What are you reading?

All things outside of Burning Man.

Re: What are you reading?

Postby unjonharley » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:31 am

The ww2 jeeps were real mudders.. The amazing thing is. The drive axel is only the size of a quarter in diameter..
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:02 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:Mud is one very good reason not to invade Russia.


That was in the book. The Germans got pounded at the Kirsk bulge because they had communications problems compounded by mud.

Good call on your part.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:12 pm

unjonharley wrote:The ww2 jeeps were real mudders.. The amazing thing is. The drive axel is only the size of a quarter in diameter..


Another good call, also in the book. There are interesting pictures of the multiple uses, both optional and home-made by the troops, of the jeep being used as a 'multipurpose engineering vehicle'. If you bolted a wooden door to the front bumper and went in reverse, the jeep could actually be used to smooth out some of the roads.

One huge improvement to mobility started in the Civil War, where trees were split and placed end to end on a road creating what was and is still called a 'corduroy road'. In the Civil War, Infantry brigades of pioneers were employed in building corduroy roads so that heavy artillery and other wagons in a train could be brought forward. Later on, planks of hardwood trees were used for what became known as 'plank roads'. Potholes have always been the bane of the road builder, ranging from the tire-rattler to the full size muskeg that had to be filled on the Alcan Highway.

And of course, building the Burma Road in WWII to supply the CBI theater was a huge undertaking considering monsoon season.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby unjonharley » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:02 pm

My grandmother went from UT to St Lewis in a surry over corduroy road..when she was nine years old..
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Jul 06, 2014 3:34 pm

unjonharley wrote:My grandmother went from UT to St Lewis in a surry over corduroy road..when she was nine years old..


Amazing she made it at all.

When General Eisenhower became president, he remembered when he had to go from coast to coast with ammunition, artillery, and troops for the First World War; his transport mission took 90% garage and breakdown casualties because of the conditions of the roads. One thing we can thank him for today is during his presidential administration, the Interstate and National Defense Highway System was born. This is also why Hawaii has an Interstate highway, though it doesn't go between two states - more correctly, it's a National Defense Highway. The first contracted segment of Interstate was started in St. Charles, Missouri in 1956.

A great book on the pre-Interstate days here is by MacKinley Kantor, entitled Missouri Bittersweet Kanto also wrote the Pulitzer-Prize winning novel Andersonville. I recommend either for a weekend of fascinating reading.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Eric » Sun Jul 06, 2014 4:44 pm

I'm finishing up "1913: In Search of the World Before the Great War", which is an interesting look at the world through the eyes of 1913, not through modern eyes reading everything as a sign of the "coming storm". The events of 1914 only get mentioned in the beginning of the book, and it actually covers countries outside of Europe & the US - all done by looking at major cities, and using them as jumping-off points to talk about the countries as a whole.

I'm almost done with that, can't decide if "The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England" or "A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America" is next.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:24 pm

The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: What are you reading?

Postby pizzamancer » Tue Jul 08, 2014 9:55 am

Dance of Demons by Gary Gygax
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Savannah » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:41 pm

I'm reading "A Street Cat Named Bob: And How He Saved My Life". It's a quick read about a man in recovery who rescues a burly ginger tomcat.

Here's some dead-on humor particularly relevant to anyone who's ever read Y.A., sci-fi/fantasy, romance or other genres featuring an unbearable Mary Sue:

Flaws Only A Protagonist Could Have

The comments are almost as funny as the post.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby tamarakay » Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:04 pm

Getting Life, Michael Morton.

If you tend to distrust cops and the legal system this won't help you.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:04 pm

I'm in the midst of several:

1) Earthquake Storms by John Dvorak. A USGS geologist covers the fascinating history of, and the volatile future(?) of the San Andreas Fault. Non-Fiction.

2)Soundingsby Hali Felt. The story of geologist Marie Tharp, who created the stunning and detailed map of the seafloor that revealed continental drift and forever restructured the science of geology. this untold story restores some of the credit to a woman who richly deserves nothing less than the credit for restructuring the science by supplying a key element in the evolving story of continental drift.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:28 pm

^Rhino! wrote:I'm in the midst of several:
... A USGS geologist covers the fascinating history of...
...The story of geologist Marie Tharp, who created the stunning and detailed map of...


I'm sensing a theme there, Rhino... :D

As for me, I just starting an archive trawl of the webcomic Sluggy Freelance. With something like 14 years of daily comics, plus another three or four years of weekday comics, it's enough material to keep me almost as busy as diving into another novel. This will be my second time through the archives, so I look forward to a greater understanding of all the intricate foreshadowing and chess-like setup the author is famous for. Also, lots of bad puns to cackle over.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 04, 2014 5:16 pm

Some Mark Twain that I've never heard of.

It's free here..........

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/3187/3187-h/3187-h.htm
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:36 am

Bless you, FIGJAM, because you found something from the sage of Hannibal (even though he was born in Florida, MO) you haven't read before.

