Reading List

  • Hypatia posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 2 days, 20 hours ago

    On the 75th anniversary of Nagasaki I recommend Paul Fussell’s “Thank God for the Atom Bomb and Other Essays” ISBN 9789345361356. (Or you can search the title and just read the eponymous essay online. )
    God save the United States.

  • Gavin Longmuir posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 4 days, 10 hours ago

    “The Dark Forest”, by Cixin Liu (2008 – English translation 2015)
    ISBN 978-0-7653-8669-4

    This is the second volume of Liu’s trilogy, “Remembrance of Earth’s Past”. It moves the story forward, but seems to lack some of the punch of the first volume. It is an interesting question as to whether that is mainly the ‘second volume sag’ which seems to affect some other trilogies, or whether it is in part a reflection of having a different translator from the first volume. There is a sense that this translation is closer to the style of the Chinese original.

    The people of present-day Ea…[Read more]

  • Hypatia posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 week, 4 days ago

    “Apocalypse Never: why environmental alarmism hurts us all”,Shellenberger, ISBN 9780063001695. I just finished this which i think is one of the books Seawriter recommended. Technological advances are the savior, not the destroyer, of the planet, especially nuclear power…and when we get to fusion, we shall have nothing left to wish for! Nuke power is totally clean and, if malfunctions sometimes kill people,well, so do hydroelectric dams and mining operations. Very informative climate mythbuster!
    (I’m working on another he recommended, “The Napoleonic Wars”., but I really wi…[Read more]

  • Gavin Longmuir posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 week, 6 days ago

    “The Three-Body Problem”, by Cixin Liu (2006 – English translation 2014)
    ISBN 978 0-7653-8203-0

    This Sci-Fi novel is the first volume of a trilogy by Cixin Liu (or Liu Cixin, to use the Chinese name order). A review of this book alone might be as meaningless as a review of only the first volume of Tolkein’s “Lord of the Rings”. However, it is worth passing along that this volume is well-written and thought-provoking, and deserves every award it has been given. It is a definite “must read” for anyone with an interest in Science Fiction.

    Make no mistake – Mr. Liu writes genuin…[Read more]

  • Gavin Longmuir posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 2 weeks, 3 days ago

    “Lincoln County and its Wars”, by Nora True Henn (2017)
    ISBN 1-892508-26-5

    Nora True Henn spent about half a century in Lincoln County, New Mexico and assiduously collected all the information she could find about the Lincoln County War of 1878, now collected in this posthumously published volume.

    In a world where statues of Abraham Lincoln himself are not safe from the terminally woke, why should anyone care about a grubby little affair from a century and a half ago? To quote Ms. Henn: “New Mexico’s Lincoln County War was a power play gone berserk”. It has happened before, and i…[Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 3 weeks, 3 days ago

    Fenton Wood’s magnificent Yankee Republic saga concludes in volume 5, The Earth a Machine to Speak: Here are my reviews of previous volumes.

  • Hypatia posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 1 week ago

    I want to recommend two poetry collections, both of which I read straight through, like I would a novel, laughing and crying. Kipling’s “Poems and Ballads”( 1899) ISBN 9781429794053, and Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology”(1915) ISBN 9781985324350.
    About Kipling no more need be said. I think everyone in this group knows he was a great poet.
    As for Masters: I never liked “free verse”; by the time I started reading it, it had become a sloppy self-indulgent morass where you could pass off a note you mighta left on the refrigerator as a poem. IMHO just putting linebreaks into a prosy pa…[Read more]

    • We read a lot of Spoon River Anthology in high school, I suppose because Masters was a local boy. He was one of my favorites back then.

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  • Hypatia posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 1 week ago

    “Banished Children of Eve”, by Peter Quinn 1994, 9780670850761.
    About New York in the time of the Civil War. And abouT our Great poet and composer, Stephen Foster. I thought of it again now because it seems like an instructive and poignant backdrop to the present.

  • JTOmland posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 1 week ago

    Title: The Double Helix
    Author: James D. Watson
    ISBN 0-684-85279-9

    Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and James Watson won the Nobel Prize for Medicine and Physiology in 1962 for the discovery of the molecular structure of DNA.

