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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

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.

50 likes1 stack add
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

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! 6d
65 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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Pickpick

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 3w
Cathythoughts Sounds fascinating... I‘m a scaredy-cat when it comes to drugs though- but I find it all really interesting 3w
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 3w
43 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) 1mo
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 1mo
emz711 I listened to the audiobook. It was nice listening to his voice! 1mo
49 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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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! 1mo
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. 1mo
SamAnne I really appreciated this book. She has a great interview on Terry Gross‘ Fresh Air from a few years ago. 1mo
60 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 1mo
rabbitprincess I'm just about to start his book The Aviator! 1mo
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 😎🖤😎 2mo
28 likes1 comment
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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! 2mo
Cathythoughts I have this on Audible.... must get to it 👍🏻 2mo
57 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? 2mo
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! 2mo
Mandoul Brilliant thanks! Stacked it too 😀 2mo
51 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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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. 2mo
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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. 3mo
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Oblomov26
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Pickpick

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!! 3mo
Texreader It‘s such a beautiful story 3mo
JennyM It is a lovely tale ♥️ 3mo
Cathythoughts Nice review! The hype has kept me away too ... Might give it a go as well 👍🏻 3mo
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. 3mo
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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. 3mo
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 ☺ 3mo
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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 3mo
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. 😉 3mo
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! 3mo
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) 3mo
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) 4mo
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. 4mo
Oblomov26 @CocoReads I very nearly gave it a pick ... it is in that difficult to assign middle ground for me 4mo
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. 4mo
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. 4mo
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. 4mo
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. 4mo
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. 4mo
Schnoebs You should try this.... I read this before going to hillbilly and I actually decided not to pick it up after reading this 4mo
Suet624 @Aimeesue I‘m with you. 3mo
64 likes3 stack adds10 comments
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Oblomov26
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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... 4mo
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 😊 4mo
61 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
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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! 4mo
ShyBookOwl Fun concept! 4mo
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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! 4mo
C.Perone I'm fascinated by all this stuff; can't wait to read it! Thanks 😊 4mo
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.

55 likes1 stack add
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Oblomov26
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Mehso-so

As an Australian I picked this book on one of the lesser known battles of WW1. At end of the German Spring Offensive of 1918 the Australian forces staged a series of desperate defences around the village of Villers-Bretonneux halting the German advance for the last time. A fascinating story, but for me the storytelling annoyed me, to jingoistic, to much use of Strayan slang which although historically accurate now feels dated and anachronistic.

Oblomov26 Storytelling as opposed to historical writing. 4mo
57 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Saw it and had to buy it; so far have seen a rather disappointing twenty of the sites described.

TimSpalding Found this post going through the #ancienthistory tag. I had no idea about this book, and will be getting it immediately! I looked it up and found a map. I think I'm at 25, largely because I've been to all but a few in Turkey. Thanks! (edited) 4mo
62 likes1 comment
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Oblomov26
Elysium Fire | Alastair Reynolds
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Second in Reynolds Prefect series, set in an earlier period of the Revelation Space universe when the Glitter Band was still a shining symbol of human development. A series of deaths have occurred across the Band and the numbers of cases are increasing and investigations link them to the Voys on of the founding family of the Band. Not the greatest of detective stories, with a disappointing final quarter but a fascinatingly imagined setting.

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Oblomov26
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A fascinating book on the system of Siberian exile in the time of the Tsar‘s, before the creation of the gulag system with which most people are familiar. From the turn of the 19th century when the concept of penal exile was used as a method to grow and populate the great swathes of land claimed by the empire to the early 20th century, when Siberia had turned into a hot bed of revolutionary activity.

BookishTrish I thought this was fantastic too! 5mo
59 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
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Sidney Reilly - a true piece of work.

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Oblomov26
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Lymond accompanies Mary of Guise to the French court initially in disguise and then as herald to defuse a murder plot on a young Mary Queen of Scots. Overall a good second book in the series, which focusses on court politics. Lymond remains an outrageous Mary Sue, being a great fighter, a master musician an expert in intrigue and espionage, yet despite this remains a character with some emotional failings. A fun historically accurate story.

