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Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Moderator1, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Dog8Cats

    Dog8Cats Active Member

    Just finished the "Red Sparrow" trilogy of spy novels by Jason Matthews. I usually read heavier stuff -- nonfiction and serious, "great books" ficition -- but I heartily recommend these three books (I haven't seen the movie but have heard it blows). The plot twists are surprising but seem plausible. The character development is generally strong and improves in each successive book (Gable is unforgettable). There's more writing about sex between characters in each successive book, too. I found myself emotionally involved in the plot ("Russia can't find out about this!") and the characters.
  2. HC

    HC Well-Known Member

    On a whim (and because we get a 40% discount) I picked up a copy of the complete Patrick Melrose novels during a visit to JR's former bookstore. Didn't know anything about them except that a TV show had been done with Benedict Cumberbatch. Absolutely loved them. Funny, horrifying, moving - highly recommended if you love good fiction.
  3. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    Just about finished with "Minor Characters," Joyce Johnson's NBCC-winning 1983 memoir about her time with Kerouac before and after the publication of On the Road. Interesting to read about a woman's perspective in that world. JFC, what a fall-down drunk Kerouac was. He reminds me of Jim Morrison, another guy who was never meant to be an adult. A real momma's boy, too; he'd leave a trail of detritus in his wake and then run home to memere. His writing had its appeal when you're young, but it doesn't age well at all.
  4. LanceyHoward

    LanceyHoward Well-Known Member

    I read the $1 League by Jim Byrne (recommended) years ago but have not read the Pearlman book. I don't remember Byrne, who worked in the USFL front office, as blaming Trump for the demise of the USFL. Trump appears to have been the leader in pushing to a fall schedule but I think Byrne thought the ship was already going down.

    I also watched a 30 on 30 documentary done by in 2009 by Michael Tolin, who was basically the head of the USFL version of NFL Films, and he cast Trump as the guy who dragged the USFL down. Tolin said John Bassett was originally the leader of the USFL owners and leading proponent of playing in the spring. Bassett at the same time became ill with cancer and Trump bought his way in and dominated the ownership group and got the schedule moved to the fall.

    I think both versions are correct. Trump was a bullying idiot for wanting to move the league to the fall but the other owners were inept and it would have failed anyway. That was the conclusion of the jury int he anti-trust trial. They found the NFL guilty of anti-trust violations but only awarded the USFL one dollar because they believed the league was so poorly managed that their wounds had been self-inflicted.

    I also think that the USFL was like the old AAFC. The old AAFC would have made it if it had come along 10 years alter after network television reached more homes. The USFL came along just as the business model of cable television networks was changing. Originally ESPN and other networks paid cable systems to carry their networks. That did not work economically and the networks moved to a model where about 70% of their revenue came from cable networks paying the networks. As cable penetration grew cable networks became enormously profitable (see ESPN).

    The USFL when played in the spring had ratings that were comparable to the Baseball Game of the Week and beat most NBA games. It has long been clear that American television viewers strongly prefer to watch a football game rather than a baseball or basketball game featuring two mediocre teams. If the league had come along a couple years later I think someone could have built a cable network around it.
  5. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    Finished a couple recently.


    This is a really well-reported account of the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library that destroyed hundreds of thousands of items and damaged even more. Arson? Accident? That was the big question. In addition to the fire, the book looks at the history of libraries, especially in L.A., and fires in other libraries. I enjoyed this one. Joe Bob says check it out.


    It's been a long time since I've actually laughed out loud while reading a book, but I did with this one. The author and her husband feel called to be Christian missionaries and end up in Costa Rica, where they soon discover that they are not very well-equipped to be missionaries, nor are most of the other missionaries they know. The story of how she ended up becoming a missionary is pretty incredible to begin with.

    If foul language offends you, this is not the book for you. But goodness, it's funny. Some people in my church, who take annual mission trips to China and Lebanon, really need to read this book. It explores the questions if missionaries do any good or, even worse, hurt the people and the communities they're hoping to serve. Joe Bob says definitely check this one out.

