Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Needing some ideas for books to read. Just finishing "When the Irish invaded Canada" by Christopher Klein. A history lesson I did not know about. Probably the reason Canada's territories were united into one. Fascinating snippets. 

Also, "Undaunted Courage" by Ambrose on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, dyslexic dog said:

Needing some ideas for books to read. Just finishing "When the Irish invaded Canada" by Christopher Klein. A history lesson I did not know about. Probably the reason Canada's territories were united into one. Fascinating snippets. 

Also, "Undaunted Courage" by Ambrose on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

 

https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/society/grenfell-mission.php
 

any book by Grenfell 

 

B58515BF-5A6D-49EB-8786-65F5BC130D8C.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've become addicted to the "Sharpe" series, by Bernard Cornwell.  These fictional novels feature a British rifleman (serving under Wellington) in the Napoleonic war.  They are short and have lots of action, with some memorable characters.  Sharpe is low-born, but works his way up through the ranks due to his abilities and attitude.  These novels are sort of "Horatio Hornblower in the army", although Horatio had a much better start in life than did Sharpe.

I had already watched the TV series based on the books, and quite enjoyed it, so I started the books with a solid image of Sharpe and the other major characters.  I don't know how much this colors my impression of the novels, but I suspect I would have enjoyed them in any case.  I'm reading them on my Kindle -- probably should have bought the whole series when I started, rather than a new one every two or three days (these are not thick books).  BTW, the Sharpe novels were mentioned by someone here on SA -- thanks!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, valis said:

I've become addicted to the "Sharpe" series, by Bernard Cornwell.  These fictional novels feature a British rifleman (serving under Wellington) in the Napoleonic war.  They are short and have lots of action, with some memorable characters.  Sharpe is low-born, but works his way up through the ranks due to his abilities and attitude.  These novels are sort of "Horatio Hornblower in the army", although Horatio had a much better start in life than did Sharpe.

I had already watched the TV series based on the books, and quite enjoyed it, so I started the books with a solid image of Sharpe and the other major characters.  I don't know how much this colors my impression of the novels, but I suspect I would have enjoyed them in any case.  I'm reading them on my Kindle -- probably should have bought the whole series when I started, rather than a new one every two or three days (these are not thick books).  BTW, the Sharpe novels were mentioned by someone here on SA -- thanks!

They are great. His other series are also well worth reading.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, valis said:

I've become addicted to the "Sharpe" series, by Bernard Cornwell. 

I read the whole series, end-to-end, earlier this year (in chrono order, not in order published).  Really enjoyed it. I'd read one or two over the years, but the deep-dive was a lot of fun.  (I seem to be binge-reading series these days)  And I got a perspective on the battle of Waterloo that I hadn't gotten from reading the various histories. 

Did you know there's a new Sharpe book coming out next month?  "Sharpe's Assassin"

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, dyslexic dog said:

Needing some ideas for books to read.

What are you in the mood for?  history?  fiction?  non-fic?  historical fiction?  action/thrillers?  

Narrow it down a bit for me, I'll probably have some ideas.

For starters.... 

-- the Sharpe series (mentioned above) is good.  Adventures of a foot-soldier in the Napoleonic wars
-- the "Gray Man" series is a lot of fun, written by the guy who co-wrote the last several Tom Clancy books
-- .... and then it's an easy segue to the "Mitch Rapp" series from Vince Flynn if you enjoyed the Gray Man
-- the "Prey" series by John Sandford is good
-- from the wayback machine <lol> the "Travis McGee" series from John D MacDonald is always worth a visit
-- I periodically go on a history binge, right now in the middle of a number of books on Pearl Harbor and Midway
-- if you like Ambrose, you'd probably like McCullough, too.  Lots to choose from
-- favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Wilbur Smith and James Michener
-- favorite historical fiction is the "Camulod" series by Jack Whyte.  Great storyteller
 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Last year I read Martin Gilbert's History of the Twentieth Century. Three large volumes worth chronicling almost every aspect of the world between 1/1/1900 and 12/31/1999 in great detail. The political, social, economic and cultural arenas are all discussed exhaustively obviously including WWI, WWII and all the major and minor conflicts that you knew of didn't know about. There were countries created and eliminated that I had never even heard of before. Well written, it very clearly and repetitively confirms the old adage, "The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history". Politics, religious fervor, nationalism, greed and never ending self righteousness on full display.......everywhere.

