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Anyone read any good books recently?


 

I just finished Red Plenty, which I loved. Review to come at some point. Anyone read anything good lately?


 
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Anyone read any good books recently?

  1. 'Snow' by Ohran Pamuk was terrific. I'm off to Turkey in a couple of days and read it in anticipation of the trip. I didn't know what to expect but I can vouch for the fact that his Nobel was well-deserved.

  2. 'Snow' by Ohran Pamuk was terrific. I'm off to Turkey in a couple of days and read it in anticipation of the trip. I didn't know what to expect but I can vouch for the fact that his Nobel was well-deserved.

    • "Snow" and "Istanbul" are both sitting on my shelf, awaiting for some distant trip to Turkey. ave fun.

      • Oooh. I strongly suggest reading Istanbul before going there. It will make you fall in love with the city and its people.

  3. I have become comfortable with the emerging fact that, at this stage in my life at least, I prefer long-form journal articles from leading print publications to novels and book-length journalism/non-fiction. I felt guilty about this at first (part of the reason I'm currently barrelling through "Too Big to Fail," whose technicality can be trying but overall is riveting), but have come to terms with it.

    I must be the last aspiring intellectual over 25 to have discovered how phenomenal and rare is the New York Review of Books, as many back issues of which as possible I am currently scavenging. It is endlessly stimulating, full of immense knowledge, and extremely wide-ranging. A recent jeopardy champion (not a pinnacle of scholarship, but notable) cited the NYRB as nearly the sole reason for his quiz-show success. When Bob Silvers is gone, I will very dearly be hoping that whoever takes his place will continue its mission; my wish is, with its 45+-year legacy, it will be impossible not to.

  4. I have become comfortable with the emerging fact that, at this stage in my life at least, I prefer long-form journal articles from leading print publications to novels and book-length journalism/non-fiction. I felt guilty about this at first (part of the reason I'm currently barrelling through "Too Big to Fail," whose technicality can be trying but overall is riveting), but have come to terms with it.

    I must be the last aspiring intellectual over 25 to have discovered how phenomenal and rare is the New York Review of Books, as many back issues of which as possible I am currently scavenging. It is endlessly stimulating, full of immense knowledge, and extremely wide-ranging. A recent jeopardy champion (not a pinnacle of scholarship, but notable) cited the NYRB as nearly the sole reason for his quiz-show success. When Bob Silvers is gone, I will very dearly be hoping that whoever takes his place will continue its mission; my wish is, with its 45+-year legacy, it will be impossible not to.

  5. Depends on who's asking and if I want to appear more erudite or plebian.

    I like to read fiction/non fiction at same time and just finished two books I quite enjoyed but were very different in tone. P Blom's A Wicked Company and the fiction was J R Lansdale's first Hap and Leonard novel (can't remember title now).

  6. Depends on who's asking and if I want to appear more erudite or plebian.

    I like to read fiction/non fiction at same time and just finished two books I quite enjoyed but were very different in tone. P Blom's A Wicked Company and the fiction was J R Lansdale's first Hap and Leonard novel (can't remember title now).

    • I'm a huge fan of Blom — I started A Wicked Company last fall but put it down. I thought Encyclopedie was great.

      • Enlgihtening World was terrific. Read it last year and made me look into Blom's other books.

        Encyclopedie and Wicked Company overlapped a bit. Is that why you didn't finish Wicked or just not interested?

        • Partly the overlap, partly I just got waylaid as one does with other books.

        • I think I've read Blom's Encyclopedie, and I remember liking it.

  7. "Snow" and "Istanbul" are both sitting on my shelf, awaiting for some distant trip to Turkey. ave fun.

  8. I'm a huge fan of Blom — I started A Wicked Company last fall but put it down. I thought Encyclopedie was great.

  9. I'm working my way through Robert Sawyer's collection. Just finished Calculating God, which is not his best writing. Fortunately, the ideas explored in the book are interesting enough to overcome its weak spots.

  10. I'm working my way through Robert Sawyer's collection. Just finished Calculating God, which is not his best writing. Fortunately, the ideas explored in the book are interesting enough to overcome its weak spots.

    • I never could get into Sawyer. I just find his writing just bad — decent ideas, but it's like reading someone who is learning to write.

