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Owenmoz Owenmoz

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Posted 19 September 2016 - 08:38 AM #2171 What have you been reading recently?

Sorry to resurrect this thread but on; Memory of Light WOT14
Spoiler

Edit: That is a major spoiler. So avoid it if you haven't finished.
Srsly sorry blxz.

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 02:09 PM #2172 What have you been reading recently?

Well, in the last six weeks I've been amusing myself by rereading Eddings' Sparhawk series. Currently up to the end of The Shining Ones (5/6). I don't think I've read these books since high school, some fifteen years ago or so. They're... not as good as I remember, sadly. I can't remember if the Belgariad/Malloreon was better, but I'll probably leave that for now.

On a nicer note, though, I just bought the first three Culture books. Banks is a complete gap in my education so far, and from everything I've been told I've really missed out.

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 04:27 AM #2173 What have you been reading recently?

View PostOwenmoz, on 19 September 2016 - 08:38 AM, said:

Sorry to resurrect this thread but on; Memory of Light WOT14
Spoiler

Still reading it. It's sitting there at about 2/3 finished. And your spoiler.....ohh your spoiler..... :(

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Posted 18 October 2016 - 09:34 AM #2174 What have you been reading recently?

View PostBlxz, on 18 October 2016 - 04:27 AM, said:



Still reading it. It's sitting there at about 2/3 finished. And your spoiler.....ohh your spoiler..... :(

Bro its been a month and im still half pissed half sad half disbelieving. But you should finish it. It has some very interesting food for thought somewhere. Perrin's arc is actually very interesting as it goes. Etc..
But sorry about the spoiler i should have been more specific on the magnitude of it. We can cry together when you're done :(

That being said im sort of pleasantly surprised that the first two gay characters on the series were introduced(not really introduced but ya) by a Mormon writer. Who would have thought. +Points for trully being the book with the most diverse world. So im thinking about buying his other books. Not mistborn though. Strikes me as very uninspired.

Also i feel your pain lambda closure. Been reading the inkheart trilogy again. Still aint done with the first book. The meager 200 or so pages book is taking me an eternity to finish. Not that i would say its a bad book. Its still good. But not as captivating as it was earlier. And i still love Gwin more than anything in most books i've read.



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Posted 18 October 2016 - 10:54 AM #2175 What have you been reading recently?

Since finishing my undergrad in the spring, I've taken a short break from reading non-fiction to catch up on more light reading. I've been working my way through the Tiffany Aching series by Terry Pratchett, which is really refreshingly honest and light and just plain ol' witchy fun. I've got a long list of books to read after that, but I'll mention those as I get to them!
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Posted 31 December 2016 - 01:32 AM #2176 What have you been reading recently?

View PostOwenmoz, on 18 October 2016 - 09:34 AM, said:

Bro its been a month and im still half pissed half sad half disbelieving. But you should finish it. It has some very interesting food for thought somewhere. Perrin's arc is actually very interesting as it goes. Etc..
But sorry about the spoiler i should have been more specific on the magnitude of it. We can cry together when you're done :(

That being said im sort of pleasantly surprised that the first two gay characters on the series were introduced(not really introduced but ya) by a Mormon writer. Who would have thought. +Points for trully being the book with the most diverse world. So im thinking about buying his other books. Not mistborn though. Strikes me as very uninspired.

Also i feel your pain lambda closure. Been reading the inkheart trilogy again. Still aint done with the first book. The meager 200 or so pages book is taking me an eternity to finish. Not that i would say its a bad book. Its still good. But not as captivating as it was earlier. And i still love Gwin more than anything in most books i've read.

Well I finished the final WoT book during all the flights I took this holiday season. Pretty decent ending. I still don't know what you meant by the "first two gay characters". Perhaps I missed something or perhaps I am just far to innocent to take subtle hints?

As for the rest of it, I thought it was a bloody good closure. They were killing off characters pretty quickly in the last few chapters, I'm also pretty impressed with some of the characters finally being useful even if some of my predictions didn't come explicitly true (I was sure there would be an olver-birgitte romance there somewhere). Pretty solid series and the ending was satisfying, if somewhat rushed (700 pages of repeating battle followed by 60 or so pages of rapid resolution just doesn't feel natural).