I recommend everything the man ever wrote. There are a few columns of his from Virginia City days over at http://www.nevadaobserver.com that are also worth a look. And they're free in the reading room as well.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Savannah » Thu Aug 07, 2014 2:37 pm

Finished a great book called "The Good House" by Ann Leary while at the beach. An alcoholic real estate agent in a small New England town with lots of secrets. Suspenseful fiction, great characters, good writing style. I plan to give a copy to my aunt as a gift.

(I read another book of Ann Leary's when I got back to civilization, and didn't care for it as much.)

Also started "The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America" which is the true story of 1) the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, and 2) a Chicago citizen and serial killer who operated in that time & place, killing for fun as well as for financial profit.

It's a really odd juxtaposition, but it works. I am fascinated by the tales of the architects who struggled to bring some glamour and respect to Chicago as it fought to be recognized as a cultured American city and not just a rough meat-packing metropolis. (The city they built within the city of Chicago is really quite astonishing.) And the tale of the killer is one of the most coldblooded, organized and diabolical I have ever read.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Fan C » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:03 pm

^Rhino! wrote:
unjonharley wrote:The ww2 jeeps were real mudders.. The amazing thing is. The drive axel is only the size of a quarter in diameter..


Another good call, also in the book. There are interesting pictures of the multiple uses, both optional and home-made by the troops, of the jeep being used as a 'multipurpose engineering vehicle'. If you bolted a wooden door to the front bumper and went in reverse, the jeep could actually be used to smooth out some of the roads.

One huge improvement to mobility started in the Civil War, where trees were split and placed end to end on a road creating what was and is still called a 'corduroy road'. In the Civil War, Infantry brigades of pioneers were employed in building corduroy roads so that heavy artillery and other wagons in a train could be brought forward. Later on, planks of hardwood trees were used for what became known as 'plank roads'. Potholes have always been the bane of the road builder, ranging from the tire-rattler to the full size muskeg that had to be filled on the Alcan Highway.

And of course, building the Burma Road in WWII to supply the CBI theater was a huge undertaking considering monsoon season.


My old engineer unit's history includes both of those. :D (27th eng btn)

I'm trying to finish 'The Ethical Slut' before the burn... it was homework from last year. :oops:
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:09 pm

Fan C:

Thank you for your service to this country and all of us.
Rue Morgue - '08, '09
Black Rock Beacon - '10, '12, '13, '14
(lux, veritas, lardum)
Bacon is forever.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Thu Aug 07, 2014 3:24 pm

"It's a really odd juxtaposition, but it works. I am fascinated by the tales of the architects who struggled to bring some glamour and respect to Chicago as it fought to be recognized as a cultured American city and not just a rough meat-packing metropolis. (The city they built within the city of Chicago is really quite astonishing.) And the tale of the killer is one of the most coldblooded, organized and diabolical I have ever read."

Savannah, I imagine that you'd also have a blast with the story of Kansas City, the Black Hand Mafia, the Pendergast political machine, and even the 1932 Union Station massacre that involved George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Ace Atkins just wrote a great book about Kelly, tracing him from Oklahoma to Texas to Missouri to Chcago and back again, and an oil tycoon's kidnapping in Tulsa. I recommend Atkins for folks that like a little zing with their mystery and crime stories. The book is called "Vicious', and I finished it a couple of weeks ago.

In the modern day, Kansas City has a hard time shaking off its image as a 'cow town'. That set off then- County Comissioner Claire McCaskill (today a US senator) when she heard about it. But there's more to the story.

It was during the American Royal horse show, a week long series of events out at the stock yards where K.C. tries to dress up to its best potential, and there was a real cattle drive through downtown of all places. What happened? A stampede! The cattle got loose. Hundreds of them running down city streets, chased by horsemen in the parade and Kansas City police officers. One stopped on the Jackson County Courthouse lawn right outside of Claire McCaskill's office and did a doodle on the lawn. Claire was incensed.

The best part was when KC police chased some of the cattle into a multistory parking garage, finally cornering them on the 4th or 5th floor. Over the radio it was heard, "Twenty three in custody....all bovine".

**Rhino smiles his knowing smile**

Yeah, I may live in Missouri, but it's still the Wild West to me heh, heh........
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Black Rock Beacon - '10, '12, '13, '14
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Bacon is forever.

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby theCryptofishist » Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:28 pm

Shaman. It's not as bad as Clan of the Cave Bear, et al., I'm going to finish it, instead of giving up, like the Days of Rice and Salt. I love Robinson's best stuff, and I think I prefer authors who are ambitious and take risks and don't phone it in. But sometimes you end up reading crap...


SPOILER ALERT


(Although, seriously, yeah, Ice Age--there probably should be cannibalism.)
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Sic Pup » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:30 pm

As expected the Water's book was a little disappointing. It's documentation of his attempt to hitchhike from his home in Baltimore to his home in SF. It started out as eccentric as one might expect and got progressively more so, finally at either the forth or fifth ride I called bullshit.

