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Note: I will not be around this morning, but will be back in the early afternoon.  

For those who are new ... we discuss books.  I list what I'm reading, and people comment with what they're reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

If you like to trade books, try bookmooch

I've written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:
Book reviews on Yahoo

Book Readers schedule

Readers & Book Lovers Series Schedule

DAY TIME (EST/EDT) Series Name Editor(s)
SUN 6:00 PM Young Reader's Pavilion The Book Bear
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
MON 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
Tue 10:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (third each month, beginning 9/20) 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 4:00 PM Daily Kos Political Book Club Freshly Squeezed Cynic
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

Just finished

Now reading

A Behavioral Theory of Elections by Jonathan Bendor et al. Traditional "rational choice" models of voter behavior don't mesh all that well with how voters actually behave, in particular, they don't do well with predicting turnout. This is an attempt at a different formulation. This will interest election geeks.

Cooler Smarter: Practical tips for low carbon living by the scientists at Union of Concerned Scientists, a great group. These folk make sense, concentrating on the changes you can make that have the biggest impact with the least effort.

Thinking, fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman.  Kahneman, most famous for his work with the late Amos Tversky, is one of the leading psychologists of the times. Here, he posits that our brains have two systems: A fast one and a slow one. Neither is better, but they are good at different things. This is a brilliant book: Full of insight and very well written, as well.

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds. Dan Sylveste is intent on figuring out what happened to the Amarantin civilization, hundreds of thousands of years ago. Lots of other stuff going on as well, with a lot of interesting hard-SF ideas.

A re-read of Anathem, by Neal Stephenson.  A towering but very unusual book. Full review

Just started
The First World War by John Keegan.  This is widely regarded as the best single volume book on WWI.  I am only a little way into it, but so far it is very good.

Alien in the Family by Gini Koch. The continuing adventures of Katherine (Kitty) Katt, defender of the Earth from evil aliens, fiancee of one of the good aliens. Pretty silly, but fun. Lots of sex (but mildly described), lots of violence (Kitty kicks ass), not a lot of explanation or profundity.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I am going to recommend a book that I have not (13+ / 0-)

    read yet. BOOTS: An Unvarnished Memoir of Vietnam by Stephen L. Park. My husband has read it and said it is very good. I do plan to read it soon.

    I went to high school with Steve and his wife and that is how I found out about his book. It is not a political book, but one man's story of his year in the jungles of Vietnam.

    On July 19th, 1966, I received my invitation from Uncle Sam. In January, 1967, at the age of twenty, I left my home in Tennessee, and was on my way to Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Georgia. I knew I was destined to join the party in Vietnam. I had been married for five days before I jumped on the bus and became US government property. I was about to embark on a walking tour through the jungles and muck of southern Asia. This book is about those jungles, that muck and the realities of what had been pitched as a brave and glamorous life of a soldier in combat. There is nothing glamorous in humping the brush, a backpack containing your whole life on your back, an M-16 to keep you warm at night. Red ants, trip wires, flooded rice paddies, leeches and being soaked for a year in either sweat or monsoons aren’t what they show on the movies, and the John Waynes were to be avoided; those guys were part of the ten-percent factor. Among the casualties of war are the truth and common sense. A glamorous life? No, not at all. It was a grunt's life... and this grunt had only one goal in mind – to do his tour and get home to his bride. There were times where it seemed even that was an unachievable goal.

    This is the story of November Platoon, Delta Company, 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, 1st Division – The Big Red One – in Vietnam. This is my story… completely unvarnished.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 04:42:57 AM PDT

  •  Good Morning! I am reading some books that (12+ / 0-)

    I read about here.  Right now it is the Minority Counsel by Kate Griffin.  

    Sorcerers and Monsters and such.  Love that stuff.  

    In real life, I'm not a nearly 50 year old woman: I'm a 12 year old, pre-pubscent boy.

    I'm coming out of the closet in your diary!

  •  Alan Furst (10+ / 0-)

    Working my way through his WWII-era spy novels, covering various locations and POVs throughout Europe from roughly 1934-1944.

