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Downhill
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PostMon Dec 23, 2019 11:24 am 
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Get Out and Go wrote:
Finally got around to Tara Westover's narrative, Educated.  It kept me interested to hear her personal story and examine its underlying themes.

Awesome story and artfully written!  I got to see her live in Wenatchee as a guest of the North Central Regional Library speaker series.  WHS auditorium (1500 ppl)  standing room only, spilling out in to the lobby, standing ovation.  Incredible young woman!
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Downhill
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PostMon Dec 23, 2019 11:55 am 
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neek wrote:
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker, PhD. 


This was a very interesting book and an important topic.  I heard him interviewed on NPR and he spoke a lot about his current research linking sleep to dementia and Altzheimers.  You can find a recording of this interview on the NPR website.

I was looking back at the my 2019 reading history of some 45+ books and here are the ones that stand out for me (in no particular order):

- Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov - My very favorite Russian classic - 3rd time reading, but 1st in 20 years - it gets better every time I read it.

- The Sympthizer, by Viet Thanh Nguyen - Incrediblly written post-war story from a Vietnamese perspective.  2016 Pulitzer Prize award for best fiction.

- Seveneves, by Neal Stephenson - I'm generally not a Sci-Fi enthusiast but this was a fantastic book that was impossible to put down.  Stephenson lives in Seattle btw.

- The Short Drop, by Matthew FitzSimmons - Excellent suspense, thriller, murder mystery - fast-paced and very well-written.  I read a lot in this genre and this was my favorite of many in 2019


In the Mountain/Outdoor genre, my favorites of this year were:

- The Impossible Climb:  Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and the Climbing Life, by Mark Synnott

- Cold Feet:  Stories of a Middling Climmber, by David Pagel - a hilarious read.

- The Tower:  A Chronicle of Climbing and Controversy on Cerro Torre, by Kelly Cordes - the best book I've read on this often written about topic.

- The Boys of Everest : Chris Bonington and the Tragedy of Climbing's Greatest Generation, Clint Willis
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Waterman
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PostTue Dec 31, 2019 3:51 pm 
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The Wreck of the ST Nikolai

Kenneth Owens  Alton Donnelly

1808 shipwreck on wa coast.
Russian account of 2 years on the coast.  Paired with interesting oral history from native tribes regarding survivors.

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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference.
Robert Frost
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neek
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PostSat Jan 25, 2020 12:54 pm 
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Nothing for 3 weeks?  It's icky out, you guys gotta be reading something...

Just finished The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson.  Don't read if you're squeamish.  Sure is entertaining though.  I didn't learn much I don't already know about how the body's systems work.  Maybe a bit of trivia that I've forgotten already.  To some degree this book was about shining light on some of the forgotten heroes of medicine.  So many cases of backstabbing, self-sacrifice, and perseverance.  Even though there's a huge waiting list at the Seattle library, I walked in and grabbed it off the "Peak Picks" shelf.  Worth the read.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Jan 25, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Christmas as gift from my daughter. Artificial Intelligence, A Guide for Thinking Humans, by Melanie Mitchell. An excellent introduction to AI at a medium level. Helps to have a basic understanding of programming an machine architecture.  Primarily concerned with deep convoluted neural networks. Convinced me that we still are a considerable ways from Skynet. Information on operation of Deep Blue, Watson, speech recognition, Image recognition, and Cognition. The machines work well for specialized applications exceeding human capability but are pretty dumb outside a strictly controlled environment.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Jan 25, 2020 7:58 pm 
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neek wrote:
Nothing for 3 weeks?

I've been on a losing streak.  I've quit on the last few books I've tried, didn't get very far on any of them.
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Jan 25, 2020 9:13 pm 
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I am simultaneously reading a PG Wodehouse book and Saint Augustine's Confessions. I got them mixed up the other night, and was thinking ol' Gus made being a saint look like a pretty fun gig.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Malachai Constant
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PostSat Jan 25, 2020 9:19 pm 
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Currently reading Midnights Children by Salman Rushdie.