Helps me understand how this world got to where it is today and how as mankind we are so completely fucked. We never have nor apparently never will learn from the lessons of the past.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, Hornblower!  I have the full set in paperback, and for my Kindle all that are available (not all are).  A&E also had a good miniseries based on the books, but the last time I tried to find it it seemed to have vanished.

As long as we're talking about Napoleonic-era British navy epics, the Jack Aubrey books (Master and Commander, etc.) by Patrick O'Brian are also excellent.

Non-fiction, I have a shelf full of historical Arctic and Antarctic exploration.  "The Last Place on Earth" and "Shackleton" by Roland Huntford are very good, although some take issue with his treatment of Scott.

Sci-Fi, don't get me started, but Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is a favorite.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sledracr said:

What are you in the mood for?  history?  fiction?  non-fic?  historical fiction?  action/thrillers?  

Narrow it down a bit for me, I'll probably have some ideas.

For starters.... 

-- the Sharpe series (mentioned above) is good.  Adventures of a foot-soldier in the Napoleonic wars
-- the "Gray Man" series is a lot of fun, written by the guy who co-wrote the last several Tom Clancy books
-- .... and then it's an easy segue to the "Mitch Rapp" series from Vince Flynn if you enjoyed the Gray Man
-- the "Prey" series by John Sandford is good
-- from the wayback machine <lol> the "Travis McGee" series from John D MacDonald is always worth a visit
-- I periodically go on a history binge, right now in the middle of a number of books on Pearl Harbor and Midway
-- if you like Ambrose, you'd probably like McCullough, too.  Lots to choose from
-- favorite authors include Bernard Cornwell, Wilbur Smith and James Michener
-- favorite historical fiction is the "Camulod" series by Jack Whyte.  Great storyteller
 

Read a lot of history. But I like Hiaason and some of the Swedish detective stories.  Tim Dorsey. …………. Lots of places I go. Just thought I would share a good one and ask for the same 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It's one I've been meaning to read, but it sat on my bookshelf for the last 20 years for, well, reasons. Or no reason at all, I don't know. We went camping in the mountains last week, so I wanted something to read knowing we'd have at least on cold and rainy day.   

I finally picked up last week and read it all the way through: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

Recommend.  
 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Maxx Baqustae said:

If you want to read some fiction that is about sailing/racing try these:

Also these (Bernard Cornwell's "sailing thrillers"): 
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N2HC2E
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017SWSAO
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000N2HC3S
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016H73PQ
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just finished "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver. Not my favorite of her books, but still very good.

 Before that I read "Overstory" by Richard Powers. Very good.

 Just started "Hamnet" by Maggie O'Farrell. It starts out pretty good. I'm not a fan of Brit Lit, so I may be a bit jaundiced on my final review.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard today that Louise Erdrich has a new book out. I've never read a bad book by her.

"The Master Butcher's Singing Club" was a superb book.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lars Kepler books, the joona linna series. I have three books to read in that series. I read three of them in five days this last week. Libraries rock!

A Woman in Berlin is one of the most amazing non fiction books I have ever read. Astounding book. 

Dead Men Dont Dance by Norman Mailer I read every five years or so. 

The water knife, the windup girl...

The martian, Artemis, his latest all good

Altered carbon and the other takeshi Kovacs books, Richard Morgan.

All the Neal Stephenson books but cryptonomicon and snowcrash for sure

Walter Mosley's easy Rawlins series

Blocks matt scudder books

Connelys Bosch series

Crais pike and Elvis Cole books

The original sherlock holmes series as published in the strand is free on amazon kindle with the art

Harlen cobins Bolitar and winn books

Harry hole series, and the other Jo nesbo books

Anything by ian rankin

I started reading Agatha Christie and am really enjoying playfulness of the poirot and sidekick reparte

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, redboat said:

Last year I read Martin Gilbert's History of the Twentieth Century. Three large volumes worth chronicling almost every aspect of the world between 1/1/1900 and 12/31/1999 in great detail. The political, social, economic and cultural arenas are all discussed exhaustively obviously including WWI, WWII and all the major and minor conflicts that you knew of didn't know about. There were countries created and eliminated that I had never even heard of before. Well written, it very clearly and repetitively confirms the old adage, "The one thing we learn from history is that we don't learn from history". Politics, religious fervor, nationalism, greed and never ending self righteousness on full display.......everywhere.

