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What Are You Reading? 2021

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What Are You Reading? 2021

Old 05-26-21, 05:26 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 05-27-21, 12:15 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 05-30-21, 10:17 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 05-31-21, 01:14 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

Finished:



I'll admit to being a little disappointed in this book; while it's valuable because it's got a lot of first-person anecdotes by the author (who played Leatherface in The Texas Chain Saw Massacre), it's also oddly-sequenced and spends the last couple of chapters going into the psychology of why we like horror films. It's okay, but I doubt that I'll find myself wanting to reread it.

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Old 05-31-21, 08:52 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

Reading a hodgepodge of stuff currently, alternating between true crime (my version of a beach read), a compilation of Herman Melville short stories, Annie Lowrey's "Give People Money", and Piketty's "Capital".
Old 06-04-21, 11:02 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

The Chinese Maze Murders by Robert Van Gulik. Sadly, I have no more Judge Dee mysteries to read. This was the last one. In this book, Judge Dee has to solve three murders as usual, but he also has to deal with other important civil matters, all of which keep him hopping. The author brings in a mid-twentieth century stock character depraved lesbian that didn't age well, but only for about ten pages and it's not critical to the main plots. I liked the book.

Old 06-04-21, 12:28 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-06-21, 04:10 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

Reread The Console Wars, the book about the battle between videogame giants Nintendo and Sega (although in the later chapters it obviously throws in a little bit of Sony and Microsoft, but the focus is the initial pioneers, Nintendo and Sega (and yes, Atari is obviously discussed as well, almost as an ominous omen of sorts). Really great read, and very breezy. It's pretty lengthy, but if you're a kid that grew up with those competing systems (Super Nintendo vs. Genesis) then you'll find it very enthralling. And I can't wait for the adaptations that are on the way. My understanding is that CBS All Access has produced a documentary based on the book, and then we still (hopefully) have the Seth Rogen produced miniseries adaptation to look forward to down the road. It's a little disappointing that we haven't really heard much regarding the project since it was announced quite some time ago, but hopefully it's still in the pipeline. Lots and lots of potential with that project, and it should be able to attract a great stable of actors/actresses...

Death of the Territories - A book largely about the history of the WWF/WWE and how Vince McMahon kind of shaped the wrestling industry in innovative but sometimes unscrupulous ways. Incredibly, the book probably could've been even longer and went into greater detail, but nevertheless it's still a very solid read, filled with very amusing anecdotes, many of which wouldn't even be known by die-hard wrestling fans (and don't count me among the "fans"; I enjoyed WWF wrestling to an extent when I was growing up, mainly the Bret Hart, Razor Ramon, Diesel, 123 Kid, Undertaker, Doink, Marty Jannety, Steiner Brothers, Shawn Michaels, etc. era...I tuned out pretty much as soon as the "Attitude Era" came to be, with all the raunchiness and just plain ludicrous "adult-themed" material that followed). The book is almost more of a "business book"...or a "business/sports book hybrid"...It's just interesting seeing how the WWE was built and exactly what corners had to be cut and what sacrifices had to be made along the way...A very entertaining read, for those looking for a great non-fiction book. Nitro is another good wrestling/business book that focuses on the WCW side of things, and how and why things went wrong for that company and just how they eventually basically faded away and just lost any clout they had...But that book is kind of tome and is a very, very lengthy read...But again, if you're interested in the business aspect of wrestling, it's a fascinating read.


Would also just add that I cannot wait to read Tarantino's novel of Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood, which I know either just came out or is coming out shortly...I intend to devour that one. And while I wasn't the biggest fan of the movie (it's still better than 90% of the crap out there, but with Quentin obviously expectations are always raised, maybe unfairly), but I've kind of heard the direction he's taking with the book and it really sounds interesting to me, and I think the chance to further explore the characters is a wise decision, as the movie was long enough and I don't think you could've added more in that format. A novel on the other hand? Seems to make sense based on the story he wanted to tell...And I gotta add, I absolutely love the cover of the paperback...It just looks really vintage and authentic...