  11. Enlgihtening World was terrific. Read it last year and made me look into Blom's other books.

    Encyclopedie and Wicked Company overlapped a bit. Is that why you didn't finish Wicked or just not interested?

  12. Partly the overlap, partly I just got waylaid as one does with other books.

  13. I never could get into Sawyer. I just find his writing just bad — decent ideas, but it's like reading someone who is learning to write.

  14. Terry Fallis – The Best Laid Plans…..

  15. Terry Fallis – The Best Laid Plans…..

  16. "The GIrls of Slender Means" by Muriel Spark. Also "Spiderman loves Mary-Jane". I'm also finishing Galbraith's "The Great Crash 1929" which is amusing and accessible.

  17. "The GIrls of Slender Means" by Muriel Spark. Also "Spiderman loves Mary-Jane". I'm also finishing Galbraith's "The Great Crash 1929" which is amusing and accessible.

  18. The German Genius, When China Rules the world, and I'm just starting The Collapse of Complex Societies.

    In between I read Star Trek novels for fun. My family claims I have the largest collection in Canada….LOL

  19. The German Genius, When China Rules the world, and I'm just starting The Collapse of Complex Societies.

    In between I read Star Trek novels for fun. My family claims I have the largest collection in Canada….LOL

  20. I read a lot. But at this point in my life I can't afford to buy as many books as I would like
    to read. So, I'm re-reading the books on my shelves .. some of which I last touched 40
    years ago. Currently going through Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy. Interesting how much
    I thought I remembered I remembered wrong. Also interesting that although victory was
    declared in 1864, large parts of the US are still fighting on.
    Other books I've read many times .. John McPhee's writing is so enlightening and clear that
    I re-read him regularly. I bought most of his books at the U of A bookstore in the mid 80's.
    And, I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance on an annual basis … the ending is
    so sad it moves me every time.

  21. I read a lot. But at this point in my life I can't afford to buy as many books as I would like
    to read. So, I'm re-reading the books on my shelves .. some of which I last touched 40
    years ago. Currently going through Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy. Interesting how much
    I thought I remembered I remembered wrong. Also interesting that although victory was
    declared in 1864, large parts of the US are still fighting on.
    Other books I've read many times .. John McPhee's writing is so enlightening and clear that
    I re-read him regularly. I bought most of his books at the U of A bookstore in the mid 80's.
    And, I read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainance on an annual basis … the ending is
    so sad it moves me every time.

  22. Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits by Jason Wilson

    It's a quick read. Some parts are a little annoying as he cam be pretentious at times but not so pretentious as he makes fun of those who spend thousands on cognac and such. The history and tradition of making liquor and cocktails and how companies market booze as being "authentic" is interesting.

  23. Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits by Jason Wilson

    It's a quick read. Some parts are a little annoying as he cam be pretentious at times but not so pretentious as he makes fun of those who spend thousands on cognac and such. The history and tradition of making liquor and cocktails and how companies market booze as being "authentic" is interesting.

  24. The Savage City by TJ English – Good stuff, NYC from 1963-1973 with corrupt cops and race issues, etc

  25. The Savage City by TJ English – Good stuff, NYC from 1963-1973 with corrupt cops and race issues, etc

    • Also, Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death – This is really interesting stuff if your interested in organizational behaviour and the breakdown of a command struture

      • I've pretty much OD'd on post 9/11 terrorism/war/geopolitics, but this looks interesting.

  26. Just finished Falling Man by Don DeLillo and The Ask by Sam Lipsyte. I'm not sure 'love' is quite the word I'd use for either, but I'm glad I read them. Currently working on The Female of the Species by Joyce Carol Oates. Public library, YES!

  27. Just finished Falling Man by Don DeLillo and The Ask by Sam Lipsyte. I'm not sure 'love' is quite the word I'd use for either, but I'm glad I read them. Currently working on The Female of the Species by Joyce Carol Oates. Public library, YES!

  28. Also, Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death – This is really interesting stuff if your interested in organizational behaviour and the breakdown of a command struture

  29. I am almost through "Katherine Graham – a Personal History" – the autobiography of the legendary Washington Post publisher – it is a fascinating read – not new – in fact, she died in 2001 – but a brilliant read.

