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Old 07-12-2014, 07:31 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,975 times
Reputation: 14770

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
What Went Wrong by George Tyler - I've already started this and it's very good. It looks at the American economy over the last 50 years and what changed that led us to the financial meltdown of 2008. Reading this at the same time that I'm reading Why Nations Fail is making me think that our country is likely to soon be considered a third world nation. In fact Tyler writes that in some northern European countries with better economies some large manufacturing firms are outsourcing to us because wages and benefits are not much more than if they sent the work to China.

Ps: It feels really good to be back in reading mode again. I was beginning to think that the slump might continue for a long time.
I am glad you are reading again, too. I like that you come back and share your thoughts.

I just finished "The Tortilla Curtain," by T.C. Boyle.

T.C. Boyle NEVER disappoints. The story is never nice, there is never a rosy contentment that runs through its threads. They hold a mirror up to most of us and the reflection is usually not to our liking. (IMO) Usually, and this was no exception, I don't even like the characters. Still, no matter how many times I put it down, angry and P.O. -- still I pick it up and read on. His stories NEED to be read. Reading them is like eating for someone (like me) that WANTS to diet -- has to lose weight, but still has to eat.

If there was one character in the story I could admire, it was Candido -- the "bad" guy, and his wife America is the runner up. In the end, my sentiments are validated.

That's why I gave it all five stars.

Now -- thanks to K's recommend and the library's rapid response to my request, I am Eric Newby's "A Short Walk in the Kush."
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Old 07-12-2014, 07:52 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,091 posts, read 15,429,770 times
Reputation: 15038
Quote:
Originally Posted by zugor View Post
Ps: It feels really good to be back in reading mode again. I was beginning to think that the slump might continue for a long time.
Might have something to do with not feeling icky anymore and feeling better
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
I'm 80% through The Descent by Jeff Long.

This book is interesting. The premise might put some folks off. It's about the "people" who live below the earth's surface. They live very, very deep. A group of scientists and mercenaries go deep to study the life below the surface. Actually, the scientists want to study and the mercenaries want to kill. The two main characters are "Ike" an ex mountain climber who was captured by the people "below ground" and was their slave for years, and "Ali" who is a nun. She is also an anthropologist and linguistic specialist.

The author has really done his homework regarding minerals, language history, anthropology, biology, religion, etc. His work is very informative. There is a bit of violence but it is not overwhelming.
I like character development and the author has given the reader a lot of it and not for the two main characters alone. The reader gets to "know" many of the characters. I like that.

The book is well edited. There are no "than/then" issues. Yippee!
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Old 07-13-2014, 05:32 PM
 
4,724 posts, read 4,415,751 times
Reputation: 8481
I am reading To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I have never read anything by her, and my library is going to do something at the end of next month about this book. I am more than halfway through and have to say I have no clue yet if I like it or I don't. Funny because I just started it a few days ago ( and lately I am hardly a devoted or focused reader) and am drawn to it and continue reading, but I guess I am waiting to see what it is about
I will report back if and when I finish.

( I did actually finish the Mapmaker's Daughter and it was very good historical fiction...)
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:11 PM
 
9,229 posts, read 8,544,975 times
Reputation: 14770
"America's Deadliest Export: Democracy – The Truth About US Foreign Policy and Everything Else," by William Blum

This is the first time I've given more than two stars to a book that I've left unfinished. William Blum deserves all five stars for the courage he's shown in writing it, and for having the intestinal fortitude to continue to fight the wrongs -- indeed hold the HOPE, that he might make a change.

At the risk of comparing myself to a flower, I have to say that I've withered in the face of the facts he's presented much like a potted flower collapses when watered with toxic waste. Indeed, toxic waste might be easier to read about than the results of OUR US foreign policy over the decades.

Fighting for Democracy? Please, I will never be able to look anyone saying that to me in the face. If I were of the type that can memorize facts and re-tell them upon provocation -- I would not for the simple matter that these facts cannot be stomached. KNOWING now what WE've done to destroy democratic governments, destroy the lives of civilians (especially those helpless aged, women, and children), and actually promote oppression and trafficking of drugs, weapons, and human life -- that's right, SLAVERY.

Worse, it's destroyed MY belief in OUR democracy. Even after all the disappointments I've had watching American politics I've still been naive enough to think that my vote and my voice would make a change. Now I learn that even those people I've thought were standing for what is right and good in the world -- well, were NOT.

Sadly, there's no place to go. We've created enemies on every continent with our actions. And NO, George W. -- they don't hate us for our freedoms, unless you count the liberties we've taken with their lives. I'm not sure that even if we decided to actually become altruistic and spend all the trillions of dollars we gained through our pillage and rape to help the countries we've destroyed -- that would not even be enough.

