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Thread: Books You've Read in 2020

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    Default Books You've Read in 2020

    This could be an interesting thread to keep going this year, and I could always use some recommendations. I'll start:

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The true story of Chris McCandless, a bright idealistic young man who went into the Alaskan wilderness to live off the land, where he ultimately starved to death after making a few small mistakes. A cautionary tale of letting your ideals blind you from really understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and the harshness of reality. I, many of us I assume, can relate to Chris in some ways though ::

    He had a need to test himself in ways, as he was fond of saying, “that mattered.” He possessed grand - some would say grandiose - spiritual ambitions. According to the moral absolutism that characterized McCandless’s beliefs, a challenge in which a successful outcome is assured isn’t a challenge at all.
    Annoyingly - the book mentions many photographs Chris took, but none are included in the book.
    Last edited by dgaddis; 01-22-2020 at 09:19 AM.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill.

    Excellent overview of the ages of Dante, Giotto, Francis of Assisi, Torquemada, Hildegard and many more.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Into the Wild was great. Havenít read it in years.
    Iíve read a few Cahill books (the Irish, Jesus, etc) so will have to add this one to my list.

    Mine so far:

    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
    canít believe I hadnít read this one before.

    How Democracies Die- particularly on point these days (and even more so after last night)

    The Secret Token - about the lost colony of Roanoke. A little academic in parts but I found it very interesting given the time Iíve spent in the area

    Range- about why generalists succeed. Good case studies against over-specializing too early in life. Both in sports and other professional endeavors. (Only about halfway through but so far so good.)
    Last edited by robin3mj; 01-22-2020 at 10:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The true story of Chris McCandless...
    Fascinating book and I really like Krakauer's writing style. Into Thin Air is another one of his, a captivating and well-researched true story of an expedition on Everest that went horribly wrong. The development of the various characters is phenomenal.

    I'm reading 240 Beats per Minute, Life with an Unruly Heart. It was published by a cardiologist, a posthumous collection of letters and essays from a lifelong friend and college buddy. They were rowers at Amherst College in the 60's. Very interesting from the standpoint of how an aging athlete with a scientific mind deals with his own condition, how he researches it to develop his own theories and challenge his doctors, and how that made him both a good and bad patient. Appropriate and useful, as I am also the owner of an unruly heart.

    https://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-63299-186-7
    Last edited by thollandpe; 01-22-2020 at 10:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by robin3mj View Post
    The Plot Against America by Philip Roth
    can’t believe I hadn’t read this one before.

    How Democracies Die- particularly on point these days (and even more so after last night)
    Oh man, American Pastoral remains one of my all-time favorite novels. The Plot Against America is ace.

    On the note of highly relevant books, I just finished Jared Diamond's Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. I was a huge fan of Guns, Germs & Steel, and Collapse does not disappoint. It is at times hopeful, at times very damning, but always interesting. As with Guns, Germs & Steel, it is a bit dry but packed with so much interesting anthropology that anyone interested in the history of mankind would be remiss to pass on it.
    "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants."

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by thollandpe View Post
    Fascinating book and I really like Krakauer's writing style. Into Thin Air is another one of his, a captivating and well-researched true story of an expedition on Everest that went horribly wrong. The development of the various characters is phenomenal.
    Check out Under the Banner of Heaven if you haven't yet.
    "I guess you're some weird relic of an obsolete age." - davids

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Let me pile on and add a few I read last year as well:

    American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee, about the wolves of Yellowstone was tremendous
    American Wolf by Nate Blakeslee: 9781119286 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

    Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherin Boo, about a slum in Mumbai. Reads like a novel but is heartbreaking nonfiction
    Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo: 978812979329 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

    Horizon by Barry Lopez
    Horizon by Barry Lopez: 97837578473 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

    Falter by Bill McKibben
    Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?, by Bill McKibben

    McKibben's older book about training full time at nordic skiing for a year was also great, and would probably interest lots of folks around these parts.
    Last edited by robin3mj; 01-22-2020 at 11:02 AM.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    I finally finished Thinking Fast and Slow, which to me is the most fascinating material on human thought and action i have read. but it was hard for me to consume all at once, it took lots of time to digest.

