What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Sep 19, 2015 5:21 pm UTC

I recently finished a couple of Alan Watts' books, the book on the taboo against knowing who you are, and the way of zen. Interesting reads, even though there's significant thematic overlap. The eastern philosophical tradition is fairly orthogonal to western philosophical tradition. Feels like my view of the world has been turned inside-out as though it were a shirt I'd put on the wrong way.

Now I'm reading The Martian. Really sucks you in. Read about half the book in my initial sit-down intended to be more of a 10 minute "Hmm, maybe I should read a few pages to see what this book is about." I also have Dune lined up after that.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby addams » Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:29 pm UTC

Interesting book, You, sir, name?.
The book on the taboo against knowing who you are.

This may be a link to The Book.
http://terebess.hu/english/AlanWatts-On ... %20Are.pdf


Spoiler:
Nevertheless, wonder is not a disease. Wonder, and its expression in poetry and the arts, are among the most important things which seem to distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.


distinguish men from other animals, and intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

Elitist?
Is elitist bad?

intelligent and sensitive people from morons.

I'm sorry.
I got 'stuck' on the first page.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:15 pm UTC

It is occasionally a bit preachy, but I didn't find it particularly elitist.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zohar » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:25 am UTC

Currently reading Roma Eterna, and enjoying it quite a bit. It's an alternate history of a world where the Roman empire didn't fall. It kind of reminds me of Foundation in that it seems (so far) to tell short stories in chronological order along the fictional history of this Roman empire. Could use a few more women characters, but I suppose I'm still at the beginning.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zohar » Sun Sep 20, 2015 3:25 am UTC

Currently reading Roma Eterna, and enjoying it quite a bit. It's an alternate history of a world where the Roman empire didn't fall. It kind of reminds me of Foundation in that it seems (so far) to tell short stories in chronological order along the fictional history of this Roman empire. Could use a few more women characters, but I suppose I'm still at the beginning.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby addams » Sun Sep 20, 2015 4:12 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:It is occasionally a bit preachy, but I didn't find it particularly elitist.

Reading at all is becoming somewhat elitist, again.
I have been learning that many people can not read an entire paragraph of text.
To read an entire book is out of the question.

George W. had intended to increase the reading skills of Americans.
When I listened to him in 2000 C.E. I did not know we had a problem.

Fifteen years later, I agree with the man.
Function illiteracy is not good enough.

How each of the Posters on this forum became literate enough to read and enjoy a whole book is a small miracle.
Personally, I am ever so grateful to the men and women that fought for Public Education and gave their lives to it.

It was difficult for me to learn to read,
An educator reached out and taught me.

The teacher could not do the work for me.
It was hard work for a young child. I did it.

Excuse me.
Back on topic:

I am re-reading Night Crossings by Jon Humboldt Gates.
It is a small book of true stories written the way men used to tell each other stories.
The stories are about crossing 'The Bar' of Humboldt Bay at night during foul weather.

I live near the water.
I can hear the Fog Horn in the distance from my bed.
Tonight, out there in the dark, people are in boats.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Negated » Tue Sep 22, 2015 12:26 am UTC

I read Among Others earlier this year and enjoyed it. So I picked up Jo Walton's newer novel The Just City from the library. It is very much a thought experiment to carry out Plato's ideas in The Republic. I did not read Plato's Republic or any other work before, and I imagine that someone who did would get more out of it. The book does summarize enough of it to make sure the reader is not lost in confusion. Besides showing what may or may not work in Plato's Republic, the book also discusses topics like justice, freedom, choices, and so on. It also features Socrates asking questions. Many questions.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Kristen23 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:33 am UTC

Redeployment by Phil Klay.
A soldier who has had to shoot dogs because they were eating human corpses must learn what it is like to return to domestic life in suburbia. Interwoven within his tale are the stories of a lance corporal, a mortuary affairs marine, a chaplain and a young foreign services officer. These stories reveal the intricate combination of monotony, bureaucracy, comradeship and violence that make up a soldier's daily life at war and the isolation, remorse and despair that can accompany a soldier's homecoming.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Jan 16, 2016 6:29 pm UTC

Just finished reading Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune. Good shit.

