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Thread: What Are You Reading ?

  1. #941
    Record Label Executive Oceansoul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Head View Post
    Andrew Morton - Diana: In Pursuit Of Love - 2004



    2nd bio of the Princess from this man
    the first was a huge success
    this one not so much
    have never understood my countries fascination with the Royals
    and none more so than lady di
    this is all about her later years after the failed marriage became public
    reveals a lot about the woman who was just getting back into who she truly was
    when fate intervened
    as usual the conspiracy theories flew, and still do
    none ever panned out
    she just died in a car crash
    end of story

    Grade - B

    next up - The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
    I can understand why someone would like her though. Lady Di was a humanitarian and an admirable person. She was called the People's Princess. The fascination with the Royals here is interesting.

    Yeah, conspiracy theories abound surrounding her death, including some out there ones. I don't get why some people can't leave it alone nor why they look for conspiracies wherever they can. Tragedies can just happen even to famous people.
    Last edited by Oceansoul; 22-02-2017 at 02:40.
    "Treat your life for what it's worth and live for every breath." -Black Sabbath, "A National Acrobat"

  2. #942
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    Pearl S. Buck - The Good Earth - 1931



    Pulitzer Prize Winner
    I remember this being one of the first adult books I read when I was in my mid teens.
    Gave it another round with more knowledge to help absorb it this time.
    A farmers life in China in the early 1900's
    Wang Lung makes his way from poverty to wealth and back and forth by way of his land
    Dreams of his sons carrying on his lifestyle but as his years fade away his sons plan to sell off
    Proving when you're dead no possessions matter.
    It's all dirt

    Grade - B

    Next up - 41 by George W. Bush
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

  3. #943
    Record Label Executive Ruby's Avatar
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    The Boys in the Boat ~ Daniel James Brown



    This is an extraordinarily human, well researched, developed and delivered non-fiction account of the Washington rowing eight who, after much toil and against some heavy odds, won Olympic gold in 1936, in Berlin.

    There are three main threads to this tale; central to the story and to the sport itself, is a gentleman named George Yeoman Pocock who in 1911 emigrated first from England to Canada and then to the USA and who was an absolute master of his craft – building racing shells – beautiful cedar wood vessels, handmade to perfection. His father, who taught him the trade, was a boatbuilder at Eton College. George also developed a highly effective rowing style that saw him winning some sculling events, but his ultimate strength was in the philosophy he imparted to his customers along with his impeccable boats – his company is still going, to this day, but I’m glad he died before seeing the transition to carbon fibre and such – as practical as it may be, there is just less grace in synthetic materials, IMHO; coaxing a true line and strength out of mere millimetres of wood is an exceedingly fine art. There is a Pocock quote at the beginning of each chapter of the book; I like this one (reference to Boeing is that in the depression, when there was no demand for boat shells, he and his brother had built pontoons for Mr Boeing and it turned out later that part of their payment was in company stocks) …

    “My ambition has always been to be the greatest shell builder in the world; and without false modesty, I believe I have attained that goal. If I were to sell the (Boeing) stock, I fear I would lose my incentive and become a wealthy man, but a second rate artisan. I prefer to remain a first-class artisan.”

    One of the main reasons this book is so engaging is the primary thread (although they are woven simultaneously throughout) - the quite harrowing insight into the early life of one of the crew members, Joe Rantz, who was pretty much abandoned and left to fend for himself as a very young boy and his struggle to overcome the resultant challenges which were immense, on all levels. Against the backdrop of the great depression and the dustbowl era, everyone was affected in some way, and in fact, all the boys in the boat came from working class backgrounds, but Rantz, although he never felt sorry for himself, really had an extra tough time of it. The author got to spend quite a bit of time with him before he died, talking about this event, and Joe’s life, so the book offers first-hand information along with anecdotal inputs from his granddaughter who has kept the history alive.

    Underlying all the above was the simmering threat of the Third Reich and thinking about it now, it’s actually astonishing that anyone went to the Berlin games at all. Then again, the Nazi’s contrived such a good PR job (with the help of filmmaker Leni Riefenstal, which Brown expands on a bit), that anyone attending and who didn’t pay attention, wouldn’t have had a clue that anything untoward was on the brew. They removed all the anti-Jewish publications from the newspaper stands, stealthily hid evidence of atrocities and dissent, and presented the image of what appeared to be a healthy and happy Germany united behind their heroic leader.

    The American boys were housed in old police barracks and the Germans also engineered all sorts of disturbances to prevent them from getting proper rest, for example – parades in the middle of the night, etc., and then for the race itself, they stuck them in the outermost lane where the water was choppiest and conditions least favourable, while themselves taking Lane One, closest to the shore and infinitely more favourable; also totally contrary to accepted protocols within the sport. When you read the book, you definitely get a picture in your mind of how that race went, but when I looked up a clip, it was quite shocking to hear the noise, which I hadn’t imagined would be quite so loud – chants of ‘Sieg Heil’ being predominant. The Washington boys had to row with one deathly sick man at stroke, they were badly positioned, and they had a Jewish coxswain. Hitler must have been delighted!

    A great, feelgood read (apart from the teeny tiny print in my edition) that draws lovely portraits of characters, taciturn coaches and all, and which really illustrates the indomitable human spirit. It was a wonderful break from the present shedloads of bad behaviour and general global insanity. I loved it.
    "The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us." ~ Bill Watterson





  4. #944
    Grumpy Old Man Music Head's Avatar
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    George W. Bush - 41: A Portrait Of My Father - 2014



    A bio of the father, by the son.
    No dirt expected from this one.
    Nothing new for me to learn either
    Not much politics
    Just a sons love for his father.

    Grade - C

    next up - The Late George Apley by John P. Marquand
    “A man only learns in two ways, one by reading, and the other by association with smarter people.”
    Will Rogers

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