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December 26th, 2007, 16:46
I've decided to expand my literary horizons by reading some intellectual material (not)…

Reading The Army Of Darkness RPG core rulebook (got it for Christmas). I don't know if I will ever get my gaming group to play it, but it's pretty fun stuff to read.

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December 26th, 2007, 17:26
Just finished Agents of Light and Darkness by Simon R Green. Not going to win any awards, but very enjoyable. I picked up a couple more books in the series the other day, so there will be more to come.

I pulled Robin Hobb's Mad Ship out of the drawer this morning (expecting a very slow day at work), but I don't know if I'll start it or not. The first book in the series didn't exactly grab me (partially my fault, and partially the book's) but I bought the last two books of the trilogy so I'm feeling a little obligated to work on them.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 29th, 2007, 00:33
Currently: This forum
Sometimes it's even better than any novels
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December 29th, 2007, 12:58
Read another two books: La Force Qui Nous Manque by Eva Joly, and Suomen historian suuret myytit by Osmo Jussila. The former is a short autobiography of the world's leading anti-corruption investigator/prosecutor (she's the one who busted the Elf case in France a while back), and the latter is a discussion of myths in Finnish historiography and popular consciousness.

I was quite impressed by the former; less so by the latter, which I found to be carelessly written, uneven, and lacking in focus. Sort of like one of my more long-winded postings here, only blown up to 200 pages; not something I'd expect in hard covers and written by a respected professor emeritus.
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December 29th, 2007, 16:41
I just finished the last book in the Sword of Truth series: Confessor

It is a good book, with two exceptions:

1) too many rephrases and repetitions of Terry Goodkind's underlying philosophy
2) too many lucky coincidences for my taste - okay - it is a fantasy novel

all in all a great series.

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. - HL Mencken
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December 30th, 2007, 00:19
I recently finished the Dreamers series by Eddings!! What a disappointment. Much was recycled from previous novels with only the names changed. Anyone remember a female child goddess who likes to be kissed?? The ending was crap and half of each novel was a retelling of the same events from another character's perspective. The writing was frequently juvenile, as was the humour (if you can call it that)!! Had it been his first series, it would never have been published it's so puerile. Bottom line; he's a totally burnt out writer with nary a skeric of originality left in him!! Avoid at all costs.

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 30th, 2007, 00:32
Begun Skulduggery Pleasant … nice book, begins to catch me on.

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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December 30th, 2007, 03:49
Hurts to say it being a major Eddings fan, but you're right, Corwin.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 30th, 2007, 07:02
Hey, I've read everything he's written and most of them I own. I used the Library for the Dreamers as they're not out in PB here yet. It's sad how far his work has deteriorated; he just doesn't have any more books left in him and is now trading on his reputation!! Compare that to say Feist who is still being creative!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 30th, 2007, 07:20
I'm just hoping the Dreamers was something to pay the bills or satisfy a contract while he's working on a "real" series. It would be a real shame if Dreamers is all he's got left in him.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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December 30th, 2007, 16:15
Originally Posted by HiddenX View Post
I just finished the last book in the Sword of Truth series: Confessor

It is a good book, with two exceptions:

1) too many rephrases and repetitions of Terry Goodkind's underlying philosophy
2) too many lucky coincidences for my taste - okay - it is a fantasy novel

all in all a great series.
I will be reading that pretty soon. I didn't even know it was out yet.

I was hoping Goodkind would stop repetiting the same thing over and over and over again. He did that in the last book and it really annoyed the hell out of me. I felt like yelling at the book "Ok, I get it now. Stop telling me the same thing over and over."

That being said I still love every one of his books about Richard and Kahlan and I like his philosophy on life. My only complaint is the repetition.

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December 31st, 2007, 06:42
If you don't like repetition, don't read the Dreamers!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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December 31st, 2007, 11:44
I got a few new books on Jul and my 30th birthday (the 29'th):
Leviathan by Thomas Hobbs, one of the more influential books on the western civilization and the modern world.

When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball, a baptist minister who write down five warning signs that a religion is going evil;
* Absolute Truth Claims
* Blind Obedience
* Establishing the "Ideal" Time
* The End Justifies Any Means
* Declaring Holy War

The Christ Conspiracy & Suns of God by Acharya S. The theory that several religions such as Christianity are connected to natural phenomenon and pagan religions is not new but Acharya S is one of the most recent author on the subject. The first book was highly controversial and had a few unverified claims in it. The second book is more of an updated version, fixing the issues with the first one.
Last edited by JemyM; December 31st, 2007 at 11:50.
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December 31st, 2007, 13:26
This shows my political stripe, but I just finished two books that leave me satisfied but depressed.

The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

About "shocking" countries either through regime change, natural disasters, or war; to make countries ripe for applying Milton Friedman's Chicago School economy on those countries.

