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Thread: What Are You Reading Now?

  1. #2971

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    I'm probably two years late to the party, but given the current issues with the White House transition, I picked up a copy of Michael Lewis's The Fifth Risk. Very interesting dive into what the Depts. of Commerce, Energy, and Agriculture actually do.

  2. #2972
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LVAllen View Post
    I'm probably two years late to the party, but given the current issues with the White House transition, I picked up a copy of Michael Lewis's The Fifth Risk. Very interesting dive into what the Depts. of Commerce, Energy, and Agriculture actually do.
    It's a very good book, and I've re-read that over the past couple of days, as it's a great explanation of why government is so important, and how many crucial functions are being performed behind the scenes. It was also interesting to be reminded how unprepared the Trump administration was in the beginning, blowing off orientation meetings with the outgoing Obama people. Trump has always believed his gut instincts are more important than briefings, which is one of many terrible reasons why he's doing so much to block the transition.

  3. #2973

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    It's a very good book, and I've re-read that over the past couple of days, as it's a great explanation of why government is so important, and how many crucial functions are being performed behind the scenes. It was also interesting to be reminded how unprepared the Trump administration was in the beginning, blowing off orientation meetings with the outgoing Obama people. Trump has always believed his gut instincts are more important than briefings, which is one of many terrible reasons why he's doing so much to block the transition.
    Don’t forget his refusal to hire/appoint anyone but crooks and imbeciles

  4. #2974

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Yes! I just finished A World Undone on Audible.

    https://www.amazon.com/World-Undone-...s%2C179&sr=8-1

    I did the Kindle add-on for $2.99 just to have the maps and photos. Great comprehensive treatment of the war and very readable. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Just finished this. Well, the paperback version. Heartily recommend it. Easily readable. I put it down for a couple of months when I got distracted by a fantasy trilogy, but it was easy enough to pick up where I left off. There are helpful lists of important players that I kept turning back to throughout the whole read. It did have the maps of the most important battles, though I wish there were more.

    WWI is just incomprehensible to me. So much of the old world’s politics and history was destroyed then. I don’t understand how Germany could be so powerful that even up until 1917 they had a realistic plan to win, and then lose so thoroughly the next year, and then come back in a generation and almost destroy Europe again.
    "...you pointy-headed autopsy nerd. Do you think it's possible for you to post without using words like "hilarious," "absurd," "canard," and "truther"? Your bare assertions do not make it so. Maybe your reasoning is too stunted and your vocabulary is too limited to go without these epithets."
    "You are an intemperate, unscientific poster who makes light of very serious matters.”
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  5. #2975

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigFatMeanie View Post
    Just added Midnight in Chernobyl to my Kindle Fire. Anybody read it yet?
    i thought it was boring
    Te Occidere Possunt Sed Te Edere Non Possunt Nefas Est.

  6. #2976
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    I try to have at all times one book going that is easy and super engaging. So after I finished 2666, I picked Woody Allen’s autobiography Apropos of Nothing, which I’ve finished. I am not a fan of memoirs from anyone who isn’t a major historical figure. So why did I read it? A few reasons.

    During my formative years in the 70s and 80s, Play it Again Sam, Sleeper, Love and Death, Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose, Zelig, and Crimes and Misdemeanors were among my favorite films and and in some ways important cultural events for me. So I’m loyal, though, ironically, since my all-time favorite, Crimes and Misdemeanors, I have seen one Allen film, Match Point, which I didn’t love.

    Second, I expected the book to be super entertaining, which it was. Very funny. This book is definitely worth a listen, because he reads it, and you can listen to him deliver his terrific one liners, one after the other on every page. One of my favorites: “(If you read the Passover story carefully, in the part about the ten plagues, right after locusts, frogs, and boils, they mention bikes.)” And interesting to read about how he rose to superstardom (four academy awards, three for best original screenplay and one for best director, not counting the best picture for Annie Hall and numerous awards won by his actors, among his many garlands, which he claims to care nothing about). He has many interesting and funny war stories involving iconic actors and public figures (something I usually don’t care about but found entertaining). He gave a bit of backstory on all the films; I like hearing about creative process in the arts. His signature humor is self-deprecating, and he’s constantly downplaying his achievements and is quite candid about his failures and disappointing films and modest box office returns for most of them.

