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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
Originally Posted By: Alo R. Ael
now reread The Illearth War. He didn't read the preceding book and he has no intention of rereading the sequels until Stephen R. Donaldson ... finishes the third Covenant series.The first Covenant trilogy wasn't bad.


The first Covenant trilogy was okay. A little wonky in places, a little hokey in others. But if nothing else it pulled off a manifestly evil Dark Lord, as opposed to the largely ex officio evil of Tolkien's Sauron, and in my opinion this made up for the books' other moral absurdities.

But the second trilogy wasn't just silly, it was also bad. I've had no inclination to check out the third installment. Should I?


Second trilogy had it's moments, but mostly because it was used to string together some ideas that never made the first trilogy. I looked at the start of the third one and decided to pass.
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Originally Posted By: Student of Trinity
But the second trilogy wasn't just silly, it was also bad. I've had no inclination to check out the third installment. Should I?

I haven't read any of it, so I don't know. I did like the second trilogy, though, so our mileages may vary. Non-directly, to be more precise.

—Alorael, who thinks of Dune as a case of a series expanding. The first two books are about Paul. The rest of the series is about his offspring and the aftereffects of his life. And his universe. They're different, but they're still good as long as you don't demand Muad'dib from everything with Dune in the title.
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Originally Posted By: Alorael
Alorael, who thinks of Dune as a case of a series expanding. The first two books are about Paul. The rest of the series is about his offspring and the aftereffects of his life. And his universe. They're different, but they're still good as long as you don't demand Muad'dib from everything with Dune in the title.

So they're like Anne McCaffrey's Rowan series of books? The saga that starts with Rowan and then continues with her children and then their children? That would be interesting.

Just realized I'm missing Heretics of Dune, but I'm still going to read the books before that. Maybe I'll get it for Christmas! laugh In fact I might as well get all the rest of the books while I'm at it.....maybe I'll like them, maybe I won't, we'll see.
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  • 3 weeks later...

That's because Heinlein insisted on shoving his political philosophy down your throat in most of his works. His books are decent enough although one friend reviewed Friday as:

 

Click to reveal..
A typical Heinlein female heroine, save the world and be home by five to make dinner.
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Originally Posted By: Toby-Linn
Mercedes Lackey is awesome, I think my favorite books of hers are the Queens Own series -- Arrows of the Queen, Arrows Flight and Arrows Fall.


Blasphemy! Brightly Burning is the best Valdemar novel followed by the Mage Storms trilogy and The Last Herald-Mage trilogy.
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  • 1 month later...

Has anyone else read Wicked? I read it about a week ago and I'm still confused by it. The pacing threw me off the whole time; it spent a long time detailing things I didn't really care about and then it would either quickly summarize or just flat-out skip forward in time whenever something interesting was about to happen.

 

Dikiyoba is disappointed, because it sounded really interesting.

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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Has anyone else read Wicked? I read it about a week ago and I'm still confused by it. The pacing threw me off the whole time; it spent a long time detailing things I didn't really care about and then it would either quickly summarize or just flat-out skip forward in time whenever something interesting was about to happen.

Dikiyoba is disappointed, because it sounded really interesting.

i haven't (read it), but started it once. it sounded good so i am sad to hear that it isn't that good.
oh well i will start it again and see if i like it.
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Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Has anyone else read Wicked? I read it about a week ago and I'm still confused by it. The pacing threw me off the whole time; it spent a long time detailing things I didn't really care about and then it would either quickly summarize or just flat-out skip forward in time whenever something interesting was about to happen.

Dikiyoba is disappointed, because it sounded really interesting.


After reading it, and reflecting on it, I realized that that book really is of no real note. Seeing the book as a standalone novel kills it off. During most of the book I was trying to figure out how everything fit into the movie's plot. That, and the excessive romance, seemed to be the only true appeal to the book. Sure, it had a few themes and ideas worth noting, but they felt tossed in, detracting from the plot without adding anything. Overall, it was frustrating.

That said, lately, I've been reading Plato's The Republic, and Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, side by side. That's an interesting experience, most certainly.
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I found books by Lillith Saintcrow to be quite enjoyable and well written. They may not appeal to some, especially those that aren't that fond of action.

 

Just finished reading Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. I would recommend it for anyone who liked HHG2G, as it is full of Adams' brand of craziness.

 

I've also been wanting to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War for quite some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it.

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Originally Posted By: A Figment Of Your Imagination
I've also been wanting to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War for quite some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it.


pro tip: it's overrated unless you are actually an ancient chinese general

the only non-obvious parts that are still relevant are the bits about how to use secret agents, so, uh, if you're in a position where you have to decide how to use secret agents you might want to read it
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Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to not read it now. Unless I stumble upon a device that teleports me through time/space to ancient China, in which case I still won't read it because the closest available copy is written in Chinese.

 

I've read Dune and many of it's sequels. Then I went for a prequel, attempted to connect everything together, and got a headache. This may just be because it was around 2 - 3 am.

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Originally Posted By: Thuryl
Originally Posted By: A Figment Of Your Imagination
I've also been wanting to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War for quite some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it.


pro tip: it's overrated unless you are actually an ancient chinese general

the only non-obvious parts that are still relevant are the bits about how to use secret agents, so, uh, if you're in a position where you have to decide how to use secret agents you might want to read it


Protip: It is not overrated, because it contains the word "awesomeness" about 5 times per page. However, instead invest more effort and read all the Seven Military Classics. A compiliation should be right next to Art of War on the bookshelf of whatever bookstore you go to.
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What translation do you have? It sounds awesome.

