Books, Books, Books!

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#1
This thread is once again dedicated to books and those who love reading them. What are you currently reading? I just started reading Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale and so far it's friggin awesome. She's probably a better writer than 95% of the authors out there. And the premise reminds me a bit of 1984, which is a freaky and potent book, in and of itself. I'm also reading the Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Leguin. It's considered by many to be the best science fiction book of all time. Or the most important. It deals with an ambassador of Earth and all the civilized planets going to a planet named Winter where the people can choose at anytime whether to be male, female, or no gender at all. For example, early in the book we find out that the King is pregnant. Hehe. It's not the easiest read but it is philosophical, original, and quite intellectual.
 
#2
I've been reading Logan's Run forever now, but never seem to get any farther in. It's a good pre-cyberpunk novel and it has some neat concepts (the Ice Mansion place is fantastic), but I just can't seem to get engrossed in it. I mean, each chapter is full of great imagery and flowing narrative, but I just don't feel the urge to keep reading after the chapter ends.

I also never finished William Gibson's Count Zero, but absolutely loved Neuromancer. I don't think I've read anything else in quite a while, besides textbooks. I might change majors to literature, so this all might change.

Also I should take the opportunity to plug Flowers for Algernon, because it is a fantastic read.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#4
I've been on a Vonnegut kick. I finished Cat's Cradle a little while ago, then started in on Breakfast of Champions. But I can't seem to get into the book (the same thing happened with Cat's Cradle; I started, then restarted reading that book at least four times). So I'm either going to re-read Slaughterhouse Five, or start Mother Night, instead.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#5
I'm currently reading two books; "The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes", and Sun Tzus' "The Art of War."

I should finish the latter tonight, and after that I plan on reading an anthology of Robert Burns works.
 
#7
I say Graphic Novels and Manga should count in the discussion. Not so long ago I read this one called "What a Wonderful World" by Inio Asano, it was pretty great.
 

Menashe

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#8
Of course graphic novels count! We're gamers after all. That's a literary form we're known for enjoying.

I just bought a few new books today after I sold four of my used ones. I bought Excession by Ian M. Banks (because I recently discovered he's one of my favorite sci fi authors; he writes about complex and sophisticated themesbut keeps it fast paced and interesting, unlike so many other "complex" authors.) I also bought Far Side of the World by Patrick O'brien, The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, and a Gene Wolfe book.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#9
After using the Faust quote, I've felt compelled to start reading Mother Night. I used to dedicate an hour before bed to reading something (go to bed at 10, read until 11, go to sleep). Now I'm all out of whack, staying up far too late and not being on any schedule in particular. I dislike disciplined routines, but it seems to be the only way I get things done, especially with reading.

That's my goal for the day. Read at least two chapters tonight.
 
#11
I'm currently reading ' A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess.
Perhaps I should have read that earlier. I've started for several times before, but I couldn't, don't know why.
And only now realize I'm ripen for it!
 

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#12
"Kane83" wrote: I'm currently reading ' A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess.
Perhaps I should have read that earlier. I've started for several times before, but I couldn't, don't know why.
And only now realize I'm ripen for it!
I've been meaning to read that book, but haven't yer for some reason.

I just finished "Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep", though. It was pretty good, it's nice to see where some of the cyberpunk influences came from. I also read Logan's Run recently, which also influenced Cyberpunk, but in my opinion was such a raw form of it that it wasn't even very enjoyable (until the ending sequence, of course).
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#13
Finally about half way through Mother Night. Better than Cat's Cradle (early on), but not as good as Slaughterhouse Five.
 

Menashe

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#14
I finished The Name of the Wind. Although it was slow getting into it, by the end I fell in love with its world and characters. I hope the sequel will be as good.
 
#15
Just finished 1q84 by Haruki Murakami yesterday and highly recommend it. It's creepy how real some of the scenes and characters feel. Don't plan on finishing it in a couple days though, as it's over 1000 pages.

