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Old 11-07-2013, 10:27 AM   #1641
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I just finished this spy novel: Amazon.com: Young Philby: A Novel eBook: Robert Littell: Kindle Store

It follows Philby's early years before his defection to the Soviet Union. For me it was an interesting discussion of what happened in parts of Europe during WW2. The character of Philby is explored in considerable depth. There is a surprising twist at the end. The book moves somewhat slowly but it's a short read.

When I looked Philby up on Wikipedia it had this nugget:
Quote:
John le Carré (David Cornwell) depicts Philby as Bill Haydon, the upper-class traitor in the 1974 novel Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The novel has been adapted as a 1979 TV miniseries, a 2011 film, and radio dramatisations in 1988 and 2009. In real life, Philby had ended le Carré's intelligence officer career by betraying him to the Russians.
Quite interesting to a spy novel reader after all these years to learn of this, if true.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:21 AM   #1642
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I have just begun reading "The Skies Belong to Us," a book written by Brendan Koerner (whom I saw on C-Span's BookTV) about the hijacking of U.S. commercial airplanes (mostly to Cuba) back in the 1960s and early 1970s before the FAA and the airlines finally agreed to implement some basic sceening to keep weapons off the planes. Even if I were reading this before 9/11, I would have been stunned by how those parties resisted congressional attempts to pass laws allowing for passenger screening and to increase the penalties for hijackers.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:23 AM   #1643
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Just finished annual re-reading of all of Austen as well as Daniel C. Dennett "Breaking The Spell".
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:44 AM   #1644
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Last night I re-read Siddhartha, by H. Hesse, for the first time in 45 years. This book is about a young man's spiritual quest and is available on Kindle for nothing or nearly so (I got a different version for $0.00 several months ago but I don't see it now). Siddhartha used to be very popular among young hippies in the 1960's, but I found it is still fascinating and meaningful to me all these years later. Actually I got more from it this time due to having 45 more years of life experiences to draw on.

It is still a very quick read (2-3 hours, I suppose, depending on how much one wishes to pause and ponder). Well worth re-reading, if you are of a spiritual bent and interested in eastern philosophical viewpoints.
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Old 11-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #1645
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Last night I re-read Siddhartha, by H. Hesse, for the first time in 45 years. This book is about a young man's spiritual quest and is available on Kindle for nothing or nearly so (I got a different version for $0.00 several months ago but I don't see it now). Siddhartha used to be very popular among young hippies in the 1960's, but I found it is still fascinating and meaningful to me all these years later. Actually I got more from it this time due to having 45 more years of life experiences to draw on.

It is still a very quick read (2-3 hours, I suppose, depending on how much one wishes to pause and ponder). Well worth re-reading, if you are of a spiritual bent and interested in eastern philosophical viewpoints.
That reminds me of "The Wisdom of Insecurity," by Allan Watts. I read it in college and experienced some stunning insight I soon forgot. I re-read it a couple or three decades later but couldn't recapture the insight. It is still on my shelf -- maybe I will retry. My daughter has Siddhartha so I can pull her copy out an try that one again.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:44 PM   #1646
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Enjoyed that one....as I did with Littell's earlier works some years ago.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:55 PM   #1647
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Reading Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath" for the first time. I just finished reading "Not a Drop to Drink" by Mindy McGinnis.
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Old 11-08-2013, 01:56 PM   #1648
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Judas the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Set during the Victorian Age in England -about people making stupid choices, living immoral lives and coming to tragic ends. Just wanted to slap them but it was an interesting book.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:25 PM   #1649
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Finishing up 'The Monuments Men'. Good read about a small group of people that were put together during WWII to help preserve cultural items during the war and to recover all of the art work and items stolen by the Nazis. It is being made into a movie starring George Clooney and Matt Damon due out early next year.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #1650
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I picked up Overdosed America, By Dr. John Abramson, at the library the other day. This is an excellent look at the way big pharma and other commercial players in the medical industry have distorted medical research, medical practice, and even medical knowledge in the US. This 2008 edition is a little long in the tooth but still an eye opening look at a significant component of what ails us.
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Old 11-09-2013, 10:31 AM   #1651
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Bloodlands, by Timothy Snyder. Rather depressing and detailed account of the suffering of Eastern Europe at the hands of Hitler and Stalin. Puts what Americans have lived through here in perspective.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #1652
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Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre, is an excellent French police procedural. Number two in a trilogy featuring Paris Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven (only two have been translated so far), this is a dark and compelling hunt for a serial killer. Full of twists and turns, it kept me up till the wee hours. The final chapters are a fascinating look at a French police interrogation - quite a different process than we see over here.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:45 PM   #1653
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Finding this book made my day... Won't be interesting to most, unless they are involved in "prepping" or have been in the Boy Scouts.
It's a Gutenberg download... EPUB or .txt version, with great pictures and a fantastic information source for every thing from Astronomy to Zoology... with first Aid and Swimming in between.
The 1911 original Boy Scout Handbook.

