What'cha Readin'?

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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4061  Postby surreptitious57 » Jul 04, 2017 10:01 pm

The Black Swan : Nassim Nicholas Taleb

A book about the human inability to predict Black Swan events and so reference history
from the perspective of what has happened rather than from what could have happened

Some of the things it discusses : the tendency to focus on what is known rather than unknown. Silent evidence and why
ignoring it distorts the truth. The distinction between scalable and non scalable professions. The human obsession with having to always provide an explanation for everything. The relationship between expectation and outcome. How small
regular positive results provide greater psychological benefits than large irregular ones

Only a third of the way through it so far but easily one of the best books I have ever read
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4062  Postby Macdoc » Jul 17, 2017 5:00 am

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truly a book that alters one's view of history and even current world enterprises right down to local cusines.

Endless fascination. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4063  Postby surreptitious57 » Jul 21, 2017 6:45 am


2666 : Roberto Bolano
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4064  Postby Fallible » Jul 21, 2017 7:08 am

The Girl With All the Gifts - M.R. Carey. A nice, easy read on the zombie theme. I hadn't realised it was set in England.
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4065  Postby Macdoc » Jul 22, 2017 3:05 pm

This looks remarkable

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He was known simply as the Blind Traveler -- a solitary, sightless adventurer who, astonishingly, fought the slave trade in Af-rica, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon, and helped chart the Australian outback. James Holman (1786-1857) became "one of the greatest wonders of the world he so sagaciously explored," triumphing not only over blindness but crippling pain, poverty, and the interference of well-meaning authorities (his greatest feat, a circumnavigation of the globe, had to be launched in secret). Once a celebrity, a bestselling author, and an inspiration to Charles Darwin and Sir Richard Francis Burton, the charismatic, witty Holman outlived his fame, dying in an obscurity that has endured -- until now.

A Sense of the World is a spellbinding and moving rediscovery of one of history's most epic lives. Drawing on meticulous research, Jason Roberts ushers us into the Blind Traveler's uniquely vivid sensory realm, then sweeps us away on an extraordinary journey across the known world during the Age of Exploration. Rich with suspense, humor, international intrigue, and unforgettable characters, this is a story to awaken our own senses of awe and wonder.


sitting behind the backstory of the Dunkirk movie.

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which should be done by the end of the weekend ...love book and movie together...
The book is marvelous....having the movie as a visual basis the book fills in the bits and some are insane...the one commander who ended up getting washed off/sunk three different boats in a few hours and lived to tell the tale. Both book and movie highly recommended.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4066  Postby Macdoc » Jul 28, 2017 9:35 pm

Dunkirk was excellent set against the movie.

Segued into this

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Lively and well written account in an area I know little about either geographically or history.

Very enjoyable, deplorable in some ways ...it is war after all.....but also incredible adventure before humanity completely engulfed the region....tigers in the shrubbery....stone age to parachute jumping and radios ....superb portraits of the tribes/peoples in the region ....some of whom have been there for 30,000 years plus.....and at the time ...did have a penchant for fresh human heads to boost fertility :what:
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4067  Postby Macdoc » Aug 02, 2017 4:11 am

Behind Japanese Lines was very informative and satisfying.....not so much about the war as the Kachin people and society.
The results the fledgling OSS achieved by working with the Kachin was astonishing. If you have any interest in WWII and the war effort in the area - I'm sure you will be fascinated and impressed. Dwight Eisenhower surely was.

The briefest sketch
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OSS_Detachment_101

This is not just written by an interested historian ....but rather by one who was there, in the 101, and that shows. :thumbup:
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4068  Postby Macdoc » Aug 04, 2017 3:03 am

Another sort of twofer book and movie

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one of the movies based on a small part of the book.....tho perhaps the most tragic/epic part. Good cast and good matching to the actual people.

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very enjoyable, learning a lot...good to actually see some of the areas the book covers in the Everest event so wonderfully covered by Krackauer in Into Thin Air

Anyone who has NOT read Into Thin Air should...period.

The book I'm reading is also very good as the bio of the making of a world class climber....an unlikely dream of a Illinois flatlander boy.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4069  Postby Macdoc » Aug 12, 2017 8:55 pm

Image

adventure of a different kind...there is an authenticity that grabs you from the get go. No romantic wilderness tale....
and true. :D
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4070  Postby Macdoc » Aug 14, 2017 4:38 am

Feel good sappy romance ....cept it's true....was interesting to compare the Chicken AK in the book from the almost ghost town we visited in 2015. .....still was nice to have been there for the visual.

On to another true story......tragic this time.

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oh my this is a scary read... :o :shock: :?
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4071  Postby Mitts » Aug 17, 2017 11:21 pm

A Storm of Swords: Steel and Snow. George R R Martin.
All religions are based on the same ridiculous imagination, that make man a weak, imbecile animal; a furious bigot and fanatic or a miserable hypocrite. Robert Owen

I used to be catholic but I'm better now. Torchwood: Miracle Day
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4072  Postby Macdoc » Aug 18, 2017 5:13 am

FFS ,,,fast forward to 2016 Radium Girls take II :nono:

https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/0 ... -dust.html
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4073  Postby SafeAsMilk » Aug 20, 2017 4:00 pm

So I started reading some Piers Anthony and have discovered he is a fucking horrible writer. Even more bizarre, it seems like there's a TON of people who've read his work and don't realize how bad it is. To be fair, most of them were children when they read it. But I just started on the first Xanth book and it's like watching The Room -- an unintentionally hilarious manual on how not to write. Every time he refers to a female character, it's like you're getting a report from a 12 year old boy who's never even held a conversation with a girl before. It's truly some of the most sad, cringey, giggle-inducing literature I've ever read. Except for the rapey stuff, that's just disturbing.
Yes, a mighty hot dog is our Lord!
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4074  Postby Macdoc » Aug 20, 2017 6:28 pm

Grew up with him on the news - reporting the big events..... 8 presidents I think .....nice to see the person...

