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Old 09-29-2011, 08:20 AM   #1081
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Some of my favorites are all the books by Wilbur Smith. They all relate to the history of Africa. Starts out with "River God" which takes place in ancient Egypt and goes up through the changes in South Africa. I think there are total of 24 books. Have enjoyed them all, although the last one in the Egypt series was a little unbelievable.

Also like Ken Follett, James Clavell, David Baldduchai, James Patterson, some of Stephen King (Dark Tower series is good), and many others.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:55 PM   #1082
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Just started James Ellroy's Blood's A Rover, his latest dark view in a continuum portrayal of mid-20th century US undercurrents.
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:19 PM   #1083
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“American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America", Colin Woodward

I haven't picked it up yet, but the two excerpts I have read definitely have my interest.

The Real U.S. Map, a Country of Regions (Part 1): Colin Woodard - Bloomberg
Woodward: The Real U.S., a Country of Regions (Pt 2) - Bloomberg
"The U.S. federation is composed of the whole or part of 11 regional nations (some of which stretch over the boundaries of Canada and Mexico), each with its own cultural ancestry, values and ideals. These are: Yankeedom, New Netherland, New France, the Midlands, Tidewater, Deep South, Greater Appalachia, First Nation, the Far West, the Left Coast, and El Norte. Their histories are as divergent as their origins: Six of these nations joined together to liberate themselves from British rule. Four were conquered, but not vanquished, by English- speaking rivals. Two more were founded in the West by a mix of American frontiersmen in the second half of the 19th century...."
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:53 AM   #1084
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Read The Quantum Thief, by Hannu Rajaniemi a cyber punk novel set in a post human distant future in our solar system. Rajaniemi is a PHD string theorist so his science is pretty far out but interesting. I wasn't thrilled with it but enjoyed it enough to recommend to Gibson fans and the like. Don't let my luke-warm reception scare you off, this debut novel is getting raves across SF-dom.
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War and Remembrance
Old 10-02-2011, 12:32 PM   #1085
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War and Remembrance

I am reading War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk. It takes up where the previous volume, Winds of War, ended, with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Both the Pacific and Europe are featured in this 1000 page volume, and it is held together by two families, the Henrys and the Jastrows, a daughter from which family married Briny Henry, submariner youngest son of Navy Captain "Pug" Henry. With all these people, and their friends and lovers and family connections we have windows on almost the entire war. Author Herman Wouk is known for very careful scholarship, and he is also a riveting writer of the tell a good story type, rather than the flowery language type. Wouk himself served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater during WW2.

Wouk joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater, an experience he later characterized as educational; "I learned about machinery, I learned how men behaved under pressure, and I learned about Americans." Wouk served as an officer aboard two destroyerminesweepers (DMS), the USS Zane and USS Southard, becoming executive officer of the latter.-Wikipedia


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Old 10-02-2011, 12:35 PM   #1086
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I am reading War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk. It takes up where the previous volume, Winds of War, ended, with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor. Both the Pacific and Europe are featured in this 1000 page volume,


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+1 These are excellent reads.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:57 PM   #1087
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In contrast to the worthy reading selections mentioned above, I'd like to state that I am in the mood to read trash, in order to motivate me to read a very long, worthy, uplifting, and possibly very tedious book that I have in mind afterwards.

The trash that I selected this time and that I am presently reading is Clan of the Cave Bear, the first book in the Earth's Children series by Jean Auel, and one which I read previously back in the 1980's. I bought it for my Kindle last year when it was $1.59, though it is more now. Being high quality trash, this book is the easiest read ever. It is fun, engaging, and sexy, and a wonderful escape, with few if any redeeming virtues or qualities. I don't even care.
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:09 PM   #1088
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I really enjoyed the Wouk books that Ha mentioned. Read them some years ago.

W2R, I don't think you qualify for trash reading with Clan of the Cave Bear, I liked that one. You'll have to go much lower, maybe something like: Amazon.com: From the Depths eBook: Shira Anthony (writing as Sarah Alexander): Books
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:51 PM   #1089
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I really enjoyed the Wouk books that Ha mentioned. Read them some years ago.

