Book of the year

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BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

OK, it's the end of the year. Did you read any good books this year? If so let's hear about it.  No lame title only posts allowed. Tell us the book(s) and why you liked it (them).
 
I'll go first:
 
The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest -  Anatoli Boukreev      Anatoli was a guide on Everest in 96 and a hero as well. Written as a counter to Krakauer's Into Thin Air. Boukreev saved Krakauer's life. Krakauer paid him back placing parial blame for the 96 tragedy on him. I got intersted in this subject after watching Everest on The Discovery Channel.
 
An Innocent Man - John Grisham   Good read of justice gone wrong in small town america.
 
The Ghost of Flight 401 - John Fuller.    An oldie but a goodie. This was a reread of a good ghost story.   The pilots of Eastrn Flight 401 from NY  to Miami crashed their brand spanking new L1011 into the inky black everglades killing about 100 people on board, including all of the Flight crew. Later, flight crews, passengers, and service personel reported seeing apparitions of the dead crew members on aircraft where parts salvaged from crashed plane were used. Cool story, and just enough credibilty to leave a question mark. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the freaked people on these planes were real. A fun book to talk about at parties.
 
On the not so hot list:
 
Velocity - Dean Koontz     My brother finally got me to try Koontz. In this story the protagonist, Billy, a bartender, is given a horrific choice. Regardless of his choice someone will die. This wasn't a bad book, just, as a mystrey novel, I had it figured out too soon. To me the ending was anti climatic. I may give Koontz or one of his other names another try.
 
Currently reading:
 
A Walk In The Woods -  Bill Bryson     Bill's story about walking the Appalachian Trail. Just started it. So far, so good.
 
 
Remember the 50 page rule - If a book doesn't grab you in the first fifty pages, move forward or move on.
 
 
 

henryhill's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-23

The Blind Side by Michael Lewis.  The story of the evolution of the left tackle position in football.  Also follows a top high school recruit for the position.   Excellent book.

badmove?'s picture
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Joined: 2006-06-10

Gold Coast
Word of Honor...both by Nelson Demille....phenominal

Broker24's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-12

I read about 10 books from James Patterson this year. I've read many of the Cross novels in sequence, which has been pretty good. They're quick reads, but you get to follow Cross and his partner throughout their various cases. Certain recurring characters pop up from time to time in each book. I also have read several of his one-off books (usually I buy them at the airport when I travel, and get through one or two during my whole trip).
If you like suspense novels, these are good, quick reads (sort of along the Grisham line).

illinoisrep's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-09

Real all the Grisham books, "The Partner" was my favorite.

Reading Alan Greenspan's new book now. I am enjoying it more than I thought.

Just finished a biography of Mark Twain. Really enjoyed it.

nestegg's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-14

Bible...best book every year

benjamin's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-14

Any of the Clive Cussler stories featuring Dirk Pitt, just finished "Raise the Titanic".  I also like the books by Mitch Anthony, any of them are great for Financial Advisors.  Dunwoody got me to read "The Tao of Pooh" and the "Tao of Willie." 

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Clive is great.  My wife and I listen to a lot of them on CD when we travel. 
 
Jeffrey Deaver is a great detective novelist.  His Lincoln Rhyme books are great reads.
 
I reread all of the Harry Potter books before the Deathly Gallows came out this year.  
 
I've just started reading Dean Koontz.  I love the Odd Thomas series. 
 
If you like westerns I love to read William Johnstone, Ralph Compton, and some others.  Johnstone is my favorite.  His First Mountain Man and Last Mountain Man books are winners. 

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

The new book: E Readers
 
These electronic gadgets allow the user to download books. The two leaders are Sony and a new product by Amazon called the Kindle Reader. The Kindle is by far the better product in that it comes with a high quality wireless service that allows free downloading of content. Amazon is picking up the cost. E books can be downloaded from Amazon's Kindle store. Currently there are over 90,000 titles including over 100 of the books currently on the NYT's best seller list. E books cost is $9.99 with many older books costing much less. The unit is about the size of a paperback.
 
E Readers are picking up steam and this could finally be the product that changes the way we read books. Reviewers like the product but recommend that we wait for the price to come down. Currently $399.99 

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

I have no time for reading, but I do listen to a lot of audiobooks when on the road...

NOVA's picture
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Joined: 2005-01-11

Maxim, November.

BondGuy's picture
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Indyone wrote:I have no time for reading, but I do listen to a lot of audiobooks when on the road...
 
OK, listening counts. If you run across anything you really like let us know.
 
I do have some questions about audiobooks. They are on CD, correct? Any problems in keeping your place on the CD as the car or radio is turned on and off? How would you rate the quality? Do you buy the books or borrow them from the library? If you buy, are there brands that are better than others?And lastly, how long is an average book, time wise?
 
