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

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
Breezed through Moloka'i by Alan Brennert this weekend. Touching fictional account of life in a tropical leper colony.

Started Bayou Farewell by Mike Tidwell. Hopefully will be an informative account of Cajun life and the impact of subsidence and coastal degradation on the Cajun culture. So far it seems very basic. "You mean the land is sinking?" "Why, yes."
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. Wow. I couldn't put it down. The true story of Louis Zamperini: juvenile delinquent, Olympic runner, airman, POW, and the return from war.

RJ asked recently why I'm reading so much non-fiction lately when it's usually not my thing. I guess it's a combination of not much coming out in fiction that excites me, and a plethora of excellent reviews of recent non-fiction that wouldn't bore me silly (like political crap).
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I just finished Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. It won all sorts of awards last year as one of the best works of fiction and I really enjoyed it. There have been a lot of comparisons of it made to 1984 and I think rightly so but Super Sad True Love Story was considerably more humorous and seems a lot more relevant to those of us in Generation X/Generation Y or those who get too wrapped up in the technology and social networking. I don't think the author was necessarily knocking technology though.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I just finished Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart. It won all sorts of awards last year as one of the best works of fiction and I really enjoyed it. There have been a lot of comparisons of it made to 1984 and I think rightly so but Super Sad True Love Story was considerably more humorous and seems a lot more relevant to those of us in Generation X/Generation Y or those who get too wrapped up in the technology and social networking. I don't think the author was necessarily knocking technology though.

I loved that book! I just read it a few weeks ago. Shteyngart seems like an interesting guy... I've seen a couple of interviews with him (and he has a FB page that's pretty funny - http://www.facebook.com/shteyngart).
 

WSU MUP Student

Cyburbian
Messages
11,251
Points
52
I loved that book! I just read it a few weeks ago. Shteyngart seems like an interesting guy... I've seen a couple of interviews with him (and he has a FB page that's pretty funny - http://www.facebook.com/shteyngart).

I've heard a few interviews with him and he always came across as a pretty funny guy. That's what made me want to read this in the first place.

I'm now planning to stop at the library on my way home from work and pick up The Russian Debutante's Handbook which is supposed to be slightly less serious and more funny.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
Jill Conner Browne's "American Thighs: The Sweet Potato Queens' Guide to Preserving Your Assets". No, it's not about finances. It's for women "of a certain age" (and I guess I'm there...) and hits on a gazillion topics from a Southern perspective (the SP Queens is a humor series of books) and I was dying laughing.

Next up "Swamplandia" by Karen Russell, a novel about a young girl growing up in a gator-wrestling theme park in the Everglades. It's gotten lots of good reviews.
 

kms

Cyburbian
Messages
6,868
Points
45
I'm reading We're Just Like You, Only Prettier, Confessions of a Southern Belle by Celia Rivenbark. She is a humor writer, much like Dave Barry, and I'm laughin out loud at some parts..
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast by Douglas Brinkley

I thought it would be fitting with the anniversary of Katrina approaching. It is enlightening and depressing to read about the level of incompetence and how the US doesn't seem to care about the wetland loss.
 

Planit

Cyburbian
Messages
14,255
Points
57
Right now I'm in the middle of Star Island by Carl Hiaasen.

Another true to form CH classic. It's a good read during lunch.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
That Dark and Bloody River by Allan W. Eckart. Historical novel about the Ohio River Valley and particularly, the pre- and post-Revolutionary War conflicts of white migration and Native American displacement.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
"A Discovery of Witches" by Deborah Harkness. I got bored with the Charlaine Harris vampire series; loved Harry Potter; love Rick Riordan's (YA books) Olympus books. This one is looking like a big fat mystery with tension between a witch and a vampire in Oxford, England. Couple hundred pages in, can't put it down.
 

UrbaneSprawler

Cyburbian
Messages
444
Points
13
Finished last week The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and as others have said, very good. Started reading the ESPN story Those Guys Have All the Fun, can't stand how it reads like an interview of 20 different people thus far, may give up on it.

Started reading Charles Mann's 1493, the prologue has me very excited.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
"Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West" by Dorothy Wickenden. The story of two best friends from NY state, Smith College grads, who weren't ready to settle down and get married, and accepted teaching positions in an outpost in Colorado in1916, when it was still pretty much a frontier. A good read.
 

Joe Iliff

Reformed City Planner
Messages
1,435
Points
29
In the past two weeks, I've finished The Grace of God by Andy Stanley, Love and Respect by Emerson Eggerichs, and Return to Sawyerton Springs by Andy Andrews. I'd been reading all these off-and-on for a while, so it is good to put them to bed and move on.

