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Old 06-22-2009, 08:23 PM   #176
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Just started Song of Ice and Fire: A Clash of Kings,, by George R.R. Martin. It's the second of a series of four (hopefully, soon to be five). They're classified as fantasy, I think, but although they're set in an alternate reality, the only thing "fantasy" about them is a rebirth of dragons.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy tales of court intrigue and politics.
A GREAT series. Seems like I've been waiting FOREVER for Book 5, though.
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Old 06-22-2009, 09:59 PM   #177
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The english translation of Baudolino, by Umberto Eco. Much funnier than I had expected.

And American Gods, by Neil Gaiman, for the 5thish time, whenever Eco gets too thick.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:21 PM   #178
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Pure brain candy, Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich.
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:39 PM   #179
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Just finished Catching Fire, a book that proposes that learning to drop food in a fire and then eat it made us human. Verrrrrrryyyyyyyyy Innnnnnnnnnnteresting!
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Old 06-22-2009, 10:43 PM   #180
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The Book of Air and Shadows by Michael Gruber--and a deadly Ancestral Connections--about the origin and meaning of Australian abroiginal art.
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Old 06-23-2009, 02:11 AM   #181
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Old 06-23-2009, 03:08 AM   #182
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Partner in Crime, J.A. Jance
lots of twists & turns in the plot
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Old 06-23-2009, 05:11 AM   #183
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Personal Effects: Dark Arts

Personal Effects: Dark Arts

By JC Hutchins

This Book is Awesome creepy fun! The book comes with 12 artifacts, including a NY state ID, credit card, Death certificates, birth certificates, Photos, drawings, and more. There are also various things you find in the novel that enhance the story, like a cell phone number to the main character's voice mail. if you pay attention you can find his code and listen to the messages. Or his girlfriend is a blogger, you can go read her blog. There is even a twist in the book that you can only find out if you track down all of the external clues.

Here is a blurb from the book:
Quote:
Personal Effects follows the extensive notes of therapist Zach Taylor’s investigation into the life and madness of Martin Grace, an accused serial killer who claims to have foreseen, but not caused, his victims’ deaths. Zach’s investigations start with interviews and art sessions, but then take him far from the hospital grounds—and often very far from the reality that we know.

The items among Grace’s personal effects are the keys to understanding his haunted past, and finding the terrifying truth Grace hoped to keep buried:
• Call the phone numbers: you’ll get a character’s voicemail.
• Google the characters and institutions in the text: you’ll find real websites
• Examine the art and other printed artifacts included inside the cover: if you pay attention, you’ll find more information than the characters themselves discover Personal Effects, the ultimate in voyeuristic storytelling, represents a revolutionary step forward in changing the way people interact with novels.
Happy Reading

Joshua
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:29 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indecisiviously View Post
The english translation of Baudolino, by Umberto Eco. Much funnier than I had expected.
Yes, I remember reading that whilst on holiday in York a few years ago. Enjoyed it once I'd got into it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MagicaPractica View Post
Pure brain candy, Plum Spooky by Janet Evanovich.
I've read most of Evanovich's Stephany Plum novels, but I don't think I've read that one.

At the moment I'm reading Nightshade by Paul Doherty, a medieval murder mystery.
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Old 06-23-2009, 06:33 PM   #185
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I fetched a load of books today: DAVID COPPERFIELD, THE OCTOPUS by Frank Norris, URANIUM, and ARE POLAR BEARS LONELY?
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Old 07-02-2009, 05:52 PM   #186
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Just finished Bonk by Mary Roach.

In the middle of The Captain's Verses by Pablo Neruda.

Then when my mind gets sick of poetry I switch over to Y - The Last Man. First graphic novel I've read in twenty years. It's pretty damn good. They've come a long way.
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Old 07-02-2009, 09:53 PM   #187
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I happen to be reading a book that was a gift.

"Private Places", labeled 'Historical Romance', has four tales by Robin Schone.

I think I'd call it more erotica than romance myself.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:45 PM   #188
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'A Crack In The Edge Of The World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906' by Simon Winchester.

You know what's gonna happen, but it's a page turner.
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Old 07-03-2009, 12:22 AM   #189
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EMERGENCY THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, by I can't remember the author. THE SURVIVORS CLUB. I am looking forward to the next Anita Blake vampire story. I haven't gotten it yet. hmm. I smell a plot bunny
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:02 AM   #190
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:42 AM   #191
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TE999 View Post
'A Crack In The Edge Of The World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906' by Simon Winchester.

You know what's gonna happen, but it's a page turner.
Everything Simon Winchester ever wrote is a pleasure to read.


