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Old 11-14-2011, 10:49 AM   #1121
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In the Woods (9780143113492): Tana French: Books

This was entertaining, but the comments on the Amazon site are exactly right: then ending is no good, and the main mystery of the book is never resolved.

5/10
I've read the Tana French series backwards, starting with the most recent. I wonder if the resolution in the first one will be clearer to me as I read it (I've just taken it out of the library) as the series builds on itself with different narrators who refer to the previous events and narrators.

Thanks for posting this about Into the Woods.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:08 PM   #1122
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I thoroughly enjoyed Reamde, Neil Stephenson's latest novel. Reamde is a virus and a corrupted spelling of readme, as in readme.txt files that come with software. The readme virus has been set loose in an online game sort of like World of Warcraft but optimized for players to actually get money out. The virus encrypted all of your documents and sends offers to unencrypt them for a modest fee to be left in gold coins at a specific location in the game world. The wrong guy's files get held hostage and the game is on. Reamde is quite a thriller, with teams of players and multiple levels of play, just like the game at it's center. This is not complex or challenging like some of Stephenson's other work but it is a great "beach read" style page turner.
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:17 PM   #1123
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I just read The Caine Mutiny. I remember seeing the movie with Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in the 50s.

It's been a long time, but I think the book is much better. I believe that Herman Wouk is not just a good writer, but a great writer.

Ha
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Old 11-27-2011, 02:39 PM   #1124
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I just read The Caine Mutiny. I remember seeing the movie with Humphrey Bogart as Captain Queeg in the 50s.

It's been a long time, but I think the book is much better. I believe that Herman Wouk is not just a good writer, but a great writer.

Ha
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Old 11-27-2011, 03:33 PM   #1125
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I thoroughly enjoyed Reamde, Neil Stephenson's latest novel.
Loved Cryptonomicon.
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Old 11-27-2011, 05:29 PM   #1126
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Just finished In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (who is also the author of The Devil in the White City). It is about William Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Germany from mid-1933 to the end of 1937. While it gives some background, it is not a biography per se. Rather, it focuses on the 4 and 1/2 years that he and his family were in Berlin.

Ambassador Dodd warned time and again that Hitler was dangerous and Germany preparing for war. But many people, including the U.S. State Department, were convinced that things were not as bad as he said and that they would be able to "work with" the Nazis. It is intriguing (and sad) to see how, little by little, an entire society went mad and the rest of the world did nothing until it was too late.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:11 PM   #1127
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I read the same book and thought it was fascinating.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:00 PM   #1128
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I finally finished Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I might admire the quest for simplicity, but on the whole it came accross as a snivelling, opinionated self-centred call for universal poverty - disappointing and not worth the read.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:11 PM   #1129
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Agree completely. An early OWS type.

Ha
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:11 PM   #1130
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I finally finished Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I might admire the quest for simplicity, but on the whole it came accross as a snivelling, opinionated self-centred call for universal poverty - disappointing and not worth the read.
Wow - - I have always found Walden to be inspiring, although also a little contrived. Maybe this is one of those books that is open to multiple interpretations.
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:07 AM   #1131
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Just finished In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (who is also the author of The Devil in the White City). It is about William Dodd, the U.S. ambassador to Germany from mid-1933 to the end of 1937. While it gives some background, it is not a biography per se. Rather, it focuses on the 4 and 1/2 years that he and his family were in Berlin.

Ambassador Dodd warned time and again that Hitler was dangerous and Germany preparing for war. But many people, including the U.S. State Department, were convinced that things were not as bad as he said and that they would be able to "work with" the Nazis. It is intriguing (and sad) to see how, little by little, an entire society went mad and the rest of the world did nothing until it was too late.

