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Oblomov26

Oblomov26

Joined May 2016

No tag line, just a book lover from Sydney Australia Huffledor, House Tully
review
Oblomov26
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Pickpick

A fascinating but disheartening collection of reportage on crime and corruption which is currently occurring in and around the world oceans. From piracy, illegal fishing and conservation activists, mercenaries, illegal pollution and slavery this book paints a picture of a space of hazy laws, slack enforcement and massive corruption. This book takes away the fantasy and wonder we associate with the sea and replaces it with a harsh reality.

JanuarieTimewalker13 Great review!! 3d
47 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

Fascinating memoir of one of youngest pilots in the Battle of Britain. Not a great pilot, but a reliable one, Wellum reflects the sad reality of the normal soldier - there is only a limited amount of courage,of fortitude. He started his career with three close friends - two of who were dead before training was over, the third within weeks of being assigned to a squadron. After two years of action you are no longer a useful aviator.

review
Oblomov26
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Pickpick

Fascinating memoir of one of youngest pilots in the Battle of Britain. Not a great pilot, but a reliable one, Wellum reflects the sad reality of the normal soldier - there is only a limited amount of courage,of fortitude. He started his career with three close friends - two of who were dead before training was over, the third within weeks of being assigned to a squadron. After two years of action you are no longer a useful aviator.

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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

Third in the Lymond series and the great Garry Stu may have met his match. Francis travels to Malta to fight against the Turk and to fulfil a personal obligation and meets the virtuous leader and warrior Gabriel. As the action switches back to Scotland, Francis seeks to raise his own force to pacify the borders and Gabriel‘s action reveals that he may not be all his seems. The history is immaculately researched and neatly woven into the narrative.

BarbaraJean Ohhhhh, this series is so good!! Lymond is simultaneously fascinating and infuriating. 2w
Itchyfeetreader Interested in this one ! 2w
LeahBergen Such a great series! ❤️❤️ 2w
Oblomov26 @LeahBergen it is really reminding me of the Flashman series, which I loved but whose character was somewhat less virtuous 2w
41 likes1 stack add4 comments
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Oblomov26
Happy Odyssey | Adrian Carton de Wiart
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The memoirs of a British officer who served from the boer war to the Norway campaign in ww2, after which he was an Italian POW and finally Churchill‘s personal representative to republican China. A man of extreme courage and resilience but lacking in imagination, who despite being wounded 5+ times, losing an eye and a hand declared WW1 an enjoyable war. In many ways so different from modern sensibilities that his actions serves to alienate readers

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Oblomov26
Ubik | Philip K. Dick
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What is Ubik? That is the question in this very strange book. Oh and also what is Half Life and how is it different from death, how do you control people with psychic powers, what happened on Mars and why is reality deteriorating and also what is reality. Yes is very Phillip K Dick and I ended it as confused in as many ways as I was at the start of it. In some ways it reminded me of O'Brien‘s Third Policeman in others it is its own strange beast

Oblomov26 And now I am tempted to get a UBIK spray can tattoo with the motto “Safe when used as directed” 3w
Laura317 It was a strange book, for sure. I quite liked it. 3w
Oblomov26 @Laura317 I enjoyed it a lot but still processing it 3w
62 likes1 stack add3 comments
blurb
Oblomov26
Untitled | Anonymous
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1. 18 I think
2. Mountains - no issues with coasts but I do love forests and mountains
3. Zanzibar - but I could name half a dozen others
4. China or India

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Oblomov26
Yes Please | Amy Poehler
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I picked this up cheap years ago on Audible and driven by a need for something light hearted and easy listening in nature I decided to give this a go. Overall I do not regret the time, a generally funny memoir covering Poehler's career from her days as a struggling Improv artist through to the days of the Saturday Night Live and Parks and Recreation, which I am now inspired to watch.

70 likes1 stack add
blurb
Oblomov26
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Why I love second hand bookshops in small country towns - you can find books from favourite authors that you did not even know existed

61 likes1 stack add
review
Oblomov26
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Opium has been used since Neolithic times and has transmuted in societies perception many times, from painkiller to a trade good to break the Chinese empire, from a sedative in 19th and early 20th century to its illegalisation and then the Opioid craze of the 21st century. The message I took away - we like Opium a lot and making it illegal is not the answer, which seems to rest more in education and societal support for recovering addicts.

