What are you reading now?


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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:34 pm

For a particular writing project, I'm reading Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again." Interesting in many respects (while not truly my thing), but not a book I've EVER heard from friends that they've actually read. Has Wolfe fallen completely out of the 20th century canon?
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Per Andersen » Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:33 pm

kuha wrote:For a particular writing project, I'm reading Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again." Interesting in many respects (while not truly my thing), but not a book I've EVER heard from friends that they've actually read. Has Wolfe fallen completely out of the 20th century canon?

Yes, he's pretty much gone it seems. He's nor even mentioned in Harold Bloom's "The Western Canon"
I once attempted " Of Time and the River" but I was way too young and quit and never tried him again. My dad liked him.

I don't think many read Dos Passos and Sinclair Lewis anymore either. They were both favorites of mine.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:22 am

gh wrote:
bambam wrote:....
I hope you're right about World at War 1939-45 because I got it for my iPad 2 days ago


You into it? I'm about 40% done and absolutely blown away. Surprisingly, it's my first exposure to Hastings and if his other stuff is half as good as this I'll devour it. The most compelling historical read I can recall.

The sequence on the Eastern Front left me shivering, and now that I'm in the fall of Singapore and Burma,I wonder how some of the old Colonial Brits (and to lesser extent, Aussies) could look themselves in the mirror at the way they treated the "subjects" of their Empire.


Yeah, almost finished with it. This book is great. I also had the same reaction about the Eastern Front. No idea how a people could suffer like that. The entire description of some of the brutality of various peoples is shocking to know that people can act like that. I knew about some of it but the book really brings it home.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby DrJay » Thu Jan 12, 2012 10:09 am

kuha wrote:For a particular writing project, I'm reading Thomas Wolfe's "You Can't Go Home Again." Interesting in many respects (while not truly my thing), but not a book I've EVER heard from friends that they've actually read. Has Wolfe fallen completely out of the 20th century canon?


As a UNC alum, same as Wolfe, I felt compelled to try. I read "Look Homeward Angel" and later "Of Time and the River" but couldn't take it any more so never picked up his other two novels, "The Web and the Rock" and the one you're reading. Prose too wandering and ornate for my taste.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby DrJay » Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:42 am

Just finished "Kentucky Colonels of the American Basketball Association: The Real Story of a Team Left Behind" (Gary P. West and Lloyd "Pink" Gardner.) Lot of interesting triva and stories about the history of the Colonels (my first sports obsession as a youth) but one of the worst-written books I have ever read. Terry Pluto's "Loose Balls" is a much better read for former ABA fans.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:05 am

DrJay put me onto Loose Balls this summer, book about the ABA, and I read it. Pretty good read, lots of fun.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Pego » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:32 am

The ABA ball drove me crazy.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mike renfro » Sat Jan 14, 2012 9:39 pm

Protect and Defend. A Richard North Paterson novel. He is a pretty good genre writer.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Mon Jan 16, 2012 4:01 pm

Just finished Iron War - the story of the 1989 Ironman Hawaii race between Dave Scott and Mark Allen, supposedly the greatest triathlon race ever. Very well written and fun read. Also easy to get through. Recommend it for most people on this board.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Jan 16, 2012 5:56 pm

bambam wrote:
gh wrote:
bambam wrote:....
I hope you're right about World at War 1939-45 because I got it for my iPad 2 days ago


You into it? I'm about 40% done and absolutely blown away. Surprisingly, it's my first exposure to Hastings and if his other stuff is half as good as this I'll devour it. The most compelling historical read I can recall.

The sequence on the Eastern Front left me shivering, and now that I'm in the fall of Singapore and Burma,I wonder how some of the old Colonial Brits (and to lesser extent, Aussies) could look themselves in the mirror at the way they treated the "subjects" of their Empire.