I'm in the early stages of Oil On The Brain: Adventures From The Pump To The Pipeline by Lisa Margonelli which has pleasantly surprised me. I was introduced to the book by an appearance Margonelli made on C-Span's BookTV.org ( http://www.booktv.org ). Notwithstanding her residence in Oakland, California, her association with the New America Foundation, her award of a Sundance Institute Fellowship and another from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, she struck me as an individual who might describe the industry in an even-handed manner. Thus far ( p. 63 ), that has been the case as she has followed the industry from gasoline pump to a rack distributor. What remains ahead is pipeline, barge and ship to drillbit. Whether she'll continue to be unbiased remains to be seen.

I've been very impressed by her command and use of mathematics and conversion factors. It is highly unusual for a journalist/writer to comprehend and communicate the razor-thin margins, gargantuan capital requirements and enormous risk involved in getting gasoline to the pump.


I just finished Clint Willis' The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing's Greatest Generation which I found enjoyable.
"The pegs were further away than he'd thought. He continued to traverse and the tug of the rope grew stronger; if he slipped, he'd swing a hundred feet or more— and as he reached the pitons his boot touched ice and he skated and fell. He swung on the end of the rope, describing an accelerating arc through the dusk. The swing itself was painless, exhilarating. He stuck his legs out as he gathered momentum and they took the impact when he at last collided with a corner. He had shut his eyes but they opened when he opened his mouth to scream.

Chris having heard the scream stood for a moment and then bent to pick up the rope but couldn't— there was still a body on the end of it. Even then he was surprised to hear Doug's voice again: I've broken my leg.

His eyes filled. He shouted down to Doug to get his weight off the rope— it's impossible to descend a weighted rope. Doug had in fact broken both legs but he was able to haul himself onto a ledge, grunting in pain and noting with grim satisfaction that his arms and spine still functioned.

Chris as he backed from the summit into the night was thinking that Doug might yet die. There was no way to carry him down the West Ridge. He reached Doug— a figure huddled in shadow— and fumbled in the dark to rig another rappel. Another rope length would take them to a snow-covered ledge where they could try to dig a cave. Doug tried to stand. Chris heard bone scrape. Doug screamed again and fell to his knees; he paused there as if considering his next move and fell forward onto his hands. He would crawl."



-Clint Willis
The Boys of Everest: Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing's Greatest Generation.
New York, 2006.



So as not to leave you in suspense, Doug [ Scott ] — with the assistance of Chris Bonington, Clive Rowland and Mo Anthoine— somehow managed to crawl down ( and that's not an exaggeration ) from the summit of the 7,285 meter ( 23,901' ) Ogre in the Karakorum Mountains of Pakistan in 1976.

Scott beat the odds. Of the constellation of climbers connected with Bonington, a sickeningly large portion died on mountains: Ian Clough, John Harlin, Dougal Haston, Mick Burke and Nick Estcourt— among others.

It's fun to read tales of Chamonix, the Eiger, Annapurna, K2, Changabang, Gauri Sankar, Mt. Blanc, Dunagiri and, of course, Everest. There's not the slightest doubt in my mind that it's a lot more fun to read about these places than to actually endure what Bonington and the boys did. No, thank you!

I've climbed in some of these places but I'm no masochist— and to do what these guys did, you have to be.
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:26 AM   #192
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TRYSAIL

My snippet about the book:

'OIL ON THE BRAIN is a survey of virtually every facet of the oil market and industry, from gas station to national policies. The author spends time at each segment, collecting information, interviewing the players, and experiencing whats happening.

The book is well written, interesting, and provides a detailed overview of our friend gasoline.'

I just read GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Dickens. Add it your list of Books to Read if you have an appetite to improve your story writing. It has 2 endings. I think the 'original' ending is like flat cola. I think the 'official' ending is much better and congruent with the melancholy tone of the entire tale. If you dislike Dickens you'll enjoy GE.

A TALE OF TWO CITES by Dickens is next up. Then a re-read of ROBINSON CRUESOE. I read it 50 years ago.
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Old 07-03-2009, 03:05 PM   #193
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Old 07-03-2009, 03:14 PM   #194
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Herodotus: The Histories
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Old 07-04-2009, 11:37 PM   #195
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lesbiaphrodite View Post
Herodotus: The Histories

"If a lie is necessary, why not speak it? We are all after the same thing, whether we lie or speak the truth: our own advantage. Men lie when they think to profit by deception, and tell the truth for the same reason— to get something they want, and to be better trusted for their honesty. It is only two different roads to the same goal. Were there no question of advantage, the honest man would be as likely to lie as the liar is, and the liar would tell the truth as readily as the honest man."


