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Old 10-04-2018, 12:03 AM
 
936 posts, read 822,522 times
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I am currently reading Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth, by Sarah Smarsh. The book was reviewed today on NPR's Fresh Air and it has been nominated for the Nat'l Book Award. My local library hosted a book signing and lecture with Sarah Smarsh tonight. I got to met her and she autographed my copy of the book.
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Old 10-04-2018, 07:35 AM
 
6,192 posts, read 7,352,789 times
Reputation: 7570
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinetreelover View Post
I finished Bad Blood - Wow. If you didn't know that this was a true story, you almost wouldn't believe that so many prominent men were sucked in by this clueless, conniving young woman. Two former Secretaries of State - George Schultz and Henry Kissinger, Sam Nunn, Walmart heirs and Rupert Murdoch all fell for her lies and invested millions. Patients were put at risk and employees were bullied. Nothing good came from this woman and her equally evil partner, Sunny.
You just say you have "secret technology" for everything and that's why people aren't allowed to see anything and you should be good to go. It's really terrifying how much they were able to get away with for years by just threatening people.
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Old 10-05-2018, 02:15 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,720,406 times
Reputation: 6482
Read Amber Tamblyn's book Any Man. I don't really know what to say about it -- it was deeply disturbing, although it is brilliantly executed and could really spark some excellent discussion. Can't say it was an "enjoyable" read, but it was a very quick read and very worthwhile.
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Old 10-06-2018, 05:54 PM
 
4,724 posts, read 4,415,751 times
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Finished Before We Were Yours. Definitely an incredible story, but and I was hooked, but I think she had a few too many twists in it and too many diversions. The basic premise though got me very interested and I would like to read more about it. This is based on what went on with the Tennessee Children's Home---

per Wiki The Tennessee Children's Home Society was an orphanage operated in the state of Tennessee during the first half of the twentieth century, and is most often associated with its Memphis branch operator Georgia Tann as an organization involved with the kidnapping of children and their illegal adoptions.

I have just started The Radium Girls which is something else. This is straight non fiction, and somehow this is all news to me. Just at the beginning but it is amazing.
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Old 10-06-2018, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,146 posts, read 33,509,477 times
Reputation: 35437
Right now just started Iliad and Odyssey by Homer.
Nex5 is the full works of Jules Verne. Just got a free download of all his books.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
16,214 posts, read 11,327,268 times
Reputation: 20827
Some of the regulars here know that I'm a railroad buff; judging by the membership in historical societies and subscriptions to hobbyist publications, there are perhaps 250,000 of us who are "hard core", but the number of people with a casual interest in a central component of the American Experiment is considerably larger. But a side effect of this is that the day-to-day development of the industry has been over-simplified and over-romanticized.

Rival Rails, by general-interest historian Walter Borneman represents a refreshing change from most recent work on this subject, which tend to dwell too much upon the Union/Central Pacific rivalry. But the actual planning and execution of the endeavor spanned over twenty years, and even before the last spike was driven, the development of two more transcontinental lines was well under way. Depending upon how they're defined, the nation ended up with seven to nine transcontinental options, and at least one of these was abandoned, and another downgraded, during the industry's decline and redevelopment between 1945 and 1995.

Make no mistake abut it; those unfamiliar with the convoluted development of America's infrastructure will find the work too dry. But to those of us a little better-acquainted with the driving forces of raw efficiency, and the varied swaps of hundreds of miles of line in pursuit of an efficient infrastructure (along the lines of the privately-held and stable, but unspectacular electric utilities) will find some interesting reading here.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-07-2018 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,074 posts, read 11,844,907 times
Reputation: 30347
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
Some of the regulars here know that I'm a railroad buff; judging by the membership in historical societies and subscriptions to hobbyist publications, there are perhaps 250,000 of us who are "hard core", but the number of people with a casual interest in a central component of the American Experiment is considerably larger. But a side effect of this is that the day-to-day of the industry has been over-simplified and over-romanticized.

Rival Rails, by general-interestt historian Walter Borneman represents a refreshing change from most recent work on this subject, which tend to dwell too much upon the Union/Central Pacific rivalry. Bu the actual planning and execution of the endeavor spanned over twenty years, and even before the last spike was driven, the development of two more transcontinental lines were well under way. Depending upon how they're defined, the nation ended up with seven to nine transcontinental options, and at least one of these was abandoned, and another downgraded, during the industry's decline and redevelopment between 1945 and 1995.