Next, I've got The 360° Leader by John Maxwell and Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
Started reading Charles Mann's 1493, the prologue has me very excited.

I picked this up last week and will start it in the next few days. I was hoping to find his first book about pre-columbus America, but couldn't.

In the meantime, reading Lee Childs' newest Jack Reacher novel, "The Affair". Good thing it's a long book; waiting around for the pool pump repair people to show up.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
I just finished reading a terrifically entertaining novel called The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer. I don't read a lot of novels - I picked this one up at the library - but I'll have to look for more books by this writer.

Next up: The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century, by Scott Miller. The author was on The Daily Show awhile back.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
"Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly; normally I would read nothing by this nutjob; but this is a factual historical account. Quick read. New stuff I never knew: 87 soldiers drowned in the Maryland swamps searching for John Wilkes Booth.
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
"Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly; normally I would read nothing by this nutjob; but this is a factual historical account. Quick read. New stuff I never knew: 87 soldiers drowned in the Maryland swamps searching for John Wilkes Booth.

If you haven't exhausted your interest in this topic, try Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Excellent. I listened to this book on CD during a long car trip a few years back, and I almost couldn't wait to get back into the car for more!
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
I just finished The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender. It was interesting but I'm still not quite sure what happened at the end.

I picked up Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury today. Time to knock another classic off the list.
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
30,148
Points
74
Picked up Alan Axelrod's Profiles In Folly. Lots of stories about bad decisions made by leaders throughout history and the contributing factors leading up to those fateful decisions (or in some cases indecisions). Stories range from the decision to allow the horse into Troy, France's reliance on the Maginot Line as their ultimate defense, Custer's attack at Little Bighorn, to the Watergate break-in.
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,702
Points
26
browsing the nonfiction stacks - maybe already mentioned....

The Seventeen Traditions - Ralph Nader -
Why 17? hrmm, but it's a little book of family values based on his old fashioned, socially conscious, traditional neighborhood upbringing -

Born to rule, five reigning consorts, granddaughters of Queen Victoria -Julia Gelardi

The lucky or not so lucky ones, Queens of Spain, Norway, Greece, Romania and Russia - some ended ujp in exile, one assassinated, the titles and intertwining royal lines is a lttle dizzying. Fascinating history, with personal accounts of family life, and their turbulent times.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,877
Points
57
Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero by Cicero.

The similarities between ancient Rome and modern United States are truly frightening. I hope we don’t have the same end result.
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
I picked up Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury today. Time to knock another classic off the list.

No one has ever agreed with me, but I preferred As I Lay Dying, we'll have to see if you're one of the few, or only;)

Apparently I picked up and then put down The Sound and the Fury. When I got home I realized I had checked out Light in August instead. :r: Oh well. It is also on the list.

I'll let you know my thoughts on As I Lay Dying. I read Absalom! Absalom! a few years ago and remember being kind of confused as to what occurred. That seems to be happening a lot lately. :-|:not:
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
"In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin" by Erik Larson.

So far, the appointment of a thrifty college professor as Roosevelt's ambassador to Berlin in 1933, along with Hitler's ascension and the political sensitivities of the day.
 

ursus

Cyburbian, raised by Cyburbians
Messages
5,070
Points
25
Apparently I picked up and then put down The Sound and the Fury. When I got home I realized I had checked out Light in August instead. :r: Oh well. It is also on the list.

I'll let you know my thoughts on As I Lay Dying. I read Absalom! Absalom! a few years ago and remember being kind of confused as to what occurred. That seems to be happening a lot lately. :-|:not:

You can't give up on Faulkner. He's the greatest of them all, I read the first 200 pages of Absalom! Absalom!, finally realized what was going on and went back to the beginning. There are too many narrative voices going on, but once you're good at parsing them out from each other the stories are incredible. And HomerJ is wrong, As I Lay Dying is not the best, Light In August is. ;)
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
I am reading, to my son, Puddinhead Wilson, one of Mark Twain's most overlooked works. Every bit as controversial as Huckleberry Finn in its use of the n-word, race relations and a study of nature vs nuture. Toss in dozens of witticism (Puddinhead Wilson's Calendar), switched babies, burglaries, a murder and a hero that everyone under-estimates, and you have a great read.
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
Serge is back!

Tim Dorsey's "When Elves Attack". My favorite serial killer and his pal Coleman celebrate the holidays in Tampa, and the usual mayhem ensues.:D
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
John Grisham's "The Litigators". His books always make me glad I never became an attorney as my dad hoped I would. Shudders.....
 

