• Just thought I’d add a new topic that hopefully won’t have as much intensity - but we all know how threads go.  So, what literary treats are you devouring these days?  Maybe list some of your favorites, too.

    I have a problem of starting too many books at once, but here’s a few I’m going over now:

    The Ropes to Skip & the Ropes to Know (book on organizational behavior, particularly in corporate settings)
    rereading an A+ Certification book
    Catch 22

    One of my faves is Romance of the Three Kingdoms

    Well, what are yours?

  • Just started State of Fear by Crighton

  • Just finished Black Hawk Down, by Mark Bowden. Not sure what ill start next.

  • Switch, tell me if you are able to get into State of Fear. I couldn’t stand it. And I am a big M-C fan.

  • The last three books I read were,

    Helter Skelter
    Darma Bums

    Currently started: Million Little Pieces

  • Yanny, I’ll let you know (I don;t sit down to devour books, on average I spend a month to read one)

    And Stuka, you do know that “Million Little Pieces” should be filed as “fiction”, right?  Big stink about it a week or two ago…

  • I read the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand not too long ago o_O Very fun and good read.

  • I did Atlas Shrugged  over the summer… INCREDIBLE!

    Also The Fair Tax Book by Neal Boortz and Congressman John Linder

    And a bit of fluff reading like Exit Earth.
    BTW:  For those who keep saying about “no one ever dreamed of flying a plane into a building as an attack”… Caidin included that in Exit Earth, printed in 1986.

  • @ncscswitch:

    And Stuka, you do know that “Million Little Pieces” should be filed as “fiction”, right?  Big stink about it a week or two ago…

    Yeah, I know all about it. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be a good read, mind you.

  • I’m a big Crichton fan myself, but it’s been years since I picked up one of his books.  I actually prefer his nonfiction Travels over any of his fiction (which were suitably entertaining).

    I’ve not read Ayn Rand, but I’m not sure I could get into her.  For those that have read her, why do you like her writings?

  • For Ayn Rand…

    I have only read her pinnacle work:  Atlas Shrugged

    For me, it gelled so much of what I have thought most of my life in terms of social-welfare programs, quasi-state-controlled-“free”-economies, etc.  She took the concepts that are behind those things, and extrapolated them to their logical and inevitable conclusion.

    Some of it is a bit dated now (for example, the central nature of Taggart Transcontinental Railroad is a bit anachronistic with our modern interstate system and air travel), but the CONCEPTS are timeless, and indeed even MORE relevent now in a nation that has 48% of its citizens as net recipients of tax revenues and more than a third that pay NOTHING.

    She is the penultimate Libertarian.

  • Without reading any of her works, here’s the impression I get of her (and her work):

    Her books have themes that revolve around highly intelligent characters that don’t get the respect/credit/standing they deserve because the world doesn’t accommodate them.  Basically, there’s the smart and the stupid, and the stupid rule the world at the expense of the smart. 
    Generally, her reader base is above-average intelligence (makes sense, as they would find a connection in her work).  I could see why you read her, Switch, according to that…
    I know a bit about her philosophy, and I feel that it may be too general for application (which maybe is unfound since I  don’t know it that well).  Roughly, things are black and white, here’s how to make it that way and toss out the desired elements and leave the good.  Furthermore, her books were more or less a plug for this philosophy.  If that’s the case, it’s not necessarily a negative thing, just stating that it is her theme, or “conceptual continuity,” to quote Mr. Zappa.
    Also, I have this feeling that the force of the views she imposes leaves the impression of conceit.

    Now, maybe I’m completely wrong here, and I’m willing to admit that since I haven’t read anything of hers, but this is only the feeling I have on her.  That description could almost apply to L. Ron Hubbard, so maybe I’m getting confused here?  How close am I, Switch?

  • In the last 3 weeks i have read:

    State of Fear - i enjoyed it.  It was an interesting read, and really makes tree-huggers like myself pause.  It was simple, as is most of his writing, but VERY well researched - again, as is most of his writing.  I would put it in the “recommend” pile.

    In a Sunburnt Country by Bill Bryson - book on Australia - very interesting, very funny read.  The guy really knows this country.

    The Brethren and The Painted House by lawyer guy - good beach reads, but you don’t really learn anything, nor is it (IMO) “literature”. 
    John Grisham - that’s the name of lawyer guy.  Why did i not just edit that back in?  I don’t know.  weird.

    The Rule of Four - i enjoyed this.  I would call this an interesting bit of literature.  Much more eloquant/poetic than that Dan-Devinci Code - guy.  Dan Brown? 
    Right now i’m working on a book borrowed from my g/f - The Dark Teatime of the Soul.  Hard to do when one is exploring Vancouver . . . i may move here.

  • Im thinking of starting Exodus (not the book from the bible) Any thoughts on this book?

  • Jermofoot…

    Not being a Scientologist, not having selected any for pleasure reading, I cannot speak to any comparisson with L. Ron Hubbard.

    Actually, Ayn Rand’s basic principle, at least in Atlas Shrugged, is not so much of the “above average” getting credit, but of the “doers” being the slaves of the lazy.  While the main characters of Atlas Shrugged are all above average in terms of skill, ability, etc., there are enough sub-stories about the “average Joe” to show how even the small cogs in the machine get screwed over if they strive to achieve in a system that takes from the producers to give to non-producers.

    So, while the “heroes” are all very skilled people, it also does an excellent example of showing what happens to just ordinary folks who are trying to work hard to make a living and take care of their families as the current mood of government social programs reaches its logical and dreadful conclussion.

    In all honesty, if you have never read it, go to a used book store, pick up a copy, and start plowing through it (the paperback is about 1100 pages).  Took me 3 months to read over the summer, Angel took 2 to read it, and she kills a book a week on average.

    WELL worth the time investment in this one.

  • i’m sorry, but wasn’t Ayn Rand the one who asserted that Canada is lucky that the US let’s us exist next door to them??  For some reason i thought it was her, but it may be some other US conservative - if so, my bad.

  • I am not familiar with any such statement.

    But then again, I have only read the one book.

  • i believe it was ann coulter.

  • Well, Ayn Rand was circa 1940’s.  Ann Coulter is 21st C.  So, the time of the remark would certainly indicate who said it :-)

  • Finished Cell by Stephen King. Wasn’t very good.

    Recently finished Otherland series by Tad Williams. Very good. Titan, by Stephen Baxter is also good. Any of the Sharra books is always a good read. And Catton’s Reflections on the Civil War is very good, though not as good as Killer Angels.

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