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goodbasil
05-31-2012, 09:01 AM
"Life of Pi", by Yann Martel

Has anyone else?

Paul Pless
05-31-2012, 09:09 AM
yes

Flying Orca
05-31-2012, 09:26 AM
The Surgeon's Mate. I've been re-reading O'Brian between other books.

Jim Mahan
05-31-2012, 09:34 AM
I love the ending.

David G
05-31-2012, 10:45 AM
I'll add Pi to my diet.

Just finished a Craig Johnson mystery 'Hell is Empty'. Very good! In fact the best of his Sheriff Longmire series I've read.

Before that I read a book that still leaves a bad taste. Vince Flynn is an author who can write a bit. His plotting is very good. He's a decent storyteller. He's been on the NY Time bestseller list for several books. Big political mysteries. Fast-paced and intriguing.

Problem is - he's both a huge weinie and an idealogue. Without knowing anything about him, I'd say he's a Tom Clancy wannabee... but without the self-discipline to keep his Randian philosophical ramblings from gratuitously intruding upon and polluting the plotline. At times - his drooling, fawning, glorification of all things military (esp. special ops folks and aviators) can bring on diabetes. His descriptions of fistfights and hand-to-hand combat come across as being written by someone who's never even suffered (and certainly never administered) so much as a fat lip or a bloody nose. His descriptions of military actions are - at turns - both well researched, and so overblown and romanticized as to be ridiculous. Again... I'm guessing... but I bet he wanted to be a flier, or a Navy Seal... and he was not allowed into the military - for physical or mental reasons. Bedwetting, or some such. I finished the book... but won't read anything else from him.

Gerarddm
05-31-2012, 10:49 AM
... This thread.

:-)

Actually, John Brooks' How to build glued-lap strake wooden boats.

TomF
05-31-2012, 10:53 AM
Haven't read Life of Pi, but it's on the list.

Recently finished Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay. Very interesting read. I have spent almost no imaginative time in various historical periods in China, though I've read through a lot of historical fiction on the European side of things. While the research was clearly really thorough, and Kay made the sense of mood and culture very tangible, it didn't overwhelm what is simply a whacking good read.

Now I'm back to reading gardening books for a bit.

JimD
05-31-2012, 11:34 AM
The Fabric of The Cosmos by Brian Greene.

BrianY
05-31-2012, 12:08 PM
I read it last summer... I guess I enjoyed it but thought that a large section of the later part of the book could have been eliminated without affecting the story. There's a lot in there that does nothing to advance the plot or explain anything in any way. When I finnished it, I had a mixed reaction - part of me felt that I had read something really great and meaningful and part of me felt that the author had really dropped the ball after setting up a very interesting scenario with an interesting protagonist. On a five point scale I rate it as a solid three.

Mrleft8
05-31-2012, 02:45 PM
The latest manuscript by J.B. Chicoine.
Only half way through chapter two, but it's starting out quite good!

Flying Orca
05-31-2012, 02:57 PM
Recently finished Under Heaven, by Guy Gavriel Kay (snip) a whacking good read.

He's awfully good at that, isn't he!

TomF
05-31-2012, 03:07 PM
He's awfully good at that, isn't he!Oh yeah. This copy of the book started with my inlaws in Ottawa, but has kept 3 of my family up nights since I brought it back to Fredericton. Just a great read.

Flying Orca
05-31-2012, 03:16 PM
I haven't got to it yet, but Oystagirl liked it.

switters
05-31-2012, 04:04 PM
I'll add Pi to my diet.

Just finished a Craig Johnson mystery 'Hell is Empty'. Very good! In fact the best of his Sheriff Longmire series I've read.

Before that I read a book that still leaves a bad taste. Vince Flynn is an author who can write a bit. His plotting is very good. He's a decent storyteller. He's been on the NY Time bestseller list for several books. Big political mysteries. Fast-paced and intriguing.

