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What books are you currently reading?


Books

3,951 to 4,000 of 6,606 << first < prev | 75 | 76 | 77 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81 | 82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | next > last >>

Samnell wrote:
It's important to have standards in these things.

True that, and speaking of standards...

Spoiler:

Alright, so, it's like, the mid-1980s and young Doodlebug Anklebiter is at the local bookstore with other young goblin deviants. Young Doodlebug likes fantasy books and juvenile deliquency, and one of the other gob children urges him to steal a book. Young Doodlebug isn't naturally evil, and he will later learn that theft is very bad indeed, but, at that moment, his hand darts forth surreptitiously and grabs an awesome looking book called Saga of Old City by the same guy who wrote the Monster Manual! How cool is that!

(Kiddies, don't steal from bookstores. Don't be like Doodlebug.)

Spoiler:

So, anyway, I read this book and I think it's the awesomest f%$*ing thing I've ever read. It's better than The Hobbit because it's got swearing and pictures of hawt half-elven babes. Then I lent it to the kid down the street whose parents were strict Christian disciplinarians and THEY THREW IT AWAY!!!!

But I've told that story before and now I want to compain about City of Hawks.

Spoiler:

Okay, first off, we all know Gygax ain't no prose stylist. That's cool, I'm very forgiving when it comes to the guy who wrote the MM, but this one is really poor-grade stuff. What was Kim Mohan paid for?!?

More importantly: WTF?!? Okay, so I read the first two Gord books when I was a prepubescent criminal and Gord was totally the shiznit, you know? Weak and bullied, beaten and spat upon, all alone with only a nasty old crone to yell at him, Gord overcame his humble beginings by craftiness and guile, stealing treasure and hanging out with gypsies on barges and fighting demons and banging hawt half-elven princesses; a Nietzschean ubermensch with his AD&D stats helpfully explained at the back of the book.

Now it turns out,

Spoiler:
Mordenkainen was watching over him the entire time!

I'm only chapter nine or so, and I'm sure Gary's got some nasty DM tricks left up his sleeve, but, I feel betrayed.

Enjoying it immensely, however.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
Just wait... it gets worse.

Also finished Joshua and Judges. Still digesting.


Actually, I find that description of _City_of_Hawks_ intriguing.

I couldn't even get a third of the way through _Saga_of_Old_City_. I don't know what it was about that book, but for some reason, I found it dull.

But now you're telling me that...

_City_of_Hawks_:
...Mordenkainen was manipulating Gord's life.

For years, I've been wondering about just how the Circle of Eight went around manipulating the Flanaess, and to what ends. And now, you're telling me that Gygax himself wrote a story about Mordenkainen pulling Gord's strings. I wonder if the author ever revealed the wizard's purposes.

But then, Kirth Gersen's post makes me think that I might be disappointed.

As for the Bible, I've been a little reluctant to say this, as I don't want to start a flamewar or anything, but I'll just try to divorce myself from my religious beliefs, and hopefully keep the discussion civil.

I think that, even if you don't believe in God, the harsh reality of the dog-eat-dog ancient world was that either you killed your enemies, or they killed you.

In some cases, it was clear that the Israelites wanted peace. Jephthah tried the diplomatic method with Ammon. Later, you'll read about how Solomon managed to achieve a long peace.

But the fact, ugly as it may be, is that when you show mercy to the wrong enemy, you later live to regret it, shortly before you die. Wait until you read about Ahab and Ben-Hadad.

Andoran

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Zhuangzi Speaks: The Music of Nature as translated by Brian Bruya.


Vladimir Slechata Project Berserker.


Aaron Bitman wrote:
I couldn't even get a third of the way through _Saga_of_Old_City_. I don't know what it was about that book, but for some reason, I found it dull.

The reason you found it dull, imho, is because it is a very bad, and badly-written, book.

As for God-sanctioned genocide, the only consolation I can find is that, at least according to wikipedia, it probably didn't happen.

