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Old 10-21-2014, 07:59 AM   #1921
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Shipboard for a month, (and home last night), I've been reading the Guido Brunetti series by Donna Leon.........finish one, start the next one.......love 'em!

Donna Leon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:47 AM   #1922
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A big two thumbs up for The Martian, by Andy Weir. This self published novel is like Apollo 13 on steroids (albeit Apollo 13 actually happened). An astronaut is left on Mars, assumed dead, after an emergency evacuation. He has enough food for half a year and needs to survive several years, and traverse thousands of kilometers to the planned base for the next Mars mission. Luckily the astronaut is Matt Damon (in Ridley Scott's 2015 movie release) who is both a botanist and a McGiver-like engineer. Great page turner and must read for people who enjoy this sort of thing.

I am about 1/3 of the way through the audiobook version of this. At first, I was a bit turned off as it was just his logs and somewhat geeky/technical stuff that only an engineer would appreciate. However, it is now getting much more interesting and captivating. Thanks for the rec.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:26 AM   #1923
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'The First 20 Minutes: Surprising Science Reveals How We Can Exercise Better, Train Smarter, Live Longer' by Gretchen Reynolds. A good compilation of the latest science/research on fitness and exercise.
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Thanks. I try to keep up with research on optimal exercise regimes. I downloaded this one from the library.
It is a pretty good book. Some of it gets a little silly in tone but it covers a lot of history and recent research on a wide variety of health matters. Worth a read.

I am currently reading Atul Gwande's Being Mortal, which is the subject of it's own thread here. Excellent book.
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Old 10-23-2014, 01:44 PM   #1924
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Currently reading "Before the first shots are fired", should be mandatory reading for every politician.

http://www.amazon.com/Before-First-S.../dp/1137279389
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Old 10-23-2014, 05:31 PM   #1925
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Having read "Dear Leader" and subscribed to some aviation channels of YouTube, I searched "Air Koryo" and found this wonderful trip report by a German of a guided tour in North Korea, specially geared to aviation enthusiasts. Enjoy!

Time travel in Antonovs, Ilyushins and Tupolevs: A unique trip around North Korea
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Old 10-27-2014, 12:12 PM   #1926
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I am readng, "A Deadly Wandering," by Matt Richtel. It is about the tragic death in 2006 of two rocket scientists (yes, actual rocket scientists) due to another driver, 19-year-old Reggie Shaw, texting while driving in northern Utah. Richtel, who was interviewed on C-Span's BookTV recently about this book (that's where I get a lot of my book ideas), wrote about the work of a persistent cop in figuring out Shaw was actually texting when the accident occurred, and the action of a persistent victim's advocate to pursue the prosecution of Shaw in the face of inadequate laws and a reluctant local DA. Richtel also writes in the book about the work of neuroscientists about how technology has created problems in paying attention to an important task like driving because of the increase in devices such as cell phones and smart phones.

I am about halfway through the book.
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:35 AM   #1927
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Reading RADS, a book detailing the events around the Sterling Hall bombing in Madison WI in 1970. Fascinating story that provides a great deal of insight into the actions and opinions of the anti-Vietnam generation.


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Old 10-31-2014, 10:32 PM   #1928
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I've been ER'd for about two years now. One thing I promised myself was that, with all the extra time, the quality of my reading list would improve (more history, biographies, literature etc). Unfortunately it's been a steady diet of detective series, thrillers, and tawdry best sellers.
So I'm happy to report I finally got around to Michael Oren's "Powerr, Faith & Fantasy", a historical overview of US involvement in the Mideast from independence to the present day. Quite good and very enlightening.
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Old 11-01-2014, 12:00 AM   #1929
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I've been ER'd for about two years now. One thing I promised myself was that, with all the extra time, the quality of my reading list would improve (more history, biographies, literature etc). Unfortunately it's been a steady diet of detective series, thrillers, and tawdry best sellers.
So I'm happy to report I finally got around to Michael Oren's "Powerr, Faith & Fantasy", a historical overview of US involvement in the Mideast from independence to the present day. Quite good and very enlightening.
That one sounds pretty good to this history nut. May I suggest "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright?

