Introduction (General Book Club Discussion)

Discussion in 'TMB Book Club' started by Arkie Proud, May 2, 2012.

  1. rcragg82

    rcragg82 Well-Known Member

    Has anyone read Narconomics: How to run a Drug Cartel? http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25159062-narconomics

    I used to try to rotate fiction / non-fiction but haven't found a non-fiction book that has caught my interest in awhile. Gang Leader for a Day is one of my favorite books ever so I figured another drug economics book would be interesting. I haven't started and probably won't start for a couple weeks while I finish The Lies of Locke Lamora.
     
  2. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    You might like Gomorrah. It's written by an Italian journalist that embedded himself with Mafia family in Napoli during the 90s. IT was really good. They made a movie and TV show based on it. The TV show is amazing. Like the Italian Wire.
     
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  3. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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  4. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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  5. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I haven't read anything by him but I recognize the name. Someone I know reads his shit, just not sure who
     
  6. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
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    Picked this up from the library yesterday based on the positive reviews here and in the books we've read thread.
     
  7. Truman

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    Gang Leader for a Day is great. Everyone I know that read it has raved about it.
     
  8. Iron Mickey

    Iron Mickey is this thing on?
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    Heard rave reviews. I'm on sci-fi until the first day of fall and need to read a book per week to hit my reading challenge goal so this will get done. It's behind a little stack but a stack.
     
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  9. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    June suggestion

    The Son by Jo Nesbo

    The author of the internationally best-selling Harry Hole series now gives us an electrifying stand-alone novel set amid Oslo's hierarchy of corruption, from which one very unusual young man is about to propel himself into a mission of brutal revenge.

    Sonny Lofthus, in his early thirties, has been in prison for the last dozen years: serving time for crimes he didn't commit. In exchange, he gets an uninterrupted supply of heroin—and the unexpected stream of fellow prisoners seeking out his uncanny abilities to soothe and absolve. His addiction started when his father committed suicide rather than be exposed as a corrupt cop, and now Sonny is the center of a vortex of corruption: prison staff, police, lawyers, a desperate priest—all of them focused on keeping him stoned and jailed, and all of them under the thumb of Oslo's crime overlord, the Twin. When Sonny learns some long-hidden truths about his father he makes a brilliant escape, and begins hunting down the people responsible for the hideous crimes he's paid for. But he's also being hunted, by the Twin, the cops, and the only person who knows the ultimate truth that Sonny is seeking. The question is, what will he do when they've cornered him?
     
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  10. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
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    Well that sounds intriguing, I'm hooked

    Get it ... hooked...
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Another June suggestion. This is supposed to be pretty trippy

    All Your Wrong Today, by Elan Mastai

    You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.

    Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.

    But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405006-all-our-wrong-todays?ac=1&from_search=true
     
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  12. The Blackfish

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    Both sound good. I'll see if I can find a nomination and we can have a good ole fashioned vote

    where all 3 books will get 1 vote
     
  13. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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  14. The Blackfish

    The Blackfish The Fish in Black
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    During college, if I saw Accepted on TV, I dropped what I was doing and watched it.
     
  15. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Pshh I still do this
     
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  16. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    Soooooo....
     
  17. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Going to need someone to break the tie.
     
  18. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
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    My vote is The Son
     
  19. Truman

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  20. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    His novel Redshirts (which won a Hugo) might be a good book for a future month's nomination
     
  21. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    Ok... I'm on a memoir kick lately.

    I'd recommend this book for the book club: Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, by William Finnegan. Really enjoyed it. Another good one that was pretty similar to Heads in Beds, by Jacob Tomske was Waiter to the Rich and Shameless, by Paul Hartford. Highly recommend all 3 if you just want to be entertained. The surfing book was the most serious.

    Next up, The Wonder Trail, by Steve Hely.... After seeing the glowing reviews The Ridiculous Race received, and a trip to South America in the nearish future, I thought that would be a good bet.

    Also, I think it's time to jump on the Shogun bandwagon.
     
  22. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Since we don't seem decided I'll throw in The Handmaid's Tale. Show is damn good. Would like to check out the book too.
     
  23. Truman

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    What is ths about? Ive seen a lot about it. I think someone even asked me for it a few months ago.
     
