What books are you currently reading?


Books

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Oh yeah, The Unwritten reached a kinda literary-nerd orgasm when Tommy, Baron Munchausen, Pinnocchio, Sinbad, Jonah and the dude from Kipling were all stuck in the belly of the same whale.


Tinkergoth wrote:
Simon Legrande wrote:
Tinkergoth wrote:
Rereading The Rook already since I'm still waiting for my copy of The Fuller Memorandum to arrive (book store called me, told me it was in... turned out they'd ordered a copy of The Atrocity Archive instead, which I already had). Loving it even more the second time around. Sequel cannot come fast enough.
I recently picked up the first three books and am currently reading The Atrocity Archive. I picked them up based on several recommendations, but so far I'm a bit less than impressed. The book isn't terrible, but it just seems to be lacking something.

I've really enjoyed what I've read of all of them so far (I've been listening to The Fuller Memorandum audio book, I just want the physical copy because I find it easier to take it in), but The Atrocity Archive is probably the one I've found least enjoyable so far (though still good). There's a couple of reasons for that I think. Big thing for me is the technology... I was 12 when it was published, so the technology seems very dated to me. Not a big issue, but it throws me off a little bit.

The other thing is that the first 4 novels are homages to or pastiches of other author's work, with The Atrocity Archives being written in a style similar to Len Deighton's novels about out-of-their-depth bureaucrats. I like Deighton's novels, but I enjoyed The Jennifer Morgue (pastiche of Ian Fleming's Bond novels) more, and am really liking what I've heard of The Fuller Memorandum (inspired by Anthony Price's David Audley/Jack Butler series). Pretty keen to see how The Apocalypse Codex reads, since it's apparently written like a Modesty Blaise novel). Given how much the style shifts between each book, I'd recommend at least pushing through to read the second one. After book 4, Stross mentioned that the series has now picked up it's own style and won't be continuing with the pastiche/homage idea.

Some of the short stories are pretty good too. I'm particularly fond of Concrete Jungle (when there are...

Good to know, thanks. I'm going to read them all regardless, I always finish the books I have. Nice to know I'll get different tastes from the two coming up.


Finished Moorcock's "Count Brass" trilogy, and found it a bit too angsty for a grown-up Kirth, so I opted to go full-on paranoia next: started on PKD's Eye in the Sky.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Finished Moorcock's "Count Brass" trilogy, and found it a bit too angsty...

Yea, I can see that. If I read outside the Elric saga, I would say I prefer the Nomad of the Time Streams or maybe the Von Bek series.

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
I was going to read Four Ways to Forgiveness but the word "Hainish" showed up in the first ten pages, and I haven't read any of the Hainish Cycle, so back on the shelf with you.

It's been years since I read it, but I think Four Ways to Forgiveness is one of the more stand-alone books in the Hainish Cycle, like The Telling or Left Hand of Darkness. Mostly you just have to know that Hain exists and sends out observers from other worlds. So read on, McDoodlebug!


Thank you, but it's too late. I already read the first part of The Age of Reason.

One of these days I'll read the whole Hainish Cycle from beginning to end (I was looking on wikipedia and the Hainish Cycle is one of those awesome seriesesses that take place in a different order than they were written in! Huzzah for confusion!).

Also, Tom Paine is making me feel bad about stalling on The Bible. I think I'm gonna have to skip the next 100 psalms and probably all of Proverbs.


I finished Countdown City by Ben Winters this morning, and have now started Spycatcher by Matthew Dunn, a retired member of the MI6 clandestine service. It's pretty good so far, but I'm only about 60 pages in.


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Spoilered for apostasy

Spoiler:
Apparently, Tommy wrote the first part while doing time in a Jacobin jail, without access to a copy of The Bible.

As he says in the preface to the second part:

"They [his critics] will now find that I have furnished myself with a Bible and Testament; and I can say also that I have found them to be much worse books than I had conceived. If I have erred in anything in the former part of The Age of Reason, it has been by speaking better of some parts of those books than they have deserved."

Hee hee!

Later, after establishing that Moses couldn't have written The Books of Moses and talking about Homer and Aesop, he goes on,

"Take away from Genesis the belief that Moses was the author, on which only the strange belief that it is the word of God has stood, and there remains nothing of Genesis but an anonymous book of stories, fables, and traditionary or invented absurdities, or of downright lies. The story of Eve and the serpent, and of Noah and his ark, drops to a level with the Arabian tales, without the merit of being entertaining;...."

