What book are you reading right now? Recommend it?

  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Jul 06, 2013 8:42 PM GMT
    I love hearing other people's recommended reading lists and why they enjoyed a book, and then adding to my own must read list. I've only got a couple left that others recommended and I'm hoping to hear some more!

    Right now I'm reading "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions" by Thomas Kuhn. I'm only around 1/3 into it, but one of the reviews that seems to be accurate: Perhaps the best explanation of [the] process of discovery. Essentially, the book examines how scientific paradigm shifts happen and how new scientific disciplines are discovered and how they mature throughout time. It's categorized as a philosophy book, and I'd say the thought process laid out (so far) can easily be connected to everyday observations. I'm only 1/3 into it, but I'd highly recommend it.
  • Rhi_Bran

    Posts: 904

    Jul 06, 2013 9:09 PM GMT
    "The Last Kingdom". It's a historical fiction about the Danish conquest of England in the 9th century, told from the perspective of a young English lord who is taken captive by the Danes. If you're into that genre I'd totally recommend it. The author, Bernard Cornwell, is famous for his contributions to it.
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    Jul 06, 2013 9:43 PM GMT
    I've fallen off the wagon with non-fiction and have been reading mysteries. I've read so many flat mysteries with no character development and was happy discover that there are authors who write good mysteries. My current favorite is Donna Leon. I can't remember the author but the Swedish woman who writes the inspector Irene Huss series is also good. No authors are as good as Donna Leon though.

    For non-fiction I was reading war history; John Keegan is my favorite there. If you like war history "A world at arms : a global history of World War II" by Gerhard L Weinberg is a must read.
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    Jul 06, 2013 9:46 PM GMT
    "City at the End of Time" by Greg Bear. A science fiction novel. It's an 'alternate worlds' type of novel but with some interesting twists. I'm about 2/3 of the way into it and I'm still not sure where it's going, but I'm enjoying it. Good light summer reading.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Jul 06, 2013 9:56 PM GMT
    Right now, I'm reading "The House of Special Purpose," by John Boyne

    He's a really great author, who happens to be gay.

    He also wrote,

    "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas"
    "The Absolutist"
    "Next of Kin"
    "Crippen"
    "The Thief of Time" (haven't read this one, yet)

    I have all of these, and they're all great.
    I'd say that they're all dramatic stories about families and/or relationships. "Crippen" is based on a true story. "The House of Special Purpose" borrows some details from history (the Tsar Nicholas II family).

    Check them out on amazon.com, where you can read a few pages.
    Then, by them from another dealer, so that you don't have to pay sales tax.
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    Jul 06, 2013 10:00 PM GMT
    It has been some time since I read Kuhn. Maybe it would be interesting to do so again, now that I'm old enough to have lived (and battled) through a few paradigm shifts, if not exactly revolutions. Seems like a suitable book to put on the boat for those lazy nights at anchor with no television or internet distractions.

    This week, I'm reading "Dancer From the Dance" by Andrew Holleran. One of the supposed classics of "gay literature." A narrative about the gay scene in Manhattan in the 70's. I got about half-way through it in one sitting the other day when we had to retreat from the heat down in the daylight basement. It is most remarkable for its use of language, I'd say. The characterization seems a bit shallow. We'll see how the second half plays out. A comic-erotic-tragedy set in the pre-AIDS hedonism, where the only requirements to play are physical perfection and homosexual desire.
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    Jul 06, 2013 10:05 PM GMT
    I'm currently getting into Richard Brookhister's Founding Fathers series. It's a fantastic read. He doesn't offer his analysis and commentary of their lives and accomplishments off of speculation or arbitrary information. But on facts, how they were reported to have carried themselves, actual actions they did, journal recordings and other written account. Even still the summations he comes to without the weight of that is still anchored in what he has already conveyed to us about said figure. He doesn't use prose to hide lack of understanding. His uses technical language as a form of scientific poetry.
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    Jul 07, 2013 1:07 AM GMT
    mindgarden saidThis week, I'm reading "Dancer From the Dance" by Andrew Holleran.

