Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Let's turn a new page...I'm tired of POLITICS today..........

What book are you reading now? And do you recommend it?

My bedside table is starting to look like the pile to the yours? Is there a book you think my pile can't do without?

Let us all know! Thanks...


sue said...

I'm not reading any book right now, but I used the title of an excellent book in a post - A Rock and a Hard Place, by Aron Ralston.

I know you've read My Grandfather's Son.

Into Thin Air and Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer are both good.

And I loved Einstein by Walter Isaacson.

These are not current books. I could use a good one to read.
I like biographies (or auto)

christian soldier said...

I've read several Brad Thor novels in the last two weeks--
I just put up a -Smile-post---I too needed to 'get away' from the 'stuff' that's happening to this country...
Boys Choir from Cologne ...SMILE...

Deborah on the Bayside said...

In progress:
- The Faith, by Chuck Colson. Bold capsule of the Christian faith in shoe leather, engaging our culture.
- Power, Faith and Fantasy - Michael Oren
- Londonistan - Melanie Phillips

Just finished:
- Gates of Fire (NOT about a lawsuit in Boston, but the Spartans last stand at Thermopylae.)
- Red Hot Lies (rascally greenies have sooo much trouble with their facts, or, as HL Menckien put it, "the urge to save humanity is always a false front for those with the urge to rule it)
- Civilization and Its Enemies, Lee Harris (read 3 times!!, outlined with margin notes)


Next up: Eiffel's Tower. (I do love those engineering marvel books.) and a David Silva novel.

beamish said...

I'm working my way through "The Collected What If? - Eminent Historians Imagine What Might Have Been"

It's a collection of essays examining different events from history and speculating how they might have turned out differently.

Things like:

What if Pontius Pilate hadn't ordered Jesus' crucifixion?

What if the D-Day invasion of Normandy had failed?

What if the Mongols had conquered Europe?

Things like that. It's a fun read, but I'm a history geek like that.

Z said...

Beamish, that sounds really interesting......

sue..yes, I read My Grandfather's Son...

I'll look into the others, thanks.
I know you've read the presidential biographies ... everyone loves the John Adams book, which I haven't read yet.

CS, thanks, the boys choir was great...what's Brad Thor write?

Deborah, thanks!

I must admit politics so sap my energy that I need to get AWAY from it and so I've turned to mysteries and am loving every Martha Grimes book out there, Josephine Tey, etc...

Deborah on the Bayside said...

Brad Thor (real name) rocks on thrillers! or Hugh Hewitt's interview with him.

Maybe lesser known bios for Sue, that she might not have encountered:
*General Washington's Christmas Farewell: A Mount Vernon Homecoming, 1783 - Stanley Weintraub. Short. A very human side of a man who continues to surprise us with how worthy a model he is to follow. Scope is far beyond its title.
*The Private Life of Chairman Mao, by his personal doctor, Li Zhi Sui. phenomenal!
* Christopher Hitchens' book on Jefferson.

beamish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beamish said...


To me, alternate / "counterfactual" histories (besides giving historians a chance to delve into well-researched fiction writing) reinforces the "what happened and whys" and by reinforcing a understanding of what really happened lays the foundation for speculating "what could have happened instead."

It's a guilty pleasure for me.

DaBlade said...

I like my books pulped and fictional. Currently on DaBlade's night stand is "Fall of Thanes", the last book in a trilogy by Brian Ruckley. It's a good heroic fantasy series of political intrigue, war, and empire. The evil antagonist in the story is a dead ringer for Obama. He is half human, half elf, and as such, weilds a malignant version of "The Shared" (magic, not socialism). Anywho, this character bends others to his will through force of rhetoric. I can't help picturing this guy as Obama with pointed ears. Good series for science fiction/fantasy fans (despite the Obama visual).

namaste said...

what about you, z? what are your favorites? what are the ones on your nightstand?

right now i'm reading another abe lincoln biography.

Always On Watch said...

Right now, I'm reading The Lake of Dead Languages. I highly recommend it. In fact, I've been reading it slowly so as to savor it.

I have huge stack of library books and will dive into that pile once I've finished the above book.

Anonymous said...

Last book I finished was Thomas
Sowell's "The Housing Boom and Bust." It's a quick read, and like most things Sowell is worthwhile...though if you've read much Sowell, you won't find much earth-shattering in it.