Yeah, almost finished with it. This book is great. I also had the same reaction about the Eastern Front. No idea how a people could suffer like that. The entire description of some of the brutality of various peoples is shocking to know that people can act like that. I knew about some of it but the book really brings it home.


I finished it yesterday and found it interesting but somewhat tedious. A more balanced view than you get most places is probably the biggest advantage of the book, but he keeps hammering and hammering at those points and that got tedious. Basically, the western countries/democracies were not able to sustain the sort of 'all-in' war that the Nazi, Soviets, and Japan practiced. On the other hand, especially the Japanese and the Nazi's had some virtually fatal flaws for prosecuting the war in light of the nature of the world. One element was the size of the Soviet Union, combined with the Nazi's nature of devastation in occupied regions and the Stalin's willingness to through in millions of 'cannon fodder'. The second being the vast resources of the US, combined with its technical sophistication (enhanced, ironically enough, with scientists fleeing the Nazi regime).

I got a newish book on D-Day (have not read one on the topic since reading (multiple) The Longest Day close to 50 years ago.

I also finished the one-volume biography FDR that I read at the same time, making a good match with The World at War.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:44 pm

Now on my to-get list is Vanished Kingdoms (The Rise & Fall Of States & Nations) by Norman Davies. It's about 15 European cities/countries that have come and gone. Was the basis for my geography trivia quiz question.

From a new book review, a "modern" country of which I had never heard!

<<... Some of the states in "Vanished Kingdoms" were short-lived, such as Etruria, in central Italy, which lasted but 14 years in the 19th century. Others spanned centuries, such as Byzantium, an empire that survived nearly 1,400 years. Some of Davies' subjects were weak. The Republic of Carpatho-Ukraine lasted all of one day in March 1939 before being occupied by Hungary, Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, respectively....

... Most histories of World War II overlook Carpatho-Ukraine, for instance, even though it was a suppressed democratic government, an illegally invaded member state of the League of Nations and was the site of military action and a considerable death toll. Davies is not exaggerating when he says it "might well qualify as a prelude to the Second World war II...">>



Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... z1jqbkvl3M
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Avante » Wed Jan 18, 2012 2:08 pm

Once the football season is over, I plan on delving into...yep in order.

The Boxing Register....Official Record Book
Tishomingo Blues...Elmore Leonard (that title an old 1926 Blues tune by Pegleg Howell)
The Haunted Mesa...Louis L' Amour
The Reluctant Fundamentalist...Moshin Hamid
So You Wanna Be A Rock & Roll Star...Jacob Slichter
Rumble Tumble....Joe R.Lansdale
The Last Jihad...Joel C. Rosenberg
61 Hours....Lee Child
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby bambam » Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:51 pm

gh wrote:Now on my to-get list is Vanished Kingdoms (The Rise & Fall Of States & Nations) by Norman Davies. It's about 15 European cities/countries that have come and gone. Was the basis for my geography trivia quiz question.


Amazing, E Garry, I just bought that for my iPad a few days ago and started it last nite.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:09 pm

I just started reading the Louie Zamperini book, " Unbroken." It's great reading. I'm past the track part, and happily, it appears the author did not make any factual errors that I could discern.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby KDFINE » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:21 pm

I just finished the first of the Dortmunder novels by the late Donald Westlake, "The Hot Rock," the only one made into movie. I've read and enjoyed them all, especially when in need of a page turner with humor. There are some deviations from the film, but the main plot elements are consistent.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby mike renfro » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:24 pm

I just finished J Patterson's Private Games. He changes the names of athletes, but not totally ridiculous. The previous novel I read was P D James' "Death Come to Pemberley". It is a continuation of Austin's Pride and Prejudice. James tried to write in the style of Austin, and I found it a hard slog at first, but got into it. Dame James can write a little. After she finished off the Dalgleish series, I assumed she would retire. It was a few years, but I guess she got bored. I hope she doesn't channel Hawthorne next :-(
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue May 29, 2012 12:03 pm

