Books: And What Are You Reading?

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lizkat

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Lining this one up for after my leaf raking project outside ever wraps up.

Beaten Down, Worked Up: The Past, Present, and Future of American Labor, by Steven Greenhouse.

Ran into a review of it in the LA Times while looking for something else. Gotta love the net for happenstance connections even if not via hyperlink.


cover art - Beaten Down, Worked Up.png
 
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Scepticalscribe

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Reading reviews of books - one of the interesting draws of the week-end editions of good broadsheets.

This, in turn, often serves to help steer my potential book purchases, or prompts as to what books I should place a "hold" or "order" on, at my library.
 

Huntn

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I remember when I first sat down to watch this movie, I was thinking it would be another The Americans-like story, but this was better, much better. Just finished Red Sparrow. This book pulled me in, I was vested in the story although I saw the movie first, thumbs up. One significant plot change where I actually prefer the movie, if I’m remembering correctly.

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In the movie, though misdirection, Marble not only lives but maintains his position as the head mole, yes?
👀
 
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iMi

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Reading a book about Freddie Mercury. It’s called “Somebody to Love.” It’s very well written and the account of how HIV migrated to humans is fascinating. One hunter. One sick Chimp. One bite. Sexual transition Would not have been enough to spread it. The perfect storm of events involving unsafe blood transfusions and ironically inoculation projects in Africa allowed this virus to take hold. There is this convergence of this new virus, which back then was a death sentence, emerging on global scene, and this young man who became arguably one of the most prolific and talented entertainers of all time. Both rose up and both changed along the way. It’s a great read.
 

Clix Pix

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Well, for the past several nights my bedtime reading has been the User Guide for my new car, but I have a nice little stack of fairly current mysteries and such on the table waiting for me to delve into them. Not long ago I read a review about a non-mystery, a novel called "Actress," and that is on the bedside table for me to begin reading tonight.....

"Somebody to Love" sounds really intriguing, too, as I do admire the brilliance and creativity of Freddie Mercury; he was taken from us way, way too soon..... Off to put a hold on that book at the library!

ETA: library doesn't have that title but they do have another biography of him, so I have put that one on hold....
 
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Huntn

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After seeing the movie (2018) and then reading Red Sparrow (2013), and being hooked, a story primarily about US-Russian espionage with other players, I am now about a third of the way through Palace of Treason (2016) the sequel. Red Sparrow must be read first.

This book is tense and exciting so far. Nate Nash a CIA officer and Dominica Erogova a Russian KVR agent (successor to KGB), have a relationship, a steaming hot relationship. There are a couple of human monsters in this series and this book prominently features Vladimir Putin as one of the characters, and it sounds right on tone as to what I think I know about him. Of interest, as I read this book I picture Natasha Romanov (Scarlett Johansson) as Dominka. Too much Avengers pollution. ;)

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Scepticalscribe

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I blush to confess that I sought refuge - unashamedly - in some fantasy this week (courtesy of Robiin Hobb).

Great idea for a thread, by the way, @Huntn, and thanks for starting it.
 

Scepticalscribe

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I think there is already a books thread?

Not here, (yes, in The Other Country), unless you mean the general "culture" thread, which was started when this forum had a membership of single figures.

I think that an individual books thread is a good idea, although people can still reference books in the culture thread, or in any other thread where someone thinks that this is a good idea.
 

lizkat

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Not here, (yes, in The Other Country), unless you mean the general "culture" thread, which was started when this forum had a membership of single figures.

I think that an individual books thread is a good idea, although people can still reference books in the culture thread, or in any other thread where someone thinks that this is a good idea.

Well, wait... this new thread we're in right now is within the Lifestyle and Culture subforum, but so is the books thread you had started earlier. So we really do have two books threads going in here now.

 

Scepticalscribe

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Many thanks @lizkat; Found it. My bad; I had thought that we had a books section but - eyesight or something - couldn't find it earlier tonight (even though I had started it myself) when I went searching for it - and that was before I had even opened a beer.

Oooops. Mea culpa, but - feeble defence but true for all of that - every year in November, the appalling quality of light makes me wish that I had a human equivalent of a sort of f-stop setting in the side of my head that I could adjust to admit more light during the winter months.

@ericgtr12: Could you please merge this thread with my earlier one on books so that we are not duplicating threads unnecessarily?
 

Scepticalscribe

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A book with the title The Left-Handed Book Sellers of London by Garth Nix (one of my favourite fantasy writers, he wrote the brilliant Abhorsen trilogy, and he writes superb and strong, yet still sometimes conflicted female characters) arrived two days ago, by post, from a local bookstore, rather than from the dreaded behemoth.
 
