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Rick Kitchen

What Are We Currently Reading?

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I've recently gotten interested in the Lindbergh kidnapping, so I'm reading a couple of books on the subject: The Ghosts of Hopewell, by Jim Fisher, and The Case that Never Dies, by Lloyd C. Gardner.  One argues for and one against Hauptman's guilt.

 

 

I've read a handful of books on the Lindbergh kidnapping and I've never believed that Hauptman was involved.  Regardless, I do think there were far too many questions and certainly reasonable doubt to justify the death penalty.

 

As a follower of all of the various "Case of the Century" cases from the 20th century, I was really surprised when yesterday's Jeopardy question asking for Hauptman's name didn't even produce a guess from any of the contestants. I was yelling at the tv, "Hauptman! Hauptman!!"

 

 

Oy.  This makes my brain hurt.  How can they NOT know?

 

I don't know of a good book on the Standford White case but if you enjoy that time period, I would recommend reading "Cast of Killers" by Sidney Kirkpatrick - - all about the 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor.  And author William Mann came out with a book on the case today too - - "Tinsletown."  I'll be buying that!

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Thanks for the recs on the Taylor case--those sound like something I'll be reading. I first heard about that case when I was high school and read the book Moviola, by Garson Kanin, which is a fantastic novel set in the early years of Hollywood.

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Currently reading To Selena, With Love by her husband Chris Perez.

 

Very good book, she reminds me of Dorothy Stratten, the 1980 Playboy Playmate who was murdered by her husband, Paul Snider....both very naive and too trusting.

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Oy.  This makes my brain hurt.  How can they NOT know?

That's what I was thinking when none of the contestants recognized the opening line of Catcher in the Rye the other night.

 

Love it or hate it, you should know it.

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As a follower of all of the various "Case of the Century" cases from the 20th century, I was really surprised when yesterday's Jeopardy question asking for Hauptman's name didn't even produce a guess from any of the contestants. I was yelling at the tv, "Hauptman! Hauptman!!"

 

 

Oy.  This makes my brain hurt.  How can they NOT know?

 

 

I'm willing to bet that they did know the answer; it's amazing what happens to your brain (specifically memory) when under pressure  -- and dependent on when in the game the answer/question appeared, some contestants might elect to NOT answer unless they were 100-percent certain so as not to "lose" money.  

 

I participated in Jeopardy-like/trivia tournaments and while I knew most of the answers, my brain would sometimes blank because I knew I had to come up with a response and press a buzzer (in our case, ring a bell) within 15 or so seconds.  I give most people on game shows the benefit of the doubt on things like not knowing a basic fact or the fact that Harry Potter was a wizard.

 

As far as what I'm reading now, as I just finished Attrition: The First Act of Penance by S.G. Night (highly recommend this book) and am starting Deep Black Sea by David Salkin.  This was a Book Bub deal of the day and the premise (a crew of seven depart on a year-long mission three miles below the ocean's surface and something goes wrong).  I love science fiction stories and when you factor in isolation (which to me is the perfect ingredient for true horror) this novel sounded like a perfect read for me.  I hope it lives up to the hype .... then again for the amazing low price of 99-cents, I really don't have cause for complaint.  =)  I really do love Book Bub.

Edited by OakGoblinFly

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In honor of October and Halloween I've been reading some scary books and currently I'm reading Stephen King The Shining so far it's okay only on page 86 so not much I try to read it in the daytime so not to freak myself out but I like it so far.

Edited by Jazzy24

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I just finished Dearie by Bob Spitz; which is a biography of Julia Child. I've read My Life in France and this is a lovely book as well. He does a good job going into her background and how she became the Julia Child of Mastering the Art fame. It was a very honest book. While the author clearly admires Juila, he doesn't make her look like a saint; there are lots of rough edges I never heard about before. She could be a bit ruthless in capitalizing on her fame,and could be uncompromising. But, you still love her at the end warts and all.

