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Caves of Narshe Forums > General Topics > What book(s) are you currently reading?


Posted by: Elena99 10th October 2005 14:34
I'm surprised that we haven't had a thread like this.

Sort of like the "what games are you playing?" thread, but with books. What are you reading right now, or plan to start in the near future?

I'm reading "Eragon" by Christopher Paolini. I'm near the end of it, and like it at the moment, but I found it had a slow, dull beginning. I didn't like the characters, there were a lot of cliches, etc. This is the first book of the trilogy, and I'm thinking of getting the next, called "Eldest."

For when I'm done with that, I have "Son of a Witch" by Gregory Maguire. This is the sequel to "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West", which is now also a popular musical. I couldn't put "Wicked" down, I hope SoaW is just as good.

Posted by: karasuman 10th October 2005 14:44
I just finished "Eldest" by Christopher Paolini, a whole bunch of Star Wars novels, and the first three Artemis Fowl books. I no longer own a single book that I haven't read. I think I'm going to start over with the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold soon, or, possibly, reread "A Room with a View" by E.M. Forrester.

Posted by: Rangers51 10th October 2005 14:56
I just finished http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0817453725/qid=1128955700/sr=1-2/ref=sr_1_2/002-5603793-6609640?v=glance&s=books by Tory Worobiec and http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0446677450/qid=1128956013/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-5603793-6609640?v=glance&s=books by Robert Kiyosaki. I'm about to start on http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1579905781/qid=1128956123/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-5603793-6609640?v=glance&s=books by Jeff Wignall this week, and while I was home this past weekend I did a bit of rereading of Hitchhiker's just for the fun of it.

Elena, I'm planning on reading Wicked sometime soon myself. I might try to see the musical here in Chicago, too, because I'm guessing it'll be a bit cheaper than seeing it back home in NYC. But I bet not cheap enough. smile.gif

Posted by: fatman 10th October 2005 14:57
I have just finished reading Thud! which is one of the best books I have read. It's Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel. I love Discworld, I finished this in a few days and I recommend everyone to try it. It has some great humour, important messages and as usual for Terry pratchett, the characters and stories are brilliant. smile.gif

I am currently reading The Winter King, which is also very good. This is written by Bernard Cornwell. It has characters such as Merlin and so forth but they are combined with historical accuracy making it all the more interesting. thumbup.gif

Posted by: Auragaea 10th October 2005 15:32
Currently reading: Catcher in the Rye

This is for school and I absolutely HATE it. I don’t want to read a book about a guy bitchin about his problems to us.

Posted by: laszlow 10th October 2005 16:09
Well, I really liked Catcher in the Rye, even if the book is admittedly just Holden Caulfield bitching. Any teenager with some amount of angst (which is all teenagers) can identify with at least one small part of it.

Right now I'm rereading A Storm of Swords for the first time, it's the third book in the excellent, excellent fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin, and I'm prepping for getting the fourth book that comes out pretty soon (if it already hasn't come out - I haven't been bookshopping in a long while so I'm not sure).

Next on the list is Shadow of the Giant by Orson Scott Card. I don't have it yet, but it's the fourth book in Bean's Shadow parallel to the Ender's Game series and I'll head over to Barnes and Noble sometime in the next few months to pick it up once I finish A Storm of Swords.

Posted by: master_tonberry 10th October 2005 16:10
I'm reading book 4 of "The Wheel of Time" seris. It's a great seris, but it's loooong. I'm talking 15 books each one 1100+ pages.

Posted by: Kane 10th October 2005 16:25
I happened to enjoy "Catcher" very much.

Currently, I am reading The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata. It's an excellent book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book

Posted by: Narratorway 10th October 2005 16:29
I'm prolly gonna start up on Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy again. Read 'em all in high school, and just got hold of the dvd and some events have me all mixed up. Figure it's time I got it all straightened out.

Posted by: MogMaster 10th October 2005 16:52
Lasz- November. I can't wait either; it's been far too long since Storm of Swords came out.


Currently I'm bumming my way through Dante's "Divine Comedy," Machiavelli's
"The Prince," and Anthony Burgess' "Clockwork Orange." The proper version with 21 chapters.

Posted by: Sherick 10th October 2005 16:53
By that, I don't think you mean "re-reading" but I'll say it anyway.
Re-Reading Heir to the Empire and its sequels by Timothy Zahn, as well as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (you have to read that twice tongue.gif ) and Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.
What I'm reading reading is Rakkety Tam by Brian Jacques-a Redwall book-and Dante's The Inferno. Nothing else I'm seriously reading.

Posted by: Hamedo 10th October 2005 17:09
Clive Barker's Weaveworld. So far, I'm enthralled with it.

Posted by: Kame 10th October 2005 17:35
Well, I was reading "So Along And Thanks For All The Fish" last from my Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy.

In other books: "Rise and Fall of Khan Noonien Singh"

Posted by: Dragon_Fire 10th October 2005 17:50
I actually really enjoyed Catcher In The Rye when I read it in Highschool. So much so, that I stole a copy from the school library and re-read it an extra three or four times over the course of that year.

At the moment, I'm reading "The Crow: Wicked Games". It's part of some massive series of seperate stories involving people recieving the "Crow"'s powers for vengeance and justice. So far, I've been addicted to the series, I especially like it because there's no one author writing the stories, it's a huge collaberation for each book.

Once I'm done that, I'm probably going to see if the next in the series is out yet, if not, I'm not quite sure what I'll pick up, but I have a strong urge to re-read Chuck Palahniuk's "Survivor", a truly brilliant story.

Posted by: footbigmike 10th October 2005 17:52
Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder. It's a book on philosophy. It's complicated and i keep on getting lost. I haven't really got into it recently though, just read a couple of pages every day.

Posted by: strikerbolt 10th October 2005 19:54
Just recently, I finished Fight Club and Survivor (Chuck Palahniuk), and Something Wicked this way Comes. ATM I'm reading anything with the Dragonlance symbol on it, as well as the first Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (dragons of autumn twilight/winter night/spring dawning) (again, I've read it at least 6 times). If you can't tell, they are my favorite authors and its my favorite series

Posted by: Loose_Hair 10th October 2005 20:06
I'm near the ending of Swan Song by Robert McCammon, I gotta say it's one extremely good read. It has a kind of similar plot to Steven King's The Stand, but I figure he did a better job with it.

Posted by: Gears 10th October 2005 20:11
Quote (Elena99 @ 10th October 2005 09:34)
. This is the sequel to "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West",

Coincidentally, that's the book I'm working on right now. I really like it so far, but have been so bogged down with teaching I haven't had much time for it. Hopefully I get back into it soon. I want to get tickets for the musical, but haven't had a chance yet.

Posted by: saileboat 10th October 2005 20:20
I am currently reading "Hidden Evidence:Forty true crimes and how forensic science help solve them".It is interesting to learn about forensic science,it even has the O.J. case in a more detailed form.Although it is quite short for forty crimes in a single book (240 pages),nevertheless,it is still a very good book happy.gif .

It may not be a book but I am also reading Garfield comics,the Fat Cat 3-Packs(Sixth,Seventh,and Ninth).I used to read "The Farside Gallery" but unfortunately I lost it sad.gif .

Posted by: MetroidMorphBall 10th October 2005 22:41
I'm glad someone finally started this thread. I was thinking of doing it for awhile but never got around to actually doing it. smile.gif

I like to be reading fiction and non-fiction at the same time, just so I can diversify. Right now, for non-fiction, I'm reading "The Hero With a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell. For all you Star Wars fans out there, it's the book that inspired Lucas. It tries to explain the similarities in different mythologies and religions throughout history by linking them to desires of the human unconscious present in all human eras.

For fiction I'm reading "El Tunel" by Ernesto Sabato, an existentialist Argentine book. Really, it's because I'm out of practice with my Spanish, but the book is not that bad.

Posted by: baralai888 10th October 2005 22:45
gosh, im reading so many books for school right now, its not even funny.....being a history major and all lol

"The Pity of It All" Amos Elon
"The Peasant War" Freidrich Engels
"The Alexiad" Anna Comnena
"Luther" Frederick Nohl
"Fourteen Byzantine Rulers" Michael Psellus

and the one i am actually reading for pleasure, "The Historian" Elizabeth Kostova

Posted by: tanya 11th October 2005 03:07
I am currently reading Beside the river Piedra I sat down and wept. I am almost done with it and next up I am planning to buy Angels and Demons.

Posted by: Tidu-who 11th October 2005 03:11
The last book I read was "The Da Vinci Code". Interesting read to say the least. I would still reccomend it despite its obvious half-truths and misinformation.

Posted by: SSJ_Cloud 11th October 2005 14:46
One of the things that I dislike about college is that it leaves me little time for reading for pleasure. However, when I can sneak in a few minutes, I'm reading http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0099436132/202-8996459-4415007.

Here's the snopsis:

Quote
Athens, 332BC - an unhappy city under the rule of the Macedonian 'barbarian' Alexander the Great. In the midst of this unrest, Boutades, an eminent citizen, is found brutally murdered. Suspicion falls heavily on young Philemon, and, by Athenian law, his cousin Stephanos is elected to defend his name in court. In desperation, Stephanos seeks assistance from Aristotle, his former mentor - and Aristotle turns Detective. The young, inexperienced boy and the great philosopher form a classically uneven partnership. Their efforts culminate in the gripping trial scene when Stephanos uses all the powers of rhetoric and oratory instilled in him by Aristotle to clear his family's name of this bloody murder...

Posted by: master_tonberry 12th October 2005 00:29
Quote
I'm reading anything with the Dragonlance symbol on it, as well as the first Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman (dragons of autumn twilight/winter night/spring dawning) (again, I've read it at least 6 times). If you can't tell, they are my favorite authors and its my favorite series


I prefer the Forgotten Realms. Although Dragonlance has its merits, it can't beat Forgotten Realms for divesity of stories.

Posted by: What 12th October 2005 20:56
I'm currently reading The Plague by Albert Camus on my own time, and reading a bunch of assorted poetry for my American Lit. course. My professor seems to have a thing for Theodore Roethke.

oh, and i haven't posted here in like 3 years. sup doods? thumbup.gif

Posted by: ramza_beoulve 12th October 2005 21:19
i am reading the lost tales of merlin; the seven songs of merlin book two of a seiries of three. i recomend reading this series.

Posted by: strikerbolt 15th October 2005 07:03
Quote (master_tonberry @ 11th October 2005 19:29)
I prefer the Forgotten Realms. Although Dragonlance has its merits, it can't beat Forgotten Realms for divesity of stories.

Hrm... I dunno about that, but then again we (me+family) don't even have half of the whole series of either one... I guess I make that judgement based on the fact I've read more Dragonlance than Forgotten Realms. (not being a dictator! don't hurt me!)
Though, I do believe that Drizz't Do'Urden (correct my spelling, haven't read it in awhile) is the best character between the two series. (total bad***)

Posted by: Kulatu 15th October 2005 16:01
Currently reading:

J.R.R. Tolkein's the Silmarillion
WarCraft: War of the Ancients Book One
Journey to the Center of the Earth

Posted by: MetroidMorphBall 15th October 2005 23:44
Quote (strikerbolt @ 15th October 2005 03:03)
Hrm... I dunno about that, but then again we (me+family) don't even have half of the whole series of either one...  I guess I make that judgement based on the fact I've read more Dragonlance

I'll second that opinion. I loved Dragonlance growing up, especially the Weis & Hickman novels and Richard A. Knaak's "Legend of Huma." Dragonlance is a great series, especially for someone in their early-mid teens. I would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in fantasy (final or otherwise wink.gif).

Laszlow, how good is George R.R. Martin? I was hoping to jumpstart my old love of fantasy novels, and picked up his "Fevre Dream." I might make that the next fiction book I read, based on what you've said about A Song of Ice and Fire.

Posted by: Smackthedog 16th October 2005 05:25
i'm reading all of my favorite books,
Wlak two moons, chasing redbird, and ella enchanted

small books, i know, but i'm just waitng for harry potter 6 to be free.



my opinin, Chasing Red bird and Walk two moons are the best books ever. and you're hearing this form some one who HATES realistic fiction.

tried reading Eragon before, but for some reason, the author seemed like a poser to me...
oooh the Shade! Oooh The urgals! oooh... dry.gif

Posted by: Death Penalty 22nd June 2010 02:56
I feel like this might be an interesting thread to dredge up, since I always like to hear what people are reading.

I'm just started reading Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner. It's fairly crazy, and therefore definitely a Faulkner, but it's been pretty interesting so far. I usually end up liking his work once I complete it and get the full picture.

What's everyone reading out there?

Posted by: dont chocobos rule? 22nd June 2010 05:54
re-reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. my favorite author ever, you should all read his books.

Posted by: Kane 22nd June 2010 17:39
I'm glad you resurrected this one, DP; I too love hearing what people are reading. I've never read any of Faulkner's longer fiction, and I find his short fiction hit or miss (for instance, I loved "Barn Burning" but hated "A Rose for Emily"), but I've been meaning to check out one of his novels. Any suggestion?

Anyway, I'm reading (or planning to read) several things this summer:

Fiction-- The Blacker the Berry (which is what I'm reading right now)
The Old Man and the Sea
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Oranges are Not the only Fruit

Non-Fiction-- The Dialogic Imagination
The Anatomy of Criticism
The Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Posted by: Rangers51 22nd June 2010 18:07
I'm reading "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug. It's a book about designing and developing websites that users can actually enjoy using instead of finding them a chore.

I'll probably follow that up with "HTML5 for Web Designers" by Jeremy Keith (who, by the way, is completely awesome). It's pretty obvious what this book is about, I think.

Sure, this is pretty interesting. Right?


Posted by: Perigryn 22nd June 2010 19:48
I agree about Catcher and the bitching.

I also agree with the awesomeness of Dragonlance. I really loved the Chronicles Trilogy plus Dragons of Summer Flame. Raistlin is scary badass.

Currently I'm reading Steven Erikson's second last book in his Tales from the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, Dust of Dreams. If you've never read Steven Erikson's series, then what the heck kinda' fantasy are you reading!? The man works genius onto the page like none I've seen. My only complaint is with his editors... I notice a few typos and such here and there throughout this monster of a collection. Either way, I'm sad it's almost finished...

On the upside, his friend who he founded the world of the books with, Ian C. Esselmont just started his end of the series two books ago, so I'll at least have that, as he's pretty talented a writer himself!

My girlfriend read Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere not too long ago, I'll have to give that a shot since I've been hearing many good things about him, these posts included.

Posted by: Sherick 22nd June 2010 20:46
I've been slow reading ever since I finished King's Dark Tower series, but I've started reading Lewis's Out of the Silent Planet. Lewis is without a doubt my favorite author right now, so I'm pretty excited to get into his masterpiece(s).

Posted by: laszlow 22nd June 2010 23:10
I recently discovered the 80s and 90s author Gary Jennings, and I've been plowing through his major works. Aztec and The Journeyer were both riveting and well-researched, but the sequel to Aztec isn't quite as good (at least so far). I definitely recommend those first two if you have the patience for 700+ pages of historical fiction loaded with sex and violence.

Posted by: Death Penalty 23rd June 2010 01:12
Quote
I've never read any of Faulkner's longer fiction, and I find his short fiction hit or miss (for instance, I loved "Barn Burning" but hated "A Rose for Emily"), but I've been meaning to check out one of his novels. Any suggestion?

Do I ever biggrin.gif . Some of his novels get pretty crazy (The Sound and the Fury, Absalom, Absalom! and parts of Go Down, Moses for instance), and should probably be avoided at first, until you get a better feel for him.

A great book to start Faulkner with, IMO, is As I Lay Dying, which is a bit easier to follow while being really interesting. At the same time, it's one of his best regarded novels as well, so you can't really go wrong.

The Unvanquished is one of Faulkner's lesser known books, but it's another good potential start because it's more of a normal read and it showcases a lot of how Faulkner views the death of the old south and its effect on the people living there. It can be seen as a bit of an introduction to some of the concepts/feelings covered in his heavier stuff that is also centered around the civil war (Sound+Fury, Absalom).

He's definitely worth a gander!

Posted by: trismegistus 23rd June 2010 03:55
Faulkner is fantastic. The Sound and The Fury is tough reading, but should still be required reading for anyone out of high school.

Not reading anything new right now, re-reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (and THAT one should be required reading for any fans of Final Fantasies VII through IX), a biography of Kim Il-Sung, and Foucault's Pendulum. I'm a lit major, so this thread is right up my alley. Hip!

Posted by: sweetdude 23rd June 2010 07:57
Quote (Perigryn @ 22nd June 2010 20:48)
I agree about Catcher and the bitching.

