November 2017. What Are You Reading Now?

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November 2017. What Are You Reading Now?

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1SChant
nov 3, 2017, 2:14pm

Just started another Royal Society shortlist book - To Be A Machine by Mark O'Connell - an exploration of transhumanism. So far I'm finding the sarcastic and rather patronising tone a bit irritating - the author puts himself too much into the book and ascribes spiritual or religious meanings to the subject instead of trying to give a more impartial, investigative view. I will persevere but can't help thinking that Mary Roach does this sort of thing so much better.

2framboise
nov 3, 2017, 1:57am

Still continuing Theft by Finding by David Sedaris. It's been a tough few wks for me and I haven't had much time to read, plus this one is humongous. Planning to finish it by the time I see him before Thanksgiving.

3Meredy
nov 4, 2017, 4:33am

A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power, by Paul Fischer. I've read a number of books on North Korea over the years, and the more I read, the more firmly I believe that NK is the scariest nation on earth. It's a major mistake not to take them seriously, and worse, to toy with them and goad them.

Right now it seems important to me to gain a better grasp of how a country--any country--could become a closed, isolated autocracy when that's not where they thought they were going.

5paradoxosalpha
nov 4, 2017, 2:30pm

I'm reading Grant Morrison's history of superhero comics Supergods.

6JulieLill
Redigerat: nov 4, 2017, 8:04pm

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Mary Roach
3.5/5 stars
Author Mary Roach does love to push the bar with her book subjects and I loved her book Gulp which is all about the alimentary canal. In this book, she still is probing an unusual subject, cadavers. She writes all about the physical process of death, what happens to a person’s body after death, funeral customs, donating a body and other topics. I found this very interesting and she is quite funny and informative. This book is not for everyone but if you like unusual subjects this might appeal to you.

7bluepiano
nov 4, 2017, 10:18pm

Transgressive Sex: Subversion and Control in Erotic Encounters. Essays on roads less travelled written by academics from several disciplines, but I think overall the approach will prove to be from anthropology.

>3 Meredy: 'Right now it seems important . . . . ' I see you live in the US. Don't be impatient to get a grasp; just sit back and wait a bit.

8SChant
nov 5, 2017, 10:43am

>6 JulieLill: I just love her approach to her subjects - enquiring, funny, sometimes sceptical.

9snash
nov 5, 2017, 12:45pm

I finished the LTER book, The Fearless Benjamin Lay. This is a long overdue portrait of truly exemplar man, one who via empathy and intellect determined his version of TRUTH and then proselytized it and lived by it. By doing so he was critical to the development of the abolition movement. The book is thorough without being dry in describing how he developed and disseminated his ideas.

10ILuvBookplates
nov 5, 2017, 7:51pm

Right now I am listening to instead of reading In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette by Hampton Sides. Fascinating subject.

12JulieLill
nov 12, 2017, 11:26pm

When Books Went to War: The Stories that Helped Us Win World War II
Molly Guptill Manning
4/5 stars
Who would think a book about the distribution of books to WWII soldiers would be interesting? I certainly didn’t but then I read a review and thought I would give this book a try.

During WWI, there was a book distribution program for the troops but when that war ended the governing body of the program was not disbanded but funding for it ended. When Hitler encouraged the burning of books, librarians were up in arms over the desecration of books and took up the gathering of books to send to the troops and from there it grew until the government and publishers took it over. It certainly was a life saver to the men and women fighting the horror of war and over 141 million books were distributed to soldiers.

Manning does a wonderful job in portraying a possibly boring subject into a real page turner and I even found several books to include on my never ending reading list.

13vpfluke
nov 13, 2017, 2:39am

I am very much liking a new Enneagram book by Christopher Heuertz titled The Sacred Enneagram: Finding Your Unique Path to Spiritual Growth. A very honest and engrossing look at this personality typing system that many people use.

