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 Rowadanr » Thu Oct 21, 2010 7:07 pm UTC

paravatar wrote:Just finished with "The Quiet War" by McAuley; liked it very much, hard SF with speculative biology. Continuing with the sequel "The gardens of the Sun".
In parallel Mort (Pratchett), Visual Explanations (Tufte), Dune, A World without End and some more.
Re-reading Ringworld, and QED
And the stuff for work…


I am currently flicking through both The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun for the science, ecology and Outer-society bits, which I absolutely love... and not being able to help skipping the rest because I both don't enjoy politics-scheming-and-intrigue plots and I rather dislike the characters, who as far as I can tell all seem to be neurotic jerks with interesting skills and professions, with the exception of Macy who seems to have "This is the one you're supposed to like" tattooed on her forehead. I'd probably enjoy it a lot more if there was even a single viewpoint character who was a native Outer, even though I understand the reasons why there wasn't.
Particularly like Sri Hong Owen's "Probability space of biology" comments, I'd like to do that. With architecture, as well.

Meanwhile, just this morning I finished Galileo's Dream by Kim Stanley Robinson, wonderful book, even though stopping-and-starting means that I've taken slightly more than a full year to finish it. I bought it a week after it came out, and that now means nothing. Apart from the above I'm not entirely sure what else I'm readioactive, probably something, though.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Nemphael » Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:01 am UTC

Finally found two of Marus Zusak's Books - I Am the Messenger and Fighting Ruben Wolfe. About 1/3 finished with FRW, and I've read the first few pages of IAtM. Markus Zusak, the author of The Book Thief, isn't my favorite author without a reason. Also, about 4/5 done with Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. I thought it was somewhat different from the TV show, even when applying Michael C. Hall's character in my mind theater or what you might call it. Oh, and after that, Darren Shan's Birth of a Killer, the first book in the saga of Larten Crepsley. I missed those vampire books...

Anywhoes, a few other books are on hold, including the sixth HHGttG, Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex, The Art of War by Sun Tsu, Do AndroidsDream of Electric Sheep and a few others. Start reading more, darn it!
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Microscopic cog » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:18 pm UTC

Portrait of an Artist as a young man by J. Joyce.
Spoiler:
Interviewer: Some people say they can’t understand your writing even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?

William Faulkner: Read it four times.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby lanicita » Fri Oct 29, 2010 6:36 am UTC

I spent every bit of my free time today reading the entirety of The Hunger Games. I couldn't put it down, and now I've ordered the sequels on Amazon to come on Monday. Young adult is already my favorite genre, and mixing it with dystopian is almost too beautiful to handle. My only gripe about the book is that it bothered me that Katniss is oblivious to how the boys around her feel and how she feels about them.

I'm also in the middle of the first book in the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, which is a decent story but a little too straightforward for my tastes (I prefer more flowery prose, or else total minimalism). And I'm in the middle of rereading the Anne of Green Gables series. And I also just got the new Ken Follett book, Fall of Giants, from the library, so that's another thousand pages for reading. I need more time to read!
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Plasma Man » Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:59 pm UTC

I'm currently re-reading Life of Pi. I remembered enjoying it before, and I am enjoying it now, but only because I've reached the second part. I'd forgotten how much there is to get to before the adventure really begins.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cv4 » Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:40 pm UTC

About to start American Gods most likely. Possibly His Majesty's Dragon though (looked cool, got it at Chapters for buy 2, get one free).
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby JudeMorrigan » Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:34 pm UTC

I'm rereading the Wheel of Time series in anticipation of Towers of Midnight. I'm currently on The Dragon Reborn.

Something tells me I'm not going to make it through the series before the new book comes out.

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

Postby JayDee » Fri Oct 29, 2010 9:32 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:Something tells me I'm not going to make it through the series before the new book comes out.
How many times have you read them? Loads and loads of characters justifies skipping any chapters which don't involve the characters you're interested in, which can cut the amount of reading to do by half (or more!)
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Rowadanr » Sat Oct 30, 2010 5:35 pm UTC

Over the week I've been away I (feverishly, obsessively) read the whole of Ian MacDonald's The Dervish House and it has, in that time, rizen into the circle of my dozen-or-so absolute favourite books. It's themes weren't quite so very exactly keyed to my interests as his River of Gods but the pace of the book was just as good if not better, the characters fascinating, and the way their stories started out seeming utterly disconnected and unrelated, then suddenly all tied together in the last two chapters was virtually orgasmic. I'd recommend it to anyone... as long as they don't mind the fact that they may never quite feel the same about eating honey ever again.

