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Whatcha readin now? (book, books, reading, read)

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On 12/17/2019 at 3:07 PM, Poke_4_Life said:

 

Virgil Wander - highly recommend this book, a little quirky but excellent.   Reminded me of 'A Man Called Ove', another excellent book.

 

Reading it now. I loved his previous books and looks like I'll feel the same about this one.

I recently finished Beacon 23. I think it's by far the best thing Howey has written.

eta: Before Beacon 23, I read Stranded by Bracken MacLeod. This was like a Twilight Zone episode crossed with Cape Fear. Cool premise, got a little sloppy in the last third, good main character. It's a quick read.  3.5/5

Edited by Uruk-Hai

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Half way through Snow Crash.  Totally uninterested at this point.  May be the first book I ever stop reading.  

Edited by shuke

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9 minutes ago, shuke said:

May be the first book I ever stop reading.

Just wait until I publish The Shuke Code ... no one will ever finish that bad boy!

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It has been awhile since I’ve posted in here.  In a bit of an uninspired rut.

On the nonfiction side, finishing with a limp on my run through Presidential biographies with David Garrow’s Rising Star: The Making of Barack Obama.  I’m about 600 pages into it (he just got elected to the Illinois state senate) and still have about 400 more to go.  It focuses on his life pre-presidency.  I’ve been picking up and putting it down for several months now.  It’s well-written and has a lot of detail, but maybe a bit too much.

Also recently read Robert O’Connell’s Fierce Patriot: The Tangled Lives of William Tecumseh Sherman.  It was a solid biography, but the story felt a bit over the place.  He kind of runs through his military life, and then has a second part that is mostly composed of stray parts that he did not seem to know how to fit into the narrative.

On the fiction side, just finished Helen Oyeyemi’s Gingerbread, which was pretty uninteresting and debated just giving up on it, but finally powered through to the end.  I also read Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous a couple of months ago, which was better, but not very memorable.

Just bought Ben Lerner’s The Topeka School yesterday.  It has appeared on a lot of end-of-year lists, so I figured I’d give it a whirl.

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46 minutes ago, shuke said:

Half way through Snow Crash.  Totally uninterested at this point.  May be the first book I ever stop reading.  

Stephenson could use a much better editor. His rambling Into the pure science of everything gets a bit much. 

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On 12/17/2019 at 6:50 PM, sports_fan said:

The Fall of Hyperion 

I read Hyperion around a year ago. This is a continuation of the story. Overall, I liked the first book. It’s an interesting story and I found parts of it captivating. I don’t care for the writing style all that much, which I guess is why it took me a while to get to the second book. So far it’s pretty much how I remember my experience with the first book, good not great.

I liked Hyperion better than the other books, but they tell much more of a coherent story than Hyperion does. 

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I finally finished Anna Karenina.  It was a trudge, especially part 8 which is all Konstantin Levin after the conclusion of the Anna/Vronsky/Karenin story line.  I guess I'm glad I read Tolstoy after starting and putting it down in the 80s but it's somehow more satisfying to read 3-4 shorter books than one massive tome.

I moved on to An Army of Phantoms: American Movies and the Making of the Cold War by former Village Voice film critic J. Hoberman.  It's interesting how he weaves together the Cold War, the blacklist and Hollywood movies both famous and obscure.  The problem with reading books about the movies is it sends me off to looking for more information about the films described in the book.

 

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6 hours ago, Buckychudd said:

Stephenson could use a much better editor. His rambling Into the pure science of everything gets a bit much. 

When I read something like this, I think to myself, "I'm not really as smart as I think I am".

 

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The son got me The Outsider for Christmas, so I started reading that.   I really need to get to The Handmaid's sequel too.  It's been sitting on the shelf for a bit now as I wanted to re-read the original to separate out the show before going onto book 2.  

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46 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

The son got me The Outsider for Christmas, so I started reading that.   I really need to get to The Handmaid's sequel too.  It's been sitting on the shelf for a bit now as I wanted to re-read the original to separate out the show before going onto book 2.  

The first 2/3 of the Outsider was amazing and I was hooked. The last third is ok, but gets a little strange. The miniseries coming up on HBO should actually be really good. That last third that’s ok on page should actually translate pretty well on screen. 
 

-

I was gifted the entire Dark Tower box set so I’ll be on that well into 2020. 

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37 minutes ago, bigmarc27 said:

The first 2/3 of the Outsider was amazing and I was hooked. The last third is ok, but gets a little strange. The miniseries coming up on HBO should actually be really good. That last third that’s ok on page should actually translate pretty well on screen. 
 