Last edited by Goonies85; 06-06-21 at 04:15 PM. Reason: added thoughts
Old 06-07-21, 07:02 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-07-21, 08:38 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-07-21, 12:03 PM
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Old 06-10-21, 12:20 PM
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Old 06-11-21, 03:07 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

Finished a few:

Hard to believe that it's been 15 years since World War Z came out (and it took Max Brooks this long to publish another novel). Despite also having a "memoirs and interviews" style, this felt a lot more like a conventional narrative novel (with the bulk of the book being 1st person from one character). And some parts it seemed like Brooks forgot (or didn't care) that the style was a journal, since the writing style didn't fit (especially during action sequences). Still, this was an entertaining book that would make a great movie. While zombies are pretty overdone, the world needs more Bigfoot stories



This is Hank from Crash Course and SciShow videos (as an educator, I've been familiar with him for years). While science fiction isn't a surprise genre for his fiction debut, I was surprised at the serious and philosophical tone of these books (I suppose I was expecting more humor, although there is some of that). These really need to be considered one big book, since the first absolutely does not end in any kind of satisfying way. The main characters initially came across fairly unlikable to me (self-absorbed social-media obsessed 20-somethings), though I get that the author is writing what he knows. But I liked the big ideas and ambition that are tackled here: including first contact, advanced VR, cryptocurrency, capitalism-gone-bad, the power of social media, dangers of conspiracy theorists, fame, addiction, and nothing less than the meaning of life and happiness.

Last edited by brainee; 06-11-21 at 07:14 PM.
Old 06-13-21, 06:59 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-14-21, 08:40 AM
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Old 06-14-21, 02:29 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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I'm rather flabbergasted at how much I enjoyed this book. It's one of the most compulsively-readable books that I've ever experienced.


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Old 06-16-21, 09:12 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-16-21, 11:52 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021


The Dragon Reborn - Robert Jordan
Book 3 of the Wheel of Time series.
Old 06-16-21, 04:40 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

Over the course of the past week or two, I finished the following...

Offside: My Life Crossing the Line by Sean Avery with Michael McKinley - I think this is like the third time I've read this, and I still find it entertaining, even though Avery has obviously done a lot of douchey things and comes across as incredibly arrogant and full of himself; he still manages to be funny and tells some pretty funny anecdotes, some of which I buy and others I take with a grain of salt. And while I say that, he can still be self-deprecating at times, and he does occasionally admit to his foibles and whatnot. And he was very, very good at what he did on the ice (and basically fulfilled what was expected of him, otherwise he wouldn't of been in the NHL). Some of the more prominent topics include his beginnings with the Red Wings, his love of New York and playing for the Rangers (and even opening what sounds like a pretty hip restaurant/club, which was news to me), his hatred for John Torterella (and several other coaches and/or GMs), his love of fashion (even interning for Vogue while living in New York), the NHL lockout (this part was really fascinating, and I'd love to read another book that delved deeper into the whole saga, as apparently there was a lot of discord and disagreement among the various player factions), and his various encounters with celebrities and his various romances (most prominently Rachel Hunter, Rod Stewart's ex, and Elisha Cuthbert...and the book does go into the time he got in trouble for using the phrase "sloppy seconds" in reference to her subsequent relationship with Dion Phaneuf when he was on the Flames). BUT, the best part is probably when he discusses his encounters with Brodeur, including the infamous time when he waived his stick in Brodeur's face while screening him and the whole incident resulted in the NHL basically making a new rule/penalty because of his kind of ridiculous but sorta funny antics. It's a pretty breezy read, one that you often don't wanna put down, constantly telling yourself, "Just one more chapter, one more chapter before bedtime..." If you're a hockey fan, I'd recommend it.

Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig - Awesome, awesome book, covering the Secret Service from it's beginnings all the way to Trump, but the thick of the book really begins with the JFK Assassination and onward, covering each subsequent Administration. Even if you're familiar with much of American/Presidential History, there's still tons of stuff you'll learn, much of which is fascinating but also very, very frightening at times. Like, in several instances, it seems that the author reveals events and/or details that haven't been made public before. And it's incredible the access she was able to get and the pretty startling and amazing quotes/interviews she was able to record and conduct. And while I was initially a little annoyed when she'd repeat certain things from previous chapters, in the end I kind of understood why she did it, as the book is very dense and it would be easy to get lost or forget certain things. In that way, it almost feels like a textbook, only not as dry and much, much more enthralling and entertaining. And it really doesn't come across as partisan; it's just kind of, "Just the facts, ma'am." I'd highly recommend.