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/29558
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #1654
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Alex, by Pierre Lemaitre, is an excellent French police procedural. Number two in a trilogy featuring Paris Police Commandant Camille Verhoeven (only two have been translated so far), this is a dark and compelling hunt for a serial killer. Full of twists and turns, it kept me up till the wee hours. The final chapters are a fascinating look at a French police interrogation - quite a different process than we see over here.
Do you know what the first one is in the trilogy Don? I could not seem to find it on Amazon.

Having watch some Maigret on Netflix I'm up for French mysteries. (Netflix link: Netflix - Unlimited TV Shows & Movies Online)
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:11 PM   #1655
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Almost finished with America's Obsessives The Compulsive Energy that Built a Nation. (Joshua Kendall)
Compares the lives of famous Americans ~Jefferson, Jobs, HJ Heinz, Melvil Dewey, Lindberg, Kinsey, Ted Williams, Estee lauder etc all who seem to have had obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) and were very successful in their fields. They were driven.

I recommend it.
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Old 11-17-2013, 04:32 PM   #1656
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Reading The Secret Garden with my nine year old and listening to the Audiobook of Bryson's At Home. Love Bill Bryson!
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:06 PM   #1657
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Just finished a really marvelous nonfiction work, Tim Bonyhady's Good Living Street: Portrait of a Patron Family, Vienna 1900. It's about elite life in Vienna prior to the Anschluss, and the women who posed for Klimt and supported the Seccession artists. I'm interested in Klimt and thought this a much better book than the more heralded The Lady in Gold.
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Old 11-17-2013, 05:53 PM   #1658
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I am midway through The F. Scott Fitzgerald Collection. It's excellent, that guy really knew how to write a sentence.

My eyes popped when I saw Amazon is selling the Kindle edition for $0.99 (you read that right).

It contains two novels and two collections of short stories: Flappers and Philosophers, Tales of the Jazz Age, The Beautiful and Damned, This Side of Paradise.
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Old 11-21-2013, 04:59 PM   #1659
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This doesn't qualify as something I've read, but while I was running around doing errands today, I was listening to a podcast of a local PBS talk program I love but piled up while on my glide path.

It was an interview with an author, Mary Stewart, who wrote a book called The Earth Moved. It's about earthworms. Believe it or not, it sounded fascinating and she was entertaining in talking about their characteristics, behavior, and benefits. I bet it would be interesting to gardeners, landscapers, and so on. I thought I knew something about earthworms, and I always feel sad when I unwittingly squish one at my home. But there is a lot more to learn.

It also made me remember a thing about the musician John Hartford, who popped up in another thread (the steel guitar one). When I was in junior high, I got a copy of his first album, which was packaged as an LP with a foldout cover having the liner notes, which were handwritten things he did, little snippets of prose, poetry, and some drawings. I liked them all, but one that never left me was this:

The simple worm has five pairs of hearts
Stuffed inside his wormy parts
He falls in love quite easily
And ten times as hard as you and me.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:17 PM   #1660
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Quiet: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain. In my opinion everyone in business should read this book. It would make managers (especially those uber-extroverted types) much better at what they do and help avoid having so many employees RE.
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