16 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2018 5:46 AM by jane-e

    The Lounge Forum Book Club

    Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

      I've exchanged the odd PM about books we are reading with other forum regulars, and I thought it might be useful to start an ongoing thread.  I've never been without a book since I was a teenager, although nowadays, I pretty much exclusivity listen to audio books on my phone.

       

      What prompted me to start this thread now, was having just finished 'To Kill a President' by Guardian journalist Johnathon Freedland, who writes fiction under the pseudonym Sam Bourne.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I started the book, but while it is fiction, it turned out to be an obvious depiction of Donald Trump and his inner circle of cronies.  The Presidents Chief of Staff sounds very like Steve Bannon, right down to the scary, and totally out there, agenda.  At one point they engineer an event that allows them to revoke the Constitution on the grounds that it gets in the way of public safety.  The same event drives an Executive Order compelling media outlets to be licensed — a license that can be revoked if the department, headed by the Prtesident's daughter, does not like the licensee's content.

       

      As a book, it was fast paced and exciting, and impossible to put down from about the midpoint onwards.  Comments I have seen are predictably divisive, but for the most part, the stunts and behaviour this 'fictional' President and his team are guilty of, are an irrefutably accurate description of Donald Trump.  [SPOILER] OK it gets a bit wild toward the end, when Trump uses the CIA to assassinate business rivals, but to my mind, it is not an impossible stretch of the imagination.

       

      I also tried to listen to Alec Baldwin's 'You Can't Spell America Without Me', but I suspect this would work better as a printed book.  Alec recorded the audiobook using his Trump Voice, and it soon got wearisome for me, and I gave up half way into the book.  I found the jokes repetitive, and unlike 'To Kill a President' it pulled its punches and didn't hit hard enough.  To be fair, I was amazed that 'To Kill a President' went as far as it did  — those first amendment rights surely have limits on what folk can say about each other.

       

      So what have been your favourite reads of 2017?

        • 1. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          I don't read political, I get enough of that on the daily news

           

          Other than that, just about anything and everything... J.D.Robb is a favorite

          • 2. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
            davescm Adobe Community Professional

            One of the best reads this year , I read at the turn of the year and was David Lagercrantz excellent novel "The Girl in the Spiders Web". This followed on from Steig Larsson's  "Millenium" series which started with the "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I wondered how a change in author would work after Steig Larsson died - however David's book was a worthy follow on and an excellent read.

            I am about to start the 5th in the series , also by David LagerCrantz - "The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye so will comment back here once I've read it.

             

            If you have not read any of them, start with Steig Larsson's first in the series and read them in order. The stories and characters do follow on.

             

            Dave

            • 3. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              For anyone who has a Kindle or other device, and reads SF, here is a link to free books

               

              Free Library - Categories

              • 4. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                I've read The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and quite liked it, but not enough to follow on with the series.  Jo Nesbo is more my cup of tea when it comes to Scandinavian authors, and I have read most of his books.

                 

                My favourites of this year have been:

                Lee Child's latest Jack Reacher book 'The Midnight Line' which I thought one of the better Reacher novels.

                Joe Ide's 'IQ' and 'Righteous'.  These were one of those special discoveries, if you don't mind that LA Gang thing.

                'The One', by John Mars.

                'Two Kinds of Truth' by Michael Connelly.  You can always trust Michael Connelly to be a good read.

                Brett Battles most recent two Johnathon Quinn titles that I was pleased to discover I had not yet read.  Definitely a favourite series.

                'End Game' by David Baldacci.  I always feel a bit guilty about liking David Baldacci books.  This one was especially formulaic and derivative and I can see why Lee Child takes issue with some of his characters.  This book was OK, not not great.

                Marc Cameron — wow. Vince Flynn eat your heart out.  Totally edge of your seat fast paced spy type novels.  One of those, 'can't wait for the next one' authors.

                'The Kill Artist' by Daniel Silva.  Possibly my #1 favourite series.

                Having dissed Vince Flynn, who is now sadly deceased, I have to mention the Mitch Rapp books.  Kyle Mills is continuing the series, and I'd say every bit as well as Flynn did.  An American Assassin has been made into a movie, and is not too bad.

                The Victor the Assassin books by Tom Wood.  I have found Victor to be less likeable as a person as the series has progressed, but I am not sure why I would expect an assassin to be nice.

                The Pike Logan books by Brad Taylor.  Very well written, and more believable than most spy type novels.

                Andy McNab and Chris Ryan.  I _sometimes_ read one of their books if I can't find anything else, but the characters are ugly, misogynist, darker than dark people with few redeeming features.  They leave me feeling that I could not be friends with the average SAS member.

