OT: Watcha all reading these days?

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Im an avid reader. For the past couple of years Ive been stuck on spiritual stuff & sci-fi.

What have you read recently? Grist for the Mill by Ram Dass  Lot of bang for the buck if you can get past the 70s lingo.; Jacob the Baker by Noah ben Shea  Judeo-Zen sayings. This was the 5th or 6th time through the book. A good one to keep on the nightstand; An excellent biography on Thomas Merton whos name & author fail me at the moment.

Which books are on your short list? Starburst by Fred Pohl; God Talks with Arjuna by Paramahansa Yogananda; Enders Shadow by Orson Scott Card (when it comes out in paperback); Ringworld by Larry Niven.

Favorite authors?? Paramahansa Yogananda, Orson Scott Card (both the Ender series & Alvin Maker series are pure dynamite), Fred Pohl (Gateway series), Philip Jose Farmer (Riverworld).

Favorite subjects? Spiritual, Sci-Fi, Biography

Least recommended authors? Piers Anthony & James Morrow are two that come to mind.

Care to share?

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 10, 2000


My reading goes all over the map. I hate to get stuck on any one genre for long.

Current book: Journey to Russia, Laurens Van der Post. An account of the Soviet Union in 1964, arguably its most dynamic period. Sort of like finding a fly caught in amber, so much has changed since the book was written.

Recent reads: The Neandertal Enigma, James Shreeve. Popular paleoanthropology. Brings the debate over the Neandertal's place in the human geneology up to the latest evidence and theories.

White Butterfly, Walter Mosley. A hard-boiled murder mystery set in Watts in LA, circa 1956.

The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Farley Mowat. Light reading stories about a boy and his dog. Non-fiction but with a real story telling flair. Really hilarious stuff.

Books on short list: Anabasis, Xenophon. Roughing It, Mark Twain. Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell. Hunger, Knut Hamsun. Lots more.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), May 10, 2000.

Just finished "Lost on Everest: The Search For Mallory & Irvine" by Peter Firstbrook. A historical account of the first attempts to reach the summit of Mount Everest and the mystery surrounding the disappearance of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine on their final attempt in 1924. No one knows whether or not they reached the summit and this book explores the possibilities. Also explains how Mallory's body was finally found and what clues that provided in trying to solve the mystery.

I thought this was an excellent book. It should be a fast read for those voracious readers out there, like my wife, who can devour an entire book in a day.

-- fwiw (a@b.c), May 10, 2000.

Present: James the Brother of Jesus, Robert Eisenman [difficult going, even the second time]

Recent Reads or re-Reads would include:

Second World War series, W.S. Churchill;

That Dark and Bloody River, Allan W. Eckert;

Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond;

Stalin, Edvard Radzinsky;

Hemingway, A Life Without Consequences, James R. Mellow.

A few of the non-technical books; I probably spend too much time reading.

Best wishes,,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 10, 2000.

>> Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond <<

Read it about 2 months ago. Good book. Very simple but powerful theory. In science that is the very definition of elegance.

-- Brian McLaughlin (brianm@ims.com), May 10, 2000.

How can you lot stay alert enough to read at this level?I'm brain dead by 6pm so it's Terry Pratchett for me ! Ook !

-- Chris (griffen@globalnet.co.uk), May 10, 2000.

Timebomb 2000 by Ed Yourdon



but seriously...recently I've read:

The Civil War : A Narrative by Shelby Foote

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre

My short list is empty...looking for a good one

Favorite authors: Robert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Spider Robinson (anyone know if he's got a new one out?)

Least recommended author: Ed Yourdon LOL!

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 10, 2000.

I am currently reading 'Dirty White Boys' by Stephen Hunter, and am waiting patiently for the next book of the 'Wheel of Time' by Robert Jordan. The fantasy genre is what I read most. My authors of choice as of late include: Terry Goodkind, Robert McKiernan, Barbara Hambly, David Eddings, Robert Jordan, Ed Greenwood, Elizabeth Moon, JV Jones... etc...

Stephen Hunter is an amazing writer of modern fiction, with a huge knowledge base on the small arms and weapons of the world.

loungin on the porch...

The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), May 10, 2000.

Agree with you Dog, I've read all of Hunter's books.

I've been reading mostly pulp fiction lately, a lot of Carl Hiaasen. Funny stuff, kooky characters, strange dealings, all set in S. Florida, and all of it ringing true. Also have been going back and reading Clive Cussler again, not high-brow stuff, more a guilty pleasure.