I'm joining this debate a bit late, but why not. I really enjoyed Catcher. I loved his tone and attitude. He's the kind of care-free guy who would start dancing in a bathroom and pretend to have been shot in the street as if he was in a film. And I also love the way he's a chronic lier, he'll say how much he hates something on one page then completely ignore that in the next either by contradicting himself or doing exactly what he hates other people doing. Brilliant to read.

Right now I'm reading Dune by Frank Herbert. A friend insists that it's worth pushing through.

Posted by: Kane 23rd June 2010 17:05
Quote (Death Penalty @ 22nd June 2010 17:12)
The Unvanquished is one of Faulkner's lesser known books, but it's another good potential start because it's more of a normal read and it showcases a lot of how Faulkner views the death of the old south and its effect on the people living there. It can be seen as a bit of an introduction to some of the concepts/feelings covered in his heavier stuff that is also centered around the civil war (Sound+Fury, Absalom).

He's definitely worth a gander!

The Unvanquished sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the suggestion!

Posted by: Death Penalty 23rd June 2010 17:32
Quote
Faulkner is fantastic. The Sound and The Fury is tough reading, but should still be required reading for anyone out of high school.

When I first read this I was only a junior in high school and I hadn't read enough Faulkner before tackling it. I was able to finish it just fine and I had a solid understanding of the events within the novel, but it wasn't until I started re-reading portions of it again earlier this year that I was finally able to gain a concrete understanding of the novel's meaning. Now I absolutely love the novel.

Have you read If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem? I think it may be a sleeper pick for my favorite Faulkner.

Posted by: dont chocobos rule? 29th June 2010 02:21
just finished neverwhere, and ive now moved on to a couple christopher hitchens books

Posted by: Perigryn 17th July 2010 06:30
Quote (sweetdude @ 23rd June 2010 02:57)
Right now I'm reading Dune by Frank Herbert. A friend insists that it's worth pushing through.

It really is. It does a complete mind-job on you, but the amount of work Herbert put into the lore of the series is incredible.

I finished the sequel a couple months ago and it was really well done too. I've heard everything after's supposed to be not so grand, but I plan to check that theory out anyways. Enjoy the read, I hope!

Posted by: GamblingCat 17th July 2010 15:32
I'm currently reading the Bourne Identity. I finished The Force Unleashed not too long ago.

Posted by: Rangers51 17th July 2010 16:58
Quote (GamblingCat @ 17th July 2010 10:32)
I'm currently reading the Bourne Identity. I finished The Force Unleashed not too long ago.

Have you read any other Ludlum? If you like the Bourne books, of which the first three are great, you should check out the two Matarese books too.

Posted by: GamblingCat 17th July 2010 18:08
R51, I haven't, this is the first book I'm reading by Ludlum, but ill definetly check out the others you mentioned.

Posted by: Rangers51 17th July 2010 19:14
Quote (GamblingCat @ 17th July 2010 13:08)
R51, I haven't, this is the first book I'm reading by Ludlum, but ill definetly check out the others you mentioned.

PM me sometime if you want a whole list of good Ludlum books, I think I have all the ones he actually wrote before he died.

Posted by: Death Penalty 24th July 2010 02:51
Wanted to say that I just finished Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner, and it is without a doubt my favorite Faulkner. And that's actually saying something, seeing as I've read seven of his books now.

It really looks at the civil war's tie to the south, though in a way that is different from what Faulkner does in The Sound and the Fury. In Sound and Fury, Faulkner goes after, in overly general terms, the effect of the war on the south as well as the decay brought about by it. In Absalom, Faulkner looks more directly at the war, telling a story that is used by one of his characters as the reason why 'God let the south loose the war'. He traces the destruction of the Sutpen family in parallel with the destructino of the old south, each fated to destruction due to their immoral foundations.

Very, very cool book. I can't recommend it enough to any Faulkner fans out there. One of my top 5 all time.

Posted by: sweetdude 24th July 2010 04:25
Quote (Perigryn @ 17th July 2010 07:30)
Quote (sweetdude @ 23rd June 2010 02:57)
Right now I'm reading Dune by Frank Herbert. A friend insists that it's worth pushing through.

It really is. It does a complete mind-job on you, but the amount of work Herbert put into the lore of the series is incredible.

I finished the sequel a couple months ago and it was really well done too. I've heard everything after's supposed to be not so grand, but I plan to check that theory out anyways. Enjoy the read, I hope!

Finished Dune. It's vast. I'm flicking back through the book to put a few things right. After about 20 or so pages I was hooked, which made it a lot easier to understand. I'd like to get into the sequel. The friend that gave me the book, the one I mentioned before, said the same thing as you: the sequel is good but don't bother going any further.

What I like about Herbert's universe is that it's quite far away from our understanding. I like fantasy, but a lot of what I read is just like our world in the abstract, or in a kaleidoscope where the input is reality and the output is a sort of mixed reality where shields are used with guns and so on. Feist's Magician is typical of this. Books like Neuromancer are best because we can't actually imagine what the author is explaining as we simply haven't experienced anything like it.

Before the end of the summer I'd like to find and read Dune 2. I'd also like to start and finish Freedom From Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi. The poor woman has been neglected for so long... on my bookshelf.

Posted by: Kane 24th July 2010 04:54
I recently finished A Canticle for Leibowitz, and I must say it's one of the best (if not THE best) sci-fi/speculative fiction/whatever-you-want-to-call-it I've ever read.

Posted by: Perigryn 25th July 2010 05:50
Quote (sweetdude @ 23rd July 2010 23:25)
What I like about Herbert's universe is that it's quite far away from our understanding. I like fantasy, but a lot of what I read is just like our world in the abstract, or in a kaleidoscope where the input is reality and the output is a sort of mixed reality where shields are used with guns and so on.

I like the way you put that, and I agree! I haven't read those other two, though, much less heard of them. Recommendation?

Dune... Messiah? I think that's the second. Anyways, it takes a moment to catch up on, I warn you, since it takes place a bit after the first - not a direct pick up, so to speak.

It reads a lot like the first, though, and I found it at times harder to follow, but then others were extremely straight-forward, like the underlying main plot line. It seems so complicated, but turns out not to be so complex as it first seemed.

Anyways, if you enjoyed the first, then you should like the second. Whichever of us makes it to the third installment first has an obligation to warn the other haha.

Posted by: sweetdude 25th July 2010 16:51
Quote (Perigryn @ 25th July 2010 06:50)
I like the way you put that, and I agree! I haven't read those other two, though, much less heard of them. Recommendation?

...

Anyways, if you enjoyed the first, then you should like the second. Whichever of us makes it to the third installment first has an obligation to warn the other haha.

I'd recommend Neuromancer. It's basically a cyberpunk heist novel, only Case is a retired information thief turned drug dealer/addict who gets his chance to go back to his old job. There are some great questions raised about life and so on, for instance he gets help from a dead man who is just a person's memories inside an AI. If you liked Blade Runner, The Matrix, Inception, Deus Ex, Ghost in the Shell or any of this brand of science fiction, then you'll love Neuromancer, which is basically the birth of cyberspace, and one of the first involving fusing man and machine.

Magician is just your average fantasy book, nothing added, nothing taken away. If you want a new world where nothing is too difficult to understand then this is for you. I'd rather read it than play through a lot of the modern fantasy RPG stories.

I think you'll be the one to read the third Dune first. Even if it takes you 5 years! I don't know, maybe, if the second leaves me wanting more then I'll possibly read it.

Posted by: madmangunner 26th July 2010 18:49
Iam reading mr hands for the 5th time i really like it its kinda bloody but has a pretty good story if anyone want to look into it the book look on amazon the cover has a creepy doll with huge hands. just dont blame me if you start to read it then cant put it down:)

Posted by: King Eddy 5th August 2010 06:20
I just read the four books that have been released so far from the "Song of Ice and Fire" series by G.R.R Martin and I really enjoyed them.

I also just read "Graceling" and "Fire" by Kristin Cashore and they were pretty good, though I'd have to say that "Fire" was definitely the better book.

Posted by: Del S 5th August 2010 09:59
I recently finished Sharpe's Trafalgar and the Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium omnibus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-ctQytjpOA&#t=0m12s

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CiaphasCain

Probably going to move onto another Sharpe book shortly.

Posted by: Djibriel 5th August 2010 16:35
I finished the Anarchist's Cookbook just the other day; it's an interesting read as it tells you about an approach to human nature and the government that is quite alien - to me, at least. Some other books of the past two months

- The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac (fascinating and somewhat motivating)
- The Language of Zen by Richard Carter (if you're into Zen, simply great)
- A large collection of Sherlock Holmes stories (the world's greatest detective despised by its own author)
- Autobiographies of Hunter S. Thompson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Russell Brand (Hunter and Russell are tornadoes of character, and I mostly read Doyle to tell me more about Sherlock Holmes)
- Choke and Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk (an old favorite)

I'm looking for work these days, which takes about one or two hours of e-mails in the morning only to leave me without any necessary passtimes for the rest of they day; good days for reading! I've been interested in Neuromancer since Snow Crash, which was just great.

Posted by: laszlow 5th August 2010 16:53
Quote (Del S @ 5th August 2010 04:59)
I recently finished Sharpe's Trafalgar and the Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium omnibus. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m-ctQytjpOA&#t=0m12s

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/CiaphasCain

Probably going to move onto another Sharpe book shortly.

Holy ****, Sharpe. I ran ragged through those my first year of college. It's an old favorite of my dad's. He also got me into the Flashman novels and the Alan Lewrie novels, so maybe you ought to check those out too.

Posted by: trismegistus 5th August 2010 18:51
Quote (Djibriel @ 5th August 2010 11:35)
I finished the Anarchist's Cookbook just the other day; it's an interesting read as it tells you about an approach to human nature and the government that is quite alien - to me, at least.

Incidentally, it seems quite alien to William Powell, the author, as well...he's spent decades trying to get people to stop reading it, but I guess he singed away his rights to it early and now can't do anything about it. Would actually make a pretty interesting nonfiction book...

Not reading much at the moment, been trying to get some writing done, so I've been reading William Blake's poetry for inspiration...we'll see how it goes.

Posted by: Psiren 27th August 2010 16:32
Right now, I'm rereading "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. I'm also following Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels and Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series. (Apparently, Lynch is a fan of Final Fantasy VI and named his main character, Locke Lamora, after a certain treasure hunter!)

Posted by: sweetdude 28th August 2010 19:56
Quote (Perigryn @ 25th July 2010 06:50)
Dune... Messiah? I think that's the second. Anyways, it takes a moment to catch up on, I warn you, since it takes place a bit after the first - not a direct pick up, so to speak.

It reads a lot like the first, though, and I found it at times harder to follow, but then others were extremely straight-forward, like the underlying main plot line. It seems so complicated, but turns out not to be so complex as it first seemed.

Anyways, if you enjoyed the first, then you should like the second. Whichever of us makes it to the third installment first has an obligation to warn the other haha.

I've nearly finished the second and I think it's a bit of wallower. I can't recommend it. It misses out the best bits of the end on Dune and just leaps forward unfairly. The plot is a bit frustrating in places, and I think a lot of what was good about Dune is lost. Try it if you like but I don't know when or if I'll finish it. Maybe you'll be first hehe.

Posted by: Chewbekah 31st August 2010 01:20
I've been reading a trilogy recently that I really enjoy. One of my old roommates recommended it to me. It's The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins.

The first book kind of started out slow for me but it picked up about the middle and I've been loving it ever since. The detail in the world that the author has created is amazing to me and the concept, though, done before (evil empire crunching on the helpless populace), to me was done so well. I'm loving it almost as much as I loved Harry Potter but in a different way. I don't know. If you like young adult science fiction/fantasy, you will probably enjoy this one.

Posted by: MogMaster 5th September 2010 23:05
I just finished a biography of the band Phish, I'm working my way through Aristotle (metaphysics) and the Bible, but in terms of the thing I suspect I'll actually finish sometime soon, someone gave me a big-ol-collection of HP Lovecraft stories, which is neat because I didn't get into him back when everybody else in my peer group in Highschool was. I wonder if it'll make me devolve to the level of a cynical know-it-all goth kid in highschool that hates the world? Seriously though, having only read Cthulu before this, I'm pretty pumped. I don't read enough pulp and this is only borderline.

It's actually kind of a slow reading period for me. Back in July I hammered out the whole Republic by Plato, Hocus Pocus by Vonnegut, The Analects from Confucius, and the entire Gospels of Our Sufferings by Kierkegaard in like 2 days.

I think I'm posturing a bit here laugh.gif. Fear my enormous reading wang.

Edit: What I'd really like to get is a copy of Escher, Godel, Bach, which Tommah mentioned in some other "what are you reading thread" awhile ago. A friend of mine has it, but he's hesitant to give me the hardcover, which is sort of hypocrtical because his dog totally chewed up the hardcover on my complete stories of Kafka.

Posted by: trismegistus 6th September 2010 00:02
Quote (MogMaster @ 5th September 2010 18:05)
...someone gave me a big-ol-collection of HP Lovecraft stories...

Lovecraft is great comfort reading, when you just want to read something quick and effortless you can hash out The Shadow Out of Time and have some good readin'.

Currently working on Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies, though I don't have much time to read except between classes these days. I hear they're trying to make a movie of it...should be interesting...

Posted by: R8.50 Mango 29th September 2010 19:46
I'm reading the Inheritance cycle (Eragon, Eldest and Brisingir) again, A Song Of Ice and Fire (I love the whole "support whoever you want to" vibe (Tyrion is the bomb!)) and The Wheel of time. Not all at once of course, but once I finish a series (Or get to the series latest book) I switch over to another and cycle it so I never run out of books to read.

Posted by: Glenn Magus Harvey 29th September 2010 20:18
I'm currently reading Nature and the Marketplace, by Geoffrey Heal.

Posted by: Kane 30th September 2010 15:37
I'm currently reading

Beautiful People Have More Daughters
&
Bodies that Matter

Posted by: Rangers51 16th October 2010 03:25
I started up on Ted Bell's Tsar the other night, which I picked up in hardcover for $7 right before I moved from Boston six months ago and hadn't read yet. Bell's a bit too proud of his own prose, and his main character feels too Gary Stu (or what have you), but the supporting casts tend to be good and he does pen a decent technothriller, filling the voids of Robert Ludlum's death and Tom Clancy's descent into mediocrity.

Posted by: Reod Dai 10th November 2010 21:53
Just finished Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right by Al Franken.

Posted by: trismegistus 11th November 2010 06:22
Just started reading A Game of Thrones. I'm not normally a big fantasy novel fan, but it was HIGHLY recommended by a friend, so I thought I'd give it a spin, actually the friend said it was 'Tactics-esque' and I do love some political intrigue...

Posted by: Rangers51 24th November 2010 02:43
Quote (trismegistus @ 11th November 2010 01:22)
Just started reading A Game of Thrones. I'm not normally a big fantasy novel fan, but it was HIGHLY recommended by a friend, so I thought I'd give it a spin, actually the friend said it was 'Tactics-esque' and I do love some political intrigue...

That is coming to HBO next year, I read today. Sean Bean will be playing one of the characters. I might have to try the book at some point first, as the premise sounds interesting.

For my part, I just finished The Last Templar last night before bed. Even though I don't practice organized religion and really haven't since I was very little, I still find myself really intrigued by its history, and by extension, its historical fiction. I quite liked the book, it seemed to have better pacing and much better quality of writing than, say, the similar work of Dan Brown. I'll have to pick up the sequel at some point, it just came out last month.

Posted by: Perigryn 24th November 2010 19:44
Quote (Rangers51 @ 23rd November 2010 21:43)
Quote (trismegistus @ 11th November 2010 01:22)
Just started reading A Game of Thrones. I'm not normally a big fantasy novel fan, but it was HIGHLY recommended by a friend, so I thought I'd give it a spin, actually the friend said it was 'Tactics-esque' and I do love some political intrigue...

That is coming to HBO next year, I read today. Sean Bean will be playing one of the characters. I might have to try the book at some point first, as the premise sounds interesting.

For my part, I just finished The Last Templar last night before bed. Even though I don't practice organized religion and really haven't since I was very little, I still find myself really intrigued by its history, and by extension, its historical fiction. I quite liked the book, it seemed to have better pacing and much better quality of writing than, say, the similar work of Dan Brown. I'll have to pick up the sequel at some point, it just came out last month.

For the both of you, if you haven't, read Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth.

