Duke
Duke MegaDork
6/5/24 9:19 a.m.
tuna55 said:

Just finished the audiobook "A Dreadful Lemon Sky", again by John D MacDonald.

Ummmm, *spolier alert* would be appreciated.

I was wondering when you were going to get to that one.  For some reason a copy of that lived on the walk-in featured book shelf of my middle / high school library for years back in the late '70s / early '80s.  I guess the librarian liked it.

Currently reading The Hidden Girl And Other Stories by Ken Liu.  I picked it up at random because I thought someone in this thread recommended Liu, but it was a few years ago, so I'm not sure.

So far, it's pretty readable.  The stories have all been under 20 pages, so there hasn't been a ton of time in any given story for nuance or character development.  He kind of writes like Neal Stephenson, if Stephenson had any chance of writing short fiction.  However, he's completely devoid of Stephenson's humor, so the stories are a bit dry.

 

NickD
NickD MegaDork
6/5/24 9:23 a.m.

The Proteus Operation by James Hogan. 

Pretty neat premise; In the book, WWII was fully averted by Inukai never being assassinated and Hitler not allying with Hugenberg and remaining in the lunatic fringe, resulting in a largely utopian society by 2025. But a small group of people in that timeline were disenfranchised, latched onto Nazi ideology, and created a gate to send people and technology back in time to Germany in 1926. This resulted in WWII not only happening, but Germany and Japan conquering pretty much all of the world other than America, Australia and New Zealand by 1971. Now, the US has constructed their own gate to send a team back in time, but because their technology is much more crude, they can only send them as far back as 1939, with hopes of preventing the 1971 timeline from occurring.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/5/24 9:25 a.m.
Duke said:
tuna55 said:

Just finished the audiobook "A Dreadful Lemon Sky", again by John D MacDonald.

Ummmm, *spolier alert* would be appreciated.

I was wondering when you were going to get to that one.  For some reason a copy of that lived on the walk-in featured book shelf of my middle / high school library for years back in the late '70s / early '80s.  I guess the librarian liked it.

Currently reading The Hidden Girl And Other Stories by Ken Liu.  I picked it up at random because I thought someone in this thread recommended Liu, but it was a few years ago, so I'm not sure.

So far, it's pretty readable.  The stories have all been under 20 pages, so there hasn't been a ton of time in any given story for nuance or character development.  He kind of writes like Neal Stephenson, if Stephenson had any chance of writing short fiction.  However, he's completely devoid of Stephenson's humor, so the stories are a bit dry.

 

Sorry! I didn't think I had anyone actually looking to me for reading advice. I will take that part out. This is my second read through the series, and that one is tough for... those reasons... but entirely realistic. That's what I love about those books. The good guys don't all sit around at the end talking about the dispatched bad guys. Good didn't just triumph over evil after a battle. 

stroker
stroker PowerDork
6/5/24 4:44 p.m.

Anybody here read the Lucas Davenport novels written by John Sandford?

Gary
Gary PowerDork
6/10/24 4:04 p.m.

I'm well into this book, and even though I thought it wouldn't interest me, I'm thoroughly engrossed.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
6/10/24 8:14 p.m.
Gary said:

I'm well into this book, and even though I thought it wouldn't interest me, I'm thoroughly engrossed.

He ran for office here in Ohio and his talking facts were....interesting...

J.A. Ackley
J.A. Ackley Senior Editor
6/10/24 9:26 p.m.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/10/24 9:37 p.m.

The killing floor by Lee child. Someone suggested this series as a successor to the Travis McGee series. They were wrong. 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog Dork
6/10/24 11:12 p.m.

Fast read.   Not my type of book, but I bought it because it was sort of based on Fernandina Beach and that area, which I hang out a bit at times.   Typical Grisham formula stuff.   No great shakes.   Characters are more believable than those Carl Hiaasen likes to invent, but not as funny.  Grisham knows law, and the inside scoop on book publishing, so that's the story.    No violence, no murders.  A quick beach read at best.

chandler
chandler MegaDork
6/11/24 6:14 a.m.
tuna55 said:

The killing floor by Lee child. Someone suggested this series as a successor to the Travis McGee series. They were wrong. 

