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

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
This Bear will be purchasing a couple books, thanks to a nice Amazon Gift Card from my son and his family. Planning on.....

New York
Edward Rutherford

The Power Broker
Robert A. Caro

Years ago I enjoyed Rutherfurd's historical novel Russka. His latest, just released last month, tells the tale of a number of New York families and their trials and tribulations as NYC morphed into the incredible place it is now. The book will be in the "James Michener Style", bringing historical accuracy to a sweeping novel.

I have a fascination with Robert Moses......and the influence that he had on making New York City what it is today. I do understand that The Power Broker is old news, but......unless I hear of a better selection.....I have reason to believe it is an accurate account of Moses.

Bear
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
Currently reading Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. It is historical fiction that centers around the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup in Paris. The Vel' d'Hiv Roundup was a Nazi decreed raid but carried out by the French policeman. More than 130,000 Jewish citizens were rounded up and eventually sent to Auschwitz - few survived. The most disturbing aspect of this despicable act was the number of children (over 4,000) included, torn from their parents, and eventually sent straight to the gas chambers.
 

TexanOkie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,903
Points
20
The Planning Division at my city has begun reading The Traveler's Gift by Andy Andrews. And when I say we've begun reading it, I really mean they've all finished it and I'm only on the first gift/decision. I like it so far, but I just find it (generally, not the book itself) incredibly difficult to sit down and read. Once I read I enjoy it. It's just getting to that point.
 

Flying Monkeys

Cyburbian
Messages
607
Points
18
Just started "The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon" by David Grann. Starts out pretty good...
 

beach_bum

Cyburbian
Messages
3,427
Points
21
Reading Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on NY's Master Builder and Transformed the American City by Anthony Flint

Interesting so far. Definitely two different takes on how development should be done and the people development should benefit....

If you have ever spent sometime in NYC and Long Island, this is a definite read!
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
Revolutionary Road, since I thought the movie clearly was edited for time. Yates writes about the alienation of the suburbs and how most people there seem to think that they are too good for the place. Its an interesting concept- that everyone thinks that other people like the suburbs but no one does. I don't happen to think its entirely true, but I know a lot of people "settle" for the suburbs when they don't want to.

The main problem with the book is that the main characters are jerks. But I think that's kind of the point.
 

MacheteJames

Cyburbian
Messages
1,017
Points
24
Currently reading The Third Reich at War. It's excellent, probably the best history book I've ever read. Next up are Searching for Whitopia and Shop Class as Soulcraft.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,634
Points
44
I just finished Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah I know I am a little late to the party. It was enjoyable though and I am reading the next installment, Restaurant at the End of the Universe.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
I just finished Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy. Yeah I know I am a little late to the party. It was enjoyable though and I am reading the next installment, Restaurant at the End of the Universe.

My son is blazing through that collection right now. My brother bought him the entire series bound in one book. I loved them as an adolescent. Smart and funny.

On another note, I just finished (it took me a day - a very fast read) X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier.

Completely Awesome! For anyone who falls under the unfortunate (or fortunate - you may change your mind after reading the book) moniker of Generation X, this one is for us!

1960ish to the mid 1970s is generally the timeframe for the GenXers' birth, but as the book points out, its less about when you were born and more about the attitude that one has. This book validated an entire encyclopedia of emotions, thoughts and disappointments I kept deep inside (ok, my wife and I talk about this stuff all the time, but its not exactly part of the national dialogue). I feel surprisingly liberated to know that my personal experience has been echoed by others, that maybe there is some salvation for our generation which the Boomers seemed to feel was so disappointing with our lack of commitment, fear of "joining," overflowing sense of irony and general cringing at anything resembling the 19060s change-the-world-through-mass-demonstrations paradigm.

And the guy is gal dang hilarious. Seriously.
 

kjel

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,634
Points
44
My son is blazing through that collection right now. My brother bought him the entire series bound in one book. I loved them as an adolescent. Smart and funny.

On another note, I just finished (it took me a day - a very fast read) X Saves the World: How Generation X Got the Shaft but Can Still Keep Everything from Sucking by Jeff Gordinier.

Completely Awesome! For anyone who falls under the unfortunate (or fortunate - you may change your mind after reading the book) moniker of Generation X, this one is for us!

