So what are you reading?

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So what are you reading?

Postby StraightForward » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:33 am

With Annabelle out of commission, I'm catching up a bit on non horse-related reading.

I recently finished "Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?" I thought it was really interesting. It not only looks at demonstrated cognitive capabilities of a lot of species (focused on chimps, the author's specialty), but brings up interesting questions about how to go about learning about animal cognition, which has evolutionary reasons for being different from human cognition, and also, why must humans try so hard to feel superior to all other species?

Currently I'm halfway through "The Best Land under Heaven: The Donner Party in the Age of Manifest Destiny." This is my first real dive into the history of the Donner Party, so I can't compare it to much else, but it's quite good and very thorough. Started out a bit slow maybe, but probably necessary for back story.

After this is "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing."

Curious what everyone else has their noses buried in this winter?
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby heddylamar » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:17 am

I'm a bit of a juggler :D I am currently reading White Fragility (DiAngelo), How Not to Get Shot (Hughely), and Code Girls (Mundy). And I have Things That Make White People Uncomfortable (Bennett), Fear (Woodward), and Ruthless Tide (Roker) on reserve.

I need a to pick up a copy of Tana French's latest book to cheer all this up!

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby heddylamar » Tue Jan 01, 2019 4:22 am

I just added the Donner party book to my master reading list -- that's perfectly fitting :) I need to take it on my next group backpacking trip ... like the hijacking novel I was reading on my last international flight: The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking (Koerner) :lol:

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Fatcat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:13 pm

Just finished "The Woman in the Window". Good read that kept me glued for two days. Looking for my next read as I get ready to go on a short vacation. I'll have to check into some of the above books.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby acheyarcher » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:30 pm

After she passed away I figured I should check out Sue Grafton and her popular writing.

Oh my heavens, what addictive books.

I haunted used book store / goodwill / charity shops etc and managed to get all of them. I am ready to start "X" today and will now need to find her final book "Y".

after that I have a few random books in the line up.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:54 pm

I've just read "the Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton. A very good, complicated, rambling read.

The next on the list is "Educated." by Tara Westover.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Fatcat » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:23 pm

Moutaineer wrote:I've just read "the Clockmaker's Daughter" by Kate Morton. A very good, complicated, rambling read.


The next on the list is "Educated." by Tara Westover.


I liked the Clockmaker's Daughter too.
I'll have to check out Educated... sounds riveting. Too creepy to be true, but it is a memoir.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby goldhorse » Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:20 am

Just finished Bad Blood about the biotech company Theranos which tried to make commercial blood analyzers that could run multiple tests on a drop of blood and the fraud behind the company. It's a very fast paced book. Now I'm well into Educated. Great read so far.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:49 pm

An author I only just discovered is Joan Silber. I love her crisp writing! If you like spare, direct writing with fascinating characters, I highly recommend her work. And I like her habit of writing short stories that actually form a novel together.

I am also reading "There There" by Tommy Orange. It is super intense and absorbing---about the lives of a number of inter-connected American Indians living in Oakland, California.

I also am slowly reading Sylvia Loch's "The Rider's Balance."

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Rosie B » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:13 pm

I'm boring and all I read is work stuff so here is my reading list (all currently in progress):
- Rules of Management by Richard Templar
- Infonomics by Douglas Laney
- The Founder's Mentality by Chris Zook and James Allen

And a few more which I am no doubt forgetting at the moment. :)

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:15 pm

I've been on a nonfiction/biography kick for several years now. I've just finished Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Leadership: In Turbulent Times" and really enjoyed how she framed the 4 presidents' path towards channeling their own leadership qualities through their own crucibles (war, economic depression, etc.). Really puts some of my own goals/struggles into perspective.

