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Thread: Books We Read/Listen To

  1. #91
    The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

    An excellent book about the modern presidents club somewhat officially started by Hoover and Truman when Eisenhower was inaugurated. Previous to that, Truman had enlisted Hoover's help in feeding Europe after World War II and then in reorganizing the executive branch; in the process, Hoover was rehabilitated. The two former presidents became friends as Truman and Ike began a decade long feud that only began to heal on the day of JFK's funeral when, after the services, Truman invited Ike to have a drink with him. The only person who can understand what it means to be president is someone else who has held the same office, and often former presidents are a help to sitting presidents, but at other times they can be an enemy. JFK thought his youth and vitality could be an advantage over Ike's decades of experience, but this led to disaster at the Bay of Pigs, and a humbled president turned to his predecessor for help, and later LBJ often sought help from the old general. Nixon would conspire with and then betray LBJ in 1968, which helped lead to Watergate in 1972. Another aspect of this book also involves dealings between future presidents, such as between Nixon and Reagan during the latter's 1966 gubernatorial campaign.

    I enjoy books like these because they shed light on events usually seen in more partisan half light, reinforcing the point that things are rarely the way they seem at the time.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  2. #92
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by USS Utah View Post
    The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy

    An excellent book about the modern presidents club somewhat officially started by Hoover and Truman when Eisenhower was inaugurated. Previous to that, Truman had enlisted Hoover's help in feeding Europe after World War II and then in reorganizing the executive branch; in the process, Hoover was rehabilitated. The two former presidents became friends as Truman and Ike began a decade long feud that only began to heal on the day of JFK's funeral when, after the services, Truman invited Ike to have a drink with him. The only person who can understand what it means to be president is someone else who has held the same office, and often former presidents are a help to sitting presidents, but at other times they can be an enemy. JFK thought his youth and vitality could be an advantage over Ike's decades of experience, but this led to disaster at the Bay of Pigs, and a humbled president turned to his predecessor for help, and later LBJ often sought help from the old general. Nixon would conspire with and then betray LBJ in 1968, which helped lead to Watergate in 1972. Another aspect of this book also involves dealings between future presidents, such as between Nixon and Reagan during the latter's 1966 gubernatorial campaign.

    I enjoy books like these because they shed light on events usually seen in more partisan half light, reinforcing the point that things are rarely the way they seem at the time.
    Thanks, that one sounds interesting. I'll probably download to my Kindle.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  3. #93
    The Day of Battle: The War in Sicily and Italy, 1943-1944 by Rick Atkinson

    The second volume of the author's Liberation Trilogy focuses on the Italian campaign, the personalities, the battles and the trajedy of war. Fantastic.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  4. #94
    The Man from the Broken Hills by Louis L'Amour

    Took this with me on a weekend getaway. Milo Talon signs on as a cowpuncher with an outfit he thinks might by run over by a rival outfit. As he helps in rounding up the herd, he discovers that most of the younger stock, 3 years old or younger, is missing. Have they been rustled by the rival outfit, or have its younger stock been rustled as well? Excellent. Milo Talon would return as the title character in a sequel a few years after Broken Hills was published. That second novel is one of my favorites from L'Amour, one I first read while in jr. high school, and again a fews years later. I'm looking forward to finishing Broken Hills and reading Milo Talon for a third time.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  5. #95
    Viper Pilot: A Memoir of Air Combat by Dan Hampton.

    Hampton flew 151 combat missions in his 20 year career, scoring 21 hard kills on SAM sites. He's been called the most lethal F-16CJ Wild Weasel in the USAF. His memoir is an irreverant, no holds barred portrayal of life as a combat pilot. Fantastic!
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  6. #96
    A Nightmare's Prayer by Michael Franzak

    In October 2002 the Flying Nighmares of VMA-513 (Marine Attack Squadron 513) deployed for a six month combat tour in Afghanistan. The author served as the executive officer of the Harrier squadron, which was extended another six months because of the invasion of Iraq. This book is different from Viper Pilot as Franzak is more philosphical and intropestive and less irreverent than Hampton. Also, the book focuses on one deployment rather than an entire career. Either way, the result is another fantastic memoir of combat.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  7. #97
    Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine by James F. Calvert, Vice Admiral, USN (ret.)

