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What books are you currently reading?


Books

7,201 to 7,248 of 7,248 << first < prev | 135 | 136 | 137 | 138 | 139 | 140 | 141 | 142 | 143 | 144 | 145 | next > last >>

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Yesterday, 'Watchtower' by Elizabeth A. Lynn, which was pretty good. Today, on the 'Take one and make a donation to charity' shelf of old books in the supermarket, I found 'Becoming the Sensuous Woman' by "J", so I've just read that. Stresses the importance of regular tongue exercises and has an entire chapter dedicated to wanking. It finishes with this:

Spoiler:

UHMMMMMM
M
MMMM MMM
M M M M
M M M
M M
M M
M M
M M
M M
M M
MM

For some reason. Armed with this, Tim and Beverly LaHaye's 'The Art of Marriage' and 'How To Find A Man - And Make Him Keep YOU!' I should be able to solve anyone's relationship problems with contemptuous ease. Good news!


[Adds to list for La Principessa]


Limeylongears wrote:
Tim and Beverly LaHaye's 'How To Find A Man - And Make Him Keep YOU!'

Make sure he's an atheist, so he doesn't magically get beamed to heaven when the Rapture comes any minute now?


"So You've Been Publicly Shamed" - by Jon Ronson

Liberty's Edge

Prepping to play a paladin, so grabbed my copy of "The Deed of Paksennarion".

Just finished "The Count of Monte Cristo" for the umpteenth time, and the newest Vlad Taltos book, "Hawk".


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
Tim and Beverly LaHaye's 'How To Find A Man - And Make Him Keep YOU!'
Make sure he's an atheist, so he doesn't magically get beamed to heaven when the Rapture comes any minute now?

How, how I wish Tim 'n' Bevvers had written a how-to guide to becoming a plumber's mistress while foiling Nicolas Carpathia's villainous plans for humanist baby naming ceremonies and world domination, but they haven't. How cruel life is.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mephron wrote:
Just finished "The Count of Monte Cristo" for the umpteenth time.

Abridged or unabridged?

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

Just finished A Long Time Until Now by Michael Z. Williamson. Ten U.S. soldiers get zapped back in time to the Stone Age, along with military units from other eras (such as a Roman Legion, and Mughal musketeers).

The premise was intriguing, and the interpersonal dynamics seemed pretty realistic, but mostly it ended up as survivalist porn. It's full of long and repeated explanations of how they plan on building huts, latrines, a basic forge, etc. The attention to detail was interesting at first, but dragged on for quite a bit, especially since they faced very little actual threat from anyone, until the Romans show up at the halfway point (and even then, the fights are incredibly one-sided).

Silver Crusade

"Revolutionary Road" by Richard Yates.

Partaking of some superb suburban angst.


"The Magicians" by Lev Grossman

A book about a late high schooler obsessed with the Narnia-esque Fillory books, only to find that magic is real. The book follows the next six years or so of his life at the magical academy Brakebills and beyond. It doesn't have the perfect innocence of Harry Potter and Brakebills isn't just a place of happiness and wonder. It isn't a children's book by any stretch of the imagination.

I found it a rather good read, it's the first book in a trilogy but could easily have been a stand-alone, wrapping up the majority of the loose ends before presenting the concept for the second. The character was interesting, he was flawed, but not to the point where I hated him. His role is important, but also more like a supporting character, but in a way that you don't really notice that. I think an important part of things is that eventually, he was the one who was broken and remade, the one who was left behind and made it back.

The book does get... weird... at times. If you are comfortable with "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman, then this should be fine. (American Gods is also a good book which I would recommend, along with his other works, including, but not limited to, Neverwhere, Stardust, and Good Omens (with respects paid to Terry Pratchett, may he rest in peace))

So... What have you lot been reading?


Still on with Byron, which is getting better (tip: skip the stuff he wrote at University).

Also been reading 'Guards of Haven' by Simon R. Green - hard-boiled cops police The Worst Fantasy City You Can Imagine, doing all the sorts of things hard-boiled cops normally do. Not that into it.

And I also have 'The Art of Combat' by Joachim Meyer to start on, which was a present. Looking forward to that one!


"Daughter of Fu Manchu" by Sax Rohmer.
It's the first story of his I've ever read, and after a chapter it seems pulpy and silly enough to be amusing.

