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Author Topic: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)  (Read 10690 times)

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yuma

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My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« on: November 30, 2012, 09:35:48 pm »
+8

I recently quit facebook and as such I now have nowhere to post about my life accomplishments to people that I know. So instead I thought I would brag here with people that I don't know about how cool I am and accomplished one of my goals this year.

A few weeks ago I completed my goal of reading 40 books this year... I am now up to 43 and hope to hit 50.

Favorite books from this year include:

This Earth of Mankind (The whole Buru Quartet is an amazing look at colonial Indonesia)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Fun, quirky non-stereotypical book about high school)
Cloud Atlas (already been discussed on this forum, but is seriously awesome)
Lolita (been on my list for years, but finally was able to get over that the book was about pedophila, it ended up being a really well written book that made me uncomfortable, but well written books are supposed to do that)
Watership Down (how I never heard of this book as a kid I don't know... It is like Lord of the Rings with rabbits)
The Ragged Trouser Philanthropist (in defense of socialism)
Rooftops of Tehran (a coming to age book set in Iran in the 1970s)


Edit:
List of book recommendations from this thread:
His Dark Materials
Casual Vacancy
The Left Hand of Darkness
Snuff
Hunchback of Notre Dame
The Folding Knife
The Sparrow
Flight Behavior
Invitation to the Beheading
The Great Train Robbery
Faust
Kalevala
The Little Mermaid
Song of Saya
The Hobbit
To Kill a Mockingbird
Count of Monte Cristo
Wheel of Time
Worm
Game of Thrones
Love in the Time of Cholera
Crabwalk
The Trial
Disgrace
Gravity's Rainbow
S.
The Earth to the Moon
Open veins of latin america
Leave it to Psmith
When Nietzsche Wept
The Unconsoled
The Girl With Glass Feet
Fabian: The Story of A Moralist
Gaming Instinct
Snow Crash
Sphere
Never Let Me Go
Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage
Norwegian Wood
The Idiot
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:42:05 pm by yuma »
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Captain_Frisk

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2012, 09:48:44 pm »
+4

I recently quit facebook and as such I now have nowhere to post about my life accomplishments to people that I know. So instead I thought I would brag here with people that I don't know about how cool I am and accomplished one of my goals this year.

A few weeks ago I completed my goal of reading 40 books this year... I am now up to 43 and hope to hit 50.

Favorite books from this year include:

This Earth of Mankind (The whole Buru Quartet is an amazing look at colonial Indonesia)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Fun, quirky non-stereotypical book about high school)
Cloud Atlas (already been discussed on this forum, but is seriously awesome)
Lolita (been on my list for years, but finally was able to get over that the book was about pedophila, it ended up being a really well written book that made me uncomfortable, but well written books are supposed to do that)
Watership Down (how I never heard of this book as a kid I don't know... It is like Lord of the Rings with rabbits)
The Ragged Trouser Philanthropist (in defense of socialism)
Rooftops of Tehran (a coming to age book set in Iran in the 1970s)

I'm most proud of you quitting facebook!
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Donald X.

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2012, 09:52:24 pm »
+21

I'm most proud of you quitting facebook!
That's nothing, I can quit facebook while juggling and without breakfast.
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werothegreat

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 12:37:25 am »
+1

I've read quite a bit this year myself, but definitely not 40 books.  This might be overlapping from last winter, but I've read:

His Dark Materials (see the relevant thread in this subforum)
The Casual Vacancy (I enjoyed it, though it took a while to stop laughing at how many times Ms. Rowling used the word "fuck")
The Left Hand of Darkness
Snuff (good, but not as good as other Discworld books)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Hugo loves his architecture)
The Folding Knife (rather fascinating read about the politics of one's life)

I'm sure there were more, but that's all I can think of...
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Morgrim7

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 12:44:22 am »
+3

I'm most proud of you quitting facebook!
That's nothing, I can quit facebook while juggling and without breakfast.
i didn't even start facebook to begin with.
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eHalcyon

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 12:54:58 am »
+3

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2012, 02:54:36 am »
+1

Cool that you read Lolita! That's a great one.

I burned through all 5 Game of Thrones books and then Cloud Atlas between August and three weeks ago, so that's sort of an accomplishment.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2012, 08:34:33 am »
+8

Most of the stuff I've read lately has been written by Galzria, Robz888, Voltgloss or the likes.
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Lekkit

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2012, 08:42:25 am »
+1

I want to read more than I actually do. Started to reread The Walking Dead recently. That's one good graphic novel (because comic seems really wrong for that genre).
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theory

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2012, 08:46:40 am »
+2

Having a Kindle really makes you read a lot more.  I used to read tons, then stopped, but then picked up again after I got a Kindle.
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Lekkit

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2012, 08:55:19 am »
0

Reading on a tablet works too.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2012, 10:34:33 am »
+2

Cool that you read Lolita! That's a great one.

I burned through all 5 Game of Thrones books and then Cloud Atlas between August and three weeks ago, so that's sort of an accomplishment.

Totally! I finally picked up the first book of Game of Thrones. Really fun read. Reminds me of the fantasy books I read when I was a teenager, but with more depth an much better writing.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2012, 10:36:02 am »
0

Having a Kindle really makes you read a lot more.  I used to read tons, then stopped, but then picked up again after I got a Kindle.

I have been considering getting a Kindle, but basically told myself that I wouldn't unless it was given to me as a gift. I don't know if it would decrease or increase my reading amounts.

Playing mafia has certainly decreased how much I have read--book wise that is. I am probably reading more in total due to mafia.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2012, 10:44:08 am »
0

I also read some crappers this year as well. Here are the books I would suggest to avoid.

Vilette (a sob story by the author of Jane Eyre. Here is a tip for publishers: if the writer has characters speak in a foreign language, put the translation at the bottom of the page, not in the back of the book. I got super tired of flipping back to the index every four paragraphs).
Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).
Bleak House (I have never read a Charles Dickens novel that I enjoyed, but a someone told me that this one would be different. It wasn't. Never, ever again am I picking up Dickens).
Breakfast at Tiffany's Really surprised at how much I disliked this. I liked it more than the movie, but for all the rave reviews this book got I was left asking "so what?" at the end).
Children of Hurin (I thought I was a huge JRR Tolkein fan, but when it took me 3 weeks to get through 50 pages I knew that this book was a lost cause on me, boring!)
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theory

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2012, 11:57:50 am »
+1

Having a Kindle really makes you read a lot more.  I used to read tons, then stopped, but then picked up again after I got a Kindle.

I have been considering getting a Kindle, but basically told myself that I wouldn't unless it was given to me as a gift. I don't know if it would decrease or increase my reading amounts.

Playing mafia has certainly decreased how much I have read--book wise that is. I am probably reading more in total due to mafia.

I totally recommend it.  Get the cheapest kind, the one with ads (the ads are visible only when you're not reading) and watch your time spent reading dramatically rise.

EDIT: Though I am considering getting the Paperwhite because the main drawback of the base version of the Kindle is that you can't read it in the dark.
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greatexpectations

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2012, 01:23:06 pm »
0

Watership Down (how I never heard of this book as a kid I don't know... It is like Lord of the Rings with rabbits)

love it! that is one of my favorites. and well done on hitting 40+!

Bleak House (I have never read a Charles Dickens novel that I enjoyed, but a someone told me that this one would be different. It wasn't. Never, ever again am I picking up Dickens).

i think it takes a certain taste and mindset to get into dickens and some others of that era. if you ever decide to give dickens another go, i recommend referring to my user name.
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Dsell

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2012, 01:25:07 pm »
0

Bleak House (I have never read a Charles Dickens novel that I enjoyed, but a someone told me that this one would be different. It wasn't. Never, ever again am I picking up Dickens).

i think it takes a certain taste and mindset to get into dickens and some others of that era. if you ever decide to give dickens another go, i recommend referring to my user name.

Cannot agree with this more. Great Expectations is my favorite book and Dickens is my favorite author. I can totally understand why people wouldn't love his stuff but I have trouble seeing how people could hate him.
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Ozle

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #17 on: December 01, 2012, 01:29:55 pm »
+1

Ugh, Dickens. Boring and depressing.

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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2012, 04:26:05 pm »
+2

Watership Down (how I never heard of this book as a kid I don't know... It is like Lord of the Rings with rabbits)

love it! that is one of my favorites. and well done on hitting 40+!

Bleak House (I have never read a Charles Dickens novel that I enjoyed, but a someone told me that this one would be different. It wasn't. Never, ever again am I picking up Dickens).

i think it takes a certain taste and mindset to get into dickens and some others of that era. if you ever decide to give dickens another go, i recommend referring to my user name.

I do agree, but I would say that I am a fan of many of Dicken's contemporaries. I would consider Dostoevsky to be my favorite along with Tolstoy. I just read and enjoyed, but didn't love Vanity Fair by Thackery. Victor Hugo, Dumas (although I consider him to be the Dan Brown of the 1800s), Chaucer, Austen, Kipling and Stevenson are all favorites. So I don't know what it is about Dickens.

