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Old 10-18-17, 05:22 PM   #1376
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Finished listening to Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself, by Garrett M. Graf. Good explanation of the planning and logistics since 1945 for doomsday and the COG (Continuity of the U.S. Government in case of nuclear disaster). Good related book on the real life planning for doomsday is Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
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Old 10-19-17, 06:58 AM   #1377
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Reading the classic Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. So far 2/3 of the way in. It is quite a bit different than the Hollywood version.
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Old 10-19-17, 07:12 AM   #1378
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I have just started Fantasyland: How America went Haywire. I am only three chapters in; but he writing style is great. It presents a history that is very approachable. It is clear that is target is the history and evolution of the willingness to accept "alternative Truths."
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Old 10-24-17, 07:41 AM   #1379
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I'm reading Music & Embodied Cognition by Arnie Cox.

Dense and heady, with a few too many citations to make for smooth reading. I find it's easiest to read a few paragraphs at a time, then put the book down and chew on them before continuing. So it'll be a long read...
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Old 10-24-17, 07:53 AM   #1380
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Finished Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. Really different story than the classic movies. In some ways was a little disappointed with Victor Frankenstein character. He is so passive. Most of the conflict with his monster creation could have been avoided or at least anticipated.

Starting Dracula by Bram Stoker.
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Old 10-24-17, 06:28 PM   #1381
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Leonardo da Vinci, the new biography by Walter Isaacson.

I just finished Astrophysicist David Helfand's A Survival Guide to the Misinformation Age: Scientific Habits of Mind.
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Old 10-26-17, 10:42 AM   #1382
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Finished listening to Deadly Edge, Slayground, and The Plunder Squad, Parker series crime novels 13, 14 and 15, by Ricahard Stark also known as Donald Westlake. Hardcore no-nonsense thief and criminal Parker doing his thing. Good Stuff.

Started listening to King Rat by James Clavell a novel set in a Japanese WW2 POW camp in Singapore for Allied prisoners.
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Old 10-28-17, 12:23 PM   #1383
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Recently read a book that just came out called "Irresistible" about the rise of addictive technology (smart phones, social media etc). I'm no luddite but wow was this book written creatively. Not the typical complaints you would hear from a person with such a view.
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Old 10-29-17, 07:30 PM   #1384
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Tim Krabbe’s The Rider. A must-read for all cyclists. Just the opening paragraph could send both Hemingway and Steinbeck back to Writing 101.

Next in the queue is Ray Dalio’s Principle. It has been highly recommended.
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Old 10-31-17, 01:16 PM   #1385
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How did it compare to the 4th book? Also didn't think it was on the same level as the first three but judged it a worthy successor in the series -- similar with this 5th book? It's sitting on the shelf, next in line after I finish a couple other books:

The Billionth Monkey by Richard Kazcynski -- Just started it, and it's started out plenty strange, like an Illuminatus Trilogy for the 21st century.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab -- also just started. Enjoying it so far, a few dozens of pages in, decent fantasy with an interdimensional flair.
Finished A Darker Shade of Magic. Decent, bordering on excellent fantasy, not too juvenile, not too high-brow. The fantastic aspects flow well with the story; the story itself is basically an extended boy/girl thing, with expected and unexpected epic twists.

Good enough that I bought and started reading book two of the trilogy, A Gathering of Shadows, with other books shoved into the wings until after I at least read this one and probably the third, as well.
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Old 11-01-17, 10:15 AM   #1386
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Finished listening to King Rat by James Clavell a novel set in a Japanese WW2 POW camp in Singapore for Allied prisoners.Excellent! Saw the movie 50 years ago but did not remember anything about the various characters (American, British, Australian, Korean, Malay, and Japanese) featured in the book and will be getting it soon from Netflix DVD to see how it compares to the book.

Started listening to L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, by John Buntin. It will be interesting to compare the James Ellroy's fictionalized version of 1940-1950's Los Angeles with the version in this nonfiction account.
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Old 11-03-17, 06:37 AM   #1387
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Finished listening to King Rat by James Clavell a novel set in a Japanese WW2 POW camp in Singapore for Allied prisoners.Excellent! Saw the movie 50 years ago but did not remember anything about the various characters (American, British, Australian, Korean, Malay, and Japanese) featured in the book and will be getting it soon from Netflix DVD to see how it compares to the book.
That's good to hear. I've watched and read, respectively, the movie and the book versions of Shogun, and I've been meaning to explore more of his writing.
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Old 11-06-17, 02:21 PM   #1388
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Just started The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean.
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Old 11-09-17, 10:20 PM   #1389
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Finished listening to L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, by John Buntin. I preferred the James Ellroy's fictionalized version of the gangsters and police interactions 1940-1950's Los Angeles.