  24. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Wiki sums it up pretty well:

    It's really good and obviously really interesting in the political climate we currently live in.
     
  25. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    That does sound good. Count a vote for me
     
  26. Gin Buckets

    Gin Buckets Well-Known Member
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    I'd read that eventually, but the queue is stacked atm.
     
  27. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I need to start a new book. Lets make a decision. Im saying it's Handmaiden's Tale. Speak now or forever hold your peace.
     
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  28. The Blackfish

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    I'm good with that
     
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  29. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    Sounds like a plan.
     
  30. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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  31. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    I too am gonna check out "Gang Leader for a Day" now.

    Is this the thread for general book discussion?
     
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  32. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    This thread + the books read in 2017.
     
  33. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    K, I went general in there this afternoon but didn't want to take the thread off track. I like the idea of a general book discussion thread though.

    Also, one of these days I'm gonna get around to starting the "post your book collection" thread where we can post pics of our shelves or cool books we own or w/e
     
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  34. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    It's outstanding
     
  35. Oshie

    Oshie single dad no kids
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    Just finished it yesterday. I enjoyed the writing style and how "honest" he appeared in his writing (admitting faults, bias, etc and mistakes)
     
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  36. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    Down for this idea.
     
  37. Truman

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    Here's my book shelf

    [​IMG]
     
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  38. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    :awshucks:
     
  39. Truman

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    Any suggestions for July?

    I dont have much. Perhaps we go back to a classic? These have been on my to-read list for a while

    - Uncle Toms Cabin
    -On the Road
    - The Jungle
    -The Prince
    - In Cold Blood

    Also Critchon is always a good read. Girl on the Train was well received here. Give Hawkins another shot? :idk:

    DRAGON TEETH
    by Michael Crichton
    A paleontological rivalry plays out in 1870s Wyoming

    INTO THE WATER
    by Paula Hawkins
    In this psychological thriller by the author of “The Girl on the Train,” women are found drowned in a river in an English town.
     
  40. TC

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    I'd be down for "in cold blood". It's supposed to be really good

    I've read uncle toms cabin, on the road and the jungle. Jungle was my fav of the 3. You live in Chicago right? It definitely gets into some of the history of the city
     
  41. RegimentML

    RegimentML Well-Known Member
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    I've read In Cold Blood already but it's excellent so I would enjoy reading thoughts on it.
     
  42. TC

    TC Nice fucking jeans dude
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    I've never read a book by Pahalinuk or Cormac McCarthy. Been wanting to fw one of them
     
  43. TC

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    Also Dostoyevsky
     
  44. Teflon Queen

    Teflon Queen The mentally ill sit perfectly still
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    In Cold Blood is one of the best American books ever. Also might I suggest Graham Greene because it doesn't seem like many here have read him.
     
  45. Truman

    Truman Well-Known Member
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    I do live in Chicago. I read The Jungle in HS. Uncle Tom's Cabin too, just want to re-read them again as an adult with difference perspectives.

    Reading 1984 right after the election was a doozy.
     
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  46. TC

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    I am too scared to reread 1984 rn tbh. There's not enough separating us from that becoming reality for me to feel comfortable. Facial recognition technology, drones etc freak me out
     
  47. LKRFN88jp

    LKRFN88jp Aces!
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    In Cold Blood would be interesting.
     
  48. TC

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    Just ran across a book I'm adding to my to-read list via an Atlantic article, "Everybody Lies." It's about the secrets you can learn about people from looking at google search data; sounds really interesting

    (NSFWish pic in spoiler)

    Our Searches, Ourselves
    Google reveals the truth about people’s romantic insecurities.

    [​IMG]
    Edgard Garrido / Reuters



    Perhaps the aphorism should be changed to “In Google, veritas.” Where do people go with their most intimate worries, thoughts, and fears? Not the nearest water cooler or humblebrag app. More likely, they’ll seek comfort in the relative privacy of a search box.

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a former data scientist at Google, used his data-analysis skills to learn what was really on Americans’ minds. The result, a new book called Everybody Lies, shows how the terms and questions people type into search engines don’t at all match what they claim on surveys.

    “So for example,” he told me recently, “there have historically been more searches for porn than for weather.” But just 25 percent of men and 8 percent of women will admit to survey researchers that they watch porn.

