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GeorgeO

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Just finished an outstanding book yesterday-Endurance by Alfred Lansing-about Ernest Shackleton's trip into the Antarctic. Described (quite accurately) on the cover by the NY Times review as one of the greatest adventure stories of our times. I was keen to get hold of this for a long time, finally got it from the US through alibris.com

Have Randy Pausch's Last Lecture now on my hands-if any of you have seen the Youtube clip you will know what I'm talking about-for any of you that havent-do watch it-it is probably THE most outstanding lecture that I have seen.

I read Barbarians At the Gates recently- all about the KKR takeover of RJR Nabisco-another fascinating book. Ross Johnson is a key player in that book-the same person who fixed Rajan Pillai

Anyone have any other interesting reads to share?

George
 
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thevortex

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A thread which was past due, I suppose. Thanks George for starting this.

I am currently halfway through 'From Beirut to Jerusalem' by Thomas. L. Friedman. Contrary to my expectations it is no dry regurgitation of facts, figures and force fed perspectives. The author - himself a jew - never hesitates to talk the truth about Israel and fellow jews. Starting from the timeline of incidents which led to the whole war situation, this book is fascinating.

Regarding fiction, I wonder if people have read the book 'Solitude of emperors' by David Davidar. Another book with the capability to change readers' life perspectives. Davidar is among my favourite and most respected Indian authors in English writing.

Another book I read quite recently was 'The Kite runner' by Khaled Hosseini. An absolute tour de force packed into quite a small book - it deals with the complexities that are part of war torn Afghanistan. No, it does not bash the US comfortably. It goes deeper than that. And for that I respect the author - not that I am a big US fan. But it takes guts to acknowledge that there were deeper problems to start with.
 

iaudio

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Good thread to start George.
About to start 'Argumentative Indian'-Amartya Sen and 'Sea of Poppies'- Amitav Ghosh.
 

GeorgeO

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I read and thoroughly enjoyed the Kite Runner a couple of years ago-my son had it with him. Friedman's wiriting is fairly interesting, though one may not agree with his pov on many things.

David Halberstam is another of my favourite authors.

I have another 2-3 more books that I hope to finish soon, will post on them after I am done. I've not been reading at my normal pace for the past 2-3 months.
 

sanjub22

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Good thread to start George.
About to start 'Argumentative Indian'-Amartya Sen and 'Sea of Poppies'- Amitav Ghosh.
When you are saying 'Argumentative Indian', I have a very interesting point to mention. May be you are already aware of this. Before start reading the same just go to page no 57 and observe the footnote. You will be surprised to observe that a person like Amartya Sen has taken a reference from none other than Mr Sashi Tharoor from his book 'India: From Midnight to the Millennium '. The book was published by Mr. Tharoor on 1997 when he was just 38 years old.Its just incredible to observe such matured writing at such a young age and perhaps it is equally incredible to see such a talented person got himself involved in an event like IPL. Personally I really feel very sad after reading such footnote from Mr. Sen on Mr. Tharoor.

Anyway, I am just trying to finish 'A Brief History of Time' by Stephen Hawking. This is perhap my 17th try to finish the same.
 

alcy

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Folks can you suggest authors similar to Robert Pirsig ? Both his novels-Zen an the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance & Lila are my favorites, and would appreciate if someone can suggest similar reading.
I did get Jack Kerouac's On the Road but didn't really like it.

Anyway, these days I am reading Engines of Logic by Martin Davis on & off. People in the field of computer science, or who are generally fascinated by it should get this. Traces the origin of computer logic in a chronological order starting from the rudimentary logic practices & theories.
 

GeorgeO

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I normally finish any book that I am reading and then only go on to the next, but recently I am deviating from the habits of over 45 years odf reading and taking on multiple books-something that I will stop doing once I finish the books that I am now reading

1. A bio of Steve McQueen-watched Bullitt yesterday after seeing it as a kid and enjoyed every minute of it.

2 A couple of others will post details after completing them.

3. Finished reading the Last Lecture by Randy Pausch- highly recommended reading.

Regards

George
 

iaudio

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Sanjub22, Thanks for the pointer. I will try to read Shashi Tharoors work too.
17 times eh? You are one persistent reader. I am pretty much in the same state with City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre.
 

sqvare

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I'm reading "Survival of the Sickest" by Dr. Sharon Moalem (and Jonathan Prince), about his iconoclastic take on why we need disease to survive as a species.

