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BestDogDad

BestDogDad

Joined December 2016

I work with numbers all day, still trying to figure out how words work. Thanks for your patience. www.goodreads.com/Jeff_Koeppen
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BestDogDad
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Five good reads in November. The eye-opening Leaving the Witness and the melancholy A Piece of the World were my two favs. #novemberwrapup

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BestDogDad
A Dry White Season | Andre Brink
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Pickpick

This is set in apartheid South Africa and was depressing and sometimes hard to read. It begins by revealing the ending so you know what fate befalls main character Ben Du Toit. Ben uncovers injustices carried out by the white police force in Johannesburg and decides to investigate which doesn't sit well with those in power. His quest for justice results in stresses in his life and the book grows increasingly darker as his investigation presses on.

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BestDogDad
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Who wants to live forever? What else is there to do?

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BestDogDad
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Time flies when you‘re having fun, therefore the secret to a long life is being bored and uncomfortable.

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BestDogDad
Midnight Son | James Jr Dommek, Issac Kestenbaum, Josephine Holtzman
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Pickpick

Midnight Son refers to Teddy Kyle Smith, a native Inupiaq Alaskan who realized his dream of becoming a Hollywood actor only to snap mentally after returning home. The narration by James Dommek, Jr. was excellent - course and unfiltered. He knows the land and the nature of the Inupiaqs and you feel like you are tagging along on his quest to find out what went on. He lost me a bit at the end but otherwise the story was riveting.

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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

The book follows Amber's life from missionary work in China to being disfellowshipped from the Jehovah‘s Witnesses, with flashbacks to her upbringing and how belonging to this religion affected her life as a young person. She explores the beginnings of the religion, its inner workings, and beliefs and practices. The audible book was narrated by Amber and the narration was kind of flat but the story was so good that it didn't affect my interest.

12 likes3 stack adds
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BestDogDad
Player Piano | Kurt Vonnegut
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Happy Birthday to the great Kurt Vonnegut, who I had the great pleasure to see in 1994 in a small high school auditorium in a Chicago suburb. I'll never forget that. Greatly missed by his fans. One of the all-time great American writers!

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BestDogDad
A Piece of the World | Christina Baker Kline
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Pickpick

This is a beautifully written story of Christina Olson‘s difficult life. She‘s featured in a famous painting named after her. The author did a tremendous amount of research in to the lives of the main character as well as her family, acquaintances, Maine property, and even the life of the artist himself, Andrew Wyeth. She left no stone unturned. While much of the book is fiction, it's framework is based on real people and the Olson homestead.

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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

This is the sad and sometimes shocking and ugly story of what happened to a young Jewish woman and her family in London in the 1950s. As a fifteen year-old, Lilian married Raymond, had two children, and divorced when the children were three and two years old. Raymond came over to take the kids to park and the three of them disappeared. Forty years after the disappearance of her children, Lilian got a phone call and they were back in her life. Wow.

Suet624 Wow! 2w
15 likes1 stack add1 comment
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BestDogDad
The Grass is Singing | Doris Lessing
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Slower month due to more work and less relaxation. 🤨 Lessing and Walton made my month. All women authors so that‘s cool. #octoberwrapup

Suet624 💕💕 Lessing. 2w
13 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
My Real Children | Jo Walton
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Pickpick

I've said it a number of times, these books in which a character lives multiple lives fascinate me to no end. I can't help to think back on my life and the the pivotal decisions I made which brought me to where I currently am. It all could've been so different!

My Real Children begins and ends with Patricia Cowan in a nursing home in England suffering from dementia while trying to keep straight the memories of two past lives. Really well done.

iread2much Does this book focus on her an an older adult or more of her lives before 50? 1mo
BestDogDad @iread2much It doesn‘t really focus on any particular age, so most of it is before 50 I would say. 1mo
iread2much @BestDogDad darn. Thanks so much for the info! 1mo
Suet624 I know what you mean. Alternate universes are what fascinate me. 2w
14 likes4 comments
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BestDogDad
Mrs. Dalloway | Virginia Woolf
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Panpan

This didn't work for me. I'm just not literary-ish enough to appreciate it, I guess. I found it boring and I couldn't wait for it to be over. The writing was good, as advertised, but I found it hard to follow at times and I was often confused over who was being talked about. I did enjoy the jaunts around London having visited many of the settings in the book last year on vacation.

11 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
The Grass is Singing | Doris Lessing
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Pickpick

The Grass is Singing is a dark and gritty tale of racism and white social classes in the former African country of Rhodesia, colonized by the British.

