× Use the stickied threads for short updates.

Please consider adding your quick impressions and your rating to the game entry in our Board Game Directory after you post your thoughts so others can find them!

Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.

What BOOK(s) are you reading?

More
03 Oct 2011 21:20 #104978 by jay718
I brought Anathem to the beach a few weeks ago and just couldn't get into it. I found myself having to re-read almost every page numerous times as my eyes would glaze over but would continue to mechanically 'read.'

I really enjoyed The Magicians. I didn't know the sequel was out yet. I'll have to pick it up this week.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 00:44 #104989 by dysjunct
Just finished THE WINDUP GIRL by some Italian guy. Pretty good biopunk set in Thailand after the end of cheap oil and a bunch of mutagenic diseases make growing food hard.

Also finished THE GAMEMASTERY GUIDE for the Pathfinder RPG. Or mostly skimmed. It was good material, system agnostic, good advice for running an RPG, except that given the graying of the hobby, the target audience already knows all of it. It did have a crapton of random tables, which I liked.

Slogging through SHOBOGENZO, by Dogen, who founded one of the two major branches of Japanese zen. I picked this up because I am sympathetic to Buddhism in a lot of ways, but have gotten to the point where I wanted to go beyond the popular expositions and go more to the source. It's still interesting but about as exciting as a medieval Japanese tome is going to get. The first chapter instructs a monk on the proper way to wipe one's ass in a monastery prior to the invention of toilet paper.

Breezed through Sam Harris' LYING. A pretty good, if light, defense of radical honesty as a way of life.

Tim Cartmell's book on Sun Style Taijiquan. I teach the short form at the local park, this is the longer, original form.

Re: Stephenson. I read Cyptonomicon and was done. I liked his earlier stuff but everything lately has seemed overwrought. I read Abercrombie's HEROES and liked it after all, but it was slow going at first.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 01:16 #104990 by mjl1783
The Greatest American Sports Writing of the Century - I'm not a huge sports fan, and I think sports take up way too much fucking news coverage in this country, but where else can you read guys like Talese, Thompson, Plimpton, and Mailer all in one volume?

Herman Hesse's Siddhartha - Nice little afternoon read following the travels of an Indian mystic. It helped put some perspective on An Intellectual History of Modern China, which I had recently been struggling mightily to understand, and I found to be awash in that same mystic "unity of existence" sort of cosmological musing that seems to inform a lot of Chinese philosophical thought. It's all bullshit, if you ask me, but interesting nonetheless.

Fundamentals of Cognitive Psychology - Just a college textbook I found at a thrift store. The subject fascinates me, but the more I understand about how humans percieve and make decisions, the more depressed I become.

A Short History of the World by Geoffery Blainey - Title says it all; the Ice Age to the Space Age in 500 pages, written by an Aussie. It's a weird one. He gives a lot of ink to things like ancient Japanese pottery making and 12th century agriculture, but glosses over stuff like the French Revolution and WWI almost entirely. I don't even think Chruchill or Shakespeare get a mention. That's fine with me though, since it ends up being so much less dry without a confusing broad brushstrokes precis of the myriad wars and petty political struggles of Midieval Europe stuck in the middle.

Currently reading Der Untertan by Heinrich Mann on Schweig!'s recommendation; an anti-nationalist story about a preposterously servile little weasel living in pre-WWI Germany who serves as a stand-in for Wilhelmine German society in general, I guess.
The following user(s) said Thank You: jur, Schweig!

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 02:57 #104992 by Not Sure

Disgustipater wrote: 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.


I really like Max Barry, and haven't gotten to this one yet. His corporations are always far-fetched, every novel before this has been some sort of corporate satire.

The last few things I've read:

Embassytown - China Míeville
His take on a pure SF setting with aliens. Always descriptive, and I really enjoy the different styles he's been working on over the last few books. I'd recommend this one to people who like Stephenson.

Failure Is Not An Option - Gene Kranz
Mission Control from Mercury through Apollo, a different story entirely when it's not focused on the astronauts.

A Scattering of Jades - Alexander Irvine
Somebody call Tim Powers, because he's missing a novel. Not really, because Irvine cops to the fact that he's painting inside the lines there. Still, probably a better Powers than the last couple of actual ones.

I promise i'm not going to go on tilt about Stephenson again, it's all in the archives, and I've done it too many times now. I want to read his new book, after I finish John Crowley's Daemonomania.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 03:01 #104993 by Space Ghost

Re: Stephenson. I read Cyptonomicon and was done. I liked his earlier stuff but everything lately has seemed overwrought.


I liked Crytonomicon...but I couldn't get through the Baroque Cyce or whatever it was called. What a morass of self-important writing....