    In addition to Google, some of his research comes from tape-recorder (rather than self-report) studies, which can provide a similar truth-serum effect.

    I recently spoke with Stephens-Davidowitz about some of the most surprising findings from his book, which spans data on gender norms, prejudice, and romance. We focused on the search data about sex and relationships, because who are we kidding. An edited version of our conversation follows:
    Olga Khazan: Speaking of porn, I was wondering if you could talk about pornography featuring violence against women. What's surprising about who looks for that, and what might that tell us?

    Seth Stephens-Davidowitz: It’s a big theme of pornography, but I think the somewhat surprising thing is that it’s far more popular among women than men. It’s one of the most popular genres of pornography for women. Just about every search that is looking for violent porn is roughly twice as common among women than men.

    Of course the danger is that somehow people will hear this and they’ll think that somehow this makes rape a less horrific crime, which it doesn’t. It’s just a fantasy, of course it doesn’t mean that they want that in real life.

    Khazan: To me that suggested that there’s a really big distinction between fantasy life and real life, as far as people's sexual desires.

    Stephens-Davidowitz: Well it’s kind of similar also to horror movies, which are also [popular] among women. I don't think women want to be kidnapped in real life, but many women enjoy watching movies featuring kidnappings.

    Women also search for a lot of lesbian porn, even women who do not consider themselves lesbians.

    Khazan: So let’s say you stop watching porn and actually go on a date with someone. How can a man tell if a woman is interested in him, and vice-versa?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: This is a study where researchers gave tape recorders to men and women, heterosexual men and women, who are on speed dates. Then they measured whether the men and women wanted to go on a second date. Then they said: What words do men and women use on first dates that suggest that they want to go on a second date, or that can improve the chances that a partner wants to go on a second date?

    For the women, a woman frequently signals interest by talking about herself using the word “I” a lot. A man signals interest by talking in a deep monotone voice. A woman signals disinterest by using hedge words, such as “sort of,” “kind of,” or “probably.” A man can increase the odds of a woman wanting a second date by laughing at her jokes or showing support, such as saying “that must have been difficult” or “that sounds tough.”

    Of course that's not rocket science, but I think a lot of men probably still need to read it. A woman can increase the odds of a man wanting a second date by talking about herself a lot, by using the word “I.” That kind of goes against conventional wisdom. I think a lot of women think that they shouldn't talk too much about themselves. But, men seem to like when a woman opens up on a first date.

    Khazan: Alright, and once they’ve been dating a while … what's the number one search complaint about boyfriends?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: That my boyfriend won't have sex with me.

    Khazan: You said that's more common than “my girlfriend won't have sex with me,” right?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: Yeah, it's about twice as common. That doesn't mean that twice as many boyfriends are refusing sex, relative to girlfriends. It may be that when a boyfriend doesn't want sex, women are more likely to turn to Google, because it's more surprising. Because men in popular culture are supposed to want sex all the time. But, I think this data does show that men avoiding sex is probably more common than is traditionally thought.

    Khazan: Why are they so reluctant to have sex? What are men's biggest insecurities about their bodies?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: Men tend to be insecure about the size of their penises. It definitely wasn't too surprising. It was surprising the degree of it. I estimate that men ask more questions about their penis than any other body part. Men's top concern about the aging process is not their blood pressure, cholesterol, or potential memory problems. It's whether their penis is getting smaller.

    Women don't usually search about their partner's penis. When they do, they're about as likely to complain that it's too big and hurts as that it's too small.

    Khazan: Do men start worrying about actual health issues as they get older, or is that pretty consistent?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: We don't know exactly. You don't know the age of a searcher for sure.

    Khazan: Okay, what about women? What are they concerned about?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: I think the main insecurity, and this did surprise me, I didn’t know about it at all, was vaginal odor. That takes up a good percentage of women's questions about their genitals. I think there's a lot of value in knowing this information because this isn't really talked about in most sex ed classes, but there clearly is a fairly widespread paranoia among many women, particularly younger women, around odors.

    So it clearly is something that should be talked about. What's normal and what’s maybe a cause for concern? It's a big issue that we didn't know about, because it's a little hush hush because it's embarrassing to a lot of people. But because people tell Google everything, now we know how widespread this insecurity is.