1960ish to the mid 1970s is generally the timeframe for the GenXers' birth, but as the book points out, its less about when you were born and more about the attitude that one has. This book validated an entire encyclopedia of emotions, thoughts and disappointments I kept deep inside (ok, my wife and I talk about this stuff all the time, but its not exactly part of the national dialogue). I feel surprisingly liberated to know that my personal experience has been echoed by others, that maybe there is some salvation for our generation which the Boomers seemed to feel was so disappointing with our lack of commitment, fear of "joining," overflowing sense of irony and general cringing at anything resembling the 19060s change-the-world-through-mass-demonstrations paradigm.

And the guy is gal dang hilarious. Seriously.

A fellow Cyburbian sent me the collected works for pleasure reading since I spend so much time with academic reading.

The one you just read sounds pretty interesting. Maybe in May when I get to read for pleasure again :D
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Thomas Pynchon's "Inherent Vice".

About as silly as Tom Robbins but a harder working stylist.

Years ago I was dazzled by the prose of "Vineland", but put it down because the characters were a little too outlandish for me to care about.
 
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11
Points
1
Just finished Six Frigates by Ian Toll. McCullough-esque narrative history of the founding and foundling U.S. Navy. Good for Hornblower fans; probably more fun for O'Brian fans as he quotes OB several times.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Checked out Twilight and am 5 chapters into it. I wanted to see what the big fuss is all about. I'm still waiting. . .
 

PrahaSMC

Cyburbian
Messages
128
Points
6
Just finished Game Change by Heilemann and Halperin... as someone who loves politics/non-fiction, I thought it was a great read.
 
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8
Points
0
Down the Asphalt Path by Clay McShane : Great history of the adoption of the qutomobile, Good complement to "Getting There" by Stephen Goddard

Market Rebels by Hayagreeva Rao : Contains as good a refinement on Shumpeter's Creative Destruction as Breakthrough's repudiation of Maslow's "hierarchy".
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
Just finished another Gen X themed book called Slackonomics: Gneration X in the Age of Creative Destruction by Lisa Chamberlain. Pretty interesting stuff and a companion to the other book about Gen X I mentioned earlier (X Saves the World). Can you guess my theme of the month?

http://slackonomics.com/
 

mike gurnee

Cyburbian
Messages
3,065
Points
32
I am going through my 40 year collection of the KY Historical Society journals, to read previously skipped articles that interest me now.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I just finished reading Chuck Klosterman's Fargo Rock City. It's his account of growing up in North Dakota and discovering hard rock music and his explanation of how that often maligned genre of music is greatly underrated.

And now I am reading Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerad. While Fargo Rock City focused on mainstream glam rock and hair metal bands of the 1980s, this one is solely focused on the American indie rock scene from 1981 to 1991. It's basically a VH1 Behind the Music on 13 bands: Black Flag, The Minutemen, Mission of Burma, Hüsker Dü, Minor Threat, The Replacements, Butthold Surfers, Sonic Youth, Big Black, Fugazi, Mudhoney, Beat Happening, and Dinosaur Jr. So far it's very interesting and I like that there is more emphasis on the do-it-yourself aspects of the industry that these artists had to take on as opposed to the actual music... I've heard the music before and now it's time to discover how it got to me.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
David Foster Wallace's "Interviews with Hideous Men".

According to the jacket blurbs was critically acclaimed.

Wallace won a MacArthur "genius grant" a few yrs back.

My take so far..............hmmmmmmmmmmm. As one who reads for prose style I am finding this guy's to be a little undisciplined.

BTW, he hanged himself last year, another indication that the muses, if they happen to bless you with talent, are not necessarily kind to you.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Checked out Twilight and am 5 chapters into it. I wanted to see what the big fuss is all about. I'm still waiting. . .

OK, finished Twilight and am happy to report that I will not be reading the others in the series. The writing is not that great, but I can see how the storyline attracts the young (ie tween) readers, especially the female ones. Love, revenge, the need to fit in, general teen issues - all are in the book. I guess I'm just not that intrigued by it.

I firmly believe that JK Rowling writes a better story, with wider appeal.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Started a new book yesterday. In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto by Michael Pollan talks about the history of the "Western Diet" and how it affects our health. He goes into detail about the industrialization of food, how the changes were bad for humans, and how grocery stores now have mostly "food-like substances" for sale, not real food. Very interesting read, and not as heavy as I was expecting.

The last section is about escaping the Western Diet, defining real food, and what to eat and in what quantities. I'm hoping to finish this section this week.

"Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants."
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
Pollan's book is on my list for the near future. I've heard him speaking a couple of times about it and it sounds very well researched and he is a very compelling person (smart, not pedantic, open minded, but committed to his ethos). Another maxim I heard him say on the radio: Don't eat anything advertised on TV.