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 03:11 #104994 by dysjunct

Space Ghost wrote:

Re: Stephenson. I read Cyptonomicon and was done. I liked his earlier stuff but everything lately has seemed overwrought.


I liked Crytonomicon...but I couldn't get through the Baroque Cyce or whatever it was called. What a morass of self-important writing....


Yeah, I got through about a quarter of the Baroque Cycle and maybe a tenth of Anathem. Maybe I'm just shallow but there's so many books out there that are both good AND interesting from the beginning, the whole "just wait till page XX where it REALLY takes off" just seems like a huge waste of my life.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 03:21 #104995 by lfisher
I didn't finish Cryptonomicon, but I should go back sometime. Haven't tried Baroque cycle.

LOVE Anathem, one of my favorites. I thought it was pretty interesting from the beginning and each "section" COMPLETELY changes everything, which I love.

Reading REAMDE now, very fun and easy to get into.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 14:10 #105018 by ThirstyMan
I think you're entirely wrong in presenting Stephenson as some sort of obscure, difficult novelist with self abuse tendencies.

That's bollocks, he writes well and it actually is worth the effort. Anyone who says otherwise gets a knee in the nutsack.
The following user(s) said Thank You: mikecl

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 14:53 #105021 by Xlyce
Replied by Xlyce on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
What Andyinkuwait said...

Currently I am reading The Earth will Shake, book one of the Historical Illuminatus trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson.

I just finished the first ten of the SPQR series by John Maddox Roberts. These are detective novels set during the days of the decline of the Roman Empire.

The Illuminoids by Neil Wilgus, a far more serious (non-fiction) conspiracy book touching on the Bilderburgers and Adam Weishaupt. Apparently he murdered George Washington and took his place as president of the US.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
04 Oct 2011 20:06 #105044 by Fallen
I've been reading:
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski;
Game of Thrones: A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin;
The Wheel of Time: The Gathering Storm by Brandon Sanderson;
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Oct 2011 00:07 #105055 by Not Sure

Xlyce wrote: What Andyinkuwait said...

Currently I am reading The Earth will Shake, book one of the Historical Illuminatus trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson.


A shame he never finished those. I love bizarro Robert Anton Wilson. I think I stopped after the second (because they were all out of print at the time). From what I understand there were supposed to be five, and the third (last) basically just ends hanging.

Stephenson desperately needs an editor, and has trouble ending a story in a satisfactory way for most people. He can really write though, which makes him so very frustrating when he inevitably drives a great book off a cliff.

(still being restrained, but if he keeps coming up, it's not off-topic ranting.)

He's nowhere near as difficult, obscure, or abusive as many other writers, though.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Oct 2011 05:08 - 05 Oct 2011 05:08 #105061 by mikecl
I've just finished Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin and Zoo City by Lauren Beukes and am currently reading The Forest Laird, by Jack Whyte (the story of William Wallace).
Last edit: 05 Oct 2011 05:08 by mikecl.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Oct 2011 13:43 #105071 by Dair
Replied by Dair on topic What BOOK(s) are you reading?
I took three months to get through Infinite Jest and it was well worth it.

In the midst of that, I listened to Dune Messiah and I'm almost finished with Children of Dune. I didn't care much for Messiah. Children of Dune is better and I'm in the last quarter of the book. It is getting more interesting now. I will definitely stop after this one, but can't really recommend either to anyone. Read Dune and then stop would be my recommendation to anyone interested.

I've also listened to about 1/2 of Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book. It is a young adult novel, but I'm enjoying it so far.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Oct 2011 13:46 #105072 by san il defanso
Since the beginning of August, I've been reading Brandon Sanderson's The Way of Kings. This is a 1200-page behemoth that Sanderson says is the first in a series of ten (10) books.

The book has taken me a while, but a lot of that is just life getting in the way. It's been pretty solid so far, with about 150 pages left. I like the main characters a lot, and he does a very good job of world-building. He's also aces at action sequences. The prologue reads like something out of the Matrix.

The plot has been much more meandering. It definitely has the feel of being mostly set-up. And although the plot DOES move forward, it does so subtly, without hinging on huge swings in the narrative. That can make it feel like it's moving very slowly.

But in the end, I've enjoyed it a lot. It's a LOOOOOONNNG book, but I haven't ever felt bored by it. That's the key thing, I guess.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
05 Oct 2011 14:19 #105075 by NeonPeon
I've been reading some Robert E. Howard Conan stories! Fun, simple stuff. Almost makes me want to play some back-to-basics fantasy RPGs again.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Fallen

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

Moderators: Gary SaxFrohike
Time to create page: 0.275 seconds