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In this series I note what I am reading and people comment with what they're reading.  Sometimes, on Sundays, I post a special edition on a particular genre or topic.

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I've written some book reviews on Yahoo Voices:
Book reviews on Yahoo but that site is closing and I am transferring them to Bubblews.

Just finished

Now reading

Everything I need to know about __ I learned from Monty Python" by Brian Cogen.  The Monty Python crew weren't just funny, they were very smart and knowledgeable (the five English members all went to Oxford or Cambridge) and they used that in their skits. This book shows how. But I need to watch more of the Python episodes to fully appreciate this.

Plato at the Googleplex by Rebecca Goldstein.  Plato comes back to life. He's written some books and he's doing things. Stop 1 is the Googleplex, home of Google. Goldstein interweaves stories of Plato at various places with writing about why philosophy matters. Wonderful

Dialogues of Plato ; Plato wrote really well.  I decided to re-read. I'm amazed that Socrates made it to 70.

The Bat by Jo Nesbo. The first in the Inspector Harry Hole series, this one finds the Norwegian policeman in Australia, investigating the death of a Norwegian woman. Or more than one.  Very good.

The Pursuit of Italy by David Gilmour. I am only a few pages into this one, but it has grabbed my interest. Gilmour has not written a traditional history of Italy (although it is partly that) rather, he is in pursuit of Italy - how it became a country, what it means to be Italian and so on.

Just started

Readers and Book lovers 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 2:00 PM What's on Your E-Reader? Caedy
Sun 9:30 PM SciFi/Fantasy Book Club quarkstomper
Bi-Monthly Sun Midnight Reading Ramblings don mikulecky
MON
alternate Mondays
2:00 PM Political Books Susan from 29
Mon 8:00 PM Monday Murder Mystery michelewln, Susan from 29
Mon 11:00 PM My Favorite Books/Authors edrie, MichiganChet
TUES 5:00 PM Indigo Kalliope: Poems from the Left bigjacbigjacbigjac
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM LGBT Literature Texdude50, Dave in Northridge
alternate Tuesdays 8:00 AM All Things Bookstore Dave in Northridge
Tue 8:00 PM Contemporary Fiction Views bookgirl
WED 7:30 AM WAYR? plf515
Wed 2:00 PM e-books Susan from 29
Wed 8:00 PM Bookflurries Bookchat cfk
THU 8:00 PM Write On! SensibleShoes
Thu (first each month) 11:00 AM Monthly Bookpost AdmiralNaismith
alternate Thursdays 11:00 PM Audiobooks Club SoCaliana
FRI 8:00 AM Books That Changed My Life Diana in NoVa
Fri 8:00 PM Books Go Boom! Brecht; first one each month by ArkDem14
Fri 10:00 PM Slightly Foxed -- but Still Desirable shortfinals
SAT (fourth each month) 11:00 AM Windy City Bookworm Chitown Kev
Sat 12:00 PM You Can't Read That! Paul's Book Reviews pwoodford
Sat 9:00 PM Books So Bad They're Good Ellid

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Comment Preferences

  •  'Lady Windermere's Fan' by Oscar Wilde (10+ / 0-)

    I mentioned to an R&BLer that I thought The Importance of Being Earnest was the funniest play ever, and they pointed me to this one. Enjoyable, witty, a bit contrived. My brother says Wilde was rebelling against the fashion for realism in his time.

    It contains a few famous lines, including:

    A cynic is one who "knows the price of everything, and the value of nothing."

    "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" (nicked for a Pretenders song).

    I also read Ready Player One. A friend recommended it heartily, and then I saw it in first place, on goodreads' Best 21st century SF list. It says on the cover that it's Willy Wonka meets The Matrix - which, plus D&D and a lot of '80s references, is true. Also, a rollicking adventure and a fun summer read.

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

    by Brecht on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 04:58:38 AM PDT

  •  Summer reading (6+ / 0-)

    for me:

    Plato:  Timaeus and Critias
    The Scramble for Africa, by Thomas Pakenham
    The First World War, by Martin Gilbert

  •  The Invention of Wings (5+ / 0-)

    and The Enneagram Advantage by Helen Palmer.

    I really like Plato. Smart dude.

    Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will

    by miracle11 on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:24:19 AM PDT

  •  July has been spent mostly writing (8+ / 0-)

    But I have gotten some reading done. This week I haven't been writing as much, my sleep has been off and my allergies up and I've been waking up with that drugged muddled feeling which doesn't lend well to writing. I'll get it back though, just have to get past this. I actually took a couple of books out of the library this week, once I met my NaNo goal.

