Books moral and immoral

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Artemis@BC, Sep 6, 2012.

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  1. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    After hearing about Team of Rivals in the Lincoln thread (thanks to aftershocks), I picked it up and have been enjoying it since. How did I ever miss so much history in school? It is fascinating to read about the how some things never change: ownership and slant of the newspapers, Congress's mudslinging, how candidates campaigned and what they did to get elected, some very poor assumptions, etc. At 750 pages, it will take me a while to finish, but I feel good about learning something important.
  2. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    I started reading The Goal for work, and so far am really enjoying it. Yes, somehow a novel about process-improvement works. Go figure...
  3. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Can you expand on that? I can't say it's a book that I'm itching to read, but your post intrigues me.
  4. jeffisjeff

    jeffisjeff Well-Known Member

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    :scream:
  5. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    It's well-written, honestly. In my line of work, we need to be reminded we should ask 'why are we doing this' once in a while. And even read books that encourage that :lol:.
  6. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    I'm happily reading my way through the Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey. Post apocalyptic indie series, although he's gotten a deal with a publishing house (and Ridley Scott has optioned it for a movie IIRC), so I'm late to the party. ;)

    I'll be pausing Wool 5 in favour of Robert Jordan's (& Brandon Sanderson's) A Memory of Light, the very last book in the Wheel of Time. :cheer2:
  7. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    So much that I don't know how to summarize it.

    One that really stuck out to me was that the shooters were not particularly bullied. In fact, Klebold had been suspended the year before for bullying another student including vandalizing his locker. Harris had bullied another student, who was a neighbor, extensively resulting in the boy's mother going to the police repeatedly in the two years prior to the shooting. Neither boy was a loner by any means. They had a circle of friends in and out of school and had normal social lives. Klebold, in fact, had gone to the prom the weekend before the shooting with a date in a group of eight kids. Schools responded to this by worrying about the bullied kids and the loners lashing out when Harris and Klebold were neither. The question, perhaps, needs to be what is motivating bullies and how far will they go? The author, with help from experts in the field, makes a reasonable case that Harris was a textbook psychopath while Klebold was depressed and suicidal. Their respective mental states had far more to do with it than their circle of friends or music, video games, movies or parenting. Both sets of parents had done quite a lot to help their kids. The boys had been arrested for breaking into a vehicle a year before the shooting and their parents were involved in the consequences, impressing the judge who assigned them to a pretrial diversion program because their fathers were present for the hearings. It is very clear, however, that the Klebolds did not know how depressed their son was. The Harrises have never spoken publicly so how much they understood is unknown.

    The book also shows how many signs of what was being planned were missed by the local police, their friends, teachers, and others. Since Columbine, the FBI and Secret Service have studied school shooters, they concluded that kids engage in what they named "leakage"--in other words they tell people bits and pieces along the way. We need to pay better attention to those leaks. That is something that does seem to be happening since, as many plots have been uncovered before they were carried out. One form of leakage is because some try to recruit others to involvement. Part of Harris's recruiting helped create the false notion that this was non-athletes out to kill athletes--he tried to recruit another friend into the plan and tried to appeal to that student's resentment of "jocks" to get him involved. Harris resented everyone, essentially, and no particular group was targeted. The intention was not to shoot certain students. It was to blow up the entire school and shoot anyone that got out of the building alive. The bombs did not go off so they went in shooting instead. No specific students or staff were targeted. Not "jocks" and not Christians (Cassie Bernall didn't say a word according to the girl who was under the table with her. Another girl told Klebold she believed in God and he walked away without killing her).

    There is much much more.
  8. Spinner

    Spinner Where's my book?

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    This is where publishers have specified it be shelved. I agree though, it could and should be put in the adult section as well. Amazing book.
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that.

    I guess because of the type of media I consume myself, I sometimes forget the black-and-white, pop psychology "answers" that tend to be doled out by the populist media, particularly in the aftermath of such events.

    Unfortunately, it's the people who "need" to read books like this that never do.
  10. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    There have been a lot of articles about this book, many including lists of key myths, so maybe the truth will finally get out into the public consciousness. That, and the renewed interest following Sandy Hook, especially the public discussion about inaccurate reporting and how misinformation spread so quickly through mainstream and social media.
  11. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I finished Ian Rankin's latest last night, Standing in Another Man's Grave. Rebus is back! Yay!!! :cheer2:

    I tried to like Fox ... but having Rebus back is like seeing an old friend after a long absence. An old, crotchety, smartass friend who drinks and smokes too much ... but you're very glad to have in your corner.

