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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:40 am 


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Using Mark Twain to buoy teenage angst? For shame, Mischief. For shame.

For the record: my favorite Mark Twains are Tom Sawyer, Prince and the Pauper, and the short stories Luck, the Adam and Eve stories (which your quote references on account of the nude illustrations therein), and my favorite satires, the Good Little Boy and Bad Little Boy.

And of course, who can't love this quote:

Mark Twain wrote:
In one place in "Deerslayer," and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, [James Fenimore Cooper] has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115. It breaks the record.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 1:35 am 


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I've never been so excited to read about plank covered streets and wheat transportation. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 3:48 am 


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Been a while since I've read Twain, but I do remember really enjoying both Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. Probably moreso Huck Finn, but in fairness I read that as an adult, while I read Tom Sawyer as a tween.

Just finished 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and I gotta say that it was an incredibly enjoyable read.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:45 pm 


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http://store.ladbrokeradio.com/album/at ... of-madness
My first "audiobook". :lol:
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:52 pm 


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Last and First Men

The Kindle Version on Amazon is only $0.99 so I bit the bullet. It's got high reviews, and is indeed interesting, but it's not an easy read. I guess I gave myself a bit of a spoiler reading the Wikipedia page, but maybe not so much (it just gives an outline of the timeline). Generally speaking, it is a history of mankind, in essay form, covering current day (well, in 1930) up until about 2 billion years in the future. Only 225 pages, but it's taking me a while.

I read the first few lines of some of the 3-star reviews on Amazon. As they say "a great story, but flawed". I'm quite interested in post-humanism these days, but so far in the few I've read nothing has been as well as Komatsu Sakyo's stuff.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 8:37 pm 


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I was only at right after
Spoiler: show
Huckleberry faked his death
when I mentioned the book. Now I'm at right after
Spoiler: show
the con artists put on that shitty show
, and I actually think it's pretty good; now I see what's so great about it.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:35 pm 


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Rob wrote:
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I've never been so excited to read about plank covered streets and wheat transportation. 8)


I missed this! It is a great book. Tough to get through and definitely not for the "general reader," but it is one of those books that makes you (or me at least) rethink the way you view the relationship between man, "civilization," and the environment and how interconnected they are.

It's a good counterbalance to the usual "humans are cancer" type of view, which is useless (practically speaking), and a good rejoinder for people who think too little about what their actions might have on the larger ecosystem.

I'm getting warmed up back into history at the moment so I picked up a "biography" of Charlemagne from a used-bookstore.

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Groovy cover; to my delight I found it less of a biography (of which I have read before) and more of a serious examination of France, Germany, and Italy in the 700s-800s. Nice to see a rejection of hero-worship (though the author clearly likes the guy) and of a more modernist "what a monster" approaches that dominate much popular readings about famous people.

Though written in 2000, it in some ways has "dated" itself given its assumption that a supranational European Union is here to stay, and that nationalism had exhausted itself in the wars of the 20th century. What a different world 16 years ago!
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:52 am 


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Hey I remember that guy! :o I herd he liek 2 shed the blood of the Saxon men :wink:
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:36 am 


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It's been about 35 years since it was released, after a long search I've finally found that childhood book which has eluded me for so long....

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 29, 2016 7:29 am 


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Invisible Cities - 3rd* time. First in college, second was an audiobook (165pgs is grossly misleading; it feels impossible in audibly ingest Calvino's imagination and imagery).

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2016 1:18 am 


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EmperorIng wrote:
it is one of those books that makes you (or me at least) rethink the way you view the relationship between man, "civilization," and the environment and how interconnected they are.

Finished a little while ago and really enjoyed it. Yeah, part of the reason I wanted to read it is because I catch myself falling into the trap of thinking of these things as separate. Interesting seeing how everything fits together and a bit of how all of us (U.S.) westerners got to be where we are. He's a good role model for environmentalists aspiring to be sane and rational.

Thinking about ordering a LOA Loren Eiseley two-booker edited by Cronon.

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Cadillac Desert -- 10% of this thing must be names. There is no way to keep it all sorted, but there's no missing the mismanagement of water and tax dollar squandering in the west since the days of John Wesley Powell. Had to pick this up after reading Beyond the Hundredth Meridian. Was aghast reading about the dodged bullet of Rampart Dam.

Not enjoying the Edogawa Rampo book I posted last page, so balancing it with a book about a traditional band of hunters. Dialect is tricky, but enjoyable read.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:19 am 


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I read Ready Player One.

Good, but not as good as the 4.5 stars it has on Amazon. It's entertaining... in the same way The Davinci Code was. The 80's nostalgia was laid on WAY too thick.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 11:17 am 


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I suggest you skip his follow up Armada. A book so bad I forced myself finish it in hopes it would get better.

