Author Topic: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion  (Read 262 times)

Sandra Craft

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HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« on: April 17, 2019, 06:45:57 AM »
Since we're winding down here, I added the fiction and non-fiction back together.

Genesis: The Scientific Quest for Life's Origin, by Robert M. Hazen
Life on Earth arose nearly 4 billion years ago, bursting forth from air, water, and rock. Though the process obeyed all the rules of chemistry and physics, the details of that original event pose as deep a mystery as any facing science. How did non-living chemicals become alive?

The Invention of Nature, by Andrea Wulf
The forgotten life of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world—and in the process created modern environmentalism.

Kickback:  Exposing the Corporate Bribery Network, by David Montero.
A sweeping, global investigation into corporate bribery around the world and how backdoor financial transactions undermine democracy and the free market system by lining the pockets of some of the world's worst dictators and criminals.

The Tortilla Curtain, by T. C. Boyle
A novel set in Southern California about middle-class values, illegal immigration, xenophobia, poverty, and environmental destruction. 

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon
For sixty years Jewish refugees and their descendants have prospered in the Federal District of Sitka, a "temporary" safe haven created in the wake of the Holocaust and the shocking 1948 collapse of the fledgling state of Israel, but now the District is set to revert to Alaskan control.
Sandy

  

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Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2019, 05:15:50 PM »
Some book recommendations:

Non-fiction

The Sky's the Limit by Anna Magnusson

In 2004, Vicky Jack completed the Seven Summits - the highest mountains in each of the seven continents. Whilst pursuing her climbing dream, she also carried on a high-flying career. This book tells her story.

In Search of Schrodinger's Cat by John Gribbin

Quantum theory is so shocking that Einstein could not bring himself to accept it. It is so important that it provides the fundamental underpinning of all modern sciences. Without it, we'd have no nuclear power or nuclear weapons, no TV, no computers, no science of molecular biology, no understanding of DNA, no genetic engineering. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat tells the complete story of quantum mechanics, a truth stranger than any fiction. John Gribbin takes us step by step into an ever more bizarre and fascinating place, requiring only that we approach it with an open mind. He introduces the scientists who developed quantum theory. He investigates the atom, radiation, time travel, the birth of the universe, superconductors and life itself. And in a world full of its own delights, mysteries and surprises, he searches for Schrodinger's Cat - a search for quantum reality - as he brings every reader to a clear understanding of the most important area of scientific study today - quantum physics. In Search of Schrodinger's Cat is a fascinating and delightful introduction to the strange world of the quantum - an essential element in understanding today's world.



Fiction


Pyramids by Terry Pratchett

It's bad enough being new on the job, but Teppic hasn't a clue as to what a pharaoh is supposed to do. After all, he's been trained at Ankh-Morpork's famed assassins' school, across the sea from the Kingdom of the Sun. First, there's the monumental task of building a suitable resting place for Dad -- a pyramid to end all pyramids. Then there are the myriad administrative duties, such as dealing with mad priests, sacred crocodiles, and marching mummies. And to top it all off, the adolescent pharaoh discovers deceit, betrayal - not to mention a headstrong handmaiden - at the heart of his realm.

It's the seventh book in the Disc World series, but this one is a one off so you don't need have read any of the other books.

The Reporter by Scott Sigler

The Reporter follows Yolanda Davenport, a reporter for Galaxy Sports Magazine, as she searches for the truth about Ju Tweedy's involvement with the murder of Grace McDermott - the incident that drove Ju to join the Ionath Krakens. The Reporter takes place between week three and week six of the 2684 Galactic Football League season, the season that encompasses The All-Pro.

And Tank's suggestion:

Under the Skin by Michel Faber

Set in northern Scotland, it traces a woman who drives around the Scottish countryside picking up male hitchhikers whom she drugs. (Spoilers removed from description)

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Tank

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2019, 06:27:59 PM »
Pyramids is a good little book. We find out how camels are named and that they have an unexpected talent.
If religions were TV channels atheism is turning the TV off.
“Religion is a culture of faith; science is a culture of doubt.” ― Richard P. Feynman
'It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it's called Life.' - Terry Pratchett
Remember, your inability to grasp science is not a valid argument against it.

Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 06:01:57 PM »
Who's the tiebreaker this time?

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 06:02:20 PM »
OK, we have a 3-way tie.  Just to mix it up a little, the next person who posts can break the tie.
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Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 08:29:53 PM »
In that case, I pick Kickback.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

Sandra Craft

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 02:09:22 AM »
In that case, I pick Kickback.

And so it is.
Sandy

  

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Davin

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2019, 07:29:05 PM »
I'm about a quarter through and thoroughly angry.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2019, 05:25:05 AM »
I'm about a quarter through and thoroughly angry.

Nervous now, just got my copy in the mail today.
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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2019, 03:07:18 PM »
I'm about a quarter through and thoroughly angry.

Nervous now, just got my copy in the mail today.
The book is good, I just recommend reading a little at a time. The harm that some of these people do does not match the consequences they face, and that's if they're even held to account.

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2019, 08:47:09 PM »
I don't know what to write about this book. A lot of companies and people bribed and caused a lot of harm in the world, only a small minority of them faced any consequences. Of those that faced consequences, their punishment fell well short of the crimes. And the only entity that was investigating these fuckers, has since the Republicans in 2010 getting less and less power and support and less and less funding. So corruption is probably even more rampant and the harm caused is probably going up. I'd bet on it. I don't these fuckers looking at the weakened watch dogs and oversight and thinking that they'll choose to behave now.

Anyway, there are sources but surprisingly, most of the people caught fully admitted to doing it, and there isn't anyone arguing that they didn't go around bribing people and accepting bribes. Most of them, their excuse is that they had to to remain competitive. Good book, but it makes me a bit angry.

Always question all authorities because the authority you don't question is the most dangerous... except me, never question me.

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2019, 04:51:21 AM »
I'm up to the 3rd chapter and definitely seeing what's making you angry, altho at this point I'm still mostly frustrated.  The thing that I keep thinking about are all those people who claim that 3rd world countries hate us for our freedom.  No, they don't; they hate us for this sort of shit.
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Icarus

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Re: HAF Book Club: May poll and discussion
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2019, 06:08:31 AM »
I did this book some time a go and I too was angry to discover some of the chicanery and outright criminal behavior of some of the participants.  If we are to believe even half of the text, then we ordinary slobs are doomed to suffer the results of such sleazy manipulations.