    Clavert was a plank owner of the sumbarine USS Jack (SS-259) and served on board during all seven war patrols. His job during attacks on enemy shipping was to man the Torpdeo Data Computer (TDC) an analogue computer which assisted in the targeting process. Calvert has been recognized for his skill in operating the TDC; in the book's forward, Edward L. Beach, who also served on submarines during the war, and is a noted author of fiction and non-fiction books on submarine warfare and operations, labeled Calvert as a real TDC expert. Calvert is also a very good writer and this is a fantastic memoir of submarine combat.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  8. #98
    Senior Member Scorcho's Avatar
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    Jeff Benedict and The System

    The other day KALL 700 had Jeff Benedict on their show. For those of you that don’t remember Jeff Benedict, he was the douche-nozzle SI Writer that wrote the article about Hadley and the Weeping Inmates. I was hoping that Hans and Riley would grill him on aspects of the Hadley article, but instead he was in town promoting a book (his new book is about a guy who left the Taliban to become LDS). While there’s no question he’s an LDS Author with an agenda, I left that interview more impressed with him than I was previously. I think I judged him too quickly. Here’s why.

    During the interview, they spent a good amount of time discussing another book he co-authored titled The System. The System is a book behind the scenes of big-time college football. It references details about Lane Kiffin’s time (all 4.6 months) at Tennessee, OSU Booster Boone Pickins and delves into the recruitment of Alphonso Marsh from Compton, CA to the University of Utah.

    I guess it’s filled with positive and negative stories about college football. Benedict said he lost a few of his LDS Friends because one of the chapters deals with the BYU Gang Rape case back in 2005. Some of his LDS friends told him that he couldn’t write that chapter because it paints BYU and the Provo Community in such a poor light. Apparently that’s a graphic, horrific chapter of what went down in that situation and the injustice suffered by the victim.

    Has anybody read this, if so I’d like your thoughts on whether it’s a good read?

  9. #99
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorcho View Post
    Jeff Benedict and The System

    The other day KALL 700 had Jeff Benedict on their show. For those of you that don’t remember Jeff Benedict, he was the douche-nozzle SI Writer that wrote the article about Hadley and the Weeping Inmates. I was hoping that Hans and Riley would grill him on aspects of the Hadley article, but instead he was in town promoting a book (his new book is about a guy who left the Taliban to become LDS). While there’s no question he’s an LDS Author with an agenda, I left that interview more impressed with him than I was previously. I think I judged him too quickly. Here’s why.

    During the interview, they spent a good amount of time discussing another book he co-authored titled The System. The System is a book behind the scenes of big-time college football. It references details about Lane Kiffin’s time (all 4.6 months) at Tennessee, OSU Booster Boone Pickins and delves into the recruitment of Alphonso Marsh from Compton, CA to the University of Utah.

    I guess it’s filled with positive and negative stories about college football. Benedict said he lost a few of his LDS Friends because one of the chapters deals with the BYU Gang Rape case back in 2005. Some of his LDS friends told him that he couldn’t write that chapter because it paints BYU and the Provo Community in such a poor light. Apparently that’s a graphic, horrific chapter of what went down in that situation and the injustice suffered by the victim.

    Has anybody read this, if so I’d like your thoughts on whether it’s a good read?
    The way Benedict was lambasted locally during the Hadley thing was funny (if you weren't Hadley or Benedict).

  10. #100
    Quote Originally Posted by Scorcho View Post
    Jeff Benedict and The System

    The other day KALL 700 had Jeff Benedict on their show. For those of you that don’t remember Jeff Benedict, he was the douche-nozzle SI Writer that wrote the article about Hadley and the Weeping Inmates. I was hoping that Hans and Riley would grill him on aspects of the Hadley article, but instead he was in town promoting a book (his new book is about a guy who left the Taliban to become LDS). While there’s no question he’s an LDS Author with an agenda, I left that interview more impressed with him than I was previously. I think I judged him too quickly. Here’s why.

    During the interview, they spent a good amount of time discussing another book he co-authored titled The System. The System is a book behind the scenes of big-time college football. It references details about Lane Kiffin’s time (all 4.6 months) at Tennessee, OSU Booster Boone Pickins and delves into the recruitment of Alphonso Marsh from Compton, CA to the University of Utah.

    I guess it’s filled with positive and negative stories about college football. Benedict said he lost a few of his LDS Friends because one of the chapters deals with the BYU Gang Rape case back in 2005. Some of his LDS friends told him that he couldn’t write that chapter because it paints BYU and the Provo Community in such a poor light. Apparently that’s a graphic, horrific chapter of what went down in that situation and the injustice suffered by the victim.

