Author Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club  (Read 68868 times)

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Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #150 on: April 27, 2013, 02:11:20 AM »
Finished Valis and now working on "Reinventing Gravity" by John Moffat from the University of Toronto. Very interesting popular book with a fascinating premise.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #151 on: April 28, 2013, 07:00:00 AM »
Stephen Hunter's latest, The Third Bullet, lays out one of the more interesting possible explanations of how the JFK assassination happened. Good read, too.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #152 on: April 28, 2013, 12:54:08 PM »
Can you summarize his theory?  I think it'll be some years before we learn the truth; I suspect we'll have to wait until anyone connected to the assassination (and those people's children and grandchildren) will be dead and dust.


Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #153 on: April 28, 2013, 05:18:08 PM »
Can you summarize his theory?

Um, no. I resent folks in forums like this who spoil books or movies by revealing the ending. I will say that the book is another of Hunter's featuring Bob Lee Swagger and that there are actually two possible JFK assassination explanations advanced in the book, one really fanciful but fascinating, and one more mundane but more likely and almost as interesting.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #154 on: May 09, 2013, 01:05:01 PM »
Just finished Stephen King's Under The Dome. Too long, but the usual great read. CBS is airing a series based on it starting in June. Should be good if they follow the book.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #155 on: May 12, 2013, 11:40:58 AM »
I saw an extended preview of this series (Under the Dome) at the movie theater (prior to Iron Man III).  It looks like it could be pretty good -- solid production quality, decent acting, etc. 

I'm working on a book at present called Stormdancer (by Jay Kristoff).  It's a Japanese steampunk novel.  I am encountering some repetitive phrasing and imagery, but otherwise it is clear, engaging, and intelligent.  I like science fiction that touches on politics, spirituality, etc.

By the way, I know I always italicize titles -- MLA habits die hard, don't you know?  I also think I'll go to my grave being able to recite the helping verb poem:  is, are, am, was, were, can, could.... (It goes on in similarly riveting fashion.)

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #156 on: May 12, 2013, 01:05:44 PM »
I saw an extended preview of this series (Under the Dome) at the movie theater (prior to Iron Man III).  It looks like it could be pretty good -- solid production quality, decent acting, etc. 




http://www.underthedome.com/main.html


street address and zip... see what happens.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #157 on: May 12, 2013, 01:10:00 PM »

 I like science fiction that touches on politics, spirituality, etc.



Have you ever read the Cyberiad by Stanislaw Lem? Might be right up your alley.
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18194.The_Cyberiad




@onan: I entered my neighbor's address. Turns out he is under the dome...sucker :)  this thing is pretty fun actually. Works for any address in the world, just use the coords as input.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #158 on: May 12, 2013, 05:05:06 PM »
A little off the usual path here, more as a heads up on a new book which I have not read, but which I think some of you may find interesting. It's about an incident in WWII of which I was previously completely unaware, in which ordinary German soldiers joined forces with American troops and French VIP political prisoners to fight troops of the SS who meant to kill the French prisoners before the war ended. The book is, unimaginatively IMO, The Last Battle - http://www.amazon.com/Last-Battle-German-Soldiers-ebook/dp/B00C8X1CO0/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=STEPHEN%20HARDING%20THE%20LAST%20BATTLE&linkCode=ur2&qid=1368377975&sr=8-1&tag=insta0c-20.

I consider myself an above average amateur historian of WII. This itself should be a warning to me. Of course I have a bias toward what is called the "Western Front", although what most folks mean by that is the combat involving the army groups commanded by Omar Bradley and/or Bernard Montgomery, and of course George Patton's US Third Army in northern and central France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and northern Germany. We all too often assume that the Western allies' combat ended with US troops meeting the Russians at the Elbe River, some 50 miles west of Berlin's western suburbs, on April 25th, 1945, almost 2 weeks before the Germans actually surrendered.

Most folks completely overlook the operations to liberate southern France (not to mention the stepchildren of all US ETO operations in WWII, the Italian campaign), which began with Operation Dragoon and went on into Austria. I even know the Eastern Front battles better than these I'm sorry to say. But the US units involved in the fighting in the southern part of France and on to Austria didn't get the shots at glory like the 82d and 101st Airborne and the US 1st, 4th and 29th Infantry and 2d and 3rd Armored Divisions. But they did get combat. And some of them fought up to the very last days of the war in Europe.

This story involves a fight, three days after Berlin fell and two days before the Germans finally surrendered everything. US troops were assigned to take and defend a medieval Austrian castle, Schloss Itter where the Germans kept French VIP prisoners such as political figures like former French Prime Ministers Édouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, and famous generals Maxime Weygand and Maurice Gamelin and even French tennis star Jean Borotra (called "the Bounding Basque" for his leaping ability. He was kept not because he was famous but because he was caught trying to escape France and offer his services to the American forces.)

