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Whatcha readin now? (book, books, reading, read)


shuke

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On 12/8/2020 at 12:20 PM, Don Quixote said:

I just got a Kindle push notification about a new release by @Captain Fantastic. Big time.

That's great, DQ! Thanks for the shout out. :bye:

Since this is our reading crew, I'll broadcast the news (please forgive the self-promotion).

Very happy to announce that FINAL RECKONING was officially released on Dec 4th. Phew! :towelwave:

This book wraps up the Hostile Takeover Thrillogy. If you've read the first two books (Hostile Takeover and Second Son), I hope you enjoy this one and find it a satisfying conclusion to the story. 

Beyond the thriller trilogy, if anyone is interested in a shorter, family-friendly Christmas story, please feel free to check out The Three Christmases of William Spencer. This was my first book and hit #1 on Amazon's holiday book sales once upon a time. 🎄

And if you want something completely different, Tango Six is a screenplay I wrote a year ago. It's an action adventure (similar vibe of action and humor to what you'd find in an Indiana Jones movie...but with fewer bullwhips). Not many people read screenplays, but if you like that sort of thing, please give it a shot. Who knows? Maybe one of these days it'll get picked up by a studio and become a real movie (um, if anyone happens to know a studio exec, I'm open to an introduction...). :whistle:

Thanks for the personal messages some of you have sent. Very glad you like the writing. Hope you enjoy the new one! :thanks:

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Finished "Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer - The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames" by Victor Cherkashin yesterday. 

Pretty good read with some interesting details about Cold War espionage. Wouldn't say to take everything at face value (these guys don't "retire"), but decent book. Offered some details about Nosenko, a KGB officer who defected in Feb. 1964. Some historical debate has taken place whether he was a legit defector or not. Cherkashin claims he was. 

Also some interesting details about Vitaly Yurchenko, who was quite an odd individual. Defected to the US, then re-defected back to USSR. Also claims his original defection was legitimate. 

Claims there was a 4th mole in US IC that wasn't caught. 

From his view, Hanssen was more valuable for the Soviets than Ames. 

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Recently finished Barack Obama’s A Promised Land. Pretty well-written for a Presidential memoir (I can’t say that I’ve read every President’s memoir, but up there with Grant’s in terms of writing).  I don’t want to get too much into politics, but he does offer interesting insights into his thought process during some of the biggest decisions during the early part of his Presidency (the book ends with bin Laden’s death, with the remainder for a second volume). Worth reading, but probably depends on political viewpoint.

I’ve also read the first three Harry Potter volumes. Never read them. Good escapism.

I just started Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies. Novel, but semi-autographical about a Muslim-American’s experience in America post-9/11 and during Trump era. Getting book of the year buzz. 

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On 9/19/2020 at 3:21 PM, El Floppo said:

 

Been reading Recursion...not bad, and interested to see where it goes.

Finally got back to it and finished. If you've ever been stuck in a time loop, you've read this book. Kinda ok, but not great.

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Finished a couple books over the holidays:

The Count of Monte Cristo -- one of my favorite books in high school.  This time read the unabridged version.  Still absolutely awesome.

Pimp by Iceberg Slim -- meh.  Put it on my reading list after Chappelle mentioned that after reading the book he decided to walk away from his Comedy Central contract for Chappele's Show.  I didn't get whatever Dave got out of it.

 

Currently reading Obama's memoir.  Enjoying it so far.

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On 12/27/2020 at 1:49 PM, Don Quixote said:

I just started Ayad Akhtar’s Homeland Elegies. Novel, but semi-autographical about a Muslim-American’s experience in America post-9/11 and during Trump era. Getting book of the year buzz. 

Homeland Elegies was pretty good. I’m not sure I’d put it at as best book of the year (I’d probably go for Transcendent Kingdom above it of ones that I’ve read), but I wouldn’t argue with those who do.

