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RPG Superstar 2015

What books are you currently reading?


Books

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Eldest - Paolini


Are you a LOVECRAFT nut?

During a Paizo thread search I was weirded out that I only found Charles Stross mentioned in five posts while China Mieville lights up like a firefly orgy.

Why?

I just read The Atrocity Archives (Lovecraft meets X-Files meets Christopher Moore) and compelled by my utter joy promptly ordered The Jennifer Morgue by Stross because I love Archives.

Then I checked out this and had to order it too:

Amazon.com wrote:
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com startup company that's just been floated on the London stock exchange. The suspects are a band of marauding orcs, with a dragon in tow for fire support, and the bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four. For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But she soon realizes that the virtual world may have a devastating effect in the real one-and that someone is about to launch an attack upon both...

Orcs? A Dragon for fire support? That's Amazon's cop from the back cover (or so I reckon) of The Halting State.

Then I hit Wikipedia and find out the guy wrote about D&D for White Dwarf, and THEN I check out his website which stinks with witty and very readable journal posts.

So, just a quick poll, which of you have read this stuff and not mentioned it?

If you are nodding your head and muttering "done that, been there", then please understand! I am a little behind on my contemporary reading because of all the British Literature canon I read in order to perform my job competently (other time eaters: toddler, DMing), so I am assuming a bunch of you book nerds have already crunched this stuff.


uhm, <looks to see if Kruelaid is growing tentacles>

am reading nice safe Test of the Twins; Legends Vol III - Dragonlance MW and TH.


Good Omens
by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prattchet
Not my usual fare but it's a fun read and well written.


World War Z - Max Brooks: A friend recommended this to me about a week ago and I've been blasting through it (I'm a bit of a slower reader). Very enjoyable, gains momentum easily. Might try making a Mutants & Masterminds or Psion game out of the concept.

Under the Banner of Heaven - Jon Krakauer: I've always liked Krakauer's investigative journalism style, and this book exploring both the Mormon faith and how twisted any belief system can become does not disappoint.

Gormenghast - Mervyn Peake: I've been trudging through Peake's first of this series, Titus Groan, for a bit of a year. It's trudging in a very enjoyable way, though. Each page and paragraph is filled with so much imagination and detail that it's difficult to not let the mind wander through the lush setting just to comprehend it all. This makes reading slower than usual. Peake's style is best described as painting with words, where you experience the story instead of just listening to it.


"Jarhead" A. Swofford - 1 soldiers gulf war 1 experience. It made me want to read about gulf war 2;
"Fiasko - the American military adventure in Iraq " Thomas E. Ricks

"Imperial Life in the Emerald City :: Rajiv Chandrasekaran"

Stranger than fiction.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Had a week's holiday with no Interweb. Read the famous (in this thread) "House of Leaves" and loved it. Went on to read the first one in the new Peter F Hamilton trilogy, "The Dreaming Void."
It was actually rather good, with several characters from the last series still alive or present in one way or another (1000 years later). Plus a number of combat-boosted-reflexes fights of the type he does so well.

Now I'm on Bill Bryson's "Made In America" - about the English language in the US and a million other things. Brilliant!

After that - the 2nd Joe Abercrombie book is smiling at me, and so is Jared Diamond's "Collapse."

Liberty's Edge

Just picked up the Spiderwick Chronicles --I know, I know, it's for children. It's (5, 100-page books) amazingly well written and very, very interesting. A definite must-read.


A friend has loaned me Jarhead, though I haven't started it yet.

As far as military books go, I really enjoyed Black Hawk Down. It gave me a lot of respect for our troops and the things they go through. It also gave me a lot of respect for what guerillas can do under the right circumstances. Air superiority is a big thing, and when it gets taken out, things can go south in a hurry.

Liberty's Edge

"Lost Worlds". It is a collection of short stories written by Clark Ashton Smith. Great stuff!

Liberty's Edge

Is that the Averoigne stuff?

Liberty's Edge

Heathansson wrote:
Is that the Averoigne stuff?

Two of the stories are: "The Beast of Averoigne" and "The Holiness of Azedarac."

I can remember being inspired to read "The Beast of Averoigne" for the first time around 25 years ago after DMing "Castle Amber." Good times.