After a couple of months of brain candy from Elmore Leonard and Sue Grafton, I finally picked up a copy of The Hunger Games last night (have not seen the movie). If the Regionals TNs don't show up on time it's because I decided to play hooky and keep reading :twisted:

I'm totally enthralled.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Tue May 29, 2012 2:27 pm

For the current writing project: Richard Manning's "Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics, and Promise of the American Prairie" (1995) [brilliant]; and William Least Heat Moon's "PrairyErth" (1991) [shaggy, baggy, and too long, but so far worth the effort].
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gm » Tue May 29, 2012 7:53 pm

"Buried Prey" by John Sandford

Another thrilling Lucas Davenport book.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Tue May 29, 2012 8:53 pm

LOVE Sandiford! And now I see that not only do I not have Buried in my collection, a new one came out a couple of weeks ago.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Daisy » Wed May 30, 2012 5:38 am

I've been working my way through 'The Eighth Day of Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Biology' by Horace Judson.

This is not a recent book but it is timeless in laying out the players and discoveries that kick started molecular genetics. It really brings out the character of the scientists involved as well as a genuine behind the scenes look at the work that goes into producing the polished papers that end up being published.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby TN1965 » Thu May 31, 2012 3:32 pm

Just finished Salazar's "14 minutes."

Interesting read on how his career went wrong, and how that experience is helping him as a coach.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Anthony Treacher » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:52 am

Coincidentally "Brighton Rock" by Grahame Greene. The peripheral character Ida Arnold has an implacable belief in Right and Wrong that I recognize. She will not let a cover-up pass either.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:47 am

gh wrote:After a couple of months of brain candy from Elmore Leonard and Sue Grafton, I finally picked up a copy of The Hunger Games last night (have not seen the movie). If the Regionals TNs don't show up on time it's because I decided to play hooky and keep reading :twisted:

I'm totally enthralled.


And now I pounded my way through the second one, getting up at 04:00 in Des Moines to finish off the last 20 pages because I feel asleep after a late post-meet dinner.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby catson52 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:19 am

gh wrote:
bambam wrote:....
I hope you're right about World at War 1939-45 because I got it for my iPad 2 days ago


You into it? I'm about 40% done and absolutely blown away. Surprisingly, it's my first exposure to Hastings and if his other stuff is half as good as this I'll devour it. The most compelling historical read I can recall.

The sequence on the Eastern Front left me shivering, and now that I'm in the fall of Singapore and Burma,I wonder how some of the old Colonial Brits (and to lesser extent, Aussies) could look themselves in the mirror at the way they treated the "subjects" of their Empire.


Good points raised by GH and others re the WWII and the Eastern Front. The Western Press has done a dandy job in generally not pointing out what happened following the launching of Operation Barbarossa. Some simple stats. (1) German loss of material and men from 6/22/41 through DDay. Over 90% of all losses on the Eastern Front. (2) On DDay only ~15% of German Forces were on the Western Front (not including those helping the Italians on the south), whereas ~70% was tied up on the Eastern Front.

A good look at the history of the British Empire shows it basically running down from about 1850 onwards. The Crimean War (what an idiotic poem by Tennyson - one of my favorite poets - "The Charge of the Light Brigade"), the Mahdi in Sudan, the Boer War, and then the total loss of sensible leadership in the trench warfare of WWI as well as places like Gallipoli.

As far as the Aussies are concerned, the less said the better. Having lived in Australia during the "Whites Only" days, first hand experience suggests many followed up their convict based heritage.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Jun 12, 2012 6:47 am

Speaking of WW! and the trenches and complete lunacy, I remember reading this awhile back.

http://ricks.foreignpolicy.com/posts/20 ... r_4th_time
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Jun 12, 2012 5:40 pm

I just finished Robert Harris's latest novel The Fear Index about a mathematical hedge fund manager. Great read. I am a big fan of his novels.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:57 pm

gh wrote:
gh wrote:After a couple of months of brain candy from Elmore Leonard and Sue Grafton, I finally picked up a copy of The Hunger Games last night (have not seen the movie). If the Regionals TNs don't show up on time it's because I decided to play hooky and keep reading :twisted:

I'm totally enthralled.


