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Fri Mar 21, 2014, 08:55 AM

2014: What are you reading at the moment?

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College textbooks for me...

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Reply 2014: What are you reading at the moment? (Original post)
Neoma Mar 2014 OP
gollygee Mar 2014 #1
msedano Mar 2014 #2
YankeyMCC Mar 2014 #3
Little_Wing Mar 2014 #4
closeupready Mar 2014 #5
TomClash Apr 2014 #6
LoisB Apr 27 #7
dem in texas Apr 30 #8
onager May 15 #9
nilesobek May 31 #10
womanofthehills Jun 1 #11
fortintype Jun 8 #12
closeupready Jul 9 #13

Response to Neoma (Original post)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:17 AM

1. The Empire of Necessity

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Fri Mar 21, 2014, 09:25 AM

2. Chicana Erotic Novel

Reading again in prep for her swing through SoCal to sign it, Ana Castillo's sure-to-be-a-hit Give It To Me.

http://labloga.blogspot.com/2014/01/review-give-it-to-me-la-palabra-quest.html

Castillo practices eroticism not for its own sake but as part of her ongoing investigation of mujerismo, independent womanhood that might be translated.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Tue Mar 25, 2014, 08:00 PM

3. Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Wed Mar 26, 2014, 01:59 PM

4. Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

Fink writes in compelling detail about the horrible unfolding of events at Memorial Hospital in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. I've wanted to read this since it was published, but it took a while to work myself up to the experience. Even so I'm digesting it in small doses, as the whole nightmare of what happened to that city still fills me with despair.

Fink is an excellent writer, btw.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Fri Mar 28, 2014, 04:47 PM

5. Summer Cooking, by Elizabeth David.

This isn't a normal cookbook - not much of a cookbook at all. More of a sort of good eating guide from an Englishwoman who was well-known in the mid-20th Century, and wrote about food conventions, as a critic. Kind of a Beat Generation character, really, but preached of revolution in domestic living.

And she wrote with such erudition that it's just fun reading what she wrote.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun Apr 20, 2014, 12:36 PM

6. Thomas Piketty

Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century.


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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun Apr 27, 2014, 06:22 PM

7. Children of the Atomic Bomb by James N. Yamazaki and Flash Boys by Michael Lewis

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Wed Apr 30, 2014, 05:48 PM

8. The Graves are Walking, The Great Famine and the Saga of the Irish People

I am only four chapters into this book, but it is a great read. What is fascinating is the attitude that the British had toward the poor Irish of the 1940's is the same as how the Republicans view the poor now, especially the blacks. Don't want to give them any assistance for fear they will come to depend on it. Lots of sad stuff in the book. I also learned a new word, immiseration.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Thu May 15, 2014, 08:39 PM

9. "Embers of War" by Fredrik Logevall

Full title: "Embers of War - The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam"

Fascinating history of events concerning Vietnam from 1946-1954. I've read many books about how the US got involved in Vietnam, and this is one of the best and most detailed. Logevall had access to recently declassified material from American, British, French, Chinese, Russian and Vietnamese archives.

At times the book reads like a John LeCarre thriller about low dealing in high places. With some of the lowest dealing coming from America's High Priest of the Domino Theory in the 1950s, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles.

It's amazing how very close the USA came to sending American combat troops to Vietnam in the early 1950s. Aside from Dulles, two people constantly pushing for that were Vice-President Richard Nixon and Admiral Arthur Radford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Nixon and Radford even seriously floated the idea of using nuclear weapons in Vietnam, to save the French from defeat.

Saner people noted that China might react rather...strongly to nukes being used right next door. To which Radford suggested hitting China with a few nukes as well.

No wonder British diplomats, in their back-channel messages, called Radford a "belligerent dim-bulb," among other things.

And that's part of what makes the book so fascinating - the wealth of detail about the political haggling behind the scenes. Haggling that was going on between the Eastern as well as the Western powers, with Ho Chi Minh and Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap constantly having to fend off "suggestions" from their Chinese advisors.

A good absorbing read. Highly recommended.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sat May 31, 2014, 03:10 PM

10. "God's Middle Finger,"

and "Fatal Shore," by Robert Hughes.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun Jun 1, 2014, 02:26 AM

11. Robert Oppenheimer - a Life Inside the Center by Ray Monk

Actually, I'm listening to it as it's way too long to read. I live 50 miles from the Trinity site so I'm pretty fascinated by Manhattan Project books.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Sun Jun 8, 2014, 03:27 PM

12. The Reagan Casualties by Jacob Klezaras


I've only been reading it for like two days, but so far it's a really interesting read. It's all about Reagan's foreign policy and his involvement in different genocides and insurgencies. When I saw the title I was thinking it would just be all about Iran-Contra and all the stuff I normally associate with the Reagan administration's foreign policy, but it actually goes into way more than that. It isn't a very long read, you could probably finish it in an afternoon if you wanted to. It's definitely reinforced my view of what a terrible president Ronald Reagan was.

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Response to Neoma (Original post)

Wed Jul 9, 2014, 02:31 PM

13. Skeletons of the Zahara - nonfiction account of early 19th Century slavery

in Saharan Africa. Eye-opening, and riveting.

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