Although the surroundings and treatment were almost pleasant at Schloss Itter, which was located just 3 miles inside of Austria and was a little over 50 miles from Munich, it was considered part of the Dachau concentration camp complex, 90 miles away. It was like something out of Where Eagles Dare, with 18-foot-thick stone walls, tall crenelated towers and a deep, if dry, moat. A great place to defend, which is what Lt. Jack Lee of the 23d Tank Battalion of the US 12 Armored Division was ordered to do on May 4. He wound up at the castle with one tank and a handful of soldiers (all African-Americans, which was unusual for combat troops). None were happy about the job, because they felt like their war was over, and they didn't want to be the last US casualty in Europe.

About the same time a German Major Gangel, a part of the Wehrmacht, the regular German army, along with about 20 soldiers was looking to surrender. It's a little convoluted, but Major Gagnel became aware of the situation at Schloss Itter and decided to join forces with the small American force defending the castle. Perhaps Major Gagnel was thinking this would help him both in the short and long term with the Americans. Whatever his thinking, it led to American soldiers standing side by side German soldiers as comrades in arms against Waffen-SS troops.

There were Waffen-SS troops (the fighters, and the most rabid and fanatical soldiers Hitler had) in the surrounding hills. It's hard to reconstruct events, but it seems they a combat group of SS troops were ordered, or took it on themselves, to take Schloss Itter, perhaps to kill the VIP prisoners in a Götterdämmerung before they fought to the last round and last man. The Americans and Wehrmacht troops in the castle fought back, shooting down SS troops who tried to break into the castle. The SS made several attacks on the almost impregnable structure, with the Americans and Germans defending with rifles and machine g8uns (the tank had been blown up earlier). Even the French VIPS fought, using German army weapons which had been stored by their keepers in the castle.

They were almost entirely out of ammunition when tennis star Borotra volunteered to sneak out of the castle disguised as a peasant and try to reach American forces and tell them of the desperate condition of the defenders. Borotra made it, although he was chased by the SS troops outside the castle. After the usual delays help finally came. The castle's defenders were down to their ;last few rounds. Lt. Lee had settled on a plan where he and his troops and VIPs would go to the keep, with its spiraling stone staircase which favored the defenders. He knew he was facing fanatical troops who would give no quarter, particularly facing black US soldiers. So Lee decided they too would fight to the last man. But just as SS troops were setting up to blow through the castle's huge front gates with their version of an RPG, thew cavalry came. The SS ran off into the surrounding country.

Sounds like an interesting story, and I was pleased to learn of it.


Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #159 on: July 15, 2013, 11:31:16 PM »
I've been bouncing around YouTube of late, watching episodes of the old show "What's My Line". One of the show's unique appeals is seeing many of the Hollywood greats at various stages of their careers (Taylor, Davis, many others) outside the confines of the cinema. (sadly, the show is also a reminder of the fluent and correct English that was used in casual conversation only 60 years ago, even by our entertainers of the era. Today, people attending a screening of What's My Line would think they tripped into a Mensa meeting.)


Anyway, back to books.  after watching these episodes, one person stood out by far: AVA FUCKING GARDNER. In just the short segment of WML on Youtube, she displays the remarkable mix of charm, beauty, and subtle flashes of the fiery spirit that Sinatra arguably couldn't tame. (Modern practitioners of the persuasive arts could learn a little something from her about eye contact as well.)


It sent me on an ebook hunt reading some of her biographies. Many are likely myth over truth, but still quite a fun life to read.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #160 on: July 16, 2013, 12:08:06 AM »
And I might as well add the reads before the Gardner run.  a re-read of Gene wolfe's "Fifth Head of Cerberus" and his classic short story "Seven American Nights".  (The latter is a quick read that can be freely found online. Can you figure it out?  Essays have been written about it that are longer than the story itself!)

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #161 on: July 16, 2013, 05:42:52 PM »
"the hynek ufo report".  very interesting

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #162 on: August 02, 2013, 01:50:19 AM »
I'm a big Theodore Roosevelt buff. Picked up "When Trumpets Call, Theodore Roosevelt After The White House". Pretty good so far. It may not be Edmund Morris good, but its still a good read.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #163 on: August 03, 2013, 03:56:53 AM »
I'm five volumes deep in Lone Wolf and Cub right now

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #164 on: August 03, 2013, 04:58:48 AM »
I'm a hungry reader myself, anyone else here on www.goodreads.com?

