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Default What are you reading ?

June 30th, 2009, 19:07
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
Bleak and dark?
More as in "art" versus "pop".

Not necessarily dark and gritty (tm), though "The ugly swans" happens to be rather dark.
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June 30th, 2009, 19:08
Whenever I see this thread I realize that while I read a lot, I never read novels.

I have now been studying Japanese for 4 weeks. Unfortunately due to the recent heatwave I haven't been able to study the fourth week so now I am pretty far behind, but I have learned a lot.

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June 30th, 2009, 19:43
Is that the title of a novel ?

“ 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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June 30th, 2009, 19:48
Finished Patient Zero by Jonathan Maberry about two weeks ago. It was decent, a combination of zombies and terrorism. Now I've moved onto The Stand by Stephen King, but I just got four games so that's on the backburner for a while. What I've read so far, a couple hundred pages, was damn good.
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June 30th, 2009, 20:02
@bkreuger: Are you reading the Strugatsky Bros in English? I've always thought they sounded interesting but haven't been able to find them in translation.

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June 30th, 2009, 20:26
"The Stand" was my favorite of Stephen's.

Watch the TV adaptation at your own peril, though….
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June 30th, 2009, 22:15
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
@bkreuger: Are you reading the Strugatsky Bros in English? I've always thought they sounded interesting but haven't been able to find them in translation.
No, I am reading a German translation, and I bought it some twenty years ago, so I don't even know the availability of that version.

However, the Wikipeda pages I linked to contain ISBNs for the English translations, and by clicking on them you can start some search engines for their availability in libraries and such.

Edit: Nice avatar, reminds me of this music video.
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June 30th, 2009, 22:42
Originally Posted by bkrueger View Post
No, I am reading a German translation, and I bought it some twenty years ago, so I don't even know the availability of that version.

However, the Wikipeda pages I linked to contain ISBNs for the English translations, and by clicking on them you can start some search engines for their availability in libraries and such.

Edit: Nice avatar, reminds me of this music video.
Thanks bk. That was quite a catchy video—looks like it would go well with beer. My german-english dictionary tells me the title means something like Ten Little Hunters??Anyway, I'll never look at this avatar quite the same again.

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July 1st, 2009, 16:24
Roadside Picnic is available on the Net.

[ http://www.shnaresys.com/roadside/picnic/parallel.htm ]

I finished Karen Armstrong's The Great Transformation, which was a hugely impressive book — IMO her best. Also finished Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, which was also very impressive, but I'm not sure how much point there is to it unless you actually practice zazen. And then I read a couple of comics I bought — Après L'Incal by Jodorowski and Moebius, and Bunker 73 by Pécau and others. Jodo/Moebius are pretty far off in whichever dimension they inhabit; Bunker 73 was a good one, except that it ended in an annoying cliffhanger which will have to wait for resolution until the next volume comes out.

I also attempted Niall Ferguson's Colossus, but the preface was so irritating that I don't think I'll risk spoiling my vacation with the rest. I think it'd be right up dte's alley, though.
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July 1st, 2009, 18:56
Originally Posted by Thrasher View Post
"The Stand" was my favorite of Stephen's.

Watch the TV adaptation at your own peril, though….

The book was excellent. TV adaptation was meh, probably more true to the book than a 2 hour theatrical release would have been though.

I recently finished The Terror by Dan Simmons. Overall a nice mix of history and horror. The in depth story behind the majority of characters was nice, though I wish he had gone into more detail behind Mr. Hickey & his partner. I enjoyed it such that it has sparked a Dan Simmons Fest such that I followed it with Song of Kali, which was OK, and Summer of Night. I though the latter would be a lame It ripoff, luckily it doesn't seem to be.

Looking very much forward to Joe Abercrombe's upcoming offering. For those of you that enjoy fantasy, but want something different, try his 3 book series The First Law. I enjoy fantasy, but typically read more horror or books by Bret Easton Ellis, Cormac McArthy, Pahlaniuk and I have read little of the fantasy genre. On a whim I picked up the first book of Abercrombe's series and was hooked. Interesting mix of characters, prose flows nicely. Highly recommended.
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July 1st, 2009, 22:53
OK, I'm not reading it now, but…

Today's article at Wikipedia is about the "Hardy Boys". I'm pretty sure that if I read any of the books today, I wouldn't be too impressed. But back then, when I was a boy, the books were extremely exciting. I couldn't stop reading.

