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Thread: What are you reading in 2012?

  1. #61
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    Just read Martha Beck's book "Finding Your Way in a Wild New World." Jury's still out on that one.
    Trying to live well, have fun, save money, and leave a small footprint http://thegreenhedonist.com

    "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."

  2. #62
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    Oh also--during that jag where I was reading biographies of women from north African countries, I read a memorable novel--Little Bee. Tragic and sad, and horrifically violent, but that's life in Sudan. Or Somalia. Or wherever that was.

  3. #63
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    Back in the early '70s I read "The Passover Plot" by Dr. Hugh J. Schoenfield ... a very popular book way back then ... "a new interpretation of the life and death of Jesus". I remember being fascinated by it even tho now I don't really remember the "argument" -- I think, something like "Jesus believed he was the Messiah and planned and plotted everything that happened" -- or something like that. Anyway, all these many (~30) years later I decided to read it again. I'm just beginning, but lordy I don't remember the difference in "style" -- sentence structure, etc. -- from then to now. Not quite so easy reading as it was then!

    I'm also hooked on Michael Connelly police mystery novels. Very little violence, you're in their minds as they work things out. But I have to read them in order, and even tho I have several on my shelf I don't have the next one so I have to hunt for it at some thrift shops. I love them.

    And there are some others waiting until I get around to them. So many books, so little time. DH likes audible.com and has downloaded several, and I should too. I don't read as much now as I used to, and I think maybe my eyes just get tired. So listening to books -- what old people do! -- might be a good change.

  4. #64
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    I have several books going right now; all of them are really good so far:

    Birds of a Feather , by Jacqueline Winspear
    Today We Are Rich: Harnessing The Power Of Total Confidence , by Tim Sanders
    Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power , by Rachel Maddow
    The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust , by Diana B. Henriques (audio CD)
    Grand Expectations: The United States, 1945-1974 , by James T. Patterson

  5. #65
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    Just finished Richard III by Shakespeare. As I have mentioned here before, I subscribe to a free service called Dailylit.com that will send you a page or two of a literary classic once a day. I did it with The Tempest and loved it...it let me really slow down and savor the language and wordplay in a way I had not before. Unfortunately, slow reading did not work as well for Richard III. Too many characters with similar names (how many royals named Elizabeth and Anne were there, anyway) and complicated political maneuverings to keep track of from day to day. I do want to see a filmed or staged version, though--it was hard to buy Richard on the page--I couldn't believe people kept falling for his line of b*******-- but I bet a really talented actor could bring him to life in an amazing way.

    Also just finished "The Virginian" by Owen Wister, also from DailyLit. I enjoyed it a lot, and never realized before where the Western line "Smile when you say that" came from. I always imagine John Wayne saying it--didn't realize it was borrowed from this much earlier book.

  6. #66
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    Drift by Rachel Maddow

    This is great, important, well researched, and well written book that I just could not read. *That's not exactly accurate--I read the prologue, the first chapter and the Epilogue in detail. *The problem were all the chapters in between. *I just couldn't take the return in excruciating detail of Grenada, Iran-Contra, and Oliver North, from there we move on to Kuwait, Halliburton, and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney, *followed by Bosnia, leading inexorably to Afghanistan and Iraq. *It was like nails on a a chalkboard for 7 of 9 chapters. Don't get me wrong, Maddow nails it completely in the description of our not so slow drift toward the replacement of our Constitutionally designed plan that going to war should be a difficult thing to do to our current state of perpetual war which can be initiated unilaterally by the President. *It's just that I lived through Iran-Contra, Grenada, Bosnia, Iraq, and now Afghanistan and I just get mad all over reading about it. *

    Now for the really great parts of the book: the beginning and the ending. *Wow!
    She begins with Jefferson's great worry that a standing army would drain resources and overwhelm public sentiment. *His goal was to never have one unnecessary soldier.*
    The epilogue

    Going to war, being at war should be painful. From now on when we go to war, let's pay for it--taxes, bond drives, cake sales, whatever.*

    Let's do away with the secret military. *The entire chain of command should be accountable to Congress.*

    Let's get the chain of command straight: the President does not defer to the commanders in the field. *The President is elected by the people to execute their will.

    Let's scale back the use of contractors. When the contractors commit illegal acts such as rape or murder, they should be prosecuted not given a new name and a new contract.

    Every international problem or conflict is not ours to solve with military.*

    "We just need to revive that old idea that America is a deliberately peaceable nation. *That's not simply our inheritance, it's our responsibility."

  7. #67
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm in Queue for Drift, but i fear even Maddow's trademark wry style and impressive intellect won't save the experience for the same reason you cite, Florence.

  8. #68
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    "Sacred Economics" Eisenstein - jury definitely out on that one though I do think it is worth reading. Positives: very important topic, making the economy not destroy the world, in need of our best thought. And the more I think about it the more I think that it is not necessary to have an economy that destroys that world. Obviously very intelligent well educated author with broad base of knowledge, will challenge you, will bring up new approaches and ways to think about things. And I'm VERY sympathetic to what he wants. Inspiring idealism.

    Negatives: author is in love with himself, doesn't give credit (this is glaring when you are perfectly aware of exactly whose ideas he's citing which many people probably aren't but ...), doesn't get enough feedback from knowledgable people as possible critique of his views (I want this not for the sake of balance but for the sake of strengthening them!). Just thinks he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Don't get me wrong, he's smart, but it's just too much. Half the time this makes me want to throw the book across the room but I keep reading for the information because it is IMPORTANT to THINK about THESE topics :\. Possibly too idealistic, certainly we're not going to acheive the desired end game of the book anytime soon.
    The beat of my own drummer may not be as fast as you want it to be

  9. #69
    Low Tech grunt iris lily's Avatar
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    I read a great review about That Woman by Anne Sebba, the new biogrpahy about Wallis Warfield Simpson, so I'm going to reserve a Library copy. I had no idea that the Duke fawned over Wallis and kinda bored her and that she seemed to wish to be rid of him early on, but she was stuck with him and had to play out the royal romance to the bitter end of a long, tedious marriage

    Soltice Wood by Patricia McKillup about the fey world and how it intersects with the human world in an East Coast estate.

    I've got a list of good fairy novels and am working my way slowly through it. I always feel like reading about the fey in spring and early summer!

  10. #70
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Fey world, eh? I'm developing a taste for fantasy lately, what with Grimm and Mark del Franco's Connor Grey books, so I put Solstice Wood in queue, even though Amazon's capsule review made it sound a lot more genteel than my usual fare. I'm entranced by the idea of intersecting worlds and just below the surface intrigues brewing and bubbling while the outer world goes on all unaware.

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