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

AmwayFaithful

Member
Messages
6
Points
0
I'm reading Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness...haven't had much time to read so far, but I've enjoyed what I've gotten through. Easy read with a lot of really practical examples of some of the bad decisions we make...
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
'Run Silent Run Deep' - the classic WWII submarine yarn.
 

SGB

Cyburbian
Messages
3,386
Points
26
I'm about to start reading Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben.

In this powerful and provocative manifesto, Bill McKibben offers the biggest challenge in a generation to the prevailing view of our economy. For the first time in human history, he observes, "more" is no longer synonymous with "better"—indeed, for many of us, they have become almost opposites. McKibben puts forward a new way to think about the things we buy, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the money that pays for it all. Our purchases, he says, need not be at odds with the things we truly value.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
I'm about to start reading Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future by Bill McKibben.

Doesn't sound like there would be many pictures in that book. Boooring.;)
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Life, the Universe and Everything - part of my continuing reading to my son from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy anthology.

Also continuing to read Fools Crow, by James Welch
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
The Big Sort, by Bill Bishop.

Just finished it and I recommend it to planners whereever you have been sorted. I think he concentrates a little too much on the religious side of the "big sort", and it drags a bit. But generally very thoughtful.
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
21
I just finished The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Great book, and its being made into a movie for release in the late fall/early winter, so get on it if you want to read it before its made into a movie!
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Just finished Basilica - The Splendor and The Scandal: Building St. Peter's by R.A. Scotti. Easy reading historical account of the building of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
Reading 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Just finished 'Fellowship' last night. Yeah, it's the 7th time.
 

RandomPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,830
Points
28
I just finished The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. Great book, and its being made into a movie for release in the late fall/early winter, so get on it if you want to read it before its made into a movie!

Such a good book! I didn't know it was being made into a movie. I wonder how well it will be done considering that the main character/ narrator dies in the first paragraph. Hmmm, should be very interesting...
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
21
Such a good book! I didn't know it was being made into a movie. I wonder how well it will be done considering that the main character/ narrator dies in the first paragraph. Hmmm, should be very interesting...

I'll bet alot of the movie will be flash backs (like the book), but it will be interesting how they depict heaven and her 'ghost' throughout the story
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
Reading 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. Just finished 'Fellowship' last night. Yeah, it's the 7th time.

ONly 7? Well, you're younger than me.:r:

Maister said:
'Run Silent Run Deep' - the classic WWII submarine yarn.
My fave submarine tale is a book, likely out of print, from my "young adult" reading days, called "The Survivor" by Robb White.

Since there is some discussion about book to movie translation, "The Time Traveler's Wife" is about to come out on film. Loved the book. Not thinking it will translate well to film, though.
 

tsc

Cyburbian
Messages
1,900
Points
23
Island in the Center of World.... great subject...writing style leave a little to be desired.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,868
Points
45
I just finished The Wettest County in the World. It's historical fiction about a family who ran whiskey back in the 1930's, based on the Bondurant family, written by one of the characters' grandson. Very good.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,868
Points
45
I'm reading Tom Sawyer. It was not required reading when I was in school (part of the reason I don't want my kids in local public schools). I am really enjoying it, and Mark Twain can really convey the feeling of spring fever and warm summer days to the reader.
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
"That Old Cape Magic" by Richard Russo. A very good read and one that hits home for me twice- both as a former Cape Cod resident and as a child of academics. Not much of a planning angle other than in the range of summer homes the main character's parents rent when they go out to Cape Cod every summer from their academic positions in Indiana. But its very tight writing- like one of his earlier 400 page novels concentrated into 250 pages. Not tight as in difficult, but tight as in careful.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
"That Old Cape Magic" by Richard Russo. A very good read and one that hits home for me twice- both as a former Cape Cod resident and as a child of academics. Not much of a planning angle other than in the range of summer homes the main character's parents rent when they go out to Cape Cod every summer from their academic positions in Indiana. But its very tight writing- like one of his earlier 400 page novels concentrated into 250 pages. Not tight as in difficult, but tight as in careful.

I can't wait to read Russo's newest book!

I just finished the absolutely riveting "Annie's Ghosts: A Journey Into a Family Secret" by journalist Steve Luxenberg. I don't want to give too much away, but the book starts with the author's discovery - after the death of his mother, who told everyone that she was an only child - that his mother had a sister. The story is part memoir, part detective story, and part social history.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I am reading "Farewell, My Lovely," by Raymond Chandler. On page 78 I found this gem:

“It was a blonde. A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
"Nobody Move", by Denis Johnson.