Some others of late; "Patriots, The Men Who Started The American Revolution" by A.J.Langguth which I enjoyed very much and a re-read of "Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do- the absurdity of consensual crimes in a free society" by Peter McWilliams, a great libertarian read, the book that set me firmly as a Libertarian.

Next up, "Lindburg" by Scott Berg and "The Green Mile" by you know who.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), May 10, 2000.

Speaking of Spider Robinson...I just finished reading his last Callahan's piece. The 1st for me. It was so-so. I'm not knocking down walls at the used bookstore looking for his earlier stuff.

I really crave character developement over technological wizadry. That's what puts Orson Card at the top of my list.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 10, 2000.

I'll add one question to the one posed by Bingo1. Is there a book that you have started [maybe more than one time] and have never been able to finish?

For me it is: Finnegan's Wake, James Joyce

Interesting, but difficult to follow. At least for me.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 10, 2000.


Talk to me about Jordan. My memory is shot. How complex is his Wheel of Time series? Can a burnt-out guy like myself follow along? Tell it to me straight. I can take it.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 10, 2000.


Ain't Nobody's Business if You Do- the absurdity of consensual crimes in a free society by Peter McWilliam sounds like it should be required reading in all the schools & workplaces in America. Of course, that would defeat the point. Catch-22.

I'm a leaner towards liberty myself. Do have a gidzillion question, though. The few Harry Browne interviews I heard didn't exactly excite me. I'll keep my eye out for the book.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 10, 2000.

That's an excellent question, Z. I have yet to finish anything by Asimov. He bores me to tears. I'll keep trying, though.

The Bible is another one that I can't seem to stick with. I'll go no further out of respect for the many.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 10, 2000.

Spider Robinson is only good for light reading. I hear he's a great story teller live though.

I neglected to mention that I also recently read again The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. In case you don't know, it's the book that the movie "Gettysburg" was based on. As usual, the book was better than the movie, although I like that movie very much also. I've been on a Civil War kick for the last few years as you can tell.

"Z" mentioned Churchill's World War II series. It's been a while since I read that, maybe that will be my next.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 10, 2000.

Unk- I just finished "The Green Mile" by SK. Excellent read. I then saw the movie and was amazed at how "true to the book" it was. (That's a rare event from my experience.) I can now understand why the movie was necessarily 3 hours long. To have cut anything would have done an injustice to the book. Reminded me a lot of another movie based on another of his stories- "The Shawshank Redemption". One of my all time favorites.

I thought I had finished with my long running Stephen King phase as I had not read anything by him in years. Looks however, like I'm once again getting sucked into his pulp fiction factory. Curious if anybody has read, and/or can recommend, anything else he has written of late. "Storm of the Century"? "Hearts in Atlantis"?

-- CD (costavike@hotmail.com), May 10, 2000.

Now THIS is a co-inky-dink. I'm helping my son on a history project and he's also reading Foote's amazing The Civil War: A Narrative and Shaara's Killer Angels. We're having great fun discussing Longstreet's actions and the whole debate about who really messed up at Gettysburg.

I've always enjoyed reading: history, biography, Sci-Fi (including Heinlein and Spider), science, you name it. Am about to start Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human.

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), May 10, 2000.

DeeEmBee, after reading those two books my take is that Lee messed up at Gettysburg. He never should have manuevered instead of attacking. Of course, hindsight is twenty-twenty. And J.E.B. Stuart sure didn't help him much.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 10, 2000.

That should read...Lee should have manuevered instead of attacking

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 10, 2000.

Buddy- If you're on a civil war kick, I'd highly recommend "Andersonville" by MacKinlay Kantor. Excellent book which graphically describes the horrible conditions existing in the South's most infamous prisoner of war camp.

-- CD (costavike@hotmail.com), May 10, 2000.


The name of Brownes book is "Why Government Doesn't Work",I liked it and have loaned it out more times than I can remember.An excellent read on liberty is "The Law" by Frederic Bastiat,only 70 something pages but is VERY good.


Loved the "PATRIOTS",thinkin' bout goin at it for the 3rd time.

For a great light summertime read, ya might try "Where Is Joe Merchant?" by Jimmy Buffett.Speakin' of- IT'S HAPPY HOUR,beerthirty on the nose: )

-- capnfun (capnfun1@excite.com), May 10, 2000.

CD, am in the middle of "Hearts of Atlantis" (first story). Seems OK. Like you, I have "gotten over" my King fascination, though I simply love "The Dark Tower" series (have we spoken about this before? it seems familiar...). Alas, it will probably never be completed.

"The Green Mile" made me cry (yeah, I'm a wimp, whatever). Won't go see the film because of that. ("The Stand" is still my all-time King favorite.)

