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Rate the last book you read

Discussion in 'Off-topic Zone' started by ethiostar, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    There has been an interest in starting a thread like this for a while but we still haven't started one yet so i'm starting one.

    We can begin with the most recent book we've read and what we thought about it and then see where the thread goes.

    Ok, I don't know if 'rate' is the right term here but its a start and we can always change it to something more appropriate.

    After years of reading 'required' reading materials, i've been free to read fiction/novels in the last 6 months or so. It seems like i'm trying to make up for lost times because i've read about a dozen books in the last months or so.

    The most recent one i finished reading is "State of Fear" by Michael Crichton.

    Its an intriguing book. A very unusual novel with footnotes and citations and I might add, very selective in what the author chose to back up his opinion. Some think that the references take away from the suspense of the book, bogging it down with 'facts' that support the authors opinion. To me, it was actually somewhat refreshing that Crichton actually supplies the sources of his argument. Although, he misinterprets some of his sources or at times ignores parts of the arguments in those sources.

    It is a very one-sided take on the issue and piles on the environmentalist activists. Ironically he seems to do exactly what he accuses the environmentalist zealots doing.

    Overall, although i don't agree with his take 100%, i enjoyed reading it and there are lots of wisdom to take from it, things to consider and look into further.
  2. MarionBarberThe4th

    MarionBarberThe4th Well-Known Member

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    Nooooooo!

    :lock:
  3. BraveHeartFan

    BraveHeartFan We got a hat. I want a ring.

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    The Lovely Bones


    Pretty good book. It's a little slow in places, and it's a little tough to get started, but after you get past the first few chapters the pace of the book really picks up and it starts to be a pretty good read.

    I enjoyed it a lot. I've heard this is one case where the movie is actually better than the book, that remains to be seen by me, but it's a pretty decent read.

    6.5/10
  4. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    I just bought that book, along with 10 or so others, yesterday or the day before. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the input.
  5. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Bad Santa Staff Member

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    Oddly enough the last book I read was also a Michael Crichton book.

    Pirate Latitudes.

    It was ok. I would not say great...in some areas kind of silly but overall it was an ok read if you like books that deal with pirates or sailing. Seems It was a book they found he had stashed away. After his death they found it and published it so I take it even he did not think it was great. But again an ok read if you are bored.

    Prior to that I read the Circle Trilogy by Nora Roberts.

    I guess she felt like getting into the recent Vampire resurgence/trend and wrote this trilogy. It was not very good. Too much lovey dovey stuff and completely predictable.

    Luckily I did not pay for these books (Wife's grandfather bought them) so I was not out any money.


    Prior to those books I read the latest Dean Koontz book...Breathless.

    Now I have been a Koontz reader for many years and normally even his worst books are not terrible. This one was the first book I read and wished I did not. The ending was terrible and felt like he tried to merge a few stories together and threw together the ending at the last minute due to a pressing deadline.

    Unfortunately, this one I did pay for...oh well again I have a track record of buying his books and this one was the first that I wish I had not bought. That and the idea that I had not got a new book in some time. Heck I even went back and re-read the last Harry Potter book to pass some time.

    Now the wife bought the Twilight series books. She kept hearing people tell her to buy them so she did and since I did not have much to read at the time I read them. I think it might be the first book(s) I have read where the two main characters you are supposed to like...turn out to be the characters you would like to smack across the mouth or kick them in the arse because they are so annoying.:laugh2:
  6. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    The last book I finished was "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen. I was skeptical about the book after reading a description, but a friend gave me a copy so I decided to give it a shot. I wasn't really drawn in by the first few chapters but eventually the writing just clicked and I couldn't put it down. Fantastic book about a college aged kid who ends up dropping out of school and joining a travelling railroad circus during the Depression. It was a really enjoyable read, definitely something that I'd recommend.

    The last book I started reading was "The Fate of Katherine Carr". It's terrible, one of the few books that I had to give up on, without finishing. The story had promise, but the writing is bad, the characters are contrived and the story within a story structure does nothing to add interest to the book. It's about an ex-travel writer who's son was kidnapped and never found. One night, he's at a bar and strikes up a conversation with the police detective who was on his son's case. They start talking about old cases and one of them catches the writer's attention. The detective gives the writer some of the kidnapped woman's manuscripts and he starts seeing clues in the writing, regarding her disappearance. Nice premise, terribly executed. Not recommended at all.

    Right now I'm reading "Lords of Finance" by Liaquat Ahamed. I'm only about quarter of the way though, but it's quite interesting so far. As a non-fiction book that details the role that world bankers played in causing the Great Depression, it's definitely not a page-turner. However, for anyone interested in the history of the 1920s - 1930s, or anyone with an interest in economics/finance, it's worth picking up. The writing it entertaining and at a layman's level, or maybe just a small step above.