Helps me understand how this world got to where it is today and how as mankind we are so completely fucked. We never have nor apparently never will learn from the lessons of the past.

Yeah, stop reading that shit! 

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, pbd said:

Pick one or all of the following:

Gentleman in Moscow

Lincoln Highway

Rules of Civility 

All by Amor Towles.

Thanks for the other titles. Gentleman in Moscow is still the best book I have read in the last 10 years. It outdid all the john Irving books and that's saying a lot cause hotel new Hampshire and world according to garp and cider house rules are all outstanding books. Which brings up pat Conroy! Another wonderful American writer. I love books!

Link to post
Share on other sites

So other great american novels:

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

A Man in Full by Tom Wolfe

Angle of Repose by Wallace Sterner

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Tools

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor - a Gentleman in Moscow quality book and perhaps better just due to the scope of the story

Read the wikipedia pages about Kit Carson and John C. Fremont. Truth is sometimes more horrifying than fiction. The true history of the american west starti g with Daniel Boone until California became a state is truly incredible. From all angles.

Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

Thanks for the other titles. Gentleman in Moscow is still the best book I have read in the last 10 years. It outdid all the john Irving books and that's saying a lot cause hotel new Hampshire and world according to garp and cider house rules are all outstanding books. Which brings up pat Conroy! Another wonderful American writer. I love books!

Ditto for the Gentleman in Moscow

Link to post
Share on other sites

No offense to the OP but asking "What to read" in my opinion is like asking what to eat.  As a lifelong voracious reader, I wouldn't know where to begin making a recommendation, there are just too many possibilities.  I will say that two books that I have read several times (and I rarely re-read a book, there are to many others I haven't read yet) are Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea, and The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna, about a US Navy gunboat patrolling the Yangtze river in China during the 1920s.  I read both of those books as a young teen and they still resonate with me.  The Sand Pebbles was made into a very good film starring Steve McQueen and Candice Bergman, released in 1966.  

While many here have recommended some good books, like everything, individual tastes vary.  Just browse online or (gasp!) go to the local library and browse the shelves.  When I had access to libraries in the US and in the Army worldwide, I never walked out of the library with an armful of books.  Some from familiar authors, others that just piqued my interest one way or another.  I also worked in 2 different libraries in my past so I was happy to have access as many books as I needed. 

I hate e-readers, I like the feel, the look, and the smell of a real book.  I read mostly non-fiction, the history of WW II in Europe and current event books about politics, sociology, economics, and such.  I have limited space to keep books that I buy so I mostly only save the history books, I give away most of the fiction I buy.

Here is the current state of my little library.  If you like history, I recommend any book in the photo.

 

 

Library.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

I hate e-readers, I like the feel, the look, and the smell of a real book. 

I'm "bi" on this.  Much though I truly love the look/feel/smell (and tactile experience) of a real book, I can't ignore the convenience of an e-reader.  I have ~5000 books in the Kindle app on my iPad, which means that I can read virtually anything in my library - on the boat, on a plane, whatever - without having to carry around anything extra.

Plus being able to search a book to find a phrase or event is super-useful.  e.g., last week I was reading a book on the Battle of Midway, and wanted to go back to find something mentioned earlier in the book.  With a "real" book, that would have been a headache, but with "search" it's just a click away.

$.02

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, sledracr said:

I'm "bi" on this.  Much though I truly love the look/feel/smell (and tactile experience) of a real book, I can't ignore the convenience of an e-reader.  I have ~5000 books in the Kindle app on my iPad, which means that I can read virtually anything in my library - on the boat, on a plane, whatever - without having to carry around anything extra.

Plus being able to search a book to find a phrase or event is super-useful.  e.g., last week I was reading a book on the Battle of Midway, and wanted to go back to find something mentioned earlier in the book.  With a "real" book, that would have been a headache, but with "search" it's just a click away.

$.02

Yeah, there are many advantages to an e-reader, but I just can't do it.  

I spend a lot of money on books.  Books in English are not easy to find in Europe.  Bookstores in bigger cities have them but often the selection is limited and they are expensive even in paperback.  The only books in English that our local library here in Poland has are the several boxes that I've donated over the years. 

I've been reading 'real' books for too long and I won't give them up!  