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 10, 2000.

I forgot -- haven't read "Storm of the Century", but what a load of crap it was in the made-for-TV-film version. Jeez, *I* could've written THAT one (ending is SOOOOOOOOO predictable).

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 10, 2000.

Thanks Patricia. No, I've not read "The Dark Tower" series. Sounds like you enjoy(ed) it, so I might look into it further.

Your description of "Storm of the Century" jogged my memory. If it was made into the hokey movie I'm thinking of, I'll pass too.

-- CD (costavike@hotmail.com), May 10, 2000.


Storm of the Century

I thought the book was great. This could be nostalgia and may reflect the fact that I know Gloucester well and wasted part of my youth sailing New England waters. The sea there is awesome. Not like Puget Sound.

Best wishes,,,,

-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 10, 2000.

This is cute.



On netscape, at least, the software interprets red with Word Perfects smart quotes as lime, but red with regular quotes. Tried this out on HTML playground and that is what it did there. See above, both are < font color="red">. Interesting.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 10, 2000.

Z: "Wasted" time sailing there??? (tongue-in-cheek, no doubt) I've never been, but I've heard the country is simply beautiful up that way. Funny, but it was my "obsession" with SK books many moons ago that piqued my interest in the area. Never followed through though.

I had hoped the book would be better than that "hokey" film; in fact, it would almost have to be [g].

CD, I remember having that conversation with someone, but now that I remember, I think it was someone on the subway once (yikes). I like "The Dark Tower" because it references other of his books (most notably, "The Stand") and incorporates them into the story. But I think he said it was going to be a nine-book series; and only four have been released. Even as fast as he can crank 'em out, I doubt he will ever finish it. What a shame -- it's right up there with "The Stand".

Lest ye be of the belief I am "one-dimensional", my literary tastes run pretty much the gamut (if it's interesting, I'm hooked). Not terribly fond of biographies in general, but some are OK. Since my move to LV, I have taken to reading (not in-depth) gardening books. Seems "concrete gardens" back in NYC were much easier than attempting to grow anything out here (they weren't kidding -- this really is "the desert"). There's a lot to be said for "humidity".

On my list of favorites: "I, Claudius" and "Claudius the God" by Robert Graves (yep, have the BBC series on video too). I make it a point to read these two about once a year. Something about "ancient decadence"......:-) Also a huge fan of P.J. O'Rourke; they don't come much funnier than this guy (I highly recommend "Parliament of Whores" in which he attempts to explain the entire U.S. government, and does a pretty fine job).

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 10, 2000.


You said you would be reading-Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human. Is that the Howard Bloom book? If so, it is on my short list.

I loves the Killer Angels; read it four times. Most of the books I read are "spiritual"; from many different disciplines. I like the work of Emmet Fox, Joel Goldsmith, Neil Donald Walsh, James Redfield, Wayne dyer, and St. John of the Cross.

I have been reading a lot of astrology texts lately; I will be taking on clients this year.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), May 10, 2000.

Buddy -

According to at least one site, Lee acknowledged as much. From Just then Pickett rode up. "General Pickett," said Lee, "place your division in the rear of this hill and be ready to repel the advance of the enemy should they follow up their advantage."

"General Lee," said Pickett, crying, "I have no division now. Armistead is down, Garnett is down, and Kemper is mortally wounded--"

"Come, General Pickett," Lee interrupted. "This has been my fight, and upon my shoulders rests the blame. The men and officers of your command have written the name of Virginia as high today as it has ever been written before. Your men have done all that men can do. The fault is entirely my own."

Later, he would tell Longstreet, who had opposed the charge from the first: "It's all my fault. I thought my men were invincible." On that summer-hot afternoon at Gettysburg, while the fate of two nations hung in the balance, he had very nearly been right.

Remarkable men and a tragic story...

-- DeeEmBee (
macbeth1@pacbell.net), May 10, 2000.

Oops! Sorry, missed a closing quote. Once more...

According to at least one site, Lee acknowledged as much. From Nothing But Glory Gained:

...Across the valley, Robert E. Lee received his beaten soldiers. "All this will come right in the end," he consoled them. "We'll talk it over afterwards. But in the meantime all good men must rally. We want all good and true men just now." Few of his soldiers, badly mauled as they were, failed to respond to his words.

Just then Pickett rode up. "General Pickett," said Lee, "place your division in the rear of this hill and be ready to repel the advance of the enemy should they follow up their advantage."