I thought the writing was great and it was hard for me to put it down. The blisteringly hot setting makes it a good book to read in the heat of the summer, but it‘s certainly not a light beach read. It will make you uncomfortable but will never bore you. Looking forward to reading more by Lessing.

14 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
The Long Tomorrow | Leigh Brackett
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Pickpick


This was a good classic post-apocalyptic novel, but not one of my favorites from the 1950s. I thought the writing was great but I just couldn't understand the motivations of the main characters at times. I would still recommend this despite some of my frustrations with it.

15 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
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I read Carrie‘s memoir a few years ago. It was fun to see her and Sleater-Kinney year it up in St. Paul tonight! 🎸

Suet624 I still have this stacked to read. 2w
14 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
The Grass is Singing | Doris Lessing
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Mary is so unpredictable. She reminds me of Edith Stoner!

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BestDogDad
The Grass is Singing | Doris Lessing
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A snowy Saturday is a perfect day for Keenan the Dobie‘s nap and for Dog Dad to finish this dark but really good (so far) novel by Doris Lessing.

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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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Forgot to post my September wrap up so here it is. All science for #scienceSeptember. Some greatness and some which weren‘t what I thought they would be. #septemberwrapup

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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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Pickpick

This must've been a shocking book to read in the early 1960s. We were literally killing the planet! It's still an important book to read today as we still need to be cognizant of the chemicals we are releasing in to the environment. Living by the Mississippi River for 28 years I have seen the benefits of the DDT ban first hand as bald eagles are now a common sight in the neighborhood. I'm guessing they weren't fifty years ago. #ScienceSeptember

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BestDogDad
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Mehso-so

This book is more about the author‘s race to get his drug trial going than it is about superbugs and for that reason I didn't love it. I was hoping to read about the horrific microbes which will usher in the zombie apocalypse. These microbial monsters were characters in the book, just not the main ones. There were some good human interest stories related to his test subjects and I learned a lot about the pharmaceutical industry. #scienceseptember

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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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Even cities were poisoned? Who came up with this strategy?

Aimeesue 😳😳😳 3mo
15 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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We‘ve lived near the Mississippi River for 28 years and it‘s been awesome to see more and more bald eagles in the sky every year. It‘s no longer a big deal to see one. They are again common.

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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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Cripes! This book is hard to read. Even though this was all 60+ years ago.

Addison_Reads This book is one I tell everyone to read. Carson was ahead of her time and tried to warn us of the damage we were doing. 3mo
12 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
Silent Spring | Rachel Carson
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I‘m old and remember the horrible pollution everywhere in the early 1970s but this blows my mind. I had no idea toxic chemicals were used so liberally, especially in cities.

Lindy 😫 3mo
15 likes2 stack adds1 comment
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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

This is a quick read. The author debunks all sorts of nonsensical things relating to the afterlife; you name it: spirit communication, astral projection, EVP, poltergeists, hypnotism, cold reading, Ouija boards, reincarnation, near-death experiences, past life regression, the soul, and a variety of other subjects. He uses humor and draws from many experts to get his message across. The book has an extensive bibliography listing his many sources.

15 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
The Genius of Birds | Jennifer Ackerman
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Pickpick

The Genius of Birds is an excellent look in to intelligence of birds covering topics such as their use of tools, complex social systems, vocal "virtuosity", aesthetic nature, and navigational acuity. I learned a lot from this book and there were some neat mysteries addressed and mind blowing information which was new to me. l

14 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

The Science of Interstellar was written by the great theoretical physicist Kip Thorne who was the science advisor and executive producer of the movie. I saw Interstellar four times in the theater including two times in IMAX - I now want to see it again! This book is chock full of cool inside info about the movie and hard science. I loved everything about his book.

My second read for #ScienceSeptember.

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BestDogDad
Reaching for the Moon | Lucy H. Pearce
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Mehso-so

Despite being a self-proclaimed Apollo nut, I knew not of John C. Houbolt, the man credited with devising the Lunar Orbit Rendezvous method of landing on the moon. At the time, there was a push at NASA to use one giant rocket (the Nova) to make the trip and land / take off from the moon but John's idea ultimately won over Wernher von Braun and the NASA. My favorite parts were the interviews. My first #scienceseptember read.

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BestDogDad
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So much cool movie and science stuff in this book.

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BestDogDad
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Kip Thorne writing his equations on Professor Brand‘s chalkboard, and Murph (Jessica Chastain)contemplating the equations in the movie.

