Currently Reading / Just Read (Books/stories/whatever)

Talk about anything under the sun or stars - but keep it civil. This is where we really get to know each other. Everyone is welcome, and invited!
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Postby LilBee91 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 7:37 pm

I'm about 150 pages into Bleak House. It's the first book by Dickens that I've read. It's not as bad as I feared, but I can see it getting old fairly quick. But I don't know--maybe something really exciting will happen soon.
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Postby locke » Sun Mar 15, 2009 8:52 pm

I'm about 150 pages into Bleak House. It's the first book by Dickens that I've read. It's not as bad as I feared, but I can see it getting old fairly quick. But I don't know--maybe something really exciting will happen soon.
yeah, definitely your first Dickens. ;)

Haven't read Bleak House but it's on my list. :) I do like Twist Copperfield and Great Expectations. as well as the actual story A Christmas Carol.
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:19 pm

"Dune: The Butlerian Jihad" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Decided to read the Dune Series and figured I'd read them in chronological order. Very good book.

Also, I put in an order for "The Temporal Void" by Peter F. Hamilton. Part 4 in a 5 part series: Release Date--Mar. 24, 2009! Can't Wait. The first three

"Pandora's Star"
"Judas Unchained"
"The Dreaming Void"

were very, very good. Third favorite series of all time.
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:31 pm

"Dune: The Butlerian Jihad" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Decided to read the Dune Series and figured I'd read them in chronological order. Very good book.
I would have suggested starting with the original series rather than the prequels, but as long as you're enjoying it...
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:32 pm

"Dune: The Butlerian Jihad" by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson

Decided to read the Dune Series and figured I'd read them in chronological order. Very good book.
I would have suggested starting with the original series rather than the prequels, but as long as you're enjoying it...
Why is that?
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Mar 17, 2009 2:47 pm

I suppose that the honest answer is personal bias. It's just that I don't think BH & KJA ever managed to capture the depth and subtlety of Frank Herbert's books, and I'm certainly not the only one who thinks so. Although to be fair, I've never fully read any of the prequels, but I have read the two sequels that they wrote, and I have some issues with how they chose to clumsily insert allusions to their own novels into Frank's storyline and missed out on a lot of the philosophical themes that make the original series so awesome and thought provoking.

The bottom line is that if you want to know Dune, you have to read Frank Herbert's Dune. But you'll get there eventually and can judge for yourself. I suppose it's kind of like how some people feel very differently about the Speaker books compared to the Shadow series, or the Star Wars prequels vs. the originals.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

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Postby locke » Tue Mar 17, 2009 3:39 pm

Yeah, reading Dune in 'chronological' order is like reading The Magicians Nephew or Ender's Shadow first. sure it might work out, but why start with the wrong book?
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby lyons24000 » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:17 pm

Yeah, reading Dune in 'chronological' order is like reading The Magicians Nephew or Ender's Shadow first. sure it might work out, but why start with the wrong book?
That made my heart beat a little faster. I don't want to be one of those people: "I like the Shadow Series better in large part because I read it first." I did, however, ask around and made myself understand that the original series is much, much better then what I will be reading.

I hope it works.
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Postby neo-dragon » Tue Mar 17, 2009 7:34 pm

Like I said, if you're enjoying what you're reading now don't let us or anyone else ruin it for you. BH & KJA's Dune books (from what I've read and heard) are pretty good books in their own right. Most Dune fans just feel like they fall a bit flat when compared to the originals.
"Deep in the human unconscious is a pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic."
- Frank Herbert's 'Dune'

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Postby lyons24000 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 9:54 am

I just finished part one in the Machine War Dune Trilogy and I can't even really concentrate on part two. I want to skip it and read Dune so bad but don't want to leave off in the middle of a perfectly good story. I'll probably just end up reading them at the same time or I'll just pretend the next one hasn't come out yet or something.