"General Lee," said Pickett, crying, "I have no division now. Armistead is down, Garnett is down, and Kemper is mortally wounded--"

"Come, General Pickett," Lee interrupted. "This has been my fight, and upon my shoulders rests the blame. The men and officers of your command have written the name of Virginia as high today as it has ever been written before. Your men have done all that men can do. The fault is entirely my own."

Later, he would tell Longstreet, who had opposed the charge from the first: "It's all my fault. I thought my men were invincible." On that summer-hot afternoon at Gettysburg, while the fate of two nations hung in the balance, he had very nearly been right.

Remarkable men and a tragic story...

-- DeeEmBee (macbeth1@pacbell.net), May 10, 2000.

Enjoyed Killer Angels very much too, it made four boring days of jury selection liveable.

No, I read during the breaks, not in court, silly.

-- Uncle Deedah (unkeed@yahoo.com), May 10, 2000.


I have found every part of the country to be beautiful. Sailing along the coast of Maine, in the fall, when the colors are coming on is very special.

Best wishes,,,,


-- Z1X4Y7 (Z1X4Y7@aol.com), May 10, 2000.


Those quotes were pretty much the way the dialogue went in the movie "Gettysburg". Yes, Lee did admit as much, which is why I never understood what the fuss is about. He took responsibility like a great general should, unlike some of the other generals who pointed fingers everywhere. The Killer Angels, Foote's Civil War series, and Ken Burns' Civil War documentary all give the same impression.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 11, 2000.

BTW, somebody's supposed to be making a movie about Antietam, which should shed some more light on how good a general Longstreet was.

-- Buddy (buddydc@go.com), May 11, 2000.

My all-time favorites...

Mark Twain's humorous works (including lots of essays, reviews, etc.), especially "Huckleberry Finn;" poetry, especially Robert Frost's poetry; Shakespeare, especially "Twelfth Night," "Romeo and Juliet" and "Hamlet;" Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged;" Woody Allen's essays; the Monty Python scripts; Nathaniel Branden's "The Psychology of Self-Esteem " and "The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem;" Richard Wright's "Native Son," Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning;"

(I'm splitting the paragraphs randomly, but they're at least semi-readable this way)

Sci-Fi short stories, especially "Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov, "The Cold Equations" by Tom Godwin, and almost anything by Ray Bradbury (love RB -- he almost mankes me feel I'm right there in the scenes...); books on wild edibles and general botany, "Capitalism," by George Reisman; "Unrugged Individualism," by David Kelley.

Lately I've been reading poetry: W.B. Yeats, Ben Jonson, Robert Frost, etc.

-- eve (eve_rebekah@yahoo.com), May 11, 2000.

A thread on good reading material is too good to pass up. Although I do not speak up very often I did rant a couple of weeks ago that this forum was 'shot', so let me apologize since this place is in such a good groove of ideas and conversation. (I think I was in that fragile transition from 'polly-doomer' wars to the real world). And it looks like this place is meant for the real world.

Recently Read:

'Miracle of Castel di Sangro' by Joe McGinniss, a yank's eye view of Italian football (soccer), goes beyond the pitch and into the lives of aspiring young athletes.

'Two Guys from Verona" by James Kaplan, a little like Roth in that alot of it is inside the characters head, even has a minor millenium subplot.

Favorite Author: DeMille - Cathedral, Word of Honor, Gold Coast, Charm School.

Grew up on King and as mentioned by several above loved the Stand - read Hearts in Atlantis after a dozen years away from King and thought it was terrific, that ability to capture a time of life - playing cards in college and again at being 12 and on the edge of not playing with toys anymore, he nails it without being too corny. Spurred me on to read Tom Gordon which was also good. Thanks for all the good reading suggestions and thanks for listening.


-- QuietMan (Quietjohn2k@hotmail.com), May 11, 2000.

My memory was jogged by Unk's music thread. I read The Real Frank Zappa Book two Saturdays ago. Easy read. Pure hilarity. No kiss- and-tell stories.

FZ was a truly unique individual. Lived on black coffee & cigarettes. Didn't read books 'cause he thought reading was boring. Nurtured musicians into stretching their limits. Perhaps nurtured isn't the right word. How about browbeat them into quitting or submission to his will. And yet musicians beat a path to his door.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.


Robert Jordan is an easy read... his prose is so visual you can see what he is trying to describe. It is a classic tale of the young kid destined for greatness... actually several teenagers in the first of the book. Definitely a best buy if you like fantasy. And you have time to read the first EIGHT before the new book comes out... I know I am hooked...


The Dog

-- The Dog (dogdesert@hotmail.com), May 11, 2000.

