Jim's (drneutron's) 2023 Reading, Chapter 2

É uma continuação do tópico Jim's (drneutron's) 2023 Reading, Chapter 1.

Este tópico foi continuado por Jim's (drneutron's) 2023 Reading, Chapter 3.

Discussão75 Books Challenge for 2023

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Jim's (drneutron's) 2023 Reading, Chapter 2

Fev 2, 2023, 10:27 am

It's time to join in the 2-thread crowd! For those who don't know me...

I'm Jim, 60, husband of 37 years, father of a son gainfully employed creating our robot overlords, who reads pretty much anything. We're in central Maryland with roots in Louisiana. I like to read (obviously), cook, trail bike riding/kayaking with mrsdrneutron, and want to learn to fly fish. Of course, LT is a big time sink, but mrsdrneutron seems to have come to terms with my LT addiction.

Editado: Fev 2, 2023, 10:32 am

As of the end of Thread 1. Early days, yet, so the statistics are still in flux.

Total Books: 8

Author Gender
Male: 4 (50%)
Non-male: 4 (50%)

Author Status
Living: 6 (75%)
Dead: 2 (25%)

Publication Medium
Hardback: 3 (37%)
Trade: 1 (13%)
Mass Market: 0 (0%)
eBook: 4 (50%)

Fiction: 5 (63%)
Nonfiction: 3 (37%)

Library: 6 (75%)
Mine: 2 (25%)

ARC: 0
Re-Read: 2
Series: 0
Group Read: 0

Fev 2, 2023, 10:34 am

Open for business!

Fev 2, 2023, 10:41 am

Happy new thread! You’ve had some good reads so far this year—a few I’ve read, a few are on my TBR (Babel, The Greatest Invention). Have a stellar day!

Karen O

Fev 2, 2023, 11:03 am

Happy New Thread!!

Fev 2, 2023, 12:12 pm

Happy new thread, Jim!!

Fev 2, 2023, 12:20 pm

Happy new thread, Jim!

Fev 2, 2023, 12:21 pm

Happy new thread from me too :)

Fev 2, 2023, 12:32 pm

>5 klobrien2: Yeah, I think I've made a good start!

>6 hredwards:, >7 scaifea:, >8 SirThomas:, >9 RebaRelishesReading: Thanks, gang!

Fev 2, 2023, 12:53 pm

And Update Time!

9. Captain Carter: Woman out of Time by Jamie McKelvie

Saw this alt-universe Marvel graphic novel on someone else's thread and ran off the Hoopla to find it. Thoroughly enjoyed it - decent plot, nice artwork. Not stellar, but a nice bit of brain candy.

10. Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational by Michael Shermer

Shermer is a co-founder of The Skeptic Society, and pretty much has devoted himself to understanding the subtitle of this book. Here, he looks at conspiracy thinking from the perspective of signals analysis - don't panic, it's not a technical book! - to make the case that some conspiracy thinking is rational (ie, some conspiracies, like Watergate) are true, some is irrational, and it's possible to develop some criteria to help sort out the two. Decent book, despite his occasional being a bit repetitive.

11. The Sinner by Petra Hammesfahr

Not a whodunit mystery - we find that out rather quickly - but a "whydunit". Why did she, and what's her story? More suspense that mystery, it was ok, but the prose and characters never captured me. So I give it a meh.

Fev 2, 2023, 1:17 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/348237

Fev 2, 2023, 2:02 pm

Happy new thread, Jim. When do you start on your holidays?

Fev 2, 2023, 2:04 pm

Happy new one, Jim!

Fev 2, 2023, 2:17 pm

>12 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver!

Fev 2, 2023, 2:20 pm

>13 PaulCranswick: Next Friday evening, 8 days away!

For those who haven’t heard, Mrsdrneutron and I are flying to Singapore next weekend, then cruising around Indonesia for 13 days. Back to Singapore, then home by Feb 28th! There’s a possibility of a Cranswickian meet-up if the stars align…

Fev 2, 2023, 2:20 pm

>14 jessibud2: Thanks, Shelley!

Fev 2, 2023, 2:23 pm

>16 drneutron: I am working on it Jim!

Fev 2, 2023, 2:31 pm

>18 PaulCranswick: No pressure! 😀

Fev 2, 2023, 2:59 pm

>19 drneutron: I'm excited, Jim. It is an event when any of our pals make it this far and especially it being you - the glue that holds this wonderful group together.

Fev 2, 2023, 3:03 pm

Happy new thread, Jim!

>16 drneutron: How exiting!

Fev 2, 2023, 3:04 pm

Happy Chapter 2, Jim!

Fev 2, 2023, 3:09 pm

>16 drneutron: - Wow! I expect photo documentation! ;-)

Editado: Fev 2, 2023, 3:12 pm

>16 drneutron: Fingers crossed for the meet-up. Have a great holiday Jim and MrsD.

Fev 2, 2023, 3:12 pm

>20 PaulCranswick: Aw, shucks!

>21 FAMeulstee: Thanks! We're pretty excited - been prepping for the trip for a while.

>22 Carmenere: Thanks!

>23 jessibud2: Of course! 😀

Fev 2, 2023, 3:14 pm

>24 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline!

Editado: Fev 2, 2023, 3:28 pm

>11 drneutron: Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational is potentially a BB for me (i.e. on a WL but not so immediate as other BB's).

I read Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow last year (a BB from Lucy). It was so interesting, that I bought the book! Many passages are quite thought-provoking and it took a few months to read.
I admit to not _fully_ reading everything because I wanted the gist of his premise. The book is still flagged with little post-it notes.

>16 drneutron: Nope didn't hear that, so all best wishes for a smooth trip. Paul mightn't like my saying this, but watch out for pickpockets!
A factoid: I was 18 the first time I was there, and had my first ever Singapore Gin Sling in the Raffles Hotel bar where the drink was 'invented'.
A lovely hotel in those days (it was the 1960's...).

