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Old 06-13-2014, 11:09 AM   #1821
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Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline has become a bit of a cult classic among cyber punk fans. It is set in a dystopian 2041. Earth is a mess, the US in major decline. The mass of humanity spends as much time as possible in the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online simulated universe. OASIS was built by a geek who was a teenager in the 1980s and was obsessive about 80's culture. When he dies in 2039 his will leaves his $150B fortune to whoever wins a treasure hunt in OASIS. The fun begins as we join some late teen users who have joined the hunt. This has more 80s game, movie, TV, and music trivia than you can shake a stick at. A fun read for teenagers of all ages.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:02 PM   #1822
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"The Fundamentalist Mind" by Stephen Larsen, Phil Cousineau. A study of how polarized thinking is destroying modern culture.
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Old 06-13-2014, 12:16 PM   #1823
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The Martian by Andy Weir.

heh heh heh - not a big book reader but this one was a light amusing read bringing back some memories when I was a worker bee.
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:35 PM   #1824
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Just finished "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage." An amazing tale of survival of 27 who attempted to cross Antarctic in 2014-16. Cannot imagine anyone these days attempting such a feat. Well, given current technology it wouldn't be that difficult I'd guess.
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Old 06-13-2014, 07:06 PM   #1825
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Just finished "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage." An amazing tale of survival of 27 who attempted to cross Antarctic in 2014-16.
Wow! They finished the trip in the future! These Dudes had mojo.
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Old 06-14-2014, 07:58 AM   #1826
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Wow! They finished the trip in the future! These Dudes had mojo.
DOH! Hmm, maybe it was 1914-16!
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:40 AM   #1827
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Just finished "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage." An amazing tale of survival of 27 who attempted to cross Antarctic in 1914-16 [fixed typo]. Cannot imagine anyone these days attempting such a feat. Well, given current technology it wouldn't be that difficult I'd guess.
My son performed in a concert at his college, and the guest conductor wrote/conducted a piece about the Endurance (the ship) and this voyage. It was accompanied by a slide show - the crew included a documentary photographer.

Amazing journey, with the ship getting trapped in the ice, and they didn't make it back to civilization until 1917, no loss of human life, as they report. However, I noticed that in the early pictures, they had lots and lots of sled dogs. Though nothing was mentioned of this, I did not see any dogs in the later pictures.

-ERD50
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:49 AM   #1828
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Well unfortunately, the dogs were dispatched as food stocks dwindled; they also became part of the food stocks. As sad as that is, it's not as bad as Heart of the Sea that I previously read, that tells the tale of the wale ship Essex that was attacked by a whale and sunk, and the survivors who had to resort to cannibalism. I seem to be attracted to these nonfiction works of misery! Makes ones difficulties seem rather insignificant.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:07 PM   #1829
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The tragic story of the Essex was one of the inspirations for Melville's Moby Dick (just in case anyone cares for literary trivia!).
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:12 PM   #1830
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Tree rings.

One standing dead tree I felled was over 80 years old. RIP. No it was not a widow maker, had a few leafs a month ago.
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Old 06-17-2014, 04:40 PM   #1831
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National Geographic Magazines from the 90's. I was going to recycle them, but they are just too good!
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:57 AM   #1832
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Just finished Tana French's first novel: In the Woods

It's a murder mystery set in Ireland. What makes this book compelling is the author's treatment of the characters. Flaws that develop in humans are explored. People do not always overcome their flaws, even some heroic people.
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:13 PM   #1833
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I have a book called The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway. As the name describes, it's a compilation of about 70 short stories. I have had this book for a few years by the nightstand, and would pick it up to read a random story off it.

For people who like short stories, this book serves the need for something to read without committing oneself like with a long novel. And then, I also learn something about history as Hemingway had quite a few stories about the Spanish Civil War.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:38 PM   #1834
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Having watched the movie The Wolf of Wall Street recently, I wanted to read the memoir of the same title by Jordan Belfort that the movie was based on. Because the movie has such disgusting scenes, I like to see if Martin Scorsese, the movie director, was making his own exaggerations. Additionally, I wanted a bit more details on how investment bankers manipulate IPO prices to get rich, despite SEC regulations.