                Greg Hurwitz is another one of those special finds.  Orphan X is his best known novel, but I have eight of his books and loved them all.

                Andrew Britton write about similar characters as Marc Cameron and Tom Wood.  Well worth reading.

                Stephen Leather's Spider Shepard series, but not his Nightingale books. 

                Sean Black.  His main character is Ryan Lock who is a sort of super bodyguard come investigator.  Good stuff, but not up there with some of the above.

                Randy Wayne White.  He has a long series of stand out titles that you'll feel compelled to work through.  I have read all his stuff at least twice.  Hi Doc Ford books are centred around the Florida Keys and feature a marine biologist come government hit man,  It sounds far fetched, but it is intelligently written, and wholly enjoyable.

                Joseph Finder's Nick Heller series.  One of my favourites.

                 

                Blimey, I have loads more, but I better stop for the time being.

                • 5. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                  Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                  https://forums.adobe.com/people/John+T+Smith  wrote

                   

                  For anyone who has a Kindle or other device, and reads SF, here is a link to free books

                   

                  Free Library - Categories

                  Thanks for that John.  I had to give up on SiFi when my near sight meant I needed large print, but the Kindle fixed that.  I recently reread Snow Crash and the William Gibson titles.  Snow Crash is an all time favourite, but Neil Stephenson went a bit weird after that.  I managed to plow my way through the lengthy Cryptonomicon, but his more like fantasy titles like Anathem left me cold.  I like and have read most of Terry Pratchett's stuff, but I am not sure that counts as SiFi.   What I did manage to find this year was A.E.Van Voigt's World of Null A, which is one of the first books I read, but it was a disappointment.  I have tried to source Players of Null A without success.   I did reread hi Voyage of the Space Beagle this year though, and that was every bit as good as I remembered.

                   

                  BTW  If anyone is interested in a source of audiobooks, drop me a PM.

                  • 6. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                    Ussnorway Adobe Community Professional

                    right now I'm half way through "Memoirs by Wt Sherman" but its an easy read after Grant's... probably go back to Tamara Mcwilliam next for a naughty smile

                    • 7. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                      Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Used to like to read, but really haven't found the time for it. Too many other things to do - like read forum post.

                      • 8. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                        Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                        https://forums.adobe.com/people/Chuck+Uebele  wrote

                         

                        Used to like to read, but really haven't found the time for it. Too many other things to do - like read forum post.

                        Chuck I have gone completely to audio books now, and have not used my Kindle for about two years.  I listen to the books on my phone, and do so when I am driving, cooking, shopping, playing Minesweeper (I _almost_ broke two minutes yesterday), or any time I don't need to concentrate.  There are disadvantages, like if you need to reference an earlier passage.  With the Kindle you can bookmark and go straight to it, or use the computer to search.  Some audiobooks have one file per chapter, and are easy to find your place.  Others have a single large file (anything up to 500Mb) and are a pain if you lose your place.  IOS 11.*** is better at keeping your place than it used to be, and it doesn't go to the beginning of the file after charging etc. but I have been known to fall asleep while listening.

                         

                        I find it liberating.  Smart Phone buds have stop start and volume controls on the cable.  When I need to interact with anyone I tap the play button and pull one side out.  If the phone goes, hit the Play button to answer — there is a microphone in the control unit.  When done hit the Play button again to hang up, and the book will restart from the point you interrupted it.

                        • 9. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                          KJerryK MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          I still prefer books made of paper, mostly fiction, although I do listen to audio when running. I often re-read books that I have already read when I can't find new ones that appeal to me.

                           

                          A couple of my current favorites:

                           

                          Laurie R King  -- books about Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes -- full length novels are a bit much for Sherlock, but these books are really about Mary, so it works.

                           

                          Lincoln Barnett -- The Universe and Dr. Einstein -- first published in 1948 but I just found it recently. Not fiction, unless you are a relativity skeptic. The only book, I think, for which Einstein wrote the foreword and he says it is a "brilliant" portrayal of relativity. This surprised me because the author says, essentially, that what one sees is the actual physical truth, even though another person may see the same thing differently. This can be interpreted as saying the relationship to actual physics of the theory of relativity is in the eyes of the beholder.

                           

                          And current re-reads:

                           

                          Rex Stout -- Nero Wolfe stories.

                          C. S. Forester -- Horatio Hornblower stories.

                          Isaac Asimov -- Anything he wrote.

                          • 10. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                            Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Used to listen to books on tape on long car drives, but haven't done that recently. Never read a book in any form, other than paper. Guess I should get with the times.