Johnson's take on a "crime" novel bears his trademark intensity and ferocious imagery.
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
914
Points
21
I just finished The Shock Doctrine - The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein. I found a lot of it hard to stomach as it challenged some of my basic assuptions, or what I thought was knowledge, of major recent historical events. Its exhaustively researched and footnoted. Its inspired me to further my study of recent economic history and point out the fallacies of Milton Friedman's philosophy. Took me a few months to get through, reading on and off. Definitely not a light read.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
bp,

I haven't read Ms Klein's books but I do like the columns by her that I have read.

The New Yorker interviewed her a few weeks ago as well.

I think she makes a lot of sense. She and the likes of Ralph Nader and Chris Hedges are fairly close to the scary edges of the truth of things.

Re otterpop's "gem" of a quote, I just saw one such in Moby Dick.

"Topheavy was the ship as a dinnerless student with all Aristotle in his head."
 
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otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I am reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Love , abook of short stories by Raymond Carver. Good stuff.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
otterpop,

I went thru a Ray Carver phase and pretty much read all of it.

Similar to his style is a guy named Thom Jones, who is a pugilist turned writer. One collection called, "Sonny Liston Was a Friend of Mine."
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
Finished: Don't Know Much About History and Don't Know Much About Geography by Kenneth Davis. Both highly recommended by this reader.

In the middle of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. An intense novel.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I am reading The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler. I enjoyed Farewell, My Lovely, so I thought I would give this one a try.

As a rule, I am not a mystery/crime fiction reader. But the narrative is fun and the similes are great.

Before that I read Resolution, by Robert Parker. It was a disappointment.
 

Twoaday

Cyburbian
Messages
43
Points
2
I'm reading The New Urbanism: Toward an Architecture of Community by Peter Katz... So far it is alright, but it seems to me a lot of these designs are just slightly better burbs.
 

Brocktoon

Cyburbian
Messages
3,725
Points
22
'I just finished "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. Not nearly as good as The Di Vinci Code"... it fact it was rather mediocre. It starts great but the ending seemed rushed and not well thought out. I have always found the Mason's and the conspiracy theory behind them facinating and was looking forward to Dan Brown's interpretation...I was disappointed. That being said it is a fast and entertaining read but very predictable.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Kuntsler interview

I know that James Kuntsler can be a topic to himself, but the Sun magazine, published in Chapel Hill and now in its 36th year of life without ever having sold an advertisement, has an interview with Mr. K that was done in April 09, and is good.

He comes off as not quite so alarmist but no less strident about his opinions.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Started Shakespeare's Landlord, by Charlaine Harris. It pulled me in quickly, and I'm going to try to finish it tonight. It's the first in a series, so I'll probably request the others from the library, as well. Also finished up a couple of novels by Catherine Coulter - the more I read of her modern FBI series, the more they all seem the same.

I also checked out The Wordy Shipmate by Sarah Vowell. I've read a couple others of hers - I really liked Assasination Vacation - and I hope this one is as good or better.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I finally finished The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia, by Orlando Figes, last night. It's over 600 pages long, and took me several weeks to get through - minus a short break to read Richard Russo's That Old Cape Magic, which I had requested from the library.

The Whisperers probably could have been pared down a bit; nevertheless, it was a fascinating read about what life was like for Soviet citizens during the Stalin era. I never realized how many millions of Russians were arrested for often minor (or sometimes non-existent) crimes, declared "enemies of the people," and carted off to labor camps for years. Many of them were shot, although this was generally not revealed until the 1980s (!) or later. The impact on families was enormous, as being the wife or child of an "enemy of the people" subjected innocent family members to everything from discrimination to years in the Gulag. :-o

I learned a lot about Soviet society... and during the course of reading the book, I found out some interesting parallels involving members of my family who died long before I was born.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I am reading God is Not Great, by Christopher Hitchens, and The Time Travelers' Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. The former is rather heavy-handed and I might not finish it.

The latter I am enjoying - the story is told in first person by both the time traveler and the wife, so the perspectives of two people on the same experiences is very interesting.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Finished: Don't Know Much About History and Don't Know Much About Geography by Kenneth Davis. Both highly recommended by this reader.

In the middle of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. An intense novel.