Mainspring, by Jay Lake, was also an intriguing take on history and religion (albeit, much more fantastical)

Posted by: Iain Peregrine 24th November 2010 21:23
I just finished Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow, which I read more as a personal dare than anything else. I've got Thus Spoke Zarathustra on my night stand, waiting to be either read or returned to the library. After that, I intend to try out the Tao of Jeet Kune Do for a change of pace.

Posted by: trismegistus 24th November 2010 21:36
Gravity's Rainbow! I love that book, I even named my band "A Screaming Comes Across the Sky". In retrospect, I'm not crazy about the band name, but I still like the book.

Also, I've heard a lot of good said about Pillars of the Earth, I'll pick it up sometime for sure, though i just bought Snow Crash and I'm still reading George Martin, so it may be a while.

Posted by: Metal King Slime 23rd December 2010 10:10
My favorite books of all time are The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Right now I'm reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami and so far, I love it.

Moderator Edit
Merged with older topic - the old one still does a good job of covering what you want to talk about. -R51


EDIT: Oh crap, sorry, I looked for another thread but couldn't find one.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 26th December 2010 11:31
Quote (MogMaster @ 5th September 2010 23:05)
I think I'm posturing a bit here laugh.gif. Fear my enormous reading wang.

Christ, I certainly do... get that thing away from me!

Posted by: laszlow 26th December 2010 19:53
Currently reading a book of Italo Calvino short stories. I'm enjoying them so much that I'm considering going back to Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson, my favorite short story collection.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 27th December 2010 11:36
Calvino is awesome! =]
Have you heard of 'If On A Winter's Night A Traveller' by him?

Posted by: MogMaster 30th December 2010 01:52
Quote (Metal King Slime @ 23rd December 2010 06:10)
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov...

And by far one of my favorites as well. Quite possibly the greatest modern interpretation of the Devil, joining the ranks of past authors like Dostoevsky and Goethe. Not a huge fan of the Murakami though.

I just went to the bookstore the other day, so I was pleasantly surprised to see this topic back up.

Currently reading some more Kierkegaard ("For Self Examination" and "Judge For Yourselves!", who, so far as I can tell at this point, is either a genius, a total moron, or completely mad.

Also picked up some others, although I'm not really reading them yet: Monkey (or Journey to the West depending on the translation), assorted writings on Existentialism put together by Walter Kaufmann (the Nietzsche scholar and translator), and a book by Stendhal I can't remember the name of just right now.


Slowly working my way through the Qu'ran too.

Posted by: Metal King Slime 31st December 2010 10:40
Quote (MogMaster @ 30th December 2010 02:52)
Quote (Metal King Slime @ 23rd December 2010 06:10)
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov...

And by far one of my favorites as well. Quite possibly the greatest modern interpretation of the Devil, joining the ranks of past authors like Dostoevsky and Goethe.

I'm happy that I'm not the only one here who likes it. Speaking of which, I heard the book inspired the song Sympathy for the Devil by Rolling Stones. Like the book, it plays with the idea of the Devil not being completely evil, and it mentions Pilate.

I'm currently reading The Judas Window by Carter Dickson.

Posted by: MagitekElite 2nd January 2011 04:55
I just got The Inheritance Almanac and have read through it a couple of times. From what it cost and what was advertised on Shur'tugal, it came off like it was going to have a lot more information in it.

I've begun to read the Pern series for the millionth time and a new series I just found called Dragon Keeper Chronicles. I'm on the third book, the author is very talented!

And I'm on Sir Walter Scott's "Waverly Place" a simply lovely book and another book series that I'm not sure I can say here.... unsure.gif

Posted by: Rangers51 23rd July 2011 03:11
I just finally finished reading my "Holy cow you're going to be a dad" book that I got right after we found out about the baby, and I just picked up Demitri Martin's book from the library, which is not at all surprisingly funny.

I am going to keep hammering the library near my house, it's pretty awesome.

Posted by: sweetdude 23rd July 2011 04:01
Quote (MagitekElite @ 2nd January 2011 05:55)
And I'm on Sir Walter Scott's "Waverly Place" a simply lovely book and another book series that I'm not sure I can say here....  unsure.gif

Is it Twilight? To be honest the first thing I thought was something like 'Space Harlots I-IV'.

I'm currently doing a book to film extravaganza where I'm reading all those books that I've wanted to read after watching the film and the films of books I've read. So far I've read Fahrenheit 451, Watchmen, To Kill a Mockingbird and All Quiet on the Western Front (Im Westen nichts Neues) in English unsurprisingly. I still want to read Dr Zhivago, Heart of Darkness, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Lolita, and Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) again because the film was so awful. I'm gutted that Ex Drummer hasn't been translated into English so I'm probably going to buy it in Dutch and do a DIY with some help. It's only about 160 pages.

Not books so a bit OTT in an 'off the topic' kind of way, but anyway of the films of books I've read, I've so far seen Factotum, The Road, Watership Down, 1984 and The Lord of the Flies. It's a lot of fun. I fell in love with the rabbits all over again.

Has anybody read the book(s?) that Game of Thrones is based on and would you recommend them?

Posted by: Death Penalty 23rd July 2011 04:19
I was just going to necro this dry.gif

I've been reading like crazy this summer, so I think I'll just highlight a couple of my favorites that I've read in the last month. That seems fair, right?

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
I finally got around to reading this a couple weeks ago and wow, was it fantastic. Nabokov is just brilliant with the English language; he has great command over usage and vocabulary and he has sprinkled bits of wordplay throughout. The central scenario of the book, ie an older man's passion for a young girl, may seem a bit off-putting, but that's a great reason why this book is such an accomplishment; Nabokov, writing from the perspective of the older man, makes it impossible for you to hate him even though his acts are despicable. Very entertaining.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck
A solid novel written around the parallel between three generations of two farm families and the biblical story of Cain and Abel. The tie between these two can be a bit oppressive at times, but this is easily forgiven as Steinbeck does some really great delving into the nature of good and evil and, ultimately, the freedom of man from fate.

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
This was a really entertaining read that I finished a couple days ago. The Moviegoer is about a man who lives for the ideal world he sees on the silver screen and in the past and finds reality, in comparison, rather unattractive.

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
My favorite book of the summer thus far! It's about an aging butler in England in the middle of the century who has seen his profession, his society and his nation change rapidly in ways that leave him increasingly a creature of the past. During a short vacation from the manor he serves, the butler recollects his life as a servant of one of the most prestigious houses in the nation and reflects on the meaning of greatness. It's a heartbreaking, beautiful book that did everything I hoped it would and left me immensely satisfied.

Posted by: Smash Genesis 23rd July 2011 12:18
I finished reading "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" by Nagaru Tanigawa about a month back, and "Plague" by Micheal Grant about a week ago. I TRIED reading "Forever" by Judy Blume, but I could not force my way through something that AWFUL. Micheal Wagner is the most annoying Gary Stu this side of... I dunno, I don't read that many fanfictions with Stus. Let's just say he sucks and leave it at that.

Posted by: Rangers51 23rd July 2011 13:34
Quote (sweetdude @ 22nd July 2011 23:01)
Has anybody read the book(s?) that Game of Thrones is based on and would you recommend them?

There's a thread about George R. R. Martin that addresses those books, Sweets. I think most fantasy nerds do recommend them, though I've yet to read any myself so I can't throw onto that pile.

http://www.cavesofnarshe.com/forums/ipb/in...?showtopic=3641

If nothing else, you can read that thread for some hilarious seven-year-old Mogmaster action.

Posted by: Chewbekah 23rd July 2011 18:03
I generally stick with young adult fantasy but a trip to Barnes and Noble recently and looking through the fantasy section has tempted me to start branching out more. I will at least take a look at what Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman have been doing. But I am currently reading "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner. I'm starting to really get into it. I had a bit of trouble at first being that it was a story about a bunch of jerky pubescent and pre-pubescent teenage boys and whatnot but now the story is starting to get pretty interesting and my friend just finished the trilogy and really enjoyed it.

Posted by: Dr. Delinquent 23rd July 2011 19:23
I recently got The Chronicles of The Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) as well as The Books of the South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) by Glen Cook. They're pretty good.

Posted by: Kane 27th July 2011 22:02
Quote (Dr. Delinquent @ 23rd July 2011 11:23)
I recently got The Chronicles of The Black Company (The Black Company, Shadows Linger, The White Rose) as well as The Books of the South (Shadow Games, Dreams of Steel, The Silver Spike) by Glen Cook. They're pretty good.

That's weird: I just started The Black Company yesterday. Small world.

Anyway, I'm also reading Grendel by John Gardner and Self-Help by Lorrie Moore (as well as a smattering of poetry for school).

Posted by: MogMaster 28th July 2011 14:29
@ Black Company:

An excellent series. I read it awhile ago, and I've actually been fairly surprised recently at the large numbers of people I've run across that have just found and read this great series.


@
Quote
If nothing else, you can read that thread for some hilarious seven-year-old Mogmaster action.


I also recommend you all get your lulz in.

Just finished Dance with Dragons, actually. Currently doomed to seven more years of agony while GRRM takes his sweet bloody time, and hits every comicon in the damn world.

Perusing through Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics and/or Aesop in the bathroom, various dialogues of Plato out-loud with friends and gearing up to tackle the Silmarillion again. A far cry from my last summers reading, but then again, I'm employed this year and don't have whole days free to punctuate with reading in between shuffling around aimlessly and eating from dumpsters.

Posted by: Rangers51 15th August 2011 01:38
I'm reading and rather enjoying Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter at the moment. For those who aren't in the know, it's a piece of historical fiction (obviously) in which Lincoln's ambition for the White House is driven by the loss of his loved ones to vampires. It's not a comedy, as much as it might seem, but it's pretty clever. I especially like it because it references a lot of things and places around where I grew up, since the real Lincoln spent a huge chunk of his life around there.

Posted by: Rangers51 11th October 2011 22:48
Since I'm the only person literate here these days, it seems, I'll gush a bit about the book I just finished. It's called Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline; I didn't recognize the name until later, but this is the same guy who was behind the movie Fanboys a few years ago, the movie about the Star Wars nerds who try to break into the Skywalker Ranch (I haven't seen it, though this reminds me I really should).

Ready Player One is a kinda-familiar setting - science fiction set in a dystopian future in which the energy crisis hits full tilt and destroys the entire worldwide economy. People escape their dreary lives by spending as much time as possible in a virtual reality simulation/MMO, and then one day the supernerd responsible for creating it dies of old age, leaving behind a quest for all players to inherit his fortune.

The really fun thing about the book is not just that it's entertaining, but that it's entertaining both by featuring a more extreme type of the massively multiplayer games we experience today but also by way of idolizing nerd culture of the seventies and eighties by way of incorporating the music, TV, and movies - and especially the games - of the decade in the in-game quests. It might lose some of its luster for you younger folks out there who didn't experience it firsthand, or it might work even better for you because you might have the same feeling of nostalgia-without-direct-experience that the characters in the book have.

Really fun read, all in all - I finished it in about two days with the help of having an annoying cold today. Worth grabbing when you have a chance.

Posted by: Death Penalty 11th October 2011 23:29
Quote (Rangers51 @ 11th October 2011 18:48)
Since I'm the only person literate here these days

dry.gif

A few of the novels I've read in the last month and a half include Empire of the Sun by J. G. Ballard, a phenominal book about a Brittish boy in Shanghi on the eve of the Pearl Harbor attack. His childhood has been lived out entirely in war, and as a result he learns to be unphased by the conditions around him and to admire the strong Japanese. It can get a little disturbed at times, but in the most natural of ways.

I really enjoyed Jean Toomer's Cane, which is without a doubt up there as one of the most influential pieces of African American literature. It's actually not a novel but rather a collection of short stories, poems as well as what might be long enough to consider a novella. The collection transitions and inter-relates really well. Everything in the volume has a poem-like thickness that makes it a real complex and rich read.

I guess I'll give a poem shout-out to Seamus Heaney's Mycenae Lookout. It portrays the alienation of the lookout at Mycenae, posted to warn Clytemestra of Agamemnon's return so that she is not caught with her lover (post-Trojan War). It examines conflict and parallels the lookout's position to the conflict between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland before ultimately concluding with a vision of peace. I've been through a ton of poems so far this semester, but Mycenae Lookout takes the cake.

I'm currently finishing reading William Faulkner's Light in August. For me, it isn't as compelling a story as many of Faulkner's other powerhouses: Absalom, Absalom! (my favorite novel of all time) or The Sound and the Fury, for example. While his narrative also seems to be of less significance here, Faulkner's writing itself and his use of technique are at full form. On the surface, it's a novel about the plight of a mixed-race man; at a richer level, it is about the predestination and fatality of individuals and how the mixed-race man is able to actually escape it. As I said, I'm not finished yet; knowing Faulkner, I expect the ending to impress.

The other book I'm currently reading is By the Lake (know by a different title on the other side of the Atlantic, I believe) by John McGahern, the central figure of the Irish ruralists and one of the most important recent Irish authors. It's a beautifully simple book (it doesn't really do much of anything that one would consider 'plot' besides the ordinary life of a few farmers) that calls up the tired spirits of a quiet countryside.

The book next on my radar is from Bret Easton Ellis, of American Psycho fame. It's called Less Than Zero and it deals with his usual: a group of teens hopelessly drowning themselves in a 1980's radicalized culture of sex and drugs. Hopefully I'll be able to finish this and the other two I'm currently reading over the course of fall break.

Posted by: Rangers51 11th October 2011 23:49
Quote (Death Penalty @ 11th October 2011 18:29)
The book next on my radar is from Bret Easton Ellis, of American Psycho fame. It's called Less Than Zero and it deals with his usual: a group of teens hopelessly drowning themselves in a 1980's radicalized culture of sex and drugs. Hopefully I'll be able to finish this and the other two I'm currently reading over the course of fall break.

Great movie, for what it's worth, though I have not read the book. smile.gif

Posted by: Kane 12th October 2011 02:13
Quote (Rangers51 @ 11th October 2011 14:48)
Since I'm the only person literate here these days, it seems...

Not quite the only one, but probably close. These days I'm reading a lot of Korean textbooks for class. It's only fun in the way that doing all challenging things is fun; it's always boring in that "Why am I reading about this guy's plans to do laundry?" sort of way.

Anyway, outside of my classes, I just finished reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. It's a very strange novel, with parts written in the second person, parts ostensibly the books that the main character is reading, and all of it strange. Conceptually, I enjoyed it, but felt that it dragged in several places because Calvino insists on using more academic language in parts--the opposite case (read: poetic, visceral; not abstract, recondite) being true in my favorite chapter, "On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon". Anyway, if you're okay with experimental fiction, I highly recommend it; if not, you might still check out the first chapter and "On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon" (the latter chapter is best if you're a fan of strange erotic love triangles in your Japanese fiction written by an Italian translated into English).

Posted by: Death Penalty 12th October 2011 16:08
Quote (Kane @ 11th October 2011 22:13)
Quote (Rangers51 @ 11th October 2011 14:48)
Since I'm the only person literate here these days, it seems...

Not quite the only one, but probably close. These days I'm reading a lot of Korean textbooks for class. It's only fun in the way that doing all challenging things is fun; it's always boring in that "Why am I reading about this guy's plans to do laundry?" sort of way.

Anyway, outside of my classes, I just finished reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. It's a very strange novel, with parts written in the second person, parts ostensibly the books that the main character is reading, and all of it strange. Conceptually, I enjoyed it, but felt that it dragged in several places because Calvino insists on using more academic language in parts--the opposite case (read: poetic, visceral; not abstract, recondite) being true in my favorite chapter, "On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon". Anyway, if you're okay with experimental fiction, I highly recommend it; if not, you might still check out the first chapter and "On the carpet of leaves illuminated by the moon" (the latter chapter is best if you're a fan of strange erotic love triangles in your Japanese fiction written by an Italian translated into English).

I just looked it up on wikipedia, Kane, and that looks like a really interesting novel. He said that Nabokov was an influence on him, which seems to make a lot of sense given that Calvino's structure of work-within-a-work is quite similar to what Nabokov does in Pale Fire. I think I'll have to add that to my list, especially keeping in mind that starting next year I'll be learning Italian, which would allow for an interesting second read in the original language someday.

Posted by: Neal 12th October 2011 17:10
Been plowing through the Dresden Files series recently. They're really entertaining, and fortunately there are like thirteen already out, so at least at this point I've always had more to look forward to. Sadly, I finished the tenth one last night, so I am approaching the end until the author releases more of the series. I will probably end up reading Ready Player One at Josh's suggestion after catching myself up on this series.

Posted by: Glenn Magus Harvey 12th October 2011 18:05
Recently finished Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. Recommended it to a friend too. It's a great read, especially if you're a musician. Sacks is a psychologist and researcher on the Columbia University faculty who presents, as he calls it, "tales of music and the brain". In very entertaining and easy-to-read format too.