Only got Brazyl yet to read, now
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby MotorToad » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:42 pm UTC

JudeMorrigan wrote:I'm rereading the Wheel of Time series in anticipation of Towers of Midnight. I'm currently on The Dragon Reborn.

Something tells me I'm not going to make it through the series before the new book comes out.

:p

I've heard that the "real fans" reread the entire series for each new book. I could do that for even an increasingly misnamed trilogy, but by book 9 or so I'd be losing my taste for this series' middle run of books.

When this new guy went from "there will be one more book to wrap up the series" to "it'll be three more books" I completely shut it off. I've been dragged along long enough already. Some day I might read the plot line in wikipedia or something, but I've got nothing left for reading about short, busty magical women that like to be whipped. When the "one book" to "three books" news hit, my friend who suckered me into the series by loaning me the first two books was talking about the "extensive notes" that Jordan left for the last book (or three... or five... :-|) and I quipped one of those notes must have been "shit, these guys'll buy anything!"
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby JQH » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:26 pm UTC

I've given up on the "Wheel of Time" too

Just finished Allan Steele's "Coyote Horizon" and started David Gemmel's "Complete Chronicles of the Jerusalem Man".
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Plasma Man » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:09 am UTC

I finished reading Firstborn last night. It was a good conclusion to the trilogy, I'm impressed at how well it came together. Fans of xkcd should like it, as it has the Spirit rover being rescued at last - albeit not until the 2070s (I'm not putting that in a spoiler because it is in no way relevant to the plot, it's just a little detail that I liked).
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zohar » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:33 am UTC

After a short streak of books in Hebrew I'm now reading "Peacekeepers", a novel by Ben Bova - after a middle east nuclear war, an international task force is formed whose sole purpose is to stop international attacks, nothing else. It's kind of funny that the novel was written in 1988, so there's still a Soviet Union.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cv4 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:41 pm UTC

Just finished His Majesty's Dragon. Not great literature by any means, but a nice, easy, fun read. Will probably keep going through the series slowly when I need a lighter, entertaining read.

Started American Gods.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby JudeMorrigan » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:25 pm UTC

JayDee wrote:
JudeMorrigan wrote:Something tells me I'm not going to make it through the series before the new book comes out.
How many times have you read them? Loads and loads of characters justifies skipping any chapters which don't involve the characters you're interested in, which can cut the amount of reading to do by half (or more!)


Let's just say that it's more times than I'd care to admit. :)

Sadly though, I can't bring myself to skip chapters, even where it's thouroughly warranted. (e.g. Crossroads of Twight, or Elayne Takes a Bath). If I were going to skip anything, I'd just not do a reread at all (which is what I did for The Gathering Storm). On the plus side, while I'm in until the bitter end, I've lost enough of my emotional attachment to the series that I don't feel like I have to read the next book absolutely as soon as it comes out. Possibly I'll get if for myself for Christmas.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby JayDee » Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:44 am UTC

I'm planning to hunt them all down and read them lot once the lot are all out. Just take a fortnight or so off work and read cover to cover to cover to etc. I was going to hold off reading any of the Sanderson penned books until it was all done, too, but then I saw some spoilers for The Gathering Storm (shakes fist non-seriously at TvTropes) and thought ohmygodthatissocoolIhavetoreaditnow and bought it that week. Some of those sub-plots took so so long to be resolved, but the resolutions that've come in the last two books have been so so good. Knowing which plots are likely to be resolved in the next one, I'll be reading it as soon as I'm aware it's out.

Come to think of it, most of the resolutions and climaxes in WoT have been to my satisfaction (to put it mildly.) I can think of exceptions, but they're, you know, exceptions. I might really enjoy a big re-read.

In other news. Currently reading Radical Sydney - Places, Portraits and Unruly Episodes. By Rowan Cahill and Terry Irving - I picked it up because Irving's other book The Southern Tree of Liberty - The Democratic Movement in NSW before 1856 (1856 is the year the colony received responsible government.) Such fascinating stuff. As a youngster I heard and repeated the seniment that one problem with Australians is that they got their country / democracy / government without a fight, and so they don't appreciate it. But it turns out that while there wasn't a war, there certainly was a fight. Riot. Came close to rebellion a couple of times. I've recently learnt a bit about certain leaders and 'important people' in that fight (J. D. Lang especially, and my favourite poet Charles Harpur*.)

These book aren't 'Great Men' type history, rather about the movements and masses of people they were representing and whatnot.