Thanks a lot...
"This must be the end, then."-MorningLightMountain, Judas Unchained

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Postby locke » Fri Mar 20, 2009 2:58 am

So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby Gravity Defier » Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:37 am

I am re-reading Fahrenheit 451 (Bradbury) for the first time since 1997, which was my first time reading it. I never forgot the basics of the story but it's nice to be reminded of the details.

I'm also reading Jumper (Gould) and, only 22 pages in so far, really like it. I was worried it'd be too similar to the movie despite being told the movie was nothing like it but this is already a much deeper story. I'm glad the movie disappointed me enough to make me seek out it's source material, even if it took a year.
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Postby locke » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:43 am

Oh I finished The Judging Eye, definitely Bakker's best work yet. I love his homage to Moria, and feel that he actually understands the principal/tradition that Tolkien was specifically invoking when he wrote Moria. That keeps Cil Aujus from being just a lame, half-baked tribute rip off, but a worthy successor in the epic's millenia old tradition of the journey through the underworld. Oh and Cleric and Mimara are two very awesome new characters. And damn but this book is so much more interesting than the other three, and better balanced, even if only one of the story lines reaches a really interesting climax. Since I'm also rereading The Darkness that Comes before, Bakker's first book and the first of this series it's almost painful to go back to the older work. Still it's interesting and often revelatory rereading experience. comparable to going back and reading an earlier Harry Potter book after a new one had come out. Bakker is definitely Rowling's equal in terms of layering his scenes with all sorts of things that work in more than one way. So it appears one way on a first go through, and when you come back later with more information you realize the scene is actually completely transformed. :)
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:07 am


I'm also reading Jumper (Gould) and, only 22 pages in so far, really like it. I was worried it'd be too similar to the movie despite being told the movie was nothing like it but this is already a much deeper story. I'm glad the movie disappointed me enough to make me seek out it's source material, even if it took a year.
When I realized that he actually jumped for the first time because he was going to be raped by that truck driver and his friends I was a little shocked. I never finished the book because I was reading it at the store and had to leave. I didn't pick it back up because I thought it was going to be childish.

It stayed with me a few days when they mentioned how they had raped other young men and women like that. That type of stuff bothers me but I don't shy away from it--those things happen and I need to be alert to it.
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Postby Gravity Defier » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:35 pm

Jumper spoilers to follow:





He jumped for the first time because his dad was abusing him and the attempted rape was the second jump. I suspected the trucker would try as soon as Davy woke up from the little nap he took.

Anyway, I don't know where you got the idea this book would be childish; it's a Young Adult book but that doesn't automatically make it so.
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Postby lyons24000 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:12 pm

Jumper spoilers to follow:





He jumped for the first time because his dad was abusing him and the attempted rape was the second jump. I suspected the trucker would try as soon as Davy woke up from the little nap he took.

Anyway, I don't know where you got the idea this book would be childish; it's a Young Adult book but that doesn't automatically make it so.
You're right. I will give it another chance in the future. :D However, when I was in middle school I read Animorph's. I have nothing against them, I thought and still think the stories were great, but they were Young Adult, too. And when I picked one up to skim over it I realized that they were childish. I haven't really read anymore Young Adult books and came to the assumption that they were all childish. :oops: That is the mistake you make when you jump to unwarranted conclusions. Forgive me for that!
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Postby Gravity Defier » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:28 pm

I should add, who gives a flying f*** if it is childish? If you like it, read it. If that childishness gets in the way of your enjoyment, then don't.

As for the idea that all YA books are childish or somehow less than worth the time it takes to read them, I find that as annoying as I find the idea that all Adult books are intrinsically worthwhile or somehow better than YA. There are good books, there are bad books, there are serious ones and childish ones, and that is true for any category of book.

ETA: I know you just said it was wrong to jump to that conclusion; I'm more speaking out in general.
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:38 pm

Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow are often categorized as young adult books. They even gave them those new dorky covers to appeal to kids. And who among us hasn't read Harry Potter?
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Postby Luet » Mon Mar 23, 2009 4:35 pm

I totally agree...as an adult, I have read many children's and YA books - some for the first time and some as rereads. Sometimes people have to get over themselves to enjoy some great literature. ;)
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Postby zeroguy » Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:01 pm

And who among us hasn't read Harry Potter?
Augh, don't remind me. Parts of me still really wish I hadn't...
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Postby ender1 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 12:10 am

And who among us hasn't read Harry Potter?
I haven't.