Thankfully, I have started "Lonely Planet Short Walk in the Hindu Kush," by Eric Newby and it's every bit as fun as K' promised. (Thank you, I needed this.)
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Old 07-13-2014, 07:19 PM
 
1,026 posts, read 1,192,364 times
Reputation: 1794
I just started Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line by Michael Gibney. So far, I am really enjoying it as it combines my love of reading with my love of food.
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:50 PM
 
Location: Canada
7,309 posts, read 9,319,117 times
Reputation: 9858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ketabcha View Post
I'm 80% through The Descent by Jeff Long.

This book is interesting. The premise might put some folks off. It's about the "people" who live below the earth's surface. They live very, very deep. A group of scientists and mercenaries go deep to study the life below the surface. Actually, the scientists want to study and the mercenaries want to kill. The two main characters are "Ike" an ex mountain climber who was captured by the people "below ground" and was their slave for years, and "Ali" who is a nun. She is also an anthropologist and linguistic specialist.

The author has really done his homework regarding minerals, language history, anthropology, biology, religion, etc. His work is very informative. There is a bit of violence but it is not overwhelming.
I like character development and the author has given the reader a lot of it and not for the two main characters alone. The reader gets to "know" many of the characters. I like that.

The book is well edited. There are no "than/then" issues. Yippee!
I could swear that I loved The Descent but absolutely nothing you have written sounds familiar to me. I read it years ago and two years ago when I redid the office while my husband was away and separated books into 'keep' and 'give away' piles, The Descent made it into the 'keep' shelves. An actual shelf, as opposed to a box. I try to keep my books somewhat organised and the books that make to the shelves are ones I loved and want to reread or think I will reference in the future, and books I have not yet read but intend to.

Unless I have it mixed up with some other book in my head, the thing I remember about it was that the quality of the writing was much above average.

And speaking of to-read lists, I should reread it since my memory is just faulty enough for it to seem like new.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:00 PM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,330 posts, read 33,018,915 times
Reputation: 28903
Weird happenings in my book-reading world:

I had started The End of Alice by A.M. Homes because TracySam said it was the most disturbing book she'd read. Color me curious. Anyway, like I said, I'd started it, but my mind was elsewhere and I just couldn't grasp what was written. So I tossed it aside.

Then I picked up another A.M. Homes book, which I mentioned up-thread: May We Be Forgiven. The situations in the book are *totally* unrealistic (I hate that!), some of the dialogue is hilarious (I don't like "humor" books), and yet... I kept on reading it. All 488 pages of it. It didn't stop being unrealistic -- in fact it got worse! -- and some of the dialogue remained funny, but I couldn't stop reading it. I just like the way A.M. Homes writes, I guess, enough that I got some of her other books and have just re-started The End of Alice.

Tracy is right. The End of Alice -- even in the first chapter -- is disturbing. Sexually disturbing. So much so that I'm not sure that I'll make it to the end (of Alice), especially if it gets *more* disturbing, which I'm guessing that it might. Or will.

Some of her other books that I have (but have not yet read) are: The Mistress's Daughter (which is a memoir), Music for Torching, and This Book Will Save Your Life.
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:10 PM
 
952 posts, read 942,284 times
Reputation: 612
2 books at once for me!

One for each hand and eye

...uh wait, that would be four

never mind.

I'm reading: '25 ways to open a Hot-dog bun'

and

'How I turned a Million dollars worth of Real estate,

into $25 CASH!'
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Old 07-13-2014, 09:53 PM
 
Location: Texas
15,891 posts, read 18,317,167 times
Reputation: 62766
Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I could swear that I loved The Descent but absolutely nothing you have written sounds familiar to me. I read it years ago and two years ago when I redid the office while my husband was away and separated books into 'keep' and 'give away' piles, The Descent made it into the 'keep' shelves. An actual shelf, as opposed to a box. I try to keep my books somewhat organised and the books that make to the shelves are ones I loved and want to reread or think I will reference in the future, and books I have not yet read but intend to.

Unless I have it mixed up with some other book in my head, the thing I remember about it was that the quality of the writing was much above average.

And speaking of to-read lists, I should reread it since my memory is just faulty enough for it to seem like new.
This was my second time reading it, Net. I have the paperback that I picked up at the airport on a trip. I never got rid of it and happened upon it a couple of days ago with expressions such as "OMG", I can't believe I still have it." I had never been able to remember the name of the book nor the author. It's been years since I read it. This second reading surprised me. I read it on the kindle this time (I was nearly in tears of joy to find it available for the kindle) because it's easier for me. I had forgotten so much that happens in the book. There is one huge shocker that I had completely forgotten about.

Jeff Long is an excellent writer. His work is so engrossing and his vocabulary is so vast and his creative force is so beautiful and comes full circle. I had to check the dictionary on more than one word. They were nouns. I even wrote them down in an effort to remember them.
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