And now I pounded my way through the second one, getting up at 04:00 in Des Moines to finish off the last 20 pages because I feel asleep after a late post-meet dinner.


And the last couple of nights at the NCAA and on the ride home I finished book III. Even though that meant that I was soooo close to finishing when we landed that I actually got off the plane and sat in the departure area for 15 minutes before heading off to get my car so I could wrap it all up. Eager to see the movie now!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:20 pm

What, did we all give up reading over the summer?!

With so much time in hotel rooms/on planes I steered clear of my normal dose of "intellectual" reading and instead went for visceral pleasures that could be grabbed in tiny doses. Spent lots of time catching up on the Elmore Leonard canon. I think I've now read 40 of his 44 books. Came across a great character in The Cool Kid who is a U.S. marshall chasing bank robbers in depression-era Oklahoma. Not sure it wasn't originally sketched out as a Raylan Givens project. Everything fits (which also means it was a great read if you're into that kind of stuff).
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Cooter Brown » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:47 pm

We, the Drowned by Carsten Jensen is about a 100 years or so of seafaring by sailors from Marstal, Denmark. It's about 2/3rds a classic. In the last third, the tone of the book shifts so jarringly it's like another author wrote it. Regardless, I still recommend it highly.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Per Andersen » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:06 pm

gh wrote:What, did we all give up reading over the summer?!

With so much time in hotel rooms/on planes I steered clear of my normal dose of "intellectual" reading and instead went for visceral pleasures that could be grabbed in tiny doses. Spent lots of time catching up on the Elmore Leonard canon. I think I've now read 40 of his 44 books. Came across a great character in The Cool Kid who is a U.S. marshall chasing bank robbers in depression-era Oklahoma. Not sure it wasn't originally sketched out as a Raylan Givens project. Everything fits (which also means it was a great read if you're into that kind of stuff).

It might be just me but I have tired a bit of Leonard. I was a huge fan the 80's but haven't read much since Maximum Bob. Tried Djibouti but I found it rather weak and too clever. Did not work.
Also got a bit tired of all the "clever" small time crooks.

I now prefer Michael Connelly, especially the Harry Bosch books.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby gh » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:31 pm

I would say that Leonard's writing has clearly stepped up a notch since the Maximum Bob days. I'd call that his early-middle period.

do agree about the clever small-time crooks however. Ole Elmore clearly has a soft spot in his heart for the slightly shady people in life.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby aaronk » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:32 am

Just as with movies, I'm an avid reader as well.
Have read at least 2660 books, almost evenly divided between F and NF.
I usually have several books going at once, and always have one novel going.

Currently, in the fiction category, I'm reading a novel by Lisa Beth Kovetz called "The Tuesday Erotica Club".
An alluring title, and a good concept, but thus far, after 28 pages read (it's 332 pages), I find it slow reading.
It's about a lady lawyer who organizes a reading group in her large firm, with 40 women joining at first.
They read normal books, not necessarily about sex.
But as time goes on, the ladies get bored and drop out.
To try to save the club, its founder decides to have the women WRITE an erotic fantasy and then read it before the group.
And that's where I am right now in the book, as they read their works, and the reactions of the 4 women left in the group.
I hope it gets better!!

The non-fiction I'm reading is another book (I've read about 15 or more!!!) about Sarah Palin, but this one is written by her father and older brother, both named Chuck Heath (Sr and Jr).
I bought it on Tuesday (Sept 25), its day of release, and am about 90 pages into it.
The book is written by both dad and son, with each writing an alternate chapter, giving their own view of things.
After 90 pages, it has SOME stuff about Sarah, but it's been mostly about Alaska and the outdoors life of hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain climbing, etc.
Also about the history of Alaska.
Both of them were or are teachers, so they have some interesting tales to tell.
Most of the stuff about Sarah I already know, but they give some heretofore unknown "inside" tidbits that keep the pages turning!!