    I remember enjoying that book when I read it back in the 80s or whenever it was. The 2nd or last part I remember being a bit strange and dissatisfying.
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    Jul 07, 2013 3:38 AM GMT
    Right now I'm reading George RR Martin - A Dance With Dragons. I've been on an Ice and Fire kick ever since season 3 of Game of Thrones ended.


    Rhi_Bran said"The Last Kingdom". It's a historical fiction about the Danish conquest of England in the 9th century, told from the perspective of a young English lord who is taken captive by the Danes. If you're into that genre I'd totally recommend it. The author, Bernard Cornwell, is famous for his contributions to it.


    I've enjoyed many of Bernard Cornwell's books - the way he weaves fiction with historical settings is cool. I didn't read this book, but I recall reading his alternative King Arthur series and The Archer's Tale, both were really good.
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    Jul 07, 2013 3:46 AM GMT
    "Personality Negotiating" - Tom Anastasi
    "Chromosome 6" - Robin Cook

    I am a Robin Cook junkie. He specializes in medical/scifi mysteries. I also recommend "Blindsight" by him.

    If you are looking for gay literature, try "Dryland's End". A lot of people didn't like it and the character develpment is rather bland. But the story/plot is amazing. For light gay reading, anything by Brent Hartinger, but I've only read "Order of the Poison Oak"

    Greg Fox has an awesome gay comic series called "Kyle's Bed and Breakfast". I have the first book, dying to purchase the second.
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    Jul 07, 2013 4:34 AM GMT
    I'm in the middle of To Have or Have Not by Hemingway. The racist language in it is somewhat distracting, but I guess that's how they talked in those days -- or at least that's how the sort of first person narrator that Hemingway is trying to conjure up would do. I was in Key West for the first time this past December and picked up this copy at the Hemingway House. I was interested in reading this Hemingway novel in particular because it's set in Cuba and Key West.
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    Jul 07, 2013 4:47 AM GMT
    Dukkha the suffering. it's a martial arts thriller book. Fucking amazing
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    Jul 07, 2013 6:06 AM GMT
    duluthrunner saidI'm in the middle of To Have or Have Not by Hemingway. The racist language in it is somewhat distracting, but I guess that's how they talked in those days -- or at least that's how the sort of first person narrator that Hemingway is trying to conjure up would do. I was in Key West for the first time this past December and picked up this copy at the Hemingway House. I was interested in reading this Hemingway novel in particular because it's set in Cuba and Key West.

    Somehow I've managed to make it to the ripe old age of 60 without ever having read any Hemingway. I just fixed that by putting this book on hold at the library.
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    Jul 07, 2013 3:20 PM GMT
    Lumpynose said
    duluthrunner saidI'm in the middle of To Have or Have Not by Hemingway. The racist language in it is somewhat distracting, but I guess that's how they talked in those days -- or at least that's how the sort of first person narrator that Hemingway is trying to conjure up would do. I was in Key West for the first time this past December and picked up this copy at the Hemingway House. I was interested in reading this Hemingway novel in particular because it's set in Cuba and Key West.

    Somehow I've managed to make it to the ripe old age of 60 without ever having read any Hemingway. I just fixed that by putting this book on hold at the library.


    Let me know what you think of it. I read *For Whom the Bell Tolls* in High School. Can't say I remember it much. Probably deserves another read. I've read *The Sun Also Rises* once in my twenties and once in my forties. Excellent read -- and like many good books -- I got a lot more out of it the second time. In college I read a collection of his early short stories, mostly set in northern Michigan, called *In Our Time*. I recall those as being pretty good. That was in the same freshman seminar where we read one of (imho) the all time great American works of fiction - *Winesburg, Ohio* by Sherwood Anderson.
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    Jul 07, 2013 3:30 PM GMT
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    Jul 07, 2013 5:09 PM GMT
    Yes, I read "Winesburg, Ohio" and loved it. Many of the stories were great, some were weird. Another great American author who has some weird stories is Flannery O'Connor.