Link to post
Share on other sites

I've grown to appreciate the e-reader (Kindle and cellphone) as many of the books I read would otherwise be big and heavy hardbacks.  That, and because I can carry a hundred books in my pocket.  I still prefer the big physical technical reference books.

Bookcases? Way too many to show.  One giant wall of built-in shelves, another smaller wall of bookshelves, numerous free-standing cases.  And books in boxes.  Here's the bookcase in my home office (sorry, most of the titles are fuzzy, but it's a mix of SciFi, general fiction and non, historical exploration, sailing, and technical.  Bottom left is the front-panel graphic to a product I helped design, middle-right is the "first in division" Pacific Cup award.  Bottom center (next to the "Lost in Space" Robot) is the "Seamanship" trophy we got when we came to the aid of another boat during another Pacific Cup race.

 

bookcase.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Chris in Santa Cruz, CA said:

Thanks for the other titles. Gentleman in Moscow is still the best book I have read in the last 10 years. It outdid all the john Irving books and that's saying a lot cause hotel new Hampshire and world according to garp and cider house rules are all outstanding books. Which brings up pat Conroy! Another wonderful American writer. I love books!

I'm about 1/2 through Lincoln Highway and so far it isn't as good as the other 2.  It's still a well written novel that I would recommend but IMO its not Gentleman in Moscow.  We'll see how part 2 goes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

Yeah, there are many advantages to an e-reader, but I just can't do it.  

I spend a lot of money on books.  Books in English are not easy to find in Europe.  Bookstores in bigger cities have them but often the selection is limited and they are expensive even in paperback.  The only books in English that our local library here in Poland has are the several boxes that I've donated over the years. 

I've been reading 'real' books for too long and I won't give them up!  

my dear partner for all her annoying points makes up for those and more by being hooked into the libraries locally and regularly feeds me books, lots of books, I read at least two books a week over a year

sorry for your lack of english hard books

I got a new kindle recently and have yet to get on line with libraries, we have a lot of books we own in the house as relatives give us books for birthdays and christmas so four people twice a year for many many years, buying digital books is not high on my list

we used to have a store called Logos in downtown Santa Cruz, one of the tragic things in my life has been its closing a number of years ago, massive used books, vinyl, and cd's/dvd's, awesome store, half my record collection is from that store and half my cook books

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My reading list from recommendations of the team here and the various links. 

Hotzone - Ebola outbreak 

Demon in the freezer - smallpox and the history of viruses 

Command and Control - nuclear safety and the Demascus incident 

Biohazard - bio warefar development by the russians

Blind man's bluff - submarine cold war

Red star rouge - submarine cold war

Wired - John Belushi biography

Link to post
Share on other sites

The first three books of the Louis L'Amour Sackett series are not typical of his genre. The story begins in 16th century England and crosses the Atlantic settling around Tennessee and North Carolina. I enjoyed them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sackett

As the series progresses it becomes more of the typical western, cowboys, injuns, rustlers shoot em up.

I'm working through it, will take awhile to get through 17 books, if I stick with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maritime related- Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowatt, stories of an ocean tug/rescue vessel in the mid/late 1930s... could be considered slightly fiction but based on true stories.

Books mentioned in this thread I heartily second: the Sharpe series, the Hornblower series,

(nonfiction) The Hot Zone, Blind Man's Bluff, author Jared Diamond's Guns Germs And Steel is tremendous but honestly I had to put down his COLLAPSE because it's just so-o depressing... I mean yeah we're all gonna die but a whole book devoted to scientifically proving how stupid we are about it??

(fiction again) John MacDonald definitely hit the Travis McGee series, Agatha Christie, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier,

Definitely going to follow up on some of the recommendations, that you all

- DSK

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maritime:

Nicholas Montserrat - The Cruel Sea, The Master Mariner, HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbour

Alistair McLean - HMS Ulysses, Bear Island

Douglas Reeman - many RN-based thrillers (sadly, not as engaging as Montserrat)

Tom Clancy - The Hunt For Red October

Patrick O' Brian - Aubrey/Maturin series. Read them all and in order. I have, about six times.

The Unlikely Voyage Of Jack De Crow (a quirky account by a guy who sailed a mirror dinghy from central England to Eastern Europe)

Non-maritime:

Tom Clancy - anything before he started co-authoring. Red Storm Rising is especially good.

