What to Read

Ed Lada

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I just finished this and, sorry to report, found it fairly underwhelming.  I much preferred Gentleman and RulesLincoln had some good "hero's journey" aspects, and the characters were interesting, but it just didn't grab me.  The whole was less than the sum of the parts.
It's all subjective I guess.  I just finished Rules a couple of days ago and I didn't much care for it.  Like you said about LincolnRules had some good parts but to me it just kind of meandered around.  It's always interesting when a man writes a book from a woman's perspective, but I can't say that it works well often.

Maybe Lincoln resonated with me because I have lived a chaotic life, just packing up and moving here, there and everywhere and finding amazing, wonderful, crazy and interesting people and adventures along the way.  I also love the part (and cried a little) where they were pouring the vintage Margaux down the drain, that is one of my absolute favorite wines ever.  

I am going to start A Gentleman in Moscow soon, I am looking forward to it.

 

Jules

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Just finished I Heard You Paint Houses by Charles Brandt.  This is an updated version of the original book first published in 2004.  It's about one of the closest guys to Jimmy Hoffa, who also became his assailant, Frank Sheeran. 

Brandt spent many years trying to extract the truth out of Sheeran.  But Sheeran didn't really open up until all the Mafia higher ups who would be implicated in crimes were dead, not to protect them but to keep himself from getting whacked.

In Frank's words, he said the mob ordered the hit on Hoffa because Hoffa refused to back down from taking the Teamsters back under his wing.  Sheeran was told by Russell Buffalino "what it is," which is Mafia speak to let Hoffa know he's on the hit list.

SPOILER ALERT

According to Sheeran, he picked up Hoffa for a meeting with Buffalino and other Mafia big wigs.  They walked into the house and Hoffa instantly knew something was wrong and headed back for the door.  Sheeran shot him in the back of the head and left.  Two "cleaners" were sitting in the kitchen and took Hoffa's body to a crematorium.

Some other interesting quotes had Sheeran delivering a suitcase of money to then Attorney General John Mitchell - all to get Nixon to pardon Hoffa.  Once for $500,000, once for $250,000 and once for $40,000.  Sheeran said he later learned the 40K became 17K by the time Nixon got it.

Sheeran also claimed knowledge that JFK was killed by the mob.  The Mafia was not happy with the RFK investigations so they figured take out JFK and RFK goes away when LBJ takes over.  Sheeran said LBJ's attorney general pick, Cyrus Vance, was much better. 

 

Ed Lada

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there's a rumor around here that Hoffa is buried on the golf course just down the road from me...

https://www.golfdigest.com/story/jimmy-hoffa-buried-savannah-inn-and-country-club-georgia-golf-course-mob-true-crime
Yeah, I think that one is at the bottom of a long list of places where Hoffa allegedly came to eternal rest.  

I think Jules's post is the most likely scenario.  Occam's razor and all that.

If you remember in Mario Puzo's The Godfather Don Corleone had done a favor for an undertaker and earned his undying gratitude.  When the Don does a favor for you, it's never free.  As my Italian mother used to say, "Una mano lava l'altra ed entrambi si lavano il viso."  "One hand washes the other and they both wash the face."  (No, my mother wasn't in the mob!)

 

Grabbler

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Re-reading...again...seemed appropriate...

Red_storm_rising.jpg

 

Charlie Foxtrot

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.

Top of the To-Be-Read pile is William Manchester/ Paul Ryan's The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. 1183 pages full of closely packed text; in an actual book, meant to be savored, page by page.

Before I can start that long-awaited tome, I must finish the mind candy 6th book in the Expanse series. Tough going so far - a lot of talking - damn little candy.   

 
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BillyO

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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.
I gave up with M&D early on, which was a shame because I'm extremely interested in old time surveying, I'm a surveyor myself. I just found the language too hard. Maybe I should just man up and give it another go. I feel like I need to improve my reading comprehension for it first though.

My favourite books:

The Brendan Voyage

Say Nothing

Master and Margarita

 

Ed Lada

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.

Top of the To-Be-Read pile is William Manchester/ Paul Ryan's The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Defender of the Realm, 1940-1965. 1183 pages full of closely packed text; in an actual book, meant to be savored, page by page.

Before I can start that long-awaited tome, I must finish the mind candy 6th book in the Expanse series. Tough going so far - a lot of talking - damn little candy.   
As somebody who reads an awful lot of history, I would avoid Manchester.  The man is to real history what Taco Bell is to real Mexican food.   If you are really interested in reading about Winny, there are any number of better authors, like almost any of them.  And Paul Reid finished the last book, not Paul Ryan.  Avoid Churchill's account of his own life as well.  

