Reading!

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
With about 6 hours to spare, I was able to finish reading an appropriately- titled book, A Short History of Nearly Everything, by Bill Bryson, for my last book of 2019. He tries to be Stephen Hawking by attempting to make "difficult" science seem relatable to "regular" people, but somehow comes up short [pun intended] on that tone. It covers various topics such as the creation and evolution of the earth, its organisms and its structure. Some interesting facts (many I didn't know about, some I think I recall, others I knew about).

My yearly reading stats are as follows:


BOOKS READ: 2018 (64 total books, 18,500 pgs., 289 pgs. per; summer: 31 books = 9,400 pgs.; 303 pgs. per)

Ahmed, S., R.Carson, M.Grant, & JJ Miller (Canto Bight, 300)
Allen, D. (On Track, 300)
Allston, A. (Terminator 3: Terminator Dreams, 300)
Andrews, J. (Munmun, 400)
Angleberger, T. (The Mighty Chewbacca in the Forest of Fear!, 200)
Asimov, I. (Fantastic Voyage, 200)
Asimov, I. (The Gods Themselves, 300)
Berne, EC (Forces of Destiny: The Leia Chronicles, 100)
Berne, EC (Forces of Destiny: The Rey Chronicles, 100)
Brown, D. (Inferno, 400)
Bryson, B. (A Short History of Nearly Everything, 500)
Bryson, B. (A Walk in the Woods, 300)
Bush, B. (Barbara Bush: A Memoir, 500)
Butler, OE (Parable of the Talents, 300)
Campbell, J. (The Ecstasy of Being: Mythology and Dance, 200)
Carson, R. (Most Wanted, 300)
Cline, E. (Ready Player One, 300)
Dalai Lama, D. Tutu, & D. Abrams (The Book of Joy, 300)
Doescher, I. (William Shakespeare’s Jedi the Last, 200)
Ende, M. (The Neverending Story, 300)
Fry, J. (The Last Jedi, 300)
Gates Jr., HL (In Search of Our Roots, 400)
Golden, C. (Assassins Creed: Heresy, 300)
Gyasi, Y. (Homegoing, 300)
Halliday, A. (No Touch Monkey!, 300)
Hardinge, F. (The Lie Tree, 300)
Hemingway, E. (A Farewell to Arms, 300)
Huddleston, T. (Adventures in Wild Space:The Cold, 200)
Huddleston, T. (Adventures in Wild Space:The Rescue, 200)
Hurston, ZN (Barracoon, 200)
Huxley, A. (Brave New World, 300)
Ione, L. (Lethal Rider, 400)
Ireland, J. (Lando’s Luck, 200)
Jacobs, AJ (The Year of Living Biblically, 300)
Klinenberg, E. (Palaces for the People, 200)
Kogge, M. (The Last Jedi Junior Novel, 200)
Lafferty, M. (Solo: A Star Wars Story, 300)
Liu, K. (The Legends of Luke Skywalker, 300)
Maradona, DA (Maradona, 300)
Martin, W. (The Lost Constitution, 500)
Nelson, W. & M. Blakely (A Tale Out of Luck, 300)
Noah, T. (Born a Crime, 300)
Older, DJ (Last Shot, 300)
Papademetriou, L. (Siren’s Storm, 300)
Queen, E. (The Player on the Other Side, 300)
Rooney, AA (Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom & Wit, 300)
Roosevelt, E. (New Deal for Death, 200)
Schrieber, J. (Solo: A Junior Novel, 200)
Smith, A. (Rabbit & Robot, 400)
Solomon, S. (American Mirror, 400)
Steves, R. (Rick Steves’ Postcards from Europe, 300)
Steves, R. & G. Openshaw (Rick Steves’ Mona Winks, 400)
Tarshis, L. (I Survived the Attack of the Grizzlies, 1967, 100)
Tougas, S. (Laura Ingalls is Ruining My Life, 300)
Truman, M. (Murder in Foggy Bottom, 300)
Tyson, ND & A. Lang (Accessory to War, 400)
Vowell, S. (Lafayette in the Somewhat United States, 300)
Wallace, D. (The Rebel Files, 200)
Wein, Elizabeth (Cobalt Squadron, 300)
Wilder, LI (Little House on the Prairie, 300)
Wilder, LI (On the Banks of Plum Creek, 300)
Windham, R. & A. Bray (Stormtroopers: Beyond the Armor, 200)
Yurick, S. (The Warriors, 200)
Zahn, T. (Thrawn:Alliances, 300)