    Just finished Dark Star with a Soviet journalist/foreign correspondent for Pravda, born a Polish Jew, as protagonist.  Deals with the Hitler-Stalin compact, and some pretty complicated dynamics regarding Stalin's purges, Troskyites and the desperate efforts to help refugees flee the Nazis.  Eyewitness account of the German invasion of Poland.

    Working through his novels, I'm learning a lot about Europe, especially eastern Europe, about which my knowledge is particularly thin.

    Furst is a terrific writer, with well-developed characters (well, not the women so much.)  He spins a good yarn.  I think there's 12 in print, of which I've now read four, starting with the ones set in Paris.  Will probably slog on through all of them before moving on to some other writer.

    "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Party (quoted by Paul Ryan without proper attribution)

    by Land of Enchantment on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 04:54:27 AM PDT

  •  Uh Well Uh (9+ / 0-)

    Okay I needed something that was weird enough to get my mind off of real life for a couple of hours.

    I'm reading "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter" by Seth Grahame-Smith. I'm actually enjoying it. ;-)

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 04:54:56 AM PDT

  •  Every so often, since late elementary school, I (10+ / 0-)

    pull out my Tolkien books and give them a good re-read.  It's usually in the Fall when the mood hits me.  With the new movie coming out soon, it seemed like a good time to visit Middle Earth, so Bilbo and I are just starting on a trip to "There and Back Again."    

    Metaphors be with you.

    by koosah on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 04:56:24 AM PDT

    •  Middle Earth is a character ... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, plf515, Monsieur Georges, koosah, Brecht

      ... in itself.

      I still return to visit the place without caring a whit about knowing how the stories end. However, Winter is usually my choice, since I first encountered the books at that time of year.

      Artwork by J.R.R. Tolkien

      ... my income falls because you’re spending less, and your income falls because I’m spending less. And, as our incomes plunge, our debt problem gets worse, not better. -- P. Krugman

      by MT Spaces on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:20:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lathe of Heaven was last week (10+ / 0-)

    now listening to Hyperion by Dan Simmons in place of my annual re-read.

    I've read the entire series and feel newcomers can just stop with the first book. It's that good.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:13:19 AM PDT

  •  Also (7+ / 0-)

    Iron Sunrise, the sequel to Singularity Sky by Charlie Stross. He's said he won't return to this 'verse because he believes it to be science fantasy (FTL isn't possible being his reasoning, and I rather agree despite recent news.)

    Singluarty Sky was a fun romp. Iron Sunrise is just depressing.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:15:53 AM PDT

  •  Recently finished 2 books... (9+ / 0-)

    14 by Peter Clines.  I really liked this book.  Hard to describe it without giving too much away.  Part mystery, part scifi, part horror, part steampunk, part thriller. With a healthy dose of pop culture references.  Check it out - it's a good read.

    Also finished the audiobook version of Amped by Daniel H. Wilson (also wrote Robopocalypse). Pretty good book.  Would make a good action movie.

    Currently working on the audiobook version of Planet Simpson: How a Cartoon Masterpiece Documented an Era and Defined a Generation.  I'm a Simpson fan.  This is pretty good.  Not so much a history of the show as an examination of it's affects on pop culture.  It's already not quite 10 years old, but what it talks about is still relevant IMO.

  •  Lots of Urban Fantasy (7+ / 0-)

    Not sure what it is but occasionally I'll just glom onto a genre and want to read all these series that I discover!

    At the moment I am splitting my time between Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams -- the main character is Bobby Dollar, a smart-mouth earthbound angel who is an advocate for recently deceased whose counterparts are the advocates from the Opposition. Souls suddenly start disappearing, something valuable goes missing, and everybody (and thing) is after Bobby. Fun read so far.

    Also reading on my Nook Red-Headed Stepchild by Jaye Wells, the first in the Sabina Kaye series. Sabina is a vampire but because her dad was a Mage she has low-class status and works as an assassin for the vampire power structure. Breezy fun as well.

