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Love the Economist magazine.

Love Money Mag.

I read newspapers from Singapore to Australian stuff.

I really enjoy political or historical centric bios and autobios. My favorite books are political...whether it's Karl Rove, James Carville, David Gergen or Ed Rollins...I love that stuff.

I try fiction, even semi political fiction like Tom Clancy and never make it past a few pages.

It's not like I can't imagine or don't like fiction. Heck, I'm not sure that Star Wars was fake ;)

The storyline of Clancy's Bear and the Dragon interested me and tonight I'll start it for the 5th time. Maybe this time it will stick.


jedi
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I tend to read non-fiction, especially historical books (I majored in history for a reason!) However I do enjoy some fiction, rarely have problems sticking with it.

My co-worker pretty much only reads fiction. Worse is the kind of fiction she reads: sci-fi romance novels, especially that involving vampires. Hey, she can read what she wants... but on Fridays she has a habit of telling me the entire plot of whatever series she happens to be reading. In detail. Do you know what it's like to have to listen to someone prattle on about, let's face it, vampire porn, for literally 30, 40 minutes or more? Right about then I'm PRAYING the building collapses on my head or something!

Then she talks to me about ordering the books (she buys them online, then compares which sellers get them to her faster... again, 40 minutes of that discussion should qualify as torture under the Geneva Conventions!)

Nice lady and all, but if I ever go insane you all will know why!
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"Do you know what it's like to have to listen to someone prattle on about, let's face it, vampire porn, for literally 30, 40 minutes or more?" - colovion
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I watch Vampire Diaries and True Blood on TV. I loves me some Vampires! Didn't care much for the Twilight series. Sparkly Vampires? Give me a break! Everyone knows that Vampires burn up in the Sunlight.

I used to work with a guy who would come in and tell me the entire plot of some movie he watched the night before. He'd go on and on about it, even after I told him that I didn't care or wasn't interested. I guess it was stuck in his head.

On the aside I've read pretty much all the Anne Rice novels, especially the Vampire series. I've also read her novels about the witch family. Good stuff. She wrote one about Ramses that was also good and Cry to Heaven about the castrati that was excellent. I guess you could call them soft porn.

Artie
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On the aside I've read pretty much all the Anne Rice novels, especially the Vampire series. I've also read her novels about the witch family. Good stuff. She wrote one about Ramses that was also good and Cry to Heaven about the castrati that was excellent. I guess you could call them soft porn.

That's just fine, but if you called me up and planned on spending 40 minutes telling me the plot I'd either hang up or I'd be doing something else and just say "uh huh" ever five minutes or so. But I'm literally TRAPPED in the office with her (she's the records clerk, so I'm technically her superior when our boss isn't in the room but she's been in records for 20 years so she knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do!)

Everyone has their own thing, I'm cool with that. I mean, one of the last books I read was "Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms" by Stephen Holbrook. Read it cover-to-cover, couldn't put it down. It would make most people's eyes glaze over (just the title!) But that's what I read for fun.
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+1 for The Economist.

I don't read much fiction, either, but I try to read at least one or two novels a year. The best one I've read recently was I, Claudius, along with its sequel, Claudius the God. I can highly recommend these if you have any interest whatsoever in ancient Rome. They are fiction, but extrapolated from real history, and in the form of a narrative biography. The writing is exceptionally fine.
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My handle actually comes from a fiction book: Russka. One of my history teachers in high school gave it to me, I saw the name and thought it was cool, then when I got online I started using it and, well, nobody else was so whenever I signed up for something it just made sense to use that. You check a website and if there's a "colovion" there the odds are pretty high that it's me.
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If you like historical fiction then read George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books. All are a damn good read.

More on Harry Flashman at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Paget_Flashman Read the whole thing especially about the books being thought real and that many academics commented on them (to Fraser’s glee).

MichaelR
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Mind if I ramble? I was an early reader and had a library card at about the time I started school. My parents guided me to the children’s classics and that’s what I read. Then, at about nine or so I was in a bookstore and spent a whole shilling on an ‘adult’ book. It was John Campbell’s Who Goes There?. Speculative science fiction. You may remember it as the movie The Thing.

I have a phrase “How long has this been going on and how come nobody told me about it?” Fishing was one and reading other than books with pictures was another. Sure, my decision to read science-fiction (later, in Canada, spending all my allowance at 35 cents per copy of Amazing and others) was derided as indulging in pulp but, to me, that’s where the exciting reading and writing was. It fed a hunger I didn’t know I had.

