Cap'n Refsmmat

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Cold Mountain, by Charles Frazier. A thoroughly engrossing tail set during American's Civil War era about a man's varied, rich, and harrowing journey home from war to the woman he left behind and the travails she endured. One negative, the frequent use of a derogatory term pertaining to people of color during that era. The story's panoramic descriptions and vivid tail of survivals in the old south rings true to my memories of a harsh but simpler time in my youth.

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Hey guys, I just finished reading book #2 of the Spirit of Empire series by Lawrence White. It's a pretty dang good series in my opinion. It's kind of a mish mash of politics, science fiction, and action. I definitely recommend it. Happy reads!

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American Gods by Neil Gaiman.

And I must say...that thus far its a big "meh"

I'm having s little trouble figuring out what all the hoopla about this book is about.

A popular TV series.....and if you Google Best Fantasy Novels of the 21st Century, I can promise it will be on virtually every single list.

Why? Maybe it gets better? I'm about two thirds through.

Cheers.

On 12/24/2015 at 6:38 PM, Bill Angel said:

excerpted from chapter 53 of the book "Innocence" by Dean Koontz

 

Dean Koontz's understanding of cosmology is a bit off. All the matter of the Universe is embedded in space which is currently expanding in all directions at a speed greater than the speed of light. But the matter in the universe is not expanding toward a void in the way that Koontz is visualizing it. It is the energy of space which drives the expansion and which carries the matter of the universe along with it, rather than the matter of the universe exploding into a void like the fragments of an exploded hand grenade.

Actually...Koontz could be correct. Nobody knows for certain what the final outcome of universal expansion will be.it may end in a void where distances have become so great and the stars become extinguished from old age to where gravitational machinations are no longer a factor. In other words...a cold and lifeless void. 

The discovery of Dark Energy probably rules out the old notion of a possible Big Crunch ending. As Hawking thought might happen. It also..to me..increases the possibility of the expansion-to-cold death scenario.

Hope this helps!

On 3/30/2018 at 3:15 PM, tmx3 said:

The Vegetarian by Han Kang. It’s a must-read. 

A must read for whom?

On 5/16/2014 at 10:57 AM, fresh said:

After i read some comments on The Poisoner's Handbook, i decided not to buy this book. (see comments from

 

Valentin Rodionov)

..............

Most, if not all of the chemistry (and physics) in this book is entirely disconnected from the reality of science. Blum's treatment of poisons, analytical procedures and basic science ranges from simple misstatements, inaccuracies and misunderstandings to statements that are outright wrong. Some of these are listed below:

 

* The action of mustard chemical warfare agents has nothing to do with "becoming a ferocious form of sulfuric acid". Mustards act through alkylative damage of DNA (and other biomolecules).

* Sodium carbonate is not an acidic chemical.

* HCN is not a "potent acid".

* No additional source of hydrogen is needed to perform a Marsh test for arsenic.

* It is not likely that arsenic compounds will crystallize in the tissues of a poisoning victim.

* The Reinsch test is not a simple color test, as is implied by Blum's description. This is according to Gettler himself: [...]

* Electrical current is not measured in volts.

* Blum's description of radioactive decay, to borrow a phrase from Wolfgang Pauli, "is not even wrong".

 

This list is by no means comprehensive - these are just some of the many cringe-inducing parts in the book.

..........

 

http://www.amazon.com/The-Poisoners-Handbook-Forensic-Medicine/product-reviews/014311882X/ref=cm_cr_pr_viewpnt_sr_1?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addOneStar&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

electrical current is measured in amps.

volts is a measurement of potential.

hope this helps!

download (2).jpeg

Edited by Velocity_Boy

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I just finished 'Anabasis' 3 & 4 by Xenophon. It tells the story of the march of 10,000 ancient Greek mercenaries northwards from near Mosul through the warlike Kurdish tribes and others in what is now Armenia and Turkey to finally arrive at the Black Sea. They were deceived into fighting for Cyrus in an unsuccessful attempt to defeat his brother, Artaxerxes, the Persian emperor and had many of their generals killed in another act of deception before the young Xenophon spoke to them of their options and was appointed as a general.

Xenophon later went on to write the 'Hellenica' which took on the story of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta after Thucydidies left off his story.

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Just finished Lord of the Flies by William Golding and now I'm starting The Spire, another novel.

I like this author. All his books are very impressive.

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The Disappearing Spoon -- by Sam Kean

"...Kean rectifies that in this amble from element 1, hydrogen, to element 112, copernicium. Attaching stories to a human-interest angle, Kean ensures that with his elaboration of the fixation a chemist, physicist, industrialist, or artist had for a particular element comes clarity about why the element behaves as it does. The soft sell about proton numbers and electron shells thus closes the deal for Kean’s anecdotes about elements of war, elements of health, and elements of wealth, plus the title’s practical joke of a spoon (made from gallium)."

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Currently rereading Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story in the English literary tradition. Love is naturally the play’s dominant and most important theme. The play focuses on romantic love, specifically the intense passion that springs up at first sight between Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, love is a violent, ecstatic, overpowering force that supersedes all other values, loyalties, and emotions. In the course of the play, the young lovers are driven to defy their entire social world: families (“Deny thy father and refuse thy name,” Juliet asks, “Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet”); friends (Romeo abandons Mercutio and Benvolio after the feast in order to go to Juliet’s garden); and ruler (Romeo returns to Verona for Juliet’s sake after being exiled by the Prince on pain of death in II.i.76–78).