I will try Great Expectations at some point I suppose, but I am going to wait a while. Bleak House left a pretty bad taste in my mouth.
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werothegreat

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #19 on: December 01, 2012, 07:22:11 pm »
+1

Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).

You are not allowed to hate Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The John Carter series is awesome, and ERB really is the father of science fantasy.  Wheel of Time?  Star Wars?  Avatar?  Eragon?  Never would have happened without John Carter.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2012, 07:34:20 pm »
+1

Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).

You are not allowed to hate Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The John Carter series is awesome, and ERB really is the father of science fantasy.  Wheel of Time?  Star Wars?  Avatar?  Eragon?  Never would have happened without John Carter.

perhaps... but the overt racism and dismissal of "lower races" was pretty disgusting. Yes, I know he was from a different time period but it wasn't anything I was interested in reading.

And haven't read any of the above. Star Wars is fun, Avatar creative... but I could live w/o them.
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chwhite

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2012, 10:10:06 pm »
0

I also read some crappers this year as well. Here are the books I would suggest to avoid.
Bleak House (I have never read a Charles Dickens novel that I enjoyed, but a someone told me that this one would be different. It wasn't. Never, ever again am I picking up Dickens).

I have also never been able to stomach Dickens.  Though to be fair the entire 19th century is pretty much not my cup of tea as far as literature goes, with the possible exception of some Russian stuff.

I've never read Lolita, but Pale Fire is probably my all-time favorite novel and I keep telling myself I'll pick up more Nabokov someday.
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werothegreat

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2012, 10:10:21 pm »
+1

Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).

You are not allowed to hate Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The John Carter series is awesome, and ERB really is the father of science fantasy.  Wheel of Time?  Star Wars?  Avatar?  Eragon?  Never would have happened without John Carter.

perhaps... but the overt racism and dismissal of "lower races" was pretty disgusting. Yes, I know he was from a different time period but it wasn't anything I was interested in reading.

And haven't read any of the above. Star Wars is fun, Avatar creative... but I could live w/o them.

My reading saw it as more of a descriptive thing than as a preferred way to do things.  Mr. Burroughs created a society that operated in a certain way, and threw a character into it.  Would you say that A Song of Ice and Fire is sexist because everyone in it treats women badly?
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eHalcyon

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2012, 10:12:49 pm »
+2

Which Avatar are we talking about here?

Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best (movie notwithstanding).  Avatar the big 3D blockbuster was very pretty, but not creative.



As for Eragon, I enjoyed the novels but I don't think they were actually any good.  I consider them a guilty pleasure.  Twilight for guys.  I like them, but I also recognize them as super generic fantasy that really follows all the usual tropes.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2012, 10:38:50 pm »
+1

Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).

You are not allowed to hate Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The John Carter series is awesome, and ERB really is the father of science fantasy.  Wheel of Time?  Star Wars?  Avatar?  Eragon?  Never would have happened without John Carter.

perhaps... but the overt racism and dismissal of "lower races" was pretty disgusting. Yes, I know he was from a different time period but it wasn't anything I was interested in reading.

And haven't read any of the above. Star Wars is fun, Avatar creative... but I could live w/o them.

My reading saw it as more of a descriptive thing than as a preferred way to do things.  Mr. Burroughs created a society that operated in a certain way, and threw a character into it.  Would you say that A Song of Ice and Fire is sexist because everyone in it treats women badly?

I have never read A Song of Ice and Fire so can't comment on that.

I think my problem with John Carter is really the very beginning of the book. There he is chased by American Natives and attacked. He escapes and falls asleep and ends up on Mars. And the Martian world that he goes into reflects the stereotypes and and racist views of white Europeans toward Native Americans at that time--and still held today. The Green Men are tribal, they have no value of family, loyalty nor a desire for education or civilization. But a white man--who by the way can do no wrong, even when he slaughters hundreds of Green Men while there--comes and attempts to teach them the true way of existing. He teaches them how to fight properly, of loyalty, of family values, of everything that the Green Men--and the Natives that chased him at the beginning of the book--lack. He is the Savior. Without him they would have been left to a squalled and horrible society, but now that he is there everything will be better. Because he is the supreme white man and is better than they are.

Maybe I read too much into it. I don't think the Burroughs intended for that to be the point. I think he was just trying to write a story that was exciting and interesting--and at times it was--but all I could see when I read it was the above and frankly found it repugnant.
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Robz888

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #25 on: December 02, 2012, 01:53:47 pm »
+4

Which Avatar are we talking about here?

Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best (movie notwithstanding).  Avatar the big 3D blockbuster was very pretty, but not creative.



As for Eragon, I enjoyed the novels but I don't think they were actually any good.  I consider them a guilty pleasure.  Twilight for guys.  I like them, but I also recognize them as super generic fantasy that really follows all the usual tropes.

Can't possibly emphasize enough how great Avatar: The Last Airbender (and its sequel, The Legend of Korra) is.
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Lekkit

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #26 on: December 02, 2012, 02:01:31 pm »
0

Many plusses to that.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2012, 02:12:11 pm »
0


I will say that I also felt a similar vein in regard to Burrough's Tarzan of the Apes. It also deploys a racial undertone. There were many examples of Tarzan having a higher thought process, a nobler understanding and untaught morals all because of his "good breeding" from his parents of high English rank. Because of his "white breeding" he was able to learn language faster, become fully adapted to civilization in a matter of weeks while Africans were unable to ever reach the same lofty status because of their "low breeding."

Burroughs might have been a good storyteller, but his books lack the purpose of expanding the human mind and betterment of society. In fact they do the opposite. They encouraged a stereotype that was false, harmful and that only further established the dominant, but incorrect, mores of his time. Great writers try to change the mores around them.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2012, 04:44:06 pm »
+2

I totally recommend it.  Get the cheapest kind, the one with ads (the ads are visible only when you're not reading) and watch your time spent reading dramatically rise.

EDIT: Though I am considering getting the Paperwhite because the main drawback of the base version of the Kindle is that you can't read it in the dark.

I find that my dead-tree version books have this same drawback.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2012, 08:52:03 pm »
+1

Which Avatar are we talking about here?

Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best (movie notwithstanding).  Avatar the big 3D blockbuster was very pretty, but not creative.



As for Eragon, I enjoyed the novels but I don't think they were actually any good.  I consider them a guilty pleasure.  Twilight for guys.  I like them, but I also recognize them as super generic fantasy that really follows all the usual tropes.

Can't possibly emphasize enough how great Avatar: The Last Airbender (and its sequel, The Legend of Korra) is.

My friends and I nicknamed our house in college the Northern Air Temple, with a big sign and everything until our landlord's wife made us take it down because it made the place look like a "brothel" (????)

We also once did a marathon of the entire series. We were also very cool.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2012, 11:03:28 pm »
+2

Sometimes when I have nothing to do, I just watch "The Ember Island Players." Who knew a kids' cartoon could do meta-humor better than anybody else?
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2012, 05:22:38 am »
+1

i started and caught up with homestuck this year

in five days

not so much a "brag", more of a "working nights is destroying my life, please help"
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SwitchedFromStarcraft

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2012, 12:36:55 pm »
0

Princess of Mars (forget the predictable plot and annoyingly contrived character roles, the racial undertones of this novel was enough for me to want to throw it into the lake I was vacationing at).

You are not allowed to hate Edgar Rice Burroughs.  The John Carter series is awesome, and ERB really is the father of science fantasy.  Wheel of Time?  Star Wars?  Avatar?  Eragon?  Never would have happened without John Carter.

perhaps... but the overt racism and dismissal of "lower races" was pretty disgusting. Yes, I know he was from a different time period but it wasn't anything I was interested in reading.

And haven't read any of the above. Star Wars is fun, Avatar creative... but I could live w/o them.

My reading saw it as more of a descriptive thing than as a preferred way to do things.  Mr. Burroughs created a society that operated in a certain way, and threw a character into it.  Would you say that A Song of Ice and Fire is sexist because everyone in it treats women badly?

I have never read A Song of Ice and Fire so can't comment on that.

I think my problem with John Carter is really the very beginning of the book. There he is chased by American Natives and attacked. He escapes and falls asleep and ends up on Mars. And the Martian world that he goes into reflects the stereotypes and and racist views of white Europeans toward Native Americans at that time--and still held today. The Green Men are tribal, they have no value of family, loyalty nor a desire for education or civilization. But a white man--who by the way can do no wrong, even when he slaughters hundreds of Green Men while there--comes and attempts to teach them the true way of existing. He teaches them how to fight properly, of loyalty, of family values, of everything that the Green Men--and the Natives that chased him at the beginning of the book--lack. He is the Savior. Without him they would have been left to a squalled and horrible society, but now that he is there everything will be better. Because he is the supreme white man and is better than they are.

