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Old 11-04-10, 04:21 PM   #1
Shifty
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50+ Book Club

As the days grow short and wet in Oregon, I spend much more time with a cup of coffee and a good book than on my bike. I'm aways looking for recommendations for good fiction. I NEVER read politics, so lets please leave these out of this discussion.

Here is one to start off with, happens to be a cycling book, French Revolutions, by Tim Moore. Moore was sent by the paper he was working for to cover the Tour de France, so he thought it would help if he was to ride the entire route before the race started. This is a VERY funny book, and it also give a wealth of history and behind the scenes insights of the Tour. A great read when you'd rather be out on the road, but winter gets in the way.

http://www.amazon.com/French-Revolut...8908602&sr=1-1

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Old 11-04-10, 04:49 PM   #2
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I've been wanting to read "The Wheels of Chance", and I've always wanted to read "If, on a Winter's night A Traveler", By Italo Calvino.

As a high school senior, I got an "A" on my book report on "1984". But, I think the teacher thought there was something wrong with me.
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Old 11-04-10, 05:39 PM   #3
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Last winter I read "The Rider" http://www.amazon.com/Rider-Tim-Krab..._bxgy_b_text_b

Excellent book about what goes through the head of a rider when racing. You could feel the pain in the long climbs.
Now I am reading my favorite genere, historical biographies: "Master of the Senate - LBJ"
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Old 11-04-10, 06:09 PM   #4
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I really like "A Dog with a Hat". It's well written.

Right now I'm reading Metaxis' biography on Bonhoeffer. It's very good albeit a bit depressing, because I know how it ends.
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Old 11-04-10, 06:27 PM   #5
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I really like "A Dog with a Hat". It's well written.

Right now I'm reading Metaxis' biography on Bonhoeffer. It's very good albeit a bit depressing, because I know how it ends.
Looked that up - sounds like a very interesting book. I think I'll add that to my list. I have tended to shy away from Nazi Germany history only reading Spier's "Inside the 3rd Reich", mostly focused on the US, European and Russian side (Court of the red Czar was one chilling book).

By the way - I think it is "A dog in a Hat", But with the grand kids - try "Go Dog Go"
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Old 11-04-10, 06:34 PM   #6
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Just finished 'So Cold The River'.

It will make you think twice before drinking a bottle of spring water.
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Old 11-04-10, 06:42 PM   #7
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I read "The Lost Cyclist" a few months ago. Story of a rider circling the globe and two other doing the same. I think the time was just before the turn of the century when riders were trading up from the big front wheel machines to the new "safety" first with solid rubber then with inflatable tires. It was an interesting read, some good history and accounts of some outrageous rugged guys. It was hard to believe things like this were attempted and recorded.
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Old 11-04-10, 06:58 PM   #8
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Just finished 'So Cold The River'.

It will make you think twice before drinking a bottle of spring water.
+1. I liked that one a lot.
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Old 11-04-10, 07:00 PM   #9
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The Rider, The Lost Cyclist and A Dog with a Hat are on my list to read. Currently reading David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries
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Old 11-04-10, 07:16 PM   #10
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The Rider, The Lost Cyclist and A Dog with a Hat are on my list to read. Currently reading David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries
I saw that in B & N and almost bought it! However, I felt too guilty to buy it considering the shelves of books I have at home waiting in queue. Next up: Erik Larson's "Thunderstruck."
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Old 11-04-10, 07:27 PM   #11
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I'm currently reading Travels with Charlie, by John Steinbeck and enjoying it. It's been a while since I've read any of his books, always enjoyed how he could tell a story. Some how I hadn't read this one, written in the 60's and lots of fun.
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Old 11-04-10, 07:54 PM   #12
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I have been recovering from surgery for the past two weeks, so sitting at home, maybe riding the rollers for exercise, as walking is painful but riding is not! I have been reading what the gf's have been giving me to read, so have gone thru Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind" and am working on his "Angel's Game." Have also finished the first two books of Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series, "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and "The Girl Who Played with Fire." Will start on the third book in the series, "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" shortly; the movie version is now in theatres. I guess these are the fashionable book to read these days; they're all on the NY Times Best Sellers list.

