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Finished up Terry Pratchett's Guards! Guards! and David Gemmell's Legend. First time reading their works and loved both of them to bits. So many bloody Discworld books I just picked one at random between The Watch series, DEATH, and the stand alones. Probably going with Small Gods or Mort next.

 

Legend was fantastic and already ordered Waylander. Can't wait.

 

 

Currently reading New York by Edward Rutherfurd.

The first couple of Rincewind books are not as good, but not bad either. Read GOOD OMENS,  probably my favorite of all his books(not discworld, with Gaiman). I've read all the discworld not including the tiffany aching books. . . . It helps to read them in order, though. . . Pyramids is anohter good stand alone book.

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While stuck in a car for 40 hours going to and from GenCon, I read a couple of books...

 

GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn: I never in a MILLION YEARS would have read this book, but a friend said I should give it a whirl. It was actually a decent thriller, with a nifty twist.  The story is like one massive head game.

 

THE VISIBLE MAN by Chuck Klosterman: somehow, I missed this when it came out. I've read all of Klosterman's stuff. I liked this better than DOWNTOWN OWL, but I felt like it was only 3/4 of a book. An interesting enough read, but it just didn't feel..... complete. Looking forward to checking out his next book.

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I recently read Haruki Murakami's "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". I enjoyed reading this a lot. I used to run lots and lots when I was younger so I connected with a lot of that content but there is also a lot of great stuff about his creative process and philosophies towards work and structuring the daily routines of one's life towards greater goals and so forth. It's very short but it doesn't feel lacking in content at all. 

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Whoops, need to catch up...

 

Finished the Leviathan trilogy. Nicely done, although I am about done with the "you meet your soulmate at 15" trope.

 

Read Partials and Fragments by Dan Wells. Interesting post-apocalypic, we-did-this-to-ourselves stuff, some good science, but the second book really feels like filler until the last 20 - 30 pages. Third one comes out next year, I believe.

 

In between library visits, I'm re-reading The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters.

 

Today I came home with The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin and Heir to Sevenwaters by Juliet Marillier.

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Finished Under a Graveyard Sky over lunch. Quick read (I only started it Sunday), held my interest all the way through. All of John Ringo's usual strengths and weaknesses are in full effect here, so if you're sick of reading about ex special-forces protagonists, obsessive hardware detail, thrown-in references to his favorite musicians and the occasional neocon soapboxing, you'd probably best steer clear. I find that some of his tendencies are wearing thin for me at this point, but he's capable of keeping me entertained and this was no exception. I thought the first half was more compelling than the second, simply because it had a pretty unique (to my limited zombie-fiction experience, at least) and eerily plausible take on things from the CDC and corporate perspectives. Once they got out to sea and skipped to after the collapse, it felt like Ringo being Ringo, only with zombies instead of terrorists or aliens.

 

September book club book is Time Enough for Love, looking forward to revisiting it for the first time since 11th grade.

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Finished listening to Under the Dome and moved on to 11/22/63.

Under the Dome is some dark, dire stuff Shame the ending got King'd, but if you read a lot of his stuff, you get used to it.

Is the tv show any good?

Picked up Lex Luger's book today, so that'll likely be my weekend reading.

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Just finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane.Neil Gaiman is just the best. Seriously. Forget that it's only like, 230 pages. Scoop this up, read it, and love it.Just so, so good.I didn't even mind that for the first time it really felt like Gaiman was going back to familiar tropes for him (though in fairness, it's ideas pulled from all of his work and done differently)

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Carter Beats the Devil was super enjoyable.

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I read that first Walking Dead novel (Rise Of The Governor), and it was solid until a hasty ending...kind of like the last season of television. "This is due tomorrow? Scribble something down and hand it in!"

 

Also read Zane Grey's "Riders Of The Purple Sage" and I disliked it, solely for the trite little finish. Rest was really good.

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Finished Ted Williams autobio, good read, but the difference between reading books by sportswriters/historians and autobio can be a little jarring sometimes. Not that one is necessarily better, but there is a big difference in reading. . . Almost done with a book about Bobby Thomson/Branca, then on to the Willie May bio. . .