So, the first part of Joshua was alright, if horrific, but the second part was wicked boring. Judges started better and then got AWESOME! particularly the Samson stuff.

There was a lot of awesome D&D stuff in both books!!

Spoilered for apostasy

Spoiler:
I have to say, the reinclusion of the Lot-in-Sodom story transmogrified into the even more horrific Gileadite-and-his-concubine story was kind of disappointing, though. You'd think they would have done a better editing job. Kind of like the Gord the Rogue books.


I will smite thee with the jaw of an ass, goblin! (It deals 1d3 damage).


more apostasy:
I could understand, earlier, your complaint that the Bible was badly edited. I mean, I've been brainwashed by a religious education to believe that God himself wrote the book (or dictated it to Moses), and that each seemingly redundant passage was meant to be studied, as it's supposed to teach us something new. But if I had no religion, I would agree that the book needs some revision.

But even then, I would STILL defend the Levite-and-his-concubine story. Remember that the book at least PURPORTS to be the truth, and history does have a way of repeating itself. And you must admit, the story does take a twist. Instead of just a few cities, an entire tribe nearly gets wiped out. Plus, as I believe I mentioned earlier, it underscores the need for unification under a king, so there's a political message in there.

(And after all these months, I'm STILL laughing at talking about the Bible this way!)

(And don't forget Samson's STR bonus.)


Kajehase wrote:
I will smite thee with the jaw of an ass, goblin! (It deals 1d3 damage).

I had, and still have, trouble visualizing that.


Started and nearly finished with Candide: or Optimism by voltaire, which is surprisingly fast and interesting to read.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
I will smite thee with the jaw of an ass, goblin! (It deals 1d3 damage).
I had, and still have, trouble visualizing that.

Google to the rescue!

Smiting.
More smiting.
Even more smiting!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Darkmeer wrote:
Started and nearly finished with Candide: or Optimism by voltaire, which is surprisingly fast and interesting to read.

Candide rulez!!


loimprevisto wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:


I had, and still have, trouble visualizing that.

Google to the rescue!

Smiting.
More smiting.
Even more smiting!

Thank you, but you'd imagine a Nazirite would have longer hair than all those.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
Kajehase wrote:
I will smite thee with the jaw of an ass, goblin! (It deals 1d3 damage).
I had, and still have, trouble visualizing that.

Glorious 1d3 damage... Plus +14 for Strength bonus, +12 for Power Attack, +4 for weapon training (bludgeons)... Did I forgot something? I wonder if it could be wielded in two hands for another +13.


Quote:
Glorious 1d3 damage... Plus +14 for Strength bonus, +12 for Power Attack, +4 for weapon training (bludgeons)...

I hope he rolls a 1!


loimprevisto wrote:
I hope he rolls a 1!

LOL

Taldor

Just started the Passage by Justin Cronin. Man, that first chapter is damn brutal.


Currently reading the infernal City. Its book three of the Tormay trilogy by christopher Bunn. Best way to describe the trilogy is a touch of avatar (the tv series), lots of horror, a touch of the Belgariad, a little of Artemis from RA Salvatore and you have this trilogy. I give it a solid (B-) as it has been an easy read, cheap on the kindle (under $3 bucks a book, and its very different from most fantasy but also seems to have been influenced by other stuff.


I should also register my disappointment that none of the artists linked above decided to depict Samson with a jew-fro.


Also, I'm reading on wikipedia about parallels between Sammie and Herakles, and they list off death at the hand of their woman and I'm all like, woah!!, that's totally unfair to Dejanira, man!

Although they do both have the same basic misogynist moral--Women: don't trust 'em.


loimprevisto wrote:

Google to the rescue!

Smiting.
More smiting.
Even more smiting!

More

Bible
pictures!

Read the Book of Ruth today and in honor of tomorrow, read up to the storming of the Bastille in Schama.

Vive le Galt!