Maybe I read too much into it. I don't think the Burroughs intended for that to be the point. I think he was just trying to write a story that was exciting and interesting--and at times it was--but all I could see when I read it was the above and frankly found it repugnant.
To rinse this taste from your mouth, may I recommend (in the strongest possible terms) The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell.  It is one of my top 3 all-time favorite books, and it handles the subject of interlopers/explorers on an alien planet wonderfully.  I could not put it down, and upon finishing it immediately read it again, which I've only done with one other book. It is a book that changed the way I think.  The characters are fully and wonderfully drawn, and the things they experience are just....well, "unforgettably compelling" doesn't do it justice.

Bonus: It has a sequel, Children of God.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2012, 08:46:06 pm »
0

thanks for the recommend, I'll be sure to check it out. Already have a hold for it at the library in place!
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SwitchedFromStarcraft

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2012, 09:59:47 pm »
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Please let me know what you think.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2012, 07:52:34 pm »
0

Please let me know what you think.

here is my review that I posted on Goodreads.

Quote
I read this book on a recommendation after being deeply disappointed in the John Carter, Princess of Mars, book. It was recommended as perhaps a better book about human/alien interactions without all the deep racist undertones that prevail throughout the John Carter books. But enough about that, let's talk about how great this book is.

The Sparrow is marvelous. One of the best books I have ever read. Everything in it is set perfectly and it is obvious that this book was written by someone with a great knowledge and love of language and anthropology and what do you know, Russell has a Ph.D. I won't explain the plot lines too much as I don't like giving away the plot to someone that hasn't read it. But it is basically a book about Jesuit priests traveling to a planet to discover and meet a new alien race. The religious philosophy and the way it interacts with the alien storyline is intriguing and sets this book apart. Also intriguing is the way Russell splits the book into events leading up and during the meeting of the aliens and events after the humans have met the aliens and returned to Earth.

Like I said this book was recommended a replacement for John Carter and it far exceeded that. It has a better storyline, it has characters with depth and hubris, it has philosophy, science and religion mixed into it (regardless of whether or not you are religious the discussions it brings up are fascinating) and most important of all the aliens are not negatively represented as a substitute for a "third-world" culture the way they were in John Carter.

I highly recommend this book and have already obtained the next book in this series and am very eager to read it.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2012, 07:53:33 pm »
0

I also recently finished another wonderful book called Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. A great read that is a wonderful ice breaker and introduction into the world of global climate change...
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2012, 07:55:34 pm »
+1

i have a real problem with the structure of the sparrow

it's told as a frame story, where you know the protagonist is the only survivor. and then, like 100 pages from the end, basically all the characters are still alive, and it seems like Russell was like "oh crap, gotta kill off all these characters before the end!" and they all die ignominiously.
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18:28 MEASURE YOUR LIFE IN LOVE: you shouldve done the decent thing and resign rather than go on being that lucky all the time

yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2012, 07:59:42 pm »
0

i have a real problem with the structure of the sparrow

it's told as a frame story, where you know the protagonist is the only survivor. and then, like 100 pages from the end, basically all the characters are still alive, and it seems like Russell was like "oh crap, gotta kill off all these characters before the end!" and they all die ignominiously.

Perhaps it was because I read the entire book in one day (really long drive home from California) but I didn't seem to notice that.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2012, 08:09:04 pm »
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ignominious isn't what i meant.

um. can't think of the right word.
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Donald X.

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2012, 10:02:17 pm »
0

i have a real problem with the structure of the sparrow

it's told as a frame story, where you know the protagonist is the only survivor. and then, like 100 pages from the end, basically all the characters are still alive, and it seems like Russell was like "oh crap, gotta kill off all these characters before the end!" and they all die ignominiously.
There's a Nabokov novel, Invitation to a Beheading. At the beginning, our hero is going to be executed. He's waiting in his cell. And he thinks, it's like when you're reading a book, and can tell, there are only a few pages left, somehow everything is going to have to be resolved. And when you read this, you immediately think, yes, but I'm reading Invitation to a Beheading, and have almost all of it ahead of me.

That paragraph, that was Nabokov all over.
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SwitchedFromStarcraft

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #41 on: December 19, 2012, 08:03:18 pm »
+1

Please let me know what you think.

here is my review that I posted on Goodreads.

Quote
I read this book on a recommendation after being deeply disappointed in the John Carter, Princess of Mars, book. It was recommended as perhaps a better book about human/alien interactions without all the deep racist undertones that prevail throughout the John Carter books. But enough about that, let's talk about how great this book is.

The Sparrow is marvelous. One of the best books I have ever read. Everything in it is set perfectly and it is obvious that this book was written by someone with a great knowledge and love of language and anthropology and what do you know, Russell has a Ph.D. I won't explain the plot lines too much as I don't like giving away the plot to someone that hasn't read it. But it is basically a book about Jesuit priests traveling to a planet to discover and meet a new alien race. The religious philosophy and the way it interacts with the alien storyline is intriguing and sets this book apart. Also intriguing is the way Russell splits the book into events leading up and during the meeting of the aliens and events after the humans have met the aliens and returned to Earth.

Like I said this book was recommended a replacement for John Carter and it far exceeded that. It has a better storyline, it has characters with depth and hubris, it has philosophy, science and religion mixed into it (regardless of whether or not you are religious the discussions it brings up are fascinating) and most important of all the aliens are not negatively represented as a substitute for a "third-world" culture the way they were in John Carter.

I highly recommend this book and have already obtained the next book in this series and am very eager to read it.
Yuma, thanks for posting this, and I'm very glad you liked it.  The sequel is a little different, and very good also.  This is one of only two or three books that after reading, I went out and bought 10 copies and sent to friends and family.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2013, 07:13:48 pm »
0

Updating because I am sure all you guys are really interested in the final count, but I ended the year with 49 books read, which I am pretty happy about, but paltry compared to this guy.

The goal for this year is 60, as I will be finishing school in March and hopefully see my free reading time increase.
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theory

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #43 on: January 07, 2013, 07:33:03 pm »
0

I used to love reading Michael Crichton novels.  My favorite, by far, was The Great Train Robbery.

I also used to read a lot more than I do now: I used to read 20 books every summer vacation.  It's really sad that with so many easy things to get our attention now, that tend to make no room for a good book.  If you search on the Internet Archive you can find my old book list, sadly abandoned now.  (It used to be sortable and have pictures of stars.)
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #44 on: January 07, 2013, 07:39:29 pm »
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do comic books count?  ;D
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #45 on: December 23, 2013, 05:57:53 pm »
+1

I am updating this post to boast for the end of 2013.

I hit my goal of 50 books today, not too bad. 7 days to spare!  I’ll share some highlights and lowlights but if you want to see all of the books head to my goodreads page. Friend me if you have a goodreads account, I always love to see what people are reading. If you don’t have a goodreads account and love to read, you should get one. If you don’t love to read, well… you should.

Book of the year for me: Blindness. A really, really good story about society and our senses and what happens when we lose the sense that many believe most makes us who we are. Stunning on both a macroscopic and microscopic scale is powerful, hilarious, inspiring and overly depressing.

Runner-up: The Road. Wow! What a simple book with a powerful message. A great read and one that I couldn’t believe I hadn’t picked up yet.

Honorable Mention: Read Crime and Punishment for the fifth time. Still is my favorite book--aside from Catch-22--of all time.

Other favorites from the year:

Dune (thanks to ashersky for recommending it). How had a missed this awesome sci-fi series? I don’t think I had ever heard of it until this year. As someone who really likes these genres (I think it boardlines both sci-fi and fantasy) I was amazed I had missed this classic growing up.

In Cold Blood, who wouldn’t like a non-fiction story about the murdering of a Kansas family in the 1950s? The subject matter isn’t glamorous (or at least shouldn’t be) but Capote treats this story—and it does become a story more than a crime report—with grace, respect and elegance for both those killed and those who did the killing. A really gripping story.

A Natural History of Dragons, I just finished reading this a few days ago and I loved it. It isn’t your typical fantasy book. It in many ways reminded me of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (thanks to Galzria for recommending that fun read, I liked it, but not quite enough to be put on the best of the year list) in that it is a story about the wonderous and supernatural (dragons in this instance) but it is set in a time period (something akin to Victorian England) where hunting dragons is very out of place and unusual. It is extremely witty, had a pretty good plot and is just a simple, hilarious book about dragons.

Worst book of the year: Quite a few options here… The Witches of Eastwick, which I just finished, might be it, but I think it has to be “By the River Piedra I sat Down and Wept. A horrible book about seeking out your dreams (nothing wrong with that) by completely giving up on the world around you (that’s a bit extreme don’t you think?) and mocking those who do stick around to pay the bills (hey… someone has to foot the bill while you are running around with a complete ass racking up expensive charges for food, hotels, gas and other expendables). This book encourages people to fall in love with complete jerks, overly dramatizes the idea of true love (who falls in love at age 10 and then stays in love with a person for 20 years despite never seeing them during that whole time?) and completely give up on education and a good career to chase something mystical and mysterious. Lame.

