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What BOOK(s) are you reading?

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30 May 2008 20:41 - 26 Jan 2012 18:56 #7321 by ubarose
Tell us what books you have been reading.

• Use this thread for short, conversational posts and updates only, NOT in depth reports, lengthy discussions, mini-reviews, recommendation requests etc.
• Please start new threads in the Books & Comics forum for longer, more in depth posts and discussions of specific books and related topics.
Last edit: 26 Jan 2012 18:56 by ubarose.

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03 Oct 2011 13:12 #104912 by Space Ghost
Since June, I have read several books and thought this would be a nice way to get the thread restarted. In reverse chronological order:

Ready Player One: I can't imagine anyone at this site not liking this book due to all the references to the majority of our childhoods (late 70s and 80s). Set in a bleak future, the book is about mastering an online game that is full of 80s reference in order to win a millionaires inheritance.

Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart: Picked this up at an airport. I actually quite liked it -- about the hijinks of a couple of graverobbers. The protagonists are pretty deplorable, and the book has several things that would offend many. On the whole, this book is deeper than its gruff exterior, including many things such as: superstition vs. theology, historical reference, folklore, satire, and a good poke in the eye at general fantasy style.

The Enterprise of Death: By the same offer as the Brothers Grossbart (and I guess, technically, I read this after the other one, so my chronological order is shot to hell). This is about a necromancer during the Inquisition -- quite a bit more entertaining, and retains all te same black humor as his other book.

In the Garden of the Beasts: By the author of the Devil in the White City, this is a historical fiction (based on copious references and documentation) about the life of the last American ambassador, Alexander Dodd, in Berlin during the rise of Hitler. A very interesting view and take on the culture and climate of Germany prior to World War II.

The Room: A popular bestseller right now that is about a mother and son held hostage in someone's garden shed for several years. The entire story is most interesting because it is from the point of view of the son. Could have been somewhat better -- especially after the first 1/3 of the book.

Denialism: A book about why people eschew science with strong evidence in favor of things that are less well supported (alternative medicine, vaccines, and the like). Very good book that is a mix of psychology, statistics, and science.

Dracula: Nice to reread this after several years. Just very well written in terms of horror genre -- makes me wonder how so many modern authors can get their stuff published.

Currently, I have delved into the Martian Chronicles for the first time ever. Princess of Mars was entertaining, and I am starting in the on the 2nd one.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Matt Thrower, Fallen

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03 Oct 2011 13:19 #104913 by Schweig!
Christopher Hitchens - Letters to a young Contrarian

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03 Oct 2011 13:33 #104915 by Gary Sax
We read Dracula months ago. It was pretty good, just slow.

Been reading Europe Between the Oceans 9000BC-1000AD

www.amazon.com/Europe-Between-Oceans-900...id=1317648651&sr=8-1

It's very good---archaeology oriented book on early Europe. I can only read a chapter or so at a time, since it's fairly archaeology oriented for the first half. Has taught me a lot of stuff I didn't know, especially about early pre-history Europe.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Sagrilarus

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03 Oct 2011 13:45 - 03 Oct 2011 13:46 #104919 by ThirstyMan
Heresy great medieval novel surrounding murderous goings on in medieval Oxford by SJ Parris. I really like this kind of 'Name of the Rose' type story. Very atmospheric.

A Distant Mirror brilliant non fiction by Barbara Tuchman concentrating on the life of a Duke in 14th Century in France. Day to day life, justice, class war and all that. Really well written.

Quicksilver excellent fiction by Neal Stephenson. Read this. Enthralling look at science and life in 17th Century. This is a really immersive read. Book aside a few hours at a time...my wife knows if she interrupts me reading Stephenson's books that I will be forced to shoot her in the face.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2011 13:46 by ThirstyMan.

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03 Oct 2011 14:10 #104926 by Matt Thrower
Recently I have been reading The Naked And The Dead.

The blurb would have you believe it's a war novel. It's not. It just uses the US military as a backdrop to explore the dynamics of power between individuals. And of course the ranking system and the officer/enlisted division is a great place to do just that. It's a strange book, very slow burning, occasional drifts off into pretentiousness and it ends very abruptly, almost as if the author got bored. But on the whole fairly unique, and definitely a worthwhile read - they eye for character and social detail is extraordinary and totally convincing.

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03 Oct 2011 14:21 #104929 by Merkles
That Used to be Us by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg

Search for Christian America
by Noll, et. al.

Battle for New York
by Barnet Schecter

Radicalism of the American Revolution by Gordon Wood

Lost Regiment Series by Forstchen

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03 Oct 2011 15:34 #104935 by Dr. Mabuse
A Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin. Great stuff, I enjoyed this more than A Feast For Crows. My major problem with the series is that it will probably take him another 10-15 years to complete it. The dude is already in his 60's.

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie. Set again in the world he created for his previous books Heroes is centred around a battlefield in The North.

Currently reading A Wise Man's Fearby Patrick Rothfuss

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03 Oct 2011 16:29 - 03 Oct 2011 22:39 #104944 by Disgustipater
Stranger in a Strange Land - Robert Heinlein. I thought this was pretty good most of the way. Then I hit the sex cult stuff near the end and it just got all weird.

Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein. I was expecting some more action than there was (i.e. any), but it was interesting none the less.

Machine Man - Max Barry. A nice quick read that started out promising, but I found the corporation in the story to be a bit far-fetched.

Ghouls of the Miskatonic - Graham McNeill. I assumed from the start that it would be terrible. It was been pretty boring, and the author needed to dial back his adjective use. All the characters are investigators from the game, which I found to be cheesy at first, but I realized that I'm reading a book based on a board game, so what did I expect? Definitely wont be reading any of their other novels.

Halting State - Charles Stross. I'm just about to start this one, and I've been meaning to get to it for a while.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2011 22:39 by Disgustipater.

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03 Oct 2011 17:12 - 03 Oct 2011 17:31 #104950 by Sagrilarus

andyinkuwait wrote: A Distant Mirror brilliant non fiction by Barbara Tuchman concentrating on the life of a Duke in 14th Century in France. Day to day life, justice, class war and all that. Really well written.


Pulitzer Prize winner. Her other Pulitzer went to The Guns of August which was excellent as well. I still pull it out occasionally and turn to a random chapter and read a bit.

Tuchman has a knack for the street-level view of history and both of these books put a lot of emphasis in that. What I've been looking for recently is a book on the economic/labor market effects of the plague years, which Tuchman touches on, but all too lightly.

S.
Last edit: 03 Oct 2011 17:31 by Sagrilarus.

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03 Oct 2011 17:53 #104957 by Million Dollar Mimring
Pontypool Changes Everything - More of an experiment than a book but enjoyable all the same. The idea of the zombie virus travelling through words proved to be an interesting concept.

Red Harvest - It's Hammett, it's great, and it's taken far too long for me to actually get around to the book.

The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To - I found out about this book because I found Derrick Comedy to be pretty funny. Two things happened because of Derrick Comedy: I started keeping up with Community, and I found out that DC Pierson had written a novel. The book reminds me of Lethem. Not bad and very easy to read.

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03 Oct 2011 18:58 #104964 by jay718
I Couldn't get through the Brothers Grossbart, but I loved The Enterprise of Death. It felt like he grew up a bit as a writer. Maybe I'll Give Grossbart another shot in a month or two.

Since June I've read:
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen- His first novel since The Corrections. This had gotten some bad press, but I loved it. It's been several years since I read The Corrections, but I think I'ts my favorite of the two. The end had me bawling.

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan I couldn't put this down; in fact, I read it in a 24 hour period. Great book partly about the music industry but more about intertwined relationships over several decades.Very novel approach to point of view writing. I think this has already been optioned for an HBO series. Great book.

The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson- (different guy) Another one that I zipped through, this ones about a family of performance 'artists' and the effects their lifestyle had on their children. If you liked Geek Love, you'll probably like this one.

The Kingdom of Thorn and Bone series by Gregory Keyes- A newer fantasy series that really isn't much to speak of. Started out fairly strong and then fizzled.

The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham- This one was great. The first in a new series this takes place in a world where dragons once ruled and created 13 races of 'human' as slaves. One of the better new fantasy novels that I've read in recent years.

Divisadero by Michael Ondatje- I really liked this one until it got into the early life of a European author that had almost nothing to do with the rest of story. I'm no literary critic, but I just didn't get it. The prose in this isn't nearly as poetic as Ondatje's earlier work.

Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey (a pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) The first novel of a new space opera. Another great read. Set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system but not beyond. There's serious animosity between Earthers and Belters (people born off earth, easily recognized by their simulated gravity adapted bodies) This is a detective story in the midst of an impending civil war. Looking forward to the next one.

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie- I can't say enough about this author. I absolutely love his stuff. Dark, hilarious, brutally violent. Believable non-one dimensional characters which is saying a lot for fantasy. I can't get enough.

I also read A Dance With Dragons of course.

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03 Oct 2011 19:07 #104965 by Sagrilarus

Gary Sax wrote: We read Dracula months ago. It was pretty good, just slow.

Been reading Europe Between the Oceans 9000BC-1000AD

www.amazon.com/Europe-Between-Oceans-900...id=1317648651&sr=8-1

It's very good---archaeology oriented book on early Europe. I can only read a chapter or so at a time, since it's fairly archaeology oriented for the first half. Has taught me a lot of stuff I didn't know, especially about early pre-history Europe.


I enjoyed Before The Dawn by Wade a year or two back, covering a similar time span.

www.amazon.com/Before-Dawn-Recovering-Hi.../ref=wl_mb_hu_m_3_dp

S.

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03 Oct 2011 19:55 #104968 by CranBerries
Forcing myself through the first 200 pages of Anathem, at which point it is supposed to get better. Just finished "The Magicians" and "The Magician King". Taken as a single work, they are great fun and would appeal to many Fatties.

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03 Oct 2011 20:02 #104970 by Disgustipater

craniac wrote: Forcing myself through the first 200 pages of Anathem, at which point it is supposed to get better.

Personally, I felt the 1,000 pages of build-up was not worth the payoff. Granted, I've mostly stuck with his lighter fare and I haven't read Cryptonomicon or the Baroque Cycle, so take that as you will.

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