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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:29 pm 
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rachell37 wrote:
I finished Orange Is the New Black last night. I really liked it. It's very different from the show, so if you can read it and not be even remotely spoiled either way.

Aw cool! I am so tempted to read it because I am going crazy waiting for season 2.

I am reading Jared Diamond's Collapse, about what caused past societies to succeed or fail and how current societies are reflecting past patterns and how we can learn from it, etc. I am obsessed with his other works, but this one is reading just like a graduate research paper and not like a book, much more than his others. It feels like homework I don't want to do! It's extremely interesting and I'll definitely learn a lot, but I feel like his editors were like 'Oh it's Diamond, he's fine' and let a lot of style issues go.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2014 12:23 pm 
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I finished Eat and Run by Scott Jurek today. It's so good! I really like his writing style, and he has an interesting story. Plus so many of the recipes he included sound really tasty.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:21 am 
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After reading an interview with Janet Mock in bisque I downloaded Redefining Realness...

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:59 am 
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I'm reading Searching for Mercy Street written by Anne Sexton's daughter about growing up with her mother. Sexton spells much out in her confessional poetry and I've read the Diane Middlebrook biography so there's nothing too revelatory for me here. Seems kind of exploitative to me, and while this memoir is well written, her daughter the author often feels the need to say things such as how she helped Anne write some prose things as that wasn't her forte, etc. You know, she's gotta toot her own horn in there. Tough to aspire to be a writer when your mother is Anne Sexton. Clearly AS was not a well woman but we already knew that reading her poetry, and in her own words.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:22 am 
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The Fateful Year - England 1914 by Mark Bosridge - A Year That Began in Peace and Ended in War ...

lots of great stuff aside the build up to war ... women fighting to get the vote etc.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 10:43 am 
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I just finished Jewels by Victoria Finlay about the history of gems and the places they're mined. It was mostly about the history and cultural significance, so it didn't get too much into the human exploitation that also goes along with it. Overall I really liked it. She has another book about the history of colors and paints that I want to read now. Plus I have a newfound interest in jewelry and have noticed it more. Not as pretty things but thinking about the commercial history behind it.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 2:02 pm 
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I just finished Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill (about growing up in Scientology). Now I'm reading a book by Swedish author Henrik Arnstad about fascist ideology and the history of different fascist movements.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:12 pm 
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Star Trek and History - A collection of essays about how Star Trek has both used and influenced history. I had no idea Nichelle Nichols was so involved with NASA and did so much to promote racial and gender diversity in the 70s (which then led Mae Jemison to become the first African-American woman astronaut, who then became the first real astronaut to guest star on Star Trek!).

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 1:57 am 
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I've just finished the first volume of Peter Ackroyd's The History of England. Absolutely fascinating and, like all Ackroyd, beautifully written.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:28 am 
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I just finished Growing Up X by Ilyasah Shabazz -- it's the autobiography of one of Malcolm X's children, now an adult. I highly recommend it. It's so interesting to read both about her life and about her perspective on her dad, who was killed when she was very young, especially since so much of what's out there about Malcolm X focuses on his political life and the impact of what people thought he believed or wanted was, whereas this book really shows him and his family as regular human beings, even more so than his own autobiography, one might say. It's really cool to watch how she grows up and forms her own identity, and particularly to notice the really important things she illuminates about race and family.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:05 am 
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Marilyn Monroe: The Final Years Quite readable so far and I'm enjoying it. I suspect that the writer will indulge in some conspiracy theories though *eye roll* since they're being hinted at here and there. I'm enjoying the book in a tabloidish, page-turning way.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 4:45 am 
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just finished 'I Was A Stranger' by John Hackett about how he was harboured then escaped from Holland during WW2 ...

Anne

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:57 pm 
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Just finished Orange is the New Black and thought it was excellent.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:04 am 
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I'm reading My Age of Anxiety by Scott Stossel and enjoying it, though admittedly I skim through a lot of the history of medicine stuff and focus on his very well written personal anecdotes that make me feel much less alone in a very obvious yet calming way.


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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:02 am 
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RandiJM wrote:
rachell37 wrote:
I finished Orange Is the New Black last night. I really liked it. It's very different from the show, so if you can read it and not be even remotely spoiled either way.

Aw cool! I am so tempted to read it because I am going crazy waiting for season 2.

I am reading Jared Diamond's Collapse, about what caused past societies to succeed or fail and how current societies are reflecting past patterns and how we can learn from it, etc. I am obsessed with his other works, but this one is reading just like a graduate research paper and not like a book, much more than his others. It feels like homework I don't want to do! It's extremely interesting and I'll definitely learn a lot, but I feel like his editors were like 'Oh it's Diamond, he's fine' and let a lot of style issues go.

I stared that one ages ago, its lying around somewhere, half-read.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:20 am 
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The Arnstad book was great. I also just finished the autobiography of a Swedish runner who held a lot of world records in the 40's, Gunder Hägg. It was an interesting reminder of how recently it was considered completely normal to not have enough to eat, to share a room with your entire family, and to start earning money at twelve years old... Otherwise it was not a great read imo.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:31 pm 
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I'm about halfway through Eating Animals, which is rough but important. Not that I feel that I necessarily need a reminder, but it's a good one nonetheless of why it's so important to eat compassionately. And for lighter reading, I've got the audiobook of The Good Nurse, about Charles Cullen, America's most prolific serial killer! He was an 'angel of death'- an RN who quietly killed dozens of patients via insulin overdoses and other interventions. I do have a bit of a morbid fascination with true crime.

amonik wrote:
I just finished Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill (about growing up in Scientology).


