What's on your reading/listening list?

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June 9th, 2016 at 8:12:12 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
Interesting development. Mike Duncan has managed to transcribe his "History of Rome" podcast and publish it in book form. It will take four volumes, each available in print for about $25 and on Kindle for about $9.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 20th, 2016 at 5:59:45 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
I read a teaser for a novel called "Wolf Empire" by Claudia Christian and Morgan Grant Buchanan.

No idea who Mr. Buchanan is. But Claudia Christian played Susan Ivanova in Babylon 5. This doesn't necessarily make this book a must read, or even interesting, but it does bring it to my attention.

The setting, though, is very interesting. The setting is based on the premise that the Roman Empire never fell. That's rather commonplace in Alternate History fiction (AH for short), but rather than retelling history in a Roman guise (like Silverberg did in Roma Eterna), or in Byzantine guise (like Turtledove does in Agent of Byzantium), or being set in the present (too many to mention), it's set in the far future (I estimate the year 5,000 CE) and the Roman empire extends thousands of light years by now.

Interesting.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 21st, 2016 at 3:14:32 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
I'm about to finish Holland's second book, "Dynasty," about the rise and fall of the Julio-Claudian dynasty, Rome's first Imperial family.

I can't help but laugh at times, as in the movie "Cleopatra" Julius Caesar calls the Ptolemies "inbred mental defectives." He had reason, as the Ptolemies degenerated from a rather good start into a bunch of backstabbers, perpetually at each other's throats.

Caesar's family, the Julio-Claudian dynasty, turned into exactly the same thing, minus the degree of incest, but in just one generation. The number of Julio-Claudians who weren't assassinated in a plot or who did not imprison or kill family members involved in a plot is zero. And the next-to-last in the line, Claudius I, married his niece (after executing his first wife, who was involved in some plot against him), who possibly murdered him in a plot later on.

So once I'm done it's a toss-up between 1) making a dent in the accumulating podcast queue, 2) jumping on to the interwar period in the XX Century, or 3) re-listening to Krauss' "Why Is There Something Rather Than Nothing."
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 23rd, 2016 at 6:58:36 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
I skipped all options and chose a 2 for 1 credit offer on Audible for Great Courses Lectures. Now I'm listening to the rise and decline of the British Empire.

BTW, according to Randall Munroe, the Sun still doesn't set in the British Empire. But much hinges on a tiny island in a remote ocean (I forget which one, probably the Indian Ocean; you know, the least-talked-about ocean -citation needed).
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 28th, 2016 at 9:39:41 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
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I'm reading H.G. Wells' "The Sleeper Awakes."

I've read Wells before, years ago. Namely The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds and a few short stories. I'd forgotten how verbose prose was in the late Victorian age and the turn of the Century.

This particular work began as a story in 1898 and evolved into a novel in 1910. It's really weird reading old science fiction.

For the record, I did read Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon." I lack the desire to read his other works, in particular 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, as the Disney movie really ruined it for me.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
June 29th, 2016 at 2:05:12 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
"Sleeper" has too many pages where little or nothing happens <grumble>. Then pages upon pages of action scenes, which for some reason I always find boring.

But then Wells throws a tidbit that gets m all "Wow! How? Why? What happens next?" And it's on to another long lull...
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 4th, 2016 at 3:10:10 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
Quote: Nareed
I skipped all options and chose a 2 for 1 credit offer on Audible for Great Courses Lectures. Now I'm listening to the rise and decline of the British Empire.


Here's something interesting: WWI is about to break out, and there are still 7 hours of lectures left.

It's par for the course for multi-century histories to peter out near the end and boil down the XX Century into one or two lecture totaling perhaps 45-60 minutes all told.

So of course I decided to pause during the weekend to get a bit ahead of "The Scientific Odyssey." And today is Monday, which means the latest Revolutions ep. from Mike Duncan. And that takes precedence over almost anything.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 8th, 2016 at 8:10:45 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
I'm pondering getting a fiction audiobook. Namely "Redshirts."

I worry that one can get lost in dialogue, if there is no clear indication about who's talking, for one thing, and also that temporary distractions while listening, particularly while driving, will prove too distracting (if that makes sense).

But the book's premise is intriguing, and it's read by Will Wheaton. I really liked how he read "What If," and the book's similar sardonic/comedic tone should be a good fit.

I think Audible allows returns...
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
July 8th, 2016 at 9:18:21 AM permalink
kenarman
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 1
Posts: 693
Quote: Nareed
I'm pondering getting a fiction audiobook. Namely "Redshirts."

I worry that one can get lost in dialogue, if there is no clear indication about who's talking, for one thing, and also that temporary distractions while listening, particularly while driving, will prove too distracting (if that makes sense).

But the book's premise is intriguing, and it's read by Will Wheaton. I really liked how he read "What If," and the book's similar sardonic/comedic tone should be a good fit.

I think Audible allows returns...


Just get a Tesla with "auto-pilot" and you will be able to read on your commute ; -)
"There is no sin but ignorance" Christopher Marlow
July 8th, 2016 at 9:25:31 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 301
Posts: 9734
Quote: kenarman
Just get a Tesla with "auto-pilot" and you will be able to read on your commute ; -)


If I had an autopilot on my car, I'd skip the morning coffee at home and sleep on my commute :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
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