Goats Book Review Thread

Ernest Shackleton

Moderate Assadist
Jun 8, 2013
16,781
6,701
cheers just looked into it and watched his Ted talk, its now on my list! I'm reading Outliers by Gladwell after I finish the one I'm reading, looks like it would interest you if you haven't read it?
I read outliers years ago. He bases a lot of the work in their on Anders Ericssons work, Erricsson is the guru on this and wrote a really good book called Peak. In the book he does dispute Gladwells 10,000 hour rule.
Deliberate Practice is something I've been into for a while, I consider this the best book on the subject.
Creating Freedom is one of the best books at making the left wing argument I have read for a long while. After I've finished I'm going to read manufacturing consent by Chomsky, seems very apt with what happened with info Wars last week.
 
Reactions: JamieC

kf3

Jul 17, 2012
7,165
4,000
South London
I think the blandness is a choice by the author...................it shows how effectively he has been emptied by the system,eh?
well yeah, he's so empty that his decisions don't make sense to me.

one of the reasons that those authoritarian 20th century governments were so evil is because they punished random people, but winston wasn't random, he did illegal shit, for no obvious reason.

i used the phrase 'i struggle with the book' rather than saying i dislike it specifically becayse it is not bad, just leaves me kinda flat.
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
well yeah, he's so empty that his decisions don't make sense to me.

one of the reasons that those authoritarian 20th century governments were so evil is because they punished random people, but winston wasn't random, he did illegal shit, for no obvious reason.

i used the phrase 'i struggle with the book' rather than saying i dislike it specifically becayse it is not bad, just leaves me kinda flat.
fair enough

I find the characterization helps define the tone of the whole..............
 
Jun 2, 2012
20,877
5,307
Team Fury
Gladwell is a very interesting character.................how do his books read? Ive seen some of his talks and they are fascinating but Im not sure how some of that stuff will translate onto the page..........
Haven't started it yet but will soon. My mate recommended it a while ago and he's a good judge so it must be ok, will report back
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat

Ernest Shackleton

Moderate Assadist
Jun 8, 2013
16,781
6,701
Gladwell is a very interesting character.................how do his books read? Ive seen some of his talks and they are fascinating but Im not sure how some of that stuff will translate onto the page..........
Outliers is really good read, he’s a fascinating story teller, live his style of writing, very easy to read.
He has a podcast where he tells folksy, quirky story’s.
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
"Survival In Auschwitz"

by Primo Levi

published 1958



A first hand survivors account of life in Auschwitz in the last year of the war,this book is fucking brutally depressing despite the 'happy ending'. Primo Levi was an italian jew who joined the anti fascist guerillas when Italy fell apart in 1943-44. He was captured by fascist forces in early 1944 and,with several hundred other italian jews,shipped to Auschwitz in several boxcars of a larger 'transport' to the camp. As a young,healthy male he was sent not to the death camp,as all the children,almost all the women and all the old people were,but to one of the 'work' camps in the compound. The book is a telling of life inside this camp in the last year of the war,as the germans were disintegrating under the blows of the allies and yet cranking up the death machine to even greater heights. It is as depressing a book as one will ever read....the daily routine,the casual way death came by disease,exhaustion,starvation,suicide,murder and,of course,the 'selections' where the workers were,again and again,sorted out,the weak and the dying and useless sent to the gas chambers to make room for new,fresh prisoners. Every excruciating detail of camp life is told in what is surprisingly good prose...........the daily fight for food,the insane 'work' they were put to,the smells of death and putrefaction that permeated the place, the pain of wearing wooden shoes in winter,the brutality of the kapos and guards and the utter insanity of the whole 'system'..........and the spiral into total anarchy as the russians got closer and closer and the camp was bombed and shelled and the germans,eventually,fled............Primo,by that time,had been put in the 'infirmary',sick with scarlet fever and that's maybe what saved him as some 20,000 other,'healthy' prisoners were marched out of the camp to be 'relocated' to another and all of them perished on the march......including his best friend who had helped him survive the past months.......left,sick and dying,Levi and a host of others lived on scrounged potatoes left behind by the germans and snow for more than a week,until the Soviets officially 'liberated' the abandoned camp

Its about 175 pages of utterly revolting examples of what man can and will do to man..............and yet Levi managed to survive and,later in life,become a voice for those millions who had no voice as they disappeared into the void............