Northanger Abbey

Jane Austen

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32 , Dedicated Voter 2013

Finishing Water for Elephants

About to start The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay


I have been working on a tanker for the past 2 months so I have lots of time to catch up on my reading. Here's a few I knocked off:

1. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - The movie is a travesty compared to this book. Any fan of gritty, dark crime should not miss this one. I bought all Ellroy's books as soon as I got home.

2. Barbarians by Terry Jones - A follow up to the Discovery Channel series. Great book, not only covers the four in the series (Vikings, Goths, Huns and Mongols) but speaks about the Dacians, Celts, Persians and anybody else considered outsider about the Romans. A lot of parallels to society today.

3. The Conspiracy Club by Jonathan Kellerman - an easy read and a good detective story from a tormented psychologist's point of view. Kellerman is a psychologist, so good stuff.

4. Paddle to the Amazon by Don Starkell - Great book about the journals of a father and son combination who set the World Record for longest canoe trip. They canoed from Lake Winnipeg in Canada to the basin of the Amazon River in South America. Adventure at it's best.

5. Gladiators by Fik Meijer - Bit dry, but lots of background on the life of gladiators and a day in the arena. Slaughter on a masive scale.

6. The Casebook of Forensic Detection - How science uncovered 100 baffling crimes. Any CSI fan or a fan of crime novels will love this stuff. The Hitler Diaries, the Romanovs, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, Josef Mengele, and Wayne Williams all covered here.

Liberty's Edge

Paul McCarthy wrote:


1. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy - The movie is a travesty compared to this book. Any fan of gritty, dark crime should not miss this one. I bought all Ellroy's books as soon as I got home.

Agreed! The movie was terrible, particularly when you compare it to the book. There has been talk going around for a while about a movie version of "The Big Nowhere" being made. If they make it, I just hope that they don't butcher it the way the did with the "The Black Dahlia."


Andrew Turner wrote:
Just picked up the Spiderwick Chronicles --I know, I know, it's for children. It's (5, 100-page books) amazingly well written and very, very interesting. A definite must-read.

You mean I've been reading children's books?!? I could have sworn they were in the young reader's section! ... Oh.

I loved the series! They're making a movie, too.

Here's the "young readers" books I've been reading (I'm 38):

Spiderwick Chronicles - Holly Black & Tony DiTerlizzi
The Edge Chronicles - Paul Steward & Chris Riddel
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) & Bret Helquist
The Keys to the Kingdom - Garth Nix
Harry Potter - J.K. Rowling

They're good reads.


Just about to start: 'Crooked Little Vein' by Warren Ellis

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 32

Before they are Hanged - Joe Abercrombie's second. As good as, if not better, than the first. No need to do so much character building - we know who they are and now they can do their stuff.

In one word? Brutal.


I just found a book on my parent's bookshelf that I read as a child, so I am re-reading it: "Mathenauts - Tales of Mathematical Wonder". Edited by Rudy Rucker, Stories by Asimov, Bear, Gardner, Niven, Hofstadtler, et al.


Kruelaid wrote:
Are you a LOVECRAFT nut?

Why yes Bill, why do you ask?

Kruelaid wrote:


I just read The Atrocity Archives (Lovecraft meets X-Files meets Christopher Moore) and compelled by my utter joy promptly ordered The Jennifer Morgue by Stross because I love Archives.

I am going to look for them at Borders Books and read them now, because you recommended them.


Andrew Turner wrote:
Just picked up the Spiderwick Chronicles --I know, I know, it's for children. It's (5, 100-page books) amazingly well written and very, very interesting. A definite must-read.

Dont feel bad about reading kids books I read them more then I read adult books.


Currently reading Men of Bronze by Scott Oden. Swashbuckling tale of a Phoenician master swordsman who works for the pharaoh, Ahmose II and leads the Egyptian people in Memphis in an uprising against occupying Greeks.

The first part is set in the time of the rule of Cyrus the Great, who was the grandfather of Xerxes the Great, the protagonist in 300. The second part is in the rule of Cambyses II who managed to conquer Egypt and make it part of the Persian Empire. He was aided by the Greek, Phanes who made a choice that changed the history of Egypt. Who said history was boring?


S.Baldrick wrote:
"Lost Worlds". It is a collection of short stories written by Clark Ashton Smith. Great stuff!

I'm reading The Door to Saturn, by CAS. I got his entire collection from night shade books, and it's pretty sweet so far.


Parasite Eve, by Hideaki Sena.


