Doing any recreational reading? v.5.8

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Shnicky-Poo
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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

agedgruel wrote: Hyperbole much?

What war isn't?


Not many wars kill millions of people.
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ScifiterX
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Post by ScifiterX »

I can think of a few

Crusades
The Hundred Years War
The Thirty Years War
Red Eyebrows Revolt
Three Kingdoms
An Lushan Revolt
Fall of the Yuan Dynasty
Fall of the Ming Dynasty
Many of Gengis Khan's Battles
Many of Timur the Lame's battles
Russian Civil War
WWI
WWII
Taiping Rebellion
Conquest of the Americas
Muslim Conquest of India
The Fall of Rome

And those are just the bigger ones (more than 5 million)
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Post by rjprice »

I finished "Shop Class as Soulcraft". It got a bit better by the end of the second chapter but pretty much stuck to Seinfeldian philosophical analysis. OK, but nothing terribly original or insightful, some amusing anecdotes. Not bad, and worth reading if you if you are curious why it is OK to actually work for a living.

Next I read Kristin Kimball's, "The Dirty Life". Well written and a pretty quick read. Very, very good, especially if you like food. Like Shop Class as Soulcraft, this was recommended by my brother. It brought up some childhood memories we would both rather have forgotten but even so, quite worth reading. Highly recommended.

Right now I'm working on a murder mystery, "Armistice", by Nick Stafford. Seems OK so far, if you don't mind the whole breathlessly overwrought Edwardian gestalt.
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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

ScifiterX wrote: I can think of a few

Crusades
The Hundred Years War
The Thirty Years War
Red Eyebrows Revolt
Three Kingdoms
An Lushan Revolt
Fall of the Yuan Dynasty
Fall of the Ming Dynasty
Many of Gengis Khan's Battles
Many of Timur the Lame's battles
Russian Civil War
WWI
WWII
Taiping Rebellion
Conquest of the Americas
Muslim Conquest of India
The Fall of Rome

And those are just the bigger ones (more than 5 million)



I count two items on that list that included the United States as a participant. Appreciate the non sequitur, tho.
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Post by ScifiterX »

I count three WWI, WWII, Conquest of the Americas.The American Civil War had just over 1 million dead if you count civilians. Estimates for Vietnam are around 2 to 4 million and over a million dead in the Korean War.
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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

So the Vietnam War was run of the mill? Is that your point? If so, it's a pretty idiotic point.
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Post by ScifiterX »

No war is run of the mill but few are not bloodbaths.
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Post by dv »

Shnicky-Poo wrote:
ScifiterX wrote: I can think of a few

Crusades
The Hundred Years War
The Thirty Years War
Red Eyebrows Revolt
Three Kingdoms
An Lushan Revolt
Fall of the Yuan Dynasty
Fall of the Ming Dynasty
Many of Gengis Khan's Battles
Many of Timur the Lame's battles
Russian Civil War
WWI
WWII
Taiping Rebellion
Conquest of the Americas
Muslim Conquest of India
The Fall of Rome

And those are just the bigger ones (more than 5 million)



I count two items on that list that included the United States as a participant. Appreciate the non sequitur, tho.


Canada was involved in WWI/II longer than the US and has almost as bad a record with First Nations. Appreciate the sanctimony though.
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Post by rjprice »

The Day The Falls Stood Still, by Cathy Marie Buchanan

Very good. If you like Margaret Laurence this will appeal to you. Highly recommended.
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I read The Accidental Tourist while on my business trip outside Atlanta. Seemed very appropriate.

When I got home I watched the 1988 movie starring William Hurt and Geena Davis again.
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Post by justine »

Steve Jobs
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Post by Ribtor »

The Enemies of Rome: From Hannibal to Attila the Hun
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Post by Ribtor »

The Great Crash, 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith.
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Return to the Little Kingdom: How Apple and Steve Jobs Changed the World

I was reading Kanfer's biography of Groucho, but got sad when it started discussing people losing money in the Depression.
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Post by mmaverick »

Just started into a few Neil gaiman books. First neverwhere, then anansi boys, now American gods.
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Post by rjprice »

Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World

My brother gave me this book at least 10 years ago. I've read it several times and it never gets boring.