I probably suggested them, not as a successor but as a similar quick read gritty story.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/11/24 6:27 a.m.
chandler said:
tuna55 said:

The killing floor by Lee child. Someone suggested this series as a successor to the Travis McGee series. They were wrong. 

I probably suggested them, not as a successor but as a similar quick read gritty story.

There were a few, so you're not solely to blame. Honestly the story was neat, and the author did a great job of foreshadowing, maybe too much. The main character was just way over the top. 

chandler
chandler MegaDork
6/11/24 6:54 a.m.

Hah, yes he is

Duke
Duke MegaDork
6/11/24 7:23 a.m.

Plus, Childs is the type of author who likes to put a lot of really specific detail in, but gets it wrong enough often enough that it's distracting.

Not at Patricia Cornwell levels, but at least once a book.

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/12/24 9:14 a.m.
Duke said:

Plus, Childs is the type of author who likes to put a lot of really specific detail in, but gets it wrong enough often enough that it's distracting.

Not at Patricia Cornwell levels, but at least once a book.

 

Like when he said the prison bars were titanium? This isn't the X-men. Also that would make no sense, even if it were not exorbitantly expensive.

 

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/12/24 9:15 a.m.

Reading (still) The Empty Copper Sea by John D MacDonald. I keep threatening to copy/paste some points here from other books, but I came across one I really liked:

 

Imagine a man like Hub Lawless, at a great big craps table,  he's keeping a dozen bets going all the time. He's on the come line in the field, he's betting with fours and 10s against sixes and eights. He's bending over that table sweating, changing bets, doubling up, drawing down, watching the dice and the stick man and the other players. He keeps winning because he is working harder than anybody else and he's figuring the odds closer and he's keeping track every minute. For a long time it's fun and one day he finds out that they've chained him to the table. That's it, his whole life piling up counters, he can still keep going as hard as before, but it's different. Choice is gone.

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/12/24 9:48 a.m.

From the Turquoise Lament, a conversation with Professor Ted Luellen:

 

I remember the time he had told me how he had researched the dream book. It seemed almost too easy. I asked why other people didn't do the same thing he had done.

He had frowned, shaking his head slowly. “It's one of the great mysteries of the human condition, Travis. Maybe we all think it is not worth doing merely because it is so obvious it must have been done already. Fantastic warehouses of knowledge rot away untouched. The scholars seem to have no interest, the adventurers have no research skills. They found ancient jewelry in tombs in the Middle East made of smelted platinum. It takes 1800°C to melt it. 2000 years ago the Chinese made aluminum ornaments. Getting aluminum from bauxite is a sophisticated chemical electrical procedure. In the Baghdad museum you can see the parts of a dry battery which worked on the galvanic principle and generated electricity 1600 years ago. More smelted platinum has been found in Peru in the high country. Knowledge fades away, and some is rediscovered, and some isn’t. We never seem to take the trouble to really find out until too late. For several years the public baths at Alexandria were heated by burning the old scrolls and documents carted over from the great library. Are we so arrogant we believe that there was nothing that was burned up that hasn't been rediscovered? I dug back only 400 years or so. That's easy, yet I found journals which had turned to solid blocks as if all the pages had been glued together. I found old documents so fragile I could not touch them without turning them into dust and others where the ink had faded until it was completely gone. Treasures are buried on those pages, never to be found again except by the rarest accident. It's the contemporary arrogance that bothers me, the idiot idea that we are the biggest, the greatest, the most powerful people who ever walked the earth. Know something? Think this over. I could take you to the high country of Peru to a quarry area near Sacsayhuaman and show you where a particular block of stone was quarried and dressed, and I could show you that block of stone half a mile away. It was transported there during the time of the Incas. If, on the basis of national emergency, this nation were to be required to devote all its technological skills, all its wealth, and all its people to moving that block back to the quarry we would try and we would fail, my friend. It weighs 20,000 tons! 40 million pounds! The only time we ever move that much weight is when we let a vessel as big as the Monterey or the Mariposa slide down the ways at the shipyard into the harbor. We have no cranes, no engines, no levers to budget that much mass. Do you think the Incas knew something mankind has since forgotten? Bet on it! Knowledge is the most priceless and most perishable substance on earth.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/13/24 9:03 a.m.