Hee hee!

Tom seems to agree with my long-standing position: The ancient Greeks wrote better books than the ancient Hebrews.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

I finished The Martian this week. Now I'm reading Against a Dark Background by Iain Banks.


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So, Philip K. Dick's "Eye in the Sky." Regardless of what kind of bottomless methamphetamine paranoia he descended into later on, in 1957 he was a writer of infinite panache and moral power:

Philip K. Dick wrote:

He was gazing intently past Hamilton, towards Bill Laws. "Is that," he said thickly, "A person of color standing there?"

What Hamilton said came from a level beyond careful reasoning. "The hell with you," he said. "If that Second Bab or whatever it's called, that (Tetragrammaton) [God] rubbish you've invented, can sit back and listen to you say that, He's more of a worthless, broken-down travesty of a god than you are of a man."
Gradually, Arthur Silvester rose to his feet. He was no longer a man; he was an avenging force that transcended humanity. A vibration shook through his gaunt frame; and from deep inside his body came a slow, gummy, poisonous hate. "I believe," he said, "that you are a n------ lover."
"That's so," Hamilton agreed. "And an atheist and a red. Have you met my friend Bill Laws? Graduate student in advanced physics; good enough to sit down at the dinner table with any man alive."

From the viewpoint of 2014, maybe no big thing, But from 1957 -- six years before MLK's famous speech -- this is nothing short of revolutionary for a "hack" SciFi writer.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernon Vinge.

I'm loving the quasi-psychic(subsonic?)/eusocial "wolf/packs!"

The Exchange

SmiloDan wrote:

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernon Vinge.

I'm loving the quasi-psychic(subsonic?)/eusocial "wolf/packs!"

Oh boy, that was one of the weirdest books I ever read, I think. Nowhere else have I encountered such... well, alien aliens. I recently learned there are prequels and sequels and stuff, and I want to read them, but remember too little of the Fire Upon the Deep to throw myself casually into that universe again. For a 14 years old, anyway, Fire Upon the Deep was mind blowing.


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I'm nowhere near as up on my Dick (hee hee!) as I should be. :(

I'm all out of The Unwritten volumes. :(

More apostasy

Spoiler:

"Having now shown that every book in the Bible, from Genesis to Judges, is without authenticity, I come to the book of Ruth, an idle, bungling story, foolishly told, nobody knows by whom, about a strolling, country-girl creeping slyly to bed with her cousin Boaz. Pretty stuff indeed to be called the word of God! It is, however, one of the best books in the Bible, for it is free from murder and rapine."


Chris Hedges accused of plagiarism.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Chris Hedges accused of plagiarism.

It couldn't happen to a more sanctimonious guy.


Fiction: Into the Storm by Taylor Anderson

Non-Fiction: My Father's Country: Story of a German Family by Wibke Bruhns (possible distant relatives)

Shadow Lodge

Making my way through The Hero of Ages and rereading Snow Crash.


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Had a rest from Orlando Furioso, picking up a short account of the siege of Bradford (or sieges) during the English Civil War instead. The right side won eventually, even if the Royalists did manage to blow up Kirkgate.

Tomorrow, if the weather's decent, I'm going to sit out in the garden, drink beer and read Alan Burt Akers


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Well, Tommy kinda killed my Bible-reading plans.

Spoilered for apostasy

Spoiler:
I read up to where Tommy talks about Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon, then I went and read those two books of The Bible. After counting eight famous quotations in the first chapter of Ecclesiastes alone, I thought linking The Byrds might be too obvious, but I, of course, have never shirked from the obvious. Anyway, I then read the rest of Tommy on the Old Testament, tried to read Isaiah and was like, "Pfft. Why? What's the f&@$ing point?" I did read Jonah, though, because it was short and because he was featured in the comic book I've been reading recently, but I think I am done with the Old Testament.

Also done with Tommy for now. I'll finish The Age of Reason after I've got at least some of the Gospels down.


Picked up The Myth of Sisyphus yesterday. On the list to read after I finish the Charles Stross books.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Gobbo: You can safely read just one of them. Three of them are remakes.


Being a man of my word, I went out in the g!%*#* garden, drank g@%+@& beer and g##@&~ well read Alan Burt Akers' Transit to Scorpio which I very much enjoyed, even if (or because) it didn't mess with the standard S&P formula of adventurous man goes to distant planet, does sword-fights, ponks princess. Have the next two volumes, too, which I'm looking forward to - also got through Jandar of Callisto, which was, of course, (being Lin Carter) super.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Lord Snow wrote:
SmiloDan wrote:

A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernon Vinge.