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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

Currently reading a classic history of the Great Depression, written about 30 years ago but updated to include a comparison with the Depression and the 2008 crash.
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Post by StaticAge »

I just started reading the Song of Ice and Fire series. Havent seen the tv show based on it, but I was meaning to get into the books for a while. I like it so far.
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Post by mmaverick »

It starts off great. The first two are some of the best fantasy books I've ever read. I really hope the next one isn't as much of a disappointment as dance was.
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Post by rjprice »

Hitler's Great Panzer Heist: Germany's Foreign Armor in Action, 1939-45

Kind of interesting but pretty general, not much detail.
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Post by sturner »

Reading Charlaine Harris' series starting with Grave Sight.

Pure recreational caca. Light, fast, and entertaining.
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Post by dv »

rjprice wrote: Hitler's Great Panzer Heist: Germany's Foreign Armor in Action, 1939-45

Kind of interesting but pretty general, not much detail.


World Of Tanks has this stuff - a lot of the lower-tier german tanks are actually Czech and French. Likewise some of the Soviet tanks are British Lend Lease. (Like the Churchill.)
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Post by justine »

sturner wrote: Reading Charlaine Harris' series starting with Grave Sight.

Pure recreational caca. Light, fast, and entertaining.

I loved the (Harper Connolly) series! I wish there were more.
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Post by rjprice »

dv wrote:
rjprice wrote: Hitler's Great Panzer Heist: Germany's Foreign Armor in Action, 1939-45

Kind of interesting but pretty general, not much detail.


World Of Tanks has this stuff - a lot of the lower-tier german tanks are actually Czech and French. Likewise some of the Soviet tanks are British Lend Lease. (Like the Churchill.)


I guess this book seems a bit skimpy on detail because I am already reasonably familiar with the subject matter after years of research in school and for model building. Now that I am almost done I will say there is some good general background stuff I was not familiar with. I was hoping for more and greater detail on design and technical aspects of the various tanks and what not and especially would like to have seen more and better pictures. In the latter case I guess I've been spoiled by some of the specialty books published by Squadron/Signal for the scale model hobby industry.
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Post by rjprice »

I finished Hitler's Great Panzer heist during chemo today and started A Child al Confino: The True Story of a Jewish Boy and His Mother in Mussolini’s Italy. I'm only 60 or 70 pages into it but this is a really good book so far, enough so that I'll recommend it even at this early stage in the story - I'm still in 1938 at this point.
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Post by rjprice »

The Phoenix by Henning Beotius

Not bad, a fairly light read. Yet another in the endless string of Hindenburg conspiracy stories. Well written and engaging, with couple of quirky twists but pretty standard stuff overall.



A Casual Brutality by Neal Bissoondath

Not very exciting but kind of interesting, with a grinding sense of menace and foreboding. Like the Phoenix this book tells a pretty standard story - increasingly brutal oppression on a Caribbean island during its post colonial era - but this topic has not been written to death like the Hindenburg so there is something about it that seems new, even if it really isn't.
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Post by Donkey Butter »

Ender in Exile - Orson Scott Card

only a few chapters in right now. it's supposed to tell the story of Ender after "Ender's Game" and before "Speaker for the Dead"
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Post by justine »

I just haven't felt like reading at all, lately. I'm still reading the Steve Jobs book. It's not that it isn't interesting. It is. I just don't feel like resding.

Waiting in the wings at the top of the list are:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
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Post by StaticAge »

mmaverick wrote: It starts off great. The first two are some of the best fantasy books I've ever read. I really hope the next one isn't as much of a disappointment as dance was.

