Miscellaneous Rumbles

What Are You Reading Right Now?

26

"Waylon Jennings' Autobiography". I never knew how much he liked and respected Duane.

27
I have a bucket list goal of reading the biographies of every United States President.

That's an interesting goal. Commendable.

Just curious (and I ain't looking to start no political brouhaha), would you read a Donald J. Trump biography?

28

Lennon in America 1971-1980 Based in part on the lost Lennon diaries.

Geoffrey Giuliano

29

Guitarmike, I read the Rosen book based on the Lennon diaries (at least I think it was- he claimed to have the diaries for a time, then they were taken away). It was a very, very strange book. I'd prefer to believe it was a work of fantasy, yet parts seemed to ring with an uncomfortable resonance of truth.

30

I usually have multiple books going at the same time. Currently I have three.

I have these waiting at the library but haven't started them yet:

31

Spiritwalker:

Assuming he takes the Oath Of Office on Friday, I will read his biography; however I read The Art of the Deal in college (early 1990's) which was a ghost written semi-autobiography.

He would not be my next on my list though.

There have been great, not-so-great and what some would consider do-nothing presidents (Chester Alan Arthur, Millard Fillmore as examples). Regardless, all of them have contributed to America today. Also, as time progresses, history can be kinder and / or harsher as new research and scholarship comes to light. Additionally, when new generations look at "the history" a new perspective can begin to form.

32

Spiritwalker:

Assuming he takes the Oath Of Office on Friday, I will read his biography; however I read The Art of the Deal in college (early 1990's) which was a ghost written semi-autobiography.

He would not be my next on my list though.

There have been great, not-so-great and what some would consider do-nothing presidents (Chester Alan Arthur, Millard Fillmore as examples). Regardless, all of them have contributed to America today. Also, as time progresses, history can be kinder and / or harsher as new research and scholarship comes to light. Additionally, when new generations look at "the history" a new perspective can begin to form.

– Spartanman

Chet Arthur was a surprisingly effective president. During his presidency the modern civil service was created, reducing the power of corrupt government appointees. He was so successful at that, he was denied the nomination for the next election by an angry Republican Party, who had expected that he would have furthered their ambitions of government control rather than thwarting them.

(Ironically the current Republican controlled Congress has attempted to undermine the independent civil service by reviving the Holman Act, passed in 1876. Under this act, which preceded Chester Arthur, Congress can cut the pay of any specific civil servant to one dollar per year.)

On the other hand there was a truly terrible run of bad presidents beginning with Zachary Taylor, including Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James Buchanan, each worse than the last. Buchanan is likely the least successful president ever, which was surprising at the time as he was highly respected before being elected. (Much like Herbert Hoover, another ineffective president.) He did nothing to help the country heal its divisions, in fact Buchanan probably accelerated the onset of the Civil War.

33
I have a bucket list goal of reading the biographies of every United States President.

That's an interesting goal. Commendable.

Just curious (and I ain't looking to start no political brouhaha), would you read a Donald J. Trump biography?

– Spiritwalker

I recently read a biography of James K Polk, the greatest unknown American president.

34

dr. milktruck:

Agree with your point 100%. Also on your take re: Chester Arthur -- you are making my point. Most people say, "What did Arthur ever do?" Just because he was little known or had a short tenure does not mean he wasn't important; he just didn't make the big headlines like others. He also did not run for re-election and so I think that limited his visibility to subsequent generations.

Agree with your other assessments -- particularly with Buchanan. Probably the worst president in history. Might disagree with you on Hoover; his pre and post presidential public service work was probably much better than his presidential work.

At any rate, I encourage everyone to read presidential biographies, as it usually provides good insight as to what was going on in America at the time -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

35

I started reading this yesterday. My wife got it for me for Christmas and it's awesome because (apparently) I know nothing about the origins of the Misfits. Reading this, I gather I'm a victim of 1) myths on the Internet or 2) myths from the band itself.

Either way, I'm really enjoying it.

36

Currently reading Dangerous Visions, a famous anthology of speculative fiction edited by Harlan Ellison from 1967. I'm a big fan of Golden Age sci-fi, and this has stories by Asimov, Silverberg, Dick, Pohl, Anderson, Bloch, etc...