63 likes1 stack add
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Oblomov26
Gnomon: A novel | Nick Harkaway
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Upfront statement, I love Nick Harkaway as a storyteller, but this is by far his most baroque tale including a cast of characters such as the detective from a future surveillance state, a banker haunted by a god shark, an ancient alchemist, an artist who can walk through walls and a librarian who is more than she seems. An exploration of a state who has abandoned privacy for security and the implications of such a decision. Does it work

Oblomov26
as a story? Well mostly but I find myself still processing and trying to decide if the thread of the tales all tie together?
2mo
BookwormM I absolutely loved this book 2mo
Oblomov26 @BookwormM I think I am reaching the same conclusion 2mo
54 likes3 comments
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Oblomov26
Kafka on the Shore | Haruki Murakami
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I am not sure what to make of this but will make it a pick for the language. I have read Murakami before, but this is the strangest to date. Kafka, a 15 year old boy flees his loveless home in search of a mother and sister who left year before and finds a new role/ home in a remote private library whilst Nakata an elderly simply soul who can speak to cats kills a mysterious man and is drawn on a parallel journey.

Oblomov26 A story about searching for the missing parts of our souls (I think) told in a world of magical realism. Oh and trigger warning, this story deals with incest including graphic repeated sex scenes, so be warned. 2mo
Curiouser_and_curiouser @Oblomov26 yes, shame I only realised this when I borrowed all of Murakami's books from the library once and offered one of them (this one) for my 16 year old son (who was going through mental health issues at the time), to read. He was telling me about as he read it and I was like "ooops, sorry!" 2w
56 likes1 stack add2 comments
blurb
Oblomov26
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Well working away from the shopping district has been good for my bank balance, but occasionally a walk at lunch time is necessary

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Oblomov26
Babylon Berlin | Volker Kutscher
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An interesting detective story set in Berlin in the 1920‘s during the days of the Weimar Republic. An ambitious but morally compromised young detective seeks to solve a series of murders, which he finds to be linked to a plot involving White Russian and Communists groups, Nazi‘s and corrupt cops who are all searching for a train full of Russian gold.

AlaMich I enjoyed this one too. I did have to do a bit of research here and there to understand the references to political parties etc. 2mo
JazzFeathers I really liked the mystery. I found the historical setting and bit faulty. 2mo
57 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Oblomov26
The Darkening Age | Catherine Nixey
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Well I cannot say this was an enjoyable read, but it was interesting. A book about the destruction of the classical world by a triumphant Christianity in the 4th-6th century AD. Ninety percent of classical writing was lost, great works of arts destroyed or defaced and ways of living which did not pass judgment were persecuted. I found myself mourning that knowledge which has been lost and how close the early Christians reflect modern extremists.

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Oblomov26
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Well I have always been interested in the existentialists and this is a great primer on the subject. Part discussion on the underlying philosophy of existentialism part history of the movement focussing on both the French and the German schools. What came across to me was how flawed these philosophers were; volatile, sensitive, friendships breaking and reforming, and in one case associating with Nazi‘s. But they lived an examined life.

Velvetfur That book is on my TBR, having heard of it on here! I love existentialism, and this is a great review which gives me a really good idea of what this book is like - thank you! 3mo
50 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Another military history, the one focussing on the actions of the SAS in WW2. The key thing which I took away from this book was how unlike regular soldiers these guys were; misfits, outsiders, troublemakers whose discipline came from within rather than imposed externally, closer to being outlaws raiding behind enemy lines conducting sabotage, targeted killing and creating confusion. The template for one class of modern special forces soldier.

51 likes1 stack add
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Oblomov26
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A interesting slice of popular history covering the period 1665-1666, during which the inhabitants of London experienced a major outbreak of the black death, and ongoing war with the Dutch and then the great fire which consumed much of the old city. It is understandable why many citizens felt that they had been damned, even if the cause of the damnation varied based on their political and religious beliefs.

Soubhiville Wow, what a devastating sight! 3mo
66 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
The Darkening Age | Catherine Nixey
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The more things change ...