I must say, I have a soft spot in my psyche for Stieg Larsson's heroine, Lisbeth Salander. She has as little empathy for others and as much lack of social skills as me!

L.
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Old 11-04-10, 07:54 PM   #13
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I loved "The Rider" and think it's the best bicycling book I've read, and I've read lots.

Recent reads I thought very highly of:
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
http://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Novel-...8921837&sr=8-1

And if you like science fiction, Iain M. Banks is as good or better than the masters of my youth.
I'm almost done with Surface Detail and am blown away by it.
http://www.amazon.com/Surface-Detail...8921979&sr=1-1
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Old 11-04-10, 08:13 PM   #14
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I just finished reading Surely you're joking Mr. Feynman. I first read it when it came out in the '80s and had been meaning to read it again for quite some time. Feynman's second auto-biography is even better, IMO, What do you care what other people think? Of course, both miss the mark of the OP, who is looking for fiction. However, they do live up to the oft-stated comment about fiction being stranger than truth.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:19 PM   #15
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Currently reading David Byrne's Bicycle Diaries
When Byrne tells the story of his visit to Rochester, I was there for his presentation at the International Museum of Photography and Film at the George Eastman House (Yikes what a mouthful!), which is only 100 yards or so from my apartment. My brush with fame.

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Carlos Ruiz Zafon's "Shadow of the Wind" and am working on his "Angel's Game."
Funny, I was going to mention them too. If forced to rank it, Shadow of the Wind is in my personal ten best. I like it for the almost lyrical quality of its prose. And that it comes through in translation from the Spanish is a modern marvel.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:28 PM   #16
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I'm currently reading Travels with Charlie, by John Steinbeck and enjoying it. It's been a while since I've read any of his books, always enjoyed how he could tell a story. Some how I hadn't read this one, written in the 60's and lots of fun.
+1 on this one - I read it decades ago, came back to it a few years ago and found it just as good if not better, which is not something that always happens.

Another classic of Americana travel is William Least Heat Moon's Blue Highway(s?) -- this is one I've gone back to many times and never been disappointed.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:40 PM   #17
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I have a real hard time with this. My coffee table never has fewer than a half-dozen books on it. Of the hundreds that flow through my hands daily, one or two a day find their way into my panniers for the ride home. I consider it an occupational hazard. (I rate the capacity of my trunk bag and three sets of panniers on how many hardcover novels they'll hold.)

An unfortunate side effect is that most of them blend together in my head after a while. Only today I was reminded that the Jack Reacher novels are different from the Repairman Jack novels. I like both, but somehow, they melded together on me.

I don't read as much speculative-fiction as I would like, so perhaps that's why they stand out in my memory. Margaret Atwood is a particular favorite. Oryx and Crake and the parallel piece, The Year of the Flood I liked a lot. They build upon current events expanding them in a "what if" fashion. Flood was probably as much fun to write as it is to read. In my mind's eye I can see Ms. Atwood smirking through in several places.

Another spec-fic that has stuck with me and I frequently reflect on is Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

Short stories are really hard to write, and hard for me to read. I no sooner get into it and it ends. Yet, yesterday I pulled from the flow Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy. I read a couple of pages each of three or four stories before I remembered I was still at work and had people waiting for me. Now that my weekend is here, I'm looking forward to it.

Two South African authors I like are Deon Meyers and Roger Smith. Their thrillers address race issues in ways no American author would ever dare.