Started listening to The Western Star, a Walt Longmire contemporary Western novel by Craig Johnson.
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Old 11-10-17, 12:51 PM   #1390
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Just finished "The last stand of the tin can sailors" recounting a battle between some small American ships and a Japanese Battleship group. So epic, I purchased "For crew & country", the story of Destroyer Escort Samuel B Roberts and its part in the 1944 battle. Don
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Old 11-13-17, 04:02 PM   #1391
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Finished listening to The Western Star, a Walt Longmire contemporary Western novel by Craig Johnson. Good story, made even better by the voice and style of one of the best readers, George Guidall. This was the 14th book in the Longmire Series, I previously listened to the first 4 and a couple others. This book refreshed my appreciation of the combination of Craig Johnson's writing and Guidall's reading, and I will have to move the other books in the series up in my listening queue.

Started listening to Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of her Survivors by James Hornfischer.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:05 AM   #1392
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Going to Monterey, CA next spring so just picked up Cannery Row by Steinbeck.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:11 PM   #1393
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Finished A Darker Shade of Magic. Decent, bordering on excellent fantasy, not too juvenile, not too high-brow. The fantastic aspects flow well with the story; the story itself is basically an extended boy/girl thing, with expected and unexpected epic twists.

Good enough that I bought and started reading book two of the trilogy, A Gathering of Shadows, with other books shoved into the wings until after I at least read this one and probably the third, as well.
Read the second and third books in the series, A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light. Still rate it as decent fantasy, writing on par with China Mieville, but not as dark or strange. Worth checking out for sure.

The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson. Super-fun, short novella. I'll call this speculative fiction, edging into gothic, mystery, and horror. Excellent writing, indelibly strange, unique in plot and development. Reminds me of early Lethem, for some reason. If there's an argument to be made for Kindle and ebooks, it's that shorter works can be published as stand-alone works, outside of collections or not forced to be novel-length.
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Old 11-23-17, 04:46 PM   #1394
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One More Kilometre and We're In The Showers: Memoirs of a Cyclist.

A fairly thorough look at British and European cycling through the years. I knew almost nothing about it. Excellent.
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Old 11-24-17, 12:32 AM   #1395
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currently reading Origin by Dan Brown
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Old 11-24-17, 08:39 PM   #1396
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Just finished "The Lord of The Rings" about 3 hours ago, I have read it at least once a year since 1970. I start "The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz" next, a true account of a British soldier who changed places with an Auschwitz prisoner
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Old 11-26-17, 08:37 PM   #1397
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Finished listening to Ship of Ghosts: The Story of the USS Houston, FDR's Legendary Lost Cruiser, and the Epic Saga of her Survivors by James Hornfischer. Emphasis on the construction of the infamous Railway of Death through the jungles of Burma and Thailand where the Japanese cruelly abused hundreds of thousands slave laborers including many tens of thousands of Allied POWs (mostly British, Austrailian and Dutch), captured at Singapore, Java and at sea including the survivors of the USS Houston, a heavy cruiser sunk near Java in the early days of WW2.

Especially interesting was the narrative about the inaccuracies and soft pedaling of the inhuman conditions along this railway construction and bridge building portrayed in the movie Bridge on the River Kwai. In addition the book disabuses the movie's British chauvinism that the Japanese were not capable of engineering the bridge construction. The Japanese had the knowledge as will as the willingness to use slave labor no matter what the human cost to get the railroad built This book is well worth reading.

Started listening Two Kinds of Truth, the latest Harry Bosch police procedural, by Michael Connelly
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Old 11-30-17, 02:13 PM   #1398
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I've been really behind on reading. Finally finished Dracula, which I meant to complete before Halloween. I found it a pretty enjoyable book. Was surprised to find it was written from the viewpoint of several character's journal and notes.
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Old 12-02-17, 12:19 PM   #1399
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Started listening to L.A. Noir: The Struggle for the Soul of America's Most Seductive City, by John Buntin. It will be interesting to compare the James Ellroy's fictionalized version of 1940-1950's Los Angeles with the version in this nonfiction account.
Might one conclude you mean The Black Dahlia?

I enjoyed that a lot, would like to hear (see??) your thoughts about LA Noir.
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Old 12-02-17, 08:15 PM   #1400
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Might one conclude you mean The Black Dahlia?

I enjoyed that a lot, would like to hear (see??) your thoughts about LA Noir.
Many of Ellroy's books are set in post WW2 LA including the the Lloyd Hopkins series and most recently Perfidia which is set in LA at the beginning of WW2.
Black Dahlia was one of the four LA Noir Quartet of crime novels written by Ellroy. Also in the set are LA Confidential, White Jazz and The Big Nowhere, and had my favorite bent cop character Dudley Smith. I liked The Big Nowhere best of the bunch, though LA Confidential was also very good. The movie LA Confidential was also outstanding, far better than the movie version of Black Dahlia.

To answer your question about the non fiction book, I found it tedious to listen to as the author delves too deep into the weeds of LA police administration politics and Chief Parker's rise and Mickey Cohen's fall. It was not as interesting or entertaining as Ellroy's fictionalized accounts of LA police in action with the denizens of LA.

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