The result? I could say that initial exposure contributed to my catholic reading regimen: oh, hell, let’s read it and find out what. Rarely have I not finished a book. Yes, some were a waste of time and I then didn’t follow up on that author yet there have been times when reading a novel I have sat back and said I want more of that writer. So much more that I hie down to a bookstore (increasingly more electronically) and buy up all by that author.

The result of that? Shelves of books. When someone comes to visit they see shelves and shelves and say, “Have you read all of these?” I have two replies: “Yes, some of them twice,” and “Hell, no\. I buy them by the yard for decoration.” Depends on who’s asking.

I have to amend one statement. I have never wasted time reading. Okay, time could be better spent yet reading this and that teaches and I learn.

Still think one of the best pieces of writing included: “Shut up,” he explained.”

MichaelR
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Try short stories.
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one of the last books I read was "Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms" by Stephen Holbrook.
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Book thread!

You and DH should trade reading lists. He has been reading everything possible on the US from about 1790-1850. A lot of it to do with various laws and treaties. Right now he is finishing "The Old Republicans: Southern conservatism in the age of Jefferson" by Norman K Risjord and is getting ready to read "Virginia's American Revolution: From Dominion to Republic, 1776-1840" by Kevin Gutzman.

The best one I've read recently was I, Claudius, along with its sequel, Claudius the God.

I've read those, though a long time ago.

If you like historical fiction then read George MacDonald Fraser’s Flashman books.

I got those as a present a while back - I guess I'll give them a read.

I've got shelves and shelves of books, too. I do go on jags of certain authors or genres. Right now I'm about 3/4 of the way through all the Nero Wolfe murder mysteries. Interspersed with rereads of non-soft porn science fiction/fantasy. I have gotten rid of most of my retire early books because 1) I've already retired early and 2) I needed space. I did keep a few favorites like "The Joy of Not Working" by Ernie Zelinksi.

I read a lot of children's' books, too, like the Harry Potter series and the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. Right now I'm looking at a book fleg told me to read - "To Say Nothing of the Dog". An odd combo of mystery and a little fantasy. It was pretty good. I read history on occasion but often get distracted in the middle of the book.

arrete
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I liked sci fi way back in the 50s and 60s...Heinlein and similar....then the sci fi folks went off into spells and magic and other stuff that totally lost me.

I loved Tom Clancy's first book - Hunt for Red October...right to the point, no 'required' love story, and 3 sub themes. It was all right on the subject, and full of good technical info......then , it seemed that he fell into the trap that you need 500 pages filled with 3 or more sub plots, at least one romance along the way...just to fill the pages to justify a $9.99 selling price for the softcover edition, and $39.99 for the hardcover edition. I gave up after the first book...no sense wading through 400 extra pages of crap.

I read all the Sue Grafton mystery novels.....most were excellent...then she got into major flashbacks and you got lost chapter after chapter as some were flashbacks and others weren't and it got real confusing especially if you didn't read it all in one setting...and it too went to 300 pages with 1/3rd of them now crap.

So I stick mainly to magazines...read about 3 weeklies plus about 8 others that come monthly from Pop Science to 3 radio magazines to American Rifleman ......plus college mags.....got more than enough to read...

then there's the internet with the UK papers on line....good stuff...

and the WSJ daily...

I'm busy enough


t.
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"I mean, one of the last books I read was "Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms" by Stephen Holbrook. Read it cover-to-cover, couldn't put it down. It would make most people's eyes glaze over (just the title!) But that's what I read for fun." - colovion


Since I like guns sounds pretty good to me. Glad I get to "keep and beawr arms." I enjoy shooting and killing and eating stuff. Not sure how I'd feel about shooting another human being though and hope I never have to find out. On the aside I do own a little 22 pistol I keep loaded with 22 long rifle hollow points close to where I sleep.

Artie
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I'm just happy that people are READING. I'm blown away when people say they don't read.

kittykitty6, helpful librarian

p.s. to OP: if you're interested in reading fiction, maybe nonfiction books that read like fiction - I'm thinking Erik Larson's books, or Sebastian Junger might fit the bill.
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I'll second that rec for the Economist.

You could try a few historical novels.

I recommend the "Sharpe" series by Bernard Cornwell. The protagonist is a rifleman in the British army in the time of Napoleon, and Cornwell writes him into all the major battles that were fought. He starts off with a few in India, and then moves to Europe. Very well researched and written. I learned a lot. The first one is "Sharpes Tiger".

Cornwell also wrote a 4-book series about the civil war. The first book is "Copperhead" I think.