Currently reading Woodward and Armstrong's "The Brethren", a look at the Burger Court.

Recently read Levin's Liberty and Tyranny. It was fine, but didn't live up to the hype.

The Creature from Jeckyl Issland about the monstrosity that is the Federal Reserve was a little heavy on conspiracy theory but an entertaining read. What other book are you going to find that has endorsements from Ron Paul and Willie Nelson?

And the hardest book to put down....Hitman: My Real Life in the Cartoon World of Professional Wrestling by Bret Hart. It's probably not a popular title with this crowd, but 550 pages of wrestling memoirs to me is fascinating.


shoprat said...

Liberty and Tyranny (second time through) and Ivanhoe. (Saw the movie but never read the book.)

sue said...

Beamish - I read a science fiction book about the same thing - What If certain things in history hadn't happened.

Mark said...

I recently finished "Liberty and Tyranny". I highly recommend it. I am now reading (When I get a chance) "Common Sense" by Glenn Beck, although it wasn't my first choice. I wanted to get Ann Coulter's latest, but Beck's book was a lot cheaper.

I've been cleaning out the garage this week. You wouldn't believe how much stuff is in there!

Anyway, I came across a book while cleaning, that I didn't remember even buying. I have been wanting to buy it for some months now, so I'm glad I don't have to spend the money.

It's called "Liberal Fascism" by Jonah Goldberg, and I intend to read it after I finish "Common Sense".

As to fiction books, I have a couple of "Monk" books, but I haven't started on them yet. My non-fiction list of books I want to read keeps growing. Now Michelle Malkin has a new one out.

HoosierArmyMom said...

Try "Far Left of Center", the american radical left today by Harvey Klehr. Of course it is enlightening, but also depressing. I want real hope, the Bible is a great standby, always.

Always On Watch said...

Forgot to say....

The best book I've read in a long time is Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care. The topic: osteogenesis imperfecta.

I'm particularly interested in that topic as my first cousin (like a brother to me) had a mild form of the genetic defect.

Zack R said...

Am loving "The Sheep from the Goats," a collection of literary criticism by John Simon. Simon is one of the extremely few critics whose work is so good it could itself be seen as literature. He is brilliant, very droll and altogether politically incorrect-- no surprise that for years he wrote for National Review.

Ducky's here said...

Kevin Brownlow - "The Parades Gone By"

It's a collection of first person interviews and stories of the American silent film period.

Silent film has reached a critical mass in America right now and restoration, film scoring and festivals are pretty active.
Lot of lighthearted inside stuff here and also a reminder that one of our neglected geniuses is Buster Keaton.

Steve Harkonnen said...

I recently read Bill Bryson's book In a Sunburned Country and I discovered a few things I never knew about Australia. He's actually given me some inspiration to write my own book on my recent trip.

Thing is, I still have to get my first book published - last night I sent it out to fourteen different agents.

The Wordsmith said...

I've been reading the Reagan Diaries all summer, It's over 700 pages and has keep me busy all summer.

Z said...

I just finished THE DEATH OF A RED HEROINE by a Chinese writer...I thought I wouldn't like it because it's set in China of the early eighties and I wasn't interested, but I ended up liking it precisely because of the fascinating communist life there; the mystery stank but the book was very interesting.

Too Busy Not To Pray and Brokenness are 2 Christian books I'm reading and really appreciating.....

my next mystery book club book I've started is GOOD MORNING, MIDNIGHT by Reginald Hill..only 'so so' so far!

I have The Language of God "A scientist presents evidence for Belief" there, too....barely opened yet, but I've heard fascinating stuff about it, supposed to be very compelling..scientifically.

I have Levin's new book but Mr. Z found it dry; I'll crack it open and see for myself soon.
The problem I have with books like Goldberg's, etc., is that WE KNOW THE STUFF ALREADY...At least Coulter's humor keeps me in hers, sort of...

And, I have to mention BIRTH IN THE SHADOWS, also on my night table, by our blogger buddy Leslie Lynn King, which I am very much looking forward to reading after I've read the book club mystery.....Get the book!! It's on ...her blog is under LESLIE on my sidebar and you can buy the book at

Thanks for all your input...
I'm looking forward to more and I hope you all get inspired to read some of those you're reading here in Comments...

