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Old 12-25-2011, 11:21 PM   #1181
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TeeRuh and Tangomonster, Thanks for the recommendations. I will look for all of these authors at my library on CD audio. I was a Psych major in college, then was a computer programmer for 16 years, and now ( thank God) am a truck driver, and have the luxury of having time while driving, to listen to books on CD. I just hope I can find these authors in my library's audio cd collection.
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Old 12-26-2011, 06:46 AM   #1182
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Just started another Tom Clancy novel, "Without Remorse". Haven't really done a lot of reading for years but picked up three Tom Clancy books at a garage sale recently. I was a fan of his writing but somehow got away from reading a few years ago.
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:12 PM   #1183
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Just finished Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. This is a spectacular work by someone frequently mentioned as the most accomplished behavioral psychologist of the last 50 years. The excellent reviews do not do justice to an extraordinary work, engaging in its readabilty and thought-provoking in content. Micheal Lewis has a review of this book, which is fitting since Moneyball's focus on statistics and illusions of validity are based on Kahneman's work.

Kahneman was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. And his work has turned utility economics or homoeconomicus on its head.
I got a bunch of Kindle books for Xmas, including this one. I've only read a few chapters but it is fascinating. Lewis recommendation was spot on.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:42 PM   #1184
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A Perfect Spy -- by John LeCarre. It started a little slow, but I hung in there and was crying at the end for Pym.
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #1185
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Just started another Tom Clancy novel, "Without Remorse". Haven't really done a lot of reading for years but picked up three Tom Clancy books at a garage sale recently. I was a fan of his writing but somehow got away from reading a few years ago.
I enjoyed this one. Read it awhile ago but remember it held my attention from the start.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:55 AM   #1186
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Sh*t my Dad Says was hilarious. Got it for Christmas.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:26 PM   #1187
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Joan Didion's Blue Nights is what we used to call "heavy" in the 60s. Didion exposes the raw, jangled nerves of a 76 year old woman who has lost both her husband and her daughter and is beginning to decline herself. She morns the loss of clarity but, ironically, her prose communicates powerfully. This is a series of images about life, children, aging. A must read for 60+ers.
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Old 12-29-2011, 04:33 PM   #1188
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Room, by Emma Donoghue. Absolutely unputdownable. I read it in three sessions late at night, in bed, on my Kindle. Here is the review from Quill & Quire:
Emma Donoghue steps outside of her comfort zone with Room, her new novel. The Irish-born novelist, who now makes her home in London, Ontario, is known primarily for her richly detailed historical fiction (such as 2000’s Slammerkin) and stories exploring lesbian relationships. Her latest effort is quite a departure, and it seems to be working: the book garnered a spot on the Man Booker Prize shortlist.

The plot bears resemblance to the horrific true events surrounding Austrian Josef Fritzl, who kept his daughter imprisoned in a soundproof bunker in his basement for 24 years, fathering seven children by her. Rather than having the imprisoned woman tell her story, Donoghue places the narrative in the hands of a child born into a 12’ x 12’ room, the only home he’s ever known.

As a narrator, five-year-old Jack is tremendously enticing. His mother, kidnapped seven years earlier while walking through her college campus at age 19, has created a world for her son that is rich in play and learning, all the while anticipating the day they might make their “great escape.” This environment has provided Jack with an impressive vocabulary, though his advanced learning is juxtaposed with the natural innocence and bewilderment of a small child. The result is a story told through a child’s eyes, but in language that is endearing rather than tiresome.

The pace and plot of the story are both pitch perfect, though after the climax midway through the book, the reader may wonder what could be left to say. A great deal, it turns out, as Jack faces a whole new world of unfamiliarity and fear. Earnest and bright, he is remarkably adaptable, and provides commentary that is lushly intricate.

The character of Ma, while not the main voice, is nevertheless whole. Donoghue employs Jack’s descriptions of her moods, conversations, and thoughts to paint a picture of a woman struggling to keep it together for the sake of her child, while also fighting to become the person she once was and might be again, if circumstances allow.

Room is disturbing, thrilling, and emotionally compelling. Emma Donoghue has produced a novel that is sure to stay in the minds of readers for years to come.
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:51 PM   #1189
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Sh*t my Dad Says was hilarious. Got it for Christmas.
I read that when it first came out and could not stop laughing !
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:27 PM   #1190
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At the risk of bringing down the room, Jane Gross' "A Bittersweet Season", about caring for her mother through her final years.

Her mother died in 2003 after several years of declining health. Jane and her brother spent those years moving Mom from Florida back to New York, settling her in one assisted living facility and then moving her to another, working through a number of medical problems, and finally helping their mother decide when she was ready to die.

Five years later, Ms. Gross retraced her steps through that experience. She and her brother wrote about those days from their own perspectives and feelings, and then compared notes. She tracked down the people they’d worked with during those years and those who’d known her mother. She interviewed doctors, nurses, aides, geriatric care managers, Medicare specialists, state Medicaid staff, and lawyers.

She wrote over 300 pages: as a researcher, a loving adult child, a participant, an observer, and a teacher. She realizes that she’s growing older too, and she writes about how the elder-care bureaucracy evolved during just those few years. It’s a memoir about life with her mother, but it’s also a manual about navigating the healthcare system while you’re trying to take care of your parents, your family, yourself, and your career.