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Just finished "The Apocalypse Codex," Charles Stross' latest Laundry book. As good as I would expect, although I think he may have overdone the references to previous books a few times.

I also heard about a book that I will definitely not be reading: Chip Delany's Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. My stomach isn't that strong.


Just finished Matthew Reily's Six Scared Stones. Not my favourite Reily novel: I'm normally a fan, but the flaws in his style that I can normally ignore in favour of a fun yarn stick out like a dog's proverbial in this one. I've read enough variations on the phrase "It was a spectacle sight" to last a lifetime. I never believed the children's dialogue (seriously, what kid speaks like that, even if they are a genius?), and found myself rolling my eyes at the ways the character's cheated death. I'm no metallurgist, but I'm pretty sure a stone slab that big would crush titanium. Just sayin'.

But my biggest gripe is with the interlude chapter that, while intended as a glimpse inside their lives in quieter times, just makes the protagonist and his daughter come across as self-entitled jerks who believe themselves above everyone else. In an escapist adventure novel where you're meant to be rooting for the good guy, that's a REALLY bad move to make.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

So, my employer has this tuition reimbursement program where, if you're a supervisor you have to get a C- to get your money back, but if you're a lowly unionized hourly employee like myself you only have to get a D- to get back your $1500!

Anyway, I noticed the local university is offering a course on "The Bible as Literature." Why read The Bible for free when I can make UPS pay me to do it?!?

School still sucks, though.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:

So, my employer has this tuition reimbursement program where, if you're a supervisor you have to get a C- to get your money back, but if you're a lowly unionized hourly employee like myself you only have to get a D- to get back your $1500!

Anyway, I noticed the local university is offering a course on "The Bible as Literature." Why read The Bible for free when I can make UPS pay me to do it?!?

School still sucks, though.

Can we expect to see new opposing avatars? Say,

Philistine Anklebiter and High Priest Doodlebug?


You mean like this?

"Philistine Anklebiter" has a pretty excellent ring to it, though. I wish I had thought of that instead of Jean-Paul. More consistently goblin. Actually, J-P kinda looked like a goblin...

Silver Crusade

I've started reading The Sound and the Fury which I understand might qualify me as a masochist. We'll see how it goes.


Well, if you can make it through the first section, and then, if you can make it through the second section, it's all smooth sailing afterwards.

Silver Crusade

Still in the first section. I find the way it's written fascinating. Difficult, certainly, but I don't sweat the details.


Samnell wrote:
I've either answered my question or hit it with a mallet until it gave up. The nook store has a collection of Clark Ashton Smith's weird tales, titled The Ultimate Weird Tales Collection: Clark Ashton Smith. A hundred thirty-three stories, including probably all the Zothique cycle. (The Black Abbott of Puthuum might be going by Puthuum.) It's a gamble, especially with the thing costing two dollars, but I'll cowboy up and risk it.

Sorry I didn't chime in sooner, glad you got it sorted out. The Black Abbot of Puthuum" and "The Charnel God" are my faves. But for Necromancers, yeah, "Empire of the Necromancers", "Necromancy in Naat", and probably other things with titles that do nothing to belie their subject matter.

I like the Zothique Cycle much more then the Lovecraftian type stuff. There should be 16 stories in there if you have them all.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Grimmy wrote:
Samnell wrote:
I've either answered my question or hit it with a mallet until it gave up. The nook store has a collection of Clark Ashton Smith's weird tales, titled The Ultimate Weird Tales Collection: Clark Ashton Smith. A hundred thirty-three stories, including probably all the Zothique cycle. (The Black Abbott of Puthuum might be going by Puthuum.) It's a gamble, especially with the thing costing two dollars, but I'll cowboy up and risk it.

Sorry I didn't chime in sooner, glad you got it sorted out. The Black Abbot of Puthuum" and "The Charnel God" are my faves. But for Necromancers, yeah, "Empire of the Necromancers", "Necromancy in Naat", and probably other things with titles that do nothing to belie their subject matter.

