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    I've recently come to accept that I enjoy reading non-fiction way more than fiction. I've given up on about a half dozen novels that I'd gotten partway through.

    Right now I'm reading The Lost King of France, about the fate of the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A good read, though a bit repetitive. Next up is Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London.

    Yes, I am a history nerd.
    Ben

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      Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
      I've recently come to accept that I enjoy reading non-fiction way more than fiction. I've given up on about a half dozen novels that I'd gotten partway through.

      Right now I'm reading The Lost King of France, about the fate of the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A good read, though a bit repetitive. Next up is Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London.

      Yes, I am a history nerd.
      I like non-fiction as well - particularly biographies - but I tend to go back and forth between fiction and non. I recently read the first volume of Carl Sandburg's 6 volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. It covered the period from his birth until his mid-thirties. There's a lot there, but the main takeaways for me were 1) life on the frontier was hard; and 2) Abraham Lincoln was a tough motherf*cker. The book was great, but it was mighty slow going. I had to take a breather with some fiction before digging into volume 2.

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        I flip back and forth on the fiction/non fiction thing. I'll go on a tear and read book after book of non-fiction then suddenly a good fiction book will pop up on my radar and I'll be all over fiction for a while.

        By far though the books I am finding most interesting of late are historical fiction novels. Those books set in fact, but interwoven with fiction. Child 44 is a great example of this, although it was/is a little more Action Jackson than I prefer.


        [MENTION=6764]thedrake[/MENTION] thanks for the recommendations. I haven't read anything by Stephenson since The Baroque Cycle trilogy.

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          [MENTION=13399]DocDave[/MENTION], Of the more recent Stephenson books Anathem was by far my favorite. That would be my rec if you want to try some of his newer stuff.

          http://www.amazon.com/Anathem-Neal-S.../dp/006147410X

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            Originally posted by LesserBlackDog View Post
            I've recently come to accept that I enjoy reading non-fiction way more than fiction. I've given up on about a half dozen novels that I'd gotten partway through.

            Right now I'm reading The Lost King of France, about the fate of the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. A good read, though a bit repetitive. Next up is Elizabeth's London: Everyday Life in Elizabethan London.

            Yes, I am a history nerd.
            I'm the same way, though I have a weakness for Vince Flynn/Brad Thor type novels as a breather from history and biography. I tend to only pick up more complex fiction when it's been highly recommended to me or all over the news.

            Speaking of...I finished Go Set a Watchman over the weekend. It's not a particularly well-written book, as it jumps all over the place and doesn't do much to develop characters. If you've read TKAM, as almost everyone who sat through freshman high school English class did, though, you know enough to have a sense of what is going on. The latter half of the book is where all the controversy lies and while it's pretty shocking, the complexity of what was going on at the time (it's set immediately post Brown v. Board of Education) is drawn out through some interesting conversations between the characters. I won't say more than that to avoid spoilers, but I'd say for all its faults, it's worth a read, even if it may change your opinion of TKAM.

            Currently struggling through the second volume of Edmund Morris' trilogy of Teddy Roosevelt. I'm bogged down in the Panama Canal negotiations. Volume 1 was more interesting, but I suppose that was inevitable.

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              Originally posted by burban View Post
              I'm the same way, though I have a weakness for Vince Flynn/Brad Thor type novels as a breather from history and biography. I tend to only pick up more complex fiction when it's been highly recommended to me or all over the news.

              Speaking of...I finished Go Set a Watchman over the weekend. It's not a particularly well-written book, as it jumps all over the place and doesn't do much to develop characters. If you've read TKAM, as almost everyone who sat through freshman high school English class did, though, you know enough to have a sense of what is going on. The latter half of the book is where all the controversy lies and while it's pretty shocking, the complexity of what was going on at the time (it's set immediately post Brown v. Board of Education) is drawn out through some interesting conversations between the characters. I won't say more than that to avoid spoilers, but I'd say for all its faults, it's worth a read, even if it may change your opinion of TKAM.

              Currently struggling through the second volume of Edmund Morris' trilogy of Teddy Roosevelt. I'm bogged down in the Panama Canal negotiations. Volume 1 was more interesting, but I suppose that was inevitable.
              You're the first person I've heard mention that you've actually read Go Set a Watchman. I'm curious, what made you decide to read it? I didn't have any interest in it for a few reasons: it was likely that the author never intended for the book to be published, it's likely an early draft of what eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird, and I've already read To Kill a Mockingbird. I could see it having appeal if you really liked TKAM or the author and wanted additional insight into the book or the person, but not for me. Again, just curious why you decided to give it a go.

              ^^^none of the above is meant to be accusatory or anything, internet can't convey tone and my werds aint so good sometimes. Honestly curious.

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                Originally posted by burban View Post
                Currently struggling through the second volume of Edmund Morris' trilogy of Teddy Roosevelt. I'm bogged down in the Panama Canal negotiations. Volume 1 was more interesting, but I suppose that was inevitable.
                That was about where I put it down as well. It's not that it isn't interesting and well written, but for some reason that one is a real slog. The best biographies I've ever read are the four (so far) volumes about LBJ by Robert Caro. Somehow he makes a dense, detailed examination of the minutiae of the man's life read like a gripping novel.

