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I had started Destiny of the Republic as an audiobook, but realized that I wouldn't really be able to devote the necessary concentrated time to it in the near future, so stopped at the point of Garfield's nomination, and will pick it up in print later. I fully second jbd1's opinion!
I'm reading some ancient history with Tacitus: the Histories. I'm just starting it, though, so I don't quite know how it is yet.
I just finished reading Generation Kill I saw the book at #3 ABVR's list at the nonfiction thread:
The book was great, a slice of the gritty day to day life of the second Iraq invasion at the level of the people on the ground at the forefront. I was impressed by those portrayed devotion to duty but ability to independently evaluate the situation without resorting to parroting apparent political rationalizations. The war was a true horror.
Between this book and David Zucchino's Thunder Run: The Armored Strike to Capture Baghdad you can get a real look at the events of the invasion of Iraqi.
Just started Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America this evening. Already about a quarter through. Engaging, and looking to be a quick read. I will update when I finish.
I'm reading A New Synthesis of Public Administration by Jocelyne Bourgon for a book club.
Finished Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America. It was as quick a read as I thought it was. Engaging, yes, but the editing left a little to be desired. My review is on the book's info page. I recommend it to fans of Nintendo - just be prepared to ask "does anyone copyedit at publishing houses anymore?"
Moving on to Four Fish. About three quarters of the way through. I hope to complete it today or tomorrow.
I am listening to an audible version of The Diary of Anne Frank with my daughter for her homeschooling. We will also watch a play based on the book this weekend.
I am reading Empires of Trust by Thomas F. Madden. This book compares the United States with Rome, and discusses how neither one wanted to be an empire.
I am listening to the audiobook Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini with my daughter. Harry Houdini was born with the name Erich Weiss in Budapest Hungary. He claimed that he was born in Appleton , Wisconcin, and the truth was not learned until years after his death.
I've started Diplomat by Charles W. Thayer. Written in 1959, the book is an inside look at how embassies work. At the book's publishing, Thayer had been a member of the U.S. Diplomatic Service for 25 years.
Reading Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer's Journal by David Kline. Published in 1990 with a foreword by Wendell Berry. It's a collection of articles from the Amish magazine, Family Life. I had no idea there was an Amish magazine.
I recently finished The Fall of the House of Walworth: A Tale of Madness and Murder in Gilded Age America and will soon be reading Absolute Monarchs: A History of the Papacy
I gave up on The Ethics of Sightseeing 3/4 through the book. There were a couple of intriguing concepts in a sea of hog wash. The social and psychoanalytical theories were apparently thrown in for effect because I could find no connection, one to another and heaven knows what the author's point was. He didn't even define ethical and used it several different ways. Points made in one chapter were refuted in the next. I could rant on but I'll stop.
I've read Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown and have retreated to fiction for a while.
Back from fiction sooner than expected because I got a new book last night: A Season in Hell by Robert R. Fowler. Mr. Fowler, a Canadian, was kidnapped by Al Qaeda and held for 130 days while working for the UN.
I received my Sept and Oct LTER copies: Bucketfoot Al : the baseball life of Al Simmons and The last icon : Tom Seaver and his times. Haven't decided which to read first.
I am reading On China by Henry Kissinger, and learning a lot of history from the book.
Agreed on Viral Storm. I gave the book only 2 stars. Heard the interview with the author on NPR and was expecting much more from the book than it delivered. I was expecting something meaty about virus hunting and pandemics. What I got was pablum. Which in viruses is a good thing, but not in books.
I recently read Pulphead and Blue Nights. I loved most of Pulphead. Well-written stuff focusing somewhat on people and places in the SE US. I can never completely get rid of the Kentucky in me. Best essay was one on cave art and archeology under Ky. and Tn., in the Cumberland Plateau.
I didn't quite get Blue Nights, although it was well-written. It seemed very obsessive and the things she cited as evidence of her daughter's horrible state of mind didn't seem all that different from any normal child/teen might say or do. (I seriously would not want anyone reading my diary from when I was 13 and trying to exemplify my whole life from it.)
Also The Beauty and the Sorrow which follows 20 people on varying sides and in varying conditions (soldiers, civilians, nurses) during WWI. I've read a lot of WWI books and this was one of the best. Not only do you get caught up in the lives of those profiled, but it makes certain aspects of the history of the time understandable. The Russian and German revolutions don't seem to come out of nowhere. I found myself wondering, in fact, why there wasn't a revolution in England. (There nearly was one in France.)
Currently working on The Suburban Christian: Finding Spiritual Vitality in the Land of Plenty by Albert Y. Hsu. I've been cramming a number of books related to suburban ministry into my schedule over the past couple of weeks for a paper I've been working on.
I'm currently reading Robert K. Massie's Catherine the Great, which is out next week and is very good. Destiny of the Republic is on my TBR shelf. http://www.03br.com/
I'm currently reading The Creators A History of the Imagination Daniel Boorstin as well as Dreaming to Some Purpose Colin Wilson. I have never been much for autobiographies, but I'm enjoying his chatty tone. An interesting, though somewhat egotistical man who didn't waste much time on 'normalcy'. A bit of a bull in a china shop that way where it comes to other people like his wives and children, but I like spending time with him. M.
Finished the ER book, Stein and Hemingway, a readable account of the friendship of Gertrude Stein and Earnest Hemingway. In the process of chronicling that friendship it provides a good portrait of them both along with a glimpse of the many others who touched their lives. For me, who had read previous biographies of both, I was particularly pleased by the picture of Gertrude which explained her writing objectives, her megalomania, her combative nature, and her appeal. An excellent book.
I finished Diplomat by Charles Thayer. Written in 1959, the book is a history of international diplomacy in general and U.S. diplomacy in particular. Thayer also provides a critique of the then current state of U.S. diplomatic efforts as the Cold War was going into overdrive. A long-time diplomat himself, hounded out of service by McCarthy, Thayer had worked assignments in Kabul (during WWII), Bonn, Moscow and Korea. He was also instrumental in establishing Voice of America.
Peter C. Newman's latest book, When the Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada was a great read! Highly recommended.
I read and reviewed Jerusalem : the biography by Simon Sebag Montefiore, better known for his biographies of Stalin. Very good book, jam packed with facts.
I am nearly finished listening to Jerusalem: The Biography (25 hours!), which is very thorough!
Last night I began Twenty Thousand Roads: the Ballad of Gram Parsons and his Cosmic American Music by David N. Meyer
I have a feeling I should probably read 1491 first, but I guess I can catch up as I go along. I mean, I kind of know how it all turns out...
I'm reading The South Pole by Roald Amundsen, as this is the 100th anniversary of his successful trip to the South Pole (he beat Scott by just over a month). Around this time, in 1911, he was less than 8 degrees away from the pole, heading south. He made it there by early January.
This book reminds me of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence, which is also a great tale of true adventure. But both books taught me a lot about the geography of their respective (and very different) regions: Antarctica and Arabia.
I finished reading but will continue to refer to The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Published. It is an extremely useful and practical book on all aspects of getting published, dealing this all those awkward details that writers would really rather not have to deal with but must. Besides the how-to of getting agents, dealing with editors, publicity etc, there are example query letters, proposals, contracts etc. It may not be totally up to date on self-publishing and e-book formats but with the speed of change, that would be hard.
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