27 thoughts on “Weekend Question Thread: Whatcha Readin’ Edition

  1. I’m in the middle of the third volume of Richard Evans’ massive history of the Third Reich, The Third Reich at War. A powerful read and one that will probably set the general standard on the subject for years to come.
    After that, I have The Massive Book of Mindblowing SF waiting in the wings. A summer respite after the heaviness!

  2. The Corner – David Simon, Edward Burns
    The Offshore Imperative – Tyler Priest
    What The Dead Know – Laura Lippman
    Love, Bourbon Street – ed. Greg Herren and Paul Willis
    I’ve got a pile of others I’m still going through.
    Stieg Larsson’s life, death, and the fate of his common-law spouse are horribly ironic in contrast to the kick-ass heroine he created and the sympathy he builds for Lisbeth through the books. Just sayin’.
    And damn, in those Larsson books, the Swedes drink a helluva lot of coffee…

  3. I’ve got some Annie Proulx short stories in progress (Wyoming Stories 3, Fine Just the Way It Is). I think this is the last of her short story collections I haven’t read.
    I’ve got a bunch of public domain classics I downloaded to my iPad.
    I’m in the market for another dumbed-down “quantum physic for idiots” book.

  4. I’m reading Larrson as well, struggling to justify the hardcover bucks for Hornet’s Nest. Great pot-boilers, love the Lisbeth character, plus everything is in SWEDEN! Place names, people names, roads — and a LOT of coffee and sandwiches. It’s like being there!

  5. Let’s see…recently read
    A Splendid Exchange (History of Global Trade), by William Bernstein, really liked it,
    The Case for Big Government, by Jeff Madrick, ok, but was hoping it would be better,
    Harry Truman’s Excellent Adventure, needed some light reading for balance.
    On the “list” which is less a list and more a “hey, I wonder if the library has…”
    Cod, more global trade, this time fish specific, by Mark Kurlansky
    A Distant Mirror, by Barbara Tuchman
    The library keeps me sane — great selection, can’t beat the price (my own case for “big” government)…and now with the internets you can look for stuff online.
    Because I work for the gubmit, I also can borrow from the State of Loosiana library…and these days both it and the local public library have a solid collection of CDs and DVDs.
    One thing that really was hammered home in the two books about trade was how significant the slave trade was to the rise of a global economy in ways I hadn’t really considered…ouch.

  6. 61 Hours, Lee Child’s latest Jack Reacher book. I have a Barnes and Noble “Nook”, so I’m in the process of keeping that company from ever approaching bankruptcy. I’ve read the first two of Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, and have the last one ready to download. Lisbeth is the most appealing character I can recall in any contemporary novel. And, when reading the first of the trilogy you don’t even realize that you are falling for her. She kinda sneaks into you.

  7. the famous orations book still, but reading ireland now, up to e in the 1891 encyclopedia. debating if i should read the f scott fitzgerald books before i ebay the set…

  8. Just finished reading Paul Bowles’ “Up Above The Clouds.” Picked it up at The Strand on my last trip to New York City, there were a stack of them on sale for like 4 bucks. Loved it. Haven’t read a lot of Bowles, obviously I read The Sheltering Sky but that was years ago.
    Right after I finished it the current issue of Harper’s came in the mail so I’m holding off starting a new book so I can really sink into that.

  9. Michael,
    I read Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror back in the ’80s when it came out. Loved it then, would be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

  10. Foundations of Systematics and Biogeography, by Williams and Ebach. OK, I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a nerd.

  11. I’ve had Sam Lipsyte’sThe Ask on my bedside table for two months now and intend to get to it this week. The reviews are great. Anyone read it?
    Planning on reading Tom Rachman’sThe Imperfectionists, which has been described as “the last great newspaper novel.”

  12. I just finished the Hornet’s Nest, and at least toward the end Larsson had one character admit she really didn’t want more coffee. Before that, Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay. I’m now into P. J. Tracy’s new Monkeewrench – Shoot to Thrill, and I am starting Doors Open by Ian Rankin.
    The need for escapism does not seem to diminish.

  13. Just finished my fifth Walter Mosely — “Fear of the Dark.” Great stuff.
    I slipped that between the 4th and 5th books in Colleen McCollough’s “Masters of Rome” series. Her writing is not really all that but the history is wonderful. The series starts with Gaius Marius and ends with Marc Antony and Cleopatra. Cicero doesn’t come off as nearly the hero he’s presented as in Robert Harris’ “Imperium.”
    “Smaller government” blows chunks. I discovered today that my library has begun its summer hours which means no books on Saturday, so I’m rereading “Just a Couple of Days” by Tony Vigorito.
    Love Paul Bowles, and Charles Bukowski. I should revisit them where they’re parked in my basement.
    For me, it’sAll Fiction All The Time

  14. Just finished “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” – just as good as the previous two novels in the trilogy. Sad to think there will be no more from Larsson. I’m currently reading Scott Turow’s “Innocence” and will be tackling next “36 arguments for the existence of God: A Work of Fiction” by Rebecca Goldstein.” Good times ahead!

  15. Will let you know what I think aboutA Distant Mirror, SB. Years ago I read The March of Folly and The Guns of August and really liked both…

  16. Working onHuman Smoke right now, Nixonland is probably next up, and then maybeA Nuclear Family Vacation orRuling America.

  17. Hey, I just finishedWhat The Dead Know too. Love Laura Lippman. AndOne Good Turn by Kate Atkinson. I want to read everything Atkinson ever wrote. Now I’m startingThe Confessions of Edward Day by Valerie Martin.
    ReadThe Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, liked Lisbeth, startedThe Girl Who Played With Fire, stuck with Lisbeth up to the point where she hacked into the computer of her former boss — one of the few people who had been kind to her — as though his right to privacy meant nothing, and realized what a thug she is. Just a repulsive character.

  18. Just finishing an Ursula LeGuin trilogy (one of the ones for teens, I think), plus working through all of the John Dunning/Ciff Janeway books, plus Kate Griffin’s “A Madness of Angels” which is completely totally wonderfully spectacular–one of those books where I can’t decide whether I want to read faster to find out what happens next or read more slowly so the delight lasts longer. I also have LeGuin’s Lavinia waiting for me, and I think there’s a second Griffin as well (have to check w/ the liberry).

  19. Well, let’s see. On my bedside table is David Waldman’s “Founding Faith: How Our Founding Fathers Forged a Radical New Approach to Religious Liberty,” which I’m enjoying along with a book on the restoration of Montpelier I picked up when we visited James Madison’s home.
    For just plain summer fun, I’m on the library’s waiting list for “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” although my arthritic hands would like it if I’d wait for the paperback version. Mrs. RAM, however, is an impatient soul, and we really need to find out what’s going to happen.
    And continuing with summer fun, I’m rereading Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series because it’s so enjoyable. Since I’m usually reading at least two books at a time, I’ve also started rereading David Weber’s Honor Harrington series.
    Up above, folks are talking about “A Distant Mirror,” which I reread about every other year just to remind myself why it’s wise to distrust religion (“Kill them all; God will know his own”) and also why those who long to live in the past are idiots. Tuchman was an extraordinary writer. I’ve worn out one copy of it, and now have a nice trade paperback version for my semi-annual tour through the horrors of “The Calamitous 14th Century.”

  20. $3,750 worth of repair bills on the truck(s) and counting, so far.
    A script asking folks to consider voting for Bill White for Texas Governor, two evenings a week, as a volunteer.
    The liveblog of the Gulf disaster at DKos.
    So far.

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