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Oblomov26
Winter in Madrid | C. J. Sansom
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A thriller from the author of the Shardlake series set in Madrid 1940, after the Civil War and while the WW2 rages in the rest of Europe as a British Spy is entangled in both government and personal plots. Not a great thriller, but enjoyable for the picture it paints of a Spain beaten down by war, divided by previous allegiances, seeking a way to progress into an uncertain future, be it to remain neutral or to join the Fascist movement.

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Oblomov26
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A fascinating follow up book in which Frankopan investigates the growth in power and reengagement with the world, of Asia, especially China and India at the same time that the US and Europe become more isolationist more nationalist. While the US reneges on treaty‘s and creates trade wars, China creates the Belt and Road project creating maritime and rail links across Asia and Europe effectively recreating the Silk Road.

53 likes1 stack add
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Oblomov26
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Now I want to get onto a psychedelic drug test program. Pollan investigates the role that psychedelics have play in human history and the many beneficial affects which are being confirmed in current drug testing programs, including breaking addiction and improving depression anxiety. Effects thought to result from the temporary dissolution of the self and perceived connection with a larger reality which provides perspective on individual concerns.

Graywacke Pretty fascinating stuff 4mo
Cathythoughts Sounds fascinating... I‘m a scaredy-cat when it comes to drugs though- but I find it all really interesting 4mo
iread2much It is interesting, but I wonder if he bothered to look at all sides of the science. Yes there is enormous potential with these drugs, but also a lot of risk and possible societal harm 4mo
45 likes3 comments
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Oblomov26
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A modern palaeontologist provides a detailed narrative of our current understanding of the rise and fall of the dinosaurs. Key takeaway for me were that these creatures were not evolutionary dead ends. They were magnificent creatures, which ruled this world for a lot longer than have, that continued to evolve including developing feathers and that their end was due to a seemingly chance occurrence while they were still at the top of their game.

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Oblomov26
UTOPIA FOR REALISTS. | RUTGER. BREGMAN
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Wow ... this is a book which will make you think. Bregman argues convincingly that whether we like it or not automation is going to change the face of society and work, the only question being whether the change will be for the better or worse. Questions such as how many hours should we work? Should we institute a minimum living wage? Should we institute higher taxes and seek more of a balance between extreme riches and extreme poverty? Or do we

Oblomov26 Let the market sort it out (which has worked so well in the past) 4mo
45 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Michael Palin‘s telling of the tale of HMS Erebus a bomb vessel which was convert in the 1840‘s to act as a exploration ship. Serving for an extended expedition in the Antarctic under the command of Ross seeking to map magnetic south and then as Franklin‘s flagship in the search for the northwest passage. A tale of despair as the ships are encased in ice and weeks turns to month and years. Reading this you feel the cold seeping into your bones.

TobeyTheScavengerMonk There is an excellent historical horror novel about the same vessel. I highly recommend 4mo
emz711 I listened to the audiobook. It was nice listening to his voice! 4mo
49 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Oblomov26
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Well this was thought provoking. An investigation of the industry which has arisen around death by a practising mortician with many frank tales of her experiences. A impassioned plea for us as individuals to engage more with death, to become more aware of deaths inevitability, to plan for our passing and how we wish to our bodies to be treat on our death and participate more in the ceremonies associated with the passing of friends and relatives.

britt_brooke This was such an eye-opening read. Loved it! 4mo
AutumnRLS I really loved her From Here to Eternity so I ordered this one. Haven't read it yet, but looking forward to it. Also looking forward to her new one that's coming out. 4mo
SamAnne I really appreciated this book. She has a great interview on Terry Gross‘ Fresh Air from a few years ago. 4mo
61 likes8 stack adds3 comments
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Oblomov26
Fate Is the Hunter | Ernest Kellogg Gann
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Well this was a good old fashioned adventure story. Gann was a commercial pilot during the 30 and 40‘s when not flying transportation for the US army during the war. As a result he portrays a simpler and more dangerous period of air travel, when planes would disappear or crash for seemingly no reason, a time when fate hunted pilots. Gqnn‘s seemingly lived a blessed existence surviving multiple near misses and retired before the luck ran out

Texreader Great review 4mo
rabbitprincess I'm just about to start his book The Aviator! 4mo
48 likes2 comments
blurb
Oblomov26
Untitled | Unknown
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1. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
2. The Blues Brothers (of Course)
3. Walking Spanish by Tom Waits

JoScho 😎🖤😎 5mo
28 likes1 comment
review
Oblomov26
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I had no idea about this piece of American history. The Osage Indians, driven from one reservation to another, in the earlier twentieth century found themselves in possession of the richest oil rights in the US and then members of the community started to die. A tale of exploitation, greed and murder, the resulting case which was essential to the formation of the modern FBI and the investigation of the author into the true scope of the crimes.