Now, onto the Foundation trilogy.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zohar » Sat Jan 16, 2016 7:28 pm UTC

You should really have read those in order, not all at the same time.

Joking, of course. Also I never continued beyond Dune because I hear the sequels are very uneven, and don't end well.

As for what I'm reading, it's Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb. Just like the Assassin's Apprentice and its sequels (which are set in the same world), it's very good, pretty depressing, and takes me ages to read.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby rmsgrey » Sat Jan 16, 2016 9:01 pm UTC

Zohar wrote:You should really have read those in order, not all at the same time.

Joking, of course. Also I never continued beyond Dune because I hear the sequels are very uneven, and don't end well.

As for what I'm reading, it's Ship of Magic, by Robin Hobb. Just like the Assassin's Apprentice and its sequels (which are set in the same world), it's very good, pretty depressing, and takes me ages to read.


I avoid Robin Hobb ever since I read her fanfiction rant, where, among other things, she made it clear she doesn't want her readers to think about what could possibly happen around the story beyond what's literally on the page. Since I don't know any way to avoid doing that other than just not reading the books in the first place, I don't.

The Dune sequels are uneven, and go to some weird places, but they also have some interesting ideas. The prequels and whatever else his heirs are producing nowadays are generally perfectly acceptable reading matter, but nothing special (unless they've improved markedly since my sampling).

I'm currently poised to start Divergent, Amazon having given me a free Kindle copy for some reason (probably in hopes that I'll go on to buy the sequels) - as soon as I get around to it, any day now, etc...

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Woopate » Wed Feb 03, 2016 4:52 pm UTC

I just finished Seveneves. The first two parts were really good, a little more generous with the fiction than The Martian was but I thought the third part should have been a standalone story or a sequel. It was very jarring for me to go through 500 pages with a set of characters and then suddenly jump to a gigaton of worldbuilding and new characters. I get that it was all necessary and there were lots of neat ideas, but it could have been a separate book. Or a separate short title within the same book rather than "part 3" of a book where
Spoiler:
Part 1 was "preparing to deal with the disaster", part 2 was "dealing with the disaster", with all the same characters, then part 3 was literally "5,000 years later" and suddenly nothing is familiar. One of these things is not like the other.


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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:08 pm UTC

I'm currently reading The Silkworm, by "Robert Galbraith" (i.e. J. K. Rowling). I've already read the first one in the series (The Cuckoo's Calling). They are certainly not very Harry Potter-y, and occasionally I feel like she's putting stuff in there just because she couldn't ever have gotten away with it in Harry Potter, but overall I'm actually really enjoying them.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Kristen23 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 1:25 pm UTC

Right now it is Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train.
A psychological thriller of sorts, this is the story of a girl named Rachel who takes the same commuter train every morning. And then suddenly she sees something shocking. She goes to the police and then before she knows it, everything's changed. How? That's what the story is all about.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Echo244 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:34 pm UTC

Iain M Banks' The Hydrogen Sonata. Liking it so far. Slightly scared of it ending, because that's the last of his M work that I haven't read. Still miss the beardy git, but probably time I enjoyed this book, and learned to let go.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby flicky1991 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:14 pm UTC

flicky1991 wrote:I'm currently reading The Silkworm, by "Robert Galbraith" (i.e. J. K. Rowling). I've already read the first one in the series (The Cuckoo's Calling). They are certainly not very Harry Potter-y, and occasionally I feel like she's putting stuff in there just because she couldn't ever have gotten away with it in Harry Potter, but overall I'm actually really enjoying them.