Radical Sydney would make a fantastic source for a tour of the town. "Here is where the convict treadmill stood, folk condenmed to walk the wheel to grind flour." "And here is where the free settlers demonstrated and marched against the Government, in protest of their use of convict labour to drive down wages." "Customs House, on the left, was one result of this fight. It was built by free labourers under the government, to combat unemployment." etc etc. (it's in chronological order, I've only read up to 1858.)

Long post. Also reading The Ultimate Threshold, a collection of Soviet Science Fiction short stories.

* Who wrote the poem 'The southern tree of liberty', which is the only reason I looked at these book in the first place.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cv4 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:19 pm UTC

cv4 wrote:Just finished His Majesty's Dragon. Not great literature by any means, but a nice, easy, fun read. Will probably keep going through the series slowly when I need a lighter, entertaining read.

Started American Gods.


And I am done American Gods. Now I am waiting for an amazon order to arrive. Batman: Hush, Batman RIP, Avengers Disassembled, New Avengers 1, House of M, Foundation and Empire, A Moveable Feast and Cat's Cradle. Nice little mix of stuff to read.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Nemphael » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:48 pm UTC

An instruction manual. Sometimes they're ambiguous enough to fit in the fiction section.

Oh, and a metric coituston of Buffy/Angel/Spike comics, THEY ARRIVED TODAY <3
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby koipen » Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:30 am UTC

A.B.C Murders by Agatha Christie

Most wonderful. The Christie England takes you away. Also a well puzzling one.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby curiosity » Thu Nov 11, 2010 1:45 am UTC

I went to the library this weekend and checked out Goethe's Faust, Cities and the Wealth of Nations by Jane Jacobs (I read her Death and Life of Great American Cities over the summer and loved it), and Allen Ginsberg's Howl. I've been working my way through Godel, Escher, Bach for a while but it's been really slow going; I'm hoping that posting will motivate me to finish it. And my roommate lent me Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, so I'm reading bits of that also.

I feel like I might need something lighter to balance that lot out, so maybe if I get the time I'll reread Good Omens.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby emceng » Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:23 pm UTC

I tore through Towers of Midnight last weekend. I enjoyed it, and it was one of those you can't put down. That said, it wasn't as great as the previous book. I do reread the series at times, but I usually just skip to the part I want to read, or hit up favorite parts. There are really times it drags(e.g. the Elayne/Nynaeve stuff in Tarabon ).

I finished up The Word for World is Forest on Tuesday. Decent book, but just didn't have the impact I expect from LeGuin.

I'm trying to figure out what to do next. I am in the middle of Deathbird Stories, and Telling Lies. Neither really grabbed me, but I do want to finish them. I was thinking about doing the 50 book challenge, but it likely won't happen. I have 7 weeks to read 8 books. That makes it sound easy. There are some barriers. First, I have a ton of video games I want to play right now. Second are the holidays. It means more time spent with my family, which is great. I also usually end up with less free time. I also have a business trip coming up, and I would really like to have a few social events with friends before the end of the year. I guess the big thing will be motivation and book choice. I kind of want to go back and reread parts of Towers of Midnight, but that would slow me down.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:15 pm UTC

After I got out of the hospital last month, a co-worker had sent this book to me. Am just about finished with it. My mom's been trying to get me to hurry up on finishing it so she can read it.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Chuff » Sun Nov 14, 2010 6:56 pm UTC

Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge. It's really good! A teacher gave it to me a year or two ago, and I only just got around to reading it.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cv4 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 8:55 pm UTC

think I am going to start Cat's Cradle, then probably move on to Avengers Disassembled.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby existentialpanda » Thu Nov 18, 2010 3:41 am UTC

Currently working on Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood. I finished The Handmaid's Tale last week - fantastic book.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby nobody28 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 6:04 pm UTC

I am reading a translated version of The Confessions of Augustine by (you guessed it)Augustine.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby mmark9094 » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:18 pm UTC

I just bought Gödel, Escher, Bach. I'm on page 4. :D
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby folkhero » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:41 am UTC

I'm reading The Web of Belief by W. V. O. Quine and some other guy. I'm not sure what novel I'm going to read next, I think I have it down to Invitation to a beheading, Sons and Lovers or Crime and Punishment. Anyone have advice or recommendations?
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:04 am UTC

"Shogun" by James Clavell. Holy mothereffin shite this book is addictive. I've now read over 600 pages in a little under two weeks. Without a doubt one of the best I've ever read :)
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby MotorToad » Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:45 pm UTC

I'm reading Grisham's The Confession at the moment, and also Towers of Midnight. I've been a huge fan of almost everything I've read from Grisham but I have to say he's really killing this book with his diatribe on the death penalty. I've skipped chapters in this book, which is extremely rare for me.