Posted by: Kane 13th October 2011 01:44
Quote (Death Penalty @ 12th October 2011 08:08)
I just looked it up on wikipedia, Kane, and that looks like a really interesting novel. He said that Nabokov was an influence on him, which seems to make a lot of sense given that Calvino's structure of work-within-a-work is quite similar to what Nabokov does in Pale Fire. I think I'll have to add that to my list, especially keeping in mind that starting next year I'll be learning Italian, which would allow for an interesting second read in the original language someday.

Ooh, I would love to be able to read a translation along with the original. That would be incredibly interesting. You should definitely do it. I know there were a few words in my English translation that I don't think really exist in English, but that the author felt important and so just turned them into loanwords. I wonder what the connotations of those words are. You'll have to let me know if you notice something similar.

Posted by: Quad 13th October 2011 03:22
I just yesterday started The Metamorphasis by Franz Kafka. I'm about 5 pages in, but it's a short story, so I should be done with it soon. So far I don't know why Kafka was such a well-known, influential writer, but I guess 5 pages aren't enough to show that. He's my mother's favorite author, so that says something for him, at least.

Posted by: DragonKnight Zero 18th October 2011 01:32
I've heard a statistic in the United States that 39% of people don't read a single book after high school (outside of coursework or a job requirement). So it's really less of a stretch to appear to be the only literate one. That aside, here are some readings I've gone through lately.

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stowall

Multi-billionaire dies realizing he's ruined his family as people by providing for all their material needs. He senses a spark of hope in a great-nephew and leaves instructions in the will for his friend to aid in undergoing a salvage operation.

There are some interesting lessons within for those who look for them. The book has the decency not to beat the reader over the head with them so it's also accessible to a casual reader.

On a lighthearted note, I enjoyed the phrase about dealing with "inlaws, outlaws, and assorted misfit relatives."

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Fascinating though somewhat heavy in places. Explores factors behind success stories that often go unrecognized such as the extraordinary opportunities Bill Gates had before dropping out of college to form Microsoft and the chain of events experienced by Bill Joy, who would go on to write much of the code used to access the internet.

Posted by: laszlow 18th October 2011 01:40
Oh man, Malcolm Gladwell. Here is a very interesting guy who has written three or four books to be food for thought for quasi-intellectuals and fake philosophers. I actually prefer his New Yorker articles and basketball writing to his books (of which I've read Tipping Point and Outliers), because they're the same thing every time: thought-provoking and definitely not bad, but extremely inclined to make tools reading them sound smarter than they are.

Currently reading a bunch of manga and comics (New 52! New 52!), plus The Pyrates by George MacDonald Frazier. Not as good as his fabulous Flashman novels, but pretty solid historical fiction.

Posted by: jtdurai 18th October 2011 16:38
Quote (Kane @ 12th October 2011 02:13)
Anyway, outside of my classes, I just finished reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.

One of my very favorite books!

I am reading Richard Feynman's autobiography, Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! Mr. Feynman seems like kind of a dick, which isn't quite what I expected.

Posted by: Gigantuar 18th October 2011 17:40
About a boy by Nick Hornby because of a school assignment.

I'm pretty disappointed in it... I mean, it's not bad per se, but most characters feel kind of stupid and some stuff exaggerated. And it's humour is not really the kind I enjoy. You're supposed to feel sad for the main character, but at some points he kind of comes of as a jerk which at least for me makes it hard to like him.

Posted by: Reod Dai 19th October 2011 02:55
At Home - Bill Bryson

Anyone else like Bryson? I can't get enough of him. His books are just so entertaining, not to mention fascinating, insightful, witty, and amusing. The guy could make any subject interesting. He's really great on audiobook, too. I'll put it this way: if there were one person with whom I could sit down and have a few pints at a pub, I'd probably pick Bill Bryson.

This book is a look at the history of the home and everything in it, along with domestic life in general. I'm not too far into it yet, but it's really interesting so far. He goes into why people began to settle down in one place and how homes evolved into what they are today. There's even a lot of great etymology; he talks about where we got some of our domestic words and phrases, such as "room and board" (the board originally referred to an actual board which people placed across their lap as a table during meals).

Posted by: Neal 19th October 2011 04:23
Quote (Reod Dai @ 18th October 2011 18:55)
At Home - Bill Bryson

Anyone else like Bryson? I can't get enough of him. His books are just so entertaining, not to mention fascinating, insightful, witty, and amusing. The guy could make any subject interesting. He's really great on audiobook, too. I'll put it this way: if there were one person with whom I could sit down and have a few pints at a pub, I'd probably pick Bill Bryson.

This book is a look at the history of the home and everything in it, along with domestic life in general. I'm not too far into it yet, but it's really interesting so far. He goes into why people began to settle down in one place and how homes evolved into what they are today. There's even a lot of great etymology; he talks about where we got some of our domestic words and phrases, such as "room and board" (the board originally referred to an actual board which people placed across their lap as a table during meals).

Yeah, I really like Bryson. He presents anecdotal history in such a comforting and familiar way that it's entirely engrossing and hard to put down. I read The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid and really enjoyed it, and then had my mom read it since she was born the same year as Bryson. It allowed her to revisit the exact times in which she grew up, and it gave us a lot of things to talk about.

Posted by: Rangers51 28th October 2011 17:47
Quote (Kane @ 11th October 2011 21:13)
Not quite the only one, but probably close.

See, I brought the readers out of the woodwork by accusing them of being stupid. smile.gif

I'm currently slowly reading through Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, a story about the construction of the iconic house told largely from second-hand reporting of first-hand interviews and excerpts of letters among the major players in building the house: Wright, his major lieutenants, the house's owner, his son, the builders, etc. Wright is probably my second-favorite architect, and it's neat to read directly his thought processes and his own words confirming his reputation as a bit of a jerk.

Posted by: Kane 29th October 2011 01:35
Quote (Rangers51 @ 28th October 2011 09:47)
See, I brought the readers out of the woodwork by accusing them of being stupid. smile.gif

I'm currently slowly reading through Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater, a story about the construction of the iconic house told largely from second-hand reporting of first-hand interviews and excerpts of letters among the major players in building the house: Wright, his major lieutenants, the house's owner, his son, the builders, etc. Wright is probably my second-favorite architect, and it's neat to read directly his thought processes and his own words confirming his reputation as a bit of a jerk.

You've figured out the secret to increasing traffic to the site: hit us where we're most defensive. We're all gamers here, so next you should jab us regarding our "physiques."

Also, I'm impressed that you have a second favorite architect at all since I really only know Wright. The fact that you have a second (possibly third, fourth, etc.) architect to use in ranking architects impresses me.

Posted by: Rangers51 16th November 2011 13:20
Quote (Kane @ 28th October 2011 20:35)
Also, I'm impressed that you have a second favorite architect at all since I really only know Wright. The fact that you have a second (possibly third, fourth, etc.) architect to use in ranking architects impresses me.

It really only goes as far as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and then Wright. I mean, I. M. Pei and Frank Gehry are both awesome as well, I think anyone would say that, but it's Mies van der Rohe and Wright that I've been exposed to the most.

Anyway, back on topic - I just finished a book by Misha Glenny called DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You. After hearing an interview with the author, I thought it sounded like an entertaining book about the culture of online fraud. I was wrong. The source material was interesting enough, but the book itself was painful to read in a lot of ways; for one, I thought the author gave a lot of reverence to the criminals - while credit card scammers are certainly a very intelligent lot, I don't see any reason to treat them with the adulation the book seemed to at times. Additionally, there was a lot of editorializing for a book that I would have imagined better without it, especially when it came to just about any chance to point out how many times Western governments failed to keep cybercrime in line. Finally, there was obvious baiting to set up a sequel - which I found out actually did happen for Kindles just a few weeks ago.

If the concept of a look into the underworld of online fraud appeals to you, try to find another book. I might try Kevin Poulsen's soon, since he actually knows of which he speaks as a reformed hacker himself.

I'm also picking up the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels from my library. Unfortunately, they have so few copies that the teenyboppers have them all sucked up - I have books one and three at home right now but no indication when I might get two. :\

Posted by: Death Penalty 16th November 2011 15:35
Quote (Quad @ 12th October 2011 23:22)
I just yesterday started The Metamorphasis by Franz Kafka. I'm about 5 pages in, but it's a short story, so I should be done with it soon. So far I don't know why Kafka was such a well-known, influential writer, but I guess 5 pages aren't enough to show that. He's my mother's favorite author, so that says something for him, at least.

Kafka's just a really neat writer. He expressed the disparity between him and the society in which he lived and wrote in really interesting ways, which is why he's so well known. Metamorphasis is a great example of that, but reading a lot of his shorter works/parables really hits the point home. An Imperial Message is a great example of the short parables he wrote.

I've finished the couple books I'd mentioned in my previous post as well as several others. Corregidora is the story of a black woman, the grand-daughter of a black slave who was raped by the plantation owner who fathered her. Through an accident, she has lost the ability to bear children, the one thing emphasied by her family as a way in which the family's terrible past (documentation of which has been destroyed) can be preserved. At the same time, she is not sure if she wants the past to be preserved. A pretty one-trick story, concerned with the past and its preservation.

I also read Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. A great novel to be sure, set in a difficult though interesting style and centered around the question of 'what can last?' The characters are concerned, above all, with their own mortality and whether or not their actions and creations in the present can even stand the test of time. The message is ultimately a tempered yet hopeful one. Definitely a work of art.

Also re-read Heart of Darkness, though that really requires no detailing here as it's probably one of the most read pieces of literature ever.

Posted by: Kane 17th November 2011 11:53
Quote (Death Penalty @ 16th November 2011 07:35)
I also read Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. A great novel to be sure, set in a difficult though interesting style and centered around the question of 'what can last?' The characters are concerned, above all, with their own mortality and whether or not their actions and creations in the present can even stand the test of time. The message is ultimately a tempered yet hopeful one. Definitely a work of art.

Also re-read Heart of Darkness, though that really requires no detailing here as it's probably one of the most read pieces of literature ever.

I can't remember if I mentioned earlier that I just finished To The Lighthouse, but I did, and I agree that it's definitely a work of art. Of course, I'm a huge fan of basically everything that Virginia Woolf is or does--with the possible exception of her swimming technique (too soon?).

As for Conrad, I have never read anything by him, and I majored in English. (That fact doesn't change the fact that you are right about Heart of Darkness being one of the most widely read pieces of literature ever.)

Posted by: Death Penalty 17th November 2011 18:01
Quote (Kane @ 17th November 2011 07:53)
Quote (Death Penalty @ 16th November 2011 07:35)
I also read Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. A great novel to be sure, set in a difficult though interesting style and centered around the question of 'what can last?' The characters are concerned, above all, with their own mortality and whether or not their actions and creations in the present can even stand the test of time. The message is ultimately a tempered yet hopeful one. Definitely a work of art.

Also re-read Heart of Darkness, though that really requires no detailing here as it's probably one of the most read pieces of literature ever.

I can't remember if I mentioned earlier that I just finished To The Lighthouse, but I did, and I agree that it's definitely a work of art. Of course, I'm a huge fan of basically everything that Virginia Woolf is or does--with the possible exception of her swimming technique (too soon?).

As for Conrad, I have never read anything by him, and I majored in English. (That fact doesn't change the fact that you are right about Heart of Darkness being one of the most widely read pieces of literature ever.)

I'm going to go with not too soon, as it was her own damn choice tongue.gif

To the Lighthouse was actually the first thing of hers that I've read, but I definitely came away wanting to read more. The way she works with text is briliant, and her philosophical insight, while not exactly the most joyful thing I've ever read, is fascinating.

As far as Conrad is concerned, you need to give him a read. He is one of the authors of whose work I have read quite a bit (Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, a fewshort stories). You really ought to do yourself a favor and at least read Heart of Darkness: it's short enough that it's easily read while still containing everything that defines Conrad's work, narrative technique and perspective. You really can't go wrong with it. Lord Jim is quite good as well, but it's Nostromo that really shines for me. That is one solid novel; Conrad spends the entire thing lining up all the tumblers perfectly so that by the end you can't help but want to slap him on the back and say 'well done' at the end. A really stunning testament to the futility of human action and the corruptibility of ideals (so another happy novel, yay!). The Secret Agent is interesting as well, though it is distinctly from the later variety of his fiction (it has a lot of the same general themes, but an even more jumpy narrative and no relation to seafaring at all).

So yeah. I'm a fan biggrin.gif

Posted by: jtdurai 18th November 2011 00:55
Heart of Darkness is also one of my favorite books, for what that's worth. I have read no other Conrad.

I got sidetracked on Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman and I've been reading economics stuff. Currently, Money Mischief by the late Milton Friedman. He's a little too freemarkety for me to recommend him enthusiastically, but the guy has a certain dry sort of humor and really knows his money. Each chapter is about a different episode in monetary history, though there are actually a few chapters devoted to gold and silver standards in the 1800s, particularly in the US. The book is easy to follow for the most part but you would probably want to have had an economics class or two before reading all of it. Friedman occasionally gets in depth and assumes you know certain things that you might not know.

Posted by: Kane 18th November 2011 02:56
Quote (Death Penalty @ 17th November 2011 10:01)
As far as Conrad is concerned, you need to give him a read. He is one of the authors of whose work I have read quite a bit (Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, a few short stories). You really ought to do yourself a favor and at least read Heart of Darkness: it's short enough that it's easily read while still containing everything that defines Conrad's work, narrative technique and perspective. You really can't go wrong with it. Lord Jim is quite good as well, but it's Nostromo that really shines for me. That is one solid novel; Conrad spends the entire thing lining up all the tumblers perfectly so that by the end you can't help but want to slap him on the back and say 'well done' at the end. A really stunning testament to the futility of human action and the corruptibility of ideals (so another happy novel, yay!). The Secret Agent is interesting as well, though it is distinctly from the later variety of his fiction (it has a lot of the same general themes, but an even more jumpy narrative and no relation to seafaring at all).

So yeah. I'm a fan biggrin.gif

I didn't know there were such stalwart fans of Conrad out there. Anyway, when I get back to the States, I'll definitely have to give him a shot. (I realize that his work is old enough to be on Gutenberg, but I hate reading on a computer screen, so it'll have to wait another month.)

Posted by: Rangers51 16th December 2011 14:18
Quote (Rangers51 @ 16th November 2011 08:20)
I'm also picking up the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels from my library. Unfortunately, they have so few copies that the teenyboppers have them all sucked up - I have books one and three at home right now but no indication when I might get two. :\

It took until last weekend for me to get the whole series. I've now read them all. I agree with those who prefer the books to the movies, though I guess that's not surprising; however, I still think that the books had a lot of filler panels and that kind of annoys me. Since I don't read manga, though, maybe that's just the way it is in O'Malley's source of inspiration?

In the meantime I also finished up the Hunger Games trilogy. Man, Suzanne Collins is almost Rowling-like in her zeal to kill off characters in her final volume. Good series in all, though it's true that you can easily read just the first book and still come away with the best experience of the lot.

Posted by: Gigantuar 17th December 2011 18:03
Just finished reading the Swedish translation of Disgrace. It wasn't as good as I heard it was, but it certainly wasn't bad.

Posted by: BlitzSage 19th December 2011 22:51
I'm trying to read Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent, but it's really difficult because it's so academic (and long-winded: the introduction is 40 pages!).

My brother I think has ordered me Chris Hedges' Empire of Illusion. I don't know... I guess with all the political and economic problems going on I've just been deeply into that rather than anything else.

Posted by: Death Penalty 29th December 2011 22:35
It's winter break for me, which means time to read like crazy.

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen - About time I get around to some Franzen, and it was really worth while. The Corrections is about a midwestern family's struggles in an evolving world. On one hand, the parents struggle against their advancing age; on the other, the grown children find themselves overwhelmed in the fast-paced world they've thrown themselves into. All the characters, frustratingly, find themselves in a position where they serve another master, whether that be Parkinson's, a wife, a love interest, an addiction, guilt or sense of deficiency. They find themselves, in one way or another (sometimes subconsciously) seeking the simpler past, yet looking back proves to be as empty as their current pained existences. And I won't say anything more, because you should read it tongue.gif

Specimen Days by Michael Cunningham - Imagine his earlier novel The Hours, except with Walt Whitman as the central author instead of Virginia Woolf. That isn't exactly it (Whitman himself plays less of a role), but the general creative direction seems rather similar. The novel is divided into three sections: one centered around a poor family in the heart of the industrial revolution, another around a cop story in more or less present times, and the final in a futuristic world with aliens and androids. In each case, the role of technology and the human spirit are explored, sometimes in contrast and at other times in tandem with Whitman's views on nature/human spirit.