And now I've finished the third one (Career of Evil). Even better.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Felstaff » Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:41 am UTC

I preferred the Silkworm to Career of Evil for the story, but I really enjoyed the character development in CoE. I thought Cuckoo's Calling was fairly middling, but overall a solid attempt for a first-time crime writer. The Casual Vacancy was the novel she seemed to put in stuff that she simply couldn't in Harry Potter. The writing and content in the Cormoran Strike novels feels much more apt. The swearing and macabre detail don't feel out of place, whereas the grim class-war effing-and-jeffing of the Casual Vacancy felt forced, as if the whole novel were nothing but social commentary. Which, come to think of it, it was.

I've just finished Armada, Ernest Cline's rewriting of Ender's Game/The Last Starfighter. It's pretty much what I expected--airport reading for gamer geeks--although I didn't appreciate the non-stop-pop-culture references as much as I did for Ready Player One. Whereas RP1 was almost entirely '80s-driven, Armada was entirely '10s-driven. Most of the stuff that the protagonist's gamer chums say sounds dated already; the book was only released in 2015!

I think the hardest part is when published works attempt to use modern youth vernacular, as so many words and phrases that bubble up on the internet burst within a few months, before sinking beneath the all-consuming tidal wave of user-generated content. Who, in 2020, is still going to be saying "on fleek"? Who, even now, ever says "epic win!" or "epic fail!" any more? What about "lol"? Kids are saying haha nowadays. I sound like a dinosaur for simply mentioning "user-generated content" a minute ago. That was old in 2005! The internet's power of memetic saturation shows that the use of language (particularly, almost exclusively superlatives) moves at a much faster pace nowadays, faster than the lumbering behemoth of the publishing world. As such, a book published in 2015, and probably written predominantly in 2014, sounds really outdated when being read in 2016. I still find it jarring whenever somebody mentions an iPad for reasons I expound upon here. Coincidentally, I also seem to mention Ready Player One in that post. I'm starting to sound like an Ernest Cline fanboy.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Feb 26, 2016 4:37 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote:I think the hardest part is when published works attempt to use modern youth vernacular, as so many words and phrases that bubble up on the internet burst within a few months, before sinking beneath the all-consuming tidal wave of user-generated content. Who, in 2020, is still going to be saying "on fleek"? Who, even now, ever says "epic win!" or "epic fail!" any more? What about "lol"? Kids are saying haha nowadays. I sound like a dinosaur for simply mentioning "user-generated content" a minute ago. That was old in 2005! The internet's power of memetic saturation shows that the use of language (particularly, almost exclusively superlatives) moves at a much faster pace nowadays, faster than the lumbering behemoth of the publishing world.


I'm not convinced that youth vernacular moves any faster now than it did in my youth - or a century ago when school stories were being written including language fads that swept the school and were gone in weeks. If there's a difference, it's that the language fads can reach a wider audience, and can be synchronised across a much larger population...

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:46 pm UTC

I just finished reading The Girl with All the Gifts last night, it was an excellent read. It's a sci-fi horror suspense-y sort of book that's pretty disturbing and kept providing me with some dreams/nightmares about the subject material (that part was not as fun).

Now I moved to Ready Player One which I heard was good and was available from the library.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:37 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:Just finished reading Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune. Good shit.

Now, onto the Foundation trilogy.


Alright, so that ended too.

Now for Cat's Cradle.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Fri Apr 08, 2016 5:24 pm UTC

Stayed up way too late last night to finish reading Ready Player One. It was OK, overall. Its best qualities are it's light, often funny, and flows relatively well.

For those who don't know about it, it's a story set in the 2040s, an online VR environment called the OASIS is so popular pretty much everyone uses it. The ultra-rich creator of it dies and decides to create an Easter egg hunt, with the first winner getting basically all of his money. The hunt is littered with 80s reference, since the creator was super into them.