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BestDogDad
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I love all the behind the scenes movie talk and find the science in the movie fascinating but some of it makes my old brain hurt. 🤯

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BestDogDad
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My first two reads in Science September! Interstellar is one of my favorite movies so I was gobsmacked to find out that physicist Kip Thorne wrote a book about working on the movie. #scienceseptember

16 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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August wrap. Much goodness here! Diaz‘s book was probably my favorite. It is now time for #scienceSeptember! #Augustwrapup

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BestDogDad
Exhalation: Stories | Ted Chiang
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Pickpick

Ted Chiang can write a short story. This is a great collection, and I enjoyed it much more than his prior short story collection. He also included "author's notes" for each story which he read himself. Chiang is a smart fellow and it was interesting to hear where he got his inspiration for each story.

I'm looking forward to his next collection!

18 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
The Long Valley | John Steinbeck
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Pickpick

This is a nice collection of Steinbeck short stories, and includes the novella, The Red Pony. Most of the short stories are set in his Salinas Valley and are not feel good reading. But it's Steinbeck and you'll be wowed by his writing, vivid characters, and well painted settings.

My favs: The Chrysanthemums and Johnny Bear.

I'm looking forward to reading more Steinbeck. He's one of my favorites.

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BestDogDad
In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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Pickpick

In the Distance will end up being one of my 2019 top reads. I love melancholy fiction and this is one of the best I've read. The plot has its starts and stops, but the story never gets stale or boring. The writing is wonderful; particularly the descriptions of the changing landscapes, flora, fauna, and Håkan himself as his journey wears him down mentally and physically. It was a book that was hard to put down and will take a while to get over.

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BestDogDad
The Tempest | William Shakespeare
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Pickpick

This audio version was excellent. The voice acting was amazing and audio effects were good but not too much. I need to see the play live. I think I would get more out of this seeing actors perform it. Hopefully a theater in the Twin Cities will perform it sometime in the near future.

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BestDogDad
Metro 2035: Roman | Dmitry Glukhovsky
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Pickpick

The Metro 2033, 2034, 2035 trilogy is dark, messy, unforgiving dystopian science fiction and I really enjoyed all of it. In total, I spent 51 hours in the Moscow Metro (subway) plus time reading the electronic versions of the short prologue and epilogue to 2033! Why aren't these books in major bookstores in the US?

9 likes1 stack add
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BestDogDad
In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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Deep! I‘ve always wondered this. Why due humans bury themselves in a casket within a vault (in the US, anyway). I want my atoms out there, becoming something else!

Tamra Me too. 4mo
13 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
In the Distance | Hernan Diaz
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This is wonderful! This book is exceeding my expectations.

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BestDogDad
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July reading wrap. The Sam Harris and Musolino books were standouts, as well as some of Chiang‘s short stories. The Metro book was actually a short prequel to the Metro Trilogy. #julywrapup

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BestDogDad
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Pickpick


Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was written over a decade ago but it is still VERY relevant today in the United States as current administration is increasingly under the influence of religious fundamentalists and there is a creationist a heartbeat away from the presidency! In 2019! How can this be possible?! Read this book and you will understand why. I'll read it again some day with a highlighter.

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BestDogDad
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Amen.

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BestDogDad
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Bush set us back decades with his misguided stem cell decision. 😾

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BestDogDad
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This is just insanity! Since he wrote this some States have come around.

Mariposa_Bookworm I‘ve seen the destruction that alcohol does. 4mo
BestDogDad @Mariposa_Bookworm I have too. Lost three friends in high school in a drunk driving accident. It‘s so easy to abuse. 4mo
5 likes1 stack add2 comments
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BestDogDad
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Sam is preaching to the choir and the choir is enjoying it immensely.

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BestDogDad
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Starting another Sam Harris book. I like how he arranges his words. 🕺🏼

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BestDogDad
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Pickpick

I found this book to be really well written and easy to read. The author leaves no stone unturned, he examines a number of tangential ideas thoroughly. From the soul's beginning as a creation of our pre-scientific ancestors to make sense of biological and psychological phenomena to modern theological views and dismissal by modern science, I found that this journey through the life of the soul never dragged.

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BestDogDad
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Being married to a science teacher, I can attest that the war on Darwin continues, at least where we live. The parents that don‘t want evolution taught because it‘s “just a theory” (among other things) readily accept religious supernatural ideas at the drop of a hat. 🤷🏼‍♂️

Lindy 🤷‍♀️ 5mo
11 likes1 comment
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BestDogDad
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Kudos to the thinkers who took on the church back when it was unheard of.