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World War Z
Max Brooks
“The end was near.” —Voices from the Zombie WarThe Zombie War came unthinkably close to eradicating humanity. Max Brooks, driven by the urgency of preserving the acid-etched first-hand exp...

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Comment from [Reddit user] with 6 upvotes on /r/books/

I finished World War Z, by Max Brooks

I started One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márquez and Dance Hall of the Dead, by Tony Hillerman.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Sphere by Michael Crichton

Just finished this over the weekend and really enjoyed it. Third book I read by him and if this book played out like I usually assume this type of story played out, I would have enjoy it because I do enjoy his writing quite a bit. Instead he does something a bit different and unexpected. Was an entertaining read.

World War Z by Max Brooks

Working on this one now, about 100 pages in. I have heard this book talked up and I think I understand why. The stuff this book explores when it comes to the zombie apocalypse is not something I expected and has me attached to it. I’m barely able to put it down.

Edit: fix a word.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: World War Z, by Max Brooks

Started: Fear, by Bob Woodward

Comment from [Reddit user] with 5 upvotes on /r/books/

I had an impromptu break from classes due to Hurricane Florence so I had time to read.

I finished World War Z: an Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. I had a hell of a fun time with this one, and I loved how international the whole conflict was. It discussed propaganda and logistics and politics and all the other things that would logically ensue from the zombie apocalypse. It was also eminently and often disturbingly human - the real terror from this book comes not from the zombies but from how human beings respond to them. Highly recommended.

I read Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers, Who They Were, Why They Did It, by Terry McDermott. I started this on the anniversary of the attack because I had bought the book at a church book sale and I thought it was appropriate. I'm very impressed with the research that McDermott did, and how he avoided demonizing the attackers. These were not creatures from hell, but rather otherwise normal human beings who were alienated by society and found solace in radical ideologies, a topic which in this day and age has great relevance. Recommended to anyone interested.

I read Bush At War, by Bob Woodward. I read this as something of a counterpoint to the McDermott book lest I become too jingoistic (I don't think I did, thankfully). Woodward's portrait of Bush in the hundred days after 9/11 was more positive than I had expected from one of the men who had broken Watergate. Bush here is portrayed as a well-meaning man who was more than a little overwhelmed by the circumstance (and I'm not convinced it wouldn't have done the same to anyone else who had held the office at the time). An illuminating look into the White House in that time.

I read Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi. Only the first of the duology. I liked the look into the authoritarian regimes that had governed Iran both pre and post revolution, and how Satrapi did not spare either from justly deserved criticism. Satrapi also has a good sense of humor.

I read Maus, by Art Spiegelman. Spiegelman is very good at using the somewhat bizarre concept of representing Jews as mice and Nazis as cats (and other nationalities as different animals) to stunning effect. The sheer terror of the Holocaust is on full display, and the visual medium is used to its fullest. Spiegelman's portrayal of himself reckoning with the past has a lot of pathos, and his portrayal of his father Vladek is properly nuanced but ultimately sympathetic. An amazing work.

I read Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut. This is one of those books I felt stupid after finishing. Vonnegut clearly had an ambitious idea for his book, and I doubt I fully understood it. It's a book that's hard to describe and hard to categorize. I found the jumping back and forth in time interesting, as did I the utterly alien Tralfamadorians and their culture and way of viewing the universe. Definitely a book that I'll think about more.

I read Lazarus: the First Collection, by Greg Rucka, Michael Lark, and Santi Arcas. I'm not really sure why my father had this in the basement bookshelves, but it was there. I had heard good things about Rucka so I gave it a shot, and I enjoyed it. It's a very good 'modern' dystopia when so many of our images of dystopia come from the early to mid twentieth century. The worldbuilding shined here in all its bleak and depressing glory, and Forever as a character was quite interesting. If I can get my hands on another collection I'll read it.

I read The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury. Yet another book I felt stupid after reading. As Bradbury says in the prologue, it's more mythology than pure science fiction, and it has the proper epic scope that mythology entails. The settlement of Mars, and the displacement of the original inhabitants, is done with a real care for the human and nonhuman beings affected by the change, and human quirks are on full display; I particularly liked the one with the guy who recreates the House of Usher and the 'Romeo and Juliet parody' near the end. Another book I'll think about more.

