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Author Topic: My Post to Boast a Bit (A Place to Talk About Books)  (Read 10314 times)

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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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Schneau

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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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Cuzz

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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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Robz888

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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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cayvie

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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 »
0

Please let me know what you think.
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yuma

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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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yuma

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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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cayvie

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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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cayvie

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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 »
0

ignominious isn't what i meant.

um. can't think of the right word.
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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

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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yuma

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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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Grujah

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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 »
0

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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Polk5440

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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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