It didn't. He basically plagiarized the fuck out of Ender's Game.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:06 pm 


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Any of you history buffs have any awesome recommendations? 8) Wish I could find something else like Nature's Metropolis - or just interesting, with nothing to do with warfare.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 11:34 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
I suggest you skip his follow up Armada. A book so bad I forced myself finish it in hopes it would get better.

It didn't. He basically plagiarized the fuck out of Ender's Game.


Yeah, I got that from the Amazon reviews. Sounds a bit like a 1-trick pony, but we'll see. Did you dig Ready Player One? It was definitely a light read, which I needed after Last and First Men.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:50 pm 


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Just finished the second First Law book. Character development was pretty great, i think. Glokta still the best.
I'll take on the third book sometime soon, i hope.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 3:53 am 


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X-mas gift, $50 gift card. Spent it mostly on the first three volumes of English LOGH. Already been a week and I am middle of Vol 2. Translation is decent, even with one "had had" text error. I really hope the rest of the volumnes get English releases, since I am a big fan of the OVA series.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:12 am 


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GaijinPunch wrote:
Yeah, I got that from the Amazon reviews. Sounds a bit like a 1-trick pony, but we'll see. Did you dig Ready Player One? It was definitely a light read, which I needed after Last and First Men.


I did like it. Found it fun, the 80's theme was important to the overall plot, the main trio was likeable, and it had a great villain in Sorrento. Would have liked a little more Ogden Morrow though.

Curious to see what Speilberg does with it, but I'm not setting the bar high.

I just ordered this:

https://www.amazon.com/Trevanian-Comple ... ds=shibumi

I've read Shibumi a bunch and decided I wanted to read The Eiger Sanction after I found out it was the source material for an episode of Archer. The other two books are supposed to be good as well.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:53 am 


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Finally got to reading Mona Lisa Overdrive :) Read both Neuromancer and Count Zero way back and again last year. God, I wish someone would make decent movies out of these books!

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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:54 am 


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Just finished The Eiger Sanction (1972) By Trevanian/Whittaker.

I was doing some research on the man and accidentally discovered that the book was the inspiration for an episode of Archer. At that point I had to read it. I am happy to say it lived up to the expectations I had for it.

A few things I noticed while reading it -

The character of Burke in The Mechanic (2011) is clearly based on a character in this book.

While discussing the main character's psych profile I was reminded heavily of the scene in Grosse Pointe Blank where Martin explains to Debbie his "moral flexibility".

I don't have much to compare it to in terms of other authors from that time period. Similar to Shibumi (which I have read 4 or 5 times now) it is well written and wordy. I don't mean that in a bad way, but I did find myself reaching for a dictionary on several occasions.

Has anyone seen the Eastwood movie?
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:54 pm 


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Stevens wrote:
Curious to see what Speilberg does with it, but I'm not setting the bar high.


Hmm... never knew that was happening. I'm sure it will be a huge budget, and I guess that's the only way it could work. I'd like to see him make it a bit more bleak, but that ain't gonna happen.

I'm a bit into Kyomu Kairou. This is the 3rd of Komatsu Sakyo's post-human scifi books. It is a series, and unfortunately one he never finished before passing away a few years ago. Everything I've read says it's still worth reading, even though there's no definitive conclusion to the story. Rendezvous with Rama readers will find that it at least starts out similarly, although on a far more grand scale. In the not too distant future, as man is on the brink of making a breakthrough with Artificial Existence (the next step after Artificial Intelligence) 5.8 light years away from Earth, a cylindrical object measuring 2 light years long with a circumference of 1.2 light years appears. To boot, it has very little mass, rotates at 20x the speed of light. Next is to figure out how to get to it, as the fastest ships of the time would still take about 20 years, and cryogenic technology is spotty at best. Decisions, decisions. That's about as far as I've gotten, which is about 15% of the three books. So, lots more to come.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:48 pm 


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Reading the following:

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Crazy stuff here.



However, I do have a question for all: Who owns a Kindle? Do you prefer reading on a Kindle or prefer getting the physical books? I been thinking about picking one up, however, the whole debate of owning a real book vs "renting" via Kindle.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:19 pm 


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Domino - We have a Kindle. Wife likes it, I don't. I guess it's a matter of preference.

She does read far more than I do though, so having e books makes sense in the absence of an actual library. If we had physical copies of all the books she has read our house would resemble Collyer's mansion.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2017 6:37 am 


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Dunno if this counts, but the Dr. McNinja webcomic has finally limped to the end.

I'd say the series peaked with...

Spoiler: show
The two-parter where Doc infiltrates King Radical's mafia as Dr. McLuchador then defeats Radical's giant city mech and everyone has a pizza party with the president.


I'm seeing an odd contrast between settings like this, designed to tell a continuing series, and closed settings like Star Wars. Series endings only really seem to work when it's open-ended "the journey will go on" verses attempting to tie up loose ends and finish everything. Star Trek VI vs Star Trek Generations.