    I’m also drawn to books about about false accusations and public lynchings. The Great Terror is one of my favorite subjects. I had known that there is not a shred of evidence or common sense to support Mia, Dylan and Ronan’s accusations, but I looked forward to him marshaling the overwhelming and one-sided evidence in his favor, with his personal ironic touch. He did not disappoint. He even speaks candidly about the denunciations. He writes that Timothée Chalamet swore to Allen’s sister that he denounced Allen only because he hoped it would improve his chance of winning an Oscar for “Call me by Your Name.” Rings true to me. I can hear the agents calling, “Dude, you have to denounce Woody Allen, and return your pay for the film, or I may not be able to get you another job.” He accurately assesses the New York Times’s mendacity. His rundown of all the many dozens of women he’s had in leading roles and other top jobs (with no complaint about harassment) is impressive.

    Allen talks a lot about his marriage to Soon Yi Previn. It’s the one part that doesn’t really ring true, as he develops a narrative of perfect marital bliss absent a moment of discord and extraordinary closeness. They have slept in one another’s arms each night for 25 years, never apart on a single night. How is this possible? He does not really ever express remorse for the affair with his girlfriend’s daughter 35 years younger than him, though he does once call it a “betrayal” and says he understands Mia’s initial fury. But he makes it clear that he regards his successful marriage to Soon Yi as personal vindication for them both—with two daughters, the adoptions judicially approved notwithstanding the accusations.

    For contrast to my glowing review, I’ve linked Dwight Garner’s in the New York Times. He’s grudging in his admiration to a certain extent. Garner is one of my favorite book reviewers, but this one is disappointing to me. His chief complaint is that Apropos of Nothing is “tone deaf.” What?! This is an Autobiography. Let’s assume that Woody Allen is as evil as Hitler. If a private journal of Hitler’s were discovered wouldn’t you read it? And would you want him to worry about being tone deaf? Yes, scores of women appear in these pages, and Allen judges them all according to two criteria: Looks and intelligence. If they’re actors, and most of them are, a third criterion is their acting ability. But Woody is defiantly authentic in telling his life story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/b...ody-allen.html
    Last edited by SeattleUte; Yesterday at 12:54 AM.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

    --Jonathan Swift

  7. #2977
    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    I was wondering what my next book would be - now I don't have to worry about which one to pick.

    I was 16 when I saw "Everything you wanted to know about sex - but were afraid to ask." I should have waited a ewe years.

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  8. #2978
    Bald not naked Pelado's Avatar
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    Hamilton.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
    "I think it was King Benjamin who said 'you sorry ass shitbags who have no skills that the market values also have an obligation to have the attitude that if one day you do in fact win the PowerBall Lottery that you will then impart of your substance to those without.'"
    - Goatnapper'96

  9. #2979

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I try to have at all times one book going that is easy and super engaging. So after I finished 2666, I picked Woody Allen’s autobiography Apropos of Nothing, which I’ve finished. I am not a fan of memoirs from anyone who isn’t a major historical figure. So why did I read it? A few reasons.

    During my formative years in the 70s and 80s, Play it Again Sam, Sleeper, Love and Death, Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose, Zelig, and Crimes and Misdemeanors were among my favorite films and and in some ways important cultural events for me. So I’m loyal, though, ironically, since my all-time favorite, Crimes and Misdemeanors, I have seen one Allen film, Match Point, which I didn’t love.