Any special tidbits to share owenmoz now that we can chat without minding spoilers?

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 07:05 AM #2177 What have you been reading recently?

Quote

I still don't know what you meant by the "first two gay characters". Perhaps I missed something or perhaps I am just far to innocent to take subtle hints?

There is a brief reference to one of the Asha'man preferring men.
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Posted 31 December 2016 - 08:49 PM #2178 What have you been reading recently?

I recently finished David Drake's Book of Elements series.  A group of Roman citizens just after the end of the Republic dealing with magical threats.  The author's love for that era really shows.  The ending wrapped up what needed to be wrapped up while leaving the future of the main characters open enough that he could expand the series if he wants to.

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 11:45 PM #2179 What have you been reading recently?

View PostTyranicus, on 31 December 2016 - 07:05 AM, said:

There is a brief reference to one of the Asha'man preferring men.

Oh, yeah there was that I suppose. In a book where everyone has a name and a backstory and a unique way of smoothing their skirts I suppose the fact that some random has a sexual preference wasn't really at the forefront of my mind.

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:52 AM #2180 What have you been reading recently?

Things I have read recently:
Khrushchev: The Man and His Era by William Taubman: a very good biography, which won the Pulitzer... there's not a lot to be said about it. It's an excellent biography.
Chronicles of the First Crusade (ed. Christopher Tyerman) and Chronicles of the Crusades (Villehardouin + Joinville): reread these, actually. Primary sources on Crusades Nos 1, 4, and 7/8.
The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer: a biography of Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, the insane protofascist who somehow ended up running Mongolia briefly in the early 20s. A good book, despite some embarrassing errors (I think he refers to the Estonians as Slavs? which is not right.)
Life's Lottery by Kim Newman: a "literary" (or at least, non-child-oriented) gamebook/choose your own adventure novel. It is a hell of a thing, and also I'm sure I've missed a bunch of it.
The Arabian Nights: a cheapo "Barnes and Noble Classics" reprint of a public domain translation of the core stories + Aladdin and Ali Baba from the Victorian era. Inevitably bowdlerized, but there are some very nice engraved illustrations.
My Ears are Bent by Joseph Mitchell: a compilation of the newspaper reporting Mitchell did in the 1930s before he moved to the New Yorker and became the greatest American nonfiction writer of the 20th century, and probably ever. Good, but only really of interest if you want to see where he came from pre-New Yorker.
The Northern Crusades by Eric Christiansen: an underwhelming, short, over-broad survey of the Northern Crusades. Much too light on detail about the personalities involved, on details of major battles involved, on details of the diplomatic wrangling with Poland et al... unfortunately this is, as far as I can tell, the only book-length English work on the subject. From the late 70s, revised in 2000 I think? I looked at the bibliography and one of the first sources cited (on Baltic paganism) is by Gimbutas, which makes me profoundly leery.

Presently reading:
Beefheart: Through the Eyes of Magic by John French: the autobiography of Captain Beefheart's most-usual drummer/guitarist/arranger. Very interesting in places (insights on band dynamics and personalities, interviews with rarely-interviewed band members, the track-by-track commentary on every album in the back of the book), but inevitably patchy (not a lot going on when he's not actually in the band). The story of one man's relationship with Captain Beefheart, rather than the story of the Captain's career. Over 850 pages of fairly small print: a doorstopper. (Also has some very groan-inducing stuff... I skimmed towards the end a bit and there's a profoundly embarrassing bit where the author and his wife (now Evangelical/Charismatic Christians) undergo a horrible exorcism/faith healing thing where he's LIBERATED FROM THE SPIRIT OF WITCHCRAFT or something.) (Also the author met his wife when he was like 18 and she was like 12/13? and he describes her as beautiful and "jailbait" then... I mean, nothing against them? I'm glad they're happy together after so long. But also: that's super-creepy, dude. Don't lust for kids like that, even if it's for your wife, in retrospect.)
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson: the vampire/zombie novel all modern works of vampire/zombie fiction rip off either directly (Night of the Living Dead took a lot from the first film adaption of the novel) or indirectly (the million NOTLD clones). (eg: any work that has zombie-ism or vampirism caused by a contagion as opposed to magic is lifting from this novel.) Terse and snappy like the best 50s pulp sci-fi, it is amazing how badly the Will Smith film botches everything about it.