The Wordsmith, thanks for that reminder; My mother loves bios and loved Reagan; that might be a super Christmas present!

Maggie M. Thornton said...

We built in bookshelves in our new house but books are still over the floor, especially in my office.

If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend Stones from the River by Ursula Heigl - a story of WWII and a woman who was born dwarfed in Germany. It is riveting story of a woman with many challenges who rises to all of them. It includes how she, a Catholic, becomes embroiled in the disappearance of the Jewish population at that time.

Beautiful writing.

I'll soon start Liberty and Tyranny, and I always have my nose in the Fair Tax Book.

Nice post. Nice subject. Don't ya love to talk about books?

Jungle Mom said...

'The prize winner of Defiance, Ohio'
The true story of a woman who raised 10 kids in spite of difficulties including an alcoholic husband.

Z said...

Maggie, that's a beautiful book I've're right; Stones from the River...wonderful.
It also showed how peacefully Jews lived in Germany until Hitler; people don't understand that much in America...the people got along well, supported each other, and helped Jews so much. She's written another...

Maggie M. Thornton said...

Z - I typo'd Hegi's name - just for the record:-)

I know she has out another book about a girl in Germany around or after WWII. I've been meaning to find that but had forgotten about it.

NC Sue said...

I usually have 2 books going lately - one spiritual, one secular.

Right now I'm reading a collection of P.G. Wodehouse books - light reading. I'm also about to crack the cover of Called To Be Holy, by Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan.

The best book I've read recently is Come Be My Light, published about Mother Teresa after her death.

Z said...

NC, welcome! I would love to read Dolan's book; I looked into him fairly extensively when he took over the NY Diocese and was SO impressed..heard a video sermon, read some things...saw him standing on the steps of St Peter welcoming peter to his elevation services!
Seems like a good guy..thanks for that recommendation.

I know what you mean about reading Wodehouse,'s NEEDED these days; clears the head of POLITICS and NEGATIVITY! Thanks for coming by.

christian soldier said...

Bravery like this is hard to find:

Susannah said...

Oooooh, what a WONDERFUL question!! I'm afraid I'm not as scholarly as some in this crowd, but I do love books!

Currently: I'm reading "The Hour I First Believed" (Wally Lamb). It's OK, but just ok. His first, "I Know This Much is True" is FANTASTIC!!!

On Politics: I read "Culture Warrior" (O'Reilly) a few months ago. Good, enlightening, but depressing, too.

Guilty pleasure: "Outlander"(Diana Gabaldon) FABULOUS!! Probably more a of chick read...but man-o-man is it good!

Inspirational: "Redeeming Love" (Francine Rivers - fictional account of the book of Hosea), "Come Away My Beloved" (devotional - Frances J. Roberts)

That's all I can think of right now...Great question, Z!

cube said...

Right now I'm reading Stephen Baxter's "Manifold: Time". I wouldn't recommend it unless you enjoy hard science fiction. This books deals with time and how quantum mechanics affects it in astonishing ways. Hey, it's summer. I tend to keep my reading lighter than usual.

Anonymous said...

I'm not reading a book at the moment, but, I have Liberty and Tyranny waiting for me, next in line. After that, a Stephen King novel. I'm a horror buff.

Lately, I've discovered Stephen King is a cakewalk compared with the horror that's going on Washington DC.


Z said...

great comments, everybody..thanks.

Pris, that's funny..(sort of!)

So many books, so little time....

Average American said...

Read a book? Nah! Catching up on blog reading, much more beneficial.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mystery lover.
Right now I'm reading John Sandford's "Certain Pray"

Leslie said...

I enjoy reading so much. Would like to have more time to do so. I usually read many books at one time. A few I am reading for novel writing research, others just because I like to know and learn things.

The Colonial Experience
The 5000 Year Leap
Piercing the Reich many books yet to read

*Thanks for the book mention Z. So far I have people reporting that they stayed up all night reading it. That's fun to know! :D

Faith said...

I watch a lot of movies over my computer on Netflix to kill the pain of the condition of the US and the world. Instant Watch, some good mind-numbing stuff. Old movies are good for that. Even educational mind-numbing stuff, documentaries and biographies and the like.

As for reading I read whatever I'm currently debating about online. right now I'm reading some books about the Bible versions.

I can't handle politics at all any more.

Anonymous said...

I don't think I can read books anymore. At least not modern ones.