Oh yeah,this is one of those works that will remind you just how vile holocaust deniers [like that sad cunt Bama] really are..............

Read this book. Its one of the essentials on the subject
 
Reactions: Duo

kf3

Jul 17, 2012
7,165
4,000
South London
niven/pournelle - 'the mote in god's eye' and 'on the gripping hand'

well constructed story about human society meting alien society. they were written 20 years apart so maybe the story wasn't written in one go. but the 1st book didn't end conclusively so the sequel makes it better.
 

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
niven/pournelle - 'the mote in god's eye' and 'on the gripping hand'

well constructed story about human society meting alien society. they were written 20 years apart so maybe the story wasn't written in one go. but the 1st book didn't end conclusively so the sequel makes it better.
I read Mote years and years ago......good stuff and Im a bit of a fan of the Niven/pournell team......have you read Footfall?

niven alone had some good stuff......ringworld is great.......pournell not so much IMHO
 

kf3

Jul 17, 2012
7,165
4,000
South London
I read Mote years and years ago......good stuff and Im a bit of a fan of the Niven/pournell team......have you read Footfall?

niven alone had some good stuff......ringworld is great.......pournell not so much IMHO
the other one i've read was lucifers hammer, i'll check out footfall when i get a chance.

i've def read and liked ringworld but i don't remember the plot at all.
 

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
the other one i've read was lucifers hammer, i'll check out footfall when i get a chance.

i've def read and liked ringworld but i don't remember the plot at all.
Lucifers Hammer is good stuff..........Footfall is similar,but with aliens [no spoiler]

The Ringworld books are great.............part of his 'universe' that contains more of his work..........Im a fan of giant space opera unified universe stuff...........Heinlein's stuff,for instance,ties together for the most part.............or Michael Moorcocks stuff...........
 

kf3

Jul 17, 2012
7,165
4,000
South London
Lucifers Hammer is good stuff..........Footfall is similar,but with aliens [no spoiler]

The Ringworld books are great.............part of his 'universe' that contains more of his work..........Im a fan of giant space opera unified universe stuff...........Heinlein's stuff,for instance,ties together for the most part.............or Michael Moorcocks stuff...........
i like the concept of tieing books together but the execution is crucial.

asimov's universe is the one i know best and in places he did a good job but i don't like it tbh. the early books stand fine on their own and the foundation/r.daneel part with humanity getting sold out by some commie and ceasing to exist was a shitty way to end.

on the other hand i like the first 2 books of allistair reynolds revelation space series. but the 3rd one is just weird and a let down(tbh i think he wrote a different book but then time preassure made him shoehorn it as the end of that series). then there are a bunch of short stories that make up for how bad the end of the main story was.
 

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
i like the concept of tieing books together but the execution is crucial.

asimov's universe is the one i know best and in places he did a good job but i don't like it tbh. the early books stand fine on their own and the foundation/r.daneel part with humanity getting sold out by some commie and ceasing to exist was a shitty way to end.

on the other hand i like the first 2 books of allistair reynolds revelation space series. but the 3rd one is just weird and a let down(tbh i think he wrote a different book but then time preassure made him shoehorn it as the end of that series). then there are a bunch of short stories that make up for how bad the end of the main story was.
ahhh........yeah,Im a fan of Foundation and the Robot stuff too...........

I've tried now,a half dozen times,to get into revelation space and have yet to do it for some reason................still half read..........but its not BAD..........I don't know..............


Maybe its the comfort of returning to a place youre familiar with that makes the universe building so interesting...........

Been some interesting fantasy stuff along the same lines..............I mean other than Michael Moorcocks stuff..........."Theives World" is a series thats a great example of the idea,done differently............its a shared world where different authors contribute...........and its got some great stuff in it..........
 

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
"Krakatoa"

by Simon Winchester

published 2003

This is easily one of the more interesting books Ive read as of late. A combination of history,geology and anthropology it covers all sorts of ground prior to the eruption,from the mechanism of vulcanism and the history of plate tectonic theory to the colonial history of Sumatra and Java and the rest of the region..........not to mention the history of trans-oceanic telegraph cables,the spice trade and a host of other things related to the event itself.A very enjoyable,easy read thats packed with details,obvious and obscure,culminating in the eruption itself on August 27th,1883.

What happened?

Well,the island blew itself to pieces and vanished in an explosion that could be heard 3,000 miles away.........pumice and human remains washed up on beaches as far away as eastern africa............tidal waves caused by the explosion wiped out dozens of villages and killed about 35,000 people in the area,tossed ships miles inland and were recorded as far away as India on tidal registers.......

