing a non-reading friend to read Canticle to introduce the guy to the joys of reading. The guy loved it and enthusiastically recommended it to everyone he talked to. But he never read anything else saying it would have to be a let down after reading he greatest book ever written. I haven't read it so I will have to put an order in at the library in memory of my father and his pal.

In my response above I forgot to mention Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, a good story about post apocalyptic California following a massive meteor strike.

Edit: just searched for A Canticle for Leibowitz and found a free ePub available.
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Old 08-24-2011, 01:38 PM   #1040
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In my response above I forgot to mention Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, a good story about post apocalyptic California following a massive meteor strike.
Excellent book. Hot fudge sundaes will take on a whole new meaning. There's also an interesting surfing sequence...
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