For instance, how an inherited condition like haemochromatosis (inability to regulate iron absorption, lethal if untreated) probably provides resistance to the plague. And how pathogens evolve to select for (or against) traits that harm their hosts, because from the pathogen's perspective it is sometimes advantageous to keep the host mobile (and contagious), not bedridden.

Quite fascinating...
 

moktan

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just finished Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought ..though forbiddingly technical at times there is enough here to whet the appetite of those curious about the most mysterious of all human faculties-language...chapters like Cleaving the Air are quite heavy though very readable whereas The Metaphor Metaphor , which discusses among other things the rampant use of metaphor in human speech, reveals 'how metaphor really is the key to explaining thought and language'...
since this is an audiophile website-where great effort is put in to describe sounds-i would like to quote an interesting paragraph from this essay...

"Language by its very design, would seem to be a tool with a well-defined and limited functionality. With a finite stock of arbitrary signs and grammatical rules that arrange them in sentences, a language gives us the means to share an unlimited number of combinations of ideas.......... . Yet by digitizing the world, language is a 'lossy' medium, discarding information about the smooth multidimensional texture of experience. Language is notoriously poor, for instance, at conveying the the subtlety and and richness of sensations like smells and sounds. ........
And yet metaphors provides us with a way to eff the ineffable. Perhaps the greatest pleasure that the languages affords is the act of surrendering to the metaphors of a skilled writer and thereby inhabiting the consciousness of another person" (Page 276, The Stuff of Thought)



alcy..
tentatively i would like to suggest Carlos Castaneda...especially Journey to Ixtlan..
 
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ranojoy

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I am currently halfway through 'From Beirut to Jerusalem' by Thomas. L. Friedman. Contrary to my expectations it is no dry regurgitation of facts, figures and force fed perspectives. The author - himself a jew - never hesitates to talk the truth about Israel and fellow jews. Starting from the timeline of incidents which led to the whole war situation, this book is fascinating.
I guess you can have a go at "O! Jerusalem" (Dominique Lapierre & Larry Collins) as well. Full of facts / explanations / details about what led to the birth of Israel and the initial struggles of the fledgling state. On the same subject (but fiction, this time) is "Exodus" (Leon Uris).

Another book I read quite recently was 'The Kite runner' by Khaled Hosseini. An absolute tour de force packed into quite a small book - it deals with the complexities that are part of war torn Afghanistan. No, it does not bash the US comfortably. It goes deeper than that. And for that I respect the author - not that I am a big US fan. But it takes guts to acknowledge that there were deeper problems to start with.
Read "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns" back to back last month. On one level, they can be classified as interesting / absorbing fiction. On another level, they are an insight (or call it a searing indictment) of what Afghanistan has become today. Real page turners, both.
 

murali

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Ah, the world of books. Missing music, that is what keeps me sane and stable here. No problems in shelving a few pounds to amazon uk every month.

Two of the finest I read in recent times...
The State of Africa by Martin Meredith tracing out the last 50 years of practically all the African nations from independence till now. Read it and you will suddenly realise how bad and sad is the state of affairs in the cradle of mankind, how much they were ravaged by all the so-called western colonial powers, how the great dictators thereafter had been pampered by all (including our own country), the sufferings, the genocides. Terrible. You learn what this life is all about and not just Internet, laptops, cars, houses, films, cricket, clothes and luxuries, and of course, audio/video.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran of Washington Post, a first hand account of Baghdad after the American occupation. He is really skinning the characters involved in the so-called war against terrorism, opening them up with knives, the stupidities, lies, miseries,,,. A must-read and the next time you speak to an American or Brit or their Allies, I am sure you will face him/her eye to eye and shed those complexes most of us have around us.

Just my 2 cents.
murali
 

sound and music

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Extremely glad to know that many audiophiles at the forum are also bibiophiles.

Are you interested in globalization and global finance issues?

If yes, would you be interested in reading some of my recent books such as "Why Investment Matters", "Questioning Globalization" and "Taming Global Financial Flows" amongs others?

My website is undergoing reconstruction but you could get a glimpse about my books at Amazon/Google.

Enjoy!
 

alcy

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alcy..
tentatively i would like to suggest Carlos Castaneda...especially Journey to Ixtlan..
Thanks for the recco moktan ! I really couldn't find reccos similar to Pirsig by googling. I hope I can get started with Castaneda soon.

Cheers.
 

gobble

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Extremely glad to know that many audiophiles at the forum are also bibiophiles.