I'm reading In Praise of Slowness: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed by Carl Honore right now. I'm about a quarter of the way along. Very interesting stuff about the acceleration of time and all the challenges it creates both in how society functions and how individuals respond to it physically, emotionally and psychologically. He also profiles a host of groups around the world responding to speed by promoting areas of slowness - Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Thinking, Slow Building, Slow Sex (seriously).
 

johnguava

Member
Messages
14
Points
1
Besides books assigned from school, I'm sifting through mostly magazines. Currently I'm obsessing over The New Yorker and The Economist.
 

cch

Cyburbian
Messages
1,436
Points
20
I'm currently reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And, I'm reading my daughter her first chapter-book at bedtime; Alice in Wonderland.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Just finished The Tomb of Zeus, by Beverly Cleverly. Murder mystery set in 1920's Crete, and the protaganist is a English woman trying to get her start in the field of archeology. New character and setting for the author, but not her first book. Not a bad read, I enjoyed most of it; I do think it'll appeal more to a femaile audience. I've started another book by the same author, but the main character is just not doing it for me, and I think I'll just skip to the end and return it to the library. This one has a male lead character, and I just can't relate to his thoughts on The War (WWI) and how he ends up on loan to India.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I recently was given an autographed copy of Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz's new book, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy. Yesterday evening I read the dust jacket and introduction... I think that one is just going to get put back on the shelf. :not:

I've got plenty of more fun options to read.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
I finally caved and got a kindle last week; my first book was Linda Fairstein's "Hell's Gate". Reads just like a paper book, even in the sun by the pool!
 

kjel

Super Moderator
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12,634
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44
I finally caved and got a kindle last week; my first book was Linda Fairstein's "Hell's Gate". Reads just like a paper book, even in the sun by the pool!

That's cool. Do you like it? Is it easy on the eyes as far as screen resolution? I've been toying with the idea since I am running out of space and new books are getting pricey even with the member discounts applied.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
That's cool. Do you like it? Is it easy on the eyes as far as screen resolution? I've been toying with the idea since I am running out of space and new books are getting pricey even with the member discounts applied.

It's great! Resolution is just like reading a print book, and for us old farts, we can increase the font size and ditch the glasses. Downloads take 60 seconds or less. Of course I forgot to plug it in last night and the battery was dead this morning and there's no place to plug it in by the pool, but it charges in just a couple of hours. The only downside is that you'll find books you want that aren't offered. I picked up a book at the library, Cornbread Nation I, a collection of writings about southern food, foodies, etc, that I'm enjoying, and wanted to download the rest of the series but only one was available.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Finally mustered the diligence to take on Joseph Campbell's excellent "Portable Jung", which offers his selection of the Collected Works.

It is like mental ambrosia, but you have to hold on to that plow because the mule moves right along.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
At the risk of sounding out-classed, I'll admit that I'm re-reading my giant collection of "Calvin & Hobbes".
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
The Big Burn by Timothy Egan. Teddy Roosevelt, the origin of the US Forest Service, conservationism, robber barons, the Wild West, and fire.
 

boiker

Cyburbian
Messages
3,887
Points
26
Just finished Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott.

Good short noella on perception, reality, out-of-the box thinking, social class structure, and religion.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
Started yesterday afternoon...

...Willie Mays, the Life, the Legend by James S. Hirsch.

Greatest baseball player to ever take to the park, IMHO.
 
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8
Points
0
How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer. Bacially a better version of Blink. If Planners are concerned with health, safety, and welfare, maybe books like this will reveal why we do things against those norms.

Just got today: Effective Cycling by John Forester. Will have to skim furiously for now, as my heart and my time belongs to passing the AICP in May.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
Just started The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

On deck is How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It
~ Arthur Herman

In the hole is IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic Alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation by Edwin Black.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
You Were Always Mom's Favorite! Sisters in Conversation Throughout Their Lives by Deborah Tannen

...
On deck is How the Scots Invented the Modern World: The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything in It
~ Arthur Herman

Ooh! :h: I think I'll put that one on my list.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I started The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris the other day. I'm about a third of the way through it and so far, great book!

It's about a guy with an unnamed disease that causes him to stop whatever he is doing and just walk until exhaustion sets in and the problems that causes him with work and family.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
The Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost. Subtitle: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific. Hilarious travelogue.
 
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