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Whenever you finish a book, post it here
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TigerMandingo Offline
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Post: #1026
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
(03-02-2019 12:39 AM)Paracelsus Wrote:  If you can handle historical fiction, I'd strongly recommend Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series, which runs more or less from Marius through to Sulla through to the rough end of Julius Caesar's run. It comes with a lot of recommendations from historians as very well researched and pretty true to events as best we know them. And if it's any extra accolade, apparently lesbians hate it for the way it portrays women. It's not written by a man, of course, but I'd give it a pass in this case.

Bought Caesar. That book looks awesome, and I had no idea Colleen McCullough was the author of the Thorn Birds which is hugely popular in the FSU. Probably a novel I should read at some point, as well.

Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that mate.
03-03-2019 10:46 PM
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Paracelsus
Paracelsus Offline
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Post: #1027
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
(03-03-2019 10:46 PM)TigerMandingo Wrote:  Bought Caesar. That book looks awesome, and I had no idea Colleen McCullough was the author of the Thorn Birds which is hugely popular in the FSU. Probably a novel I should read at some point, as well.

Interesting factoid: the front matter of The Thorn Birds reads as follows:

Quote:There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain.... Or so says the legend.

Those of you who've read Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and remember the tale of Martin Silenus might be wondering whether Mr Simmons has read this book.

Anyway, onward:
The Four Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss

[Image: 9780091929114_p0_v1_s260x420.JPG]

Yes, I'm a latecomer to this book. Forum thread on the book is here. Seems to have a decent number of testimonials. Seems to work based on the brothers' views here.

As for my take on it?

It's a stereotypically American book: one part useable material, one part selfishness, one part bullshit. Slightly more useful than Robert Kiyosaki's combined works.

It interfaces -- superficially -- with Seneca and stoicism, which is nice, and it's one of those things where if you've been hanging in this forum for a few years a decent proportion of it will be familiar.

Still, for me the telling part is the character of the individual who's revealed. Maybe the most glaring part is how he suggests you make yourself an expert in the eyes of the media: do two presentations, join a trade association, and then join ProfNet, which apparently is where the media look up the talking heads who appear on our screens. And of course he uses the get-out clause to avoid being sued: don't say you're anything you're not.

This is wrong. Part of the fucking problem with our world is exactly this sort of behaviour - with the perception being more important than the reality. Not that it bothers Ferriss one bit: his answer to morality and the great questions of life is: unless it impacts directly on you or is actionable, forget about it. Don't ask the big questions. Worse still that the main reason he developed that view on life was because he clearly developed existential dread and querying what exactly he'd actually achieved after having enough money to wipe his ass with it.

He defines happiness as, and I quote, whatever excites you. He modifies this later on in the book to mean whatever excites and/or you find rewarding. It does not surprise me in the least that this sort of man remains without a partner and without children; this sort of shit stops working when you have to accept the drudgery that's involved in fostering a relationship or raising kids. You can't outsource good parenting, not for lack of trying by every generation from the Baby Boomers onward.

Again, I am not questioning that, applied thick and strong according to the principles (as opposed to the instructions) set out in the book, you could maybe make a motza. In that respect the book is superior to a Robert Kiyosaki offering. But am I questioning who you'd become in pursuit of that aim.

And yeah, I've decided to start doing long reviews again. Maybe they only reveal who I am rather than reveal the book, but it's as much my own way of crystallising the thoughts I have out of reading them.

Remissas, discite, vivet.
God save us from people who mean well. -storm
(This post was last modified: 03-05-2019 09:19 AM by Paracelsus.)
03-05-2019 09:16 AM
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RWIsrael Offline
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Post: #1028
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
I've just finished reading Generation Kill by Evan Wright, a Rolling Stone journalist who was embedded with Bravo Company, First Recon Marines during the second invasion of Iraq.
Not a bad writeup if you're interested in a grunt-level view of the invasion and enjoyed the HBO show.

I've started reading One Bullet Away by Nathaniel Fick who was a platoon commander in the same company during the war and recounts his experiences. It presents events in a more matter-of-fact way rather than focus on the characters and interactions between them.

Interesting to see different perspectives of the same events.
03-05-2019 09:28 AM
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debeguiled Offline
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Post: #1029
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
@Paracelsus

You do realize you are criticizing the national champion Chinese kickboxer of 1999?

How dare you sir?!??!!

“The greatest burden a child must bear is the unlived life of its parents.”

Carl Jung
03-05-2019 11:39 AM
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nomadbrah Offline
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Post: #1030
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
The 4 Hour Work Week to me is an essential mid 00s book. That stuff was DONE after the financial crisis. It's not a bad book per se, quite inspiring, but the risk is actually buying into his ideology of rootless modern man.
03-05-2019 01:56 PM
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Paracelsus Offline
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Post: #1031
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
The Tower of the Swallow, Andrezj Sapkowski

[Image: 9781473211575.jpg]

Well, this got a lot better. Pretty much have to accept most of the book is about Ciri, but it's a mud-splattered, blood-soaked, sweaty trip that turns your guts.

The points of view constantly shift between past and present, which in most other books you'd think were a pain in the ass, but it's actually a fun ride. You're often getting the story through very biased eyes, but Sapkowski does it basically to keep you entertained, not to Experiment With Narrative Foundations And Challenge The Patriarchal Place Of Literature or shit like that. It's a good, solid, fast read. And the preview they give you of The Lady of The Lake is enough to make your hair stand on end. Looking forward to the last one.

Remissas, discite, vivet.
God save us from people who mean well. -storm
03-10-2019 10:44 AM
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Lance Blastoff Offline
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Post: #1032
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

Shirer was CBS's correspondent in Berlin 1934-1941 and left the country a few days before Pearl Harbor. Fascinating perspective on how Hitler came to power, how he built the nazi war machine and how it all came down. Only time I've ever really read a survey book about WWII and it was absolutely impossible to put down.
03-10-2019 11:23 AM
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JayR Offline
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Post: #1033
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
(12-11-2016 03:46 PM)iam1albertan Wrote:  Animal Farm and 1984 by George Orwell

Definitely must reads in today's society.

Just finished "1984," having somehow gotten through school without reading it. Probably goes without saying, but the Orwell's prescience was incredible given the present surveillance and media culture in the US. Hard to believe he wrote it in 1947.
03-24-2019 10:13 AM
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Post: #1034
RE: Whenever you finish a book, post it here
Just finished "Miami" by Joan Didion. It was a lot of inside baseball stuff about Cubans immigrating to Miami and the politics they brought with them. Surprised to learn how much CIA activity and small scale terrorism occurred in 1980s Miami. A lot more crime overall back then. Seems Miami is way better now.
03-24-2019 12:22 PM
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