It's a fantastic place for finding books that you might never have heard of (though sometimes it's a place you can spend hours talking about books instead of actually reading them). Another place to meet some interesting people that you'd otherwise never meet if not for the shared love of a book.

Been a good year of reading for me so far, recently finishing "Roadside Picnic" by the Arkady brothers, Bastiat's "The Law," and "Sarrasine" by Balzac. Presently plowing through "On Power" by de Jouvenal, "Making Sense of the Troubles: The Story of the Conflict in Northern Ireland" by Kittrick, and Fowles' "The Magus."

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #165 on: August 03, 2013, 05:00:54 AM »
And I might as well add the reads before the Gardner run.  a re-read of Gene wolfe's "Fifth Head of Cerberus" and his classic short story "Seven American Nights".  (The latter is a quick read that can be freely found online. Can you figure it out?  Essays have been written about it that are longer than the story itself!)

Never heard of this one (Seven American Nights), it sounds great. Adding it to my ever-growing "to read" list!

(Just found it in PDF format, only 72 pages, may be able to get to it this weekend)

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #166 on: August 05, 2013, 03:54:05 PM »

      Some books I've read in the past month or so...that C2C had nothing with whatsoever.

        Jonathan Fenby's bio of De Gaulle "The General..."
 
        Scott Miller's "The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century"     

  Max Hastings "Inferno: The World At War 1939-45"   

    Ed Moloney "Voices From the Grave: Two Men's War in Ireland" (Brendan Hughes/David Ervine)

        Ron Janovic "Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band"

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #167 on: August 05, 2013, 04:05:51 PM »
A little off the usual path here, more as a heads up on a new book which I have not read, but which I think some of you may find interesting. It's about an incident in WWII of which I was previously completely unaware, in which ordinary German soldiers joined forces with American troops and French VIP political prisoners to fight troops of the SS who meant to kill the French prisoners before the war ended. The book is, unimaginatively IMO, The Last Battle - http://www.amazon.com/Last-Battle-German-Soldiers-ebook/dp/B00C8X1CO0/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&keywords=STEPHEN%20HARDING%20THE%20LAST%20BATTLE&linkCode=ur2&qid=1368377975&sr=8-1&tag=insta0c-20.

That IS an obscure bit  of history. Ian did a show with Stephen Harding about "The Last Battle".

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #168 on: August 09, 2013, 09:40:21 PM »
      Some books I've read in the past month or so...that C2C had nothing with whatsoever.

        Jonathan Fenby's bio of De Gaulle "The General..."
 
        Scott Miller's "The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century"     

  Max Hastings "Inferno: The World At War 1939-45"   

    Ed Moloney "Voices From the Grave: Two Men's War in Ireland" (Brendan Hughes/David Ervine)

        Ron Janovic "Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band"
How was the Big Star book? 

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #169 on: August 09, 2013, 09:52:08 PM »
How was the Big Star book?

     Quite good. Serves as a bio for Box Tops/Chilton/Bell as well.

       *Spoiler(and this was unknown to me)...Chris Bell's sexual orientation/and his own reaction to it(becoming a Jesus freak to combat it) makes him a rather tragic figure. I always thought he was a drug casualty, and he was to a degree...but there was much more there.

        Chilton is a rather conflicted character as well. Seemed to sabtoage his career intentionally a couple of times.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #170 on: August 09, 2013, 10:56:35 PM »
     Quite good. Serves as a bio for Box Tops/Chilton/Bell as well.

       *Spoiler(and this was unknown to me)...Chris Bell's sexual orientation/and his own reaction to it(becoming a Jesus freak to combat it) makes him a rather tragic figure. I always thought he was a drug casualty, and he was to a degree...but there was much more there.

        Chilton is a rather conflicted character as well. Seemed to sabtoage his career intentionally a couple of times.
I'll have to get it, it sounds great.  And I did not know that about Chris Bell.

Did you ever read Ian Hunter's Diary of a Rock n' Roll Star?

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #171 on: August 09, 2013, 11:09:04 PM »
I'll have to get it, it sounds great.  And I did not know that about Chris Bell.

Did you ever read Ian Hunter's Diary of a Rock n' Roll Star?

      Well worth getting. The Bell revelation comes completely out of the blue, and is basically two paragraphs. But it explains a lot. His "conflicted" sexuality leading to increased drug abuse and then into pretty hard core "born again" sects. A drunk Alex Chilton was on a tiny Texas radio station in 1979 and blamed Big Star's failure on "Chris Bell being a homosexual". That broadcast, heard by a handful, was the only public reference to Bell being gay.