Next up is a biography of Napoleon by Andrew Roberts, and a venture back into fiction with "Circe" by Madeline Miller.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Tuddy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:53 pm

I am currently reading "Eagle in Exile" by Alan Smale. Fiction, but it is book 2 of a trilogy. It is set in AD 1218, and is about a Roman Praetor who is captured by North American Indians. Pretty good so far. :)

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby texsuze » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:21 pm

I also recently read "There, There" by Tommy Orange; not sure if I liked it, since it felt as if the ending was just quickly dumped after a fascinating development of several characters. I didn't feel any resolution to the story. Maybe just me. Don't let me discourage interested readers, though.

Just finished "The Trouble with Goats and Sheep"--Joanna Cannon. Again, loved her style and prose, the story was building wonderfully, but it felt like the author suddenly had a deadline to meet which required a quick, unsatisfying ending. What's with me and these books ;)

So now, back to the classics with "Emma" by Jane Austen.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby PaulaO » Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:46 pm

"Doc" by Mary Doria Russell, a fiction biography of Doc Holliday. I recently finished "Heads You Win" Jeffrey Archer's latest. I really liked it, and gasped at the final sentence.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Tuddy » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:12 pm

PaulaO wrote:"Doc" by Mary Doria Russell, a fiction biography of Doc Holliday.


Oh, I am going to have to look into this one.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Hot4Spots » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:27 pm

Just finished "War of the Wolf" by Bernard Cornwell (historical novel, 10th Century in what-became-England). It's the most recent of a multi-novel series. I try to alternate fiction with non-fiction, so next up is "Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt" by Chris Naunton. I do, however, wish Cornwell would abandon his Saxon saga for a while and give us another "Sharpe" novel.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby StraightForward » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:17 pm

Thanks for all the interesting ideas! I will have to look into them when I get towards the end of my current queue. I finished the Donner book last night. Amazon had some Kindle specials, so a couple days ago I bought "Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds" and "Lawn Boy" a novel about a landscaper trying to escape poverty.

Also planning to read "The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South" and "Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod".
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Hot4Spots » Thu Jan 03, 2019 4:31 pm

Tuddy wrote:I am currently reading "Eagle in Exile" by Alan Smale. Fiction, but it is book 2 of a trilogy. It is set in AD 1218, and is about a Roman Praetor who is captured by North American Indians. Pretty good so far. :)


Yes, I read all three. Really enjoyed them. Some reviewers were "oh, this could not have happened." Mmmmm....unclear on the concept of fantasy and alternate history, I guess. :lol:

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:23 pm

Lots of interesting ideas here. Thank you!

Texsuze, I am always a fan of re-reading Emma. It is just so beautifully structured and tons of fun.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby PaulaO » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:04 pm

Tuddy wrote:
PaulaO wrote:"Doc" by Mary Doria Russell, a fiction biography of Doc Holliday.


Oh, I am going to have to look into this one.


You will picture Val Kilmer in your mind the entire read.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:54 pm

I finished "Educated." Very powerful, riveting and well-written read.

I will be very interested to discuss it at our book club later in the month, as our group represents a pretty good cross section of Utah women.

Now I need to find something frivolous...

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby blob » Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:24 am

texsuze wrote:I also recently read "There, There" by Tommy Orange; not sure if I liked it, since it felt as if the ending was just quickly dumped after a fascinating development of several characters. I didn't feel any resolution to the story. Maybe just me. Don't let me discourage interested readers, though.

Just finished "The Trouble with Goats and Sheep"--Joanna Cannon. Again, loved her style and prose, the story was building wonderfully, but it felt like the author suddenly had a deadline to meet which required a quick, unsatisfying ending. What's with me and these books ;)

So now, back to the classics with "Emma" by Jane Austen.



I really liked "There, There". I agree that the end is in some ways open ended, but it also felt very complete to me in terms of what the characters achieved. There were areas I struggled with, but it also felt very important, voices and stories we don't always hear.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby PhoenixRising » Fri Jan 04, 2019 7:03 pm

With my nose having been buried in textbooks for the last year and a half, I'm looking forward to three weeks from now when I can get back to reading for enjoyment. I don't think I've picked up a book I didn't HAVE to read in 2 years, and man I miss it.
Some of the first ones up on my list
The Four Agreements- A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Miguel Ruiz)
Depression and Other Magic Tricks (Sabrina Benaim)- A poetry collection
An Orson Scott Card book that I picked up forever ago at a discount book store. I cant currently remember the name of it, but I thoroughly enjoyed Card's writing in the Enders Game Series so I look forward to venturing into his other writings.