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson - A really nice rural novel. Gilead is the story of John Ames, a dying pastor in Iowa, who is writing a long letter to his young son. In this letter, Ames hopes to tell his son all the things he might have gotten around to had he been able to watch his son grow up: family history, the town's history, his view of the world and the way he understands God. It's a really beautiful novel, sweet and sometimes sad but always enlightening. It explores the concepts of memory, vocation, happiness and death with both depth and aesthetic skill.

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser - Going a bit old school with this one. I only just started, so I can't say too much, but it's about a girl moving into the city and having her roots shaken. Will comment more at the end of break, once I've finished this and a few other novels.

I've also been reading various essays from Heidegger, Altheusser, Derrida and Faucoult. Fun stuff, but I imagine the interest doesn't exist here, so I won't waste the space wink.gif

Now, back to more reading!

Posted by: RelmArrowney 30th December 2011 06:22
Diary by Chuck Pahlaniuk! It started of kinda slow, and it's juuust now getting intriguing. We'll see how it ends, whether or not I like it!

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 2nd January 2012 21:04
Quote (Kane @ 12th October 2011 02:13)


Anyway, outside of my classes, I just finished reading If on a Winter's Night a Traveler. It's a very strange novel

I fear I'm too late, but my god what a fantastic novel. Reading it when I was 19 completely blew my mind. aaaaaaah again! AGAIN!!!

I've just finished Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.. ugh. just, ugh. I enjoyed it for the most part but I guess I'm slightly too squeamish to get through it without being disturbed..

As a change of place I'm starting Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo today happy.gif

Posted by: finalalias 2nd January 2012 21:48
Just finished The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. Liked it for the most part.

That If on a Winter's Night a Traveler sounds pretty interesting. I might give that a shot this year.

Posted by: Dr. Delinquent 3rd January 2012 00:34
Read The Tain, The Mabinogion and am now in the middle of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman.

Posted by: MogMaster 4th January 2012 14:30
Quote (Blinge Odonata @ 2nd January 2012 17:04)

I've just finished Naked Lunch by William Burroughs.. ugh. just, ugh. I enjoyed it for the most part but I guess I'm slightly too squeamish to get through it without being disturbed...

Funny I'm reading that right now, amongst some other things, and I haven't been grossed out or felt squeamish at all. Mostly, I've been catching myself laughing out loud and trying to wipe my troll-face grin off my face.

Edit
...and the more I think about it, the more this seems like a personal problem.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 9th January 2012 11:15
I.. couldn't possibly comment. happy.gif

I did like how the characters floated back to the reader now and then through that nebulous mass... Dr. Benway especially, I found him rather memorable

Posted by: MogMaster 9th January 2012 13:13
Quote (Blinge Odonata @ 9th January 2012 07:15)
Dr. Benway especially, I found him rather memorable

Which is perfect, given what Benway was and what Burroughs was. To a... well, junky, the pusher is always vibrant, always interesting, always elevated to a position of the utmost interest. In fact, there likely isn't anybody on the planet more important to them, so it's rather natural that he would obtain such clarity and such a memorable nature in a book about being a skeevy opium eater. I like that regardless of the realism with which Burroughs portrays him (i.e as a backalley, underhanded, charlatan), for all these 'faults', Benway nevertheless stands out as a sort of Demi-God. It's a damn near perfect picture, in my opinion.

Posted by: Rangers51 9th January 2012 17:16
Quote (Rangers51 @ 16th November 2011 08:20)
Anyway, back on topic - I just finished a book by Misha Glenny called DarkMarket: Cyberthieves, Cybercops, and You. After hearing an interview with the author, I thought it sounded like an entertaining book about the culture of online fraud. I was wrong. The source material was interesting enough, but the book itself was painful to read in a lot of ways; for one, I thought the author gave a lot of reverence to the criminals - while credit card scammers are certainly a very intelligent lot, I don't see any reason to treat them with the adulation the book seemed to at times. Additionally, there was a lot of editorializing for a book that I would have imagined better without it, especially when it came to just about any chance to point out how many times Western governments failed to keep cybercrime in line. Finally, there was obvious baiting to set up a sequel - which I found out actually did happen for Kindles just a few weeks ago.

If the concept of a look into the underworld of online fraud appeals to you, try to find another book. I might try Kevin Poulsen's soon, since he actually knows of which he speaks as a reformed hacker himself.

I just finished the book that I mentioned trying in this previous post, and it makes me rethink my scathing opinion of the first just a bit. Kingpin is a much, much better book overall - it's better written and the narrative feels less subjective. The case for feeling sympathetic towards the main figure is better made, so you feel a bit sympathetic towards him without it feeling like you're reading a love note to him.

I think if you're interested in the topic, there's enough that doesn't cross over where you can read DarkMarket as a precursor to Kingpin to get more of the whole story regarding the online credit card fraud of the last decade; the former focuses on European operations, and the latter has more of an American bent. The latter is still the better book by far, but it's interesting to see some of the same facts presented from the different angles you get from reading both.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 10th January 2012 18:58
Quote (MogMaster @ 9th January 2012 13:13)
Quote (Blinge Odonata @ 9th January 2012 07:15)
Dr. Benway especially, I found him rather memorable

It's a damn near perfect picture, in my opinion.

As is your analogy. smile.gif

Posted by: Metal King Slime 27th January 2012 13:50
The Difference Engine by William Gibson. I like the setting and writing style but I find it a bit difficult to follow.

Posted by: finalalias 28th January 2012 03:42
Empire of the Summer Moon. Very enlightening, but man, so sad and graphic!

Posted by: MogMaster 4th February 2012 11:13
The Idiot. Again. I must be an idiot myself to have missed something in this book, considering I've read it like five times now. Nevertheless, I find Dostoevsky novels are ALWAYS better a second or third time through. One no longer wonders what's going to happen and pays more attention to the brilliant psychological portraits.

Posted by: finalalias 4th February 2012 22:58
I started the Idiot last year or so, but couldn't find any redeeming qualities in any of the characters or situations, and it felt like just watching train wreck after train wreck, so I gave up. I agree Dostoevsky is great at what he does ("painting brilliant psychological portraits"), and I'm sure he made a very good point in his portrayal of Russian aristocracy, but it's not something I personally found pertinent. Who knows, maybe I got a bad (English) translation or something...

Posted by: MogMaster 5th February 2012 12:43
Quote (finalalias @ 4th February 2012 18:58)
I started the Idiot last year or so, but couldn't find any redeeming qualities in any of the characters or situations, and it felt like just watching train wreck after train wreck, so I gave up.  I agree Dostoevsky is great at what he does ("painting brilliant psychological portraits"), and I'm sure he made a very good point in his portrayal of Russian aristocracy, but it's not something I personally found pertinent.  Who knows, maybe I got a bad (English) translation or something...

What I found endearing about Dostoevsky is that these characters of the Russian Aristocracy aren't so very different from the people you meet everywhere. Dostoevsky spent years in prison reading only the Russian Orthodox Bible, you also have to remember. Part of the reading experience with him is identifying how certain little social things never really change, but rather meta-morph ( I won't say Evolve, nor Devolve). I like that saying in Ecclesiastes, "...and there is no new thing under the sun", at the end of 1:9. When I read it, I'm personally astonished at how people are all still basically the same as they were back then. His description of sensations and facial expressions may seem like weeping and gnashing of the teeth to some extent, but there are times in all our lives where we might personally pull any number of the contorted expressions he so beautifully describes. It's all the small small details that he never skips.

This is merely a defense of its overall worth, on my part. Oftentimes when people read Dostoevsky in English, the standard for English translation is the Constance Garnett version, mostly, I think, because its copyright is up for free. Unfortunately, without further editing and annotation, her translations, aside from being... how shall I say this? somewhat in the pragmatic style of her time, she also leaves things like the French spoken when the aristocrats were being aristocratic untranslated. (I'm not sure if just knowing French is still in vogue amongst the rich in all of Europe still.) It certainly is possible to get other translations or, alternatively, the Barnes and Noble Editions of the Garnett translations offer additional annotation to clear up some of the problems of how foreign the book is.

No matter which way you slice it though, Dostoevsky is somewhat of a dry read, and certainly somewhat old. I find I enjoy the feeling of being transported back in time to a far corner of Europe for hours on end when reading him, and come back here to America in 2012 somewhat refreshed. I definitely wish I could recommend him to everyone, but I can't.

That said, I feel I should probably say that if "watching train wreck after train wreck" isn't your thing, it might be ok to assume he's not the author for you happy.gif .

Edit
And also, the Brothers Karamazov is a much less dramatic, and arguably better book by him if you ever did feel the need for a second crack. Much more overtly philisophical... more worldly, or "global" in a certain sense, despite how inescapably (and sometimes horribly) Russian it is.

Posted by: Rangers51 12th February 2012 21:12
I just today finished the biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. While it can be a bit awkward to read as it has a tendency to jump forward and backward in time (it's organized mainly by time, but as it connects theme to theme it shifts backwards sometimes), it's a very interesting read.

I know not everyone likes Apple, and especially not Steve Jobs, and there's plenty to not like about him while reading his life story. The level to which he publicly was a massive... jerk... is miniscule compared to what a bastard he really could be. However, the same story tells how freaking smart he genuinely was, too. It's a really interesting read, though a bit long, and the guy really did have a pretty fascinating life. It was worth the couple weeks it took me to get through it.

Posted by: Kane 13th February 2012 04:16
I've been perusing Danielle Cadena Deulen's poetry collection Lovely Asunder, Sei Shonagon's The Pillow Book, and The Art of the Personal Essay (edited by Phillip Lopate), and I'm enjoying each of them immensely, as well as using them for inspiration for my latest essays.

Posted by: Rangers51 20th March 2012 14:54
I just finished Erin Morgenstern's debut novel, The Night Circus, a few minutes ago, as I have to return it to the library later today. It's a bit of a mystery fantasy love story, centered around a magical circus that runs only at night and travels Europe and North America nearly unnoticed; the mystery and love both come in as the reader tries to figure out how the two main characters both tie to the circus, and as those characters work out how they connect to one another.

I wasn't quite sure about it at first, as its narrative hook requires that you pay a lot of attention to where and when certain events are taking place in order to follow them. Characters at first seem to be introduced almost at random, as well; however, once you reach the second half of the book, and the ends start to chain together, it creates really beautiful imagery and a lovely melancholy.

Posted by: GamblingCat 7th April 2012 20:18
I finished the Tim Tebow book a few weeks ago and I thought it was really good. Lately I have been reading The Lord of the Rings and have about a fourth of The Fellowship of the Ring to finish. I've enjoyed reading it, however.

Posted by: finalalias 7th April 2012 22:48
I've been going through "Physics of the Impossible" by Michio Kaku, in audio-book form during my commutes to work. People usually skimmed over this kind of stuff in the Physics Department when I was getting my degree, but it's almost always the kind of stuff that people talk about outside of school. That's why I wanted to read it, and so far it's been satisfactory.

One thing I wish is that I could play the audio-book at double-speed 'cause the cadence of the reader combined with the style makes things seem to drag on sometimes, but it's not unbearable. I find myself wishing the same thing for other audio books from time to time.

Posted by: Sabin 7th April 2012 22:56
I usually don't get drawn into books over hyped by people and the media until the hooplah has died down. But I'm making an exception for A Game of Thrones. 125 pages in, and I can already tell its worth every positive review its received.

Posted by: Rangers51 15th April 2012 22:29
Just finished up a book called Monsters in America by a professor of history at the College of Charleston. I picked it up on a whim from my library when I was just there killing time after taking the baby out for a walk a couple weeks back. The book's a dissertation on the nature of creature and horror stories and how they mirror the times in which they originate, from Puritan religious intolerance sparking witch trials in the 18th century to the Twilight books as a reference for neoconservative gender politics. I thought the various discussions of 20th century pop culture were the most interesting, as they were the most relatable, and partially because I'd studied a number of them before many years ago at university. Pretty clever book overall, but as you would expect from a historical dissertation, a bit dry even given the subject matter. smile.gif

Posted by: Magitek_slayer 16th April 2012 08:53
Lovecraft's mountains of madness.

The book is a little difficult to read,because it was written in the 20's? or possibly the 30's,so he writes with very fancy british english writing,rather than americanized.He is from the same place as steven king:New england,or at least i think stephen king was from new england.

The writing actually reminds me more of a adventure thriller than a direct thriller.There is a ton of exploration and aliens.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 26th May 2012 16:05
Just started Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.

wowww... Castle Gormenghast.. what a setting.
It was meant as an obvious critique on tradition and monarchy, especially in Britian I think..
and it really fits

Posted by: laszlow 26th May 2012 16:30
I LOVE the Gormenghast trilogy, but the third book (Titus Alone) is a step down. The companion short story that was made later is just as trippy.

Recently finished Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard. Pure entertainment. The man has awesome dialog and utterly unpredictable plots. Will not be my last Leonard novel.

Posted by: Metal King Slime 4th June 2012 06:14
Bram Stoker's Dracula. Pretty awesome stuff.

Posted by: Glenn Magus Harvey 4th June 2012 15:17
I have that on audiobook; I should listen to it sometime.

Posted by: Kane 4th June 2012 18:10
I just started the books of the new sun. Has anyone else read these excellent novels? If not, I wholeheartedly recommend them.

Posted by: MogMaster 11th July 2012 14:04
Quote (Magitek_slayer @ 16th April 2012 04:53)
Lovecraft's mountains of madness.

The book is a little difficult to read,because it was written in the 20's? or possibly the 30's,so he writes with very fancy british english writing,rather than americanized.He is from the same place as steven king:New england,or at least i think stephen king was from new england.

The writing actually reminds me more of a adventure thriller than a direct thriller.There is a ton of exploration and aliens.

Ha, I wanted to put an Aboleth in a Dungeons and Dragons campaign, so I read that over an afternoon not too long ago. If I'm not mistaken, it's just a bit longer than Call of Cthulu? Lovecraft had... issues. He was an American Anglophile, who never ceased off beating himself up for not getting a proper college education, mostly due to his extreme poverty and the fact that he was pretty much insane. I've never tallied this against him, however. In fact, it's what I love about him. The "horror" of Lovecraft, is less the sort of horror that Poe came about with before him, and more the horror of the scientific mind striving to make sense of things that are inherently insensible to them. It's a different horror for a different generation, and I feel it doesn't help or lend him credit that he's been so overdone at this point.

Cthulu plush dolls. Nuff said. (;,;)

I just recently finished Atlas Shrugged, against the advice of pretty much everyone I've ever met who's read it. I now get to add my voice to theirs in telling people to avoid Ayn Rand. She comes off as though she read all of Nietzsche then ran with about a third of what he said, then proceeded to tell the world that all philosophy was bunk but her. Despite my problems with Ms.Rand, I won't take away from the book the merit it deserves in certain areas, like the realm of self-esteem. No joke though, I finished the damn paperweight, then proceeded to laugh out loud for about two minutes straight. I then climbed on my roof and smoked a cigarette with a huge grin. It was a big TL;DR, so far as I'm concerned. It had the length and pacing of a Dostoevsky novel without any of the redeeming features he would throw in that depicted humans as being humans, and not wooden cutouts(or as she says, "sharpened" images of man). It's interesting to note that Rand was from Russia, and read Dostoevsky. Wikipedia cites him as an influence, but I only see it in parts of the novel's structure, and not the ideas or characters at all. Again, there are certainly some good things to be said about the novel and the points she raises, but it's not anything I'd recommend to just anybody. My largest qualm is that Rand simply doesn't know how to laugh, and this humorless attitude carries over into her work. It isn't for nothing that she was depressed in her private life and developed an addiction to amphetamines. This, from the woman who wrote a book about how by living one's life in such and such a way, we should be happy. I find this telling. I largely read the work to spite critics who said it's a book that nobody should read, and while I agree that it's ultimately a failure, I feel this is no detriment to any author, and, in a strange way, I relate her in my head to Franz Kafka.

Since then, I picked up The Possessed/The Devils by Dostoevsky again, and am thoroughly enjoying it this third time through.

Edit
My Cthulu emoticon turned into a winking face, haha, whoops.

Posted by: St Khael 11th July 2012 20:46
Cheers on reading Lovecraft, by the way, he's one of my favorites. I keep the full collections of his works on hand and am usually in the middle of one of his stories or the other. Currently I'm in the middle of The Shadow Out of Time at the moment, my favored of the novellas. Honestly I wouldn't say he was insane, his life was difficult and left him a little unbalanced, but not crazy. If you want crazy, look at Poe. To be quite frank, I never liked his style and found him more morbid and as worrysome as an angst ridden teen.