    A book i also enjoyed very much recently:
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach
    such an incredible story of humanity
    Matt Zilliox

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    This could be an interesting thread to keep going this year, and I could always use some recommendations. I'll start:

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The true story of Chris McCandless, a bright idealistic young man who went into the Alaskan wilderness to live off the land, where he ultimately starved to death after making a few small mistakes. A cautionary tale of letting your ideals blind you from really understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and the harshness of reality. I, many of us I assume, can relate to Chris in some ways though ::



    Annoyingly - the book mentions many photographs Chris took, but none are included in the book.
    The movie is also pretty good, and follows the book.

    the "magic bus" that the movie used sits at a brewery in AK, pretty cool.

    I've also hiked a bunch of miles along the stampede trail, where it all went wrong for McCandless. Rugged territory for sure. One of these days i'll make it all the way out to the real bus. multiple have died attempting to do so, but with some real back country experience and skill it should be pretty doable.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by dgaddis View Post
    This could be an interesting thread to keep going this year, and I could always use some recommendations. I'll start:

    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. The true story of Chris McCandless, a bright idealistic young man who went into the Alaskan wilderness to live off the land, where he ultimately starved to death after making a few small mistakes. A cautionary tale of letting your ideals blind you from really understanding your own strengths and weaknesses and the harshness of reality. I, many of us I assume, can relate to Chris in some ways though ::



    Annoyingly - the book mentions many photographs Chris took, but none are included in the book.
    This book, while a good read, is incredibly dangerous. It's inspired many people to venture into the wilderness without any sort of training or preparations. It also lacks any discussion about how wildly unprepared McCandless was.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands by Mark Kenyon. Pretty good mixture of his personal experience story exploring public lands from national parks to wildernesses as well as how each was formed. Also touches on the challenges that public land faced in the past and how they're constantly under threat by corporate interest and exploitation.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JJohnson View Post
    This book, while a good read, is incredibly dangerous. It's inspired many people to venture into the wilderness without any sort of training or preparations. It also lacks any discussion about how wildly unprepared McCandless was.
    Eh, the book talks quite a bit about how unprepared he was and how ill advised this journey was, and the many mistakes he made like not taking a or even looking at a map of the area, no real training, almost no supplies, no proper gear, etc. Quite a few quotes from experienced Alaskans about how reckless he was. I mean the story ends with a guy starving to death, alone in a bus in the woods, that's a terrible way to go. Anyone who reads it and says "hey I'll do that too" isn't paying attention.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    The Anarchy by William Dalrymple - an interesting take on how a company with an army (the British East India Co.) conquered an empire and took over a country.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Submission by Michel Houellebeq.. I read it non stop in one day. I guess i would file under "entertaining".
    slow.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    I'm more than half way into The Water Dancer, and it's excellent. I so deeply appreciate being exposed to such a well done imagining of our nation's dark violent history, from the perspective of the people sinned against.

    Two more are queued up, Jill Lepore's These Truths and Charles Mann's 1491.

    I loved both of those Krakauer books. I vividly remember sitting on a 90 degree beach while reading Into Thin Air's description of climbing toward basecamp, and shivering in sympathy. Under the Banner of Heaven is a crazy wild story, wonderfully told.
    GO!

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by JJohnson View Post
    This book, while a good read, is incredibly dangerous. It's inspired many people to venture into the wilderness without any sort of training or preparations. It also lacks any discussion about how wildly unprepared McCandless was.
    heh?

    spoiler alert: he died of starvation alone, deep in the woods. is that not a clear enough indicator that he was not prepared to "survive" this ordeal?

    this mentality that everything needs a warning label annoys me. it's a watering down of common sense. adults should be aware of their surroundings and aware that actions have consequences, and that it's not everyone else's responsibility to protect them.

    personal responsibility is an endangered character trait. if i wander into the woods alone and i get in over my head and die - that's on me. it's not a books fault for not warning me, it's not an Alaska Park Ranger's fault for not stopping me, and it's not the governments fault for not putting a fence around the whole wilderness so i dont hurt myself.

    this is what the world is coming to:





    Sorry: Rant Over.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Justice on Trial, By Mollie Hemingway. To gain a better understanding of contemporary politics.