Fev 2, 2023, 4:01 pm

Happy new thread, Jim!

I'm sure you'll have a great vacation - I've been to Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand and enjoyed them all in different ways.

Fev 2, 2023, 4:19 pm

Hi Jim mate, Happy New Thread. I hope that you and Mr.d have a lovely trip and hope that the stars align for a meet-up with Mr Cranswick,

Fev 2, 2023, 4:34 pm

Happy new thread Jim!

Have a great vacation!

Fev 2, 2023, 4:46 pm

>11 drneutron: Yay! I'm glad you enjoyed it. This was my first book of the year and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Wishing you safe and fun travels!

Fev 2, 2023, 5:49 pm

Happy new one!

Fev 2, 2023, 8:45 pm

>27 SandyAMcPherson: We’re hoping to stop by Raffles for a Singapore Sling!

>28 katiekrug: Thanks, Katie!

>29 johnsimpson: Me, too. If so, I’ll post pics.

>30 quondame: Thanjs, Susan!

>31 MickyFine: Aha! It was you that tipped me off to it!

>32 figsfromthistle: Thans, Anita!

Fev 2, 2023, 10:16 pm

Happy new thread, and have a great vacation!

Fev 3, 2023, 7:12 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip, Jim. Have a great time!

Fev 3, 2023, 7:21 am

Hi Jim, and congratulations on being part of the 2-thread crowd. Yay for your LT addiction – besides benefiting you it benefits us.

>16 drneutron: How exciting. Have a wonderful time, and I hope you do get a Cranswickian meet-up. If so, do you envision a box of books being sent home?

Fev 3, 2023, 7:23 am

Happy new thread, Jim! Your trip sounds like a blast, and I hope you and Paul are able to meet up.

Fev 3, 2023, 8:11 am

Happy New Thread, Jim. Your Singapore & Indonesia trip sounds wonderful and if you get a chance to Meet Up with Paul, that would be a sweet bonus. I have not had a chance to meet our favorite Brit.

Fev 3, 2023, 10:11 am

>34 ArlieS: Thanks, Arlie and Laura!

>36 karenmarie: We're packing light enough to bring home fabric for mrsdrneutron, but there may be room for one or two. If it's a Cranswickian haul, I may have to buy another suitcase. 😀

>37 bell7: Thanks, Mary and Mark!

Fev 3, 2023, 1:09 pm

>16 drneutron: That sounds cool. I hope the meetup happens!!!

Fev 3, 2023, 3:14 pm

Happy new thread!

>16 drneutron: I hope there are pics!

Fev 3, 2023, 3:38 pm

>16 drneutron: how exciting!

Fev 3, 2023, 7:21 pm

>40 hredwards: Me too, Harold!

>41 witchyrichy: There will be! Even if we don’t have the meetup, we’re going with friends and he’s taking his photography gear. I’m stealing his pics. 😀

>42 fuzzi: Yep! We’re all set, so now it’s just waiting…

Fev 4, 2023, 1:03 am

Happy new thread Jim, hope you have a swell holiday!

Fev 4, 2023, 7:36 am

Congrats on your new thread.

Fev 4, 2023, 9:04 am

Thanks, Kro and Kristel!

Fev 4, 2023, 11:34 am

Happy new thread, Jim.

Fev 4, 2023, 11:41 am

Happy new thread, and here's hoping you have a wonderful trip!

Fev 4, 2023, 8:05 pm

>39 drneutron: Now *there* is a wonderful husband ~ We're packing light enough to bring home fabric for mrsdrneutron!
I'm deeply impressed how completely Jim 'gets it'. Malaysia's marketplaces are fantastic for local textiles in the sarong batik material, which are gorgeous for quilting cottons. Is the Mrs on LT and does she post on the Needlearts group?

Fev 4, 2023, 9:06 pm

Happy new-ish thread!

Fev 5, 2023, 4:21 am

Happy new thread Jim!

>16 drneutron: I didn't realise you had moved digs and was wondering why I hadn't seen any mention of your trip to tropical climes. I'd advise bringing raincoats; I've only seen the sun twice since coming back from Sydney (she says, looking out at grey skies and yet another downpour).

When would you like to meet up? Both times in Singapore, also can lah.

Fev 5, 2023, 11:07 am

Happy new one, Jim! Hoping that your vacation is full of fabulous.

Fev 5, 2023, 2:55 pm

>49 SandyAMcPherson: I’ve been a quilter husband for a long time now… 😀 actually, we’re going with a group of quilters on the cruise. She found this in one of her quilting magazines. We’ll be mostly touring batik markets and small businesses that make hand-made batiks. And Komodo Island. and a beach day in Bali. 😀

>50 thornton37814: Thanks1

>51 humouress: We have a free day on February 13. If he can, Paul will come down too. I’ll PM you with details!

>52 Crazymamie: Thanks, Mamie!

Fev 5, 2023, 3:58 pm

Didn't realize your wife was a quilter--I'm an avid quilter too. Has she ever been to the International Quilt Festival in Houston? Every quilter needs to go at least once in their life. I'm lucky enough to go every year since my daughter lives there.
I envy the quilting cruise, though, since I've never done anything like that. However, my parents lived in Singapore while I was in college, so I spent a total of nine months there between summer vacations and Christmases. I well remember (and still have) some of the beautiful Indonesian batiks I purchased back then. I know you will post photos of the scenery etc., but I wouldn't mind a few photos of the fabric.😊

Fev 5, 2023, 4:07 pm

The Houston festival is on her and her quilting gang’s bucket list. That usually go to the Mid-Atlantic festival in Hampton Roads every year, but it’s at the end of February and this year we’re on the other side of the world. So I think they’re planning a long weekend somewhere to “work on projects” in April. 😀

Of the other couple going with us, the wife is part of the quilting gang, but her husband is a photographer. He’s planning to do some art shots of fabric and I’m sure I’ll post some.

