Off topic: Read anything good lately?

By Nick1962 Latest Reply 2013-04-14 19:41:49 -0500
Started 2012-10-29 11:09:39 -0500

We’ve done this before, but there are a bunch of new folks here so I thought it might be fun to bring it up again just as a distraction for a while.

I like to read – didn’t always, but over the last few years I often find myself with two books going at once. On the recommendation of someone here, I recently finished Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium Trilogy” (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, “The Girl Who Played With Fire”, and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”) and I have to say it was probably one of the best things I’ve read. The way the story unfolds across the three books really makes it hard to put down. Now, there is sex and violence in it, so I won’t recommend it to those who would be offended by such (I’ll rate the book “R”), but if you can look past that, I think it’s a great read. I did also watch the whole 9 hour extended version of the movie (subtitled) and will definitely say don’t bother.

I also read a lot of “series” authors like Randy Wayne White (Doc Ford novels), John Sanford (the “Prey” series), and most recently started in on the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child.

How about you? Read anything good lately?

Tags: off topic

137 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2013-04-14 19:41:49 -0500 Report

Been ready Genealogies. Google and have oodles for free.
Learning lots about my family's past. Among many intersting disoveries, learned I am descended from one of the victims of the infamous Salem Witch Trials.
So, I also read "The Heretic's Daughter" and "The Traitor's Wife" by Kathleen Kent a very distant cousin of mine, through Martha Allen Carrier and Thomas Carrier.

BellaJ1977 2013-04-14 19:28:07 -0500 Report

Right now I am into reading anything Jane Austen wrote. I like all her books but will always be partial to Pride and Prejudice. In my mind what she writes still applies to love, friendships, and relationships today. I think we can learn from the past as much as we can learn from the present. I am a huge history buff to so I read a lot of biographical books and Old world history. With the state of the world today we can learn a few things from our past predecessors.

old biker
old biker 2013-04-14 09:21:09 -0500 Report

I have a feeling if you liked Stieg Larssson you will like the writing of Norwegian crime author Jo Nesbo. I have read all his Harry Hole serries and all were top notch. Presently reading Headhunters by Jo Nesbo

Nick1962 2013-04-14 18:20:37 -0500 Report

Yeah, on the recomendations of someone here I've been reading Nesbo. Finished The Leopard about a month ago and will be heading to the used book store next weekend to pick up another pile. You might like Roslund & Hellstrom's
"Three Seconds" too

Tony5657 2013-04-14 09:07:17 -0500 Report

Sorry, I don't read fiction, not that I'm condemning it. This book will help you with real life. I had already learned some of Dr. Phil's tactics, was using them and they work. But he had some extras, some bonuses that I hadn't thought about. Give this book a chance. It's certainly not boring. It can be life changing.

A new book by Dr. Phil, the TV psychologist that's right on target.

Life Code - Dr. Phil McGraw
The new rules for winning in the real world. The following is from his book jacket. Please forgive typos, if any.

"Much of the conventional wisdom the last generation has passed on just doesn't apply like it once did. If you want to win, and win big, and, more importantly, KEEP what you work so hard for, you need a crystal-clear view of how the REAL WORLD works - NOT how you WISH it worked BUT how it actually works.

In this day & time, it's simply not enough to keep your head down, work hard, put in your time and expect a reward at the end, because that "end" may never arrive. Playing big is dramatically different from playing long, because plodders, even reliable & competent ones, seldom win big.

Dr. Phil abandons the traditional thinking & tells you the ugly truth about the users, abusers & overall "bad guys" we all have in our lives. He also reveals the secrets of how they win and how they get to and exploit you and those you love. You'll gain incredible insight into these negative people. You'll gain the tools to PROTECT YOURSELF from their assaults."

This is a very entertaining but at the same time, serious and informative book that can and will change your life, if you give it a chance. But, like changing your lifestyle in defeating diabetes, it requires discipline, courage, stamina and good old common sense.

I found it at for $18.69, shipping included

AND as usual I have no financial interest whatsoever in this. I just like sharing what has helped me.