Meanwhile Star Wars was literally formed around the closed loop storytelling skeleton of the hero's journey. So all attempts to continue or otherwise expand the story have either been derivative to the point of redundancy, or a goodamn mess.

Oh well. I liked Dr. McNinja at its height and was expecting it to end with a bang.


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:16 pm 


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Finished Kaikou no mori, which was entertaining - hunting bears in the hills and baby mama drama in the villages. Trying to decide which to dig into next, and A Personal Matter/個人的な体験 is winning so far. Different than I expected. I was expecting something entirely bleak and miserable, but there is some (quite dark) humor in there.

Also reading East of Eden. Loving that so far.

And the Loren Eiseley 6 book, 2 volume box set Collected Essays on Evolution, Nature and the Cosmos. A large bundle of wonder and pessimism. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:53 pm 


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Started reading through Cryptonomicon on a cross-country plane ride yesterday, made it about a third of the way through (it's a doorstop of a book at close to 1,200 pages in paperback form, although I was reading the Kindle version.) So far I'm really liking the historical fiction portions of the book, and finding the "modern" portions mostly to be rather tedious.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:24 am 


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Stompp wrote:
Finally got to reading Mona Lisa Overdrive :) Read both Neuromancer and Count Zero way back and again last year. God, I wish someone would make decent movies out of these books!


I love the Sprawl Trilogy of William Gibson. Neuromancer still is my favorite sci fi novel.
I was very happy to see our Molly again in Mona Lisa.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:46 am 


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Domino wrote:
Reading the following:

Image

Crazy stuff here.



However, I do have a question for all: Who owns a Kindle? Do you prefer reading on a Kindle or prefer getting the physical books? I been thinking about picking one up, however, the whole debate of owning a real book vs "renting" via Kindle.


Review when done, please. This tops every Japanese Sci-Fi list (most lists which put At the End of the Endless Stream) at #2. I do realize it's not a light read by any means, even translated. It's on my list, but only until I can give it the time it deserves.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 5:20 pm 


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I do most of my reading (as much as I do anyway) on the iPad Kindle app using an iPad Mini. I have a bit of a hard time with physical books since my eyes aren't all that great (especially in low light) so this works well. I'm guessing spending all that time staring at a tablet screen probably isn't great either, but E-ink readers are a pretty good in-between. There's also the matter of having the space to store books, which can be tricky if you have limited room in your dwelling.
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 Post subject: Re: What Are You Reading?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 7:07 pm 


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I've tried harder to be more active in reading books, and give my brain some much-needed nourishment from the wasteland that is the internet. I've already read two books this year, which is two more than I read last year. :mrgreen:

I finally finished The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. I think I've had this on my shelf since I was just starting high-school. I bought it, and tried a few times to read it, but it mostly sat there for well over a decade. I figured this would be a good place to start, since the story itself is only 60 pages, which meant that even a slacker like me could manage it. I am glad I finally got to give myself such a silly, strange, and sad story. I wasn't expecting the misery and pathos of the main-character-cum-dung-beetle to come across as strongly as he did. There is a certain humor in a man who is a sniveling insect becomes a sniveling insect, but a certain sadness as he finally becomes the life he led, to the dismay and horror of his uncaring family.

Speaking of high-school, I then went to that old school favorite, Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. Another bought-years-ago-and-never-read pick. This was a treat. I breezed through the book in about two weeks' time. Despite being lauded in the covers as a dark comedy, there were only a few times I found myself amused or chuckling. Most of the book is very bitter and sad. I can imagine a live reading of it though being very funny. The one thing that really stood out to me while reading is that, thanks to its constant chronological jumps, there is no other way this story could be effectively told except in print. Some movies try to be non-linear and some succeed, but Slaughterhouse-Five goes far beyond anything in terms of how cavalierly it treats the concept of time (very a propos for the book in general). It makes me think I should finally try to finish Catch-22.

For lighter reading, and to supplement my Orson Welles film-watching, I also picked up I Am Orson Welles, a biography consisting of a series of conversations between Orson and Peter Bogdanovich. Very entertaining and insightful, although Orson is not the most consistent person in the world when it comes to views or opinions.

Finally, I am going to try to take on something I have wanted to do for years, which is read Moby Dick. The ultra-huge Newberry Library in Chicago had its recent book fair, with 10s of 1,000s of books for sale. In there I picked up a lovely leatherbound hardcover of Moby Dick and Franz Kafka's The Trial (there was so much more there but I am not rich). At 500 pages, it's a huge step up from the books above, which both had far simpler, less allusive language (and far less pages). I wonder if I can manage it; I read the first chapter or so, and enjoyed it. The language and style of the book is not quite what I was expecting - it feels a smidgen more modern than I had thought it would be in my mind.
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