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 ^Peter » Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:15 pm

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six.

My friends chose it because it's a video game, then groaned when they saw how thick it is. I could care less. It's been a while since I got a good read. (If it is a good read, haven't found out yet.)
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Postby Locke_ » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:29 pm

Xenocide ... I'm lovin this kick. I read Speaker last week, and this is the first time since I read EG seven years ago I've decided to read the Ender sequels. Woo!

The Hero with A Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell. And thank God I brought Xeno because I'm pretty sure I'm rereading every sentence twice in this book. Hefty.

The Essential Chomsky. Lol. Rattlin' ideas.
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Postby Locke_ » Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:30 pm

Or was it eight years ago...? Wow...
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Postby Gravity Defier » Tue Feb 09, 2010 8:07 pm

I am reading Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and will hopefully finish by Friday, Saturday morning at the latest. I'm about 100 pages in and think it's very fun so far.

I'm also making my way through this art book. Quite a bit of it is stuff I'd seen in the two or three art history classes I took but some of it I haven't seen prior to this or is making an impression where it hadn't before. A lot of the portraits and nudes are solidifying my desire to try my hand at sketching/painting a model before I die and I fully intend to turn a future SO into said model.
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Postby ^Peter » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:55 pm

Doing my biannual read of Ender's Game right now. I really should read Lightning Thief, though.
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Postby Darth Petra » Sat Feb 13, 2010 10:07 am

Trying to read Atlas Shrugged. It's rather dull.
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Postby human. » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:20 am

Trying to read Atlas Shrugged. It's rather dull.
You can do it! That's one of my favorite books! Admittedly, it took me 6 months to get past the first 40 pages, but after that I read the whole book in a week! I really hope it grows on you. =]

Oh! And speaking of Ayn Rand, I'm currently rereading We the Living for my spring thesis project.

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Postby LilBee91 » Sat Feb 13, 2010 11:39 am

Outlaws of Sherwood by Robin McKinley. It's been a couple years since I've read one of her books. I've rather missed them.
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Postby Satya » Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:25 pm

Trying to read Atlas Shrugged. It's rather dull.
You can do it! That's one of my favorite books! Admittedly, it took me 6 months to get past the first 40 pages, but after that I read the whole book in a week! I really hope it grows on you. =]

Oh! And speaking of Ayn Rand, I'm currently rereading We the Living for my spring thesis project.
Is it wrong that I like Ayn Rand and yet am a God-fearing Christian?

Anywho, my favorite Rand piece is Philosophy: Who Needs It?

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Postby Luet » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:17 pm

Is it wrong that I like Ayn Rand and yet am a God-fearing Christian?

Anywho, my favorite Rand piece is Philosophy: Who Needs It?
Uh, I don't see why that would be wrong. I like OSC's books even though I don't subscribe to his beliefs. :wink:

I have enjoyed everything I have read by Rand. I haven't read Philosophy but I prefer Anthem and We the Living to Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged.
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Postby Satya » Sat Feb 13, 2010 1:32 pm

Philosophy is really good; it's a selection of her best editorials/essays and entries in the Objectivist Newsletter and answers the eponymous title question beautifully - who needs philosophy? Everyone. And then goes on to explain the "why" of necessity and what constitutes sound philosophy.

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Postby jotabe » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:00 pm

Is it wrong that I like Ayn Rand and yet am a God-fearing Christian?
She wasn't that hot >.> when she was alive.

... if you mean the other kind of "liking", then, more than wrong, it's puzzling... as there aren't any two more opposite vital philosophies.
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Postby CezeN » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:31 pm

Anyone else read House Of Leaves? Or Only Revolutions?

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Postby Craig » Sat Feb 13, 2010 2:37 pm

Naked Empire, Sword of Truth book 8 -- Terry Goodkind. Ugh, tough reading. I'm ready to be done with this series, but I am curious enough to want to know how it ends... Ugh!

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Postby Mich » Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:24 am

Anyone else read House Of Leaves? Or Only Revolutions?

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I read House of Leaves this summer, after meaning to for about three years. Definitely a great book, immersive on a level no book has really been for me before. This was kind othe point, obviously, but I think it was a great experiment, and there are many meanings that could be found in it. Lots of people found it a bit precocious, I find, but I don't care. Maybe that was even the point.
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Postby human. » Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:01 am

Anyone else read House Of Leaves? Or Only Revolutions?

Trippy
yyyyy
yyyyy
I read House of Leaves this summer, after meaning to for about three years. Definitely a great book, immersive on a level no book has really been for me before. This was kind othe point, obviously, but I think it was a great experiment, and there are many meanings that could be found in it. Lots of people found it a bit precocious, I find, but I don't care. Maybe that was even the point.
Can I take this as a recommendation? A guy I met at an engineering camp two summers ago got a copy and gave it to me saying it was a must read, but I started it, then I miraculously got a life right about that time and never got back around to it. I'm wondering if it's something I should pick up again.

