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Old 09-27-2009, 09:54 PM   #76
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I don't know how "obscure" this book is, but The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements by Eric Hoffer is well worth reading.

I haven't been able to find an electronic version of the work.
Cheers to that, great book.
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Old 09-27-2009, 10:22 PM   #77
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House of Leaves - just an interesting, compelling book.
House of Leaves is my #1 example of "why all books will not be ebooks, ever, even when we get the battery life fixed and work out how to make good epub textbooks."

Not even as a PDF, because it loses something in being translated to different screen sizes. (Also, I'm not done with it yet, and it may have parts that count on the pages' partial transparency.)
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:45 PM   #78
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Ok....I am intrigued. Anyone know the title of this book?
Sannikov Land:
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Russian geologist and science fiction writer Vladimir Obruchev fictionalized this phantom island in his novel Sannikov Land (1926). In the story, the island provided the last escape for a tribe of Onkilon (in fact, this was one of the older names for Yuit), pushed away from the mainland by other Siberian peoples. The (fictional) Onkilon were thought to be extinct, and were discovered by a small expedition looking for the island and eventually stranded at it.

Obruchev, inspired by Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, provided a reasonable justification of the possibility of the described things and events. The island turned out to be a crater of a volcano and a warm place, heated by the volcano. It also hosted a tribe of neanderthals (called "Vampoo") and mammoths. In the end of the story the volcano erupts and destroys the land.
Not sure why it would be illegal to own, it wasn't anything special IMO.
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Old 09-28-2009, 03:44 PM   #79
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Anyone read the Little Fuzzy books by H Beam Piper? I loved these although I don't know if they were ever well known. I always thought they were similar to some of the earlier Heinlein books and definitely worth reading if you enjoy that kind of sci-fi. The little Fuzzies were awfully cute...
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Old 09-29-2009, 02:14 PM   #80
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Anyone read the Little Fuzzy books by H Beam Piper? I loved these although I don't know if they were ever well known. I always thought they were similar to some of the earlier Heinlein books and definitely worth reading if you enjoy that kind of sci-fi. The little Fuzzies were awfully cute...
Heather
Available in our forum:
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Old 09-30-2009, 09:06 PM   #81
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Anything by B. Traven
He wrote Treasure of the Sierra Madre but his jungle books (five in the series) were great. The books cover the treatment of the peons in Mexico during the early part of the 20th Century, and the eventual uprising: General From the Jungle, March to the Montera are two of the titles I remember.
Absolutely! my particular favourite is "The Death Ship". It's not part of the Jungle novels, but a stand-alone book, very politically charged and funny. It's simply brilliant!

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Old 10-01-2009, 01:28 AM   #82
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I think Alasdair Gray is a fabulous writer, and his books should be better known.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:28 AM   #83
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This one: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12879

It narrates the life of Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca. I wouldn't be suprised if his life was chosen the most intense and strange life ever lived in the history of humanity.

Dr. Drib uploaded this book and this is what I said about it in that thread (sorry to quote myself but I don't feel like writing )

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The Spanish title is Naufragios (Shipwrecks), which in my opinion sounds way better. Cabeza de Vaca was a member of the Narváez expedition. The crew initially numbered about 600, but only 4 survived. One of them was Cabeza de Vaca. In Cabeza de Vaca's own words, this book is "an account of what I learned and saw in the ten years that I wandered lost and naked through many and very strange lands." He was the first white man who explored several regions of what today is the southern US: Florida, Texas, New Mexico... In his years among the native Americans, he became a slave, a medicine man, a merchant, and even an idol.

This book was first published in 1542, decades before Don Quijote and several years before Lazarillo de Tormes, which means it was written way before the first steps of the modern novel. Cabeza de Vaca's narrative is sometimes awkward and frustrating, but it is still fascinating to see his personal evolution, from a very Catholic and pious Spanish nobleman to a defender of the Native Americans.

Of course, bear in mind that Cabeza de Vaca lived in a period in which Europeans were not, to put it mildly, very open minded , so you might find some passages that are offensive to our modern sensitivity. Still, if you consider his historical context, I think you might agree with me: he was actually a very cool guy. After his return to Spain amd the publication of this book, he was appointed governor of Río de la Plata. He returned to Spain in chains because he was so benevolent towards the native tribes that the Spanish noblemen became suspicious.

Cabeza de Vaca was not a very gifted writer; nonetheless, I think this is one of the major classics in Spanish literature, and it's very unjustly overlooked.
You can find it here for the Sony Reader both in English and in Spanish:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12879

It's also available in Manybooks in several formats, both in English and in Spanish:
http://manybooks.net/authors/vacaa.html

And this is a nice online version:
http://alkek.library.txstate.edu/swwc/cdv/book/5.html
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #84
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I thought of another one for the sci/fi lovers. Don't know why I didn't think of this first.

