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All smartbuydisc.rus > Polls > Last good book u read or r reading? > Last good book u read or r reading? (page 15)
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All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Sep 15 2014 : 7:34PM
That sounds more like sloppy editing at the paperback publishing house. I don't know if authors get to galley proof those or not. But one of the things that put me off paperbacks was how poorly a lot of them were made (at all levels). Now I avoid them whenever possible.
Let me know how it turns out. If it's decent I may give it a try.

Senior Member

1875 Posts
1/12
Posted - Sep 16 2014 : 4:00PM
^ Just finished it earlier today.
It is actually quite good. For one thing, you will never guess the ending, or even who the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) are, from the first chapter alone. Only about one-third of the way into the book do you get a sense of what is really going on. On the other hand, by about three-quarters of the way in, the antagonist(s) have been identified and there is no big last chapter shocking reveal of a bad guy like there was in Puppet On a Chain or South By Java Head. However, there are still enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the last paragraph.
I would definitely recommend it.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Sep 16 2014 : 7:32PM
Big question: does it seem like he actually knows something about F1? I don't need documentary accuracy, but a lot of novels, especially those written mid-century--the author writes a thriller that takes place in Africa, yet it's painfully obvious that the only thing he knows about Africa is what he learned reading 1001 Arabian Nights...

Senior Member

1875 Posts
1/12
Posted - Sep 16 2014 : 9:39PM
^ I would say yes in the sense that he, speaking through his characters, knows a lot about the business of Formula One. There is very little description of the actual Grand Prix themselves, and there is more of a description of Formula One behind the scenes competitions and underhandedness. The closest one gets to a description of a Grand Prix is a paragraph or two about how one of the characters performed in qualifying, and how one of the characters is doing in the points at the beginning of the novel, and then a few chapters in. For example, as a narrator, he references the recent (for the epoch) LeMans tragedy and comments something to the effect of "It is well known, but never said out loud, that the LeMans tragedy is the fault of one man alone." Also, it was written in the early 1970's before Hunt-Lauda. For example, he says that Formula One basically just trucks between different European destinations every other weekend. About the only direct references to actual Formula One elements of the era are his references to Ferrari and Monza. The main team of his story is fictional.
The best way I could describe The Way To Dusty Death is "a mystery/thriller set in the Formula One world for part of a fictional, unspecified season." At the beginning, it seems to be about underhandedness of the type one of Bernie Ecclestone's biographers (forget the name) wrote about in the book No Angel, and about which many journalists have speculated for a long time now. By approximately the middle, and certainly by the end of the novel, the plot veers off into a story that goes well beyond underhandedness and into more higher-order criminality of a type that has never been publicly linked to Formula One thus far.
I hope this helps. I realize I am cryptic, but I do not want to spoil it for you.
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All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Sep 16 2014 : 10:34PM
No, that tells me what I want to know. Thanks! I'll look for that one next time I'm at the used book stores (there are still a couple around).

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Sep 17 2014 : 1:34PM

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Oct 9 2014 : 11:30AM
Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling, published in 1988. The setting is 2020. The author predicted internet dependence, but understated the rising energy costs, which the internet needs to work. One of the characters said agriculture in the Sahel was a catastrophic mistake. Some of America has similar conditions, with semiarid land being farmed without knowledge or interest in the long term health of the land.
 
Doctor of the Erotic Arts

goregoregirl.com
11853 Posts
1/09
Posted - Oct 9 2014 : 11:55AM
Nearly a year ago, and I am still reading it. Only about 150 pages to go!!
Currently also reading:
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and
Melissa_Gira_Grant_Playing_the_Whore.jpg

Senior Member

Rain makes everything GROW
7644 Posts
4/13
Posted - Oct 30 2014 : 7:06PM
I usually don't read those type of books... but this time I'm pleasantly surprised. I found them between stuff I brought back from my gf "away work" appartment. It's Janet Evanovich serie about bounty hunter Stephanie Plum. I found first four vols (on Tuesday). Now almost finishing second one. This is the kind of book that when you read it you are like: ok just one more chapter... ok, one more. And then you look at the clock and it's 2pm, and you are on page 180 . It's good, interesting, funny, sexy... with "galaxy" of great and expressive characters... written with flow and with humor. Pheew, I checked on "web" and I see that she wrote more than 20 volumes... wow
And one request to those who have read these books. Please don't tell me in which volume Joe gonna score...
btw: special thanks to the Miss translator. Kudos