Also currently reading German/English dual language versions of Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes and the Hound of the Baskervilles

Soon, I plan on reading The Call of Cthulhu, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and A Clockwork Orange (I too have started that book multiple times before being distracted from finishing it)
 
#16
I just finished The Count of Monte Cristo. I read it once year, as it's one of my favorites. Next is probably, Bobby Blanchard: Lesbian Gym Teacher.[/] I've been going through Erica Friedman's summer reading list. I've enjoyed everything she's recommended so far. ^_^

Rosa
 
#17
"Rosa_Canina" wrote: I just finished The Count of Monte Cristo. I read it once year, as it's one of my favorites. Next is probably, Bobby Blanchard: Lesbian Gym Teacher.[/] I've been going through Erica Friedman's summer reading list. I've enjoyed everything she's recommended so far. ^_^

Rosa

I just Downloaded this book on my Nexus. I cant wait to read it. So many older classics that I have never gotten around to. First up though is 1984.
 

theMightyME

Owner of The Total Screen
#19
not classic literature, but I highly recommend the kingkiller chronicles (first book is call "the name of the wind") very interesting take on storytelling within a book... and probably amongst the top 5 fantasy series I have read... probably in the top 3 actually
 

Juegos

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#21
I have about a million books that I started, but that I haven't gotten very far into right now. I just remembered because 1984 was mentioned, and it's one of them.


Books that I've actually read:


Count Zero by William Gibson was every bit as good, if not better than Neuromancer. I'm sure it wasn't nearly as revolutionary, but as a narrative, and in terms of Gibson's writing prowess, I found it more enjoyable.


Pilgrim in the Microworld, by David Sudnow. Pilgrim is an account of the author's discovery of, and obsession with Atari's Breakout. It is an incredibly intelligent book, and very wrongly overlooked: it might be difficult to read at times due to an overly confusing and intellectual style, but for we that love gamers, the book is filled with so many universal truths that it starts to read like a gamer's bible. I think it's the kind of book that someone like @nerdman would enjoy.


Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang is an eclectic collection of short stories, all very interesting and thought-provoking: there is a story about the Tower of Babel as a topological metaphor for the possibility of god's existence outside of 3D-space; a study on the nature of language and how a meeting with aliens completely changes a person's way of understanding the world; a presentation on a world where the existence of god, angels, heaven, and hell, are known, but somehow people manage to not believe in them, and about how the system of rules in this world is completely unfair and meaningless to people. There is something there for religion nerds, language nerds, mathematics nerds, the whole thing. There is even a story about magical word-activated steampunk golems that may be the key to understanding the secret of life. Ted Chiang is a hell of a smart dude, and his writing is not just nuanced and extremely crafty, but very thought-provoking.



Right now I'm also going through many other books, but I'll talk about them if and when I finish them. :p
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#22
Finished The Black Company series a month back and have been getting myself into some comics since then, mostly DC's New 52.
How did you find The Black Company?

Also, which series from the new 52 are you following?
 
#23

I have about a million books that I started, but that I haven't gotten very far into right now. I just remembered because 1984 was mentioned, and it's one of them.


0.0 You should read 1984! It's a brilliant book.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#24
I have about a million books that I started, but that I haven't gotten very far into right now. I just remembered because 1984 was mentioned, and it's one of them.


0.0 You should read 1984! It's a brilliant book.
While it was not Orwell's intended target it contains a number of critical insights that are probably most applicable to the corporate mass media landscape of our times and how it shapes dominant political narratives. Definitely worth reading.
 

Majorbuddah

My real name is Dolemite
#25
I just finished The Watcher by Charles Maclean last night. It's a great novel for anyone into suspense/mystery/thriller/mind fuckery. I'm a little underwhelmed with how he ended the book (the last 3-4 pages, really), but the ride there is well worth it. If you like Palahniuk novels or American Psycho then you should check this one out.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#26
I'm currently re-reading 1984.

Good choice. If you like Orwell's writing in general, there is a book that I found really cool that perhaps you've not heard of. It's called "Homage to Catalonia." It's non-fiction, actually, it's his personal account of the Spanish Civil War. It's a really cool read. I have it laying around somewhere... I should find it, it's been a few years since I've read it.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#27
I'm currently re-reading 1984.
Good choice. If you like Orwell's writing in general, there is a book that I found really cool that perhaps you've not heard of. It's called "Homage to Catalonia." It's non-fiction, actually, it's his personal account of the Spanish Civil War. It's a really cool read. I have it laying around somewhere... I should find it, it's been a few years since I've read it.
I've had it suggested to me (purely anecdotal I should state - though it was from a politically and historically savvy Catalan whose grandfather knew Orwell during the civil war) that it takes some liberties with it's non-fictional essence (or at least source material, some of it may have been presented as first hand experiences that were in fact second hand tales recounted to him in the bar), perhaps to make his first hand experience appear more interesting, perhaps out of political partisanship, perhaps both. Have you ever read Burmese Days? It might be his strongest autobiographical work.