Editado: Fev 5, 2023, 9:05 pm

>53 drneutron: My quilter friend's 80th birthday party was yesterday and among her loot was a 24"x17" 3/8" thick light table cutting board by Cutterpillar. We were all very impressed.

>55 drneutron: A photographer is ever so welcome among crafters!

Fev 5, 2023, 9:18 pm

>53 drneutron: Looking forward to meeting you all in real life, too! PMed you back.

Fev 5, 2023, 10:20 pm

>53 drneutron: fabulous venues, Jim. My heart is green with envy.

Fev 5, 2023, 10:21 pm

>54 arubabookwoman: Ditto me for the textile pix!

Fev 6, 2023, 8:19 am

>56 quondame: I think I got that same light table for mrsdr for Christmas a couple of years ago!

>57 humouress: Got it!

>58 SandyAMcPherson:, >59 SandyAMcPherson: 😀 Absolutely!

Fev 6, 2023, 1:29 pm

>60 drneutron: Excellent quilter husband! I put the specifics on my thread at SandyAMcPherson's request.

Fev 6, 2023, 2:24 pm

>61 quondame: Yep, that's the one!

Fev 6, 2023, 2:45 pm

Update Time!

I did some reading this weekend to finish a couple of library books before we leave.

12. The Red Sea Scrolls: How Ancient Papyri Reveal the Secrets of the Pyramids by Mark Lehner

Lehner and company, while excavating a newly found ancient Egyptian Red Sea port uncovered a treasure trove of papyri documenting the work of a crew providing material for the building of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Really well preserved, these documents are some of the best evidence for how 4th Dynasty society and government work to produce these fantastic monuments, and represent some of the oldest records we have of that period. Some things I learned:

- Ancient Egyptians had a ton of paperwork to do. And a bloated bureaucracy to match anything we have today. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

- People who think Ancient Egyptians couldn't have built the pyramids greatly underestimate the ability of humans to engineer things.

- I'm glad I'm not an Ancient Egyptian.

If you're interested in this sort of thing at all, I highly recommend this one!

13. The January 6 Report by The January 6th Committee

Figured I needed to see what was in it if I wanted to talk intelligently about it. Glad I did - there's some good detail in here about, for instance, voting fraud claims and how they were investigated/dismissed that I haven't seen documented elsewhere. I will confess that while I read the ~500 page report, I skipped the ~400 pages of notes.

Fev 8, 2023, 2:12 pm

Hi, Jim! I thought of you when I read this recent article in The Atlantic, especially because the lead engineer on this new nuclear-power project came from NASA. I had a lot of my assumptions about nuclear power upended, which is always refreshing.

The Real Obstacle to Nuclear Power

Fev 8, 2023, 3:08 pm

Yeah, the nuclear power industry today is very different from what it was. I'm interested in nuclear power for space missions, so have some contacts in that world. Unfortunately, the article was behind a pay wall, so I'm going to see if I can find a way to access it from the library.

Fev 8, 2023, 4:05 pm

>65 drneutron: Shoot! I wondered about that, but The Atlantic doesn't seem to have a "gift this article" feature like the NYT and WaPo.

Fev 8, 2023, 5:02 pm

Yeah, I love the Atlantic, and get it digitally through my library (though mainly I stick to New Scientist and Economist). Can you get it digitally through your library?

Fev 8, 2023, 9:42 pm

>66 rosalita:, >67 The_Hibernator: We can get lots of mags through Hoopla, so I’m going to check there.

Fev 9, 2023, 5:41 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/348418

Fev 10, 2023, 9:54 am

Just a heads-up, everyone. We're heading out on vacation this evening, and my access to LT may be pretty spotty. I'll keep up as best I can for the rest of the month with new threads, etc, but will most definitely catch up within a day or two of getting back home on March 1st.

Plus, potential for a Singapore meetup, maybe even including a Cranswick or two, is looking pretty solid. There will be pictures! 😀

Fev 10, 2023, 10:21 am

>70 drneutron: Safe travels, Jim, enjoy your vacation.

Fev 10, 2023, 10:25 am

Have a fabulous time!

Fev 10, 2023, 11:14 am

>70 drneutron: Jim - today's (Friday) Atlas Obscura online mentions Singapore several times
in connection with the Tamil Bell mystery.

Fev 10, 2023, 11:59 am

>71 FAMeulstee:, >72 jessibud2: Thanks!

>73 m.belljackson: Oh, I'll check it out!

Fev 10, 2023, 2:22 pm

Have a great vacation.

Fev 10, 2023, 6:35 pm

Bon voyage, Jim!

Fev 10, 2023, 7:16 pm

Hope you have a wonderful trip!!

Fev 11, 2023, 4:37 am

Enjoy your trip!

Fev 12, 2023, 1:20 am

Thanks. Folks! Made it to Singapore and we have a plan for a meetup tomorrow evening. Will report back afterward!

Fev 12, 2023, 3:26 am

>79 drneutron: Hope to meet you and Nina tomorrow and families. Work permitting. I have a court matter in the morning but hope to get the 14.55 flight. The only danger is that we have the most ponderous Judge in the Construction Court and it is a pretty complicated case - an application to set aside an Ex-parte injunction on the payment of a bank guarantee and the setting aside of an adjudication decision. One would result in us receiving money and the other in us paying money out, so I have to be on the ball together with Counsel tomorrow.

Hopefully when you see me I am happy and not too grumpy!

Fev 12, 2023, 4:24 am

Looking forward to meeting you all. Fingers crossed for a speedy and favourable decision, Paul!