Sounds very interesting.
I'm not what you would consider a rr buff but did enjoy the below book very much.

Did you read

Nothing Like It In The World
by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

???

It does focus on rivalry but still a fascinating read. Like all books by Ambrose.
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Old 10-07-2018, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Berwick, Penna.
16,214 posts, read 11,327,268 times
Reputation: 20827
Quote:
Originally Posted by greatblueheron View Post
Sounds very interesting.
I'm not what you would consider a rr buff but did enjoy the below book very much.

Did you read

Nothing Like It In The World
by Stephen E. Ambrose
The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

It does focus on rivalry but still a fascinating read. Like all books by Ambrose.
Mr. Ambrose' book is a fine read; and so is A work of Giants, by Wesley Griswold.

But its only within the past ten years or so that the rail industry's near-collapse in the 1970's, and the actions in both the public and private sectors that forestalled nationalization, and the stagnation that invariably accompanies it, has been chronicled,

Rail hobbyists played a modest role in this, and one of the most underappreciated was the late David P. Morgan (no relation to the better-known columnist of the Fifties and Sixties). For some forty years, Morgan was the editor of the Milwaukee--based hobbyist magazine Trains, which was more than a few notches above the older, "pulpier", and grittier Railroad edited by Freeman Hubbard.

Mr. Morgan passed from the scene in the early Nineties. too soon to see his foresight come to full fruition, but a review of the archives at the site railroad.net will confirm his role as the most articulate railroad-related journalist of his time.

Here's the best work on this subject of which I'm aware:

https://www.amazon.com/Men-Who-Loved.../dp/0253220319

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 10-07-2018 at 10:59 AM..
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,074 posts, read 11,844,907 times
Reputation: 30347
Magazines about trains and railroads, again fascinating.

Thanks for the book recommendation.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:40 PM
 
2,709 posts, read 6,313,642 times
Reputation: 5593
I'm devouring (in audiobook format) a military sci-fi space opera called "Expeditionary Force" by Craig Alanson, audiobook narration by R.C. Bray. I am not generally a fan of sci-fi books -- movies, yes, but books, not so much -- but I AM a fan of Bray's performances, so that's how and why I purchased this one. It was great!

Army Specialist Joe Bishop is home on leave in northern Maine when aliens invade. Joe leads a small group of locals, and they capture one of the aliens, intending to turn it over to the national guard or something. During that process, a second group of aliens pops into the atmosphere and attacks the first group. Thus, humans ally themselves with the second group of aliens -- their rescuers -- and before long a multi-national United Nations Expeditionary Force (UNEF) is traveling through the galaxy to be ground troops in the service of their "patron" species, the Kristang, who came to their aid on earth against the Ruhar, who were the first alien species that invaded earth at the beginning of the novel. Before too long, Joe begins to receive intel that suggests that the humans' understanding of their situation (including who was doing what during the invasion of Earth) is not entirely accurate. Still, since the source of that intel is a Ruhar, it's pretty suspect....

The series is built around Joe Bishop, a smart-alecky AI called "Skippy", and a pirated spacecraft called the Flying Dutchman. I think of Skippy and Joe as having a Spock and Kirk vibe: Skippy (whose rank is listed as "******* First Class" in the crew roster, because he really can be obnoxious) is Spockian in his logic, analytics, and vast knowledge of all things math and science; Joe has Kirk's "I don't believe in a no-win scenario" creativity, and is always coming up with monkey-brained ideas that seem too crazy to work, but somehow always do. Like Kirk and Spock, Joe and Skippy are better together than individually, and it's their partnership that makes everything work. Because this is military sci-fi, there's a lot of focus on the operations and battle scenes, but there's a nice balance between that and non-action stuff.

There are 6 books out so far, and I digested them all in 10 days in audio format. The performance is great! Narrator RC Bray is the guy who performed The Martian, and I definitely recommend a Bray narration if you are testing the waters with audiobooks. He's aces! (His reading of The Martian won the 2015 Audie award for "Best Sci-Fi Audiobook of 2015," and book 1 of the Expeditionary Force series -- Columbus Day -- was a finalist for the Audie for 2018 Audiobook of the Year.)
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