LeahBergen I liked this one. 👍🏻 5mo
Oblomov26 @LeahBergen As did I 5mo
49 likes2 comments
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Oblomov26
Untitled | Unknown
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1. Sydney, Australia
2. Historical Mysteries, Hard sci-fi, History (pretty much any), 19-20th century travel narratives
3. To hard ... how do you equate Goncharov to Barbara Tuchman to Kurt Vonnegut or Hunter S Thompson?
4. Refer above but list would include Les Miserables, Oblomov, Mother Night, Bridge of Birds, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and they are just what is popping into my head right now

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Oblomov26
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A history of the Howard family during Tudor times for $12; okay take my money

Ingerella I'll look forward to your review! I'll read anything and everything about Tudor history. It's fascinating! 5mo
iread2much Oooo, looks like a good read! 5mo
67 likes2 stack adds2 comments
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Oblomov26
The Gene: An Intimate History | Siddhartha Mukherjee
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Amazing book being a history of the development of genetic theory from Darwin and Mendel through to modern day with the fulling mapping of the genome and the use of CRISPR to edit genes. A book which will help you understand one of the key technologies the world and the potential impact that it may have on the future, in a readable and large understandable style.

EricaReads I‘m really into biology books at the moment. This book is next on my list! I‘m currently reading The Tangled Tree and I contain Multitudes. You might enjoy those if you haven‘t read them already 😊 5mo
68 likes3 stack adds1 comment
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Oblomov26
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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Well I liked this book a lot, but it is not the kind of story I would associate with the Pulitzer‘s. A gay writer turning fifty who has separated from his younger lover, travels around the world writers festival to guest lecture roles, meditating on his life, loves and achievements, before returning home to face the remainder of his life. A soppy, sentimental loving book, deep but not to deep, I can see why it is referred to as a romantic comedy.

CarolynM I loved this one too 5mo
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Oblomov26
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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This is a quotable book ... and so very observant

CarolynM It sure is! 5mo
Reggie Your posts have me itching for a reread. I really liked this book. 5mo
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Oblomov26
Less: A Novel | Andrew Sean Greer
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Okay as a man now past fifty this quote struck close to home

Alfoster So true😂😂😂 (Well, I‘m a woman over 50 so same deal)! 5mo
sprainedbrain What a great quote! 5mo
ValerieAndBooks This was a good book! ❤️ Less!! 5mo
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Oblomov26
Pulp | Charles Bukowski
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If you are looking for a classic noir novel ... well this not it. It is a detective noir tale told by the Buk with a recognisable avatar of himself as the detective. Lazy, drunk and very jaded he stumbles from case to case involving a increasing strange cast of characters. Be warned this is Bukowski, he is sexist, misogynistic and in no way politically correct. Not his best work, but an interesting comic turn on a well know genre.

68 likes2 stack adds
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Oblomov26
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This book is somewhere between a pick and so so. The author writes about the debatable land, a stretch of country which has served as a boundary and no man land between England and Scotland, from both a personal as an modern inhabitant and a historical basis. Disjointed in many ways with essay on ancient mapping, Arthurian tales and the border reivers, the families who terrorised the region until the unification of the kingdoms.

Oblomov26 If you are interested in the Reivers, I would recommend “the Steel Bonnets by George MacDonald Fraser” which is a much more comprehensive history of this largely unknown period. 6mo
rabbitprincess I had a hard time with this one. It felt like the kind of book I would gobble up, but I kept stalling. The Steel Bonnets is on my to-read list. 6mo
Oblomov26 @rabbitprincess I agree which h is why I was tossing up between a pick and so so - it had some interesting history and ideas but it was hard going at times 6mo
66 likes3 comments
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Oblomov26
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The first book from the team behind the Skeptics Guide podcast of which I have long been a listener. This book is both as an introduction to modern scepticism and a tool kit which can be applied to investigating extraordinary claims in the modern world. In many cases these beliefs are harmless (Who cares if someone believes in Bigfoot), but in other cases the outcome can be deadly (Quack Cancer Cures). A good read and very comprehensive.

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Oblomov26
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A history of colonel Blood, an Irishman during the period of the English civil war and restoration who side with the royalists and then the parliamentarians, who lost all his holdings in Ireland resulting in his declaring a personal vengeance against the authorities. This lead to attempted coups, kidnapping and stealing the Crown Jewels. The ultimate turncoat, a man who defined chutzpah, who died in the service of those the had betrayed.

Suet624 Sounds like quite the guy! 6mo
Oblomov26 @Suet624 yeah he seems to have been one of those individuals for whom the rules do not apply. 6mo
67 likes2 comments