    The Faerie Guardian by Rachel Morgan
    THE WITHERING PALACE (A Dark Faerie Tale 0.1) - ALEXIA PURDY
    DARK PROMISE - JULIA CRANE & TALIA JAGER
    Alpha and Omega by Patricia Briggs (re-read)
    The Fourth Science Fiction Mega Pack by Various
    No One Noticed the Cat by Anne McCaffrey

    Currently reading:
    Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs (re-read)

    TBR:
    Green Rider by Kristin Britain
    Shadow People by James Swain

    "No One Noticed the Cat" was an interesting little 'mini-book'. One of those half height hard back books for a novella or short story you see from time to time. It is a fantasy book about a Prince, a cat, and an assassination attempt with a little bit of romance thrown in. Not very long, it's an afternoon read, but entertaining. It's one of the few by Anne McCaffrey I hadn't read before, so I picked it up. I'll probably read it to FlDad and Bit before I take it back.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:34:25 AM PDT

  •  Borges (9+ / 0-)

    A History of Infamy

    and

    Six problems for Don Isidro Parodi

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 05:54:18 AM PDT

  •  Socrates must have been (6+ / 0-)

    a hell of a thorn in their side, if the authorities felt the need to execute him at 70.  
    Reading
    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, only the 2nd time after 40 years or so.  Let's see what a difference 4 decades makes in perception.

    Stars & Stellar Evolution by de Boers & Seggewiss.  I've been enjoying The Science Channel's actual science shows, (i.e. How The Universe Works, Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, not the alien encounters stuff) and wanted some challenging hard science reading.

    Highly recommended-We Who Said No To War:American Antiwar Writing From 1812 to Now by Polner & Wood.  An excellent collection.

    •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Brecht, Mark Tapley, plf515

      I don't think that the Athenian authorities ever expected that they would have to carry out the sentence.

      Rem,ember, many of Socrates students were wealthy kids and I thinkit was fully expected that they would help him escape.

      The truth could also be that at the age of 70, Socrates was ready to die...and Plato (and Xenophon) do hint at that possibility.

  •  Finished Seventeen by Tarkington (6+ / 0-)

    And am well into Main Street by Sinclair Lewis. Main Street has a much more subtle type of humor, but I enjoyed Seventeen more than I expected.

    I think I will back off my plan of reading early 20th century authors for a bit, and try something else next. Maybe some non-fiction...

    “We can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.” - Winston Chuchill

    by se portland on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:27:35 AM PDT

  •  The Passion by Jeanette Winterson (5+ / 0-)

    Slim novel which follows the adventures of a young soldier in the Napoleonic army, and a Venetian daughter of a boatsman.  The stories start out separately, then intersperse.  Both characters' adventures are told in first person.  Easy read with lovely imagery.  The voices of the two characters are completely different, and the tone is magical.

    Ancora Impara--Michelangelo

    by aravir on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:34:42 AM PDT

  •  Reading and listening... (6+ / 0-)

    Half way through Apocalypse Z: the Beginning of the End by Manel Loureiro. As the title suggests, it's a zombie book written as a first hand, journal style account of one person. The story takes place in Spain so that's a change from the usual zombie storyline. Good story so far.

    More than half way through the audiobook version of Kali's Kiss by John Dodds. Police procedural set in Glasgow. 2nd book in a series called The Kendrick Files - Kendrick being a police detective. The story involves Hindu fundamentalists perpetrating brutal murders in Glasgow. This book so far is completely independent of the first book in the series, Bone Machines, which was about an artist/serial killer. I really like how Dodds writes. I did some searching via "the google" and he's also got a bunch of sci-fi books and a YA steam punk series that I'm going to half to check out.

  •  Getting ready to start the................ (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrampyIL, Most Awesome Nana, plf515

    next to last book in Laurence Shames's series of Key West mystery/crime novels, "the Naked Detective" on my Kindle.

    Also, thanks to having read three of Johnny Shaws novels; I am now hooked on Vintage, Men's magazine, pulp fiction short stories.  These are offered in a couple of anthology series, "Blood and Tacos" (which Shaw edits) & "Thuglit."  

    The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation--HDT

    by cazcee on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 06:56:32 AM PDT

  •  "The Harvard Psychedelic Club," (4+ / 0-)

    by Don Lattin, who was for many years the religion correspondent at the San Francisco Chronicle.

    It explores the history of the emerging psychedelic culture in the 1960s, and the central roles played by Huston Smith, Richard Alpert, Timothy Leary, and Andrew Weil in promoting hallucinogenic drugs to a generation of flower children.