    And I just started reading the Robin Williams bio by NYTimes reporter Dave Itzkoff. It's shaping up to be pretty good as well.
  6. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    You are as bad as Huggy on my wallet. Just ordered - and the Williams bio is a headliner for my First Book of 2019 award

    I've got some reading to do
    Huggy likes this.
  7. misterbc

    misterbc Active Member

    I’ve read around 100 books recommended on this thread and, almost without exception, they are tremendous picks.
    “Bad Blood” is on a number of ‘Best of 2018’ lists and is deserving, probably among the best 20 or so books I’ve read.
    The story is almost surreal as it examines the inner works of a Silicon Valley biosomething startup with famed backers and extremely bad management. Don’t really want to say too much more but you won’t be disappointed.
    It’s rare that anything can keep me turning pages for 10 hours but this book did just that. John Carreyrou is a Pulitzer winner and he shows his chops with this first rate effort.
    garrow likes this.
  8. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    I forget who inspired me to start tracking what I read all year, but I'm pretty sure it was one of you. I haven't gotten involved with GoodReads, Professional Book Nerds, or any other so-called challenges. That all seems like a lot of effort. I just pick things up here and there, usually via one of the many local libraries I can access. And I'm old school, so these were all read on actual paper.

    Start Without Me – Joshua Max Feldman (Jan. 1)
    Dreaming The Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World – Rob Sheffield (Jan. 2)
    Camino Island – John Grisham (Jan. 6)
    Mrs. Fletcher – Tom Perrotta (Jan. 9)
    George & Lizzie – Nancy Pearl (Jan. 11)
    Summer Sisters – Judy Blume (Jan. 16)
    Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children's Literature as an Adult – Bruce Handy (Jan. 21)
    The Fundamentals of Play – Caitlin Macy (Jan. 23)
    Nicotine – Nell Zink (Jan. 31)

    Windfall – Jennifer E. Smith (Feb. 2)
    The Boy is Back – Meg Cabot (Feb. 4)
    December 8, 1980: The Day John Lennon Died – Keith Elliot Greenberg (Feb. 7)
    Americanized: Rebel Without a Green Card – Sara Saedi (Feb. 12)
    Green – Sam Graham Felsen (Feb. 14)
    Odd Man Out: A Year on the Mound with a Minor-League Misfit – Matt McCarthy (Feb. 17)
    Berlin 1936: Sixteen Days in August – Oliver Hilmes (Feb. 22)
    Hello Sunshine – Laura Dave (Feb. 24)
    Sourdough – Robin Sloan (Feb. 28)

    Where the Past Begins: A Writer's Memoir – Amy Tan (March 5)
    Something in the Air: American Passion and Defiance in the 1960 Mexico City Olympics – Richard Hoffer (March 13)
    Speak No Evil – Uzodinma Iweala (March 15)
    The Angry Chef: Bad Science and the Truth About Healthy Eating -- Anthony Warner (March 17)
    The Perfect Nanny – Leila Slimani (March 20)
    The Heart is a Shifting Sea: Love and Marriage in Mumbai – Elizabeth Flock (March 27)

    The Queen of Hearts – Kimmery Martin (April 1)
    How to Set a Fire and Why – Jesse Ball (April 3)
    The Recipe Box – Viola Shipman (April 6)
    L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home – David Lebovitz (April 12)
    Who Thought This Was a Good Idea? and Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House – Alyssa Mastromonaco with Lauren Oyler (April 13)
    A Lady's Guide to Selling Out – Sally Franson (April 17)
    Alternate Sides – Anna Quindlen (April 20)
    Shampoo Planet – Douglas Coupland (April 23)
    Chasing Harry Winston – Lauren Weisberger (April 24)