    2020 FAR/AIM. Light reading for sleeping.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    heh?

    spoiler alert: he died of starvation alone, deep in the woods. is that not a clear enough indicator that he was not prepared to "survive" this ordeal?

    this mentality that everything needs a warning label annoys me. it's a watering down of common sense. adults should be aware of their surroundings and aware that actions have consequences, and that it's not everyone else's responsibility to protect them.

    personal responsibility is an endangered character trait. if i wander into the woods alone and i get in over my head and die - that's on me. it's not a books fault for not warning me, it's not an Alaska Park Ranger's fault for not stopping me, and it's not the governments fault for not putting a fence around the whole wilderness so i dont hurt myself.

    this is what the world is coming to:





    Sorry: Rant Over.
    this is exactly why the story is beautiful. if he went in prepared and came out alive, it wouldn't be a story, and nobody would be talking about it right now. Dangerous? what are people so afraid of, we do pretty well overall with this whole surviving thing. so much fear for a species with such high rates of survival.
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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    heh?

    spoiler alert: he died of starvation alone, deep in the woods. is that not a clear enough indicator that he was not prepared to "survive" this ordeal?

    this mentality that everything needs a warning label annoys me. it's a watering down of common sense. adults should be aware of their surroundings and aware that actions have consequences, and that it's not everyone else's responsibility to protect them.

    personal responsibility is an endangered character trait. if i wander into the woods alone and i get in over my head and die - that's on me. it's not a books fault for not warning me, it's not an Alaska Park Ranger's fault for not stopping me, and it's not the governments fault for not putting a fence around the whole wilderness so i dont hurt myself.

    this is what the world is coming to:





    Sorry: Rant Over.


    Ah yes the old "personal responsibility" rant. I guess I'm still not old enough to fall in to this line of thinking, hopefully I never get there. And then a hot coffee warning mug to top it off, which I assume is to reference the McDonalds suit, which was actually a valid and just ruling, if you were to look in to it.....


    Anyways, while I haven't read the book, it sounds like the guy died a pretty useless death, was suit brought? Did his family sue anyone? I doubt it. I don't think that saying the book should have pointed out his lack of preparation, which from other more metered responses, sounds like it actually does, is a bad thing.... I don't think anyone is blaming the government or rangers or really anyone you mention.


    The fact that the book has, allegedly, encouraged people to follow suit is unfortunate, but again I don't think anyone is blaming the government, rangers etc, merely saying that the book might have done a better job warning people that the guy died from lack of prep etc... Which again from other responses may or may not be the case.

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    Default Re: Books You've Read in 2020

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryScientist View Post
    heh?

    spoiler alert: he died of starvation alone, deep in the woods. is that not a clear enough indicator that he was not prepared to "survive" this ordeal?

    this mentality that everything needs a warning label annoys me. it's a watering down of common sense. adults should be aware of their surroundings and aware that actions have consequences, and that it's not everyone else's responsibility to protect them.

    personal responsibility is an endangered character trait. if i wander into the woods alone and i get in over my head and die - that's on me. it's not a books fault for not warning me, it's not an Alaska Park Ranger's fault for not stopping me, and it's not the governments fault for not putting a fence around the whole wilderness so i dont hurt myself.

    this is what the world is coming to:





    Sorry: Rant Over.
    Note on the hot coffee lawsuit implied above..
    summary;
    do a google search for some of the details about this lawsuit against McDonalds and then tell me
    the lady shouldn't have gotten $10,000,000 instead of whatever the final settlement was.
    It was utterly blown by a 3rd rate attorney. Initially the woman wanted an apology and for them to correct the heat setting, no $$...
    and they had had hundreds of complaints cause the coffee was 40 degrees hotter than the coffee machines instructions noted.
    Beyond scalding.
    total McD cluster f.

    and it is always cited when anyone sues about anything as proof that American sue about anything.
    It is disinformation repeated over and over.

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