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Thread: Book Thread

  1. #376
    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    I really liked that book, but was less impressed with his later stuff. I'll read his columns relatively regularly. I can never quite get a bead on where exactly he stands, other than he's always a glass half full kind of guy.
    I agree.

    What did you think of the Zakaria book? I started reading it at Borders once to see if it was worth buying and decided against it at about 30 pages. While the premise of the book was very interesting what he was saying somehow lacked director for me or it didn't seem well fleshed out, I don't know.

    And, and fiction can be very trite, but it doesn't stop me from lovin' some John Grisham.

  2. #377
    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    I have a sweet spot for James Patterson. (His detectiveish stuff only.)

    I splurged yesterday and bought the collected poems of Ginsberg, and, holy christ, this guy was good.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

  3. #378
    The New Gold Swagger travmil's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    I'm in the middle of When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball. It's by SI writer Seth Davis and it's about the 1979 NCAA championship game between Magic and Larry and the stories and events that led each of them there. Great, great book so far, especially if you grew up in the 80's and watched the two of them play each other all the time like I did.

  4. #379
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    What did you think of the Zakaria book? I started reading it at Borders once to see if it was worth buying and decided against it at about 30 pages. While the premise of the book was very interesting what he was saying somehow lacked director for me or it didn't seem well fleshed out, I don't know.
    I liked the Zakaria book (The Post American World) a great deal. It's been almost a year, but if I remember correctly, it's kind of a dry statistical start. However, it really, IMO took off later...of course, I listened to it (unabridged), and may have had a different take had I read it.

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood View Post
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    I splurged yesterday and bought the collected poems of Ginsberg, and, holy christ, this guy was good.
    I bought that (or one of the collections) for my Nephew for Christmas a couple of years ago.

    Since I'm in a car 15+ hours a week, a lot of audiobooks including:

    History of Britain (3 Volume Set) by Simon Shama...Britain during the 1800's was very, very boring, and Britain's history is surprisingly vicious and ugly. (This was about 30 hours worth of books.)

    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald...excellent

    1984 by George Orwell...somehow, I'd managed to miss the class that required it's reading when I grew up. Again...excellent.

    (Though I then tried to watch the movies for both of these, and...well...don't bother.)

    1776 by David McCullough...very good...

    Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin...about Lincoln and his candidate. Really fascinating...it hits on the big events, but really focuses on things I've never really thought about much, like the Republican convention in 1860. It's a different lens for Lincoln.

    After listening to the History of Britain, where virtually every key figure didn't just have human frailty, but had huge gaping flaws in their character, I had begun to think that there were no truly great men in history, but just scumbags who did great things.

    That ain't the case with Lincoln. Perfect? No. Great? You Betcha.

    Currently listening to: The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War by Fred Anderson

    This, plus 1776, seems to indicate that George Washington spent a good amount of his early career and early Revolutionary War as kind of a **** up.

    I started to listen to: Caesar's Legion: The Epic Saga of Julius Caesar's Elite Tenth Legion and the Armies of Rome by Stephen Dando-Collins, but I put it aside.

  5. #380
    Member SycamoreKen's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    I'm just about finished with Quiet Strength by Tony Dungy. A great read.

  6. #381
    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Count, that's really cool. I tried listening to audiobooks in the car for a little while, but I could never get used to it. I go like retarded if I don't have those words on print to look at, for some reason. I just can't keep my mind w/in the narrative (or argument, or whatever it may be...).
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

  7. #382
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupIsGood View Post
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    Count, that's really cool. I tried listening to audiobooks in the car for a little while, but I could never get used to it. I go like retarded if I don't have those words on print to look at, for some reason. I just can't keep my mind w/in the narrative (or argument, or whatever it may be...).
    It does require attention, and I do find myself "rewinding" from time-to-time. In the car, it's a nice balance where I can pay the proper attention to both driving and listening. I have less success at home or elsewhere. I get distracted by other things.

    All things being equal, I love the tactile experience of a book, but audiobooks do have their advantages. For example, I'm less likely to give up entirely on an audiobook. I'm not a particularly fast reader, so I'm more likely to put one down and not pick it up. Also, the fact that I have a 100-mile one way trip to work gives enough time to get large sections and engage. My previous 15-minute drive would've largely been a waste of time.

  8. #383
    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    You know, after I posted that last night I went and tried one of the free, amateur audiobooks at librivox, and it was pretty interesting! I paired it w/ an actual right-there-in-my-hands reading. I've had concentration problems lately, so I think I might try that for a while. (More and more I feel like I'm reading "at" a book, whereas hearing someone's voice while reading make me feel a little bit more of that "with.") Plus it helps me to slow down and really listen to the sounds of each word, which is nice--especially with poetry. Oh man, there are a few stellar readers of poetry on that site. Just makes you melt.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

  9. #384
    Member Knucklehead Warrior's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by travmil View Post
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    I'm in the middle of When March Went Mad: The Game That Transformed Basketball. It's by SI writer Seth Davis and it's about the 1979 NCAA championship game between Magic and Larry and the stories and events that led each of them there. Great, great book so far, especially if you grew up in the 80's and watched the two of them play each other all the time like I did.
    As an aside, that's the same year IU and Purdue played the NIT championship game. 3 Big Ten schools in those finals and 3 Indiana schools.
    Don't thank me, I'll kill ya.

