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Ken Follett wrote a prequel to The Pillars Of The Earth called The Evening and The Morning. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. My quick synopsis - the women do the brewing - Edgar builds a stone brewhouse - the priests cheat everyone - mead is for the well to do. That's about it. Oh yeah - the Normans have better cider.
 

Falstaff

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The Marble Faun by Hawthorne. Kind of boring, I like his other stuff better; Seven Gables and Scarlet Letter.
 
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Ken Follett wrote a prequel to The Pillars Of The Earth called The Evening and The Morning. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. My quick synopsis - the women do the brewing - Edgar builds a stone brewhouse - the priests cheat everyone - mead is for the well to do. That's about it. Oh yeah - the Normans have better cider.
Pillars was one FINE book. One of my faves of all time.

Can you compare the prequel to Pillars?
 

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Been reading a lot of old Russian novels, such as Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, and Gogol. They mention kvass a lot. Kind of getting me in the mood to try my hand at it, if anyone could point me to a good recipe.
 
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Pillars was one FINE book. One of my faves of all time.

Can you compare the prequel to Pillars?
I am enjoying the prequel and in some ways it's going too fast. IMO it is not the Epic Saga that Pillars was, but Follett is such a good storyteller that you can't put it down.
One thing I like about the Evening and The Morning is the way in which the story of cultural influence weaves into the telling of the story .. from the influence of the Normans to the fear of the Vikings to the struggles with the Welsh.
 

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Not sure if I mentioned it, but my wife, my son, and I just recently read the Hunger Games trilogy together. I thought the first book was excellent, the second book was alright, and didn't like the third book at all--just seemed forced.

My son then read the prequel book, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes", and I decided to read it too. It was REALLY good, potentially even better than the first book. Of course I'd recommend not reading it until you've read the original books, because it makes the most sense in full context even though it was set prior in time to the trilogy.

So if you've read the trilogy and you're on the fence regarding the prequel, I give it my thumbs up review.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Burning through this one right now. Woah, can't put it down. If you like Michael Creighton pace, with world-hopping and end-of-world themes, get this! @betarhoalphadelta
Thanks! I just bought it based on that recommendation. Feel like I'm going to have trouble reading anything until football season ends though lol ;-)
 
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Launching (pun!) into this tonight. Looks awesome. The SpaceX progress is so impressive.


1631758581945.png
 
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... but WOW, this one you guys HAVE to read. Finished this late last night (read in in a few evenings). I saw mentions of this meltdown in the news occasionally, but didn't pay attention. I've been involved in several medical startups and this story felt very, very familiar.

5 stars. Get it!

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup
View attachment 579020

Elizabeth Holmes (Theranos) trial is underway right now, for those that follow the news. If you want to know the the whole story, read this book. Well written, will keep you up at night.
 

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Just read the Hunger Games series with my wife and son, a sort of summer book club kind of thing.

Disappointing IMHO. The first book was excellent, but it seemed like the second was hackneyed and the third was rushed.

And then there was the love triangle thing... Probably just my demographic, but I was trying to figure out whether I was Team Edward or Team Jacob and realized I just didn't give a $&^@.
My experience was basically identical, although I enjoyed the 2nd book quite a bit, the third was a let down. I waited a long time to read the prequel because I had very low expectations for it, when I finally read it I loved it.

Some of the stand outs I've read lately:
Sam Walton: Made in America
The Demon Under the Microscope
Cockpit Confidential
Insomnia

This was a hidden gem for me:


Also highly recommend:



Has anyone read any Tom Clancy books? Thinking about pulling the trigger on one of his series.
 

estricklin

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Not sure if I mentioned it, but my wife, my son, and I just recently read the Hunger Games trilogy together. I thought the first book was excellent, the second book was alright, and didn't like the third book at all--just seemed forced.

My son then read the prequel book, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes", and I decided to read it too. It was REALLY good, potentially even better than the first book. Of course I'd recommend not reading it until you've read the original books, because it makes the most sense in full context even though it was set prior in time to the trilogy.