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lizkat

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A book with the title The Left-Handed Book Sellers of London by Garth Nix (one of my favourite fantasy writers, he wrote the brilliant Abhorsen trilogy, and who writes superb and strong, yet still sometimes conflicted female characters) arrived ( by post) two days ago, by post, from a local bookstore, rather than from the dreaded behemoth.


That sounds interesting....

Speaking of behemoths, and not for you probably, @Scepticalscribe -- since I'm sure you've read these-- I noticed the other day that the first two of the Hilary Mantel books on Cromwell: Wolf Hall, and Bring up the Bodies, have been tagged as Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon at least in the USA. So then if one is a subscriber to that plan, can read them for free.

Sensibly enough, Mirror and the Light, the last in the trilogy, one still would have to shell out for or else likely end up on a waiting list for ebooks at the public library... but if anyone hasn't read the earlier ones and subscribes to Kindle Unlimited, the first two are available to borrow into one's Kindle library.
 

Scepticalscribe

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That sounds interesting....

Speaking of behemoths, and not for you probably, @Scepticalscribe -- since I'm sure you've read these-- I noticed the other day that the first two of the Hilary Mantel books on Cromwell: Wolf Hall, and Bring up the Bodies, have been tagged as Kindle Unlimited books on Amazon at least in the USA. So then if one is a subscriber to that plan, can read them for free.

Sensibly enough, Mirror and the Light, the last in the trilogy, one still would have to shell out for or else likely end up on a waiting list for ebooks at the public library... but if anyone hasn't read the earlier ones and subscribes to Kindle Unlimited, the first two are available to borrow into one's Kindle library.

I have them all, fine, fat (and fat, in a book I like, is a term of endearment, a compliment) books.

Wolf Hall is excellent but it does take some time to get into; on a first read, the first fifty pages can be a bit of a struggle, and then, somehow and quite suddenly, abruptly and unexpectedly, it just clicks into place and races along, dragging you with it as you realise that you have become immersed in 16th century England.

Bring Up The Bodies is superb, terse, tight and impeccably written; however, to appreciate it, I really think that you need to have read Wolf Hall first.

And, as for the Mirror and the Light: Again, you appreciate it more if you have read the two earlier books, but, by this work, it is clear that Hilary Mantel is so comfortable with her world, her work, her characters, that some passages are actually laugh out loud funny (well, to me they were).

And, what mastery of her material: By the end of the third book, The Mirror and the Light, firstly, you know the end - it is a matter of recorded historical fact, not a spoiler, and secondly, we know that much of what Thomas Cromwell did - as Henry's enforcer - was pretty unsavoury, and yet, as the tale approaches its inevitable and known conclusion, despite knowing who he was and what he did, (and the story does not seek to deny or to diminish this, but does allow for a fuller and more nuanced understanding of Cromwell himself and his world), we find ourselves rooting for him, and - actually genuinely upset at his inevitable end when the king whose bacon he had saved, coffers he had filled, and whose wives he had disposed of, finally turned on him, discarding him, dispensing with him, and dealing a characteristically unjust death to him.
 

Clix Pix

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For some reason I had a difficult time wading through "The Actress," and frankly was relieved to finally finish the darned book so I could move to something else. The reviews were excellent, but unfortunately this particular book just did not work well for me. I kept getting bogged down. Now I'm about a third of the way through a book of a rather different sort which is actually keeping my interest..... Uncanny Valley. Sorry, I'm in the other room and too lazy to get up and stroll into the bedroom to take a look at the book to get the author's name....... She's a terrific writer, though! The "uncanny valley" of the title is actually Silicon Valley, i.e., San Francisco and its immediate environs.....
 

lizkat

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For some reason I had a difficult time wading through "The Actress," and frankly was relieved to finally finish the darned book so I could move to something else. The reviews were excellent, but unfortunately this particular book just did not work well for me. I kept getting bogged down. Now I'm about a third of the way through a book of a rather different sort which is actually keeping my interest..... Uncanny Valley. Sorry, I'm in the other room and too lazy to get up and stroll into the bedroom to take a look at the book to get the author's name....... She's a terrific writer, though! The "uncanny valley" of the title is actually Silicon Valley, i.e., San Francisco and its immediate environs.....

I had read some entirely enticing reviews of Actress, including one in the Washington Post that sticks in my mind, but they hinted --to me at least-- that I'd need to be in a very different frame of mind than I've been lately to appreciate its complexities and craftsmanship. Somehow your comments reinforce that in me, even though I'm keeping the book on my "sometime, maybe" list.

Uncanny Valley I can see reading a lot sooner. Not sure what that says about it, or me, or Actress either. But thanks for mentioning Valley bc going to download a sample into one of my e-libraries as a reminder to check it out.
 
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