    In this book James Watson tells the story of the discovery of DNA from his point of view and how a couple of less knowledgable scientists beat the acclaimed experts to the prize. It is a short easy to read story that conveys how some science is done. Building on previous work, trial and error, dead ends, collaboration, competition, organizational…[Read more]

  • John Walker posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 1 week ago

    Coppley, Jackson. The Ocean Raiders. Chevy Chase, MD: Contour Press, 2020. ISBN 979-8-6443-4371-3.

    Nicholas Foxe is back! After the rip-roaring adventure and world-changing revelations of The Code Hunters, the wealthy adventurer with degrees in archaeology and cryptography arrives in Venice to visit an ambitious project by billionaire Nevin Dowd to save the city from inundation by the sea, but mostly to visit Christine Blake, who he hadn’t seen for years since an affair in Paris and who is now handling public relations for Dowd’s project. What he anticipates to be a pleasant…[Read more]

  • Gavin Longmuir posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    “In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette”
    Author: Hampton Sides
    ISBN: 978-0307946911

    This is an absolutely compelling book, thanks largely to the excellent writing by Mr. Sides — definitely his best book.

    It tells the forgotten tale of an ill-starred effort in the late 1870s to explore the Arctic Ocean and the North Pole. It is strange to realize how little was known about big areas of the globe only 150 years ago. There was a theory that once explorers got through the ice at the Arctic Circle, they would find an open ocean and possibly…[Read more]

    • Did you watch that series “The Terror” about one of the Arctic expeditions? As you’re saying here, they got stuck in the ice for like 2 years, lotsa ‘em went crazy.
      (And of course, we STILL don’t know much about the ocean floor…)

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  • Hypatia posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 4 weeks ago

    Has everybody read “Hillbilly Elegy” (ISBN 978-0-6-2300546) ? If not, this time when we all are mandated to feel guilty about “white privilege” would be a good time to make its acquaintance.

    PS: IF you prefer novels, read Chute’s “The Beans of Egypt, Maine” ISBN 9780156001885

    • …and I hafta tell you I am now reading
      Carolyn Chute’s 2008 novel “The School on Hearts Content Road”, ebook ISBN 978155558484. And I recommend it. I kinda thought she had peaked and crashed—“Snow Man” was awful. But no!

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  • Pankaj Dewan posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 1 month, 4 weeks ago

    Dark Mirror by Barton Gellman

    The book is a good follow up to “Permanent Record” by “Edward Snowden”. It gives a pulsating account of what was going on in the newsroom and at top echelons of Washington Post in run up to the story. You get an idea of the pressure of time, consultations with lawyers, the precautions taken prior to release. You also get Gellman’s interviews with top NSA officers after the event, their views at that time and their views after Trump has taken over. Summary of hours of interviews of the author with…[Read more]

  • Gavin Longmuir posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 2 months, 1 week ago

    The Year of the French, by Thomas Flanagan
    Published by Henry Holt, 1979
    ISBN 0-8050-1020-3

    This novel is built around the true events of one of those forgotten chapters of history. In 1798 while Napoleon and Admiral Nelson were squaring off in Egypt, the French landed a small force in Ireland, having been (over-)promised that the Irish would rally to their flag and rise up to throw off hated English rule.

    The French forces had some initial success against the occupying English army, in part by using their poorly-armed Irish allies as cannon fodder. But the ultimate outcome was…[Read more]

  • civil westman posted an update in the group Group logo of Reading ListReading List 2 months, 1 week ago

    Review: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
    ISBN-10: 0767929713
    ISBN-13: 978-0767929714

    When I was a kid growing up in northern NJ in the mid ’50’s, I was sent to summer camp in the Berkshire Mountains in western MA. I went there for three summer stints of 8 weeks each, at ages 10, 11 and 12. Leaving home early each summer on a long train ride beginning at Grand Central Station in NYC was tearful with pangs of what would now be called ‘separation anxiety’. Back then, Camp Monterey was near wilderness, the only sign of recognizable civilization being a Friendly’s ice cream p…[Read more]

    • Magnificent—thank you!

      Here is a link to the book on Amazon: Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard.

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    • There’s a lot about Garfield in Sarah Vowell’s book “Assassination Vacation” (2005). ISBN 0743260031
      I really like her books even though she is kinda a lefty. These days we’re heating a lot about Lafayette Park, a public area beside the White House set aside for protesters—that reminded me of another great book of hers”Lafayette in the Somewhat United States” ISBN 1594631743 (2015). She’s very funny, and in her history books she isn’t polemical about her politics.

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