 

Currently, I'm reading The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kiernan. It's the account of the women who worked for the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The book covers several different women, some secretaries, some factory workers and scientists. Intellectually, I should have known there were more sites besides Los Alamos, but this is the first time I've ever heard of another project site. So far I'm enjoying it, but the author is bouncing between the narratives a bit too much, I'm having a hard time keeping everyone straight. There is a list of who is who in the front of the book, but it can be a pain flipping from the front to the place you're currently at. I'm sticking it out for the moment since it is fascinating despite its' flaws.

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I have been wanting to read The Girls of Atomic City--thanks for the review! It is on my TBR list for next year (too much to do between now and Xmas to get to many more books!).

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I'm currently reading 'Tampa' by Alissa Nutting. I'm only two chapters in but nobody has shuddered more scine SideShow Bob stepped on the rakes in Cape Feare.

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It's nonfiction, there's some pseudonyms but mostly they're the ones used during the project. There's a guide in the front listing who's who. There's picures which are pretty cool.

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Just picked up "Doctor Sleep" by Stephen King on a whim at the library. I had no idea it was a sequel to The Shining or that one existed. That's the only Stephen King book I own, so I'm excited to get into it.

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I've just discovered Seanan McGuire.  I'm currently reading the first of the October Daye series, called Rosemary And Rue.  I love urban fantasy but I've never cared for the faerie subgenre.  This one is changing my mind.  I have Half-Off Ragnarok on deck, which is from her other series, Incryptid.  I read Midnight Blue-Light Special but couldn't find the first one, Discount Armageddon, which did not impact my enjoyment of the series.

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I've just discovered Seanan McGuire.  I'm currently reading the first of the October Daye series, called Rosemary And Rue.  I love urban fantasy but I've never cared for the faerie subgenre.  This one is changing my mind.  I have Half-Off Ragnarok on deck, which is from her other series, Incryptid.  I read Midnight Blue-Light Special but couldn't find the first one, Discount Armageddon, which did not impact my enjoyment of the series.

I read & enjoy the October Daye series, but am hesitant to pick up the Incryptid series because it just doesn't sound like something I want to read. Come back & post after you read it & I'll decide whether or not to read it then :-)

 

I am currently reading Dark Blood by Christine Feehan, & I'm pretty sure this will be the last book in the series I'll be reading. This is the 26th book in the series, so I've stuck with it for a while, but I think the author is just churning them out for the money now. They used to be a fantastic story, now they're just full of crap.

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I've just discovered Seanan McGuire.  I'm currently reading the first of the October Daye series, called Rosemary And Rue.  I love urban fantasy but I've never cared for the faerie subgenre.  This one is changing my mind. 

 

She also writes under the name Mira Grant-- her Newsflesh trilogy 1)Feed 2)Deadline 3)Blackout imagines an earth ravaged by the zombie apocalypse.  I'm not a horror reader but found this immensely readable.

 

Meet Shaun & Georgia Mason

 

Excerpt from Feed :

 

Our story opens where countless stories have ended in the last twenty-six years: with an idiot—in this case, my brother Shaun—deciding it would be a good idea to go out and poke a zombie with a stick to see what happens. As if we didn’t already know what happens when you mess with a zombie: The zombie turns around and bites you, and you become the thing you poked. This isn’t a surprise. It hasn’t been a surprise for more than twenty years, and if you want to get technical, it wasn’t a surprise then.

 

There was no warning before the outbreaks began. One day, things were normal; the next, people who were supposedly dead were getting up and attacking anything that came into range. This was upsetting for everyone involved, except for the infected, who were past being upset about that sort of thing. The initial shock was followed by running and screaming, which eventually devolved into more infection and attacking, that being the way of things. So what do we have now, in this enlightened age twenty-six years after the Rising? We have idiots prodding zombies with sticks, which brings us full circle to my brother and why he probably won’t live a long and fulfilling life.

