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Old 03-03-2024, 02:10 PM
 
8,755 posts, read 5,042,001 times
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Copy Cat by Erica Spindler. Really enjoyed it.
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Old 03-04-2024, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Lakewood NJ/Murrells Inlet SC/ N. Naples FL/Swainton NJ
4,026 posts, read 6,540,797 times
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Consuming Black House by Peter Straub and Stephen King. Not enjoying it all that much. Too freaking long! I find that I either love SK novels and don't love them at all.
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Old 03-07-2024, 02:00 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,209 posts, read 29,018,601 times
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I just finished reading Phantom Plague/How Tuberculosis Shaped History/Vidya Krishnan

Another eye-opening book for me. Back in the 1800's people were spitting everywhere, in restaurants, trains, theatres, sidewalks. Back then, women were wearing trailing skirts, and figuring the trailing skirts were dragging in germs from the spitted sidewalks, they ordained that skirts had to be 3 inches above street level. Spitting laws were enacted coast to coast, and people were even thrown in jail for spitting.

This book also deals with the destructiveness of Big Pharma patent laws.
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Old 03-07-2024, 10:12 PM
Status: "I have read 24 books this year!!!" (set 2 days ago)
 
436 posts, read 195,488 times
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I am reading this novel for my book club. Plus, it had been on my TBR list since 2020. So glad I finally got around to it. I would have had to run away if I had been brought up in an environment that oppressive.
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Old 03-08-2024, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Outside US
3,687 posts, read 2,408,199 times
Reputation: 5171
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober

by Catherine Gray
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Old 03-09-2024, 03:23 AM
 
Location: Tucson/Nogales
23,209 posts, read 29,018,601 times
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I just finished reading Koresh/The True Story of David Koresh and the Tragedy at Waco/Stephan Talty

All I can say is Good Riddance to that Branch Davidian cult. I still surprises me how they can get all these wealthy, highly educated people to join these cults.

David was severely abused as a child, that may have been one factor is the sexual/physical abuse of children at this compound. If abused as a child, there's an 80% chance, if you have children, they will be abused.

I didn't realize that the Davidians actually set fire to their compound, not the FBI! 73 people died!
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Old 03-09-2024, 02:03 PM
 
3,728 posts, read 2,551,518 times
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Bunk Kevin Young (2017)

A history of American scams, in the vein of circus sideshows, etc. Nineteenth century hoaxes regarding fanciful trips to the moon, exotic peoples (who were really just locals in primitive costumes, etc). The author elaborates on how these hoaxes both shaped & revealed American attitudes about foreign places & peoples.
I'm finding some chapters slow, but other chapters really interesting..
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Old 03-10-2024, 08:49 PM
 
Location: New York Area
35,002 posts, read 16,964,237 times
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Default The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel and the Fate of the Jewish People by Walter Russell Mead

I just finished reading The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel and the Fate of the Jewish People by Walter Russell Mead. Arc is a tour d' force of greatness, no question. Mead seeks to take the course of U.S. history as it relates to Jews and then Israel from the Washington presidency through 2022. Without serving as a spoiler, Mead effectively makes the argument that Israel's importance to the U.S. stems more from its military and economic success and power than it does to the impact of the "Jewish" or "Israel" lobby. Indeed, he very effectively belittles the impact of the lobbies asa being the equivalent of Star Trek's "vulcans;" an imaginary force thought to be creating a wobble in Mercury's or Venus's orbit. He states: "Not only does Israel occupy a "continent" in the American mind; Jews, at 1.9 % of the population...." in arguing that the focus on Israel is out of proportion to Jewish numbers. The contrast is even starker when compared to an estimated worldwide population at 15.7 million, 0.2% of the 8 billion worldwide population. What the author leaves out is that the Jews, historically, have had a disproportionate pull on the world psycho.

I do have my quibbles with the book: 1) there are lots of run-on and awkwardly constructed sentences; 2) the book illustrates the dictum in intro to Practicing History: Selected Essays by Barbara W. Tuchman, that it is hard to write good history close to the occurrence of events. It certainly was, and is; and 3) part of point II, the last two chapters, on the history of the relationship under Obama, Trump and Biden are not yet history given how recent they are.

While I do not accept 100% of the author's opinions, the book is an indispensable starting point of any serious analysis and understanding.

Last edited by jbgusa; 03-10-2024 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 03-12-2024, 05:00 AM
 
4,723 posts, read 4,413,722 times
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I read Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb.
This was really an amazing book. It was an account of the Dust Bowl, written the same year and to be published as Grapes of Wrath. When Grapes of Wrath became the mega seller it did, the publisher put this book aside. It was re-discovered about 50 or so years later and published. It was also historical fiction but based on the author's own experience. I intend to read Grapes of Wrath soon. I am pretty sure I read it back in high school, but I can't remember too much of it. Whose Names are Unknown was a much more concise book and it described the daily lives so clearly.
It was definitely a worth while read. 4.5 to 5 stars for me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whose_Names_Are_Unknown
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Old 03-12-2024, 10:37 AM
 
Location: New York Area
35,002 posts, read 16,964,237 times
Reputation: 30109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayvenne View Post
I read Whose Names Are Unknown by Sanora Babb.
This was really an amazing book. It was an account of the Dust Bowl, written the same year and to be published as Grapes of Wrath. When Grapes of Wrath became the mega seller it did, the publisher put this book aside. It was re-discovered about 50 or so years later and published. It was also historical fiction but based on the author's own experience. I intend to read Grapes of Wrath soon. I am pretty sure I read it back in high school, but I can't remember too much of it. Whose Names are Unknown was a much more concise book and it described the daily lives so clearly.
It was definitely a worth while read. 4.5 to 5 stars for me.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whose_Names_Are_Unknown
FWIW this is what I had to say about Grapes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbgusa View Post
I just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. I was inspired to read this book in the author's normal genre, fiction, by Travels with Charley: In Search of America. There is some controversy as to whether Travels was somewhat fictionalized and I see the point. This doesn't take anything away from these works. Grapes was controversial at the time it was released (link), and was burned in Kern County, California. Travels was controversial for other reasons. It seems that for a rather gentle man, he aroused some controversy.

While Charley reads like a somewhat novelized version of a non-fiction travelogue, Grapes reads like a compiled story of how life really was for the wretchedly poor of the Depression and Dust Bowl eras. I have to say it is one of the saddest books that I have read, but would gladly read it again, and highly recommend it. Without wanting to create a spoiler, the story tells of an Oklahoma family ousted from the land by the Dust Bowl, that relocated, along with thousands of others, to California, a supposed land of opportunity. The failure of this opportunity for so many illustrates that Americans are not always their brother's keeper.

One quibble I have is that the book, perhaps, a bit too pessimistic. Many have come to America in misery or, as the Joad family of Grapes migrated within the country in equal misery. My sunnier view is that these migrations may not have served the generation that moved well, but gave the next generations a real chance that they never would have had in Europe or in Oklahoma.

One quote I like from The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck - "The stars came down wonderfully close and the sky was soft.Death was a friend, and sleep was death's brother." I will not post the other quote that gives the book its title. You'll have to read it for that one.
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