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Author Topic: Books Read in 2007 (Keep It Updated)  (Read 9895 times)
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CSL
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« Reply #120 on: August 07, 2007, 12:30:58 AM »

Read

January
The War of the World: Twentieth Century Conflict and the Descent of the West by Niall Ferguson
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein
The Origins of the First and Second World Wars by Frank McDonough
The Poverty of Progress: Latin America In The Nineteenth Century by E. Bradford Burns

February
Memoirs of an Infantry Officer by Siegfried Sassoon
Alexander Hamilton: A Life by Willard Sterne Randall
Sharpe's Trafalgar by Bernard Cornwell
To the Bitter End: Paraguay and the War of the Triple Alliance by Chris Leuchars
The Age of Napoleon by Alastair Horne
I Die With My Country: Perspectives on the Paraguayan War, 1864-70 by Hendrik Kraay and Thomas Whigham
Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves

March
The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks
14-18: Understanding the Great War by Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau and Annette Becker
Fascism: A Very Short Introduction by Kevin Passmore
The Life and Death of Carolina Maria de Jesus by Robert M. Levine and Jose Carlos Sebe Bom Meihy
Children of Cain: Violence and the Violent in Latin America by Tina Rosenberg

April
The Civil War: A Narrative - Fort Sumter to Perryville, Vol. 1 by Shelby Foote
Cuba: A Revolution in Motion by Isaac Saney
April 1865: The Month That Saved America by Jay Winik
Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era by James McPherson
Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power by Niall Ferguson
The Great War, 1914-1918: A Pictorial History by John Terraine

May

A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906 by Simon Winchester
Fighter Boys: The Battle of Britain, 1940 by Patrick Bishop
And The War Came: The North and the Secession Crisis, 1860-61 by Kenneth M. Stamp
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor

June

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
T.A. Crerar: A Political Life by James Edgar Rea
Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris
Truman by David McCullough
Jefferson's Demons: Portraits of a Restless Mind by Michael Knox Beran
The Kaiser's Battle by Martin Middlebrook

July

Tip & Run: The Untold Tragedy of the Great War in Africa by Edward Paice
Maple Leaf Against the Axis: Canada's Second World War by David J. Bercuson
The Eagle and the Rising Sun: The Japanese-American War, 1941-43: Pearl Harbor through Guadalcanal by Alan Schom
The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery
A Public Betrayed: An Inside Look at Japanese Media Atrocities and Their Warnings to the West by Adam Gamble & Takesato Watanabe
Nelson: Britannia's God of War by Andrew Lambert

August

Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow
Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 by G.J. Meyer

September

Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918 by Richard Brookhiser
Who Killed Canadian History? by J.L. Granatstein
King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology, and Rebellion by Christine Kinealy

October

The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico by Miguel Leon-Portillo
Becoming A Historian: A Canadian Manual for Women and Men by Franca Iacovetta and Molly Ladd-Taylor
The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz
Dividing Ireland: World War I and Partition by Thomas Hennessey
Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First World War by Samuel R. Williamson, Jr.
Modern Historiography: An Introduction by Michael Bentley
The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke
Patrick Pearse: The Triumph of Failure by Ruth Dudley Edwards

November

For Honour's Sake: The War of 1812 and the Brokering of an Uneasy Peace by Mark Zuehlke
Blenheim: Battle for Europe, How the Duke of Marlborough Masterminded the Defeat of the French at Blenheim by Charles Spencer
Homage To Catalonia by George Orwell
Northern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction by Mach Mulholland
1794: America, Its Army, and the Birth of a Nation by David R. Palmer

December

Red  Power on the Rio Grande: The American Revolution of 1680 by Franklin Folsom
Dark Bargain: Slavery, Profits, and the Struggle for the Constitution by Lawrence Goldstone

Reading

Queued

The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 by William Manchester
Citizens by Simon Schama
Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower, Book 4 by Stephen King
The First World War: Volume 1: To Arms by Hew Strachan
The Course of Irish History by T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin

Finished: 63

Completed in 2006: 50
Completed in 2005: ~40
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 05:27:10 PM by CSL » Logged
CSL
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« Reply #121 on: August 07, 2007, 12:39:01 AM »

Finished
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow

Another excellent biography by Ron Chernow, this time on the founder fo Standard Oil and histories largest philanthropist. In contrast to his Hamilton biography this one was far more easy to digest, with a more relaxed tone throughout and with a little less indepth analysis of finances for instance. Peppered throughout are many nice mini-biographies of the players that intersected the story such as William Lyon MacKenzie King following the Ludlow massacre. There was also a good deal on Rockefellers children, especially John Jr. who comes off a fine fellow, if a little naive.