    Second, I expected the book to be super entertaining, which it was. Very funny. This book is definitely worth a listen, because he reads it, and you can listen to him deliver his terrific one liners, one after the other on every page. One of my favorites: “(If you read the Passover story carefully, in the part about the ten plagues, right after locusts, frogs, and boils, they mention bikes.)” And interesting to read about how he rose to superstardom (four academy awards, three for best original screenplay and one for best director, not counting the best picture for Annie Hall and numerous awards won by his actors, among his many garlands, which he claims to care nothing about). He has many interesting and funny war stories involving iconic actors and public figures (something I usually don’t care about but found entertaining). He gave a bit of backstory on all the films; I like hearing about creative process in the arts. His signature humor is self-deprecating, and he’s constantly downplaying his achievements and is quite candid about his failures and disappointing films and modest box office returns for most of them.

    I’m also drawn to books about about false accusations and public lynchings. The Great Terror is one of my favorite subjects. I had known that there is not a shred of evidence or common sense to support Mia, Dylan and Ronan’s accusations, but I looked forward to him marshaling the overwhelming and one-sided evidence in his favor, with his personal ironic touch. He did not disappoint. He even speaks candidly about the denunciations. He writes that Timothée Chalamet swore to Allen’s sister that he denounced Allen only because he hoped it would improve his chance of winning an Oscar for “Call me by Your Name.” Rings true to me. I can hear the agents calling, “Dude, you have to denounce Woody Allen, and return your pay for the film, or I may not be able to get you another job.” He accurately assesses the New York Times’s mendacity. His rundown of all the many dozens of women he’s had in leading roles and other top jobs (with no complaint about harassment) is impressive.

    Allen talks a lot about his marriage to Soon Yi Previn. It’s the one part that doesn’t really ring true, as he develops a narrative of perfect marital bliss absent a moment of discord and extraordinary closeness. They have slept in one another’s arms each night for 25 years, never apart on a single night. How is this possible? He does not really ever express remorse for the affair with his girlfriend’s daughter 35 years younger than him, though he does once call it a “betrayal” and says he understands Mia’s initial fury. But he makes it clear that he regards his successful marriage to Soon Yi as personal vindication for them both—with two daughters, the adoptions judicially approved notwithstanding the accusations.

    For contrast to my glowing review, I’ve linked Dwight Garner’s in the New York Times. He’s grudging in his admiration to a certain extent. Garner is one of my favorite book reviewers, but this one is disappointing to me. His chief complaint is that Apropos of Nothing is “tone deaf.” What?! This is an Autobiography. Let’s assume that Woody Allen is as evil as Hitler. If a private journal of Hitler’s were discovered wouldn’t you read it? And would you want him to worry about being tone deaf? Yes, scores of women appear in these pages, and Allen judges them all according to two criteria: Looks and intelligence. If they’re actors, and most of them are, a third criterion is their acting ability. But Woody is defiantly authentic in telling his life story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/b...ody-allen.html
    I loved it, especially the stories of his early career and the people he worked with. I was a freshman at BYU when Annie Hall came out, and it struck me me as one the greatest movies I had ever seen. I fell in love with another freshman just because she was the only one I had met at BYU who loved the movie just as much as I did. At BYU I discovered Woody Allen's books Side Effects and Without Feathers. They were recommended to me by a guy who was briefly engaged to my ex-wife's cousin. His name was Lloyd. He was a cool guy, edgy and whose hair pushed the edges of the honor code. He especially loved and encouraged me to read the story "The Whore of Mensa", which I did read and loved. Years later I later learned that Lloyd went on to become the Spoken Word guy. I tuned in just to watch him and was dismayed at what had become of the guy that turned me on to Woody Allen's prose.
    "Every normal person must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats" - H.L. Mencken

  10. #2980

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeattleUte View Post
    I try to have at all times one book going that is easy and super engaging. So after I finished 2666, I picked Woody Allen’s autobiography Apropos of Nothing, which I’ve finished. I am not a fan of memoirs from anyone who isn’t a major historical figure. So why did I read it? A few reasons.