The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell. The authour is attempting to show that Mythology can be examined in a scientific, perhaps academic, manner similar to psychology or even history. He suggests that our current Mythologies developed from deep seated responses hard wired into the collective unconscious.

I've only read the first few chapters and have had to read them over again as I'm having trouble grasping what is being said, however he uses baby chickens as an example. Little chicks when presented with the silhouette of a hawk will run for cover, without any pre-existing knowledge of what a hawk is or does. Silhouettes of other birds do not cause the same reaction. Campbell thinks that humans have the same hardwired responses. However, the natural triggers for these senses have long since disappeared. He states that these responses may be exposing themselves in our Mythologies.

It's the first of four books. The other three are: The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, and The Masks of God: Creative Mythology.

Liam


finished "Just one look" by Harlan Coben ,a standard Coben thriller..
And got the new Ian Rankin, "Exit music", today. I love amazon!


I just finished re-reading American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I think it's a great book, still, but I wonder when he's going to quit the whole "metaphysical/mythological as seemingly average guy" thing. Wouldn't it be crazy and freak everyone out if just once Neil Gaiman managed to avoid metaphysics and charming collisions of the normal and abnormal just once? Of course, then we would all be howling for his blood. I believe it may have been Joseph Campbell (or Carl Jung) that said there are really only seven stories; I think Gaiman has by now done all of them several times with this similar theme. I do realize that he is a genre author and everything, but it just seems like a little variety within that genre would be interesting. You can't throw a stone around these parts wihout hitting Loki or the anthropomorphized version of some element of human existence.

Just started The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont. It's an interesting premise: a fiction novel about the great real life pulp authors, including the gentlemen behind The Shadow and Doc Savage as well as L. Ron Hubbard (before he founded a "religion") and, briefly, H.P. Lovecraft. He writes the pulp writers almost as a bizarre mash-up of pulp heroes and petty, competitive normal folks. I'm only on the first few chapters, but it looks pretty interesting.

Liberty's Edge

Aww, man. That guy beat me to it.
Oh, well. I'll look for the book and read it.


Heathansson wrote:

Aww, man. That guy beat me to it.

Oh, well. I'll look for the book and read it.

Yeah, it really sucks that you live so close to Paul Malmont's Nefarious Idea Siphoning Antenna of Love (TM). I guess it's back to tinfoil hats for you, my friend.

Liberty's Edge

I'm doomed to see snippets of the pageantry that is the Jungian worldmind, only to be rendered a gibbering ninny by the experience...
Pass the tinfoil. I'm out for good this time.

Liberty's Edge

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, and Puddn'head Wilson by Mark Twain. I'm one of the few people on this earth who voluntarily read Twain. I must be a masochist.


Liam Whalen, from Trent?

contact me - simon_ware@yahoo.co.uk

long time ago buddy... still toking?

Liam Whalen wrote:

The Masks of God: Primitive Mythology by Joseph Campbell. The authour is attempting to show that Mythology can be examined in a scientific, perhaps academic, manner similar to psychology or even history. He suggests that our current Mythologies developed from deep seated responses hard wired into the collective unconscious.

I've only read the first few chapters and have had to read them over again as I'm having trouble grasping what is being said, however he uses baby chickens as an example. Little chicks when presented with the silhouette of a hawk will run for cover, without any pre-existing knowledge of what a hawk is or does. Silhouettes of other birds do not cause the same reaction. Campbell thinks that humans have the same hardwired responses. However, the natural triggers for these senses have long since disappeared. He states that these responses may be exposing themselves in our Mythologies.

It's the first of four books. The other three are: The Masks of God: Oriental Mythology, The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology, and The Masks of God: Creative Mythology.

Liam

Dark Archive

Arctaris wrote:

Good Omens

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prattchet
Not my usual fare but it's a fun read and well written.

Read that one twice.

Liberty's Edge

Ace Haven wrote:
Arctaris wrote:

Good Omens

by Neil Gaiman and Terry Prattchet
Not my usual fare but it's a fun read and well written.
Read that one twice.

I also (well, I'm on my second read). It's f#*+ing hilarious.


Kruelaid wrote:
Are you a LOVECRAFT nut?
Tensor wrote:


Why yes Bill, why do you ask?
Kruelaid wrote:


I just read The Atrocity Archives (Lovecraft meets X-Files meets Christopher Moore) and compelled by my utter joy promptly ordered The Jennifer Morgue by Stross because I love Archives.
Tensor wrote:


I am going to look for them at Borders Books and read them now, because you recommended them.