    I did expect to see more interactions between Fox and Rebus, but I expect we'll see more of that in future books. (Now that Rankin has brought Rebus back it will be that much harder to retire him again.)
  12. Matryeshka

    Matryeshka Well-Known Member

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    Since you already have it, it's great :p

    In all seriousness, it would be great for an amateur statistician. If you have a passing familiarity with the lingo and concepts already, then it's easier to get into it. It's also helpful if you know some basic economic theory.

    There are some chapters that are easier to read than others, depending on your interest. There was a chapter on baseball which made my eyes roll back in my head. I hate math, and I absoultey despise baseball. I didn't think anything could be worse than watching baseball, but reading about the stats of it made me postal. There is more math in baseball than a freshman Algebra class. But there was a chapter on Katrina that I thought was handled well. The chapter on weather forecasting was fascinating. There was a chapter on the housing bubble that was pretty good, but I did a unit on it in both by World Geography and Free Enterprise, so I had a basic background already.

    Full disclosure: I haven't finished it yet, but my main critique so far is he makes the same point over and over just using different examples. I might not have read far enough to get more of an overarching theme or maybe he has something else to add, but at the halfway point, I'm ready to put it down and use it more like a "bathroom reader." There are also a lot of interesting facts, but they're all kind of throwaway. It's trivia, and the more I read it, the more trivial I think the whole concept of predicting is.
  13. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    Is there any word yet on when George Martin will publish the next instalment of his A Song of Ice and Fire series?
  14. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    :p

    I have a lot of books I've never gotten around to reading.

    I had heard pretty much the same things from other people, which is why I haven't read it. Right now I am reading a lot of stuff about technology and humanity, which is quite :blah: enough. Interesting sometimes, but with a lot of :blah: to go with it. Nate Silver can wait.

    One of the authors I'm reading is named Evgeny Morozov. Every time I see his name, :yikes: at the mental image I get.
  15. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

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    No, a new chapter has just been put up on Martin's website, but there is no release date yet for the book.
  16. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I'm finishing up a fluffy mystery set at a Rennaissance Fair at Halloween. Very confusing plot and setting bu, even though I figured out who the guilty party is, I keep reading to find out WHY. I should know tonight.

    Someone abandonned a copy of Ken Follett's "Pillars of the Earth" in the break room at work so I saved it and sneaked a peak or two yesterday. Once past the prologue, it caught my interest so I expect I'll be snuggled down with the dog and the book this weekend. My Christmas decorations don't HAVE to come down just yet, right?
  17. jadingirl

    jadingirl New Member

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    Yes I finsihed it too and was very happy to have REbus back - like catching up with and old friend. I heard the fans aren't warming up to Fox so Rankin didn't have much choice in the matter but it was a good read.
  18. ioana

    ioana Well-Known Member

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    His idea of reassuring fans is to keep repeating the wait won't be "as long" as it turned out to be for Dance with Dragons and Feast for Crows. Somehow, less than 5 (or 6) years doesn't really fit into the reassuring category for me :p.
  19. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Title/author?
  20. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

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    I read this book too and agree with you it was fascinating but horrifying.

    I just finished reading The City of Dark Magic and found it enjoyable because of the musical elements but it is not my genre of choice
  21. jadingirl

    jadingirl New Member

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    I'm about halfway through The City of Dark Magic which was a xmas gift. It's enjoyable but I wouldn't have picked it out myself.
  22. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    "Ghastly Glass" by Joyce and Jim Lavine. second in the series following "Wicked Weaves".

    I wish the Village was a real park because I'd go there in a minute.
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  23. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Since I got a free Kindle HD from my former cable company, I've been on a reading frenzy. Paperwise, I'm almost done with Robert Massie's Catherine the Great book, really good, and has kept my interest. There's still a shelf full of books to read here :shuffle:

    Kindle-wise, I've been enjoying the daily deals and free books I've found. Loved 'Flowertown' - a city that was quarantined after a hazardous spill. Years later, it's breaking down in a big way. Midway through James Rollins/Rebecca Cantrell's 'The Blood Gospels'. I'm not into vampires, but these aren't sparkly and I love Rollins, so I'll finish it.