    Incidently, pre and during the Watergate chapters Graham spends time describing Nixon's assault on the "Eastern Elitist Media" – and really showed that despite Nixon's downfall, the assault was pretty effective. There are parallels to Harper's tight leash and the GOP's attack on the MSM.

    Overall, the book is fascinating.

  30. I am almost through "Katherine Graham – a Personal History" – the autobiography of the legendary Washington Post publisher – it is a fascinating read – not new – in fact, she died in 2001 – but a brilliant read.

    Incidently, pre and during the Watergate chapters Graham spends time describing Nixon's assault on the "Eastern Elitist Media" – and really showed that despite Nixon's downfall, the assault was pretty effective. There are parallels to Harper's tight leash and the GOP's attack on the MSM.

    Overall, the book is fascinating.

  31. Maclean's reviewed a novel in the April 4 issueabout a young Nigerian boy and the story of his migration to England. I can't remember the title or author. I searched the web site and I can't find anything about it. Does any one know it?

  32. Maclean's reviewed a novel in the April 4 issueabout a young Nigerian boy and the story of his migration to England. I can't remember the title or author. I searched the web site and I can't find anything about it. Does any one know it?

  33. Great question. There're a lot of interesting must-reads in the comments so far. Keep 'em coming!

    After a few years of keeping current, I've been re-reading Ross Macdonald's crime novels such as The Drowning Pool, The Galton Case and The Barbarous Coast. Damn he's good. Not just as a genre stylist, but also as a social commentator.

    I was also given a yellowed copy of Joyce Carol Oates' book-form essay, On Boxing. It's insightful and surprisingly personal. Also, as it was written in 1987, a lot of the contemporary references are to fights I watched while in high school. That one was probably the most unexpectedly rewarding piece.

    Next up (non-fiction) is Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

  34. Great question. There're a lot of interesting must-reads in the comments so far. Keep 'em coming!

    After a few years of keeping current, I've been re-reading Ross Macdonald's crime novels such as The Drowning Pool, The Galton Case and The Barbarous Coast. Damn he's good. Not just as a genre stylist, but also as a social commentator.

    I was also given a yellowed copy of Joyce Carol Oates' book-form essay, On Boxing. It's insightful and surprisingly personal. Also, as it was written in 1987, a lot of the contemporary references are to fights I watched while in high school. That one was probably the most unexpectedly rewarding piece.

    Next up (non-fiction) is Guy Kawasaki's Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

  35. I've pretty much OD'd on post 9/11 terrorism/war/geopolitics, but this looks interesting.

  36. In Fantasy Genre, reading the last book of The Malazan Book of the Fallen (book 10) named The Cripppled God By Canadian, Steven Erikson. By far the most complex series I have ever read. Amazing detail.

  37. In Fantasy Genre, reading the last book of The Malazan Book of the Fallen (book 10) named The Cripppled God By Canadian, Steven Erikson. By far the most complex series I have ever read. Amazing detail.

  38. Bad Science by doctor Ben Goldacre is a good read. He debunks pseudo science with the same rage he uses in is weekly column in the Guardian.

  39. Bad Science by doctor Ben Goldacre is a good read. He debunks pseudo science with the same rage he uses in is weekly column in the Guardian.

  40. I think I've read Blom's Encyclopedie, and I remember liking it.

  41. Strangers on the Land: American Perceptions of Immigrant and Invasive Species by Peter Coates and Invasion Biology: critique of a Pseudoscience by David Theodoropoulus. Both good looks at the xenophobia and subjectivity at the heart of our valuation of the 'native', possibly at the expense of long term ecological and adaptive processes…Touches on the notion of "authentic ecologies" which is implicit in a nativist approach….

  42. Strangers on the Land: American Perceptions of Immigrant and Invasive Species by Peter Coates and Invasion Biology: critique of a Pseudoscience by David Theodoropoulus. Both good looks at the xenophobia and subjectivity at the heart of our valuation of the 'native', possibly at the expense of long term ecological and adaptive processes…Touches on the notion of "authentic ecologies" which is implicit in a nativist approach….

  43. Oooh. I strongly suggest reading Istanbul before going there. It will make you fall in love with the city and its people.

  44. Griftopia by Matt Taibbi was an expectedly astute and depressing account of the financial crisis. *sigh*

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