I know this is supposed to be non-dressage books but... :lol:
Also several dressage books I don't have yet, but cant wait to get my hands on. Now I will!
Girl on the Dancing Horse (Charlotte Dujardin)
Making it Happen (Carl Hester)
Real Life Dressage (Carl Hester)
Ridden: Dressage from the Horse's Perspective (Ulrike Thiel)
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined!

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby blob » Mon Jan 07, 2019 4:01 pm

I was just looking through my Goodreads for the past year. i had a good reading year and read 75 books (!).

Here were some of my favorites:

Fiction:
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender: indeed a strange and beautiful book. Magical realism novel that follows three generations of a family.
Snap: a thriller with an usual premise and interesting characters. It took me awhile to get into the book and to invest in the characters, but once I did I couldn't put it down.
The Night Circus: historical magical realism/fantasy, really delightful.
Magpie Murders: a cozy mystery within a cozy mystery. I was really sad when this one ended, I wasn't ready to be done!


NonFiction:
American Wolf: A really wonderfully put together book about the reintroduction of the wolf and the people on either side of the argument. It follows the story of a particular yellowstone wolf as well as many interesting people. I really can't recommend it enough.
The Devil in the White City: a slice of history I didn't know that much about. Yes, it's about about a very famous murderer, but it's also about architecture, and many iconic moments that shaped America.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:27 pm

My new favorite book: "A Gentleman In Moscow" begins right after the Bolshevik revolution. A 28 year old count is put under house arrest in an elegant hotel right across the street from the Kremlin. Now I would NEVER have picked up that book on that description, but it was my book club read for the month, so I read it. It was wonderful! The writing is not only amazing, but the threads that weave throughout the story create this tapestry that is nothing short of beautiful and incredible when you read and reflect how people's lives interact. The story is sometime hysterical, sometimes shocking, sometimes breath-catching, often unexpected. I got my first one from the library, then bought it in hardback to have and to hold. It's honestly a BRILLIANT book.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:28 pm

So damn many books, so little time.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby acheyarcher » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:44 pm

Arrrgh I finished "X" and now have "Y" is for Yesterday. I know this is Sues last book. I know I will never again read about Kinsey and her evolution as an interesting person. I cannot bring myself to read the book. I have put it in my suitcase and will read it as my vacation / airflight book, perhaps in the Fall

I got a copy of The Daily Stoic 366 daily mediataions

in the line up
The Giants House, Elizabeth McCracken
The Known World, Edward Jones
The Cuckoos Calling, Robart Galbraith
At Home , Bill Bryson

Also have Lisa See and Elizabeth McCrackens latest book on reserve at library

a friend of mind is sending me a "mystery book" as part of her new year more reading challenge. When she asked me what I like I said, medical non-fiction and science history or history of London. The unknown book will arrive in the mail

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Woost2 » Sun Feb 03, 2019 9:39 pm

I'm working my way through the Flavia De Luce books by Alan Bradley. 11 yo solver of murders and chemist. Not in order. They are a charming winter read. Also Notorious RBG and Smoke gets in your eyes by Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician youtube fame. Everything you wanted to know about cremation and the death industry.

In the stack, a novel by Mark Rashid -- didn't know he wrote novels, and A Discovery Witches which I don't know anything about and Best Specimen of a Tyrant which is about the post civil war era superintendent of the Wisconsin Insane Asylum which is two blocks from my house. The place fascinated me.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby StraightForward » Mon Feb 04, 2019 12:24 am

Tarlo Farm wrote:My new favorite book: "A Gentleman In Moscow" begins right after the Bolshevik revolution. A 28 year old count is put under house arrest in an elegant hotel right across the street from the Kremlin. Now I would NEVER have picked up that book on that description, but it was my book club read for the month, so I read it. It was wonderful! The writing is not only amazing, but the threads that weave throughout the story create this tapestry that is nothing short of beautiful and incredible when you read and reflect how people's lives interact. The story is sometime hysterical, sometimes shocking, sometimes breath-catching, often unexpected. I got my first one from the library, then bought it in hardback to have and to hold. It's honestly a BRILLIANT book.


