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Your recent reading and what did you think of the book?



I thought I would start this topic off for those of us who enjoy reading.
I was going to suggest the title and author and a short comment or review.
Maybe state the nature of the book, thriller, crime, biography etc. Have you read others in the series or of the author and is it worth a read and any useful comments to prospective readers.


I'll start off:

City of Fortune. How Venice won and lost a naval empire. Roger Crowley.

This is a historical review of how Venice rose to be a World power and leader in commerce and how it lost the lot.

I got the book because I was watching how Venice was being destroyed by flooding etc and realised that I knew nothing about the history of the place. I had been there in late 60's early 70's and didn't enjoy my visit as it was smelly and nasty and... I was a kid at University.

The book is written in a novelistic form that makes it easy to read. It tends to to repetitious but that isn't so much the fault of the book but more the nature historical events. Venice was the dominant naval military presence and fought either militarily or economically with everyone for the trade routes and access.  In turn it was threatened by others doing the same thing, in particular Genoa. I never knew the reason of why Italy was such a (historically) divided country but this book did give me insight.
The sad part of the book is to reflect that humans haven't evolved very far. We read of empires built and destroyed in the same repetitious pattern throughout the book as we see now.

I would recommend the book for readers interested in history in a casual way.  I think it is interesting in its reflection of world events and how the political geography of the Mediterranean has been formed. It would make a good long haul air-flight book!


Well-known member
Dec 19, 2019
I am currently reading "Boundaries in Marriage" by Henry Cloud.

This is in response to therapay (intentional misspelling) and an awareness that I am deeply codependent and have spent my life pleasing others and "deleting" myself in most conversations.  I came to this book after reading "Keep your love on" by Danny Silk which made me realize I am a passive weak person and because of this toxic selflessness I am resentful towards my wife who is very self focused and agressive.

So far I like the book and it is adding value to my cognitive beliefs.  However in practice I still find it very hard to say "No" when I could easily do something for someone.  An example is the garbage disposal got jammed the other day.  I was in the room on audible for 5 min reading the boundaries book when my wife yelled for met to come fix the disposal.  I didn't hear her first attempts, so when I did come 2 min later she was pissed and yelling at me.  I went ahead and looked at it, got the allen wrench to manually spin the choppers and fixed the stuck disposal.  As I went to put the wrench back in the garage I was now pissed and resentful that her disposal was more important than my reading.  In a session a day later with our couple's counselor - the counselor said what would have happened if you didn't fix it immediately?  Just tell your wife I know it is important to you to fix this and I will get to it after I finish reading the chapter (in 30 minutes).  My immediate response is if I went downstairs to tell her this I might as well fix it - it only took 2 minutes and was rude not to do it since I was already interrupted.  She said next time delay doing the thing.  At which my wife said well he has just always done what I want why should I have to wait...  and there in lies the problem.  She expects me to jump, and I feel like I am injuring her if I don't.

In summary the information is good.  The book is well written (if somewhat corny at times with their examples).  For someone who has never expressed boundaries in their 40+ yr life, it is easier to know and understand the material than it is to apply it.  :)


Active member
Jan 10, 2020
Read a whole bunch of books while on vacation, but the two best were "The Raven Tower" by Ann Leckie and "She's Not The Man I Married" by Helen Boyd.

"The Raven Tower" is a great bit of fantasy told from the perspective of a god watching and attempting to communicate with a human. Hard to say too much more about the plot without getting into spoilers, but Leckie is fantastic at writing from really out there perspectives - her Imperial Radch trilogy from the perspective a space ship AI was amazing and while I wound't put this quite up to that high bar is was still excellent.

"She's Not The Man I Married" I found much more interesting and useful than Boyd's previous book "My Husband Betty" with a lot more insight into human nature, gender roles, gender identities, and how they all interact with society. I didn't find a lot of value in "My Husband Betty" and would not likely recommend it to most people, but I would recommend "She's Not The Man I Married" to pretty much anyone interested in communication and relationships weather they have any dealings with LGBTQ people or not.


Oct 14, 2020
Gender Pronouns
She, Her, Hers, Herself
Gender Identity
I have a bunch of books in queue, get to those later, but most recently there are four that I really enjoyed and a few helped me better understand myself (See if you can guess which is which:unsure:). The first two were suggested to me by my therapist, Whipping Girl by Julia Serano and Gender Outlaw by Kate Bornstiein. For me these were hugely enlightening along with being excellent works providing insight into Feminist and Transgender issues. The next book is the autobiography, Shadow Life by Jenna Ware. This is the story of a Transgender woman who falls in love and marries a well known (in aviation circles) flight test engineer named Joseph Ware. The writing style is a bit difficult but everything is from the heart and for me showed what true Love, understanding, and strength in a relationship is. A bit more fun read was the original Frankenstein by Mary Shelly. This was an eye opener for me as the book is nothing like any of the movies spawned by the book. The monster is actually a character you develop a lot of sympathy for. The turning point for me was understanding monsters torture of Dr. Frankenstein was all in hope that the Doctor would feel the pain of the creation he abandoned.

Books in progress The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (I had enjoyed The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals) I have been working on this for years and just haven't been able to finish it o_O. Also in process is Artful Flying by Michael Maya Charles, although this is primarily of interest to us aviation geeks the core theme of this book is a philosophy of life that encourages true understanding of self and excellence in all areas of ones life.

Books in queue:
  • Entitled and Down Girl both by Kate Manne. These are both feminist works that came well recommended but we shall see,
  • The Martin by Andy Weir, my girlfriend just read it and loved it so of course I will read it,
  • Full House by Stephen Jay Gould, Dr. Gould is one of my favorite authors and this is one of the only books he authored I haven't read.
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