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Postby locke » Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:42 am

I started reading the Graveyard Book before our plane took off. I paused after chapter one to remove my hoodie. I read straight through, stopping only to accept a Jack & Ginger (interesting, not as sweet as Jack and coke, be better with something more gingery though, like Reeds) I had ordered. It turns out anything with Jack Daniels was the perfect drink to accompany this book. I started to panic as the plane landed and I had probably twenty pages to go. I started to read faster. I needed to finish before I got off the plane because it would be three hours until I could otherwise (since car ride after plane ride). I finished it just about two minutes before my row disembarked, for once I'm thankful I was in the back of the plane. Still I want to go back and linger over the final chapter.

The book is masterful, my second favorite Gaiman behind American Gods. brought me to the point of tears several times, both at the beginning and at the end. Also had me laughing out loud at several points in between. Possibly the best book on growing up and maturing since the Giver.

spoiler
I was particularly hit by the fact that Scarlett walks away. of course she walks away. I thought, "they always walk away, when they see what you really are."
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby shadow-petra » Mon Apr 13, 2009 12:53 am

Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

Weird title, but it answers odd science questions like why men fall asleep after sex, or if chinese food can make help get you pregnant :wink:
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Postby Mich » Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:38 am

My neighbor (and friend, obviously) recently purchased Little Brother on a completely whim from an Amazon suggested reading list. He read it and lent it to me, and I found it to be an entirely enjoyable read. Of course, I had just finished some Tolkien (which I was reading after Dante, and, believe me, Tolkien is a relief after Dante) and was in the mood for some light, YA-style reading.

This is a good book.

It definitely simplifies many of the security concepts it discusses, but not in a way that is actually untrue, merely to refrain from spending chapters and chapters on how the Onion Router works. It is also an extremely well-said fable on the problems with increasing security at the risk of freedom, an oh-so-common fable in recent years, and represents the different types of reactions to governments handling problems. Of course, I felt the ending was a little contrived, even as it sought for realism, and there were several glaring plot-holes that I trust you don't need to have pointed out, but I certainly enjoyed it.

Oh, and the best part? It's distributed under Creative Commons, so you can just download and read it here, if you want. The author even put it up in a million different formats, so if you want to read it on your iPod, go right ahead.
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Postby locke » Mon Apr 13, 2009 4:33 am

Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

Weird title, but it answers odd science questions like why men fall asleep after sex, or if chinese food can make help get you pregnant :wink:
isn't it an endorphin/orgasm thing, why people fall asleep after sex? Why don't women fall asleep after sex? answer, their man was very irresponsible and didn't make sure they climaxed as well. ;)
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby shadow-petra » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:59 pm

Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?

Weird title, but it answers odd science questions like why men fall asleep after sex, or if chinese food can make help get you pregnant :wink:
isn't it an endorphin/orgasm thing, why people fall asleep after sex? Why don't women fall asleep after sex? answer, their man was very irresponsible and didn't make sure they climaxed as well. ;)
It says there's no direct definate answer why, but it has to do with the chemicals ocytocin, prolactin, GABA (gamma amino butyric acid, and endorphins. And that the male orgasm is outward and releases outward energy, as opposed the inward explosion of female orgasms has a factor in it too.

