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Old 02-04-2020, 05:29 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,719,577 times
Reputation: 6481

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Quote:
Originally Posted by miguel's mom View Post
Just finished In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. It was a little slow getting into it because of the report-like style at the beginning. But in the end it was well written. The combining of different reports of the sinking of this whaleship was well done. It's a horrible story, the torture the seamen had to endure so many days on the open sea. 4 out of 5 stars.

Today I started Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi which is another horrible topic but it seems to be a page turner.
Homegoing is great. My neighborhood book club read that a while back and everyone loved it. It reads almost like a collection of related short stories, moving forward in time.
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Old 02-04-2020, 09:22 PM
 
9,868 posts, read 7,691,273 times
Reputation: 22124
Quote:
Originally Posted by miguel's mom View Post
Just finished In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. It was a little slow getting into it because of the report-like style at the beginning. But in the end it was well written. The combining of different reports of the sinking of this whaleship was well done. It's a horrible story, the torture the seamen had to endure so many days on the open sea. 4 out of 5 stars.

Today I started Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi which is another horrible topic but it seems to be a page turner.
The name Nathaniel Philbrick was bugging me a little. Turns out I had read that book about the Essex a long time ago and didn’t remember the title. Your post jogged the memory loose. I agree that it was a bit of a plod getting going. Weren’t there other books about the same tragedy? I searched on it and only Philbrick’s book came up.

I am now reading a nonfiction book, Michiel Roscam Abbing’s Plastic Soup. A most disturbing and vivid account of how, in only a few decades, plastic waste so quickly entered everywhere in, on, and at the floor of the world’s oceans. Some of the chapters really jarred me due to being coincidentally (?) the subjects of other things I’ve thought of or encountered within the last 24 hrs.

For example, an Audubon magazine from winter 2016 contains an article about gannets off British Isles starving when the discarded fishing net pieces that they build into their nests grow tighter and tighter around chicks’ necks as they grow. I had just read about this exact phenomenon in the book less than an hour before randomly picking up the Audubon magazine and finding that article in it. (The magazine was in a stack of back issues I had never read.)

Another odd coincidence is that I was thinking about how fleece garments always make the dryer lint trap gain a thick layer of fuzz just from one dryer session. Right this minute, I turned the page in the book and—voila!—there is a page on “Microfibers from washing machines”, specifically naming poly fleece garments as shedding tremendous amounts of microstrands into wash water that are too small to be filtered out of wastewater. Ever marvel at how soft and warm like fur undercoats new fleece feels, and lament how those garments don’t retain that fleeciness for a very long time? It is basically tiny plastic fibers, and they shed or break over time.

The photos of Kamilo Beach on Hawaii shocked me. I walked to that beach a little over 30 years ago and don’t recall seeing anything near the amount of embedded debris shown in recent photos of it.

The book’s later chapters will highlight some ideas that may offer a little hope against this incredibly fast-multiplying form of pollution. I haven’t gotten to those chapters yet.

Last edited by pikabike; 02-04-2020 at 09:52 PM.. Reason: pp
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:12 AM
 
Location: North America
4,430 posts, read 2,703,329 times
Reputation: 19315
I just finished the delightful Conquistador of the Useless by Joshua Isard.

It was an accidental purchase. Through Amazon I ordered what I thought was the classic non-fiction mountaineering text Conquistadors of the Useless. Note the plural. In fact, before I placed the order that did catch my eye but I figured it was a mistake in the listing or an original mistake by me when I put the book in my TO BUY list some years ago (it's actually a Word document that I keep). Anyway, the book arrives and I see that it's a novel.

So I glance at the first page and begin reading and in no time I'm into the story. Weird.

Conquistador of the Useless is about Nathan Waverly, a slacker with a decent if uninteresting job that he performs well if unenthusiastically. He and his wife have just left their apartment in the city for a house in suburbia, and Nathan has alienated the neighbors by crossing boundaries regarding the 16-year-old next door. He makes her a playlist and lends her a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle; the latter particularly incenses the girl's father. Music and reading are two of the biggest aspects of Nathan's life, and that was one of the things which drew me into the tale. First, how can I not love a book that gives a major role to Vonnegut's classic novel? Second, the story is steeped in the music of Nathan's youth: Pixies and Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and The Breeder, and so forth. In that regard it reminded me a little of High Fidelity, though with a generational difference. It gives the story an authenticity that imbues it with the reality of its time.

The story weaves through Nathan's attempts to keep his profession at arm's length, to keep the rest of the neighborhood from thinking he's an incipient sexual predator, and in putting off his wealthy old friend Mark, who recently got a taste for mountain climbing while in Alaska and wants to take a shot at Everest. And Mark wants Nathan to come along. And the story concludes delightfully - and not in the obvious way.

I loved the book. And I enjoyed the way it just accidentally - mistakenly - fell into my lap. Lamentably, a check shows that the author has published no other long fiction; his sole novel came out in 2013. But I'll keep my eyes peeled in case he does.

Highly recommended!

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Old 02-05-2020, 07:50 AM
 
Location: In my own personal Twilight zone
13,608 posts, read 5,384,352 times
Reputation: 30253
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
Homegoing is great. My neighborhood book club read that a while back and everyone loved it. It reads almost like a collection of related short stories, moving forward in time.
I wish there were people around me that like to read Only one of my colleagues is reading and none of my friends. Only my mom is reading constantly and asking for books. She learned English pretty late in her work life and she keeps asking me for books because I read mostly in English. It keeps her in the language and she learns many vocabularies with it.
It's really sad that most of the woman I know just read crime stories and there's nobody to talk about what you read...


Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
The name Nathaniel Philbrick was bugging me a little. Turns out I had read that book about the Essex a long time ago and didn’t remember the title. Your post jogged the memory loose. I agree that it was a bit of a plod getting going. Weren’t there other books about the same tragedy? I searched on it and only Philbrick’s book came up.
I just found something on the internet:
The loss of the ship essex sunk by a whale by Thomas Nickerson and Owen Chase who were on the Essex.
It's an introduction by Thomas and Nathaniel Philbrick.

And there's also The Sinking of the Whaleship Essex by Owen Chase. But I guess both have been used to write In the Heart of the Sea.

Anyway, it was a great and horrible story but it shows that nature is not easily going under and giving way for us small humans.
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:15 AM
 
9,868 posts, read 7,691,273 times
Reputation: 22124
Thank you, miguel’s mom. The title of the book I could not remember is actually In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon, by Joan Druett. This voyage was about an increasingly harsh dictator-like captain and the inevitable mutiny against him. If you have not read it, you’ll probably find it worth checking out. Some of the cruelties the captain inflicted were difficult to read about, and I could see why a mutiny occurred, even without the pressure-cooker of the environment and job that were normal.

The names Nathaniel Philbrick and the ship Essex continue to pull at something in my mind, and I might very well have read both these books. Only way to be sure is to look through the book itelf. I need to go to the library today to return a couple of books and get three more, so I’ll see if they have In the Heart of the Sea.
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:31 AM
 
Location: prescott az
6,957 posts, read 12,053,480 times
Reputation: 14244
Enjoyed You Were there too by Colleen Oakley. You have to have a leap of faith since a lot is really unbelievable
but that's what fiction is, right? The heart of the story is about dreams, his, hers and theirs. 327 pages.
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Henderson, NV, U.S.A.
11,479 posts, read 9,137,018 times
Reputation: 19660
The End of the World Running Club, Adrian J. Walker (2014).
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Old 02-05-2020, 02:55 PM
 
Location: East Coast
4,249 posts, read 3,719,577 times
Reputation: 6481
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
I just finished the delightful Conquistador of the Useless by Joshua Isard.

It was an accidental purchase. Through Amazon I ordered what I thought was the classic non-fiction mountaineering text Conquistadors of the Useless. Note the plural. In fact, before I placed the order that did catch my eye but I figured it was a mistake in the listing or an original mistake by me when I put the book in my TO BUY list some years ago (it's actually a Word document that I keep). Anyway, the book arrives and I see that it's a novel.

So I glance at the first page and begin reading and in no time I'm into the story. Weird.

Conquistador of the Useless is about Nathan Waverly, a slacker with a decent if uninteresting job that he performs well if unenthusiastically. He and his wife have just left their apartment in the city for a house in suburbia, and Nathan has alienated the neighbors by crossing boundaries regarding the 16-year-old next door. He makes her a playlist and lends her a copy of Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle; the latter particularly incenses the girl's father. Music and reading are two of the biggest aspects of Nathan's life, and that was one of the things which drew me into the tale. First, how can I not love a book that gives a major role to Vonnegut's classic novel? Second, the story is steeped in the music of Nathan's youth: Pixies and Sonic Youth, Hüsker Dü and The Breeder, and so forth. In that regard it reminded me a little of High Fidelity, though with a generational difference. It gives the story an authenticity that imbues it with the reality of its time.

The story weaves through Nathan's attempts to keep his profession at arm's length, to keep the rest of the neighborhood from thinking he's an incipient sexual predator, and in putting off his wealthy old friend Mark, who recently got a taste for mountain climbing while in Alaska and wants to take a shot at Everest. And Mark wants Nathan to come along. And the story concludes delightfully - and not in the obvious way.

I loved the book. And I enjoyed the way it just accidentally - mistakenly - fell into my lap. Lamentably, a check shows that the author has published no other long fiction; his sole novel came out in 2013. But I'll keep my eyes peeled in case he does.

Highly recommended!
This is a great story. You should check to see if the author has a webpage. This might be an author who has only published one book. Most authors have to do all their own marketing, so this author is likely to have a web page, even if it hasn't been updated recently. If you send him a note on his webpage (or email him if that is how it indicates you can contact the author) it would seriously make his year if you told him you really enjoyed his story.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:05 PM
 
Location: North America
4,430 posts, read 2,703,329 times
Reputation: 19315
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicagoliz View Post
This is a great story. You should check to see if the author has a webpage. This might be an author who has only published one book. Most authors have to do all their own marketing, so this author is likely to have a web page, even if it hasn't been updated recently. If you send him a note on his webpage (or email him if that is how it indicates you can contact the author) it would seriously make his year if you told him you really enjoyed his story.
I've already seen his webpage, we've exchanged emails, and he informed me that perhaps he would produce another novel at some point. And he seemed genuinely pleased at my comments on his book, as well as my undisguised enthusiasm for his creation.
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:12 PM
 
5,948 posts, read 2,870,440 times
Reputation: 7778
Quote:
Originally Posted by miguel's mom View Post
Just finished In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick. It was a little slow getting into it because of the report-like style at the beginning. But in the end it was well written. The combining of different reports of the sinking of this whaleship was well done. It's a horrible story, the torture the seamen had to endure so many days on the open sea. 4 out of 5 stars.

Today I started Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi which is another horrible topic but it seems to be a page turner.
Was a GREAT book.
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