The Exchange

Finished THE HAUNTED AIR (REPAIRMAN JACK #6). Next few days most of my reading time will be devoted to re-reading SKELETONS OF SCARWALL (Curse of the Crimson Throne #5) as I just GMed my party through the end of A History of Ashes a couple of days ago. I'm really excited to gear the campaign into the penultimate chapter. Been playing this game for closing on three years now and finally the end is in sight, the players involved in the story, and of course the adventure itself is awesome.

After that, though, I suspect its back to the WASTE OF TIME for me, for the 7th (jeez) book, THE PATH OF DAGGERS.

The Haunted Air thoughts:
Not much to say, to be honest. Book felt very much like filler. There were some good parts - the exploration of the world of "mediums" and "spirit channelers" and their various scams felt convincing and interesting, and of course one must appreciate the irony of the rationalist pretending to talk with dead people for his living being haunted by an actual ghost, which forces him to start believing in the supernatural. I actually hope the Kentons become recurring characters. They have a lot of inside knowledge about the Otherness and they are very likable.

The series seems to be focusing, narrowing down on its main themes. It used to be that each book was pretty much a stand alone with some continuity bits thrown in for good measure, but now both Jack and the reader are aware that each story is part of something much bigger that keeps driving forward.

I enjoyed this book, read it in a few days (as a slow reader, that is an achievement) but it wasn't nearly as intense as some of the earlier ones. Probably for the better, since I'm still winding down from the emotional torture chamber that LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS was...

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Blazed through Words of Radiance (Sanderson) this week after finally finding a trade paperback. I just couldn't justify 25 for the hardback or 20 for the large paperback when I knew the 10$ trade would eventually show up at the bookstore.

I'm now stuck with two authors whom I am waiting on sequels (with grrm).

The Exchange

Finished another book today, an event made possible by reading one book in kindle form and another in audiobook form.

The book is BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH, by Alastair Reynolds.

blue remembered earth thoughts::
Decent book. On the plus side, it has some really neat ideas, the highlights of which were an exploration of how an under water city could look like and how mining asteroids in the edge of the solar system might be done. Plenty of other things to sink your teeth in - human/animal mind interfacing, space elevators, world piece down to the individual level, enforced by a big-brother like machine (the "mechanism") that actually appears to be benevolent, an ideological movement that believes it is the duty of humanity to spread all life on earth to the stars alongside us.

Rest of the elements in the book were not so good. The plot was composed mostly of inconsequential squabbling and running around the solar system a bit. Honestly, it feels like the book was much more about the setting than about either the story or the characters. There was never much of a sense of danger or urgency, and the main themes of the story did not much up with the main themes of the book.

Most disappointing at all, this is not a typical AR book. What I love most about his writing is the mind boggling scale of it all. Plots that span tens of years and hundreds of light years, and completely off-the-chart cosmological oriented stories. This was not to be found here, as the entire book is a snapshot of humanity just a moment before we gained access to starflight enabling technology. That's fine and I can appreciate an author trying something new, but I find that the most unique aspect of Reynold's books is lacking here.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Finished Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.

Started Ready Player One by Ernest Cline--and I'm loving it!!!!!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Growing a grass-roots anti-racist group and having an emotionally unstable long distance girlfriend reallys takes away from your reading time, lemme tell you, but I am happy to report that Mr. Comrade and the Nigerian Princess have moved on from flirting over Patrick Rothfuss to flirting over Michael Moorcock. Mr. Comrade got her to read her first Elric novel; she loved it.

She's wicked into intersectionality so it was only a matter of time before the subject of black sci-fi/fantasy authors came up. I got to look pretty f$#*ing cool when I introduced them to Samuel R. Delany. (Thanks, Lord Dice!)


Loved "Ready Player One" - read it a couple of years ago


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
She's wicked into intersectionality so it was only a matter of time before the subject of black sci-fi/fantasy authors came up.

Check out some of W.E.B. DuBois' more speculative stuff, as well. And as a plus for the Doodle & fellow travelers, Wikipedia tells me "Du Bois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and he was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life."

The Exchange

Bjørn Røyrvik wrote:

"Daughter of Fu Manchu" by Sax Rohmer.

It's the first story of his I've ever read, and after a chapter it seems pulpy and silly enough to be amusing.

If you are less into pulp...My sister got me the original Judge Dee translations by Robert van Gulik. The Chinese mystery stories tend to have more supernatural elements in them, but no more far fetched than some of the early Western detective fiction (e.g. Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue.")