    Thanks for the Hemmingway suggestions.
  • maxferguson

    Posts: 321

    Jul 13, 2013 8:05 PM GMT
    Lumpynose saidI've fallen off the wagon with non-fiction and have been reading mysteries. I've read so many flat mysteries with no character development and was happy discover that there are authors who write good mysteries. My current favorite is Donna Leon. I can't remember the author but the Swedish woman who writes the inspector Irene Huss series is also good. No authors are as good as Donna Leon though.

    For non-fiction I was reading war history; John Keegan is my favorite there. If you like war history "A world at arms : a global history of World War II" by Gerhard L Weinberg is a must read.


    I will certainly be giving A World at Arms a look. Enthusiast would be the wrong word to describe my interest in WWI, but I always find it so fascinating how quickly the majority of our species escalated into the most fierce and protracted conflict in human history. It was obvious that there was global tension, but all anyone needed was half a spark to ignite the tinderbox (re: Archduke Franz Ferdinand). Then as soon as it was done, there were never any feelings that it wasn't worth fighting (unlike today's sport wars). The more fascinating part is how quickly we managed to outdo ourselves with WWII following shortly after.

    If you like mystery, you might like Stephen Frey. All of his plots have a vaguely similar DNA to them, but each one engages you in such a unique way that you have to read them all. It takes a bit of patience to let him spin his web, but once you have enough dots, you can't stop turning the pages trying to connect them. I haven't read all of his works, but really enjoyed the ones I did:
    - Hell's Gate
    - Shadow Account
    - The Protege
    - The Successor

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    Jul 13, 2013 8:19 PM GMT
    one of my philosophy professors studied with Thomas Kuhn and admired his work . . .

    Wittgenstein's Poker is a good read . . .
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    Jul 13, 2013 8:22 PM GMT
    "Fire Island Pines" by Tom Bianchi

    It's a great reflections on the times and the heydays of Fire Island 1975-1983.

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    Jul 13, 2013 8:31 PM GMT
    I've been reading "Wool" by hugh howey lately and I've realized how much I miss reading for pleasure. In the last few years i convinced myself that i should read more "literature-y" books to be seem more articulate/cultured/whatever so I picked up the usual slow-digesting sludge of postmodern fiction and philosophy, and slowly reading became a bit of a chore, self improvement which put me to sleep at night.

    Wool reminded me of what it was like to read a good page turner again. Its fun, well paced and well written. Only halfway through it but its highly recommended.
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    Jul 13, 2013 8:39 PM GMT
    maxferguson saidIf you like mystery, you might like Stephen Frey.

    Great, thanks. I'll get whichever one is the first one from the library.
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    Jul 13, 2013 9:23 PM GMT
    Since it's summer, I have been devouring popcorn books, mostly mysteries.

    Have read the first three of Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series, and they are mindlessly fun. I just started Dan Brown's Digital Fortress, and will finish that in the next few days, then on to Sue Grafton "U is for Undertow". I need good mindless fiction for my Nook, to read while on the elliptical.
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    Jul 13, 2013 9:24 PM GMT
    Some psychological book about skin problems called Skin Deep.. It's really some deep stuff written in it. :p
  • AvgJock

    Posts: 123

    Jul 13, 2013 9:26 PM GMT
    I'm finally getting around to reading Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. Pretty good.

    On the subject of Sue Grafton, I was once seated next to her at a dinner and she told me exactly how to commit the perfect murder. I've files that away for future use icon_smile.gif
  • samlenon

    Posts: 62

    Jul 13, 2013 9:33 PM GMT

    "Summer in Baden Baden " the original title is leto V Baden by Leonid Tyspkin

    Its an strange novel about the story of the writer narrated parallel with the story of Dostoyevsky..

    c how many ppl take part in this post?! LOL definitely shows a great number of readers we have in RJ ! wonderful