Tony5657 in New Branufels, TX

Nick1962 2013-04-14 18:27:28 -0500 Report

For me it depends on the fiction. If it has the possibility of being somewhat true, I can get into it. There are what seem to be some pretty far fetched murder mysteries out there, but when you consider the likes of people like Jeffery Dahmer, the line of fiction and reality quickly becomes a blur.
I took in a lot of the self help/awarness stuff like McGraw's when i went into management training. It has helped me learn how to deal with people very well, and of course the ones i need to steer clear of.
I do real non-fiction as well. One of my favorites was Peter Watson:
The Medici Conspiracy: the Illicit Journey of Looted Antiquities—From Italy's Tomb Raiders to the World's Greatest Museums. Now that story is one many people believe is fiction.

jayabee52 2013-04-14 15:46:26 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing Tony! I am more like you in your choice of reading. I will read fiction but very rarely. But as I posted on Nov 23 I often cannot suspend my disbelief enough to get into fictional stories.

jayabee52 2012-11-23 19:51:53 -0600 Report

I just this afternoon read "The Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons." by F Scott Fitzgerald. Not a great read because I couldn't get past some rather nagging realities. I couldn't suspend my disbelief.

Sue had selected it to read and couldn't get her mind off of Scrabble, so I read it while she played Scrabble online in the library.

Nick1962 2012-11-24 15:52:51 -0600 Report

Thats one of the reasons I just don't like most fiction. There is a fine line between fiction and fantasy (well, maybe not), and at some point there is justy that one little reality that gets broken that makes me believe reading further is just a waste of time. Probably why I'm not a movie fan either.
Now, if there is a kernal of plausibilty to the story, like in Stephen Baxter's "Flood" and "Ark", I can get behind it some.

Type1Lou 2012-11-23 18:04:59 -0600 Report

When I previously responded here, I forgot to mention Jasper Fforde. I love his Tuesday Next series that begins with "The Eyre Affair". I guess you'd categorize him in the sci-fi fantasy genre but he draws a good many of his characters from great literature classics (e.g. Hamlet and Miss Havisham) Fforde is a bit wacko (ok, A LOT wacko) but he's another author on my must-read list and I can't wait for another to be published.

Safari4 2012-11-23 05:50:09 -0600 Report

Thanksgiving is very light reading time for me. I'm reading the newest in the Stephanie Plum series-"Notorious Nineteen". She makes me laugh with her crazy escapades as a Bounty Hunter in New Jersey.

Type1Lou 2012-11-23 17:59:06 -0600 Report

I love Janet Evanovich and still think the funniest one was "Two for the Dough". She makes me laugh out loud. Gotta love Grandma Masur!

Nick1962 2012-11-23 07:52:18 -0600 Report

That's probably more my wife's reading. I take it Evanovich's stuff is available for e-readers right?

Safari4 2012-11-23 05:45:27 -0600 Report

The newest set is dubbed…easier than subtitles and very good. I hope Daniel Craig is working on the next one. I loved the first one with him.

GabbyPA 2012-11-19 08:39:23 -0600 Report

I am finishing up my latest book and will be reading "Guns of the Palmetto Plains" by Rick Tonyan. I met him at a Florida History Jamboree and am looking forward to reading it. Great guy, down to earth. He was camping at the jamboree in a lean-to, and had his camp fire going. He is a living history book and while this story is fiction, many historical facts are woven into it.

Nick1962 2012-11-19 09:26:43 -0600 Report

Sounded interesting so I looked it up. Seems a lot like Wayne Caldwell’s “Cataloochee” which is more of a post-civil war drama of several generations of families and how their part of Appalachia finally became the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. I’ve spent time in the area the book outlines. Y’all might want to take a road trip and camp out up there some day.

GabbyPA 2012-11-20 17:43:01 -0600 Report

Yes I would. Have tent will travel!

I am sometimes more interested by the authors than their books. I like to write myself and when I found Logan Pearsall Smith's "All Trivia" I thought I had found a book I had written in another lifetime. He and I share the same propensity to take the mundane and find the extraordinary in it.The book is 40 years older than I am, but it's like we share the same space. It is uncanny.

Nick1962 2012-11-21 09:33:50 -0600 Report

Well, let me know if you do, I have a friend in the area that teaches fly fishing courses for a local outfitter. A lot of the historic buildings still stand and are reasonably handicapped accessible also. You can still ring the bell in Palmer Chapel.

I’ve read bits of LPS (and should probably read more), but the one quip I took away and still have in memory is “How many of our daydreams would darken into nightmares, were there a danger of their coming true!” I always thought I had a book in me as well, and what comes to mind is something very similar.

GabbyPA 2012-11-21 18:06:39 -0600 Report

Wow, I was shocked that anyone even knew about him.

