What We Are Reading In October 2016

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What We Are Reading In October 2016

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1Seajack
Out 3, 2016, 1:56am

Having liked Eric Weiner's first two books, The Geography of Bliss and Man Seeks God, I had high hopes for his newest title: The Geography of Genius. His self-deprecatory humor, and decent travel narrative style, just hasn't held my interest well; a couple of times I've had to stop myself from bailing on the book. With the last section on Silicon Valley to finish, I'll finish it, but wouldn't blame others who didn't.

2Daniel.Estes
Out 3, 2016, 11:48am

I was thinking about reading The Geography of Genius but you recommend his other two? Which one should I start with?

3LynnB
Out 3, 2016, 4:04pm

4trav
Editado: Out 3, 2016, 10:23pm

I just finished Let Them Eat Dirt and learned a lot. Not sure I'm 100% on board with all of the connections they try and make, but I was amazed at all the inroads and discoveries science is making in the area of bacteria/biomes. Much of it made sense.

I'm starting Randy Robert's Blood Brothers tonight and am pretty excited. I hear good things about this book.

5trav
Editado: Out 3, 2016, 10:25pm

>>3 LynnB: I thought that Bryson book was wonderful. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I recommend it all the time. It is so interesting.

62wonderY
Out 4, 2016, 6:21am

>4 trav: I love that title Let Them Eat Dirt and I'm so glad the science world is turning the corner on this issue.

7Seajack
Out 4, 2016, 11:43am

Daniel - read them in order The Geography of Bliss, Man Seeks God and then The Geography of Genius. I like them as audiobooks; his ... nebbish-y humor comes through better that way.

8JulieLill
Out 4, 2016, 3:11pm

>3 LynnB: Have not read this book but I do like Bryson.

9framboise
Out 4, 2016, 8:38pm

About 2/3 done with Lab Girl. Interesting and well-written but the science stuff sometimes gets to be too much and puts me to sleep.

10JulieLill
Out 6, 2016, 5:47pm

Nutshell
by Ian McEwan
5/5 stars
I loved this latest book by McEwan. Told through the viewpoint of a mother's unborn child, the author weaves a tale of betrayal of a husband by his wife and brother. This was so well written it made me think that maybe McEwan remembered his time in the womb.

11snash
Out 7, 2016, 12:27pm

I finished Good Time Girls which was an amazing account of those who invariably are poorly documented, illustrating their adventurous, hearty, generous, and enterprising nature and their contributions to the Alaskan-Yukon frontier. The numerous pictures add immensely to the story.

12LynnB
Out 10, 2016, 4:27pm

13ktho
Out 10, 2016, 7:07pm

Currently reading my way through:

"Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship," by Jon Meacham;
"American Leviathan: Empire, Nation, and Revolutionary Frontier," by Patrick Griffin;
"The Perfect Horse: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis," by Elizabeth Letts;

and I'm reading my review copy of "Powered By Girl: A Field Guide for Supporting Youth Activists," by Lyn Mikel Brown.

14snash
Out 11, 2016, 8:49am

Finished a LTER. Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing is an exploration of the human impulse for closure and how it can often work against us, curtailing creativity, empathy, and flexibility. While proposing a few techniques to help deal with ambiguity, it would seem awareness of the forces and stresses that promote closure is a big step forward. The book is well written and uses examples from varied sources such as business, literature, and education as well as social psychology.

15JulieLill
Out 11, 2016, 4:13pm

>13 ktho: Interested in your review of Letts book.

>14 snash: That books sounds intriguing.

16bakechad
Out 12, 2016, 5:57pm

17Bookmarque
Out 12, 2016, 6:45pm

Yesterday I started Consider the Fork and so far it's informative and entertaining. Woo hoo!

18LynnB
Out 15, 2016, 8:29am

19bluepiano
Out 15, 2016, 4:39pm

>17 Bookmarque: Now, that sounds interesting. Is it well-written & thoroughly-researched and is it to the point, or is it more like one of those horrid popular books by journalists that are padded & dumbed-down & imbued with a chummy tone? (I was as tickled as I was perplexed to see a reviewer of it mentioning that because Wilson attributes the inventions by women to, er, women the book might be thought left-wing.)