On the naval side try the novels by Patrick O'Brien. If you remember the movie "Master and Commander" from a few years ago, that was a mashup of two of the novels. You'll learn more about sailing ships than you ever dreamed of.

Missus Riprock bought me the entire series for Christmas one year, and I had finished all 20 by the end of February. Loved them.

Finally, and in keeping with the military history theme, try "Cryptonomicon" by Neal Stephenson. It's set in WW2 mostly, and is based around the development of codes and computers, with some great adventures thrown in. Neal Stephenson is the best fiction writer in America IMHO.

Rip, a reader.
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I watch Vampire Diaries and True Blood on TV. I loves me some Vampires! Didn't care much for the Twilight series. Sparkly Vampires? Give me a break! Everyone knows that Vampires burn up in the Sunlight.

I so want to put together a T-shirt with Tinkerbell in one of her angry scolding poses, and the caption "Real sparkles don't vampire!"
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That's just fine, but if you called me up and planned on spending 40 minutes telling me the plot I'd either hang up or I'd be doing something else and just say "uh huh" ever five minutes or so. But I'm literally TRAPPED in the office with her (she's the records clerk, so I'm technically her superior when our boss isn't in the room but she's been in records for 20 years so she knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do!)

Everyone has their own thing, I'm cool with that. I mean, one of the last books I read was "Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms" by Stephen Holbrook. Read it cover-to-cover, couldn't put it down. It would make most people's eyes glaze over (just the title!) But that's what I read for fun.


So tell her all about it. In detail.
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I liked sci fi way back in the 50s and 60s...Heinlein and similar....then the sci fi folks went off into spells and magic and other stuff that totally lost me.


There's still a lot of hard science fiction. Although I've been more into fantasy the last few years.

The Honor Harrington series (Weber) has one small titch of what might be considered fantasy, namely a species that is telepathic among themselves and somewhat telepathic with select humans, but it isn't a big part of the story. The rest is hard military sci-fi.

Mike Sheppard also writes some good hard science fiction. His alter ego, Mike Moscoe, writes a nice mix of hard science fiction and pre-historical fiction. (One trilogy has some US Army soldiers learning Proto-Indo-European from native speakers; I'll say no more than that to avoid spoilers.)

Eric Flint's "Grantville" series, starting with "1632", takes a chunk of West Virginia circa the year 2000 and dumps it into central Germany starting in the year 1632. How that happens is glossed over in a page or two (future-tech aliens messing with stuff that violates intergalactic compacts because it's too dangerous) but it causes a lot of very complex social, cultural, and technological interactions.

Michael Flynn's "In the Country of the Blind" has an interesting twist that it's mostly set in modern times but the fictional science is more explicit in the flashbacks to the 1880s or thereabouts. It's my favorite conspiracy-theory book of all time, way ahead of Illuminatus.

Bujold's "Miles Vorkosigan" books are hard science fiction and very good storytelling. Some of it's military and some is not.

My big problem is that the sort of story I like - in the complexity level, not in what it's about - is exactly the sort of thing that no publisher will ever buy from a "new" writer, so it's hard for me to pick up a new author. I really get into things with large numbers of central characters (so long as they are distinguishable) interacting on multiple concurrent story-threads...
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My reading is like my music collection. All over the place. Depends on time and mood.

Usually I'll read a baseball or football book at the beginning of the appropriate season (Physics of Baseball/Baseball in the Garden of Eden or Walter Payton's bio). Currently reading "Golf in the Kingdom" (fiction/philosophy).

I usually like bios. Do read science/nature books like Stephen J. Gould and Stephen Hawking.

Then I've read JRR Tolkien, George Orwell, Jules Vern, Issac Asimov, and plenty of other classics of fiction. But Sherlock Holmes I never quite go into.

What is really interesting is reading an unabridged classic that we all know the story because we've heard it so many times growing up. Like "Robinson Crusoe" by Daniel Defoe. As a kid the story went he wrecked on an island and finally returned to civilization. The whole story, the island we know was his third "ship wreck". He established a colony and returned there many times.

No more worries about shelf space. Kindle for Mac. Works on laptop, iPhone, and iPad, so I'm never without my books.

JLC
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The result of that? Shelves of books. When someone comes to visit they see shelves and shelves and say, “Have you read all of these?” I have two replies: “Yes, some of them twice,” and “Hell, no\. I buy them by the yard for decoration.” Depends on who’s asking.


ESTELLE: I couldn't help but notice that you have quite a library in there.

MRS. ROSS: If I had a dime for every book he's actually read, [laughing] I'd be broke.
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