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June 28th, 2008, 11:09
I think I've found my guru.

From now on, whenever the Middle East comes up in P&R, I'll simply post a page reference.

The book in question is called The Politics of Chaos in the Middle East, and the author is one Olivier Roy. He says everything I want to say on the topic, only he says it way better and backs it up with a lifetime of research. The book is only about 160 pages in large print; it takes about four hours to read.

If I could force people to read (and understand) a single book on the Middle East, political Islam, and the West's position relative to them, this would be it.

[ http://cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-2…he-middle-east ]

(Interesting little factoids there too, btw. For example, I didn't know that Al Qaeda's current spokesman in Pakistan, Adam Yahiye Gadahn, is a Californian formerly known as Adam Pearlman…)
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July 2nd, 2008, 16:15
Still reading Wizard's First Rule, first book of the Sword of Truth series.

Long freakin book! Bout halfway thru, into the Darken Rahl viewpoint now. I like it, pretty good read
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July 2nd, 2008, 17:00
I'm currently speedreading to improve my grades and I know I am able to get straight A's. I am currently 63.8% there and during the summer I will earn another 7.1%. At this moment I'm studying "Computer Knowledge" in it's most basic form ("Where's the Start Menu" and "How do I copy files in Windows"). It's a bit silly, and I sometimes feel that I am exploiting the system, but right now I have no grade at all which is not good. It's always better to have what you can on paper. It's possible to test knowledge in Sweden, earning grades without actually taking courses… but there are only 4 such tests per year and I have all four booked already.

Except for "studying", I'm having a Star Wars summer. I have bought the Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game as well as the rest of the books released for that game. I am also reading the third book in the Thrawn Trilogy known as "The Last Command".
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July 2nd, 2008, 17:54
@Sammy- I thought the first 3-4 books from Goodkind were great reads. The series started getting very stale for me after that, and I've had the last volume I bought (book 7?) on my shelf for a couple years now collecting dust.

Finished another Myth book from Robert Asprin (With Jody Nye). He seems to be getting back some of the pacing that made the series so good back in the day. Not quite 100%, but worth the read. Started the latest Recluse book from Modesitt and it's already sucked me right in.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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July 3rd, 2008, 11:20
I'm currentlly reading a rather small, but not uninteresting book on the restauration(s) of the town all of Basel, Swiss/Switzerland.

It's interestting how this building evolved through the times, and what techniques had been used.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 3rd, 2008, 18:34
dte, Modesitt is one of my favourite authors. I was hoping the latest Recluse would be available while I'm on your side of the world.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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July 3rd, 2008, 18:42
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I'm currently speedreading to improve my grades and I know I am able to get straight A's. I am currently 63.8% there and during the summer I will earn another 7.1%. At this moment I'm studying "Computer Knowledge" in it's most basic form ("Where's the Start Menu" and "How do I copy files in Windows"). It's a bit silly, and I sometimes feel that I am exploiting the system, but right now I have no grade at all which is not good. It's always better to have what you can on paper. It's possible to test knowledge in Sweden, earning grades without actually taking courses… but there are only 4 such tests per year and I have all four booked already.
What grades are you going for? I mean which direction?
Btw, don't you work already? I'm asking this because imo experience is vastly more important that piece of paper.
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Except for "studying", I'm having a Star Wars summer. I have bought the Star Wars Saga Edition roleplaying game as well as the rest of the books released for that game. I am also reading the third book in the Thrawn Trilogy known as "The Last Command".
Those are the best Star Wars books I've read by Timothy Zahn (or sth like that), is it not?

so very, very tired (Star Trek XI quote according to the Simpsons)
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July 3rd, 2008, 18:56
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
dte, Modesitt is one of my favourite authors. I was hoping the latest Recluse would be available while I'm on your side of the world.
I'm working on "Natural Ordermage" now. The followup, "Mage-Guard of Hamor" is supposed to be available in hardcover at the end of this month, so you should be in luck.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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July 3rd, 2008, 19:27
Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
Those are the best Star Wars books I've read by Timothy Zahn, is it not?
I'd instantly agree.

By the way, "Zahn" means in German language exactly "tooth".

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 3rd, 2008, 21:47
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
I'd instantly agree.

By the way, "Zahn" means in German language exactly "tooth".
The best German word imo is the word for onions. It sounds so funny.

