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

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Still dog-paddling through the deep waters of the Portable Jung.

"...there is no greater obstacle to immediate experience than cognition..."

Will soon be looking for the Jungian approach to zoning admin.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
Still dog-paddling through the deep waters of the Portable Jung.

"...there is no greater obstacle to immediate experience than cognition..."

Will soon be looking for the Jungian approach to zoning admin.

Being present in the moment while some citizen is chewing you a new one and personalizing/directing all their anger towards you is a challenging exercise.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,435
Points
29
Just got done with Captivating by John & Stasi Eldredge. Great book. Next is The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
After many years, I've pulled out my copy of The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. It's still a depressing read but I had forgotten the richness of his writing style, especially his ability to turn words into visual imagery.
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
Sports from Hell by Rick Reilly. Very funny. The first chapter, World Sauna Championships, was the best. I had tears in my eyes from laughing.
Even ZG liked it and she's no sports fan.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
School's out next week, which is when I traditionally read "Magic By The Lake" to my middle daughters, Hailyn and Evie. My favorite kid's book ever, and I feel like I'm 9 again when I read it.
 

Veloise

Cyburbian
Messages
6,066
Points
37
Annie's Ghosts

As mentioned elsewhere, my ailing father is the retired psychiatrist who provides a clinical view of the title character's medical records.

I swung by the local library to see what else was in there. Wowie--complete index, and dear ol' dad is mentioned multiple times. There's even a description of the homestead, and dad's living conditions: "...he admits to waging a losing battle against the accumulating clutter of daily life."
(Admit, nuthin.' Ray Charles could see that...oh, heck, check out the hording and saving useless stuff threads.)

My sis was given a copy by a friend who left a Post-It review. "What a wonderful book -- your father's role is great!"

What I've read so far is fascinating. Most of my treasure hunts have been Google searches, and sometimes I've had to interact with governmental officials (folks in a county deed office). Trying to resist the urge to go stretch out on the couch and rip right through it.

Here's one review.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
I'm out of library books but I have to stay home all day tomorrow awaiting RJ's wine shipment, which requires an adult signature for delivery. Sigh.

I guess I will download something to my kindle. Maybe I can get RJ to pay for it.:D
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
Started the second reading ritual of summer: Faulkner's "Light in August", arguably my favorite.

Are there other Faulkner fans out there in Cyburbia? Read him first in college - before I was diagnosed Adult ADD. Everyone in my class hated Faulkner's narrative style (Absalom, Absalom!) and I felt like I'd found the only other person who experienced life the way I did. Later when I was diagnosed I wondered if there was a connectioin. Just a thought.
 

Bear Up North

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
9,323
Points
31
Started reading New York, by Edward Rutherfurd. Off to a good start. Easy reading as compared to The Power Broker, which I have been plodding through for quite some time (and still more to read!). Makes for a twin combo, reading these New York books at the same time.

Years ago read Russka by Rutherfurd and enjoyed it, especially with my family background.

Bear
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
I'm reading "The Blind Side" which RJ borrowed and just read. I have to say, it's "dry" reading with a bunch of NFL padding which nobody but a rabid fan would want to read. So I have to pick thru that and skip some stuff to get to the real story.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
I like him too, but like you most of that reading was in college. Also like Flannery O'Connor, whose stories I have revisited lately.

Never read any O'Connor, I'll pick something up...
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
This might just as well go in the Raising Children Thread, but I'll put it here.

I'm in the middle of Manhood for Amateurs by Michael Chabon. Its kind of a series of essays ruminating on the hilarious and tragic moments of being a grown up man and father in our modern society. He's a wonderful and very funny writer (a bit wordy at times, but that's also how I write - though not as well - so I can relate). His upbringing and mine are very much in parallel in terms of places, timeframe and experiences, so it has a little extra ooomph from my perspective. Thumbs up!
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
OK, my last lame reading ritual of the summer...it's almost August so my daughters and I will begin reading "Tuck Everlasting" again this weekend. I'm just realizing that I could possibly be the most annoying father ever and they're just humoring me....
 

Richmond Jake

You can't fight in here. This is the War Room!
Messages
18,300
Points
44
Just arrived (what can Brown do for you?), and next on tap: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
Just arrived (what can Brown do for you?), and next on tap: Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.