To read:
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccacio: the Penguin Classics edition, which features over 150 pages of introduction where the translator explains his methods and decisions and the themes of the novel and stuff, I guess. Very exciting.
Some book about the history of gold... it's one of those books on a semi-topical subject (the popularity of gold following the 08 economic crash) by a journalist: one of those books that has suspiciously wide margins, and 1.5x spacing, and is still only about 200 pages long, and which really probably should have been a series of magazine articles in Smithsonian or NatGeo or something, and where you KNOW half the book is gonna be interviews with people interspersed with bits of cursory research into the history on the subject. But hey, it was on clearance for $2 at Half Price Books, and I had a gift card from Christmas.
Probably gonna reread Dracula, because it's so good, and because I got a new copy, because my old copy was evidently based on a horrible OCR or the text, replete with horrible typos. Typos, in a public domain book that came out over 100 years ago. At least nick the Project Gutenberg text, guys, it's not that hard.

The "new" copy of Dracula I got is a BANTAM CLASSICS edition, probably from the 80s (the introduction is copyright 1981), but I suspect this is one of those lines of public domain books that the publisher never lets go out of print, so realistically it could've been printed any time between 81 and about 2000 or so.

There is an ad on the back endpaper of the book from the Ad Council. It warns that unless we do something, the literacy rate of the USA could be down to 30% by the year 2000. God forbid.

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 10:54 AM #2181 What have you been reading recently?

I just started Ancillary Justice. A hundred pages in or so, it's entertaining. There are some editing issues with the dialogue, namely the editor needed to make the author clarify who's speaking more often, but it's overall still very worthwhile and I hear that the sequels tidy up that issue.

—Alorael, who enjoyed I Am Legend and is disappointed by the profusion of adaptations that never even attempt to capture the plot or spirit of the original.

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Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:13 AM #2182 What have you been reading recently?

View PostMemories of Memories, on 02 January 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:

—Alorael, who enjoyed I Am Legend and is disappointed by the profusion of adaptations that never even attempt to capture the plot or spirit of the original.

At least one had Vincent Price!

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Posted 05 January 2017 - 11:08 PM #2183 What have you been reading recently?

View PostEgo Whiplash, on 02 January 2017 - 10:54 AM, said:


—Alorael, who enjoyed I Am Legend and is disappointed by the profusion of adaptations that never even attempt to capture the plot or spirit of the original.

I was considerably disappointed in the original book of I am Legend. I expected so very much more going in and was left with a lingering disappointment at the big reveal being so (in my view) poorly executed.

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 02:05 PM #2184 What have you been reading recently?

View PostBlxz, on 05 January 2017 - 11:08 PM, said:

I was considerably disappointed in the original book of I am Legend. I expected so very much more going in and was left with a lingering disappointment at the big reveal being so (in my view) poorly executed.

It's not really something like The Sixth Sense or The Usual Suspects or an episode of The Twilight Zone (which the author of I Am Legend actually wrote several episodes of), where the twist is the point of the story, and knowing the twist ruins the effect. If it were, I think the story would've ended much sooner, like an HP Lovecraft story, with the horrible revelation printed in italics as the last line of the novel.

It's more about how the protagonist reacts to the revelation: he's a pretty straightforward everyman character who acts in a way that is presented to the reader as entirely reasonable, and the way anyone would be likely to act under the same circumstances. He's developed to show that he acts and feels the way he does for entirely relatable reasons. Then, suddenly, he finds out that he has in fact been doing terrible things. The reveal per se isn't the point so much as the larger themes.

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Posted 07 January 2017 - 03:29 PM #2185 What have you been reading recently?

So far this year I've read:

Child of God. It was a wonderful holiday read, full of cheer, goodwill, and succinct, biting, and elegant writing.