    The Sixth Day – Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison (May 1)
    Enlightenment for Idiots – Anne Cushman (May 2)
    The Atomic City Girls – Janet Beard (May 5)
    Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns – Lauren Weisberger (May 7)
    Mrs. – Caitlin Macy (May 10)
    Caroline: Little House, Revisited – Sarah Miller (May 12)
    Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, from Pointless Bones to Broken Genes -- Nathan H. Lents (May 15)
    111 Places in Paris That You Shouldn't Miss – Sybil Canac, Renee Grimaud and Katia Thomas (May 16)
    You Think It, I'll Say It – Curtis Sittenfeld (May 20)
    Amsterdam & the Netherlands – Rick Steves (May 20)
    Belgium: Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp & Ghent (May 20)
    Brussels: Bruges, Ghent & Antwerp -- Eyewitness Travel (May 20)
    Last Night at Chateau Marmont – Lauren Weisberger (May 25)
    Class Acts: Service and Inequality in Luxury Hotels – Rachel Sherman (May 28)
    Worn in New York: 68 Sartorial Memoirs of the City – Emily Spivack (May 30)
    The Alphabetical Hook-Up List: A-J – Phoebe McPhee (May 31)

    Carnegie's Maid – Marie Benedict (June 3)
    Rick Steves' Pocket Amsterdam (June 3)
    I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother – Allison Pearson (June 8 )
    When Life Gives You Lululemons – Lauren Weisberger (June 11)
    Sex and the City and Us: How Four Single Women Changed the Way We Think, Live and Love – Jennifer Keishin Armstrong (June 19)
    Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris (June 21)
    The Perfect Mother – Aimee Molloy (June 25)
    I Take You – Eliza Kennedy (June 28)

    How Hard Can it Be? – Allison Pearson (July 2)
    The Big Bad City – Ed McBain (July 4)
    The Things Between Us – Lee Montgomery (July 5)
    Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail – Cheryl Strayed (July 6)
    The Slap – Christos Tsiolkas (July 10)
    Ready Player One – Ernest Cline (July 14)
    The Best of Everything – Rona Jaffe (July 17)
    The Yonalhosse Riding Camp for Girls – Anthony DiSclafani (July 19)
    Do Elephants Jump? – David Feldman (July 19)
    Property: Stories Between Two Novellas – Lionel Shriver (July 27)
    Do This for Me – Eliza Kennedy (July 30)
    Squeezed: Why Our Families Can't Afford America – Alissa Quart (July 31)

    There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story – Pamela Druckerman (Aug. 2)
    The Ensemble – Aja Gabel (Aug. 5)
    Tell the Machine Goodnight – Katie Williams (Aug. 7)
    Know-It-All Fashion: The 50 Key Modes, Garments & Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute – Rebecca Arnold, ed. (Aug. 10)
    From the Corner of the Oval – Beck Dorey-Stein (Aug. 14)
    Paradox – Catherine Coulter (Aug. 16)
    August Snow – Stephen Mack Jones (Aug. 18)
    Motherhood – Sheila Heti (Aug. 22)
    Two Steps Forward – Graeme Simson and Anne Buist (Aug. 26)
    No One Tells You This – Glynnis MacNicol (Aug. 30)

    The Guest Cat – Takashi Hiraide (Sept. 2)
    Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy – Tim Harford (Sept. 4)
    Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America – Jill Leovy (Sept. 7)
    Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude – Stephanie Rosenbloom (Sept. 9)
    A Graphic History of Sport: An Illustrated Chronicle of the Greatest Wins, Misses & Matchups from the Games We Love – Andrew Janik (Sept. 9)
    Fight No More – Lydia Millett (Sept. 10)
    Words on the Move: Why English Won't and Can't Sit Still – John McWhorter (Sept. 10)
    Number One Chinese Restaurant – Lillian Li (Sept. 10)
    Dead Girls: Essays on Surviving American Culture – Alice Bolin (Sept. 11)
    If You See Me, Don't Say Hi – Neel Patel (Sept. 13)
    The Shortest Way Home – Miriam Parker (Sept. 15)
    The Book of Books (Sept. 16)
    This Could Hurt – Jillian Medoff (Sept. 19)
    The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married Into the British Aristocracy – Anne DeCourcy (Sept. 21)
    My Year of Rest and Relaxation – Otessa Moshefegh (Sept. 23)
    Sophia of Silicon Valley – Anna Yen (Sept. 27)

