Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 20960 times)

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Online Desert Fox

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #510 on: June 21, 2015, 01:32:39 PM »
The Disappearance of Flight 19 by Larry Kusche.
8.5/10 - Older book but the data has not changed since he wrote his book. Probably get a cheap used copy. Goes back to the original reports, something most authors don't especially those who want to sensationalize it. He does not pull punches and does criticize the Navy in some areas such as not extending far enough north the search zone. He also gives a pretty good description of what is know and discusses at length the battle Charles Taylor's mother went to in order to get her son's name cleared.  She kind of managed but he really is at fault for the accident. Does not make him a monster but most pilots get disoriented at times.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2015, 01:34:47 PM by Desert Fox »
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Online Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #511 on: July 04, 2015, 04:09:07 PM »
The March of Folly:  From Troy to Vietnam by Barbara Tuchman  - a strong 8/10

So the theme of this book should be fairly obvious from the title.  Barbara Tuchman explores the concept of folly in ruling institutions - military, political, and religious.  She establishes several criteria for what qualifies as folly, but the most important is when a government clearly acts against its own self-interest (as opposed to merely screwing things up for a lot of people).  The four main cases presented are the fall of Troy, the Catholic Church just before the Reformation, the British losing America, and America losing in Vietnam.  With the exception of the Troy story, I found the historical coverage in this book to be top notch.  I could accuse Tuchman of over simplifying the political lessons to be derived from these events, but considering how often these lessons are ignored I suppose they need perpetual attention.

My timing with this book was serendipitous because I managed to hear two interviews on NPR about Richard Nixon while working my way through Vietnam portion.  I've come to terms with the idea that savvy political leaders often make stupid mistakes, but it makes my stomach churn to see people that are full-blown paranoid delusional somehow become in charge of a democratic nation in the midst of a war.  Somehow the magnitude of screw ups in Iraq really didn't hit me until reading about how our Defense Department dealt with conflicting intelligence reports during Vietnam.

Offline Gerbig

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #512 on: July 04, 2015, 07:06:54 PM »
Just cracking into the first game of thrones book, everyone is so god dam young, yikes
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Offline pandamonium

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #513 on: July 08, 2015, 12:41:22 AM »
I've recently finished two books: Raising Steam (Terry Pratchett) and Uprooted (Naomi Novik)

Raising Steam was ok. I wasn't wowed. It didn't feel as focused or as tart as some of the other Moist Von Lipwig books. 3/5

Uprooted was by far one of the best books I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Omigosh it was subtle, complex, the characters were compelling, the author didn't spoon feed you the plot, it was woven together expertly, and i loved it so much. 5/5
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #514 on: July 08, 2015, 12:51:11 AM »
"Thinking, Fast and Slow", Kahneman.  Not bad for a Nobel laureate.  8/10 for readability, 10/10 for content.  I studied a bit of heuristic thinking teaching avalanche safety courses, so I found it very interesting.

I did watch a youtube conversation between Kahneman and Nasim Taleb (obviously very good friends and intellectual colleagues) and found it enlightening and interesting.  Listening to two ESL's with towering intellects chatting (Kahneman being the responsible party) was very cool; but maybe one needs to have read some of their work to enjoy it.
"Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but to get us out of trouble rapidly and have progeny."  Nassim Taleb

Offline RumbleFishTwist

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #515 on: July 08, 2015, 09:06:24 PM »
+1 for The March of Folly.
Stupid Trojans!

Offline fuzzyMarmot

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #516 on: July 11, 2015, 10:40:10 PM »
Seveneves by Neal Stephenson. 8.5/10. Amazing first two-thirds. Last part got a little weird for me. Lots of great science... especially the orbital mechanics stuff.

Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #517 on: July 12, 2015, 10:31:48 AM »
"Thinking, Fast and Slow", Kahneman.  Not bad for a Nobel laureate.  8/10 for readability, 10/10 for content.  I studied a bit of heuristic thinking teaching avalanche safety courses, so I found it very interesting.