I'm loving the quasi-psychic(subsonic?)/eusocial "wolf/packs!"

Oh boy, that was one of the weirdest books I ever read, I think. Nowhere else have I encountered such... well, alien aliens. I recently learned there are prequels and sequels and stuff, and I want to read them, but remember too little of the Fire Upon the Deep to throw myself casually into that universe again. For a 14 years old, anyway, Fire Upon the Deep was mind blowing.

Yeah, the wolfpacks of the Tines makes me want to run some Teamwork-abundant neogi (Planescape!) against my PCs!

The Exchange

Having become a supporting member of this year's hugo awards, I now have the Complete Wheel of Time on my Kindle (that's roughly a 10000 pages long book). I... I fear I will start reading it soon. *gulp*.


Swallowed down a great big chunk of Michael Harrington's The Other America which will be of great use in future politroll threads about the height of American Keynsian prosperity.

Also, I'm starting to think Chris Hedges might've plagiarized this book. Migrant workers, Appalachia, inner city slums, plus ca change...

Liberty's Edge

Just started Lords of Mars It's been close to a year since I read Priests of Mars, but it surprisingly has stuck with me. I really enjoying it so far. The next book is scheduled for sometime this summer.


Partway into Aikman's The Delusion of Disbelief: Why the New Atheism is a Threat to Your Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness. Despite the hyperbolic subtitle, I'd hoped it would present at least some well-thought-out, logical lines of argument; Aikman is a 23-year veteran at Time, with a variety of other credits.

So far, I've been very badly disappointed. His book skirts the line (often crossing completely over) of being one big ad hom attack on Harris ("drug user!"), Dawkins ("meany-head!"), Hitchens ("Commie drunkard!"), and Dennett ("condescending ass!").


I looked up that Aikman book on line and, woo boy, you're a trooper, Kirth.

Haven't quite finished Harrington yet, but also started The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.


As of last night's reading, Aikman pointed to Satlin, Pol Pot, and the French Revolution, and concluded, "See, atheism always and inexorably leads to mass murder of the population by the government*, whereas Christianity inexorably leads to great civilizations!" Neither argument is particularly convincing, given the large number of counter-examples that are easily available. I guess Aikman skipped that whole unit on Venn Diagrams in grade school.

*

Spoiler:
Much like people claim that giving the rogue actual class features inexorably leads to 4e, I guess.


Doodlebug Anklebiter wrote:
also started The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

I love reading those in between episodes of "Sherlock" on Netflix. Some of the adaptations are quite nicely done.


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Kirth Gersen wrote:

As of last night's reading, Aikman pointed to Satlin, Pol Pot, and the French Revolution, and concluded, "See, atheism always and inexorably leads to mass murder of the population by the government*, whereas Christianity inexorably leads to great civilizations!" Neither argument is particularly convincing, given the large number of counter-examples that are easily available. I guess Aikman skipped that whole unit on Venn Diagrams in grade school.

* ** spoiler omitted **

Not to mention that most of the French Revolutionaries weren't atheists.


Lord Snow wrote:
Having become a supporting member of this year's hugo awards, I now have the Complete Wheel of Time on my Kindle (that's roughly a 10000 pages long book). I... I fear I will start reading it soon. *gulp*.

I'm surprised it's still running. Or portable.


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I like it when the christians try to paint the nazis as atheists too. Such eagerness not to be associated. And hey, the RCC DID excommunicate Goebbels... for remarrying...

Paizo Employee Associate Editor

Taking a break from The Decameron to read The Song of Roland. I picked Dorothy L. Sayers's translation because I'm a fangirl; while the intro was helpful (and credited numerous female scholars!), I wish the translation were prose. Sayers' dedication to recreating the original meter and rhyme scheme is admirable but distracting.


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Chanson de Roland is pretty cool in almost any translation.

The Exchange

Finished up Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3) in a reading marathon that strecthed to 3 A.M. A tragic event and a confusing ending left me pretty unhappy, and I decided to not read anything epic for a couple of months. I prefer something short, cool and palpable. Started to read "Summer Knight" (Dresden Files #4). Wheel of time is staring at me as I sleep, unblinking.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.

I finished The Grapes of Wrath.

Vive le Galt!


