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Book club 📖 What are we reading right now? (Planning related or not)

zman

Cyburbian
Messages
9,244
Points
33
Continuing my monkey minded ways of reading a handful of books at once, I am hopefully finishing today (for the third time) Ghost Rider; Neil Pearts odyssey of his own "travels on the Healing Road". I began this book, a favorite of mine, right after my best friend's suicide earlier this month. It is an easy and entertaining read and I felt that reading about someone else's healing after a very tragic loss would help my own healing. I did and I found that I came out of the book with many more books to add to the list in my bedside journal.

I am also chipping away at a "Michaelskis-esque" book, the Millionaire Next Door. Good read and reiterates my thoughts on money and spending. (Now if the spending for this wedding just STOP!) ;-) Just kidding, a little under 2 months to go.

I have also begun Thoreau's Walden, but I am not sure if my reading tastes are going to take in that direction this time as I am kind of leaning towards other tastes. We'll see. I will finish the first two books today and then continue on through with Walden.
 

Senior Jefe

Cyburbian
Messages
431
Points
13
I just finished Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Times about the dust bowl of the 1930s that plagued the plains of western Kansas & Nebraska, eastern Colorado and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma. Egan uses the personal historical documents and interviews of those that lived during that time to focus on this man-made disaster. He starts with the original homesteading of the area and then explains how high government supported wheat prices during WWI and the early 1920s encouraged the turning of the thousands of square miles of natural sod and then left the earth bare and finally barren when rain fall returned to more normal and dryer levels. The financial, emotional and health impacts on the residents of this area due to this environmental crisis are hard to imagine today.

I found the book personally interesting because the dust bowl helped caused my mom's family to move from the area to wetter farmlands in eastern Kansas during this period.

This book made me also concerned that we are starting to do something similar since higher corn prices are causing marginal ground to go back under the plow to feed our desire for alternative fuels. Hopefully the results won't be so disasterous this time.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,317
Points
55
Hey, that's the book I just started last night, Senor Jefe! I had to be told by my hubby to put it down and get some sleep!
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I just started reading Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without a Country. Twenty-four pages into it and already I have found some great quotes. It amazes me how much he could pack into short sentences. One example:

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.
 

Bubba

Cyburbian
Messages
5,899
Points
47
Picked up a copy of Robert Caro's The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York - I'll be diving into that this weekend.
 

Carl Kandy

Member
Messages
43
Points
2
I'm reading LAST HARVEST by Witbold Rybizinski (whatever). Unfortunately, it's really boring. Yo, just keeping it real. Paula?
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
At the Center of the Storm by George Tenent. I picked it up at Sam's Club during the run for the wine. I'll be reading it by the pool this afternoon.
 

Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,852
Points
47
The Johnstown Flood by McCollough. Fascinating report of the May 31, 1889 flood that killed some 2300 people. My only gripe is the map they published with the book isn't worth squat. For $15.00 (paperback), they could have provided a better graphic.^o)
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
i'm currently struggling through Collapse by Jared Diamond. it is interesting but it has so much information in it. it isn't the best unwinding-at-the-end-of-a-long-day book.
 

Senior Jefe

Cyburbian
Messages
431
Points
13
I have been reading 109 East Palace by Jennet Conant. It’s about Los Alamos during the secret war-time development of the atomic bomb. The author is the granddaughter of the administrator of the Manhattan Project but she uses the perspective of Dorothy McKibbin to tell the story. McKibbin ran the security office just down the street from the plaza in Santa Fe where all the scientists and military officials had to first enter before going up to the secret research and development facility. Conant focuses her story on the personal relationships and struggles of those who worked on the project and does not attempt to explain the physics of atomic theory. The story builds until the testing of the bomb and then quickly deflates in post-war politics over national security policy and the influence of communism in the U.S. government.

I have visited Los Alamos and the museum that tells the story of the development of the bomb but this book provides a much more personal perspective on the people who developed some of the most destructive weapons in human history.
 

dsrtmaiden

Member
Messages
15
Points
1
]Just finished BLOOD AND THUNDER by Hampton Sides. Its the story of the opening of the American west. It is mostly about Kit Carson. It is a very good read.
 

Budgie

Cyburbian
Messages
5,262
Points
30
Finished - Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke
Starting - A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
On the Shelf - Sundry Collection of Uninspiring Fiction and Non-fiction.
 

Tresmo

Cyburbian
Messages
873
Points
20
I just picked up Michael Chabon's newest, The Yiddish Policeman's Union. I'm so excited to read it, I loved his last novel!!!:D
 

Carl Kandy

Member
Messages
43
Points
2
Very depressing and then even more depressing

I just read SISTER CARRIE by Theodore Dreiser, one of those classics I'd never gotten around to. Talk about a bring-down! This guy could teach Thomas Hardy a thing or two about fatalism, darkness, and inescapable doom.
 