    Open Me – Lisa Locascio (Oct. 3)
    Fashion Climbing: A Memoir With Photographs – Bill Cunningham (Oct. 4)
    The Devoted – Blair Hurley (Oct. 7)
    Baseball Cop: The Dark Side of America's National Pastime – Eddie Dominguez, with Christian Red and Teri Thompson (Oct. 10)
    Grey – E.L. James (Oct. 13)
    Never a Dull Moment: 1971, the Year That Rock Exploded – David Hepworth (Oct. 15)
    The Garden Party – Grace Dane Mazur (Oct. 18)
    Shucked: Life on a New England Oyster Farm – Erin Byers Murray (Oct. 24)
    The Kiss Quotient – Helen Hoang (Oct. 25)
    Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth – Sarah Smarsh (Oct. 28)

    The Intuitionist – Colson Whitehead (Nov. 1)
    What I Hate: From A to Z – Roz Chast (Nov. 3)
    Birnbaum's 2019 Walt Disney World – Stephen Birnbaum, founding editor (Nov. 5)
    American Prison: A Reporter's Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment – Shane Bauer (Nov. 7)
    The Library Book – Susan Orlean (Nov. 12)
    The Waiter – Matias Faldbakken (Nov. 18)
    May I Come In? Discoveirng the World in Other People's Houses – Wendy Goodman (Nov. 21)
    American Panda – Gloria Chao (Nov. 22)
    French Kids Eat Everything (and Yours Can Too) – Karen LeBillon (Nov. 23)
    The Widows of Malabar Hill – Sujata Massey (Nov. 25)
    Family Trust – Karen Wang (Nov. 27)

    Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History – Without the Fairy-Tale Endings – Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (Dec. 3)
    Lake Success – Gary Steyngart (Dec. 6)
    Glover's Mistake – Nick Land (Dec. 12)
    Pandemic – Robin Cook (Dec. 16)
    Other People's Houses – Abbi Waxman (Dec. 20)
    My Ex-Life – Stephen McCauley (Dec. 22)
    The Dakota Winters – Tom Barbash (Dec. 24)
    The Intermission – Elyssa Friedland (Dec. 27)
    The Reckoning – John Grisham (Dec. 29)
    Did You Just Eat That? Two Scientists Explore Double-Dipping, the Five-Second Rule, and Other Food Myths in the Lab – Paul Dawson & Brian Sheldon (Dec. 30)
    misterbc and Flip Wilson like this.
  9. Flip Wilson

    Flip Wilson Well-Known Member

    That's a fascinating list. Thank you for posting it. I just added several things to my Amazon wish list.
  10. typefitter

    typefitter Well-Known Member

    I am somewhat late to having read Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders. I don't read much fiction, but I read it hard. For the three people who don't know it, it's a ghost story, framed around the death of Abraham Lincoln's son, Willie, near the start of the Civil War. It's almost like Saunders has invented a new form of storytelling, which is something, considering how long people have been telling stories. Quite a few times, in the middle of reading it, I thought: This is the product of a genius at work.

    Now continuing with fiction by reading No Country for Old Men. Halfway through. Kind of shocked how faithful the movie is to the book so far. Like, the dialogue is word-for-word. The way Moss puts the case in the heating duct at the motel—it appears in the film exactly as described.
  11. AD

    AD Active Member

    i've read only two books that i thought were art. not literature, or a ripping good yarn. a work of artistic genius.

    the waves, virginia woolf
    loon lake, e.l.doctorow
  12. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    I read that in advance of the movie and eagerly awaited the SPOILER ALERT

    ...moment when Josh Brolin gets killed off screen because I knew most of the theater would be like wtf, and sure enough they were, my then wife included.

    I enjoyed Lincoln in the Bardo. It's definitely unique, one of those books you have to learn how to read on its own terms. Like The Ginger Man or The Savage Detectives, two books I wholly endorse.

    I tried reading The Tenth of December, a collection of Saunders' short stories, and didn't dig it at all.
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