Connie

What's the last book you read?

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Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond - a series of hypothesis about why and how the world developed as it did.  Obviously, this is not written from the perspective of an orthodox Christian, but just hearing the author's thought processes and how our history about what the ancient world was like developed - i'd highly recommend.

The Witness Wore Red - a autobiography of one of the wives of Rulon and Warren Jeffs.  All i can say is, "wow", or maybe just "sad".  What goes on in the name of God is truly horrific.  i've read a bunch of books on the FLDS, and this is one of the most heartbreaking.  

The Polygamist's Daughter by Anna LeBaron - a story about one of the daughters of Ervil LeBaron - a fundamentalist "mormon" or orchestrated the murders of some of the people who left.  Not sure what to say about this one, other than that it is sad.  i guess i see stories like these as the "fruits" of polygamy.

Troublemaker - Leah Remini's account of her association with Scientology.  It's everything you would expect, with some interesting commentary on Hollywood stars like Tom Cruise.  i think i liked the book by the leader's dad a bit better (Ruthless).

In The Days of Rain - about a girl growing up in a faith that transitioned into something widely considered to be a cult as she was in it (The Brethren).  Just to hear her dealing with it's effects on her - even after she exited is really sobering.  It leaves me more convinced that one can believe just about anything, on a really deep level.  Makes me frightened to believe anything - or ever get to a headspace in which you have enough fear to do things that don't feel right.  

Les Miserables - reread this one, unabridged (had read it before, but a long time ago).  My recommendation to anyone else reading this is to read the abridged version.  You could pull 3-4 50 page sections out of the text and lose absolutely nothing in terms of the original story.  Hugo goes off on tangents about everything from Napoleon to the Paris sewer systems - and then you suddenly dive right back into the original storyline.  i love this book though.  There are parts of it that are just spectacular.  One thing that really struck me this time was how different Eponine is in the book from the 2012 Movie.  

The Lucifer Effect by Phillip Zimbardo - don't read this one.  i started it thinking it would talk about how to avoid being evil.  This was the guy who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment  But about a third of the way in, it just kept going deeper and deeper in to the ways in which the people were evil in his experiment.  i had to quit reading it.

The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt - i wouldn't read this one either.  It was the author's comments about Lucretius' "On The Nature of Things".  i am probably simplifying the message, but it seemed to me to be a argument about how the recovery of this document allowed atheism to make the world the modern and sophisticated it is today.  

The Wisdom of Sundays - Oprah bringing several of her favorite self-help authors on and doing short interviews with them.  If you want a really concise summary of the main new-age sort of self-help authors out there, this would be a great listen.  

Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell - a treatise on why what we call discrimination isn't actually discrimination and why disparities are not bad - with the 1-2 punch being that politicians shouldn't try and change what they don't understand.  Definitely makes some good points about the incorrectness in the way the statistics justifying such actions are gathered.

Jesus Before The Gospels and Forged by Bart Ehrman about how Jesus was not like many people think, and also a description of how the Bible was made.  i liked the second of these two books a lot better.  The first one he sort of looks at what other documents are available at the time of Christ about how other people/Roman leaders did things and then invalidates much of the gospels by saying that Jesus would have acted in the same way.  It seemed sort of a weak argument.  But, the second one i recommend reading.  i'm amazed at how little i still know about how the religious texts we ascribe so much meaning to were actually written, compiled, refined, etc.,  - decision made as to what was included/excluded, 

Ben Behind His Voices by Randye Keye - the story of a young man who develops schizophrenia.  It is written by his mother, and details the whole journey - development, diagnosis, setbacks, and how life looks in the long term.,  Anyone who is touched by schizophrenia in any way i think would benefit from reading it.

12 Rules for Life by Jordan Peterson - a little too "cold" for me.  He makes some amazing points, and there is a ton of wisdom in the book.    It's hard to argue with anything he says - there is just an incredibly preciseness and clarity of speech.  But i think if a person lived exactly as it recommends, you'd not feel much warmth.  i am listening to Maps of Meaning - and i think i wish i had listened to this one first.  