 

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GaT, I'm giving the Incryptid series a cautious thumbs-up.  I read the second book in the series, which featured Verity Price (also in the first one, I guess) and I liked it a lot.  The third book is the first one featuring Verity's brother as the lead and it moved along fine, but I didn't find him as interesting as I did his sister.  I think he's the lead in the fourth book too, which I will check out, in the hopes that Verity comes back.  The supporting characters are also solid and entertainingly quirky.

 

Now I need to hit the bookstore because I'm currently reading nothing, and that's not right!  I'm going to look for Mira Grant.  I had no luck at Indigo but I hope to get to the sci-fi bookstore on Sunday and might find her books there.

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I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep, even though I didn't find it really terribly scary. Perhaps I'm a bit desensitized by all the creepy fantasy stuff I've read. I liked it because it's an interesting account of how Danny struggled with himself and came to terms with his experiences. The bad guys are unequivocally bad too, which I appreciate in the modern world of grey characters and "He's really not so bad other than the serial killer thing" stuff.

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GaT, I'm giving the Incryptid series a cautious thumbs-up.  I read the second book in the series, which featured Verity Price (also in the first one, I guess) and I liked it a lot.  The third book is the first one featuring Verity's brother as the lead and it moved along fine, but I didn't find him as interesting as I did his sister.  I think he's the lead in the fourth book too, which I will check out, in the hopes that Verity comes back.  The supporting characters are also solid and entertainingly quirky.

 

Now I need to hit the bookstore because I'm currently reading nothing, and that's not right!  I'm going to look for Mira Grant.  I had no luck at Indigo but I hope to get to the sci-fi bookstore on Sunday and might find her books there.

Sounds like I'll be paying the used bookstore a visit!

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Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund.  It's the semi-sequel to For Darkness Shows the Stars, which I enjoyed a lot.  The first book was a YA dystopian version of Persuasion, while this one I'm currently reading is based on The Scarlet Pimpernel.  I don't know if I would've read either one if it hadn't been for the Austen hook, because after Allegiant and several other disappointing dips into the YA dystopia pool, I told myself I was done.  But like I said, the first book was good and not what I've come to expect from dystopian novels.

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I wish I had more time for reading. I would sit and read all day if I had the option. I try to mix fiction and non-fiction.

 

I just finished reading The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero, which was...interesting. I liked it! I think...

 

I also just finished Between XX and XY: Intersexuality and the Myth of Two Sexes by Gerald N. Callahan. It was a really good read. It got a little clinical in explanations at times where I got the feeling that I had no idea what he was talking about, but overall it was informative and really opened my eyes to some new lines of thinking.

 

I just picked up The Wisdom of Psychopaths by Kevin Dutton which was recommended to me by my SO(who is currently reading it) so we'll see how that goes!

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Just finished We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler. Bizarre story, but enjoyable read. I think Moloka'i is next.

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I am finishing up the audio version of Rob Lowe's Stories I Only Tell My Friends.  I thought it would be a mindless, maybe even stupid, listen on a road trip this past weekend.  Was I ever wrong - - the book itself is very well written, RL pulls no punches but doesn't throw people under the bus, and he is an unbelievably fantastic narrator.  HIs impersonations are wonderful.   I was neither a fan nor opposed to him prior to this listen but now I would definitely say I am a fan.

 

I will definitely be picking up his second book.

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I just finished Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.  There's a superflu in the near future and those who survive must band together to make a life but guess what?  No zombies!  No revolution!  No teenage girls who must save the world and get the cute boy's attention!  It was the kind of story that made me miss the characters when I was done reading.

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I’m reading The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose, which is about the author’s attempt to go undercover at Liberty University - the university founded by Jerry Falwell - for a semester. When I heard that he got approval to temporarily transfer to Liberty from Brown, my first thought was, Of course he went to Brown. Only Brown would approve of this ‘social experiment.’ (Not true, I’m sure, but I just thought his alma mater was particularly appropriate, lol.)

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I have been reading War and Peace for the better part of 2014.  I started one of those "100 Books you should read" lists about 5 years ago and I'm being incredible stubborn about it.  I made it past page 1,000, and I have already decided I am not reading any of the multiple epilogues, because I just can not with this book.