The 13th Valley

Chickenhawk

CW2

Once A Warrior King

The Sharpe Series

Most of Frederick Forsyth but especially The Dogs Of War and The Day Of The Jackal

The Slough House series by Mick Herron

Jordan B Peterson - 12 Rules For Life

Neville Shute - Most Secret

James Clavell - King Rat

John Harris - Covenant With Death (WWI fom the POV of a fictional British soldier, heartbreaking)

CS Forester - non-Hornblower such as The Gun, The Ship

Terry Pratchett - Discworld series

Gerald Durrell - My Family And Other Animals

Roddy Doyle - The Commitments, The Van, The Snapper, The Woman Who Walked Into Doors

 

Better stop now!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Grey Seas Under by Farley Mowatt, stories of an ocean tug/rescue vessel in the mid/late 1930s... could be considered slightly fiction but based on true stories.

Many think that everything Mowat wrote is more fiction than fact.  Even he considered his work to be "Subjective non-fiction", and he also said: 

“I never let facts get in the way of a good story.” and “Fuck the facts. The truth is what is important.” 

I think he should have just been honest about it from the beginning and he said the above quotes after he got found out.  I guess that truth is subjective too.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Main Man said:

a bit of Roman historical fiction then I can highly recommend Simon Scarrow’s Eagle series with Macro and Cato.

I'll give that a look, thanks!

Roman historical fiction was never really my thing, until I came across "the Camulod Chronicles" (Jack Whyte).  It's an arc of 8 or 9 books, first one set in 4th-century britain, when a couple of centurions decide to stick around rather than go back to Rome when the occupation of the British Isles falls apart.  Really good story teller and, as the story unfolds, there are some interesting ties to the legends of Arthur and Merlin...

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sledracr said:

I'll give that a look, thanks!

Roman historical fiction was never really my thing, until I came across "the Camulod Chronicles" (Jack Whyte).  It's an arc of 8 or 9 books, first one set in 4th-century britain, when a couple of centurions decide to stick around rather than go back to Rome when the occupation of the British Isles falls apart.  Really good story teller and, as the story unfolds, there are some interesting ties to the legends of Arthur and Merlin...

You won’t regret it! They’re even talking about making a film out of it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sledracr said:

I'll give that a look, thanks!

Roman historical fiction was never really my thing, until I came across "the Camulod Chronicles" (Jack Whyte).  It's an arc of 8 or 9 books, first one set in 4th-century britain, when a couple of centurions decide to stick around rather than go back to Rome when the occupation of the British Isles falls apart.  Really good story teller and, as the story unfolds, there are some interesting ties to the legends of Arthur and Merlin...

Mary Rennault.

Outstanding truth-based historical fiction. She also wrote a Life Of Alexander The Great.

Doug K

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Since Undaunted Courage and Pynchon were mentioned above, I have to recommend Pynchon's Mason & Dixon. Tremendously entertaining, historical, all-around amazing book. Written with a lot of Snaggletooth-ian olde english I recall, but it has been 24 years since I read it. Long, and so good I wish it had been twice as long. Save it for when you have a lot of time because it could be hard to follow if you lose momentum.  Perfect book for a deployment or maybe an ocean crossing.  Just so happened I read Longitude by Dava Sobel (non-fiction, excellent, short, nautical) just prior and that turned out to be good background for Mason & Dixon, helped with understanding 18th c. navigation and surveying.

I'll second the recommendations for Angle of Repose, Louis L'Amour, John D MacDonald, PT Deutermann (Navy Capt), Chickenhawk. Lots of new to me recs up there too, thanks to all who posted.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Author Jared Diamond's Guns Germs And Steel is tremendous but honestly I had to put down his COLLAPSE because it's just so-o depressing... I mean yeah we're all gonna die but a whole book devoted to scientifically proving how stupid we are about it?

- DSK

I've tried a handful of time to read this, I'm interested in the subject matter but found it hard to read. I might have to give it another go.. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bowman81 said:
23 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Author Jared Diamond's Guns Germs And Steel is tremendous but honestly I had to put down his COLLAPSE because it's just so-o depressing... I mean yeah we're all gonna die but a whole book devoted to scientifically proving how stupid we are about it?

 

I've tried a handful of time to read this, I'm interested in the subject matter but found it hard to read. I might have to give it another go.. 

Which one, GS&S or Collapse?

GS&S has a great beginning followed by about 900 pages of tying approx 100 threads together in rather plodding fashion; interspersed with some pretty interesting tidbits of history and science. Unfortunately it's not entirely correct (Diamond is very smart but no one person knows everything that's needed in an attempt like this) and some of it is outdated by now. There really needs to be a new edition.