Inferior - How Science Got Women Wrong by Angele Saini - i am not sure all her arguments fit together.  Part of it is talking about how women are superior to men on many levels because they are different (true! :) ) and the rest of it about how women actually are no different than men at all, but are actually more man-like than the men are, and then how we shouldn't have any gender stereotypes at all.  

Fear: Trump In The White House by Bob Woodward - i try to approach these books with a degree of skepticism - but just looking back and remembering the headlines - it sure seems to make a lot of sense.  It paints a very bleak picture.  i think most of what's in there is true - but i am sure there are plenty of good things they are not reporting.

If I Can't Have You By Gregg Olsen - a book about Susan Powell.  Our family was in their ward, and i knew her a little (she was much older).  This one is a tale of depravity.  Unless you are looking to hear about the worst kinds of depravity or have some personal tie to this story, i wouldn't recommend it.  The story needed to be told, though.

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On 7/16/2018 at 1:32 PM, LiterateParakeet said:

 Any psychological horror?  That's what I like, no blood and guts - no supernatural, just Hitchcock-esque on the edge of your seat horror.   :)  

How about...Gone Girl, The woman in cabin 10, the woman in the window, the girl on the train (lots of women in this list!)

 

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My son is currently writing a thesis to support his theory that Isaac Asimov wrote Foundation and Earth as a cliff-hanger and didn't write any sequel to this book to conclude the Foundation series to symbolize his quandary on what happens after death (he was dying of AIDS) in light of his atheist beliefs.

I'm very interested in what @Carborendum and @Vort think about this theory.

In any case, I haven't read that book so I guess that's the book I'm going to read next.

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Oh wow - I read the Foundation series over a quarter-century ago!  I don't remember a cliffhanger though - I thought they figured to turn the galaxy into a giant Gaia project and hooray everyone.  Now I've got to add to my pile of stuff to read. 


Current book: I'm blazing through old fantasy from the '90's - Zelazny's Amber Chronicles.  Recommended by one of my Facebook arguing buddies.  My vocabulary is being challenged.

Next book up: A book that tries to make science readable by ignorant neanderthals like me.  Sean Carroll's Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo

Last book: kkat's Fallout:Equestria.  I'm fortunate to own a copy, having been a member of the 3rd print project. 

 

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9 minutes ago, NeuroTypical said:

Oh wow - I read the Foundation series over a quarter-century ago!  I don't remember a cliffhanger though - I thought they figured to turn the galaxy into a giant Gaia project and hooray everyone.  Now I've got to add to my pile of stuff to read. 

 

Foundation and Earth ended with the Solerian threat as a real possibility.

While GalaGaia was given the Green light it would take awhile to implement.  Until then they had the Seldon Plan to guide them.  However the whole point in rejecting the Plan in favor of Gaia was that the Plan was designed for Humans and only Humans.  Things that were sufficiently not human (aka the Mule, aka the Gaians, aka the Solerian, aka anything else that might come up) it fails majorly.

And they had just accidentally provoked the Solerians, by killing one of them and stealing another.

How would the Solerians respond?  What would that do to the plan?  How fast could Gaia step up?... there was a window of vulnerability that the external to the plan force of the Solerians could exploit.

Of course they would have to deal with R Dannel(SP?), Gaia, the First and Second Foundations so nothing it is given.  But it is a cliffhanger.

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6 hours ago, anatess2 said:

My son is currently writing a thesis to support his theory that Isaac Asimov wrote Foundation and Earth as a cliff-hanger and didn't write any sequel to this book to conclude the Foundation series to symbolize his quandary on what happens after death (he was dying of AIDS) in light of his atheist beliefs.

I'm very interested in what @Carborendum and @Vort think about this theory.

In any case, I haven't read that book so I guess that's the book I'm going to read next.

Asimov actually told the public about his attitude about Foundation and Earth.

The publishers pressured him into getting back into the Foundation series.  They actually wanted a very LOOOONNNNGGG continuation of the series.  But he simply wasn't into it.  He hadn't written anything "foundationee" in a very long time.  He even had to re-read the series to remind himself of the story.  He was much more into the robot series. 

So, he decide to figure out a way to incorporate robots into the Foundation.  So, that's why... (spoiler deleted).