I learned a lot.
Book review: “A Bittersweet Season” | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:11 PM   #1191
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If you are interested in WWII history, "Skeletons at the Feast", "Citizens of London" and In the Garden of Beasts" are all very good.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:46 AM   #1192
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Yes, I read "A Bittersweet Season", and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am caring for a 92 yr. old mother, and so it was a compelling read. I highly recommend as well.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:43 AM   #1193
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The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt is a very good look into the re-discovery of and historical impact of Lucretius' ancient poem, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things) by Poggio Bracciolini in the early 15th century. Poggio was a Papal Secretary, a Humanist, and an inveterate classic book hunter. Lucretius' 1700 line poem which beautifully sets forth the philosophy of Epicurus was lost to the world for more than a millennium. It had a profound effect on Renaissance thinkers and even makes an appearance in the US Declaration of Independence (Jefferson was a huge fan of Lucretius with 7 copies of the poem in multiple languages - "the pursuit of happiness" is a core feature of the poem). I have been vaguely ware of Epicurus over the years -- mostly the Catholic Church's negative portrayal - but never actually understood what his philosophy was about. Lucretius' poem explains that it is about modernism. His philosophy echoes key features of modern science (atomic structure, evolution including the survival of the fittest, an infinite universe of multiple worlds, etc). It even presages quantum physics. The title "The Swerve" reflects a concept that atoms don't merely move in constant directions but unpredictably swerve causing them to collide and form unions leading to all matter, evolution and even (complicated here) free will. Greenblatt doesn't pick up on it but to me the concept of the swerve sound just like quantum jitters (random quantum fluctuations that occur even at absolute zero and are theoretically linked to the origin of the big bang). Quite an interesting (if obscure) read.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:37 PM   #1194
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I am reading the biography of Steve Jobs that my son purchased and did not get around to reading yet.

Part are interesting, however, I am now into the part of the book that deals with his w**k years.

I keep asking myself why I am reading about someone else's w**k experiences.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #1195
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I'm reading the bio of Steve Jobs, too. So much is very interesting and was unknown to me. He was apparently a very difficult man for those who had to work with him.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:12 PM   #1196
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I'm reading the bio of Steve Jobs, too. So much is very interesting and was unknown to me. He was apparently a very difficult man for those who had to work with him.
I worked in Silicon Valley for 25 years. There are a lot of brilliant but disturbed types there. There is lots of wealth created and who's to say that's good or bad. I don't know about Jobs but do not believe the hype. Full disclosure, I never was an Apple fan and do not believe in worshipping any corporate type and/or product.

That is not to say that reading a Steve Jobs bio is not a good thing.
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Old 01-05-2012, 04:39 PM   #1197
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For the start of 2012 I read Colin Dexter's The Daughters of Cain, 5 stars by my tastes. Dexter really knows his way around the English language. For me it's a joy to read. The Inspector Morris series was also done on PBS with John Thaw playing the lead. I'm going to check out a few of those DVD's now.

For reviews see: Amazon.com: The Daughters of Cain (9780804113649): Colin Dexter: Books
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:01 PM   #1198
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Here's a title I never expected to enjoy:
1001 Things to Love About Military Life

It's written by four military spouses (two of them also veterans) and it's exactly what the title claims. It’s organized by sections from the perspective of the servicemember, the spouse, and the family. It includes sections about our jargon and our traditions. There's also a section for how civilians learn about and honor the military.

I enjoyed it not once but twice. I read it last month but my daughter just finished her read during her college break. The whole family has had a good time with "Hey Mom, did you ever..." and "Hey, Dad, why...?" Great group therapy discussions of military life. Even a little leadership training.

The book has blank pages by many of the items for us to include our own memories. It's an interesting way to start an oral history project or just to bridge the generation gap. It's a happy conversation-starter and coffee-table book. If you served or grew up with the military, it's a wonderful way to remind yourself and to pass your memories on to the next generation.

Of course there were a few things that I don't miss at all and don't care to be reminded of...

Book review: 1001 Things to Love About Military Life | Military Retirement & Financial Independence
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #1199
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Discovered a new detective/thriller writer I like - Duane Swieczynski. Fun and Games is a hard boiled, quasi retro-noir, non-stop chase story featuring a troubled former police consultant helping a troubled has-been starlet evade "The Accident People" who are trying to kill her to hush up... Well, you need to suspend disbelief but, once you do, it runs out fast, furious and entertaining. I have Sweirczynski's, The Wheelman on hold.
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Old 01-09-2012, 12:58 PM   #1200
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I just got done reading 'I'm Feeling Lucky -- the Confessions of Google Employee Number 59' by Douglas Edwards.

Yes, it's another book about w*ork but it is a very interesting and often humorous read about the first five years of google. The story is told from the perspective of a 40-year old hire in the marketing department who often tried (bur rarely succeeded) to get Larry Page and Segey Brim to apply tried and true branding/marketing philosophies to the on-line statup and how Page and Brim had their own non-mainstream ideas when it came to running every facet of the company. I found it to be a very enjoyable and informative story.
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