Mud Princess

Cyburbian
Messages
4,895
Points
27
Just finished Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide. I had borrowed it from the library for my cycling-enthusiast spouse; after he was done, he said he thought that I would enjoy the book as well. And I did - you don't have to be a cyclist to enjoy British author Paul Howard's wit and humor (pardon me, that should be humour) as he rides through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, stopping in an assortment of towns along the way.
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,877
Points
57
This past week, it was Freedom Shift by Oliver DeMille. Great book about the historical shifts in the direction of a country once every 100 years (or so) and how for the first time in recorded history, we are about to embark on a global shift that will end real badly unless there is a substantial change in American society as many more of our freedoms will be taken. He also goes into detail on what needs to be done to stop the force shift and move it in the direction of a freedom shift.

Without question, one of the best books that I have read in a while.
 

Whose Yur Planner

Cyburbian
Messages
12,006
Points
46
Reading Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I saw all three of the movies and decided to start reading the books. It's pretty good so far, but the focus is different than in the movie.
 

UrbaneSprawler

Cyburbian
Messages
444
Points
13
Reading the Steve Jobs biography, up to Chapter 17. Good read in that it seems to portray Jobs in a very honest light.
 

wahday

Cyburbian
Messages
3,959
Points
23
Just started Malcolm Gladwell's "Outliers" on the plane. Well, tried to - only got through the prologue. The Texan Wilford Brimley look alike that sat next to me really REALLY wanted to chat me up. Its not often that I fly alone and this was a rare opportunity for me. But he was an interesting guy and I got into the book last night, so its all good. Very interesting read.
 

Seabishop

Cyburbian
Messages
3,832
Points
25
I haven't kept up with this thread so here are the last several over the past year or so:

Just got Andre Dubus II - Selected Short Stories
Andre Dubus III - Townie
Kafka - the Metamorphasis
Jonathan Safran Foer - Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Cormac McCarthy - The Road
David Mitchell - Ghostwritten
Joseph Braude - The Honored Dead
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Joseph Heller - Catch 22 (hated it and quit partway)
Charles C. Mann - 1491
David Grann - Lost City of Z
Tony Horwitz - A Voyage Long and Strange
 

Zoning Goddess

Cyburbian
Messages
13,843
Points
40
V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton. Another in the Kinsey Milhone series and one I will pay for on Kindle, instead of waiting for a library copy.

JNA, you see the new Anna P is out in January?
 

michaelskis

Cyburbian
Messages
20,877
Points
57
Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill. It is amazing to me how many of the principles are still relevant today, but lost to most of America.
 

otterpop

Cyburbian
Messages
6,655
Points
28
Kafka on the Shore

I am reading Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami, which I am enjoying. It is an odd sort of book. There are several narrative threads running parallel in the story and my favorite is the simple-minded old man who can talk to cats and they and he understand each other.
 

Gotta Speakup

Cyburbian
Messages
1,454
Points
21
I just finished The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach (baseball and Melville mixed together!)

Now I'm starting The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (Derrida and punk rock!)
 

dandy_warhol

Cyburbian
Messages
10,199
Points
52
Currently reading:

V for Vendetta by Moore

Light in August by Faulkner

Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain


recently finished:

In the Sanctuary of Outcasts by Neil White - interesting story of Carville - the last leprosarium in the US that also doubles as a Louisiana State Prison.
 

Masswich

Cyburbian
Messages
1,303
Points
23
Rereading some old sci-fi favorites. I am inclined towards Arthur C Clarke, in part because his stories are often in the less-distant future and are slightly more realistic than many. For example, often interplanetary travel is still a big deal, and he generally didn't believe we'd get past the speed of light anytime in the next 10,000 years.

Specific books I recommend for planners:

Imperial Earth, in which I noticed this time around that people seemed to have iPhones/PDA's, a pretty visionary idea for something written in 1976.
The Songs of Distant Earth, where a planet colonized a few hundred years ago is visited by another group on their way to colonize a more distant planet. Interesting ideas about how a society is planned from scratch
 

Salmissra

Cyburbian
Messages
6,287
Points
35
Just finished New Amsterdam by Elizabeth Bear. Sci-fi in a slightly different American colonial era. For example, in 1902 New Amsterdam is a colony of the English, and war is breaking out. There are magicians (certified, trained, and ranked), vampyres, and gas lamps are a new thing. Interesting read, and provides a thought-provoking look at what could-have-been in the colonies in terms of politics.
 

ofos

Vintage Cyburbian
Messages
8,278
Points
28
Just finished reading Michener's Caravan, set in post WWII Afghanistan. Decent read, primarily because he was so good at providing historical background that is still really relevant to understanding the country as it is today.

Now I'm jumping back into the classics. Just picked up a paperback copy of Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper. I try to read at least one of the old ones each year. Last year it was Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.
 
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