Fev 12, 2023, 4:34 am

>81 humouress: Thanks Nina, me too.

Fev 12, 2023, 4:55 pm

What can I say but Woot!!! Looking forward to all the pics.

Fev 12, 2023, 8:55 pm

Have a great trip!

Fev 13, 2023, 2:38 am

Heard from Paul, case went forward, so he’s not making his flight. A good time will be had anyway, and there will be pics!

Fev 13, 2023, 6:47 am

>85 drneutron: aw shucks.

Looking forward to your pictures anyway.

Fev 13, 2023, 7:14 am

Hope you guys have a great get together. Gutted not to be there.

Fev 13, 2023, 8:56 am

We did! Nina and her family are lovely people. Pics to follow tomorrow!

Fev 13, 2023, 9:11 am

>88 drneutron: Looking forward to that, albeit a little wistfully.
Impressions of Singapore?

Fev 13, 2023, 9:15 am

Great city, lots of fun things, architecture is beautiful. We’ve enjoyed our brief stay!

Fev 13, 2023, 10:35 am

>90 drneutron: Marina Bay Sands is one of the projects on my CV too, Jim.

Fev 13, 2023, 10:58 am

>91 PaulCranswick: Is that the hotel that looks like a ship on top?

Editado: Fev 13, 2023, 12:38 pm

Frustrating Paul wasn't able to make it, but glad you are having a good time Jim.

Fev 16, 2023, 8:04 am

>91 PaulCranswick: Wow! That’s a spectacular complex.

>92 RebaRelishesReading: Yep! And it’s very impressive. We’re supposed to visit when we get back to Singapore.

>93 Caroline_McElwee: Yeah, he missed a good time, but it would have been great to meet him IRL!

Fev 16, 2023, 8:06 am

Sweet Thursday, Jim. I hope you are having a great time. Sorry, you missed out with Paul. Bummer. Where are you guys at now?

Fev 16, 2023, 8:22 am

>95 msf59: Pulled into Jakarta today, spent time at a fabric market buying batiks for Mrsdrneutron. She’s paying $3 a meter here, would run $15-20 back home. Tomorrow’s a sea day, then Probolingo.

Editado: Fev 16, 2023, 8:47 am

And here’s a pic of Nina (humouress) and me from the book shopping portion of our meetup evening. She and her family are lovely people, and gave a warm welcome to Singapore with drinks, dinner, and lots of great conversation. Once again, LT meetups are the best!

Fev 16, 2023, 8:43 am

Great Meet Up photo, Jim. Nice shirt too. Glad you were able to meet Nina. Enjoy Jakarta.

Fev 16, 2023, 8:47 am

>97 drneutron: what a nice picture! Glad you and mrsdrneutron are having a good trip

Fev 16, 2023, 9:11 am

Enjoy that traffic in Jakarta! Bwahahaha.

Thanks for sharing the pic.

Fev 16, 2023, 10:17 am

>97 drneutron: Great to see another LT meet up. Waving at you both.

Fev 16, 2023, 11:09 am

>94 drneutron: We had lunch up top one day. It's a nice place, but best when viewed from a distance imo.

>96 drneutron: Sounds like great shopping for a quilter and you get gold-stars for being so happy for her.

Great you're getting to have a Singapore meet-up!

Fev 16, 2023, 1:13 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/348692

Fev 16, 2023, 2:26 pm

> 97 so nice to put faces to the names. Thanks for the picture.

Fev 16, 2023, 9:31 pm

>92 RebaRelishesReading: It is indeed, Reba. I was called in by Ssangyong at the time because the building has three towers all inclining slightly and they had awarded the work to three separate subcontractors. Unfortunately they appointed the worst subcontractor to the most difficult of the three towers so my role was to look at it, see whether the Subcontractor could be rescued and/or then plot their removal and replacement.

It was a shame I couldn't make it, Jim, but we'll do it one day! Nina too!

>97 drneutron: Thanks for sharing the photo. Did you guys buy any books?

Fev 16, 2023, 10:11 pm

>97 drneutron: Great picture! So nice you were able to meet up.

Fev 17, 2023, 1:54 am

>97 drneutron: Totally jealous of the trip and the meetup!! : )

Fev 17, 2023, 2:13 am

Lovely photo, always nice to hear of a good meet up.

Fev 17, 2023, 4:10 am

>97 drneutron: So good to see you with Nina in Singapore, Jim.
And of course in a book shop :-)

Fev 17, 2023, 9:32 am

>97 drneutron: Beautiful picture, Jim.
And too bad it didn't work out with Paul.
Have a wonderful time!

Fev 17, 2023, 4:17 pm

>97 drneutron:, Hi Jim, Great photo of you and Nina mate.

Fev 18, 2023, 7:37 am

Great meet up pic! Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Fev 18, 2023, 12:26 pm

I am so thrilled to see the picture of your meet-up. Singapore is one of the places on this planet that I want to see. Jakarta is also a place of interest. You will have to keep posting a few of the pictures from your trip. It is just an amazing part of the world and posting is a lovely way to share it with the rest of us.

Fev 19, 2023, 10:35 am

Im sorry you missed meeting up with Paul, but the picture of you and Nina is awesome!

I'm looking forward to seeing more pictures of your adventure once you are home and are more easily able to post.

Will you be in Bozeman for your conference again this year?

Fev 20, 2023, 3:57 am

>97 drneutron: Lovely picture.

Fev 23, 2023, 1:08 pm

>3 drneutron: I am interested in Desperate Remedies, is this a list of books you have already read? If so, what did you think of this one?

Fev 23, 2023, 1:41 pm

Great picture of you and Nina!