Collapse is just depressing. Historical cite after historical site about how we're too stupid to avoid fouling our own nests. I couldn't get to the half way mark.

- DSK

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, bowman81 said:

I've tried a handful of time to read this, I'm interested in the subject matter but found it hard to read. I might have to give it another go.. 

 

It's worth having another go!  Diamonds works are very honest, truthful, but can be depressing indeed.  Best to face our fears, than to ignore, or bury them.  Malcolm Gladwell is another brilliant non-fiction Author of past and present day events..

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, bowman81 said:

I've tried a handful of time to read this, I'm interested in the subject matter but found it hard to read. I might have to give it another go.. 

His messages and science are good but the books are very repetitive as far as the central theses are concerned. Lots of skimming to get through them. Collapse has some good news on the "potential" of recovery but mainly around china's top down management of its economy and industry. Lots of words to get there.

1492 and 1493 are much the same but with equally or even better facts about how we got to the number of walking water bags we are now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2021 at 8:03 PM, Maxx Baqustae said:

those are fun. I've talked about him on here before. happened to meet him at his booth at Southampton Boat show in 2016. he signed several copies of his books that I had bought at a used book store. Fun guy to talk to. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Lest you occasionally labor under the ridiculous assumption that 

the Drump regime was like any other  . . 

a must read is Hatchet Man in which 

a prosecutor lists and explains all the crimes of 

the most Dishonorable Wm Barr 

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/55577702-hatchet-man

55577702

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2021 at 7:57 AM, dyslexic dog said:

Needing some ideas for books to read. Just finishing "When the Irish invaded Canada" by Christopher Klein. A history lesson I did not know about. Probably the reason Canada's territories were united into one. Fascinating snippets. 

Also, "Undaunted Courage" by Ambrose on the Lewis and Clark expedition.

 

Hard to go wring with David E. Hoffman.  I've read The Dead Hand and The Billion Dollar Spy.  Both were excellent and very informative.

Under a Flaming Sky: The Great Hinckley Firestorm of 1894 by Daniel James Brown is compelling but at times so descriptive it's difficult to read the horrors those people endured.  Another of his books, The Indifferent Stars Above: The Harrowing Saga of a Donner Party Bride, is also a compelling read. 

Some other great reads - Hellhound on His Trail: The Stalking of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the International Hunt for His Assassin by Hampton Sides.  Other great books by him are In the Kingdom of Ice, On Desperate Ground and Ghost Soldiers

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/14/2021 at 12:25 AM, Steam Flyer said:

Which one, GS&S or Collapse?

GS&S has a great beginning followed by about 900 pages of tying approx 100 threads together in rather plodding fashion; interspersed with some pretty interesting tidbits of history and science. Unfortunately it's not entirely correct (Diamond is very smart but no one person knows everything that's needed in an attempt like this) and some of it is outdated by now. There really needs to be a new edition.

Collapse is just depressing. Historical cite after historical site about how we're too stupid to avoid fouling our own nests. I couldn't get to the half way mark.

- DSK

GS&S, I don't think I got beyond the first chapter. But work stress has been making reading in general challenging for the last few years so maybe it's more me than the book. 

Reading wired, the John Belushi biography by Bob Woodward, only a quarter in but it's pretty wild already. 

It's a nice step up in tone from underground by Murakami, a good book, just a dark topic. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

The Emerald Mile

Even if you've never run a river in your life this is a fascinating work of non fiction. It has a little something for everyone. Adventure, history, environmental activism, larger then life characters,  engineering, geology, hydraulogy, meteorology, a nod to Moitessier, Powell, more adventure and small hand built wooden boats.

Highly recommended.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just finishing "The Pier" by Bill Noel.

 It's almost a rip off of a recent Grisham book (Camino Wind), but not nearly good enough to be considered a rip off.

 I plan on re-reading "Beloved" next. It's been so long that I didn't remember it as a horror novel until my sister said something to that effect a month or so ago.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2021 at 2:25 PM, valis said:

Yes, Hornblower!  I have the full set in paperback, and for my Kindle all that are available (not all are).  A&E also had a good miniseries based on the books, but the last time I tried to find it it seemed to have vanished.

