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The Idiot Board Readers Corner - General Discussion

Discussion in 'Books' started by ReverendGodless, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Dcc001

    Dcc001
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    Just saw this and OHMYGOD yes. A handful were so good I immediately listened to them again:

    The Only Plane in the Sky - An Oral History of 9/11
    If you're like me, you lived through 9/11 live as it was happening and have seen a myriad of documentaries, movies and discussion about it. It's a highly recommended audiobook that I was reluctant to start just because the subject matter was so overdone. Boy, was I wrong. This book is fascinating and there are whole sections to what happened that day that I had no idea about. Highly recommend.

    Say Nothing - Patrick Radden Keefe
    A book about the Irish "Troubles," or the IRA terrorism that occurred throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s. This is a subject I knew next to nothing about and the author made it very interesting. Such a centuries-old and complex conflict that involves not just English/Irish relations and colonialism, but also Catholic/Protestant faith-based disputes and corruption at all levels of government. To take an unknown subject (to me) and make it so understandable was a real feat by the author.

    American Predator - Maureen Callahan
    READ THIS BOOK. Seriously, read it. It starts of as kind of your low-level true crime type of deal. A young girl goes missing and it appears that whoever stole her is dumb enough to make phone calls and use her bank card. Oh, daddy. Is it ever not that simple or common. The killer at the heart of this book - Israel Keyes - should be more notorious than Ted Bundy or John Wayne Gacy. I won't spoil it, but I will say that it just builds and builds and at the end you realize how outclassed law enforcement was.

    Empire of Pain - Patrick Radden Keefe
    I originally bought it because I liked "Say Nothing" so much and was looking for books by the same author. Did not disappoint. I always knew that the opioid crisis was brought about by Big Pharma; I had no clue it was in fact triggered by a single privately-held company owned by one family.

    Dune - Frank Hebert
    Of course the book itself is a classic; the audiobook is also very well done. Multi-actor cast. A good thing to re-read before the movie gets released.
     
  2. walt

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    9/11 stuff is really tough for me to read or watch, because, well, reasons. But I downloaded this and will give it a shot.
     
  3. Dcc001

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    Well, be advised that this is not an easy read. You hear from the victims, their families and all the governmental people directly involved with that day. Again, without spoiling it, the level of courage that people came to the plate with is nothing short of humbling.
     
  4. walt

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    I'll still check it out.

    I was there a couple days later with a group of ambulance services that responded from Upstate NY and it was a life altering experience. It's just a hard time of year for me, something I didn't even realize until my wife pointed out.
     
  5. Nettdata

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    Yeah... I was working on some online banking stuff for Wachovia bank at the time, and had no idea that the majority of the team were there... needless to say the project ended. It was surreal, as a dozen people I was interacting with multiple times a week just disappeared and all communication on the project just stopped.
     
  6. Dcc001

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    One of the towers - I think the second one that was hit? - housed Cantor Fitzgerald on floors 99-104 (or something close to that). They essentially lost all their staff who were in the building; upwards of like 700 people. Anyone who was at or above the strike was trapped because all the stairwells were severed. There's a scene in the book where the CEO for CF had to sit down and sign all the death certificates, as their staff log was the only way for the coroner to confirm who had died. It's a heart wrenching scene.

    Imagine sitting at a desk and signing the death certificates of almost all of the people you work with? I just...can't.

    There's another part of the book that involves the two national guard pilots who were scrambled after the towers and the pentagon were hit and they knew another hijacked plane was in the sky. What those pilots did is also heart wrenching.

    I think anyone who was alive and old enough to remember that day considers 9/11 the before and after point of history.

    EDIT: Corrected the number of people
     
  7. Rush-O-Matic

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    If you need something uplifting after reading The Only Plane In The Sky, then read The Day The World Came To Town. It's a very quick read and a nice, palette cleanser.

    When 38 jetliners bound for the United States were forced to land at Gander International Airport in Canada by the closing of U.S. airspace on September 11, the population of this small town on Newfoundland Island swelled from 10,300 to nearly 17,000. The citizens of Gander met the stranded passengers with an overwhelming display of friendship and goodwill.

    As the passengers stepped from the airplanes, exhausted, hungry and distraught after being held on board for nearly 24 hours while security checked all of the baggage, they were greeted with a feast prepared by the townspeople. Local bus drivers who had been on strike came off the picket lines to transport the passengers to the various shelters set up in local schools and churches. Linens and toiletries were bought and donated. A middle school provided showers, as well as access to computers, email, and televisions, allowing the passengers to stay in touch with family and follow the news.