A rereading of the chapter title page revealed two words I missed while glossing over all the crap that precedes the meat of a book, namely ""A novella". It was the admitting in print that he Fed-Exed himself 5 million in cash that was loaned to him by the pot dealer kingpin who picked him up and who led him to the spots to dig for the loot that clued me in.

Essentially, it's three books, the first is his version of the best rides, the second (also fictional) the worse and finally the actual recounting of the trip. As one might expect at times it was difficult to tell the difference between the former two.

I've been reading Cesar Chavez. I picked it up because I couldn't find anything else that piqued my interest and I realized I knew little about the man other than the basics. It's slow going, and frankly I'm looking for something else to read so I can just drop it. I'm fickle that way, you either have me or you don't I may be colorblind but gray doesnb't appeal to me (or maybe as a result of).
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby goathead » Sat Aug 09, 2014 7:32 pm

this thread.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Sic Pup » Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:03 am

I've been doing considerably less over the summer but I have at least cracked the following:

Carol Miller bio - boring, very plainly written (if that makes sense) - if only she was as half as badass as she thinks she is - dropped it before the halfway point

The Parthenon enigma / Joan Breton Connelly - I discovered that architecture and ancient history is not as interesting as I thought it might be - read the largest chunk during the hail storm on gate road returned it mostly unread when I got home.

Twenty thousand roads : the ballad of Gram Parsons and his cosmic American music / David N. Meyer. - What drew me to this is the promised he extracted to have his body brought to Joshua Tree and set on fire upon his death, more so, the completion of that request. Haven't gotten that far yet but I'm drawn in by the man only partly due to my natural affinity for addicts.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Elderberry » Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:07 am

goathead wrote:this thread.

That about does it for me too. :cry:
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:28 am

I read Catching Fire (not the Hunger Games one) a few weeks ago, and I haven't figured out how to talk about it. It's (once again) evolutionary psychology, but at least this time, women aren't naturally monogamous and men aren't naturally polygamous because gametheorymatingstrategiesadnauseum.
Instead, marriage is built around man coming back from hunting, hungry, if he hasn't caught anything he's still hungary, if he has, it would take half the night to cook... So there's an exchange, you cook my food and I'll keep other people from stealing your food. Which makes more sense than sex or "family" being the driver. He also admitted that women gave up more on that deal.
Currently on Danubia.
Feeling a bit itchy on reading. I may want something big...
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Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ratty » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:50 am

Beat the Reaper!! Lovin it. I just finished Steven Kings long novel about the JFK assassination.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Ano » Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:22 am

Just finished the published A Song of Ice and Fire series.

Wow.

That's all I really have to say. An absurd delight from start to finish, except for book 4.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby tamarakay » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:46 pm

Ladies at work are raving about "where'd you go Bernadette?" So I started it. I don't understand the raving. It is interesting, but not rave worthy.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 03, 2014 12:59 pm

Maybe they just need to rave about something...
The Lady with a Lamprey

"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: What are you reading?

Postby theCryptofishist » Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:44 pm

What do you read for?
I don't mean it in the way that the answer would be "escape". I mean, what draws you to certain books? What questions do you want answers for? I read for some sort of understanding. I read science for understanding of the world, and history for understanding of humans and novels for understanding of human minds and hearts.

But maybe everybody reads for understanding and I'm being trite again.
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"The powerful are exploiting people, art and ideas, and this leads to us plebes debating how to best ration ice.
Man, no wonder they always win....." Lonesomebri


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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ^Rhino! » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:07 pm

theCryptofishist wrote:What do you read for?
I don't mean it in the way that the answer would be "escape". I mean, what draws you to certain books? What questions do you want answers for? I read for some sort of understanding. I read science for understanding of the world, and history for understanding of humans and novels for understanding of human minds and hearts.

But maybe everybody reads for understanding and I'm being trite again.



No, I don't think you're being trite, Crypto. The messages gained by others in their pursuits of books may be different from ours.

I, too, appreciate science and history books. I suppose that the two go hand in hand to some degree. The people who perform the experiments, the ones who take the measurements, the ones who interpret the diverse (and often confusing) data generated all have their stories to tell as well.

If I don't spend enough time already trying to unravel some of Earth's mysteries, I always turn to other mysteries - Tony Hillerman, Robert Parker. and Craig Allen Johnson are favorites.

Mark Twain has always been a favorite of mine. The sage of Hannibal, Missouri makes me think with each tale.

Plus there's a wide variety of cookbooks for me. I've made Moroccan-style tagine, Key Lime pie, and baked acorn squash all within the past week. Eat what I learn. No wonder I'm gaining weight.
Rue Morgue - '08, '09
Black Rock Beacon - '10, '12, '13, '14
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