Senior Member

1251 Posts
3/10
Posted - Nov 28 2014 : 8:33PM
I have recently read two entertaining bits of fluff.
A Fistful of Collars is the fourth or fifth in a series of books by Spencer Quinn about the Little Detective Agency, consisting of Bernie Little and his dog companion Chet. The conceit of the book is that the narrator is Chet in his infinitely charming and distractable canine manner. While this is not the best in the series, a visit with Chet and Bernie is always a delight -- although non-dog lovers might find it less appealing.
One caution about these books. The wife and I used to watch Mystery Science Theater 3000 a lot. If you don't know the program, it showed excruciatingly bad movies while the hero and his robot friends ripped on the movie with bad jokes (and, not so bad ones). The thing about it: you didn't want to make the mistake of paying too much attention to the movies; to appreciate the show, you needed to keep focused on the commentary. Now, I don't want to suggest that the stories in the Chet and Bernie books are bad -- they aren't at all. But, don't let the plot distract you from Chet's narrative voice, which is the principal charm of the books.
The other book was City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte (the pseudonym of a pair of authors). Having visited Prague -- and fallen in love with it -- on our vacation last Spring, I was easily sucked into the setting here, with so many familiar places that we saw on our trip (like the Palace and especially St Vitus Cathedral -- God, those glorious windows!). The book was a rapid paced, inventive mix of history, musicology, time travel of sorts under a mysterious drug, Beethoven, an evil Senator, a wise dwarf, Prague, and much more. The authors clearly had a load of fun writing this, and it carries over to the reader (well, this reader, at any rate). A quick, fun romp.

Senior Member

1875 Posts
1/12
Posted - Nov 30 2014 : 2:58PM
This one is just.plain.awesome!
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Astronaut (botanist cross-trained as a mechanical engineer) is stuck on Mars after being cut off from the rest of his team while they were carrying out an emergency evacuation/departure from Mars because winds exceeded 150 kph. Lots of science, lots of mathematics (if I had read this book in grade school and high school, I would have paid much, much more attention in math and science classes since Andy Weir explains math and science far better than any math and science teacher I had growing up), not to mention that the first-person log entry sequences are funny as hell.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Nov 30 2014 : 5:00PM
Working on Tom Wolfe's Back to Blood. No comment on it yet. It hasn't really grabbed me so far (I'm on Chapter 5), but I know in the past that it's taken me awhile to get going with his novels.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Dec 14 2014 : 10:45PM
I just finished Back to Blood. Anyone else a Tom Wolfe fan and want to talk about it? I liked his previous books, but I'm really shaky on this one. I thought it had the best ending, from a writing standpoint, of the bunch, but I dunno about the rest. I'm having a tough time figuring out what turns me off on this one when I liked, say, A Man in Full...

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14455 Posts
11/99
Posted - Dec 15 2014 : 8:03AM
jayo, I've read very little Tom Wolfe. Recently, I read I Am Charlotte Simmons and it just sounded like an old guy awkwardly trying to write like a college student. I thought it was terrible. Is there another Wolfe book I should read so I don't write him off?
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All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Dec 20 2014 : 4:06PM
^ I've been thinking a lot about that and I have no good answer. Wolfe has an unusual style and it's in all of his books, so in many respects if you don't like the voice in one, you won't like the others.
He wrote a lot of short magazine articles that have been collected in books. But among his long-form output, his most highly regarded is his first, The Right Stuff, which is non-fiction about the original Mercury astronauts and the US space program. Great book, but not if you don't care about the subject matter.
Next was his first novel, The Bonfiire of the Vanities, which was a huge seller and made into a mediocre movie. I liked the book but it's mostly about New York and New Yorkers, which is an alien culture to me.
Next novel was A Man in Full, which I rather liked but it took me some time to get into it. That sold well but I never heard anyone talk about it like they did Bonfire.
Next was I am Charlotte Simmons, which again I rather liked but thought it had a very unusual plot. This one was a big sales stiff.
Last book was Back to Blood, the one I just read. I appear to be one of the few who bought and read it. It'll be interesting to see how many more novels he can publish if his next book isn't a huge hit.
Edited by - jayo on 12/20/2014 4:07:12 PM

