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OT: Books

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tyland
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#21 » by tyland » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:19 am

MikeIsGood wrote:I am not much of a reader, and when I do read it tends to be business/professional-minded "self help" kind of books (I think it's a misleading term, but anyways...).

Smarter Faster Better. This is fantastic, and also very entertaining. Duhigg did a follow-up on it as well in the same style, and it loses some of it's magic somewhere, but still worth checking out if you end up digging it.
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/smarter-faster-better-charles-duhigg/1122614152

Getting Things Done. David Allen is smarter and more organized than you. Learn as much as you can.
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/getting-things-done-david-allen/1101546710?ean=9780143126560


Enjoyed both of these, especially GTD. Implemented a lot of changes to my legal practice after reading that book.

Two similar books which might be up your ally: Deep Work and Digital Minimalism both by Cal Newport.


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Re: OT: Books 

Post#22 » by chonestown » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:37 am

LittleRooster wrote:
Licensed to Il wrote:
chonestown wrote:
"The Road" is awesome, but pure nightmare fuel to read right now. I was broken after finishing it.


Yeah, I read “The Road” when my wife was pregnant with our first son. It messed me up for a long time. I was this close to buying a gun and burying canned food.

The Road is on my list but I’ve heard the same thing from others, so I was thinking of checking out All the Pretty Horses first. Have either if you read that?


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Yeah, AtPH is well worth your time.

I have rarely been affected by a book as much as "The Road." Do read it, but it cuts way too close to the bone right now. I can scarcely believe Licensed to Ill read it while his son was on the way, he must be made of stronger stuff than me.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#23 » by Beorn » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:27 am

Having read everything of Cormac McCarthy from Bloody Meridian to The Road, just plunge into it. I put a solid 9.5/10 in these 2, and an harsh 8.5 to his Border Trilogy.

The Book Thief is the next one in my backlog

And from my 2020 quarantine reads, I highly recommend:

All Quiet in the Western Front is a great piece of literature
Life in the Tomb is the Balkan Front equivalent of Remarque's WW1 trench novel
Handmaid's Tale
Persepolis for a view on the Iranian Revolution, from a non-anglosaxon POV
Forest Brothers. A harrowing journal of the hopeless post-WW2 guerilla struggle in the baltic forests.
Hilary Mantel's Cromwell Trilogy. Extremely well-written, and I am someone who dislikes the anglo-centric history novels.
Killing Rommel was extremely interesting and well-written
Mark Lawrence's Impossible times is a really fun account of a kid who manages to unlock time-travel, will remind you a lot the Strange Things series

Now for some old-fashioned fantasy stuff:
Kingkiller Chronicle has already been mentioned.
Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen is a tremendous, 10-volume piece of madness, humour and tragedy.
His Kharkanas ongoing series is ancient tragedy dressed in a fantasy cloak, highly recommend it too.
Esslemont's series on the same universe is clearly inferior, I would rank it well below everything else on this list, but it helps you get a more complete picture of this universe.
Guy Gavriel Kay is the Gabriel Garcia Marquez of fantasy. Uses themes from history to create a story, best prose in this branch of fiction probably.
Joe Abercrombie's First Law

that's all from the top of my head, will come back later if necessary
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#24 » by MickeyDavis » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:21 pm

I like history and a good book I read awhile ago was Manhunt: The 12 Day Chase for Lincoln's Killer. Interesting book, a lot of stuff I didn't know prior.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#25 » by buckboy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 1:32 pm

Anything by Cormac McCarthy.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I really like Tom Wolfe, although others disagree.

As you can see, I don't read much anymore with all the children, but when I had time those were my favorites. Warning: They're pretty dense, all of them. Not exactly light, fluffy writing. Maybe Wolfe, but certainly not the others.

On a side note, I had a personally signed first edition of Infinite Jest. It was my prized possession. During my divorce, my ex-wife took it to a book store and sold it for $200. She was so proud of herself for rubbing that in my face. That was the closest I ever came to punching a woman (not really close btw).
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#26 » by HaroldinGMinor » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:00 pm

I asked this question in the OT thread a while back and someone recommended The Dog Stars. I actually read it and loved it. But I forgot to thank the person that gave the rec so....thank you.