Fev 23, 2023, 2:05 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/348863

Fev 27, 2023, 8:14 am

Hey, everyone! We’re at Changi airport in Singapore waiting for our first flight in the trek home. Cruise was great, internet was lousy, got lots of pics, will share some!

>113 benitastrnad: Singapore is a great city, very safe and clean. Lots of fun things to do. Jakarta was very different - ridiculously bad traffic, lots of street shops and food, much more lived-in. Honestly, if we come back to Indonesia, it would be to Bali - much more relaxed place.

>114 streamsong: unfortunately, no Bozeman this year. I didn’t submit a paper, so no conference. 😀 hoping for next year, though.

>116 sisyphus_happy: I was impressed enough to give it four stars, thought it was well done. I’ll ping you on your thread since I’ve been neglecting mine while away.

>118 SilverWolf28: Thanks, Silver!

Fev 27, 2023, 8:16 am

Safe travels home, Jim! Can't wait to see pictures.

Fev 28, 2023, 11:37 am

Sounds like a wonderful trip, Jim. I like the meetup shot; always great to put a face with a name and conversation. I like your shirt too. Looking forward to a few more pix.

Fev 28, 2023, 12:32 pm

Safe journey, Jim! Love the meet-up photo - thanks for sharing.

Mar 1, 2023, 12:18 pm

I did some reading while on vacation - funny how long airplane rides lend themselves to reading! 😀

The World Itself: Consciousness and the Everything of Physics by Ulf Danielsson

ER book - here's my review:

As a physicist, I appreciate Danielsson's perspective here - when we study the universe, we're creating models, and those models are not reality. Our models may predict reality in the form of measurements, they may describe reality in the form of physical phenomena, but don't actually tell us anything about what reality "really is". From this perspective, we can get past seeming paradoxes like a quantum mechanics using probability distributions to describe the world - what we see around us isn't made up of wave function, rather wave functions are a useful model that produces useable predictions of specific behavior.

I don't know that someone with no knowledge of physics would appreciate the arguments Danielsson makes, but anyone with basic exposure can. And I can highly recommend The World Itself to those interested in this intersection between science and philosophy.

Jade Dragon Mountain by Elsa Hart

Li Du is an exiled Imperial Librarian in 1708 China, now a wandering scholar. In his wandering of western China, Li stumbles across the murder of a Jesuit priest during preparations for a visit from the Emperor. Hart's depiction of China in that time is captivating, and I really enjoyed the astronomical aspects of the story. Highly recommended! And now I've got two sequels to read!

16. A Brief History of Singapore and Malaysia: Multiculturalism and Prosperity: The Shared History of Two Southeast Asian Tigers by Christopher Hale

Picked this one up during the bookstore portion of our Singapore meetup with Nina and family. It's what it says on the cover - a brief history of the region from pre-history through today with, of course, emphasis on the British colonial period and the transition to independence. Hale does a good job of it, and it was nice to get a sense of the place where I was visiting.

17. A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

I don't suppose I need to summarize this one...

Can't think of a better way to fill a very long plane ride or two than epic fantasy. I had decided not to read any of them until Martin finishes the series, but it looks like that may never happen, so what the heck, decided to jump in when I saw it available on Overdrive. Hard to really nail down my thoughts - took a while for me to get invested, but by the end I was. Let's see how long it takes to get to the next!

Editado: Mar 1, 2023, 1:01 pm

And a few pics from the trip...

Skyline of Singapore from the ship as we were leaving. It was a bit hazy that day, so really doesn't do the city justice.

Temple in Surabaya - really a very peaceful place!

A new friend I made on Komodo Island. This guy was about 6 feet long.

Sunset in Bali

Mar 1, 2023, 1:31 pm

>124 drneutron: Great pictures!!!

Good luck with GOT. I read the first three and loved them but got a little burned out.

We have a scenic drive in my old neighborhood along some old bluffs that overlook the Missouri River. It's a beautiful wooded curvy drive (now closed to automobile traffic thanks to illegal dumping, but don't get me started on that). Along the top of the bluff above the Sandstone cliffs are several beautiful 1880-1920's mansions. One of them called Corinthian Hall was the home of a lumber baron, after he passed his daughters sold it and it became the Kansas City Museum.
Anyway one afternoon several years ago i was driving along this beautiful drive and came around a curve and right in front of my car out of the trees came this huge lizard and it sidled across the road and slipped down into the trees on the other side. I knew immediately it was a Komodo Dragon. I got home and told my family and friends what I had seen and was met by derision and disbelief. Even I started to doubt. What would a Komodo Dragon be doing in the Northeast neighborhood of Kansas City Missouri?
A couple of days later, the little neighborhood weekly newspaper we had ran a story that the Natural History department of the KC Museum had a Komodo Dragon they were studying that had escaped and they were searching for it and warning people to watch their pets in the neighborhood.

I was relieved to have some proof of my story.

Sorry, for the long story, but I've always thought it was funny. Those things are pretty big and I guess they can be kind of mean.

Mar 1, 2023, 1:35 pm

>125 hredwards: Oh, that's a great story! They are certainly impressive lizards. There were six of them of various sizes near a watering hole where we took that pic - it had a great Jurassic Park feel.

Editado: Mar 1, 2023, 2:52 pm

>125 hredwards: I think that a marvellous story. Thanks for sharing.

Nice to see you back again, Jim.
Edited to add, I hope Mrs. Neutron lets you post some textile photos!

Mar 1, 2023, 2:56 pm

Glad you had such a great time and thanks for sharing thoughts on the books you read and some photos! I do NOT want to meet a Komodo dragon, LOL.

Mar 1, 2023, 3:24 pm

Some textile pic…

Hand weaving batiks

Quilters in their native habitat

Mar 1, 2023, 4:44 pm

>129 drneutron: 😊
Thanks, Jim...