It's a very obvious power fantasy for geek boys. I wouldn't mind it if it weren't very cliched, but then after a while the author drops in a pointless plot about a giant corporation which also hunts for the egg - a plot which, to me, detracted from the actually interesting VR stuff going on. It also seemed like the story was written with a future movie adaptation in mind (and there is a movie planned, the movie deal was signed a year before the novel was actually published). And with all of its supposedly loving references to geek culture, the end of the novel points out more than once how much more value the "real world" has over the VR world, which I was very bothered about. I just felt it wasn't true to the spirit of the book or the characters.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Aiwendil » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:Just finished reading Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune. Good shit.

Now, onto the Foundation trilogy.


Alright, so that ended too.

Now for Cat's Cradle.


How did you like the Foundation trilogy? It's very near the top of my list of favorites, particularly parts of Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:10 am UTC

Aiwendil wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:Just finished reading Dune, Dune Messiah, and Children of Dune. Good shit.

Now, onto the Foundation trilogy.


Alright, so that ended too.

Now for Cat's Cradle.


How did you like the Foundation trilogy? It's very near the top of my list of favorites, particularly parts of Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation.


It was a very enjoyable read, but the man sure likes his deus ex machinas. Although I like how that expectation is eventually subverted.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:22 pm UTC

Finished Ready Player One (which was OK. Mostly fun but meh), and am reading Miracle's Boys, by Jacqueline Woodson, which is incredibly sad. Luckily it's very short. It's beautiful, but it's just so depressing.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby You, sir, name? » Tue May 03, 2016 12:27 am UTC

Oh yeah, I guess I finished Cat's Cradle. That Vonnegut is a funny guy.

Now I'm reading Don Quixote. So far it's oddly relatable given it's 400 years old.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Tue May 03, 2016 12:50 pm UTC

I reread The Wee Free Men, and I'll continue later with the rest of the Tiffany Aching books. Right now I'm reading Axis, the sequel to the excellent Spin. Except I read it several years ago and a character has just been referred to as being Significant and I had to reread the wiki entry on the story of the first novel to understand who it was.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed May 04, 2016 5:50 pm UTC

I recently finished reading a book called Death of a Red Heroine. It's a murder mystery novel set in 1990 Shanghai. I thoroughly enjoyed it. A lot of the book has to do with the specifics of Chinese politics at a local level (how the investigation is allowed to proceed, etc.) or even the personal lives and struggles of the characters (the Chief Inspector is also a poet and literary critic) so it's not fully about the mystery. But it was very good and I recommend it.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Kristen23 » Sat May 28, 2016 12:31 pm UTC

My Name is Lucy Barton by the Pulitzer prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout.
In the story, Lucy Barton undergoes an operation and is recovering when her mother, who hasn't seen her for years, comes to visit. How they reconnect and reminisce over everything gone by which was unsaid and yet in their hearts is what somewhat makes up the story.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby emceng » Tue Jun 07, 2016 6:12 pm UTC

I have been on a reading kick lately, mostly light-ish fantasy. Picked up On a Pale Horse on Saturday to re-read, and finished it by Sunday afternoon. Read Songs of the Earth by Elspeth Cooper, and thought it was pretty bad. Pretty sure the author had a major crush(or more) at some point with a teacher. I'd advise against reading it. Also read The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin. Didn't love it, but it was well written. Now I picked up her first novel, the hundred thousand kingdoms. Enjoying it so far, we'll see. Haven't completed many books this year. Spent a bunch of time on two textbooks, and have been spending too much time on video games instead. Plus, having a live-in girlfriend seems to suck up tons of free time.
Edit - Oh yeah, also read The Looking Glass Wars by some guy. A new take on Alice in Wonderland. It's young adult, but shitty ya. Compared to say Harry Potter there's a huge gulf in writing ability.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby pogrmman » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:48 pm UTC

Just finished Anathem by Neil Stephenson. I liked it quite a lot. The philosophical/scientific parts were neat. I agree with lots of people that the plot itself was kind of simplistic, but the world-building and dialogs they had were great.

I'm starting to re-read Look to Windward by Ian M. Banks -- it's a great book, even though I've never read any of the rest of he Culture series.