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                  Originally posted by thedrake View Post
                  You're the first person I've heard mention that you've actually read Go Set a Watchman. I'm curious, what made you decide to read it? I didn't have any interest in it for a few reasons: it was likely that the author never intended for the book to be published, it's likely an early draft of what eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird, and I've already read To Kill a Mockingbird. I could see it having appeal if you really liked TKAM or the author and wanted additional insight into the book or the person, but not for me. Again, just curious why you decided to give it a go.

                  ^^^none of the above is meant to be accusatory or anything, internet can't convey tone and my werds aint so good sometimes. Honestly curious.
                  I'm actually in the middle of reading Go Set a Watchman now. Before picking it up, I shared the same concerns - it was never intended to be published, it was a draft of what eventually morphed into To Kill a Mockingbird, etc. etc. etc. But, I love To Kill a Mockingbird so much, that I felt I had to read it. FWIW, halfway through, and I feel like I understand why Harper Lee's publisher told her to abandon Go Set a Watchman and draft a new book focused on Scout's childhood.

                  It's kind of like when your favorite band puts out a new album. Even if you've read reviews that the album is absolutely terrible, you're going to buy it anyways because you are (were) a fan. (I'm looking at you, Pink Floyd and the Endless River).

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                    [MENTION=6764]thedrake[/MENTION] my fav Stephenson book is Cryptnomicon. Great read. Snowcrash was pretty good too.

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                      Originally posted by thedrake View Post
                      You're the first person I've heard mention that you've actually read Go Set a Watchman. I'm curious, what made you decide to read it? I didn't have any interest in it for a few reasons: it was likely that the author never intended for the book to be published, it's likely an early draft of what eventually became To Kill a Mockingbird, and I've already read To Kill a Mockingbird. I could see it having appeal if you really liked TKAM or the author and wanted additional insight into the book or the person, but not for me. Again, just curious why you decided to give it a go.

                      ^^^none of the above is meant to be accusatory or anything, internet can't convey tone and my werds aint so good sometimes. Honestly curious.

                      How DARE you! But seriously, I think it was in part what [MENTION=9736]C.Dubs[/MENTION] mentions below, TKAM is one of my favorite books of all time. Atticus is part of the reason I became a lawyer, which assuredly makes me unoriginal. But I'm not the easily offended type and I was curious to see what her earlier work was like. All the outcry that it was horrible, she ruined Attitcus, etc made me more curious, not less. I get that people idolized Atticus' character, but I think it's possible to compartmentalize the lessons and black and white morality of TKAM and still appreciate the complications of a character in a later (though written chronologically earlier) work. Sure, it's a bit jarring to read Atticus' justifications for what he's a part of, but it was an interesting attempt by Lee to explain the complete dislocation felt by whites in the South after Brown v. Board and how even people as morally upright as Atticus might not be able to be as perfect as we want them to be in 2015.

                      To add: I read this earlier today and thought this was a pretty good piece on the complexities in GSAW: http://www.foxsports.com/college-foo...n-icons-072615
                      Last edited by burban; July 28, 2015, 09:38 PM. Reason: Adding link

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                        Originally posted by Shomas View Post
                        That was about where I put it down as well. It's not that it isn't interesting and well written, but for some reason that one is a real slog. The best biographies I've ever read are the four (so far) volumes about LBJ by Robert Caro. Somehow he makes a dense, detailed examination of the minutiae of the man's life read like a gripping novel.
                        Those are definitely on my list, along with William Manchester's volumes on Churchill. I've read Manchester on the popes in the Middle Ages and he was as compelling a writer as you describe Caro to be.

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                          Read the first couple Honor Harrington books by David Weber (they were free for Kindle on Amazon, might still be the case). Military sci-fi that's deliberately modeled on a "Horatio Hornblower in space" theme, it's interesting how the author translates Napoleanic War-era naval concepts into high-tech, space-based equivalents. Fun reads, will definitely check out more books in the series.
                          “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, 'Do trousers matter?'"
                          "The mood will pass, sir.”

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                            Just finished reading "The Martian" by Andy Weir, excellent book. It's like Castaway, except Mars. Currently reading "The Dalai Lama's Book of Wisdom".

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                              Currently reading Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan. Best I can tell is it's a collection of his best jokes about having 5 kids and living in Manhattan. As a new dad it's easy for me to connect with. Also excited that a new Star Wars book taking place after Return of the Jedi comes out next month.

                              Has anyone read the full Merchant Princes series? Heard good things but after the first three books I'm not motivated to see how it plays out.

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                                I am currently reading "Good Boss, Bad Boss" by Robert Sutton. It has a lot of good relevant tips for managing people.
                                Measurement Reference: 5'11" 185lbs 40R 32x32

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