I put the Don't Know Much About History book on my request list from the library. I just checked out Wishingful Drinking by Carrie Fisher. I'll post what I think about it later.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
I'm enjoying reading The World That Made New Orleans by Ned Sublette. It charts the development of New Orleans from pre-colonial times through the Louisiana Purchase. I was aware but never knew how much New Orleans was affected by Cuba and Saint-Domingue (Haiti). The book also examines the lives of African slaves (at times disturbing) and their contribution to the culture and the music of New Orleans.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the history and culture of New Orleans.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I've never been to New Orleans, but that does sound interesting. I love reading about the history of places. :)

I just started Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town. It's about a youth soccer team in a small town in Georgia that was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Reading a gift copy of an out-of-print book called "The Stone Creek Wreck", 1898, about a malicious train sabotage/derailment in an area called Bonds Swamp south of Macon,GA in 1896. A local ne'er do well and some conspirators removed a section of rail on a trestle to derail a passenger train carrying the plotter's own wife.

Motive, to sue the railroad for damage after the predicted loss of wife.

Result, three innocents died and wife survived, plotters to the gallows.

Great read for a vignette of semi-rural life of the times.
 

Plan-it

Cyburbian
Messages
995
Points
20
I just started reading "Retrifitting Suburbia: Urban Design Solutions for Redesigning Suburbs". So far so good. It is an interesting read and provides many examples of how different areas of the county used urban design to assist in altering our thinking on how the built environment of 1st ring suburbs can change.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
Yesterday was one of those days when I found too many books I wanted to borrow from the library... :r:

Reading now: Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City, by Anthony Flint.
 

boilerplater

Cyburbian
Messages
914
Points
21
I just finished The End of Oil by Paul Roberts. I found it fascinating, but energy issues have been a subject of growing interest for me in the last few years. It gets into the history of oil exploration and oil geopolitics, how oil companies have influenced policies to favor their business and suppress alternative energy sources and climate change science. It came out in 2004, so some of what he predicted is already history, such as if oil prices were to rise to x, it would tip the US into recession. The parts that get into detail about alternative fuels and energy sources were also quite informative. I really had no idea that electricity from solar was so much more per kWh. Its not as dark and snarky as The Long Emergency and is more jounalistic in tone, rather than speculative of future conditions. The reader is given a large amount of data to support the theses. I've been inspired to read more on the subject and irritate anyone who will listen to me talk about the problem!
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Just finished a couple.....

Eclipse by Richard North Patterson. I have long been a fan of "this" Patterson, because of his oft-Ohio storylines, his rugged lead characters, and the political stories he tells.

Patterson invents a west African oil-produciving country that is dominated by a ruthless dictator. Economic and living conditions for all but the elite remain horrible as the oil money is funneled those in power. The lead character's involvement, years ago, with a woman who marries a rebel, takes the reader to a country where a pocket of cash and a gun will buy all the influence you need.

The novel was based on a real-life rebel in a real country that continues to go through political corruption quite similar to the storyline.....Nigeria.

This book can scare the hexx out of you.....the political influence of big oil (backed by governments that need that oil to keep their economy clicking) is daunting. A good read.

Journey by James Michener. This Bear has read most of Michener's books (and there are many!). This short novel was interesting, somewhat informative, and an OK read.

The novel highlights the journey of a group of English men (and an Irish man) as they work their way through the Arctic so they can reach the Klondike (gold fields). Usual Michener fare, detailed descriptions of the who, why, and how of a trip through the incredibly hostile wilderness. The attack of the arctic mosquitos will scare the hexx out of you.

Bear
 

southsideamy

Cyburbian
Messages
451
Points
14
I'm reading Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel - won a Booker Prize this year. I haven't finished, but I can't put it down. Highly recommend it. It's extremely well-written and actually very acessible (doesn't require a dictionary for every other word). Unusually well-written for a book containing this scope of research.

The book is written from the perspective of Cromwell, who is advisor/attorney to King Henry the VIII. Very good reading for planners - who often serve as staff to public officials. It's about the ins and outs of advising the Cardinal, then Anne Boelyn and then the King -- his legal arguments, his politics, his personal life. I've never read a book about Henry VIII that portrayed Cromwell in a positive light and this is such a sympathetic account. Truly fascinating.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,868
Points
45
I'm reading Pittsburgh A New Portrait. The author describes many interesting buildings in Pittsburgh, and describes how the neighborhoods came to be. Great book, and plan on reading it again.
 
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