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, DuBois was a soft red. I've still got to read Black Reconstruction one of these days.

The leftie book club has decided to speed through the rest of The New Jim Crow (I think everyone in the group has already read it). We were taking suggestions for the next one and I was surprised how many people didn't get it and suggested novels.

Best recommendations thus far were James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son and bell hooks, Ain't I a Woman?: Black Women and Feminism. Already read the latter, but wouldn't mind reading it with a group.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Reading A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas.

It is set in a mideval world in which 500 years ago humans threw off theier fairy slave masters. Now by treaty, the fairy courts are to stay north of the "wall", and humans south.

Starts fast paced. Slows in the middle. Getting ready to read the last 100 pages.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
She's wicked into intersectionality so it was only a matter of time before the subject of black sci-fi/fantasy authors came up.
Check out some of W.E.B. DuBois' more speculative stuff, as well. And as a plus for the Doodle & fellow travelers, Wikipedia tells me "Du Bois believed that capitalism was a primary cause of racism, and he was generally sympathetic to socialist causes throughout his life."

He's not really wrong, exactly. It's one of those things that depends on your definition of capitalism*. The profit motive absolutely created slavery, which then required a justification. So we invented race to do the job. There's a pretty clear transition going on in the Chesapeake over the late 1600s from a world where at least some black men could own property, sue whites in court and win, and so forth. That kind of thing would be unthinkable in the Virginia of 1750 or 1900. The punchy summary is that racism (read as exploitation) created race (a fixed class of people imagined as destined for and requiring exploitation).

Those definitions are all a bit technical and not quite what people ordinarily mean, but I think they're a bit truer to how the systems have generally worked.

*The new hotness in the field right now is slavery & capitalism studies which generally cut against the grain of various Marxist interpretations that understood slavery as pre-capitalist.


Just downloaded Jerry Coyne's long-awaited "Albatross," Faith vs. Fact. Can't wait to start reading it!


Currently almost done with "Ender's Game".


Currently finishing a meeting at corvallis. My umpteenth reread of the dresden files. Destiny's road by niven. Body Electric and the elegant universe.

Waiting on Doors of Stone and Peace Talks


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Having read a few novels and good sections of a few other history books in the interim, I finally finished The Half Has Never Been Told. I have really got to figure out a way to do my not-immediately-blog-related history reading without it feeling like it's piling up on top of the research.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Just finished Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. LOVED IT!!!

Just started The Crimson Campaign by Brian McClellan. More muskets and magic!


Black History and the Class Struggle No. 8: South Africa and Permanent Revolution


Anyone read "Ancillary Justice" by Anne Leckie? Just finished it recently but don't see why it got the Hugo and Nebula in 2014. It was interesting, but slow. I don't think I'll be continuing with the trilogy.

The Exchange

Sunderstone wrote:
Anyone read "Ancillary Justice" by Anne Leckie? Just finished it recently but don't see why it got the Hugo and Nebula in 2014. It was interesting, but slow. I don't think I'll be continuing with the trilogy.

I haven't read it yet, because whenever I hear people recommending it, its never (seriously, never) a "you should read it, it's fun/interesting/involving", rather always "you should read it, they call everybody a 'she' in it".

For most I think that is an interesting enough concept, to me it is just bland. To be frank, I don't read science fiction for gender politics, I don't mind them but if they are the main selling point I'm far from excited. So if you are wondering why it won a hugo yet isn't thrilling, I'd assume that's the reason.

Anyho, this isn't exactly on topic for the thread, but I saw something so hilarious that I had to share it here: it seems that Amazon UK don't understand which genre Abercrombie writes in. Some of the titles of the other book there are nothing short of hilarious. Who knew that the fantasy romance subgenre in Britain is dominated by animal fetishes 0_0


Just finished "Wicked" by Gregory Maguire. With the book spawning a musical, I expected it to be light-hearted and fun. Instead, it's a rather dull and heavy-handed political treatise. Think a depressed and listless Tolstoy rewrites Oz badly.

I did like "Ancillary Justice", mostly because the narrator is an interesting character, the lone survivor of a hive mind. Though the action was rather slow at first, I thought the ending was tense and frantic. The uneven pacing detracts from the story, but I enjoyed the plot, the use of the hive mind mechanic throughout, the various characters, and the universe.