Thanks Dog, I was hoping you'd give me the low down on "Wheels". I'll make a trip to the used bookstore & (fingers crossed) the first couple of books in the series will be on the shelves at prices even I can afford.

For those of you in Northern Virginia, that would be McKay's Used Books, two locations - Manassass & Centreville.

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 11, 2000.

Brian, The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, is without a doubt one of the funniest and best books I've ever read. But I like all of Mowat's books that I've read.

I too liked The Green Mile. I saw the movie first, and I thought it was one of the few movies that really followed the book. Patricia if I'm down in the dumps, all I have to do is read O'Rourke.

When I had a bookstore everyone was gaga over Redfield's book, and when I read it, my thought was, "And this is supposed to be profound??"

One of my favorite reads was Pillars of the Earth. It was a complete departure for Follett, but by far his best.

I'm on the fourth book by Zecharia Sitchin, The Wars of Gods and Men. Reading dozens of gardening books. My list of favorites is Letters From Earth, Mark Twain, The Monkey Wrench Gang and Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey, the Trilogy by John Dos Passos, beginning with The 42nd Parallel, Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi, also Follow the River, and the Life of Quanah Parker.

Reading is my number one passion. I sold my bookstore because it was interfering with my reading.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), May 11, 2000.

Warriors Way, by Robert S. de Ropp (his autobiography- starts off with quotes from Rumi and from Carlos Castaneda)

on the sillier side:

Captain Underpants and the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants, by Dav Pilkey.


-- dandelion (golden@pleurisy.plant), May 17, 2000.

Biohazard by Ken Alibek. Pretty sobering stuff. Better learn how to make colloidal silver.

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), May 17, 2000.

On another thread - you know the one with lotsa talk about 'girl stuff' - not the one about olive oil - Eve vs. Lilith - that one - I mentioned a book written by Dr. Andrew Weil: The Marriage Of The Sun & The Moon.

I thought I had lent out the book & not had it returned. Lo & behold I found I had misfiled it in the with my cookbooks.

Anyway, this is a dynamite compilation of Weil's articles from the 1970's regarding his travels & experimentation with alteration of consciousness. I'm talking eating chiles, puking, sweat lodge, cafeine, marijuana, mushrooms, coca & cocaine, sugar, heroin & more.

This is an especially good read if you believe you don't use drug to alter your consciousness, yet drink coffee, eat sugar, smoke tobacco, etc. Wake up call!

-- Bingo1 (howe9@shentel.net), May 17, 2000.

gilda, one of the funniest reads from O'Rourke is in that book I mentioned. There's one chapter where he talks about all the different agencies and departments and associations, but does it with all of the appropriate acronyms. Well, when I read that I was on the subway on my way to work and was laughing out loud -- tears streaming down my face. Later on in the office, I overheard our CFO's secretary telling the receptionist about some woman on the train that was just bellowing out loud to the point where everyone else started laughing too (which I never noticed). I came clean [g]. She had no idea it was me because I was at the other end of the subway car.

Yeah, he can pick my spirits up too. But he's so "right-on" about most of the stuff he writes. "Eat the Rich" is another laugh-out- loud.

I forgot -- for pure fun, "Dave Barry's Guide to Guys" is a howl.

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 17, 2000.

Patricia, did you read the things under Revenge in Modern Manners by O'Rourke. One form of revenge, if you're miffed at a neighbor, is to wait until he leaves home, then go shit under his couch cushions.

And yes he is right on with his stuff. That's what makes it even funnier.

I could never read him is publid, for I'd react just like you, and probably be locked up.

-- gilda (jess@listbot.com), May 19, 2000.

Non-fiction for me. Although I will read classics to my boys (Treasure Island, etc.). I remember the "Great Brain" series were very good, "Little House" also.

I used to be really in to Robin Cook, medical thrillers. Stephen King too, but his stuff has sort of changed I think. He's one weird dude.

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), May 19, 2000.

gilda, that must be the only one I haven't read (but after I post this I'm heading to amazon.com [g]). It sounds like *excellent* advice! The only reason I didn't get locked up in NY is because I think they'd rather have you *laughing* on the subway than any of the alternatives.

cin, I remember when I first started reading SK's books I used to wonder what it must like being his kid; what kind of "bedtime stories" did he tell? Did anyone want to hear them?? Yeah, he's kind of weird, but if you get a chance (and the inclination) read "The Dark Tower" series (four books so far). It's quite good.

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), May 19, 2000.

How could I forget, Wuthering Heights, fantastic book. I loved it.

-- cin (cin@cin.cin), May 20, 2000.

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