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Thread: What have you read lately?

  1. #591
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    Standing Wolf's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    ... Next in line Joe R. Lansdale's Paradise Sky, recommended by @Standing Wolf[/i]. The first paragraph is quite humorous.
    Joe is an old-time East Texas smartass, among other things. He knows how to start off with a "grabber", and whether on the page or in person he tells a story like few people I've ever met.
    "Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas and not eat a chicken fried steak." - Larry McMurtry

    "If you get hurt, hurt 'em back. If you get killed...walk it off." - Captain America in Captain America: Civil War


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    Collateral Damage's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdtex View Post
    My reading really fell off in 2020 and 2021. I only read 2 books in 2021. One of my goals for 2022 is to get back to my average of 12-15 books a year, if not more. I am 2/3 into "A Civil War Journey: The Letters of John W. Brendel". He was a Corporal in the 138th Pennsylvania Infantry. The author, Justin T. Mayhue, is a Park Ranger and Battlefield Guide at Antietam NMP.
    Only 2 books?? I'm a book a week, though I've admitted before that I use reading as my wind-down, so novels suit me better. In hopes of my not-to-distant retirement, I'm planning on doing more historical reading then I have in the past.
    "I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." -- James Madison

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    bdtex's Avatar Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Collateral Damage View Post
    Only 2 books?? I'm a book a week, though I've admitted before that I use reading as my wind-down, so novels suit me better. In hopes of my not-to-distant retirement, I'm planning on doing more historical reading then I have in the past.
    Yep. Just 2...one about the Battle of Antietam and one about the Battle Of Nashville as preparation for visits to both. I think I read 10 in 2020. I have the next one I plan to read picked out. When I finish the one I'm reading, I'm gonna jump right into the next one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bdtex View Post
    Yep. Just 2...one about the Battle of Antietam and one about the Battle Of Nashville as preparation for visits to both. I think I read 10 in 2020. I have the next one I plan to read picked out. When I finish the one I'm reading, I'm gonna jump right into the next one.
    "Adolf Hitler, My Part in his Downfall"
    By Spike Milligan






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    Standing Wolf (01-16-2022)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Booman View Post
    "Adolf Hitler, My Part in his Downfall"
    By Spike Milligan
    I read that many years ago. It came as one of three books by Spike in a boxed set. I suppose it's probably been lost at some point over the years. Now I have to find another copy.

    "Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas and not eat a chicken fried steak." - Larry McMurtry

    "If you get hurt, hurt 'em back. If you get killed...walk it off." - Captain America in Captain America: Civil War


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    I work on computers all day long, reading and writing, so I've taken to listening to audio books to give my eyes a rest after work--except for activities like this. My reading in the last 12 month includes:

    Personal and business reads
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman. Good, but it's quite pedantic.
    • The Innovator's Dilemma - Clayton M. Christensen. Also very good, but a bit pedantic.
    • 12 Rules for Life - Jordan Peterson. I like his talks, but found his book difficult to read.
    • Algorithms to Live By - Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths: A good introduction into how computers and people actually think. That is, you probably already live by these algorithms, but may not understand some of them.
    • Atomic Habits - James Clear. A very concise description of how habits rather than goals make a huge difference.
    Modern Politics
    • The Madness of Crowds - Douglas Murray. A great critique of our times.
    • Unfreedom of the Press - Mark Levin. Exceptionally well researched. Impossible to disagree with, but exceedingly detailed.
    • The Plot Against the President - Lee Smith. Excellent book on how Devin Nunes blew up the Russiagate hoax by subpoenaing banking records and finding that it was the Hillary Clinton campaign that came up with the whole thing.
    • Resistance at all costs - Kimberley Strassel. Very well written, but you probably already know everything in the book.
    • Witch Hunt - Greg Jarret. Also well done, but probably getting old as you likely already know all of the material.
    • Ghost - Michael R. McGowan. Describes his life as an FBI under cover guy. Interesting insights into politics and culture at the FBI.
    • The Devil's Chessboard - David Talbot. A must read for those wanting to understand the founding of the CIA, and how it evolved thereafter. He has a definite hard on for Allen Dulles, just shells him.
    • The Coming Neo-Feudalism - Joel Kotkin. A great critique of the class divide, and very poignant from my perspective growing up in California and watching it devolve into a pretty much neo-Feudal society.
    • Operation Dark Heart: Spycraft and Special Ops on the Frontlines of Afghanistan -- And the Path to Victoryby Anthony Shaffer. Basically, it's a heart breaking detail of someone during who was still optimistic during the Obama years that there was still a way to win. However, much like the MacArthur biography, it details how $#@!ed up our general officers have become with Washington politics and ignoring practical military necessity. He tells the 9/11 committee (truthfully) that the DIA Able Danger program identified two of the three cells that attacked on 9/11 18 months before the attacks. Senior DIA are so pissed off, they rail him out of the DIA on basically phony billing charges--like charging $60 bucks in unwarranted expenses to take his classified clearance. It's basically no wonder we lost the war in Afghanistan.
    Geopolitics
    • Sea Power - James Stavridis. Well done. If you like geopolitics and geostrategy--Mahan, Makinder, etc.--this is a good book.
    • Prisoners of Geography - Tim Marshall. Very well done. It really helps you to understand nations and their foreign policies as determined by their geography, climate, access to sea routes, etc.
    • Revenge of Geography - Robert D. Kaplan. Also very well done, but for some reason I liked Prisoner's of Geography better.
    • The Storm Before the Calm - George Friedman. Prescient. He predicted just before covid hit that we were going to enter a crisis.
    • Disunited Nations - Peter Zeihan. Also Prescient. He and Freidman used to work together at StratFor, which Friedman had founded. He more or less also predicted the 2020s would be $#@!ed, and so far both he and Friedman have been right.
    Science/Pop Science
    • Faraday, Maxwell and the Electromagnetic Field. Nancy Forbes, Basil Mahon. Good history of how electromagnetic fields came to be understood scientifically.
    • Einstein's Fridge - Paul Sen. A very accessible history, and in part, the financial, political and geopolitical motivations to study thermodynamics, and the effect it has had in founding the modern world. If you're already a scientist, you might like the history but find the science dull. If you find science less accessible, you may be opened up to its study by its industrial espionage angle.
    • A Crack in Creation - Jennifer Doudna. A Nobel prize winner's story of CRISPR and gene editing technology and how it is likely to be a huge game changer going forward.
    • The Return of the God Hypothesis - Stephen C. Meyer. A tour de force on the reason why dogmatic atheism and Darwinism are failing as we learn more and more about DNA and life sciences, the fine tuning problem, and other problems with Darwinism.
    History and Biographies

    After crushing so many smaller audiobooks, I decided that I could get more for my Amazon Audible subscription with some biographies.
    • American Caesar - William Manchester. Great biography on Douglas MacArthur. It was really interesting how the new UN structure and the State Department ended up $#@!ing up the Korean War.
    • Churchill: Walking with Destiny - Anthony Roberts. So far, it's a great insight into Churchill's career. I'm still in the WWI part, so I've got some way to go. The political intrigues are fascinating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Standing Wolf View Post
    I read that many years ago. It came as one of three books by Spike in a boxed set. I suppose it's probably been lost at some point over the years. Now I have to find another copy.

    Most people do not know who he is or his influence.






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    I am reading DUNE for the first time and find it remarkable. I found the 1984 film version confusing and the recent (Part One) fascinating so I decided to dive right in before Part Two comes out this year.

    Some differences in what was filmed 2021, mostly visuals of what was in book form conversations.
    "The boy is Ignorance. The girl is Want. Beware of them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased." - A Christmas Carol

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    Quote Originally Posted by RMNIXON View Post
    I am reading DUNE for the first time and find it remarkable. I found the 1984 film version confusing and the recent (Part One) fascinating so I decided to dive right in before Part Two comes out this year.

    Some differences in what was filmed 2021, mostly visuals of what was in book form conversations.
    I read it the first time when I was ten, and the second time when I was in my thirties. Needless to say, it was like two very different books to me. I recently tried to watch the '80s film, and yeah - confusing. I may get around to reading the book one more time, but I doubt that I'll live long enough to get through all the sequels.
    "Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas and not eat a chicken fried steak." - Larry McMurtry

    "If you get hurt, hurt 'em back. If you get killed...walk it off." - Captain America in Captain America: Civil War


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Booman View Post
    Most people do not know who he is or his influence.
    "Only a rank degenerate would drive 1,500 miles across Texas and not eat a chicken fried steak." - Larry McMurtry

    "If you get hurt, hurt 'em back. If you get killed...walk it off." - Captain America in Captain America: Civil War


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