I have had a story published in a Christmas book along side Emily Dickinson and such. I have not written much of late. My muse seems to be on vacation, but it is still in me. I couldn't write a whole novel, I don't have an attention span for that. That is why I like the style of LPS. I really would like to do a coffee table book of my photos and prose. One day (as long as my daydream doesn't turn into a nightmare)

Nick1962 2012-11-21 19:14:26 -0600 Report

I had to take a lit course in college and we were strongly encouraged to read “alternative” authors for a better grade since folks like Kurt Vonnegut, Douglas Adams, Hunter Thompson, Salinger, and Stone had been so overdone it was way too easy to critique them. Probobly why I stay away from most mainstream stuff now. My step-kid has a masters in English lit, so the name has come up before. For Christmas last year we got her an antique edition of Chaucer’s “A Miller’s Tale”. Chaucer was kind of “risqué” I must say.
That’s pretty cool that you’ve had something published. I’ve only had recipes published. I’m with you, I couldn’t develop a whole novel either. I have a bunch of ideas that will eventually make up a book, but it would just be random chapters of life strung together, and how it all ends. You know, the pain and lessons of an overweight kid (being funny and warm got me further with women than looks), the experience of divorce, and the boring bits in between that drive you crazy. It’s not my time yet, but I have a notebook full of stuff (now if I could only remember what some of those notes meant).
I think right now that daydream might just make it a nightmare.

GabbyPA 2012-11-23 07:56:39 -0600 Report

LOL, but life does sell well. People want to see what others are dealing with. Soot, we write a book here every day. Some of it is not titillating, but it can get fiery at times.

Nick1962 2012-11-23 10:59:40 -0600 Report

Yes, we certainly have our dramas here. One random chapter of mine should simply be titled “Spots”.
I recently discovered after touching up some paint I nicked, that I must not be cleaning my finger off after I test. I’m finding tiny blood spots all over the place, and it’s driving me crazy. I thought I had been because I went to work with tiny spots on my shirts and that bugged me to no end, but i guess I'm not dilligent enough. Life irritations only a diabetic would understand.

GabbyPA 2012-11-26 15:59:55 -0600 Report

Oh my, that is so true. Another one would "Strange Homes for Used Strips" I find them in the darnedest places sometimes.

classof78 2012-11-03 21:11:41 -0500 Report

I enjoy a variety-mysteries (Dee Henderson, Terri Blackstock), historical fiction,( Gilbert Morris) plain old fiction (Karen Kingsbury) and biography. In the last group I highly recommend some 9-11 related books- Refined by Fire by LTC Robert Birdwell-he was in the Pentagon when it was hit, A Table in the Presence- The author's last name is Cash-he was a chaplain with the 1st group of Marines to go into Bagdahd, Let's Roll by Lisa Beamer-her husband was on flight 93.
I also enjoyed Return with Honor bu Scott O'Grady-he was shot down over Bosnia in 95. The media made a big deal about him surviving by eating bugs-read it and see what really happened.
This is only a very short list of recommendations-I'm our church librarian, and try to read them all first. There are a lot of very good books I left out.

Jake Levinthal
Jake Levinthal 2012-11-02 14:19:33 -0500 Report

Hi All,

I haven't read a book, but I did come across an interesting article about HealthTap the other day. HealthTap is a website that allows users to ask health-related questions to a network of doctors and get answers publicly or privately.

I hope someone finds this helpful.

Here is a link to the article:

Type1Lou 2012-11-01 17:45:39 -0500 Report

If you liked Steig Larsson (and I loved his Millenium trilogy), you should try Jo Nesbo. He's a Norwegian crime fiction writer. I'm currently working my way through the Harry Hole series of novels. Henning Mankell's books (another Scandinavian) with policeman, Kurt Wallender, are also very good. I love John Sanford, Lee Child and Jeffrey Deaver…also all in the crime fiction genre. I'm also a fantasy/sci-fi devotee and just finished Jim Butcher's two series (Harry Dresden and Codex Alera) and can't wait til Laurell K. Hamilton publishes the next Anita Blake story…so many books…so little time! I listen to books on CD while in the car too.

Lizardfan 2012-11-03 17:04:09 -0500 Report

Read every Jo Nesbo book! He has two new ones but haven't read them yet, The Bat and can't recall the other one. Love Henning Mankell too, have also read all of those. Will check out Jeffrey Deaver on your recommendation. Thanks! Loved The Phanthom by Nesbo!

Type1Lou 2012-11-23 18:09:14 -0600 Report

I just finished "The Phantom" and was so sorry to see how it ended. I downloaded "The Bat" which, chronologically would be the first Harry Hole adventure and will get to it as soon as I finish an old (1997) Ian Rankin book , "Black and Blue".