    Up next, I'll be reading "Tongue" by Kyung-Ran Jo.
  7. Meat-O-Rama

    Meat-O-Rama Vegetarians are so stupid.

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    The 4 Hour Workweek... Garbage

    Did I expect to read the book and instantly change my life? No,but I did think I could pick up a couple of tidbits or pointers about work/life balance or maybe alternatives to traditional employment.

    With all the positive press the book has been getting, I thought it had to be a must read. It's not. It's a waste of the paper it's printed on. Full of cliche's and ridiculous 'examples' and even more ridiculous acronyms intended to make you think you are reading something of substance.

    Please do not waste your time with this book. If you insist on wasting your time, don't waste your money. I will mail you my copy for free.

    Prior to that I read the Harry potter series, which I ended up really liking. Not terribly complex or deep stuff, but very entertaining. I'm a big Tolkien fan, so it's kind of like Tolkien lite for me.
  8. Cover 2

    Cover 2 Pessimists Unite!!!

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    The Ultimate Fantastic Four series.

    9/10
  9. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    I'm currently reading "Crooked Little Vein" by Warren Ellis. I started reading it this morning and I haven't been able to put it down, even though i'm supposed to be working from the house today.

    I'm half way through it but this book is a trip. Its has a typical British sense of humor, very off the wall. Its about a detective who has a history of working on cases that take him to the darkest sexual underbellies of America. He is described as a '**** Magnet' because he has nothing but bad luck. He gets commissioned by the US Chief of Staff to find 'the other Constitution'. The journey takes him all over the US.

    There aren't a lot of books that make me laugh out loud but i've been laughing like a crazy person alone in my house sandwiched between moments that make me shake my head and squirm in my seat. Again, typical British sense of humor.
  10. masomenos

    masomenos Less is more

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    :laugh2:

    A friend gave me a copy of that too and the ideas in the book are pretty ridiculous. Basically the advice was, "Come up with a great money making idea, outsource all the work, enjoy being a millionaire!" Timothy Ferris' blog is pretty entertaining though.
  11. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Toshiba TV manual....trust me it's a book :eek: 6/10
  12. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    How does it end?

    The suspense is killing me:laugh1:
  13. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    I am working on a script for a documentary movie about a man who was in the Buffalo Soldiers. His name is Charles Young and it is a shame he is not more celebrated in this country. IMO. I hope to change that a little bit.

    David Kilroy wrote an amazing book about him which I am one chapter from finishing. It's called "For Race and Country." I am also looking at another book about him called "Black Cadet in a White Bastion" by Brian Shellum.

    Amazing man whom I have long wanted to write about.
  14. Cover 2

    Cover 2 Pessimists Unite!!!

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    Anyone who is interested in science fiction, philosophy, religion, and interesting stories would be interested in Dan Simmons' Hyperion series. A lot of people think it's long (it's four books of about 700-800 pages), but it's one of the most interesting books I've ever read. It's kind of like a futuristic Canterbury Tales that is much deeper.
  15. vta

    vta The Proletariat

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    I think he throws up his hands in frustration and returns it in the end.
  16. ethiostar

    ethiostar Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like an awesome project.

    You are probably aware of this website but just in case.

    I came across it a while back doing some research for something unrelated.

    http://www.buffalosoldier.net/CharlesYoung.htm

    There are more links at the bottom of the page.
  17. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    I read all 3 Lord of the Rings books last week and the Hobbit

    10/10 -- LTR Trilogy

    7/10 -- The Hobbit

    reading Jesse James -- Last Rebel of the Civil War, right now (3rd time)
  18. Chief

    Chief "Friggin Joke Monkey"

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    I prefer non-fiction and I'm on a pretty good streak right now. Several outstanding ones in a row. I've learned that the key to finding a good non-fiction book is get one written by an actual writer or editor ... not a historian or researcher. Makes a big difference.


    Currently reading "Shockwave: Countdown to Hiroshima," by Stephen Walker.

    Other recent ones that were great:
    • "In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of it's Survivors," by Doug Stanton.
    • "Heart of the Game: Life, Death and Mercy in Minor League America," by S.L. Price.
    • "Titanic's Last Secrets," by Brad Matsen.
  19. Bob Sacamano

    Bob Sacamano Benched

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    not a big fan of Stephen Ambrose?
  20. Chief

    Chief "Friggin Joke Monkey"

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    I haven't read any of his books .... yet.

    I know he's highly regarded. Maybe he's the exception to the rule. I'll definitely check it out.

    I was excited to read "Stealing Lincoln's Body," but struggled with the style of writing. I work with historians and researchers and their stuff is like wading through mud.

    Of course, anyone who writes a non-fiction book is a researcher to some degree. But the good authors have a strong background as a writer, too.

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