Some books I've read this year:

Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut
Finished this over a weekend. I had never read a KV book and really liked this one. He is very easy to read and has such a dry wit.

Range - David Epstein
Non fiction. Is it better to specialize or have a broad set of skills? Loved this book. Same guy wrote Sports Gene which is also really good.

The War for Kindess - Jamil Zaki
Non Fiction. The science behind empathy. Excellent book.

Drive - Daniel Pink
Non Fiction. What drives someone to succeed? Is it money? Purpose? Good for people in management or other professions where you need to motivate people.

The Dog Stars - Peter Heller
A guy and his dog survive a post-pandemic world in the mountains near Boulder, CO. Kinda like The Road. I really enjoyed it.

I went on a sci-fi kick recently too:
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
A contest is held to see who can finish a video game and win a massive fortune (and basically control all of humanity). I loved this book. If you are Gen X it will bring back all the nostalgia feels.

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
A kid trains to save the world against alien invaders. I liked this book but didn't think it was the incredible work of fiction that its reputation led me to believe it would be.

In Progress - Neuromancer - William Gibson
Cyber punk. Full of jargon and slang. I needed to read the wiki pedia entry to figure out what was going on. I think I've got the hang of it half way through.

Read last year - Mindset - Carol Dweck
Non Fiction. Fixed vs Open mindset and the science behind each. Really changed my perspective. Highly recommend to anybody.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#27 » by FrieAaron » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:10 pm

It's been forever but I preferred "Ender's Shadow" to the original.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#28 » by emunney » Thu Jul 23, 2020 4:31 pm

buckboy wrote:Anything by Cormac McCarthy.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I really like Tom Wolfe, although others disagree.

As you can see, I don't read much anymore with all the children, but when I had time those were my favorites. Warning: They're pretty dense, all of them. Not exactly light, fluffy writing. Maybe Wolfe, but certainly not the others.

On a side note, I had a personally signed first edition of Infinite Jest. It was my prized possession. During my divorce, my ex-wife took it to a book store and sold it for $200. She was so proud of herself for rubbing that in my face. That was the closest I ever came to punching a woman (not really close btw).


Are you talking Bonfire of the Vanities hacky fake Mark Twain Tom Wolfe or towering early 20th century genius Thomas Wolfe?

Anyway I will second McCarthy, although Blood Meridian is head and shoulders above the rest (and pretty much everything else), and IJ, which was the first Big Book I ever read. Wallace's work is deeply comforting and delightful to me. I took his death personally.

Would also like to throw out there Midnight's Children by Rushdie.

Invisible Man by Ellison.

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre.

Catch-22 by Heller.

The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

Moby Dick.

The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon.

I am also a Big Short Fiction Boy. Nine Stories by Salinger is a favorite collection. I think about "Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes" by Carver almost every day. Wallace looms large here as well. "The Dead" by Joyce changed my brain. Hemingway is better here than he ever was in novels, which is not a knock on his novels (especially the first two); "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a personal favorite of mine. Borges. BORGES.

My personal favorite poem is "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota".

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Re: OT: Books 

Post#29 » by WeekapaugGroove » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:04 pm

Just finished Sapiens, good overall but some parts got a little boring.

Recently read Empire of the Summer Moon, it's about the Comanches and if you like history I definitely recommend this book. Really enjoyed it.

If youre looking for a very fun read about a true crime story Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is an outstanding book and wild ride.

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Re: OT: Books 

Post#30 » by MikeIsGood » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:08 pm

tyland wrote:
MikeIsGood wrote:I am not much of a reader, and when I do read it tends to be business/professional-minded "self help" kind of books (I think it's a misleading term, but anyways...).