On topic:

I'm reading Markus Heitz: The Dwarves and the successor it. Because I don't know a thing about the third official language in my country (it's German), I read them in Dutch.

so very, very tired (Star Trek XI quote according to the Simpsons)
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July 4th, 2008, 02:41
I know these books, but haven't read them so far.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 4th, 2008, 06:27
Ah yes, Markus Heitz and his Dwarves. I read pretty much everything he wrote (50 or so novels by now) though just in manuscript form; I'm one of the Heitz beta readers.
You should definitely play his Dwarves gamebook No. 2* even though it's out in German only.
Spoiler – *even only because…

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July 4th, 2008, 11:43
Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
What grades are you going for? I mean which direction?
Btw, don't you work already? I'm asking this because imo experience is vastly more important that piece of paper.
I'm aiming for an academic career, probably blending psychology/philosophy with social anthropology or sociology.

Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
Those are the best Star Wars books I've read by Timothy Zahn (or sth like that), is it not?
Yup, they are, and yes, they are really good.
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July 4th, 2008, 12:20
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
I'm aiming for an academic career, probably blending psychology/philosophy with social anthropology or sociology.
Please take a short look into cultures as well.

My personal advice to you : Try to consider culture(s) as kind of an "Siedlungshügel" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tell). I came to the believe that this helps explaining where things come from and why they are the way they are.

“ Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.“ (E.F.Schumacher, Economist, Source)
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July 4th, 2008, 12:21
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
You should definitely play his Dwarves gamebook No. 2* even though it's out in German only.
Spoiler – *even only because…
Where can I get it? And also very important for me, is it available in an other language then German?

edit: answered the first question myself with google.

Perhaps I should learn some German. It would benefit when I go skiing in Austria.(Don't do that anymore now, but when I meet the right person .. -> there isn't anything yet, but there's a start)

so very, very tired (Star Trek XI quote according to the Simpsons)
Last edited by Bartacus; July 4th, 2008 at 12:28.
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July 4th, 2008, 16:43
Originally Posted by Alrik Fassbauer View Post
Please take a short look into cultures as well.
My personal advice to you : Try to consider culture(s) as kind of an "Siedlungshügel" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tell). I came to the believe that this helps explaining where things come from and why they are the way they are.
Thanks.

The origins of human behavior is what I am interested in, and culture is definitely integrated in that interest (as well as idea-history, or whatever it's called in English). I have 1 year left to read up my grades and I will start to plan what courses to go around christmas.
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July 4th, 2008, 16:44
At the moment I'm struggling with Park Goodwin's 'The Snake Oil Wars'. It's interesting how some authors can be hit or miss. I loved Mr. Goodwin's earlier effort, 'Waiting for the Galactic Bus', but tSOW seems to lack the energy and momentum of the first novel.

Anne Rice is the same for me, her books can either be 'can't put down page turners' or complete snores and I never can tell which they'll be until I start them.
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July 4th, 2008, 16:55
Hi Gig! Great to see you. I totally agree on Ann Rice. Have you read any of her books since she had her conversion back to Christianity? The last I read from her was Memnoch the Devil, which I thought was a pretty scathing commentary on the Christian religion along with being a pretty good tale, but I'm wondering how she's reconciled all that in her new stuff—I'm kind of afriad to try it in case it is as yawn-inducing as I think it might be.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 4th, 2008, 17:35
Originally Posted by Bartacus View Post
Where can I get it? And also very important for me, is it available in an other language then German?
Amazon .de has it in stock… and it's not available in any language other than German. Pegasus (the game book publisher) is quite a small publishing house.

Currently, I'm reading the Bible. Made it to Judges *sigh*.
Other than that, I'm reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain Fighting Fantasy gamebook… as a bedtime story for sonny.

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July 4th, 2008, 18:12
Originally Posted by Jaz View Post
Currently, I'm reading the Bible. Made it to Judges *sigh*.
Other than that, I'm reading the Warlock of Firetop Mountain Fighting Fantasy gamebook… as a bedtime story for sonny.
Ug, that's a bit of an effort. If you're really reading it "cover to cover." There are bits in there that feel like 40 years in the desert, in a manner of speaking.

As Woody Allen put it, "God was a very uneven writer."
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