Senior Member

Silencio...
104341 Posts
2/00
Posted - Dec 20 2014 : 5:59PM
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Painted Word.

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14455 Posts
11/99
Posted - Dec 21 2014 : 11:31AM
Thanks, jayo and damno (yeah I wanted to rhyme your names.) I love how your suggestions don't overlap at all. I'll do some wolf browsing at the local used bookstore.
 
All-Star Member

9920 Posts
7/04
Posted - Dec 21 2014 : 2:01PM
I tried The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test when I was in college but didn't know 95% of what he was talking about. If I can find my copy (damn paperbacks) I'll give it another try.
The ^ is one of his short magazine article collections from the 1960s.

Senior Member

1875 Posts
1/12
Posted - Dec 26 2014 : 5:17PM
This one was highly recommended to me. It turned out to be awesome!
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A nice post-apocalyptic Western.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jan 3 2015 : 4:48PM
I don't know if I found Harold the Birdwatcher on a school shelf or library shelf. Harold saw his older teen neighbor naked through a bedroom window. Later his birthday present binoculars enhanced his "birdwatching." In retrospect that seems like an odd book to put in a kids' section.

Senior Member

1875 Posts
1/12
Posted - Jan 24 2015 : 3:19PM
The Aviators.jpg
Highly interesting book about pioneers of flight. It is awesome to know that there were brave and skilled men who expertly piloted planes before avionics became standard.
 
Poetic Moderator

Long and Cursive road to the Ivory Pagoda in the province of Loraine
12553 Posts
12/03
Posted - Jan 31 2015 : 10:48PM
Reading some Joe Hill when I have time, Horns

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Feb 8 2015 : 8:50PM
After reading All Quiet on the Western Front 22 years ago, I checked some other Remarque books. The Road Back is about the struggle to adjust to peace after war. That seemed too boring. Now I'm mature enough and bored enough to finally start reading it. Some big wars are coming, with more drastic changes than anything else in my lifetime.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Feb 9 2015 : 12:09AM
^No, just All Quiet. Rising electricity cost could mean I'll be reading more without internet and television, if I have time to read, and if I can get books worth reading. So now is the time to stock up. The whole line of Remarque at a used bookstore would cost less than one tank of gas, which I don't need if I bike to the store.
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fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Feb 23 2015 : 3:34AM
Hawkes Harbor by S. E. Hinton, a horror story that ends like a Christmas movie on the Family Channel.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Mar 16 2015 : 9:53AM
I read the Odyssey 20 years ago in Mythology class. Now I'm finally reading the The Iliad. It starts with a fight between allied commanders over the spoils of war, which is women. Gods get involved in an argument between sex traffickers.

Senior Member

1251 Posts
3/10
Posted - Mar 16 2015 : 12:55PM
^ Small world. I read Odyssey in the 60s, but just picked up The Iliad this weekend for the first time. I have so far only read the lengthy introduction and first few pages. I find I am really enjoying the translation, by Robert Fagles. He has me excited about the book.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 15 2015 : 8:58PM
I dropped The Iliad. When each minor character was listed like a page of a phone book, but with poetry, I decided I'm not bored enough to read all 600 pages.
I remembered a story by Theodore Sturgeon about a monster made of mud and a skeleton. I have a Sturgeon anthology, but not that story. I read it in an anthology edited by Alfred Hitchcock.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - May 18 2015 : 8:02AM
I finished the first two books in C. S. Lewis' Thulcandra trilogy and started the third: That Hideous Strength. It exceeded my tolerance for bureaucratic/academic schmucks in office politics.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jun 7 2015 : 11:27PM
A quote from Ellery Queen's A Fine and Private Place:
I've waked up well over a thousand times saying thank God it was a nightmare and finding out it wasn't.
Edited by - charn on 6/7/2015 11:27:37 PM

