Page 3 of 4 FirstFirst 1234 LastLast
Results 31 to 45 of 57

Thread: OT - Good Books to Read

  1. #31
    heartofthebear - I just like to trade suggestions of interesting books. I don't read much fiction (only 6 of 58 books I have read so far this year are fiction). I have really enjoyed several books others suggested in the past - many of which I never would not have known about otherwise.

  2. #32
    Golden Bear mbBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bala Cynwyd, Pa. (near Philly)
    Posts
    5,608
    Quote Originally Posted by Steam67 View Post
    I also just finished The Sellout by Paul Beatty. It was the Man Booker winner last year. Very strong writing, with great characters, a big dose of humor, and social relevance.
    Okay, so that title is taken for the Cuonzo Martin bio? Got it....
    (Just a little humor thrown in.....)

  3. #33
    Most of us here, including me, tend to gravitate to the same genres. For me, I tend to get in such a rut that I must say I have only read a few novels over the past decade.

    Anybody have any semi-easy-reading-but-still-great novels to recommend? Especially if they are NOT the typical novels that a Cal Football fan might select? (Or even if they are, because I probably haven't read it. Even if it's a classic that you've always loved, there's more of a chance that I've read it, but still, I possibly haven't.)

  4. #34
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    The Island of Manhattan
    Posts
    24,491
    Quote Originally Posted by Big C_Cal View Post
    Most of us here, including me, tend to gravitate to the same genres. For me, I tend to get in such a rut that I must say I have only read a few novels over the past decade.

    Anybody have any semi-easy-reading-but-still-great novels to recommend? Especially if they are NOT the typical novels that a Cal Football fan might select? (Or even if they are, because I probably haven't read it. Even if it's a classic that you've always loved, there's more of a chance that I've read it, but still, I possibly haven't.)
    Just started reading "The Secret History of Wonder Woman" by Jill Lepore. Fascinating stuff. Someone posted a link to the author speaking with Terry Gross on Fresh Air last year, IIRC, and it's been on my list.

    Also, I'd suggest a great easy gossipy book called "The Last Playboy : the High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa". - Shawn Levy.
    Last edited by NYCGOBEARS; 06-15-2017 at 02:01 PM.

  5. #35
    True Blue Golden Bear 59bear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Bainbridge Island, WA
    Posts
    10,983
    How do you define "semi-easy reading"? For me, it is something that grabs my attention without a lot of symbolism or magical realism. The Ibis Trilogy by Amitav Ghosh (Sea of Poppies was the first book) was one I really enjoyed but I'm not sure it would meet your definition. Larry McMurtry's stuff is very readable (Lonesome Dove, The Last Picture Show et al). I've read most of Bernard Cornwell's books: the Sharpes stories set in the Napoleonic War and The Warlord chronicles set in fist millenium England. Patrick O'Brien's stories of the Napoleonic War at sea are classics. Your local library website will have lots of award lists: Man Booker, Edgar, Spur etc. for different genres that are good resources.
    Access is better than ownership!

  6. #36
    True Blue Golden Bear heartofthebear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Ben Lomond, a small town outside of Santa Cruz in the mountains
    Posts
    8,721
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    heartofthebear - I just like to trade suggestions of interesting books. I don't read much fiction (only 6 of 58 books I have read so far this year are fiction). I have really enjoyed several books others suggested in the past - many of which I never would not have known about otherwise.
    OK
    "Act of State" by attorney William Pepper will get you as close to the truth about the forces behind the assassination of MLK as is possible. Decent read

    "Discipline and Punish" by Michel Foucault is one of the only books I've kept from my college days. Nothing has ever approached it's ruthless honesty and rigorous research when it comes to uncovering the roots of our "liberal" institutions and culture. Not an easy read by any stretch, as Foucault is a champion of overly academic wording and needlessly run-on sentencing. Still, it is worth it for the shear value of the information.

    "The Myth of Male Power" by Warren Ferrell. Ferrell, a man, was head of a New York chapter of NOW (national organization of women). He considered himself a femanist. This book provides a ton of information that changes the narrative on the status of women and men in this culture.

    "The Secret Life of Plants"-- Like the others on the list, this book has been around for over 20 years, but it's a classic and will change your mind about the nature of consciousness. Truth is that I am only partway through and haven't picked it up for years. It might be easier to watch the movie.

