What are you reading lately?

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listeme
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Re: What are you reading lately?

#801

Post by listeme » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:47 am

Whatever4 wrote:Plus the heroine is named Ellie, who has a dog named Penny.
Some names (and persons) are just clearly heroic, like Ellie.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#802

Post by DejaMoo » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:58 pm

Victoria the Queen by Julia Baird. A newish biography of Queen Victoria, which reveals that she was by no means as prudish as history (thanks to her youngest daughter's censoring her documents) has painted her.

Notable tidbits:

Shortly after falling for her cousin Albert, she swooned in her private journal over watching him play sports in his "tight white breeches...with nothing underneath".

After giving birth to her ninth child, her doctor recommended that she have no more, due to the toll the multiple births had already taken on her body. Her response, "Do you mean I can have no more fun in bed?"

Victoria purchased the painting La Siesta by Winterhalter and hung it in her dressing room at Osborne House. Note the subtle details in the painting:

Image

(Yes, that's a man face-down underneath the reclining lady's skirt. Whooo!)

Everyone's heard of her remarkably close relationship with her Scots servant John Brown after the death of her husband Albert. It caused no small amount of consternation within her family and the court. When she died, her private physician, following her secret instructions, placed John Brown's mother's wedding ring on her hand, a photograph of Brown in her left hand, and some letters from Brown plus a lock of his hair in the casket. All hidden from the view of her children, who referred to Brown as "the Queen's Stallion".

Queen Victoria: stubborn, yes. Self-centered, yes, Prudish, no.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#803

Post by Maybenaut » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:07 pm

Just finished John Grisham's newest -- Camino Island. I don't say this about many books, but
► Show Spoiler



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#804

Post by Sugar Magnolia » Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:24 pm

Maybenaut wrote:Just finished John Grisham's newest -- Camino Island. I don't say this about many books, but
► Show Spoiler
He's written the same book over and over with changes in names and locations. I quit reading him years ago, even though he's a local golden boy and it's practically sacrilege to admit that.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#805

Post by RoadScholar » Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:50 am

The word "over-rated" may be over-used, but in Grisham's case...


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#806

Post by Maybenaut » Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:24 am

RoadScholar wrote:The word "over-rated" may be over-used, but in Grisham's case...
Some of his earlier works, even if they weren't great lituratue, were at least good reads: the Firm, The Client, Runaway Jury, and The Rainmaker (to name a few). His first Book, A Time to Kill was pretty good (we at TFB should always have a warm spot in our hearts for any story in which an attorney successfully argues for jury nullification).

I also liked A painted House - it was a complete departure - a story about a kid growing up poor in the Ozarks. The Innocent Man was a frightening bit of non-fiction about the death penalty.

So he was't always bad -- lately, though, just phoning it in.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#807

Post by MN-Skeptic » Sat Jun 24, 2017 7:44 pm

Al Franken's Giant of the Senate.

It was interesting seeing Franken's journey to becoming a senator from his perspective. Like other Minnesotans, I was concerned that he would try to get in the spotlight and make jokes about everything. While I like Franken's politics, I'm not a fan of his humor. It's just different than mine. But Franken writes about the fine people who became part of his team and their insistence that he hold back on his humor if he wanted to be elected and to be taken seriously. Since Franken was dead serious about getting elected, he listened to those with experience.

I've admired Franken's dedication in the Senate, and I have more respect for him after having read this book.

As Franken mentioned, he only really writes unfavorably about one senator - Ted Cruz. In the chapter where he talks about Ted, he recounts a joke Senator Amy Klobuchar - whose humor I do like - was going to tell at the Gridiron Club. It was shortly after a Carnival ship had had problems at sea and the hallways ended up flooded with human waste. Amy's joke: "When most people think of a bad cruise, they think of Carnival. But we think of Ted." Franken happened to be there when Amy asked Ted's permission to use the joke. Ted was a bit of an ass giving permission, so Franken shared his improved version of the joke with them: "When most people think of a cruise that's full of shit, they think of Carnival. But we think of Ted." :lol:


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#808

Post by Addie » Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:38 am

I've been meaning to post about a fascinating series of police procedural/spy novels I've been reading. The author's name, James Church, is said to be the pseudonym of an ex-CIA agent and the Inspector O novels are set in North Korea. Inspector O is not political, but he loves his country, a place where everyone knows one thing, that the less you know the better off you are. And god forbid you say what you know out loud. Inspector O, thanks to his being the grandson of a Hero of the Revolution, is allowed some small space to be a nonconformist, and he tries hard to keep his irreverence to himself and (sometimes) his immediate superior. But it is a constant navigation of the state bureaucracy, of the politics of see nothing, hear nothing, know nothing, or pretend; down to pretending you're not hungry when starving and not cold when freezing. Inspector O works for the Ministry of People's Security; he can be sent on secret missions and not told their purpose, so he has to figure it all out himself and try to keep anyone from knowing he's figured it out before writing the report, all the while remaining as nimble as a mountain goat. I've read three of the books, so far: The Man with the Baltic Stare; Hidden Moon; and Bamboo and Blood. I can recommend all of them.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#809

Post by MN-Skeptic » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:08 pm

I just checked out the e-book Condominium by John D. McDonald, written in 1977.

McDonald is best known for his Travis McGee mysteries, but Condominium is a stand-alone book set, like many of his books, in Florida. The epigram states: "It's a very dangerous thing to go so long between hurricanes. It just causes a larger number of incredulous people - nonbelievers." - A statement by Dr. Robert H. Simpson, former director National Hurricane Center Miami, Florida.

Unscrupulous builders erect two condominium towers on Florida bays. They cut corners such that the buildings are at risk if a hurricane appears. McDonald fills the books with all sorts of good characters and greedy characters - the developer, the managers, the retirees looking for a nice warm place to retire, etc. I've read the book a number of times over the years. Having never experienced a hurricane, I thought McDonald gave a great description of what it would be like to be in one - the idea that it's hard to even think with the winds whipping and the rain lashing. With Harvey on the way, I think it's time to re-read the book.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#810

Post by Maybenaut » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:14 pm

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Arthurian legend told from the perspective of the women involved.

Listening to the audionook. Narrator is Davina Porter. She has a lovely voice. I could listen to her read me stories all day long.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#811

Post by RVInit » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:35 pm

Maybenaut wrote:The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Arthurian legend told from the perspective of the women involved.

Listening to the audionook. Narrator is Davina Porter. She has a lovely voice. I could listen to her read me stories all day long.
Loreena McKennitt's The Mystic Dream, used in the tv movie:

[bbvideo=560,315]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6Dt0-utFe4[/bbvideo]


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#812

Post by Addie » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:48 pm

I think he's one of the best American writers ever. A genuine story teller. :thumbs:
MN-Skeptic wrote:I just checked out the e-book Condominium by John D. McDonald, written in 1977.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#813

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:15 pm

I just got a book from Amazon titled "The Blood of Patriots" by some guy named Bull Fulton (and Jeanne Devon). Looks interesting. I think I'll read it this weekend.

Has anyone else ever heard of this book?



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#814

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Fri Aug 25, 2017 6:35 pm

Sterngard Friegen wrote:I just got a book from Amazon titled "The Blood of Patriots" by some guy named Bull Fulton (and Jeanne Devon). Looks interesting. I think I'll read it this weekend.

Has anyone else ever heard of this book?
Sort of heard of it. The author assured me I would receive a copy even though there has been a delay.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#815

Post by RVInit » Fri Aug 25, 2017 9:54 pm

According to a message on my phone, mine has been delivered. Will be making a trip to the post office early in the morning!


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#816

Post by SuzieC » Fri Aug 25, 2017 10:01 pm

Re-read Hawaii by James Michener. I have developed a great interest in Hawaii and its fascinating history because my son is in the Navy stationed at Pearl Harbor. We are planning a very exciting visit in January.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#817

Post by Foggy » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:23 pm

The Optimistic Leftist: Why the 21st Century Will Be Better Than You Think, by Ruy Teixeira.

Just started it. :blink:


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#818

Post by TollandRCR » Sat Aug 26, 2017 7:44 pm

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan.