Aside from Lovecraft, I usually have a number of books going at the same time so I can switch up genres when I need a dose of something else. At the moment I'm in Dragon's Winter by Elizabeth A. Lynn, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (For probably the 12th time. :3 ), A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs ( Again. Yes, I did it! I read it before the movie was a twinkle in Disney's eye! Mwahaha.) and The Zero Stone by Andre Norton (Again.)

I recently tried to read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins but had to put it down in the middle of MockingJay. I will usually pursue a book to it's ending no matter how much I dislike it, but this one I just could not. I admit to being one of the rarity's that sees too many direct pulls from Koushun Takami's Battle Royale, which bothers me a bit more than I thought it would have. Aside from that, I find the characters dull and the issues the the author tries to captivate the reader with to be far from the more interesting points of the story. I'll probably try to finish it again someday, but for right now I can't. I think it's a great novel for young people in their early teens, but being the kid that read Frank Herbert's Dune at 13-14 it just doesn't appeal to me.

As a side, MogMaster, I saw Cthulhu until you pointed out the winking face. ;-;
I don't have a problem! 8D

Posted by: GamblingCat 11th July 2012 23:27
For the last month and a half, I have been re-reading the Harry Potter series. I felt this urge to do it for a long time, and I figured after knocking out Lord of the Rings in the spring, that I'd read Harry Potter over the summer. I'm near the end of Order of the Phoenix currently.

Posted by: MogMaster 12th July 2012 13:41
Quote (St Khael @ 11th July 2012 16:46)
Cheers on reading Lovecraft, by the way, he's one of my favorites. I keep the full collections of his works on hand and am usually in the middle of one of his stories or the other. Currently I'm in the middle of The Shadow Out of Time at the moment, my favored of the novellas. Honestly I wouldn't say he was insane, his life was difficult and left him a little unbalanced, but not crazy. If you want crazy, look at Poe. To be quite frank, I never liked his style and found him more morbid and as worrysome as an angst ridden teen...

Unbalanced is a shade too light of a word, I maintain. Then again, my favorite philosopher was Nietzsche, who was believed to be a syphilitic (as was Lovecraft's father), and most certainly did go catatonic-insane. The utmost clarity and lucidity, such as that exhibited by Lovecraft, for example, is no guarantee of sanity happy.gif . The man was depressed from a lifetime of poverty and disappointments incongruous to his self-image, and also suffered from night-terrors from a very young age. Don't forget that his family had a history of mental illness, too. Full blown cuckoo, in the fashion of the Mad-Hatter, isn't what I'm suggesting, but insanity, as a general term, surely fits the bill. By way of exonerating insanity from it's typically pejorative connotations, I mention that the proto-psychologist, William James, in his Varieties of Religious Experience, puts forth the idea that types of insanity are useful as a way of enlarging, in the fashion of a microscope, certain parts of the brain that everybody has, but are disproportionately exaggerated in said individuals of questionable balance. A truth is a truth is a truth, regardless of it's provenance. That said, I personally maintain that all truths have an extremely subjective weight wink.gif .

Quote

...I recently tried to read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins but had to put it down in the middle of MockingJay. I will usually pursue a book to it's ending no matter how much I dislike it, but this one I just could not. I admit to being one of the rarity's that sees too many direct pulls from Koushun Takami's Battle Royale, which bothers me a bit more than I thought it would have...


This is the number one reason I never cared to read Hunger Games. I had seen Battle Royale back in high-school, and when this whole cultural uproar started, given the arguably less brutal story of Hunger Games, I found myself apathetic towards it. Quite frankly, the whole thing bores me, and if I wanted to go in for something pulpy, I have a thousand other options at my disposal that would actually expand some concepts I haven't already been familiar with since I was fifteen. I don't even intend to see the movie.

Posted by: St Khael 12th July 2012 17:32
I'll surrender the victory to you on the subject of Lovecraft, Sir. As a side, sanity is overrated and can claim a different definition depending on who you talk to. I actually find it an interesting discussion topic.

I had lumped The Hunger Games into the same category of inadequacy as I did Twilight, which I still refuse to have anything to do with, and never had any intention of reading it when I experienced its massive nearly rabid fan base. When an elder family member known for choosing good literature (aside from the hateful 'romance' genre) requested that I give it a chance, I did so, mostly out of respect rather than desire. Needless to say, it left me with a foul taste in my mouth. I find Ms. Collin's story to be nigh on plagarism of Battle Royale and it disgusts me.

As a side to this, I find it quite the shame that the literary world has digressed to calling these works grand pieces of fiction. Granted, I cannot be all that surprised as a fair number of my graduating class could barely read aloud if at all. Despite this, I still find it depressing that it was these stories that pulled the population back into literature now that Ms. Rowling has put Harry Potter down. I myself was never a fan of her series, but it feels to me like she put a great deal more work into her series than recent authors. It was the rabid fan base of her series that served as part of the reason I delved into Ms. Norton and Mr. Adams in my elementary years. Granted, in current literary discussions I find myself in, the topic of Mr. Burroughs, Ms. Norton, Mr. Tolkein and Mr. Adams is sadly met with confusion and a question as to who they are. To make matters worse, an acquaintance of mine who worked in a book store was met with a young lady who was desperate to find more vampire romance novels after reading twilight but had read everything in the store; when the last thing he had on the shelf was Mr. Stoker's Dracula, she was entirely confused and did not even know of the character let alone the author.

I also would like to agree with you, If I want something pulpy and exciting, I'll work my way into past authors and find something time tested and highly recommending by elder newspapers and the like; they usually do not let me down.

In the note of philosophy, however, I am only just being introduced. My husband is fond of Kant but finds Nietzsche to unbearable. I know little of either so I cannot stand beside one or the other.

Posted by: MogMaster 25th July 2012 01:20
Quote (Blinge Odonata @ 2nd January 2012 17:04)
As a change of place I'm starting Dumas' The Count of Monte Cristo today happy.gif

My mother actually just finished re-reading that one, for the first time since she was a kid. She tells me she got a lot more out of it now as a grown adult than she did back then. Furthermore, she tells me, that since I'm a fan of old literature, The Classics, etc, that I'd probably get more out of it than her. Just so, the book has made a big move up towards the top of my "To Read" list. Unfortunately, it's her copy is on a Nook, so since 1) it isn't mine, and I'd have to take the device away from her for a long period of time, and 2) I don't particularly relish the idea of reading such a long book in electronic form, I'm forced to hold off for a little bit. Not that I suppose getting a copy of it should be that hard. French to English translations from the 19th-Century, particularly from such a well known author as Dumas, shouldn't be hard to find a good quality cheap translation of. I'm such a sucker for the 19th-Century, and I don't feel like I can pick up another Dostoevsky, since I've pretty much worked my way through his entire "mature-period" body of work in the last few months.

In the mean time, I've started Chariots of the Gods? by Erich von Daniken. I understand that some of the ideas in the work have since been discredited (at least one by Daniken himself), however, the points made it in are certainly interesting, and since his view of things doesn't clash with my personal view of God, I feel I can go into it with an open mind, and thus be able to agree with or refute him without any personal bias.

I've always been interested in "conspiracy" stuff like this. Recently I've been introduced to Jordan Maxwell who (somehow not seeming to be notable enough for a Wikipedia article, never-you-mind all the Google results,) I understand influenced the creation of that Zeitgeist movie that was made a some years back. I've even listened to a bunch of lectures by David Icke (a man you might better know as "the inter-dimensional space lizard guy". He actually had a brief appearance in the Bill Maher documentary, Religulous, a few years back.), who despite, I feel, maybe taking his pseudo-scientific assumptions a step too far, makes a lot of good/interesting points, and is quite an eloquent speaker to boot.

I've also been making a more detailed study of book four of Thus Spake Zarathustra, by Nietzsche. Is it strange that he only gets better and better every time you re-read him? huh.gif

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 6th September 2012 14:32
Quote (MogMaster @ 25th July 2012 01:20)
Not that I suppose getting a copy of it should be that hard. French to English translations from the 19th-Century, particularly from such a well known author as Dumas,

Oh it should be very easy to find in paperback/hardback/whatever, respected translations are published en masse. Totally with you on the electronic devices thing though, and the fair old tome that is Monte Cristo is a good-looking addition to any shelf =]

As for me? Medical texts about depression.. and Chuck Palahniuk's Fight Club

Second time round, for some reason reading this book makes me feel able to do anything..

Posted by: Death Penalty 7th September 2012 03:13
I really don't know why I don't post in this thread more often, as all I do anymore is read and hang out in chat. Based on the count I just conducted, I've read 32 books this summer, so I won't take up the real estate to say something about all of them. Instead, I'll give my top six (that was where I could make an easy division) in order of increasing awesomeness.

6. The Awakening by Kate Chopin - The novella's portrayal is so authentic because its verdicts are so balanced. Chopin checks each of her advances, counters each potential clear 'answer' with an equally realistic opposite: the moments of eye-opening are matched by those of decline; the harsh grip of Edna's husband or societal habits are tempered by their kindness or begnin intent; the righteousness of love for Robert is called into question by her shunning of Alcee's. It is why the ending is so famously unclear, and why the work is such a success.

5. Daisy Miller by Henry James - It's hard to imagine how Henry James could have written this any more perfectly. It was especially exciting to read Daisy Miller from the perspective of having already read James' later work, to see how he evolved. The quieter second 'study', of the novella's not-entirely-reliable protagonist, is great; so is James' gradual (and thereby more realistic) development of the reader's understanding of Daisy. Lovely stuff.

4. The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford - A really great novel. Ford has constructed the narrative brilliantly; it is both highly realistic and maintains a good plot arc without giving things away, despite the story being told retrospectively. The delightful unreliability of the narrator is ever-present without destroying his credibility entirely, adding another level of ambiguity to events whose meanings were already discolored and shifting to begin with - which is, of course, all part of the point. Lovely stuff, and the perfect length for what it's doing.

3. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf - Very excellent. Not as powerful for me as To the Lighthouse, but certainly a must-read for anyone who enjoyed that novel, though Mrs. Dalloway is less heavy-handed. It's certainly interesting to look at the two comparatively, but I won't depreciate this novel's autonomy by thinking of it as a package. Mrs. Dalloway is really an impressive work; Woolf's interweaving of ideologies, times and persons is done beautifully. I found the novel's affirmation of human feeling as something real and essential is both striking and beautiful, in its own perfectly ordinary way - of course, in a novel that is built on the concept of the uplifting of the ordinary, that's exactly what I would hope for. Lovely novel.

2. Dalva by Jim Harrison - Wow, what a work. One reviewer said that Harrison makes his reader do too much work, but I think this is perhaps his greatest accomplishment here. The story is a brilliant exercise in subtlety, as well as knowing when to leave 'gaps' in a story so as to allow it to maintain its primeval aura. These two qualities not only fit perfectly with Dalva's character and the landscape so essential to her history but also keep the story from spiraling into something self-important or overly insistent, which could have easily occurred with this subject matter and would have corrupted its authenticity. Harrison’s prose provides the perfect music for a slow dance between the past as it slips into twilight and Dalva, learning to let it go, music that is both achingly beautiful and firmly real. I very much look forward to reading more from this author.

1. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow is a really neat work. That said, it is also quite a difficult work, so I can't recommend it without a bit of a warning. Artistically, the novel is done rather brilliantly; it's impossible to separate Pynchon's plot from Pynchon's sentence-to-sentence writing: form and meaning are tightly intertwined. The novel is one large arch - gravity's rainbow, the path of a rocket. The characters begin by attempting to impose structure, to find lines of cause and effect, but these attempts break down in the third and especially fourth sections of the novel, which increasingly become a descent into the absurd. Much of the evidence on which cause-effect relations were earlier established is shown to be untrue, paranoia escalates, and coherency eventually collapses entirely. An incredibly interesting piece of art that was definitely worth the 'work'.

Edit
Just for the record, I copied and pasted these reviews from my goodreads page.

Posted by: Kane 12th September 2012 04:07
I've just started The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Have any of you read it?

So far it's absolutely fantastic. I'm generally a tough critic, but Kvothe (the main character) has utterly won me over with his story.

(I'm only 150 pages into it though, so please be wary of spoiling things for me.)

Posted by: Max 4th October 2012 01:36
I just finished book two in the Warlord trilogy written by Bernard Cornwell, too bad book 3 is 1000 miles away were I spent the summer. How can I forget something as important as the final book in a trilogy I'm enjoying?

In the meantime,

I read Eragon this summer, my boss had it sitting in the library and I was surprised on how good it was. I never saw the film, boy and his dragon, blah blah blah, but I enjoyed the book. The rest I ordered today. I'm looking forward to being able to continue reading the series.

The Renegade is also in the mail, book 2 of Jack Whyte's trilogy on William Wallace. I The Forest Laird in January and I've been anticipating the release of the next book since then. Too bad I can only order hardcover, oh well.

I read A song of Ice and Fire this winter. All 5 books in about 6 weeks. That was good. I saw season of Game of Thrones on HBO and was impressed by the accuracy depicted from the novels. Martin works with them on the show or it wouldn't be so. Great books, too bad the series ends on book five with a few more to go.

Conn Iguldenn has another installment in the Conqueror series even though he said he wouldn't. I knew he would write about Attila despite saying he wouldn't.

A Clockwork Orange and Fight Club I also went through the summer. I like seeing obscure movies and following up on the literature, but not the other way around.

Battle Royale was an awesome book. I went through the Hunger Games last summer and found out about Battle Royale from all the onliners crying out rip-off. If you've read both than you know it's definitely a rip-off, but I consent because it gets people reading.

So here I am, the book I was going to read while I ordered more is a thousand miles away. All that's lying around here now is Grisham and Brown. sad.gif

Posted by: Death Penalty 12th October 2012 20:21
As usual, I'm reading like 23409283 books, but I won't bore people with them. Aside from my class reading, which is a bit meh at the present time, I have two books worth sharing.

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster - I liked this book more with every page. I loved both the philosophical questions concerning the problem of parts and wholes and the practical yet affirmational manner in which they were taken up. Though Forster's characters and situations were interesting as representative of larger trends or positions, their behavior and the manner in which they expressed those trends/positions was quite realistic; Forster's philosophic content is blended into dialogue and description splendidly, without feeling artificial. Unlike Howards End, A Passage to India doesn't go stagnant in its third quarter, and the characters have a more continuous path of development through the course of the novel. A clear and substantial improvement on the style of Howards End in every way; one of my new favorites.

Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford - I can't believe I'm saying this, but Parade's End is actually in contention for my favorite novel of all time. It's actually a tetrology, but one that is so interrelated that the quartet is almost always bound together in one volume. I'm currently about 8/9ths of the way through (it's rather long) waiting for a lull in my classwork so that I can finish it. Ford's writing is incredible: he excells at both writing a cohesive and paced whole and delivering incredible sentences. With Ford, it isn't so much that the events in the story give meaning to the overall situation but that the situation gives meaning to the events. He is, above all, a patient writer, and the result is an incredibly controlled work that delivers its aesthetic blows neither before nor after they are appropriate but precisely when they are best suited.

Posted by: MogMaster 27th December 2012 23:50
I got Beelzebub's Tales to his Grandson by Gurdjieff for Christmas, and my goodness what a long read it is! So far I'm on chapter one, where he's apologizing for writing his books. It's quite interesting.

Posted by: sweetdude 28th December 2012 06:09
The majority is non-fiction law stuff. However I finally got myself round to reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. The only thing I keep thinking of is how many quotes I've read or heard attributed to Oscar Wilde as if he'd said it himself. I know Lord Henry is essentially meant to be Oscar Wilde but nonetheless I would hate it if I wrote books and my characters' classic lines were attributed to me. It's not right.

Posted by: Prince 25th January 2013 13:44
A Game of Thrones, by George R R Martin. I'll admit, I'd never looked at the series before I saw the show on which it is based. I always assumed it was just another fluffy princess & knight fantasy series, but I was wrong...very, very wrong.

Posted by: Neal 25th January 2013 16:57
Quote (Prince @ 25th January 2013 07:44)
A Game of Thrones, by George R R Martin. I'll admit, I'd never looked at the series before I saw the show on which it is based. I always assumed it was just another fluffy princess & knight fantasy series, but I was wrong...very, very wrong.