DrumLineKid

Cyburbian
Messages
149
Points
6
I'm in the middle of "Washington's General: Nathanael Greene and the Triumph of the American Revolution" by Terry Golway. Easy read but a bit sophmoric compared to Goodwin's "A Team of Rivals". My reading tastes have changed. It used to be fantasy/sci fi. Lately its been US history....

DLK
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
I'm about halfway through Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball. Starts a little slowly but it grows on you despite some repetition. It's about the Ball family of South Carolina and their history of plantation and slave ownership from pre-Revolutionary War America through Abolition. Edward Ball is a descendant of the family and he tracked down and reconnected with a number of his relatives, both black and white, not all of whom were happy to see him or have him write the family history.
 

btrage

Cyburbian
Messages
6,427
Points
27
American Theocracy by Kevin Phillips.

I'm only a couple dozen pages in, but so far it's very enlightening. Deals with oil, religion and deficit spending in the current US context. It also does a good job of using historical references to past world powers.
 

Flying Monkeys

Cyburbian
Messages
607
Points
18
Needed a quick read... picked up 'The Beach House' by James Patterson... never read any of his stuff before. It is the perfect type summer quick read, not bad.
 

Queen B

Cyburbian
Messages
3,174
Points
25
Finally,

I get to weigh in on this thread. I am not a big reader except for the constant stuff at work. So that would be why I am reading our new proposed Comp Plan:-c. Half way there. God these things are boring!!!;)
 

KSharpe

Cyburbian
Messages
744
Points
19
I just starting reading "The Lovely Bones". I almost threw up during the rape and murder scene, but after I got through that its gotten pretty interesting.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
I am having bestseller withdrawal. I can't reserve anything new at the library because I won't be here when it comes in. And I just won't spend the $$ for a short read, like Janet Evanovich, that I'll finish in a day. Sigh...

Browsing thru now, came in last week, "1000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die". I think they gave short shrift to FL, there's lots more cool stuff than what's in the book. Probably everyone else would have the same story about their state...
 

donk

Cyburbian
Messages
6,961
Points
31
Recent reads

Old Mans War - John Scalzi - pretty good Heinleinian tyoe sci fi.

Just started The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs - Irvine Welsh

and of course books and articles for school.
 

luckless pedestrian

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,317
Points
55
Eat, Pray Love - can't remember by whom, just bought it over the weekend for my book club meeting July 10th! :-o:):p
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
The House of Mondavi; The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty by Julia Flynn Siller.
 

Plan-it

Cyburbian
Messages
995
Points
20
Jeanette Winterson's "Lighthousekeeping"

It is an excellent read if you like her style.
 

DrumLineKid

Cyburbian
Messages
149
Points
6
Started Gingrich's To Renew America. As much as I disagreed with his politics, he seems like a very bright man. I tried starting it before and ended up yelling at it too much, so I dropped it. I still want to read it though.

Picked up a copy of Save Our Land, Save Our Towns by Hylton, 'sponsored' by Preservation Pennsylvania at a conference the other day. Lots of great ideas but fails to account for potential takings issues in any of his desire to force residence/development in cities. The conference did include a discussion on the economics of urban planning and the real value of open space, particularly ag land.

DLK
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Have finished reading (that I mentioned before):
  • Soul Purpose by Nick Marsh - An excellent first book, and Nick, an internet friend, didn't have to bribe me to say it! Basically a science-fiction comedy, but watch out for the zombies.
  • Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee - Interesting if only for seeing the way people used to live. One of my great grandparents grew up in the same village, about twenty, thirty years before Laurie Lee.
Have put on hold (ditto):
  • Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson
  • Jane Austen's six novels
Also detoured to Sharp's Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell - I've been watching the reruns of the first filmed series on UKTVHistory and decided I would finally see if I liked the books. I do like Bernard Cornwell's Dark Age and Medieval stuff, but have decided that Sharp is no good without Sean Bean in uniform :-$ My imagination is not quite up to the task of pretending:-D

I'm now on to Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson - a novel that charts the change from alchemy to science and logical thought - great so far.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
Just started The World Is Flat, by Thomas Friedman. Apparently it was on the best-seller list awhile ago, but somehow I missed it... and it was always checked out of my local library. I think it will be a very interesting read.
 

Flying Monkeys

Cyburbian
Messages
607
Points
18
Also detoured to Sharp's Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell - I've been watching the reruns of the first filmed series on UKTVHistory and decided I would finally see if I liked the books. I do like Bernard Cornwell's Dark Age and Medieval stuff, but have decided that Sharp is no good without Sean Bean in uniform

I read Cornwell's Civil War series, it was really enjoyable.