I try to tread carefully with treatments of the Spanish Civil War, the legacy of factional fighting on the anti-fascist side (and I should be clear I am sympathetic to the anti-fascist side) has left a bitterly sectarian streak to many historical recollections that can be difficult to parse. Orwell spins a seductive tale of one-sided betrayal and persecution, but it leaves unanswered and unacknowledged some really hard questions and some bitter less romantic realities.
 

DarkDepths

Your friendly neighbourhood robot overlord
#28
Have you read it? I can't really remember the details too well, it's been a few years after all. That said, I do remember it being a good read, liberties or not. And yea, I have read Burmese Days.
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#31
Have you read it? I can't really remember the details too well, it's been a few years after all. That said, I do remember it being a good read, liberties or not. And yea, I have read Burmese Days.
Yes, but like you it's been a while (maybe longer... I'm talking '96 or '97?) - it is written well to be sure.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#32
It looks good. I might have to give it a try.
Lemme know if you give it a shot. Whenever I recommend anything, I usually like to give an "it's not for everyone" caveat, but meh, no book is for everyone. No author is for everyone. But she really created an interesting fictional world, and it's quite unlike nearly anything else.

[Anyone on Tumblr can follow her, and she'll give you a damn-near complete mythological anthropology of her world.]
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#34
^
Because you have...

Next on my docket is this:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41xq7sL-4YL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

I started it a few months ago, but just didn't get into it. Giving it another shot now. It really is a fascinating bit of history: one of the biggest contributors to the original Oxford English Dictionary made his submissions from a lunatic asylum.
 

Juegos

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#35
^ Makes sense. You'd need to be terribly obsessive to put in the kind of work required for that. Dickens made a whole character out of that in David Copperfield, if I recall.
------
I just finished reading Farewell to Arms. Before this, I'd only read one other Hemingway work: a Spanish translation (probably abridged) of The Old Man and the Sea. I knew Hemingway was a rough man, and to be honest I was feeling that Farewell was a bit gentle, though the war scenes were pretty brutal. Then that ending. Holy Shit, Hemingway, take it easy on me, will you. Jesus. That was devastating.
Now I gotta catch up with the rest of his work, and read a proper edition of the Old Man.
 

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#36
@Mike D. Also, I just saw that Tumblr of your friend, and you appear in one of the pictures she posted. Holy cow dude, you look a lot like my brother, if my brother was whiter!
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#37
Alas, you've now seen my mug. My apologies, old friend. It's not a vision that can be un-seen, and will haunt you the rest of your days.
 

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#38
I can't seem to find the posts where @DarkDepths made this recommendation to make sure it was the right one, but if I recall he recommended the book Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro to us several times. Well, I bought it and read it, and it was fantastic. Mad props for that recommendation, it was lovely (and now there's a huge hole in my chest right where my hope for humanity used to be).
I think there's a movie of it that came out recently, I'm gonna have to check it out.
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#41
My dearest Leah's book (Evensong's Heir) has even gotten a little mention in The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2013/dec/05/readers-recommended-self-published-authors
 

repomech

resident remnant robot relic
#43
Here's a can of worms... does anyone here read non-fiction?

If so, what sorts of subject matter?

I've been trying to bend the stick towards fiction for a little while now, simply because I realized that for the better part of a decade I barely read any!
 

EvilTw1n

Even my henchmen think I'm crazy.
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#44
^
Yep. I mentioned one up there before ("The Professor and the Madman"), but I've also got a book on FDR's first 100 days in office called "The Defining Moment" that I keep starting and stalling on.

I'd actually recommend "Professor/Madman" as a neat bridge. It's history, but written with the narrative thrust of fiction.
 

Juegos

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#45
Bumping.
I'm pretty tired of the books I'm reading through right now, they're a bit dry.
I'm thinking of starting on some of Kurt Vonnegut's works. Any recommendations @Mike D.?
 
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