14LyzzyBee
nov 14, 2017, 9:44am

I'm reading The Invention of Angela Carter and not liking the subject much, which is a shame. But it's an interesting book.

15rocketjk
Redigerat: nov 17, 2017, 8:53pm

I just finished Deductions from the World War by Baron Alexander von Freytag-Loringhoven. von Freytag-Loringhoven, Deputy-Chief of the German General Staff at the time, wrote this book in the waning days of World War One. As far as he was concerned, "The War to End All Wars" was just another chapter in the ongoing saga of the glorious German military. It's a chilling book in many ways.

16Helenliz
nov 18, 2017, 2:55pm

>15 rocketjk: That sounds interesting, if worrying.

I'm also reading a book relevant to WW1, in my case War Memorial by Clive Aslet. It's a book that takes the ubiquitous war memorials that litter the countryside and are barely seen and looks at the names that made it onto the memorial of a single village. He then look at who they were, what their link with the village was, their life before the war, their service during it and their death. It personalises the names that are otherwise just names.

My only slight annoyance is the way the author is, at times, putting feelings into these stranger's heads. Otherwise it's a sobering way of treating the vast scope of conflict.

17bluepiano
nov 18, 2017, 4:38pm

>11 LynnB: Lordy, bad enough that whenever I come across 'Merleau-Ponty' it takes me a while to remember that it's not the name of a wine, but what that title immediately made me think of was Alan Partridge recommending to the chef of a restaurant frequented by Derrida that he establish a chain called of caffs called Pete & Berni's Philosophical Steakhouse.

18snash
nov 19, 2017, 5:58pm

I finished Sapiens: A Brief History of Mankind. It may sometimes over simplify things, but the book's greatest attribute is that it makes you think, and consider mankind from a distant objective viewpoint. I also appreciate that even at the end, talking of today and the future, the author presents various possibilities without pushing one over another.

19Sandydog1
nov 24, 2017, 2:57pm

Currently reading a fascinating, pre-internet page-turner: Breaking the Ring

20Bookmarque
nov 24, 2017, 6:23pm

Started The Great Bridge yesterday. An early David McCullough book about the construction of the Brooklyn bridge.

21Meredy
Redigerat: nov 25, 2017, 10:45pm

Putin's Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?, by Karen Dawisha, a thoroughly documented analysis published in 2014, told me more about the Trump administration just in the introduction than I have learned in hundreds of pages of on- and offline commentary on American politics.

This is without ever mentioning Trump's name; it's not about him at all, and it was written at a time when our present situation was still outside the scope of imagination of ordinary Americans. It's about Putin and what he was doing--and it's terrifyingly relevant, including how in the 1990s he was or may have been the engine behind KGB deals with Western businessmen and real estate developers that allowed him to launder vast sums of money looted from the collapsing USSR and use it for the personal enrichment of himself and his tiny core of oligarchs.

22snash
nov 24, 2017, 11:58pm

I finished a LTER book, The Angry Chef. As one who is not apt to get caught up in food fads, liking it in all of its diversity too much, what I found interesting in this book was a better understanding of how people get involved in various restrictive diets.

23Sandydog1
dec 1, 2017, 2:11pm

Finally getting around to reading Lab Girl

242wonderY
dec 1, 2017, 2:31pm

Listening to Jane Austen at Home, by Lucy Worsley and have the print book of At Home with Jane Austen by Kim Wilson. It has lots of glossy photos and period illustrations.

25JulieLill
dec 1, 2017, 12:25am

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography
Laura Ingalls Wilder Edited by Pamela Smith Hill
2.5/5 stars
This is the annotated version of Laura Wilder's autobiography. I was excited to read it and I love it when there is extra material to flesh out a book but this book just dragged for me. The annotations were excessive, pulled you away from the story and were sometimes much longer than the actual written selection. I do think this book is historically valuable and if you are Wilder fanatic or scholar, you will probably love it but for the average reader you might just want to skip it.