Summer Totals (15 years, 475 books = 129,800 pgs., 273 pgs. per, 32 books per summer)
Yearly Totals (since 2010: 9 years, 569 books = 148,700 pgs., 261 pgs. per, 63 books per year)
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
School's back in session, which means my reading opportunities might be drying up. I still hope to maintain my 52-books-in-52-weeks and at-least-one-book-per-month rates for 2019. Here are my two most recent reads, both very pleasantly good.

Michael Koryta's The Ridge was not what I expected. I searched for "lighthouses" in fiction. This turned out to be a supernatural suspense/mystery/horror book with a lighthouse... in non-coastal Kentucky. The devil (or someone very similar) takes ownership of the souls of people in terrible accidents on the verge of dying. Will he be foiled? Read it.

Tom Hanks (yeah, that guy) may have had some "help" writing this anthology of short stories, Uncommon Type: Some Stories, but it still seems like the style of writing I'd expect from him. They all involve typewriters somehow; some stories are humorous, but most are "regular" people. They often seem similar to Hanks' roles (a D-Day survivor, a recent immigrant to America, a group of friends who go towards the moon, a single person either not looking for love or somehow missing it, and more). Another good one.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
An English-related gift from a co-worker, Maureen Corrigan's So We Read On, about Fitzgerald's Great Gatsby. I learned a few things, and realized that those (of us, sometimes) who are so absorbed by what is really enjoyed; this doesn't always cross over to those who don't like/appreciate it. I don't think I am "that" English teacher who over-analyzes little details, but I do know that I do at times. Overall, very well researched and shows a love of the story and story's storyteller.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
With a 4-day presidents' day weekend, I read a book! Maybe, could read another, but I doubt it (about 300 pages left to read with one day left). Rick Moody's Hotels of North America was purchased because it was on sale and seemed to have an interesting concept: an online reviewer of hotels is part of a hotel organization's printed publication, but the reviews are more about his life than the quality (or lack thereof) of the hotel experiences and amenities. He "goes missing" by the end, as he ceases to post on their site. Then, the author (Moody) is "asked" to write the Afterword for this book, and he tries to find Reginald Morse, the reviewer (I hope that's not what's happened here at TFG! ). Content is so-so and annoying, like if someone posted long entries about esoteric subjects online... hey, wait a minute!

[edit: 2/20/19] I was able to finish that other book, The Autobiography of Medgar Evers, edited by his widow Myrlie Evers-Williams & scholar Manning Marable. Told through documents of his, it covers his life with the NAACP and other civil rights organizations until his assassination in 1963 (even a couple sources published after his death). I didn't know just how influential and vital Evers' actions and efforts were.
 
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The OC47150

Force Sensitive
Nov 9, 2018
21
2
50
Finished Twilight Company last night. It was good.

Taking a break from SW and started reading a WWII historical battle book.
 

Tycho

Sith Knight
Aug 16, 2001
20,871
24
San Diego, CA
www.sirstevesguide.com
On Valentines Day, I saw my 3rd novel in my Buried Values series published, after 5 years of work. I'm exhausted from continuously re-reading all of my books for consistency as I finish work on BV4.
Now I have western, baseball at the end of WWI start to the Roaring 20's, and a tomb raider hurricane heist in the present day, all connected.
 
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Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
On Valentines Day, I saw my 3rd novel in my Buried Values series published, after 5 years of work. I'm exhausted from continuously re-reading all of my books for consistency as I finish work on BV4.
Now I have western, baseball at the end of WWI start to the Roaring 20's, and a tomb raider hurricane heist in the present day, all connected.
I didn't know you were a MULTIPLE-published author, Tycho. Awesome!