Cortg I read this AND listened to the audiobook. Unbelievable! 5mo
Cathythoughts I have this on Audible.... must get to it 👍🏻 5mo
58 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Oblomov26
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Picked this one up cheap. Basically a history of the Israeli targeted killing program. Not sure how I feel about this. Part of me admires the skills and daring of those involved in these operations. Another part of me yells this is about deliberately killing people. Honestly I think that the Israeli‘s missed the point that at the end game is negotiation. Rather by continued aggression they have not created a partner but an implacable enemy.

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Oblomov26
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Sorry to have been away for a while - work and a bit of a reading slump has kept me away. This was an interesting read. Basic argument is that the flowering of thoughts which exploded in the 17th century was due to a combination of the chaos which was unleashed in the thirty year war, the development of a reliable mail network often with a savant in the centre of the mail web and the slow movement from alchemical to scientific mindsets.

iread2much Interesting. Was there no mention of the importance of tea, chocolate and coffee? 5mo
54 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
Artemis | Andy Weir
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Okay this is not the Martian, but you can see the same pedigree. This, Andy Weir‘s second story is not a survival tale, but is much more a heist tale set in the first city on the Moon. Yet despite this it is also a story of a resourceful individual forced to use their experience and intelligence to escape from their circumstance, albeit circumstances which they have placed themselves in. A quick read and not the worse second book I have read.

CouronneDhiver Stacked! 5mo
Mandoul Brilliant thanks! Stacked it too 😀 5mo
51 likes2 stack adds2 comments
review
Oblomov26
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Third in the Avery and Blake detective series set in a 1840‘s England. A series of poisonings have been traced to the Reform Club, where Alexis Soyer greatest celebrity chef of his age is due to prepare a state dinner for a visiting dignitary and Avery is asked to investigate. Not the greatest detective story, but a fascinating glimpse into the London club scene, food preparation and contamination and the politics of the period.

Oblomov26 Also as an aside – Alexis Soyer was a real individual, a genius in the kitchen, a celebrity due to this and his eccentricities, but also a campaigner and inventor who created simple soup kitchen equipment, feed the poor and created a camp oven for the British Military which was still in use a hundred years later. 5mo
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Oblomov26
Wild Sheep Chase | Haruki Murakami
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This is my second Murakami and I am now hooked. The narrator and his girlfriend with perfectly formed ears are forced by a head of the Japanese far right to search for a mysterious sheep spirit , a journey which will lead to the mountains of Hokkaido, an abandoned farm, an encounter with an old friend and the sheepman. I take it as a metaphor for Japan‘s history and its experience with right wing politics. But then again I may be completely wrong.

zezeki This is the first Murakami I read, and I absolutely loved it. Been meaning to reread it for ages. 6mo
58 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
Oblomov26
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An interesting memoir with a hard to like protagonist. Jake McNiece is one of those guys who are a rare breed these days, he liked to fight, did not like taking orders and would ignore rules by default. Despite never officially achieving a rank beyond Private he unofficially led a 13 man demolition team in the 1001st airborne which is said to have formed the basis for the Dirty Dozen, and then was a paratroop pathfinder unit later in the war.