Other books to take a look at if you are interested: Read two stories by David Mitchell (known for Cloud Atlas) neither were nearly as good. Finally got into Haruki Murakami with 1Q84. This was one of the best books I have ever read up to the halfway point. Then it became insipid. Whole chapters on end of the main characters sitting in their apartment buildings thinking about doing stuff instead of doing stuff. White Noise was really good as was Zorba the Greek, Ali and Nino: A Love Story, Salvation on Sand Mountain and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.

What did you guys reads this year?
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Awaclus

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #46 on: December 23, 2013, 06:25:50 pm »
0

Faust, Kalevala, The Little Mermaid and Song of Saya come to mind. Didn't read a lot, but on the other hand, at least I don't regret reading any of the books I did read.

EDIT: And a ton of short stories, poems and comics.

EDIT 2: And Aggressive Drums - The Recording Guide. An excellent book, not sure why I forgot about it.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2013, 06:27:55 pm by Awaclus »
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Ozle

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #47 on: December 23, 2013, 06:36:48 pm »
+1

The Gruffalo
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #48 on: December 23, 2013, 07:24:00 pm »
0

I've only read a few things this year: A few Agatha Christie mysteries I had somehow missed, Decision Points (W. Bush's autobiography), How Nations Fail, and Thinking, Fast and Slow.

I got A Country of Vast Designs (a James K Polk biography) out of the library, but I only got through a few chapters before deciding it was too boring and skimmed the rest.

I re-read The Hobbit and To Kill a Mockingbird (my favorite 20th century classic).

I was planning on re-reading Crime and Punishment and The Count of Monte Cristo, but never got around to it.
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Polk5440

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2013, 07:30:20 pm »
0

Catch-22 is you're favorite?

I got about half way though before becoming very frustrated shouting at the book every few pages, "It's a Catch-22, I GET IT ALREADY!" I never finished it. I guess I was never that invested in the characters or plot.

However, I definitely see why people like it and why it's a classic.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2013, 07:51:36 pm »
0

What did you guys reads this year?
WHEEL OF TIME. like, my entire year was devoted to that series.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2013, 08:04:31 pm »
+2

Catch-22 is you're favorite?

I got about half way though before becoming very frustrated shouting at the book every few pages, "It's a Catch-22, I GET IT ALREADY!" I never finished it. I guess I was never that invested in the characters or plot.

However, I definitely see why people like it and why it's a classic.

So you can see why people like it, but for those very reasons you cant like it?
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2013, 11:04:32 pm »
0

Catch-22 is you're favorite?

I got about half way though before becoming very frustrated shouting at the book every few pages, "It's a Catch-22, I GET IT ALREADY!" I never finished it. I guess I was never that invested in the characters or plot.

However, I definitely see why people like it and why it's a classic.

Yes, I love it through multiple reads. To me it was just endlessly hilarious. Now that I think of it, it reminds me of Arrested Development--or rather Arrested Development reminds me of it, especially this latest season 4... where there isn't a concurrent timeline, each chapter starts at a different spot along the story, putting together those pieces as well as putting together each character's perspective along the way was really fun. It also--as well as Arrested--has a lot of meta jokes that just get funnier and funnier the more and more you see them, especially as you see them in unique settings.

But the tone and import of the novel is also compelling to me. Maybe part of it is that I first read it as a high schooler and could relate to that Catch-22 sort of feeling that is high school in so many ways. But even now years later I relate to the turmoil and frustration that comes with trying to live in this society of conflicting rules, it spoke to me and still does. The sequel is complete garbage though... that was very disappointing.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #53 on: December 24, 2013, 12:58:58 am »
+2

Catch-23: The Catchening
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #54 on: December 24, 2013, 03:23:56 am »
0

I've been reading Worm.  It starts off just a bit trite but it ramps up quickly.  Lots of awesome twists and surprises.  I particularly like the clever uses of seemingly weak or limited powers.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #55 on: December 24, 2013, 12:11:04 pm »
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I love Catch-22! It was a big part of my high school experience, too.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2013, 11:49:45 pm »
0

Wow Yuma, that's impressive! You must be a speed reader to read that many books in a year.

I've been trying to get more into reading, and it's much more enjoyable now that I don't have to do it for school. This year, I read all 5 Game of Thrones books, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Crabwalk by Gunter Grass, The Trial by Kafka, and 3/4 of Disgrace by Coetzee. I also got through a chunk of Gravity's Rainbow, before realizing that I had no idea what was going on, I had gotten very little enjoyment from the book, and I'd rather spend my time doing something else.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #57 on: December 25, 2013, 11:26:06 pm »
0

I don't read a whole lot; but I just received the Dark Tower series for Christmas; really looking forward to it! I loved Misery.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #58 on: December 26, 2013, 09:30:10 am »
+1

I used to do a lot more reading, but it is difficult for me to make time for it now.  However, I did start reading Jules Verne this summer, and really really enjoyed it.  I read From the Earth to the Moon, Circling the Moon, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I started 20k Leagues.  So far, I liked from the Earth to the Moon the best.  However, I have gotten distracted from this reading by S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.  It is the most unique reading experience I have ever had, and I have only just started it.  If you have not heard of it, it is a made up book called The Ship of Theseus written by a mysterious author.  The book is a library book that is exchanged back and forth between two people who are trying to figure out more about this author and they communicate by notes in the margins and other artifacts they leave in the pages of the book.  And you have that copy complete with all the notes and the artifacts.  It is kind of confusing to read, but it is really cool.

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #59 on: December 26, 2013, 12:35:02 pm »
+1

Catch-22 is you're favorite?

I got about half way though before becoming very frustrated shouting at the book every few pages, "It's a Catch-22, I GET IT ALREADY!" I never finished it. I guess I was never that invested in the characters or plot.

However, I definitely see why people like it and why it's a classic.

So you can see why people like it, but for those very reasons you cant like it?

I walked right into that one.  :P
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #60 on: December 26, 2013, 05:47:22 pm »
+6

Posting in small font because this is really unimportant, but too funny to not share. I've read the title of this thread as "My Post to Breast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Boobs)" twice today.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #61 on: December 26, 2013, 06:07:21 pm »
+1

Some strange things happen when being almost the only iberoamerican in a forum. One is reading this thread and seeing that the only (literary) authors I read in common with the rest, which I assume are mostly from Europe and non-latin America, are the Russians (although the only one I really like is Dostoievski). I also like Kafka which I assume is known everywhere as well.

I assume probably also some classics they forced me to read in highschool such as Shakespeare (translated, there is no way I can read it in the original, even now) or Poe, but I would not read them for pleasure.

Anyway, I can recommend some books you probably don't know. Saramago (portuguese author) is my all-time favorite. My favorite book is Galeano's "Open veins of latin america" (which I know has been translated to English). If you are not convinced that today's problems in LA can be traced back to Spanish and Portuguese invasions (it does not really cover the small Caribbean nations with French or Dutch colonization history) read it. I must warn you, it is a tough read. From Argentina, I love Cortazar, although his writing is focused on language more than on history, so I don't know how well it translates into other languanges, if there is such translation available.

As for current readings, I guess I have not read a single fictional book in 2013. Between scientific papers and newspapers, I don't want to read a single additional paragraph. I have recently read "thesis draft" volumes 1 to 12 at this point. I expect 2 or 3 more sequels of that one. They say the last is the only one really worth reading, but I am the kind of person that goes through series in order.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #62 on: December 27, 2013, 11:09:20 pm »
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Wow Yuma, that's impressive! You must be a speed reader to read that many books in a year.

I've been trying to get more into reading, and it's much more enjoyable now that I don't have to do it for school. This year, I read all 5 Game of Thrones books, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Crabwalk by Gunter Grass, The Trial by Kafka, and 3/4 of Disgrace by Coetzee. I also got through a chunk of Gravity's Rainbow, before realizing that I had no idea what was going on, I had gotten very little enjoyment from the book, and I'd rather spend my time doing something else.

thanks! I do read fast I suppose, but mostly I am lucky to find time to read. Every day I work I get at least 1 1/2 hours in all my breaks + waiting for the bus and riding the bus home so that adds up.

Game of Thrones was mostly last year, but I think I read the latest installment the beginning of this year. I read A Thousand Years of Solitude a year or two ago and still feel I am not quite ready for Love in the Time of Cholera (maybe this year).

I'll check out Crabwalk and Disgrace of Coetzee if you think they are worth checking out.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #63 on: December 27, 2013, 11:10:39 pm »
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I don't read a whole lot; but I just received the Dark Tower series for Christmas; really looking forward to it! I loved Misery.

Interesting, I hadn't heard of it until now, I just googled it but I am intrigued by the mix of sci-fi, fantasy and Western motifs. Let me know what you think!
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #64 on: December 27, 2013, 11:11:55 pm »
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S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.  It is the most unique reading experience I have ever had, and I have only just started it.  If you have not heard of it, it is a made up book called The Ship of Theseus written by a mysterious author.  The book is a library book that is exchanged back and forth between two people who are trying to figure out more about this author and they communicate by notes in the margins and other artifacts they leave in the pages of the book.  And you have that copy complete with all the notes and the artifacts.  It is kind of confusing to read, but it is really cool.

wow, this is certainly going to go on my to-read list.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #65 on: December 27, 2013, 11:14:46 pm »
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Game of Thrones was mostly last year, but I think I read the latest installment the beginning of this year. I read A Thousand Years of Solitude a year or two ago and still feel I am not quite ready for Love in the Time of Cholera (maybe this year).