I have been reading 'A Dangerous Fortune' by Ken Follet, one of my favorite authors. It is allways neat when you find a book by a favorite author that you had not previously read.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
I'm reading the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien....for about the sixth time. :-$
Are apologies owed for doing this, when there are so many thousands of books out there that I have yet to read for the first time?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
15,531
Points
60
Over the baby vacation week, I stopped by the library and picked up:

Lots of Parking by Jakle & Sculle - a history of parking/parking lots and their impact on the built environment

Guns, Germs, & Steel by Jared Diamond - a history of why some civilizations domimated and others didn't

The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup - an analysis of impacts and problems with requiring so much parking in the US

Started with Lots of Parking and hopefully will be able to get substantively into the other two.
 
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bud

Cyburbian
Messages
190
Points
7
Taliesin Fellow

Architect's book examines sprawl

http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/0103sr-swaback03Z8.html

http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Swaback&fr=yfp-t-471&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8

Swaback doesn't adhere to New Urbanism
Kate Nolan
The Arizona Republic
Jan. 3, 2006 12:00 AM

SCOTTSDALE - For the past 20 months architect Vernon Swaback has spent many hours addressing controversial problems at the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, which operates Taliesin West, the architecture center Wright started in the 1930s.

The founder of Swaback Partners, a Scottsdale planning and architecture firm with 45 employees and commissions around the country, Swaback trained with Wright and in 2004 stepped in to head the foundation's board as it debated its future, often feverishly.

At the same time, Swaback was writing a book that considers even more crucial concerns about the future.

Designing With Nature, Swaback's fourth book, is a treatise on the ...


https://www.goshen.edu/news/pressarchive/01-27-04-swaback-folo.html
 
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Senior Jefe

Cyburbian
Messages
431
Points
13
I finished The Pueblo Revolt by David Roberts last night. He writes mostly about the American Southwest and West. This book covers the revolt of 1680 when the local Pueblo Indians killed or expelled the Spanish from New Mexico and parts of current day Arizona. The Spanish returned 12 years later to re-colonize the region.

Most of what is known about this period was recorded by the Spanish. Robert tries to get the other side of the story. The Pueblo’s version of events are either lost to history or kept secret by the Pueblo’s current elders. Roberts loves to find that exact physical spot where history was made no matter how remote it may be. In this study he is often blocked by the Pueblos’ current leadership and control of their sacred sites. Roberts is frustrated by their reluctance to allow outsiders into their sites but he does not resent their actions because he understands their history with both invaders and those who wish to expose or profit from their culture. This book did give me a better understanding of the culture and history of the Pueblos that dot New Mexico.
 

Hceux

Cyburbian
Messages
1,028
Points
22
I'm currently reading "Rich by Thirty: A Young Adult's Guide to Financial Success" by Lesley Scorgie. It's nice to read a book that actually uses Canadian financial information.

Has anyone else read this? It seem to be a good book to introduce one to having financial successes with investing in the market (stocks, T-bills, GICs, mutual funds, etc.) FYI, the book doesn't talk about investing in real estate properties, antiques, etc.
 

SuperPenguin

Cyburbian
Messages
491
Points
14
"The Little Drummer Girl" by John le Carre is sitting in le Car :)r:), though I never wind up with enough time to read it. (Stoplights are just too short! :-c)
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I just picked up a new biography of Henry Hudson at our local library. Apparently, little is known about this famous explorer; in fact, it's not even clear where and how he died. The author used Hudson's journals and visited many of the places where he is supposed to have been.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
This weekend I finished two books I had been working on for a few weeks.

The Essential Ian McHarg, which, I think goes without saying, was great.
Also Oh, the Things I Know, by Al Franken, which was funny and a quick read.

I prefer to read something substantial, then clear the palate with something lighter.

Right now I am finishing Me Talk Pretty Some Day, by David Sedaris, which won the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He is one of my favorite contemporary humorists. Started reading his stories in Esquire. Good stuff.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,673
Points
70
I was in B&N looking at "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Iggulden.
Pretty interesting collection of stuff you should either know or be aware of.

Has anybody else looked at it or own it ?
 

Trail Nazi

Cyburbian
Messages
2,777
Points
24
I was in B&N looking at "The Dangerous Book for Boys" by Iggulden.
Pretty interesting collection of stuff you should either know or be aware of.

Has anybody else looked at it or own it ?

Yes, it is a cool book. The kids and I got it for Father's Day for Mr. TN. It has been really fun learning some interesting tidbits of information.
 
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