Blame it on me. It's a fast read, we'll see what you think soon, eh?

Goes back to uncut version of The Stand, consumes codeine to alleviate pain of lifting said edition.

Sovereign Court

I usually read one to three a month, depending on my social schedule and my other obsessions. These are the last few.

Baltasar and Blimunda by Jose Saramago. I read Blindness a few years ago, fell in love, and have been slowly working my way through his work. I'm a fan of some fantasy and sci-fi authors, but Saramago's light surrealism kicks all their asses. I wish I could read him in the original Portuguese.

Iron Council by China Mieville. Not my favorite work of his. I enjoyed The Scar but his descriptiveness it too pungent here. If Mieville were to whisper sweet nothings in your ear his breath would smell a little like vomit.

'Salem's Lot by Stephen King. I read Stephen King to prevent myself from becoming a literature snob. He's fun, writes snappy sentences and doesn't mistake gore for horror.

Gay Talese by Gay Talese. An journalist's memoir on the art of writing. I have no idea where the book is going but I'm enjoying the ride. He's a good storyteller.


The New Solar System, 4th ed.. editors: J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, and Andrew Cahikin. Yes, I am a science geek! Barnes and Ignoble had it for under $10 and since the cheapest I had seen it at was around $20 at a used bookstore, I snapped it up. It is a pretty good read even if it is around 10 years out of date.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Cards, Maps Subscriber

Reading the Hunters of Dune and next the Sandworms of Dune. Unfortunately, there is another in the series coming out. Date to be announced.

I love the Wheel of Time but it looks like Jordan may not be well enough to finish it. I hate an unfinished series.

Another series I really like is the Lensman Series by E.E. Doc Smith. Good stuff...


"I'm one of the few people on this earth who voluntarily read Twain. I must be a masochist. [/QUOTE wrote:

No way you're a masochist. Twain is awesome. Read The Innocents Abroad this summer. Just about died laughing. Though I would advise skipping the last few chapters on Hawaii. Also loved Joan of Arc last year.

In a different vein, just finished The Path Between the Seas by McCollough. Top notch story of the building of the Panama canal.


just finished "Watchmen" by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I can't believe have havent read this one before now .
In the middle of "Chancellorsville" by Stephen W. Sears and starting "Treason in Tudor England"by Lacey Baldwin Smith:For now it reads like a sourcebook for a 16th century version of the ALPHA COMPLEX


I'm currently reading "Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail" by Malika Oufkir


LA Confidential by James Ellroy. One word: Fantastic! Better than The Black Dahlia. The fact that it was a great movie with great casting makes the book that much better. The man is fast becoming my favourite author.


Sharoth wrote:
The New Solar System, 4th ed.. editors: J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, and Andrew Cahikin.

Hey I read that, too!


Kruelaid wrote:
Sharoth wrote:
The New Solar System, 4th ed.. editors: J. Kelly Beatty, Carolyn Collins Petersen, and Andrew Cahikin.
Hey I read that, too!

Great minds think alike.


Chinatown Death Cloud Peril is really, really good so far. Not quite done, so it's possible the last third of the book could suck terribly, but I heartily recommend it.

I ordered Moorcock's "The Warhound and the World's Pain" after a lot of folks said it was great on the Moorcock thread, so I'm looking forward to getting that one.


I'm reading "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher and it's okay. Easy and fun and something to read while listening to the TV. But, I must say, it does read like Mage: The Awakening sometimes.

I'm also wandering my way through "Awkening The Buddha Within" by Lama Surya Das, one of the first American lamas. Very interesting, easy to read, and mind opening for begining Buddhists.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules Subscriber
YeuxAndI wrote:
I'm reading "Storm Front" by Jim Butcher and it's okay. Easy and fun and something to read while listening to the TV. But, I must say, it does read like Mage: The Awakening sometimes.

Storm Front is the weakest of the books - they get better (and longer) as they go along. But it is a very facile read - and that isn't a bad thing, sometimes.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

Workin' my way through the Dresden files


I'm about a third of the way through Watership Down by Richard Adams and I'm really enjoying it. One of the best fantasy books I've ever read, I have to say. And it's all about rabbits.

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