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Old 07-15-2008, 01:08 PM   #856
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Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10 by Marcus Luttrell and Patrick Robinson

The first person account of one and only survivor of what ended up being the greatest loss of US special forces soldiers in the history of the United States. This book begins by covering the rigorous SEAL training, and the operation, battle, and how Luttrell survived in Afghanistan in 2005. More than that, the book is largely dedicated to the fellow soldiers, Luttrell's friends, that gave up their lives fighting with him and trying to save him. It's quite interesting, fast paced, and surprisingly moving in parts. It's no Black Hawk Down, but it's still one of the more interesting modern military "history" books I've read. If you're at all interested in the special forces or SEALS in particular, you'll enjoy this quite a bit.
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Old 07-16-2008, 05:54 AM   #857
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I was gonna get Leonard Cohen's Songs of Longing, but then decided against it.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:21 PM   #858
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#50 Comfort: A Journey Through Grief by Ann Hood

Well, this certainly goes on record as being one of the saddest books I've ever read. The author's 5-year-old daughter dies unexpectedly (breaks her arm, goes to ER, horrid strain of strep kills her within a day and a half), and this novella-length memoir is her account of how she coped.

Beautiful writing, and some wonderful moments of joy at the end.
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:34 AM   #859
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The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster

I'm missing the characters already. The story is about an aging newly retired/divorced man who has come back to his birthplace of Brooklyn to live out his days. He begins chronicling the lives of the people he meets and how those lives overlap.

A really beautiful story
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Old 07-18-2008, 11:45 AM   #860
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I was able to get a "slightly used" copy of Champagne Kisses by Bono's friend/author Amanda Brunker on Amazon
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Old 07-18-2008, 12:20 PM   #861
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I finished Hemingway's "The Dangerous Summer" yesterday. I learned more than I probably ever wanted to know about bullfighting from it. I would have liked to have gotten a little more about Hemingway the person from it, though, because it all takes place two years before he died. Was he really as content as the book lets on?

I started "The Sun Also Rises" last night. If work is slow on Sunday, I think I could finish the book up in that day. Just three chapters in I'm remembering why I loved this book so much the first time and why I grew so attached to Hemingway when no one else in my classes did.
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Old 07-18-2008, 01:59 PM   #862
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Quote:
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The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster

I'm missing the characters already. The story is about an aging newly retired/divorced man who has come back to his birthplace of Brooklyn to live out his days. He begins chronicling the lives of the people he meets and how those lives overlap.

A really beautiful story
I haven't read any Auster since Oracle Night, but he's long been one of my favorite authors. Leviathan and The New York Trilogy are two of the best books I've ever read.

Need to check this out.
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Old 07-18-2008, 03:35 PM   #863
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Today I received a shipment from Amazon which included Paula Deen's "A Memoir, It Ain't all About the Cookin" which I look forward to reading. I really enjoy her shows and I think the book is going to be good as well.
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Old 07-19-2008, 01:47 PM   #864
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#51 Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes

I really enjoy Marian Keyes' novels, but this collection of essays shouldn't have been collected into a book. Save for the essay about her alcoholism, they were just too slight.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:08 PM   #865
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Got "The boy in the striped pyjamas" (at the library ) this morning so will start that tonight. They've been raving about it for months on another forum I post on so reckoned it's about time I picked it up.
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:51 PM   #866
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I haven't read any Auster since Oracle Night, but he's long been one of my favorite authors. Leviathan and The New York Trilogy are two of the best books I've ever read.

Need to check this out.
I will probably pick up one of these today, I really enjoyed his writing.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:07 PM   #867
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Just finished Jose Saramago's Blindness, gotta say the execution is not as strong as the concept but there are certainly amazing pieces of prose throughout a less engaging narrative, and read Ian McEwan's Amsterdam in a few short sittings, the characters aren't completely fleshed out but the twists, themes and implications make for an extraordinary quick read.

Now onto an Evelyn Waugh binge with Brideshead Revisited and Handful of Dust this week, also picking up more true crime with In Cold Blood, and The Devil in the White City.
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Old 07-20-2008, 04:14 PM   #868
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Beijing Confidential by Jan Wong.

Terrific book. In short, it's the true story of a woman (Wong) who was one of the first 2 students permitted to study at Beijing University in 1972. Back then she was a pretty rabid Communist and so when a Chinese student approached her, asking her to help her get to America, Wong and the American student who was with her turned the girl in. She was expelled from the university and disappeared. Wong went back to Canada eventually, became a very successful and acclaimed journalist and so on. Thsi is the story of her return to Beijing, 34 years later, to attempt to find the woman and to see what happened to her and to apologize for what she'd done.

It's really well written - and if you like books written by journalists (it's usually a pretty distinctive style), you will really love it. The descriptions of old Beijing vs. this new incarnation are fascinating. I'd highly recommend it.
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:14 PM   #869
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That book sounds really interesting - I'll add it to my list.

#52 Moloka'i by Alan Brennert

A co-worker recommended this to me. It was interesting, but the writing is nothing to write home about.

It's a historical novel about the Hawaiian leper colony of the late 19th-early 20th centuries. The book follows one girl's life as she grows up on the colony.

I know very little about Hawaiian history and had no idea there was a leper colony* on one of the islands. Families were separated by the disease, and the family members left behind in society were often discriminated against and shunned due to the disease.

So it was a worthwhile read if only for the history and cultural aspects of it.



*I had no idea that a Simpsons episode where Homer and Bart get sent to a colony on Hawaii after Lisa fakes sores on their body was actually based in history; The Simpsons - teaching us all since the early 1990s!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:37 PM   #870
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Quote:
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Beijing Confidential by Jan Wong.

Terrific book. In short, it's the true story of a woman (Wong) who was one of the first 2 students permitted to study at Beijing University in 1972. Back then she was a pretty rabid Communist and so when a Chinese student approached her, asking her to help her get to America, Wong and the American student who was with her turned the girl in. She was expelled from the university and disappeared. Wong went back to Canada eventually, became a very successful and acclaimed journalist and so on. This is the story of her return to Beijing, 34 years later, to attempt to find the woman and to see what happened to her and to apologize for what she'd done.

It's really well written - and if you like books written by journalists (it's usually a pretty distinctive style), you will really love it. The descriptions of old Beijing vs. this new incarnation are fascinating. I'd highly recommend it.
I'm currently reading Wong's Red China Blues, when she chronicles her stay in China in the early 70s. So far so good, and as someone who's visited some of these places and lived in China for a while, it's a fascinating look into old China.
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