Interesting sidenote to its purchase.
Both Barnes and Noble and Target did NOT have it on Sept 25. B&N usually DO have books on the 1st day of release, so I was surprised.
My solution?
I went to THE most liberal bookstore in town, and THEY had it!!
SHOCKER!!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby aaronk » Thu Sep 27, 2012 7:44 am

BTW, as an addendum to my previous post, I've read MANY books about Track and Field, including FIVE by T&FN co-founder Cordner Nelson!!
Favorite T&F books were The Milers by Cordner Nelson (history of the mile through 1984), No Bugles, No Drums, an autobio by Peter Snell, Ron Clarke Talks Track, a book-long Q&A with him about his races, opponents, etc, the 2 Roberto Quercetani histories I have, Athletics and Long Distance Running, the little "memoir" by Gerry Lindgren (autographed by him when I met him at a reading here), The Silence of Great Distance by Frank Murphy, which is both a history of women's distance running and a detailed account of the tragedy of Kathy Ormsby, the former collegiate runner who, during the NCAA 10K in 1986, ran off the track during the race and disappeared. She'd kept running to a bridge, jumped off it, and is now paralyzed for life!!

Also, the FIRST track book I read was Archie's Little Black Book, by an old guy named H. Archie Richardson.
He came to our high school (North Hollywood CA) in early 1962, and sold a copy to every member of our track team.
It's really fascinating, even now!!

I've read fiction books about the sport too.
Right now, can't think of which are my favorites,.
(Although I WROTE a novel about running, never published, called The Chain, in 1977. It concerns a possible boycott---I call it a "GIRLcott", because it's organized by a woman!!---of the Moscow Olympics in 1980, because they don't have distance events for women!! The "girlcott' is successful, and a marathon is added. The winner sets a WR of 2:30:54!! I'm in the book (as a fictional character) as her volunteer coach who has an affair with her!! :D Interesting, because I wrote it in 1977, and there actually WAS a boycott.....but for different reasons!!
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby jeremyp » Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:01 am

Rachel Maddow: "Drift." Brings us up to date on the ever expanding growth of military/Industrial power. She does have a Ph. D. in politics from Oxford. We may have our soldiers out of Iraq and will withdraw them from Afghanistan but our expensive contractors will still be there in the thousands, with far less oversight than the military gets.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Friar » Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:06 pm

Coming Apart - Con' theorist Charles Murray's latest is not nearly as substantial as
The Bell Curve but it's ok. Coins the phrase "Super Zips."

Lucking out - How a letter of recommendation from Norman Mailer got 19yo James Wolcott to leave school and start at the Village Voice.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby kuha » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:19 am

Most recent titles (that I can remember). All nonfiction & recommended:

Richard Manning, "Grassland"
Stephen Greenblatt, "The Swerve"
Geoffrey Kabaservice, "Rule and Ruin"
Jeffrey D. Sachs, "The Price of Civilization"
Richard Wilkinson, "The Spirit Level"
Stephen Ambrose, "Undaunted Courage"
Michael Hiltzik, "The New Deal"
David Eagleman, "Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain"
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Flumpy » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:30 pm

I'm currently reading J.K. Rowling's 'A Casual Vacancy' along with the rest of the country.

I'll follow that up with Katie Price's magnum opus 'In The Name of Love' :mrgreen:
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby Conor Dary » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:36 pm

I just started 538's Nate Silver's new book, The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't.
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Re: What are you reading now?

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:47 pm

The Secret Man Bob Woodward

Killing Lincoln Bill O'Reilly
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