I’m currently reading Jesse Dougherty’s Buzz Saw: The Improbable Story of How the Washington Nationals Won the World Series. Big fan of the Nats and enjoy Dougherty’s work in the Washington Post. A bit disappointed with all of the typos in the book though — it seems like it was rushed to print too quickly after the World Series and could have used some further editing.

I just ordered Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half and will get into that one next. 

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Coyote America by Dan Flores- So far I am digging it. Pretty interesting how the coyote has managed to adapt, survive, and become so wide spread. Humans are the only mammal that have done it better. This book covers the natural and supernatural history of the coyote.

Green Lights by Matthew McConaughey- Fun book about his out look on life and how he got to where he is. Lots of laughs in this book and possibly some gems for life. I will say I want to go back and watch a few of his movies now that I have read where he was in life and how he got to that point. 

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Two others finished recently: 

1. Grant McGarry's "A Night In the Pech Valley"

Good book of a story of young men in the 75th Ranger Regiment in the War in Afghanistan. I've read a number of books on the 75th Ranger Regiment, each time I'm blown away by the bravery of these young men. 

2. Danielle DiMartino Booth's "Fed Up: An Insider's Take on Why the Fed Reserve is Bad for America"

Booth was inside the Dallas Fed for close to 10 years, so she has first hand experience. Eye opening read. She portrays the Fed Reserve as an institution stuck in "group think." Takes you through the Great Recession of 2007-08 with the housing market and some of the history behind that dating back to the 90s. I enjoyed it. 

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Since it’s been a while, Ill update my list of completed books:

Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. Thought is was well written, this was my first Joe Hill novel, definitely will read more.

Storm Front and Fool Moon by Jim Butcher. Enjoyed Storm Front, Fool Moon was tough to get through. Does the series get better? (I’ve heard it picks up after book two or three, but the second book kinda spoiled my enthusiasm for the series)

also- for any heavy metal fans, Rust In Peace: The inside story of Megadeth’s Masterpiece is an interesting read.

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On 12/22/2020 at 2:23 PM, TheFanatic said:

I've been readying the stuff from the authors of the Martian and Ready Player One as well as some classic stuff (Enders Game and a few of the sequels) and am now about halfway through American Gods. 

I didn't read/listen to American Gods but liked the others quite a bit. My recommendations for people who liked those are

We are Legion, We are Bob (The bobiverse series)

The long way to a small angry planet (the wayfarer series)

Children of Time 

I'm currently listening to axioms end, it's interesting but I'm not done yet, and I hate to recommend something I haven't finished

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4 hours ago, bostonfred said:

I didn't read/listen to American Gods but liked the others quite a bit. My recommendations for people who liked those are

We are Legion, We are Bob (The bobiverse series)

The long way to a small angry planet (the wayfarer series)

Children of Time 

I'm currently listening to axioms end, it's interesting but I'm not done yet, and I hate to recommend something I haven't finished

Thank you. I've been reading like a madman lately. My nightstand is stacked five deep all the way across it. Children of Time is on the list already, but Legion and small angry planet were not. They are now. 

I also read some post apocalyptic stuff because that is what I write. But I haven't had much luck lately finding anything good. One turns out to be one book divided into 6 books. It's a money grab with a nice story, but TERRIBLE dialogue. And another just degenerated into a zombie story. I like the Walking Dead, which is a character driven story that just happens to take place in the zombie apocalypse, but I'm not really a zombie genre guy. 

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16 minutes ago, TheFanatic said:

Thank you. I've been reading like a madman lately. My nightstand is stacked five deep all the way across it. Children of Time is on the list already, but Legion and small angry planet were not. They are now. 

I also read some post apocalyptic stuff because that is what I write. But I haven't had much luck lately finding anything good. One turns out to be one book divided into 6 books. It's a money grab with a nice story, but TERRIBLE dialogue. And another just degenerated into a zombie story. I like the Walking Dead, which is a character driven story that just happens to take place in the zombie apocalypse, but I'm not really a zombie genre guy. 