-

I was gifted the entire Dark Tower box set so I’ll be on that well into 2020. 

Have you never read it?

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5 minutes ago, facook said:

Have you never read it?

Nope, new to me. I’ve been on a King kick in 2019.  This year alone I did The Stand, 11.22.63, The Shining, Salem”s Lot, IT, Dead Zone, The Institute, The Outsider, Different Seasons, and The Long Walk. 
 

Im looking forward to it. 

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1 and 2 are great, bordering on AMAZING.  3 builds the plot.  4 is very VERY good.  Persevere through 5-6.  7 is a perfect ending to the series, which as we all know is not Steve's strength.  He nailed the ending to an epic series, though, in this case.

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I feel like The Dark Tower series is the book version of something like Fury Road or Goodfellas for me.  Hella popular and highly regarded, but nothing clicked when i read it.  I think I bailed about 1/3  through Book 3.  

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18 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

I feel like The Dark Tower series is the book version of something like Fury Road or Goodfellas for me.  Hella popular and highly regarded, but nothing clicked when i read it.  I think I bailed about 1/3  through Book 3.  

You bailed early imo.  3 was just ok.  4 was very VERY good.  7 was a great, maybe BRILLIANT, ending.  It's actually how the tv show LOST should have ended.

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4 minutes ago, facook said:

You bailed early imo.  3 was just ok.  4 was very VERY good.  7 was a great, maybe BRILLIANT, ending.  It's actually how the tv show LOST should have ended.

Didn't figure there was a point if I didn't like the 1st two, and those are the ones that people seem to hold in the highest regard.  

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16 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Didn't figure there was a point if I didn't like the 1st two, and those are the ones that people seem to hold in the highest regard.  

Fair enough.

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2019 was a very poor year of reading for me as I only finished 3 books. 2020 will hopefully be much better.

Just started Recursion by Blake Crouch. I enjoyed Dark Matter and the concept in this one looks pretty cool as well.

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10 hours ago, facook said:

1 and 2 are great, bordering on AMAZING.  3 builds the plot.  4 is very VERY good.  Persevere through 5-6.  7 is a perfect ending to the series, which as we all know is not Steve's strength.  He nailed the ending to an epic series, though, in this case.

The tones are VERY different across the books. King kinda rewrote Volume 1 to bring it more in line with the others, but they still vary wildly in atmosphere and writing style from book to book. 5-7 feel pretty much the same since he wrote them in a rush. I know folks who have quit on 1, since it's just.....odd. I'd power through it, even if you don't like it, and see how 2 &3 fit.

7 has some of King's best writing ever, IMO. I'm not talking about plot points, but just the writing itself.

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Finished The Handmaids Tail. It was well written, she created a plausible well crafted world but a bit boring and slow overall. 

Needed something more entertaining before I start on The Testaments so I’m rereading The Murderbot Diaries. Really entertaining set of books if you haven’t read them. 

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On 12/29/2019 at 8:57 PM, bigmarc27 said:

Nope, new to me. I’ve been on a King kick in 2019.  This year alone I did The Stand, 11.22.63, The Shining, Salem”s Lot, IT, Dead Zone, The Institute, The Outsider, Different Seasons, and The Long Walk. 
 

Im looking forward to it. 

Enjoy it!!!!

Dark Tower is my favorite. The dog sitting next to me is named Sheemie. That wont mean much to you for quite a while but when you get there you'll recall the name.

 

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On 12/29/2019 at 9:22 PM, KarmaPolice said:

I feel like The Dark Tower series is the book version of something like Fury Road or Goodfellas for me.  Hella popular and highly regarded, but nothing clicked when i read it.  I think I bailed about 1/3  through Book 3.  

blasphemy. I have read the series twice and listened to it at least three times. I can't get enough of it.

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On 12/29/2019 at 9:48 PM, KarmaPolice said:

Didn't figure there was a point if I didn't like the 1st two, and those are the ones that people seem to hold in the highest regard.  

I don't know of anyone who holds one in high regard. It took me three attempts to get through one but after that I was off and running. Dark Tower 4 is a big fan favorite and you could read that one on its own as much of it is Roland telling a tale of the past. It's very good and I still cry at points of that story. 

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4 minutes ago, prosopis said:

Enjoy it!!!!

Dark Tower is my favorite. The dog sitting next to me is named Sheemie. That wont mean much to you for quite a while but when you get there you'll recall the name.

 

I actually ran through the Gunslinger already and am maybe 5 pages into Book 2.  I liked the Gunslinger, it was a pretty quick read. 

