Rants and Raves

The Financier – **

The Financier (Trilogy of desire, #1)

The Financier by Theodore Dreiser

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I got stuck in the middle of this and almost abandoned it. Now that I’ve powered through it I’m not sure I enjoyed it. I need to stew on it and update this later.

I also need to go back and find the podcast that recommended it and figure out why. I know it was brought up at some point on one of Brian Koppelman’s podcasts or when he was on someone else’s show. And since I like BK a lot I immediately grabbed the book- and now I want to know why they brought it up.



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Altered Carbon – ****

Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I wasn’t sure I’d like this book or get in to it at all, but once I started I wound up getting caught up in it. I haven’t read SciFi in quite a while- well, not like this- but I got in to it as the story in itself is more of a pulp-style mystery. Almost like a SciFi noir. The mystery itself was good so that kept me engaged and the sci-fi aspects weren’t distracting, but well thought out ideas that added to the environment. I wound up really enjoying it.

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At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails – *****

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot CocktailsAt the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

An engaging read. Bakewell helps paint the picture of how the philosophers were living at the time they came up with their theories and essays and works. The how helps with the why. I wish we had gone over more of this background when I was in college. At most we had quick snapshots of what the thinkers were doing at times in their lives. Bakewell’s book helps connect the dots for me.

I’d recommend the book if you’re in to the subject matter.

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Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever – ****

Wheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy EverWheelmen: Lance Armstrong, the Tour de France, and the Greatest Sports Conspiracy Ever by Reed Albergotti
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally got around to reading Reed and Vanessa’s book after being introduced to it via a SFCC (and Fatcake club) event where Reed spoke to us about the book and answered questions a few months ago.

I actually finished the book in the evenings after I’d catch up on this year’s Tour. It’s amazing that some of the same names are still involved with the sport, but it’s their lives so it shouldn’t surprise me too much.

What did surprise me is how much of a dick Armstrong is. The level of cover ups and money shifting and other stuff is astounding. The strong-arming teammates, etc… ugh. Just read it.

If you’re not into cycling it may take a bit to get ramped up and know who the major players are, but it will be worth your effort. The authors do a good job of explaining who everyone is with their backstories with good anecdotes. It’s a real life soap opera.

There’s even overlap in today’s news with some Olympic (Russian) athletes being caught doping, some problems with the labs in Rio, some MMA athletes being caught this week in Vegas, etc…

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