This is a novel based upon the facts of the war in northern Italy (particularly Milan), how the war changed for Italians when the Nazis tool control, and the heroism of a young Italian man.

Father Re ran a school in the Alps. Pino Lella was sent to help him with the Catholic underground railroad that led to Switzerland and safety for Jews. Many of the people taken by Pino across the mountains had no experience of mountain climbing or skiing.

Pino became a spy for the Allies as the driver for a general who reported to Hitler.

There is much tragic in this book. As of this writing, Pino lives. He had a bit of a scare with a motorcycle accident in his 80s. If you shopped for a Porsche in Beverly Hills, at one time Pino might have been your salesman.

Pino was not aware that the world had taken notice of what he and Father Re did. Yad Vashem had. He is named as one of the Righteous Among the Nations.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#819

Post by Maybenaut » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:56 pm

Re-reading my favorite book for the -- I don't know, 15th? --time. The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk. Great literature it ain't, but that's not why it's my favorite book.

My father gave me his copy almost 38 years ago, just before I joined the military. He told me I should read it every couple of years because every time I reread it it would have some new significance for me. He was so right. Obviously, early on, many of the themes that are discussed in the books didn't really mean much to me because I didn't have the life experiences necessary to fully understand them. But over time...

So many topics: Leadership, failure, accountability, boredom, stress, fear, cowardice, love, hate, complacency, justice, superiority, heroism, compassion, regret.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#820

Post by Chilidog » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:11 pm

Maybenaut wrote:Re-reading my favorite book for the -- I don't know, 15th? --time. The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk. Great literature it ain't, but that's not why it's my favorite book.

My father gave me his copy almost 38 years ago, just before I joined the military. He told me I should read it every couple of years because every time I reread it it would have some new significance for me. He was so right. Obviously, early on, many of the themes that are discussed in the books didn't really mean much to me because I didn't have the life experiences necessary to fully understand them. But over time...

So many topics: Leadership, failure, accountability, boredom, stress, fear, cowardice, love, hate, complacency, justice, superiority, heroism, compassion, regret.
I have a first edition copy of that. The dust jacket is missing, and the cover is badly faded, but I've read it a number of times.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#821

Post by Chilidog » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:16 pm

I have been meaning to find a decent copy of "Once an Eagle" by Anton Myrer.



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#822

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:29 pm

Love The Caine Mutiny and Wouk's other works. My go to book is Pride and Prejudice. I have read it more than Benjamin Disraeli who read it 17 times. My husband even quotes it after watching the 1980's BBC Masterpiece Theater version with Elizabeth Garvie as the quintessential Elizabeth IMHO. (Not the one with Colin Firth.) He loved the ever obsequious Mr. Collins. (Hubby has this way of saying he is just a country boy while quoting Shakespeare and Austen at the drop of a hat. He hears it once and remembers it. His quoting How the Grinch Stole Christmas while we were dating finalized falling in love for me. Some standards, huh?)

Do NOT even watch the Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier mega, corporate Hollywood abomination.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#823

Post by Whatever4 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:38 pm

Tiredretiredlawyer wrote:
Do NOT even watch the Greer Garson/Laurence Olivier mega, corporate Hollywood abomination.
Abomination is the correct word. I almost broke the TV screen on that travesty.


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Re: What are you reading lately?

#824

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:42 pm

Maybenaut wrote:Re-reading my favorite book for the -- I don't know, 15th? --time. The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk. Great literature it ain't, but that's not why it's my favorite book.

My father gave me his copy almost 38 years ago, just before I joined the military. He told me I should read it every couple of years because every time I reread it it would have some new significance for me. He was so right. Obviously, early on, many of the themes that are discussed in the books didn't really mean much to me because I didn't have the life experiences necessary to fully understand them. But over time...

So many topics: Leadership, failure, accountability, boredom, stress, fear, cowardice, love, hate, complacency, justice, superiority, heroism, compassion, regret.
:like: Mine too!



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Re: What are you reading lately?

#825

Post by Estiveo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:00 pm

I'm reading through the Department Q novels by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Danish detective novels that manage to be good reads despite the fact that there isn't a single likeable character in them.


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