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jul 19 2015 : 5:03AM
I have a stack of books to read while icing my sore legs.
Rumblefish by S. E. Hinton
Overshoot: The Ecological Basis of Revolutionary Change by William R. Catton Jr.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling

Senior Member

1251 Posts
3/10
Posted - Jul 20 2015 : 2:11PM
A few entertaining books I have enjoyed in recent months:
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
This is told alternately in the observations of two narrators: a cranky concierge at a Paris building, and the 12 year old daughter of one of the residents. Each is hiding a secret life while cynically noting the very constrained world she lives in.
The book definitely has its longeurs. Its principal characters are not very believable. I felt blindsided by the ending, which I hated. And yet, I raced breathlessly through it. I enjoyed the characters, even if they lacked credibility and sometimes even likability. The warmth of friendship, the dry humor, the loving hearts beating irrepressibly under dreary exteriors wove a subtle enchantment.
The book seems to have polarized readers into those who loved it and those who found it truly awful. I can easily see each side's point, but fall strongly into the positive camp. Read it, forgive the weaknesses, and look for the love.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
The narrator of this book, Don Tillman, is strongly Aspergers, though he wouldn't diagnose himself so. He does, however, realize that he is socially completely inept, which explains his very few friends. It is telling, however, how strongly those few friends care for him. When one of them suggests he would make a good husband, he embarks on a project -- the Wife Project -- to identify the perfect woman for him. Predictably, as a hyperlogical geneticist, he creates a long questionnaire carefully crafted to weed out any unsuitable potential mates (i.e., pretty much every female in existence) and hilariously starts screening.
And then he meets Rosie, who has her own project: finding her biological father. She is instantly rejected as a possible wife, unsuitable in every way; nonetheless, Don finds himself sidetracked into helping her search and becomes entangled in her life.
So, okay, the book is romantic fluff. But, I laughed all the way through (every page, on some pages every sentence) and loved the characters. Don, especially, is such a dear, sweet person -- how can one not be rooting for him?
The Martian by Andy Weir
From page 2 of this thrilling book:
"Well, that was my mission. Well, not mine per se. Commander Lewis was in charge. I was just one of her crew. Actually, I was the very lowest ranked member of the crew. I would only be "in command" of the mission if I were the only remaining person.
"What do you know? I'm in command."
And so it begins. Mark Watney is part of a six-astronaut team making the third manned landing on Mars. When disaster strikes the expedition, he is thought (with good reason) to have been killed and the rest of the team barely escapes the surface and heads back to Earth. Injured and stranded with left-behind supplies and gear meant to keep six people alive for 30 days, he has to figure out how to survive until the next mission is due (in four years).
This is a thrilling page-turner for the science (always carefully developed if not always credible) and the adventure, but it lives and breathes through its protagonist, who is so resourceful and so resilient that you can't help cheering for him. Absolutely a first- rate science fiction adventure story.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Jul 22 2015 : 12:16PM
At Hogwarts I might have been a Ravenclaw, or maybe Hufflepuff, but sorting students by qualities and keeping them separated for years seems to be a drearily British boarding school way of establishing cliques at a school.

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14455 Posts
11/99
Posted - Jul 25 2015 : 7:52AM
I just read the sequel. While I can't stand the Rosie character in it I love Don. I've known so many men like him.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Aug 11 2015 : 5:57PM
Clarence Darrow for the Defense is loaded with history that is also current events. The mining labor war could be called a second slavery war. Some mine owners in Idaho conspired to kill former governor Frank Steunenberg to frame some union leaders, with the cooperation of the state government. Now we have a war on drugs, with the same result of locking up vast numbers of poor people. In 1925, a black family in Detroit was charged with murder after a race mob threw rocks through the windows. Seventy years later near my own neighborhood, a black woman and daughter from Detroit were in a suburban hotel when a race mob threw rocks through the window. She ran out and stabbed one. The prosecutor eventually decided to drop the assault charge against her, but the judge refused to dismiss the case.
Edited by - charn on 8/11/2015 5:58:24 PM