Mar 1, 2023, 4:51 pm

Hi Jim, love the photos from your trip mate, looks like you both had a wonderful time mate.

Mar 1, 2023, 5:06 pm

Thanks for sharing some vacation photos. The textiles look beautiful, nice and colourful. Did you take any home with you?

Mar 1, 2023, 5:45 pm

Great photos Jim. Think you might have got me with. Jade Dragon Mountain. Glad you had a good holiday.

Mar 1, 2023, 5:55 pm

>129 drneutron: Ooo fabrics!

Mar 1, 2023, 6:36 pm

>131 johnsimpson: We did!

>132 figsfromthistle: D picked up 10 meters of different batiks for about $3 a meter. Plus a bunch of smaller pieces like fat quarters. I got a couple of batik shirts!

>133 Caroline_McElwee: I hope you like it!

>134 quondame: 😀

Mar 1, 2023, 11:02 pm

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing the pictures--I'm enjoying the vicarious views.

Editado: Mar 2, 2023, 12:22 am

Nice photos Doc. They look familiar, somehow ... ;0)

Editado: Mar 2, 2023, 4:45 am

Thanks for sharing the pictures, Jim.

When I saw 'Surabaya' mentioned, the Bertolt Brecht/Kurt Weil song 'Surabaya Johnny' started playing in my head. Funny how words can be connected with songs :-)
So great you saw Komodo dragons!

Mar 2, 2023, 4:26 am

>124 drneutron: Ooh, a Komodo dragon - awesome! Six of them together, that's pretty cool.

Mar 2, 2023, 9:40 am

>136 atozgrl: My pleasure!

>137 humouress: I'm not surprised they look familiar!

>138 FAMeulstee:, >139 ursula: Yeah, the dragons were one of my favorite tours. My friend got some great shots with his fancy DSLR that I hope to get soon - he's got some post-processing he wants to do.

Mar 2, 2023, 2:03 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/349027

Mar 2, 2023, 2:30 pm

Welcome back, Jim. Your photos are gorgeous!

Mar 2, 2023, 2:37 pm

>124 drneutron: I'd so love to see a Komodo dragon in the wild. When we were in Thailand we saw some pretty big monitor lizards but nothing as big as a Komodo dragon.

Mar 4, 2023, 3:49 am

We've been grumbling about the weather here because it's been the wettest February on record and non-stop rain for the last however-many days (and not English-style drizzle either). It's apparently (and usually) the outer edge of weather in the Philippines where they usually have cyclones and so on - so it must be much worse for them. I'm reminded that you headed thitherward on your cruise from Singapore, so I hope the weather wasn't too bad for you.

Mar 4, 2023, 9:06 am

>142 MickyFine: Thanks, Mickey!

>143 SandDune: They were pretty impressive. There were six of various sizes, and I swear two youngest ones were posing for us. 😀

>144 humouress: Mostly, we got rain at night. Never got wet on an excursion, just got sprinkled on occasionally. I do remember the storm that blew through our first night in Singapore - massive lightning and thunder, torrential rain. For about 30 minutes, them done! 😀

Mar 4, 2023, 9:32 am

Welcome back, Jim. Your trip looks amazing and I love the photo travelogue. The Komodo dragon is amazing.

I am so glad you decided to read GOT. I wasn't much of a fantasy reader before that but that was a game-changer. The first 3 books are terrific.

Mar 4, 2023, 9:47 am

Thanks, Mark! My friend, John, had a really nice DSLR and set of lenses, and at one point got some pics of birds I’ll share once he gets the post processing done.

Mar 5, 2023, 2:01 am

>123 drneutron: Definitely will note this first one, a cross over of science and philosophy is always an interest.
Also, fair point with George RR Martin ever finishing AsoIaF, I read the first four back in high school years ago and had been holding out on the last one until the next book came out, but I should probably just finish it at this point.
>124 drneutron: Also, great pics!

Mar 5, 2023, 10:31 am

Morning, Kro! I thought it was a good one - and a refreshing change from “the universe is made of strings” or multiverse models.

Thanks on the pics comment!

Mar 5, 2023, 10:37 am

Thanks for putting up the photos Jim. Marina Bay Sands remains one of the most difficult but rewarding of the projects I have worked on and nice to see it on your thread.

Have a great weekend.

Mar 5, 2023, 11:26 am

That was the one site we wanted to visit, but didn’t. We had a night tour planned for when we got back to Singapore, but the ship arrived late and a public event atop the Sands trumped our tour. Next trip!

Mar 5, 2023, 1:40 pm

Oh wow, look at those fabrics! I bet she was in quilting heaven!

Mar 5, 2023, 2:36 pm

Yep! 😀

Mar 5, 2023, 4:05 pm

Great pics, Jim, and glad to hear you had such a great time! Love the look of the fabrics, but I can't sew a straight like without help hahaha.

Mar 6, 2023, 9:12 am

😀 Me either, but it was fun watching the quilters.

Mar 6, 2023, 10:05 pm

Loved the pictures, especially the fabric ones! My parents lived in Singapore 3-4 years while I was in college, and I spent a total of about 8 months there (summer vacations etc). This was back in the late 1960's--the sky line sure has changed! I sewed a lot of my own clothes then, and remember buying many lengths of batiks from street vendors.

Mar 6, 2023, 10:10 pm

Try Worldle today (and 'Taken Where') - you should ace it!

Mar 7, 2023, 10:45 am

>156 arubabookwoman: yeah, it’s definitely different from pics I’ve seen of the city in the 60s. You should go back sometime!

>157 humouress: Got it in three!

Mar 7, 2023, 12:44 pm

>156 arubabookwoman: Very similar to my experiences. I still have sarong material which I never could bring myself to cut for art quilt purposes!

