Whatcha Reading?

Believe or not, but I actually read less about golf than other topics. However, I don’t have anyone to share my reading list with as my wife can’t stay awake past 10:00 p.m. and my kids are still trying to figure out what sound a cow makes. I am sure there are other Refugees in a similar situation. So, I would like this thread to be an opportunity for all of us to recommend books that might be of interest to others.

Rules -

  • Books can be of any genre
  • List the title, author, and a brief synopsis
  • No spoilers, please

List of books with authors, types, genres, and overviews or reviews:


I am currently reading a very good book:

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice
by Bill Browder

The author recounts his start as an investor in Russia after the fall of communism and his fight against the oligarchs that stole enormous sums of money during the privatization of Russian companies.


Currently reading:

Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution by Simon Schama.

After seeing some of the sights, I wanted to read a more in-depth account of the French Revolution. This is one of the most definitive. It’s also massive and I’m a pretty slow reader, so it’s going to take a while.


oh shit, almost 1k pages

If I’m done in less than a year it’ll be a miracle.

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might have to get this. I love grand scale “comprehensive” histories, if that is what it is

We can start the first Refuge Book Club.


I picked this up a couple weeks ago. Looks awesome - glad to hear you’re liking it.

Currently reading:

Everything is F$#%ed: A Book About Hope by Mark Manson

Follow up to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#$%. From the publisher blurb: Manson dissects religion and politics and the uncomfortable ways they have come to resemble one another. He looks at our relationships with money, entertainment and the internet, and how too much of a good thing can psychologically eat us alive. He openly defies our definitions of faith, happiness, freedom—and even of hope itself. Manson takes us by the collar and challenges us to be more honest with ourselves and connected with the world in ways we probably haven’t considered before. It’s another counterintuitive romp through the pain in our hearts and the stress of our soul.

The Little Drummer Girl by John Le Carre

Planning to finish the book then watch the BBC miniseries. From the Wiki: The story follows the manipulations of Martin Kurtz, an Israeli spymaster who intends to kill Khalil – a Palestinian terrorist who is bombing Jewish-related targets in Europe, particularly Germany – and Charlie, an English actress and double agent working on behalf of the Israelis. Despite the plot, some reviewers thought it transcended the spy novel genre. The Little Drummer Girl* is about spies", said William F. Buckley, writing in The New York Times, "as Madame Bovary is about adultery or Crime and Punishment about crime.

Also - need to plug a book I finished a couple weeks ago that was awesome, especially for fans of fly fishing, Victorian history, and true crime (yes these all go together). The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century by Kirk Johnson. Was a very fun and educational read.

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I think you meant to say, “Everything is F$#%ed is a follow-up to The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#$%.

I read the Subtle Art…very good.

Haha thank you. Between Feud, WWTBAM, and actual work my brain is done thinking too hard for the remainder of the work week.

The follow-up is good though. He has a way of making super heavy topics very approachable. And always some cool stories/history thrown in.

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Margaret Atwood - ‘Maddaddam’. The last in a soft sci-fi, post apocalypse trilogy with some dark humour. Feels like it’s been dragged out though, the last 100 pages are taking me ages.

Also got Robert Hunter ‘The Links’ on my phone Kindle for reading on the go, well worth the £2. I then have ‘Alone in Berlin’ by Hans Fallada in the post for some fun holiday reading (anti Nazi resistance in Germany during WW2).

Read this a few years back. Super interesting and great quick read. Didn’t realize at the time how topical it would be.

As for what I’m reading currently: Trinity by Leon Uris. Historical fiction about Irish independence. Set in the late 1800’s through the Easter uprising of 1916. Very long and is honestly one I’ve picked up and put down a handful of times as I work through it but very good. Selfishly the protagonist is in part where my name is derived from and having a wife who immigrated from Ireland as a child I have developed a passion for learning as much as I can about the country.

Love the idea of this thread. I keep a running note on my phone of books I want to read and am currently up to 21 in the queue but always looking to add more for a good read.