I did watch a youtube conversation between Kahneman and Nasim Taleb (obviously very good friends and intellectual colleagues) and found it enlightening and interesting.  Listening to two ESL's with towering intellects chatting (Kahneman being the responsible party) was very cool; but maybe one needs to have read some of their work to enjoy it.

I struggled with this book. But I think I'll give it another go.

Offline Neutral Milk

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #518 on: July 12, 2015, 11:16:00 AM »
In the middle of the third and final installment of The Apocalypse Triptych which is an amazon release curated by John Joseph Adams and the dreamy Hugh Howey.

It's a series of short stories divided up into three books: The End is Nigh (consists of stories leading up to the apocalypse) The End is Now (stories during the apocalypse) and The End Has Come (stories following the apocalypse). Some of the authors wrote a story in the same universe if not with the same characters for all three books, some stories are unique to the book.

Hugh Howey has a story in each that takes place in the Wool universe, and provides more insight into that world, which I always enjoy as long as he's the author and it isn't fan fiction wool stories.

Some of the stories are really fun, some are just OK, but it's a good read all around if you like post-apocalyptic tales. Can't really give it a 1-10 rating because it's diverse, but I'll say the stories all fall between 6 and 9. Maybe one or two of them I'd rate lower.
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Offline lonely moa

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #519 on: July 12, 2015, 01:49:37 PM »
"Thinking, Fast and Slow", Kahneman.  Not bad for a Nobel laureate.  8/10 for readability, 10/10 for content.  I studied a bit of heuristic thinking teaching avalanche safety courses, so I found it very interesting.

I did watch a youtube conversation between Kahneman and Nasim Taleb (obviously very good friends and intellectual colleagues) and found it enlightening and interesting.  Listening to two ESL's with towering intellects chatting (Kahneman being the responsible party) was very cool; but maybe one needs to have read some of their work to enjoy it.

I struggled with this book. But I think I'll give it another go.

Kahneman didn't get a Noble for his writing skills. 
"Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but to get us out of trouble rapidly and have progeny."  Nassim Taleb

Online brilligtove

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #520 on: July 16, 2015, 09:01:27 AM »
"Thinking, Fast and Slow", Kahneman.  Not bad for a Nobel laureate.  8/10 for readability, 10/10 for content.  I studied a bit of heuristic thinking teaching avalanche safety courses, so I found it very interesting.

I did watch a youtube conversation between Kahneman and Nasim Taleb (obviously very good friends and intellectual colleagues) and found it enlightening and interesting.  Listening to two ESL's with towering intellects chatting (Kahneman being the responsible party) was very cool; but maybe one needs to have read some of their work to enjoy it.

I struggled with this book. But I think I'll give it another go.

Kahneman didn't get a Noble for his writing skills. 

I read this one on Audible, which was quite good - but I was already aware of most of the diagrams, so I didn't have to refer to the separate PDF. The content is 10/10 for sure - if you really internalize and act on it, it can change your life.

Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi on Audible, narrated by Wil Wheaton.

I rated it thusly:
  • Overall: 4/5
  • Performance: 5/5
  • Story: 4/5
Scalzi has become my favorite science fiction author in recent years. I hadn't realized it, really, until I looked at my library and saw how many of his books I loved. This one is a reimagining of an H. Beam Piper tale from a long time ago. It is fun, funny, serious, and exciting in turns. It made me wonder how much of the movie Avatar was drawn from the original story.
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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #521 on: July 24, 2015, 08:23:20 PM »
Title: Trio of Sorcery
Author: Mercedes Lackey
5.5/10

I liked revisiting two of her old characters but something of a pizazz seems to be gone in her writing or it just might be me. Does remark about how the state of communication was in the time frame (one story was set around 1970 and the other in 1995) I guess mainly for younger readers.   
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Online drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #522 on: July 27, 2015, 02:18:13 PM »
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (A Burton & Swinburne Adventure Book 1) by Mark Hodder

I...I just don't know...4 to 8 out of 10.

The more absurd the story gets, the better the writing and story become. When it tries to be serious and reserved and philosophical, it drops into sucky territory.

 ???
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