In the end, it ended the way Asimov intended.  The entire point was that libertarians were aliens who didn't know what society or humanity was really about.  And communism was the ultimate state of being.  So, the achievement of total and utter communism (Gaia) was his idea of the paradisiacal universe.  The achievement was already underway with the previous book (where individual achievement was found to be inferior to the unity of communism).  The last installation was merely his way of combining the two series into one. That's all.  While it pounded home the notion of collectivism/individualism, It really was a fairly boring book compared to the others.

There was nothing more for him to say.

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What!! I can't believe you deleted the spoiler, @Carborendum! I love spoilers!

My husband told me not to bother reading any but the first three of the Foundation series. He said the others just weren't worth it. Would you agree with that assessment, @Carborendum?

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I just finished Saints volume 1. The big takeaway I get from it is a bit meta. I'm reminded of a number of posters who come to this site and tell us how hard the Church has worked at hiding its history in the past (I'm sure that'll get covered in volume 4). This book has been out for a few months now, and the only ones I've heard talk about it are people that are already interested in Church history and read sources outside the Sunday School manual. So for now I'm sticking with the hypothesis that members of the Church don't know about "controversial" parts of Church history because members just don't care.

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21 hours ago, mordorbund said:

I just finished Saints volume 1. The big takeaway I get from it is a bit meta. I'm reminded of a number of posters who come to this site and tell us how hard the Church has worked at hiding its history in the past (I'm sure that'll get covered in volume 4). This book has been out for a few months now, and the only ones I've heard talk about it are people that are already interested in Church history and read sources outside the Sunday School manual. So for now I'm sticking with the hypothesis that members of the Church don't know about "controversial" parts of Church history because members just don't care.

That's cool that you've finished it. Seems like I heard a lot of people talking about it when it first came out and saying how they are reading it. That seems to have died down in favor of President Nelson's challenge to read The Book of Mormon. Our stake president and ward Elder's Quorum president have issued that challenge to the men in our area, too. So perhaps many have set Saints aside as they plow through The Book of Mormon. I'm still plugging away at it. I'm on chapter 28.

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On 10/24/2018 at 1:18 PM, Connie said:

What!! I can't believe you deleted the spoiler, @Carborendum! I love spoilers!

My husband told me not to bother reading any but the first three of the Foundation series. He said the others just weren't worth it. Would you agree with that assessment, @Carborendum?

"worth it"?  Bit of a judgment call.  I wasn't really invigorated by reading it.  But it completed the story.  And I don't like loose ends.  So, I had to read it.

That said, Asimov is a good writer.  I just can't bring myself to say that those books "weren't worth reading."

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Since mid February through today I have read books 1-3 in the Michael Vey series, and am currently 1/3 through book four.

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5 hours ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I recently read Brideshead Revisited...thanks @MormonGator.  And then I read Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson.  

Loved them both for different reasons.

And Lit and I have gone back and forth for pages now about various developments in the book. I really can't recommend it strongly enough. 

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On 3/14/2013 at 9:38 AM, Anddenex said:

I love the series, thus far, however I was thoroughly disappointed with the ending of book 3

That is something I've never said about a Brandon Sanderson book :D 

I'm currently re-reading Card's Ender's Shadow series.  I just started Shadow Puppets.

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34 minutes ago, Connie said:

Well enough. You?

Doing so-so. Read Radium Girls about women working with radioactive materials in northern states from WWII forwards. So depressing! But incredibly well researched and written. I was really impressed by the husbands of these women. They stood by there wives through it all!  

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2 hours ago, Sunday21 said:

Doing so-so. Read Radium Girls about women working with radioactive materials in northern states from WWII forwards. So depressing! But incredibly well researched and written. I was really impressed by the husbands of these women. They stood by there wives through it all!  

Wow! Brave of you to read that! I'm familiar enough with the history that I don't think I could stomach it. Reminds me of the time my husband recommended The Hot Zone. I told him to go jump in a lake.

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1 hour ago, Connie said:

Wow! Brave of you to read that! I'm familiar enough with the history that I don't think I could stomach it. Reminds me of the time my husband recommended The Hot Zone. I told him to go jump in a lake.

It was so difficult read...oh my...I only made it through because I hope to attend a book club that assigned the book! Now I have to look up the hot zone! 

Oh my! Read the review! No no no!

Edited by Sunday21

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