    Revelation Space is on my TBR list -- glad to hear it's worth it! On the same vein, Gini Koch series had also caught my eye -- is that still worth it?

    All stressed out and no one to choke. -6.00, -6.31

    by billssha on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:17:21 AM PDT

  •  Just started (7+ / 0-)

    The Prague Cemetery - Umberto Eco. Like my tastes in music, I'm fairly eclectic. As long as they do not have some Fabio looking man holding a wanton wench on the cover. I might enjoy it.

    •  Prague Cemetery Left Me, or I Left It (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MT Spaces, inHI, plf515, jarbyus, Brecht

      out in the cold.  Just couldn't crack my interest barrier.  Think maybe it was too "insider" for me and really about a subject that's never captured my fancy -- Zionist conspiracy origins.  The stakes just didn't give rise to my caring.  Oh, well. . .

      Hope you fare better and also hope you'll write a review of it for R&BLers, 'cause maybe you could prod me into giving it another try.

      Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

      by Limelite on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 07:01:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Lions of Lucerne by Brad Thor (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, Aunt Pat, Limelite, MT Spaces, inHI, plf515

    Spy thriller involving the kidnapping of a US president over his decisions to support alternative energy sources and limit the profits of fossil fuels companies. Appropriate, yes?

    Still early in the book, but it seems like a good, fast-paced read.

  •  Absolutely unserious reading! (11+ / 0-)

    Finished: Thomas Hal Phillips, The Bitterweed Path, about the period after the Civil War, for the LGBT Literature series, probably in December.

    Starting: Gustavo Arellano, Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America. I'll be spending 11 hours on airplanes today and Friday, and I'm not really planning to challenge myself in transit.  The good news is that I get to find the book I'm reading on the return flight at the Strand Bookstore in New York!

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent, and we are all Wisconsin.

    by Dave in Northridge on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:37:45 AM PDT

  •  Finally getting around to (9+ / 0-)

    "The Discoverers" by Daniel Boorstin. A history of science that got rave reviews, biggest negative I've heard is that it tends to underplay the contributions of non-Western science. Imagine that. We'll see - I've just started it.

    Cannot wait until Nate Silver's "The Signal and The Noise" comes out tomorrow and Oliver Sacks' newest "Hallucinations" comes out election day.

    Just finished "Shadow Divers" by Robert Kurson on the discovery and identification of a U-boat sunk off the New Jersey coast during WWII and "500 Days" by Kurt Eichenwald about events just before 9/11 and especially the first 18 months after. The first was fascinating, the second important but incredibly depressing.

    Always looking for non-fiction reading suggestions that are:

    Not biography
    Not war history
    Available for e-book (I need the large print)

  •  finally jumping on the Scalzi bandwagon (9+ / 0-)

    All my friends have been raving about John Scalzi, Wil Wheaton likes him, so I decided to read Old Man's War. It was good, very interesting. Got the 2nd book from the library. Unfortunately, the day after I got it, I wandered into a bookstore & found that Stina Leight has written the follow up to Of Blood & Honey, one of my favorite books from last year. And Blue Skies from Pain is just as good (I say from the early middle of the book). The setting is the Troubles, a place/time I normally avoid reading about, but there is a lot more going on than just humans tearing each other apart. There's a war going on between the Fey & the Fallen, and the Catholic Church doesn't believe in the Fey, they think there's only the Fallen, so they've been killing potential allies for centuries and unsurprisingly the Fey aren't so fond of humans any more.

    So Scalzi sits forgotten on my couch while I enjoy Stina Leight's book and hope she's writing #3.

  •  Fially finished Prague Cemetery by (8+ / 0-)

    Umberto Eco last week. It got immensely better after I got past the beginning with all the anti-semitic stuff the "Grandfather" was spewing...I had put it down for over a month and then read some reviews that explained what it was all I gave the book another chance. The Protagonist(?) is thoroughly despicable but the ending was very satisfying! His book discusses Simonini's prediliction for forgery to ruin lives and gain financially. Thus, he forges the "Protocols of Zion".

