Jump to content


What have you been reading recently?


  • Please log in to reply
2201 replies to this topic
Randomizer Randomizer

Tormented Battle Mage

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 4,341
  • 15,886 posts

Posted 27 April 2008 - 10:33 PM #71 What have you been reading recently?

It was in one of the introductions for a book.  Part of the problem was he had a few children and was trying to save for their future educations.  

The figure I've seen is that a basic paper back run nets an author about $20,000.  This is higher for an established author that can command more than the basic $5.99 per book price and royalty.  This is a few years ago so it will be higher due to inflation.
"I don't know how we can ever repay you!" - Rescued damsel in distress
"Oh, I'm sure we can think of something .... How much gold do you have?" - "Hero"

"We're all screwed if Cthulhu shows up. Try to enjoy life in the meantime." - Adam Rawnsley

Harald Slackjaw Harald Slackjaw

Alorael

  • Administrator
    • Member ID: 276
  • 22,090 posts
  • LocationElsewhere

Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:06 AM #72 What have you been reading recently?

That would make a lot more sense if his books didn't regularly and regrettably end up on the NYT's list of bestsellers. Something doesn't quite add up.

—Alorael, who still think Mr. Anthony just likes to get more money, and possibly that he lies about it in introductions.

Pliant Giant Pliant Giant

The Demon of Good Taste

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 223
  • 13,726 posts

Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:40 AM #73 What have you been reading recently?

Well, he's been writing books for more than three decades now, and he's always loved gratuitously long, rambling, personal introductions and afterwords.  30 or even 20 years ago I'm sure his financial conditions were quite different.

I do think he loves what he does.  One of his early books apparently underwent a disastrous transformation at the hands of six different editors before being published; he later had it republished with all of the editors' edits attached as footnotes, along with his own snarky comments directed at the editors.  He does collaborations with lesser known authors, spends time researching new settings, etc.  He has his own quirks and a lot of really muddy ideas but I very much doubt he's in it for the money.
"I, for one, prefer to believe that the forums are dead and that Lilith, Slarty, and I are all ghosts haunting the forum." -- Triumph

"I think we all have days where we feel like a Displacer Iguana." -- Slarty

Rupert Rupert

Hand of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 485
  • 1,516 posts

Posted 28 April 2008 - 09:49 AM #74 What have you been reading recently?

It's always saddened me that, albeit unintentionally, my middle names were after him.

Only thing I've had time to read recently (surprising since I've been on bed rest) has been Adrian Mole and the Weapons of Mass Destruction by Sue Townsend.
Fortune favours the damn lucky.

Callie Callie

SuperCalliefragilisticexpialidocious

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,904
  • 4,168 posts
  • LocationNevada, USA

Posted 28 April 2008 - 07:05 PM #75 What have you been reading recently?

My English class had prevented me from any leisurely reading now.  Currently I'm reading endlessly through books about the middle ages, and then she's going to cram Les Miserables on top of that.    If I ever have children, I'll make sure to warn them about taking an AP English class during their sophomore year.
"I'm so glad you mentioned [goat heads] were weeds. I had never heard of them before, and thought maybe Excalibur lived in an area strewn with the heads of slaughtered goats. : p " - Tyranicus
Restless Souls - My first BoA scenario

Drew Drew

By Committee

  • Member
    • Member ID: 2,804
  • 2,290 posts

Posted 29 April 2008 - 06:34 AM #76 What have you been reading recently?

Les Miserables, though my favorite book ever, seems a strange choice for an AP English class. What's next? The Brothers K?

Callie Callie

SuperCalliefragilisticexpialidocious

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,904
  • 4,168 posts
  • LocationNevada, USA

Posted 30 April 2008 - 05:33 PM #77 What have you been reading recently?

Quote:
Originally written by Drew:
Les Miserables, though my favorite book ever, seems a strange choice for an AP English class. What's next? The Brothers K?
Well, my English teacher also happens to be my French teacher.  Nonetheless, she tends to assign us college level material, so...
"I'm so glad you mentioned [goat heads] were weeds. I had never heard of them before, and thought maybe Excalibur lived in an area strewn with the heads of slaughtered goats. : p " - Tyranicus
Restless Souls - My first BoA scenario

Masked Man of Inscrutability Masked Man of Inscrutability

Lack of Vision

  • Member
    • Member ID: 1,837
  • 231 posts

Posted 30 April 2008 - 06:08 PM #78 What have you been reading recently?

Quote:
Originally written by Goldenking:
Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire by Niall Fergusson. It actually makes a decent argument for why the American Empire should stay.
I find Niall Fergusson has lost his mind.  His last coherent book was the Cash Nexus.  After that it's all been neocon bull****, with Colossus probably being the worst offender.
Pan Lever: Seventeen apple roving mirror moiety. Of turned quorum jaggedly the. Blue?

Harald Slackjaw Harald Slackjaw

Alorael

  • Administrator
    • Member ID: 276
  • 22,090 posts
  • LocationElsewhere

Posted 30 April 2008 - 06:39 PM #79 What have you been reading recently?

Quote:
Originally written by Excalibur:
Quote:
Originally written by Drew:
Les Miserables, though my favorite book ever, seems a strange choice for an AP English class. What's next? The Brothers K?
Well, my English teacher also happens to be my French teacher.  Nonetheless, she tends to assign us college level material, so...
College level English material, or college level French material?

—Alorael, who is surprised that a class is willing to take the time necessary to read through Les Misérables. That's a doorstop of a book, and every second spent reading it isn't spent prepping for tests.

Pliant Giant Pliant Giant

The Demon of Good Taste

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 223
  • 13,726 posts

Posted 30 April 2008 - 08:53 PM #80 What have you been reading recently?

I'd take that over Tess of the flipping D'Urbervilles, which I had to read in high school.  Bleah.
"I, for one, prefer to believe that the forums are dead and that Lilith, Slarty, and I are all ghosts haunting the forum." -- Triumph

"I think we all have days where we feel like a Displacer Iguana." -- Slarty

Drew Drew

By Committee

  • Member
    • Member ID: 2,804
  • 2,290 posts

Posted 01 May 2008 - 02:58 AM #81 What have you been reading recently?

Worst high school read for me was Wuthering Heights in 10th grade, without doubt.

Student of Trinity Student of Trinity

Interloper

  • Member
    • Member ID: 2,306
  • 6,622 posts
  • Locationthe big Hilbert space

Posted 01 May 2008 - 07:30 AM #82 What have you been reading recently?

I've never liked books in which the only real plot complication is characters who desperately need some sense slapped into them.  No doubt our own lives would seem the same way from an omniscient viewpoint, but that doesn't make the books any less annoying.
As long as entropy is doing what we want, we take it for granted, but as soon as it starts killing us, we go all whiny.

Micawber Micawber

Hand of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 1,860
  • 1,591 posts

Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:07 PM #83 What have you been reading recently?

I guess there are different viewpoints in terms of what you want from a book.  My dad will only read books which have strongly drawn characters, doesn't care about the plot or ideas.  Clearly for other people they just want a gripping plot (e.g. John Grisham) or lots of good ideas (e.g. James Blish) and not necessarily the other elements.  Each team may find it difficult to appreciate other styles of literature, e.g. my Dad could not understand the point of Asimov, SoT did not care for Hardy, while I personally struggle with Dostoevsky.
"You sir, are a nitwit." - The Doctor

Gazetteers: Avernum   |  Avernum 2 |  Avernum 3 |  Avernum 4 | Avernum 5 | Avernum 6.  

Karan S'jet Karan S'jet

seiðmaðr

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,440
  • 4,253 posts
  • LocationInvisible Cities

Posted 01 May 2008 - 05:12 PM #84 What have you been reading recently?

Nalyd just finished Maus 1,
The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE
TELL ME. . .
WHAT AM I?
I CANNOT SEE

Dintiradan Dintiradan

Eye of Argon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,273
  • 3,693 posts

Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:29 PM #85 What have you been reading recently?

It's been a while. I've been going through a stack of second hand books that have been collecting dust in my room for the last year.


Finished Dune a while back. The previous comments about Herbert's treatment of politics holds. Earlier on in the book, right after the fall of House Atreides, Paul gets high on spice and starts ranting about how he'll take over the universe with the Fremen. Dude, you've just lost all your military, political, and financial backing, and you're already dreaming about overthrowing the galactic government with a nomadic force who only specialize in desert combat, despite the fact that you have yet to make any contact with this force? One could excuse Herbert for this if the scene were portrayed as Paul being overcome with spice-induced hubris. But no, that's exactly how things turn out. I suppose I should have wrapped spoiler tags around this, but it wouldn't have done any good. The book is completely predictable (though perhaps this is a feature - one of the major themes in the book is predestination and inevitability).

Other gripes about the book include the lack of character depth (I am the fat and evil Vladimir Harkonnen! I am the sadistic and evil Feyd-Rautha!) and the pacing. The entire book gave off the feeling that Herbert was rushing to finish it. Thing is, the book isn't even that long. It felt like Paul spent way to little time with the Fremen. The climatic conflict with the Emperor's forces quite literally lasts several chapters.

I wanted to enjoy the book, I really did. The overarching theme of the deliberate development of a messiah was something I liked. And the Worms are undeniably cool. What says the rest of the Spiderweb population? Do the later Dune books improve? Or would they not be worth my time?


After Dune came Fahrenheit 451, which I loved. Some genres have certain works that are required reading. Any fantasy aficionado must read Tolkien, any lover of poetry must read Shakespeare. But I think everyone in this day and age must read Fahrenheit 451, if for nothing else then for the kick-ass dialogue with Captain Beatty.


Started paging through God In The Dock, which is a small collection of short essays by C.S. Lewis. Meh. Aside from a few doctrinal differences, I've never found Lewis particularly rigourous, and it is less lucid than the only other work of non-fiction I've read by him: Mere Christianity. Not very fair of me to be judging the collection from the first two essays, but still...


The next work of fiction I'll be moving onto will probably be something from Michael Crichton. I have a copy of The Terminal Man from the aforementioned second hand bookstore, but I'll probably read Next first, which I picked up at St. Jacobs last week. I was underwhelmed by Prey, but Next seems to be interesting, for the format at the very least.


(Can you tell I'm not in school right now? That reminds me, I don't think I've plugged The Puzzling Adventures Of Doctor Ecco here yet, at least not in this thread. A fun read if you like learning discrete mathematics through puzzles.)
^<@<: Pronounced exactly as it's spelt.
Design Tutorial (incomplete) | The Metagame | AIMhack Crack Pairings
Artemis (Planning Thread)
Last ten games. What have you been playing lately?

Karan S'jet Karan S'jet

seiðmaðr

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,440
  • 4,253 posts
  • LocationInvisible Cities

Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:35 PM #86 What have you been reading recently?

Herberts books only get more convoluted with time. wink

Fahrenheit 451 is, indeed, an amazing book. Ray Bradbury is an amazing author.

Nalyd is reading Paul Di Fillipo, currently. A great sci-fi author, and one of the weirdest in the field.
The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE
TELL ME. . .
WHAT AM I?
I CANNOT SEE

Randomizer Randomizer

Tormented Battle Mage

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 4,341
  • 15,886 posts

Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:49 PM #87 What have you been reading recently?

A sad note as I was look at  Myth Adventures site I saw that Robert Asprin is dead.  This will leave a major gap in my reading since I always looked forward to the next book.
"I don't know how we can ever repay you!" - Rescued damsel in distress
"Oh, I'm sure we can think of something .... How much gold do you have?" - "Hero"

"We're all screwed if Cthulhu shows up. Try to enjoy life in the meantime." - Adam Rawnsley

Callie Callie

SuperCalliefragilisticexpialidocious

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,904
  • 4,168 posts
  • LocationNevada, USA

Posted 30 June 2008 - 08:57 PM #88 What have you been reading recently?

I picked up Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America.  I have to read for my English class come September, but it looks interesting anyways.  
"I'm so glad you mentioned [goat heads] were weeds. I had never heard of them before, and thought maybe Excalibur lived in an area strewn with the heads of slaughtered goats. : p " - Tyranicus
Restless Souls - My first BoA scenario

Karan S'jet Karan S'jet

seiðmaðr

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,440
  • 4,253 posts
  • LocationInvisible Cities

Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:04 PM #89 What have you been reading recently?

Oh no, not Asprin. frown He was a wonderful author. *Sigh* G'Bye, Skeeve.
The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE
TELL ME. . .
WHAT AM I?
I CANNOT SEE

Lilith Lilith

in before the apocalypse

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 669
  • 19,828 posts
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia

Posted 30 June 2008 - 09:28 PM #90 What have you been reading recently?

Originally Posted By: Dintiradan
I wanted to enjoy the book, I really did. The overarching theme of the deliberate development of a messiah was something I liked. And the Worms are undeniably cool. What says the rest of the Spiderweb population? Do the later Dune books improve? Or would they not be worth my time?

Heh heh heh. The general rule for the Dune series is to start with the first page of the first book and keep reading until you lose interest. The quality more or less steadily declines from the start of each book to the end, and from each book to the next one in the series.

Schoolin' Salmon Schoolin' Salmon

½ Man, ½ Amazing

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,699
  • 5,572 posts

Posted 30 June 2008 - 11:29 PM #91 What have you been reading recently?

I'm reading a book called Alone by Richard Byrd. Mr Explorer Byrd.

It is amazing prose for a guy that isn't a writer.

Oh, and the content is great too.

Lilith Lilith

in before the apocalypse

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 669
  • 19,828 posts
  • LocationMelbourne, Australia

Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:10 AM #92 What have you been reading recently?

Man, what an unfortunate name. Did people call him Dickie Bird in school?

Student of Trinity Student of Trinity

Interloper

  • Member
    • Member ID: 2,306
  • 6,622 posts
  • Locationthe big Hilbert space

Posted 01 July 2008 - 12:13 AM #93 What have you been reading recently?

Re: Dune

My interest really only lasted to the end of the second book.  It was okay.  Then the author totally lost it, and though I made it through the fourth book, I wouldn't recommend either 3 or 4.  It's not really that they're so terribly bad (though book 4 is by no means good) as that there are a lot better books to read, and life is short.

If your interest lasts long enough to start to care how things turn out past book 2, I recommend looking for a plot summary.  You'll get the same disappointment with much less tedium.



As long as entropy is doing what we want, we take it for granted, but as soon as it starts killing us, we go all whiny.

Evnissyen Evnissyen

Blademaster

  • Member
    • Member ID: 5,615
  • 954 posts

Posted 01 July 2008 - 01:50 AM #94 What have you been reading recently?

I read Dune way back in Junior High, and I liked it, but it was so long ago that I can't really remember much of it. It was a long book, if I remember, but I didn't have much of a reading list in those days so I had plenty of time (especially since I preferred not to do school work). I read it after David Lynch's adaptation (which I felt was a better film than the critics would have me believe... and definitely better than that ridiculous remake which, if I remember correctly, ended up stealing some of Lynch's ideas, anyhow).

One has only to check out my literary website to get an idea what manner of weird writer I might or might not have been reading (right-click on name... as if anyone cares). Right now I'm reading Valerie and Her Week of Wonders by Vítezslav Nezval (yes, the book that was adapted for the movie of the same title), Deb Olin Unferth's Minor Robberies, and Henri Michaux's Light through Darkness.

And I make no apologies for obscure references! Do some research if you don't recognize the names! (...right-click on name...)

The G.L.E. Project, cataloging progressive, nontraditional and Absurdist authors, both published and emerging, as well as crazy/interesting narrative web projects
Duotrope's Digest, a huge and growing online database of journals and publishers

Harald Slackjaw Harald Slackjaw

Alorael

  • Administrator
    • Member ID: 276
  • 22,090 posts
  • LocationElsewhere

Posted 01 July 2008 - 11:11 AM #95 What have you been reading recently?

I've now read Vellum and I'm not sure whether it's a pile of pretentiousness wishing Neal Stephenson were its author, a wonderful postmodern novel, or both. And it apparently has a sequel even though the story is deliberately rudimentary, confused, and largely irrelevant.

—Alorael, who thinks he'll skip the sequel. For all the praise heaped on that book, it's more interesting as an exercise than as a book. Reading any one part is fun, but reading the whole just isn't.

Iffy Iffy

The Dough is Rising

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,897
  • 2,628 posts
  • Locationinside my comfortable box

Posted 01 July 2008 - 02:00 PM #96 What have you been reading recently?

I've been reading the Chronicles of Narnia.
Annoyingly, I'm reading through the seven books so fast that I will soon have nothing to read.
(19:01:38) Tyran: There is a time and a place for unfunny idiocy?
(19:01:56) nikki: Yes, Tyran: http://spiderwebforu...orum/3-general/

Callie Callie

SuperCalliefragilisticexpialidocious

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,904
  • 4,168 posts
  • LocationNevada, USA

Posted 01 July 2008 - 04:29 PM #97 What have you been reading recently?

Originally Posted By: Iffy
...I will soon have nothing to read.

Golden Compass is good, if you haven't read it already.
"I'm so glad you mentioned [goat heads] were weeds. I had never heard of them before, and thought maybe Excalibur lived in an area strewn with the heads of slaughtered goats. : p " - Tyranicus
Restless Souls - My first BoA scenario

Karan S'jet Karan S'jet

seiðmaðr

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,440
  • 4,253 posts
  • LocationInvisible Cities

Posted 01 July 2008 - 05:08 PM #98 What have you been reading recently?

Hyperion Cantos. Best books ever.
The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE
TELL ME. . .
WHAT AM I?
I CANNOT SEE

Randomizer Randomizer

Tormented Battle Mage

  • Global Moderator
    • Member ID: 4,341
  • 15,886 posts

Posted 01 July 2008 - 06:22 PM #99 What have you been reading recently?

Jody Lynn Nye's Mythology 101 series is interesting and educational.

Your library or used book store might have by L. Sprague deCamp and Fletcher Pratt, the Harold Shea series of five novellas.  The first two were printed as The Incompleat Enchanter and the Castle of Iron was added to make The Compleat Enchanter.  The last two which are harder to find were printed together as The Wall of Serpents.
"I don't know how we can ever repay you!" - Rescued damsel in distress
"Oh, I'm sure we can think of something .... How much gold do you have?" - "Hero"

"We're all screwed if Cthulhu shows up. Try to enjoy life in the meantime." - Adam Rawnsley

Dikiyoba Dikiyoba

Heart of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 4,222
  • 8,999 posts

Posted 01 July 2008 - 08:31 PM #100 What have you been reading recently?

Just finished A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling. A good, solid ending to the trilogy--a bit better than Dies the Fire and far better than The Protector's War.

Dikiyoba.

Goldengirl Goldengirl

Eye of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,001
  • 2,580 posts

Posted 07 July 2008 - 03:46 PM #101 What have you been reading recently?

I've been busy over the vacation. Read two books, one called Tobacco, which is about this curious weed named after a court physician, and its relation with Man. Goes from the uncertain discovery of tobacco's properties in South America, to its arrival in Europe with the Spaniards, all the way to the present day.

The writer, Iain Gately, has written one other book, a novel. As such, even though the book could be incredibly dry, he really makes it come alive as a story; as every history book should do, in my humblest of opinions. Highly recommended.

The other book was the eigth installment of the Edge Chronicles, The Winter Knights. As usual, Paul Stewart weaves a tale full of imagery, rigor, and even combat; his beautiful portrayal of life upon a giant, floating stone that is freezing to the core is only amplified by Chris Riddell's masterful artwork. Also highly recommended, though it is better to start at the beginning.

Now, I'm reading a memoir by a historian, Stephen Ambrose. To America is a book stretching from the bravery of figures such as Jefferson and Washington all the way to the present. In each chapter, he details the objects of his study, how he studied them, and short, humanistic personal insights. So far it is excellent, and I only hope to be so learned as him in the future.
"Never say anything to anyone that you wouldn't want them to not feel bad about telling someone else about if they said it to someone they cared about as much as they care about you not knowing who they are, because at the end of the first day of the rest of your life, you're going to have to look twice at yourself in the mirror and still be able to sleep through the alarm in the morning after." - Student of Trinity
"I think the ultimate irony, and perhaps insult, would be for bad adventurers to reincarnate as town guards." - Slarty
"Look at me, I can't even be bothered to write my own message! I am truly the more optimal spammer!" - Nikki

Harald Slackjaw Harald Slackjaw

Alorael

  • Administrator
    • Member ID: 276
  • 22,090 posts
  • LocationElsewhere

Posted 07 July 2008 - 04:50 PM #102 What have you been reading recently?

I wanted a cultural experience, so I read Consider Phlebas. And, well, I am.

—Alorael, who isn't sure if he really encountered all the deep themes and meditations on human nature hidden within.

Micawber Micawber

Hand of Avadon

  • Member
    • Member ID: 1,860
  • 1,591 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 10:59 AM #103 What have you been reading recently?

Banks's books do run deep - consider Inversions, which can be read on many levels.  I tend to just relax and enjoy the humour.

Incidentally has anyone read anything by Kevin J. Anderson?  I'm rapidly running out of books here.  Edit: I'm talking about his original stuff, not the star wars/dune tie-ins.
"You sir, are a nitwit." - The Doctor

Gazetteers: Avernum   |  Avernum 2 |  Avernum 3 |  Avernum 4 | Avernum 5 | Avernum 6.  

Schoolin' Salmon Schoolin' Salmon

½ Man, ½ Amazing

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,699
  • 5,572 posts

Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:21 PM #104 What have you been reading recently?

Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Man, what an unfortunate name. Did people call him Dickie Bird in school?

They probably called him by his middle name, Evelyn.

Karan S'jet Karan S'jet

seiðmaðr

  • Member
    • Member ID: 3,440
  • 4,253 posts
  • LocationInvisible Cities

Posted 25 July 2008 - 12:32 PM #105 What have you been reading recently?

The Tesseracts Series. Tesseracts Eleven, to be precise.
The mutilation of the self is the only path towards real personal growth.
WHAT DO YOU SEE?
I MUST KNOW WHAT YOU SEE
TELL ME. . .
WHAT AM I?
I CANNOT SEE




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users