So if you've read the trilogy and you're on the fence regarding the prequel, I give it my thumbs up review.

My experience was basically identical, although I enjoyed the 2nd book quite a bit, the third was a let down. I waited a long time to read the prequel because I had very low expectations for it, when I finally read it I loved it.

Some of the stand outs I've read lately:
Sam Walton: Made in America
The Demon Under the Microscope
Cockpit Confidential
Insomnia

This was a hidden gem for me:


Also highly recommend:



Has anyone read any Tom Clancy books? Thinking about pulling the trigger on one of his series.

Edited, wrong quote.
 

betarhoalphadelta

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Has anyone read any Tom Clancy books? Thinking about pulling the trigger on one of his series.
I read a lot of Tom Clancy in my late teens / early twenties or so. Good reads for that genre.

I think the seminal works were the Jack Ryan series. I never read any of the "add-on" books in the Jack Ryan genre written by other authors, of which there were many though.
 

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1632962741042.png


This is light reading to break up the mounds of sci-fi anthologies I've been pounding the last couple of years.
Our local library has a digital relationship with a State-level library having Kindle-compatible lending and I had this one on reserve since May.
It finally came through this morning and odds are I'll be done with it tomorrow.
Can't...stop...reading it! :D

Cheers!
 

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Not sure if I mentioned it, but my wife, my son, and I just recently read the Hunger Games trilogy together. I thought the first book was excellent, the second book was alright, and didn't like the third book at all--just seemed forced.

My son then read the prequel book, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes", and I decided to read it too. It was REALLY good, potentially even better than the first book. Of course I'd recommend not reading it until you've read the original books, because it makes the most sense in full context even though it was set prior in time to the trilogy.

So if you've read the trilogy and you're on the fence regarding the prequel, I give it my thumbs up review.
Oddly...I re-read the trilogy a couple of months ago as well. Mostly because my wife had been given the prequel to read from a friend and since she was already reading a book (and is a ridiculously slow reader) I burned through the trilogy, so I could read the prequel. Your assessment of the trilogy is spot on with mine, however we diverge in opinion on the prequel.

Without giving too much away, I really liked the first third or so of it. Answered a lot of questions, some time was taken for character development which I appreciated. The middle half I felt kind of dragged on more than it needed to...and the ending....man it felt rushed and left me asking questions which obviously couldn't be answered. Middle portion pace of the book should have been maintained, but perhaps made a bit shorter so no you don't have so many...but why..but what about..
 

Knightshade

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I've had the same set of books on my nightstand for probably the past 6 months. When something really grabs my attention...I'll devour it in a couple days. When not so much...I pick and peck at it for months on end. The only ones here that I've read all the way through already are How to Brew and Yeast. Beer Bible I usually read a chapter or so every couple of days. I have Red Rising on the kindle which I'm kinda going through some parts quick, then dragging through others.
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View attachment 744079

This is light reading to break up the mounds of sci-fi anthologies I've been pounding the last couple of years.
Our local library has a digital relationship with a State-level library having Kindle-compatible lending and I had this one on reserve since May.
It finally came through this morning and odds are I'll be done with it tomorrow.
Can't...stop...reading it! :D

Cheers!
Loved it. But why does the awesome friendly alien have be a friggin spider (I hate spiders!).
 

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Aww...As space spiders go, "Rocky" seemed pretty chill :D

So, word has it that Ryan Gosling will play Doctor Grace. I think that could work - especially at that 2/3rds point in the movie where we leaned Grace was less than "all in" on ending up on the ship. Agonizing over stuff is in Gosling's wheelhouse.

No word on who plays Rocky ;) I'm worried the CGI will be dicey and if they try to go low budget may simply not convince through all of the inevitable close-up interactions....

Cheers!
 

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Just started reading The Free Bastards by Jonathon French. Book three of a really fun fantasy trilogy. Waited patiently for the release and it hooked me again almost instantly. I'm hoping that him finishing this trilogy, he will go back and write the final books in his fantasy epic that he abandoned to focus on this one.
 