Problem is - he's both a huge weinie and an idealogue. Without knowing anything about him, I'd say he's a Tom Clancy wannabee... but without the self-discipline to keep his Randian philosophical ramblings from gratuitously intruding upon and polluting the plotline. At times - his drooling, fawning, glorification of all things military (esp. special ops folks and aviators) can bring on diabetes. His descriptions of fistfights and hand-to-hand combat come across as being written by someone who's never even suffered (and certainly never administered) so much as a fat lip or a bloody nose. His descriptions of military actions are - at turns - both well researched, and so overblown and romanticized as to be ridiculous. Again... I'm guessing... but I bet he wanted to be a flier, or a Navy Seal... and he was not allowed into the military - for physical or mental reasons. Bedwetting, or some such. I finished the book... but won't read anything else from him.

Rand was against the MIC in general and the Viet Nam war specifically. I am therefore unsure what you mean by randian philosophical ramblings in the context of your post.

switters
05-31-2012, 04:05 PM
and I'm currently reading The Baroque Cycle again, lots of spare time.

Bruce Taylor
05-31-2012, 06:46 PM
I splurged, and bought the last free-range copy of Urtiere oder Protozoa: I. Wimpertiere oder Ciliata, vols. 1-4, 1930-35, by the great ciliatologist, Alfred Kahl!

Reading it has been a really slow process, using the German I learned from watching Hogan's Heroes. :D

Flying Orca
05-31-2012, 06:52 PM
and I'm currently reading The Baroque Cycle again, lots of spare time.

I'll give it this, it started well.

Ron Williamson
05-31-2012, 07:00 PM
I splurged, and bought the last free-range copy of Urtiere oder Protozoa: I. Wimpertiere oder Ciliata, vols. 1-4, 1930-35, by the great ciliatologist, Alfred Kahl!

Reading it has been a really slow process, using the German I learned from watching Hogan's Heroes. :D
That should be fun.
R

David G
05-31-2012, 07:22 PM
Rand was against the MIC in general and the Viet Nam war specifically. I am therefore unsure what you mean by randian philosophical ramblings in the context of your post.

I wasn't saying that his man-crush on the military fit the Randian M.O. By Randian ramblings I refer to several of the author's quirks. First - the tendency toward relying on the Heroic Being. Second - his overblown, almost sycophantic, adulation of 'pure reason'. Third - his occasional muddling of motive, judgements, and rationalization of said judgements... typical of Objectivism. Fourth - his naive disdain for government and all social institutions (except the military - read Special Forces, Navy Seals, et.al. - and their cool toys and nifty assassination training).

I could go on... but if you're really curious - read his work for yourself and decide. For me - this issue isn't his philosophy, it's his undisciplined injection of said philosophy into his work. I may not agree politically with Tom Clancy, for instance, but I read his books with pleasure. This guy allows his sloppiness to turn an otherwise good book into a bit of a screed.

switters
06-01-2012, 09:43 AM
Got it, thanks for the response. I probably wont read it, got very burned out on Clancy, Brown, et al, while on duty because that genre was usually handy.

Jim Mahan
06-01-2012, 10:03 AM
I'm currently reading This Will Make You Smarter, edited by John Brockman.
EDGE.ORG presents original ideas by today's leading thinkers—Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, Daniel Kahneman, J. Craig Venter, Matt Ridley, and more than a hundred more.
One to two page essays answering the question: What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit?
I'm halfway through. I can't tell if I'm smarter yet...but it is interesting.

Iceboy
06-01-2012, 12:44 PM
Empire of the Summer Moon. S.C. Gwynne. Great historical read.

seanz
06-01-2012, 08:32 PM
At Home: A Short History Of Private Life by Bill Bryson.


Who knew that airport books could make you cleverer?

Chip-skiff
06-01-2012, 09:23 PM
Famous Dogs of the Civil War by Henry S. Orphelin.

Quasi-historical nonsense.

botebum
06-02-2012, 07:18 AM
I'll add Pi to my diet.Ditto

Right now it's The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life by Francis Parkman.
No Sense of Direction by Eric Raff, The Cruise of the Snark by Jack London, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson, and a few others are waiting in the wings.