Am reading Ancient Bodies, Ancient Lives. A strongly implied warning to archaeologists that they oughtn't assess other cultures in other times by the attitudes of our own, in this case not to assume that the distinction between m/f has always been a significant one.

21Bookmarque
Editado: Out 18, 2016, 2:43pm

I just finished it and it was interesting, but it's quirky and mostly it's the writer's own experience that makes it so. For example she says that vegetable peelers didn't become common until the 1990s. What? I used one my entire life. I never used anything else to peel veggies and I doubt my mom did either. I was a kid in the 70s. I don't know if it has a "chummy" tone, but it isn't dry. Yes it's a history of cooking implements and innovations and how those things died or caught on, but it's anecdotal, too. I liked how she loves her Aeropress as I do, and I liked reading of her discovery of sous vide.

23bluepiano
Out 20, 2016, 5:23pm

>21 Bookmarque: Cheers for your comment. Sounds too lazy a book for my taste.

Reading this year's winner of Wellcome prize, It's All in Your Head: Stories and read tonight Trump and Me. The latter has made me terribly curious about the family Donald Trump grew up in.

25Bookmarque
Out 22, 2016, 5:05pm

My ER book is a NF this time - Hidden Thunder:Rock art of the Upper Midwest. Many of the sites are inaccessible, which helps preserve them, but just knowing they're out there is interesting. There's a big woo-woo element to the presentation though. I guess atheism hasn't really hit the native American population much.

27LynnB
Out 29, 2016, 10:26am

I'm reading Play Ball and Carry On by Gregory Rom.

28rocketjk
Out 29, 2016, 1:31pm

29JulieLill
Editado: Out 29, 2016, 5:02pm

Finished-
Nobody Said Not to Go: The Life, Loves, and Adventures of Emily Hahn
by Ken Cuthbertson
5/5 stars
As I finished this book, what came to my mind was Dos Equis's Beer ad campaign, “The Most Interesting Man in the World". If they had to pick a female for that role it would have had to have been Emily Hahn as the world's most interesting woman.
Hahn was born in St. Louis, Missouri into a large Jewish family in 1905. The family eventually moved to Chicago, Illinois. She ended up as the only female mining engineering student at college and later she and a girlfriend traveled in a Model T-Ford across the US. She also traveled alone to Africa and lived there for a few years before moving home and writing a book about her experiences. She then traveled to Hong Kong and was stuck there during the Japanese invasion during WWII and where she met her future husband and had a child. She was a writer most of her life and wrote novels and short stories. She also wrote for The New Yorker till a few months before her death at the age of 92. Cuthbertson weaves a wonderful tale of her adventures and her accomplishments. I had a hard time putting this down.

31JulieLill
Out 31, 2016, 12:03pm

>30 LynnB: That book sounds interesting.

32LyzzyBee
Nov 1, 2016, 5:52am

I'm reading The Novel Cure though it's more of a book to dip into, maybe. It's adding to my wishlist, just by dint of being about books, some of which I've not heard of at all!

33JulieLill
Nov 1, 2016, 3:54pm

>32 LyzzyBee: I am still reading books I put on my list several years ago but this book looks interesting.

34LynnB
Nov 1, 2016, 4:33pm

I read The Novel Cure and found it very interesting....and I added several books to my wish list and/or the TBR shelves.

35JulieLill
Nov 3, 2016, 5:07pm

Anybody Can Do Anything
Betty MacDonald
4/5 stars
I am a big fan of Betty MacDonald and was glad to be able to find a copy of Anybody Can Do Anything which was one of her adult books that I haven't read. Betty relates her experiences trying to get and keep a job during the depression after she left her husband. Her and her two daughters moved into her mother's house already filled with unemployed siblings and her sister Mary did everything she could to help Betty with her unemployment status. Betty's humor shines through these stories even though life was very hard for her and her family.

362wonderY
Nov 7, 2016, 7:28am

>35 JulieLill: That sounds like a book right up my line. I was able to find a digital copy at Archive.org. I had to join to borrow it, but it was no big deal. YaY!