What are you reading?

Behave by Robert Sapolsky
Saw this in the book store the other day and was tempted to pick it up. I'm still working through Chernow's 900-plus-page Grant, though, and the thought of taking on another 800-plus page book seemed too daunting. I may have been the only one of my friends not to take his course in college, so I need to read up at some point! Curious what you think.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
Saw this in the book store the other day and was tempted to pick it up. I'm still working through Chernow's 900-plus-page Grant, though, and the thought of taking on another 800-plus page book seemed too daunting. I may have been the only one of my friends not to take his course in college, so I need to read up at some point! Curious what you think.
Not familiar with the Grant book, I do want to note that this book by Sapolsky is not for everyone, very complex functions of the brain and while he does a good job of breaking it down the best way that he can for the reader to understand, I still leave scratching my head so it's not a book you just read for an entire sitting or two, take some time to soak in all the complex information and really break it down to better understand.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I highly recommend using Libby, a free app that you link your library card to and you get free ebook rentals from your local (county) library directly to the app. Easier to use than Overdrive, and you don't have to go through Amazon to get your books. Much simpler and easier to manage and navigate. I've pretty much stopped buying books and use the Libby app on my iPad for most of my reading.

Now, back to books themselves!

A good book is Merchants of Doubt. Highly recommended. It is a fully documented book on the following (blatantly copied from the book's website for conciseness and accuracy):

In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.
https://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
currently reading Peak, the new science of Athletic Performance. this is a great read if you are into Sports Science and how the body functions for top Athletic performance.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor. Talk about a surprisingly entertaining book! I got it on Audible, zipped through it in record speed and ordered the sequel. Just finished it and am looking forward to the 3rd book in the trilogy. I've loved sci fi forever, and finding an author with a new look (and a great sense of humor) at my favorite genre has been a real treat. I've loved the audio books - the reader has done an incredible job of using inflection to represent different characters, their moods, etc.

You might want to check this out, Warhawk. I think you might enjoy it. :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) by Dennis E. Taylor. Talk about a surprisingly entertaining book! I got it on Audible, zipped through it in record speed and ordered the sequel. Just finished it and am looking forward to the 3rd book in the trilogy. I've loved sci fi forever, and finding an author with a new look (and a great sense of humor) at my favorite genre has been a real treat. I've loved the audio books - the reader has done an incredible job of using inflection to represent different characters, their moods, etc.

You might want to check this out, Warhawk. I think you might enjoy it. :)
I'm going to trust you enough to spring for $5 and get it on Kindle. Not available through the library, unfortunately (see my above posts). If I don't like it, I'm going to politely request my $5 back. :p
 
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Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I'm going to trust you enough to spring for $5 and get it on Kindle. Not available through the library, unfortunately (see my above posts). If I don't like it, I'm going to politely request my $5 back. :p
Started reading it last night and am really enjoying it so far (I'm maybe 10-15% through? I don't recall exactly).

Heck, I might just have to kick down $10 for the next two books as well..... :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Started reading it last night and am really enjoying it so far (I'm maybe 10-15% through? I don't recall exactly).

Heck, I might just have to kick down $10 for the next two books as well..... :)
So, finished the first book, bought the second and third, and am over halfway through the second already.

There are a LOT of parallels between these books and the series in my quoted post, below. The "Bob" books are definitely more easy to read and filled with more humor, but many similarities remain (apart from Bob). Again, the Lost Fleet series is highly recommended.

Started reading the various Lost Fleet series - set in the future this series focuses on a fleet commander and space warfare.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lost_Fleet

It is an entertaining series and fairly easy to read. Not overly complex or as "in depth" as some sci-fi authors/books can be (looking at you, Dune), but I like one aspect the author really puts some time into - the distances in space and implications of speed for both communication and travel/warfare. This has made it a more interesting series for me (as an engineer, I appreciate some attention to details like this). For instance, when a fleet of spaceships pops into a star system from the "wormhole"-type interstellar "highways" between various star systems, there are implications for a fleet already in the system. The new fleet can immediately see where the old fleet was say 4 hours ago, while the old fleet won't see the new one arrive from the wormhole until 4 hours after it is there (due to the time it takes light to travel across space). Stuff like that.

Anyways, for a relatively easy and entertaining read for the sci-fi junkies out there it may be worth a try.

