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Thread: What are you currently reading?

  1. #576
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    suck it, wonderwoman: the misadventures of a hollywood geek by olivia munn, also of the daily show w/jon stewart.

    risk management handbook for healthcare organizations

    superfreakonomics

    ...all of which i'm enjoying on my 3Gwifi nook.

    oh! i'm also reading pride and prejudice again, for free, on my nook. apparently, B&N makes parts of its classics library available at no cost to nook owners. as an english major, of course i love it!
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

  2. #577

    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    I just read The Mortal Engines Quartet, YA SF books. They're good, but they're really really dark. There are plenty of heroics, but there's lots of death (even some of the good guys get it!). It's set in a post-apocalyptic world about 2,000 years after the inevitable (naturally) nuclear war (The Sixty-Minute War!).

  3. #578
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    Cool Re: What are you currently reading?

    ASSUMED IDENTITY by David Morrell
    ~Lika

    \\000// Malama Pono \\000//

  4. #579
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    I'm half-way into Cold Skin by Albert Sánchez Piñol, translated from the Catalan by Cheryl Leah Morgan (I'm really fascinated that he chooses to write in Catalan). This is a monster story that’s more than just a monster story.

  5. #580
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    I just finished reading Breakfast In Bridgetown, a guide book about great places to eat breakfast in Portland, Oregon
    http://www.breakfastinbridgetown.com

    The author is about to release a 2nd edition, which I've pre-ordered, so I look forward to it when it's scheduled for release next month.

    I have a number of books ready to read, but two I'm currently pondering on:
    Bootleg!: The Rise & Fall Of The Secret Recording Industry by Clinton Heylin, and Serve The People: A Stir-Fried Journey Through China by Jen Lin-Liu.

  6. #581

    Default Tommy James: Me, the Mob, and the Music

    This was a fun read, especially intriguing were the running insights about an unsung figure in the music 'biz' for decades, Morris Levy.

    Here's a published review that is almost as good as the book...