W2R, I don't think you qualify for trash reading with Clan of the Cave Bear, I liked that one. You'll have to go much lower, maybe something like: Amazon.com: From the Depths eBook: Shira Anthony (writing as Sarah Alexander): Books
Now there's a man who knows trash when he sees it! The cover says it all.
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Old 10-02-2011, 05:48 PM   #1090
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I am reading War and Remembrance, by Herman Wouk. It takes up where the previous volume, Winds of War, ended, with the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor.
Loved those books !
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:35 AM   #1091
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I just finished a great WWII book that I think a lot of you, especially you old pilot types, would really love. It is a story of the rescue of three survivors of a plane crash in New Guinea in the South Pacific. A group of WACs and other men stationed there were on a sightseeing trip to break up the monotony of tropical clerical jobs when their plane crashed in an unbelievably remote jungle area.

The author did an impressive job of recreating the drama of the crash and subsequent rescue, and it compelled me, no war book buff, to really get into the story. I especially liked the parts about the virtually Stone age inhabitants of the area and their reactions to the survivors and their rescuers.

Highly recommended! Amazon.com: Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II (9780061988349): Mitchell Zuckoff: Books
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Old 10-03-2011, 11:04 AM   #1092
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I just finished a great WWII book that I think a lot of you, especially you old pilot types, would really love.
Anyone in particular in mind?
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:05 PM   #1093
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Anyone in particular in mind?
Emphasis on *old*
But actually, I thought you'd completely dig the book. Maybe you'd been to kindergarten with some of these folks.
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Old 10-03-2011, 03:16 PM   #1094
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I'm 1/3 thru The Night Circus, a great debut novel by Erin Morgenstern. Definitely two thumbs way up and so far seems well deserving of the raves it is getting from all quarters. Think of the magical realism of Garcia Marquez', One Hundred Years of Solitude coupled with the haunting sense of something remembered from childhood of Bradbury's, Something Wicked This Way Comes or Dandelion Wine. Put your hold on this one right away.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:03 PM   #1095
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Found an 18 volume set of the Complete Works of Mark Twain published in 1910 at a church rummage and am reading "Christian Science"
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:27 PM   #1096
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I love Mark Twain, and that was a great book. I wonder what he'd be writing about L. Ron if he were alive today.
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Old 10-03-2011, 06:55 PM   #1097
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I love Mark Twain, and that was a great book. I wonder what he'd be writing about L. Ron if he were alive today.
I don't know that Scientology could survive Mark Twain's wit.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:27 PM   #1098
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Found an 18 volume set of the Complete Works of Mark Twain published in 1910 at a church rummage and am reading "Christian Science"
From Mark Twain:
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In 1903 Mark Twain published a satirical diatribe attacking Eddy and her church entitled Christian Science. Twain wrote

We cannot peacefully agree as to her motives, therefore her character must remain crooked to some of us and straight to the others. No matter, she is interesting enough without an amicable agreement. In several ways she is the most interesting woman that ever lived and the most extraordinary. The same may be said of her career, and the same may be said of its chief result...Whether she took it or invented it, it was—materially—a sawdust mine when she got it, and she has turned it into a Klondike; its spiritual dock had next to no custom, if any at all: from it she has launched a world-religion which has now six hundred and sixty-three churches, and she charters a new one every four days. When we do not know a person—and also when we do—we have to judge the size and nature of his achievements as compared with the achievements of others in his special line of business—there is no other way. Measured by this standard, it is thirteen hundred years since the world has produced anyone who could reach up to Mrs. Eddy's waistbelt.[14]

Mary Baker Eddy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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A trailer for Mark Twain & Mary Baker Eddy: a love story, a film by Val Kilmer

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Old 10-04-2011, 05:01 AM   #1099
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Just finished Younger Next Year. Now I'm starting Drawing The Line: How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:42 AM   #1100
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Finished up The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles. Written in 1949, it details the journey of three friends to post-WWII Africa. I didn't get it. It was annoying from start to finish, a sort of dreamy, whiny, emotional affair. I've heard it is one of the top travel books of all time and that it is some sort of great statement on the human condition, but my summation is: meh.
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