That happens very rarely these days, I guess I'm just not that easily impressed anymore. One of the things lost by maturing. (Actually it did happen a couple of months ago, when reading "The Black Angel" by John Connolly).

The memories…..

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July 1st, 2009, 23:16
Originally Posted by lghartveit View Post
OK, I'm not reading it now, but…

Today's article at Wikipedia is about the "Hardy Boys". I'm pretty sure that if I read any of the books today, I wouldn't be too impressed. But back then, when I was a boy, the books were extremely exciting. I couldn't stop reading.

That happens very rarely these days, I guess I'm just not that easily impressed anymore. One of the things lost by maturing. (Actually it did happen a couple of months ago, when reading "The Black Angel" by John Connolly).

The memories…..
I loved The Hardy Boys, and Nancy Drew—back when iIread Nancy she was a thirties flapper and pretty cool, though. No idea what they're like now. But yes, I loved the day when I'd check a new one out of the library and go hide from the adults til I read it straight through.

There are still books that can do that for me;unfortunately they're on about the same literary level.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
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July 6th, 2009, 15:49
* Marx's Revenge, by Meghnad Desai. This was like sitting down over a glass of wine with someone who has an immensely deep understanding of something — and passion for it — and then just listening. He goes off on tangents, gets ahead of himself, throws little barbs left and right, sketches little graphs on paper napkins to illustrate a point, and is immensely absorbing all through. The book is essentially a re-reading of Marx free from the weight of the Cold War. His central contention is that thanks to the Bolsheviks, the Marx we got was a mishmash of the young one from the days of the Communist Manifesto, plus Chapter 24 of Capital,*vol. 1. This ignored pretty much all of the meat of his work — a genuinely powerful, subtle, intelligent analysis of the dynamics of capitalism, it's "laws of motion" as it were. His conclusion is that Marx has had his revenge on the Marxist-Leninists — but whether he'll ever actually get his vindication, a socialism that's actually better than capitalism, is anybody's guess, and it will certainly take a few centuries before capitalism has exhausted its potential for development.

* The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This was immensely entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny in places, but also pretty impressive intellectually. In the end, though, he only makes one central contention in it: that the world is applying Gaussian probability models to phenomena that do not follow normal distributions, and much mayhem ensues. As far as I can tell, this hasn't been refuted, despite various snitty comments by economists that he's either wrong or trivially right (or, by a guy called Ollie North, that he's destroying Western civilization).

I'm starting on Fooled By Randomness next.
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July 7th, 2009, 05:21
Still working on Blood of Elves … spent very little vacation time reading or gaming - which is a good thing

— Mike
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July 9th, 2009, 23:12
Somebody has good taste in thinkers over here — I found Herr Doktor Professor Karl Popper's The Open Society and its Enemies (both volumes), and started digging in. It's been well over ten years since I last read them, so I'm well overdue for a refresher on my gooroo of Western philosophy. He really is magisterial about tearing Plato a new one.
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July 10th, 2009, 04:39
Lately, my lunch time book has been "Warfare in the Classical World". It deals primarily with Greek and Roman military history, tactics, and equipment from the Homeric epics to the end of the Empire. I just finished the chapter on the Punic Wars today.

It was the night before Hogswatch…

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July 10th, 2009, 04:42
I'm totally adding that to my list, Azraelck.
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July 10th, 2009, 11:30
I am loving that eReader / Fictionwise has drastically cut their prices so that most everything is $9.99 or under and nothing over $12.99. Still expensive for an ebook, but much better than the hardcover-esque they were charging …

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July 18th, 2009, 22:42
I'm reading an excellent fictional account of the lost Franklin expedition to find the North West passage back in 1848—called The Terror, by Dan Simmons. It's a riveting, terrifying and creepy read—includes a supernatural horror-ish element plus lots of colorful seamen's profanity and cannibalism. Doesn't get any better than that.

Where there's smoke, there's mirrors.
Last edited by magerette; July 19th, 2009 at 02:34.
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July 19th, 2009, 00:27
Finished 'Blood of Elves', now re-reading 'Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince' after seeing the film on Wednesday.

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