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Still listening to George Washington and Gorky Park and any James Lee Burke.

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Still listening to George Washington and Gorky Park and any James Lee Burke.

 

"Gorky Park" might be one of the most underrated movies of all time. Like "Patriot Games", the movie turned out better than the book, IMHO...

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Has anyone read this book?

 

51%2BIZXIfvfL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg

 

The New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist reveals how the financial meltdown emerged from the toxic interplay of Washington, Wall Street, and corrupt mortgage lenders

 

In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.

 

Drawing on previously untapped sources and building on original research from coauthor Joshua Rosner—who himself raised early warnings with the public and investors, and kept detailed records—Morgenson connects the dots that led to this fiasco.

 

Morgenson and Rosner draw back the curtain on Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance giant that grew, with the support of the Clinton administration, through the 1990s, becoming a major opponent of government oversight even as it was benefiting from public subsidies. They expose the role played not only by Fannie Mae executives but also by enablers at Countrywide Financial, Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve, HUD, Congress, the FDIC, and the biggest players on Wall Street, to show how greed, aggression, and fear led countless officials to ignore warning signs of an imminent disaster.

 

Character-rich and definitive in its analysis, this is the one account of the financial crisis you must read.

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Rush has touted it all week and I do want to read it.

NYT reporters of all people wrote it!

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Rush has touted it all week and I do want to read it.

NYT reporters of all people wrote it!

I saw that when I read your thread that Rush had talked about it. Sounds quite interesting.

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How many have you read?

 

 

 

Carl Mydans//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images

Vladimir Nabokov catching a butterfly.

Well, hello again. After digesting your additions to, and critiques of, our nonfiction list, we decided to reconvene our panel of nonexperts (ourselves) and come right back at you with a list of the best fiction of all time. Using our customary precise, scientific approach, we asked each member of the staff to pick their five favorites. The full list is after the jump.

 

And the winner is … “Lolita”! Before bestowing this glorious honor, we went through an exhaustive series of bonus rounds. First, we asked everyone to vote again, this time for one book that a colleague cited but they had not. The second round helped “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” gain ground on “Lolita,” which had been an early leader. A dark horse, “The Great Gatsby” pulled out from the pack and gained on the front-runners. Coetzee’s “Disgrace” made a late surge. “Anna Karenina” fell back.

 

What to do? A bonus-bonus round, of course, pitting Vladimir Nabokov against Michael Chabon. It was a thrilling last leg of the race. Sweat beaded on the brows of editors as they e-mailed in their votes. Sam Anderson declared that as the magazine’s critic at large, he had the right to break the tie all by himself. From one photo editor came this primal howl: “L-O-L-I-T-A!!!!!!!” In the end, “Lolita” won by seven votes. (Sam approves.)

 

LINK

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I've not read it...yet, looks like it might be worth the time.

 

Friends Of Ours: Veteran Chicago Tribune Reporter Bob Wiedrich Releases Memoir "Windy City Watchdog"

 

Bob Wiedrich was born to investigate wise guys and dirty cops.

 

The veteran reporter from The Chicago Tribune recently published his memoir Windy City Watchdog, and his nose for news was evident even as a boy growing up during the depression on the Near North Side when Al Capone still ruled the town.

 

He recounts as a kid watching a steady parade of men using a back staircase to an office over a neighborhood restaurant, and no longer able to contain his curiosity one day endeavored to get to the bottom of the mystery:

 

[A] couple of us kids snuck up the stairs and heard a man's voice calling out names and numbers over a loud speaker. We peeked into the large room, which covered the entire second floor, and saw a lot of men milling around exchanging green backs with other men who appeared to be clerks.

 

The juvie snoops dutifully told the neighborhood beat cop of their discovery -- an operation Wiedrich understood only years later as a book-making parlor -- who snapped back "mind your own business, you little bastards."