    Has anybody read this, if so I’d like your thoughts on whether it’s a good read?
    Excellent book that is disheartening to fans of college football (rather than fans of a particular team) because of the details it reveals about how silly "the system" has become. Strongly recommmended, although it isn't complimentary to U of Utah or it's football coach.

  11. #101
    Quote Originally Posted by sancho View Post
    But how credible is it? We're talking about an author who we know is okay with stretching the truth and presenting things in a one-sided way.
    I found the details verifiable and the sources credible. Your view may vary, but you won't know until you read it. :-)

  12. #102
    Tarawa: The Story of a Battle by Robert Sherrod

    I first read this book many years ago in high school. Reading it again now I am finding it to be much better than I remembered. This isn't a campaign history, but rather the story of what Sherrod witnessed as a war correspondent during the battle for Tarawa in November 1943. Excellent.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  13. #103
    Currently reading "The Orphan Master's Son". Won the Pulitzer for fiction. Absolutely wonderful book/story m about North Korea.

  14. #104
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeUte View Post
    Currently reading "The Orphan Master's Son". Won the Pulitzer for fiction. Absolutely wonderful book/story m about North Korea.
    I just read that last summer. A chilling book, I couldn't put it down.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  15. #105
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just read that last summer. A chilling book, I couldn't put it down.
    Of all the places to set a book, North Korea is severely underutilized. This book made that a fascinating place to me.

  16. #106
    The Dream Machine: The Untold History of the Notorious V-22 Osprey by Richard Whittle

    Whittle cuts through the hype and the hysteria to present an engaging story on the tiltrotor aircraft. Since the early days of flight there were those who wanted to find the hybrid aircraft the could master the air and the convertiplane tiltrotor became the dream machine. For the U.S. Marine Corps, the titrotor was the answer to maintaining their relevance and status as a seperate service. The author takes the reader through processes of design, engineering and military procurement without getting too technical, making these arcane subjects accessable to the layman. Excellent.
    "It'd be nice to please everyone but I thought it would be more interesting to have a point of view." -- Oscar Levant

  17. #107
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    I just finished "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt. I loved it. Here's a pretty good review of the book. The reviewer says "The Goldfinch" is Dickensian, and I agree there are whiffs of Dickens throughout (most of you know I love Dickens), but this is a much harder-edged book than anything old Charles would write.

    What I look for most in fiction -- whether books or movies -- are (1) a good story and (2) characters I care about. This book has both, in spades. I cared so much about the protagonist, Theo Decker, that for about half the book I found myself thinking, "Oh, no -- Theo, don't do that!" If you feel that way too, all I can say is "Hang on until the ending!" The book is 700 pages long, but don't let that discourage you. It is a page-turner, and highly-recommended.
    Last edited by LA Ute; 01-02-2014 at 10:05 AM.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  18. #108
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just finished "The Goldfinch," by Donna Tartt. I loved it. Here's a pretty good review of the book. The reviewer says "The Goldfinch" is Dickensian, and I agree there are whiffs of Dickens throughout (most of you know I love Dickens), but this is a much harder-edged book than anything old Charles would write.

    What I look for most in fiction -- whether books or movies -- are (1) a good story and (2) characters I care about. This book has both, in spades. I cared so much about the protagonist, Theo Decker, that for about half the book I found myself thinking, "Oh, no -- Theo, don't do that!" If you feel that way too, all I can say is "Hang on until the ending!" The book is 700 pages long, but don't let that discourage you. It is a page-turner, and highly-recommended.
    I gave my wife the Goldfinch for Xmas. cant wait to read it when she is done with it. BTW, if you like the feeling "Oh no -- theo dont do that" then you would love Breaking Bad. Starting the 5th season, best show I've ever watched.

  19. #109
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by concerned View Post
    I gave my wife the Goldfinch for Xmas. cant wait to read it when she is done with it. BTW, if you like the feeling "Oh no -- theo dont do that" then you would love Breaking Bad. Starting the 5th season, best show I've ever watched.
    Breaking Bad is on my list. It might take me a while to get to it....

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  20. #110
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    I just read that last summer. A chilling book, I couldn't put it down.
    Finished. It took me several weeks to find time to read and get into it. Absolutely terrific and I would recommend it highly.