I am probably stupid, but you have read Swan Song?  @shuke turned me on to it 10ish years ago.  Just about ready for a re-read.

Also, same dude, Carrion Comfort.

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4 hours ago, bostonfred said:

I didn't read/listen to American Gods but liked the others quite a bit. My recommendations for people who liked those are

We are Legion, We are Bob (The bobiverse series)

The long way to a small angry planet (the wayfarer series)

Children of Time 

I'm currently listening to axioms end, it's interesting but I'm not done yet, and I hate to recommend something I haven't finished

Your list looks like my list, finished both Legion and long way in the past month and agree with recommendations.

also just finished and recommend Embers of War by Gareth Powell

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19 hours ago, facook said:

I am probably stupid, but you have read Swan Song?  @shuke turned me on to it 10ish years ago.  Just about ready for a re-read.

Also, same dude, Carrion Comfort.

I'm seeing Swan Song by McCammon and Carrion Comfort by Simmons. Are these supposed to be from the same author or the same recommendation?

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23 minutes ago, TheFanatic said:

I'm seeing Swan Song by McCammon and Carrion Comfort by Simmons. Are these supposed to be from the same author or the same recommendation?

Sorry, both Shuke's recommendations.  And both excellent books, imo.  

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3 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

I'm seeing Swan Song by McCammon and Carrion Comfort by Simmons. Are these supposed to be from the same author or the same recommendation?

Different authors.  I'd call Swan Song a must read.  I remember reading Carrion Comfort but don't really recall what it's about so maybe I didn't like it as much.

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On 1/5/2021 at 9:14 PM, shuke said:

Different authors.  I'd call Swan Song a must read.  I remember reading Carrion Comfort but don't really recall what it's about so maybe I didn't like it as much.

I've got both in the cart on Amazon. 

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On 1/5/2021 at 9:14 PM, shuke said:

Different authors.  I'd call Swan Song a must read.  I remember reading Carrion Comfort but don't really recall what it's about so maybe I didn't like it as much.

I've liked a couple McCammon books - Boy's Life is a stand out, but always assumed that Swan Song was a Stand ripoff and never got around to it (but have it currently sitting on the bookshelf).    How does it compare to The Stand?

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21 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I've liked a couple McCammon books - Boy's Life is a stand out, but always assumed that Swan Song was a Stand ripoff and never got around to it (but have it currently sitting on the bookshelf).    How does it compare to The Stand?

Similar in the post-apoc type, but much more focused on 2 central characters.

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41 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I've liked a couple McCammon books - Boy's Life is a stand out, but always assumed that Swan Song was a Stand ripoff and never got around to it (but have it currently sitting on the bookshelf).    How does it compare to The Stand?

I haven't read the Stand or anything Stephen King. I'm not much into the horror genre, but I might go ahead and pop that cherry on the Stand. Two separate mini series has to mean it's pretty badass. I remember watching some of the first one. All I remember is Dauber from Coach and the evil guy in the prison. 

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9 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

I haven't read the Stand or anything Stephen King. I'm not much into the horror genre, but I might go ahead and pop that cherry on the Stand. Two separate mini series has to mean it's pretty badass. I remember watching some of the first one. All I remember is Dauber from Coach and the evil guy in the prison. 

I’ve read both but at different ages. I read the Stand at 16 or 17 and thought it was the grittiest and most suspenseful book I had read at that time. I read Swan Song at 39, and appreciated it but it won’t be as memorable as the Stand for me. 

 

 

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11 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

I've liked a couple McCammon books - Boy's Life is a stand out, but always assumed that Swan Song was a Stand ripoff and never got around to it (but have it currently sitting on the bookshelf).    How does it compare to The Stand?

Nothing compares to The Stand.

It's still great, though.