 

The reporter-in-the-making had his Chicagoland baptism, and the relationship between organized crime and public corruption would become a regular theme in his stories for the Tribune......(Snip)

 

 

Following the death of Allegretti in 1969, Joseph "Joey Caesar" DiVarco became the Rush Street crew boss to whom Gattuso reported, and Wiedrich expressed outrage over the suspected relationship between the gangster and the police in allegedly trafficking drugs, skimming profits and blackmailing homosexuals out of the gay bars. In an October 4, 1973 Tribune article Wiedrich reported the following:

 

Scholars seeking a textbook example of the unholy alliance between crooked police, politicians, and mobsters need look no further than Chicago's North Side. For there, in a network of 20 nightclubs and bars catering to the specialized recreational needs of homosexuals, the mutually avaricious interests of these groups are interwoven in a tragic tapestry of corruption. In short, thieving lawmen and politicians have joined forces with crime syndicate gangsters to prey upon some of society's most vulnerable—the gay people. * * * From the Chicago River to the northern city limits, the Justice Department men have spent two years probing a cesspool of extortions and blackmail, not only of tavern owners, but successful and prosperous homosexuals fearful their secret will be exposed to business associates. Also involved in the inquiry is an estimated multi-million dollar rip off of state, local, and federal taxes thru the illicit "skimming" of profits from certain gay bar operations in which gangsters are known to have a hidden interest, plus a flourishing traffic in narcotics. * * * Probably the most tragic victims of the widespread shakedowns, investigators report, are the well to do homosexual businessmen who have submitted to continuing blackmail under threat of arrest on real or trumped up charges.

 

Investigating the mob back in the day involved a lot of old-fashioned gumshoe-style detective work. Wiedrich recounts pounding the streets of Gary, Indiana in 1959 to uncover the Outfit's prostitution and and gambling dens which operated behind pizzeria fronts, and trailing the Outfit's floating crap game in the mid-1980s to take "licene plate numbers in an effort to identify some of the participants."

 

Bob Wiedrich viewed his mission to expose wise guys and dirty cops as a public service, and in Windy City Watchdog he makes no bones about taking sides in his coverage: he was on the side of the good hardworking people of Chicago.

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Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

Leo Thorsness

 

On April 19, 1967, Air Force Colonel Leo Thorsness was on a mission over North Vietnam when his wingman was shot down by an enemy MiG, which then lined up for a gunnery pass on the two American pilots who had bailed out. Although his F 105 was not designed for aerial combat, Thorsness engaged the MiG and destroyed it. Spotting four more MiGs, he fought his way through a barrage of North Vietnamese SAMs to engage them too, shooting down one and driving off the others. For this action, Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor. But he didn't learn about it until years later—by a "tap code" coming through prison walls—because on April 30, Thorsness was shot down, captured, and transported to the Hanoi Hilton.

 

Surviving Hell recounts a six-year captivity marked by hours of brutal torture and days of agonizing boredom. With a novelist's eye for character and detail, Thorsness describes how he and other American POWs strove to keep their humanity. Thrown into solitary confinement for refusing to bow down to his captors, for instance, he disciplined his mind by memorizing long passages of poetry that other prisoners sent him by tap code. Filled with hope and humor, Surviving Hell is an eloquent story of resistance and survival. No other book about American POWs has described so well the strategies these remarkable men used in their daily effort to maintain their dignity. With resilience and resourcefulness, they waged war by other means in the darkest days of a long captivity.

 

 

 

 

Do yourself a BIG favor!

Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

 

Or

 

Power Line: Surviving Hell: A POW's Journey

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Sounds like a good Christmas present for my husband and son. Thanks, Valin.

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Sounds like a good Christmas present for my husband and son. Thanks, Valin.

 

 

I like to share what I'm reading...at least the really good stuff

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RM and I just finished "Tin Roof Blowdown" by James Lee Burke... his 16th Dave Robicheaux novel. It will be the last Burke novel that we read.