  10. #385
    Fear my small avatar Gyron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    I just got done reading Robert Schimmel's Book, "Cancer on $5 a day, Chemo not included". Actually a great read. He makes cancer as funny as it can be and interesting how humor led him through near death with Chemo.

    When he talks about his son dying from brain cancer I wanted to cry. When he is near death towards the end of the chemo I had to fight back a few tears....

    Great read, I recommend.

    Next up: Tony Dungy's new Book, "Uncommon". I;'m only one chapter in, but can already see it was written for teenagers....Guess I should have read the description before I picked it up. Oh well, I'll finish it, but maybe not at the pace I did Robert's book. I finished that book in less than 10 days.

  11. #386
    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    I am trying to get my hands on a copy of "Getting Open" which is about Bill Garrett, the first black basketball player Big 10. He played for Shelbyville when they won the state title in 1946 I believe.

  12. #387
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    I am trying to get my hands on a copy of "Getting Open" which is about Bill Garrett, the first black basketball player Big 10. He played for Shelbyville when they won the state title in 1946 I believe.
    http://www.amazon.com/Getting-Open-G...7077990&sr=8-1

    Seems to be a cheap price

  13. #388
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World - Not bad...there have been a lot of pinheads who were world leaders. It seemed very disjointed, but I think I accidentally listened to it out of order (I'm having some issues with the way my iPod organizes some of these books.)

    A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne...fantastic book...absolutely fantastic.

    (I would actually love to find a book about Viet Nam that is like this. It is a comprehensive, two-sided look at the Algerian War of Independence from France, 1954-1962, covering the action and the political and geopolitical history and ramifications.)

  14. #389
    Go Colts! Shade's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    The new Dresden Files book comes out tomorrow!

  15. #390
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    Peace Kills: America's Fun New Imperialism PJ O'Rourke

    Not as good as Holidays in Hell, but enjoyable.

    The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad Fareed Zakaria

    Very Interesting...I've liked both this and The Post American World.

    Last of the Mohicans James Fennimore Cooper...it was OK

    Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier...excellent

    I have the following four items lined up to listen to in my car:

    Guns, Germs, and Steel Jared Diamond

    The Quiet American Graham Greene

    Waiting for Godot Beckett

    Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut

    (Oh, I'm also reading Dean Oliver's Basketball on Paper, but more as a textbook/reference book than an actual read...God, I hope my posts don't read like this.)

    I'm starting to get a jonesin' for the old Chip Hilton books...might have to read the ones I have again.

  16. #391
    year of the black rainbow obnoxiousmodesty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Just finished Pride and Prejudice. I enjoyed it immensely, more so than my wife who recommended it.

    Now I'm reading The Printer's Trial by Gail Jarrow, a short but very interesting book focusing on the battle for freedom of the press in New York in the 1730s.
    Take me out to the black, tell 'em I ain't coming back. Burn the land and boil the sea, you can't take the sky from me.

  17. #392
    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin

    Not what I expected but I really liked it. This book is about the construction of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire by the British and French. It is amazing how little the West has known about the Middle East until quite recently.

    The Rastafarians, Leonard E. Barrett

    It was okay but the author used way too many excerpts from other works for my liking. Boring in some parts and interesting in others. Mrs. DC is Jamaican and I am trying to learn more about the island's history and culture.

    Now working on:

    The Arab Center: The Promise for Moderation, Marwan Muasher

    I have actually met the author, who is a Jordanian diplomat, and he is a great guy. His book is incredibly interesting because it offers a lot of information on the Arab-Israeli conflict post Oslo, which is still hard to find even though that was quite long ago now. It is from the Jordanian perspective mostly, and reads quite easily. The author points out that few Arab diplomats have written memoirs in English, so it offers something other than the outside perspective that most Americans get.

    On my list: Orientalism, Edward Said and Arabists: Romance of an American Elite by Robert Kaplan. Also interested in Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg even though it is obviously airplane-type reading.
    Last edited by idioteque; 04-15-2009 at 01:10 PM.

  18. #393
    flexible and robust SoupIsGood's Avatar
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    The Recognitions, Gaddis.

    Rereading Infinite Jest in spurts.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

  19. #394
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin

    Not what I expected but I really liked it. This book is about the construction of the Middle East after the fall of the Ottoman Empire by the British and French. It is amazing how little the West has known about the Middle East until quite recently.


    On my list: Orientalism, Edward Said and Arabists: Romance of an American Elite by Robert Kaplan. Also interested in Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg even though it is obviously airplane-type reading.
    Read Paris 1919. It gives an interesting view into the people like Clemencau, Wilson, and Lloyd-George. The West was ignorant, to be sure, but also very patronizing. In this, and other books, they discuss the "Orientalists" from England, so I'm wonder if that's what the Said book is.

