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Now is the time to read books

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Looking for something to do? Read good books. There is a lengthy list of good books, non fiction and fiction, rolling off the presses. Check in on Goodreads or other similar sites for ideas. National Geographic has list of "bests", including adventure stories, that is terrific. And if reading is hard for you, listen on any of a number of audio book sites. Some of the audio book editions (for example, Night Circus) are better than the printed versions.
 

BGRed

Starter
15 Year Member
I've been an avid reader since my grade school days. Some recommendations in a few favorite genres:

Spy Novels:
Robert Ludlum (I think I have read every one) - most were written in the 80's, mainly centered around the European & Cold War arena theater.
Robert Silva (more current - centered around central Europe and Middle Eastern terrorist activity. Suggest starting with his first books as there is a central character to the entire series.

Westerns:
Of course, Louis L'Amour. The Sacketts series is my favorite.

Fantasy:
Lords of the Rings - the pinnacle of the genre
Shanarra Series
Xanth Series (author Piers Anthony), humorous and full of puns.
 
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Prairie Sage

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
I can add a couple of authors:

Fantasy:
Terry Pratchett - The Discworld series

Mystery:
Agatha Christie - there is a reason she's the best selling author of all time.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a classic and was voted the best crime novel every by the Crime Writers Association.
 

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Raymond chandler writes good mysteries too. And I like Holmes and Poe.

Take a look at the various lists that reputable sites publish. Often great suggestions.

Sometimes the best authors la an egg though. I just finished one of Le Carres new ones - Running in the Fields - and I thought is was not that good.

You want something different, read Pochinko about Koreans living generation after generation in Japan.
 

HUSKER HOT SAUCE

Be Yourself - Everyone Else Is Already Taken
5 Year Member
Fantasy:
Terry Pratchett - The Discworld series
I was a big fan of Pratchett back in the 90's. I think I still have at least one of his books.

I just finished reading CASINO by Nicholas Pileggi, the book they made the movie from about Frank Rosenthal. Who really knows what was left out, and what may have been added, but a fun and interesting read either way.

Currently reading The Last Mile by David Baldacci. He is such a smooth writer, easy to read but he really knows how to weave a tale.

Also, if one is looking for a long read that kinda hits home right about now, due to the Covid-19, Wuhan Virus, check out LIGHT'S OUT by David Crawford. It's a survival story. Heavy duty to say the least.
 

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
I've just gathered together some of the iconinc Chinese epics to see what I can learn about the Chinese character from them. I read the first volume of Journey to the West, and bailed on the other three. Now I am reading the Three Kingdoms. It is actually kind of fun once you get into it and as long as you don't stumble over trying to pronounce all of their names. After that comes Dream of the Red Chamber.

Then I will take on Gilgamesh, the epic foundation tale of Sumeria and all of Mesopotamia, written a hell of a long time ago. Then I have a couple of Italians ones The Decameraon and The Betrothed. Then I'll grab a couple of mysteries although lately I have been driven back to some of the good poetry I like. Lots to read and no where to go, so it's a great time to catch up on stuff I have always wanted to get into.
 

Hooked on Huskers

I'm old as a rock
5 Year Member
Only non fiction books. Unfortunately, I was very slow reading ...... just finished "The Path Between the Seas". 700 pages ! :Eek:

The National Book Award–winning epic chronicle of the creation of the Panama Canal, a first-rate drama of the bold and brilliant engineering feat that was filled with both tragedy and triumph
Corruption, shifty politics, diseases, race problems, tough terrains, etc. Deadliest construction project ..... at least 30,000 deaths.

 
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Prairie Sage

Red Shirt
5 Year Member
The View from the Back of the Band: The Life and Music of Mel Lewis

Mel was a great drummer, particularly for big bands. He was also very opinionated. His signature sound was a Turkish cymbal. His philosophy of drumming was to support rather than drive or push the band. A good read.
 

HuskerFaith

Recruit
I've just gathered together some of the iconinc Chinese epics to see what I can learn about the Chinese character from them. I read the first volume of Journey to the West, and bailed on the other three. Now I am reading the Three Kingdoms. It is actually kind of fun once you get into it and as long as you don't stumble over trying to pronounce all of their names. After that comes Dream of the Red Chamber.

