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What Are You Reading

Steven180

One of the Regulars
Messages
269
Location
US
Just finished Erik Larsen's "In the Garden of Beasts" about U.S. Ambassador to Germany William E. Dodd and his family while they lived and worked in Berlin in the mid to late thirties.

A limited look into the atmosphere and environment of early Nazi Germany and some of the more resounding events during that time. Mr Larsen splits his effort between the private and diplomatic lives of members of the family which may have detracted from the overall potential in viewing and understanding the insanity of the Nazi social effects within Germany, how the local populace felt and viewed them, the much misunderstood status of the Wehrmacht, and a fresh perspective into their politics.

M.
 

Gromulus

Practically Family
Messages
573
Location
NE Ohio, USA
Just finished Erik Larsen's "In the Garden of Beasts" about U.S. Ambassador to Germany William E. Dodd and his family while they lived and worked in Berlin in the mid to late thirties.

A limited look into the atmosphere and environment of early Nazi Germany and some of the more resounding events during that time. Mr Larsen splits his effort between the private and diplomatic lives of members of the family which may have detracted from the overall potential in viewing and understanding the insanity of the Nazi social effects within Germany, how the local populace felt and viewed them, the much misunderstood status of the Wehrmacht, and a fresh perspective into their politics.

M.


Coincidentally, my sister-in-law was telling me about this book over the holiday weekend.

As I noted above, I have just finished "Hell's Cartel: IG Farben and the Making of Hitler's War Machine" by Diarmuid Jeffreys. This book traces the rise of IG Farben, the German chemical conglomerate comprised of Bayer, Hoechst, BASF. and several other chemical companies. IG Farben was one of the largest companies in the world and was instrumental in Hitler's vision of European conquest. After the war, Farben’s leaders were tried for crimes that included mass murder and exploitation of slave labor, including their active participation with the atrocities commited at Auschwitz. Suprisingly the sentences eventually dealt out were hardly more than hand slaps.

As a chemical professional who deals with the above mentioned companies on a regular basis, I found this history quite fascinating albeit disturbing as well.

"In the Garden of Beasts" is next up on my list.
 
Messages
13,248
Location
Orange County, CA
Just arrived today:

Eric Morecambe Unseen: The Lost Diaries, Jokes and Photographs edited by William Cook
London: Harper Collins Entertainment, 2005

0007234651.01._SX140_SY225_SCLZZZZZZZ_.jpg


Reading through it I got the distinct impression that the Wikipedia entry on the much beloved British comedian was condensed from this book.
 

HadleyH

I'll Lock Up
Messages
4,811
Location
Top of the Hill
I'm so happy now!

I thought I'd read all about the 1920s and 30s in Europe and New York etc...and that was that.

No, I was wrong....Kenya! I missed the British in East Africa "Happy Valley" omg!!! so wonderful.... amazing reading this is ... it's called "White Mischief" by James Fox.... listen to this.... and this is non-fiction of course


"A story which is as compelling and violent as a thriller, but which also happens to be one of the most dazzling feats of reportage in recent years"




"When the body of Josslyn Hay 22nd Earl of Erroll was discovered with a bullet through his oh so handsome head yes my dears.... just outside Nairobi in January 1941, the resulting scandal revealed a hornet's nest of upper class decadence and misbehavior..."

Yummy!!!! pure gold reading for those interested on the topic!





Joss

portal-graphics-20_1155617a.jpg
 
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Messages
12,666
Location
Northern California
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson

Great choice. Jim Thompson is a very underappreciated author. Thankfully, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard started rereleasing his and many other wonderful authors a number of years back so that they could be introduced to a new generation of readers. If you like Thompson, you might take a look at David Goodis, another very underappreciated author.
 

Nathan Dodge

One Too Many
Messages
1,051
Location
Near Miami
A Day with Picasso by Billy Klüver

The author retraces the steps of Picasso and his fellow art cronies on August 12, 1916 using fine detective work based on 24 photographs taken by Jean Cocteau. The most interesting aspect of the book is how Klüver chronicles the art scene of the period and what was happening in that most-fertile time. There's also a "Who's Who" and the more in-depth tales of what was going on these luminaries' lives. A one-of-a-kind book (unless anyone knows of any others. :D)
 
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1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,353
Location
Norman Oklahoma
I started the second book Post Captain in Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin series.