    I do love the Kindle though. Don't tell Lep! :lol:
  24. PrincessLeppard

    PrincessLeppard Pink Bitch

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  25. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    :scream: Someone hide me?

    And I'm back to post that I seem to love fantasy with a science edge. And since I downloaded one sappy romance, they think I want to read every freaking one ever published.

    For anyone looking for free books, I love www.kindlebuffet.com for freebies. They do a 2-3 page list every day. I've discovered some great books there. Resurrecting Lazarus, Texas (about a girl's basketball team in a backwater football is king town), was a recent gem. And I found random cookbooks and yoga books there too. :lol:
  26. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

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    I finished a couple of library books over the past week (because it is too cold to do leave the house!) and both were fairly good. The first, Jane Austen Miscellany is basically a collections of quotes from Jane Austen's novels and letters under several different themes, with an introduction to each chapter that gives some background about Jane's life and historical context about the theme. For someone who's already read a lot of Austen biographies and background, there wasn't a whole lot new in the book, but it was worth reading for the few new tidbits I did pick up, plus it was well-presented, and I love almost anything Austen. It kind of makes me want to go back and re-read my annotated Austens but I should probably give it a little more time before going back, since I read them all in the summer.

    The other one was a fictional novel about Wallis Simpson, The Shadow Queen by Rebecca Dean. It was pretty good, with my main complaint being that it ended before she got involved with Prince Edward. Although it was a fairly long novel already and the end of the book said the author was working on a sequel, so it should all be good. Anyway, it painted a fairly sympathetic portrait of Wallis...I kind of think of it as being a prequel to the other side of the story in The King's Speech.

    I have three more books on hold at the library, and I'm hoping they don't all come at once.
  27. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Been wondering how it is, as I'd love to get my hands on it. Thanks for the positive review!!

    I am so excited to finally get to start The Reluctant King by Sarah Bradford. I've heard so many great things about it and that this is *the* book/bio to read on King George VI. Have to finish the bio on Elizabeth I I've got on the go before I start in on TRK, but there's only maybe two or three chapters to go on it, so hopefully by tomorrow I can start TRK. :)
  28. Mozart

    Mozart Well-Known Member

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    Me too. I wouldn't have selected it myself but since my brother sent it to me for christmas I thought I should read it LOL
  29. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

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    I'm reading Far from the Three by Andrew Solomon, which at over 700 pages is somewhat of a tome. But it's wonderful. It looks at families who deal with children with numerous disabilities (dwarfism, deafness, schizophrenia) and how they succeed, or don't. It also looks at the intersection between disability and identity. It's long, but I'm really enjoying it so far and have a hard time putting it down.
  30. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Great book, highly recommended. Saw Frank Carroll reading it last year at the US Nationals. ;)
  31. AragornElessar

    AragornElessar Well-Known Member

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    Really? Wow...I wouldn't think he'd be interested in Royal Bios, but there's that never assume anything about anybody thing that pops up often coming into play again. :D ;)
  32. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Yes. He may or may not be into royal bios but he is certainly no stranger to politicking. :D I was even more thrilled because that was the book I happened to be reading at the moment as well.
  33. Evilynn

    Evilynn ((Swedish skating dudes))

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    In October he said "not next year, maybe the year after that", so I'd say late 2014 at best, but I wouldn't bet on it. In his defense, he did say something along the lines of "but we all know how good my predictions are". ;)

    The Net Delusion? I used to follow him on Twitter, but I find him incredibly depressing.

    I'm chugging along through A Memory of Light (250 pages to go, and for some reason life won't let me lie on the couch and finish the damned thing!), and there are certainly some issues. I hope one of the worst ones will be resolved somehow, but I'm not holding my breath. Since it weighs a metric tonne, I've started reading World War Z on my Kindle as my commuting book, so far I find the format interesting. :)
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  34. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I'm having a class do some work on the impact of technology and he is one of the "we are all going to deeply regret this whole internet thing" sources I'm having them read.
  35. dbell1

    dbell1 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished "Every Last Cuckoo". A 75 year old woman opens up her house and home to total strangers after her husband dies. Set in Vermont, and I now want to visit there since it's the star of the book. Very short on secondary character development, but nature and the widow made it worth the read.