    "The Ancient Secret of the Flower of Life" by Drunvalo Melchizedek-- Complete with illustrations and photos, this book unites science and spirituality through an expose of a wide range of esoteric matters that will blow your mind and hopefully answer some of life's great mysteries.

    "The Wisdom of Insecurity" by Alan Watts-- A most efficient piece of pure philosophic brilliance. Contained in about 150 small pocket sized pages, Watts provokes the soul to such a great degree as to make you wonder why you are even wasting you consciousness on intellectual endeavors like reading.

    This is a short list of books that changed my life, and in some cases, continue to change it. They are definitely well outside the dominant narrative and still very relevant, even though many are way out of date. But I doubt any of them would end up on someone's short list of great literature.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by heartofthebear; 06-15-2017 at 03:59 PM.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by MoragaBear View Post
    Boys in the Boat, for sure. About UW crew's battles with Cal in the depression era and their quest to represent the US in the '36 Olympics in Germany. Fascinating book. Didn't know till reading it that all-Cal crew teams won gold medals in the 8's in two different olympics.
    In the same genre, I recommend "Three Year Swim Club," about a group of Japanese-American teenagers in Maui who were trained by their teacher starting in 1937 for the 1940 Olympics in swimming--having to practice in an irrigation ditch because there was no integrated pool. (of course, the 1940 Olympics never happened) Some of them later joined the 442nd regiment.

    Also: "Blitzed" about Hitler's drug abuse, the widespread use of amphetamines in the Wehrmacht, and the growth of German pharmaceutical companies.

  8. #38
    Wish I were as avid a reader as my adult kids. My daughters in particular astound me by how much they read. Typically I will start a book and unless it grabs me in the first 100 pages I will let it go for awhile before eventually finishing it.

    In the past 6 or 7 years there have been 3-4 books that I couldn't put down: Unbroken, Boys in the Boat, and Born to Run (subtitled "A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen"). Years ago Seabiscuit was another, but most people have seen the (disappointing) movie by now and have no interest in it.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Since it has been a long time since I've seen a book thread and I love the suggestions some posters have made, he goes my list to read before the football season heats up:
    Russian Revolution by Sean McMeekin - or any other book by him.
    Kamikaze Hunters by Will Iredale - the British Navy in WW II in the Pacific.
    What the Hell Just Happened (2016 election) by the inimitable PJ O'Rourke
    Shattered - Why Clinton lost - by Jonathan Martin.
    African Kaiser by Robert Gaudi - story of Lettow von Vorbek the German Guerilla leader in East Africa in WW I
    Earning the Rockies by Robert Kaplan - or any of his other books always first rate imo.
    Apache Wars by Paul Hutton for someone like me who knows little Western history it was great.
    American Heiress (Patty Hearst - Cal connection) by Jeffrey Toobin. The only person in US history ever to have her sentence commuted (by Carter) and then be pardoned (by Clinton). She didn't deserve either one.
    1916 A Global History by Keith Jeffrey - tour d' horizon of WWI in all theaters.
    Titan (John D Rockerfeller) by Ron Chernow - or any of his other books esp Hamilton.
    The Fleet at Flood Tide (USNavy near end of WWII) by James Hornfischer - or any other book by him.
    1948 (Dewey another bad campainer who sat on a lead) by David Pietrusza
    The Vanquished (the refugees and other disruptions after WWI) by Robert Gerwath
    The Man With the Poison Gun (Russian Cold War assasination of an opponent- what's new) by Serhi Polkhy or his other books.
    Can't resist these threads (some referrals may be repeats):

    Boys in the Boat already discussed was a wonderful book.
    The Three Wishes which is a very humorous look at womens' insecurities by the author of Big Little Lies (also a comedy, before American TV made it into a dark tale about those evil 1%ers in Monterrey), Lianne Moriarity.
    Imperium by Robert Harris for you classics folks
    The Dogs or Riga or anything by Henning Mankeil
    Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson. Lawrence is pitted against agents from the various powers in World War I and what was to become Israel in espionage and politics (lost in the movie was Lawrence was primarily an intelligence officer and a spy and then later a chief aide to the English military commander; in fact, most “battles” in the movie never happened (the famous depiction of the battle of Aquaba being a complete ruse since the starved Turks surrendered) and what was to create a framework established by Imperialism that created the Gordian Knot that is the Middle East today.
    Shattered is a good read, like reading a train wreck, and explains the Gordian Knot that is American politics today.
    Last edited by wifeisafurd; 06-15-2017 at 07:09 PM.