 

We have read and enjoyed most of his previous works in the series. Burke can sure tell as story and paint a verbal picture. However, his liberal world view and political leanings often come out and disrupt an otherwise good tale.

 

Normally when he gets on his liberal soap box, I grumble and let it go for the sake of an entertaining read. But with "Tin Roof Blowdown" he's ripped it for me. I'm done with Burke, Dave and Clet... and all their trite preaching.

 

"Blowdown" was his version of the events of Katrina with a little detective plot thrown in to keep the story going. From the beginning to the end, Burke used his book to exaggerate the events and point blame better than MSNBC or CNN could ever dream up:

 

"Evil people in the White House stood by and consciously let people of color die.... Bodies floating everywhere and nobody did a thing... Conservatives took the money that would have fixed the levees... 'it was said that they intentionally blew up the levees'... Evil big business created the environmental situation that exacerbated the death and destruction... Christian fundamentalists were all hypocrites and nut jobs... etc."

 

As for the bad guys... most were just victims of society, racism, a bad mom, and The Man.

 

Goodbye Dave... It was a good ride but you are so 'yesterday'.

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NCTexan -- I read that book about a month ago, have always like his books like you and RM and have overlooked his liberal views but this one just pushed it too far, it's a shame but I decided when I finished it that was enough for me, no more Dave

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Cudjo!

 

Interesting that you just read "Tin Roof" with the same resulting feelings. :lol:

 

Here's a very entertaining and funny mystery writer that we love. He writes about Andy Carpenter who is a NJ attorney who loves dogs, solves mysteries, is great in the courtroom, and always has a humorous way of expressing himself. We're listening to his last novel "One Dog Night" right now.

 

Below is the author David Rosenfelt's site and bio. Who couldn't love a guy that loves dogs so much that he has 27 of them... and cleverly writes them into his murder mysteries.

 

David Rosenfelt site

 

David Rosenfelt bio:

 

I am a novelist with 27 dogs.

 

I have gotten to this dubious position with absolutely no planning, and at no stage in my life could I have predicted it. But here I am.

 

My childhood was relentlessly normal. The middle of three brothers, loving parents, a middle-class home in Paterson, New Jersey. We played sports, studied sporadically. laughed around the dinner table, and generally had a good time. By comparison, “Ozzie and Harriet’s” clan seemed bizarre.

 

I graduated NYU, then decided to go into the movie business. I was stunningly brilliant at a job interview with my uncle, who was President of United Artists, and was immediately hired. It set me off on a climb up the executive ladder, culminating in my becoming President of Marketing for Tri-Star Pictures. The movie landscape is filled with the movies I buried; for every “Rambo”, “The Natural” and “Rocky”, there are countless disasters.

 

I did manage to find the time to marry and have two children, both of whom are doing very well, and fortunately neither have inherited my eccentricities.

 

A number of years ago, I left the movie marketing business, to the sustained applause of hundreds of disgruntled producers and directors. I decided to try my hand at writing. I wrote and sold a bunch of feature films, none of which ever came close to being actually filmed, and then a bunch of TV movies, some of which actually made it to the small screen. It’s safe to say that their impact on the American cultural scene has been minimal.

 

About fourteen years ago, my wife and I started the Tara Foundation, named in honor of the greatest Golden Retriever the world has ever known. We rescued almost 4,000 dogs, many of them Goldens, and found them loving homes. Our own home quickly became a sanctuary for those dogs that we rescued that were too old or sickly to be wanted by others. They surround me as I write this. It’s total lunacy, but it works, and they are a happy, safe group.

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NCT -- thanks, I'm going to the library tomorrow morning so I'll check one of his books out

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"Evil people in the White House stood by and consciously let people of color die.... Bodies floating everywhere and nobody did a thing... Conservatives took the money that would have fixed the levees... 'it was said that they intentionally blew up the levees'... Evil big business created the environmental situation that exacerbated the death and destruction...

 

 

Ok! Who let the secret out? I bet it was Dick Cheney...the guy never could keep his mouth shut.