The "she" affectation (meaning the gender-blindness of the narrator, not the use of "she" as a generic pronoun) was initially annoying. My brain kept searching for clues as to each character's gender, but it finally gave up about halfway through "Justice" and let me concentrate on the story without caring about sex. I read "Sword" and liked it and am looking forward to more.

RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2013 Top 16

I gave up on "Ancillary Justice" after five chapters, because I still had no idea what the main character wanted, or why, or really anything about her except that she didn't understand gender pronouns, used to be a spaceship, and didn't understand gender pronouns. (Did I mention she didn't understand gender pronouns?) I got more description of a millenium-old fishing rights dispute than I did of the personality of the protagonist.


Breq is a stunted individual at the beginning of "Justice" because the rest of the hive mind has been lost, which makes the early chapters rather heavy going. Breq develops into a more complete person as the book develops. Understanding Breq helps readers understand the antagonist(s), introduced later in the book.

Yeah, the first five chapters were rather dull but managed to make me curious enough to continue.

Scarab Sages

Limeylongears wrote:
and also did 'The Couch of Silistra' by Janet E. Morris over the weekend, which was odd. I didn't really get it on the first read through.

Oh wow. My mom collected sci-fi/fantasy by female authors, so I grew up with a ton of Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Linda Bushyager, Patricia McKillip, Tanith Lee, etc. in the house (along with the usual Saberhagen and Niven and Zelazny), but that High Couch of Silistra stuff was pretty whack.

Watching Firefly, I had flashbacks to ten year old me wondering what the deal was with people glorifying prostitution, and I still kind of cringe at references to 'Whore Queens' or whatever (particularly when the people being referred to have literally *nothing* to do with prostitution, and seem to be getting called whores or harlots entirely because they are women).


I wasn't impressed by High Couch of Silistra.
Tanith Lee, OTOH, is one of my favorite writers, despite her obsession with two themes.


Put holds on a bunch of e-books at our library based on the recommendations in this thread. Unfortunately, most titles are not available, but I'm looking forward to the ones that are. Thanks to everyone who contributes here!

The Exchange

Set wrote:
Limeylongears wrote:
and also did 'The Couch of Silistra' by Janet E. Morris over the weekend, which was odd. I didn't really get it on the first read through.

Oh wow. My mom collected sci-fi/fantasy by female authors, so I grew up with a ton of Anne McCaffrey, Andre Norton, Linda Bushyager, Patricia McKillip, Tanith Lee, etc. in the house (along with the usual Saberhagen and Niven and Zelazny), but that High Couch of Silistra stuff was pretty whack.

Watching Firefly, I had flashbacks to ten year old me wondering what the deal was with people glorifying prostitution, and I still kind of cringe at references to 'Whore Queens' or whatever (particularly when the people being referred to have literally *nothing* to do with prostitution, and seem to be getting called whores or harlots entirely because they are women).

Abstractly there's nothing wrong with getting payed for a service that includes sex, just the same as there's nothing wrong with getting payed to physically strain your body by, say, construction works.

In the case of our world prostitution is very rarely a positive thing, mixed up with abuse, poverty, etc. Continuing with the construction worker analogy, imagine if in our world most construction workers would have been actual slaves.

However, it is easy to imagine different cases for different societies. You brought up Firefly, which is the main point I wish to respond to. There, Inara is a "companion" and I would argue her job has very little to do with the day-by-day experience of most real world prostitutes. She seems highly regarded and respected, and her clients come to her not just to satisfy a physical need but a mental one as well. She takes only the clients she chooses, and it has never once even been hinted that she is doing anything against her will.

So, I don't think prostitution is glorified in Firefly. I think the setting there has a made up job that includes having sex but has very different context than what that would usually imply in real history. Science Fiction and fantasy ARE all about presenting alternative realities, after all.


My take on Firefly's companions is that they seem to be somewhere between high class prostitutes and geisha. There's very definitely a sexual aspect to the job but it's also about companionship, making the client feel good about him/herself, letting him unwind and feel nearness and possibly feel loved and valued. Or even just when you need a beautiful, educated and socially competent partner to enhance your own standing.