And then it goes on to say there's a theory that climax depletes glycogen(hormone that produces energy). Since men have more muscle mass than women, they become more tired.

there's some cool stuff in here.
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Postby Mich » Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:08 pm

And that the male orgasm is outward and releases outward energy, as opposed the inward explosion of female orgasms has a factor in it too.
Inward explosion? I've got to get me some of that.
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Postby locke » Mon Apr 13, 2009 11:04 pm

I'm going to have to read this book because I don't think I can continue the discussion here and abide by the TOS. :-p that said the outward inward thing makes me immediately suspicious of any science supporting such claims. :-p
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby locke » Fri May 01, 2009 3:48 am

last saturday at the LA Times festival of books, I bought Janis Ian's autobiography because she was going to be there to sign it. The nice lady from Mysterious Galaxy (it was at their tent) told me I got a free book for buying a book that day, I sifted through the box and pulled out something that looked vaguely fantasyish (it had a castle on the cover) and sort of reminded me Robin Hobb's covers. And the name on it was Charles Stross, which rang a bell as, "hmm, isn't he that guy who's got nominated for a dozen or two hugos in the last three years?"

anyway, I got The Family Trade for free. when showing my purchase to my friends, I also showed them the free book. They asked what it was about, I stared back blankly and said, "no idea." I then flipped the book open, read the first sentence and laughed out loud. I knew I was going to like this book. I passed it over to my friends, and said, "read the first sentence!" They did, and reluctantly handed it back to me, Andrew said, "I'd keep reading," and eyed the book in a predatory manner (I quickly returned it to the safety of my bag).

Then, taking advantage of their distraction at standing in line to have Wil Wheaton sign their books, I sat down and began reading.

err. I just finished the third book in the series, and, uh, there are two more out there (and the manuscript to the sixth and final book is being delivered on Monday, according to Stross' blog) so if anyone is wondering why my posting has declined or where I've been, well...

*points* --> books
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby Mich » Fri May 01, 2009 11:03 am

Let me tell you a story about reading.

For my Cognitive Psychology class, we were supposed to pick from a list of four books earlier in the semester, and for whatever book we each picked there would be a corresponding exam "at the end of the semester." I naturally took this to mean "finals week" and never glanced at the syllabus for an exact time. I figured I'd pick up the book sometime around now, the week before Dead Week, read it, take the exam, and attend the parade in my honor for being the best student ever. Flash forward to now, where the professor brings it up again, I think "man, I should check out that list of exams online to see which book to get." Turns out the exams are due 11:55 pm, May 3rd. Nearly panicking at my own stupidity, I check the library computers and find that all four books have a single copy at the school library and, of course, they're all checked out. Of course they're all checked out. It's an open-note exam online. Why wouldn't you have the book?

I got back home and enlisted the help of my friend in searching for free copies of each book online. Barring that, I would buy an online copy of one from Amazon. Luckily I was able to obtain a .pdf copy of the last book on the list, and am now hurriedly reading it before tomorrow, where I'm going to Bloomsday race (oh, and if anyone from that area's there, I'll be walking in a bright red shirt with a short girl and her mom). I only have about a hundred pages left.

To make a long story short, I'm reading The Man Who Mistook His Wife for His Hat today.
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Postby starlooker » Fri May 01, 2009 12:17 pm

At least it's a relatively entertaining read. Good luck.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri May 01, 2009 1:14 pm

Because it's been so long since I've done it, I'm going through my entire collection of Orson Scott Card stuff and making much better progress than I expected.
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Postby Luet » Fri May 01, 2009 6:24 pm

Wow, how big is your OSC collection? I have almost 40 so that would take a looong time.

I'm currently reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It is reminding me how much I need to start buying more local food.
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Postby locke » Sun May 03, 2009 4:43 am

finished book four, now the debate with myself is to get the fifth book, just released last month, in hardcover or to pick it up from the library. I'm leaning towards the library. :-p
So, Lone Star, now you see that evil will always triumph because good is dumb.

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Postby elfprince13 » Thu May 14, 2009 9:48 pm

also, for non-fiction I'm currently -c-r-u-i-s-i-n-g- making my way through Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.
I win. I finally got off my arse and finished it. It got much better about 300 pages in. Also, I'm now about a 3rd of the way through Ian MacLeod's "The Light Ages" (for the second time), and it's GREAT. Picked it up (in hardcover) for $7 on Amazon, including S&H. Gotta love reading stuff that's outta print


Also, Homer Hickam's Back to the Moon is pretty good.
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