I need to find more of Octavia Butler's works. I just read Kindred, where a 1970s African American woman gets transported back to the 1830s South. It's a sort of sci-fi concept, but it's social commentary and history, too. Very good, well researched, powerful descriptions and excellent characterization.
 
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Maradona

Jedi Apprentice
Jun 25, 2007
2,290
31
Echo Park
With the World Cup currently up and running (and shooting, and saving, and scoring, and slide tackling...), I thought a soccer-related books would be apt. Maradona by Diego Armando Maradona (as his name is listed on the title page) was informative, based on his recall memories over a 20+ year career. But it also reveals his insecurities, arrogance, and whininess. He blames so many other people (occasionally including himself, but often to try and justify his own choices), his constant profanity, and his anger at seemingly everything and everyone make it hard to empathize with his difficult life. His list (LISTS...) of 100 great footballers was nice, even if he didn't rank them.
Let me know if you want it autographed ; )

He's a quite a polemical figure and most times I REALLY regret being nicknamed after him. It's like he dares you to be his fan before launching a dozen reasons not to be. The only time I ever saw my father cry was a summer afternoon in 1986 when Maradona lifted the World Cup on our 19" TV in Pasadena, CA - 17 years after he had immigrated to the United States from Argentina. 12 year old me was stunned at this display, but in hindsight it partly explains (to me at least) why there are those that will always embrace him despite his foul mouthed shenanigans. They remember that afternoon when the denizens of an oppressed third world country that spent much of the 20th century under military rule got to feel like a champion.

I had no idea the book had been translated or published outside Argentina, where I got my copy years ago which came bundled along with a cd of him reading excerpts from the text.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
This spring break made reading more convenient, as the roof repair needed meant that somebody had to be home but not always outdoors. So, I have read (so far?) 5 books, around 1400 pages. And they have all been pretty good overall.

Best book: Leigh Bardugo's Wonder Woman: Warbringer. It's considered a YA book, but it wasn't written that way. Similar to the WW film, it covers young Diana leaving her island to stop a worldwide war in the future. Very funny, great characters, strong plot with just enough surprises without being over-the-top.

Other good ones: Tim Green's Deep Zone. This was a YA, but with the seriousness of the story (mob following an NFL player with a serious knee injury and his younger brother, while a 7-on-7 youth football season goes on and ends where the Super Bowl is in Miami). Spoiler alert in alternate realities: The Falcons BEAT the Patriots in the Big Game!

Burt Reynolds' autobio, But Enough About Me. It's mainly him using significant people in his life as a chronology of his career in acting. Interesting to read, sometimes insightful.

Okay book: Derek Jeter's Fair Ball. A true YA sports book: life is about good choices, keep your friends and family close, if you give your best then your novel will end with you winning the big game. Yep.
 

Bel-Cam Jos

Jedi Council Member
Aug 16, 2001
15,908
53
105
Where 'text' & 'friend' are nouns
I read a book; three in fact!

From 4/1, I hadn't had a chance to mention Isaac's Storm, a non-fiction account by Erik Larson (not the Savage Dragon guy) of the 1900 Galveston Island hurricane. It focuses on Isaac Cline, the chief meteorologist who misjudged the severity of the storm. Sadly, many other did too, and the bureaucracy of reporting caused many more people to die. Not sure anything could've been done about property loss and damage, though.

Two others this week were "On" books:
On Reading Well, by Karen Swallow Prior. It's divided into 12 chapters, each a classic book or short story that fits a certain virtue. More religious than I expected, but literary analysis often has other concepts to explain the plots and characters and themes. I have more books I never read (some embarrassingly so) to add to my lists (LISTS...).

On the Other Side of Freedom by DeRay McKesson. One of the organizers of the Ferguson protests of the past 5 years or so (I did not realize just how long they went on: over a year), he speaks of how to do what he's done, who he is as a person, and what works well and not at all I society. The subtitle of it is The Case for Hope, so it's not doom-and-gloom, even as it addresses serious topics and deficiencies of society at large.