***** out of *****

I also purchased Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday and Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor this week. I'll be starting on the latter as internet reviews have tended to show that the Mao book is horribly biased against the subject, not surprising considering the main authors experiences in Maoist China as told in Wild Swans.
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CSL
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« Reply #122 on: August 07, 2007, 09:24:03 AM »

Purchased another few books from Amazon this time the following...


A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 by G.J. Meyer
Lincoln by David Herbert Donald
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 by William Manchester
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« Reply #123 on: August 08, 2007, 12:43:13 PM »


An excellent account of the Pilgrims' voyage to Plymouth and first half century of settlement in New England, through King Phillip's War.  It seems to take a fair and balanced perspective and is a quick exciting read.  Very much recommended.

9 books so far this year!  I'm pretty proud of myself.

Can anyone recommend a good narrative history of the (American) Revolutionary War?
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« Reply #124 on: August 08, 2007, 08:37:58 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on August 08, 2007, 12:43:13 PM

Can anyone recommend a good narrative history of the (American) Revolutionary War?

1776 by David McCullough covers the first year of the conflict quite well. Not sure about one that covers the whole deal though.
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« Reply #125 on: August 08, 2007, 11:44:31 PM »

Another Day in the Frontal Lobe by Katrina Firlik

A brain surgeon talking about the process that got her there and a little about how things tend to work. Mildly interesting read, but not fascinating by any means. Though I'm probably a little too close to the subject for it to wow me. I could see it being far better to those not in the medical profession.
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« Reply #126 on: August 09, 2007, 01:25:53 PM »

CSL - where do you get your book recommendations? I've purchased a few books that you've read and have enjoyed them all. My next purchase will be Titan, sounds great.
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CSL
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« Reply #127 on: August 09, 2007, 09:14:58 PM »

Quote from: Poomba on August 09, 2007, 01:25:53 PM

CSL - where do you get your book recommendations? I've purchased a few books that you've read and have enjoyed them all. My next purchase will be Titan, sounds great.

I usually just pick up what interests me at the book store or what has gotten decent reviews on amazon.com

That and librarything recommendations are pretty good most of the time.
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« Reply #128 on: August 10, 2007, 01:29:04 PM »

Quote
That and librarything recommendations are pretty good most of the time.

Thanks for mentioning LibraryThing - just joined, very cool!
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CSL
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« Reply #129 on: August 10, 2007, 11:41:20 PM »

Quote from: Poomba on August 10, 2007, 01:29:04 PM

Quote
That and librarything recommendations are pretty good most of the time.

Thanks for mentioning LibraryThing - just joined, very cool!

Cool, whats your username?

I just myself added a tag listing on my account for Books Read in 2007.

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=Read+in+2007&view=csl
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« Reply #130 on: August 13, 2007, 01:52:22 PM »

Just finished Alastair Reynolds' Chasm City.  I never was able to get into his first novel, Revelation Space but Chasm City was much better.  There were still a couple of significant flaws for me- characterization was really thin and very few of the characters ever made any impression and the book was honestly too long.  Should have had about 200 pages shaved off it.  Still, the story itself was very clever and Reynolds had a lot of neat ideas.  If nothing else it made me want to make another go at Revelation Space at some point. 
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« Reply #131 on: August 13, 2007, 02:34:57 PM »

Quote
Cool, whats your username?

rbruder...http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?view=rbruder

my list isn't as extensive as yours since I've just started adding books (actually trying to keep track of what I've read and what I want with this). It's the best tool I've found so far to do this.
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« Reply #132 on: August 14, 2007, 02:26:21 PM »

Just read Stephen Donaldson's The Real Story the first novel in Gap series, his space opera version of Wagner's Ring Cycle .  I've heard amazing things about the series as a whole so I'm pretty excited to finally be reading it.  I also was prepared for the first entry which often is referenced as not being indicative of the series as a whole as well as the rather extreme content in it (which wasn't nearly as extreme as I was expecting).

Real Story was the first thing I've read by Donaldson and I have to say I'm pretty damn impressed.  I wouldn't call a book that is predominantly focused on rape and torture enjoyable but it was certainly a compelling read and Donaldson was able to get into what makes these characters tick far better than the characterization I've experienced in most sci-fi I've read.  I also like that he focuses on characterization over hardware, which is generally how I prefer my SF.