Mar 8, 2023, 6:08 am

Heh, Mrsdrneutron bought a couple of those!

Mar 8, 2023, 1:25 pm

>119 drneutron: What!! You and MrsDrN gave up last year's -20F and Bozeman blizzard just to go to Malaysia!!!!

If you do it again ...... I'll come with you. That was quite the weather last year. .

Really enjoying all the photos you've been posting.

I requested Jade Dragon Mountain from the library. Sounds wonderful.

Mar 8, 2023, 2:17 pm

>129 drneutron: Great photos from your trip!

Mar 9, 2023, 9:06 am

>161 streamsong: Yeah, went a different direction! I hope you like Jade Dragon Mountain.

>162 ocgreg34: Thanks!

Mar 9, 2023, 2:32 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/349213

Mar 14, 2023, 1:51 pm

Update Time!

18. Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and A Legacy of Rage by Jeff Guinn

Guinn's a favorite narrative nonfiction author with some good ones under his belt, particularly a biography of Bonnie and Clyde. Here he takes on the story of the ATF/FBI siege of the Branch Davidian complex near Waco, Texas. It's become another "remember the Alamo" incident in some right-leaning parts of our population, and a mythology has grown up around Koresh, the Branch Davidians, the FBI, everyone involved. So it was good to read what I think is a pretty unbiased account of the history of the group, David Koresh in particular, and what happened those 51 days. As one might expect, accounts among witnesses vary, and everyone has an agenda now, so Guinn's approach on the most controversial events is even-handed by giving several sides without drawing conclusions or blame. I especially appreciated that Guinn doesn't treat the Branch Davidians as a bunch of whackos, nor does he treat the ATF and FBI agents as government oppressors, but doesn't hesitate to show bad decision-making and mistakes for what they were. Highly recommended!

19. The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

Interesting idea - what if, when mapmakers add intentional mistakes to maps to protect intellectual property, the maps actually make those "mistakes" part of reality? And what if a cartographer discovered this, along with a mysterious group trying to keep it a secret?

The ideas here really interested me, and I was hoping for something magical and mysterious and and maybe a little scary. What I got was cute and, really, just meh. Classic case of oversold idea. I'm sure there are some that would appreciate it, but mostly, I just couldn't buy the motivations for or actions taken to keep the secret.

Mar 14, 2023, 1:57 pm

20. Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan

Now this is some great sf! Interesting questions about how we'd change if our physical bodies were no longer a limitation, really fun mystery, as noir as noir can get. Most definitely will be following up with the rest of the series.

21. To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

More sf, though in this case, it's really a quest fantasy in disguise. Given Paolini's past work, this isn't too surprising, but I was hoping for something different from him. All in all, not a bad story, if you can get past the Venom-esque nature of the alien artifact and the naive main character. Fans of Eragon will likely enjoy it.

Mar 14, 2023, 9:07 pm

>165 drneutron: Good review for The Cartographers, Jim. I like it especially because you hit on a point I hadn't assimilated at first.

A few days after I posted my review on the book page, I had a helpful conversation (about the plot in this book petering out) with a very erudite friend who pointed out that what I was really saying, "I was disappointed that the story lost its verve."
So yeah, cute and meh.

Mar 15, 2023, 7:34 am

>165 drneutron: I remember the Branch Davidian/Waco nightmare. The book is one I'd consider reading if I run across it at a library when I'm in the right mood.

Mar 15, 2023, 7:44 am

>167 SandyAMcPherson: That's a good way to put it - it could have been so much more.

>168 thornton37814: Yeah, I do too, which is one of the reasons I wanted to read it. Well, that and Guinn is a pretty good writer for this sort of stuff.

Mar 16, 2023, 1:47 pm

>166 drneutron: "Altered Carbon" is a good series on Netflix, with two seasons. I recommend it if you have the time.

Mar 16, 2023, 2:00 pm

>170 ocgreg34: Yep, we've watched it, one of the reasons read the book. It was definitely a good series, though I thought season 1 was better than 2.

Editado: Mar 16, 2023, 2:14 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/349452

Mar 16, 2023, 2:29 pm

Thanks, Silver! I hope to join in this weekend.

Mar 22, 2023, 3:47 pm

Update Time!

22. Code Name Blue Wren: The True Story of America's Most Dangerous Female Spy--And the Sister She Betrayed by Jim Popkin

Ana Montes was one of the US intelligence community's primary experts on Cuba, providing analyses and opinions on aspects of their government, military, society, espionage capability for the Defense Intelligence Agency. And a spy for Cuba. One of the most damaging spies in US history, both providing highly classified material to her handlers and also influencing US policy regarding Cuba and Latin America for decades. Popkin's biography and retelling of the discovery of her covert activities is both fascinating and perfunctory. While not narrative nonfiction in the class of Millard or Guinn, it's still a decent read.

23. The Life of Crime: Detecting the History of Mysteries and their Creators by Martin Edwards

Advertised as the first major history of crime fiction in 50 years, Edwards' book is indeed a thorough examination of English and to a lesser extent US mystery/detective fiction from earliest days (mid-19th century). It's a good history, well worth reading if you're a fan. Only down side I saw is that it's pretty light on non-English speaking authors.

Mar 22, 2023, 4:49 pm

The Life of Crime was a BB until I went add it to the eternally growing TBR list. It looks to be the perfect book for a librarian to have in her in-home collection. To my chagrin I already have it on the TBR list.

Mar 22, 2023, 8:36 pm

>175 benitastrnad: 😀 great minds and all that…

Mar 22, 2023, 9:38 pm

>174 drneutron: I think I'll give Code Name Blue Wren a miss. It is the kind of story I would normally call a BB, though. I read about Aldrich Ames (in two different histories by Ben Macintyre) and the stories are so terribly disheartening.