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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neek
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PostMon Jan 27, 2020 12:36 pm 
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That Wild Country: An Epic Journey through the Past, Present, and Future of America's Public Lands by Mark Kenyon.  A recent book on the history of federal public lands and the various assaults on them since the time of Teddy Roosevelt.  An attempt to unite the various outdoor user groups (hunters, hikers, anglers, mountain bikers, etc.) on the shared goal of preserving public lands for the benefit of all.  Personal narrative occurs throughout--Mark's often humorous adventures exploring the wilderness with family and friends.  I was already familiar with a lot of the history and philosophy (mostly from reading this site!) but still enjoyed the read.  Nice to hear from someone who's still fairly young and optimistic.  I'm returning my library copy today and see that the hold line isn't too long...
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Kim Brown
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PostThu Jan 30, 2020 2:33 pm 
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For Black History Month; I checked out a book on display at the Shoreline Library:

In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs by Stephen Ward.

I learned a lot about the uprisings of 1967 through the Detroit Free Press' ongoing blogs and other events that commemorated the 50 year anniversary, and the Boggses came up time and again. I just started reading it, am am looking foward to learning more about them

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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MtnGoat
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PostThu Jan 30, 2020 2:49 pm 
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Finished Under the Dome, S King. Completely underwhelmed. Typical King small town New England tropes, done well, interesting characters, great buildup. Deus ex Machina, disappointing ending .... resulting in disgust I read 1000 pages to get there.

Now reading a translation of the sci-fi Three Body Problem, Chinese author, set against the cultural revolution in the early portions...fantastic book so far.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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zephyr
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PostFri Jan 31, 2020 8:44 pm 
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Not for everyone, but one or two might like this one.  The Problem With Everything:  My Journey Through the New Culture Wars, by Meghan Daum, Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2019.  While driving home one day I flipped on the radio and caught about 10-15 minutes of an interview with this author.  She was so interesting that I looked her up when I got home and found her book at the Seattle P.L. and got on the waiting list.  Great writing.  ~z

From the inside jacket:
"...Meghan examines our country's most intractable problems with clear-eyed honesty instead of exaggerated outrage.  With passion, humor, and, most importantly, nuance, she tries to make sense of the current landscape --from D...T...'s presidency to the #MeToo movement and beyond.  In the process, she wades into the waters of identity politics and intersectionality, thinks deeply about campus politics and notions of personal resilience, and tests a theory about the divide between GenXers and millennials..."
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Feb 01, 2020 5:30 pm 
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I've quit early on the last 4 or 5 books I've tried.  I figured I would finally fix that w/ Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher novel "Blue Moon."  Even that isn't really grabbing me about 40 pages in.

edited--okay, now I'm getting into it.  Child always delivers.


huh.gif  edited again...Child does not always deliver.  This is the worst Reacher novel I've read.  I finished it, but it wasn't really worth it.  All of the books are a bit improbable, but this one just got plain stupid.  Wasn't that interesting of a story.  Maybe Child has finally run out of ideas for Mr. Reacher.
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zephyr
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PostThu Feb 13, 2020 12:58 pm 
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David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce, two archaeologists from The Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg have written Inside the Neolithic Mind, published by Thames & Hudson, 2005, 2009, 2018.  A couple of blurbs from the cover: "Superb writing, lavishly illustrated descriptions...and a powerfully evocative stone-by-stone tour of the megalithic tombs."  Archaeology.
And:  "The Neolithic period saw arguably the most significant turning point in human history, encompassing a revolution in cosmology, the origins of social complexity, and the birth of agriculture.

Drawing on the latest research, David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce skillfully link material on human consciousness, imagery and religious concepts to propose ground-breaking new theories about how this came about..."


The authors focus on two main locations as described in the Wikipedia link above:
Adopting case studies from the opposite ends of Neolithic Europe, Lewis-Williams and Pearce discuss the archaeological evidence from both the Near East – including such sites as Nevalı Çori, Göbekli Tepe and Çatalhöyük – and Atlantic Europe, including the sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Bryn Celli Ddu.

Though I found the subject matter fascinating and am familiar with some of the material, this book is dense and a bit dry at times.  Still it's worth the effort to plow through to grasp the authors' premise--the nature of altered states of consciousness and their effect on religious beliefs and artistic creativity.  Available at the Seattle Public Library, though only in the paperback version.  It would have been more readable in the hardcover in my opinion--with a larger point size for the type and larger illustrations.  ~z
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Feb 14, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Saw the movie version of "The Art of Racing in the Rain" several weeks ago, now just started the book.  It's already a fair bit cruder than the movie, that seems to happen fairly often with adaptations.
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