I've finished the original Lost Fleet series of 6 books and have started in on the Beyond the Frontier follow-up series.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
So, finished the first book, bought the second and third, and am over halfway through the second already.

There are a LOT of parallels between these books and the series in my quoted post, below. The "Bob" books are definitely more easy to read and filled with more humor, but many similarities remain (apart from Bob). Again, the Lost Fleet series is highly recommended.
I'm so glad you're enjoying them. The moment I realized Bob's knowledge as an engineer (even if it's a different discipline) was an integral part of the books, I thought of you.

I just found out Book #4 The Search for Bender is due out sometime this year. :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I'm so glad you're enjoying them. The moment I realized Bob's knowledge as an engineer (even if it's a different discipline) was an integral part of the books, I thought of you.

I just found out Book #4 The Search for Bender is due out sometime this year. :)
Finished the second a few hours ago and took dad to a movie. I may have to dig into #3 sometime today.... ;)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I'm about half-way through #3. I only listen at night to relax before I fall asleep. It's replaced playing Candy Crush. ;)
Finished #3 tonight despite being gone all day at the Giants-A's game. :)

Really enjoyed them. Some good humor mixed in, not difficult to read or follow. I found them entertaining. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Just finished Old Bones, an entertaining fictional story about the hunt by an archaeologist for a lost "camp" from the Donner Party near Truckee that weaves in a murder mystery and treasure hunt. It is a new release by a couple of my favorite authors, Preston and Child. It is an easy read but the ending just falls a tad bit short/nebulous for my satisfaction. Overall I enjoyed it, and figured others might too especially given the locale/topic of the story. I also like that they often mix in good info on various topics (in this case, archaeology) that inform the reader while being entertained.
 
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VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Since I got Audible, I've been spending time listening to books from my favorite authors. I just finished Watchers by Dean Koontz (1987). One of the most interesting things I noticed is how much things have changed in the 30 years since the book was first released. One key plot point depends upon the use of a public pay phone. If Koontz was writing it today, a lot of the book would have to be changed.

BTW, I know there were some movies made of the book but I don't recall ever seeing any of them. According to Wikipedia, they starred Corey Haim, which could explain why I didn't bother. ;)
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
By the way? I don't often tout books by authors I know but I'm gonna make an exception here. If you've never read Sherman's Eagle by Devin Blankenship, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's got history, it's got Sacramento, it's got a lot going for it. :)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
By the way? I don't often tout books by authors I know but I'm gonna make an exception here. If you've never read Sherman's Eagle by Devin Blankenship, do yourself a favor and check it out. It's got history, it's got Sacramento, it's got a lot going for it. :)
Only $2.99 for the Kindle version, so I bought it. I expect to be refunded if it doesn't live up to the hype. ;)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
Only $2.99 for the Kindle version, so I bought it. I expect to be refunded if it doesn't live up to the hype. ;)
Just read it - the history and Sacramento connections made it more enjoyable for me. Blankenship needs to work on some parts of his writing but overall it was fairly entertaining.

I will say this though, in one portion of the book he mentions "bedrock" and Sacramento in the same sentence. Let's just say that yes, there is bedrock under Sacramento, but there is a reason the high rises downtown are all supported on piles. There is a thick alluvial layer overlying bedrock - hundreds of feet at least.
 
I'm listening to the Desert and the Sea 927 days captive on the Somali coast on Audible. Michael Scott Moore. I like Audible for memoirs especially if you can find the right story teller. I am half way through and enjoying it so far.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Odd Billy Todd by N.C. Reed. "BILLLY TODD HAS ALWAYS BEEN DIFFERENT. Most people called him odd, and those were the nice people. Born with a learning disability, Billy's parents never allowed him to consider himself disabled. Raised to be self-sufficient, Billy might not be as smart as some, but he's a lot smarter than people realized. So, when the entire world is devastated by a plague that kills over ninety-five percent of the population, Billy is not helpless. Believing he may be the only survivor in his town, he manages to place himself in a good position to survive alone in a new world." - Google Books

This is another audiobook I found on Audible.com I've listened to it 3 times now and still enjoy it. The right storyteller, as iowamcnabb mentioned above, is just as important as the story itself and Christopher Lane is one of the best.
 

kingsboi

Hall of Famer
The Interpretation of Dreams

Sigmund Freud

Very interesting read thus far. Breaks down some of the reasons on why we dream what we dream but I want to note that this was written in the 1900s so some of these findings by Freud involve his own dreams and not a particularly large study of other individuals. Nonetheless, it's a fascinating read.
 