I might need get this one. I loved "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking." It picks up more or less in the late Lenin years and follows through to the dissolution of the USSR. Maybe I need to finish Anna Karenina first and then go back and fill in the gaps. :lol:

Just started "The Mind of the Raven" - another animal behavior book. I think I'll be tapering off the house projects soon, and have more time to read.
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:29 am

Woost2 wrote:I'm working my way through the Flavia De Luce books by Alan Bradley. 11 yo solver of murders and chemist. Not in order. They are a charming winter read. Also Notorious RBG and Smoke gets in your eyes by Caitlin Doughty of Ask a Mortician youtube fame. Everything you wanted to know about cremation and the death industry.

In the stack, a novel by Mark Rashid -- didn't know he wrote novels, and A Discovery Witches which I don't know anything about and Best Specimen of a Tyrant which is about the post civil war era superintendent of the Wisconsin Insane Asylum which is two blocks from my house. The place fascinated me.


A discovery of Witches and it's sequels are a lot of fun. I keep hoping she'll write another one!

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby blob » Mon Feb 04, 2019 4:05 am

acheyarcher wrote:The Cuckoos Calling, Robart Galbraith


This series is really fun. The second and third are my favorites, but all 4 so far are really enjoyable.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby calvin » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:40 am

Bridge of Clay by Zusak, author of The Book Thief. I think this is marketed as YA fiction. I enjoyed it. A lot. Basically, 5 boys raising themselves. A bit Lord of the Flies, but there are race horses, lots of animals in fact, and wonderful layers in this book.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Josette » Tue Feb 12, 2019 12:54 pm

The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis

https://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Horse-Pr ... ooghydr-20

I hope I can get through this book as the writing and research are wonderful. It is heart breaking to read the details starting with the Polish Arabian breeding stud trying to flee the advancing Nazis with the farm's stallions, mares and young foals. Trying to walk hundreds of miles to get across the Romania border. The Nazis were after the best horses with the goal to breed the ideal military horse. They wanted to breed 'The Perfect Horse'.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 pm

Josette-- I thought that book was pretty well-done and enjoyed it. Hope you do too!

I just finished "Ravenmaster" by Chris Skaife-- a memoir-type treatment of the Yeoman Warder at the Tower of London charged with the care and maintenance of the Tower's raven population. Skaife clearly loves his job and loves his interactions with the ravens, and it shows. I thought it was a cute little book.

https://www.amazon.com/Ravenmaster-Life ... 0374113343

A couple weeks ago I read "The Personality Brokers", which was a history of the Myers-Briggs type indicator test. It had a bit too much scorn for my taste and though I finished it, I didn't enjoy it.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby blob » Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:00 am

Recently finished "Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows" which had me laughing out loud. Though the snippets of the stories were racier than I anticipated :oops: :lol:

For those that do audiobooks (I drive 45 minutes to the barn, so audibooks are my friend), this one was great as an audiobook--the reader was excellent.


I'm currently in the middle of "The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakes", which I thought I would love, but seems to not be going how I thought.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby KathyK » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:48 am

Tarlo Farm wrote:My new favorite book: "A Gentleman In Moscow" begins right after the Bolshevik revolution. A 28 year old count is put under house arrest in an elegant hotel right across the street from the Kremlin. Now I would NEVER have picked up that book on that description, but it was my book club read for the month, so I read it. It was wonderful! The writing is not only amazing, but the threads that weave throughout the story create this tapestry that is nothing short of beautiful and incredible when you read and reflect how people's lives interact. The story is sometime hysterical, sometimes shocking, sometimes breath-catching, often unexpected. I got my first one from the library, then bought it in hardback to have and to hold. It's honestly a BRILLIANT book.