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I'm in the middle of the Joe Abercrombie's Age of Madness trilogy in his First Law world. I was worried that with so much time off since the last book in the series, he may have lost his touch. So far, so good though!
A Little Hatred was excellent. Lots of action and a new generation of great new characters to get to know. And his occasional laugh out loud dark humor.
The Trouble with Peace has very little action so far, seems to be setting a lot up but it's definitely slower than the first one. Maybe chaos will erupt in the second half.
The Wisdom of Crowds is out, and I have it ready to go next.
 

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This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin: a fairly easily digestible survey of the neuroscience of music, with fun references to music and musicians, notably but not only 20th century composers and rock 'n' rollers.
IMG_20211020_220545139.jpg
 

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Ken Follett wrote a prequel to The Pillars Of The Earth called The Evening and The Morning. I'm about 2/3 of the way through. My quick synopsis - the women do the brewing - Edgar builds a stone brewhouse - the priests cheat everyone - mead is for the well to do. That's about it. Oh yeah - the Normans have better cider.
Just came to this, dad. I loved Pillars - in fact, just re-added it to my cart because somewhere in our moves I lost it. This is great to know. Thanks.
 

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Dune. Finished tonight in time for the film :) on to Dune Messiah.

The beer must flow
As a kid on his own at 15, so broke I was stoked to have cold water in his fridge, Dune literally kept me going for the first several particularly difficult weeks. I got lost in the series. Loved the initial film only because of a certain fondness (incl. for Sean Young), otherwise hated it - but the books are inimitable.

I love author biographies. So, the Paris Review Interviews, always (over and over, which is what I'm doing now). I'm also very devoted to John Fowles, the greatest British author so few read, lol. "Conversations with John Fowles" is itself worth the read, for his massive and very catholic interests in the works of other authors. One could do worse than build a library just from his references themselves.

Re-reading Pincher Martin and The Inheritors, both by William Golding. Like Fowles, incredibly imaginative and principled writer.

Lot of re-reads I guess. Just finished a marvelous book my son got me on Winston Churchill during the war, The Splendid and the Vile. My view of history is very structural, meaning, I don't often give a lot of juice to the individual (rather, the individual marries the developments "underneath") but this book is a beautiful paean to leadership and the British peoples' sheer grit. With wonderful narrative filled with countless details of everyday life, the book brings home in such a gut-punch way just how hellish the Blitz was for the people of Britain. And how difficult it was to manage the uneasy relationship with FDR and this country, heavily isolationist until the last.

I've always liked the British folk, but this book really reminds me what a true leader joined to a great cause can do. Churchill was the man of the moment and Hitler seriously miscalculated the indomitable spirit of the Britons he thought "soft, democratic weaklings."

The Splendid Century, first read decades ago. Top of the pyramid-down look at life under Louis XIV**. Really into French history, particularly the inevitable destruction of the Bourbons and monarchy itself; re-reading Simon Schama's Citizens.

**If you like popular histories that read well and are interested in the ancient world and Levant, take a look at the books by Michael Grant. Great series.
 
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betarhoalphadelta

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This is light reading to break up the mounds of sci-fi anthologies I've been pounding the last couple of years.
Our local library has a digital relationship with a State-level library having Kindle-compatible lending and I had this one on reserve since May.
It finally came through this morning and odds are I'll be done with it tomorrow.
Can't...stop...reading it! :D

Cheers!
Just finished it. Enjoyed it.

Aww...As space spiders go, "Rocky" seemed pretty chill :D

So, word has it that Ryan Gosling will play Doctor Grace. I think that could work - especially at that 2/3rds point in the movie where we leaned Grace was less than "all in" on ending up on the ship. Agonizing over stuff is in Gosling's wheelhouse.

No word on who plays Rocky ;) I'm worried the CGI will be dicey and if they try to go low budget may simply not convince through all of the inevitable close-up interactions....

Cheers!
Gosling? I would expect someone older. But I guess based on the character's supposed she at the end of the book, maybe?
 
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