Gotta love my Kindle! I burn through free and cheap reads like a maniac.

Doug

Tobago
06-02-2012, 10:23 AM
"I Am The Cheese" Robert Cormier

Flying Orca
06-02-2012, 01:27 PM
"I Am The Cheese" Robert Cormier

Damned fine book. His juvie stuff is brilliant and so is his adult stuff, like Fade.

skuthorp
06-02-2012, 07:09 PM
Restoring, Tuning an Using Classic Woodworking Tools.
Michael Dunbar
Sterling Publishing NY. 1969

Somehow I seem to be accumulating a 'collection" Yesterday I was given a box of wooden and metal planes, chisels, a drawknife etc by someone who would otherwise have sent the to the dump. I haven't even looked properly yet but there is a lot of rust.
So I picked this book up second hand and almost mint so, along with Bob Smalser's instructibles I can preserve them properly.

purri
06-02-2012, 09:28 PM
Alexis Wright's "Carpenteria". A long and difficult read but well worth it.

johnw
06-03-2012, 02:42 AM
Recently finished 1493, by Charles Mann. Best book he's written since 1491.

No, really, it's a really great book. Now I've started Why Nations Fail, which turns out to be fairly depressing, what with all those nations, you know, failing. But quite insightful. They have a blog, too.

PeterSibley
06-03-2012, 04:16 AM
John O'Farrell, "An Utterly Impartial History of Britain.... or 2000 years of Upper Class Idiots in Charge" , I'm just starting and it looks like fun!

Meli
06-03-2012, 05:05 AM
Reading "Anna Karinina"
Never could cope with all those Princes and Princesses when I was younger. "the Russians' were too hard.

I must have honed my filters in the last 30 years. I'm enjoying it. :D

MiddleAgesMan
06-03-2012, 03:05 PM
"Chasing the Sea," by Tom Bissell. Ostensibly the story of the greatest ecological disaster of all time, it's also a sort of travelog about the author's experiences in post-Soviet Uzbekistan.

http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=52002

The Aral Sea was once the fourth largest lake in the world. Thanks to the Soviets' agricultural ambitions it has been reduced by 90 percent, evolving into 4 separate bodies of water.

Shang
06-03-2012, 05:11 PM
Mobe Dick again...for about the twentieth time.

Chip-skiff
06-03-2012, 07:56 PM
Just finished Hilary Mantel's "Bring Up the Bodies", the sequel to "Wolf Hall" which won the booker a few years back. Both are really great books, well written and totally engrossing.|;)

Did you catch the review of Mantel's new book in The New Yorker? The author portrait is too good for words.

http://venturamarco.com/blogwp/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/HilaryMANTELmarcofinishLOW.jpg

botebum
06-03-2012, 08:03 PM
Mobe Dick again...for about the twentieth time.Considering that most people give up after the second try without finishing ... are you going for a Guinness Book record?

Seriously- why?
There're so many great books out there in the same genre. Shouldn't you be trying those out?

Doug

David G
06-03-2012, 08:13 PM
Just finished "Humpty Dumpty Was Pushed". Was good.

Before that was, "The Last Good Kiss" by James Crumley. Was very good.

Chip-skiff
06-03-2012, 09:18 PM
Re: Moby Dick. I found it worth re-reading.

In thr grand tradition of seafaring and doom, you might read Far Tortuga by Peter Matthiessen. I've re-read that more times than Moby Dick.

johnw
06-03-2012, 09:47 PM
Re: Moby Dick. I found it worth re-reading.

In thr grand tradition of seafaring and doom, you might read Far Tortuga by Peter Matthiessen. I've re-read that more times than Moby Dick.

And it's a much quicker read!

NiceCatch
06-05-2012, 12:48 AM
We are re-reading Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small evenings with the 8 yo twins. Great fun.

skuthorp
06-05-2012, 01:07 AM
Started Newby's What the Traveller Saw. Somehow I seem to have missed that one when I read some other works years ago. Also The Men Who Marched Away, a collection of WW1 poems published by Heinemann in 1965.