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What have you been reading recently?


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Based on the fact that this topic has over 1.5 million views, everyone's answer should be "What have you been reading recently?"

The topic is dead! Long live the topic!   —Alorael, who will throw in The Ringmaster's Daughter, a relatively normal and therefore still quite unusual novel by Jostein Gaarder. Unlike Sophie's Wor

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

In Nevada, if that's what you mean.

 

I neglected to mention the class is really called Ancient and Medieval Culture. The university includes it as part of its "core humanities" requirement for all bachelor's degrees (or something like that).

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Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom. Sequel to The Hiding Place about her time in the Nazi concentration camps for helping the Jews. The sequel is about her travels around the globe afterwards and how she experienced God in it.

 

Odd thing is, when I first read The Hiding Place I somehow got it in my mind that she was a young girl while at the camp. Turns out she was in her 50's before she got there and traveled the world well into her 80's.

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Originally Posted By: Tyranicus
Since, the fifth book finally has an official release date.
I found out the hard way that doesn't mean anything with Robert Asprin's Myth series and he even gave interviews years in advance of their real release.
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Originally Posted By: Goldenking
I am reading the play, "Dr. Faustus," by Christopher Marlowe. Despite Faustus' annoying habit of referring to himself in third person, I find the play absolutely riveting.


Is it not pretty much the best play you've ever read? I think that only maybe Julius Caesar surpasses it. It's certainly better than most of Shakespeare's comedies, since it manages to be both funny and compellingly tragic at the same time.
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Originally Posted By: Goldenking
Despite Faustus' annoying habit of referring to himself in third person,
You mean like this?

Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Dikiyoba vaguely remembers the loss of titles as happening over a period of time and being fairly random.

Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Sorry, Dintiradan. Dikiyoba tried.

Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Dikiyoba is pretty sure Alorael has had both of those titles, actually.
I'm sorry.

Oh yeah, almost forgot. The Lightning Theif is..my dream come true. Really, I've had dreams like this before. Only I wan't (nor am I now) dyslexic.
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Originally Posted By: Dantius
Originally Posted By: Goldenking
I am reading the play, "Dr. Faustus," by Christopher Marlowe. Despite Faustus' annoying habit of referring to himself in third person, I find the play absolutely riveting.


Is it not pretty much the best play you've ever read? I think that only maybe Julius Caesar surpasses it. It's certainly better than most of Shakespeare's comedies, since it manages to be both funny and compellingly tragic at the same time.


It certainly is. I understand that the English language and its practitioners are indebted to Shakespeare, but we must also give credit to the arts, when it is due. With this play, there is no doubt that it is due.

As for Dikiyoba, yes, like that. When it's in a play, though, it annoys me far more than it does on a forum. That is to say, it actually irks me slightly as opposed to being an amusing quirk.
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Dragon's Deal by Robert Asprin and Jody Lynn Nye.

 

Just started it, but it seems like the others in the series. Lots of background and exposition to help you understand some of what's come before. But then it's still early in the series and I'm wondering how much more Asprin wrote before he died.

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The Immortals, last book of The Edge Chronicles by Pual Stewart & Chris Riddell.

 

I have loved The Edge Chronicles and read them all over the last 3 years. They are some of the few books that I have read more then once, like the Chronicles of Narnia.

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As part of my goal to learn a new programming language, I'm reading C++ Without Fear by Brian Overland. It's the first (and so far, only) C++ book I've found that doesn't assume you have at least a PhD in computer programming or write code for a living.

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That's a pretty strong recommendation. I guess I'll get it; thanks for the tip that it's out. I was waiting for Rothfuss's next one anyway, since The Name of the Wind was pretty good, even though my memories of it and a couple of other books are totally garbled together. If it's music I'm sure it was Rothfuss, but if it was magic school days, I'm really fuzzy. The tropes are thick there, these days.

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Originally Posted By: Thin Gypsy Thief
Just finished The Wise Man's Fear, and I can easily call it the best book I've ever read. Words describing how much I loved it fail me.
Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
That's a pretty strong recommendation. I guess I'll get it; thanks for the tip that it's out. I was waiting for Rothfuss's next one anyway, since The Name of the Wind was pretty good, even though my memories of it and a couple of other books are totally garbled together. If it's music I'm sure it was Rothfuss, but if it was magic school days, I'm really fuzzy. The tropes are thick there, these days.