Love in the Time of Cholera is a much easier read than A Thousand Years of Solitude. The latter is probably the only book that I left unfinished after reading more than 25% (I got more or less halfway before giving up on it).
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #66 on: December 27, 2013, 11:18:54 pm »
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Game of Thrones was mostly last year, but I think I read the latest installment the beginning of this year. I read A Thousand Years of Solitude a year or two ago and still feel I am not quite ready for Love in the Time of Cholera (maybe this year).

Love in the Time of Cholera is a much easier read than A Thousand Years of Solitude. The latter is probably the only book that I left unfinished after reading more than 25% (I got more or less halfway before giving up on it).

good to know. Solitude (I just noticed that we both typed it wrong... it is A Hundred Years, not a Thousand Years) I finished but it was a struggle but I am glad I finished it, even if I am still not completely sure what happened. Magical realism is trippy.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #67 on: December 28, 2013, 12:13:49 am »
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S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst.  It is the most unique reading experience I have ever had, and I have only just started it.  If you have not heard of it, it is a made up book called The Ship of Theseus written by a mysterious author.  The book is a library book that is exchanged back and forth between two people who are trying to figure out more about this author and they communicate by notes in the margins and other artifacts they leave in the pages of the book.  And you have that copy complete with all the notes and the artifacts.  It is kind of confusing to read, but it is really cool.

wow, this is certainly going to go on my to-read list.
Do it.  I still haven't gotten a chance to read more, but I probably will tonight.  The only thing is, you probably won't find it in a library and I wouldn't want to read it on a bus or anything because I would be afraid of losing some of the contents...

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #68 on: December 28, 2013, 12:30:36 am »
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Wow Yuma, that's impressive! You must be a speed reader to read that many books in a year.

I've been trying to get more into reading, and it's much more enjoyable now that I don't have to do it for school. This year, I read all 5 Game of Thrones books, Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Crabwalk by Gunter Grass, The Trial by Kafka, and 3/4 of Disgrace by Coetzee. I also got through a chunk of Gravity's Rainbow, before realizing that I had no idea what was going on, I had gotten very little enjoyment from the book, and I'd rather spend my time doing something else.

thanks! I do read fast I suppose, but mostly I am lucky to find time to read. Every day I work I get at least 1 1/2 hours in all my breaks + waiting for the bus and riding the bus home so that adds up.

Game of Thrones was mostly last year, but I think I read the latest installment the beginning of this year. I read A Thousand Years of Solitude a year or two ago and still feel I am not quite ready for Love in the Time of Cholera (maybe this year).

I'll check out Crabwalk and Disgrace of Coetzee if you think they are worth checking out.

Commutes are great for reading! Metro time = reading time

I'd definitely recommend Love in the Time of Cholera before either of the other ones (It's Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee). I have never read 100 years of solitude, but like soulnet said, I think it's an easier read. It gets slightly tedious at times, but ultimately it's a love story that's pretty easy to read!
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #69 on: December 28, 2013, 07:52:22 am »
+1

A friend got me all the Animorphs books for christmas. So I think I might be able to read 50+ books in a year this time. :P I'm not sure I'd recommend them to anyone, though.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #70 on: December 28, 2013, 12:13:41 pm »
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A friend got me all the Animorphs books for christmas. So I think I might be able to read 50+ books in a year this time. :P I'm not sure I'd recommend them to anyone, though.

I loved those books growing up.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #71 on: December 28, 2013, 02:20:30 pm »
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Quote from: Twistedarcher
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #72 on: December 30, 2013, 07:08:44 am »
+1

Hammer Time?
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2015, 10:57:43 pm »
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Necro to demand politely request that people quickly give me some books to read.

I just requested 7 books for my Nook (I finally got an e-reader) and all of them already had holds, so I don't know what I am going to read tomorrow. Quick suggestions anyone?
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #74 on: October 09, 2015, 01:36:10 am »
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Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
Hot Water by P. G. Wodehouse
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Really, anything he writes is good. But LitP is my favorite.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 01:39:01 am by skip wooznum »
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2015, 09:59:45 am »
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This seems like a good thread. I checked out your goodreads page posted earlier, really any book I know from your favorites is also something I like, so it would seem we have similar taste. Let me give some recommendations then (I try to not recommend any books you already read):

- When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin D. Yalom
A sort-of historical novel located in late 19th century Vienna. Nietzsche is in therapy with one of the first psychoanalysts (a pupil of Freud's). It's a great read, in particular if you're interested in philosophy a bit. Loved the way Nietzsche is portrayed.

- The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
A weird story without real beginning or end. The main character is being dropped into a surreal situation, almost dreamlike. He is apparently a famous pianist travelling to a foreign city to give a concert. Everyone there somehow expects him to solve the various problems they have. The book leaves much open to interpretation, and is very well-written.

- The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
A very slow-paced story about a remote somewhat mystical island, a girl slowly turning into glass and a reclusive guy trying to help her. Beautifully written and very sad.

And of course I should also recommend some German authors. I hope the translations are done well.

- Fabian: The Story of A Moralist (apparently also puslished as "Going to the Dogs: The Story of A Moralist") by Erich Kästner
Easily one of my favorites. The story is set in the last years of the Weimar Republic. You experience life in a city through the protagonist's eyes, who always is somewhat at distance to everything that's happening around him. Kästner was a contemporary of that time; his books were burned by the Nazi regime.

- Gaming Instinct by Juli Zeh
Juli Zeh is I think one of the best contemporary German authors. The story is centered around a 14-year old girl with nihilistic tendencies and is a thoroughly uneasy read.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2015, 03:58:48 pm »
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I want to read more than I actually do. Started to reread The Walking Dead recently. That's one good graphic novel (because comic seems really wrong for that genre).

I binged on Walking Dead graphic novels a while back, sometime last Winter.  Really compelling.  I read all the way up to around Volume 22's release in short time (a couple weeks?).
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2015, 04:07:53 pm »
0

My favorite novel this year was, I think Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  It's an awesome mix of Sci-Fi, philosophy, religion, tech, humor, etc.  From the description on amazon.com:

Quote
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately

I went on to read Quicksilver, which is the first volume of The Boroque Cycle.  It's very interesting, especially if you like math/physics (or history), but it's also pretty slow going.  It took me a while to finish, and I started Volume II (The Confusion), but I got distracted from it.  (For a while, my reading switched from fiction to text books.)  I also heard The Necronomicon is good; I picked it up but haven't yet read it.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2015, 04:11:28 pm »
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I used to love reading Michael Crichton novels.  My favorite, by far, was The Great Train Robbery.

I also used to read a lot more than I do now: I used to read 20 books every summer vacation.  It's really sad that with so many easy things to get our attention now, that tend to make no room for a good book.  If you search on the Internet Archive you can find my old book list, sadly abandoned now.  (It used to be sortable and have pictures of stars.)

I think his best was Sphere.  I actually had gotten a compendium book with Congo, Sphere, and Eaters of the Dead together; the whole thing was great.  (Well, this was back when I was in middle school, but I remember liking them a lot.)  I liked Andromeda Strain a lot as well, and A Case of Need was very compelling, and pretty different from his other "SciFi" type works.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #79 on: October 09, 2015, 04:24:26 pm »
+1

My favorite novel this year was, I think Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  It's an awesome mix of Sci-Fi, philosophy, religion, tech, humor, etc.  From the description on amazon.com:

Quote
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately

I went on to read Quicksilver, which is the first volume of The Boroque Cycle.  It's very interesting, especially if you like math/physics (or history), but it's also pretty slow going.  It took me a while to finish, and I started Volume II (The Confusion), but I got distracted from it.  (For a while, my reading switched from fiction to text books.)  I also heard The Necronomicon is good; I picked it up but haven't yet read it.

I just read Anathema by Stephenson a few weeks ago and I was completely and totally blown away. Probably the best book I have read this year. Part of the reason I came back to f.ds is because while I was reading it I thought to myself "this would make for a great mafia setup theme"

So it is in the works but isn't even kinda close. But I do want to check out some of his other works. But I like to keep some distance between reading the same authors otherwise I tend to get bored.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #80 on: October 09, 2015, 04:27:14 pm »
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I haven't read his other stuff, Snow Crash was the first.  I definitely want to read his other stuff; right now I'm debating if I want to finish The Boroque cycle before looking at other works or a take a break from it.  I like completing one book/series at a time, but it's three huge and terse volumes.

Definitely check out Snow Crash.  It's fast to read, cyberpunky, and enjoyable. 
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2015, 04:31:46 pm »
0

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
Hot Water by P. G. Wodehouse
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Really, anything he writes is good. But LitP is my favorite.

who would you compare him to from his contemporaries? I haven't heard about him before.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2015, 04:34:57 pm »
0

- The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
A weird story without real beginning or end. The main character is being dropped into a surreal situation, almost dreamlike. He is apparently a famous pianist travelling to a foreign city to give a concert. Everyone there somehow expects him to solve the various problems they have. The book leaves much open to interpretation, and is very well-written.