 

Random good ones that I wouldn't have picked up except for the silly list: Bleak HouseGrapes of WrathThe Golden Compass. Books I absolutely hated from the list included On the RoadMidnight's Children, One Hundred Years of Solitude. I know those are loved by many, but I found them painful.  I physically threw On the Road when I finished it.  

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I just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and really liked it.  I bought it after it won multiple awards, and seeing on-line recommendations from people whose opinions I generally trust.  It's the first science fiction I've read in a long time, so it was also something different for me.  I'll read the second in the series after I finish what I'm currently reading, which is The Guns at Last Light, the third in the Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson. The first two (which cover the African and Italian campaigns of WWII) I found really interesting, since I'm a lot more familiar with the D-Day and post-D-Day campaigns in Europe.   

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I'm currently reading 'Tampa' by Alissa Nutting. I'm only two chapters in but nobody has shuddered more scine SideShow Bob stepped on the rakes in Cape Feare.

One of the most disturbing books I've read all year.

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I’m reading The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University by Kevin Roose, which is about the author’s attempt to go undercover at Liberty University - the university founded by Jerry Falwell - for a semester. When I heard that he got approval to temporarily transfer to Liberty from Brown, my first thought was, Of course he went to Brown. Only Brown would approve of this ‘social experiment.’ (Not true, I’m sure, but I just thought his alma mater was particularly appropriate, lol.)

 

I really liked that book. I thought it was well thought out and, to me, fairly balanced. 

 

I'm currently reading Amy Poehler's book. I love her. I'm not sure I am loving this book the way I loved Mindy Kaling's and Tina Fey's. 

 

I am also rereading Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta. It is a YA Sci Fantasy about an exiled people's struggle to get back to their kingdom (which has a curse surrounding it) and take their kingdom back from the impostor king, who caused the curse to be brought upon the kingdom. (Impostor king because after the 5 days of the 'unspeakable' he and his troops came in and just took over). The 3rd book came out earlier this week and when I'm reading a series I like to reread the previous books to remind me where I've been. 

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Hold Autumn in Your Hand by George Sessions Perry.  1942, National Book Award.  The movie The Southerner was based on it.  East Texas sharecropper with a cantankerous grandma, a wife and two kids -- one of those books that makes me feel lazy and useless, for lack of survival skills.  I liked it a lot. 

 

English Passengers by Matthew Kneale, a re-read.  1857, a misguided English Vicar decides the Garden of Eden was in Tasmania and by gum he's going to find it.  It's brilliant, told in several voices, violent and funny. 

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I'm reading The Lonely Doll: The Search for Dare Wright by Jean Nathan.  I didn't know about Wright or her children's books, so it's a very interesting read.

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I'm about two-thirds of the way through Where'd You Go, Bernadette?  The first part of the book was amusing but now it's getting to be rather sad and you can't help but feel for the family regarding Bernadette's issues.  I just hope the ending picks up.

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I just finished Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, and really liked it.  I bought it after it won multiple awards, and seeing on-line recommendations from people whose opinions I generally trust.  It's the first science fiction I've read in a long time, so it was also something different for me.

 

I liked Ancillary Justice, but I'm surprised it's won so many awards and such. It's a good book, but I didn't find it as ground-breaking as others have suggested it is. I have the sequel though, and I'm looking forward to it.

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I'm about two-thirds of the way through Where'd You Go, Bernadette? The first part of the book was amusing but now it's getting to be rather sad and you can't help but feel for the family regarding Bernadette's issues. I just hope the ending picks up.

That book was darker than I expected it to be.

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I'm currently reading Amy Poehler's book. I love her. I'm not sure I am loving this book the way I loved Mindy Kaling's and Tina Fey's.

This is how I felt too. I just finished Amy's book, but I loved both Tina's and Mindy's books. Mindy's was written exactly how she speaks or at least how she speaks in interviews and such. I really cannot put my finger on why I did not love Amy's book as much. There were some fun stories in it, but it wasn't as amusing for me, as "Bossypants" and "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without me".