The Princess Saves Herself In This One, which was honestly not that good, and only really worth it if you want to see how not to write poetry. I had to pretend I liked it because it was a gift. And that's sad, because the subject matter was good. It was just tumblr-level poetry. Which is to say, MY level of poetry. :(

We which I've been meaning to read for a while, on Nayld's recommendation, and which was absolutely worth the two hours it took to get through. If I had one complaint, it was that 1984 and Brave New World ruined it for me, but it's brilliant to see the seeds that it planted in Orwell and Huxley, and the breakdown of logic in the face of humanity was probably better handled here than in either of the other two books mentioned.

I also started The Intended, but I'm probably not going to finish that because it sucks

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Posted 08 January 2017 - 12:30 PM #2186 What have you been reading recently?

Hey, don't sell yourself short. You don't write Tumblr-level poetry. You write Wordpress-level poetry.

(I had the benefit of reading We before I had read or even heard of 1984 and the like. Literally just picked it off the shelf because it had an intriguing title and cover art. Was not at all what preteen me was expecting but I still enjoyed it. Probably should do a reread at some point.)
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Posted 09 January 2017 - 12:35 AM #2187 What have you been reading recently?

If you want a good poetry book try the prophet by Khalil Gibran. Or alternatively the works of Pushkin are very good but im not sure how faithful the translations are.

(Also stop kinkshaming my poetry. It is kewl and edgy n full of deep deep meaning)


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Posted 09 January 2017 - 05:37 PM #2188 What have you been reading recently?

A book on the history of glassmaking. I'm also trying to bash my way through "The Lies of Locke Lamorra", but I quite dislike the non linear writing. Constantly leaving baits to keep the reader interested. Bad writing in my opinion.

Anyone read a history book lately? Anything they care to share their opinion on? I have a bunch of marine/ocean related books I just can't stay interested in. I should read them, bu I don't.

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 05:56 PM #2189 What have you been reading recently?

My history reading used to be shaped by the to be shelved cart at my public library near the University of Chicago. That meant lots of history and archeology books about the Mideast and Greece.

"Then there's chemistry in school. Does it never end?"

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 08:46 PM #2190 What have you been reading recently?

View PostRandomizer, on 09 January 2017 - 05:56 PM, said:

"Then there's chemistry in school. Does it never end?"

​Either with graduation or a major explosion.
I graduated, and while there's markedly less chemistry in my books, it's certainly not down to zero. It all depends on what you do after graduation. (Or how big the explosion is, I suppose.)

—Alorael, who is saddened by the lack of abiding love for Locke Lamora. He ranks it as one of his favorite books. Its sequels are very worthwhile as well, but equally fond of jumping around in time and space.

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Posted 09 January 2017 - 09:55 PM #2191 What have you been reading recently?

I had a friend recommend me Locke Lamora, and I was gonna check it out, but then I discovered that it's the first book in a projected seven-book series, with the four thus-far-unpublished books already titled. And at the current rate, it'll be over a decade before the series is finished. And then there's already a planned sequel series, which also will be seven novels long. So, I didn't read it. I'm sure it's good, but I don't really want to get tangled into the marketing nightmare that is modern fantasy publishing.

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:15 AM #2192 What have you been reading recently?

Yep, between Robert Jordan dying and the old fat guy who writes the sing of ice and fire novels, I've almost given up reading any in-progress series.

On the other hand I am part way through the book that got Salman Rushdie his fatwa - The Satanic Verses. Not quite all it was cracked up to be. (Me getting disappointed over famous books seems to be a recurring theme).

On the otherhand, I'm in the process of re-reading Catch-22. A fabulous story and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a 'classic' that is actually living up to its reputation.

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:24 AM #2193 What have you been reading recently?

Recently re-read Persuasion. Easily the finest of Jane Austen's novels, in my opinion. She had a truly remarkable grasp of human nature. Decided to follow it up with re-reading Pride and Prejudice. P&P's writing is a bit more polished, I think, and it's funnier than Persuasion, but the humor is also a bit more...set up or contrived, whereas the humor (and the characters overall) in Persuasion feel much more like real people, or at least like totally real situations. P&P skews a little more in the direction of caricature, versus the slightly toned down quality of Persuasion's satire.

Someone asked about history: I'm currently reading Fateful Lightning by Dr. Allen Guelzo. It's a history of the American Civil War, of which Guelzo is one of the finest historians of our time. I'm not very far into it, but I've read some of his other works and they were quite excellent.