    Jonah Goldberg has always struck me as a complete pinhead.

  20. #395
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by count55 View Post
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    Read Paris 1919. It gives an interesting view into the people like Clemencau, Wilson, and Lloyd-George. The West was ignorant, to be sure, but also very patronizing. In this, and other books, they discuss the "Orientalists" from England, so I'm wonder if that's what the Said book is.

    Jonah Goldberg has always struck me as a complete pinhead.
    Said's basic premise, I think, is that many (especially Western) scholars of the East are "Orientalists" because they view the people, culture, and customs of the East in an objectifying manner. But I'm not really sure because I haven't read it yet.

    Everyone tells me Paris 1919 is good, I can't believe I haven't gotten to it yet but I am going to try to this year. My only perceptions of Clemencau, Wilson, and Lloyd-George are derived from their policies in the East and I would like to be able to expand that. I think I will forever be convinced that Asquith was a total dolt.

    As for Goldberg, I also think he is a pinhead, but relative to my worldview without getting overtly political here, I think he is telling half of the story. I am sure you can infer what I am thinking.

    Unfortunately soon I won't be able to read quite as much as I am starting Arabic tutoring back up!

  21. #396
    100 Miles from the B count55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcpacersfan View Post
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    Said's basic premise, I think, is that many (especially Western) scholars of the East are "Orientalists" because they view the people, culture, and customs of the East in an objectifying manner. But I'm not really sure because I haven't read it yet.

    Everyone tells me Paris 1919 is good, I can't believe I haven't gotten to it yet but I am going to try to this year. My only perceptions of Clemencau, Wilson, and Lloyd-George are derived from their policies in the East and I would like to be able to expand that. I think I will forever be convinced that Asquith was a total dolt.

    As for Goldberg, I also think he is a pinhead, but relative to my worldview without getting overtly political here, I think he is telling half of the story. I am sure you can infer what I am thinking.

    Unfortunately soon I won't be able to read quite as much as I am starting Arabic tutoring back up!
    I liked Paris 1919, but it did kind of grind on me. I don't think it was because of the writing, though. I think it was because it so relentlessly hammered home how, in some very important ways, those three guys (W, C, L-G) were so horribly oblivious, jingoistic, and arrogant. Honestly, the only American Historical figures I've come away liking less than Wilson were McArthur and McClellan.

    It's a little on a tangent, but I thought Savage War of Peace was perhaps the best, most comprehensive historical book I've ever read. It is a fantastic and unique lens on the Western-Arab/Muslim relationship. It also shows that obscene brutality, violence, and wanton murder of innocents wasn't invented by Islamist terrorists. (Some of the **** the pied noir and the OAS did was blood curdling and blinding in its stupidity and senselessness.) If you don't get a chance to read it, watch "The Battle of Algiers." It was made in 66 or 67, and Saadi Yucef (one of the FLN leaders) more or less plays himself. It was produced by Yucef, and made by an Italian director with the full endorsement of the the Algerian government, but it's stunningly evenhanded. It even basically portrays the French Para Colonel as one of the heroes of the piece.

    Also, you asked, but I'd suggest reading both Zakaria books. I really enjoyed them. The subject matter can be dry, but I just love the way he looks at things.


    On another topic, The Coldest Winter by David Halberstam is a fantastic book. I read it last winter. It's about the first winter of the Korean War, and that's a subject I knew very little about.

    Read "Waiting for Godot" today...ummmm....OK.

    Just started Breakfast of Champions....(farting and tap dancing....giggle, giggle, snort.)

  22. #397
    Member idioteque's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    If anyone ever needs a short, but well written history on the Russian Revolution, The Russian Revolution by Alan Moorehead is great. Scholarly but really easy to read, almost like reading fiction really. Or if you ever wanted to get into historical nonfiction it would be a nice place to start.

    Count I think eventually I am going to have to get back into these Zakaria books, I have been reading the free pages on Amazon today and they are worth another shot.

  23. #398
    Member Since86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Book Thread

    Finished Clapton, written by the man himself, a few weeks ago.

    Obviously, you can tell he's not much of a writer, but I really enjoyed the book. It's amazing about how a person can come full circle the way he did. From all the booze and the massive drugs to the sober person he is today.

  24. #399
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    A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry

    Brought me to tears. Would highly recommend for anyone interested in WWI. A deeply saddening and terrifying story that is written in a way that makes things all too real.

  25. #400
    sweabs
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    Can I Keep My Jersey by Paul Shirley

    You might know him as the white guy who sat at the end of the bench for the 2003 Phoenix Suns, or perhaps you've read some of his stuff on espn.com.

    Anyway, the book definitely gives the reader (in my case) a new-found respect for these players who are fighting to earn a 10-day contract. Shirley is hilarious and enlightens us with some pretty good stories. He doesn't even hold back with names in many cases which appealed to me. Great read...I'd recommend to any basketball fan.

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