I'm also probably going to read another Nabakov novel, I just haven't decided which one yet.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Echo244 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:40 pm UTC

<Passes pogrmman another i to put in Iain M Banks' name />

I miss the beardy git.

The rest of the Culture series is also good. I think the early ones are more variable, with The Player of Games and Use of Weapons as highlights, but later ones are pretty solid. Non-Culture-M works are also good, but beware the phonetic spelling in bits of Feersum Endjinn which some people don't get on with.

I'm going to have to pick up some more Stephenson myself, having loved Anathem. Seveneves had mixed reviews, so I might dabble in something older.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Echo244 » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:31 pm UTC

...now reading The Diamond Age: Or, The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer and loving it. Wish I had had someone trying to teach me subversion...
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Mambrino » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:56 am UTC

I finally got around to reading Andy Weir's The Martian... and it was okay. The science part of the science certainly was there, but on the other hand I was a bit disappointed in it as a novel. It's mostly just a log of the protagonist solving different problems, and while the engineer-in-me certainly thought it was fun to read about, I thought it still was missing something. Also, especially the ending

Spoiler:
where his crew by miraculous orbital mechanics get to be the ones to finally save him, in an exciting action sequence! ...was bit of a letdown... In my opinion 300 pages more of managing starvation until the supply ship arrives would have somehow more interesting ...


On the other hand, it was also realistic in the sense that the first humans on Mars will probably be like him. Engineer-botanists trying to survive and complaining about music playlist, instead of great poets.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:54 pm UTC

Yeah, I actually think the movie is better here, but that may be because I read the book after watching the movie. It seemed like the book had a bit too much science in places, and the prose wasn't great.
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emceng
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby emceng » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:08 pm UTC

Echo244 wrote:...now reading The Diamond Age: Or, The Young Lady's Illustrated Primer and loving it. Wish I had had someone trying to teach me subversion...


Dangit, now I want to re-read that. I really enjoyed it. Currently reading a book for my job, but also for fun reading The Undoing Project about Kahneman and Tversky's lives and collaboration in psychology. I've read lots on their research, so it is neat to learn about their lives and how they got there.
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up. - CS Lewis

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pogrmman
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby pogrmman » Sun Apr 09, 2017 6:50 pm UTC

I'm starting to re-read Ada right now.

I finished it a week or so ago, and it is better now being re-read -- especially the first few chapters. Those can be hard to get through without reading them really carefully.

It is a great book though, just in general. I really enjoy reading a few pages, than flipping to the notes by "Vivian Darkbloom" (Nabakov) that are in the back of the book (the notes also help with the French spread throughout the book). Like most of his stuff, you could go super deep into the book. I like how many levels you can read it at -- even at just a shallow level, it is a fun, interesting read. But there is also a lot of interesting subtext and stuff too.

Aura
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Aura » Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:16 pm UTC

I just finished rereading 1984 by George Orwell. The ending gets me every time I read it- overwhelmingly believeable and in reach. I plan on starting either Hyperion by Dan Simmons or any of the Culture books written by Iain Banks next.

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plytho
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby plytho » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:40 pm UTC

Aura wrote:I just finished rereading 1984 by George Orwell. The ending gets me every time I read it- overwhelmingly believeable and in reach. I plan on starting either Hyperion by Dan Simmons or any of the Culture books written by Iain Banks next.

I really enjoyed the hyperion series. Started one of the culture books a while back but I couldn't get into it (probably more related to my mood at the time than to the quality of the book).
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Zohar
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

Postby Zohar » Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:00 pm UTC

Just finished rereading Howl's Moving Castle, which is delightful (though I think slightly convoluted). Started A Wizard of Earthsea - I've never read any Ursula Le Guin books before.
Mighty Jalapeno: "See, Zohar agrees, and he's nice to people."
SecondTalon: "Still better looking than Jesus."

Not how I say my name


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