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Author Topic: What book(s) are you reading right fucking now  (Read 55210 times)
boron
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« Reply #280 on: August 12, 2014, 08:58 pm »

Inherent Vice.

So far its very funny, and super groovy man. Also because I live in Southern California it's very fun to read about all the little cities and neighborhoods he namedrops because I've been to every single one.
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« Reply #281 on: August 12, 2014, 09:11 pm »

I picked that one up from the library and should be getting to it soon.

In the mean time I'm finally reading Nineteen Eighty-Four, a pretty cool little dystopian novel about a man named Winston Orwell who travels with his trusty companion pig Snowball across the broken wastelands of Australia.
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« Reply #282 on: August 24, 2014, 05:19 am »

Radetzky March by Joseph Roth.

A fictional story about a family of nobility during the fall of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It has some great bits, it has that old fashioned rhythm were pages are spent talking about the significance of social interactions. The Trotta family is basically three generations of people being awkward about being royalty while being showered in favors by their emperor.
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88FingersLouie
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« Reply #283 on: January 06, 2015, 08:40 pm »

I decided in 2015 to try and read a book a week (an idea that I might have stolen from someone on here but I'm not sure), and my thought process is perhaps if I announce this to a bunch of people on the internet instead of just keeping it to myself it might help give me a little motivation when I'm bogged down.

The book I am reading right fucking now is the high fantasy novel The Bonehunters by Steven Erikson, and it is book 6 out of 10 in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. The books are absurdly, perhaps even needlessly complex. The races and locations are as unpronounceable as they are numerous, the magic system follows suite, and a clear timeline of events is never established. Add that to the dizzying amount of characters (not to mention that 8 or so schemes every single character seems to be hatching at any given time) and the result is oftentimes a jumbled mess. It certainly doesn't help that I read the first 5 books pretty infrequently, with large gaps of time in between them, sometimes up to like a year and a half. It seems to me that Erickson's strategy is to drop the reader into the middle of a stupefyingly detailed universe without telling the reader even the most basic of facts. Some people would argue that this leads to a more organic discovery of the world as you read along, which in turns gives a richer experience overall, but I would assert that those people are dumb.

However, I have read to nearly the end of the 6th book, so Erikson must be doing something right. Before becoming a writer, Erikson was an anthropologist so despite having some two dozen different races and cultures, they all feel distinct, vibrant, and alive. The setting, to me at least, feels fresh and original borrowing almost nothing from Tolkien. There are no Elves or Dwarfs in the series, every single race was created for the series. The combat is gargantuan while still being visceral. The first book opens with 8 or so Archmages hurling fireballs at a literal floating mountain which is home to the warleader of an ancient mythical race, who responds in turn by shooting lighting bolts at them and summoning sentient demons. The characters actions and motivations are muddled and grey in a very ASOIAF way, which lets the reader justify rooting for whomever they feel like.

Overall, the series has high highs, and very low lows. I'm getting sick of the dark and gritty "life is heeeellllll" settings that seem so abundant in fantasy today, but thats due to me getting burned out on other series, and isn't really a fault. I've essentially finished the 6th book, so I'm determined to finish off the series so I can get a more complete picture of the whole story. I think Malazan is fairly popular in fantasy circles, so I'm curious to see if anyone here has tried it, and what they think of it.

Also I just now remembered that every single book in the series is over 1000 pages, so I'm not exactly giving myself light reading these first couple weeks if I want to hit that lofty goal of 52. Now I'll probably push the remaining four books back indefinitely once again.
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« Reply #284 on: January 06, 2015, 08:54 pm »

I suck at reading consistently. So I am two thirds through "The Morning After" by Chantal Hébert which is about what would have happened the day after the 1995 Referendum where Quebec nearly separated from Canada, had the super close vote been successful.
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Johnny Roastbeef
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« Reply #285 on: January 06, 2015, 08:59 pm »

I am currently reading Physics of the Future, which I got for Christmas. I didn't think I'd like it, because I thought it would be an awful "futurist" kind of thing, but I've been pleasantly surprised. His take is very grounded in reality and reasonable, and several of the areas he discusses are already visible in the near term in the evolution of smartphones beyond where they were when it was written.

Possibly my favorite part thus far is where he discussed Artificial Intelligence and robotics. I'm decidedly in the camp that doesn't believe that technology will ever be capable of posing a threat to us, despite the warnings of Stephen Hawking, and the book largely reinforces my view.
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« Reply #286 on: February 18, 2015, 08:50 am »

I picked up Rendezvous with Rama at the library and really enjoyed it. I got excited seeing that there were four books in the series, because there was a lot left unknown about the giant spaceship.