I am reading this now, and bought it based on how much I liked the author's (Amor Towles) first book, "Rules of Civility." I am not very far into "A Gentleman In Moscow" yet, but so far I'm not disappointed.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby KathyK » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:52 am

PhoenixRising wrote:With my nose having been buried in textbooks for the last year and a half, I'm looking forward to three weeks from now when I can get back to reading for enjoyment. I don't think I've picked up a book I didn't HAVE to read in 2 years, and man I miss it.
Some of the first ones up on my list
The Four Agreements- A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (Miguel Ruiz)

In spite of it being a bit too "new agey" for me, and my not being a fan of his writing style, this book was life changing for me. I hope you get as much from it as I did.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Tarlo Farm » Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:08 pm

KathyK wrote:
I am reading this now, and bought it based on how much I liked the author's (Amor Towles) first book, "Rules of Civility." I am not very far into "A Gentleman In Moscow" yet, but so far I'm not disappointed.



I did just the opposite: Bought "Rules of Civility" after "Gentleman..." Enjoyed it, but not as much as "Gentleman..."

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby StraightForward » Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:10 pm

StraightForward wrote:Just started "The Mind of the Raven" - another animal behavior book. I think I'll be tapering off the house projects soon, and have more time to read.


I'm about halfway through this and starting to skim. I was starting to feel bad about the ravens that get killed around here to protect sage-grouse. But then he goes into some of the grisly ways ravens team up and kill seals and other animals :shock: It's probably a way too detailed account of his experiences in research for some, but if anyone knows of a college student wanting to go into wildlife biology or related areas of research, it would probably be a good read. It gives a good view of how tedious and sometimes frustrating field research can be. The author says they were recommended in grad school to not study animals smarter than they were. He eventually didn't heed this advice, hence his difficult career in studying ravens. :lol:
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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Ponichiwa » Thu Feb 14, 2019 7:48 pm

StragihtForward-- If you're looking for a kind of heartwarming look into animal behavior, look into "King Solomon's Ring". The author was an animal behaviorist in the 1940s, and the book is a non-technical approach to animal behavior through the lens of the author's various pets through the years, from invertebrates to jackdaws. Just like the Ravenmaster book I mentioned in my previous post, the author's genuine enthusiasm for his animals as animals (and not just as subjects of an experiment) is really engaging.

https://www.amazon.com/King-Solomons-Ri ... 0415267471

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby Hot4Spots » Fri Feb 15, 2019 11:32 pm

StraightForward wrote:
Tarlo Farm wrote:My new favorite book: "A Gentleman In Moscow" begins right after the Bolshevik revolution. A 28 year old count is put under house arrest in an elegant hotel right across the street from the Kremlin. Now I would NEVER have picked up that book on that description, but it was my book club read for the month, so I read it. It was wonderful! The writing is not only amazing, but the threads that weave throughout the story create this tapestry that is nothing short of beautiful and incredible when you read and reflect how people's lives interact. The story is sometime hysterical, sometimes shocking, sometimes breath-catching, often unexpected. I got my first one from the library, then bought it in hardback to have and to hold. It's honestly a BRILLIANT book.


I might need get this one. I loved "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking." It picks up more or less in the late Lenin years and follows through to the dissolution of the USSR. Maybe I need to finish Anna Karenina first and then go back and fill in the gaps. :lol:

Just started "The Mind of the Raven" - another animal behavior book. I think I'll be tapering off the house projects soon, and have more time to read.


You might like David Downing's series of thrillers set in Russia and Great Britain pre and post WWI with British agent Jack McColl and his lover journalist Caitlin, who is enamoured of the revolution, Strange bedfellows, indeed.

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Re: So what are you reading?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Feb 16, 2019 4:39 am

Thanks Ponichiwa and H4S. Hopefully I won't get through the reading list I'm building up before I'm back to riding!
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