Unless you just want to be entertained.  Then have at it.

 

Charlie Foxtrot

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Hmm... Manchester certainly didn't do himself any credit with his largely fictional WWII memoirs. And he's long been thought of too much of a fan boi of his books' subjects (JFK being an extreme example). That being said, his scholarship is usually considered very good. And he does write a good yarn.  I've read several of Martin Gilbert's books; they should be a good counterpoise. 

Winston, too, is deeply in love with his subject... However, Mein Gott, as one of the pivotal characters of the 20th Century, he certainly has that right.  ;)

Thanks for the Paul Ryan/ Reid catch. Ryan is a miserable excuse for a miserable Engineer at work. My apologies to Mr Reid.    

 

animeproblem

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I simply must get down to Third Place Books for some new material, last re-reads have been "Doctor Sleep" (King) & "The Outsider" (also King), both precipitated by visits to lady wife's cardio doc (& I ask, what could be more boring).

Of course what happens is maybe somewhere between 15 to 50 pages for the appointment, then turns into wee hours of the morning, sure, maybe one more chapter.

Worryingly I now find myself tempted to pull "Mr. Mercedes", "Finders Keepers" & "End of Watch" off the shelf, or maybe "Under the Dome", might be 6th or 7th re read for that creaking antique, on the other hand I could go totally retro & drag out the Gibson collection (alarming how prescient Bill has been about the "Jackpot" idea, pandemics, financial instability, climate change, war, climate change).

We are doomed (shamelessly stolen from Gouvermail). 

 

Charlie Foxtrot

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I simply must get down to Third Place Books for some new material, last re-reads have been "Doctor Sleep" (King) & "The Outsider" (also King), both precipitated by visits to lady wife's cardio doc (& I ask, what could be more boring).

Of course what happens is maybe somewhere between 15 to 50 pages for the appointment, then turns into wee hours of the morning, sure, maybe one more chapter.
My schwerpunkt used to be Acres of Books in Long Beach, Cali. Two or three connected warehouses stuffed with books only very loosely organized. It was always like a treasure hunt.  

Now I use eBay or Amazon used books.  Love getting books I always wanted to read for 10-20 cents on the dollar.   

 

Steam Flyer

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 Was reading Tom Clancy yesterday by the pool in Cancun and a guy walked up and said he was Clancy’s cpa. Stated that he got investigated by the fbi for what he wrote about in “hunt for red October”. I guess he hit too close to home with what he proposed. 
Except for hiding the sub in Pamlico Sound, at the end. I laughed when I read that, it's the counterpoint to all the "meticulously researched" buzz about Clancy's stuff.

Pamlico Sound is big and impressive-looking on a map. It can be a tough body of water for two reasons... one is that weather patterns collide over it, tends to get rougher than you'd believe, quickly. The other reason it gets rough quickly is that it's SHALLOW. The deepest spot is about 25 ft and the entrances are ~15 ft with a controlling depth of 8 or 9, usually.

- DSK

 

Swaying

New member
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I gave up with M&D early on, which was a shame because I'm extremely interested in old time surveying, I'm a surveyor myself. I just found the language too hard. Maybe I should just man up and give it another go. I feel like I need to improve my reading comprehension for it first though.

My favourite books:

The Brendan Voyage

Say Nothing

Master and Margarita
Have you read any other Pynchon?  I like him but can understand why he's not to everyone's taste.  For M&D, there's a lot of surveying in the 1000 pages, but I'm not sure it's worth forcing yourself to read all the rest of it if you're not enjoying the ride.  With anything of his I figure I'm probably missing half of it (if I'm lucky), but I still enjoy the world he creates and the stories he tells, and how he tells them.  The Crying of Lot 49 is also terrific, and very short so a good intro to Pynchon without committing to the length of M&D or Gravity's Rainbow.

 

Chris in Santa Cruz CA

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Hmm... Manchester certainly didn't do himself any credit with his largely fictional WWII memoirs. And he's long been thought of too much of a fan boi of his books' subjects (JFK being an extreme example). That being said, his scholarship is usually considered very good. And he does write a good yarn.  I've read several of Martin Gilbert's books; they should be a good counterpoise. 