I'm doing a quick re-read of "The Iron Brigade, a Military History." I just can't seem to get enough Civil War lore.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:45 AM   #1930
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Just finished Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion, and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson, by S.C. Gwynne (author of the Pulitzer Prize - nominated Empire of the Summer Moon).

Best Civil War book I've ever read.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:01 AM   #1931
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I'm reading "Bulls, Bears and the Ballot Box" by Bob Deitrick and Lew Goldfarb. Subtitled, How the performance of our presidents has impacted your wallet.
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Old 11-09-2014, 03:54 PM   #1932
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A couple of days ago I finished "The Jackhammer Elegies" by Stefan Jaeger. Not too often does one find a book in which the hero is a structural engineer. It was a pretty good read.

Today I finished "The First 20 Minutes" by Gretchen Reynolds. It's about exercise and the huge effect that even light amounts have on health and the brain, and one's ability to think, and lifespan. Turns out that even a little bit is hugely important.
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Old 11-09-2014, 05:50 PM   #1933
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I recently finished Tana French's The Secret Place which I was disappointed in--the writing was wonderful, but the story centered on teenagers in boarding school (don't care) and the side plot of the detectives investigating the story was quite slight. It was most interesting in that the action (if talking to teenaged girls is action) took place in a day, interspersed with chapters progressing through the previous year.

I also just finished with Louise Penny's latest mystery, The Long Way Home, which did not impress me either. Maybe it's just me.
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Old 11-10-2014, 06:18 AM   #1934
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Two recommendations:

The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England, by Dan Jones, and The Peripheral, by William Gibson.

Jones book is long and dense but interesting. In short, if you thought Game of Thrones was over the top then read The Plantagenets. A state of constant violence with Kings marching off to war on a lark. Sons joining forces with their mother to war against their father. Alliances made and broken. The middle ages were nuts. I got this book after reading a good review of Jones newer book - The Wars of the Roses - which was not yet in the library. I have Roses on hold now.

Gibson's newest is, well, Gibson. You are plopped down in a somewhat newish future or, rather, two of them. Hobbyists from the future are able to contact "continua" in the past creating new "time stubs" that go off in their own direction after interference. This one involves future detectives, tough as nails women, some hard boiled vets. Lots of interesting tech. Hacking. The usual stuff. As with all Gibson novels you don't get a narrative voice explaining what is going on or interpreting the lingo. You have to puzzle it out for a while until the dialog uncovers things. If you like Gibson, you will like this one.
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Old 11-10-2014, 08:42 AM   #1935
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Catching up on 6 months of National Geographic, and just starting Clive Cussler's "Poseidon Arrow" and "Drawing the Line, How Mason and Dixon Surveyed the Most Famous Border in America"
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Old 11-12-2014, 08:23 AM   #1936
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I'm reading my way through Robert Parkers "Jesse Stone" series.


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Old 11-13-2014, 04:00 AM   #1937
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Just read Lost in Shangri - La , a true story of the rescue of the survivors of a military plane crash in the Baliem Valley in West Papua during WWII. It was well researched and easy to read, and gave a view of a large 20th century stone age culture.

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Old 11-16-2014, 07:29 AM   #1938
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My wife read this one, was totally enthralled, and passed it to me.....superb:

Mitchell Zuckoff Frozen In Time.....juxtaposing lost WWII US aircraft on Greenland and the modern day search for the planes/crew who went missing at that time.

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Old 11-16-2014, 08:28 AM   #1939
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I picked up a couple of books by Ben Goldacre, a doctor/science writer. I am just finishing Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks. It is an interesting and amusing look at complementary and alternative medicine focusing on how many of the proponents rely on flawed science to promote bogus interventions and how Big Pharma uses some of the same techniques to flog ineffective meds. Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients, goes into more depth on the Pharma end of Bad Science.
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Old 11-19-2014, 12:02 PM   #1940
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'Wild- From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail, Cheryl Strayed'. Pretty good read, about the authors journey hiking (solo) the ~1000 mile Pacific Coast Trail from California into Oregon.
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