Smarter Faster Better. This is fantastic, and also very entertaining. Duhigg did a follow-up on it as well in the same style, and it loses some of it's magic somewhere, but still worth checking out if you end up digging it.
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/smarter-faster-better-charles-duhigg/1122614152

Getting Things Done. David Allen is smarter and more organized than you. Learn as much as you can.
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/getting-things-done-david-allen/1101546710?ean=9780143126560


Enjoyed both of these, especially GTD. Implemented a lot of changes to my legal practice after reading that book.

Two similar books which might be up your ally: Deep Work and Digital Minimalism both by Cal Newport.


Digital Minimalism has been on my list for a while after hearing good things. Just ordered it - thanks for the recommendation!
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#31 » by Shoot it FatBoy » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:14 pm

FrieAaron wrote:Some of my favorites:

Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Iliad - Homer
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
I, Claudius - Robert Graves
Wizard and Glass - Stephen King
A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Road - Cormac McCarthy


Curious how book 4 of a 7 book series makes the list? Why not just list The Dark Tower series?
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#32 » by feldm093 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 5:40 pm

Always enjoy picking through others' reading lists and finding out where everybody's interests lie.

Currently reading "Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World" by Liaquat Ahamed. Deals with the role of Interwar central bankers from the US, UK, France, and Germany in trying to thread the needle of suffocating war debt, the fraught politics of reparations, broken currency exchange systems fluctuating around the gold standard, and founding a "modern" central bank system institutionally indepedent of elected officials. Finance at that level can easily be overwhelming to parse through for a layman, but Ahamed does a great job tacking away from technical terminology when moving from topic to topic through the '20s and '30s. Thought it was really timely given the recent wrangling in the EU about allocating grants/loans between member states to tackle economic fallout from Covid (if you squint really hard and are prone to poor comparisons like I am).

Also curious in what form people prefer to read their books? The libraries in the Twin Cities are pretty robust, so I can find almost any book I want between the county/city/university systems I have access to. I tend to mix my reading between physical copies and Kindle ebooks available there. If there's a book I really cherish and want for the personal collection then I'll splurge, but almost always for a paperback version if I can find it.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#33 » by FrieAaron » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:10 pm

Shoot it FatBoy wrote:
FrieAaron wrote:Some of my favorites:

Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Iliad - Homer
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
I, Claudius - Robert Graves
Wizard and Glass - Stephen King
A Storm of Swords - George RR Martin
The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
The Road - Cormac McCarthy


Curious how book 4 of a 7 book series makes the list? Why not just list The Dark Tower series?


Same as "A Storm of Swords," I just think they're the best in their series by a large margin. The King one specifically can almost be read stand-alone, but just went with single novels rather than throwing in series.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#34 » by jute2003 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 6:41 pm

FrieAaron wrote:It's been forever but I preferred "Ender's Shadow" to the original.
Doesnt everyone? That series sure got weird fast.

It is a shame that the author is a turd.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#35 » by HaroldinGMinor » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:05 pm

jute2003 wrote:
FrieAaron wrote:It's been forever but I preferred "Ender's Shadow" to the original.
Doesnt everyone? That series sure got weird fast.

It is a shame that the author is a turd.


That's why I decided to not continue on with the series.




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Re: OT: Books 

Post#36 » by Beorn » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:17 pm

emunney wrote:Catch-22 by Heller.

The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.


Jeez, I forgot Catch-22 and Steinbeck, definitely in my "100books to read before you die" list.

Question for you, Americans. What kind of reaction the Grapes of Wrath evoke to you? The question has political branches on multiple levels, but I would like to know about Steinbeck's reception in US.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#37 » by jute2003 » Thu Jul 23, 2020 10:29 pm

HaroldinGMinor wrote:
jute2003 wrote:
FrieAaron wrote:It's been forever but I preferred "Ender's Shadow" to the original.
Doesnt everyone? That series sure got weird fast.

It is a shame that the author is a turd.


That's why I decided to not continue on with the series.
I read it years ago before his turdiness was more well known. You didnt miss much after Enders Game and Enders shadow.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#38 » by LittleRooster » Thu Jul 23, 2020 11:36 pm

Beorn wrote:
emunney wrote:Catch-22 by Heller.