One of the more bizarre after effects,completely new to me,was a wave of islamic fundamentalism and violence in the wake of the disaster which was,of course,seen as the judgement of god......

At about 400 pages its a quick,enjoyable read that manages to pack in far more detail and history than one might imagine it could.
 
Reactions: NSFW and DobyZhee

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
"The Normans in European History"

by Charles Homer Haskins

published 1915



Interesting little book that I picked up at a library sale I think..................a slim volume that sounded right up my alley as I browsed and I didnt really look much deeper until I recently pulled it off the shelf and read it. My version,sadly,isnt a nice 1915 edition but,rather,a 1995 copy.........

Truns out its not really a 'book'. Its a collection of lectures given by Haskins,who was apparently a quite well known historian at the turn of the last century. The lectures cover the range of 'norman' history,from their origins as Scandinavian raiders to their eventual kingdom in Sicily and all the major high points between. Its amazing how some basic history from so long ago is so completely readable today. The guy has an easy to follow style as he touches on their impact on France,or England,or the place of the kingdom of Normandy. There are eight separate lectures in the book,each about 30 pages of fairly large type in whats a,sadly,pretty short volume. Id love more and,given the quality of this,Ill be on the lookout for more works by the man who has,apparently,been in print for a hundred years now.


Todays bonus is a link to a nice online copy of it,free to read

 
Reactions: Duo

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
"The Hundred Years War"

The English in France, 1337-1453

by Desmond Seward

published 1978


One of those bits of history thats endlessly fascinating but so labyrinthine and deep that it requires something more than casual reading to really grasp fully, the Hundred Years War helped shape, of course, the nation of France and the character of the French and english............as well as the nature of the following War of the Roses. As a single volume work covering the whole of the 'war' this book has to concentrate on only the major events and persons, sketching out the broad sweep of the conflict then zeroing in on important battles or political maneuvering. Oddly enough, it almost fully ignores Joan of Arc, a central character in most popular histories of the subject. That said, a lot of the other character sketches in the book are great and add color to what would be,otherwise,a long slog through dates, battles and family trees. At about 270 pages, its a quick read that provides a wide lens perspective to a period thats usually written about in close detail. For any fan of medieval history Id say its a great addition to the library and a good big picture resource that will help fit the individual events into history more clearly.
 
Reactions: Duo and NSFW
Jul 29, 2012
21,161
5,455
"The Hundred Years War"

The English in France, 1337-1453

by Desmond Seward


published 1978


One of those bits of history thats endlessly fascinating but so labyrinthine and deep that it requires something more than casual reading to really grasp fully, the Hundred Years War helped shape, of course, the nation of France and the character of the French and english............as well as the nature of the following War of the Roses. As a single volume work covering the whole of the 'war' this book has to concentrate on only the major events and persons, sketching out the broad sweep of the conflict then zeroing in on important battles or political maneuvering. Oddly enough, it almost fully ignores Joan of Arc, a central character in most popular histories of the subject. That said, a lot of the other character sketches in the book are great and add color to what would be,otherwise,a long slog through dates, battles and family trees. At about 270 pages, its a quick read that provides a wide lens perspective to a period thats usually written about in close detail. For any fan of medieval history Id say its a great addition to the library and a good big picture resource that will help fit the individual events into history more clearly.
You are a new England intellectual that over reads. But you are also a redneck, and you've taught us that rednecks can't read so...are you sure you understand these books?
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat

SwollenGoat

Deicide
May 17, 2013
63,808
23,072
The House that Peterbilt
You are a new England intellectual that over reads. But you are also a redneck, and you've taught us that rednecks can't read so...are you sure you understand these books?
I think maybe Im a new englander wearing a redneck costume................. :conf

that said,new england is filled with rednecks................new england rednecks tend to have books though,unlike proper florida rednecks



'understanding' is a matter of degree anyway..............the more ya read,the more ya understand as the bits and pieces fall into their proper places...........

sometimes I think Im on the edge of grasping the big,hidden picture...............sometimes I am stunned by the depths of my own ignorance
 

Haggis

CHB World Championship People's Champion
May 16, 2013
42,608
19,576
One thing I like about the book threads is that - for some mysterious reason - you never, EVER see any of the Trumptards in them.

:hat
 
Reactions: SwollenGoat