Hah, I just finished the first one myself. I really enjoyed it and now am starting the first season of the show. But before I start the second book in that series, I'm reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss for a book club. I'm about a quarter of the way through it so far, and it's got a very interesting narrative style - it's written almost autobiographically, from the standpoint of the main character having his life in the past chronicled. Every so often it jumps back to the present in interludes in the storytelling, which is a fun twist.

Posted by: Death Penalty 25th January 2013 19:04
Always glad when someone bumps this one!

Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry - I'm on schedule to finish it this evening, and wow, what a novel. There's enough talk of drinking to make even the soberest of readers feel a bit tipsy, but the attentive reader will find even more elegant sentences and carefully constructed metaphors. Not much 'happens,' yet Lowry's writing still makes the novel move quickly and interestingly. And again, the writing: the work of an absolute master, every sentence - and, in some paragraphs, each and every word - is carefully forged to the situational mood, narrator's mental state, and authorial interest at that particular moment. A novel which is never short of praise, and which lives up to its reputation.

Bleak House by Charles Dickens - My first adventure with Dickens, and wow, what a lovely time it was. Dickens is all about social realism - illustrating Victorian life in London on an expansive canvas, and to do so he creates an ensemble casts, reaching from the highest of the high to the lowest of the low. His characters each embody a particular lifestyle or life philosophy in response to their world, making each somehow simultaneously larger than him/herself yet without losing authenticity. Dickens is heavily critical, yet he never ceases to see the opportunity for good, as well as the good already present, sometimes in the least-suspected places.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 6th March 2013 10:53
War & Peace by *Count* Leo Tolstoy

It's awesome read it NAO! yep.. that's the whole of my review. I'm sure Tolstoy himself would appreciate it.

Posted by: MogMaster 7th March 2013 07:14
Quote (Blinge Odonata @ 6th March 2013 06:53)
War & Peace by *Count* Leo Tolstoy

It's awesome read it NAO! yep.. that's the whole of my review. I'm sure Tolstoy himself would appreciate it.

Surely, the man who wrote millions of words in a fictional opus about the war of 1812 would appreciate such brevity in a review of said opus. Surely.

Welcome to the War and Peace club! That feeling inside is, in fact, your glowing feeling of superiority over the rest of the world forming wink.gif .

Posted by: Neal 7th March 2013 16:34
I'm currently reading A Storm of Swords, the third book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series. It's pretty good so far, I've only been reading it for maybe a week now and I'm about a third of the way through. I'm finding all of the different plotlines quite interesting at this point, which is nice because I thought Dany's storyline in the second book moved like a damn glacier.

Posted by: finalalias 8th March 2013 05:51
W&P was great, I agree. I need to re-read that someday, it's been so long.

I just finished reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It was ok. Nice to know about all the stuff Mr. Jobs did, and what he was like. It was also cool to hear about how such smart and dynamic people worked (not just Steve, but also Woz and all the other amazing people whom Steve encountered in life), and what their personalities were like, and how their policies affected them.

Posted by: Chewbekah 10th March 2013 04:55
I've been reading The Kill Order by James Dashner. It's the pre-quel to the Maze Runner Trilogy and I'm absolutely hating it. It is nothing like I wanted or hoped a pre-quel to this series would be. It's going to get a scathing review on Goodreads most likely. Unless it can somehow redeem itself by the 60th or so chapter. I'm on chapter 47 so it's not looking too good.

Posted by: finalalias 10th March 2013 20:23
Wow, you have a lot of patience. I would have given up way before chapter 47.

Posted by: Chewbekah 11th March 2013 19:00
I keep hoping it'll get better because this authors books generally start out slow and you kind of have to slug through them for a while but then they get super exciting and you can't put them down until the end...plus I can't justify giving a book a bad review without reading the whole thing and I hate the book enough that I want to give it a bad review.

Posted by: seraphimdreamer777 28th March 2013 00:59
Bram Stoker's Dracula. I love Castlevania and learned they tied in to Bram Stoker's Dracula when they made Castlevania Bloodlines on Genesis.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 28th March 2013 09:03
Ah yeah, Stoker has a special place in my (undead, evil) heart

Well they did their best with the Gothic atmosphere, few franchises have payed such a homage to the genre as Castlevania has. Of course, Symphony of the Night takes the big prize here.
I heard about that tie-in from AVGN, I dunno man, it seems pretty weak.

Posted by: balaam 30th March 2013 01:47
Recently I've been reading The Pendergast series about an FBI agent solving supernatural cases. The first book Relic is so-so but the writing really improves as the series advances.

Posted by: Sabin 30th March 2013 04:01
Until I get my hands on R.A. Salvatore's new one, I'm catching up on Game of Thrones. Hoping to finish up Storm of Swords before getting too far behind in the new season.

Posted by: medz 27th May 2013 06:01
I've been reading David Sedaris's new book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. It's very much like his earlier works in that it is a collection of essays that feature his family members and associates. I never am quite sure how much of his is fiction, and how much really happened, but nevertheless he has this way of wringing gut-busting humor out of intensely awkward, occasionally horrible situations. I definitely recommend him if you have a sense of humor that can be described as "abusive".

Then there's what I have queued up to read: Umineko no Naku Koro ni (I like manga, take from that what you'd like), a book on the Civil War, and a surprising gift that was rescued from the dustbin at my work: a 1960s copy of the 1920s translation of Toukaidouchuu Hizakurige, a humorous travelogue/novel dating from 1800s Japan. The copy was nearly pristine, with color plates at the beginning of each chapter of views of each station along the Toukaidou. Why someone would want to throw it out is beyond me.

Posted by: Blinge Odonata 27th May 2013 11:19
Quote (MogMaster @ 7th March 2013 07:14)
Welcome to the War and Peace club! That feeling inside is, in fact, your glowing feeling of superiority over the rest of the world forming wink.gif .

I am a golden monolith

feels good, man.

Posted by: Kane 27th May 2013 19:38
I'm gearing up for an MFA (Creative Writing) program, so I've been reading a number of essay collections: At Large and At Small by Anne Fadiman, 인연* by 피천득, and Essayists on the Essay.

*For anyone who's interested, the title can be translated as something like affinity or fate or karma.

Posted by: Rangers51 28th March 2016 22:10
I just finished up Console Wars, a book about the battle for market share in American gaming in the early 90's; while the dawn of the Genesis and Super Nintendo are the overall focus, the full timeline of the narrative covers from the NES/SMS days all the way up to the announcement of the first PlayStation.

It's a pretty fun book, especially for people who were gamers at that time, I'd guess. For me personally, it gave a lot of context to the things I saw and played as a tween/teen gamer at that time, and therefore was a good nostalgia trip but also explained a great deal about what I experienced back then that I wouldn't have understood at the time.

There's not much in there for Square fans, but I'd recommend checking it out anyway. Enjoy your AmaCoN link.

http://amzn.to/1UxV4Rn

Posted by: Spooniest 29th March 2016 03:06
Right now I'm re-reading I Am Spock.

smile.gif Leonard Nimoy is really a classy guy. His book doesn't have nearly the foul-mouthedness or lasciviousness of Bill Shatner's memoirs, and he really has a great story to tell, what with the Spock character being so multi-dimensional and deep.

Truly unprecedented in TV, to be honest. Characterization tends to take a far back seat to plot development in TV, since there is only about 45 minutes of airtime between the commercials in a typical hourlong program. Spock represented a shift in how television viewers were starting to think; they were shown the emotional (is that the right word even?) turmoil of a fictional extraterrestrial, and did not react by saying "well it's not that bad, he's just an alien."

On the contrary, after The Naked Time (a Star Trek episode) aired, people started writing Paramount letters saying "this is AMAZING WTF WE'VE NEVER SEEN NOTHIN LIKE IT GIVE US MORE." It was truly a momentous development in science fiction (and fiction in general for that matter).

While his directorial career wasn't as extensive as some others' have been, his work was always top-notch and clean as a whistle. Such an impressive guy.

\\//_ "Peace and long life."

Posted by: Rangers51 3rd August 2017 17:37
I'd been wanting to try out some work from Haruki Murakami, a contemporary Japanese novelist, for quite a while, probably since the time that I first read a review of 1Q84 a few years ago. I never got around to it in my old home because the local library hours were terrible, but now that my daughter has a library card and goes frequently, I finally remembered to scan the shelves and found a couple of his novels.

I just finished Norwegian Wood last week, and have started Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage just after; one thing that I've heard about the Japanese written language for many years is its predilection towards poetic language in prose, and I can certainly see that in Murakami's work, even though it's been translated into English. The language is extremely precise and illustrative, but it's also lyrical and indirect, particularly in the way that he weaves references from general culture and integrates them into the plots actually taking place around his characters. The stories have a dreamlike quality that he establishes with time and place jumps, as if all of the stories are oral histories recalled from memory, or, often, memories within memories.

I'll definitely be planning to have a few more of his works brought to my local library branch once I finish up here.

http://amzn.to/2v09NwG

Posted by: Death Penalty 10th August 2017 17:10
Quote (Rangers51 @ 3rd August 2017 13:37)
I'd been wanting to try out some work from Haruki Murakami, a contemporary Japanese novelist, for quite a while, probably since the time that I first read a review of 1Q84 a few years ago. I never got around to it in my old home because the local library hours were terrible, but now that my daughter has a library card and goes frequently, I finally remembered to scan the shelves and found a couple of his novels.

I just finished Norwegian Wood last week, and have started Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage just after; one thing that I've heard about the Japanese written language for many years is its predilection towards poetic language in prose, and I can certainly see that in Murakami's work, even though it's been translated into English. The language is extremely precise and illustrative, but it's also lyrical and indirect, particularly in the way that he weaves references from general culture and integrates them into the plots actually taking place around his characters. The stories have a dreamlike quality that he establishes with time and place jumps, as if all of the stories are oral histories recalled from memory, or, often, memories within memories.

I'll definitely be planning to have a few more of his works brought to my local library branch once I finish up here.

http://amzn.to/2v09NwG

You know, I've never actually read any Murakami - despite having heard similar praise of his work from a number of people for quite a while. I don't often read fiction that I don't study, heh, but if you've got one of his that you prefer I'd be interested to hear it!

Posted by: Rangers51 10th August 2017 18:10
Quote (Death Penalty @ 10th August 2017 11:10)
You know, I've never actually read any Murakami - despite having heard similar praise of his work from a number of people for quite a while. I don't often read fiction that I don't study, heh, but if you've got one of his that you prefer I'd be interested to hear it!

I finished Colorless last weekend, and I ended up preferring it to the more famous Norwegian Wood. I expect that I'm going to try to grab 1Q84 at some point, but it's close to a thousand pages, and that's going to be a complicated read given his writing style. I also found out that a friend's brother even did a reading from 1Q84 at his wedding, so that has me intrigued as to what could be contained within.

Colorless plays out almost as a mystery novel, with an initial mystery laid out right away, then a secondary mystery within the unraveling of the first, all while the protagonist tries to work out some mysteries about himself and his relationship too. I think it's the more layered and nuanced of the two I've read, and it ends up being more of a pageturner even as it is elliptical and meandering. It's also set in a more modern time, so it's easier to parse for a non-Japanese reader, I think.

Posted by: Elena99 12th August 2017 10:26
Ha, I started this topic back in 2005.

I see that you guys were talking about Murakami, I'm also a fan of his. I've read Colorless, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Sputnik Sweetheart. I think my favourite was Hard-Boiled Wonderland.

I find all of his books follow the same pattern, so I wait a while in between books before reading another one.

Right now, I just finished a really good book called "Johannes Cabal the Necromancer" by Jonathan L. Howard. It's the first in a series. It's sort of steam-punk, sort of dark, and quite funny.

Posted by: finalalias 19th December 2017 20:15
I'm about a third of the way through Edith Hamilton's Mythology. It's a big panoramic of Greek mythology so far, which has been fun. It certainly serves as a "teaser" for a lot of the stories in the sense that there are many excerpts that make me want to read them in their entirety.

Posted by: Rangers51 20th December 2017 00:07
Quote (finalalias @ 19th December 2017 14:15)
I'm about a third of the way through Edith Hamilton's Mythology. It's a big panoramic of Greek mythology so far, which has been fun. It certainly serves as a "teaser" for a lot of the stories in the sense that there are many excerpts that make me want to read them in their entirety.

Wow, that's a flashback. I think that was on my reading list for one year in high school.

Posted by: fatman 20th December 2017 12:13
Ready Player One is worth a read if you're a big fan of the 80s and video games in the 80s. Although worth pointing out it actually take place in the future. Fun story.

Posted by: Rangers51 20th December 2017 12:53
Quote (fatman @ 20th December 2017 06:13)
Ready Player One is worth a read if you're a big fan of the 80s and video games in the 80s. Although worth pointing out it actually take place in the future. Fun story.

Yeah, I bet a lot of people will check that out with the movie coming. I know a few of us read it when it was fairly new a few years back, so if you really want, you can probably scan this very thread for more thoughts on it, heh.

Posted by: fatman 24th December 2017 13:32
Quote (Rangers51 @ 20th December 2017 12:53)
Quote (fatman @ 20th December 2017 06:13)
Ready Player One is worth a read if you're a big fan of the 80s and video games in the 80s. Although worth pointing out it actually take place in the future. Fun story.

Yeah, I bet a lot of people will check that out with the movie coming. I know a few of us read it when it was fairly new a few years back, so if you really want, you can probably scan this very thread for more thoughts on it, heh.

I thought the book was newer than that, but then it's rare for me to get a book on its release. Recently got round to checking out two of the sci-fi classics, Dune and Hyperion. Both very good but I must admit Ready Player One really had me hooked, really good fun. Looking forward to the sequel, fingers crossed it's just as entertaining and the author finds a way to keep us interested.

Posted by: Rangers51 1st February 2018 15:41
Quote (Elena99 @ 12th August 2017 04:26)
I see that you guys were talking about Murakami, I'm also a fan of his. I've read Colorless, Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and Sputnik Sweetheart. I think my favourite was Hard-Boiled Wonderland.

I find all of his books follow the same pattern, so I wait a while in between books before reading another one.

I think your comment about the pattern is why I had Wind-up Bird from the library for a full month (and had to renew it) before I started to read it. That said, I started it on Sunday when I was flying for work, read half of it on the plane, and then finished the second half on the plane back last night. I'd say it's probably my favorite of the three I've read so far, but again, the pattern starts to emerge and as brilliant as his language is, it does all start to become a little samey when you're a few books in.

The emotional thrust of Wind-up Bird is probably the one that has hit closest to home for me, and it did make parts of the story kind of difficult to read. But it's such an interesting story, with the big chunks of historical fiction intermixed with the kind of standard Murakami paranormal/dreamworld aspects that it was a surprising page-turner. I've also either become more accustomed to his desire for leaving loose ends, or he managed to do it in a less-infuriating way in Wind-Up Bird. smile.gif

Posted by: Fearlessfire 12th February 2018 13:49
Well, you know, I’m reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Great best-selling book that received a lot of prizes such as the book of the year on The New York Times Book Review. Also, Its author received Nobel Prize in Economics.
Thanks all for recommendations! I’ll add some items to my must-read list

Posted by: Billdolfski 21st February 2018 15:58
Watership Down by Richard Adams

Posted by: AltheaValara 22nd February 2018 06:37
Watership Down is really good! I need to reread that some time.

I currently have an eBook of Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None out from the library. I've read it before, but it's been years so it should be pretty fresh for me.

Posted by: JTrigger 23rd February 2018 17:23
I am reading The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov

Posted by: Elena99 16th March 2018 23:27
I'm reading Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy. It's pretty good! It's about a group of teenagers in Ireland who are just starting university in the 60s.

I'm doing the Popsugar 2018 reading challenge, where you read 50 books in a year and choose the books based on certain prompts. This prompt was "read a book that was made into a movie you've already seen" (something like that, anyway). Usually I've read the book first, but I happened to see this movie in the 90s, so when I saw it on a list I went for it.

I don't remember anything about the movie aside from one scene where two characters are dancing, which is nice. I don't like reading something when I already know what's going to happen.

Posted by: AltheaValara 18th March 2018 20:11
I actually have attention span problems that make reading books difficult. I only got halfway through And Then There Were None before my loan expired, boo.

Currently attempting to read Ready Player One. I've got three more days left to read it and my Kindle says it will take another 7 hours to read, so I'd better get to it!

Posted by: Quad 20th March 2018 02:46
For years, I did very little reading out of books, as opposed to story-based video games/wikipedia articles/what have you. But, in the last couple of months, I've been into nonfiction again. I recently read The Prince by Machiavelli, and followed it up with The Plantagenets by Dan Jones (an NY Times bestseller, believe it or not). Now I'm reading the latter's followup: The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors. I honestly had forgotten how much I liked reading, and how into history I am. Feels good to be doing that instead of sitting on Reddit (quite as much).