P.S. I'm glad someone told me the new Sanderson WoT books are good. I'd sworn that series off but I really liked Gathering Storm.

Edity: Just finished Towers of Midnight. Damn, it's such a relief having all this shit finally getting wrapped up.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby MotorToad » Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:37 pm UTC

ImagingGeek wrote:Those issues aside, I'm also not overly impressed with the overall story. Hollow characters, unreasonable jumps in the story, deus ex machina as a standard plotline, etc.

Bryan

I've just finished the third book and I have to admit I'm not getting along with it all too well, either. I can't figure out why the Foundation would be thinking of the Second Foundation as "the enemy." I suppose I'll finish the series since, well, mostly since I already have them but also because I kind of feel it's my duty as a nerd to have read them. I truly adored the Robot books when I was in middle school... I suppose I should revisit them and see if that still holds. So far comparing the Foundation to my memory of the Robot books I don't even feel like it's the same author.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby dbsmith » Thu Dec 23, 2010 8:11 am UTC

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco. Halfway through. Hooked by the mystery, slighty frustrated at my inability to maintain the various religious historical factions and figures in my head.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:16 am UTC

dbsmith wrote:The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco. Halfway through. Hooked by the mystery, slighty frustrated at my inability to maintain the various religious historical factions and figures in my head.


Oh man, enjoy. One of my favorite books by one of my favorite writers. If you like his style then Foucault's Pendulum and Baudolino are also amazing works.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Microscopic cog » Mon Dec 27, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

I want to read In the name of the Rose one day, but the difficult language scares me. I liked the movie though.

I just read Life of Pi by Yann Martel which was just delightful. I wanted to read Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5 next, but I have to finish How to be Good by Nick Hornby for school because I still have to write an essay on that one this holiday.

Not enjoying How to be Good so far. I just want to punch the main character in the face all the time.

After those in no particular order:
- The murders in the rue morgue by Poe ( three short stories )
- La Nausea by Sartre
- Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby modularblues » Tue Dec 28, 2010 5:36 am UTC

David Sedaris - When You Are Engulfed in Flames
For rueful amusement and dark humor.

Ann Lauterbach - The Night Sky

For deep reflective poetic prose and commentary on the contemporary artistic landscape.

Charles Yu - How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

Sort of like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, but with a worse mid-life crisis.

Lawrence M Krauss - Atom: A Single Oxygen Atom Odyssey from the Big Bang to Life on Earth... and Beyond

Only read one page so far and it also feels like Hitchhiker's Guide.

(2009) The Year's Best Science Fiction edited by Gardner Dozois

Read 6 out of the 30-something stories. Gems.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby theGoldenCalf; » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:40 am UTC

Microscopic cog wrote:I want to read In the name of the Rose one day, but the difficult language scares me.


Man, you're reading F-ing Joyce right now. Anything by Eco is a much easier read, don't let that stop you :)
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Microscopic cog » Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:55 pm UTC

theGoldenCalf; wrote:
Microscopic cog wrote:I want to read In the name of the Rose one day, but the difficult language scares me.


Man, you're reading F-ing Joyce right now. Anything by Eco is a much easier read, don't let that stop you :)


Hahaha, last time I looked at In the name of the rose I was like 11, and it was overall a pretty traumatic experience :P I'll add it to the list!
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cv4 » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:04 pm UTC

Just finished Cat's Cradle (Vonnegut) and Count Zero (Gibson).
On to Snow Crash (Stephenson).
Not sure what will be next. Have a bunch of other books lying around to choose from (Freakonomics, Storm Front - Dresden Files 1, Eye of the World - Wheel of Time 1, Gravity's Rainbow, Foundation & Empire, The Rum Diary, The Best of HP Lovecraft, Children of the Mind, Keeper of Dreams, The Mote in God's Eye).
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zohar » Tue Dec 28, 2010 8:13 pm UTC

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

Postby Chuff » Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:28 am UTC

Microscopic cog wrote:
theGoldenCalf; wrote:
Microscopic cog wrote:I want to read In the name of the Rose one day, but the difficult language scares me.


Man, you're reading F-ing Joyce right now. Anything by Eco is a much easier read, don't let that stop you :)


Hahaha, last time I looked at In the name of the rose I was like 11, and it was overall a pretty traumatic experience :P I'll add it to the list!

Me too! Fortunately my parents still have a copy...
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