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Postby CezeN » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:27 pm

Mich, I think my favorite parts was when he would mirror what he was describing with his words, with the way he presented them.

For example, I remember when he was climbing up some stairs, he made the sentences climb up in the formation of a stairs.

And when he was falling, the words would fall down the page.

I remember the coolest was how he built suspense, with like one word on a page at at time. So you had to keep flipping.
*memorygasm*

I remember the words "standing dead center with a rifle in his hand"
and it was dead center in the page.

There's also something about the dimensions of the actual book that mirrors something about one of the impossibley long hallways.

/rambles
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Postby Wil » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:56 pm

I just finished Elantris and Warbreaker, two standalone novels by Brandon Sanderson (author of the Mistborn novels I wrote about above). Sanderson is an amazing author, carefully weaving complex stories such that by the time you get to the end you realize how everything since the start of the book had been carefully constructed to make everything just FIT. The plot twists in the story you learn to expect, but you can never guess what they are.

I highly recommend that everyone read his books.

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Postby megxers » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:54 pm

This (long) weekend I read The Shadow of the Wind and Glasshouse, one of which I enjoyed immensely and the other proved I don't actually dislike hard sci fi as much as I thought. Of course, this is after I promised the admin at work that I would actually finish The Stand next because she said she enjoys having someone to talk about books with, but now would I actually read the ones she's read! So now I am going to read The Stand. And Farthing. And the new Connie Willis.
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Postby Jayelle » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:28 pm

Connie Willis! I'm so excited for her new book. She is my favourite author.
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Postby Luet » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:01 pm

Is the new book called Blackout? One of the library systems I belong to has it on order but the other one doesn't even have it listed.
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Postby jotabe » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:23 pm

Starting to read the light novels "... of Haruhi Suzumiya". The anime and the manga that fell in my hands was good, so...
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Postby neo-dragon » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:31 pm

Any John Scalzi fans here? I've been reading his "Old Man's War" series since he's making an appearance in my general area in the spring. I'm gonna get me some books signed :D .

Incidentally, the second book in the series, "The Ghost Brigades", makes direct reference to "Ender's Game" as it is required reading for a group of genetically engineered super soldiers.
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Postby Jayelle » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:58 pm

Is the new book called Blackout? One of the library systems I belong to has it on order but the other one doesn't even have it listed.
Yup. Apparently it's another one in the Doomsday/ To Say Nothing of the Dog universe. I'm very excited, but I think I'll wait for it from the library instead of spending $ we don't have.
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Postby megxers » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:03 pm

Any John Scalzi fans here? I've been reading his "Old Man's War" series since he's making an appearance in my general area in the spring. I'm gonna get me some books signed :D .
Yup, I read Android's Dream a few years back and didn't love it, but I did enjoy the Old Man's War series.

I'm a bit hesitant to read Blackout immediately because it is apparently really the first half of a a "real" book, the second half of which is coming out in the fall that the publisher split. But its a library book.
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Postby Wil » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:07 pm

I'm actually looking for some recommendations. I've primarily stayed inside the fantasy genre over the last few years, and I'm looking to expand my horizons! Problem is, every time I've tried to get in to something different (mostly sci-fi), I find myself bored to the core and unable to get in to the book.

In regards to sci-fi novels, I believe this is because of the dated, clumsy, clichéd use of terms. For example, I am completely unable to get in to Hyperion despite how highly rated it is. Terms like "WorldWeb", "datasphere", and "technosphere" are just such horribly dated terms that it just doesn't work for me at all on a science fiction level. The same goes for Dune.. just can't get in to it.

Some sci-fi I have read would be, of course, Ender's Game, and the Halo novels (Eric Nyland). I've read some Neil Gaiman (Snowcrash), but never finished it for unknown reasons, but what I did read was decent. If anyone has any recommendations for some good sci-fi novels that use a more modern terminology and feel, I'd be glad to hear you out. Think: Mass Effect (2), but in novel form. But not a Mass Effect novel. :D

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Postby Jayelle » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:17 pm

Snowcrash is Neal Stephenson, not Neil Gaiman. If you want a good Gaiman to start with, I suggest Neverwhere.

Have you read any Nick Sagan (son of Carl)? His Idlewild series is quite good.
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Postby megxers » Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:35 pm

Wil, I hear you on the dated terminology, sometimes it completely ruins my understanding of what is supposed to actually be happening. I think you might like some of Lois McMaster Bujold's, since they are low-cal on the tech so it isn't nearly as clunky, but there is a definite learning curve in her writing that makes her earlier books require some...forgiving. I think you might Charles Stross, who does come across pretty heavy handedly on the terminology but makes it work, for the most part. If you are willing to give Neal Stephenson another go, you should, but I am way too forgiving when it comes to him (I have read & not loved Snow Crash & Anathem, but now I am starting Cryptoconicon? IDK). Jack McDevitt also has a very low-cal on the tech approach, and I personally love his books, because they are very action adventure combined with future historical mystery, and that is like my niche genre love. Peter Watts' Blindslight might be up your alley too. Read any Alastair Reynolds? Iain Banks? Might be good to do a taste test of some of the current big names and find out which sub-genres you like. And then report back :P

(Side note: Hypernion's tech bugged me, but I ended up reading it and its sequel in a weekend binge. Though I have no desire to read the rest of the series...)