Senior Member

I am...the forgotten one!!
23770 Posts
4/04
Posted - Aug 12 2015 : 5:32PM
Detroit Then and Now

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Nov 24 2015 : 4:36PM
Danse Macabre is a short book by Steven King standards, but it is slow going through the essays about classic horror movies and books I haven't watched or read. That could take all winter between other books and shoveling snow.

fubar

7535 Posts
12/09
Posted - Dec 14 2015 : 4:21AM
Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon is a sci-fi story about an autistic man, by a mother with an autistic son. It's hopeful about scientific progress in treating and curing autism, which makes it sad from my perspective. We are past the peak of scientific progress. Her son won't be cured. Birth defects and neurological disorders will be more common as industrial chemicals stay in our environment and our bodies for the next few centuries.
 
All-Star Member

13081 Posts
3/03
Posted - Oct 14 2016 : 2:39AM
I'm currently reading James Joyce's "Ulysses" via a reprint of the first edition published by Sylvia Beach in 1922. It's a large-format book so it's easier to read than the other editions currently available. It's a tough slog and I'm finding it hard to put everything together, but the writing itself is truly amazing.
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Member

494 Posts
8/15
Posted - Nov 25 2016 : 9:55PM
Alan Furst's "Midnight in Europe". Not one of his best, but a good Furst is still better than a lot of thriller writers these days.
 
All-Star Member

13081 Posts
3/03
Posted - Nov 25 2016 : 11:09PM
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Good read; long, but not difficult.

Member

494 Posts
8/15
Posted - Nov 26 2016 : 1:28AM
Interesting since Moby Dick is my frequent example of a teacher ruining an otherwise enjoyable book.
 
All-Star Member

13081 Posts
3/03
Posted - Nov 26 2016 : 9:31PM
^
Author = Teacher? I'm confused.

Member

494 Posts
8/15
Posted - Nov 27 2016 : 1:17AM
Bob--an English teacher who insisted that the book be interpreted this way and this way ONLY. It took whatever enjoyment I had in reading the book, and I did have some completely out of it.
 
All-Star Member

13081 Posts
3/03
Posted - Nov 27 2016 : 3:00AM
^
Sounds like a monomaniac's approach. Was your teacher missing a leg?
 
All-Star Member

pornography wasn't sex but fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world
17059 Posts
9/07
Posted - Nov 27 2016 : 1:25PM
Love Moby Dick. My favourite novel.
Right now I'm reading The Totalitarian Temptation by Jean Francois Revel.

Senior Member

8646 Posts
11/13
Posted - Nov 30 2016 : 12:28PM
I took a break from reading Manning Marable's "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" to read "Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century" by Peter Graham. Burned through it in less than a week (very rare for me nowadays) and finished it late last night.

Senior Member

8646 Posts
11/13
Posted - Dec 28 2016 : 12:28PM
I finally finished reading Manning Marable's "Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention" (my third time) and have started "Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning" by Colette Livermore.
 
All-Star Member

pornography wasn't sex but fantasies of an impossibly hospitable world
17059 Posts
9/07
Posted - Dec 30 2016 : 2:24AM
Almost done DAYS OF RAGE by Bryan Burrough (of the excellent PUBLIC ENEMIES). An exhaustive history of far left terrorists from the late 60s til the early 80s.
Fiction-wise just started Lavie Tidhar's amazing A MAN LIES DREAMING which combines the shoah and a BDSM pulp detective thriller starring Adolph Hitler.
 
All-Star Member

13081 Posts
3/03
Posted - Jan 6 2017 : 2:59AM
Just finished "Moby Dick" and started "Swann's Way". So far, I'm really liking it. We'll see if I can make it through all six volumes of "In Search of Lost Time". At the pace I read, that will probably take a year.
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