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran

Though not related to "The Shock Doctrine", it came out before, it is a good example of "shock therapy" applied to Iraq. Studied incompetence to destroy a country's infrastructure to make a clean slate for privatization, flat tax rate, unlimited foreign "investment" (trying to steal Iraq's oil wealth in other words), and other Chicago school travesties.

Favorite RPG's. Ultima Underworld, Baldur's Gate, Fallout, Planescape Torment, Knights of the Old Republic, Neverwinter Nights, Vampire: The Masquerade, and The Witcher.
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December 31st, 2007, 16:13
Originally Posted by Eliaures View Post
The Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

Imperial Life in the Emerald City by Rajiv Chandrasekaran
I saw both of these authors interviewed by Stewart. Naomi gave an interesting and disturbing look on how people in power could use disasters, natural or otherwise, to promote their agendas *cough* Patriot Act *cough*

Life in the Emerald City is also about how America walled off a section of Iraq (The Green Zone) and made it into a small American island. They would have their command and control center from this safe haven. Not exactly the most horrible of ideas but one that was doomed to failure due to the ineptitude of the people assigned to the post and the powers that be. I kid you not the administration sent in 3 guys to do the infrastructure. Let's put this in perspective Germans brought in 8,000 to help rebuild Germany after the war(I got this fact from the interview) and for all you factistas out there I'm sure it wasn't exactly 8,000 but give or take a few hundred. We send in 3, once again for all you factistas I'm sure that this number is the exact one . Also, people were asked about who they voted for when being assigned to this post. If you think this guy is making things up, he was there for a very long time. He saw all this. All of these little tidbits are from the interview check it out here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/in…chandrasekaran

I know I saw the Shock Doctrine not too long ago but I can't find it anywhere at the Daily Show (stupid beta webpage)

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December 31st, 2007, 17:10
As I heard about the book by Naomi Klein ("klein" means in German language "small", by the way), I was quite impressed. I haven't read the book, but the whole concept makes too much disturbing sense to me.

I guess she's an HSP so that she's able to perceive these things.

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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January 1st, 2008, 04:54
Originally Posted by Corwin View Post
If you don't like repetition, don't read the Dreamers!!
That sucks. I read the first book awhile ago and liked it. I have the second one here but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I may not now if the last book is that horrible.


Has anyone read The Historian yet? I'm about half way through and it is amazing. I love the different cultural look at an old character, Mr. Vlad himself Some of the places she describes makes me want to go there myself to see. If anyone is slightly interested in vampires or Eastern Europe I highly recommend The Historian.

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January 1st, 2008, 05:04
Compared to previous Eddings work, all 4 Dreamers books blew chunks. Relative to each other, book 1 was probably the best, book 2 was utter doggie doo, book 3 was barely average, and book 4 was decent. IMO, of course.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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January 1st, 2008, 10:12
Except for the ending, oh and the beginning!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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January 7th, 2008, 13:46
Finished "Skulduggery Pleasant" by one Derek Landy (he's seemingly from Dublin).

My verdict: It's a very nice book. I had some fun reading it, that's why I think I can recommend it.

But: Please keep in mind that this book is aimed at and lablelled "a children's book", so don't expect too much complicated and extensive story-outlines.

Because of that, everything reads a bit "simple" … almost too simple for my own taste.

My heaviest point of critique is that the describing of the locations needs to be "fleshed out" (like the second protagonist, by the way). They're far too thin, and don't appeal to the senses at all (especially since I'm a defender of what I call "sensual writing").
My worst example of this is the description of the "replacement car", which is given to the second protagonist (Mr. Pleasant) after he had had a small crash with his own car.
The point is that the description practically doesn't exist at all. Nothing. Nada. Niente. Niet. Nichts. All you can read is the reaction of the main protagonist (a twelve-year old girl), and the much later added nickname "Canary Car" - it is yellow.
So, the sceneries desparately need much more sensual descriptions. Hopefully this will be better in the second book which is scheduled for release in the April of 2008.

Anyone who loves dry humour should definitively take this book into consideration. The dialogues are very funny in this respect, and belong to the best ones I've read for quite some time.

This has to do, I think, with the author writing "screenplays" before, the book and the web site say. This has led imho to a very strong development of dialogues, but on the other hand leaving the rest (especially the descriptions !) very weak - they leave a lot to be desired, imho.

So, all in all, what speaks for the book is the good, dry humour, the second protagonist (an undead one) and the theme - I think I can agree to the quotes presented in the book saying that this book is a "right thing" (by me) for Harry Potter fans. It's daily life story mixed with a "second world" or "second reality" which is kind of full with magic and strange things. In this book, this is leaning a bit towards the "horror" genre - which is no surprise since the author has written - as the book says "screenplays for a zombie movie and a murderous thriller in which everybody dies". But since is a "children's book", this horror theme is taken lightly - you won't see much blood, in fact. The only real "horror-themed" thing is the confrontation with the "big evil boss" at the end of the story, and his minions.

Well, I hope I've written enough for everybody to give everyone a clue on how to decide whether this book is the "right read" for someone or not.

Alrik

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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