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  1. #2126
    I'm in Jail

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    Re-reading more like . . . and as good the second time round


  2. #2127
    Excommunicated baldrick's Avatar
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    a couple of good books about the SOE in the balkans and greece

    Rogue Male - Roger Field

    No Colours or Crest - Peter Kemp

  3. #2128
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    George Orwell: Burmese Days
    (not recommended reading for British people)

  4. #2129
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    The Three-Body Problem
    Is a very good science fiction book by Liu Cixin.
    It is very well written and an interesting story line, but because it was translated from Chinese , I have a hard time keeping track of the names. I Think I have to go back and and reread the first few chapters making notes of the names and who everyone is. so that later on when he writes " And Chue said" I don't say " Who the fuck is Chew??"
    The sooner you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up.

  5. #2130
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    George Orwell: Burmese Days
    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    (not recommended reading for British people)


    ffs - take a night off, eh?

    The book may have met with some hostility at the time, but he wasn't sent to the salt mines for thirty years for it.

    Or just bumped off!

    The book has been read and enjoyed by countless British people.

  6. #2131
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post



    ffs - take a night off, eh?
    Impossible. The Putin bot has got a daily quota to fill on orders of the Kremlin.

    He must be sailing pretty close to the wind now though with his constant pollution of threads.

  7. #2132
    A Cockless Wonder
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    Nick Lane is a brilliant writer.

    I finished his Life Ascending: The 10 Great Inventions of Evolution last month

    What book are you reading right now?-life-ascending-jpg


    This month I am taking a deeper dive into the subjects of one of the chapters in Life Ascending with his earlier book Oxygen: The Molecule that made the World

    What book are you reading right now?-oxygen-jpg

  8. #2133
    Member russellsimpson's Avatar
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    I'm re-reading a book by Piers Brendon called The Dark Valley which is subtitled a Panorama of the 1930's. The book provides excellent coverage of the years between the Treaty of Versailles and the onslaught of WW11, focusing on developments in the major players at the time including Britain, USA, France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, and the Ottoman empire. The growth of militarism in Japan, Germany and Italy are all covered in good detail. The book is not written from an academic perspective which is refreshing. Brendon provides wonderful little insights and comical stories of the world leaders at the time. The book provides an excellent summary of events of the period. I purchased my copy several years back, it may be difficult to find but is an excellent addition to any library .


  9. #2134
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    Buckaroo Banzai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by russellsimpson View Post
    I'm re-reading a book by Piers Brendon called The Dark Valley which is subtitled a Panorama of the 1930's. The book provides excellent coverage of the years between the Treaty of Versailles and the onslaught of WW11, focusing on developments in the major players at the time including Britain, USA, France, Germany, Russia, China, Japan, and the Ottoman empire. The growth of militarism in Japan, Germany and Italy are all covered in good detail. The book is not written from an academic perspective which is refreshing. Brendon provides wonderful little insights and comical stories of the world leaders at the time. The book provides an excellent summary of events of the period. I purchased my copy several years back, it may be difficult to find but is an excellent addition to any library .
    If you enjoy historical novels as I also do. Read Empire by Gore Vidal , if you have not already . Or for that matter anything by Gore Vidal. (Lincoln, and Burr are two others I strongly recommend) If you are interested in ancient history, Creation, and Julian are two I am sure you will enjoy.

    I downloaded The Dark Valley from Amazon on my kindle and I will get to it as soon as I finish what I am reading now.

  10. #2135
    Member russellsimpson's Avatar
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    Report back when you find the time.

    Happy reading.

  11. #2136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    I downloaded The Dark Valley from Amazon on my kindle
    I think we must have had this discussion here before . . . Kindle vs paper.

    Kindle, been there, done that - prefer paper, so now only my daughters use their Kindles.

    Yes, it's more expensive to buy paper books but it's simply . . . different, somehow better (in my opinion) . . . and the biggest benefit I've found is donating them to charity after you're done.
    My youngest one volunteers at a charity here on Saturday mornings, basically sorting out donated goods nd she came across a donation that contained several children's books that we'd donated years ago. Kinda cool.

    Plus - we can still support both large and small bookstores/shops.

    Anyway - Gore Vidal:
    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    Read Empire
    Excellent recommendation

  12. #2137
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    Quote Originally Posted by hallelujah View Post
    Impossible. The Putin bot has got a daily quota to fill on orders of the Kremlin.

    He must be sailing pretty close to the wind now though with his constant pollution of threads.
    Opening a book written almost 100 years ago, seeing Putin.
    Opening TD, seeing Putin...
    Opening fridge, what I see ...

  13. #2138
    I'm in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Opening fridge, what I see ...
    . . . emptiness, bar several bottles of vodka in various stages of decline . . . like you

  14. #2139
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    John Rawls' A Theory of Justice.

    Heavy going, but makes good sense.

  15. #2140
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    I think we must have had this discussion here before . . . Kindle vs paper.