Now, I'm starting in on the second book in the series Forbidden Knowledge and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where this saga goes. 
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« Reply #133 on: August 14, 2007, 10:44:06 PM »

Finished Cobra II: The Inside Story of the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq by Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor and
All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Cobra II was a very, very interesting book. I was still in high-school when the invasion of Iraq happened but paid little overall attention to the war at the time. This book has been a great refesher and makes it clear how problems came about, who was responsible (mostly Don Rumsfeld and Tommy Franks), and who did a good job with the resorces presented to them (General David McKiernan). There was and is an interesting struggle that goes on throughout the book between the two sides, Rumsfeld wanting the invasion to be as small and quick as possible using only 185,000 or so combat forces while generals like McKiernan who had served in nation-building efforts argued for much more - upwards of 500,000 to take the country, defend its borders, and quash any paramilitary forces that sprung up. Rumsfeld unfortanately won, and he believed that a smaller force with superior technology could easily take the country without much losses - though that didn't work out so well. Throughout the text its said that Rumsfeld touted the new abilities of the army to communicate quickly and without problems, well except for the small problems like the Marines and Army forces couldn't easily communicate to each other, there were numerous friendly fire incidents, and sand storms wrecked havoc on complex infrared and night-vision capabilities.
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« Reply #134 on: August 15, 2007, 05:07:44 PM »

CSL, if you're interested in the Iraq situation, let me recommend The Assassin's Gate:  America in Iraq by George Packer.
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« Reply #135 on: August 15, 2007, 08:47:13 PM »

Time to start buying texts for classes the first of which I got today...

King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild
The Burning of Bridget Cleary by Angela Bourke
The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology, and Rebellion by Christine Kinealy
The Course of Irish History by T.W. Moody and F.X. Martin
Northern Ireland: A Very Short Introduction by Mach Mulholland
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« Reply #136 on: August 16, 2007, 05:03:05 AM »

Finished Storm Front, book one of The Dresen Files, today. Quick, easy, entertaining read. Gonna have to pick up the next in the series soon.
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« Reply #137 on: August 24, 2007, 10:50:45 AM »

Finished Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday

Interesting biography, and one highly critical of Mao Tse-tung. A little long for my tastes however, as I felt that Chang went over some thing multiple times and she could have condensed her denonciations of Mao further instead of touting the death toll figures again and again. Moreover, its quite apparent that the author has an axe to grind (you'd know why after reading Wild Swans), but that didn't keep me from enjoying the book.

***1/2 out of *****

Finished A World Undone: The Story of the Great War, 1914 to 1918 by G.J. Meyer

Good, if somewhat unfinished work on the First World War. As an introductory text however its almost perfect, and would be recommended for anyone with no previous background with the period and looking to discover the war for the first time. For me I was disappointed about the total oversight of several important events - British troubles in Ireland, the war in Africa, and the American moves towards war. Besides that there were too few maps for my tastes. Still

**** out of *****

Now onto the Lincoln biography by David Herbert Donald.
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« Reply #138 on: August 25, 2007, 09:01:49 AM »

I finally finished Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep.

Some of the slang I found difficult to understand, but overall I really enjoyed it. 
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« Reply #139 on: August 30, 2007, 02:07:41 AM »

Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
Royal Assassin by Robin Hobb
Assassin's Quest by Robin Hobb

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Ship of Magic by Robin Hobb
Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson
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« Reply #140 on: August 30, 2007, 08:16:01 AM »

So can I assume that you would recommend Robin Hobb?  slywink
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« Reply #141 on: September 03, 2007, 03:36:58 PM »

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman-good read, my first Gaiman, although I listed American Gods in a previous post.

A Secret Atlas by Michael Stackpole-kinda bleh.

Ireland by Frank Delaney-wonderful, imaginative book all the way through.

Perdido Street Station by China Mieville-kind of strange as I dropped it about 250 pages in for about two months. Picked it up again and raced

                                                     through the rest of it. Overall impressions were positive, but I felt the ending was rather weak.
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« Reply #142 on: September 03, 2007, 03:38:28 PM »

Yes, Engine, Robin Hobb is mt favorite author.  icon_smile I actually have another trilogy by her to read soon.
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« Reply #143 on: September 03, 2007, 03:49:51 PM »

Quote from: hammer600 on September 03, 2007, 03:38:28 PM

Yes, Engine, Robin Hobb is mt favorite author.  icon_smile I actually have another trilogy by her to read soon.