                            • 11. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                              https://forums.adobe.com/people/Chuck+Uebele  wrote

                               

                              Used to listen to books on tape on long car drives, but haven't done that recently. Never read a book in any form, other than paper. Guess I should get with the times.

                              Paperback fiction costs about NZ$38 a book here, and you soon run out of space to store it, unless you swap.  Kindle books cost about $10, but there is an apparently endless supply of free Kindle books online, and the .mobi files are only two or three Mb in size, so you could store half a million on a single 1Tb drive. 

                               

                              Asimov's books all seem to stand the test of time, and are every bit as enjoyable to revisit time after time.  When new material is thin on the ground, I go right through authors like Asimov, Iain M Banks, and William Gibson.  A lot of SiFi I enjoyed years ago, seems dreadful if I pick them up now.  I can remember enjoying L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth series, until discovering his link to Scientology.  I became genuinely worried that I might be somehow brainwashed if I read more of his fiction, and never looked at another one of his books. This was a long time ago.

                              • 12. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                                Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Yea, I haven't touched any of Hubbard's stuff. I've read just about all Asimov's books. John Irving was another favorite author.

                                • 13. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                                  Gutterfish Adobe Community Professional

                                  I don't really do straight modern fiction.  I do read classics I've never read, though.

                                  Apart from that I prefer to read non-fiction & mostly collections of arguments and essays

                                  on various topics. Currently I'm getting into Oliver Sacks.

                                   

                                  Best thing I've read this year:

                                  A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never do Again:   David Foster Wallace

                                   

                                  It's collection of articles he wrote for various magazines

                                  My favorite three were

                                  his critique of "post-modern-irony" in television and how it effects US fiction writing (dense and challenging)

                                  his account of the three days he spent covering the Iowa State Fair for Harpers Magazine (hilarious)

                                  his account of an assignment by Rolling Stone to take a 7day Luxury Cruise of the Caribbean and then write about it (hilarious)

                                   

                                  I'm probably a little late to the game but he is currently (or posthumously) my favorite writer.

                                  The dude's writing is hilarious & brilliant.

                                  Check out his commencement speech given at Kenyan College

                                  This is Water This Is Water by David Foster Wallace Full Speech - YouTube

                                  And beware Infinite Jest..

                                  • 14. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                                    Gutterfish Adobe Community Professional

                                    https://forums.adobe.com/people/Chuck+Uebele  wrote

                                     

                                    I've read just about all Asimov's books.

                                    I went through A period when I devoured all of his letter/essay collections.  So fascinating

                                    • 15. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                      https://forums.adobe.com/people/Paul+Michelle  wrote

                                       

                                      https://forums.adobe.com/people/Chuck+Uebele   wrote

                                       

                                      I've read just about all Asimov's books.

                                      I went through A period when I devoured all of his letter/essay collections.  So fascinating

                                      His Laws of Robotics are still used and referenced today 75 years after he introduced them.  That's quite an achievement.  A tiny SPOILER here, but Daniel, a robot who is featured in several of his books, and lives for thousands of years in multiple updated bodies, is able to interpret those laws more fluidly than other robots, because he is looking at the bigger picture.  I can't remember if that meant allowing individual humans to come to harm, but I suspect that is the case. 

                                       

                                      So a result to be sure, because I now realise I can revisit some of those books again and I know it will be a treat.

                                       

                                      At the moment I am not quite half way through Peter Watt's Blindsight, and it is harder work than some SiFi I have read.  I'll definitely finish it though.  As I write this it is four hours until Fire and Fury is released, and I am going to read it for sure.  That's despite thinking that I would never in my life want to read anything that Steve Bannon had contributed to.  Having been inspired to start this thread after reading Sam Bourne's To Kill a President, it will be interesting to see how close Bannon's an Michael Wolff's 'truth' comes to Same Bourne's fiction.

                                      • 16. Re: The Lounge Forum Book Club
                                        jane-e Adobe Community Professional

                                        I have read (and re-read) most of Lisa See—I'd have to say she's my favorite. I like historical fiction such as The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. I had to read The Sixth Extinction three times because there was so much in it. I really enjoyed The Wright Brothers by David McCullough and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. And a year or two ago I read Being Mortal, Brain on Fire, Bright Hour, and When Breath Becomes Air.

                                         

                                        This is a partial list—maybe I'll think of more later.

                                         

                                        I listen on my long commutes and read when I am home.

                                         

                                        I did not listen to Alec Baldwin's book based on Trevor's advice. Thank you, Trevor.

                                         

                                        And whether it's Kindle or audio, I check them out from my library using OverDrive on my iPad.