    During my formative years in the 70s and 80s, Play it Again Sam, Sleeper, Love and Death, Bananas, Annie Hall, Manhattan, Broadway Danny Rose, Zelig, and Crimes and Misdemeanors were among my favorite films and and in some ways important cultural events for me. So I’m loyal, though, ironically, since my all-time favorite, Crimes and Misdemeanors, I have seen one Allen film, Match Point, which I didn’t love.

    Second, I expected the book to be super entertaining, which it was. Very funny. This book is definitely worth a listen, because he reads it, and you can listen to him deliver his terrific one liners, one after the other on every page. One of my favorites: “(If you read the Passover story carefully, in the part about the ten plagues, right after locusts, frogs, and boils, they mention bikes.)” And interesting to read about how he rose to superstardom (four academy awards, three for best original screenplay and one for best director, not counting the best picture for Annie Hall and numerous awards won by his actors, among his many garlands, which he claims to care nothing about). He has many interesting and funny war stories involving iconic actors and public figures (something I usually don’t care about but found entertaining). He gave a bit of backstory on all the films; I like hearing about creative process in the arts. His signature humor is self-deprecating, and he’s constantly downplaying his achievements and is quite candid about his failures and disappointing films and modest box office returns for most of them.

    I’m also drawn to books about about false accusations and public lynchings. The Great Terror is one of my favorite subjects. I had known that there is not a shred of evidence or common sense to support Mia, Dylan and Ronan’s accusations, but I looked forward to him marshaling the overwhelming and one-sided evidence in his favor, with his personal ironic touch. He did not disappoint. He even speaks candidly about the denunciations. He writes that Timothée Chalamet swore to Allen’s sister that he denounced Allen only because he hoped it would improve his chance of winning an Oscar for “Call me by Your Name.” Rings true to me. I can hear the agents calling, “Dude, you have to denounce Woody Allen, and return your pay for the film, or I may not be able to get you another job.” He accurately assesses the New York Times’s mendacity. His rundown of all the many dozens of women he’s had in leading roles and other top jobs (with no complaint about harassment) is impressive.

    Allen talks a lot about his marriage to Soon Yi Previn. It’s the one part that doesn’t really ring true, as he develops a narrative of perfect marital bliss absent a moment of discord and extraordinary closeness. They have slept in one another’s arms each night for 25 years, never apart on a single night. How is this possible? He does not really ever express remorse for the affair with his girlfriend’s daughter 35 years younger than him, though he does once call it a “betrayal” and says he understands Mia’s initial fury. But he makes it clear that he regards his successful marriage to Soon Yi as personal vindication for them both—with two daughters, the adoptions judicially approved notwithstanding the accusations.

    For contrast to my glowing review, I’ve linked Dwight Garner’s in the New York Times. He’s grudging in his admiration to a certain extent. Garner is one of my favorite book reviewers, but this one is disappointing to me. His chief complaint is that Apropos of Nothing is “tone deaf.” What?! This is an Autobiography. Let’s assume that Woody Allen is as evil as Hitler. If a private journal of Hitler’s were discovered wouldn’t you read it? And would you want him to worry about being tone deaf? Yes, scores of women appear in these pages, and Allen judges them all according to two criteria: Looks and intelligence. If they’re actors, and most of them are, a third criterion is their acting ability. But Woody is defiantly authentic in telling his life story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/26/b...ody-allen.html
    I loved it, especially the stories of his early career and the people he worked with. I was a freshman at BYU when Annie Hall came out, and it struck me me as one the greatest movies I had ever seen. I fell in love with another freshman just because she was the only one I had met at BYU who loved the movie just as much as I did. At BYU I discovered Woody Allen's books Side Effects and Without Feathers. They were recommended to me by a guy who was briefly engaged to my ex-wife's cousin. His name was Lloyd. He was a cool guy, edgy and whose hair pushed the edges of the honor code. He especially loved and encouraged me to read the story "The Whore of Mensa", which I did read and loved. Years later I later learned that Lloyd went on to become the Spoken Word guy. I tuned in just to watch him and was dismayed at what had become of the guy that turned me on to Woody Allen's prose.
    "Every normal person must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag and begin to slit throats" - H.L. Mencken

