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red805 2014 books

What did you read in 2014? Post your list here and update it as you go along! (One thread per member, please.)
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red805
Reader
Location: Southern California

red805 2014 books

Postby red805 » Sat March 29th, 2014, 2:46 am

Getting a late start here as a quarter of the year is gone & I can't remember all I've read so far, but I guess I'll just start from today. I'm listening to the audiobook of Guns, Germs, & Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond. Also behind the curve, as usual, as this is a 1997 book. I've actually owned this book, probably since 1997, but have never managed to read it. So I picked up the audiobook & that format actually helps me get through a book that I may have set down & not continued if actually reading it, since my 2-hour daily commute gives a lot of good listening time. I think the audiobook is read by the author. It's a little dry after the last fiction audiobook I listened to but I like his approach in comparing how societies developed because he doesn't just cover Western societies. About two thirds through this.

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Sat March 29th, 2014, 4:10 am

I enjoyed Guns Germs and Steel. There's a several part TV series of the same name, based on the book -- I watched them through netflix.

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red805
Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby red805 » Sat March 29th, 2014, 8:25 pm

Thank you Emily! I'll have to add that to my Netflix list.

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red805
Reader
Location: Southern California

Postby red805 » Sat March 29th, 2014, 8:57 pm

Backfilling some 2014 audio books I've listened to so far this year -

The Panther by Nelson DeMille - 3/5 stars - it would be a page-turner if I wasn't listening to it on a cd. Some unbelievable plot turns towards the end really downgraded the rating though. The John Corey character is a smart aleck who must be the author's alter ego. The other characters were not as well drawn. I was hoping this would be good, as the setting in Yemen is unusual. Narrator Scott Brick does an excellent job in the audiobook.

The Night Watch by Sarah Waters - 3.5/5 stars - interesting structure, but not up to the level of her Fingersmith or Tipping the Velvet. I couldn't really figure out where she was going with the book, but she writes well & the atypical subject matter (well, not for her) - lesbians, prisoners, outsiders, ambulance volunteers in London in the WWII era was something different.

Little Stranger by Sarah Waters - 2.5/5 stars - Good writing but I'm not much interested in the Rebecca supernatural/ghost story subject matter. A little slow for my taste too.

Zealot by Reza Aslan - 5/5 stars - I discussed in another thread, but excellent & detailed explanation of first century AD Palestine & the author's scholarly examination of the life of Jesus & early Christians. So many details of daily life in Jesus' time are presented & explained that really bring the book to life.

And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini - 4.8/5 stars - My favorite Hosseini book is A Thousand Splendid Suns, & while this book was great, & had some really powerful moments, I thought it was just shy of his previous book. But I would definitely recommend it, although I think reading ATSS & The Kite Runner first would be a good idea. The books are not sequels or have any characters the same, but given the partial California setting this book seems like it comes after the other two to me. He is an amazing writer for sure & I'm glad I finally got to his books.


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