    I thought the chapters narrated like propaganda were corny and the only weakness of the book. That's a very minor weakness.

  21. #111
    I just picked up "a visit from the goon squad". http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0307477479

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Vis...the_Goon_Squad

    Has anyone else read this book? I am a little ways in and have to tell you that I think it's remarkable. I am curious to find out what other people's experience has been with this book.

    I also picked up a copy of world war Z. I have been reading that on and off for the last month or so and I'm almost finished with it. The book is way better than the movie. I've read it in little bits and chunks here and there, and the make up of the book was various stories makes that possible.

  22. #112
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    "A Tale of Two Cities." In 9th grade I found it incredibly boring so I read the Cliff's Notes. A few weeks ago I decided on a whim to read the whole thing and I am loving it. Definitely Dickens' grittiest novel.

    It's kind of a shame that teenagers are expected to read Dickens at an age when they can't possibly understand fully what's going on. As a kid I thought Miss Havisham in Great Expectations was comical. She's not comical at all.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  23. #113
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    "A Tale of Two Cities." In 9th grade I found it incredibly boring so I read the Cliff's Notes. A few weeks ago I decided on a whim to read the whole thing and I am loving it. Definitely Dickens' grittiest novel.

    It's kind of a shame that teenagers are expected to read Dickens at an age when they can't possibly understand fully what's going on. As a kid I thought Miss Havisham in Great Expectations was comical. She's not comical at all.
    On that note, I have never read Great Expectations even though it has been sitting on my self since I bought it for a college class on the Victorian Novel. I pulled it out the other day to start when I finish the Round House, which I am reading currently and put it on my bed stand. (maybe after the Goldfinch; havent decided).

  24. #114
    I finished Nick Offerman's "Paddle your own canoe". Most of us would know him as ron swanson on community.

    It was a fun irreverant book that has a nice message. If you can handle the language I would recommend

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 2
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  25. #115
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Just started "Crime and Punishment" and am looking forward to it.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  26. #116
    Quote Originally Posted by LA Ute View Post
    Just started "Crime and Punishment" and am looking forward to it.
    You've never read it?

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 2
    "Be a philosopher. A man can compromise to gain a point. It has become apparent that a man can, within limits, follow his inclinations within the arms of the Church if he does so discreetly." - The Walking Drum

    "And here’s what life comes down to—not how many years you live, but how many of those years are filled with bullshit that doesn’t amount to anything to satisfy the requirements of some dickhead you’ll never get the pleasure of punching in the face." – Adam Carolla

  27. #117
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mormon Red Death View Post
    You've never read it?

    Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk 2
    Nope. In my misspent youth I would have read it only for a class, and I didn't take one that required it. I'm loving it already. I also plan to read "The Idiot." "The Brothers Karamazov" is one of my favorite books.

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

  28. #118
    it is a slippery slope from Raskolnikov to Walter White

  29. #119
    LA,
    It's a good thing you live in a warm place otherwise I'd recommend you wait to read Crime and Punishment until spring/summer. I read it in the winter many years ago. Reading at that time of year seemed to exacerbate the book's setting and tenor. I spent a month or so with Raskolnikov dominating my mind much more than a Communications Theory class. Alas, that was the grade that mattered. I was just reading Dostoevsky for pleasure - if you want to call it that. The Brothers Karamazov has been sitting on my bookshelf for many years and I've only taken the time to read the chapters comprising "The Grand Inquisitor." It's a goal to pick it up and read it all this year.

    Speaking of "The Brothers Karamazov" have you read "The Brothers K?" That's an absolute must read. You would love it

  30. #120
    Sam the Sheepdog LA Ute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Utebiquitous View Post
    Speaking of "The Brothers Karamazov" have you read "The Brothers K?" That's an absolute must read. You would love it
    Yes, it is my favorite novel, and the reason I am reading C and P. It's sunny here, BTW, so I should be fine!

    "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
    --Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
    --Yeats

    “True, we [lawyers] build no bridges. We raise no towers. We construct no engines. We paint no pictures - unless as amateurs for our own principal amusement. There is little of all that we do which the eye of man can see. But we smooth out difficulties; we relieve stress; we correct mistakes; we take up other men's burdens and by our efforts we make possible the peaceful life of men in a peaceful state.”

    --John W. Davis, founder of Davis Polk & Wardwell

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