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I am at a book festival. When not at talks, I have done little else but lie about and read. I have:

Spoiler:

Finished the complete works of Byron, with a sigh of relief
Read 'Captives of Gor' and started on 'Hunters of Gor' (I have more or less completed my Gor collection)

Also read a biography of Dashiel Hammett, a book about Marxism by Marshall Berman, both of which were great, and a confusing book about the 30 Years War, as well as some crap porn (Slave Girls of Suburbia) and one of the Wolf Nomads novels, which I disliked, and Tales of Neveronya by Sam Delaney. That was ace too, but I've read it before

Discovered the Vlad Taltos books

Other stuff too, but that'll do for now

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Vlad Taltos is great!!! :-D


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Book-free since I finished Baptist. Got into it with a guy I'm pretty sure got his degree circa 1950, or pledged Kappa Kappa Kappa, over at Reddit AskHistorians. The kind of guy who knows a whole lot about militaria and likes to quote Shelby Foote, but suddenly goes super general when confronted with non-military details. Asked him states' rights for what and he answered with a quote that amounted to "just because". Frequent reference to modern-day political tropes didn't help his case either. Way to live the military historian stereotype, dude. Could not think of a civil way to ask him if he knew that bedclothes don't make for the best headgear, let alone eyewear.

Might have otherwise yielded the point, but the best he could offer me were lots of handwaves and one popular work to make his case. Refused to engage much of anything I said to him, even when I went out of my way to quote direct passages from professionals. Turned my frustration with him, and my disinclination to flip the table and dive for his nuts with teeth bared, into a night of furious research that turned up a particularly condemnatory Calhoun quote (full letter not online, damn it) and the order of several books I wanted anyway. In the next few weeks I should have

The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Stampp. Never read anything of his and I'm getting one of those reprints that seem to have been popular in the early 90s. Looks like it's an essay collection, so it might be a good window on the late-50s historiography. Incorrect plural in the title, of course.

The Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary History, one of the newer standard anthologies of primary sources. Got it cheap.

The Confederate War by Gary Gallagher. Examines the motivations of Confederates in general. To judge from a few of his presentations I've seen, I expect a hefty chunk on that slavery now, slavery forever guy that everyone wants to pretend is an abolitionist in disguise. You know, the traitor we put on stamps instead of a tree for some reason that eludes me. (Gallagher's explanation of the rep: "People don't read.") He also has a book on the Union that does the same, which I'll get to eventually.

Those books got me a bit guilty about not frequenting the local bookstore, especially Gallagher since he's definitely still in print, but the used books were pretty cheap. So I went to the bookstore with a longshot, William W. Freehling's Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 from the mid-60s and Elizabeth Varon's recent Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859. Expected no love on Freehling (last reprint, 1992) and was sure I'd get Varon.

They found both. I walked out rather lighter, and happier, than expected. Damned if I know which I'll crack first.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

To quote Weezer, "I got [1]Dungeon Masters Guide[/I]! I got 12-sided die!"

5th Edition.....


"Tales from the Flat Earth" in memory of Tanith Lee


Samnell wrote:
The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Stampp. Never read anything of his

The Peculiar Institution was the one I read in sophomore-level American history university courses. Remember it being alright.

Anyway,

Black History and the Class Struggle No. 9: Los Angeles Explodes--There is No Justice in Capitalist America

Also, re-finished The New Jim Crow and just regularly finished the China book, half-dozen chapters to go in The Whispering Swarm. Hope to finish it today.

Scarab Sages

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Unbreakable: A Novel (Chronicles of Promise Paen) by W. C. Bauers

Nice action novel. A young woman leaver her home planet and joins the space marines because it boring. Comes back years later to protect it from marauders. Finds out her father had kepter her very sheltered, and there was more to her home planet to love than she thought.
Oh, a few marine fights and a space battle happen along the way.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Samnell wrote:
The Causes of the Civil War edited by Kenneth Stampp. Never read anything of his
The Peculiar Institution was the one I read in sophomore-level American history university courses. Remember it being alright.

Yeah. It's on my list. But after spending a lot of time with Baptist and before him David Brion Davis, I need a little break from slavery history.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Also...half-dozen chapters to go in The Whispering Swarm. Hope to finish it today.

To quote from a Facebook post earlier today:

"Coming in on the end. Enjoying it quite a bit. Was a bit worried, for the past couple of chapters Moorcock has teamed up with Prince Rupert of the Rhine, Claude Duval and the Three Musketeers to rescue Charles Stuart from Cromwell's headsmen. Happily, though,

Spoiler:
they fail.

"Remember the fate of Charles I!"

Later surprise twist reading revealed that the traitor was...well, the traitor was pretty easily guessable, but what wasn't really guessable was that the traitor turned out to be

Spoiler:
Andrew Marvell!

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