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Oblomov26
Man Called Ove | Fredrik Backman
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Okay the hype has kept me from reading this book, but now I have, I understand the love for this tale. Ove is a cranky old man, recently widowed without family, who just wants people to follow the rules and leave him alone. When a new family moves into his neighbourhood he finds himself drawn back into community and life despite himself, finding people who cares for him and to whose life he can contribute. Surprised how much this tale touched me

CoffeeNBooks I love Ove!! 6mo
Texreader It‘s such a beautiful story 6mo
JennyM It is a lovely tale ♥️ 6mo
Cathythoughts Nice review! The hype has kept me away too ... Might give it a go as well 👍🏻 6mo
Kaye I have started this more times than I can count. Just like Britt Marie. I finally kept going with Britt and really liked it. Maybe someday Ove will be the same. 6mo
82 likes4 stack adds5 comments
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Oblomov26
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Walked through a bookshop at lunch and opened this book at random....... hmmm do they mean the First Fleet under Arthur Phillips(Cook and the Endeavour was here 17 years earlier) ? Makes me wonder what the history is like in the rest of the book 😨

CarolynM Whoever does the fact checking at that publishing house should be out of a job. That's really bad. 6mo
52 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
The Ruin | Dervla McTiernan
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Well I ploughed through this. A detective returns to the west of Ireland after years in Dublin and finds himself involved in an investigation of a suicide which touches on a twenty year old case of drug overdose and child abuse, the case that started his career in the Garda. A well plotted detective tale with multiple threads to be chased down, internal politics and corruption within the police force and a cast of interesting characters.

JazzFeathers You've sold me ☺ 6mo
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Oblomov26
Murder in Mississippi | John Safran
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I have fallen down a John Safran hole recently. John realises that he had met and interviewed (and pranked) a white supremacist in Louisiana who was murdered by a black man. When it transpires that the man who committed the murder worked doing odd jobs for the victim and that the case included a sexual component and John has to investigate. An interesting true crime tale, investigating the role that race, sex and money had played in the murder.

8little_paws I freaking loved this book. It was also published as God'll cut you down 6mo
57 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
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1. Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel
2. Aquarius - but I really do not believe in astrology
3. Mikhail Lermentov: specifically Hero for our time- a mates recommendation which sent me down the hole of Russian and Classical literature
4. Not sure I know anyone on Litsy well enough to tag them. I may not believe in Astrology but know I am an introvert

wanderinglynn 👋🏻 You can always tag people you‘d like to get to know. 😉 6mo
42 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
We Are Legion (We Are Bob) | Dennis E. Taylor
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And the Geeks shall inherit the Galaxy. One moment Bob has sold his tech start up, is wealthy happy and next he is dead. Revived as a computer program in the distant future, he is made the pilot of a Von Neumann machine and sent to prepare the galaxy for human colonisation. Soon there are many Bob‘s and his personality means his has gone of his creators script. The first in a series, a very fun quick read in the style of the Martian.

TheSpineView I read the whole series and loved them all! 6mo
50 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
Untitled | Unknown
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1. 1960‘s before Hunter‘s highwater mark, when their was still a dream of change.
2. These days any format. Audio to occupy me when I am focusing on other things, screen or book? Whatever I can lay my hands on
3. Older - 15 years older. OMGi am ancient
4. Almost exactly 100 miles
5. Sorry not really me

Suet624 I‘m more ancient than you. Not necessarily a race I enjoy beating you at. 😀 (edited) 6mo
37 likes1 comment
review
Oblomov26
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Mehso-so

Well this is was a quick read, but I am not sure what I think about it. In some ways having grown up in a working class family in Australia, being the first to go university I recognise some of the circumstances he discusses and going home to my old neighbourhood I also know people like he describes. But I also find myself disagreeing with his politics and the level of his self satisfaction which comes across in his writing. He asks valid and