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Read The Summer of Beer and Whiskey over the weekend by Ed Achorn, about the 1883 American Association season. Fun read that makes a very serious case for the Baseball HOF inclusion of Chris Von der Ahe, the St. Louis Brown Stockings owner. Described as a cross between George Steinbrenner, Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley, Von der Ahe was a German immigrant who parlayed his St. Louis saloon into multiple institutions including the baseball team, turning his Brown Stockings (now the Cardinals) into a late 1800s baseball powerhouse and quite possibly saving the game itself in the process by making it more affordable for fans, playing on Sundays in defiance of blue laws and allowing beer and alcohol sales. Charismatic, bombastic, abrasive, buffoonish and incredibly generous seemingly all at the same time, he was wildly popular at the time and now is a regrettably overlooked figure, a footnote to the sport who deserves much more.

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(Copied from my Facebook)

 

Re-reading TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE for the first time since I was 17, I find myself struck by a few things.

1) the sexual politics and attitudes are often even creepier than I remembered.

2) the end of Bill and Dora's tale is still pretty heartbreaking

3) The Notebook of Lazarus Long had a huge impact on the way I see the world, and I never realized it before now. I have often credited Larry Elder as sowing the seeds of my swing away from standard angry authoritarian-conservative politics and toward a more individualist libertarian point of view, but I think in retrospect that Heinlein planted a lot of the ideas in my head a decade before I first heard Elder on the radio.

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I've just started reading NOS4A2 by Joe Hill; just about 50 pages in.  The prologue set in the prison hospital was so chilling.  Also, this dude Bing is fucking insane.

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Just started reading Generation KIll by Evan Wright, because it's been long enough that I've forgotten the show. But before that, I read Hoodtown by Christa Faust, which is a lucha-noir novel - literally it's set in a ghetto where everyone wears lucha masks all the time. Someone is killing prostitutes and stealing thier masks, and this cannot be allowed~! It's an increidble bit of world building - like how the luchadore barber shop has better security than a bank, because you cannot be seen without your mascara. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but, just read it. It's great.

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Read The Summer of Beer and Whiskey over the weekend by Ed Achorn, about the 1883 American Association season. Fun read that makes a very serious case for the Baseball HOF inclusion of Chris Von der Ahe, the St. Louis Brown Stockings owner. Described as a cross between George Steinbrenner, Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley, Von der Ahe was a German immigrant who parlayed his St. Louis saloon into multiple institutions including the baseball team, turning his Brown Stockings (now the Cardinals) into a late 1800s baseball powerhouse and quite possibly saving the game itself in the process by making it more affordable for fans, playing on Sundays in defiance of blue laws and allowing beer and alcohol sales. Charismatic, bombastic, abrasive, buffoonish and incredibly generous seemingly all at the same time, he was wildly popular at the time and now is a regrettably overlooked figure, a footnote to the sport who deserves much more.

Sounds good, I'll have to add it to my Wish List.  If you enjoyed that book, have you tried 59 in '84 about Hoss Radbourn's incredible 1884 season?  If not, I can't recommend it highly enough!

 

As for me, I just finished The System, by John Benedict and Armen Keteyian.  It's a series of chapters/essays on various aspects of college football, mostly bad, some good.  There's a wealth of great information and this is truly a must-read.

 

I've just started The Godfather of Poker by Doyle Brunson.  Am only 50 pages in, so far, so good.  I have a sneaking suspicion it'll be like Amarillo Slim's autobiography and come up wanting in terms of truthfulness.

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Tabe, any idea whether The System is nonfan-friendly?  It sounds like a fascinating read, but my knowledge of college football boils down to "the Cougars sucked when I was at UH."

 

Following up Time Enough for Love with Methuselah's Children.  Funny how I'd read the second book multiple times but not ever gotten 'round to the original.  I'm about halfway through, and much like other Heinlein from the pre-political period it's a great adventure and very, very dated.  Still, the early going with its politicking and the whole world going mad over the Howards' "refusal" to share their "medical miracle" is chilling and believable, and does a good job of building the tension even though I've known where the story leads since I was 16.

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Tabe, any idea whether The System is nonfan-friendly?  It sounds like a fascinating read, but my knowledge of college football boils down to "the Cougars sucked when I was at UH."

Yeah, it should be pretty nonfan-friendly.  You don't need to have a whole lot of background knowledge, really.  Obviously it helps if you know that Ohio State is a big-time school, and so on, but you don't need to have a lot of info going into the book, no.

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1001 games to play before you die.