Judy Bauer wrote:
Taking a break from The Decameron to read The Song of Roland. I picked Dorothy L. Sayers's translation because I'm a fangirl; while the intro was helpful (and credited numerous female scholars!), I wish the translation were prose. Sayers' dedication to recreating the original meter and rhyme scheme is admirable but distracting.

I'm finding something similar with Orlando Furioso (translated by Barbara Reynolds, who I think, coincidentally, was one of DLS's pals, or collaborators) - some of the poetry can get a bit McGonagallesque at times, too.

What to read next. H'mm h'mm. Ha-Joon Chang.


Simon Legrande wrote:
Picked up The Myth of Sisyphus yesterday.

Tell that [French swearing] that I said [French swearing].


Speaking of migrant workers, this past weekend, my mother was watching The Cider House Rules which was the only John Irving film adaptaion that I enjoyed. But then I realized that it was probably because it was the only film adaptation I had seen of a John Irving novel that I hadn't read, so, I think I'm going to read that next.

High on ether? If I'm lucky...


Ugh. I got stuck seeing that instead of American Beauty.

Said our 'friend' whom we dropped off to get the tickets while we parked: "Your movie must have been sold out or something. We're all going to see Cider House Rules instead!"
Me: "Uh, so, what's so great about this cider house, that it 'rules'?"

We sit down, and the movie opens with a train coming into a station.
My other friend: "Dude -- there's a nuclear weapon on board that train!"
Me: "Awesome!"
Halfway through the movie, it began to occur to me that I'd been had.


Oh, so you want me to link the trailer?

Done.


Has anyone ever finished a book series because they feel compelled to finish it, not because they enjoyed the series? That's how I felt with the recent "Fate of the Jedi" series. The concept started out OK, bogged down in the middle, and tried to wrap all of the storylines together with a tidy bow in the last 200 pages of the last book. Maybe books like these are why the exalted "canon" of the Star Wars Expanded Universe is being wiped out?


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Had a sh*t week, so decided to read Tarnsman of Gor this evening, on the same principle that punching yourself in the face will temporarily distract you from the pain of, say, a sore throat. Actually, (shamefaced whisper), I quite enjoyed it, thereby proving that I am a gruesome little perv with no critical faculties.

Silver Crusade

TarSpartan wrote:
Has anyone ever finished a book series because they feel compelled to finish it, not because they enjoyed the series?

I used to be that way, but I have made peace with the idea of setting down a book and never coming back to it.

There are too many things out there that I want to read, so I try not to waste time on crap.

Case and point, I got about 20 pages into Gail Martin's The Summoner before I closed the book and donated it to a library.

Silver Crusade

Currently, I am relatively entertained by reading Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I needed something short, especially after The Grapes of Wrath.

Shadow Lodge

Lord Snow wrote:
Finished up Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3) in a reading marathon that strecthed to 3 A.M. A tragic event and a confusing ending left me pretty unhappy, and I decided to not read anything epic for a couple of months.

I've had City of Golden Shadow sitting on my bookshelf for years and never have gotten around to reading it.

The Exchange

Orthos wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Finished up Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3) in a reading marathon that strecthed to 3 A.M. A tragic event and a confusing ending left me pretty unhappy, and I decided to not read anything epic for a couple of months.
I've had City of Golden Shadow sitting on my bookshelf for years and never have gotten around to reading it.

I actually quite liked City of Golden Shadows. It was wierd and had pacing issues, but it told a very coherent story that evolved in cool ways. The problem started when the entire second book of the series didn't advance the plot even a single step (the author is aware of that - many of the character often express frustration at their inability to do anything, and yet the book is 700 pages long). The third book does actually move things, but in an excruciatingly slow way. And the fourth book is longest of them all (960 pages).


Speaking of Tad Williams, in the last month I have been reading his Shadowmarch series. Just started the third book (Shadowrise) a few days ago. I've like the series, but it's been slow at times, and there are still a few characters I haven't been able to get into (Tinwright and Quinitan).

Shadow Lodge

Lord Snow wrote:
Orthos wrote:
Lord Snow wrote:
Finished up Mountain of Black Glass (Otherland #3) in a reading marathon that strecthed to 3 A.M. A tragic event and a confusing ending left me pretty unhappy, and I decided to not read anything epic for a couple of months.
I've had City of Golden Shadow sitting on my bookshelf for years and never have gotten around to reading it.
I actually quite liked City of Golden Shadows. It was wierd and had pacing issues, but it told a very coherent story that evolved in cool ways.

Might give it a shot then. Thanks =)

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