    Over the course of those four days, many of the passengers developed friendships with Gander residents that they expect to last a lifetime. As a show of thanks, scholarship funds for the children of Gander have been formed and donations have been made to provide new computers for the schools. This book recounts the inspiring story of the residents of Gander, Canada, whose acts of kindness have touched the lives of thousands of people and been an example of humanity and goodwill.

    It's also the book that the musical "Come From Away" is based on.
     
  8. walt

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    I recently bough the Jessica Christ seven book series by H. Claire Taylor on sale through Bookbub. A brief synopsis:

    Jessica McCloud knows firsthand that it's impossible to fit in when you're God's only begotten daughter. While the girl possesses the power to smite and a direct line to the Almighty, she'd give it all up for a few more friends ... or a reliable set of God-proof earplugs.

    Misunderstood and socially outcast, the messiah-in-the-making forms a bond with the only other person who knows her Father personally: a charismatic preacher who played heavenly messenger during her nativity. But the more time she spends with him, the less about his past adds up. And why does he always grill her with questions about feral pigs?

    After a close shave with a pervy demon, a soul-crushing betrayal, and a ritualistic public shaming, she suspects she's heading for the same grisly finale as her half-brother two millennia before. Is Jessica's eternal fate sealed or can a little teen rebellion forge a new destiny?


    This series is very obviously written for a female audience, but the premise got my attention and I'm glad I read it. It was pretty funny overall. Books 5 and 6 kinda dragged along a little bit, but there was enough of a story to keep me in it. The author's imagination and sense of humor really shined though. I enjoyed it.

    For something different I just started Landslide: The Final Days Of The Trump Presidency by Michael Wolff. It's a little dry but not too bad overall. Like with his other two books, if even half the stuff in there is true, it's a miracle we survived the past four years.
     
  9. Kubla Kahn

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    Once upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Since Tarantino wrote the novelization himself it was a no duhh choice to pick up as a fan of his movies. A quick cheap read that I would recommend if you identify with the first sentence. I like expanded universe stuff and having the writer/director handle the novelization seems like a no brainer. It was alright but nothing super amazing. It's hard because Ive only seen the movie once and I know, for me, I need to see them 3-4 times before I appreciate them totally. I thought the movie was pretty shallow on story and was more just a visual ode to a time and place in Los Angeles he has insane love for. It lacked the usual amount of snappy dialogue and the number of insanely memorable side characters. Im curious to watch the movie again as the whole experience of first watch was predicated on the tension created wondering how he would handle the Manson Tate murders. Might make me appreciate Rick(Decaprio) and Cliff's (Pitt) stories that much more. Which are the main focus of the book. Pitt's character carried the movie but the book gives the best material to Decaprios, which I ended up thinking was the best part of the book. There are really only a handful of added characters and scenes that I wish had been in the movie. The little girl actress (actor) gets more and based on the pictures on the book they filmed it but was cut (the fun expanded universe stuff to me).

    I think he knew everyone reading the book will probably have seen the movie already so (semi spoilers from here out) he dispenses with the movie's climax pretty early in the book. This is where the book becomes hit or miss. Sharon Tate's story, and the Manson members extended stories, become more superfluous. He didnt give them much depth in the movie and doesnt add much in the book. The latter actually get more material but it becomes sort of a cliffhanger tool to make the book a pulp page turner. He throws in some Tarantino timeline shifts and decides either not to pay off cliffhangers or does it disjointedly with what I felt were weak payoffs. The book is not strong enough to play those tricks on the reader. He could have really excised the Tate Manson subplot all together and written a whole book on mid life crisis tv actor and his stunt double buddy.

    Few quick points. Tarantino nerds the fuck out on 50-60's B cinema and western tv shows cast and crews. Imagine the repetitive American Psycho couture clothing description levels but without the artistic point of that device from Easton Ellis. It gets tiring and kills the flow of the book in a lot of places. But since he's such a cinematic genius you got to let him do what he wants to do I guess. The one really cool part of the book is that he does some metaplay and gives the TV pilot's story from the movie its own universe and dedicates multiple chapters to it. Probably the funnest part of the book as it is an actual Louis L'Amour style pulp page turner. I guess he's actually trying to get that produced as a tv series, a reboot since it was a real tv show 'Lancer' from the late 60s, with Robert Rodriguez as the director. He wants to direct a series based on the fictional show Decaprio's character starred in from the movie. Both of which would be fucking awesome.

    7/10
     
    #649 Kubla Kahn, Aug 28, 2021
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2021
  10. Rush-O-Matic

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    I just finished this. I read the book, instead of listening, and thought it was about 100 pages longer than it needed to be. (Though he acknowledges there are other, shorter books on the subject, and this was intended to be more comprehensive. And it was!)