 

Really interesting read giving snippets on on the history of gaming.

 

A really light read, but one that guarantees a smile from me is the nostalgia from the 80's side of things. wizball. buggy boy, chaos engine.

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Doyle Brunson's book ended up being very good. A few stories that seemed to stretch the truth a bit but not too bad. Doyle's Christianity might bug a few people but not a problem for me. The structure was just a tad disjointed as Doyle would kind of just randomly tell stories in the middle of his life story. Still, very enjoyable.

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Just started reading Generation KIll by Evan Wright, because it's been long enough that I've forgotten the show. But before that, I read Hoodtown by Christa Faust, which is a lucha-noir novel - literally it's set in a ghetto where everyone wears lucha masks all the time. Someone is killing prostitutes and stealing thier masks, and this cannot be allowed~! It's an increidble bit of world building - like how the luchadore barber shop has better security than a bank, because you cannot be seen without your mascara. I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but, just read it. It's great.

 

Christa is brilliant. She hasn't written a lot, but everything she has written is worth reading, especially Choke Hold. Some years back, she, Doug Winter, and I kicked the Dr Who geeks out of the video room at an SF con and showed Manami Toyota videos the rest of the night. Good times.

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Currently reading: Edie: An American Biography, Jean Stein's oral history of Edie Sedgwick's life,

 

I always found her quite an intriguing figure, but this book makes her seem like a genuinely awful person. I don't even think anyone was intending it to be a hit job, but it's inevitable when they relate stories of her bullying the nanny or constantly belittling her husband or stealing things from family members to pay for drugs.

 

Her and Warhol may have deserved each other. 

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Just finished reading 'Seabiscuit' by Laura Hillenbrand. Was a really good read, especially for me, as I used to work in a betting shop, and am currently teaching Of Mice and Men, which covers a similar era.

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I'm giving DOCTOR SLEEP a spin. I'm really not a King fan, at all, but after seeing ROOM 237, I'm currently crazy for THE SHINING, and even though the movie has little to do with King's books, this promises me more of that world, so...I'm in.

Off to a decent start.

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Have started reading The Kennedy Detail by Gerald Blaine.  Blaine was a Secret Service agent on...uh...the Kennedy Detail... when JFK was killed.  I have heard tons of positive things about this book and have finally started reading it.  About 100 pages in (of 350) so far.  Blaine interviewed pretty much all of the still-living agents who were also on the detail for the book.  What I've read so far has been really good.  LOTS of good detail on the Secret Service, how they did things, procedures, decisions, and so on.  Discussions on how things impact their wives*, stuff like that.  Only drawback is that parts are written a little too much like a novel as he reconstructs conversations and events.  That's more of a style thing and I think it just doesn't work for this type of book.  Anyway, so far, really good.

 

* - For example, discussing the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, Blaine relates JFK turning to him and saying "you know if something happens, you're coming with me", meaning into the hidden bunker if there's a nuclear attack or whatever.  Only Blaine can't share that info with his wife.  And his wife and kid wouldn't be coming with him into the bunker.  Think about how awful THAT would be.  That's the kind of stuff you don't really think about when thinking about the Secret Service.

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Reading Jesse Walker's The United States of Paranoia, which is about the places where conspiracy theory creeps into mainstream politics and pop culture.  It goes back as far as the Puritans' unshakable belief that there must be some "super chief" pulling the strings of all the Native tribes in a conspiracy against the Christian colonists, but of course the 20th century stuff is most interesting.  Random take-aways:

 

1) John Todd was an amazing performance artist/con man/crazy person/monster.  I listened to a couple of his 1979 lectures today and holy shit this guy.  Out of all the movies to denounce as occult propaganda, the Billy Jack series seems like an odd choice.  (This forum would be particularly interested in the Jack Chick connection, I think.)  The fact that this dude was able to make hay for like eight years spewing easily disprovable, error-filled rants to churches is kind of amazing.  (The fact that he plagiarized fellow fake ex-occultist Mike Warnke is doubly hilarious.)

 

2) Jim Garrison was a dangerous lunatic, and you don't have to believe in a single shooter to recognize that he ruined several lives with his idiotic crusade.  Fuck Oliver Stone.

 

3) COINTELPRO!  The Johnson/Nixon-era FBI was pretty damned evil.

 

4) I really need to watch The Parallax View, don't I?

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