-Herodotus
The Histories
Book Three – The Seven Conspirators
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt
Revised by A. R. Burn
London, 1988


Throughout the course of my career, I observed lots of people lying, cheating, and stealing (or, at the very least, not taking great pains to tell the truth). The older I got, the worse it seemed to get. I wondered if this was actually the case or whether I was lacking a long term perspective. As you would expect, this line
really struck a chord when I stumbled across it in Herodotus. I suppose it would have been nice if someone had informed me of the 11th Commandment (Don't Get Caught) back when I was an impressionable youth. The fact of the matter is that I'm a bad liar and I know it, so I suppose I'm stuck (attempting) to be honest.



http://www.npr.org/2012/06/04/154287...heat-and-steal

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Old 07-05-2009, 07:31 AM   #196
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Youre always on solid ground when you assume the other guy is lying or psychotic. The other iron-clad assumption is: Other people either have multiple personalities or theyre schizophrenic.

I just read A TALE OF TWO CITIES by Dickens. The experience is like being beat to death with a feather pillow. A baseball bat is preferable because its quicker, and the results are identical.

Dickens had a peculiar quirk of abbreviating scenes readers want to experience forever, and stretching scenes that are irrelevant and inane. That is, he makes breakfast last a chapter, and stages a mass execution in two pages.

But its worthwhile reading if youre a writer, because Dickens knew how to show people and action.
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Old 07-05-2009, 07:32 AM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trysail View Post

"If a lie is necessary, why not speak it? We are all after the same thing, whether we lie or speak the truth: our own advantage. Men lie when they think to profit by deception, and tell the truth for the same reason— to get something they want, and to be better trusted for their honesty. It is only two different roads to the same goal. Were there no question of advantage, the honest man would be as likely to lie as the liar is, and the liar would tell the truth as readily as the honest man."


-Herodotus
The Histories
Book Three – The Seven Conspirators
Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt
Revised by A. R. Burn
London, 1988


Throughout the course of my career, I observed lots of people lying, cheating, and stealing (or, at the very least, not taking great pains to tell the truth). The older I got, the worse it seemed to get. I wondered if this was actually the case or whether I was lacking a long term perspective. As you would expect, this line
really struck a chord when I stumbled across it in Herodotus. I suppose it would have been nice if someone had informed me of the 11th Commandment (Don't Get Caught) back when I was an impressionable youth. The fact of the matter is that I'm a bad liar and I know it, so I suppose I'm stuck (attempting) to be honest.
Brilliant quote, Trysail. Herodotus is an incredibly gifted thinker, and with each page of the Histories that I read, I am illuminated by his words. I have read many philosophers and novelists and poets in my day, but I have never read a man's work who seems to have so whole a grasp on the realities of life than Herodotus.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:41 PM   #198
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trysail View Post
I'm in the early stages of Oil On The Brain: Adventures From The Pump To The Pipeline by Lisa Margonelli which has pleasantly surprised me. I was introduced to the book by an appearance Margonelli made on C-Span's BookTV.org ( http://www.booktv.org ). Notwithstanding her residence in Oakland, California, her association with the New America Foundation, her award of a Sundance Institute Fellowship and another from the Northern California Society of Professional Journalists, she struck me as an individual who might describe the industry in an even-handed manner. Thus far ( p. 63 ), that has been the case as she has followed the industry from gasoline pump to a rack distributor. What remains ahead is pipeline, barge and ship to drillbit. Whether she'll continue to be unbiased remains to be seen.

I've been very impressed by her command and use of mathematics and conversion factors. It is highly unusual for a journalist/writer to comprehend and communicate the razor-thin margins, gargantuan capital requirements and enormous risk involved in getting gasoline to the pump...
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAMESBJOHNSON View Post
TRYSAIL

My snippet about the book:

'OIL ON THE BRAIN is a survey of virtually every facet of the oil market and industry, from gas station to national policies. The author spends time at each segment, collecting information, interviewing the players, and experiencing whats happening.

The book is well written, interesting, and provides a detailed overview of our friend gasoline...'
I take some of it back ( now that I've reached p. 229). Margonelli did a good job of describing life on a Texas drill rig and wrote a reasonable story on BP's 275,000 barrels per day Carson ( California ) refinery. Unfortunately, once she got to Venezuela, Chad and Iran, she just couldn't resist the journalistic urge to save the world. She mounted the pulpit and started spouting moralistic bilge about stuff of which she is completely and utterly clueless.

I never fail to roll my eyes when journalists and wet-behind-the-ear-junior-Wall Street analysts start telling Exxon how to run its business. If nothing else, it is amusing in the extreme.

Gasoline sells for $0.11 per gallon in Tehran and $0.25 per gallon in Caracas. Of course, nothing else works.


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Old 07-13-2009, 08:12 PM   #199
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TRYSAIL

True. I was with her till she went to Africa. Before then I learned a lot.
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Old 07-13-2009, 08:14 PM   #200
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I'm reading the NRCS Irrigation Handbook: It's a good read, all about water.
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