I like the Zothique Cycle much more then the Lovecraftian type stuff. There should be 16 stories in there if you have them all.

I'm enjoying it so far. Up to The Dark Eidolon. It is reminding me why I rarely read short stories, though. I'm just getting interested when it's over.


The End of Mirabeau

Spoiler:

A month later [Mirabeau] was dead.

On March 25 (1791) he had spent the night with two dancers from the Opera, but whatever struck him with violent intestinal cramps two days later at Argenteuil was more than the penalties of sexual excess. He endured a journey to Paris to defend his friend La Marck's concession with the great Anzin coal mines in the Pas-de-Calais against the claim that the mineral rights belonged "to the nation." Reybaz had written an extraordinary panegyric to the intrepidity of the industrial entrepreneur, full of smoking mineshafts and heroic millions sunk into the greedy earth. Racked with pain and looking terrible, Mirabeau arrived at La Marck's house and promptly collapsed on the floor. You must not go, said his friend. I must and shall, said the tribune, and, fortified by a bottle of Esterhazy Tokay, managed to get to the Assembly and deliver the speech. His colleagues saw a phantom Mirabeau: white-faced, greasy with sweat, his frizzy hair gone lank and straight with sickness. The great baritone was now muted into a chesty growl. "Your case is won," he told La Marck afterwards, "and I am dead."

It was no exaggeration. A few days' rest at Argenteuil made him feel well enough to return to Paris, and he even tried an evening at the Italiens to listen to the diva Morichelli. He left halfway through the performance, shivering, refusing to wait in a cafe until a carriage could be found, and staggering home. His friend and physician, Cabanis, found him prostrate, coughing blood. Just what was wrong with him was disputed then and has been since. Freron, of course, and other enemy journalists implied he had finally been struck down by a sexual disease. After an autopsy to investigate whether he had been poisoned, he was declared to have died of lymphatic pericarditis, complicated by inflammations of the liver, kidneys and stomach. But whatever the final cause, Mirabeau knew that he was dying and was determined to go in a style appropriate to his oversized life. Despondent crowds milled around his house as a stream of visitors passed through. One was Talleyrand, freshly excommunicated by the Pope and telling everyone delightedly about it. "A worthy confessor," said one wag. They talked for two hours with the elegant banter and intellectual purpose that had always formed the syntax of their peculiar friendship. "Conversation is supposed to be bad for the sick," said Mirabeau, "but one could live very well surrounded by friends and even die agreeably."

Talleyrand later commented, somewhat unkindly, that Mirabeau "had staged his own death." Perhaps he recalled his friend's remark on hearing the sound of cannon. "Have they already begun the funeral of Achilles?" But the deathbed was for the stoic neoclassicists of the late eighteenth century an exemplary art form, celebrated in David's great canvases of the deaths of Seneca and of Socrates. Mirabeau, too, wanted to depart with his affairs in order, surrounded by friends and acolytes, having made proper farewells. He urged La Marck to remove or burn any compromising papers and, though still more indebted than endowed, settled twenty-four thousand livres on his illegitimate son by Yet-Lie, Coco.

In the room below, his secretary, Comps, possessed by a fit of romantic melancholy, knifed himself in an attempt to follow his master. Oblivious to the melodrama, propped up against great puffy bolsters with the spring sunshine pouring in from his garden courtyard, Mirabeau announced to Cabanis on the morning of April 2 that he would like a shave, since, "My friend, I will die today. When one has come to that, all one can do is be perfumed, crowned with flowers, enveloped in music and wait comfortably for the sleep from which one will never awake."

Mirabeau's corpse was hardly cold before legends settled around the bier. At the autopsy ordered by the procureur of his Paris section, it was rumored, the defunct hero revealed an imposing erection. It was this evidence of "satyriasis" which led his son to characterize Mirabeau's notorious erotic appetite as "involuntary."

