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I figured I might as well start a thread to see what people are reading, what people reccomend, and what people think is complete sh*t.

I'm currently reading:

Give War A Chance - PJ O'Rourke

The Conservative Mind - Russell Kirk

Why I Write - George Orwell

Look Homeward America - Bill Kauffman

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand [900 pages in]

What I reccomend:

Eat The Rich - PJ O'Rourke

Libertarianism, A Primer - David Boaz

The Revolution - Ron Paul

What's So Great About Christianity - Dinesh D'Souza

Mere Christianity - CS Lewis

War of The World - Niall Ferguson

God Is Not Great - Christopher Hitchens

Thomas Jefferson, Author of America - Christopher Hitchens

Thomas Paine, The Rights of Man - Christopher Hitchens

The Death of The West - Pat Buchanan

America Alone - Mark Steyn

A Homage to Catalonia - George Orwell

Infidel - Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser

The Gulag Archipelago - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Free to Choose - Milton Friedman

Dawn to Decadence - Jacques Barzun

Farhenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury

The Giver - Lowry

Animal Farm - George Orwell

David Friedman - The Machinery of Freedom

Complete sh*t:

Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand: I've been slogging through this piece of sh*t for a little under a five months. The only reason I keep going is to simply state that I've finished the book. It's horridly written, the characters are always either good or evil, beautiful or ugly, etc. I got this book and most of Ayn Rand's other books because many people reccomended it as "libertarian" [ironic considering her hatred of libertarians for distancing themselves from her cult of personality] literature. Even though I consider myself a libertarian conservative I find this book to be nothing more than 1000+ pages with a few good points in a mirth of sophomoric drivel. George Orwell was able to showcase the evils of an all powerful government in less than 100 pages, on a farm, where the main characters are animals. Ayn Rand attempted to do that in over 1,000 pages, yet her book is best summed up by Officer Barbrady:

"At first I was happy to be learning how to read. It seemed exciting and magical, but then I read this: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I read every last word of this garbage, and because of this piece of sh*t, I am never reading again."

The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein: This is one of those books that makes every suburban Marxist cream their boxers in delight. It starts off with scenes of torture at McGill in Montreal, all of the experiments being done of course with the watchful eye of the government. Then Klein goes off on a period of rants about how Milton Friedman [anti-war, anti-corporatist, pro-free trade economist] is somehow implicit in the 1973 coup in Chile, Suharto's Indonesia, the Falklands War, the Tianamen Square Massacre, and the Iraq War. Her entire thesis is that the capitalists wait for disaster to strike so they can implement free market reforms in countries, because such reforms can only occur during wartime, just look at how small government was in World War 1, World War 2, and Vietnam. This book is fraught with errors, yet is an example of how capitalism works, in that even the rebellious suburban Marxists can find something to celebrate on the bookshelves in capitalist dens like Coles, Chapters, and Amazon.com. But it seems somewhat apparent that Klein instead wishes that her book were to be sold at the Politburo along with sawdust bread.

American Fascists - Chris Hedges: This book goes into the looney pile. The basic thesis is that tamborine playing Baptists are on the verge of turning America into a Nazi/Fascist dictatorship due to their opposition to abortion and gay rights. Needless to say the forces of "fascism" that are described are more comical than threatening. Hedges seems to forget that fundamentalist Christians have existed in the United States since Jamestown, if anything religion has helped to serve as a bulwark for civic virtue against tyranny according to that religious fanatic Alexis de Toqueville. On a more ironic note, when notable atheists such as Christopher Hitchens and Sam Harris have warned about the dangers of Islamic extremism guess who was the first one to yell "racist." If you guessed Chris Hedges, you're right. While this book might please a few of the hoity toity types in large urban centers who have rarely ventured out into rural America, it should be ignored by everyone else.

Authors to stay away from at all costs: Michael Moore, Mark Levin, Michael Savage, and Naomi Wolf.

Edited by Canadian Blue
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Eat The Rich - PJ O'Rourke
An absolutely hilarious book to read.
Free to Choose - Milton Friedman
Very good book.
Atlas Shrugged - Ayn Rand: I've been slogging through this piece of sh*t for a little under a five months. The only reason I keep going is to simply state that I've finished the book. It's horridly written, the characters are always either good or evil, beautiful or ugly, etc.
I've always thought of Ayn Rand as Adam Smith meets Adolf Hitler.

IMV, her best book (and the only readable one) is the autobiographical We the Living. It describes her life in Soviet Russia.

====

I'm currently reading Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean Carroll. I can't really recommend it.

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Last night I read 'How does a Dinosaur Clean up his Room.

Gripping.

How does a dinosaur clean up his room?

With a big bucketloader, or shovel or broom?

Does he stick all his teddy bears under his bed,

Or shove them all into his closet instead?

Does he put dirty socks in the back of his drawers?

Does he hide his old jammies behind bathroom doors?

No, a dinosaur doesn’t. He does all his chores.

He picks up his toys, and puts them in rows.

Into the hamper he throws dirty clothes.