Edit: Also Wil, if you don't mind, I have not read ANY fantasy and would like to know WHERE to start. Any good recs for someone who has read The Hobbit, and that's about it ? :D
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Postby Mich » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:00 pm

Snow Crash is one of my favorite books, and Stephenson is a really great writer. If you want something even more sci-fi than that by him, I'd suggest the psuedo-sequel, The Diamond Age. If SC is five minutes in the future, than DA is fifteen. I really like DA more than SC, but SC was much more influential.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:05 pm

Wil, have you read any John Scalzi? His first novel, Old Man's War, was quite good and right up your alley if you're into some military scifi (and your list of Ender's Game, Fall of Reach, First Strike, etc. seems to imply you are). It's recent and, if I recall correctly, was up for a Hugo. And I know you're not looking for "classic" sci-fi, but along the same lines, you might try Starship Troopers or The Forever War.


Megx, have you tried the Earthsea cycle?
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Postby neo-dragon » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:23 pm


In regards to sci-fi novels, I believe this is because of the dated, clumsy, clichéd use of terms. For example, I am completely unable to get in to Hyperion despite how highly rated it is. Terms like "WorldWeb", "datasphere", and "technosphere" are just such horribly dated terms that it just doesn't work for me at all on a science fiction level. The same goes for Dune.. just can't get in to it.
I must be living in the past because none of those terms seem awkward to me. Let me give you some advice though, don't bother trying to read Asimov. If Hyperion (which is about 5 years more recent than Ender's Game) bothered you, I don't know how you'd react to talk of "atomics" being the be-all-end-all of future technology. But you know what? I find the old fashioned flavour of Asimov's writing to be part of the charm. Dated or not his stories are simply great.

But really, the sci-fi terminology in Dune bugs you? There isn't any! In many ways Dune is more fantasy than sci-fi.

In any case I can't offer any recommendations since apparently aside from EG you hate what I love.


ETA
Well, I was going to suggest Scalzi, but Syphon already did, plus I mentioned him like two posts above yours so I didn't want to seem obsessed. I'm going to meet him, ya know. 8)
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Postby locke » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:09 pm

I'm actually looking for some recommendations. I've primarily stayed inside the fantasy genre over the last few years, and I'm looking to expand my horizons! Problem is, every time I've tried to get in to something different (mostly sci-fi), I find myself bored to the core and unable to get in to the book.

In regards to sci-fi novels, I believe this is because of the dated, clumsy, clichéd use of terms. For example, I am completely unable to get in to Hyperion despite how highly rated it is. Terms like "WorldWeb", "datasphere", and "technosphere" are just such horribly dated terms that it just doesn't work for me at all on a science fiction level. The same goes for Dune.. just can't get in to it.

Some sci-fi I have read would be, of course, Ender's Game, and the Halo novels (Eric Nyland). I've read some Neil Gaiman (Snowcrash), but never finished it for unknown reasons, but what I did read was decent. If anyone has any recommendations for some good sci-fi novels that use a more modern terminology and feel, I'd be glad to hear you out. Think: Mass Effect (2), but in novel form. But not a Mass Effect novel. :D
Sounds like you'd really like Charles Stross. I'm very excited about the finale of the Merchant Prince series coming out next month. that series is great, very pulpy, fun, fast paced, big action, politics (though simple), like a season of 24; and it's a blend of sci-fi and fantasy because its a parallel universes/alternate universe series.
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Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:17 pm

Well, I was going to suggest Scalzi, but Syphon already did, plus I mentioned him like two posts above yours so I didn't want to seem obsessed. I'm going to meet him, ya know. 8)
Serves me right for skimming posts. You even mentioned the same book/series.
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Postby Luet » Sat Feb 20, 2010 3:02 am


I must be living in the past because none of those terms seem awkward to me. Let me give you some advice though, don't bother trying to read Asimov. If Hyperion (which is about 5 years more recent than Ender's Game) bothered you, I don't know how you'd react to talk of "atomics" being the be-all-end-all of future technology. But you know what? I find the old fashioned flavour of Asimov's writing to be part of the charm. Dated or not his stories are simply great.
This. Asimov rocks. I reread the Foundation Trilogy every couple years.
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Postby zeroguy » Sun Feb 21, 2010 12:46 am

If anyone has any recommendations
Armor, John Steakley. Supposedly similar to some of the other recommendations so far, though I haven't read those so I couldn't really say.
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