Are you interested in globalization and global finance issues?

If yes, would you be interested in reading some of my recent books such as "Why Investment Matters", "Questioning Globalization" and "Taming Global Financial Flows" amongs others?

My website is undergoing reconstruction but you could get a glimpse about my books at Amazon/Google.

Enjoy!
Nice! The favorite book in my personal collection on this topic is Re-orient by andre Gunder Frank Andre Gunder Frank - ReOrient

Another one I've been planning to read is "Small is Beautiful" Small Is Beautiful - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PS: Good to know we have a researcher and author in our midst :)

I am googling your book for the moment, perhaps one day I will pick it up

Cheers

.
 
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venkatcr

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I shall start with some fiction and then slowly move into non-fiction.

A few of my favourite authors of fiction include Clive Cussler, Mathew Reilley, and my current favourite - James Rollins. Some of his books such as Subterranean, Excavation, The Judas Strain were a single read books. He is a very inventive author mixing religious beliefs and folklore with hard science. For example, the concept of set of people living linked to plants and nature that was depicted in Avatar was spelled by James in Amazonia.

His latest book, Altar of Eden, unfortunately is not that good. It talks about altering the DNA of animals and humans to create a set of beings who can communicate by ESP and telepathy. The good identifies and destroys the evil too quickly, in my mind.

Cheers
 

thevortex

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just finished Steven Pinker's The Stuff of Thought ..though forbiddingly technical at times there is enough here to whet the appetite of those curious about the most mysterious of all human faculties-language...chapters like Cleaving the Air are quite heavy though very readable whereas The Metaphor Metaphor , which discusses among other things the rampant use of metaphor in human speech, reveals 'how metaphor really is the key to explaining thought and language'...
since this is an audiophile website-where great effort is put in to describe sounds-i would like to quote an interesting paragraph from this essay...

"Language by its very design, would seem to be a tool with a well-defined and limited functionality. With a finite stock of arbitrary signs and grammatical rules that arrange them in sentences, a language gives us the means to share an unlimited number of combinations of ideas.......... . Yet by digitizing the world, language is a 'lossy' medium, discarding information about the smooth multidimensional texture of experience. Language is notoriously poor, for instance, at conveying the the subtlety and and richness of sensations like smells and sounds. ........
And yet metaphors provides us with a way to eff the ineffable. Perhaps the greatest pleasure that the languages affords is the act of surrendering to the metaphors of a skilled writer and thereby inhabiting the consciousness of another person" (Page 276, The Stuff of Thought)



alcy..
tentatively i would like to suggest Carlos Castaneda...especially Journey to Ixtlan..
Very interesting book you have mentioned there, Moktan. The quoted paragraph also is very tantalizing. Thanks for sharing.
 

thevortex

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I shall start with some fiction and then slowly move into non-fiction.

A few of my favourite authors of fiction include Clive Cussler, Mathew Reilley, and my current favourite - James Rollins. Some of his books such as Subterranean, Excavation, The Judas Strain were a single read books. He is a very inventive author mixing religious beliefs and folklore with hard science. For example, the concept of set of people living linked to plants and nature that was depicted in Avatar was spelled by James in Amazonia.

His latest book, Altar of Eden, unfortunately is not that good. It talks about altering the DNA of animals and humans to create a set of beings who can communicate by ESP and telepathy. The good identifies and destroys the evil too quickly, in my mind.

Cheers
Venkat - James Rollins is among the best thriller/sci-fi writers of our times. And he is young too.

His Amazonia was just way too radical when I first read it about 6 years back.

If you liked Rollins you should try the novels of Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. To start with I picked up their books to understand the novelty value of two people writing together on the same book. Over time they grew on me and now they are among my favourite authors, or should I say author :).

A character that they created - an Agent Pendergast is among my top favourites of all time as far as fictional characters are concerned. One of my frequent fantasies is to try and imagine who could be cast as Pendergast in celluloid. Thankfully I have really not been able to fit anybody up in that mould. The closest I can get is Edward Norton - with a few refinements.

Nice thread.

Reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes :)

btw how many people read & finish this?
Oh yes, Atlas Shrugged used to almost be my encyclopedia for all things human and otherwise for a long time. I have always claimed that it is an epochal book for anybody. It is that book which nudges all those cats on the walls - does not matter which side. You are either firmly with the idea in the book or against it. No middle grounds for the most part. And to do that the author must have done something decisive. For that reason I strongly believe it is a must read - especially early on in life.
 
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