Interestingly I ended up settling for The Buried Giant by Ishiguro. I am not sure what to make of it. Coming off reading the fourth game of thrones book (A Feast for Crows) it is comparing a bit slower for the "time period" although the genre appears to be significantly different.

I didn't really like his What Remains of the Day but wanted to check out some of his other works before writing him off. I'll check out Unconsoled a little down the road, probably regardless of whether I like Buried Giant or not.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #83 on: October 09, 2015, 05:33:46 pm »
0

Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
Hot Water by P. G. Wodehouse
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Really, anything he writes is good. But LitP is my favorite.

who would you compare him to from his contemporaries? I haven't heard about him before.
I'm not too knowledgable about literature, but my guess is that there's really nobody to compare him to. I know, it's hard to believe. If after reading one you think you find him similar to another author, I'd be very interested to look into that author. So let me know.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2015, 06:19:21 pm by skip wooznum »
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #84 on: October 09, 2015, 10:59:48 pm »
+1

I haven't read his other stuff, Snow Crash was the first.  I definitely want to read his other stuff; right now I'm debating if I want to finish The Boroque cycle before looking at other works or a take a break from it.  I like completing one book/series at a time, but it's three huge and terse volumes.

Definitely check out Snow Crash.  It's fast to read, cyberpunky, and enjoyable.
I liked and recommend Cryptonimicon, Snow Crash, Diamond Age. I liked Reamde but it's very different from his other books; it's an action movie. I didn't make it through Quicksilver and haven't read the others.

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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #85 on: November 01, 2015, 09:09:31 pm »
0

Both Darktower (Gunslinger) and Snow Crash didn't stick with me for very long.

I'll probably try to pick up Snow Crash later, but I just wasn't quite in the mood for it. Maybe too cyberpunky for me? Anathema took about 70 pages to get into, so maybe that is just the way Stephenson is, but I only lasted about 20 pages of Snow Crash (over the course of about a week, so that probably explains my sense of it being disjointed).

Gunslinger was just bad (made it 150 pages cause I was stubborn and wanted to like it). I keep reading Stephen King expecting to be impressed and aside from Shawshank Redemption that has never happened...

A lot of the recommendations here weren't available at my library, so I wasn't able to read them, but put in requests for them to purchase E-book versions. My library is pretty good at doing that. So hopefully I'll be able to read some of them coming up soon.

Has anyone read The Vorrh? That was one that my library didn't have but went out and purchased after I asked about it.

It was one of the better books I read this year. Really, really weird sci-fi/fantasy set in Africa with most of the fantasy being more voodoo mysticism along with some steampunk (but not too much) colonialism.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #86 on: November 02, 2015, 02:45:55 am »
0

- The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
A weird story without real beginning or end. The main character is being dropped into a surreal situation, almost dreamlike. He is apparently a famous pianist travelling to a foreign city to give a concert. Everyone there somehow expects him to solve the various problems they have. The book leaves much open to interpretation, and is very well-written.

Interestingly I ended up settling for The Buried Giant by Ishiguro. I am not sure what to make of it. Coming off reading the fourth game of thrones book (A Feast for Crows) it is comparing a bit slower for the "time period" although the genre appears to be significantly different.

I didn't really like his What Remains of the Day but wanted to check out some of his other works before writing him off. I'll check out Unconsoled a little down the road, probably regardless of whether I like Buried Giant or not.

I think if you want to read Ishiguro, just go to Never Let Me Go.  It's sort of his main thing.

If you haven't come back to Murakami, please do.  Pick up Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage.  The things that bugged you about 1Q84 are toned down there, and it's a pretty intense story.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #87 on: November 04, 2015, 11:33:16 am »
0

I think if you want to read Ishiguro, just go to Never Let Me Go.  It's sort of his main thing.

If you haven't come back to Murakami, please do.  Pick up Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage.  The things that bugged you about 1Q84 are toned down there, and it's a pretty intense story.

I have had Colorless on my to-read list since it came out. I even think I have had it on hold, waiting for me at the library.... I just have had such a hard time with Murakami. Both books I have read of his (Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84) I really, really enjoyed at the start. Whirlwind romance between me and the book. Staying up late, ignoring the chores/job, really just as good as it gets with reading. And then, like clockwork, about halfway through, they just completely fall apart and left me not only bored with what I was reading but intensely disappointed because I wasn't getting the resolution of the start of the book. Burned once... burned twice... I don't want to get burned again like that.

Plus any time I get an itch for something like Murakami I just pick up a David Mitchell book instead. I know it is hearsay in many literary circles to say that Mitchell is better than Murakami, but I am going to say it. Mitchell is better. Mitchell at least knows how to finish a good story...

That said I will pick up Colorless at some point. But it might be a while longer...
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #88 on: November 04, 2015, 11:37:36 am »
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I think if you want to read Ishiguro, just go to Never Let Me Go.  It's sort of his main thing.

If you haven't come back to Murakami, please do.  Pick up Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage.  The things that bugged you about 1Q84 are toned down there, and it's a pretty intense story.

I have had Colorless on my to-read list since it came out. I even think I have had it on hold, waiting for me at the library.... I just have had such a hard time with Murakami. Both books I have read of his (Kafka on the Shore and 1Q84) I really, really enjoyed at the start. Whirlwind romance between me and the book. Staying up late, ignoring the chores/job, really just as good as it gets with reading. And then, like clockwork, about halfway through, they just completely fall apart and left me not only bored with what I was reading but intensely disappointed because I wasn't getting the resolution of the start of the book. Burned once... burned twice... I don't want to get burned again like that.

Plus any time I get an itch for something like Murakami I just pick up a David Mitchell book instead. I know it is hearsay in many literary circles to say that Mitchell is better than Murakami, but I am going to say it. Mitchell is better. Mitchell at least knows how to finish a good story...

That said I will pick up Colorless at some point. But it might be a while longer...

I read a Mitchell book based on one of your reviews, actually, and it just felt like bad Murakami to me the entire time.  To each his own, though.

Have you read Norwegian Wood?  That's the book that made Murakami so famous.  It's worth a read, too.  Colorless is a lot like that.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #89 on: November 04, 2015, 03:58:44 pm »
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I gave up on Murakami after a few books in a row I didn't like. His early stuff was great though. Okay he started with a couple obscure novels that I kind of liked. Then A Wild Sheep Chase is good, and Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World is fantastic; that's his claim to fame for me. The best stories in The Elephant Vanishes are also top-notch. Norwegian Wood was good; however I prefer the original translation (done for Japanese audiences learning English). I got it in Japantown in SF back when and don't imagine it's available anymore, now that there's the new translation. And then Dance Dance Dance is okay, and then there were 3 books in a row I didn't like. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle uses a great short story from The Elephant Vanishes as its chapter one. And man, does not live up to that short story.

I know 1Q84 is supposed to be good but it would take the right review to talk me into trying it.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #90 on: November 04, 2015, 04:35:46 pm »
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I know 1Q84 is supposed to be good but it would take the right review to talk me into trying it.

The first book in 1Q84 is one of the best pieces I have ever read. Really, really good. So if you don't mind there being absolutely no resolution and it ending completely in the middle you could read just that part.

But I wouldn't recommend going onto the second and especially the third book.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #91 on: November 04, 2015, 04:46:29 pm »
+1

I know 1Q84 is supposed to be good but it would take the right review to talk me into trying it.

The first book in 1Q84 is one of the best pieces I have ever read. Really, really good. So if you don't mind there being absolutely no resolution and it ending completely in the middle you could read just that part.

But I wouldn't recommend going onto the second and especially the third book.

I liked the last book best.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #92 on: November 04, 2015, 06:24:31 pm »
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I liked all the earlier Murakami books - Hard Boiled Wonderland is probably best. Then 1Q84 left me disappointed, and Colorless felt more like a "Best Of Murakami" album than something new.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #93 on: November 04, 2015, 06:28:53 pm »
+2

I'm reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky now. Man, I always keep forgetting just how good he is.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #94 on: November 05, 2015, 09:26:16 am »
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I'm reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky now. Man, I always keep forgetting just how good he is.

Oooh, I've been wanting to read that for a while.  It's referenced in quite a few movies.  I read Crime and Punishment when I was in high school and liked it a lot, but I haven't read his other works.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #95 on: November 05, 2015, 10:16:08 am »
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I'm reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky now. Man, I always keep forgetting just how good he is.

Completely agree. Well, I don't know if I forget how good he is, but each Dostoyevsky novel that I read automatically becomes my favorite... until I read the next one... or reread a previous one... or start talking about one..

