Books - What are you reading?

Books - What are you reading?

Author
Discussion

Desiderata

695 posts

21 months

Saturday 15th May
quotequote all
Wild Swans, by Jung Chang.
The true story of her Grandmother's, her Mother's, and her own lives in China over the last 100 or so years. From the Grandmother growing up under warlords and empirical rule, through Japanese occupation then WW2 then through the various stages of communism up to the recent past.
A genuinely terrifying insight into the cruelty which human beings are capable of and the corruption that even the noblest of ideals can turn to as greed, hate and ego take over.
I can see where the our current regime's use of fear and pseudo science to control the population could possibly lead to and it's scary.

Edited by Desiderata on Saturday 15th May 23:06

OMITN

642 posts

59 months

Friday 21st May
quotequote all
griffin dai said:
Slaughterhouse 5

WTH?? Can’t get into this at all confused
I read it earlier this year - found it funny. A good take on futility, especially the futility of war (it’s only certainty is death) and the futility of religion (specifically Christianity) where life after death is promised - but is clearly not certain.

I didn’t mind the sci-fi elements or the postmodern self referencing (the former is a genre I normally avoid and the latter is something we’ve all become very jaded with).

droopsnoot

8,835 posts

209 months

Friday 21st May
quotequote all
I've just finished "Pirate" by Clive Cussler and Robin Purcell, a tale about the Fargos, a treasure-hunting rich couple. This time, like most others, they've got a lead to the lost treasure of King John, and they're trying to find it before some baddies get to it first. In that regard it's very similar to most of the other stories featuring them, but it's a decent enough read if you like that kind of thing.

But, I'm unreasonably annoyed by the lack of fact-checking / proof reading. They're in the UK, talking to British characters, and those characters are using terms like "fire department" and "parking lot", and "blighters". And one of the characters towards the end suddenly changes his surname, for no reason - so it must just be a mistake, but shouldn't have made it to the published version. There's no excuse with the resources available to the authors and publisher - if I knocked up a novel and self-published it, I could probably get away with the odd error like that.

Apart from that, though, it was a decent enough story. I've actually read it before - this is a hardback that I bought ages ago, put on my "to read" pile, then later found a cheap paperback forgetting that I already had it on the pile. Not the first time, won't be the last.

andy_s

17,675 posts

226 months

Monday 24th May
quotequote all



An excellent read, from many points of view - insight into SF operations, adaptive command/leadership, illustrative anecdotes from history and eventually the realizing of a different methodology from the conventional 'hierarchical-silos-method' to a 'team of teams' with open comms and decentralised leadership and a mission rather than method approach. It sort of ties in with the Boyd OODA in that McChrystal had to carve a tighter loop than the already decentralised and highly communicative AQ - to out agile them.

The story is nicely paced, great illustrations/anecdotes of the various techniques and team issues and all put in a way that makes it equally relevant for business/orgs in an ever increasingly complex civilian environment. It also shows how leadership isn't necessarily about being in charge, but letting competent people be in charge of themselves.

Enjoyed it.


droopsnoot

8,835 posts

209 months

Thursday 10th June
quotequote all
I've just finished reading "Elevator Pitch" by Linwood Barclay, a decent enough read about someone sabotaging elevators in New York. Managed to avoid having the usual situation where one main character has a massive secret - there is one, but it's not really relevant to anything.

andy_s

17,675 posts

226 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
I got these as a mine for short takes on authors for when I'm travelling, seemed like a good idea but as on another thread - 'Why Penguin WHY?!', you'd think it'd be easy to make them line up at least biggrin



It can be done really well as well:




Mezzanine

6,390 posts

186 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
andy_s said:
I got these as a mine for short takes on authors for when I'm travelling, seemed like a good idea but as on another thread - 'Why Penguin WHY?!', you'd think it'd be easy to make them line up at least biggrin



It can be done really well as well:

Wow, that’s a lot of books!

I couldn’t have that on my bookshelf like that, it would really make my teeth itch.

Were they released as the box set or was it a case that they published a few without the long-term vision and thus didn’t format it to look neat?

andy_s

17,675 posts

226 months

Wednesday 16th June
quotequote all
Mezzanine said:
Wow, that’s a lot of books!

I couldn’t have that on my bookshelf like that, it would really make my teeth itch.

Were they released as the box set or was it a case that they published a few without the long-term vision and thus didn’t format it to look neat?
I saw an old set ['70s] of 40 in an antique shop but when I went back to buy them they'd gone, I had a look online and saw Penguin released this as a set of 80 books for their 80th anniversary - but I think they do them individually [for a quid each], or most at least, so not printed in a uniform run. I probably won't read them all but as they are so short [chapters in effect] I thought it'd be good to either get a taste of bigger work or at least read something from the likes of Marco Polo or Dante without fully committing.

g3org3y

17,218 posts

158 months

Friday 18th June
quotequote all
After listening to the Jordan Peterson Podcast...


A prison doctor's account. Bought his other books as well.


Matthew McConaughey's autobiography

Got a lot more on my reading list including stuff from Michael Malice, Yeonmi Park, Ian McGilchrist, Bjorn Lomborg etc.

Too many books, not enough time!