Ahh, I am now a happy man. I guess I'll be off to the bookstore in the next week or so.
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Originally Posted By: Master1
Originally Posted By: Thin Gypsy Thief
Just finished The Wise Man's Fear, and I can easily call it the best book I've ever read. Words describing how much I loved it fail me.
Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
That's a pretty strong recommendation. I guess I'll get it; thanks for the tip that it's out. I was waiting for Rothfuss's next one anyway, since The Name of the Wind was pretty good, even though my memories of it and a couple of other books are totally garbled together. If it's music I'm sure it was Rothfuss, but if it was magic school days, I'm really fuzzy. The tropes are thick there, these days.


Ahh, I am now a happy man. I guess I'll be off to the bookstore in the next week or so.


I went looking for it on the day of its release, and only belatedly realized I couldn't afford it anyway. The experience (especially because I actually found the book on the first try) was downright infuriating. mad
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Originally Posted By: Nikki.
5000

Congrats, Nikki.

Not to hijack the thread, I've just reread The Outsider, and before that a novel somewhere in the middle of the Aubrey-Maturin series. I lost track of which one I'm on round about book 5, and now I just leave a gap in the bookshelf so that I know which one to read next.
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  • 3 weeks later...

Reading Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson. Great book, but in the series there's a craptpn of stuff to remember, each book is within a couple hundred pages to a thousand.

 

Any American being a Patriot and reading the Constitution, Federalist Papers and such? Where's our forum's Constitutional scholars =P

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Originally Posted By: TheBadAgent
Reading Toll the Hounds by Steven Erikson. Great book, but in the series there's a craptpn of stuff to remember, each book is within a couple hundred pages to a thousand.

Any American being a Patriot and reading the Constitution, Federalist Papers and such? Where's our forum's Constitutional scholars =P



I read a good deal of the Federalist in college, and I think I even did a couple in high school. I'm fairly sure at least reading #10 is mandatory to pass the Constitution test in Illinois, which is mandatory to graduate high school.
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Here in PA, we SAY we study those documents, but we don't study them. I had to read'the Constitution once and it was just enough time to skim it. We never looked at the Federalist Papers. That's what I get for living in one of the #1 liberal states. Hell, our school is trying to tell us that the right to bear'arms is for a militia still! In the Fed Papers, it clearly states that it is to protect the citizens and allow for an arms rebellion, which they thought would happen every twenty years.

 

It's one thing to teach history badly, it's another to blatantly make the youth ignorant and unaware of the true purpose and intelligence behind those documents!

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Originally Posted By: TheBadAgent
Hell, our school is trying to tell us that the right to bear'arms is for a militia still! In the Fed Papers, it clearly states that it is to protect the citizens and allow for an arms rebellion, which they thought would happen every twenty years.


the phrase "the cure is worse than the disease" springs to mind

are you one of those people who thinks the wrong side won the civil war

like i mean i've heard of single-issue voters but this is the first time i've seen a single-issue poster
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Currently reading Thompson's The Rum Diary. I am, ashamedly, completely new to Thompson, but I am really enjoying this - it being the first book in three months I've chosen to read (as opposed to school reading lists) is helping too.

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A colourized version of Bone was rereleased by Scholastic a while back. Bought the first six volumes as a present to myself, both as a blast from the past and because they'd make good presents for the nephews and nieces one day.

 

Mostly enjoying them, but there are a few inconsistent palette choices that are really ticking me off for some reason. Ah well.

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Originally Posted By: TheBadAgent
Here in PA, we SAY we study those documents, but we don't study them. I had to read'the Constitution once and it was just enough time to skim it. We never looked at the Federalist Papers. That's what I get for living in one of the #1 liberal states. Hell, our school is trying to tell us that the right to bear'arms is for a militia still! In the Fed Papers, it clearly states that it is to protect the citizens and allow for an arms rebellion, which they thought would happen every twenty years.

It's one thing to teach history badly, it's another to blatantly make the youth ignorant and unaware of the true purpose and intelligence behind those documents!

The Federalist Papers also generally oppose the idea of the creation of a Bill of Rights, so the degree to which it should be taken as a serious modern political document and not a historical document is rather open to question.