If I had to rank the Dostoyevsky novels I have read:

1. Crime and Punishment
2. The Idiot
3. The Brothers Karamazov
4. The Double
5. Demons
6. Notes from the Underground

Will probably read The Gambler, House of the Dead or the Insulted and the Humiliated next. Probably House of the Dead as it is apparently semi-autobiographical of his experience in a Siberian prison camp.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #96 on: November 12, 2015, 10:31:12 pm »
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I keep coming back to this looking for recommendations so what I think I am going to do is go back and update the OP at the end to keep a running tab on books that people (and myself) have recommended.. easier to do it once than to keep coming back and re-scrolling through the thread...
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #97 on: November 13, 2015, 12:44:43 am »
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I need to mention https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riyria_Revelations as a recommendation.

The author is a great guy (from what I can tell via the Internet) and he self-published his latest on Kickstarter so that readers could get it two years faster than the publication schedule offered by his publisher.

They are well-written, quick reads with intriguing stories.  Good, old-school fantasy.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #98 on: November 17, 2015, 10:35:42 am »
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Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
Hot Water by P. G. Wodehouse
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Really, anything he writes is good. But LitP is my favorite.

Thanks for the recommend. Leave it to Psmith was delightful. Really, fun, witty and in some cases poignant situational and coincidental humor.

I would compare him to Oscar Wilde. In fact the whole time I was reading LitP I thought, "this should be a play" which apparently it has been adapted to a couple of times.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #99 on: November 27, 2015, 04:22:45 pm »
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Leave it to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse
Hot Water by P. G. Wodehouse
Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Really, anything he writes is good. But LitP is my favorite.

Thanks for the recommend. Leave it to Psmith was delightful. Really, fun, witty and in some cases poignant situational and coincidental humor.

I would compare him to Oscar Wilde. In fact the whole time I was reading LitP I thought, "this should be a play" which apparently it has been adapted to a couple of times.
You're very welcome. and do read some more, although all his books run somewhat similar storylines, so it might get old. And I'm not sure I agree with the oscar wilde comparison, but that's based on reading half of Dorian Grey and nothing else.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #100 on: November 29, 2015, 07:02:56 pm »
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You're very welcome. and do read some more, although all his books run somewhat similar storylines, so it might get old. And I'm not sure I agree with the oscar wilde comparison, but that's based on reading half of Dorian Grey and nothing else.

I will be sure to read some at a later date. Probably give it a couple of months inbetween so the style doesn't get dull.

And the Oscar Wilde comparison was meant more in terms of "The Importance of Being Earnest" than Dorian Grey. Dorian Grey is much, much darker and deep where Earnest is very similar in tone and style to Psmith, I think.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #101 on: December 03, 2015, 10:06:26 pm »
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My favorite novel this year was, I think Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.  It's an awesome mix of Sci-Fi, philosophy, religion, tech, humor, etc.  From the description on amazon.com:

Quote
In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately

I went on to read Quicksilver, which is the first volume of The Boroque Cycle.  It's very interesting, especially if you like math/physics (or history), but it's also pretty slow going.  It took me a while to finish, and I started Volume II (The Confusion), but I got distracted from it.  (For a while, my reading switched from fiction to text books.)  I also heard The Necronomicon is good; I picked it up but haven't yet read it.

I just read Anathema by Stephenson a few weeks ago and I was completely and totally blown away. Probably the best book I have read this year. Part of the reason I came back to f.ds is because while I was reading it I thought to myself "this would make for a great mafia setup theme"

So it is in the works but isn't even kinda close. But I do want to check out some of his other works. But I like to keep some distance between reading the same authors otherwise I tend to get bored.

Anathema was spectacular; couldn't tear myself away. Cryptonomicon: also spectacular. The Baroque Cycle: spectacular.

I'm reading The Idiot by Dostoyevsky now. Man, I always keep forgetting just how good he is.

Completely agree. Well, I don't know if I forget how good he is, but each Dostoyevsky novel that I read automatically becomes my favorite... until I read the next one... or reread a previous one... or start talking about one..

If I had to rank the Dostoyevsky novels I have read:

1. Crime and Punishment
2. The Idiot
3. The Brothers Karamazov
4. The Double
5. Demons
6. Notes from the Underground

Will probably read The Gambler, House of the Dead or the Insulted and the Humiliated next. Probably House of the Dead as it is apparently semi-autobiographical of his experience in a Siberian prison camp.

Ranking Dostoevsky is tough. Demons currently checks in for me at No.1, followed by The Idiot and Crime and Punishment is some ordering, followed by Brothers Karamazov, and then Notes from Underground.

The best book I've read recently is Master and Margarita, not close. It had everything, and I'm waiting on my enforced cool-down before I read it again. Also to finish Lost Illusions, which is by far the worst book I've read since I was last compelled to read Dickens.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #102 on: December 03, 2015, 10:19:28 pm »
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The best book I've read recently is Master and Margarita, not close. It had everything, and I'm waiting on my enforced cool-down before I read it again.

I agree it is very, very good. It was unlike anything I had ever read before. There was a Russian mini-series made in 2005 that was pretty trippy if you want to check that out at some point.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #103 on: December 03, 2015, 11:06:53 pm »
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I read Anathema a while back on the recommendation of a friend.  It was interesting and very good.  Not a book that you can just skim through...or a book you want to skim through.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #104 on: December 08, 2015, 10:59:11 am »
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- The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
A weird story without real beginning or end. The main character is being dropped into a surreal situation, almost dreamlike. He is apparently a famous pianist travelling to a foreign city to give a concert. Everyone there somehow expects him to solve the various problems they have. The book leaves much open to interpretation, and is very well-written.

Interestingly I ended up settling for The Buried Giant by Ishiguro. I am not sure what to make of it. Coming off reading the fourth game of thrones book (A Feast for Crows) it is comparing a bit slower for the "time period" although the genre appears to be significantly different.

I didn't really like his What Remains of the Day but wanted to check out some of his other works before writing him off. I'll check out Unconsoled a little down the road, probably regardless of whether I like Buried Giant or not.

I think if you want to read Ishiguro, just go to Never Let Me Go.  It's sort of his main thing.

If you haven't come back to Murakami, please do.  Pick up Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage.  The things that bugged you about 1Q84 are toned down there, and it's a pretty intense story.

So I am finally starting Colorless, about 50 pages in and I am liking it so far. But I always like Murakami through the first half of the book. I'll let you know what I think once I am done. I will say I already have expectations for where I want to the book to lead--and that perhaps is where I might come into trouble if Murakami doesn't decide to go down that road...
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #105 on: December 08, 2015, 02:16:03 pm »
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I loved Colorless -- more than 1Q84 for sure. 

I recommended Wind/Pinball to you -- it's fast and easy and early Murakami -- and it's fantastic.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #106 on: December 09, 2015, 10:32:40 pm »
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I loved Colorless -- more than 1Q84 for sure. 

I recommended Wind/Pinball to you -- it's fast and easy and early Murakami -- and it's fantastic.

Well... I won't be reading Wind/Pinball for quite some time... and probably only because you recommended it.

Once again Murakami was a complete and total let down... at least this time I saw it coming and really this time I wasn't nearly as invested in the book when I was let down.

I really didn't get the book at all. Maybe it all just sailed right over my head. But so much of that book, at the end I just ask... "What was the point?" I had a really hard time connecting sequences of events and so much of it just felt so random. And I wouldn't ever call Murakami's dialogue great--I know part of that is lost in translation--but this book was particularly stilted and boarder line funny at times (when I don't think the intent was ever to be humorous).

Maybe you can explain to me what the book was about and what the purpose of so many different disjointed parts was all about? But in my experience, if I have to ask someone to explain the book, then I am not going to suddenly enjoy it just because someone could explain it to me.

I'll read Pinball. But not for a while.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #107 on: December 31, 2015, 12:23:25 pm »
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Boast Post:

Partially due to taking a break from forum Mafia for 2/3 of the year plus changing job positions so that I am more likely to take the bus and have more time to read I hit a new high mark for reading in 2015, 70 books. I posted this previously, but feel free to add me if you have an account on Goodreads. Here is my account: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/3660669-jed-l

Highlights from the year:

- Sand (Omnibus) - newer book by Hugh Howey (author of the Silo Series). Really interesting concept of people who live in a sand waste land and dive to find hidden treasures to survive. Might be better than the Silo Series, which for me is saying a lot. Read three other books by Howey (The Shell Collector, The Hurricane and Half Way Home) that weren't nearly as good though.

- The Paying Guests - by Sarah Waters - set in post WWI London about a mother and a daughter who are forced, for economic reasons, to rent out a room of their home. I think this book could be one that is referenced in future generations as a classic. It reminded me of Tolstoy, Dickens and Flaubert with multiple provocative themes from love to the judicial system to postwar depression and isolation. It is really, really good with a compelling story line to boot.

- Reread the first 5 books of the ASOIAF series in anticipation of book 6 coming out soon(ish). Liked the series even more the second time around, except for the second book. That one was kind of a dud for me. But the fourth and fifth book really came alive during the second reading as the first time around I missed a lot with new characters, settings and plots that I either just didn't remember or flew past previously.

