Book Club Spinoff - What Cha Reading?

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Book Club Spinoff - What Cha Reading?

Postby Bunyip » Tue Oct 16, 2007 11:55 pm

Lost in a Good Book, by Jasper Fforde. I'm still not sure what I think of this guy. The stories are reasonably interesting but because they use characters from classic fiction for their own ends, it strays perilously close to fan fiction, which I hate with a passion. For some reason. Anyway, the good thing about these books is that they get me to read some of the books they reference so I don't feel left behind before I start. In this case, I read Dickens' Great Expectations, which was excellent. I'm about halfway through the Fforde book, and it still hasn't quite strayed into the "look at me, I'm ever so clever and interesting" territory. Like stupid xkcd. You heard me!

I also just read Hyperion, by Dan Simmons, which was incredible. It's made up of a bunch of life stories from a group of people travelling together on the planet Hyperion, and it's pretty remarkable. One of the stories is possibly the saddest I can ever remember reading.
Last edited by Bunyip on Tue Sep 16, 2008 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Bunyip » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:44 am

I know you all love this thread really.

Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco

This is a weird mix of detective story and and morbid historical fiction. It's very literary and he keeps using latin without translating it for us dumbasses. There's a few Da Vinci Code-ish puzzles intermingled with political intrigue and Inquisition-era religious philosophy. All the characters are flawed and nobody really ends up winning so it's a bit of a downer despite being pretty interesting.

The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

Excellent scifi about a future interstellar war. The book follows one conscripted soldier and imagines what it's like to be involved in a conflict where 3 months away can mean many years back on Earth. The hero isn't especially heroic except in an everyday sort of way and I found this completely engrossing. The ending surprised me too, I think because I must be used to scifi being hopelessly bleak.

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Postby Kauser » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:52 am

Re-reading "The Dictionary of Imaginary places," and "A field Guide to Demons, Fairies, Fallen Angels, and other Subversive Spirits"
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Postby Dynagrip » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:49 pm

I liked The Name of the Rose quite a bit. Unfortunately this lead me to reading Foucalt's Pendulum.

Forever War is indeed a good bit of sci-fi.

Right now I'm reading Peace by Gene Wolfe. His books tend to have a bit of a melancholy air.

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Postby Bag of Ass » Wed Nov 07, 2007 3:42 pm

Bunyip wrote:The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

Excellent scifi about a future interstellar war. The book follows one conscripted soldier and imagines what it's like to be involved in a conflict where 3 months away can mean many years back on Earth. The hero isn't especially heroic except in an everyday sort of way and I found this completely engrossing. The ending surprised me too, I think because I must be used to scifi being hopelessly bleak.

Is it anything like the Ender's Game series? Well, up until they figure out how to communicate instantaneously, that is?

I was over at someone's house recently and they had a copy of Stephen Hawking's Universe in a Nutshell, and I started reading that. That'll probably be the next thing I pick up. Not exactly easy reading, but maybe it'll help me understand Lobstrosity better. :)

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Postby Smokin_Jayz » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:54 pm

Hegemony or Survival - Noam Chomsky

Probably should have read it when it came out, however it's quite interesting now looking back on what has happened in the "war on terror" and see that most of this stuff was spot on (published in 2002 I believe).

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Postby Bag of Ass » Wed Nov 07, 2007 6:33 pm

Smokin_Jayz wrote:Hegemony

Ender reference++;

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Postby . » Tue Nov 20, 2007 7:38 am

Most of you guys live in bigger cities than I do, thus you may have better access to better bookstores. If any of you can find The Taoist Cookbook by Michael R Saso for roughly 20 bucks, for cripes sake, get it! I will send you the money for it. The cheapest I can find it is around 45 bucks and I don't want it quite that much. New, used, slightly tattered, I don't care. Just someone find it, come on!

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Postby dogmeat » Tue Nov 20, 2007 11:17 am

I'm reading Yes Man by Danny Wallace. It's dumb, yet engaging. About as cerebral as a tequila slammer, but amusing all the same. Although disturbingly, Hollywood is making a movie version with Jim Carrey. :|

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Postby Bunyip » Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:51 am

Tower of Glass, by Robert Silverberg

A fairly short scifi about a future entrepreneur's attempt to communicate with possible outer space intelligence by means of building an enormous glass tower on the Arctic tundra. It has that rare quality of giving the impression of a much bigger world than you would think the book can hold. The story is pretty good, and went in a direction I would not have expected from the story's premise. However, this gives me an excuse to rant about blurbs, which you should never read. Don't read blurbs! Be very wary about forewords, too. The blurb on this book pretty much gave away everything, so I'm glad it was the last part of the book I read.