        Hunter's book is terrific, I found a very weathered copy at a used book store in Cambridge,MA in 1991. I rank it up there with Al Kooper's Backstage Passes as a realistic,unfiltered autobiography.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #172 on: August 09, 2013, 11:23:41 PM »
That IS an obscure bit  of history. Ian did a show with Stephen Harding about "The Last Battle".

It was a very good show by Ian with Harding.  If I remember correctly, Harding said a movie was in the works.  It has the potential to be one hell of a movie, with the right cast and director.  I just hope the Hollywood CGI goofs don't get their hands on it.  ::)

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #173 on: September 27, 2013, 01:15:36 PM »
I'm starting Dan Brown's newest book "Inferno". While hes not the greatest writer, I do like the Langdon series. Robert Langdon is a modern day Indiana Jones of sorts. And the movie adaptations have been pretty entertaining.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #174 on: September 27, 2013, 04:04:13 PM »
      Well worth getting. The Bell revelation comes completely out of the blue, and is basically two paragraphs. But it explains a lot. His "conflicted" sexuality leading to increased drug abuse and then into pretty hard core "born again" sects. A drunk Alex Chilton was on a tiny Texas radio station in 1979 and blamed Big Star's failure on "Chris Bell being a homosexual". That broadcast, heard by a handful, was the only public reference to Bell being gay.

        Hunter's book is terrific, I found a very weathered copy at a used book store in Cambridge,MA in 1991. I rank it up there with Al Kooper's Backstage Passes as a realistic,unfiltered autobiography.

Really late question here but were these music people what the movie Velvet Goldmine was about?

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #175 on: September 29, 2013, 09:43:52 PM »
I'm starting Dan Brown's newest book "Inferno". While hes not the greatest writer, I do like the Langdon series. Robert Langdon is a modern day Indiana Jones of sorts. And the movie adaptations have been pretty entertaining.

Oh, keep me posted on how it is. Really want to check that out. Currently I'm reading Jo Nesbo's Nemesis from his Harry Hole series. Briiant and intelligent espionage crime reading. Nesbo is extraordinay. I was turned onto him after Stieg Larsson's Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series. Nesbo is much more heavy duty and what a literary meal. Yeow.

Reading Minds: The BellGab Book Club
« Reply #176 on: November 01, 2013, 02:47:53 AM »
Began Spook Country by William Gibson. Recommended by a friend who is quite the astute wise guy.  So far, I'm liking it.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #177 on: November 04, 2013, 02:23:04 PM »
Revisiting an old favorite (Heinlein's Farnham's Freehold)...  It's been 30+ years since I first read it.  Its somewhat casual use of N-Clang (the N word) is a bit uncomfortable (to say the least).  His curious sexual interests are on display here:  incest, young girls, cannibalism...  Still, it is an engaging narrative.  I think a lot of his books are very similar.  They have older male characters who tend to deliver off-hand observations that sound awefully well-thought-out.  Some of the female characters seem either brittle or too libertine.  Just my opinion.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #178 on: November 17, 2013, 07:07:35 PM »
     I am still new to the BellGab forum. I have read many, many post, all of the Dark Matter-live discussion, all 534 pages, and a lot of the general discussion ones. I have noticed that there are some on hear that may be Book Authors. I am an avid reader of Sci-Fi, EOTWAWKI/SHTF books, fantasy, (both urban and magic), Zombie books, and Space Opera. The longer the book the better, I get tired of 250 page books that only take a day to read.
     I have found a few new Authors/self publishers, on AMAZON. Two that I liked were Michael Hicks, and by far the best new Author I have found was Lawrence P. White. I tremendously enjoyed his Chosen Series, (well that is his only series). For Zombie book series, if you like them, I did enjoy Mark Tufo’s “Zombie Fallout series.
     I recently finished David C. Waldron’s series Dark Grid, and am looking for new books to read. It takes forever to find new books on Amazon. So if you are an Author, and would like to make a sell, (if you are in digital format on Amazon), then leave a link, or PM me if you do not want to make a public link. Thank you.
     If any of the users have read any indie publishers (Authors), and there were not too many typos, story disconnects in their writing, and they were at least 3 star qualities, post me a link. I do not mind a few errors, as long as the story/plots are good, that is generally good enough for me.

Re: Reading Minds: The CoastGab Book Club
« Reply #179 on: November 17, 2013, 07:16:25 PM »
I recently read First Activation.  It was one of those books that I could not put down once I started.  There are more coming in the series. It's a post-apocalyptic theme. The authors are brothers and are new, so the book is quite cheap, with the Kindle version just $2.99.

http://www.amazon.com/First-Activation-Post-Apocalyptic-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00EE3UR02

If you're an Amazon Prime member, you can borrow the book for free in the Kindle Lending Library.