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I just finished Blaze by S King. It was good enough, maybe a little to on the sad side? It was no Of Mice and Men, that's for sure.

Moving onto a nonfiction book about the history of Arizona.

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3 hours ago, prosopis said:
On 12/29/2019 at 8:22 PM, KarmaPolice said:

I feel like The Dark Tower series is the book version of something like Fury Road or Goodfellas for me.  Hella popular and highly regarded, but nothing clicked when i read it.  I think I bailed about 1/3  through Book 3.  

blasphemy. I have read the series twice and listened to it at least three times. I can't get enough of it.

I was probably the perfect age to start DT.  I read Gunslinger for the first time as a freshman in high school.  Totally weird and unlike anything I'd read till then.  Quickly gobbled up DT2 and then read them as quickly as I could when they came out.  I stand by my original statements of each book/tier, but realize that they were/are thoughts of a super young dude.

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On 12/29/2019 at 9:57 PM, bigmarc27 said:

Nope, new to me. I’ve been on a King kick in 2019.  This year alone I did The Stand, 11.22.63, The Shining, Salem”s Lot, IT, Dead Zone, The Institute, The Outsider, Different Seasons, and The Long Walk. 
 

Im looking forward to it. 

I just finished The Institute and really liked it a lot. 

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On 12/29/2019 at 10:46 AM, shuke said:

Half way through Snow Crash.  Totally uninterested at this point.  May be the first book I ever stop reading.  

I finished it but definitely didn't get what everyone loved about it.  Not my type of fiction I guess.  

Cryptonomicon was awesome though

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Taking a break from Snow Crash to get through Watchmen because I'm obsessed with the show.  I guess I'm a comic book guy now.

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The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene never disappoints. One paragraph in and you know it’s going to be great. 

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Just finished "Norco '80" about the bank robbery/shootout in Norco, CA.  It was decent.

Also recently read "Who is Michael Ovitz" about the agent who founded CAA.  The last 25% was boring, but most of the book was entertaining as he talked about his involvement in  '80-'00's Hollywood, such as negotiating Letterman's deal to CBS, facilitating a trade between Scorsese who had the rights to Schindler's List to Spielberg who originally had the rights to Cape Fear, etc.

 

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I am reading The Beautiful Ones which is about Prince. I was/am a giant Prince fan. I saw this book in Costco and it looked fantastic. I dropped every hint I could to get it for Christmas but the hints fell on deaf ears. When I decided I had to get it for myself it was gone. I bought it on Kindle and I hope all the pictures will be in there. So far I have not come across any pictures and that was a big part of the book. Hopefully they will be there. So far I am enjoying it. Prince was a musical genius and I am really enjoying the behind the scenes look at him.

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Finished my reread of Murderbot Diaries.  Great sci-fi novellas about a maladjusted rouge security robot (cyborg contruct?).  I highly recommend, funny and irreverent these novellas are pure fun and great for light reads if you want to tear through a couple.  Downside is they pretty much charge the same as a price of a full book for each.  They really should have combined the four into one novel.

Started The Outsider last night.

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I'm about 50 pages into "Brave new World" and I'm completely lost.

 

There is like 5 conversations going on at once and I have no idea who is talking to who....

 

Does this "Classic" ever get better? I'm ready to punt. This damn thing is giving me a headache.

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11 hours ago, prosopis said:

I am reading The Beautiful Ones which is about Prince. I was/am a giant Prince fan. I saw this book in Costco and it looked fantastic. I dropped every hint I could to get it for Christmas but the hints fell on deaf ears. When I decided I had to get it for myself it was gone. I bought it on Kindle and I hope all the pictures will be in there. So far I have not come across any pictures and that was a big part of the book. Hopefully they will be there. So far I am enjoying it. Prince was a musical genius and I am really enjoying the behind the scenes look at him.

A decent read, but oh what could have been had he lived long enough to really finish the book.

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7 hours ago, E Street Brat said:

I'm about 50 pages into "Brave new World" and I'm completely lost.

 

There is like 5 conversations going on at once and I have no idea who is talking to who....

 

Does this "Classic" ever get better? I'm ready to punt. This damn thing is giving me a headache.

Haven't read it since high school but remember really liking it.

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On 12/10/2019 at 2:49 PM, Senor Schmutzig said:

Love reading Nelson DeMille novels. His protagonist always has a witty, snarky sense of humor that I enjoy.

Saw that Nelson was in Coral Gables a few weeks back for a book signing so I was able to by his new one, The Deserter, that he co-wrote with his son, get it signed and get a photo. 

That was cool.

It was a good read.