Armor by John Steakley. This is actually one of the best sci/fi books ever written. But the author doesn't get much attention because he's only written 2 books and a very few short stories. His other book was a vampire book that they made into a movie. I read it (Armor I mean, not into vampire books much except original Dracula) about 10 years ago when I noticed it appearing on lists of best sci/fi novels of all time with an asterisk beside it.

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Old 10-02-2009, 02:47 PM   #85
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There's another great book I read that has to do with how to motivate people, in the situation for which I read it, people I was supervising - via a reward system rather than the ingrained punishment system of .. well, forever's business practice... Not some stupid cheerleader, positive thinking book though... In a nutshell, it taught that you manage via reward by never rewarding poor behavior.. and taught about all the types of reward there were other than just money. For example, not everyone works for the biggest buck, most people (bearing in mind "adequate" pay) have one of the following things that is "most" important to them - job security, a comfortable work environment, performance recognition to their peers, availability of flex time, some freedom to come and go as they need, other things. And you don't have to treat everyone exactly the same, they are all different - you have to treat everyone fairly. Beyond their basic living, they all have different needs and motivations. And you motivate performance by rewarding those - and it only works, and it works great... if you never, ever, reward poor performance. You never let bad performance go unremarked.

Unfortunately I don't remember the name of it and hopefully I can find this thread when I run across it. It's a thin little book, only about 70 pages, but it sure was packed with interesting thoughts.
Except for what you said about it being only 70 pages and perhaps about its not being one of those "stupid cheerleader, positive thinking book[s]", I would say the book in question was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It contained much of the same advice.

I'm not too fond of self-help books, but Carnegie's was one of the better ones.
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Old 10-02-2009, 04:05 PM   #86
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Armor by John Steakley. This is actually one of the best sci/fi books ever written. I read it (Armor I mean, not into vampire books much except original Dracula) about 10 years ago when I noticed it appearing on lists of best sci/fi novels of all time with an asterisk beside it.
Heh, one of the books on my shelves that helps put to lie that books are long lasting. Blasted thing's been read over to many seasons on to many trips. Sniff...the pages, they won't stay in anymore.

Guessing the asterisk means "At least read 50 pages before giving up. Really, it makes sense later. I swear!"
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Old 10-02-2009, 05:35 PM   #87
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Except for what you said about it being only 70 pages and perhaps about its not being one of those "stupid cheerleader, positive thinking book[s]", I would say the book in question was How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It contained much of the same advice.

I'm not too fond of self-help books, but Carnegie's was one of the better ones.
hehe, nah.. wasn't that. It was "reeeally" obscure. I don't have much of a taste for self-help books either.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:24 PM   #88
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I thought of another one for the sci/fi lovers. Don't know why I didn't think of this first.

Armor by John Steakley. This is actually one of the best sci/fi books ever written. But the author doesn't get much attention because he's only written 2 books and a very few short stories. His other book was a vampire book that they made into a movie. I read it (Armor I mean, not into vampire books much except original Dracula) about 10 years ago when I noticed it appearing on lists of best sci/fi novels of all time with an asterisk beside it.
John has written a fair bit of stuff, but mostly under pseudonyms or as a ghost writer.

One of his treasured memories about Armor was getting a note from Heinlein about it saying how impressed he was the second time he read it.

He also tells a hilarious story about being at a conference with Jerry Pournelle, and the two of them Not Getting Along. In fact, Not Getting Along to the point of "Okay. Step outside, and let's settle this man to man!" But not actually getting to that point because before punches were thrown, John said "Jerry, wait!" "Why?" "Because Bob Heinlein is gonna be here, and you gotta introduce me to him and say something nice about me!"
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:37 PM   #89
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Anyone read the Little Fuzzy books by H Beam Piper? I loved these although I don't know if they were ever well known. I always thought they were similar to some of the earlier Heinlein books and definitely worth reading if you enjoy that kind of sci-fi. The little Fuzzies were awfully cute...
Heather
They were well known in SF circles. Piper was a tragic case: he committed suicide in the early 60's. His agent had been keeping Piper's finances in his head. When he died unexpectedly, it threw Piper's affairs into chaos. He was unwilling to accept charity, even though many folks would have rallied to help, and chose to end his life. Ironically, at the tiome he died, John W. Campbell was trying to find him because he'd bought a Piper story for Analog Magazine and wanted to get him a check.

The manuscript for the third Fuzzy novel. "Fuzzies and Other People", was eventually found and published long after Piper's death.. What never did surface were the notebooks where Piper was keeping track of his worlds. Piper was one of the first to write in a continuing setting with a coherent history. Two, in fact, as his works were mostly in the Terran Federation series (_Little Fuzzy_, among others) and the Paratime Police series (_Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen_ and others).

All save the Lord Kalvan volume have lapsed into the public domain, and HarryT has a couple of compilation volumes posted in MobileRead's ebook library for download.
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Old 10-03-2009, 02:43 PM   #90
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Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell.

It is a brilliantly simple explanation of how an economy works and of the unintended consequences of different government interventions on the free market. Everyone who votes should read it.
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