The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.


Jeez, I forgot Catch-22 and Steinbeck, definitely in my "100books to read before you die" list.

Question for you, Americans. What kind of reaction the Grapes of Wrath evoke to you? The question has political branches on multiple levels, but I would like to know about Steinbeck's reception in US.

Regarding my reaction to Grapes: I found everything he wrote about applies today. People want to blame someone for losing their way of life (remember the scene in the beginning in the field, the guy destroying the farms) but as the book goes into it’s the system itself.

I think about the book a lot and how the characters (“Oakies” in general) were treated and there’s certainly correlations today. I think about the one community they were in that was self sufficient and see an ideal of what life could be.

I suppose in summation, I was moved greatly by the book and by the character’s plights. I perhaps loved the preacher the most since he was so damn human.

I have no idea if any of this answers your question?
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#39 » by Licensed to Il » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:23 am

WeekapaugGroove wrote:Just finished Sapiens, good overall but some parts got a little boring.

Recently read Empire of the Summer Moon, it's about the Comanches and if you like history I definitely recommend this book. Really enjoyed it.

If youre looking for a very fun read about a true crime story Ballad of the Whiskey Robber is an outstanding book and wild ride.

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Empire of the Summer Moon is so riveting. The Comanche were so brutal and violent, but one can’t fault them for fighting to preserve the only lifestyle they knew. Not like the pioneers were exactly pacifist either. The story of Cynthia Parker (stolen from a Texas ranch, raised by Comanche, liberated by rangers, and freely choosing to return to native life) is an all time curveball. The fact that her son was both a legendary warrior and then statesman and advocate for his people is epic.

Gwynn is one of my favorite historians.
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Re: OT: Books 

Post#40 » by buckboy » Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:35 am

emunney wrote:
buckboy wrote:Anything by Cormac McCarthy.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I really like Tom Wolfe, although others disagree.

As you can see, I don't read much anymore with all the children, but when I had time those were my favorites. Warning: They're pretty dense, all of them. Not exactly light, fluffy writing. Maybe Wolfe, but certainly not the others.

On a side note, I had a personally signed first edition of Infinite Jest. It was my prized possession. During my divorce, my ex-wife took it to a book store and sold it for $200. She was so proud of herself for rubbing that in my face. That was the closest I ever came to punching a woman (not really close btw).


Are you talking Bonfire of the Vanities hacky fake Mark Twain Tom Wolfe or towering early 20th century genius Thomas Wolfe?

Anyway I will second McCarthy, although Blood Meridian is head and shoulders above the rest (and pretty much everything else), and IJ, which was the first Big Book I ever read. Wallace's work is deeply comforting and delightful to me. I took his death personally.

Would also like to throw out there Midnight's Children by Rushdie.

Invisible Man by Ellison.

Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre.

Catch-22 by Heller.

The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

Moby Dick.

The Crying of Lot 49 by Pynchon.

I am also a Big Short Fiction Boy. Nine Stories by Salinger is a favorite collection. I think about "Bicycles, Muscles, Cigarettes" by Carver almost every day. Wallace looms large here as well. "The Dead" by Joyce changed my brain. Hemingway is better here than he ever was in novels, which is not a knock on his novels (especially the first two); "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" is a personal favorite of mine. Borges. BORGES.

My personal favorite poem is "Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy's Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota".



Agree with a lot of this, although some of it is above my pay grade.

Joyce is above my level, although god knows I tried.

I've read a lot of Salinger despite "Catcher in the Rye", which I found overbearing and obvious. His other writings are much more subtle.

I find Hemingway tedious as well (in general). Too wordy for me although that's probably my failing, not his.

Moby Dick is a top 5 novel in my world, possibly #1.

A lot of great suggestions, Steinbeck's works are incredible in general, "Invisible Man" changed my views on a lot of things at a young age. "Catch-22" is very, very well written.

I'm excited to read some of your other suggestions now that the kids have mostly grown up.

Also, I actually cried when i heard DFW died.
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