Type1Lou 2012-11-03 18:05:44 -0500 Report

Try the Jeffrey Deaver books with Lincoln Rhyme as his detective/forensic analyst. There are quite a few of those. Deaver also has written others but the Lincoln Rhyme series is my favorite.

watson4042 2012-11-03 11:20:48 -0500 Report

i'm a big fan of the anita blake series also. give kim harrison a try she has a great series. i also read a series about a demon hunter named rachel and her pixie sidekick named jinx, unfortunately i can't remember the authors name. right now i'm reading the series by diana gabaldon "outlander", it's about time travel and very riveting.

Type1Lou 2012-11-03 18:07:01 -0500 Report

I read Gabaldon's series and loved those books too…plus it incorporated a good bit of history, both in Scotland and later in the US.

Nick1962 2012-11-01 17:50:15 -0500 Report

Ooooh goody. Some more like Stieg larsson. I've been wanting to find that. Actually, this discussion was really me being lazy. Now I don't have to research when I order books this weekend.

phoenix20 2012-11-01 16:01:17 -0500 Report

I read the Stieg Larsson's books also and really like them. Also Lee Child. I like most all thriller and also true crime books.

Tony5657 2012-10-31 07:07:15 -0500 Report

I'm enjoying the biography of E. L. Pond - "One-Armed Cowboy." He lost his right arm at age 16 in a shotgun accident that blew it off. I knew E. L. and he was one amazing character who overcame enormous odds to become a top cowboy, a ranch manager (foreman) of some huge multi-thousand acre ranches, and later, a rancher for himself. I frequently visited one ranch where he was foreman and he sure could tell interesting, true stories. He grew up in the Carrizo Springs, TX area, my home town. At the prodding of friends, he dictated 2 books worth of his personal experiences in "One-Armed Cowboy" and a Volume II, same title. The text was typed just as ol' E. L. talked (dictated) - some bad grammar, words spelled like an ol' Texas boy talked & true story after true story of him overcoming huge odds. Pond’s life will inspire others with disabilities. It is a testament that a disability is not a hurdle to living life to the fullest.

I’m amazed at all that E. L. accomplished during his life. He did everything the other cowboys did and did it better than most. He broke wild horses and roped wild cattle in the thorny South Texas brush country while holding the bridle reins in his teeth. E. L.’s life is an inspiration to everyone, especially those with a handicap. You don’t have to be a cowboy to enjoy his fascinating books.

If you’re interested, I have a friend who can send you one or both of E. L.’s books at a better price than Alibris offers. Become my “friend” & so we can exchange email addresses & I’ll send you the contact information. AND I have absolutely no financial interest in this. I just enjoy sharing what has helped me.

granniesophie 2012-10-30 17:06:09 -0500 Report

I'm reading Game Of Thrones. There are 3 books in the series Fire and Ice. It's a slow read, but good. I am a huge fan of the show on HBO-that's why I pay extra to have HBO!!

Lizardfan 2012-10-30 19:40:07 -0500 Report

I tried to read those but had trouble keeping up with who was whom and finally gave up. I do want to see the HBO series! So many characters!

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-10-30 16:19:42 -0500 Report

Re read 'Oak Openings', by James Fenimore Cooper. Read it in 8th grade. Set in 1812. Politics haven't changed much over the years based on Cooper's take.

Nick1962 2012-10-30 17:40:23 -0500 Report

Forgot about that one (but i was in high school when I read it). My junior year in college (first go around) we took a canoing trip on the same path the did from Lake Huron, down the Detroit river, through Lake St. Claire and into Lake Erie.

janet ann
janet ann 2012-10-30 13:55:55 -0500 Report

I like reading Matthew Reilly, Clive Cussler & James Rollins for some escaping into adventure but i also love Jane Austin & some Dickens. I loved the Hobbit & have just re-read The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Type1Lou 2012-11-01 17:48:05 -0500 Report

Agree…I love Cussler and Rollins. Jack DuBrul also writes similar stuff and co-authored with Cussler as well. John Nance writes great aviation fiction.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-30 14:03:48 -0500 Report

I read that series back in the late 70's and loved them. Have not watched the movies. Someone gave me a stack of Clive Cussler books and I gave them to a friend who is an avid fan for his collection

tabby9146 2012-10-30 09:04:19 -0500 Report

some of my favorite authors are Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, and Debbie MaComber just to name a few. Love to read! go to the library every couple of weeks or so. Recently read The Hobbit, very good book. Can't wait to see the movie in Dec.

tabby9146 2012-11-03 14:12:35 -0500 Report

I love the classics, I love the Jane Austen books. I love Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, so many.

tabby9146 2012-11-03 14:12:35 -0500 Report

I love the classics, I love the Jane Austen books. I love Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, so many.