I've read all the ones you mentioned and loved them.  I think the Liveship series is my favorite.  I still have the Tawny Man series to read.

I just finished Ursula K LeGuin's A Wizard of Earthsea and Tombs of Atuan.  Both were great and now I'm working on the third one: The Farthest Shore.
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« Reply #144 on: September 03, 2007, 04:14:48 PM »

I agree Warning. Tawny Man is the series I was talking about. Can't wait to get back into the world of Fitzchivalry.

Liveship Trader's was great, but I liked The Farseer Trilogy just a bit better.
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« Reply #145 on: October 01, 2007, 06:10:33 AM »

Finally finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  Woo hoo!  Now on to the next one.

I also finished Kiill Now, Pay Later by Robert Terrall. 
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« Reply #146 on: October 02, 2007, 08:27:12 PM »

Forgot to list that I read The Devil in the White City a few weeks ago.
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« Reply #147 on: October 09, 2007, 06:17:50 AM »

Okay well I haven't updated this in awhile....

September 7th

Finished Lincoln by David Herbert Donald

Amazing biography, particularly liked the last few chapters though it could have used a wee bit more information on the assassination. Overall though...

***** out of *****

Took longer than expected to get through.

September 11th

Finished America's First Dynasty: The Adamses, 1735-1918 by Richard Brookhiser

A relatively short book on the first four politically active generations of the Adams family - from Declaration of Independence signer John Adams, to his great-grandson Henry Adams. Twas okay, but nothing exceptional.

*** out of *****

September 16th

Finished Who Killed Canadian History? by J.L. Granatstein

*** out of *****

September 23rd

Finished King Leopold's Ghost: A Story of Greed, Terror, and Heroism in Colonial Africa by Adam Hochschild

***** out of *****

September 24th

Finished The Great Irish Famine: Impact, Ideology, and Rebellion by Christine Kinealy

***1/2 out of *****

October 2nd

Finished The Broken Spears: The Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico by Miguel Leon-Portillo

*** out of *****

Nothing really wrong with this book. It presents the conquest of Mexico/New Spain from an Aztec point of view, primarily through accounts written by native priests who lived through the events years after. While it does this well, my enjoyment was somewhat hampered by the fact that there is no phonetic guide to all of those crazy ass Aztec names, nor are their a variety of suitable maps - only one shitty little one at the front. Likewise, while there are a large mass of informative footnotes once again some editor thought it best to make them endnotes at the end of each chapter instead of logically placing them on each page - but doing it that way might force an editor to think for once.

Of course it wasn't for fun but for class. The other book i'm reading, The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz is much, much better.

Woo, thats also number 50 this year.

October 8th

Finished two more books today.

The first is Becoming A Historian: A Canadian Manual for Women and Men by Franca Iacovetta and Molly Ladd-Taylor.

Just a small book I had to read for historiography class but has plenty of good knowledge in it. I borrowed the professors copy but seeing as it has so much good information in it I might snag my own copy.

Secondly I finished The Conquest of New Spain by Bernal Diaz.

This one is for my Latin American Colonial history class. I was surprised at how good this was and how throughly it kept my attention, especially in contrast to Broken Spears. Diaz, while not a professional author in his lifetime, kept me highly engrossed in his narrative and more importantly let me see the various motives around the Spaniards in Mexico during the conquest period.

I only had a few problems with this version - first that its an abridged version, though the editor does a good job informing the reader of what has been cut and its importance. Second, the quality of maps - we get three and while they are okay a larger number would have been better to cope with the large number of cities that had no modern reference. That and Diaz of course has some bias, notably that he seems to belittle the contributions of his Tlascalan allies, not overtly of course, but unconciously from what I can tell.

****1/2 out of *****
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« Reply #148 on: October 09, 2007, 06:25:20 AM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on August 15, 2007, 05:07:44 PM

CSL, if you're interested in the Iraq situation, let me recommend The Assassin's Gate:  America in Iraq by George Packer.

I actually went out and bought this. What I saw in the first fifty pages or so I liked, but then I had to stop reading while getting ambushed by two fourth-year history courses and a score of lesser level ones.