I always thought Ames and Philby were the worst of the worst traitors. Looks like a third person deserves that description as well. I'm just not into disheartening stories anymore, despite your good overview, Jim.

Mar 23, 2023, 12:08 pm

Life Of Crime looks interesting.

Mar 23, 2023, 12:27 pm

>177 SandyAMcPherson: I hear you - this one was pretty much that way.

>178 hredwards: Yep, it is!

Mar 23, 2023, 4:47 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/349607

Mar 25, 2023, 6:06 pm

Good review of Life of Crime, Jim. I gave our mystery buff daughter a heads-up about it.

I just finished Gideon the Ninth and thought it was fine, But iI’m a little mystified by the many raves I’ve seen.

I agree with you about Altered Carbon. Loved that one! And enjoyed his others. There was a good TV adaptation of AC; I wish they’d renewed it and done some more.

Mar 25, 2023, 7:23 pm

Thanks, Joe! Hope she likes it.

I gave Gideon 4 stars, really enjoyed it, but not to rave-about-it point. Also liked the sequel, but I haven’t gotten to the latest yet. Sequel gets pretty weird… 😀

I saw the first season of the series and enjoyed it, though very different plot from the book. I didn’t care as much for the second season - I didn’t connect with the cast, I think. But I’m looking forward to resding the next!

Mar 26, 2023, 1:31 pm

Some interesting reading Jim.

Mar 26, 2023, 3:24 pm

I thought the Altered Carbon books were rave worthy. I haven't seen the shows and they aren't available at my local library so probably won't see them for some time. The first book - Altered Carbon - reminded me of the John Travolta/ Nicholas Cage movie "Face Off" in many ways. The second and third book in the series didn't remind me of anything but themselves. Good storytelling and great sci/fi.

Mar 26, 2023, 9:29 pm

>183 Caroline_McElwee: Thanks, Caroline! I’ve been enjoying the variety.

>184 benitastrnad: Yeah, the whole swapping bodies thing is pretty Face/Off!

Mar 27, 2023, 1:35 pm

Great pictures from your trip, Jim. When I was in Hawai'i, I also read a small book about the Hawaiian Islands, and I'm really glad I did. It gave some sense of history and also addressed some contemporary issues.

Mar 28, 2023, 1:23 pm

>165 drneutron: I read Waco this month too, and agree it was very good. I’ll be looking for more by Guinn.

Great pics of your trip and your meetup with Nina! Glad you had a good time.

Mar 28, 2023, 1:58 pm

>186 BLBera: Thanks, Beth! Same here, really glad I read that one.

>187 Storeetllr: I really like his book on Bonnie and Clyde, Go Down Together. I've also read his book on Jonestown and on the shootout at the OK Corral. Both good too!

Mar 28, 2023, 8:06 pm

Great pictures of your trip!

Mar 28, 2023, 9:17 pm


Mar 29, 2023, 11:29 am

Update Time!

24. Three Miles Down by Harry Turtledove

Well, this was a fun retro alt-history story! Set in the 70s as Nixon is about to resign and Howard Hughes is fronting the CIA's project to steal a sunken Soviet submarine, there's alien technology, a snarky references to today's political situation, even a funny poke at Stephen King, and a marine biology graduate student from UCLA trying to do the right thing while way out of his depth. Nicely done!

25. Uncommon Measure: A Journey Through Music, Performance, and the Science of Time by Natalie Hodges

Part memoir, part exploration of neurobiology and physics, Uncommon Measure is a beautiful working through of the author's life as impacted by her deep desire to be a professional solo violinist in conflict with her debilitating performance anxiety. I'm fascinated by how the brain works, and so was really captured by experiencing this through the eyes of someone experiencing it rather than studying it.

Mar 29, 2023, 11:30 am

And with that, I'm happy to see I'm on track for 100 this year. Let's see if it holds up...

Mar 29, 2023, 2:12 pm

>192 drneutron: The Harry Turtledove looks interesting!! I've not read any of his but I've heard good things about him and I like Alt history.

The Natalie Hodges I might recommend to my daughter. She is about to graduate with a degree in Music Therapy and is all about the brain and music and how the two work.

Mar 29, 2023, 5:51 pm

What was the funny pole at Uncle Stevie?

Mar 29, 2023, 6:23 pm

>191 drneutron: You got me with a BB for Three miles down. I have never heard this author before. Nice!

Editado: Mar 29, 2023, 7:09 pm

>191 drneutron: Three Miles Down is a BB. I usually stick to Turtledove's ancient history and fantasy but this one looks like it might be amusing.

Mar 29, 2023, 9:51 pm

>193 hredwards: I think you’d like Turtledove, and as a shorter stab alone, would give you a chance to dip a toe without a big commitment.

>194 blackdogbooks: Main character is a big Tolkien fan, and at one point he speculates that someday in the not too distant future there’d be a Tolkien of horror too. Just about the time the book is set is when King was getting started. The thought of a pipe-smoking curmudgeonly Anglo-Saxon scholarly King made me snort my coffee. 😀

>195 figsfromthistle: Excellent! I hope you like it.

>196 quondame: It was definitely lighter than some of his, I hope you give it a try.

Mar 30, 2023, 8:08 am

Morning, Jim! I'm adding the Turtledove to my list.

Mar 30, 2023, 12:59 pm

Uncommon Measure sounds really interesting.

Mar 30, 2023, 1:04 pm

>198 scaifea: Afternoon, Amber! Great!

>199 banjo123: I liked it! Hope you give it a try.

Mar 30, 2023, 4:16 pm

Here's the next readathon: https://www.librarything.com/topic/349763

Mar 30, 2023, 5:12 pm

>197 drneutron: That's pretty funny.
Este tópico foi continuado por Jim's (drneutron's) 2023 Reading, Chapter 3.