As long as we're talking about Napoleonic-era British navy epics, the Jack Aubrey books (Master and Commander, etc.) by Patrick O'Brian are also excellent.

Non-fiction, I have a shelf full of historical Arctic and Antarctic exploration.  "The Last Place on Earth" and "Shackleton" by Roland Huntford are very good, although some take issue with his treatment of Scott.

Sci-Fi, don't get me started, but Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon" is a favorite.

trying to read M&C..  so far it's been tedious..   I mean the first chapter when he meets his surgeon  for god's sake it's like Frodo and Sam in LOTR, just have sex already...   hopefully it'll get better soon..

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/9/2021 at 4:06 PM, MisterMoon said:


I finally picked up last week and read it all the way through: Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

Recommend.  
 

Frazier is my wife’s cousin. The true story of her great3granduncle is more succinct: he did escape the Yankee prison, and was returning home, having deserted the cause in which he did not believe. Poor sod was wearing a Yankee uniform and the Home Guard shot him. His daddy brought him home in a wagon. His wife and kids (was married when he left for the war.) mourned bitterly. Truth is sadder than the novel.

Sorry to digress: digging Salman Rushdie’s stuff. Dalrymple’s histories of India help clarify Rushdie’s references. All are good reads.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

For anybody interested in Cold War history, I just finished a very good book titled Berlin 1961, by Fredrick Kempe, published in 2011.

With access to recently declassified documents, Kempe writes about the new president Kennedy's response to the events preceding and through the construction of the Berlin Wall.  Kennedy's conversations with Khrushchev and other world leaders at the time are discussed in detail.  

Kennedy was just recovering from the Bay of Pigs debacle and Khrushchev's beat down of him at a summit meeting in Vienna not long after that event.  Khrushchev perceived Kennedy as young, inexperienced and indecisive and decided to push him on the issue of the divided city of Berlin.

The world came very close to WWIII, and a nuclear conflict between the Soviet Union and the US because of the events of August,1961 and some critical mistakes made early on by Kennedy.  

Kempe presents good arguments about what Kennedy could have done differently, and perhaps the Cold War, and the domination of Eastern Europe by the Soviets could have ended sooner.  Or perhaps not.  

The book goes into extreme details of the diplomatic negotiations, including a back channel directly to the president, between Robert Kennedy and a Soviet spy, and  a detailed examination of military actions, including plans for a preemptive nuclear strike on the Soviet Union.  While sometimes these kind of historical details can be lengthy and boring, Kempe presents it in a manner that makes the book read like a page turning thriller using the actual dialogue of the participants .  

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

trying to read M&C..  so far it's been tedious..   I mean the first chapter when he meets his surgeon  for god's sake it's like Frodo and Sam in LOTR, just have sex already...   hopefully it'll get better soon..

I found the whole series a ponderous exercise in clever wordsmithing over substance. I remember scenarios with other ships and I couldn't figure out what the fuck was happening. Give me clear writing!

- DSK

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

trying to read M&C..  so far it's been tedious..   I mean the first chapter when he meets his surgeon  for god's sake it's like Frodo and Sam in LOTR, just have sex already...   hopefully it'll get better soon..

Spoiler alert:  Aubrey and Maturin don't have sex.

Yes, there are many slow-paced sections in the Master and Commander series, just accept it and enjoy the voyage.

Speaking of slow-paced and self-indulgent, I just finished Neal Stephenson's latest novel, "Termination Shock".  It takes place in a climate-changed world a few decades from now, where Covid variants are still at large (but the Covid thing is almost a throw-away part of the story).  Lots of characters, interesting technology, international in scope, multiple intersecting story-arcs, and a little sex.  There is the usual Stephenson digression but it's pretty entertaining and it all comes together in the end.  No, the planet isn't saved, but just maybe helped, mostly, we don't know.  In spite of everything, I enjoyed the novel and was sorry to have it end.  It's much tighter than Stevenson's previous "Fall - Dodge in Hell", which I also enjoyed.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Boys In The Boat is about the 1936 US Olympic Mens 8 who won gold in Munich. It's the best sports book I've ever read. It's set against the Great Depression and the rise of Hitler. I saw a photo of Steve Kerr reading a book on the Warriors team plane. I zoomed in and it was Boys In The Boat. I thought that was a good enough recommendation for me.

I'd recommend Marryat well over O'Brian. Marryat was the shit as a sailor. O'Brian? Think Steven Mitchell translations. (Mitchell doesn't know any other languages.)