    Kindle, been there, done that - prefer paper, so now only my daughters use their Kindles.
    Nothing like holding a real book in your hands, Also a backlighted kindle is not good for your sleeping patterns they say. (should not be looking at bright lights before sleep) . But I have two problems. ( at least as far as reading is concerned, many more elsewhere) I read a lot , a book or two a week, and hardcover can get very expensive. And I travel a lot, between, US, Thailand and Greece , with Kindle it's a lot easier to have my books with me. Also , a lot easier to find certain books . especially when I am in Thailand. Also with the Kindle, I have access to my home town's library electronic book content from anywhere in the world.
    One big negative , is that I like to read before I go to sleep every night, and as I said I think the light from my kindle might have something to do with me not sleeping well.

  16. #2141
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    Quote Originally Posted by panama hat View Post
    . . . emptiness, bar several bottles of vodka in various stages of decline . . . like you
    Great line. LOL

  17. #2142
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    A veritable smorgasbord of literature lies on my bedside table at the moment:

    What book are you reading right now?-18922647-jpg

    An old un, so a lot of it isn't new info these days, but it's very thorough in detailing the horrors inflicted on the people of East Germany by the Stasi. Recommended if you have any kind of interest in the history of the region.

    What book are you reading right now?-51roxxywmal-jpg

    I love Theroux's writing and he does what I've thought about doing for a while and may do this summer: travelling the length and breadth of Mexico. I love the way he gets out and about meeting people from all walks of life in the countries he visits, which he does, once again, in this.

    What book are you reading right now?-51ghbd2gfll-_sx324_bo1-204-203-200_-jpg

    And continuing my interest in Easterm Europe is this little tome. I've been in and out of it so far, and some parts are better than others but, like the region itself in terms of its footballing achievements, it promises a lot but never really delivers. The egregious corruption at play never ceases to surprise....but then occasionally does in its brazenness.

    What book are you reading right now?-8102uriadrl-jpg

    I thought Stieg Larsson's trilogy was fantastic and, while I've only read a little of this so far, the style does appear very similar, so I'm hopeful of an edge of the seat (bed) ending too.

    Incidentally, the last 3 are paperbacks while the first is on a kindle. I just wish the Stasi one was in paperback too because, as PH said above, the experience of having an actual bloody book in your hand is infinitely more pleasurable than this newfangled nonsense we have these days.
    9

  18. #2143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckaroo Banzai View Post
    Nothing like holding a real book in your hands, Also a backlighted kindle is not good for your sleeping patterns they say. (should not be looking at bright lights before sleep) . But I have two problems. ( at least as far as reading is concerned, many more elsewhere) I read a lot , a book or two a week, and hardcover can get very expensive. And I travel a lot, between, US, Thailand and Greece , with Kindle it's a lot easier to have my books with me. Also , a lot easier to find certain books . especially when I am in Thailand. Also with the Kindle, I have access to my home town's library electronic book content from anywhere in the world.
    One big negative , is that I like to read before I go to sleep every night, and as I said I think the light from my kindle might have something to do with me not sleeping well.
    I have a similar problem with access to paperback/hardback English language books that I actually want to read, which is why I buy a few when I'm home and then drag them out for a while. I then just pass them on to other people to save space and make do with Kindle in the meantime.

  19. #2144
    A Cockless Wonder
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    Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

    What book are you reading right now?-39001-_sy475_-jpg


    A challenging but rewarding deep dive into the ancient history of the Eukaryotic cell.

    According to Nick lane, the mysterious history of the relationship between the mitochondrial DNA (which build the power generation organelles of the cells) and the nuclear DNA lies at the root of why we have sex, and why, one day, not only our cells but also each of us, as a collective individual organism must die.

  20. #2145
    Neo Cameralist Backspin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    Opening a book written almost 100 years ago, seeing Putin.
    Opening TD, seeing Putin...
    Opening fridge, what I see ...
    Yep. These guys just can't get over Putin.

  21. #2146
    Neo Cameralist Backspin's Avatar
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    This book was recommended to me again. It seems like a similar book to William Shirer's diaries.

    If anyone has read it , let me know


  22. #2147
    Thailand Expat TheRealKW's Avatar
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    Autobiography of Jimmy Barnes. Not a bad read, he appears to have had a very grim upbringing


    What book are you reading right now?-9781460757338-jpg

  23. #2148
    Excommunicated baldrick's Avatar
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    What book are you reading right now?-code-breaker-jpg

    The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race by Walter Isaacson

    The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobs returns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies.

    When Jennifer Doudna was in sixth grade, she came home one day to find that her dad had left a paperback titled The Double Helix on her bed. She put it aside, thinking it was one of those detective tales she loved. When she read it on a rainy Saturday, she discovered she was right, in a way. As she sped through the pages, she became enthralled by the intense drama behind the competition to discover the building block of life. Even though her high school counselor told her girls didnít become scientists, she decided she would.