    I needed something to cleanse my literary palate after that craptastic mess that was "The Blood Gospel". Seriously - Judas and Rasputin were vampires? I kept waiting for Mother Teresa to show up to foil the plot. :wall:

    Anyone looking for an epic fantasy type book, I loved this - "The Black God's War" by Moses Siregar. http://www.amazon.com/Stand-Alone-P...358310150&sr=1-1&keywords=the black god's war There's a free novella intro if you're not sure you want to spend .99.

    Tonight, I bought "The Sisters: The Saga of the Mitford Family". Never heard of them, but they seem to have been an (in)famous English brood back in the 40's.
  36. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    After finishing the drearyness that was McCall Smith's "44 Scotland Street", I've moved onto the audio of "Fire and Fog" by Dianne Day on my daily commute. It's the second in her Fremont Jones mystery series and is set in San Francisco during the Great Earthquake and fire of 1906. So far the mystery part is thin - Fremont finds contraband artifacts stored in her office building and spots her landlords, reported dead during the earthquake, entering the building before the fires. But the descriptions of the city in flames and the life of the people following the devastation have been fascinating. It's not an area of American History that I know much about so I'm enjoying the story while I learn a little something.

    In print, I'm trudging through "Pillars of the Earth" still. The endless descriptions of building techniques are bogging me down.
  37. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    McCall Smith is another author I find fascinating in that I absolutely love Mwa Ramotswe and the No.1 Ladies Detective series, and despise his Scottish series. All the Scottish series (he has several). He should stick with Botswana.

    I picked up a Sara Paretsky V.I. Warshawshi audio book and am now reading the entire series from the beginning. She has a new foreward in the first book that explains how and why she developed the character as a female version of the hard boiled detective who had a sex life rather than the role most women were assigned to play. It's too bad that notion didn't really translate into other female detectives which still fall into the slut if they sleep with more than one person category. The earlier books are set in the late 70s. The most interesting aspect is watching the change in technology and social moires through the series. No mention of condoms or HIV in the early books, no cell phones---which plays a significant role in how V.I. "detects" through the evolution of the character over time. One thing she has done that so many other writers did not, is allow her character to age through time. (Unlike Stephanie Plum). I've never read Sue Grafton's Kinsey Milhone series, but I think she's done that as well. (I was waiting for her to get to Z). It's amusing the things that Paretsky didn't even think about at the time that are so glaring 30 years later. I was much more annoyed with the character in the later book (published in 2010) that I listened to, than I am in the early books. V.I. becomes a handwringer and "what have I done" wailer later. Too bad she didn't remain more of the :kickass: she was in the beginning.
  38. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

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    I quite liked the 2 or 3 books in the Isabel Dalhousie / Sunday Philosopher's Club series that I've read. But I agree that the 44 Scotland St and Corduroy Mansions series are both rather unlikable. I think largely because he tried to juggle too many characters, but also the whole tone is just off-putting.

    But as much as I love the No. 1 Ladies Detective series -- the books and the far too short-lived TV series -- I do think his treatment of modern Botswanan society is just a little bit precious (sorry, but it is the right word here).
  39. rfisher

    rfisher Satisfied skating fan

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    Well, he puts a very positive spin on the country; however, I have read a couple of other books set in Botswana and the overall tone of the people and country are very similar to his. He did live and practice law there for many years. I love the audio books for No. 1 Ladies. The narrator is fantastic and I hear her voice in my head when I read. Plus, now I know how to pronounce all the names.
  40. Marge_Simpson

    Marge_Simpson Well-Known Member

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    Heads-up for NYC fans of Ian Rankin: he will be doing a reading and signing at the B&N on 86th and Lexington this Tuesday, 7:30 PM.
    I've gone to 4 of his readings in the past - he's a great speaker and comes across as a funny, laid-back guy. Usually whoever is moderating has to intervene to get him to actually start reading - he always seems to have more fun chatting with the crowd than reading from his books.
    At one of the readings I attended, he confided that he lives on the same street as JK Rowling and Alexander McCall Smith; they have nicknamed it "Writer's Block". At another; during the Q&A, he reacted with horror when I asked him if Rebus and Siobhan would ever hook up. :lol:
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