So far, 1/3 of the way into the book, I have not seen anything in the movie that is not described in the memoir. It was truly that disgusting.
I am now reading the 2nd part of the memoir by Jordan Belfort, Catching the Wolf of Wall Street. It describes his phase of life once he was indicted for numerous charges for money laundering and security law violations.

It's fascinating how he taught his brokers, who were "young and naive, hungry and stupid" to peddle penny stocks and IPOs to customers, many being well-to-do professionals hence not uneducated, so that these young brokers could make hundreds of thousands the first year, and then millions in subsequent year when they got more proficient. Same as the first book, this one is also filled with sordid details of binges of various kinds of drugs and sexual escapades with prostitutes across the globe as he traveled.
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Old 07-11-2014, 03:09 PM   #1835
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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.

I noticed Amazon now offers Kindle versions of the last three (not Flappers and Philosophers, or I didn't find it) for free.

There are some typos, but my thoughts of his ability to write are the same.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:14 AM   #1836
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I have just started reading, "The Routes Not Taken, A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System" by Joseph B. Raskin. As the title suggests, it is a book about the many subway routes proposed but not built in the New York City subway system. It also includes tunnels and stations for partially built but never used routes.

The NYC subway system, first opened in 1904, quickly underwent plans for expansion in its first few decades. There were many planning agencies which put forward plans for expansion but many of those plans faced opposition from business and community groups as well as state and local political leaders. The 1929 stock market crash put a damper on expansion for a while. So did the city's financial crisis in the 1970s.

As a NYC transit junkie and political junkie, I am enjoying this book on multiple levels. I also think about these routes not built in the context of the looming LIRR strike (many displaced LIRR riders will be using the NYC subways to get to work if there is a strike) which I discussed in another thread. Warning, the font size in this book is a little small which is giving me a challenge to read even with reading glasses.
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Old 07-17-2014, 10:19 AM   #1837
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I just finished "I'm Just a Patsy! Lee Harvey Oswald in his Own Words", by L.D.C. Fitzgerald. It was free through the Amazon Prime Kindle lending library.

Amazon.com: I'm Just a Patsy! Lee Harvey Oswald In His Own Words eBook: L.D.C. Fitzgerald: Kindle Store

This is neither a terrific book nor a book for everyone, but if you are fascinated by the JFK assassination and truly wonder about Oswald and want to get a sense of what he was really like, this is a must. I enjoyed reading it and musing over it a lot.

I came away thinking Oswald was a lot more of a dumb loser (like his stereotype) than I had assumed he was, lone assassin or not. He had an awful childhood, too. So anyway, I think I learned something and got more of a feel for who Oswald really was, by reading this book. The book won't help you figure out whether or not he killed JFK, IMO, if you aren't already certain; but it could help you to become more familiar with Oswald and his early life.
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Old 07-17-2014, 04:48 PM   #1838
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I finally got around to reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Thought the book was excellent, but decided that I never want to see the movie. There are a couple of scenes that I just wouldn't want to watch.
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Old 07-17-2014, 06:20 PM   #1839
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Among the many books that I read during my two week vacation in Maine, two stand out as good reads for almost anyone.

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides - a Pulitzer Prize winner that traces a Greek family from Turkey to America and an exploration of the narrator's ambiguous sexuality. The way he ties those two themes together is really quite clever. It reminded me of the Gay Talese book Unto the Sons.

Thunderstruck by Erik Larson. Non-fiction story of Guigliemo Marconi and his search to perfect wireless, as well as the infamous murderer Dr. Crippen, who was caught with the help of Marconi's invention. If you liked Larson's Devil in the White City, you'll like this too.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:04 PM   #1840
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If you liked Larson's Devil in the White City, you'll like this too.

Major sidetrack: I recently saw a good documentary about Frederick Law Olmsted: the landscape architect who did the grounds around the "White City". He also did Central Park and Boston's Fens.

I see stuff in my own town that owes a debt to that work. I knew about the building, but not the landscape, architects.
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