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Fall, or Dodge in Hell by Neal Stephenson

Edit to add synopsis.

Speculative science fiction. Imagines a world where brains are uploaded into the cloud (sort of a offshoot of Extropians of the 90s and the Singularity). Online hoaxes run rampant. (Fake NEWS!), Facebook feeds are dropped directly into AR glasses creating curated echo chambers causing rural America to devolve into lawlessness and fundamentalism. (hey, is this fiction?).

Lots of characters from past Stephenson novels show up. Reamde, Cryptonomicon, System of the World.


Gonna need some more info here, champ. :slight_smile:

Synopsis, please.

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Currently Reading: Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

It’s basically a memoir of Anthony Bourdain before he got the Travel Channel/CNN show starting from summer jobs as a dishwasher/line cook, through coulinary school, and up to being an executive chef. It’s kind of a tell-all/behind the scenes look at the restaurant industry. For those that are fans of the show, it’s very easy to read passages in his voice (very weird post-suicide). This New Yorker article is the genesis of the book.


Oh boy do I love this thread

Hold my beer

Just finished Chuck Klosterman’s “But What If We’re Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past”
Highly recommend reading anything by my boy Chuck. He’s highly entertaining and thought provoking. I’d start with his short story/non-fiction collection “X: A Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History of the Early 21st Century”. It’s got a ton of sports and pop-culture writing in it. Super fun read. But anyway, “But What If We’re Wrong” is a book about reframing our view of the present to think of it as the past to better inform our view of society, science, politics, sports achievements, music, etc. Fascinating stuff. It really changed the way I thought about “truth”.

I also recently read a short Brene Brown book that my therapist lent me, “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are”. It was really eye opening. Basically, Brene Brown studied people who lived what she termed “wholehearted” lives and offered ways to introduce joy and purpose into your own life. Highly recommend (and it’s like 125 pages, quick read with very actionable items).

Now I’m onto “Atomic Habits” by James Clear.
I also bought my first book of poetry, which I’m really pumped about (trying to learn how to appreciate the form, so if anyone has tips please let me know). “Dog Songs” by Mary Oliver.


Went to UND with Chuck (North Dakota, not Notre Dame). Had the fortune of sitting at a few parties going through vinyl and CDs with him while slamming Busch Light Pounders, which was the style of the time.

My roommate and Chuck prank called a North Dakota State football player one night after we beat them. Joe Toth.

It was a dark time for Toth

10 years ago (1993): FARGO - North Dakota State University President Jim Ozbun rejected a request from almost 50 faculty members asking him to kick linebacker Joe Toth off the Bison football team. Toth was suspended indefinitely from the team in February after being charged with assaulting a Fargo teen. He was reinstated last week.

Anyway, for Klosterman fans, it all starts with Fargo Rock City.

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Love this idea!

Just finished up Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Craig Nelson.

I am looking for something to tackle next so hopefully I will get some solid ideas from the thread.

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe
by Roger McNamee

“A candid and highly entertaining explanation of how and why a man who spent decades picking tech winners and cheering his industry on has been carried to the shore of social activism.” The New York Times Book Review

“A timely reckoning with Facebook’s growth and data-obsessed culture. . . [ Zucked ] is the first narrative tale of Facebook’s unravelling over the past two years . . . McNamee excels at grounding Facebook in the historical context of the technology industry.” — Financial Times

Anything by Brad Thor or Vince Flynn. Very fast reads. I enjoy the cia operative type novels.

Code of conduct by Brad Thor.

Hidden deep within one of the world’s most powerful organizations is a secret committee with a devastating agenda. Its members are afforded incredible protections-considered elites, untouchables.

But when four seconds of video is captured halfway around the world and anonymously transmitted to D.C., covert wheels are set in motion and counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is tapped to undertake the deadliest assignment of his career.

*pardon the edit. I apparently need to completely read the rules before posting. *

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