    Finished Lies Your teacher Told You, by James Loewen...very good, and yes, I was a History major, although I never really taught History. I was really appalled at how sanitized our History has been and is even more so now! This book really confirmed my thinking with plenty of information to back up my views. I really liked it and recommend it to everyone!

    I have a dozen books I have started and can now finish because I've gotten Prague Cemetery off my "must read" list!

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 06:26:52 AM PDT

  •  I'm reading children's book (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Temmoku, Aunt Pat, Limelite, MT Spaces, plf515

    or young adult book. A biography of Aaron Burr.

    Truth is so much stranger than fiction!

    •  My favorite novel: Burr by Gore Vidal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      plf515, Monsieur Georges, Brecht

      "The Fallen Founder" by Isenberg is a very good re-interpretation which was eye opening for me.

      "American Emperor" by David O Stewart, focuses on the fallout, from the Hamilton dual, for Burr.  The title is deceiving, because it doesn't have a point of view.

      Isenberg presents Burr as a man of the people, more so than other founders, not an emperor.

      •  Burr went nuts after wife died IMHO (0+ / 0-)

        Extreme gifts, talents, and ambition....gone very wrong.

        That's the implication, even in this book for young people.

        I'm struck by how there was already an oligarchy controlling things so early.......Schuyler family, Clinton family, etc. in NY State.

        Burr and Hamilton were sort of their lackeys.

        •  He had a great love for his daughter (0+ / 0-)

          There is fictional work on this: My Theodosia  ... The author has a dated world view, but the take is interesting. Seton envisions Burr as so conniving he married off his precious, sophisticated daughter to a remote southern plantation to secure the votes of South Carolina.

          Burr is fascinating ... I think Vidal has the best take on him... but we'll never know.

  •  Grabbed two at library for road trip (7+ / 0-)

    No, I don't read while driving but we switch off so I read when riding shotgun. Anyway, I'm into animals and evolution and grabbed Animal Talk: Breaking the Codes of Animal Language by Tim Friend and Winter World: The Ingenuity of Animal Survival by Bernd Heinrich.

    I choose them because of the people giving them a positive nod on the back cover. Frans de Waal for Animal Talk and E.O. Wilson for Winter World.

    Loved the first one and about to start the second. Good choices.

    I don't know what consciousness is or how it works, but I like it.

    by SocioSam on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 06:40:26 AM PDT

  •  Finished (6+ / 0-)

    William Vollman's Europe Central.

    I liked it very, very much; some chapters were better than others. I liked the little nudges that he gave to historical fact (well referenced).

    Now reading: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson. I've read Stephenson here and there in small doses....this is a bit heavy. Completed Part 1 on Daniel Waterhouse; I start Part 2 today.

  •  I just finished (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, Limelite, MT Spaces, inHI, plf515

    Play Dead by Harlan Coben.  This is an early book by Coben and it's a far cry from what he writes now.  It kept me interested throughout the book, but when all is said and done, it was a bit of a disappointment.  I'm now reading Sonoma Rose by Jennifer Chiaverini.  All of Chiaverini's books have quilting as a central theme, and even though I don't quilt, I find the books fascinating.  

  •  I have recently (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, MT Spaces, inHI, plf515

    gotten my hands on a Kindle (it's not mine, but I have semi-indefinite possession of it), and I've been going through free public domain stuff.  Happily, a lot of my favorite books as a kid were books that not only my mother read as a kid, but that her mother read, so they're in the public domain. But I decided I should read an adult book, so I'm reading Trollope's The Way We Live Now. I picked it just because my mom is always trying to get me to read Trollope, and it was the first one I came across when I searched, but it turns out to be all about financial speculation and other familiar themes of the way we live now.  I'm enjoying it thus far, but it is very long and may be a challenge to finish since I'm still not fully acclimated to reading without an actual book in my hands.