    Khazan: And do men search for, "I don't like the way my girlfriend's vagina smells"?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: Yeah, they do. This is kind of humorous, they're concerned that it smells like condoms or another man’s semen. Because [that, in their minds, means] she may be cheating on them.

    Khazan: Despite all this insecurity and worries about smells, how often do people actually have sex? What's the disparity between how much they say they have sex and how much they actually do?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: They have a lot less sex than they say they do. The way I studied this is I looked at condom data. The General Social Survey asks people how frequently they have sex, whether it's heterosexual or homosexual sex, and whether they use a condom. You do the math. Heterosexual women say they use 1.1 billion condoms every year in heterosexual sex. Men say they use 1.6 billion condoms in heterosexual sex, but you know that someone's lying. So who’s lying?

    Only 600 million condoms are sold every year in the United States. Some of them [are used by] gay men and some of them thrown out. They're exaggerating how frequently they use a condom. This doesn't mean that they are lying about how frequently they have sex. They may just be lying about how frequently they use protection when they do have sex, but if you look at how frequently American women of fertility age say they have sex without using any contraception, if they really were having that much unprotected sex, there would be more pregnancies every year in the United States. I think everybody in surveys exaggerates how frequently they have sex, because in today's culture there is a lot of pressure to have a lot of sex and to not admit if you're having not that much sex. For both men and women, there is a pressure to exaggerate.

    Khazan: Another thing that I thought was interesting was that “Is my husband gay?” is a more popular search term than “Is my husband cheating?” Why is that?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: “Is my husband gay?” is most common in states where it's hard to be gay, states like South Carolina and Mississippi and Tennessee. I think some of the husbands are gay in those states. Also, the percentage of porn searches that are for gay porn is much higher in these states than the percentage of men who say they’re gay.

    So I think it is true that in [places like] Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee, there is a risk of men being gay. That said, I think that women are probably a little too concerned that their husband may be gay. I think there are 10 times more searches for “Is my husband gay?” than “Is my husband depressed?” But, there are a lot more depressed men married to women than gay men married to women.

    I think it goes back to how there's not that much sex happening in the United States and there are a lot of sexless marriages. It may be that many women in a sexless marriage, their first thought is, “Oh he must be gay.” Which probably isn't usually the case. There are lots of other reasons a man might not want to have sex.

    Khazan: It’s a little conceited of us. “Oh, he must be gay.”

    Stephens-Davidowitz: Yeah, well, I probably do the same thing. Anytime a woman rejects me, I'm just like, “She's a lesbian.” Which is not really true probably, but I think it's a little bit of a defense mechanism.

    It's kind of a weird contrast. On the one hand you see this enormous insecurity online—an almost needless insecurity. But then you have the “Is my husband gay?” as soon as he doesn't want sex. Which is a defense mechanism.

    Khazan: Did you have any takeaways or big insights about Americans’ personal lives that struck you when you were done researching this?

    Stephens-Davidowitz: I think there's two. One is depressing and kind of horrifying. The book is called Everybody Lies, and I start the book with racism and how people were saying to surveys that they didn't care that Barack Obama was black. But at the same time they were making horrible racist searches, and very clearly the data shows that many Americans were not voting for Obama precisely because he was black.

    I started the book with that, because that is the ultimate lie. You might be saying that you don't care that [someone is black or a woman], but that really is driving your behavior. People can say one thing and do something totally different. You see the darkness that is often hidden from polite society. That made me feel kind of worse about the world a little bit. It was a little bit frightening and horrifying.

    But, I think the second thing that you see is a widespread insecurity, and that made me feel a little bit better. I think people put on a front, whether it's to friends or on social media, of having things together and being sure of themselves and confident and polished. But we're all anxious. We’re all neurotic.

    That made me feel less alone, and it also made me more compassionate to people. I now assume that people are going through some sort of struggle, even if you wouldn't know that from their Facebook posts.

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/06/our-searches-our-selves/529740/

    Fun fact, women google "is my husband gay?" more than "is my husband cheating." They also worry about a smelly vag a lot
     
  49. CBH

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    I would read any of In Cold Blood, Uncle Toms Cabin or The Jungle next month. Currently have 4 books I'm trying to finish by the end of this month, but should be able to start fresh at the beginning of next month