Battle for the Soul: Inside the Democrats' Campaigns to Defeat Trump by Edward-Isaac Dovere - This was a pretty decent read, full of behind-the-scenes info and campaign details that haven't been revealed before. The only drawback I had was that the author focuses on certain campaigns that really didn't have much of chance to begin with and flamed out pretty swiftly...so it kind of just felt like he was just filling space at times. He also does seem to have a tendency to favour certain candidates over others, but maybe I was just reading into certain things too much. Overall, it's trying to act like it's the equivalent to those great books Ted White would write about "Making of the President 1960, 64, 68, etc.". It's not nearly on the level of those books, but it's a decent read. Political junkies should find enough to like about it that it's worth reading, and probably even worth buying and adding to the bookshelf (but preferably when it's out in paperback).

Next, rereading John Branch's Boy On Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard, who most people know, but if you don't he was a much-feared enforcer in the NHL who would die young from addictions to painkillers, alcohol, and various drugs...I loved it the first time I read it, even though it's quite heart-breaking, and I look forward to reading it again...

Last edited by Goonies85; 06-16-21 at 04:41 PM. Reason: syntax
Old 06-18-21, 06:08 PM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-19-21, 08:09 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

That is the cover of the first Raymond Chandler book I ever read. I was playing Dungeons and Dragons in the early 1980s and I mentioned that I'd never read anything by Chandler. A friend pulled that book out of his pocket, slid it across the table to me, and told me to read it.
Old 06-19-21, 02:05 PM
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What you would get if you put Downton Abbey, Agatha Christie, Groundhog Day, and Quantum Leap in a blender. This is certainly a puzzle of a book, and combined with an older style of writing and dialog (in line with the early 20th century English setting) it takes a bit work on the reader's part. But I found it rewarding in the end. I liked how with each "redo" of the day, perceptions changed and the mystery took more shape (and events that didn't make any sense earlier were clarified later).
Old 06-19-21, 10:04 PM
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Boy On Ice: The Life and Death of Derek Boogaard - Just as good as the first time I read it, and very moving. Boogaard was a beast of a man but also kind of a teddy bear at heart, as numerous interviews/quotes from friends/family/teammates can attest to. It's just a really compelling read that raises a lot of questions about the role of "enforcers" in hockey and the effects that repeated blows to the head, and just the general mindset of having to essentially be prepared to fight any given night in order to secure employment can do to someone psychologically. Also explores what certain tough guys will do to cope, whether that be drugs/alcohol, or just develop a general malaise or depressed attitude. Any hardcore hockey fan would love this book...

Can't Slow Down: How 1984 Became Pop's Blockbuster Year - Really good book that covers a vast array of talented musicians, most prominently Michael Jackson, Prince, Madonna, the Talking Heads, Genesis, George Michael, Cyndi Lauper, etc. Also discusses plenty of changes in the industry, including changes in radio airplay and the introduction of Compact Discs and the real introductions of rap/hip-hop. It bounces around a bit, and occasionally you kind of wish that certain acts would have gotten a more in-depth look, while others (especially certain acts that you may not be a fan of) can sometimes be given too much coverage, making certain chapters a little bit more of a slog to get through. But, there are enough amusing anecdotes and pretty fascinating stories and quotes that even when you read the odd chapter that kind of slows the book down a bit, there's almost always a follow-up chapter that draws the reader back in. To put how enthralling the book can be in perspective, I purchased the book yesterday morning and finished the last 100 pages earlier today...And then actually started making an iTunes playlist based on a lot of the songs that are covered in the book (sometimes I found it hard not to just tune out the book for a bit while I listened to some of the songs discussed within it, as there's plenty of music I have that I haven't listened to in quite some time, and the book just makes you want to fire up those tunes). Recommended for music and/or general pop culture fans...

Last edited by Goonies85; 06-19-21 at 10:04 PM. Reason: spelling
Old 06-21-21, 10:03 AM
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Re: What Are You Reading? 2021

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Old 06-21-21, 10:03 AM
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