Years ago when I was running one of my businesses we had jobs that were far flung across the Northeast. Late at night, early mornings there was this one radio station that would air narrated stories. Usually they were ghost stories and they were really good. Well told. The miles flew by. If audiobooks are anything like those stories then I can see picking up a few to try.

eggward's picture
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Joined: 2007-08-06

I listen to books.  Buy them on Audible.com and download them to an mp3 player - this allows me to bookmark my place and come back to it whenever I want.  I started this earlier this year and enjoy it more than I expected - it makes a long commute fly by.  Here are some books I "read" this way:
 
Regan Diaries - Very good.  Learned a lot about him and politics.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Everyone in this business should read this.
When Genius Failed - about LTCM....maybe I should reread that and think CDO.
Freakonomics - It looks at numbers in a whole new way.
The Tipping Point.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - Short and very good.
Never Eat Alone - don't waste your time.
For Whom the Bell Tolls - working on it now...had to fit a classic in
 
Read the Bible the old-fashioned way.
 

EDJ4now's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-08

Freakonomics and The Blind Side. 
 
I also second Audible.  If you do a subscription, it cost $7.50/month for a book, regardless of the normal price.  Every month you get a credit, and can then download whatever book you want.

Borker Boy's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-09

I began listening to audio books when I was in law enforcement. A lot of folks got away with driving a tad too fast because I was at a place in the book where I just couldn't turn it off.
 
I also listen to them daily when I'm driving to work and/or running.
 
Once you get started, you'll never listen to FM radio again.

Borker Boy's picture
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Borker Boy wrote:Once you get started, you'll never listen to FM radio again.
 
Let me clarify.
 
Once you discover XM/Sirius radio and audio books, you'll never listen to FM radio again.

illinoisrep's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-09

I listen to audio books also. I download to ipod from audible.com.   I also buy used copies on ebay.

Indyone's picture
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BondGuy wrote:Indyone wrote:I have no time for reading, but I do listen to a lot of audiobooks when on the road...
 
OK, listening counts. If you run across anything you really like let us know.
 
I do have some questions about audiobooks. They are on CD, correct? Any problems in keeping your place on the CD as the car or radio is turned on and off? How would you rate the quality? Do you buy the books or borrow them from the library? If you buy, are there brands that are better than others?And lastly, how long is an average book, time wise?
 
Years ago when I was running one of my businesses we had jobs that were far flung across the Northeast. Late at night, early mornings there was this one radio station that would air narrated stories. Usually they were ghost stories and they were really good. Well told. The miles flew by. If audiobooks are anything like those stories then I can see picking up a few to try.
 
BG, you can get audiobooks on CD, cassette and MP3.  Since both my vehicles have CD and cassette, I've gone mostly the way of cassette, even though it is by today's standards, an antique technology.  CDs will hold your place when you turn a vehicle off, but not when you change vehicles, hence, my preference for cassettes over CDs.  CDs also have a bad tendency to scratch easily and then skip badly, particularly if your road is a bit rough.  I can buy cassette audiobooks on eBay for a pittance, listen to them and then donate them to my local library for a tax deduction.  The local library loves it as they have little cost in a growing audio library.  All they have to do it write me receipts.  As far as quality, they're all fine.  The beauty of audiobooks is that it doesn't have to be high fidelity to be enjoyable.  Average book is 8-12 hours.  I'm "reading" Alexander Hamilton's biography right now for the second time.  After I'm done, that one gets donated to the library.  It's a fascinating story about one of the great early financial minds in this country and I learned a ton about one of the founding fathers that I didn't know.  School history books don't tell half the story (including suspicions that Hamilton may have had homosexual tendencies in his bachelor youth), and I find such stories fascinating, even if they do show some flaws in the romanticized versions of the founding fathers.
 
I've "read" pretty much everything by John Grisham and many Steven Kings and Dean Koontz books.  For a complete change of pace last year, I read  the entire Bible (that took several months).
 
The audible.com thing looks very attractive and will probably be the route I go when I get rid of vehicles with cassette players in them.  MP3s are rapidly making CDs obsolete and I suspect we're approaching a time where all you'll see on car stereos is  a small jack for your mp3 player.
 
I think I covered all your questions.  After reading the other posts, I'm definitely going to migrate toward the audible.com solution.
 
Merry Christmas (or insert religious holiday of your choice here), to all!

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

Indy and everyone else who took time to answer, thank you!
 
One my vehicled has a cassette player and a CD player as well. So, I may try the cassette idea. One of my other cars has a jack for an MP3 which I mostly just stare at and say not yet.
 
It's weird how we get into reading certain books. Last year I found myself with a strange interest in Astronomy. Strange ony because I'd never given a hoot about it before. I couldn't get enough, understood about a third of what I read, and still can't pronounce anything that isn't planet in our solar system. I bought one book because the title applied  "Astronomy For the Utterly Confused." Turns out they meant confused about Astronomy. Anyway, cool stuff.
 
Speaking of our history a great must read book is "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee." This book about how the west was won is from the indian's point of view pulls no punches. Easy to why it was best seller, hard to put down, infuriating, sad, and fasinatingly eye opening at the same time. Turns out our history books left most pesky little details out when it comes to how destiny manifested itself in this country. I'll say only this, The Nez Perce should have killed Lewis and Clark the first moment they saw them. Not doing so was a big mistake. Of course it wasn't in their make up to kill anyone.

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