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Jeff's 2018 Reads

The Green Dragon

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1jjwilson61
Jan 18, 2018, 6:54pm Top

This is my second year of tracking my reading here and I've been having a hard time finding time to keep it up. I've finished three books so far this year.

Reset : my fight for inclusion and lasting change

I actually started this one later than the other two I've read so far. I don't usually read more than one book at a time, but my wife insisted I read it and I wasn't disappointed. I did have trouble getting into it though because Ellen comes off as quite an elitist, having attended several Ivy League schools and she's gotta be in the 1%. However, only someone with her resources could have afforded to sue one of the top venture capital firms in Silicon Valley.

When she talked about her experiences as the CEO of reddit, after leaving the venture capital firm, I found I could relate more and it was interesting getting an inside view of that corner of the internet. I do hope she succeeds in creating a more inclusive culture in tech but the financial culture is just toxic for everyone and I don't know that it will ever get better.

The cold dish

I picked this up because I enjoyed the Longmire series on Netflix and I needed a break from the cancer book. I found the writing hard to follow in places and had to go back and read some passages more than once. The character of Longmire was more jokey than in the tv series but Standing Bear was just as good. I don't think I'll be in a hurry to get the next one in the series though.

The emperor of all maladies

This was a biography of cancer from ancient times to today, although the in depth coverage mostly starts in the late 19th century. Very thorough; well written, although perhaps a little mystical in the last chapter when he was summing up.

2Sakerfalcon
Jan 19, 2018, 4:36am Top

I read The emperor of all maladies a couple of years ago and thought it was excellent.

Looking forward to following your reading again this year. I hope many good books are lying in wait for you.

3Peace2
Jan 19, 2018, 5:31am Top

May 2018 bring you lots of exciting books (and plenty of time to read them)

4SylviaC
Jan 19, 2018, 9:39am Top

I have The Emperor of All Maladies in my TBR pile, and intend to get around to before too long. Hope you read lots of good books this year.

5clamairy
Jan 19, 2018, 9:18pm Top

Ditto what others said. I too have the Mukherjee doorstop in my the stacks.

Hope you manage to keep your thread going. I too have struggled with this.

6jjwilson61
Jan 23, 2018, 4:50pm Top

Dark Matter. This is the story of a man trying to find his way back home to his own universe among an almost infinite number of parallel universes. I'm someone who cringes at seeing embarrassing situations, most notably in tv or movie comedies, but this book had a lot of situations that set me off and I found myself just trying to get through it. But in the last couple of chapters he introduced a consequence that most writers of parallel universe stories just ignore but created a real wild and exciting ending.

7jillmwo
Jan 23, 2018, 7:07pm Top

>1 jjwilson61: I enjoyed The Cold Dish as an intro to the Longmire series. So much so that I did it with both of my current book groups.

8suitable1
Jan 23, 2018, 7:31pm Top

>7 jillmwo:

I also enjoyed The Cold Dish.

9jjwilson61
Jan 27, 2018, 1:57pm Top

Finished The invention of air which was a solid biography of Joseph Priestley but was also a study of the different levels of analyzing history, the personal, cultural, economic, even in terms of energy flows. It covered Priestley's close relationship with Benjamin Franklin and other scientists and statesmen of the time, including, later, Adams and Jefferson. It also dealt with the different paradigms of scientific discovery with Priestley's being a more scatter-shot, try everything approach, which wasn't appreciated as much by historians as a more theory-oriented, professional, approach that later became the dominant method.

10humouress
Mar 4, 2018, 11:20am Top

Just waving *hello*.

My niece is/ was reading The Emperor of all Maladies; if I were to read non-fiction, that might be one I pick up. BBC World Service has mentioned a few developments in the field in the past couple of months that sound promising.

11jjwilson61
Apr 30, 2018, 4:44pm Top

The Goblin Emperor - Decent, not much action
Variations on a Theme Park - blech
Ancillary mercy - Good wrapup to the series, although not being able to figure out anyone's gender never got less distracting.
Strangers in their own land - An attempt from a liberal to understand conservatives which didn't really succeed.
City of stairs - Intriguing setting, good story, good characters
The etymologicon - Interesting but light.
Ninefox gambit - Another unusual setting although hard to follow what's going on sometimes
SPQR - Very informative, but didn't quite grab me for some reason
City of blades - A very good addition to the series
I contain multitudes - Interesting

Currently reading Raven Stratagem which isn't grabbing me as much as the first. Maybe a middle book problem. It looks like the last one isn't out yet, does anyone know when it might be published?

12Sakerfalcon
May 1, 2018, 6:38am Top

>11 jjwilson61: amazon uk has a release date of June 12th for Revenant gun, the third book in the series. I found the first book to be unengaging so haven't continued with the series. I loved City of stairs and its sequels though.

13jjwilson61
May 5, 2018, 7:12pm Top

Finished Raven Stratagem with the second half being better than the first. The second book was focused more on the society and not so much on one battle. It also introduced a lot of new viewpoint characters which weren't as fleshed out and abandoned the main characters from the first book. It actually wrapped up fairly neatly so I don't know where the third book is going to go.

Since the libraries I use (or any libraries for that matter) don't have the next book yet, I can't add it to my wishlists at their websites so I'm not sure how I'm going to keep track of remembering to check for this book when it's released. I guess I could reactivate my wishlist collection despite my dislike for how it works.

14jjwilson61
Edited: Jul 7, 2018, 3:39pm Top

Talking back, Talking Black

City of Miracles

The Spirit Level

A Darker Shade of Magic

The Reluctant Metropolis
I thoroughly enjoyed most parts of this exploration of the land use politics of the Los Angeles region of my youth.

Steelheart
The first book of the Reckoner trilogy. This was an amazing ride through a wildly inventive world.

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern
A history of the Renaissance following a papal secretary who hunted classical works in monastery libraries and a particular work he saved, a poem that explained Epicurean philosophy. It contained a lot of interesting discussion about how the classic texts managed to survive, or not, in medieval monasteries that were in a sense hostile to their pagan message.

Firefight
The second book of the Reckoner trilogy. Nearly as good as the first one.

The Gene: An Intimate History
A thorough history of genetics much of which I knew already but it was good to see it all put together in one work. Towards the end it got pretty technical is places but it also laid out the ethical questions about messing with the human genome.

Calamity
The final book of the Reckoners series. Continued the inventiveness of the powers of the Epics and the tactics of the Reckoners but the ending was anti-climatic and didn't answer many of the questions about Epics and the nature of their powers.

15Karlstar
Jul 15, 2018, 9:22pm Top

How did you like Steelheart and Firefight compared to other Sanderson?

16jjwilson61
Jul 16, 2018, 12:05am Top

I'd say the action and the characters were as good but the powers were never explained except in the most trivial way. Of his other books I've only read the Mistborn series but they had a much more logical and coherent world behind them.

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