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Old 11-04-10, 08:41 PM   #18
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I go through spells when I do almost no reading, sometimes for months at a time, and then suddenly, I take it up again and read everything I can get my hands on. I love historically based fiction that is well researched. That is, stories woven into actual historical events.
Some of my favorite authors, that I think do this exceptionally well are, Frederick Forsyth, Wilbur Smith, and Ken Follet. Of those, I would have to pick Follet as my favorite. I've read quite a lot of his WWII stories, but his best by far was Pillars of the Earth. Then he outdid himself with World without end.
His newest work, Fall of Giants will fall into my hands as soon as it comes out in paperback.
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Old 11-04-10, 08:45 PM   #19
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I have a real hard time with this. My coffee table never has fewer than a half-dozen books on it. Of the hundreds that flow through my hands daily, one or two a day find their way into my panniers for the ride home. I consider it an occupational hazard. (I rate the capacity of my trunk bag and three sets of panniers on how many hardcover novels they'll hold.)

An unfortunate side effect is that most of them blend together in my head after a while. Only today I was reminded that the Jack Reacher novels are different from the Repairman Jack novels. I like both, but somehow, they melded together on me.

I don't read as much speculative-fiction as I would like, so perhaps that's why they stand out in my memory. Margaret Atwood is a particular favorite. Oryx and Crake and the parallel piece, The Year of the Flood I liked a lot. They build upon current events expanding them in a "what if" fashion. Flood was probably as much fun to write as it is to read. In my mind's eye I can see Ms. Atwood smirking through in several places.

Another spec-fic that has stuck with me and I frequently reflect on is Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

Short stories are really hard to write, and hard for me to read. I no sooner get into it and it ends. Yet, yesterday I pulled from the flow Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It by Maile Meloy. I read a couple of pages each of three or four stories before I remembered I was still at work and had people waiting for me. Now that my weekend is here, I'm looking forward to it.
I've been reading some of Lee Child's Jack Reacher novels, and quite enjoy them. He does seem an improbable hero. Always starts out by being in the right (or wrong) place at the right (or wrong) time, doesn't he?
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Old 11-04-10, 09:00 PM   #20
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Planning to read Life soon.
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Old 11-05-10, 12:56 AM   #21
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Now I am reading my favorite genere, historical biographies: "Master of the Senate - LBJ"
Caro's multi-volume LBJ biography is a masterwork. Three volumes thus far, I only hope he lives to see it through to the end.
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Old 11-05-10, 04:39 AM   #22
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What you need is the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian - the series begins with 'Master and Commander'. Film was very good but didn't really do the book(s) justice. Brilliant writer and stylist, brilliant handler of plot and character. One book is all you need to become addicted.
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Old 11-05-10, 04:52 AM   #23
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What you need is the Aubrey/Maturin novels by Patrick O'Brian - the series begins with 'Master and Commander'. Film was very good but didn't really do the book(s) justice. Brilliant writer and stylist, brilliant handler of plot and character. One book is all you need to become addicted.
I made it through the first six and collapsed in exhaustion. O'Brian has quite a sense of humour.
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Old 11-05-10, 06:27 AM   #24
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Here is one to start off with, happens to be a cycling book, French Revolutions, by Tim Moore.
Thanks. I just put a hold on it at the library. On the cycling topic I recommend Miles from Nowhere: A Round the World Bicycle Adventure, by Barbara Savage. Savage and her husband, both totally inexperienced riders took off around the world on a lark in the 70s. Their adventures are phantastic. Unfortunately Savage was hit by a car and killed in Santa Barbara after she got home and never saw the book she had penned published. I think I learned about it here on an earlier book thread. I also give a second to Surely You Are Joking Mr. Feynman, mentioned above.
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Old 11-05-10, 07:44 AM   #25
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I've been reading some 20th century classics.

"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Robert Heinlein. A little dated in that there are no cell phones or Internet but it's a must read for everyone in my opinion in that it demonstrates why the U.S. must have a presence on the Moon.

"The Space Merchants" by Fredrik Pohl and CM Kornbluth. Imagine that the MadMen have taken over. What would life be like?
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