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MtnGoat
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PostThu Aug 16, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Peter Hamilton's Dreaming Void scifi series. Damn can this guy write an epic saga.

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zephyr
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PostFri Aug 17, 2018 7:41 pm 
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This was mentioned upthread by neek, but I just finished it last night and wanted to chime in. wink.gif

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan, Penguin Press, New York, 2018.  This is an excellent book, well-researched, thought out and produced.  Pollan, a journalist and long-time contributor to the New York Times Magazine teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley.  His previous books have been mostly about food. This is a history of psychedelic research and how these substances are used to “…provide relief to people suffering from difficult-to-treat conditions such as depression, addiction, and anxiety,...”.

I enjoyed the neuroscience chapter and its description of how the brain works—i.e. the DMN or Default Mode Network.  He describes the brain structure then goes on to say “As mentioned, the default mode network appears to play a role in the creation of mental constructs or projections, the most important of which is the construct we call the self, or ego. This is why some neuroscientists call it “the me network.”  … The achievement of an individual self, a being with a unique past and a trajectory into the future, is one of the glories of human evolution, but it is not without its drawbacks and potential disorders.  The price of the sense of an individual identity is a sense of separation from others and nature.  Self-reflection can lead to great intellectual and artistic achievement but also to destructive forms of self-regard and many types of unhappiness. … But, accepting the good with the bad, most of us take this self as an unshakeable given, as real as anything we know, and as the foundation of our life as conscious human beings.  Or at least I always took it that way, until my psychedelic experiences left me to wonder.” (pp 303-304)

Here’s a link to his web page with many links to favorable reviews.  There are a number of copies in the Seattle Public Library.     ~z
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graywolf
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PostFri Aug 17, 2018 7:53 pm 
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"Saving Tarboo Creek".  Very local - I work with the author's neighbor.  Next will be "The Smiling Country" by Sally Portman about the Methow valley.  I've met the author and her husband, Don.

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GaliWalker
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PostWed Aug 22, 2018 12:35 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
Peter Hamilton's Dreaming Void scif series. Damn can this guy write an epic saga.

Yup! up.gif

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostThu Aug 23, 2018 1:30 pm 
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I've bogged down on several books lately.  Got a new one that is promising so far.  I wasn't familiar w/ Dan Fesperman but apparently he's written quite a few spy thriller novels.  This one is called "Safe Houses."  Starts with a flashback scene to Berlin and a low level CIA agent who oversees several safe houses in the city.  She hears something she probably shouldn't have heard, even though she doesn't understand the meaning of it.  35 years later she is murdered in her home in Maryland by her developmentally delayed son.  Her daughter is mystified by the murder and wants to try to understand what led up to, so is in the process of trying to hire a P.I. to take a look.  That's where I'm at so far.  I imagine it's going to jump back and forth between different time frames and go way down a rabbit hole.
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George Johnson
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PostMon Aug 27, 2018 8:08 am 
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Pantsdrunk: Kalsarikanni: The Finnish Path to Relaxation

Well, not yet anyway, but I'm going to...
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostFri Sep 07, 2018 1:48 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
I wasn't familiar w/ Dan Fesperman but apparently he's written quite a few spy thriller novels.  This one is called "Safe Houses."

This hit a little bit of a lull in the middle but overall was really good.  Just picked up another book from the library by the same author, "The Double Game."
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Malachai Constant
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PostMon Sep 17, 2018 7:51 pm 
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Just finished Astoria now iknow where Saint George brewery came from. cool.gif
Interesting popular history about a almost forgotten piece of local history.

The saddest words are, “This is what could have been”

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSat Sep 29, 2018 12:43 pm 
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I'm probably good with Fesperman and spy novels for now.  Tried something else in the meantime that didn't grab me.  Description sounded unique and interesting but I was struggling with it.  Author is into quantum physics, probably should've been a good indication he's too smart for me to be reading his writing.

Anyway, moved onto "Foundryside" by Robert Jackson Bennett.  Intriguing right away.  A mixture of science and magic.  There are so many fantasy authors, I know almost none of them.  This is apparently the first in an expected trilogy.  He had an earlier trilogy that sounds interesting, might check that out after this.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Oct 08, 2018 9:31 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Anyway, moved onto "Foundryside" by Robert Jackson Bennett.  Intriguing right away.  A mixture of science and magic.  There are so many fantasy authors, I know almost none of them.  This is apparently the first in an expected trilogy.  He had an earlier trilogy that sounds interesting, might check that out after this.

This was really enjoyable.  Very inventive.  500 pages, it lagged a few times, but mostly kept me turning pages.  Now I have to wait a while for further installments of this series.  Definitely gonna check out his Divine Cities trilogy now.
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zephyr
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 9:01 pm 
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Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean.  The author is The William H. Chafe Professor of History and Public Policy at Duke University in North Carolina.  I saw her briefly in a clip of a televised interview.  Reviews in GoodReads, NPR and Kirkus Reviews.  The book focuses on Nobel Prize-winning economist James McGill Buchanan (1919-2013) and the people he influenced.  ~z
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostMon Oct 22, 2018 9:07 pm 
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Just got "The Consuming Fire" by John Scalzi from the library.  Second book in his latest series.  Prolific sci fi writer.  His Old Man's War series was great.  His stand alone novels are hit and miss for me.
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Toni
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PostFri Oct 26, 2018 5:37 pm 
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I'm a John Grisham fan, reading his latest "The Reckoning"  up.gif  up.gif

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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Oct 30, 2018 2:16 pm 
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olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
Just got "The Consuming Fire" by John Scalzi from the library.  Second book in his latest series.

This got off to a slow start, especially for a sequel.  Didn't need to introduce a bunch of characters, set up story line or do world building.  Got more interesting eventually and I enjoyed it overall.  Scalzi can definitely tell a story.  This has a bunch of point of view characters and kept switching from one to another each chapter.  That can be a bit frustrating.  Now I have to wait another year or so for the next one.  I found I forgot a lot of what happened in the first book.  That's a problem with series.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Oct 30, 2018 2:20 pm 
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I did a little sampling of classic sci fi several years ago.  I thoroughly enjoyed "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" by Heinlein, didn't like a couple of his other books as much.  I hadn't really intended to revisit him, but nothing on my wait list is incoming so I needed something in the meantime.  Randomly wandering thru the shelves at the library I ended up with "Friday" by him.  Right at the beginning he talks about a transportation device called a beanstalk.  I'm pretty sure Scalzi borrowed that decades later.
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