  10. #40
    wifeisafurd - Certainly I agree with all of those who posted Boys in the Boat - I have even told my daughter (whose boyfriend at Cal rows crew) to read it. Scot Anderson's Lawrence is good (I have more than 50 books on him or the war in the Middle East in WWI) - the NYT once listed to factual inaccuracies in the film when a later version was released (in the early 90s?). His life is fascinating enough without the distortions - but I forgive David Lean since he is my favorite director.

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    wifeisafurd - Certainly I agree with all of those who posted Boys in the Boat - I have even told my daughter (whose boyfriend at Cal rows crew) to read it. Scot Anderson's Lawrence is good (I have more than 50 books on him or the war in the Middle East in WWI) - the NYT once listed to factual inaccuracies in the film when a later version was released (in the early 90s?). His life is fascinating enough without the distortions - but I forgive David Lean since he is my favorite director.
    i don't necessarily blame Lean either as he relied on the flawed autobiography by Lawerence which has proven to be embellished and as we would say today had agendas. Even Anderson's Lawrence would make a great film. Lawrence is a fascinating personality who lived in a unique time where the old ways were giving away to technology and cultural changes. A Downton Abbey at war if you well.
    Last edited by wifeisafurd; 06-17-2017 at 09:19 PM.

  12. #42
    Thanks for all the suggestions!

    "Boyd" by Robert Coram. It is an amazing biography about a complex man and USAF officer who single handedly developed and defined modern aerial combat tactics while fighting the infuriating bureaucracy of the military-industrial complex.

    "Sapiens" by Yuval Harari. Thought provoking examination of human history and how we rose from animals competing with others to the dominant species on the planet.

    Sci fi: "Snow Crash" by Neal Stephenson.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by wifeisafurd View Post
    Can't resist these threads (some referrals may be repeats):

    Boys in the Boat already discussed was a wonderful book.
    The Three Wishes which is a very humorous look at womens' insecurities by the author of Big Little Lies (also a comedy, before American TV made it into a dark tale about those evil 1%ers in Monterrey), Lianne Moriarity.
    Imperium by Robert Harris for you classics folks
    The Dogs or Riga or anything by Henning Mankeil
    Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson. Lawrence is pitted against agents from the various powers in World War I and what was to become Israel in espionage and politics (lost in the movie was Lawrence was primarily an intelligence officer and a spy and then later a chief aide to the English military commander; in fact, most “battles” in the movie never happened (the famous depiction of the battle of Aquaba being a complete ruse since the starved Turks surrendered) and what was to create a framework established by Imperialism that created the Gordian Knot that is the Middle East today.
    Shattered is a good read, like reading a train wreck, and explains the Gordian Knot that is American politics today.
    Wallender! One of my three favorite fictional dectectives (along with Endeavor Morse and Franco Soneri).

    Although I have not read the The Dogs of Riga, I did see the Swedish television version on MHZ. The Swedish actor, Kristen Henriksson, is outstanding in the role.

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by 71Bear View Post
    Wallender! One of my three favorite fictional dectectives (along with Endeavor Morse and Franco Soneri).
    Mine are Carl Morck and Arkady Renko.

    I guess I'm in the minority about Boys in the Boat. Yeah, OK, but had an air of inevitability to it all, knowing what they ended up accomplishing, there was no real suspense there for me. Also didn't care much for his portrayal of Ky Ebright. A little too much mysticism about when everybody is rowing just right yada yada. Most enjoyable parts for me were reading about Pocock and how he put the shells together.

    My 14-year-old gets to read Guns Germs and Steel over the summer for his upcoming 10th grade AP history class. Looking forward to discussing it with him, as I think it's one of the best and most influential books written in the last 25 years.

    Sapiens and Hamilton are top of my reading to-do list this summer, but first I have to finish Shelby Foote's Civil War Trilogy..

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by RioDelMarBear View Post
    Sapiens and Hamilton are top of my reading to-do list this summer, but first I have to finish Shelby Foote's Civil War Trilogy..
    I'm a sucker for Civil War history and biographies and Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogy and Battle Cry of Freedom-James McPherson are the two best comprehensive accounts.

    Sadly always searching for great/creative/imaginative fiction from any era/genre.



Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •