IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Tags favorite books , recommended books

Reply
Old 5th November 2020, 12:05 PM   #601
alfaniner
Penultimate Amazing
 
alfaniner's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Sorth Dakonsin
Posts: 25,067
Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
My favourite Hemingway for some reason is A Moveable Feast, snippets of his life in Paris and his thoughts.
My strongest connection with that title is a line from Jurassic Park II, as in "Let's get this moveable feast on the road!"
__________________
Science is self-correcting.
Woo is self-contradicting.
alfaniner is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th November 2020, 12:12 PM   #602
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,662
The Cartel, by Don Winslow.

If Stephen King wrote Southern California Crime instead of New England Horror, he'd be Don Winslow. In the sense that events in one series will be referenced in another series, and characters from different series occasionally cross paths (sometimes plausibly, sometimes not so much).

This book is the second in the Cartel series. It picks up more or less where the first book, The Power of the Dog, leaves off. So far there's been enough "previously on..." exposition that I think you could pick up this book without being too lost.

Unlike The Dawn Patrol and Savages serieses, this one is much more cynical and bleak. The underlying themes are the futility (or outright mendacity) of the war on drugs; and how people choose to sell out their principles for reasons good and bad.

The characters are well-drawn, in both their merits and their flaws. Almost everyone you meet is at least a little bit villain, and at least a little bit saint. And they act out their parts against a backdrop of Southern California (with Mexico appearing in cameo from time to time). If you're a SoCal resident or native, you'll recognize the scenery, the landmarks, and the topology right away. If you've never been to California, Don Winslow gives a good sense of what the place is like. I don't know if it's accurate, but I think it's close enough for you to be able to appreciate it. Kind of like Stephen King and New England.

Like any mainstream crime novel, the book has its interludes of sex and violence. And lots and lots of drugs. Also some social commentary "monologues" about the war on drugs and related issues (NAFTA, apparently, forced Mexico into the cocaine business).

The Cartel is my least favorite of Winslow's Southern California series, but he's a good writer and it's still worth a read. Plus, because they all take place in the same setting, over the same time period, using many of the same characters and situations, all three series can be read as a single sprawling saga. And also, after the too-cute language games of his preceding novel (The Kings of Cool), the return to heavier, denser, but much more straightforward prose is a pleasant change of pace.

If you're looking for neo-noir crime thrillers with a suntan and a surfboard, instead of a trench coat and a fedora, give Don Winslow a try.
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 8th November 2020, 02:10 PM   #603
Spektator
Watching . . . always watching.
 
Spektator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Southeastern USA
Posts: 1,952
A Journal of the Plague Year, Daniel Defoe

A fictionalized memoir published in 1720, the book purports to be the journal of a great uncle of Defoe's giving us an eyewitness account of the 1665 bubonic plague outbreak in London. Defoe was a reporter who did his research (the Bills of Mortality showing the process and morbidity of the epidemic are from historical records). The narrator's observations of the breakdown of the medical establishment's ability to treat so many desperately ill people, the extremes to which fear drive the sick and the healthy alike, and even the conspiracy theories of the plague's origin all come in for vivid description. The narrator, out of curiosity, visits a churchyard where a mass grave has been excavated. He thinks the descriptions have been exaggerated, but is appalled to view a crater twenty feet deep, fifteen wide, and sixth long. In the 1970s that grave was locared, and Defoe's estimate of the dimensions were correct. The work seems familiar, down to the narrator's complaint that the government downplayed the seriousness of the disease and failed to impose precautions that would have saved lives.
Spektator is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th November 2020, 05:19 AM   #604
PPL
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 400
The First 49 Stories by Ernest Hemingway

The recent mention of Hemingway in the thread has led to taking this off the shelf for a reread of a few stories. In particular I like 'A Clean, Well-Lighted Place'. Full text - https://genius.com/Ernest-hemingway-...lace-annotated
PPL is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th November 2020, 09:00 AM   #605
DuvalHMFIC
Graduate Poster
 
DuvalHMFIC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 1,559
Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed, by Ben Rich.

This book was written in the mid-90s after Ben Rich had retired from the Skunk Works. He chronicles the trials and tribulations at Skunk Works during the initial productions of the U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, and the Stealth Fighter. It's not written chronologically, which I liked. He dives right into the development of the Stealth Fighter, which was the author's first big project after taking over for the infamous Kelly Johnson. Then he backtracks to the years when he was Kelly's 2nd in command, during the development of the U-2 and SR-71. If you're into aviation and engineering, it's an awesome read. It also includes many "Other voices" sections in which other engineers, test pilots, and even political figures give reminisce on the events portrayed in the book.
__________________
Ben is sick ladies and gentlemen, thats right, Ben is sick.
DuvalHMFIC is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 10th November 2020, 09:43 AM   #606
eeyore1954
Philosopher
 
eeyore1954's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 6,759
Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond. It popped up in a search on Audible. A few chapter in and it is very interesting so far.
eeyore1954 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 13th November 2020, 01:36 PM   #607
JayUtah
Penultimate Amazing
 
JayUtah's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 19,234
Just finished Dan Rather's What Unites Us. Nostalgic, yes. Inspiring, yes. But not really a cure for anything except politics fatigue.
JayUtah is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 14th November 2020, 05:46 AM   #608
catsmate
No longer the 1
 
catsmate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 24,363
I've tried to read and, listen to, Sophie Hannah's "new" Poirot novels. They're terrible.
__________________
As human right is always something given, it always in reality reduces to the right which men give, "concede," to each other. If the right to existence is conceded to new-born children, then they have the right; if it is not conceded to them, as was the case among the Spartans and ancient Romans, then they do not have it. For only society can give or concede it to them; they themselves cannot take it, or give it to themselves.
catsmate is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th November 2020, 02:36 PM   #609
PPL
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 400
Silas Marner by George Eliot
PPL is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th November 2020, 06:03 AM   #610
KayBur
Student
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 35
I am currently reading The Lost World by Conan Doyle. Quite an interesting piece. I've read (even twice) about Sherlock Holmes before, I really like it. But I did not read other works of Conan Doyle, to my shame. Now I am correcting the omission.
KayBur is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th November 2020, 10:35 AM   #611
Metullus
Forum ĺ-Wit Pro Tem
 
Metullus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,154
For some reason that I cannot fathom, I picked up Froude's History of England from the Fall of Wolsey to the Defeat of the Spanish Armada (volume I of XI) off of my book shelf. Now I have to finish it.
__________________
I have met Tim at TAM. He is of sufficient height to piss on your leg. - Doubt 10/7/2005 - I'll miss Tim.

Aristotle taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons. - Will Cuppy
Metullus is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th November 2020, 11:44 AM   #612
Pope130
Illuminator
 
Pope130's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Oregon
Posts: 3,508
Originally Posted by KayBur View Post
I am currently reading The Lost World by Conan Doyle. Quite an interesting piece. I've read (even twice) about Sherlock Holmes before, I really like it. But I did not read other works of Conan Doyle, to my shame. Now I am correcting the omission.
Following that you may want to try The Poison Belt, which has many of the same characters. Not as sweeping or famous a story as The Lost World, but entertaining in it's own right.

It is interesting, to me, in being one of the first modern apocalypse stories, particularly of the "last survivors in a dead England" genre which became popular in the 1950s and '60s.
Pope130 is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th November 2020, 11:46 AM   #613
Disbelief
Master Poster
 
Disbelief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,834
"Dead Beat" book 7 in the Dresden Files series. Reading through a second time as I work my way up to the latest that came out last month.
__________________
Zensmack (LastChild, Laughing Assassin, RazetheFlag, Wastrel, TruthbyDecree) - Working his way up the sock puppet chain, trying to overtake P'Doh. Or, are they the same?

Quote me where I said conspiracists use evidence. - mchapman
Disbelief is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 19th November 2020, 10:11 PM   #614
PPL
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 400
The Aesthetic Adventure by William Gaunt





Been meaning to read this, even for the sake of it being a kind of novelty or something.
PPL is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th November 2020, 06:18 AM   #615
Zetetikosfilm
New Blood
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: France
Posts: 19
Haunted Houses (1924) by Camille Flammarion
Zetetikosfilm is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th November 2020, 08:58 AM   #616
Metullus
Forum ĺ-Wit Pro Tem
 
Metullus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,154
Dresden Files audio books have long been our default listening choice on long car trips. We have all of them and will listen straight through and then recycle when we hit the end...
__________________
I have met Tim at TAM. He is of sufficient height to piss on your leg. - Doubt 10/7/2005 - I'll miss Tim.

Aristotle taught that the brain exists merely to cool the blood and is not involved in the process of thinking. This is true only of certain persons. - Will Cuppy
Metullus is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th November 2020, 09:21 AM   #617
Disbelief
Master Poster
 
Disbelief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,834
Originally Posted by Metullus View Post
Dresden Files audio books have long been our default listening choice on long car trips. We have all of them and will listen straight through and then recycle when we hit the end...
I haven't listened to the audio books, but I bet they're good. Enjoy his Codex Alera series for fantasy with an interesting concept as well.
__________________
Zensmack (LastChild, Laughing Assassin, RazetheFlag, Wastrel, TruthbyDecree) - Working his way up the sock puppet chain, trying to overtake P'Doh. Or, are they the same?

Quote me where I said conspiracists use evidence. - mchapman
Disbelief is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 20th November 2020, 07:35 PM   #618
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,592
The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology
by Simon Winchester.
A fascinating story of groundbreaking (heh) scientific endeavour, well told.

I was inspired to visit the Royal Geological Society and to view the actual map in question.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2020, 08:14 PM   #619
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 38,806
Originally Posted by Wudang View Post
My favourite Hemingway for some reason is A Moveable Feast, snippets of his life in Paris and his thoughts.
My favourite Hemingway too. I've re-read it several times.

Another of my favourites and in a similar vein (the Paris arts scene in the early 20th Century):

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein.
__________________
"We stigmatize and send to the margins
people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid"
- Melinda Gates, "The Moment of Lift".
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd November 2020, 08:43 PM   #620
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 38,806
Cosmos by Stephen Fry.

Fry's rich, wide vocabulary and his quirky humour are suitable companions to the Greek Pantheon and myths.
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2020, 02:46 AM   #621
Orphia Nay
Penguilicious Spodmaster.
Tagger
 
Orphia Nay's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ponylandistan Presidential Palace (above the Spods' stables).
Posts: 38,806
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Cosmos by Stephen Fry.

Fry's rich, wide vocabulary and his quirky humour are suitable companions to the Greek Pantheon and myths.

Oops, I meant "Mythos".
__________________
"We stigmatize and send to the margins
people who trigger in us the feelings we want to avoid"
- Melinda Gates, "The Moment of Lift".
Orphia Nay is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th November 2020, 10:18 PM   #622
PPL
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 400
Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Due to a couple of mentions in another thread I thought I'd give this another read. Already I'm remembering how much I enjoyed it the first time.
PPL is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2020, 12:09 AM   #623
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,592
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Cosmos by Stephen Fry.

Fry's rich, wide vocabulary and his quirky humour are suitable companions to the Greek Pantheon and myths.
How many words does he know?

Billions and billions.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 25th November 2020, 05:48 AM   #624
fleabeetle
Muse
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 593
Originally Posted by KayBur View Post
I am currently reading The Lost World by Conan Doyle. Quite an interesting piece. I've read (even twice) about Sherlock Holmes before, I really like it. But I did not read other works of Conan Doyle, to my shame. Now I am correcting the omission.
Does this, or will it maybe, include Doyle's "round half-dozen" of historical novels? If I have things correctly, Doyle took these with great seriousness, feeling that "this was really what he was put on Earth to do" -- he regarded the Holmes material as tedious rubbish which he had to churn out to pay the bills. I find that opinions are divided, concerning the historical novels: a good many people reckon that they're terrific -- others, less so. I've read at some time or another, about half of them, and am personally not a fan: for me, they struck me as mostly, kids'-comic-ish to an embarrassingly cringe-making degree; particularly the "medieval" ones -- The White Company and Sir Nigel (which have also, many keen devotees). Just my personal response: I tend to be hard to please; and as said, there are many who think otherwise.
fleabeetle is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th December 2020, 03:13 PM   #625
Lennart Hyland
Muse
 
Lennart Hyland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 609
Finally finished The Mirror and the Light by Hillary Mantel and it was really brilliant, one of the best books I've read (didnt actually expect anything else). The end part with Cromwell being stripped of his titles and thrown inte the Towern was my favourite.

I read it in english and it took a while. Now I will probably try the swedish audiobook version.
__________________
L.H 1919 - 1993 R.I.P

Unfortunately the 911truth movement web site does not allow any opinions contrary to their own, or I would have presented my views. David Scott - CTBUH Chairman
Lennart Hyland is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 29th December 2020, 09:56 PM   #626
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,592
Originally Posted by Lennart Hyland View Post
Finally finished The Mirror and the Light by Hillary Mantel and it was really brilliant, one of the best books I've read (didnt actually expect anything else). The end part with Cromwell being stripped of his titles and thrown inte the Towern was my favourite.

I read it in english and it took a while. Now I will probably try the swedish audiobook version.
Ah, man,,, spoiler alert....!
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th December 2020, 02:46 AM   #627
Lennart Hyland
Muse
 
Lennart Hyland's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Sweden
Posts: 609
Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
Ah, man,,, spoiler alert....!
I thought it was well known! Oh well, I apologize. I read the book knowing Cromwells fate and still enjoyed it.
__________________
L.H 1919 - 1993 R.I.P

Unfortunately the 911truth movement web site does not allow any opinions contrary to their own, or I would have presented my views. David Scott - CTBUH Chairman
Lennart Hyland is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 30th December 2020, 03:55 AM   #628
EHocking
Philosopher
 
EHocking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 8,592
Originally Posted by Lennart Hyland View Post
I thought it was well known! Oh well, I apologize. I read the book knowing Cromwells fate and still enjoyed it.
I was just kidding, donít sweat it.

But Iíve just teed up Titanic on Netflix - so donít tell me if they managed to set the speed record the captain was said to be chasing on the maiden voyage.
__________________
"A closed mouth gathers no feet"
"Ignorance is a renewable resource" P.J.O'Rourke
"It's all god's handiwork, there's little quality control applied", Fox26 reporter on Texas granite
You can't make up anything anymore. The world itself is a satire. All you're doing is recording it. Art Buchwald
EHocking is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2021, 01:15 AM   #629
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 50,618
Originally Posted by Lennart Hyland View Post
I thought it was well known! Oh well, I apologize. I read the book knowing Cromwells fate and still enjoyed it.
I have the novel on Kindle, but have not gotten around to reading it yet.
But I throughly enjoyed the first two volumnes.
Sort of hope that Mantel wrties a novel about Thomas Cromwell great great Nephew Oliver.....
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 1st January 2021, 01:21 AM   #630
dudalb
Penultimate Amazing
 
dudalb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 50,618
"The British Are Coming" by Rick Atkinson.
FIrst of a three volumne history of the American Revolutionary War ;following up the huge success of his "Liberation Trilogy" on World War 2 in North Africa and Europe. This volume goes from Lexington and Concord to the Battles of Trenton and Princton. Excellent book.
In an interview, Atkinson said he wanted to do another multi volume history of an American war, but decided not to do the Civil War because Bruce Catton and Shelby Foote had done superb 3 volume histories of that war, and he was not stupid enough to compete with them.
__________________
Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay - and claims a halo for his dishonesty.

Robert Heinlein.
dudalb is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2021, 05:41 PM   #631
Brainster
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brainster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 18,358
I've been reading old issues of Galaxy Science Fiction magazine on Archive.org. Actually, I think it was Dudalb that got me into it by mentioning the Marching Morons story, which I looked up and found in the April 1951 issue.
__________________
My new blog: Recent Reads.
1960s Comic Book Nostalgia
Visit the Screw Loose Change blog.
Brainster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd January 2021, 08:37 PM   #632
xterra
So far, so good...
 
xterra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: On the outskirts of Nowhere; the middle was too crowded
Posts: 3,735
Ross King, Brunelleschi’s Dome, 2010. (I am reading the e-pub version.)
__________________
Over we go....
xterra is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2021, 08:50 AM   #633
Brainster
Penultimate Amazing
 
Brainster's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 18,358
Listening to the Audible version of The Biggest Bluff by Maria Konnikova. A Harvard-trained psychologist and writer who specializes in the psychology of deception (a prior book was on con artists) decides to become a professional poker player. Of course, the topic is close to my own heart, but I actually enjoy more than the poker discussion the way she weaves in the results of psychological experiments explaining why poker players make the mistakes they do.

One of the problems is that most humans don't really understand chance and probability and statistics. I was playing online the other day, and one hand I had A-Q suited and shoved all in. This other guy had 3-5 offsuit and called me, Granted, it's a total donkey play, but not uncommon at the low-level games. A five hits the board and I have to rebuy. And one of the other players starts going on about the algorithm, like it's some sort of insanely wild improbability. But actually 3-5 offsuit is 35% to win that hand.

So I mention this to a third player and he starts out by agreeing, yes, people really don't understand statistics. Then he tells me his secret method of picking the late football games on Sunday. If the home favorites tended to cover in the early games, he bets the road dogs on the theory that things even out eventually. "So they're due?" I offer helpfully. Of course, one of the first things you learn in any statistics course is that nothing is "due" other than bills and library books.