How to you like the series? I've read all of C. S. Forester's Hornblower series beginning in about 1970. I've also read a lot of the Bolitho series by Douglas Reeman. I'm about 5-6 novels from reading all of the Bolitho series, but I'm just not that into it anymore. Both authors have become to much of a pattern. On the other hand, I've already found the same pattern in the Zane Gray cowboy novels, so I guess I'm just old and jaded???

Later
 

Miss Golightly

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,312
Location
Dublin, Ireland
Great choice. Jim Thompson is a very underappreciated author. Thankfully, Vintage Crime/Black Lizard started rereleasing his and many other wonderful authors a number of years back so that they could be introduced to a new generation of readers. If you like Thompson, you might take a look at David Goodis, another very underappreciated author.

Initially my attention to drawn to the book by the recently released movie version but there is no way I would be able to sit through the movie - it sounds too brutal and excessively violent for my viewing tastes.

And thanks for the tip - I will keep my eye out for him.
 

Feraud

Bartender
Messages
17,193
Location
Hardlucksville, NY
How to you like the series? I've read all of C. S. Forester's Hornblower series beginning in about 1970. I've also read a lot of the Bolitho series by Douglas Reeman. I'm about 5-6 novels from reading all of the Bolitho series, but I'm just not that into it anymore. Both authors have become to much of a pattern. On the other hand, I've already found the same pattern in the Zane Gray cowboy novels, so I guess I'm just old and jaded???

Later
I've never read any of this type of fiction before but I am enjoying the stories so far. O'Brian's attention to nautical detail is amazing. I've not read the authors you mention but will add them to my reading list.
 
Messages
12,666
Location
Northern California
Initially my attention to drawn to the book by the recently released movie version but there is no way I would be able to sit through the movie - it sounds too brutal and excessively violent for my viewing tastes.

And thanks for the tip - I will keep my eye out for him.

I saw the movie and although I like Casey Affleck, I found the movie to be just okay. It was way too graphically and disturbingly violent for my liking. The Grifters is a much easier to watch movie based on a Thompson novel.
 

1961MJS

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,353
Location
Norman Oklahoma
I've never read any of this type of fiction before but I am enjoying the stories so far. O'Brian's attention to nautical detail is amazing. I've not read the authors you mention but will add them to my reading list.

Hi

PERSONALLY, I'd read O-Brian until you get sick of the British Navy, and THEN move to C. S. Forester's series. The Horatio Hornblower series is much shorter than the Richard Bolitho series. Try to read them in Chronological order, it's easier that way. My guess would be that at some point, you'll get tired of that genre and move to something else.

I'm currently swapping Westerns and Detective novels, and well as reading Old West history. By the way, the Hardest book to read that I finished was American Tabloid by James Ellroy. Ellroy's books jump all over the place. Watch, don't read L. A. Confidential, trust me on that one.

Later
 

Feraud

Bartender
Messages
17,193
Location
Hardlucksville, NY
Hi

PERSONALLY, I'd read O-Brian until you get sick of the British Navy, and THEN move to C. S. Forester's series. The Horatio Hornblower series is much shorter than the Richard Bolitho series. Try to read them in Chronological order, it's easier that way. My guess would be that at some point, you'll get tired of that genre and move to something else.
Thanks, that sounds like good advice.

Oh and I read one of Ellroy's books and don't think I'd ever waste my time on another. I hate-HATE the guy's writing style.
 

silverladybug

New in Town
Messages
22
Location
New Jersey
Eventually I'm going to have to have to scroll through all 466 pages of posts eventually to catch some good books, but I'm currently reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (which has to be one of the strangest words in the English language) by John Boyne. I've seen the movie, so I'm reading the book to see how different it is. So far it's really good. I think it captures the innocence of children during WWII so well, especially when they discuss what Out-With (Auschwitz) without understanding what it is. The childish simplicity of their rational is just poignant when juxtaposed to the horror that unfolds.
 
Messages
12,666
Location
Northern California
Finally got back to Ross MacDonald's "The Way Some People Die" (1951) yesterday and finished it. It was another excellant story by the underrated MacDonald. Started today with Sam Eastland's "Shadow Pass" (2011). It takes place in Russia during the early 1900s. His "Eye of The Red Tsar" (2010) was an excellant read and is the first book in the series.
 

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