I just finished Rama II, and I'm pretty sure I'm done. It was like one of the Matrix sequels, completely unable to identify even a single thing that made the first one great.
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« Reply #287 on: February 18, 2015, 01:42 pm »

I think that was my exact feeling also, right down to quitting after two. I dont usually like dry scifi thats more sci than fi, but the original does a great job of playing out the mystery... and I wasnt neccesarily looking for answers in a sequel as I liked the ambiguity, but the sequel is just "heres a lot about NEW DUMB CHARACTERS about to DO THE FIRST BOOK AGAIN" pointless.
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« Reply #288 on: February 18, 2015, 05:21 pm »

What I didn't like is that they completely abandoned any investigation of the mystery of the spacecraft in favor of poorly crafted character nonsense, like which backstabbing crew member secretly just wants to make money on the trip, and which character's ego will lead the crew into bad decisions.
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« Reply #289 on: March 09, 2015, 11:55 pm »

Hyperion by Dan Simmons. A classic SciFi novel I've been meaning to read for quite sometime. But seeing how the book is paced, and given the fact that it has two sequels, I have a sinking feeling nothing is going to be resolved in this book other than the characters back stories (which makes sense given it is a SciFi retelling of the Canterbury Tales, but still). Also Dan Simmons is apparently a raging islamophobe and general right-wing nut, which makes me less interested in the other books. Hyperion so far is pretty damn good though, honestly.
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« Reply #290 on: March 20, 2015, 08:22 am »

So anyway by John Cleese. It's actually pretty good if you're interested in the history and context of monthy python and his other comedy things, it's very broad and all encompassing. Not super engaging but it's okay
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« Reply #291 on: March 21, 2015, 01:23 am »

I finally finished The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss. There are some wonderfully flourished, over the top moments, but when it all comes together it's so lovely and engrossing... man. He just has this perfect way of getting across what writing can be when it's not driven by money or an argument or some silly selfish preening.
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« Reply #292 on: May 13, 2015, 07:38 pm »

Didn't you read the first one in like 2013? So I guess you'll be ready for Book 3 when it comes out in 2019 or so, after reading his doofy 2.5 installment. Good sequencing.

I'm reading Vargas Llosa's War of the End of the World right now. It's laborious because my Spanish is awful, but very worthwhile. The messianic & apocalyptic narrative is very cool, and I'm a sucker for non-fiction novelizations.
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« Reply #293 on: May 18, 2015, 07:18 am »

I am finally reading Naked Lunch and halfway through, can anyone tell me what the point is?

I mean yeah it's pretty gorgeous writing, but it's also just a jumble of unconnected, halfway impressionistic dreamlike scenes about people cumming violently while being hanged. It reads like it's all supposed to be standing in for some deeper meaning, but I've had no idea what since the story stoped following William Lee. Nothing's really happening, you can't tell what's supposed to be real and what's fantasy and what the point is, beyond an impressive body count of hanged naked boys. I understand that that dissociative nightmare experince alone can be the point of a text, but I don't see it going anywhere here. Am I missing something or am I victim to my own high expectations?
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« Reply #294 on: May 18, 2015, 04:34 pm »

Post-modernism, baby!

EDIT: I actually haven't read it.
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« Reply #295 on: June 24, 2015, 04:27 pm »

I tried to read (or more precisely listen to) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss because apparently everyone loves it but oh my god Kvothe is the worst fucking character ever. Why should I care about a Mary Sue with no flaws whatsoever? "Here, scribe, let me tell you the story of how I became a great wizard and then became a great bard and then became a great assassin and then became a great warrior and then became a great archer and then became a great hero and then became a great sex symbol and then became literally Jesus Christ but before he died when he was going to weddings and getting everybody drunk."

To be fair, I stopped in chapter 3 of 92, but what I know from the synopsis and reviews (good and bad) only confirms what I'm feeling. People who have read the book, is there any reason for me to continue reading My Min/Maxed Dungeons & Dragons Character Is Good At Literally Everything?

EDIT: I will also say that it's not helped by the audiobook's narrator having an annoying voice. I think I'll eventually give the paperback a try, but not today.
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Nicol
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« Reply #296 on: July 10, 2015, 04:10 am »

I'm feeling really emotionally vulnerable right now after finishing The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Damn what a good book.
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« Reply #297 on: July 10, 2015, 04:14 am »

I loved The Road dont know how I feel about the end...
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Nicol
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« Reply #298 on: July 10, 2015, 04:46 am »

Same! That's the ending I was expecting during those final pages.

(click to show/hide)

But yeah incredible book. McCarthy's prose is really unique and compelling. Even in Blood Meridian, when the book is basically just going in circles and nothing is happening for the middle 80%, he keeps you hooked in with that brief sentence structure and morbid, frank description. I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Either No Country for Old Men or something else in his later works.
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« Reply #299 on: July 10, 2015, 11:46 am »

I read The Martian and loved it. The way it was put by XKCD (I know, I know) is that this is the perfect book for someone who thought that the scene in Apollo 13 where they have to get the square cartridge to work in the round hole should be the whole movie.

I'm currently reading The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. I'm about halfway through and it's really awesome. Unless I come back in a couple days whining about it, assume the end was good too.
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