And, well, I don't actually care very much why the Constitution guarantees a right to bear arms. In particular, the idea of a modern armed uprising is somewhat ludicrous: the difference between private arms and military hardware has become so great that an armed uprising is ludicrous. It only works if the army itself defects or if the government chooses not to use all the force at its disposal. EIther way, the situation is vastly different from what it was when the Constitution was drafted. Times change, and documents should too.

—Alorael, who has now read Machine of Death. It's worthwhile.
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Originally Posted By: VCH
But can't US citizens buy automatic weapons, rocket launchers and tanks?

There are limits on what you can buy especially those items. However there are enough legal ways to get around those restrictions. 60 Minutes ran a story about purchasing 50 caliber rifles that were being shipped to the former Yugoslavia and the purchaser just put down they were being shipped to Africa for elephant hunting. He even created a fake hunting club and shipping information to hide their true destination. They were real useful for shooting down planes with their half mile range. smile
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On the other hand it is really difficult for private citizens to get hold of modern, heavy weapons. For example, if I remember correctly it's flat-out illegal for any war plane made after something like 1970 to be privately owned[^1][^2], and while it's possible to do a lot of fighting with weapons like machine guns and rocket launchers it would be very hard to win against warplanes and warships. This is roughly what's been going on recently in Libya, where the rebels have many weapons, but are struggling against the government's heavy wepaons, even after the best of those have been removed.

 

[^1]: I learned about this rule because the government enforces it quite rigorously. My dad works for an aircraft company, and several years ago they wanted to test out installing a new cabling system in a fighter jet. The plan was for them to get the fuselage of a decomissioned plane (the metal of which was considered to be too badly stressed to be flown again). The idea had to be abandoned when it was discovered that the rule about private ownership of planes was considered to apply here, even though it was a fuselage without wings, engines, or most of the internal equipment (to say nothing of weapons), and the company in question was the manufacturer of the plane.

 

[^2]: I suspect that there's a similar rule for armored ground vehicles as well, so while it's not uncommon for a citizen to own a WWII era tank it's probably not possible to get modern model. While a WWII era tank (if armed) would be virtually unstoppable for ordinary police force, it would be basically a joke in an open war, I suspect.

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Originally Posted By: VCH
But can't US citizens buy automatic weapons, rocket launchers and tanks?

If so, all it would take to rise up is a bit of collecting.


Yes, but private citizens can't buy stealth bombers to drop 50,000 pounds of bombs and 16 thermonuclear warheads on HVT's anywhere on the planet with no warning whatsoever. By my estimation, if it were refueled in the air, one B2 bomber would be able to wipe out about 20% of the US's population in a couple hours, more if you factor in the eventual radiation deaths.

And when you consider just how old that technology is, the DOD (what with its $700b annual budget) probably has technology far, far more advanced than that. One dude with a .22, or even 250 million people with Soviet rocket launchers and surplus armaments, still don't stand a chance against the US military if it's fully committed to winning.
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I think you can buy a BAR at least in some states, and I believe you can still own a Sherman tank, and maybe an old bazooka. And maybe you can get hold of a .50 cal sniper rifle. Probably not a .50 cal machine gun.

 

An Abrams tank squadron? Cruise missiles? Helicopter gunships? Nope.

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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
I believe you can still own a Sherman tank
If that's the case, I'd like to own one (preferably non-firing, though still drivable), just to say I own a tank. It would make for one heck of a lawn ornament; of course, that means I wouldn't have much of a lawn....
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Originally Posted By: Dantius
By my estimation, if it were refueled in the air, one B2 bomber would be able to wipe out about 20% of the US's population in a couple hours, more if you factor in the eventual radiation deaths.

Yeah, but most pilots, if given such an order, would probably drop all those bombs on the White House instead, finishing with a kamikaze run, just for good measure.
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I finished The Wise Man's Fear, which was long but, indeed, good. And I'm about half-way through The Diamond of Darkhold, the last in the Ember series, reading it to my kids as a bed-time story. I also just bought Dirk Gently, which I've never read, but haven't started it yet.

 

Kindle for iPhone is kind of scary. You think, "Hey, I'd like that book." And in less than a minute, no matter where you are, you have it. Shucks, it's almost like we're living in The Future.

 

Books are small files.

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