And all the ripped paper goes into the basket,

Before either Mama or Papa can ask it.

His room is quite tidy - the shelves, bed and floor.

Thank you. Thank you, little dinosaur.

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If you have children, here's two books I recommend:

(I can't seem to make links, but these reviews are from Amazon.ca)

Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder, by Richard Louv.

From Publishers Weekly

Today's kids are increasingly disconnected from the natural world, says child advocacy expert Louv (Childhood's Future; Fatherlove; etc.), even as research shows that "thoughtful exposure of youngsters to nature can... be a powerful form of therapy for attention-deficit disorder and other maladies." Instead of passing summer months hiking, swimming and telling stories around the campfire, children these days are more likely to attend computer camps or weight-loss camps: as a result, Louv says, they've come to think of nature as more of an abstraction than a reality. Indeed, a 2002 British study reported that eight-year-olds could identify Pokémon characters far more easily than they could name "otter, beetle, and oak tree." Gathering thoughts from parents, teachers, researchers, environmentalists and other concerned parties, Louv argues for a return to an awareness of and appreciation for the natural world. Not only can nature teach kids science and nurture their creativity, he says, nature needs its children: where else will its future stewards come from? Louv's book is a call to action, full of warnings—but also full of ideas for change. Agent, James Levine. (May 20)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The Hurried Child, by David Elkind

With the first edition of The Hurried Child, David Elkind emerged as the voice of parenting reason, calling our attention to the crippling effects of hurrying our children through life. He showed that by blurring the boundaries of what is age appropriate, by expecting--or imposing--too much too soon, we force our kids to grow up too fast, to mimic adult sophistication while secretly yearning for innocence. In the more than two decades since this book first appeared, new generations of parents have inadvertently stepped up the assault on childhood, in the media, in schools, and at home. In the third edition of this classic (2001), Dr. Elkind provided a detailed, up-to-the-minute look at the Internet, classroom culture, school violence, movies, television, and a growing societal incivility to show parents and teachers where hurrying occurs and why. And as before, he offered parents and teachers insight, advice, and hope for encouraging healthy development while protecting the joy and freedom of childhood. In this twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the book, Dr. Elkind delivers important new commentary to put a quarter century of trends and change into perspective for parents today.

I'm going to a conference in May where Elkind will be a keynote speaker, so I'm rereading this book and his other classic, Miseducation, before then.

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Anti-Americanism by Jean-Francois Revel

...seeks to explain the root cause of the world's and particularly Europe's obsession with hating America. He does not pretend that America is perfect. But he argues that the daily denunciations exceed the bounds of reasonable criticism. Furthermore, Revel says, European critics are quick to point fingers when they should be looking in the mirror. Rather than mock America's 2000 presidential election, he notes, Europeans should have been examining their own abysmally run European Union. He attributes such inconsistencies to Europeans' desperate desire to "project our faults onto America so as to absolve ourselves."

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  • 8 months later...

Christmas is coming... what's on your wish list for new reading material?

I just picked up a book for my dad (I trust he isn't lurking somewhere on this forum), called The Island of Canada: How Three Oceans Shaped our Nation, by Victor Suthren.

Another book I looked at for him, and may still go back for, is Kanata, by Don Gillmor. The description of Wolfe and Montcalme on the inside jacket flap captured me right away, so I don't know who I'll eventually buy it for - him or me.

I thought about getting him Just Watch Me: The Life of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, in retaliation for him buying me Mulroney a couple of years ago, but I don't think his old heart could take it.

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Now I'm reading:

Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec

The Big Questions

Le Pont de la rivière Kwaï

====

I have a weakness for hard cover, first editions. I know too well bookstores (selling used books) in Montreal, Toronto, Parry Sound, Vermont and Boston. My favourite used bookstore is in Quebec City. Its English section is a treasure.

Aside from bookstores, I now also use alibris, amazon or abebooks. I ordered all three of the above books through the Internet.

I now read the news on the Internet but sometimes, I prefer to have pages in my hand. I have several thousand books at home and these books reassure me.

Edited by August1991
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Now I'm reading:

Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec

I went to a play last night called "East of Berlin", about a young man finding out that his father had been a German doctor at Auschwitz; it was a hard to watch, as he struggled to live with his father's role during the war, and ultimately was unable to do so. It was inspired by a book called Born Guilty: Children of the Nazis - I haven't read it, but I think I'll look for it.

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Guest American Woman

Wow, the cheapest used one on Amazon is $37.50 in Canadian dollars, plus shipping, etc! What a price difference. I'm going to have to check the library.

:blink:

I wonder why there's such a difference? Couldn't you just order it from Amazon.com instead of Amazon.ca? Of course I have to pay $3.99 shipping, too. I suppose if you can find it in the library that's the way to go, but I have the feeling my book is going to make the rounds. My Mom already said she wants to read it after me.

Don't know if you've read either of Khaled Hosseini's books, but they're both really good, although I'd recommend "The Kite Runner" over "A Thousand Splendid Suns" if I had to pick.