I also found the book very interesting. The transformation of his daughter from Paris Hilton-like party girl to pretty brave critic of the Nazi was quite impressive.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:08 PM   #1132
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I read Heart in the Right Place by Carolyn Jourdan when I was on holiday in Spain this month. After finishing a book on holiday, I usually do not take it back with me but I loved this book so much, I packed it home with me. It is a memoir of a former US senate counsel who gave up her career to work as a receptionist in her father's clinic in her small hometown after her mum's illness prevents her from continuing on as receptionist. At first it was for short term until her mum recovers but she decided to stay on when she realised the difference her father and the clinic was making to the community. It's written with lots of humour, conviction and vivid description. The book deals with tough situations and there's a lot of insights on life situations and making a difference in our lives to others. She also shares the lessons she learns in her experience. In one of the paragraphs in her last chapter, she writes "Our whole lives were set up to give us every possible opportunity to do the right thing, to mature into good people. God didn't care how or where we did it, just long as we did. He gave us a series of choices. We had to take what we were and what we had and do the best we could with them. There were no extra bonus points for visibility or magnitude. I'd always aimed for the big score, but now I understood better." The cover of the book actually was the first thing which attracted me. See attached.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:06 AM   #1133
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Just finished In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson (who is also the author of The Devil in the White City).
I really liked Devil in the White City, will check this one out, maybe after the holidays.


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I finally finished Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I might admire the quest for simplicity, but on the whole it came accross as a snivelling, opinionated self-centred call for universal poverty - disappointing and not worth the read.
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Agree completely. An early OWS type.

Ha
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Wow - - I have always found Walden to be inspiring, although also a little contrived. Maybe this is one of those books that is open to multiple interpretations.
Funny range of comments, maybe I need to re-read this. Perhaps my perspective would be completely different now. I recall finding it fascinating when we read it in HS. But not in the 'we should all do this' kind of way. Maybe more in the 'isn't that an interesting perspective - and cool that he tried that' kind of way.

Maybe a bit like some works of abstract art - I might appreciate it in some ways, and admire the overall impact, the technique, detail and use of materials - but I wouldn't want it in my home! Just an interesting diversion.

-ERD50
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:45 PM   #1134
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Stella Rimington's Rip Tide is a 5 star in my opinion. Her best yet, some suspense too. This is a British MI5/MI6 story with believable operational details. May be because Rimington was director general at MI5 in the 1990's. Link: Amazon.com: Rip Tide: A Novel (9781608194896): Stella Rimington: Books
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:52 PM   #1135
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Do audiobooks count? I listen to them on my way to/from w*rk, just to kill the monotony of the commute. The ones I've "read" recently and really enjoyed were:

The Help
Skippy Dies
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (boring!)
Dave Barry's I'll Mature when I'm dead
The Civil War (Shelby Foote) *excellent
John Adams *excellent
UR (Stephen King)
Duma Key (Stephen King) *really good
Huckleberry Finn
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:23 PM   #1136
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Tom Clancy's 'Debt of Honor' -- an entertaining, scary, and alarming look at what makes the economy tick.

James Michener's memoirs 'The World is My Home' -- I was amazed to learn he really didn't embark on his writing career until the age of 40.

Jamling Norgay's 'Touching My Father's Soul'. Jamling is the son of Tenzing Norgay who was the first with Edmund Hillary to summit Mt. Everest. The story provides an interesting look at the tragic 1996 season on Mt. Everest -- which is the year Jamling summited the peak as part of the Imax film team filming on the mountain that year.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:31 PM   #1137
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All Cry Chaos, "a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens. The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster's Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers." This is a top-notch thriller mixing fractal math and chaos theory with religion, politics, greed and evil. Very good first effort. I suspect we can expect more Poincaré novels.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:41 PM   #1138
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Just finished Marysvale. It was a free Kindle book. I enjoyed it from start to finish. It's just a medieval adventure book with a little supernatural stuff thrown in. It isn't a genre I would have chosen, but the author knows how to keep things moving. I give it a 9/10, as long as it's seen as just escape reading.

My hit rate with the free Kindle books is about 1/8.
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Old 12-01-2011, 06:49 PM   #1139
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All Cry Chaos, "a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens. The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster's Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high-stakes, world-crossing quest for answers." This is a top-notch thriller mixing fractal math and chaos theory with religion, politics, greed and evil. Very good first effort. I suspect we can expect more Poincaré novels.
OK, I'll check this out from our library. Though I might not read it if the book doesn't include mathematical proofs, plenty of topology theory and lots of equations ... .
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Old 12-05-2011, 07:45 PM   #1140
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Criag Ferguson's "American on purpose". His autobiography. Actually quite a page turner. Both humorous and sad. He came very close to self destruction and is where he is today only because he had a dream.
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