  •  Rule and Ruin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Monsieur Georges, MT Spaces, inHI, plf515

    by Geoffrey Kabaservice.  This is an important book, for all of you, who like me wonder, "what the hell happened to the Republican Party?"  The author takes us through the history from 1960 to today and explains why the party of Ike, Jacob Javits and Gerald Ford no longer exists.  

    We can have democracy in this country, or we can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both. Louis Brandeis

    by Ohkwai on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 07:23:56 AM PDT

  •  Reading "The Flame Alphabet" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, inHI, plf515, Brecht

    by Ben Marcus.  I'm not sure how to describe Marcus's work.  Literary, yes.  Experimental?  This particular one has elements of science fiction and mystery to it.

    It's a first person narrative, but who can trust narrators these days?  There's a disease in adults that seems to be caused by the speech of their children.  There's a branch of Judaism in which people worship in pairs and aren't allowed to speak about it.  Messages from rabbis come electronically from holes in the ground.  There's a mysterious character named Murphy who somehow knows a lot more about the narrator than he ought to.

    In any case, when I read a book like this, a million scenarios and ideas go through my head as to what might really be going on, and where the story may be going.  Hope I'm wrong about everything!  

  •  Best book in a long time (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, inHI, plf515, Brecht

    Patient Zero by Jon Maberry.  At first the topic did not interest me, but the reviews were great so I took a chance.
    It is an audiobook and the narrator is Ray Porter.
    He does such and incredible job with voices.
    There are 4 books in the series, so if you want a series of books to rock your world, read these.
    Patient Zero:
    When you have to kill the same terrorist twice in one week there’s either something wrong with your world or something wrong with your skills - and there’s nothing wrong with Joe Ledger’s skills. And that’s both a good and a bad thing. It’s good because he’s a Baltimore detective who has just been secretly recruited by the government to lead a new task force created to deal with the problems that Homeland Security can’t handle. This rapid-response group is called the Department of Military Sciences, or the DMS for short. It’s bad because his first mission is to help stop a group of terrorists from releasing a dreadful bioweapon that can turn ordinary people into zombies. The fate of the world hangs in the balance.

    If the Fetus you Saved was GAY, would you still fight for it's RIGHT'S?

    by snoopydawg on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 09:19:41 AM PDT

  •  Same as last week, sadly. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MT Spaces, plf515, Monsieur Georges

    There wasn't much time for reading this week, but I did get some sketching done.

  •  I finally slogged my way (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    inHI, plf515, Monsieur Georges, Brecht

    through "City of Light," by Lauren Belfer. Historical fiction for book club. Avoid it.

    Started Anne Enright's memoir: Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood. Terrific.

    Am on disc 43 of 46 of "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich."

  •  Prague Winter - just finished and it was great (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515, Monsieur Georges, Brecht

    Prior to this, I never got a straight story on how Czechoslovakia got behind the iron curtain... or what happened at Munich, i.e. why there was a Munich.  This kind of info, hasn't been accessible, to my knowledge, outside the literature for specialists.  

    Weaving the story of her family into the larger narrative makes a very compelling read.

    I hope Albright writes a sequel bringing the story up to 2012.

  •  hi (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leeloo, Monsieur Georges, Brecht, inHI

    I am reading:

    Best Short Novels of 2006 ed. by Jonathan Strahan (pg. 296 of 573)

    Cain at Gettysburg by Ralph Peters (pg. 184 of 425)

    The Van Rijn Method by Poul Anderson (pg. 96 of 609)

    The Strange Fate of Kitty Easton by Elizabeth Speller (pg.100 of 405)

    Crouching Buzzard, Leaping Loon by Donna Andrews #4 (pg. 176 of 310)

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 01:02:07 PM PDT

  •  Just started 'My Antonia' (0+ / 0-)

    Read all of Sons and Lovers.

    Finished City of Thieves.

    Finished Flapan's Birth of Israel. Still reading Dershowitz's Case for Israel.

    "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

    by Brecht on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:01:58 PM PDT

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