Another really good book is "Three Cups of Tea," by Greg Mortenson.

Edited by American Woman
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:blink:

I wonder why there's such a difference? Couldn't you just order it from Amazon.com instead of Amazon.ca? Of course I have to pay $3.99 shipping, too. I suppose if you can find it in the library that's the way to go, but I have the feeling my book is going to make the rounds. My Mom already said she wants to read it after me.

Don't know if you've read either of Khaled Hosseini's books, but they're both really good, although I'd recommend "The Kite Runner" over "A Thousand Splendid Suns" if I had to pick.

Another really good book is "Three Cups of Tea," by Greg Mortenson.

We really have the same taste in books! I'm currently reading "Three Cups of Tea", although I've just started. I saw that he has another book out, called "Stones into Schools". I read "A Thousand Splendid Suns", and found it almost impossible to put down. "The Kite Runner" is still on my (ever growing) list of books to read; I saw the movie, but of course movies never measure up to the book.

I checked out Amazon.com, but with shipping and dollar conversion "Born Guilty" was still pretty expensive. Then I went to Chapters.ca, and was able to order it for 6.99, plus shipping and handling, for a total of $13.00. I think it will make a few rounds here, too!

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Guest American Woman

It seems we definitely do have the same taste in books. :)

"Stones into Schools" just came out and I've got it pre-ordered from Amazon, so I should be getting that soon, too. I, too, found "A Thousand Splendid Suns" almost impossible to put down, and then "The Kite Runner" exceeded that book, IMO, though you may not agree. The book is so much more intense than the movie.

Glad to hear you found such a good deal on "Born Guilty." :)

Edited by American Woman
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Guest American Woman

I received Stones into Schools in the mail today, and sat right down and started to read, and thought you would find this interesting, Melanie:

According to the first chapter, the fans of Three Cups of Tea include Bill Clinton, Laura and Barbara Bush, John Kerry, and Colin Power, as well as prominent military leaders such as CENTCOM commander General David Petraeus, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen, and SOCOM (Special Forces) commander Admiral Eric Olson.

And this I find totally interesting, and encouraging-- Three Cups of Tea is now required reading for all officers enrolled in counterinsurgency courses at the Pentagon.

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Novels

I am reading Grisham's The Associate - I put it down a few times - but still going going

We are packing away my kid's books and picked up the first read of Lord of the Rings from the set. I recalled the dentist mentioned it is a good read - I can say I actually like it a lot, looking forward to read the lot over the holidays

Biography

Someone handed me Kitty Kelly's Nancy Regan Unauthorized biography at the airport a few days ago. I read a few chapters - it is laughable. I thought what irresponsible writing. I wasn't sure what to expect, obviously not a lot - it is unauthorized after all.

Nietzsche spurs these various argument about god, god is dead, values, morals with my kid - they are studying his works - so I have to read this semester until I understand the other person viewpoint, and I can nod yes :rolleyes:

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A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. (2nd time)

Great book if you like the Middle-Ages.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Distant_Mirror

Covers the story of this castle and the owners, the Coucys of Picardy.

Bathroom reading...

The various Flashman Papers...from 'Flashman' (Harry in Afghanistan) to 'Flashman and the Angel of the Lord' (Harry in the US just before the Civil War). Great, fun, reads all.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Paget_Flashman

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  • 9 months later...
Guest American Woman

"The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. I really like it.

I started reading "The Road" and couldn't get into it, and my daughter recently started reading it, and she couldn't get into it, either. I'll have to give it another try ...........

Right now I'm reading "In Patagonia." So far, I'm really enjoying it.

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I recently read In Search of April Raintree, which is required reading in Winnipeg high schools - its the story of two Metis sisters growing up in the foster care system in Manitoba, and how their lives unfold. Some parts stretch the imagination just a bit, but it definitely gives the flavour of racism that was, and is, part of Winnipeg.

The Passage, by Justin Cronin - vampires are the bad guys again! A military experiment gone wrong basically causes the Apocalypse, and the survivors try to carry on - look for several sequels. I really enjoyed it as a summer read.

Half the sky: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide - written by two Pulitzer Prize winners, a fascinating look at the reslience of women who have gone through more than most of us can fathom.

And, just for fun, Joe Abercrombie's trilogy, The blade itself, Before they are hanged, and Last argument of kings. There are no clear cut heroes here, you never really know who to root for, and you have to just go along for the ride, but these are fun books to read.

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New on my list...

Chartwork & Pilotage, level 2

Meteorology, level 1

Ship Construction and Stability, level 3

General Ship Knowledge, level 3

Oral Examination on General Seamanship

I should have stayed in school..? <_<

Every time I turn around a new slew of regulations requires a slew of new certificates which requires a slew of new instructors. It's a vicious circle. The regulators, certifiers and instructors have got this scam down to a fine art.

In 30 years of fishing I've never seen anyone pull out a calculator or a slide rule to determine whether it'll take a split and a lift to swing a load of fish aboard the boat or just a lift but I suppose I soon will at the rate things are going.

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