Lizardfan 2012-10-30 09:00:24 -0500 Report

I just read Jo Nesbo's latest The Phantom, very good. I also loved a book by Harry Bingham called Talking to the Dead, wow was that one really good and a different take on detectives let's just say. Then I read A Wanted Man by Lee Child a Jack Reacher story. I am reading all the Reacher books to get ready for the Tom Cruise movie coming out @ the holidays! Reading The Killing Floor, by Lee Child started that one last night. Love to see what all you are reading! Forgot to say I read John Sanford Shock Wave too! Love John Sanford!!

Type1Lou 2012-11-01 17:53:23 -0500 Report

I just don't see Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher.. Jack Reacher is supposed to be a BIG 6 foot+ guy, no? .I just finished A Wanted Man and have read through the Jack Reacher series. I'm currently working my way through Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole books and just started The Leopard. I also love James Lee Burke series with Dave Robichaux.

Nick1962 2012-11-01 18:39:48 -0500 Report

I'm with you there - Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher? No way! Reacher is 6'3. I could see someone like Patrick Warburton but not Cruise. Just finished Child's "Worth Dying For" and there is no way Cruise could fill the role in that book.

Lizardfan 2012-11-03 17:06:33 -0500 Report

I felt the same way about casting Cruise as Reacher. The previews look good but we shall see. It premieres Christmas week!

Nick1962 2012-10-30 09:32:34 -0500 Report

Funny, I just finished Shock Wave too! Darn shame about Virgil's boat!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-30 14:09:22 -0500 Report

Nick have you ever read Ludlum. I read the Bourne books until Ludlum died. I also read some of Ken Follet and John Nance. I went through and espionage phase. I also read all of the Jurassic Park books. Loved them.

Nick1962 2012-10-30 14:33:10 -0500 Report

I did read one Ludlum. For some reason I just can't get into him or many of the "mainstream" authors.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-30 15:10:17 -0500 Report

I actually bought the Bourne Identity in a store for 99 cents years ago and started reading it. I also am not a always a reader of mainstream authors.

Nick1962 2012-10-30 15:25:59 -0500 Report

If you can tolerat some religous parody (not blasphemy) Christopher Moore's "Lamb - The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's childood pal" was pretty funny

Type1Lou 2012-11-01 17:56:21 -0500 Report

I just finished istening to Christopher Moore's "Sacre Bleu"…the guy is absolutely outageous…I love his irreverance…he's truly hard to describe.

Nick1962 2012-11-01 18:44:30 -0500 Report

Moore's "Fool" is outrageous if your into him. It's his twist on King Lear. OK, it's dirtier than most of his too, so be warned.

Type1Lou 2012-11-02 14:41:40 -0500 Report

I'll have to check that one out. I had also previously read "Lamb"…Moore's books make me laugh out loud, which is a good thing. Carl Hiaasen is another "laugh out loud" author and I want to read any new book he publishes.

Nick1962 2012-11-02 14:52:02 -0500 Report

Ohh yeah, read Hiaasen myself as well. It dawns on my that if we're all reading the same thing, why couldn't we do a book exchange? I was once part of one where you agreed to pay shipping to the person who wanted it, as long as the person you wanted one from paid shipping to you.

Type1Lou 2012-11-03 18:14:59 -0500 Report

It's a good idea but I'm a big public library devotee and borrow most of my books there. Those I can't get at the library, I can usually download from (The Ultimate E-Book Library) for free…although I do prefer an old-fashioned paper book to reading an e-book…except when travelling when e-books allow me to carry quite a few books in very little space. One of my greatest fears with having diabetes is losing my eyesight…incentive to keep those BG's under good control!

Nick1962 2012-11-03 18:23:16 -0500 Report

My wife has already lost one e-reader, so that's kind of prevented me from getting one. Our libraries here locally are pretty thin, but we have a great used bookstore where I can take the ones I ordered on-line and sell them to them for cash or store credit which is generally about 20% more than cash. Even though I've bought books, I don't think in the long run I've actually "paid" for one in over 3 years with all I've traded in, and I still have over $50 in store credit.

Nick1962 2012-11-01 11:05:06 -0500 Report

Well that is certainly true, and why I prefaced it with my comment. This is probably one of Moore's better works, and I appreciated it because he did not attempt to attack, lampoon or make light of religion in any way. He merely made some light hearted "speculations" of what those missing undocumented years consisted of. Again, not for everyone, but it was interesting in it's treatment and did have some factual biblical reference.