From Simon Schama, Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution


Finished City of Hawks. Had to skim through the last third. Don't think I can bring myself to start Come Endless Darkness just quite yet. Maybe I'll jump back to Conan.

3/4ths of the way through Citizens. Cut off the head of Louis XVI last night, last section is on the Reign of Terror. Have got multiple books that are more pro-French Revolution on the burner


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

A half year ago I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. For someone like me who was a teenager in the 80's, this book seemed like it could have been written from my own memories and imagination. Never felt that kind of connection before. It was a geeky, slightly futuristic epic and I devoured it quickly. This would make for an incredible film, but it's hard to imagine a film that could stay true to the book's 80's geek nostalgia (1st ed. adventures, Wargames, old videogames etc) and yet still capture that all important younger demographic.

Ernest's first project was the screenplay for Fanboys, a film that really surprised me. I recall Mona saying the same thing.


The Jade wrote:
A half year ago I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

Partick Curtin gives this book a thumbs up as well.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
The Jade wrote:
A half year ago I finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
Partick Curtin gives this book a thumbs up as well.

Cool! I figured I was probably late for the review party regarding this particular title.


I started Crome Yellow recently, figuring that since I liked Brave New World I'd branch out and try his other work. It's been a bit of a slog so far.


I started J.M. Thompson's Robespierre and the French Revolution which is certainly more pro-Jacobin than Schama. It only took 50 pages to get up to where Schama is at 500 pages, but Thompson's book's got a much tighter focus.

Also started Conan the Warrior.


Still plugging through the Reign of Terror in two different books, but took a little time out to read Leon Trotsky's The Rhythm of Struggle: On the Radicalisation of the Masses.

Vive le Galt!

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

"Pretty Monsters" by Kelly Link. Fantasy short stories by half of the team that edits the fantasy half of "The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror" anthologies.

So far, so good.


I just finished Tom Clancy's "End War" by David Michaels. It is a mediocre book by an author trying to be Tom Clancy and failing. They keep introducing characters and then gunning most of them down... I know it's a war book, but it seems off to me. The worst part is one of the two female lead characters the Joint Strike Force XO either can't stay in character or is borderline insane. I like the female fighter pilot she plays just like I imagine a fighter pilot and her decisions make sense. The male leads are too similar to each other, each one a commando haunted by the loss of team mates. They could have done better work on the characters to be sure. The story is the only thing really saving the book. They keep us in suspense all along as to the Russian attack plans and throw plot twists in to keep us from getting bored.

Taldor

At the moment, i am re-reading wheel of time, because i am going to buy the last books (by sanderson) and i want to have my wot know-how up to the task.

I recently read the hunger games. Got pleasantly surprised by the quality.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber

I just recently decided to try Robin Hobb and her Farseer trilogy. The first of which is Assasin's Apprentice. Incredible stuff and extremely hard to put down. I'm shaking my head and wondering why I have not decided to read her much earlier. I may go right into the Liveship Trader trilogy right after this.

Osirion

Niall Ferguson Civilization: The West and the Rest. Better than I thought it would be.


Sanakht Inaros wrote:
Niall Ferguson Civilization: The West and the Rest. Better than I thought it would be.

I don't know who that is, but you've mentioned before doing (undergraduate?) work on Huntingdon. Did you read any stuff of his from, say, the 70s or so?

Osirion

No. Just had to read Huntington's Clash. I'm kinda on the fence about Huntington. He was right in some areas, but in others myself and a ton of others disagree with a lot of his assertions.

I'm majoring in Asian Studies with a minor in International Relations. Am thinking about switching the two or do a double major and mix in a minor in Economics.


Thanks for the reply.


I didn't read a single chapter this past week.

What the f%!~ am I doing with my life?!?


loimprevisto wrote:
I started Crome Yellow recently, figuring that since I liked Brave New World I'd branch out and try his other work. It's been a bit of a slog so far.

Dude, you should try The Doors of Perception instead.

[Bubble bubble bubble]

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