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:27 AM #2194 What have you been reading recently?

View PostAndroid, on 09 January 2017 - 05:37 PM, said:

Anyone read a history book lately?

Sarah Vowell is my favorite author. She writes "humorous narrative historical nonfiction", definitely a niche genre but quite fascinating. Her latest book is "Lafayette in the Somewhat United States". I haven't read it but I loved what I have read by her.
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Posted 10 January 2017 - 04:37 AM #2195 What have you been reading recently?

I don't, as a general rule, read the beginning of a series until the end is published. It's worth making an exception for The Lies of Locke Lamora. The first book is very standalone; I read it and felt completely satisfied without knowing it was a series, and finding out that there is a subsequent series (that I doubt will ever be completed) made me happy to read those but didn't change my feelings about the first book. It's an excellent fantasy heist romp.

—Alorael, who tore through Ancillary Justice and is on to the sequel. Definitely a book meant to be read in a series, although it has enough of a conclusion to mostly stand on its own. Excellent world-building and a fascinating exercise in a factually reliable but very low self-insight narrator.

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Posted 25 January 2017 - 10:01 PM #2196 What have you been reading recently?

Hot update: recently read:
Three Moments of an Explosion by China Mieville: a very uneven collection of short stories. Too many of them lack endings and close on a striking but meaningless image. But when it's good, it's very good.
This Census-Taker also by China Mieville: I am not entirely sure I understood this book. It's very short (a novella) and in uncharacteristically sparse prose for Mieville, but very slippery in terms of meaning (the narrator was a child at the time of the events recounted in the book, making him potentially unreliable) and context (the worldbuilding is only ever hinted at very barely). But it was very well-written and tense and unease-inducing, so I liked it.
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard: a history of Rome (obviously) from its founding to AD 212, the point Beard identifies as the end of the first phase of the Roman Empire. Good, readable, easy to understand. Unusual for this kind of book in that it's really a social history; she's more interested in discussing the everyday lives and ideas of the ancient Romans than in recounting every war and battle in detail, or moralizing about decadent politicians and emperors. I like this, I like the aspect of history that illuminates the continuity of human experience over time and across the world.

Now reading:
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

To read:
Dark Tide: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 by Stephen Puleo (a dead-serious narrative history) (from the "Discussion Questions" section of the webpage: "What surprised you most about the story of the molasses flood?")
A Specter is Haunting Texas by Fritz Leiber (which I originally wanted to read based exclusively on one of its covers)
Still gotta read the Decameron...

View PostThat Burgling Force, on 10 January 2017 - 04:37 AM, said:

—Alorael, who tore through Ancillary Justice and is on to the sequel. Definitely a book meant to be read in a series, although it has enough of a conclusion to mostly stand on its own. Excellent world-building and a fascinating exercise in a factually reliable but very low self-insight narrator.

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 01:30 AM #2197 What have you been reading recently?

Haven't been doing much reading lately, but I'm getting back into writing, which is great. It's been too many years since I tried doing a proper story :)

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Posted 26 January 2017 - 10:11 AM #2198 What have you been reading recently?

I finished The Intended. It didn't suck as much as I feared.

I read Marrow which is a bad book that I read because a cute girl gave it me to read.

I read some of Amy Gerstler's poetry (Dearest Creature) and it was super good and fun and inspiring.

I read Moderato Cantabile again because it is perfect and I wish to hold it inside of me forever.

I just started reading a new translation of The Stranger (interestingly called The Outsider) and comparing it to my favourite translation.

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 11:05 AM #2199 What have you been reading recently?

The Book of Secrets by Brad Meltzer.

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Posted 27 January 2017 - 12:58 PM #2200 What have you been reading recently?

Just finished The Power by Naomi Alderman.

I love this book, and wish it had existed when I was 16.

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:29 PM #2201 What have you been reading recently?

I'm about 1/4th of the way through Unseen by Alexandra Sokoloff, enjoying it :)

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:50 PM #2202 What have you been reading recently?

The Outsorcerer's Apprentice by Tom Holt takes fantasy, science fiction, and modern business models to a different level. Really fun to catch all the fairy tale references hidden away in the story. As for little red riding hood :)
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