Susannah said...

DD2~ My Dad & husband LOVE John Sandford! Dad has read everything he has written!! Must be a guy thing...

Joe said...

Two important reads: "Liberty and Tyranny" and "Common Sense."

I am currently reading my autobiography, which will be written by my wife after I'm gone.

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

1. Merle's Door, by Ted Kerasote: about the life of a freethinking dog.

2. Dark Summit, by Nick Heil: about the 2006 climbing season, the death of David Sharp and Russell Brice's HimEx.

3. Crossover, by Joel Shepherd: SF, abou8t Cassandra Kresnov, solider, lover, fighter, deeply passionate, completely artificial.

4. The Hungry Ocean, by Linda Greenlaw: the life of the captain of the Hannah Boden, Linda Greenlaw, the sister boat to the Andrea Gail, from Sebastian Junger's "The Perfect Storm."


Debbie said...

Oh Z is it possible to get away from politics these days? Seems they have their hand in everything.

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

Anonymous said...

I remember you had a similar post several months ago. It's a fun topic and probably worth renewing every few months.

If the Language of God book you mentioned is the Francis Collins book, I found it to be a let down. The author's whole point is that he doesn't see a conflict with believing in God and in macro evolution.


Deborah on the Bayside said...

What a great idea, Z! I've gotten 2 new books on my list. Thanks everybody (including Ducky - what an interesting book).

Anonymous said...

I just bought one about Carl Jung and Herman Hesse. Spiritual Psychology, I think. I'm sure it'll be a real page-turner! ;-)

The Lightning Man said...

Wow...ya'll make me feel like an uneducated flake for reading fiction! I was quite surprised by how much non-fiction is being read by this bunch.

As for me, The Real World sucks enough without having to read about it in what precious few moments I get to spend on reading. Between news feeds and blog reads, I see enough painful reality.

I likewise just finished reading a couple of Brad Thor novels. I have a couple Stephen Hunter novels awaiting me, and I'm currently reading a rather cheesy novel by former-SEAL-turned-actionr-writer Dick Marcinko. Definitely light reading for me this time.

For excellent alternate history, IMHO the rue master is Harry Turtledove. He rocks. I'm waiting for the next paperback in Jack Whyte's Templar Knights series, too. I split my time between fantasy novels, historical military fiction, historical fiction based in the early UK, and modern military technothrillers.

Susannah said...

Joe~ I KNOW that's an interesting read...but, uh, where are you plannin' on goin'?

Always On Watch said...

You like Stephen King, too?

I've read most of what he has written, including his nonfiction book On Writing.

Jess said...

In the past couple of weeks I read:

Charlaine Harris's "Dead until Dark",

Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" and "The Long Goodbye",

John Buchan's "The Thirty-Nine Steps",

and am working on Frederick Forsyth's "The Day of the Jackal".

After that, it's Wilkie Collin's "Woman in White" and then I'll see if I can get a few more in before school begins in late August.

I guess you can tell I'm a fan of mystery, thriller and detective fiction!

Anonymous said...

"I've read most of what he has written, including his nonfiction book On Writing."

AOW - Yes, the same for me. I read "On Writing" also. Interesting. I have more of his books waiting for me here.

Since going online, I find I have less spare time, so they pile up. King is such a prolific writer, there's always a new one just around the corner, but, I'll get to them. He spins a good yarn, doesn't he?

I don't limit myself to King and fiction however, I read non-fiction as well. So many good books, so little time, huh?

Fiction is a good escape from the turmoil of daily events, especially these times we're living through.


Z said...

I'm impressed by the amount of NONfiction, too...
I need FICTION these days..and a Martha Grimes mystery is like gold..except I believe we've read them all by now..I hate that!
her novels aren't worth the time, so don't bother. Focus on the Richard Jury Mysteries...If you love England and a good mystery and wonderful characters, try one.

Deborah on the Bayside said...

Well, Z, if you want mystery fiction -- try the Obama "how we're gonna pay for health care" plan. It doesn't come any more mysterious and fiction than that! :)

Z said...

Deborah, do you know even BARBARA WALTERS said that the day after the press conference where he spoke about his plan? I couldn't believe even SHE said "Okay, you're describing how you think you're paying for this, but what IS "THIS" We STILL don't know!"

man, that's something for HER to be honest.