    Supple and turbulent, a ring of men/ Shall chant in orgy on a summer morn...

    by karmsy on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:01:57 AM PDT

  •  I am now reading (3+ / 0-)

    the Pathfinder Role Playing Game rulebook.  This is so that I can get into fantasy gaming sessions with the woman I want to date.  Plus fantasy is fun in its own right.

    The Stars and Bars and the red swastika banner are both offerings to the same barbaric god.

    by amyzex on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:33:31 AM PDT

  •  Still on Summertime reading. (4+ / 0-)

    About halfway through Austen's Sense and Sensibility. As usual, annoyed with Marianne and her mother. :-)

    Started to read Fannie Flagg's Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man but got so bored, I had to stop. Way too many books I want to read to be wasting time with boring.

    Started Charles Kuralt's A Life on the Road. One of my favorite categories is road trip stories and I always liked his TV segments (yeah, I am old enough to remember them!), so I think the book will be fun.

    Have finished Killer by Jonathan Kellerman. Nothing special, but a good beach book.

    Also finished The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto. Now that IS something special. It is a history of Dutch Manhattan and it is fascinating. The Dutch contribution is much deeper that our Anglocentric histories tell us. The book would be worth reading just to learn about the origin of place names. Highly recommended.

    "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

    by Most Awesome Nana on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 07:33:32 AM PDT

  •  Finished Remember Me Like This by (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    plf515

    Bret Anthony Johnston.  Justin, an eleven year old Corpus Christi boy, disappears while skateboarding.  The book begins four years later with his rescue from his possibly pedophile kidnapper and return to his family, who have been through emotional hell.  Turns out, the kidnapper and Justin were living more or less openly only an hour away the whole time.  We watch over the next three months as Justin and his family try to readjust, reconnect and recover a semblance of normality.  Starts off strong in setting the premise, but goes steadily downhill from there.  Despite the fact that the novel largely consists of the interior monologues of Justin's mother, father, brother and grandfather, most of these characters remained opaque, at least to me.  I suppose this could be how at least one family would respond to these circumstances, but somehow it didn't ring true.  I would love to know what Elizabeth Smart for example would think about this book.

    Just started Tigerman by Nick Harkaway.  Hot off the presses and I have been looking forward to it since I first heard about it back in early spring.

  •  Various things by Jorge Luis Borges (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Mark Tapley, plf515

    I finished A Universal History of Infamy, I've started on Evaristo Carriego, I'm reading through many of the essays in Selected Non-Fictions.

    I just noticed that we have a bit of a Borges fan club today.

    Probably the coolest fact about Borges that the first time one of his stories appeared in Engish translation was not in the "fou-fou" literary magazines of the day but in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine...and they do have that issue for sale on eBay.

  •  A comment on Plato (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, Mark Tapley, plf515, spacejam

    I agree with you, plf515.

    With the exception of Chuang-Tzu, I can't think of an author (esp. of philosophy) who had a better sense of Play than Plato.

    It's a big reason why even in today's classrooms, philosophy students still enjoy reading Plato-even if they don't agree with him.

  •  Dreamers of the Day by Mary Doria Russell (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Tapley, plf515, Brecht

    Mary Doria Russell is a fine writer, highly recommended by friends with good taste in books. Dreamers of the Day is the first novel of this author's that I have read. The novel is set in the period around World War I and the early twenties.

    Agnes Shanklin is a Cleveland teacher, single, in her late thirties, who grew up under the thumb of a dominating mother. Her family is deeply affected by the Spanish Flu. Agnes, who has received a modest inheritance, decides to travel to Cairo and the Holy Lands. She arrives just as the Cairo peace conference gets underway. She meets people who are attending the peace conference, like T.E. Lawrence and Winston Churchill, who will be deciding how new states will be carved out of Middle Eastern lands.

    So far--it has been a great read.  

  •  hi (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Louisiana 1976, plf515

    I have finished reading:

    A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell

    I am reading:

    The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen (pg. 284 of 450)

    A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson, Re-read  (pg. 110 of 274)  I promised I would do this.  

    All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (pg. 107 of 530)

    Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi (pg. 87 of 187)

    Challenge Books:

               Travels: Collected Writings 1950-1993 by Paul Bowles (pg. 384 of 508)

               The First World War by John Keegan (pg. 126 of 427)

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

    by cfk on Wed Jul 30, 2014 at 11:38:43 AM PDT

  •  Am reading: (0+ / 0-)

    just finished the very first Brad Thor - awesome.  I AM Pilgrim - awesome.  Heather Gudenkauf, who reminds me of Jodi Picoult - page turner.  Too many to remember or mention.

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