  11. #2981
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
    I loved it, especially the stories of his early career and the people he worked with. I was a freshman at BYU when Annie Hall came out, and it struck me me as one the greatest movies I had ever seen. I fell in love with another freshman just because she was the only one I had met at BYU who loved the movie just as much as I did. At BYU I discovered Woody Allen's books Side Effects and Without Feathers. They were recommended to me by a guy who was briefly engaged to my ex-wife's cousin. His name was Lloyd. He was a cool guy, edgy and whose hair pushed the edges of the honor code. He especially loved and encouraged me to read the story "The Whore of Mensa", which I did read and loved. Years later I later learned that Lloyd went on to become the Spoken Word guy. I tuned in just to watch him and was dismayed at what had become of the guy that turned me on to Woody Allen's prose.

    I'm with you and SU on this. My high school comrades and I watched Take the Money and Run together and with the opening segment that showed that did a life sketch of Virgil Starkwell (Allen), I was hooked and couldn't wait for the next Woody film. I don't love some of his later stuff (although Crimes and Misdemeanors remains one of my favorite all-time movies), they're nearly all at least good, and some are great (a sentimental fave: The Purple Rose of Cairo).

    But back to the books, in addition to the two you mentioned, I love [I]Getting Even[/I, which I think is the first of the three, which are compilations of the essays Allen wrote for The New Yorker.. I can quote lines from a dozen of more of his essays. Thanks for the rec SU, it's on my Christmas list.

  12. #2982
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    I'm with you and SU on this. My high school comrades and I watched Take the Money and Run together and with the opening segment that showed that did a life sketch of Virgil Starkwell (Allen), I was hooked and couldn't wait for the next Woody film. I don't love some of his later stuff (although Crimes and Misdemeanors remains one of my favorite all-time movies), they're nearly all at least good, and some are great (a sentimental fave: The Purple Rose of Cairo).

    But back to the books, in addition to the two you mentioned, I love [I]Getting Even[/I, which I think is the first of the three, which are compilations of the essays Allen wrote for The New Yorker.. I can quote lines from a dozen of more of his essays. Thanks for the rec SU, it's on my Christmas list.
    I forgot to mention Take the Money and Run and Run and Hannah and Her Sisters as among my favorites, and that I’m also drawn to books that powerful or influential people tried to deep six. His autobiography made me want to re-watch his old films I still love, and watch his more recent ones that he identified as some he’s proud of.
    Last edited by SeattleUte; Yesterday at 09:50 AM.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

    --Jonathan Swift

  13. #2983
    Faith crisis consultant SeattleUte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Non Sequitur View Post
    I loved it, especially the stories of his early career and the people he worked with. I was a freshman at BYU when Annie Hall came out, and it struck me me as one the greatest movies I had ever seen. I fell in love with another freshman just because she was the only one I had met at BYU who loved the movie just as much as I did. At BYU I discovered Woody Allen's books Side Effects and Without Feathers. They were recommended to me by a guy who was briefly engaged to my ex-wife's cousin. His name was Lloyd. He was a cool guy, edgy and whose hair pushed the edges of the honor code. He especially loved and encouraged me to read the story "The Whore of Mensa", which I did read and loved. Years later I later learned that Lloyd went on to become the Spoken Word guy. I tuned in just to watch him and was dismayed at what had become of the guy that turned me on to Woody Allen's prose.

    Nice to know I have a fellow traveler re Woody Allen. Great reminiscences.
    When a true genius appears, you can know him by this sign: that all the dunces are in a confederacy against him.

    --Jonathan Swift

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