Tell me more. 

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If you wish to be blown away by a serial killer thriller, this is the best I've encountered:

By Reason of Insanity by Shane Stevens (found at my local library)

Very collectible author and he only has about 5 and a couple are very hard to find. I read "Dead City" (also very good) first and just bought "The Anvil Chorus" for next.

-----------------

One of the finest novels ever written about perfect evil . . . I recommend it unreservedly.”  —Stephen King

“Compelling and genuinely frightening. You have to keep remembering it’s only a story. You won’t be able to put it down.”  —The Boston Globe

“Extremely effective.”  —The New York Times

“Irresistible, unrelenting suspense . . . Stevens creates a ‘monster’ for our time.”  —Chicago Tribune

“One of the five greatest crime novels of the century.”  —Mystery Scene

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The Outsider was OK.   I am lukewarm on late stage King.  

Next up I have short book about the filming of Back to the Future :bag:, then I grabbed a couple dystopian books at the library - The Feed and Robopocalypse.   Anybody in here read either of these?

 

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1 hour ago, KarmaPolice said:

The Outsider was OK.   I am lukewarm on late stage King.  

 

Agreed.  I really liked the first 2/3 but the last part was meh.

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2 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

The Outsider was OK.   I am lukewarm on late stage King.  

Next up I have short book about the filming of Back to the Future :bag:, then I grabbed a couple dystopian books at the library - The Feed and Robopocalypse.   Anybody in here read either of these?

 

I’ve read both the feed and robopocalypse. They were entertaining enough and writing was good enough that I read at least one other book by each author. I really liked Daniel Wilson’s book 1 of clock work dynasty. I read the second feed book by mira grant but was zombie’d out and haven’t finished the series.

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45 minutes ago, TheFatKid said:

 I read the second feed book by mira grant but was zombie’d out and haven’t finished the series.

I was wondering if KP was talking about Grant's Feed because there's another PA novel out there called The Feed. I read Grants series (& really liked it). Haven't read the other.

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1 hour ago, TheFatKid said:

I’ve read both the feed and robopocalypse. They were entertaining enough and writing was good enough that I read at least one other book by each author. I really liked Daniel Wilson’s book 1 of clock work dynasty. I read the second feed book by mira grant but was zombie’d out and haven’t finished the series.

 

29 minutes ago, Uruk-Hai said:

I was wondering if KP was talking about Grant's Feed because there's another PA novel out there called The Feed. I read Grants series (& really liked it). Haven't read the other.

I didn't realize there were so many - I was talking about THIS book.  

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4 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

 

I didn't realize there were so many - I was talking about THIS book.  

That's the one I haven't read :lol:

 

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Finished "The Art of Fielding" and really enjoyed it.

Tried the first 100 pages on "Lincoln in the Bardo" and thought it sucked and gave up. Too Avant garde for me I couldn't get into it.

Currently reading "Beastie Boys Book"

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200 pages into The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Mixed feelings so far. It's been kind of a slog for the most part. The story seems to be jumping around too much. I'll finally get drawn in by a character and it will jump to someone else. There doesn't seem to be cohesion among the different characters or clear overall plot.

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50 minutes ago, sports_fan said:

200 pages into The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Mixed feelings so far. It's been kind of a slog for the most part. The story seems to be jumping around too much. I'll finally get drawn in by a character and it will jump to someone else. There doesn't seem to be cohesion among the different characters or clear overall plot.

Oh, but it gets so damn good.   The second half of book 1 is better than the first - it takes a while for Sanderson to set the environment. 

I read a lot and I can honestly say that the last 1/3 of book 3 is the most compelling literature I've had the pleasure of taking in in at least the last decade.  

So damn good I pre-ordered the Book 4 audible as soon as it became available.

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1 hour ago, sports_fan said:

200 pages into The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Mixed feelings so far. It's been kind of a slog for the most part. The story seems to be jumping around too much. I'll finally get drawn in by a character and it will jump to someone else. There doesn't seem to be cohesion among the different characters or clear overall plot.

World building is so hard to do. He does an excellent job but you have to get through certain points of the book and there will always be story arcs you don’t care about

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Not sure if Red Rising has been mentioned here or not.

Its my favorite series since Game of Thrones and resembles that series if it took place in space.

The first book has a Hunger Games feel to it.  It’s limited in scope but sets the stage.  But where the hunger games books got exponentially worse with each book, this story gets exponentially better.  As an example book 5 starts off with an epic battle that lasts like 300-400 pages. (Don’t seem how that could be a spoiler) It blew my mind.

I can’t recommend enough 

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