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867 pages :what: urk ....thought I was rolling along and only 12% done.....such a life. :thumbup: a very long career
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4075  Postby murshid » Sep 19, 2017 4:34 pm

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"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" – Douglas Adams
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4076  Postby surreptitious57 » Sep 27, 2017 9:27 pm


On The Origins Of Life Meaning And The Universe Itself : Sean Carroll
A MIND IS LIKE A PARACHUTE : IT DOES NOT WORK UNLESS IT IS OPEN
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4077  Postby crazyfitter » Oct 04, 2017 2:55 pm

Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance. I've got confused with the timeline and some of the characters but never the less I'm enjoying the story and learning some of American history and culture. Vance's family is from Jackson in Breathitt County, Kentucky and made the trip up to Middletown, Ohio to work in the steelmills like about a million other hillbillys did. It was a very disfunctional family, in fact the way he writes it every hillbilly family they knew were disfunctional.
His mother drove her car into a post and claimed it was an intended suicide. His mamaw rubbished the idea and said if she'd wanted to kill herself she'd just take one of mamaws guns. He lived on occasion with either his mother, his mamaw, his biological dad, his sister and even one of his ex-stepfathers to try and find a bit of stability in his life.
I never knew that hillbilly's are of Irish/Scottish descent. Breathitt, nicknamed Bloody Breathitt because it was the only county in the US to fullfil its WW1 military quota from volunteers. And some modern very bloody street justice.
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4078  Postby Macdoc » Oct 15, 2017 10:25 am

Had not really understood the critical hinge point Guadacanal was for both sides.....and what a horror ....

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Very engaging and immensely detailed but still moves along reflecting the absolutely insane escalating carnage as both sides threw more and more men and materiele into the contest.

Some of the descriptions of naval bombardment of Henderson Field are astonishing ...how those engineers and pilots kept functioning is just legendary.

The author has clearly drawn on Japanese sources as well ....the horrendous terrain and stubborn defence by Marines and later Guardsmen was a huge wake up call to the arrogant stance the Japanese previously held.

Malaria and dengue fever took huge tolls with 160% of the US force experiencing malaria ....ergo multiple times for many.
Weight loss was astonishing yet some of the feats of individual military prowess are hard beleive......Chesty Puller notably....the description here doesn't come close to what he pulled off at Guadacanal.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chesty_Puller

He also nominated this guy for a well deserved Medal of Honour....talk about battle frenzy ....

In October 1942, during the Battle for Henderson Field, his unit came under attack by a regiment of approximately 3,000 soldiers from the Japanese Sendai Division. On October 24, Japanese forces began a frontal attack using machine guns, grenades, and mortars against the American heavy machine guns. Basilone commanded two sections of machine guns that fought for the next two days until only Basilone and two other Marines were left standing.[9][10] Basilone moved an extra gun into position and maintained continual fire against the incoming Japanese forces. He then repaired and manned another machine gun, holding the defensive line until replacements arrived. As the battle went on, ammunition became critically low. Despite their supply lines having been cut off by enemies in the rear, Basilone fought through hostile ground to resupply his heavy machine gunners with urgently needed ammunition. When the last of it ran out shortly before dawn on the second day, Basilone held off the Japanese soldiers attacking his position using his pistol and a machete. By the end of the engagement, Japanese forces opposite their section of the line were virtually annihilated. For his actions during the battle, he received the United States military's highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor.[11]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Basilone

The details of that 2 day battle are just unreal.

Basilone commanded two sections of machine guns that fought for the next two days until only Basilone and two other Marines were left standing.
:what:

Running through enemy fire with 6 x 14 lb belts of machine gun ammo AND spare barrels weighing 50lb. I'm not much on war as dispute solving mechanism but there is awe in what some men rise to in the heat of battle.
Basilone had practiced assembling his machine guns blindfolded and it paid off as he turned two damaged guns into a functioning one in pitch black while under attack....these are 50 cal guns.....serious weapons. :o
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4079  Postby Fallible » Oct 15, 2017 11:05 am

Image

Reading this. I've read a few of his, and it's always an...ahem... experience. Whatever the topic, his mind just sends you on a crazy white water ride. This one is a hard science fiction, post-apocalyptic novel, telling the tale of the struggle to keep the human race alive after the planet is destroyed. I'm 3/4 of the way through, and it has only now become apparent to me what the title is about. :teef:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seveneves
John Grant wrote:They say 'let go, let go, let go, you must learn to let go'.
If I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby's gonna blow
Into a million itsy bitsy tiny pieces, don't you know,
Just like my favourite scene in Scanners .
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Re: What'cha Readin'?

#4080  Postby surreptitious57 » Oct 15, 2017 1:56 pm

The only one of his I have read. His best is supposed to be Snow Crash but I am not a big fan
of cyber punk even when China Mieville is writing it so I will not be reading it. However I do
like the plot to Anathem as it is something I can relate to so will probably read that instead
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