Oblomov26 Pressing questions facing the working class in the developed world, but I am not sure he offers any answers. How do you provide a supportive family environment for those kids from broken homes given the break down in social capital which such societies have experienced? (edited) 6mo
CocoReads Those were my thoughts as well. I gave it a pick because although I didn‘t agree with his politics and I didn‘t feel he had any answers, I did come to understand my husbands family a bit more. 6mo
Oblomov26 @CocoReads I very nearly gave it a pick ... it is in that difficult to assign middle ground for me 6mo
See All 10 Comments
CocoReads @oblomov same here-I tend to love a book or hate a book but I‘m trying to be better at middle ground. The other reason I gave a pick was that I‘m not much of a non fiction reader but I did keep turning the pages in this one. 6mo
Chrissyreadit @CocoReads @Oblomov26 this is on my TBR, and I am a transplant to WV. After reading more reviews I‘m struggling- I‘ve never lived in a place where people seem so quick to work against themselves. 6mo
Joanne1 I had similar feelings. I enjoyed the memoir aspects of the book but not so much his political stance or the answers (or lack of) he offered. 6mo
Aimeesue I loathe this book. Vance blames people entirely for the situations they're in without even mentioning the systemic problems (lack of health care, public transportation, employers that pay living wages, etc) that contribute. I get the whole pull-yourself-up-by-the-bootstraps sentiment, but that doesn't work if you have no boots AND you have to worry about lack of day care, medical appointments in the next county, aged parents all at once. Ugh. 6mo
Oblomov26 @Aimeesue and this is the reason I left it at so so and what I meant in regards to the lack of social capital - broken families, no extended support structures, lack of defined community reduced government assistance etc. He acknowledges he only made it because of his grandparents (he had boots). What is the answer? Wished I had one, only thing I know it cannot be the status quo. 6mo
Schnoebs You should try this.... I read this before going to hillbilly and I actually decided not to pick it up after reading this 6mo
Suet624 @Aimeesue I‘m with you. 6mo
64 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

John Safran is an Australian Gonzo journalist in the style of Jon Ronson, a conflicted questioner of the stranger part of our cultures. In this case he focusses on the rise of extremism in Australia by going and meeting with them; be they Islamic, Anti-Islamic, Jewish, White Supremacists, is left more conflicted and confused than when he started. Yet he also skilfully and humorously highlights the hypocrisy in their positions and actions.

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Oblomov26
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I definitely enjoyed this more than the first volume (I picked up both cheap). History mixed with humour covering Australian history from the 1820‘s to the 1880‘s; a tale of the horrors of a penal colony, the indiscriminate slaughter of the native population, finding gold, racial discrimination, incompetent explorers and bush rangers, feeling like a cavalcade of horrors. Given the subject matter some times the humour works, other times less so .

CarolynM I really liked the first one but I've never got around to this one. It sounds like I should. I know I have a copy somewhere... 7mo
59 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Sunday morning brunch and a visit to a suburban bookstore;it was inevitable I would buy something and this looks fascinating to the ten old in me who was a dinosaur junky

EricaReads It‘s so good! I just finished it 😊 7mo
61 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

After completing Russian Roulette I remembered that I owned this book. Concentrating upon India and the east this book provides more details on how the Soviets sought to raise rebellion in the east and were confronted by the rather eccentric members of the Indian office kicking off a new Great Game. Incorporating tales of attempted rebellions, displaced Turkish leaders and crazy White Russians, a fascinating story that feels more fiction.

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Oblomov26
Stories: All-New Tales | Neil Gaiman, Al Sarrantonio
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A very good collection of short stories themed around the phrase “and then what happens”, that is stories which keep the readers wanting to keep turning the pages. This collection largely complies with this theme, and unlike many such collections I found all of the stories contained to be of good quality or better and not repeats found in other anthologies. If I had to pick a favourite it would be Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Gaiman.

charl08 Love the cover! 7mo
ShyBookOwl Fun concept! 7mo
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Oblomov26
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I am a skeptic, I grew up believing in fortune tellers conspiracies and things that go bump in the night, but the older I get the less so. This book is as a result right up my alley. The author is a Hollywood psychic, but unlike most he is not a believer, but a magician and mentalist who in this book reveals a truth about this profession of hot and cold readings of gullibility and a need to believe. Believer or not, this book is worth a read.

BestDogDad Pyschics who make millions off people by “talking” to their dead relatives as the lowest of the low. So sad. Sounds like a good read! 7mo
C.Perone I'm fascinated by all this stuff; can't wait to read it! Thanks 😊 7mo
60 likes1 stack add2 comments
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

A history of the British intelligence efforts in Russia following the October Revolution, both the SIS in European Russia and the Indian Office in Central Asia. A read filled with interesting characters from Sidney Reilly the ace of spies, Dukes the only man who was ever knighted for espionage activities, to Bailey who at one point joined the Cheka in Tashkent, men who gathered intelligence, conducted sabotage and attempted coups.

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