 

Christian fundamentalists were all hypocrites and nut jobs... etc.

 

Well that goes without saying! :D

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I thought I might read the Twilight series in Jan/Feb.. might still but now I have a few other ideas for additional reading. I am not really hung up on vampires. There have been some good movies with them over the decades I have been into flicks. I do like to read books AFTER I see the movies. I do not to have spoilers in flicks!!!

 

shoutCudjo

shoutPepper

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Thanks Pepper, I'll check that out. I've been reading several of Lee Child and David Baldacci, so far pretty good.

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Thanks Pepper, I'll check that out. I've been reading several of Lee Child and David Baldacci, so far pretty good.

Love those two!

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OK, here's my contribution for

 

Books not to put on your crime book shelf

 

Port Mortuary (Amazon Link) by Patricia Cornwell

 

An author to consider for your crime book shelf

 

Karin Fossum, but Bad Intentions a recent novel, falls flat.

 

Always good what not to buy! I know when looking on the Amazon reviews I always go 1st to the * or ** reviews, not sure what this says about me (not sure I want to know :D)

 

Now something for your crime book shelf....

Takedown: The Fall of the Last Mafia Empire

Douglas Century, Rick Cowan

 

Publishers Weekly

In 1992, New York City detective Cowan was investigating a truck bombing at a Brooklyn garbage transfer station when the "mobbed-up" thugs responsible for the crime showed up to further intimidate Sal Benedetto, the facility's owner. Thinking fast, Benedetto introduced Cowan as his "Cousin Danny," thereby averting disaster-and allowing Cowen entry into a landmark investigation in which he went undercover as Danny Benedetto to expose the Mafia's billion-dollar monopoly of the city waste removal business. By the time the grand jury indictments were handed down, Cowan had spent years on the case, helped put away dozens of mobsters and incurred lasting emotional trauma from the strain of leading a double life. Recalling it here in vivid, riveting detail, Cowan (aided by journalist Century) reconstructs a time when he was deeper undercover in the garbage "cartel" than any city cop had ever been, with the close calls to prove it. Whether he's boosting a wiseguy's car to plant a bug, navigating confrontations with goons wielding two-by-fours and baseball bats or suffering through a Mafia Christmas party with a malfunctioning radio transmitter burning into his leg, Cowan's exploits play on the page like scenes from a well-mounted mob movie. The Hollywood producer with the rights to his story won't have to spend a penny juicing it up: this is a well-told, gripping tale of a heroic investigation.

 

I just love this stuff, the Mafia and OC (once again) Not sure what this says about me. This fascination with a bunch of sociopathic homicidal people....but I can't get enough of it.

What can I say

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCIGqhcSxtg

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Between The Covers: Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War

 

 

Home and Away: A Story of Family in a Time of War

David & Nancy French

 

David French picked up the newspaper in the comfort of his penthouse in Philadelphia, and read about a soldier - father of two - who was wounded in Iraq. Immediately, he was stricken with a question: Why him and not me?

This is the story of what happens when a person - rather a family - answers the call to serve their nation. David was a 37-year-old father of two, a Harvard Law graduate and president of a free speech organization. In other words, he was used to pushing pencils, not toting M16s.

His wife Nancy was raising two children and writing from home. She was worrying about field trips and playdates, not about her husband going to war.

HOME AND AWAY chronicles not just a soldier at war, but a family at war - a husband in Iraq, a wife and children at home, greeting each day with hope and fear, facing the challenge with determination, tears, and more than a little joy.

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just reserved the 3 Suzanne Collins Books on Hunger Games (based on raves from gals from my brother's church - via Facebook) One gal is sending me the e book copies.. The reserves at both library systems are very long waits.. I am 82nd for one of the books. I live on the border of two counties with two excellent library systems. I use both

 

anyone read them?

 

shoutFrank When I left the business world in 1990, I retired that aspect of reading. I was a heavy hitter there at one time with my business of commercial real estate

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