LordGrover

32,347 posts

179 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
Humankind: A Hopeful History, Rutger Bregman

I've not finished it yet, but finding it fascinating. Not my type of book at all, normally sci-fi and detective/action fiction.
The way he sways from one position to another keeps me guessing and wondering; I guess some may be annoyed or frustrated by this style. For me it's illuminating.

Prolex-UK

1,643 posts

175 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
Spitfire by John Nicholl.

Halfway through.

Very good indeed

Desiderata

695 posts

21 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
The Places In-between by Rory Stewart

Former soldier, diplomat,founder and CEO of an NGO, MP, Conservative party leadership candidate, historian and adventurer among other things. This funny looking little man is a hero in the real sense. This book is the story of a solo walk he made through the central Afghanistan mountains in the early 2000s. Meeting and living with heavily armed and suspicious former (and current)Taliban, Al Qaeda and bandits along the way.
A quiet, unassuming soul, he just keeps his head down and gets on with stuff. Reading this book, it's a real pity he didn't beat Boris in the Tory leadership battle. I'd have voted for him.

FiF

39,422 posts

218 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
Just finished C S Forester "The Ship." Written in 1943, brilliantly researched, it covers a single afternoon for HMS Artemis and crew, a Royal Navy light cruiser part of the protection for a vital convoy heading for Malta and a single engagement with an Italian Navy battleship group.

havoc

26,111 posts

202 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
Desiderata said:
A quiet, unassuming soul, he just keeps his head down and gets on with stuff.

...it's a real pity he didn't beat Boris in the Tory leadership battle.
Those two sentences are intrinsically linked...the UK is sadly in the thrall of personality poltiics.

hairykrishna

11,384 posts

170 months

Wednesday 23rd June
quotequote all
I'm in a full on Adrian Tchaikovsky binge. I read Dogs of War and the sequel after seeing them mentioned on here. They were pretty good but not stunning. Then I read Cage of Souls and I was totally sold on him. Children of Time, Children of Ruin, Doors of Eden all also excellent. Short stuff, also great - Made Things and Walking to Aldebaren both fun. Not normally a big fantasy fan but just finished Spiderlight and enjoyed it very much. I might launch into one of his big multi book series next.

coppice

6,745 posts

111 months

Thursday 24th June
quotequote all
Desiderata said:
The Places In-between by Rory Stewart

Former soldier, diplomat,founder and CEO of an NGO, MP, Conservative party leadership candidate, historian and adventurer among other things. This funny looking little man is a hero in the real sense. This book is the story of a solo walk he made through the central Afghanistan mountains in the early 2000s. Meeting and living with heavily armed and suspicious former (and current)Taliban, Al Qaeda and bandits along the way.
A quiet, unassuming soul, he just keeps his head down and gets on with stuff. Reading this book, it's a real pity he didn't beat Boris in the Tory leadership battle. I'd have voted for him.
Utterly brilliant - and what a Renaissance Man Mr Stewart is .

Taita

6,754 posts

170 months

Thursday 24th June
quotequote all
toasty said:
grumbledoak said:


A further opportunity to have someone beautifully articulate some things you may have thought and others you did not. It will take a second reading to properly digest.
I started his first 12 Rules book but at some point it started getting all religious.

It's not often I give up on a book but when I fundamentally disagree with the author, I lose all patience to continue.
I tried to read the first book too, it just seemed VERY hard to follow, with lots of meandering prose and difficult sense structures.

The other argument is, I am too dumb with a limited vocabulary to understand it laugh.

Maybe I need one of those 'summary' books, but I guess the devil is in the detail.

Stuart70

2,513 posts

150 months

Thursday 24th June
quotequote all
coppice said:
Desiderata said:
The Places In-between by Rory Stewart

Former soldier, diplomat,founder and CEO of an NGO, MP, Conservative party leadership candidate, historian and adventurer among other things. This funny looking little man is a hero in the real sense. This book is the story of a solo walk he made through the central Afghanistan mountains in the early 2000s. Meeting and living with heavily armed and suspicious former (and current)Taliban, Al Qaeda and bandits along the way.
A quiet, unassuming soul, he just keeps his head down and gets on with stuff. Reading this book, it's a real pity he didn't beat Boris in the Tory leadership battle. I'd have voted for him.
Utterly brilliant - and what a Renaissance Man Mr Stewart is .
Completely agree, he travels with little ego and lots of thought. A contrast to many others in his former field.
Saw him on Politics Live the other day, he appears to be teaching at Yale at present.

A man of many talents.

slopes

33,127 posts

154 months

Thursday 24th June
quotequote all
Just gone through this thread from start to finish and using a particular website, have downloaded entirely far too many books to my phone.

droopsnoot

8,835 posts

209 months

Saturday 26th June
quotequote all
I've just finished "The Snowdonia Killings" by Simon McCleave, an enjoyable story set in North Wales, although we do have the cliches of a cop moving from the big city to the country with personal problems, and another cop with a drinking problem. A good enough story, I'll look out for more of his as it turns out there are quite a few.

Interesting thing - the day after I started reading it, I suddenly start seeing posts from the author on Facebook. I didn't buy the book online - I bought it from a car boot sale, I think - and hadn't mentioned it online either. Spooky.