Maybe i'll have time to read it near Christmas.
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« Reply #149 on: October 10, 2007, 02:16:42 PM »

I've now finished books two and three of The Dresden Files and I'm really enjoying the series. I could see myself getting tired of the formula, but right now I'm having a good time.
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« Reply #150 on: October 24, 2007, 04:29:11 PM »

Finished Dividing Ireland: World War I and Partition by Thomas Hennessey

*** out of *****

I don't think I could have picked a more boring text to use as my key source for my major Irish history paper. Need to write a book review on this for tommorow which I can't possibly get done on time. Any enjoyment I got out of this was accidental.

Finished Austria-Hungary and the Origins of the First World War by Samuel R. Williamson, Jr.

A very enthralling look at the lead up to the First World War by way of the Austrian perspective. Basically Williamson argues that in the decade before the start of the war the Habsburg Empire went from a very conservative, diplomatic based method of thinking in the Balkans to one that became increasingly militaristic following the Balkans War and that this increasing emphasis on the powers of war to solve problems led to the outbreak of a localized conflict with Serbia that then magnified into an all out continental wide war.

***** out of *****

Thats also no. 54 on the year, and I should have two more done in the next day or so.

Finished Modern Historiography: An Introduction by Michael Bentley

Read it for my historiography class and still really can't wrap my head about anything the author said. Maybe its the fact that when quoting French or German authors he does so without offering a translation, or maybe its the fact that he offers little analysis other than in bits and pieces while noting where this and that historian was teaching and what books they were putting out at such and such time.

*** out of *****

I never thought i'd long to emerse myself in the joys of Austo-Hungarian diplomatic history.
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« Reply #151 on: October 24, 2007, 05:45:41 PM »

I've been trying to set aside some time for reading/listening to books because I have missed doing so.  Long car rides are good for that.

For the year:

July:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

October:

On my last vacation I listened to:

Shadow Divers: The True Adventure of Two Americans Who Risked Everything to Solve One of the Last Mysteries of World War II by Robert Kurson

Also, in prep for the movie I re listened to:

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
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« Reply #152 on: October 24, 2007, 06:19:35 PM »

Haven't updated in a while.

I recently finished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  Thanks to CSL, I believe, for the recommendation.

I also read Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About by Mil Millington, a very funny novel by a very funny British writer.
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« Reply #153 on: October 24, 2007, 10:13:53 PM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 24, 2007, 06:19:35 PM

I recently finished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow.  Thanks to CSL, I believe, for the recommendation.

Your welcome. Now I suppose you should switch gears a little if your in the mood for another Chernow biography and grab Titan his biography on John D. Rockefeller Sr.

Chernow really knocks it out of the park with that one. The prose runs better and unlike Alexander Hamilton individual chapters are a little more digestable. Plus it was easier on the eyes with some larger print.

Or just poke around my list of what i've read so far this year. I'm up to 54 or so books.
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IkeVandergraaf
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« Reply #154 on: October 24, 2007, 11:09:27 PM »

I read Titan when it came out a few years ago.  I did enjoy it but don't remember the specifics.  I like that the chapters in the Hamilton biography were short and easy to digest.

I just started Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris on the recommendation of a RL friend.
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« Reply #155 on: October 25, 2007, 01:35:23 AM »

Quote from: IkeVandergraaf on October 24, 2007, 11:09:27 PM

I just started Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris on the recommendation of a RL friend.

Oooh, lucky you. I read that in the summer and was constantly enthralled.
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« Reply #156 on: October 29, 2007, 10:57:10 PM »

For October I finished:

Neuromancer by William Gibson
Bust by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr

Both excellent.  This is my second time through Neuromancer.  I'm surprised at how much I had forgotten, but it has been a lot of years.  Just as good the second time.
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« Reply #157 on: November 03, 2007, 02:25:36 AM »

The Elminster Saga, books 1, 2 and 3.... I got about 15 pages into Elminster in Hell and decided I had had my elminster fill.

The Dosadi Experiment
Lord Valentines Castle
Shadowrun: How to Deal With a Dragon
Shadowrun: Fade to Black (I think)
Dragonriders of Pern Saga (yeah all of em, or like 6 of em)

And more I'll have to check on later.
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« Reply #158 on: November 04, 2007, 06:49:38 PM »

Quote from: Semaj on November 03, 2007, 02:25:36 AM

The Dosadi Experiment

Did you read Whipping Star?  Dosadi is actually a sequel to Whipping Star, but I had actually read it before Whipping Star.  Well, it's not a direct sequel, so if you read the books out of order you can still follow along.  But they do make references to things which happened in WS.
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« Reply #159 on: November 04, 2007, 08:27:19 PM »

I had no idea....

I was just reading whatever book was in front of me....
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