The book does have some great lessons, ones that I have tried to take to heart. When she takes a bad beat, she seeks out her tutor, poker pro Eric Seidel and starts to tell him about this terrible hand. He stops her. He's not interested and she doesn't want to be that person. Did she make the correct play? Yes. Then don't worry about it. It's part of life that you can do everything right and still have a bad outcome.
__________________
My new blog: Recent Reads.
1960s Comic Book Nostalgia
Visit the Screw Loose Change blog.
Brainster is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 5th January 2021, 06:52 PM   #634
turingtest
Mistral, mistral wind...
 
turingtest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Embedded and embattled, reporting from Mississippi
Posts: 4,737
The Murder of Sir Edmund Godfrey, by John Dickson Carr. Carr was a writer of detective stories; this book and a biography he wrote of A.C. Doyle were his only published non-fiction works. But he brings a novelist's touch to the story of the murder of a JP in London in 1678 which was a catalyst for the Popish Plot begun by Titus Oates, but which was sort of languishing before the discovery of Godfrey's body- CT-infused popular hysteria is nothing new.

In some ways, Carr's style is a little intrusive (also partly because it was written in 1936*), but not so much as to make it unreadable. And he does name his suspect (I won't, other than to say that, according to Carr, the murder itself, in spite of Godfrey's connection with Oates and the Plot, had nothing to do with either)- his solution makes sense, but part of the fun of this sort of thing is that, as with Jack the Ripper, it can never really be any more than speculation.

*Anyone who's read William B. Hesseltine's Ulysses S. Grant: Politician (1935), and compared it with Chernow's biography of Grant from 2017 will understand when I say there are definite stylistic as well as interpretive differences between the years.
__________________
I'm tired of the bombs, tired of the bullets, tired of the crazies on TV;
I'm the aviator, a dream's a dream whatever it seems
Deep Purple- "The Aviator"

Life was a short shelf that came with bookends- Stephen King

Last edited by turingtest; 5th January 2021 at 06:57 PM. Reason: clarify
turingtest is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th January 2021, 03:06 AM   #635
Samson
Philosopher
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 9,495
Tess of the D'urbevilles

If anyone recalls this exquisite essay in mankind encountering imperfection everywhere they will choose from a box of delights.
I enjoyed the botched job the tradesman would have done better until...
It collided with the accidental principal designed by nature.
Samson is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 17th January 2021, 12:01 PM   #636
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,662
The Neil Carey stories, also by Don Winslow. This is his first series of crime/mystery novels, and they have a fairly conventional voice. Very few hints of lyrical, occasionally absurd, often very grim and brooding tone that characterizes his later work.

If cyberpunk is characterized as "high tech, low life", then the Neil Carey stories are punk-punk: high life, low life. The low life is provided by Neil Carey, a street urchin who becomes the protege of a wise-cracking private investigator.

The high life is provided by Neil's employer, a bank that operates an exclusive private investigation service for its one-percenter clientele.

Engaging descriptions of a private detective who just wants to be a scholar of eighteenth century English literature, but has to keep taking work out of the debt he owes his benefactors. Plenty of applied tradecraft, and so far a nice little mystery to work through in each one.
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th January 2021, 01:23 AM   #637
OldForester
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NE Washington state
Posts: 5
Originally Posted by Orphia Nay View Post
Oops, I meant "Mythos".
I sure enjoyed it. But I'd have to go through it two or three more times, to get all of those characters straight. Surely rivals War and Peace in that way.

Also great is his Ode Less Traveled.
OldForester is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 18th January 2021, 01:33 AM   #638
OldForester
New Blood
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: NE Washington state
Posts: 5
I'm reading The American Revolution of 1800 by Dan Sisson 40th anniversary edition (2014). First published as his Ph.D. dissertation, it's absolutely relevant to these times. From the book jacket intro: "Jefferson believed his election was a peaceful revolution by the American people overturning an elitist faction that was stamping out cherished constitutional rights and trying to transform our young democracy into an authoritarian state." Sound familiar?
OldForester is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 24th February 2021, 11:45 AM   #639
theprestige
Penultimate Amazing
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 50,662
Slough House

Slovenly, malcontent Mycroft Holmes and his bureau of disgraced spies are back to put the screws to John Le Carrť once again.
theprestige is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 2nd March 2021, 06:35 AM   #640
Armitage72
Philosopher
 
Armitage72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 5,436
A short story anthology called "Swords Against Cthulhu III". The first two books in the series were pretty standard sword & sorcery stories mashed together with the Cthulhu Mythos. When I started reading this book, I discovered that it was "Thundarr the Barbarian" mashed together with the Mythos. All of the stories are sword & sorcery set on post-apocalyptic Earth after the Old Ones have started to wake up. It's an interesting change.
Armitage72 is online now   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » History, Literature, and the Arts

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:36 AM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.