- Big Little Lies - by Lianne Moriarty - went into it expecting a chick-lit novel, cause sometimes those are just fun to read. But it ended up being a really, well written funny and morbid novel with deep tones about domestic violence. Was really surprised and excited about how good it was. Bought my mother and sisters-in-laws copies and they loved it more than I did.

- Probably the favorite book of the year was Anathem by Neal Stephenson. I already talked about it above, but again, it was really good. I can't even compare it to anything as it was completely unlike anything I have ever read.

Low-lights of the year:

- Read a lot of overrated claptrap including: Ready Player One (was OK, but the nostalgia factor was just too much and felt the real world applications were underdeveloped), The Goldfinch (oh my goodness the entire section in Nevada was just completely and totally awful and just gave me further reason to avoid that Godforsaken state), Name of the Wind--King Killer Chronicles (ego driven fantasy, felt like the author used a maxed out Dungeon and Dragons character sheet that he uses with his gaming group and wrote an over sized novel from it), The Girl on the Train (Big Little Lies was way better) and All the Light We Cannot See (another WWII story that has more sentiment than heart).

Also got in some classics: Hunchback of Notre Dame (good), 20 Thousand Leagues under the Sea (sci-fi has come a long way from this), Lord of the Flies (wow!), Tender is the Night (yuck) and The Gambler (Dostoevsky at his best).

Anyways, what did you read this last year?

Happy New Year. Hope your 2016 is full of good books.
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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #108 on: December 31, 2015, 12:28:15 pm »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #109 on: December 31, 2015, 12:33:03 pm »
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Oh man, I really like the King Killer Chronicles.  I see what you're saying, but I don't think that's particularly bad.  And I really like the storytelling. 
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faust

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #110 on: January 03, 2016, 10:45:30 am »
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I recently finished In The Light Of What We Know by Zia Haider Raman and was very pleased. The book touches an incredible amount of subjects - post-colonial Bangladesh, the 2008 financial crash, the importance of class in today's life, Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem and the Afghanistan war are just a few of them - and still manages to tell an engaging story and offers reflections on human nature.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #111 on: January 03, 2016, 11:23:55 am »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.

Yeah. I liked it as I read it, but it was a book that the book became progressively worse after reading it and reflecting back on it. The more I thought about it the more holes I found and the more I realized a lot of inadequacies were effectively covered up with nostalgia. I think the fact that I am more a child of the 80s than a teen of the 80s had something to do with my distaste. But ultimately I was turned away by the "video game savior" motif. I hear his new book "Armada" takes that to a whole new level.

And I have rarely been able to get into non-fiction. Is the book written like a non-fiction book or does it used a factionalized format? I have a hard time being interested if it is presented more like a history lesson or an autobiography.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2016, 11:25:32 am by yuma »
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #112 on: January 03, 2016, 11:29:05 am »
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Oh man, I really like the King Killer Chronicles.  I see what you're saying, but I don't think that's particularly bad.  And I really like the storytelling.

I got maybe 200 pages in. And up to that point the main character, can't remember his name, had yet to make a mistake or error. He was just naturally gifted in every way and could do no wrong. So there was no internal conflict, no actual internal learning or development. So I gave up at that point. But I need characters to have flaws for me to be interested. Other wise it really just is a perfected dungeon and dragons character sheet come to life. Which might be fun for 30 minutes but not for a 900 page book.
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ashersky

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #113 on: January 03, 2016, 11:52:07 am »
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I was just coming on here to tell you to read Ready Player One as I'm currently in the middle of it.  I actually wanted to hate it so much, but can't. 

I would highly recommend The Boys in the Boat if you like non-fiction.  Read it before it becomes a movie.

Yeah. I liked it as I read it, but it was a book that the book became progressively worse after reading it and reflecting back on it. The more I thought about it the more holes I found and the more I realized a lot of inadequacies were effectively covered up with nostalgia. I think the fact that I am more a child of the 80s than a teen of the 80s had something to do with my distaste. But ultimately I was turned away by the "video game savior" motif. I hear his new book "Armada" takes that to a whole new level.

And I have rarely been able to get into non-fiction. Is the book written like a non-fiction book or does it used a factionalized format? I have a hard time being interested if it is presented more like a history lesson or an autobiography.

The Boys tells a story, so it does not feel like a text book.  It's a narrative told very well.  It's worth a try.  I thought I'd be bored, but it feels more like Hemingway or Salinger than it does nonfiction.
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #114 on: May 20, 2016, 02:10:19 pm »
+1

So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

I paused The Boroque Cycle (The Confusion) to read this.  I want to get back to it, but I don't think I will immediately.  I've been wanting to read Infinite Jest, so I think I'll go there.

Also in the middle of Cryptonomicon, I picked up the graphic novel series Saga.  Pretty entertaining. 
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Infthitbox

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #115 on: May 20, 2016, 02:16:44 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

I paused The Boroque Cycle (The Confusion) to read this.  I want to get back to it, but I don't think I will immediately.  I've been wanting to read Infinite Jest, so I think I'll go there.

Also in the middle of Cryptonomicon, I picked up the graphic novel series Saga.  Pretty entertaining.

I don't understand criticism of the endings, his novels are amazing. Cryptonomicon used to be my favorite; Anathem now takes it for me.
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yuma

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #116 on: May 20, 2016, 02:19:22 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

It has been on my list for a while, so glad to hear it was enjoyable and will probably try to read it this year. But man... only having it pick up in the latter third is kinda a hard sell for me. I actually mistakenly picked up another of his books thinking it was this, Seveneves, and it ended up being the opposite for me. The first 2/3rds of the book were really good. The last third it started to completely fall apart. Well not fall apart, but it just went in a completely different direction that I thought would have made a really good second book because it wasn't expanded enough for me.

I have read a lot of really good books this year. Will probably do a mid-year post in the next little while to talk about them rather than waiting until the end of the year cause this has just been a spectacular year for me reading really good books.
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #117 on: May 20, 2016, 02:28:06 pm »
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So I finally finished Cryptonomicon.  Not a very fast read, but enjoyable.  It's hard to get into, but once I got towards the latter third, I was anxious to keep reading and see what happens.  Looking online a bit, I see a lot of criticism about the ending.. people complain about his endings in general.  I really don't get the complaints.

It has been on my list for a while, so glad to hear it was enjoyable and will probably try to read it this year. But man... only having it pick up in the latter third is kinda a hard sell for me. I actually mistakenly picked up another of his books thinking it was this, Seveneves, and it ended up being the opposite for me. The first 2/3rds of the book were really good. The last third it started to completely fall apart. Well not fall apart, but it just went in a completely different direction that I thought would have made a really good second book because it wasn't expanded enough for me.

I have read a lot of really good books this year. Will probably do a mid-year post in the next little while to talk about them rather than waiting until the end of the year cause this has just been a spectacular year for me reading really good books.

Well, part of it is that the narrative follows multiple characters across two parallel eras on time.  So you get invested in one character and then as things start to unfold you suddenly jump to a different person, possibly a different time, and you may not see how they connect.  Though in my case numerous other distractions could have hindered the novel's tractability for me.

At any rate, it was really good, but it felt like I wasn't progressing through the novel for quite a while.  Once momentum picked up, I feel like it went fairly quickly. 

Weird, I had thought that it was you that said you read this one and really liked it. 
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #118 on: September 12, 2016, 04:59:43 pm »
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I finished the Howl's Castle series:

Howl's Moving Castle
Castle in the Air
House of Many Ways

They're basically children's fantasy novels, but still pretty enjoyable to read.  The author (Diana Wynne Jones) has many other series, but I don't know if I'm going to go into them yet.  The main appeal for me was that I was familiar with Howl from the movie.

And I suppose I posted it in the other thread, before that I read Infinite Jest.  I think next I'll move on to other David Foster Wallace stuff.
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schadd

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #119 on: September 12, 2016, 06:24:25 pm »
+1

i read a book one time. it was a stephen kingo
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #120 on: February 12, 2017, 05:07:55 pm »
+1

I read Seveneves by Neal Stephenson.  It's really great.  I think it's better to just pick it up and read it, rather than find out much about it first.

I think I'm going to go back to The Baroque Cycle now.  I took a break in the second book (The Confusion) to read some other stuff.  I also want to read the rest of his books.. I still have not read (by him) quite a bit: of the 'better known' ones (i.e., those that I see on the bookstore shelves): Zodiac, Anathem, Reamde, The System of the World (Baroque Cycle Book 3), and others that I haven't heard of before: The Big U, Interface, The Diamond Age, The Cobweb, The Mongoliad.

Seveneves, by the way, should really be made into a Television series, like on HBO.  Apparently there are plans to make a movie.  I'm less excited about that prospect: I think it really needs to be spread out.  Hopefully it would be a trilogy.  But I think a series with the kind of pacing of Westworld with a few seasons would be perfect.
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Witherweaver

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Re: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)
« Reply #121 on: February 12, 2017, 05:10:24 pm »
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Though in terms of single movies from Neal Stephenson books, I think Snow Crash would be perfect.
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