I liked the first three excellent, I'm halfway through the fourth and its not bad but like too much of nothing happening. Its like Inuyasha or something.
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Post by sturner »

Reading all of the Clone series by Stephen Kent.

And finished "An Army at Dawn, The Warfare in North Africa, 1942-1943" by Rick Atkinson.
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Post by mmaverick »

I've been reading the gallic wars again. it's pretty interesting, though I imagine it would be laughably inaccurate to someone who was there. :looks at sturner:
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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

Armageddon: The Battle for Germany, 1944-1945

Well written, quite polemical. For instance talking about how the Western allies proceeded sluggishly against the Germans, who in the fall and winter of 1944-45 were always able to stop them with few resources because the Allies were very reluctant to take casualties. Meanwhile the Germans and Soviets ware perfectly willing to take on piles of casualties.


Also that our infantry divisions were pathetically undertrained and badly led (and our armoured divisions equipped with tanks that were totally outclassed by the Germans).

Anyway, it's interesting.
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A Confederacy of Dunces

Next, I'll read The Neon Bible when I can locate my copy.

I've heard that attempts has been made over the years to make a movie of Dunces, but it always falls through. One version had John Belushi as Ignatius and Richard Pryor as Jones.

Other people considered for Ignatius later were John Candy and Chris Farley.
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Post by sturner »

mmaverick wrote: I've been reading the gallic wars again. it's pretty interesting, though I imagine it would be laughably inaccurate to someone who was there. :looks at sturner:

Well, it's heavily self-serving to Julius.

He wasn't that good of a tactician or strategist, but he was a helluva politician. And he had bad breath because of all the garlic he liked to eat.
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Post by mmaverick »

sturner wrote:
mmaverick wrote: I've been reading the gallic wars again. it's pretty interesting, though I imagine it would be laughably inaccurate to someone who was there. :looks at sturner:

Well, it's heavily self-serving to Julius.

He wasn't that good of a tactician or strategist, but he was a helluva politician. And he had bad breath because of all the garlic he liked to eat.


I had to check to make sure I didn't write garlic wars.
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Post by Ribtor »

Read for the umpteenth time The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes.

But I always launch into fits of giggles every time Watson is described as "ejaculating". And he does that quite often.
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Ribtor wrote: Read for the umpteenth time The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes.

But I always launch into fits of giggles every time Watson is described as "ejaculating". And he does that quite often.

It's quite the sticky wicket, what?

I've got a nice 2-volume hardcover set that's in my queue for lunchtime reading.
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Post by Ribtor »

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base
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Post by Shnicky-Poo »

Ribtor wrote: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base


Is that the recent one? Which said Roswell was a Soviet intel op? How are you liking it?
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Post by Ribtor »

Shnicky-Poo wrote:
Ribtor wrote: Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base


Is that the recent one? Which said Roswell was a Soviet intel op? How are you liking it?


Well...

Much of what she writes is already well known. The details of the development of the spy planes, the infighting between the CIA, the Air force and the Department of Energy is interesting, some is new, but not terribly surprising.

The real scandals involve the cavalier attitude to the nuclear testing nearby. Also the privatised secrecy with the lies and the deceptions being so over the top. The lies were not so much to throw off the Soviets and Chinese as to keep Americans (congress in particular) in the dark. The Chinese and Soviets knew very well what was going on. They were the ones dealing with the products of Area 51 after all. The overflights. They were shooting them down, more than once.

The very close relationship that Kelly Johnson of Lockheed had with the CIA and the Airforce is detailed. That's a bit fascinating.

Nothing really new. Real "Discovery Channel" stuff.

The claim about Stalin deliberately crashing an experimental Horton Brothers flying wing type aircraft at Roswell is an old story and almost certainly falls in the category of deliberate deception. It's not clear why a woman who has done so much research would, seemingly, be so accepting of this kind of story.

The flaws in the book are almost its undoing.

I give it a meh+
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