Then I will take on Gilgamesh, the epic foundation tale of Sumeria and all of Mesopotamia, written a hell of a long time ago. Then I have a couple of Italians ones The Decameraon and The Betrothed. Then I'll grab a couple of mysteries although lately I have been driven back to some of the good poetry I like. Lots to read and no where to go, so it's a great time to catch up on stuff I have always wanted to get into.
Ever read anything about Marco Polo? Adventures in China. I started watching the series on Netflix and became interested in Khan.
 

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
I read the Travels of Marco Polo, but nothing else about him. Would be a fascinating life he led, although the trips must have been incredibly hard.

Another travels" book you might like if you liked that one is The Travels of Ibn Battuta. This is a description of the travels of a guy in the 12 th century that lived in Fez and decided to walk to all the muslim major sites and to all of the countries in which Islam had a hold at that time, reporting back to Fez and to all with whom he stayed about the different customs of each place.

He traveled more than any other "traveler" in the ancient world (117,000 km compared with about 12,000 by Marco Polo). For me, most revealing was his personal description of the Hajj, the required trip to Mecca of any good muslim.

The translation by Gibb is the best one I have seen.
 

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Just finished The Betrothed, a book written in the 19th century about Milan and surroundings at the time of the plague and famine of about 1630-40. Sounds dull doesn't it. But here is what it captures.
- What ordinary life was like then
- class divides and how they effect everyday living
- religious feelings and beliefs and disparity between good religious people and bad
- what famine does to the underclass
- how long it takes to get somewhere when the only mode of traveling is walking
- the humor around all of this
- conversions and how they occur
- superstitions around the plague and how society dealt with the victims. These chapters are particularly moving
- a modest love story is used as the framework for the discussions of the rest, and it shows persistence in the face of difficult obstacles

This is all told by an author (Manzoni) who interjects surprising humor time and again and who writes superbly.

Italians all know this book. It may be the most popular Italian novel ever written. I put it right up there with The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini as really good Italian stories. Sorry, I never was taken by the Divine Comedy.
.
 

TrblShtr

Recruit
Dune, and the next one and the two after that. Then all the sequels and prequels co-written by Frank Herbert's son Brian and Kevin Anderson. Something like 15 books and maybe a page for every one of the tens of thousands of years in the time line. It became a compulsion at some point but I'm glad I'm almost done. Maybe re-read Steven King one-to-done next. Somebody shoot me.
 

EastOfEden

Scout Team
10 Year Member
Here is a new list, one of novels that have had a societal influence. I have eliminated three (Beloved because while I enjoyed it I don't think it has made a societal impact; and House of God and Go Ask Alice because I never read them). The others I have read but had not fully appreciated what one or more of them did for society at that time they were published.
1. Uncle Tom's Cabin - energized abolitionists
2. A Christmas Carol - revived Christmas as a holiday and celebration
3. The Jungle - highlighted the adulteration of food we were eating
4. The Fire in the Flint - a counterweight to the KKK at a propitious moment
5. To Kill A Mocking Bird - Encouraged many lawyers to be professional
6. Atlas Shrugged - Glorifies ability of men to do things
7. Grapes of Wrath - Spoke eloquently about rural poverty
8. 1984 - Articulated the danger of big government
9. The Cat In the Hat - Changed how young children are taught to read (got rid of Dick and Jane)

I guess I will read the other two I haven't yet read. Currently I am reading a book that was a Pulitzer prize winner and number one for a while on all the reading lists in the early 00s = Godel Escher and Bach. Don't pick it up. It's too hard. I'm only reading it because a published author sent me a manuscript of his to read and comment on, and in doing so I got interested in a subject addressed in his book that is more fully articulated (or so I'm told) in this awfully difficult book. And now I have this infantile completion complex with which to deal so I will probably finish all 700 pages of it.
 

Ackos

Husker Fan
15 Year Member
Go through 1-2 books a week, nothing serious right now. Mostly litrpgs, space opera
 
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