I just finished The Supermen, a biography of Seymour Cray. I liked it a lot better than The Soul of a New Machine, the obvious comparison. It starts with tube based bombe cryptographic machines in WWII, ERA, CDC, Cray, .... Whenever you see RISC mentally translate that into Cray. There's nothing Hennessy and Patterson thought up that Cray hadn't already done. BTW, Cray was a sailor, a boat builder and a windsurfer.

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

trying to read M&C..  so far it's been tedious..   I mean the first chapter when he meets his surgeon  for god's sake it's like Frodo and Sam in LOTR, just have sex already...   hopefully it'll get better soon..

IMHO, some of the best ever. Not quick reads- lots of meat. FWIW, I have read through the 20 and a half books four times over the years. NYT called them the best historical novels ever written. Your mileage may vary.

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Olsonist said:

Boys In The Boat is about the 1936 US Olympic Mens 8 who won gold in Munich. It's the best sports book I've ever read. It's set against the Great Depression and the rise of Hitler. I saw a photo of Steve Kerr reading a book on the Warriors team plane. I zoomed in and it was Boys In The Boat. I thought that was a good enough recommendation for me.

I'd recommend Marryat well over O'Brian. Marryat was the shit as a sailor. O'Brian? Think Steven Mitchell translations. (Mitchell doesn't know any other languages.)

I just finished The Supermen, a biography of Seymour Cray. I liked it a lot better than The Soul of a New Machine, the obvious comparison. It starts with tube based bombe cryptographic machines in WWII, ERA, CDC, Cray, .... Whenever you see RISC mentally translate that into Cray. There's nothing Hennessy and Patterson thought up that Cray hadn't already done. BTW, Cray was a sailor, a boat builder and a windsurfer.

I was pleasantly surprised that  "Boys in the Boat" was as good as it was.

 I was expecting another "Chariots of Fire" type book.

It's not on the top of my best books read this year list, but it's on the list.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As has been mentioned above Blind Man's Bluff. I would also add to that The Taking of K-129.  for Cold War intrigue.

One of my favorite Sailing books is The Philosophy of Sailing by Christian Williams.

Boys in the Boat was also very good. 

East of Eden by John Steinbeck, I would have to put in my top 5 books. 

Longitude: the True Story of the lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of his Time. by Dava Sobel

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Off Watch said:

East of Eden by John Steinbeck, I would have to put in my top 5 books. 

East of Eden is a great book.  So is The Grapes of Wrath.  Steinbeck is a genius.

I read The Grapes of Wrath in the 7th grade.  I re-read the book about a year ago.  After I finished it, I realized that until then I had no idea how much that book shaped my world view all those years ago.

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ed Lada said:
14 hours ago, justsomeguy! said:

"What to read?"

The manual, of course.

Heretic!

Turn in your man card right now.

Is that like reading the instructions?

I never read the instructions, but sometimes I look at the pictures.

- DSK

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Steam Flyer said:

Is that like reading the instructions?

I never read the instructions, but sometimes I look at the pictures.

- DSK

Usually, instructions are an even easier (less technical) read than manuals.

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Steam Flyer said:

Is that like reading the instructions?

I never read the instructions, but sometimes I look at the pictures.

- DSK

The problem with most manuals today is that most were written by someone that english was not there first language. 

At least the pictures don't get lost in translation.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just about halfway through "Radio Free Vermont" by Bill McKibben.

 A fun easy read. It helps if you know the area, and the breweries that literally flood the book.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/30/2021 at 7:18 PM, Off Watch said:

The problem with most manuals today is that most were written by someone that english was not there first language. 

At least the pictures don't get lost in translation.

I did a stint as a technical writer for 6 months. The problem is they were not looking for anything that was very technical and definitely they were not interested in good English or grammar.  Beyond any language difficulties, I think you will find that most technical writers have no clue as to what they are writing about.  Sadly, someone being a native born English speaker is no guarantee that they can write well.  Seems to be getting worse as the generations go by.

Most of my reading is either science fiction or fantasy.  So I have nothing highfalutin to offer up.  After reading the thread I did go back and read The Hunt for Red October again.  Good book, with some inaccuracies about the Sikorsky CH53E.  Interesting trivia - Tom Clancy was invited to the plant in Stratford for a tour after that book and they gave him a briefing to help his accuracy going fo