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Thread: Summer Reading List

  1. #31

    World War Z

    After reading World War Z by Max Brooks, everywhere I go I build contingency plans on how to handle a zombie onslaught (Exit strategy, potential weapons, materials...ect). Of course I am now a Zombie addict. I have just heard that Brad Pitt will be the lead in the Movie. Also, The Walking Dead series is coming to AMC as a series this fall Nothing earth shattering just good horror fun.


  2. #32
    Golden Bear 93gobears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    I'm on a boat in international waters.

    Pillars of the Earth

    Quote Originally Posted by 59bear View Post
    I've been working through the videos based on Ian Rankin's character John Rebus. The first season, featuring John Hannah, is a paragon of miscasting but the later ones featuring Ken Stott as Rebus and Claire Price as Clark are spot on and wonderfully written and shot. It's been long enough since I read the books that I can't say if the story lines are closely followed (somehow i think not) but the vids are very good.
    In the not exactly reading category, but Ken Follets' Pillars of the Earth has been made into an 8(?) part mini-series by Starz and can be viewed as streaming video on NetFlix. It is currently being introduced so you will have to wait weekly for the next 4 episodes however what I've seen so far I've enjoyed.

    It's long, but if you haven't read the book you should.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Any Alan Furst spy novel is great imo (primarily set in Central Europe during WW 2). Books about finance - Lords of Finance by Ahamed, More Money than God by Mallaby and The Big Short (or any book by Michael Lewis - Berkeley resident).
    History Books - Ataturk by Mango, Gandhi and Churchill by Herman, Munich 1938 by Faber, Americans in Paris by Glass and Crossing Mandelbaum Gate by Kai Bird.
    I second the Furst choice. Also Berlin Noir, the Bernie Gunther detective trilogy from Philip Kerr, set in pre-war Germany. And if you like the spy genre, Stella Rimington, former MI-5 director has a good series. Charles McCarry and Alex Berenson are good also

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by chitownbear View Post
    I've been on a historical mysteries binge for quite a while -- it's a golden age for this genre -- and am a huge fan of the various series written recently by these authors:

    I.J. Parker -- Sugawara Akitada series, set in 11th century Japan. Superb in every way, much better than Laura Joh Rowland. Characters that get under your skin and become your friends. Six or seven novels so far.

    Susanne Alleyn -- three novels in the Aristide Ravel series, set in Paris after the Terror (although the third novel is a prequel set before the Revolution.) Brilliant and original.

    J. Sydney Jones -- two great mysteries so far with the team of Werthen and Gross, set in Vienna around 1900. Lots of fun with historical persons like Klimt, Mahler and Krafft-Ebing.

    And, of course, the unsurpassed C.J. Ransom, whose four novels (so far) set in Tudor England are the best historical mysteries I've ever read. In fact, they are considerably more substantial than most recent fiction in any genre. I badger this author regularly by email for MORE, but he writes as he pleases.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many good historical mysteries being written these days that I never run out of new ones, especially since my public library uses Link+ and I can order books from all over California for free.

    Oh, and one notable historical NON-mystery I recently finished, Hilary Mantel's "A Place of Greater Safety," a huge, sprawling piece about the French Revolution focusing around the relationship of Danton, Robespierre and Camille Desmoulins. Kaleidoscopic...

    I'm planning to retire abroad in three years, so I'm making a list of unread classics (and that's most classics) to catch up on at last when I have nothing else to do but read, eat and tour. For new literature, where I'm going I'll need Kindle, 'cause there ain't no English-language bookstores.
    Tip of the hat to you, Chitown. On one of these previous threads you recommended Ransom. I've read two of them and they were great fun.

  5. #35
    Read it quite a few years ago, became huge Tom Builder fan. It is an imposing book, but great read.

  6. #36
    I do the same thing. A Ruger SP101 is ideal for our purposes. Just remember to have a few speed loaders in your pocket in case you run into a mess of 'em. And the ideal safe house is a look out tower with a long, partially retractable ladder. Gotta stock some flamethrowers, at least 10,000 rounds of .357 ammo and lots of freeze dried food and water up there.

    Really happy about the AMC series. I hope it has more of a 28 Days... feel than that of the last 2 George Romero movies -- which were a complete pile of garbage.

  7. #37
    Great recommendations. Absolutely nothing, nothing got accomplished after I picked up each of Larsson's books in the trilogy until the last page. Enjoyed them all--but the first was my favorite--after the first 10 pages. Alan Furst--love his books. No one has mentioned Lee Child--his character Jack Reacher is one of my absolute favorites. Start with the first in the series. Perhaps too pedestrian for this group?

  8. #38

    Summer Reading

    Am finishing up James Branch Cabell's, "Biography of Manuel" in all eighteen volumes and getting an interesting perspective on American literature in the 1920's. Cabell was a cause celébre after the publication, and suppression, of "Jurgen" (an occasionally lurid jaunt through historical mythologies which scandalized many) and a confidante of Sinclair Lewis and H.L. Mencken.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by 93gobears View Post
    No way! For some reason I have been thinking about Atticus Finch all summer.

    It's been out for some time but check out Guns, Germs and Steel if you ever have the desire to understand how certain societies have managed to outpace others for power and influence. Im reading it now, and it certainly has opened my eyes to the raw power of natural selection and luck in determining the haves and have-nots of history.

    Also, anything written by David Mitchell. Dude's a genius. Critics will be trying to figure out how he summoned the demons necessary to write Cloud Atlas for ages.

  10. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by carebear View Post
    i wasn't aware he had a new book out. absurdistan was great.
    It's called Super sad true love story. Just picked it up--shteyngart really has a unique and wonderful voice.

  11. #41
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Jared Diamond does great work

    Quote Originally Posted by atticus View Post

    It's been out for some time but check out Guns, Germs and Steel if you ever have the desire to understand how certain societies have managed to outpace others for power and influence. Im reading it now, and it certainly has opened my eyes to the raw power of natural selection and luck in determining the haves and have-nots of history.
    GG&S was a very influential and provocative book when it came out. Very much worth the read. His followup, if you can call it that, wasn't as popular. "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed" is cautionary to the point of being depressing. I started it a year ago and still haven't finished it, although I've finally made it to the last few chapters. Makes me want to buy 500 acres with a lot of solar panels, barbed wire, and claymores.

  12. #42

    Excellent choices

    I also recommend Larsson and Furst. If you liked Pillars of the Earth, the sequel (also 1000+ pages), World Without End is a great read.

    For historical mysteries, try David Liss--there are 2 about a Jewish "thief-taker" in early 18th Century London: Conspiracy of Paper and Spectacle of Corruption. There's one about the coffee trade in Amsterdam in the 17th C. called Coffee Trader, and another "Whiskey Rebels" about the Whiskey Rebellion in the early US.

    John Lawton's books about Inspector Troy set in London from just before WWII through the early Cold War, are fabulous.

    If you like violent thrillers, try Lee Child's Jack Reacher series.

    For more serious historical fiction, I loved Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book.

    And, of course, Michael Lewis's Big Short (about the financial crisis) is guaranteed to raise you blood pressure.

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