 

—Alorael, who has now read The Braided Path, which gets points for using a pseudo-Chinese culture instead of a pseudo-European one and loses more points for not being very good or very good at using a different culture.

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Using a gift card I got for Christmas, I bought Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and read it. It's actually pretty good children's literature, considering it's the only version I've seen that wasn't stripped down and rewritten for preschoolers.

Originally Posted By: A Figment Of Your Imagination
I've also been wanting to read Sun Tzu's The Art of War for quite some time now, but haven't quite gotten around to it.
I also bought that with the gift card, more out of curiosity than anything else. I haven't started reading it yet.

 

Happy birthday, Diki!

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Originally Posted By: Goldenking
After reading it, and reflecting on it, I realized that that book really is of no real note. Seeing the book as a standalone novel kills it off. During most of the book I was trying to figure out how everything fit into the movie's plot. That, and the excessive romance, seemed to be the only true appeal to the book. Sure, it had a few themes and ideas worth noting, but they felt tossed in, detracting from the plot without adding anything. Overall, it was frustrating.

Okay, thanks. It felt like Dikiyoba was missing something about that book, but apparently not.
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I've been reading Christopher Fowler's Peculiar Crimes Unit Mysteries recently, but since they were written in the UK it's been difficult finding them. So far I've read The Victoria Vanishes and Bryant and May on the Loose. I have The Water Room and Full Dark House as I got them for Christmas, but I haven't gotten around to reading them yet. I'm also just starting I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.

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Got Stephen King's latest, Under the Dome, for Christmas and have read the first couple of chapters. However I think I will probably finish reading Nightmares and Dreamscapes (a book of his short stories) first.

 

Also picked up a H.G. Wells book with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The War of the Worlds which I might start reading today when I have to travel a lot on the subway and bus. And that reminds me, still trying to read Dune.....

 

One of these days I'll read one book at a time, and then I'll probably be less confused about things. tongue

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Originally Posted By: Toby-Linn
Also picked up a H.G. Wells book with The Time Machine, The Island of Dr. Moreau and The War of the Worlds
I've read The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds; they're both good, though it's been several years since I've read them. I haven't gotten around to reading The Island of Dr. Moreau yet, even though I got it at the same time as the other two, along with one or two other H.G. Wells books, and a book with some of his short stories.
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I got a bunch of non-fiction for Christmas.

 

What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell. Turns out I had already read most of the chapters in The New Yorker, but it's nice to have them together. I like this guy.

 

Super-Freakonomics by those same two guys who wrote the ordinary Freakonomics. Kind of the same everything-is-not-what-it-seems genre as Gladwell, but with an economic line.

 

The Imperial Cruise, about the turn-of-last-century secret racist machinations of Teddy Roosevelt and his buddies. I've learned that waterboarding has been the US government's torture of choice for over a hundred years.

 

I also borrowed from my brother a huge thick out-of-print paperback by Tad Williams, The War of the Flowers. Has some quite cool ideas, and the prose is fine, but it's quite a badly made novel. Few characters are believable and he resorts to fluke ex machina to resolve his plot. One thing that does work is the characterization of the protagonist as a slacker; but it works too well. The putative hero is so passive that most of the important actions in the plot are performed by minor characters.

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Quote:
What the Dog Saw, by Malcolm Gladwell. Turns out I had already read most of the chapters in The New Yorker, but it's nice to have them together. I like this guy.


I have that book's voice recording, and I also have Blink and Outliers, some of his other books. They're all very interesting.
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War of the Flowers is by far my least favorite of Tad WIliams's books. It's not actually really worth reading at all except for the setting, which isn't enough to carry the novel.

 

—Alorael, who happens to be in the middle of Tailchaser's Song, also by Tad Williams. It's Watership Down with cats. It's good, and it captures cats surprisingly well, but it doesn't seem to match its lapine predecessor.

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I enjoyed Tailchaser's Song fairly well, although it got pretty weird toward the end. (Or perhaps it only took until part way in to get pretty weird, it's been a while since I've read it.)

 

I have begun work on Terry Pratchett's newest book, but I haven't finished yet, so i'll withhold judgment. I also re-read The Soul of a New Machine a bit earlier and forgot to mention it in my last post. It was shorter than I'd recalled, which enhances the strangeness of the idea of a team designing and programming an entire computer with a new architecture in somewhat over a year. (If I remember the timeframe rightly. Apparently I'm not so good at remembering what I read a week ago, either.)

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Speaking of Pratchett, what's the recommended entry point for his books? If I wanted to dive into Discworld, should I start with The Colour of Magic and proceed forward? Or would it be better to pick a later point of entry, or perhaps a self-contained novel to start with (I hear Small Gods happens before the events of other novels)? Something like Good Omens instead?

 

Oh, and I'm reading the Player's Handbook for D&D 4.0. With 3.0, I read the book cover-to-cover (excluding spells) before playing a single session, but this time I've already played two sessions, skimming the character creation sections.

 

Don't get me wrong, it is a decent system, and I've enjoyed playing with it. But boy does a lot of the book deal with combat. I suppose it's unavoidable; the bulk of the 3.0 PHB dealt with spell descriptions -- half of them only relevant to two classes. But it does strengthen D&D's reputation as a combat-only RPG. A lot of people claim this is irrelevant, as you can still run non-combat encounters in D&D 4.0, despite the majority of rules dealing with combat. That may be true, but by that argument, F.A.T.A.L. isn't a RPG about sex.

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