    If you grew up in the 1960s and owned a transistor radio, you remember Tommy James & The Shondells.
    It was a talented band with a knack for producing hit songs. Some of them were really good — especially the dance hits "Hanky Panky" and "Mony Mony" and the psychedelic ballads "Crimson & Clover" and "Crystal Blue Persuasion." Another was "I Think We're Alone Now," one of the best songs about forbidden teenage love.
    Me, the Mob and the Music - By Tommy James with Martin Fitzpatrick - Scribner 227 pages; $25
    But now, all these years later, we find out that the Shondells had another secret weapon that helped them reach the top of the music charts — the Mob.
    Organized crime figures from the Genovese family in New York City persuaded people in the music industry to make sure that record stores stocked the Shondells' records and that radio stations played them. And according to James, the godfather behind it all was the late Morris Levy, a big, brutal, mobbed-up record executive who died of cancer in 1990. At the time of his death, Levy was appealing a 10-year prison sentence that he had received after his conviction for extortion against a Pennsylvania record retailer.
    James, now 62, a man who has kicked drugs and found religion, tells the story in this fascinating, quick-read book. "Morris was a law unto himself," he recalls. "And what it came down to, you weren't just fighting Morris. You were fighting all of them, the whole Genovese family." For James — born Thomas Gregory Jackson in Dayton, Ohio — it all began quite innocently. He grew up in the 1950s, when his dad managed a small hotel. The hotel had a bar with a great jukebox. Young Tommy fell in love with rock 'n' roll, listening again and again to the songs of Gene Vincent, Elvis Presley and others. As soon as his parents would let him, he got his first guitar and started his first band, the Echoes. They were playing at dances when Tommy was just 12 years old. Seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show made him crazier about rock 'n' roll, and Tommy moved from one band to another. In 1964, he was living in Niles, Mich., and playing with the Shondells when he heard another band play "Hanky Panky." The Shondells started performing it, too, and even made a cheap recording of it. The song drove audiences wild at dances, but the record went nowhere. In April 1966, everything changed. A dance promoter in Pittsburgh found the record in a bargain bin and started playing it. It quickly became a huge hit on Pittsburgh radio, and many of the top record companies in New York City wanted to buy the record, sign up the Shondells and market the song nationwide. Excited as a little kid, Tommy traveled to New York with his manager, and they scheduled meetings with several major record companies. But quickly, all the meetings were canceled, except the one with Morris Levy at Roulette Records. "This is my [very unsuitable expletive for a family newspaper] record!" Levy told the other music big shots. "Leave it alone!" Tommy and his band signed with Roulette, and he changed his name to the easy-to-remember Tommy James. Over the next few years, Levy and his company sold millions of Shondells records. James and the band saw precious little money. James was paid enough to finance a nice New York City apartment, a hot car and all the drugs and booze he could handle. But he didn't make enough from Levy to save a penny. And if James made so little, you have to wonder how much the other Shondells were paid.
    James paints a fascinating portrayal of Levy, the gruff record exec whom he loved, feared and at many times despised.
    "It's gonna be one helluva ride!" Levy told him shortly after James signed with Roulette. And it was. The Shondells' ride lasted about eight years. They traveled constantly and performed with all the top bands of the day on shows like American Bandstand. They rubbed elbows with movie stars and star athletes. In 1968, James formed an odd friendship with Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey, who was running for president against Richard M. Nixon. The drugged-up Shondells traveled with Humphrey and played at his rallies, and Humphrey even wrote the liner notes for one of their albums. The records were selling like hotcakes — they eventually sold more than 100 million albums worldwide — and according to James, the mobsters who hung out in Levy's office made sure of it. How powerful was Levy? Even a Beatle backed off when Levy wanted his way. In 1969, Levy was involved in a widely publicized legal dispute with John Lennon. Levy accused Lennon of plagiarizing some words from one of the songs Levy owned when Lennon wrote "Come Together" for the "Abbey Road" album. The dispute ended with Lennon agreeing to record some more songs owned by Levy on a future album of old rock 'n' roll covers.
    "It is always reported that there are five major crime families in New York — Gambino, Genovese, Colombo, Lucchese and Bonanno — and that's mostly true," James writes. "But back in the sixties, there were six families. All of the above and the Roulette family. It was not for nothing that Morris Levy was called the Godfather of the music business. People from all over the industry called him or came to him to sort out problems." Sometimes using baseball bats to make themselves more persuasive, Levy and his mobster friends made sure the Shondells' records got radio airplay and were stocked in every record store. And according to James, Levy treated songwriters like dirt, sometimes listing himself as the co-author of tunes he didn't write a word of. "[The] flow of Genovese capos in and out of the office was astonishing, each with his own private deal controlled or financed by Morris," James recalls. "Morris had his own private back exit, accessible through a secret door in his office, in case he ever needed a quick exit." The lifestyle could be dangerous. In July 1972, one of Levy's closest aides and constant companions at Roulette — Tommy Eboli — was killed with six gunshots in an ambush outside his girlfriend's apartment. The hit happened one day after James, Eboli and Levy had sat in Levy's office, listening to the latest Shondells record. James finally walked out on Levy in 1974, and despite his talent as a singer and songwriter, his career never hit the same high marks again. He still does some touring and recorded his most recent album of new material in 2006.
    His relationship with the song mogul drove him to drinking, drugs, paranoia and despair. But on the day Levy died, James couldn't stop thinking about him.
    As a child of the '60s, I would argue that the Shondells' songs were good enough to become hits without mobsters, but it was interesting to hear how it all went down. If you're a fan of '60s music, reading this book will seem to go by faster than a version of "Hanky Panky."

    Dan Herbeck
    Last edited by Ron Whitfield; September 22nd, 2010 at 05:47 PM.

  7. #582
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland. I’m 18% into the novel or, to be more precise, on location 1902-7 (more on that later). This book is not nearly as good as the first novel of the Millennium trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it's still an entertaining page-turner.

    More significantly, this is my first e-book on my brand new Kindle. I haven’t explored all its features, but one of the first things I noticed when I began reading the novel was that it had no page numbers. Instead, it had these strange numbers at the bottom. I Googled this, and it turns out there is a lot of discussion going on about this “virtual page number,” mostly from University students and academics wondering how in the world do you cite this. I guess this means another huge re-write in the MLA Style Manual. For me, this academic dilemma does not concern me, but I do miss knowing that I’m on, say, page 100 of a 400-page novel. Now I need a calculator to figure out where I am.