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13 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

I haven't read the Stand or anything Stephen King. I'm not much into the horror genre, but I might go ahead and pop that cherry on the Stand. Two separate mini series has to mean it's pretty badass. I remember watching some of the first one. All I remember is Dauber from Coach and the evil guy in the prison. 

M O O N spells moon.

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Finished Devolution.  Thought it was good, not great.  I liked the way Brooks mixed in the non-fiction stuff on study of primates.

Just started The Five by Robert McCammon.  There was some talk about him a few pages back.  I'm only about 5% in (I don't know how many pages I read anymore since I use a kindle) but I already really really like this book.  McCammon is not only a great storyteller but he really has a way with the English language.  

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43 minutes ago, shuke said:

Finished Devolution.  Thought it was good, not great.  I liked the way Brooks mixed in the non-fiction stuff on study of primates.

Just started The Five by Robert McCammon.  There was some talk about him a few pages back.  I'm only about 5% in (I don't know how many pages I read anymore since I use a kindle) but I already really really like this book.  McCammon is not only a great storyteller but he really has a way with the English language.  

I really liked Devolution.  Ending was both a pleasant surprise, and satisfying.

Need to give The Five another shot.  Only McCammon book I haven't finished.  Quit it early on, but can't really remember why.

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Only about 15 years late to Devil in the White City.  It's good, and I am enjoying it.  I wish it was more balanced between the story of Holmes and the Fair, but obviously the stories are what they are.

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1 hour ago, shuke said:

Finished Devolution.  Thought it was good, not great.  I liked the way Brooks mixed in the non-fiction stuff on study of primates.

Just started The Five by Robert McCammon.  There was some talk about him a few pages back.  I'm only about 5% in (I don't know how many pages I read anymore since I use a kindle) but I already really really like this book.  McCammon is not only a great storyteller but he really has a way with the English language.  

I really liked Devolution. I am reading a book of Shirley Jackson short stories while waiting for a library book. I need to try McCammon again. I really did not care for Swan Song and never tried any others. At some point I want to re read Swan Song and see if I have changed my mind. To many people like that book for it to be dismissed.

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On 1/4/2021 at 10:33 PM, facook said:

I am probably stupid, but you have read Swan Song?  @shuke turned me on to it 10ish years ago.  Just about ready for a re-read.

Also, same dude, Carrion Comfort.

Just finished Gaimon's Stardust, which was just a wonderful short novel that I utterly enjoyed. Now on to one of these two. I will likely be flipping a coin tonight. 

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On 1/3/2021 at 9:31 AM, Don Quixote said:

I just ordered Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half and will get into that one next. 

The Vanishing Half was solid. A bit of a slow build, but good pay off at the end. It appeared on a lot of best of the year lists. I would not go that far with it though.

Currently in the middle of Louise Erdrich's The Round House. I've read a couple of her novels in LaRose and The Nightwatchman, and greatly enjoyed both. So, I'm trying to get into her books a bit more.

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On 1/4/2021 at 10:33 PM, facook said:

I am probably stupid, but you have read Swan Song?  @shuke turned me on to it 10ish years ago.  Just about ready for a re-read.

Also, same dude, Carrion Comfort.

So I'm maybe halfway through Swan Song. I almost didn't get here. I read the first few chapters and just didn't like any of the characters. I plowed through one more night and now I can't put it down. 

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I decided to pull Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children off my shelf. I started it years ago, but never finished it and thought I’d try again. I’m so far just remembering why I never finished it. Something about Rushdie’s writing style that just does not click for me. Just feels overly long and rambling.

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37 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

This a Pendergast joint? 

Yep. Just finished. Love the series.

Starting up David Baldacci's 4th book in the Amos Decker series The Fallen.

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4 hours ago, Shatner! said:

Yep. Just finished. Love the series.

 

I recently read Blue Labrynth, and I am start to sour on the series a bit.  Too much focus on silly family stuff.  Still decent, quick reads, but just not as excited to get the next book as i was a few books ago. 

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