I read Coolidge, by Amity Shlaes. A biography of the titular president. Shlaes clearly has a conservative, small-government, fiscal responsibility worldview which I don't think impacts the text too much (some bits in the prologue and epilogue) - the whole portrayal struck me as evenhanded. I learned a lot about the man and his philosophy, with his origins in Vermont and governorship of Massachusetts. The part about the Boston Police Strike stood out to me in particular, partially because I had not heard of that event previously. Recommended to those interested.

I intend to start The Fight to Save Juarez, by Ricardo Ainslie soon. I haven't actually started, but I need some more Latin American history, and I know little about the Drug War. I'll post about it next week.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I read 3 books this week:

A Dangerous Fortune, by Ken Follet. Another great book of his. Really enjoyed it. However, it might have been too soon between books of his because at times it felt very formulaic. Too little difference from his other books.

The Reptile Room, by Lemony Snicket. Book 2 of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Fun little children's book. I liked this one more than book 1.

Pompeii, by Robert Harris. A disappointment. I liked the history part, the fiction part, not so much. All too cliché

Up next: World War Z, by Max Brooks. I've had this one on my too read list for years. Looking forward to it!

And finally I'm finishing my reread of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, by JK Rowling, the illustrated edition. Anyone that's thinking about rereading these books, I highly recommend the illustrated edition! It adds a lot of fun, almost makes it a new experience. And the illustrations are gorgeous!

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I started World War Z, by Max Brooks

I also finished The Masked City, by Genevieve Cogman

Comment from [Reddit user] with 4 upvotes on /r/books/

I read Crisis in the Southwest: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle over Texas, by Richard Bruce Winders. It's a pretty short book about Texas Independence and the Mexican-American War. I got a better sense of the conflict than I had previously - for example I hadn't known about the Santa Fe expedition. I found a little bit of joy reading about people who had given their names to cities I had heard of - e.g. William Worth and Jacob Brown.

I read Modern China: The Fall and Rise of a Great Power, 1850 to the Present, by Jonathan Fenby. Normally I read more books in a given week, but this one was just shy of seven hundred pages. He makes a convincing argument that China's woes have fundamentally been because of internal factors rather than foreign meddling (although that hasn't helped). I gained a lot about the period, and it hardened my bemused horror at the sheer lunacy that was the Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution.

As a break from big history books I'm now reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, by Max Brooks. I read it in early high school and I'm in my senior year of college now, so I'm getting to look at it with new eyes. I'm really digging the geopolitics of it all, with the Israelis being the only ones to take the zombie apocalypse seriously as of yet.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

World War Z, by Max Brooks

Still reading this. About 3/4 of the way through. Enjoyable read and interesting format (a series of interviews). I’ll likely finish this book this week.

Siege of Darkness, by R. A. Salvatore

This is #8 in the Drizzt series...still enjoyable. I’ll likely read through #10 and then take a break and come back to Drizzt and his adventures later on.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

World War Z, by Max Brooks

I just finished up reading Lolita by Nabokov so I wanted something less difficult to read. I have also started Cloud Atlas which I have been looking forward to for a while. Already read the first journal, by Adam Ewing, but I don't think I'll get a true sense of the novel until I'm a hundred or two pages in.

Comment from [Reddit user] with 3 upvotes on /r/books/

Finished: 1776, by David McCullough

Started: World War Z, by Max Brooks

Comment from [Reddit user] with 2 upvotes on /r/books/

World War Z, by Max Brooks. So glad I read the book after watching the movie. Too completely different mediums. The film barely touched or completely omitted my favorite parts of the book - the discussion of the disease's effects on the world economy, on the morale of the people, on the morality of the actions of the isolationist government when they enacted their plan. Wish the movie took the time to branch out and give us a broader view of how the disease first spread.

I also just started The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston. About 1/3rd of the way in, pretty interesting so far.