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Old 02-21-2011, 06:34 AM
 
Location: Puposky MN
1,083 posts, read 1,064,377 times
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Cosmopolitan: A Bertender's Life By Toby Cecchini-
This book is hilarious, especially if you have ever served food or drinks.

Edit: Actually, now that I think abut it and have had my second cup of coffee, Behind Bars by Ty Wenzel is a better read, and funny whether you've ever served food/drinks or not.

Last edited by light_shimmer; 02-21-2011 at 07:01 AM..
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:52 AM
 
11,116 posts, read 16,492,880 times
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Has anyone read "Thinking in Pictures" by Temmple Grandin? I started reading it, but it is very "text booky" ... rather disappointing, so I may not finish unless it's really worth the time.
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Old 02-21-2011, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal -> Ottawa
17,336 posts, read 28,718,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuilterChick View Post
Has anyone read "Thinking in Pictures" by Temmple Grandin? I started reading it, but it is very "text booky" ... rather disappointing, so I may not finish unless it's really worth the time.
I've read it, and I agree with you: It is very text booky. Had I not known that beforehand, I would have bailed on it, but I'd had fair warning and knew what to expect. I was happy to know her story, but it definitely wasn't an easy, light read.
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Old 02-21-2011, 08:16 AM
 
11,116 posts, read 16,492,880 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DandJ View Post
I've read it, and I agree with you: It is very text booky. Had I not known that beforehand, I would have bailed on it, but I'd had fair warning and knew what to expect. I was happy to know her story, but it definitely wasn't an easy, light read.
Yep ... thank you, exactly what I thought. I'll save it on my Kindle and find something else.

BTW, if anyone is interested in true non fiction Civil War books, see if you can get "The Secrets of War" by Terrence Garren .... authentic people (his own family) and places in Western NC and surrounding local areas ..... and a great read. He has another one out now called "The Fifth Skull" which I hear is awesome as well.
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Old 02-23-2011, 11:44 AM
 
Location: MA
132 posts, read 424,643 times
Reputation: 135
Lone Survivor by Marcus Luttrell.
Incredible story, finished it a month or so back.
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:41 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,148,360 times
Reputation: 1237
History:
When The War Was Over Elizabeth Becker
Sideshow William Shawcross

Both are grim, but fascinating investigations of the before-during-aftermath that overtook the country of Cambodia between the mid 1960s and early 1980s.

Travel lit:
The Snow Leopard Peter Matthiessen
The Lady & The Monk Pico Iyer
Red Dust Ma Jian
Road Fever Tim Cahill

Four extraordinary pieces of travel narrative: the first is philosophical and naturalistic, the second is poetic and textured, the third almost reads like a Chinese On The Road with some heavier political intrigues (and a bit of ethnography) thrown in, and the last is just a rip-roaring gonzo read. All four are fantastic.

Arts:
100 Years Of Japanese Cinema Donald Ritchie
Our Films Their Films Satyajit Ray
When Harlem Was In Vogue David L Lewis

The first two may be a bit esoteric, but still deserve a recommendation. The first is a very readable and exhaustive survey of the history of Japanese cinema, from the silent film era up to roundabout 2000. It's illustrated with stills from hundreds of classic films, many never before seen in an English language publication, and if you think that samurai, monsters, anime and weird horror is all there is to Japanese cinema, this book will turn you on to one of the GREAT cinemas in the history of the art.

The Satyajit Ray book is even more specialized, but also personal. Ray was a graphic designer and film critic in Calcutta who was inspired to launch his own filmmaking career by a chance encounter with Jean Renoir (the French director, and nephew of the painter). His own career was quite anti-Bollywood, instead blending the very refined literary quality of Renoir's films with Bengali stories; his debut (the 'Apu' trilogy launched him from total obscurity to top prizes at the Venice film fest very swiftly in the mid-1950s. This anthology of Ray's critical writing is divided into a half about Indian film, and a half about American, European and other Asian films (including some great, perceptive writing about Kurosawa and Chaplin), and as sharp as Ray's critical eye was, he maintained an ability to write well for a general audience.

The Lewis book details the history of the Harlem renaissance, and is intricately detailed. It will make you want to listen to lots of swing music!
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Old 03-08-2011, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Carrboro and Concord, NC
964 posts, read 2,148,360 times
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More (apologies for double posting):

Art:
The Arts At Black Mountain College Mary Emma Harris

Black Mountain College was around from the 1930s until the late 1950s near Asheville, NC. It was founded by German exiles who were connected to the Bauhaus movement, and was an experimental, non-degree, interdisciplinary arts college; the archives are now housed at NC State University. While in existance Walter Gropius, Buckminster Fuller, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Robert Lowell, Charles Olson, and Willem DeKooning all taught there for short stints, and the school's influence on American modernism was enormous. This is a coffeetable-sized history of the school and an investigation of it's influence, all accompanied by hundreds of photos and reproduction of fine art, musical scores, architectural plans, textile designs, poems and other cultural output from the school. This is probably the best of the many books about the school.

Autobio:
A Cambodian Odyssey Haing Ngor
Speak, Memory Vladimir Nabokov

Three very different but excellent autobiographies. The first - Dr. Ngor was an M.D. in Phnom Penh who became trapped in the country when it fell to the Khmer Rouge. He survived those years, ended up in L.A., and was living in a housing project when he was cast in the film The Killing Fields, for which he won an Oscar. It's an extraordinary read.

Speak Memory is Nabokov's memoir of the first half of his life, and the man handled language more gracefully than almost anyone else I've ever read. His life story itself is a doozy, and his skill in placing the reader in the settings he recreates is outstanding.
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Old 03-09-2011, 04:29 AM
 
3,346 posts, read 2,606,369 times
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Just remembered this one which I read a while ago and it was SUPERB.
Predicatably Irrational. by Dan Ariely. he also has a website to give you a feel for it. It's a great read and extremely enjoyable.
Dan Ariely
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Guangzhou, China
10,212 posts, read 14,181,427 times
Reputation: 11787
I've been on a Soviet-era misery kick lately.

"One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
and then...
"Gulag Boss" by Fyodor Vasilevich Mochulsky

Solzhenitsyn's book is an account of a day in the life of a Soviet citizen forced into the GULAG system, and all of its miseries. It's a classic and spurred many discussions on life in the Soviet Union at the time of its release.

Gulag Boss takes place in the same time frame, and is written by a camp commandant. It's fascinating reading it from both sides of the table; the crushing injustices in the former are sensible policies in the latter. Insurmountable tasks with no purpose were important projects; sociopathic camp guards and administrators were likeable men with a sense of duty and impartiality.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:06 PM
 
3,681 posts, read 5,766,978 times
Reputation: 1492
The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek
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