Over Christmas , my nephew gave me Hero Of The Empire, a biography of Winston Churchill's life and escapades during the Boer War. Blew through it in 4 days. An excellent read.

I also finished reading David McCullough's book The Wright Brothers. Would also recommend it highly.

As for presidential biographies, I couldn't recommend enough Sandburg's Abraham Lincoln. I read it last year, and it just made him even more of one of my personal heroes (I grew up in Central Illinois, so I grew up learning about him from an early age). I went to DC over the Holiday break and made the pilgrimage to the Lincoln Memorial. Memorable!

38

dr. milktruck:

Agree with your point 100%. Also on your take re: Chester Arthur -- you are making my point. Most people say, "What did Arthur ever do?" Just because he was little known or had a short tenure does not mean he wasn't important; he just didn't make the big headlines like others. He also did not run for re-election and so I think that limited his visibility to subsequent generations.

Agree with your other assessments -- particularly with Buchanan. Probably the worst president in history. Might disagree with you on Hoover; his pre and post presidential public service work was probably much better than his presidential work.

At any rate, I encourage everyone to read presidential biographies, as it usually provides good insight as to what was going on in America at the time -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

– Spartanman

Thank you. I think we are in agreement on Hoover too. I think he was great before but not a great President. I don't remember much of his post presidential career though.

39

I just finished reading Herbie Hancock's autobiography "Possibilities," which I found fascinating. Not only is Herbie one of my favorite musicians, but he's intelligent, thoughtful and articulate --- he seems like someone I'd enjoy talking to about life, philosophy, music, and just about anything else.

42

The Lost City of the Monkey God: A True Story, by Douglas Preston. Reads like Raiders of the lost ark, but true. Fascinating, his description of the parasitic disease they picked up in the jungle is the stuff of nightmares.

43

Getting ready to do more flying than I like to enable doing things I love. So, I'm taking along to reread: Thomas Merton's Seven Storey Mountain (His epiphany occurred one block from my office); and my 50 year old or older copy of the Bhagavad Gita (I'm traveling for George stuff). I'll add one from the pile of George books I've not yet gotten around to reading that authors kindly have sent me. And, yes; I am taking BOOKS, real paper and binding BOOKS.

44

I love real paper and binding books.Dog eared and shared especially. I have tried Ebooks and find them incredibly convenient--but for whatever reason,comprehension plummets.

Current read is the Elvis Costello bio. Great writing as one would expect.

45

I got a healthy start on the EC autobiography while we were at the beach last month but somehow got derailed. It's on the nightstand nagging me.

Instead, I've just started in on the Royall Tyler translation of Tale of the Heike — often described as the Japanese Iliad. Two powerful clans at war in the twelfth century, traditionally performed in song, lots of Buddhist philosophizing about the transience and futility of it all. My academic background was largely focused on Japanese religion and history, so I can't believe it's taken me this long to read it.

My wife and I were just lamenting how much we miss reading books, but work and family commitments leave precious little time to really lose yourself in a book. I've never been a paperback bestseller type, but the amount of attention required by a meaty historical read just takes forever now!

46

A biography of LaPerouse, and Contact by Matthew B Crawford.

47

Re-read 1984 recently. Much better understanding of it as an adult. I pepper in some older required-reading classics now and then to get what I only skimmed through in my school days (daze).

Keith Richard's autobiography Life is a start-stop-start-stop because it's so long. It's good reading but my time is limited.

48

Reading 'The Haunted Fifties' by I F Stone. Starts out during the McCarthy 'witch hunt' era and basically shows the hypocrisy and corruption of our elected officials that ruined citizens' lives. Shows how those in power will do anything to hang on to it. Still relevant today.

49

Just finished "They Eat Puppies Don't They?" by Christopher Buckley. I enjoy socio-political satire, and I think Buckley (son of William F.) does a very entertaining job. "Little Green Men" is my fave of his.

50

I just started reading this Keith Moon biography given to me by a friend. So far it's very good with a lot of detail. The author keeps stressing that Keith was always embellishing stories that turned into legend. He is trying to peel back the myths and get to the truth. Keith Moon was one of kind!


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