The Grapes Of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

Wow, I forgot what it's like to read Steinbeck. You expect the publication date on this to be about 30 years later. Pretty intense survival story about a family that's forced off their land and migrates to California along with hundreds of thousands of others during the Great Depression. This is a good book to read for perspective. I might be disgruntled at having to leave for work at 6:30 in the morning, but at least I'm not trying to feed my entire family on one potato.

Addenda: Grapes of Wrath got me reading up about the Dust Bowl and Okies on Wikipedia. I proclaim it a success!

I also looked up Tower of Glass on Wikipedia to see if there was any discussion of themes. There wasn't, and don't read that article because it spells out the entire plot. There was, however, a link to a "review" which didn't actually do any reviewing except for a summary of the plot and a "detailed literary breakdown" of which the only part that was particularly detailed was this:

Sex in book? Yes
What kind of sex: - descript of kissing - actual description of sex - description of breasts - descript. of private male anat. - descript. of non-breast female anat.

Oh internet nerds, you always cease to amaze me.

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Postby Dynagrip » Wed Nov 21, 2007 1:47 am

Tower of Glass has the androids that get disgruntled correct? I read it some time ago. Also, you should really check out Dead Inside. It's about my favorite Silverberg book.

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Postby Bag of Ass » Wed Nov 21, 2007 7:16 pm

Grapes of Wrath was my favorite book that we read in high school. Well, except for Pensativa by Jesus Goytortua, which we read in Spanish 4. I don't think it was ever translated into english. There's this one scene where a guy is leading some soldiers in a civil war, but his men are really assassins who were hired by the enemy. They blindside and kill him, then they hang his corpse, shoot at it, then proceed to beat the body when one of the bullets hits the rope. They gouge out his eyes and urinate in the sockets, and all the while they are holding his loyal follower captive. He's struggling and eventually gets free and tries to get them to stop desecrating his friend's body, but they slash him in the face with a machete and dump him over a cliff and leave him for dead. He lands in the river and recovers, and ten years later he remerges as a man called El Desorejador (the Ear Remover, because of the trophies he takes when he kills).

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Postby Kauser » Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:26 pm

Currently rereading The Shadow over Innsmouth. That story always reaffirms my belief that Portsmouth residents all have vestigial gills.
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Postby Bag of Ass » Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:00 pm

I got the Library of America version of Lovecraft, and always keep meaning to finish that.

Anyway, just started I Am Legend yesterday. Entertaining so far.

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Postby OMGBEES » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:07 am

Re-reading Iron Dragon's Daughter, which has become a tradition. I read it every autumn. Also reading Kelly Link's Magic for Beginners.

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Postby dogmeat » Sun Dec 16, 2007 2:11 pm

Started reading Pratchett's Wintersmith. For a book that's supposed to be aimed at his younger audience it's pretty dark stuff.

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Postby Gobo » Sun Dec 16, 2007 4:17 pm

I am very sad he's been diagnosed with early onset alzheimers :(

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Postby Dynagrip » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:12 pm

I don't think it will affect his writing.

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Postby Gobo » Mon Dec 17, 2007 1:56 am

:flame:

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Postby Bunyip » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:37 am

The Reasons I Won't Be Coming, by Eliot Perlman

This is a collection of short stories by an Australian author (I reviewed his excellent Three Dollars over at Two Bit ages ago). The stories are all fairly bleak and mostly about failed relationships but the characters are all very believable and authentic, so I ended up enjoying this for the most part, especially the one courtroom drama.

The Magus, by John Fowles

This is an epic novel about psychological torture I guess? The hero takes a job on a remote Greek island and weird stuff starts happening to him. It's really hard to write a description of this one since it incorporates myth, literature, history and psychology in a book that is mostly a romance but also one of those books that suggests different ways of looking at the world, like Camus or suchlike. Maybe in future I should just list the titles!


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