Cool! I didn't know Hiaasen had a new book! Will have to look for that one. :)

I just started reading 212, by Alafair Burke. This is the first time I've read anything by her, though I've been a fan of her papa, James Lee Burke, for years. If you have read any of James Lee Burke's books, you will recognize Alafair as the name of lead character Dave Robicheaux's adopted daughter.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
It's been a historical novel kind of summer. Poland and The Covenant(about 20 pages left to go) by Michener. I'd read both before but it was a few years ago. Next on the read list will be Comanche Moon by McMurtry. It's part of his Lonesome Dove series. I don't normally read back to back to back novels of that length but when it's 100+ friggin degrees that's about as active as I want to be.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,255
Points
57
Just finished Nature Girl by Carl Hiaasen. It was alitle slower than some of his previous books, but still good and very classic.

I saw Star Island in the bookstore at the airport, but it wasn't paperback so I went with this one.
 

phortytwo

Member
Messages
7
Points
0
Post #2: yay!

Just finished up "Planet of Slums" by Mike Davis, who really is one of the greats. His ability to synthesize seemingly limitless amounts of disparate information is truly impressive. "Planet of Slums" is a dense book; it's not terribly long, but not a sentence is wasted. And it's obviously heavy subject matter. It will bum you out, but it's a must-read on the topic of developing world cities and the disastrous on-the-ground effects of neo-liberalism.

Currently working on Matt Hern's "Common Ground in a Liquid City: Essays in Defense of an Urban Future." Matt has a PhD in Urban Studies and teaches at UBC. He uses visits to other cities as a jumping off point for essays on the city of Vancouver--which serves as microcosm of many cities that are facing similar issues of affordable housing, interminable high-rise condo development, public space questions, city branding, and urban funkiness, among other things. Really great read so far.
 

stroskey

Cyburbian
Messages
1,212
Points
17
Just finished The Good Soldiers and now starting Broke, USA and Those Who Work and Those Who Don't: Morals in Rural America
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
Currently reading Horatio's Drive. The companion book to the Ken Burns PBS series (that I never saw). Tells the story of a man who was the first to drive an automobile across the country. Bet $50 he could drive from San Francisco to New York within 90 days. This was in back in 1903 when there was only 150 miles of improved road in the entire nation.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
Currently reading Horatio's Drive. The companion book to the Ken Burns PBS series (that I never saw). Tells the story of a man who was the first to drive an automobile across the country. Bet $50 he could drive from San Francisco to New York within 90 days. This was in back in 1903 when there was only 150 miles of improved road in the entire nation.

That's a great book, Maister! I actually used a photo of Bud the dog, who accompanied the man on his journey, as my Cyburbia avatar for awhile. Hmm, maybe it's time to change back...

I just finished a biography of writer/naturalist John Burroughs, and - in a completely different vein - started the new thriller by Linwood Barclay. It should be a good Labor Day weekend read.
 
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Gedunker

Moderating
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
11,852
Points
47
Dear Sarah: Letters Home from an Iron Brigade Soldier is the Civil War correspondence of John H. Pardington to his wife Sarah. Pardington answered the call of Abraham Lincoln for more three-years enlistments and joined the 24th Michigan Regiment United States Volunteers from his hometown of Trenton, MI. The 24th was attached to the Iron Brigade (2nd, 5th, 6th, Wisconsin and 19th Indiana) -- and they would go on to become the 1st Army, 1st Corps, 1st Brigade of the Army of the Potomac (Which is survived today as The Big Red One).

The correspondence covers the period from his enlistment in August 1862 until June 1863, and is a fascinating look at the life of a Union soldier during the war. Corporal Pardington was killed at the battle of Gettysburg, 1 July 1863. His remains were never identified and the family believes he rests in an unmarked grave on the field of fighting from the first day. While that's entirely possible, I prefer to hope that he is in the "unknown" Michigan section at the Gettysburg National Cemetery. The 24th Michigan suffered more than 80% casualties 1 July, highest of any Union regiment during the war.

He left behind his beloved wife Sarah and 13-month old daughter Maria among other family and friends.
 