    Driven by a passion to understand how nature works and to turn discoveries into inventions, she would help to make what the bookís author, James Watson, told her was the most important biological advance since his co-discovery of the structure of DNA. She and her collaborators turned their curiosity into an invention that will transform the human race: an easy-to-use tool that can edit DNA. Known as CRISPR, it opened a brave new world of medical miracles and moral questions
    .
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What book are you reading right now?-code-breaker-jpg  

  24. #2149
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...a review of a possible e-book purchase with my stimulus cash:

    Could You Transplant a Head? This Real-Life Dr. Frankenstein Thought So.


    Robert White’s ultimate goal in surgery was to transplant a human head from one body to another — purportedly to prolong the life of someone like Stephen Hawking. In private, though, White had an ulterior motive. He was fascinated with the question of where the human “soul” resides.Credit...White family archive

    By Sam Kean (NYT)


    • MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER

    A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul
    By Brandy Schillace

    One day in the 1960s, a priest walked into an operating room in Cleveland to find a dead dog lying on the table. The transplant surgeon Robert White had drained its blood and cooled its brain to 50 degrees. The priest then looked on, aghast, as White spread a picnic cloth on the table and began munching on a sandwich.

    Halfway through his meal, White asked the priest if he thought the dog really was dead. The priest said yes — right? With a merry twinkle, White set to work, recirculating blood and rewarming the brain. However groggy, the dog eventually lurched to life and began staggering around. At this, White winked at the priest. “Maybe like Christ,” he teased. “Dead and revived.”

    White didn’t pull this stunt to mock religion; he was actually a devout Catholic who attended Mass daily. Nor was he simply showing off his medical skills. Rather, as Brandy Schillace explains in her delightfully macabre “Mr. Humble and Dr. Butcher,” White’s real goal was to push the boundaries of both surgery and theology, which he viewed as complementary fields — each one wrestling with big questions about life, death and the human soul.

    Schillace, a medical historian at Case Western Reserve University, first learned of White when a doctor in Cleveland, aware of her love for gruesome tales, presented her with an old, blood-spattered lab notebook of White’s. It more than lived up to her expectations. The book that resulted from her fascination is partly a history of transplant surgery — especially its fraught early days, when accusations of murder, racial bias and sadism were surprisingly common. The bulk of it, however, focuses on White, whose entire life, which spanned the 20th century (1926-2010), was a series of contradictions.



    He was nominated for a Nobel Prize for developing lifesaving surgical techniques, yet also inspired shlocky horror films like “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.” He advised the pope on bioethics, yet appalled actual bioethicists, as well as animal-rights activists. He demanded to be taken seriously by the medical community, yet strutted around on Halloween with a medical bag emblazoned “Dr. Frankenstein.” (He in fact seemed to consider “Frankenstein” not a cautionary tale but a how-to manual.) Nor did he see any conflict between science and religion. “Quite the contrary,” Schillace writes, “he viewed the operating theater as a ‘sacred space,’ a place where his God-given talents met their God-directed end.”

    Indeed, White’s work got into some pretty heavy metaphysical territory. His ultimate goal in surgery was to transplant a human head from one body to another — purportedly to prolong the life of someone like Stephen Hawking. In private, though, White had an ulterior motive. He was fascinated with the question of where the human “soul” resides. In the brain? The body at large? He hoped head transplants would allow him to study the question scientifically. He also pondered removing brains from their skulls and keeping them alive in jars. Could such brains think? White argued yes. He in fact believed that detached brains might be superior to regular brains in realms like mathematics, since they could manipulate pure symbols without the “distraction” of sensory information.

    This work might seem like the relic of a more brutal age in medicine. But in 2019, scientists at Yale University discovered how to reboot dead, disembodied pig brains in the lab. Moreover, surgeons in Italy and China are actively pursuing a head transplant today. “To the last,” Schillace notes, White “remained convinced that the surgery would be performed, somewhere, someday, and that his work would be exonerated.” In other words, while White may be forgotten now, his ghost still haunts medicine — a prospect that would have delighted this pious, puckish Frankenstein.

    Sam Kean is the author of the forthcoming “The Icepick Surgeon: Murder, Fraud, Sabotage, Piracy, and Other Dastardly Deeds Perpetrated in the Name of Science.”

    MR. HUMBLE AND DR. BUTCHER

    A Monkey’s Head, the Pope’s Neuroscientist, and the Quest to Transplant the Soul
    By Brandy Schillace
    303 pp. Simon & Schuster. $27.
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  25. #2150
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    Troy's Avatar
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    The bookshops have opened again in Germany. Well, they have been for a week now but today was my first chance to visit. Wife doesn't like bookshops so I made it part of my cycling route. I managed a quick hunt through the English books and found something that took the eye.

    The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

    It's set in an old people's home in Kent. Four sleuths in their 80's with a murder to solve. Thoroughly entertaining, so far, and reminds me of a few people on TD.


    Wouldn't it be fun if TD members were living together in such a home. I'd find the multinics, turning up in different guises, particularly amusing.

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