Posted by: AltheaValara 20th March 2018 21:57
I actually finished Ready Player One before its rental expired! This included a five hour marathon reading session, the longest I have done in years.

I feel like the book was made for me. I'm a geeky, introverted woman who grew up in the 80s and spends all her time on the Internet. The protagonist, Wade, is a geeky, introverted teen obsessed with the 80s who spends all his time in the OASIS. I really resonated with him.

I loved the whole premise of the book and all the pop culture references. The one difference between me and Wade is that he has a LOT more drive to reach his goals; it's amazing what all he did to succeed.

Very glad I read the book, and would recommend to others.

Posted by: fatman 22nd March 2018 14:08
Quote (AltheaValara @ 20th March 2018 21:57)
I actually finished Ready Player One before its rental expired! This included a five hour marathon reading session, the longest I have done in years.

I feel like the book was made for me. I'm a geeky, introverted woman who grew up in the 80s and spends all her time on the Internet. The protagonist, Wade, is a geeky, introverted teen obsessed with the 80s who spends all his time in the OASIS. I really resonated with him.

I loved the whole premise of the book and all the pop culture references. The one difference between me and Wade is that he has a LOT more drive to reach his goals; it's amazing what all he did to succeed.

Very glad I read the book, and would recommend to others.

Nice work! Definitely a book that is hard to put down. The film is out next week in the UK, I expect a lot of changes but hopefully it will be good fun.

Posted by: Elena99 30th March 2018 10:36
I just finished reading "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeleine L'Engle. I did not read this as a child, so I was reading it for the first time as an adult.

In my opinion, it wasn't very good, even after taking into consideration that this is a children's book. There are no reasons for anything that happens in the book, no explanations. This book is the equivalent of a parent telling a child to do something "because I said so" with no further explanation. Children are smart, they deserve explanations. The characters are also very poorly developed, or not developed at all.

I don't understand why there is a movie about this. Has anyone else read this as an adult and felt this way?

Posted by: fatman 30th June 2018 22:16
I recently read Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames. Fantasy with a nice bit of comedy woven into the narrative. I've always had my comedy fantasy via the legendary Terry Pratchett with his Discworld novels until now so it's interesting to see a different take on it. Very entertaining and well recommended if you want some fun characters and a good story that's not too silly but makes you laugh occasionally.

This one is about a famous band of legendary heroes now retired who consider going on one last adventure due to circumstances. Not quite as tough as they once we're but experienced.

Posted by: Spooniest 1st July 2018 00:02
I've decided to learn Japanese.

"Sake onegashimasu" was the one I wrote down the other day... never hurts to be polite.

I like sweets a whole fuckton by the way. Demon Kunoichi nightmares, and all.

Posted by: AltheaValara 1st July 2018 23:08
My library is doing its annual Summer Reading Program. If you read at least three books, you get a free t-shirt and an entry into a drawing for prizes. I'm a sucker for free stuff_so I'm taking part even though I struggle with reading books these days.

My first book is John Scalzi's "Lock In", which I've read before (there are no rules that the books you read have to be new to you). The premise is this: there was a global pandemic that caused many people to suffer lock in syndrome, where the body is paralyzed but the mind is still active. As one of the victims turns out to be the resident's wife, the United States funds research into helping sufferers lead a more normal life. With the use of a neural net in the brain, they can use "threeps" (robotic bodies) to get around.

The book is fascinating in its explorations of disability and morality, and is a really good fead. I dated it 4 out of 5 stars the first time I read it, and I'm enjoying my re-read.

Posted by: AltheaValara 30th July 2018 00:57
I finished my three books for the summer reading program! Picked up my t-shirt today. cool.gif

Along with John Scalzi's "Lock in", I reread two romance novels by Johanna Lindsey. They've been recently retrieved from my storage unit, where they were out of reach for five years, so it's been a while since i 've read them.

The first was "Gentle Rogue". Lindsey excels at writing banter between the main characters, and this novel was full of it. The premise is a little farfetched: the heroine has a random encounter with the hero, and later just happens to sign on to work as a cabin boy on his ship. Coincidence much? The fun in this novel is whether or not she can keep her disguise as a boy, or if she will be found out. It's a fun novel that I rate 4 out of 5.first

The other romance I read was "The Magic of You". While I enjoyed the book, there are things I didn't like about it. The age difference between the main characters was too extreme for my tastes. Also, the heroine is SO SURE that the hero will fall in love with her that she doesn't take his feelings into account. Which she does realize, but way too late in the story for my liking. Also, I wasn't too thrilled with the depiction of the Chinese characters. Still, despite these flaws there was plenty of fun banter to enjoy. I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.


Posted by: Rangers51 5th June 2019 12:26
My daughter wanted to hit the library during her time off between school and summer camp last week, so I took her. I wasn't really planning on getting anything, as I just hadn't been in a reading mood for quite a while, but on the way out I noticed that they had just gotten a new copy of Ready Player One, which I hadn't read since it was first out like eight years ago, so I decided to grab it.

Next to it was a book that I totally judged by its cover, as the cover was comprised of pixel art of a number of figures, a couple of which appeared robotic and were crossed out. It's The Obsoletes, a new book that was just released last month. It's a relatively short novel about an alternate timeline in which robots live among humans but in many places have to do so incognito, so it's got some parallels to civil rights movements both in our history and our present. But it's mainly about two teenage robots trying to navigate the coming-of-age problems of adolescence, and as such it's got a lot of humor and emotion around social awkwardness, struggles with cliques, and pubescent-style body horror but applied to androids. I tore through it in about two days.


Posted by: Cefca 5th June 2019 16:39
Current reading Rebel (the second Reboot book). I enjoyed the first one so I'm hoping this one will be just as good.

Posted by: Elena99 5th June 2019 21:17
Quote (Rangers51 @ 5th June 2019 09:26)
Next to it was a book that I totally judged by its cover, as the cover was comprised of pixel art of a number of figures, a couple of which appeared robotic and were crossed out. It's The Obsoletes, a new book that was just released last month. It's a relatively short novel about an alternate timeline in which robots live among humans but in many places have to do so incognito, so it's got some parallels to civil rights movements both in our history and our present. But it's mainly about two teenage robots trying to navigate the coming-of-age problems of adolescence, and as such it's got a lot of humor and emotion around social awkwardness, struggles with cliques, and pubescent-style body horror but applied to androids. I tore through it in about two days.


That sounds really interesting, I'll have to look for that. I think I would have picked it up for it's cover, too.

Posted by: Elena99 5th June 2019 21:20
I'm reading Vicious by V.E. Schwab, and I'm really enjoying it. It's about these two university students who figure out that ExtraOrdinaries (basically mutants) can be created when a person has a near-death experience, and it goes from there. Really interesting.

Posted by: AltheaValara 5th June 2019 21:51
The Obsoletes sounds like my kind of book. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for telling us about it!

I signed up for the Summer Reading Program today. This year the theme is film, and it just occurred to me I can re-read Ready Player One for extra credit, as it was made into a movie. Yay!

I also just checked out the ebook of Hidden Figures. I wanted to read it for the Summer program two years ago, when the theme was design, but I couldn't obtain a copy at the time. I've seen the movie and really enjoyed it, so should enjoy the book as well.

Posted by: Elena99 11th December 2019 22:25
Has anyone read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern? I finished it recently and it's really good!

Posted by: Rangers51 13th December 2019 19:47
Quote (Elena99 @ 11th December 2019 16:25)
Has anyone read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern? I finished it recently and it's really good!

I didn't know she'd put out any more books. I recently got a second-hand copy of The Night Circus for fifty cents, as I'd really loved it when I read it when it first came out. I'll have to take a look for that!

I'm currently binge-reading through Discworld, as Hanyou finally pushed me far enough to find them at the library. I'm in the middle of Mort at the moment.

Posted by: St Khael 14th December 2019 04:05
A friend lent me the source material for a genre I heavily favor and now I'm elbow deep in Neuromancer. Beyond that I'm paused in The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman and I'm waiting to get a copy of Starflight by Brandon Sanderson. I've got a lot of reading to do.

Posted by: Cefca 14th December 2019 22:06
The Hunger Games. I'm about two thirds of the way through it. Liking it so far.

Posted by: Rangers51 2nd February 2020 17:47
Quote (Elena99 @ 11th December 2019 16:25)
Has anyone read The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern? I finished it recently and it's really good!

I took a break from Discworld because my hold on the ebook finally came good, and I spent the last week cruising through it and finished it last night. Having read Night Circus when it first released and not again since, my first impression of Starless Sea was that it was trying a bit hard to feel relevant, with too much hipster influence in the characters, relative to the more fairy-tale feel of Night Circus. Once the setting shifted more thoroughly, though, it got far better and actually ended up being a better fairy tale, in my opinion. The intertwining stories and how they all factored in to the denouement made it a much more impressive book than I originally expected, even though it still at times felt like she was playing a game of how much metaphor she could stuff into a single book.

A while back, I requested that my library get a copy of You Look Like a Thing and I Love You and, when we happened to be talking about it in Discord again the other day, I took a look and realized that they'd gotten it. So I just checked that out to my (kid's) Kindle and will start it up soon.

Posted by: AltheaValara 2nd February 2020 23:18
One of my goals this year is to read more. See, when I was a kid, I wanted to be a novelist. That dream has never really left me, but to be a writer, you have to be a reader. And for years I just wasn't reading books. Oh, I still felt like I was getting my necessary intake of story, but it was all coming from video games, not books.

I am pleased to say that so far I've read two books this year!

The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan is a historical romance set in England. The heroine is quite purposely ridiculous, and I absolutely loved her. The hero is interesting in that he's got flaws that he must overcome. There's also a brilliant set of side characters, including a second romance storyline. I quite liked this book more than The Duchess War which is the first book in the series. And the Duchess War wasn't bad at all (I mean, it couldn't have been bad if I picked up the second book, right?) It just lost me once or twice because it felt like the characters knew more than the reader did at times. I've already checked out the third book in the series and will be reading that next.

The second book I read was Lucy Parker's Act Like It, a contemporary romance set in London's West End featuring stage actors. The premise is that the hero has been getting quite bad publicity; to soften his image, his publicist and the play's director insists he pretends to date the heroine, who has an "England's swetheart" vibe. Problem: they rather detest each other. The subtitle of this series is "A Slow Burn Romance", and it's fun to watch them slowly fall for one another. There's also a delightful subversion of a common trope at the climax of the book. I'm looking forward to reading the rest in this series!

I'vs also been working through Code This Game! by Meg Ray with art by Keith Zoo. It's a Python book for kids (hey, I wanted to learn Python but this is all the library had!) It does a fantastic job of introducing programming concepts using fun analogies. Like, to introduce nested loops they used an example of a person making three pizzas with the same toppings that had to be cut into eight pieces each. This is my first intro to Python, and there's some things I don't like about the language (I prefer to have "end" at the end of programming blocks) but that's not the book's fault. I'm amazed at just how fast I was able to get a working game. I've only been working on it for a week, and already I have moving sprites that respond to clicks on the screen.

(Rangers, feel free to edit this to add AmaCoN links if you'd like!)

Posted by: Cefca 3rd February 2020 18:33
I finished reading The Hunger Games books and have moved onto the Moontide Quartet series. I've not got very far into it yet but I'll keep you updated!

Posted by: Elena99 3rd February 2020 21:25
Quote (Rangers51 @ 2nd February 2020 14:47)
Having read Night Circus when it first released and not again since, my first impression of Starless Sea was that it was trying a bit hard to feel relevant, with too much hipster influence in the characters, relative to the more fairy-tale feel of Night Circus. Once the setting shifted more thoroughly, though, it got far better and actually ended up being a better fairy tale, in my opinion. The intertwining stories and how they all factored in to the denouement made it a much more impressive book than I originally expected, even though it still at times felt like she was playing a game of how much metaphor she could stuff into a single book.

A while back, I requested that my library get a copy of You Look Like a Thing and I Love You and, when we happened to be talking about it in Discord again the other day, I took a look and realized that they'd gotten it. So I just checked that out to my (kid's) Kindle and will start it up soon.

I also read Night Circus. I thought it was really good, but the plot didn't make a lot of sense to me in the end.

You Look Like a Thing and I Love You
is on my to-read list! I hope you like it, it sounds interesting.

I'm currently reading a really long book called A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I'm only a third of the way in, but I'm enjoying it. I only have 7 more days until the loan expires, so I need to hurry.

Posted by: chevleclair 3rd February 2020 21:47
If manga/graphic novels count, I just learned Snowpiercer is a French comic. It's actually pretty cool.

Posted by: AltheaValara 6th February 2020 20:30
Quote (AltheaValara @ 2nd February 2020 17:18)

I'vs also been working through Code This Game! by Meg Ray with art by Keith Zoo. It's a Python book for kids (hey, I wanted to learn Python but this is all the library had!)

I've finished Code This Game! it was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. The first part of the book has you build a simple tower defense game; at the end of that section, you have a working game, but it's trivial to win it. The second section encourages you to hack your game to balance it, and add levels of difficulty. Finally, the book suggests three other games you can now build on your own. I am probably going to take one of their suggestions and build a Space Invaders clone.

Yesterday I read through another Python book, also from the kid's section of the library: Coding Projects in Python, DK Publishing (various authors). This is another zero-to-code book that assumes you have no experience, so was rather below my level. It's got lots of fun projects in it, but.. Well, I can't get too excited about Turtle graphics (which s lot of the programs used) as they are dead simple. I did learn how dictionaries work in Python, and how to display a dialog box. While it would be a good intro for the beginning programmer, I felt Code This Game! was more suited to my needs.

Posted by: columbus17 19th February 2020 09:44
Currently reading Neuromancer by William Gibson. Seems like it's the first cyber-punk book or something. I decided to read it before playing Cyberpunk 2077 smile.gif

Posted by: Rangers51 19th February 2020 14:31
Quote (Elena99 @ 3rd February 2020 15:25)
You Look Like a Thing and I Love You is on my to-read list! I hope you like it, it sounds interesting.

I don't know how much of it you couldn't get by reading her blog, to be honest, but the book was well-organized and well-presented for a layman's introduction into machine learning. It doesn't dive too much into the nuts and bolts, which, as someone who has recently both watched a local presentation and started a class on machine learning, I'm glad that it didn't go any deeper than it did. It also made me laugh out loud a number of times, which says to me that she included a lot that she hadn't blogged about in the past or I'd just forgotten - either way was good enough for me. smile.gif

I've shifted back into Discworld right now, and I'd say I'm probably approaching the halfway point of the entire series.

Posted by: mertinatron 8th April 2020 15:12
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
It's quaint, a little dated in parts but still very enjoyable

Posted by: AltheaValara 9th April 2020 19:42
I'm continuing my way through Courtney Milan's bibliography. I recently finished The Countess Conspiracy. Folks, if you like romance novels, I highly recommend this one. It is utterly brilliant, and perfect, and all kinds of wonderful.

I've been reading romances since I was a teenager. Back then they were highly predictable: heroine and hero meet and fall in lust with each other, but dance around each other with lots of witty dialogue before finally coming together. But they deny their feelings for each other, until the damsel gets in distress and shoot, the hero realizes he does love her after all, so he rescues her and they live happily ever after, the end.

Yawn.

The problem with these old romances is that there was nothing to convince the reader that the couple was in love, other than the author saying so. And then you have The Countess Conspiracy, which is entirely about love. Halfway through the book, I was convinced they loved each other given how they acted towards one another. It's wonderful.

Couple that with a heroine who has complete agency - rare for a historical romance - and you have a fantastic book.

About that "historical romance" bit - it actually teeters on being an alternative history. The book opens with a bombshell of a revelation, which I won't spoil. All I can say is that the characters showed up in the previous two books (The Duchess War and The Heiress Effect) and I did not see this plot twist coming. My jaw literally dropped as I read it.

Five stars, A+++, would definitely read again

Posted by: Eagle Caller 25th April 2020 05:08
I read sporadic passages in Don Quixote. It's listed as one of the greatest stories of all time. I agree with my cousin it's not that good imo.

Posted by: Kane 30th April 2020 02:23
Before my city--and the library--went into lockdown mode, I'd been devouring The Long Price Quartet by Daniel Abraham. I'm halfway through and am even more desperate than normal for physical distancing to end so that I can get to the last two books.

(I should probably just buy them all at this point, but I'm quite poor these days.)

The books are slow character-driven affairs, set in a world where certain people--poets--can bind abstract ideas into physical form to control them. They're quite compelling, so I highly recommend them if you're interested in fantasy.

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