Winston, too, is deeply in love with his subject... However, Mein Gott, as one of the pivotal characters of the 20th Century, he certainly has that right.  ;)

Thanks for the Paul Ryan/ Reid catch. Ryan is a miserable excuse for a miserable Engineer at work. My apologies to Mr Reid.    
I am reading Erik Larsons Churchill book The Splendid and the Vile. Taken mostly from memoirs of the people around Churchill and then only the bit from the beginning of his being PM through the blitz.

Churchill’s multi volume memoir is just what it is. I like it because it’s got a lot of his actual letters/memos in it and it describes how he used the written word copiously to get done what he felt needed to be done. He won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for literature though more global in nature instead of for a single work. He was a pivotal human being as were Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. However, Winston took a sack filled with flaming shit and turned it into a fascist destroying multinational hammer. He understood the details and the economics around the war and was in a position to pull levers to affect the outcome. He understood the math. Hitler did not and would not listen to the people in his organization who did.  Putin, like Hitler, is just another deluded megalomaniac in a nuclear world. Bad combo.

 

hasher

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I am reading Erik Larsons Churchill book The Splendid and the Vile. Taken mostly from memoirs of the people around Churchill and then only the bit from the beginning of his being PM through the blitz.

Churchill’s multi volume memoir is just what it is. I like it because it’s got a lot of his actual letters/memos in it and it describes how he used the written word copiously to get done what he felt needed to be done. He won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for literature though more global in nature instead of for a single work. He was a pivotal human being as were Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. However, Winston took a sack filled with flaming shit and turned it into a fascist destroying multinational hammer. He understood the details and the economics around the war and was in a position to pull levers to affect the outcome. He understood the math. Hitler did not and would not listen to the people in his organization who did.  Putin, like Hitler, is just another deluded megalomaniac in a nuclear world. Bad combo.
That is a mouthful.

 

Steam Flyer

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Eastern NC
I am reading Erik Larsons Churchill book The Splendid and the Vile. Taken mostly from memoirs of the people around Churchill and then only the bit from the beginning of his being PM through the blitz.

Churchill’s multi volume memoir is just what it is. I like it because it’s got a lot of his actual letters/memos in it and it describes how he used the written word copiously to get done what he felt needed to be done. He won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for literature though more global in nature instead of for a single work. He was a pivotal human being as were Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. However, Winston took a sack filled with flaming shit and turned it into a fascist destroying multinational hammer. He understood the details and the economics around the war and was in a position to pull levers to affect the outcome. He understood the math. Hitler did not and would not listen to the people in his organization who did.  Putin, like Hitler, is just another deluded megalomaniac in a nuclear world. Bad combo.
I read this, great book. Pulled together a lot of interesting detail; but one quality of leadership had is that Winston could work with peole he didn't like, and who didn't like him. He'd matured. He also applied great patience and tact and humor to the task of getting the USA into the war. As a father and as a human being, profoundly flawed. As a dinner guest, a hoot (as long as you made sure his man took him home before trouble started). As a national leader, one of the towering figures of history.

- DSK

 

Charlie Foxtrot

Super Anarchist
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Floriduh
I am reading Erik Larsons Churchill book The Splendid and the Vile. Taken mostly from memoirs of the people around Churchill and then only the bit from the beginning of his being PM through the blitz.

Churchill’s multi volume memoir is just what it is. I like it because it’s got a lot of his actual letters/memos in it and it describes how he used the written word copiously to get done what he felt needed to be done. He won the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for literature though more global in nature instead of for a single work. He was a pivotal human being as were Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini, and Stalin. However, Winston took a sack filled with flaming shit and turned it into a fascist destroying multinational hammer. He understood the details and the economics around the war and was in a position to pull levers to affect the outcome. He understood the math. Hitler did not and would not listen to the people in his organization who did.  Putin, like Hitler, is just another deluded megalomaniac in a nuclear world. Bad combo.
Nicely put, Chris.

I'll look up the Larson; sounds at least interesting. There was another "Churchill Up Close and Unpersonal" view of Churchill over the canapes tray by some unemployed, titled London socialite that I found tiresome in the extreme. Yes, he was a lousy human being, often drunk, always abrupt, rude and uncaring - he'd be the first to admit that -  but fortunately for Western Civilization, his shortcomings were overknocked by his enormous leadership skills. He was the leader of the Free World, cajoling and guiding a declining Roosevelt, a petulant deGaulle, and a fractious Commonwealth. He used the hated Soviets to fight the closer Germans, destroy one foe and weakening the other.     

 
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