Love is the overriding theme of the play — https://freebooksummary.com/romeo-and-juliet-reflection-71840, but a reader should always remember that Shakespeare is uninterested in portraying a prettied-up, dainty version of the emotion, the kind that bad poets write about, and whose bad poetry Romeo reads while pining for Rosaline. Love in Romeo and Juliet is a brutal, powerful emotion that captures individuals and catapults them against their world, and, at times, against themselves.  I Love it and really like the movie — https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romeo_and_Juliet_(1968_film)

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"Hadji Murat" by L. Tolstoy

Also started "The Death of a Scientist: the (self-)annihilation of modern scientific community" by some unknown bloke.

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Best book I have ever read??? "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes: Much more then a history of the Manhatten project and the bomb, and a pretty solid history of late 19th century, 20th century physics, from the likes of Bequeral, Rhotegen,  Curie, and Rutherford, and to Meitner, Bohr, Szillard, Einstein, and Bethe, through to Feynman Oppenheimer and company. Great read and recommend it to all.

Edited by beecee

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Just finished 'The Wheel of Time' series by Robert Jordon / Brendon Sarasson.

Loved it.

 

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22 minutes ago, DrP said:

Just finished 'The Wheel of Time' series by Robert Jordon / Brendon Sarasson.

Loved it.

That's a LOT of books, congratulations. And it was Brandon Sanderson took up the series after Jordan's death.

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10 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

That's a LOT of books, congratulations. And it was Brandon Sanderson took up the series after Jordan's death.

It was Sanderson - thanks for correcting me-  sorry.   Have you read any of it?  Full of incredibly strong female characters (Aies Sedi in particular) - it's awesome. :-) 

44 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Brandon Sanderson

Argg...  I started a thread to see if anyone had read it and was willing to talk about it...  Can you change the title for me please?  I guess I should have spelled checked his name from google rather than putting it up from memory. Thanks.

 

45 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

That's a LOT of books,

It's a lot of pages per book and words per page too!  lol.  Worth it though.

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57 minutes ago, DrP said:

Have you read any of it?  Full of incredibly strong female characters (Aies Sedi in particular) - it's awesome. :-) 

I worked my way through it while Jordan was still writing it. I'm a fantasy fan, and I loved his system of magic, and the concept of the Wheel and the Weave as a representation of the tapestry of life. His characters were individual and interesting, and the main ones were highly relatable. 

My big problem was that Jordan seemed to feel that if a supporting character didn't have a first and last name, it wouldn't mean anything to you when they got killed. If he'd given them recognizable names, that might have worked, but they were mostly made up, and many sounded alike (Alivia, Aviendha, Alviarin, etc). And there were so many of them! Every Aes Sedai and Aiel had to have a full name and background, as well as all the leaders and representatives of all the lands. If a character spoke, they had a full bio sheet, and I didn't feel it was always necessary.

I think the series got away from Jordan towards the end of his life. He had so many fans, and so many awesome characters and plot lines to work with, it must have been insane trying to tie it all up and end it. I think Sanderson did a great job with the last 3 (?) books, and kept to the spirit of the story while moving it along towards a finale that made sense and satisfied rabid fans. 

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42 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

Every Aes Sedai and Aiel had to have a full name and background, as well as all the leaders and representatives of all the lands. If a character spoke, they had a full bio sheet, and I didn't feel it was always necessary.

Totally agree.  I had a problem with the first book... when Mat and Rand travel from tavern to tavern you get a FULL description of every bar down to the shading on the curtains... fine for one or 2...  but after the 5th tavern they stay in, after flirting with the bar maids, getting chased off by darkfriends, playing the flute and juggling for their supper, eating some bread and cheese... you think, come on, get on with it! lol. Although!!!  saying that - it all makes sense in book 2 when pretty much everyone they met from all of those inns on their travels turn up at Tar Valon to train to be Aeis Sedi or end up fighting in one of his armies or something as they are both taverian (or however it is spelt).  Loved the girls introduction to the white tower in book 2 and the introduction of the Senscean. Great story.  

45 minutes ago, Phi for All said:

I think the series got away from Jordan towards the end of his life. He had so many fans, and so many awesome characters and plot lines to work with, it must have been insane trying to tie it all up and end it. I think Sanderson did a great job with the last 3 (?) books, and kept to the spirit of the story while moving it along towards a finale that made sense and satisfied rabid fans. 

He finished it beautifully imo. :-) ...and 'the last battle' which went on for weeks was very well done. The duels with Demandred were brilliant and that bit when Elayne Trackand charges that trollock with her sword was great - it even bought a tear to my eye, soppy git that I can be. :D  Welled up at several places actually. :D 

 

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Plowing through all the volumes of "Game Of Thrones".  Great reading.  Slow going.  Wish me luck.  I have not seen the TV series ... yet.  :)

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7 minutes ago, HB of CJ said:

Wish me luck.

Good luck!

I don't read books.

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I read knight's and magic manga and This is my favourite.

link on first time post removed by moderator

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I am beginning a reread of the world war series by Terry Goodkind.... 

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3 hours ago, Moontanman said:

I am beginning a reread of the world war series by Terry Goodkind.... 

Which series is this? I enjoyed the clever realms he created in his Richard & Kahlan novels. Loved the wizard's rules. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Phi for All said:

Which series is this? I enjoyed the clever realms he created in his Richard & Kahlan novels. Loved the wizard's rules. 

I apologize, I got the author wrong! It was Harry Turtledove! I love the novels by Goodkind as well, the Richard and Kahlan novels great but I saw the TV series first on those... 
 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldwar_series

 

Edited by Moontanman

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Just finished “The Poison Squad” by Deborah Blum - very good

Now reading “The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War” by Ben Macintyre - thus far also very good

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