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I just finished An Untamed State by Roxane Gay. It was excellent but absolutely brutal and real fiction--it's going to haunt me for a while, as it probably should. I am trying to patiently wait for Gay's non-fiction Bad Feminist to come up at the library.

Americanah is what's up next. I got it at the library this summer but never opened it before it had to go back. Any thoughts here from those who have read it?

Edited by hendersonrocks
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Americanah is what's up next. I got it at the library this summer but never opened it before it had to go back. Any thoughts here from those who have read it?

I read it for book club last month. It wasn't perfect--some slow parts, I felt the stories of the two main characters could have been given more equal time, and I wasn't thrilled with the sudden ending--but overall I did like it.

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I just finished Love Letters to the Dead. Throughout the book, I kept thinking of how much it reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which wasn't necessarily a good thing. The epistolary format was only a part of it. Anyway, it kept niggling and niggling at me. Finally I finished the book and got to the acknowledgments page. The first person she mentioned? Stephen Chbosky. Suddenly it all made sense. 

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I just finished Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood by William J. Mann. Very good and interesting book about the key players in the still unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor.

 

Now I'm reading Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm books (there are three). So far so good.

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I've read the first two of those. They were surprisingly moving, though I preferred the first. Gonna have to look for the third, then.

I just started Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman, and I like it so far.

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Neverwhere is one of my favorite books.  If you haven't read it try Gaiman's American Gods too.

 

I came across two books by new author Robert Cargill called Dreams and Shadows and Queen of the Dark Things which are very similar to American Gods.  They are also about people interacting with the supernatural world and are a fun read.  In the forward to the second one Cargill expresses profound thanks to everyone who read the first and liked his work enough to come back for the second.  Cute.

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I crossed off a few of the Man Booker Prize long list.  It is the book version of the Oscars for me.  I try to read/watch as many of the listed/nominees and then every year after doing so swear never again.  Until the list/nominees come out again.

 

I had read Karen Jo Fowler's book, We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves a year ago (it was okay but I loved her short fiction collection that came out the book before).  And Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Decent Hour ( second favorite of the bunch so far) the end of last year in an advanced readers copy.  I already mentioned The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell which remains by favorite so far.  So I figured I was doing really well.  Actually having read or getting ready to read three books right out the gate before the long list was announced.

 

I thought J by Howard Jacobson was okay.  But as mentioned by me elsewhere it is a victim of being too invested in the style of the book.  For me a deliberate device to make the reader reach harder and further is an annoyance not a charm.  And at this stage of my life I don't need an author to "push" or "pull" me.  Or rather deliberately pursue a style I feel they are thinking is doing just that.  I find I get pulled or pushed intellectually by authors,  They just don't do it with jackboots as it were.  The worst so far of the list is The Dog by Joseph O'Neill.  Very disappointing.  And it didn't make it better when I looked at reviews after I finished (I try to stay far from actual reviews going in since that has ruined some reading in the past for me) and saw people who said the book was wonderful and that some readers obviously would not get it, it being so smart and intelligent etc, etc, etc,

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As the holiday season approaches, I will look forward to rereading Christopher Moore's The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror.

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I just started The Infinite Sea (the sequel to The 5th Wave) by Rick Yancey. I just read the prologue & thought "holy shit". It definitely made me stop for a minute. I hope the rest of the book is as interesting.

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I recently read The Bone Clocks and agree that it's a good one.  Besides being a well told story, the style (for me) was fresh with each decade being narrated by a different protagonist, and everything tying together in the end. Very entertaining.

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I've read the first two of those. They were surprisingly moving, though I preferred the first. Gonna have to look for the third, then.

 

HaHa. Please read the third book and you'll know why I'm laughing. Or read the (really major!) spoiler.

 

In the third book, the two children landed in our world at one point and met the author of the series. He read the first two books to them and afterwards, the boy said "I liked the first one better."

Edited by Snow Apple
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