I read that recently, too! It was horrifying/fascinating. I walk by a branch of the Church of Scientology every day and it makes me sick to think about what goes on in there.

And because in addition to a morbid fascination with true crime, I also have a morbid fascination with fringe cults, I also just finished a book written by Rebecca Musser, the former 19th wife of Rulon Jeffs (and former stepmother to Warren Jeffs), prophet of the Fundamentalist LDS church.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:40 pm 
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I finally finished the Star Trek book. Some of the articles were interesting, but I felt the one about great books kinda missed the mark. The premise was that the Great Books [author's capitalisation] of the 23rd and 24th centuries are the same as our Great Books (e.g., Shakespeare, Dickens, Melville) so they must really be great, pretty much ignoring the fact that the (mostly) white male writers were choosing reading material by white male authors for (mostly) white male characters. I dunno - it just felt like a shallow analysis, though in fairness you'd probably need a book per series to cover all the literary references in Star Trek.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:48 pm 
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I chose The Lost City of Z for my book club this month. It's such a fascinating story (search for El Dorado and what happened to the people who got lost in the jungle). The main guy, Percy Fawcett, lived a very interesting life--he took several trips into the amazon, in large parties and solo, and also fought in wwi. He was an English aristocrat who basically bankrupted his family to fund all his explorations. I'm almost finished--so curious about the ending!

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:51 pm 
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couroupita wrote:
I chose The Lost City of Z for my book club this month. It's such a fascinating story (search for El Dorado and what happened to the people who got lost in the jungle). The main guy, Percy Fawcett, lived a very interesting life--he took several trips into the amazon, in large parties and solo, and also fought in wwi. He was an English aristocrat who basically bankrupted his family to fund all his explorations. I'm almost finished--so curious about the ending!


This is on my library list! Glad it is a good read.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:40 pm 
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Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
I'm about halfway through Eating Animals, which is rough but important. Not that I feel that I necessarily need a reminder, but it's a good one nonetheless of why it's so important to eat compassionately. And for lighter reading, I've got the audiobook of The Good Nurse, about Charles Cullen, America's most prolific serial killer! He was an 'angel of death'- an RN who quietly killed dozens of patients via insulin overdoses and other interventions. I do have a bit of a morbid fascination with true crime.

amonik wrote:
I just finished Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill (about growing up in Scientology).


I read that recently, too! It was horrifying/fascinating. I walk by a branch of the Church of Scientology every day and it makes me sick to think about what goes on in there.

And because in addition to a morbid fascination with true crime, I also have a morbid fascination with fringe cults, I also just finished a book written by Rebecca Musser, the former 19th wife of Rulon Jeffs (and former stepmother to Warren Jeffs), prophet of the Fundamentalist LDS church.


Was the FLDS book any good? I think I share that fascination.
Eating Animals was a significant part of the process when I went vegan.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:00 am 
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amonik wrote:
Erika Soyf*cker wrote:
And because in addition to a morbid fascination with true crime, I also have a morbid fascination with fringe cults, I also just finished a book written by Rebecca Musser, the former 19th wife of Rulon Jeffs (and former stepmother to Warren Jeffs), prophet of the Fundamentalist LDS church.


Was the FLDS book any good? I think I share that fascination.
Eating Animals was a significant part of the process when I went vegan.


It was! I think the ultimate book in terms of FLDS is Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven. It's incredible, I've read it at least twice now. It's an examination of the FLDS lifestyle (and other various offshoots/cults of FLDS). It looks through the small lens of one horrific murder that was committed under the 'authority' of a direct revelation from God, while simultaneously laying out a comprehensive general history of the Mormon religion. Musser's book, obviously, is different in that it was written from the perspective of someone who grew up inside the religion and left as an adult (like Miscavige-Hill's book on Scientology and the Sea Org), and therefore has its own unique vantage point to the whole situation. It also covers in greater detail the trials of Warren Jeffs and the whole Texas compound that led to his arrest to begin with, which I think happened entirely after Krakauer's book was published, so it's an interesting epilogue to that sordid mess.

I'm currently reading Anne Perry and the Murder of the Century, about the two teenage Kiwi girls who became so infatuated with each other that, at the threat of separation, they killed one's mother- it's the true crime that was the basis for the movie Heavenly Creatures. I'm also top of the waitlist for the audiobook of The Lost Girls, about the serial murderer of sex workers in Long Island- this one is still unsolved!

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:06 pm 
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I have Lost Girls, but haven't read it yet. I don't usually read much true crime because it squicks me out, but it's so disturbing how little attention that case and the victims get.

The impression I have is that many people think the killer has some law enforcement connection.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:26 am 
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I'm putting both of those books on my to-read list. I love true crime, and I liked Heavenly Creatures and always wanted to read more about the story.

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 Post subject: Re: What are you reading? (Non-Fiction Edition)
PostPosted: Sat Apr 19, 2014 5:02 pm 
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I spent the week in my university's archives, reading letters, diaries etc. from Japanese Americans in internment camps. Really depressing topic, but I loved reading a diary written by elementary school children in the Topaz camp--complete with crayon drawings--and seeing how even in such terrible conditions they could still be so full of joy and wonder.

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