Had some quiet time to just read last night–not even a computer in the room. About halfway through the Johnny Cash book and still enjoying it. 

Felt good. 

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
6/13/24 2:26 p.m.

Update: Just found the dog using the Johnny Cash book as a pillow. Guess where I set it down last night makes a good napping spot....

chandler
chandler MegaDork
6/13/24 4:54 p.m.
tuna55 said:
Duke said:

Plus, Childs is the type of author who likes to put a lot of really specific detail in, but gets it wrong enough often enough that it's distracting.

Not at Patricia Cornwell levels, but at least once a book.

 

Like when he said the prison bars were titanium? This isn't the X-men. Also that would make no sense, even if it were not exorbitantly expensive.

 

 

Well, yeah, but, the entire guy who can't be beat and knows every move his attacker is going to make and calculates what's going to happen EVERY SINGLE time is as believable as titanium prison bars. We just choose that as the crazy part because of something in our brains. The entire book is fiction.

P3PPY
P3PPY SuperDork
6/13/24 5:05 p.m.

Alaska by James Michener

Its going to take a set of summers worth of mower seat time to get through the audiobook. 57 hours

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/13/24 5:24 p.m.
chandler said:
tuna55 said:
Duke said:

Plus, Childs is the type of author who likes to put a lot of really specific detail in, but gets it wrong enough often enough that it's distracting.

Not at Patricia Cornwell levels, but at least once a book.

 

Like when he said the prison bars were titanium? This isn't the X-men. Also that would make no sense, even if it were not exorbitantly expensive.

 

 

Well, yeah, but, the entire guy who can't be beat and knows every move his attacker is going to make and calculates what's going to happen EVERY SINGLE time is as believable as titanium prison bars. We just choose that as the crazy part because of something in our brains. The entire book is fiction.

I made reference to the character being way over the top in my initial comment. I can suspend my disbelief a little, but not that much for any of that.

chknhwk
chknhwk Dork
6/15/24 8:38 a.m.

So far, word for word, probably the best book I've ever read, The Masculine In Relationship by GS Youngblood. It is an absolutely fantastic read on how to be the best version of a man you can be. I can't recommend this book highly enough. 

Purple Frog
Purple Frog Dork
6/15/24 9:55 a.m.

Books read since January.  A reason i sometimes don't get enough sleep.  Off to the neighborhood lending library..

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 8:17 a.m.

The Green Ripper, by John D MacDonald.

 

Wow this one hurts. Unlike the others, there is a solid tie-in with the previous book. It's like this is the sequel to the Turquoise Lament, but this one has the reader crying right from the start. Then the reader gets just as pissed as Travis, and you can feel the whole book. This one was a tough one. Wonderfully written. Beautifully frustrating. No larger-than-life villain or hero, just raw determination and revenge. 

 

 

tuna55
tuna55 MegaDork
6/17/24 12:11 p.m.

Just finished "The Bay of Pigs, The Untold Story" by Peter Wyden.

 

This was fantastic. I love a well-researched history book, especially about a period of time we don't talk much about. The behavior of some of the people in this event is despicable, and I have a newfound respect for some, like Adlai Stevenson, and the hard fighting Cubans on both sides. This book doesn't have a side and doesn't try to pretend there is one single issue or a simple problem which should have been solved. This event was messy, terribly thought out, unethical, and stinks. Then again, this massive failure likely resulted in Kennedy succeeding in the Cuban Missile not that long afterwards. If there were no Bay of Pigs invasion, would Russia had tried to put missiles there? Maybe not. If they had, and there had been no failed invasion, Kennedy learning the lessons of being the Commander-in-Chief would have resulted in WWIII I believe.

 

Highly recommended.

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