  8. #583
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    "Cooking for Mr. Latte" by Amanda Hesser. Food writer for the NYT Amanda Hesser chronicles from her personal diary the start of her courtship and subsequent marriage through food, friends, family and developing relationship that began as a blind date set up by her best friend. Lots of wonderful recounts of meals, foibles, growth and compromise with many recipes included that illustrate the chapters as they unfold. A great read!

  9. #584
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Currently reading Villain by Shuichi Yoshida, translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel. Though Yoshida is an award-winning author in Japan, and has written nine novels, this is his first to be translated into English. It’s a crime novel, but you can hardly call it a typical whodunnit. It’s more of a psychological novel. He’s much more interested in examining the lives of the people touched by the crime. So far, this is a very good read.

    This novel was also just released as a movie (Akunin) in Japan. It’s already won an award (Best Actress) at the 2010 Montréal Film Festival.

  10. #585
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    I'm in the middle of The Innocent, by Harlan Coben.

  11. #586
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Just finished, "The Invisible Century [Einstein, Freud, and the Search for Hidden Universes]". Amusing compare and contrast of two unrelated men, their ideas and their methods.
    May I always be found beneath your contempt.

  12. #587

    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Just started "End of the Beginning," one of the "what if" historical novels of Harry Turtledove. This one starts with a premise that the Japanese succeeded in driving the Americans out of Hawai`i after attacking Pearl Harbor.

    I've previously read his "Guns of the South," about the Confederacy winning the Civil War.

  13. #588
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    I’m currently reading The Thousand by Kevin Guilfoile. I bought this after reading a glowing review by Michiko Kakutani of the New York Times. I’m about fifty or so pages in, and so far it is an entertaining read, a page-turner of a thriller. However, I have a feeling that I’ve already come across many of the book’s elements before, namely familiar echoes from Stieg Larsson, Dan Brown, Scott Turow, and others. But still, it holds my attention. It definitely is not boring. And it is well written. So I’ll continue.

  14. #589
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    "Invasion" by Dr. Robin Cook.

    A page turner!
    Medical SciFi....
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  15. #590
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    "War & Peace" on my new Kindle
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  16. #591

    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Getting in a lot of reading time this holiday weekend - finished the Turtledove book, then spent a day reading Kim 'Howard' Johnson's long-delayed diary about being an extra on the set of Monty Python's "Life of Brian," titled "Monty Python's Tunisian Holiday." Hoping today to start "Bloodsucking Fiends" by Christopher Moore.

  17. #592
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    still reading "War & Peace".....................
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  18. #593

    Default Vintage Oakland Raiders

    BADASSES

    Start at pg. 130 and hang on. Mr. Davis' wild ride, indeed.

  19. #594

    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    "Journey to the Edge of the World" - based on the television series by Scots comic Billy Connolly, about his excursion across the Canadian Arctic, investigating the famed Northwest Passage.

  20. #595
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    sigh..............still reading "War & Peace". I'm about 1/3 of the way through it.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  21. #596
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by anapuni808 View Post
    sigh..............still reading "War & Peace". I'm about 1/3 of the way through it.
    You still got a looooong way to go, Anapuni. Hang in there!

  22. #597
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    i'm enjoying it. i had forgotten what a great writer Tolstoy was! this is my 2nd time reading this book - i knew how long it was before i started.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

  23. #598
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Currently reading The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk, translated from the Turkish by Maureen Freely. This is the first time I’m reading Pamuk, a Turkish writer who was awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. So far, for me, he has a very rich and intricate writing style, and presents a vivid description of Istanbul.

  24. #599
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    The Best American Short Stories series, various authors, editors, annual.

    I'm on 2005. Some good, some mediocre, few excellent.

    K%
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  25. #600
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    Default Re: What are you currently reading?

    Yay - I finished War & Peace about 10 days ago!!!! now I'm onto "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. The book is much better than the movie.
    "Democracy is the only system that persists in asking the powers that be whether they are the powers that ought to be."
    – Sydney J. Harris

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