    It's fascinating. It is truly remarkable how much impact one family has had on a nation. Also, if you think you should trust something because the FDA says it's okay? Oof.

    The settlement happened since the book was published. This link worked for me on mobile, but it's NYT, so may be behind a paywall.
    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.ny...h/purdue-sacklers-opioids-settlement.amp.html
     
  11. Dcc001

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    I found it got a bit sloggy when it went into great detail about the philanthropy work of each faction of the family. I get why they had to talk about it; it shows how much money they slung around, plus it shows their need to be named benefactors, but great minute detail about the Oriental furniture collection or the shithead misdeeds of a 25-year-old spoiled rich kid in medical school was an uphill read.

    And to your point on the FDA; absolutely. It's an under-funded, quasi-political organization staffed with some people trying to do good, but mostly fleeced with executives who are going to go work in the private industry once they're done here. An incestuous symbiotic relationship with the pharmaceutical industry that mirrors how politicians and lobbyists interact. That's why the, "It's FDA approved!" does nothing to ease my mind.

    A side note about the settlement: they got away with murder. Literally. They were allowed to bankrupt the one company that held the patents, however, they first transferred all the BILLIONS out of it to themselves or other shell companies. And the nature of the court they got to choose is also out of this world. The one judge, in the one state, that could agree to bundling all the damages together into this one settlement and they're now indemnified for future losses. I get it...I would push for the same from my high-priced lawyers if I was in their shoes. But considering how much they made, it's barely a slap on the wrist.
     
  12. Rush-O-Matic

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    It's fascinating. The Sackler family set up a website to refute a lot of what they claim is false information. judgeforyourselves.info And it just goes to show how much spin there can be. They claim Purdue only had 4% share of the Oxy produced, so they aren't solely responsible for the Opioid crisis. But in terms of potency, it's more like a 16% share or something? But good grief, if the Sacklers made that many billions on a 16% share, that's a lot of freaking legal money from poppies, that doesn't count heroine. I don't know if that counts regular morphine administered at hospitals and things like that.

    The patent on the reformulated Oyxcontin expires in 2030. I don't know who holds that now that Purdue is dissolve. It's also interesting that Purdue held a patent granted in like 2018 for the drug used to wean addicts off of it, so I'm not sure who holds that now.
     
  13. shegirl

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    I just got Dave Grohl's new book, The Storyteller:Tales of Life and Music, the day before yesterday. It's like a bunch of short stories, yet they are all tied together. It's a good one. Highly recommend.
     
  14. Misanthropic

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    I was given this by my daughter as a Christmas gift. I’m looking forward to reading it.
     
  15. bewildered

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    I finished up the First Law trilogy a few months ago and tried to read the other books outside the trilogy storyline. I got about 80% done with Best Served Cold and returned it way overdue to the library after a renewal because it was a chore to read. The more it went on, the less I cared at all about the story or main character.

    I had the next book after Best Served Cold out and returned that one too. I quit

    Anyone else read Joe Abercrombie's stuff?
     
  16. billy_2005

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    I've loved everything Joe Abercrombie has ever written, except I didn't read his YA series because YA isn't my thing.
    Some similar style authors to check out would be Mark Lawrence, Peter V. Brett, Brent Weeks, Miles Cameron and Glen Cook.
    Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series is amazing, but it's a big commitment.
     
  17. bewildered

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    YA? Edit figured that out.

    I liked his First Law trilogy. It was a little different style than things I normally gravitate towards. Grim and bleak. The storytelling was kind of a wide spiral than eventually tightened all the characters together. The end left me feeling a bit of discord, so I tried Best Served Cold and it just didn't snag me at all. What was your opinion of Best Served Cold? Weaker than the others or no? Wondering if I should just skip onto the next.

    I'll have to check out some of those authors.
     
    #657 bewildered, Jan 6, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
  18. Misanthropic

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    I second Mark Lawrence and completely agree on the Malazan Book of the Fallen. A fantastic series. I read it maybe 6 years ago and still think about it from time to time. If you’re looking for something meaty to dive into and be entertained for weeks or months then I absolutely recommend.
     
  19. walt

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    I got it for Christmas as well and can second this. I like Dave as a person, from what I've seen, as well as his music so I was really looking forward to this. And it hasn't disappointed.
     
  20. Aetius

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    The Last Shadow

    After 25 years of waiting we finally get a true sequel to the Ender quartet... and it sucks. Sucks balls.