What's on your reading/listening list?

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November 15th, 2016 at 6:20:38 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
Would it be completely unethical to download an audiobook with the intention of listening to it and then returning it?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
November 15th, 2016 at 7:10:34 AM permalink
Dalex64
Member since: Mar 8, 2014
Threads: 2
Posts: 1762
Quote: Nareed
Would it be completely unethical to download an audiobook with the intention of listening to it and then returning it?


Not if you get it from a library.
"Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." Daniel Patrick Moynihan
November 15th, 2016 at 7:15:10 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
Quote: Dalex64
Not if you get it from a library.


I suppose Audible qualifies as a library :)
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 17th, 2017 at 6:52:00 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
I found a really good podcast called "The Fall of Rome" by Patrick Wyman.

He tackles the reasons for the fall of the Western Roman Empire in a thematic fashion. There's a rather in-depth look at several of the "barbarians" who influenced this fall, too. This includes an overview of the Huns as a semi-nomadic steppe empire.

Much of the material was covered by Mike Duncan in "The History of Rome," but not in as much detail. And Wyman has his own take on the subject.

Speaking of Duncan, he's back at last, with the mid-XIX Century revolutions in Europe. Of course he starts in France. I'm glad to be done with the various wars of independence in South America. The topic never grabbed me, and it all seemed to centered on Simon Bolivar. The preceding segment, the Haitian Revolution, was far more interesting.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 18th, 2017 at 9:34:36 AM permalink
DRich
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 18
Posts: 718
I bought Moonwalking With Einstein about six months ago and I am finally going to read it, if I remember too.
March 27th, 2017 at 8:45:21 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
Yet another podcast:

Our Fake History by Sebastian Major.

The premise is tackling historical myths and/or misconceptions and see 1) whether they're true (usually not), 2) whether there is some truth at it's root (usually there is!), 3) how the myth originated, 4) what's the real story.

There have been episodes on Ninjas (there were shadowy warriors, but nothing like what's portrayed in fiction or the movies), did Nero fiddle while Rome burned (the violin was tens of centuries in the future, so what do you think?), A two-parter on Napoleon (has was taller than Admiral Nelson!), who wrote Shakespeare's plays (spoiler alert: Shakespeare!), and much more.

It's an anthology show, with each ep tackling a myth and, therefore, standing alone. So you can listen by topic.

Now, given my extensive reading of history, do I find anything of interest?

Plenty.

For one thing, I often come with the same arguments Mr. Major does, usually before he makes them. And he invariably comes up with tidbits I hadn't come across. And some areas are brand new. I knew absolutely nothing about Medieval Japan, for instance.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
March 30th, 2017 at 8:34:33 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
He had a two-parter on Braveheart (aka William Wallace).

To begin with, little is known, verifiably, about Wallace. But the kicker is the nickname Braveheart, according to Mr. Major, belonged to another Scottish hero, Robert the Bruce.

I never saw the movie. If I want inaccurate, made-up history, for Jove's sake why would I?
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 18th, 2017 at 4:23:23 PM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
Quote: Nareed
Yet another podcast:

Our Fake History by Sebastian Major.


And I got all caught up to the present yesterday, part III of the Atlantis podcast (really good, with a minimum of crackpottery).

Mr. Major is a bit more aggressive in fund raising than most podcasters. He has a Patreon feed with a few extras and bonus stuff, and two open-to-all extra episodes. I'm interested in the one about Constantine I, at just $2. IT's called "What did Constantine See in the Sky?"

I think I'll get it after I'm caught up with the Fall of Rome podcast.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
April 26th, 2017 at 8:26:23 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
The thing about getting caught up to podcasts, is that you now have to wait at least one week between episodes.

So I went to my audible wish list and found a lecture series on the Supreme Court.
If Trump where half as smart as he thinks he is, he'd be twice as smart as he really is.
May 2nd, 2017 at 7:54:58 AM permalink
Nareed
Member since: Oct 24, 2012
Threads: 318
Posts: 10830
I read a mildly interesting novel called "Marine Cadet" by Tim C. Taylor. it's Book one of a series called "The Human Legion."

Overall I liked it, though it's a hard read. But I won't pursue the series further.

The premise goes as follows:

A few centuries ago, a mysterious alien race known as The White Knights, took about a million Earth children as slaves. Yes, children. They and their progeny were developed, largely through genetic engineering, into soldiers. Presumably Earth came into alien domination as well, but this isn't entirely clear.

Now, the picture painted of slave humans, who are also held in contempt by other aliens subjects(slaves?) of the White Knights, is both brutal and convincing. We know humans can follow three paths: 1) become Marines, 2) become Auxiliaries or 3) get killed. How each path develops is complicated and involves other aliens, but overall 1) Marines are either kept in suspended animation in storage, 2) get shipped off to a war somewhere (at sublight speeds), or 3) are executed. Auxiliaries do hard labor, seldom get enough to eat, are exposed to short and long-term health hazards, and typically die before they're thirty. In addition, the lowest rated battalions of Marine cadets get culled every year. This means 10% of them are randomly chosen and executed.

What's really interesting is that all this killing of humans is carried out, mostly, by other humans.

Why? Pick a reason. Some believe Earth is kept under relatively mild oppression on the good behavior (ie obedience) of the Marines. Others think that insubordination can only makes things worse. Others may believe in the cause, whatever it is.

Why won't I keep reading the rest? Because the central plot is about a prophecy made about the POV character, Arun McEwan, a 17-year old cadet nearing graduation. The presence of a clear(ish) prophecy kills a lot of suspense and surprise.

But I'm glad I read this one.
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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