I always have a book or two going most of the time. Was reading some old Louis lamour books but I’ve read most of them before and quite frankly fun quick reads but the stories are old to me so I have stopped reading them for now.

So have started to dig out books I have read before but it’s been awhile.
I have always been in to history and especially the battle of the little big horn. Have more than a few books on the subject and find it interesting that all these years there is just so much misinformation and beliefs with what transpired those hot day in June of 1876.

Granted there will always be that gap between what we actually know and what actually happened that afternoon.

Also pulled out Steven pressfields historical fiction on the battle of Thermopylae. It’s a pretty decent book although fiction but the book Gates of Fire I really like. I think the two battles and the unknowns except the end results make them interesting.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I actually haven't been reading much recently, but I have three books on hold electronically in Libby so once they become available I'll dig in again. :)

Douglas Preston - Dinosaurs in the Attic - An Excursion Into the American Museum of Natural History (non-fiction)
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - Crooked River (fiction)
James Rollins - The Last Odyssey (fiction)

Odd Billy Todd by N.C. Reed.
It was only $3.99 at Amazon, so I just ordered this as well. With the Bobiverse recommendation paying off, I'll gamble another $4. ;)
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I'm about 1/3 through, and yes, I am.
Finished it last night. Good book overall and I enjoyed it. A bit...simple at times (this definitely isn't Dune or Lord of the Rings-type writing), but that appears be by intent and matching the "nature" of the protagonist. Easy to read and follow, and a different kind of take on the "apocalypse"-themed stories.
 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
Stephen King used to be my favorite author. Back in 1978, he wrote an incredible book called The Stand about a weaponized strain of the flu that wipes out almost all (99.4%) of civilization. "In 1990, The Stand was reprinted as a Complete and Uncut Edition. King restored some fragments of texts that were initially reduced, revised the order of the chapters, shifted the novel's setting from 1980 to 10 years forward, and accordingly corrected a number of cultural references. The Complete and Uncut Edition of The Stand is considered to be King's longest stand-alone work. The book has sold 4.5 million copies." (Wikipedia)

I just got the audio version of the latter edition. Listening to it, I was drawn in once again by a true wordsmith. King at his best, without a doubt. The pictures he paints are so vivid you can almost touch them. The character development is unbelievable. With a total of over 47 hours, this one book is longer than most trilogies I've listened to. I'm already 10 hours in and totally immersed in the narrative.

Of course, the timeliness cannot be ignored. For some reason, I keep picking post-apocalyptic novels. I'm just glad to have rediscovered vintage Stephen King in the process.
 

Kingster

Hall of Famer
The Plague, by Camus, and The Great Mortality, by Kelly. The Camus book is fiction, the Kelly book is non-fiction. Both are about the plague. Both make the covid virus seem like the common cold. The Black Death in the 14th century killed about one-third of the European population. The Camus book, in particular, delves into the psychological states of those under attack by the plague in a small city in Algeria, and one can't help but see some parallels to what we see with the covid situation today.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
I just finished Dinosaurs in the Attic: An Excursion Into the American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston. A pretty easy read, this very interesting book delves into the beginnings of the museum as well as the stories behind some of the artifacts they keep there (from dinosaur bones to meteorites to stolen jewels to cultural histories of now-lost societies to all kinds of animals). The discussions on the expeditions they mounted (from the arctic north to Indonesian islands, Africa, eastern Asia, and across the US) and histories of the collections are equally fascinating. Blended in are bits and pieces of a "walking tour" of the facility. Definitely recommended.

An interesting tidbit - as told by wikipedia:

From 1978 to 1985, Preston worked for the American Museum of Natural History as a writer, editor, and manager of publications. He served as managing editor for the journal Curator and was a columnist for Natural History magazine. In 1985 he published a history of the museum, Dinosaurs In The Attic: An Excursion into the American Museum of Natural History, which chronicled the explorers and expeditions of the museum's early days. The editor of that book at St. Martin's Press was his future writing partner, Lincoln Child. They soon collaborated on a thriller set in the museum titled Relic.
Relic largely takes place inside the American Museum of Natural History.