Forum Thread: Read any good books lately?

My last two books were non-fiction. The Decline and Fall of the Soviet Empire by Fred Coleman and The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada by Marci McDonald.

The Soviet Empire one covered the period from just after the rule of Stalin in 1953 to the time of Yeltsin in 1995 (I just had to go to wikipedia to see what happened after.) It was slow reading, partly because of a little bit repetitive writing style and partly because it wasn't strictly a sequential history all the way through. But the book was very complete and insightful and was well worth the effort for someone who can't stop asking why, like me. I'll do a blog post on it in the coming weeks.

Being Canadian, The Armageddon Factor was of some extra interest to me. I wanted some idea of what effect the rise of the Christian right may have in Canadian politics in the future and of course, why there is a rise in the first place. This book opened up a whole new path of pondering and new perspectives as a result of said pondering.

I would recommend either of these books. But I'm taking a break from non-fiction for a while and am currently into some relaxing fiction.

I'd love to hear what anyone else has read lately - light or heavy reading, doesn't matter.


14 Responses

I just read David McCullough's 1776. A bit dragging at times, but extremely informative.

A+ would read again

1776 does look interesting. I once read a biography of Benjamin Franklin by Ronald W. Clark which included Franklin's involvement in the war. 1776 looks like a good one for fill in some more details. I'll add it to my list.

I just finished reading The Fourth State of Matter - Plasma Dynamics & Tomorrow's Technology by Ben Bova. All about plasma: in the sun, throughout space, for use in magnetohydrodynamics for producing power, for use in space flight, and finally, its role in hot fusion (still 50 years away.) It was written back in 1971 so some of it is outdated, but still was a good read. Learned plenty.

Do podcast audiobooks count? I just recently started listening to audiobooks. It's a nice rest for the eyes after being glued to the computer most of the day. I think I'm getting spoiled. The first book I happened to choose is awesome if you like SciFi.  It's the 7th Son Trilogy by J.D. Hutchins. I just finished the first book. It's read by the author and he is amazing. He changes to the voice of each character.  The book is free and is available on Podiobooks here: 7th Son

It's also available in the Apple Store, free. Just search the author and you'll find it.

Here's a little description for the first book from podiobooks:

Three weeks ago, the U.S. president was murdered by a four-year-old boy.

Today, seven men stare at each other in a locked conference room. Kidnapped and brought to this underground facility, the strangers are sitting in silence, thunderstruck. Despite minor physical differences, they all appear to be the same man, with the same name ... and the same childhood memories.

Unwitting participants in a secret human cloning experiment, these seven "John Michael Smiths" have been gathered by their creators for one reason -- to capture the mastermind behind the president's assassination.

Their target? The man they were cloned from; the original John Michael Smith, code-named John Alpha.

Soon our heroes -- John, Jack, Michael, Kilroy2.0 and the others -- realize the president's murder was merely a prologue to Alpha's plans. As the mystery deepens and the implications of Alpha's scheme are slowly revealed, the clones decide to stand against John Alpha. The outcome will unearth a conspiracy larger than they could have ever imagined.

Descent is the first novel in J.C. Hutchins' 7th Son thriller trilogy.

@Prismistic, Yup, audio books are welcome (I just now changed this world's description to say that. Thanks!)

Regarding using audio books to give your eyes break, I see (:)) it a little differently. I find that reading the small writing of  paperback gives my eyes focusing exercise that a computer monitor just doesn't give me. So after reading on a monitor a lot during the day, I still deliberately read a book in the evening. Now, if my brain is tired then I just don't read at all. I guess that's where an audio book would come into play for me.

I hadn't thought of that, but computer and print do use different focusing muscles. 

I just finished The Peshawar Lancers by S.M. Stirling. The premise is that Earth was hit by a comet in the 1890s, which created immense social upheaval - most of the British Empire migrated to India to save themselves from famine, and the resulting culture is a fusion of Victorian British and traditional Indian. France made the same migration to Algeria, and Russia just kind of collectively went insane.

The plot is basically how to save a few members of the British Royal Family from an insane Russian assassin. It's pretty good, and I love the imagination that has gone into creating the setting and making the whole history believable.

Rachel, Wow, The Peshawar Lancers sounds good! I enjoy a good alternative history. Added to my list - and it's available at the local libraries. Thanks!

I've never read any of Isaac Asimov's stuff. I was never really into Sci Fi until I started reading the Star Wars Expanded Universe. Anyways, I thought I would give his stuff a read seeing how everyone is always saying how great his stuff is. So last week I picked up Pebble In The Sky. It was OK. I know it was his first book so I'll give his other stuff a read when I get a chance. I just picked up  Star Wars Allies by Christie Golden. So now Asimov is on hold.

Pebble in the Sky is also a part of his Galactic Empire series. He also wrote a Robot Series and the original three books of his Foundation series. Then he went back and wrote more books for his Foundation series that brought aspects of all three series neatly togther to make one long, but enjoyable epic series. I don't remember how many that added up to but until I did a recent clean-up I had them all. I hope you return to it.

Asimov's non-fiction science books are excellent. He was an amazingly talented writer.

Augh, you picked a less than ideal Asimov book to start with! When Asimov is writing about robots, he really comes into his own. I recommend trying one of his anthologies, or else picking up Caves of Steel. Even if you don't like science fiction, Caves of Steel is really just a 1950s pulp murder mystery where one of the detectives just happens to be a robot.

Caves of Steel it is. I'll pick it up next week and report back what I think. Thanks for the suggestion.

Just finished Red Star in Orbit by James Oberg. It's non-fiction, history of space flight in Russia prior to 1981, when it was published. It includes background on Sergei Korolev, the Russian equivalent of Werner von Braun, goes over many firsts such as the first satellite, Sputnik, first man in space, first woman in space, disasters such as the Nedelin catastrophe when a rocket exploded on the pad killing many, and successes leading to the first men to live in orbit for 6 months at a time in the Salyut 6 space station. This is one of the more authoritive/reliable books on the subject. I'd recommend it.

I have just read an incredible political thriller ebook. I was browsing around at and found this ebook called The Cain Sanction, I read the preview and a
few chapters. It really was a page turner can't put it down kind of book.
I didn't know how it ends until the last sentence of the last page.. great read!!

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