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RPfresh

Cyburbian
Messages
197
Points
7
Life and Death of Great American Cities all over again - as mindblowing as the first time. Jacobs is a genius.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,937
Points
39
Just starting into "The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim" by Jonathan Coe. He's one of my favourite writers and so far the book has not disappointed.

The only problem with his work (for me) is that I tend to get a bit depressed reading his novels as I inevitably end up identifying strongly with his protagonist and their various mental issues/fantasies.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I just started reading Elmore Leonard's new book Djibouti. After an hour or so of reading it on Friday, I had already gotten through about 100 pages. It's a great, fast read!

Leonard actually lives just a couple of streets over from my house and is giving a writer's workshop at one of the local libraries in a couple of weeks. I am not going to pay the $75 for the workshop, but I may try to ambush him outside of the library on his way in get my book autographed. :p
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Every year the county library picks one book to showcase - The Big Read under the Big Sky - this year it is The Maltese Falcon. The author - Dashiell Hammett was a Pinkerton detective and was involved in some union busting in Butte, Montana. His novel Red Harvest is inspired by that experience. I love Hammett's The Thin Man, as well.

So I read The Maltese Falcon last week. It is a great story that almost everyone is familiar with, having seen the movie with Bogie. What I came away with after reading the book is how closely the movie stays true to the book. The dialogue is much the same - actually mostly lifted straight out of the book. The book lays out the direction of the movie almost step by step. The movie omits one character of the book who really is unimportant to the story anyway. The book's tone is the movie's. The movie only implies the sexual relationship between Spade and Brigid O'Shaunnessy and also only infers that Joel Cairo (Peter Lorre) is a homosexual, while the book makes it very clear.

You couldn't really say the book is better than the movie or vice versa. They are virtually the same.

Now I am reading The Last Picture Show. I've been reading a lot of Larry McMurtry lately.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Now I am reading The Last Picture Show. I've been reading a lot of Larry McMurtry lately.

Also reading a lot of McMurtry. Read all of the Lonesome Dove series (Lonesome Dove, Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon, & Streets of Laredo) this summer. Now looking at either Anything for Billy or Buffalo Girls as possibilities. I may take a break from McMurtry and go back to Michener though. Just ran across The Drifters which is one that I've never read.
 

Howard Roark

Cyburbian
Messages
276
Points
10
"The Alternative Hero" if you were in to alternative music in the late 80's early 90's it does a good job of bringing back memories and tries to capture that moment when alterntive went mainstream after Nirvana
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Also reading a lot of McMurtry. Read all of the Lonesome Dove series (Lonesome Dove, Dead Man's Walk, Comanche Moon, & Streets of Laredo) this summer. Now looking at either Anything for Billy or Buffalo Girls as possibilities. I may take a break from McMurtry and go back to Michener though. Just ran across The Drifters which is one that I've never read.

Keeping my McMurtry string going - with Texasville - the sequel to The Last Picture Show.

I read Buffalo Girls recently. I enjoyed it but it is awfully sad throughout. Guess themes running through McMurtry's work are sadness and loss. The only character who seems to get a kick out of life was Gus McCrea.

Lonesome Dove was an interesting story in so many ways, but I was most struck by McMurtry killing off the most interesting characters - Gus, Deets and Jake.Spoon.

I read Ned and Zeke this summer. I would recommend that one.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Lucky to have a Harcourt rep as a friend. He hands out samples.

Almost done with "The Four-PerCent Universe" by Richard Panek. Very accessible tracing of the history of discovery of "dark matter" by astronomers, and an explanation of why particle physics and astronomy are two sides of the same coin.
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
26,673
Points
70
The book Secret Santa sent to me -
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
by S. C. Gwynne
 

TexanOkie

Cyburbian
Messages
2,903
Points
20
The book Secret Santa sent to me -
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History
by S. C. Gwynne

[OT]Having lived in Oklahoma, I have a huge interest in the Plains Indians and others who were resettled to reservations in then-Indian Territory. If you're ever in Lawton, Oklahoma, you should go to Ft. Sill and check out the Ft. Sill Museum and the Ft. Sill National Cemetery. Parker and other prominent Native Americans are buried there (including Geronimo, Kicking Bird, et. al). You can also visit the Comanche Nation Cultural Center and the Museum of the Great Plains in town. They're one of the few worthwhile things in Lawton aside from the Wichita Mountains. (Apologies to any Lawtonites who might be lurking around.)[/OT]
 

ThePinkPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
365
Points
12
Hunger Games.
The first in a series of 3 by Suzanne Collins. I'm about halfway through, though I couldn't put it down after page 2. The main theme (post-apocalyptic America complete with treacherous rule, add in a little bit of The Running Man and The Most Dangerous Game) has been done time and time again, but the perspective is unique. So far I find it is very well done and quite gripping. Plus, I love a good female protagonist. The library shelves it as young adult, but I find it to be quite mature.
 

smallwine

Cyburbian
Messages
32
Points
2
Reading two at the moment, Passage to India by E.M. Forster and The Image of the City by Kevin Lynch. Ironic (or not) that many of the same issues with urban design Lynch wrote about are still repeated today.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
Working on my life's goals...

Currently reading The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Carson McCullers is up next, followed by The Hobbit and then the LOTR trilogy.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
My son, who is 9, decided he wanted me to read Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley, to him before bed. Written nearly 200 years ago, much of the language is almost foreign. Occasionally I come upon a word rarely used today or even extinct. It is not always easy to read out loud, but it is fun.

The other night I had a good laugh. The book starts with a series of letters written by the narrator to his sister. In the letters he explains how he meets Frankenstein and the "demon". The narrator's effusive devotion to and admiration of Victor Frankenstein, which was not uncommon in literature of that time but unusual in modern literature, caused my son to remark, "That guy is so gay."

It is difficult to school your son on tolerance when you are laughing so hard.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Keeping my McMurtry string going - with Texasville - the sequel to The Last Picture Show.

I read Buffalo Girls recently. I enjoyed it but it is awfully sad throughout. Guess themes running through McMurtry's work are sadness and loss. The only character who seems to get a kick out of life was Gus McCrea.

Lonesome Dove was an interesting story in so many ways, but I was most struck by McMurtry killing off the most interesting characters - Gus, Deets and Jake.Spoon.

I read Ned and Zeke this summer. I would recommend that one.

Read Anything for Billy and didn't think that it was up to McMurtry's usual standards. Then re-read The Last Picture Show in anticipation of reading Texasville. May take a McMurtry break before going there.
 

fringe

Cyburbian
Messages
633
Points
17
Lorrie Moore's novel, "A Gate at the Top of the Stairs".

2009, this is current, excellent fiction by a prose stylist whose work shows up in the New Yorker a lot.
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
Just finished "A City So Grand" by Stephen Puleo. Its about the growth of Boston from 1850-1900. Its a good read and reminds me that Boston wasn't always so closed-minded.
 

ThePinkPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
365
Points
12
Hunger Games.
The first in a series of 3 by Suzanne Collins. I'm about halfway through, though I couldn't put it down after page 2. The main theme (post-apocalyptic America complete with treacherous rule, add in a little bit of The Running Man and The Most Dangerous Game) has been done time and time again, but the perspective is unique. So far I find it is very well done and quite gripping. Plus, I love a good female protagonist. The library shelves it as young adult, but I find it to be quite mature.

I wanted to update my post and say that I finished all three books in the trilogy. I highly recommend them all. I couldn't put them down.
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Rereading the Elenium series from David Eddings, to be followed by the Tamuli series. Each is a three-book series, and are classified as fantasy.

Checked out The Omnivore's Dilemma from the library. I like Michael Pollan's work, and have read several other books of his. The Botany of Desire is on my wait list, too.

I really should try to read more classics/school standards/similar. However, I just can't seem to force myself to read them, since there's no report or presentation due. I read to be entertained or informed. I don't read to get bogged down on literary turns of phrase, or metaphors that mean something that I can't understand.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
Rereading the Elenium series from David Eddings, to be followed by the Tamuli series. Each is a three-book series, and are classified as fantasy.

I read a bunch of David Eddings a long time ago. Belgariad, I think? Same author, but newer stuff? I remember I liked it.
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I started Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Graham-Smith over the weekend. I wanted something a bit lighter and more fun before I dive into all the Saramago that I've got waiting for me on my bookshelf.

So far, so good.
 
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