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


shuke

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Been reading a lot for the past few months.  Got super-motivated to finish a bunch of books that I had gotten halfway through.

Recently got turned on to Ted Chiang by the Very Bad Wizards podcast.  Have read most of his first collection.  Story of Your Life is my favorite piece of fiction in a long, long time.

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On 3/1/2021 at 1:50 PM, Don Quixote said:

I’ve had Lolita sitting on my bookshelf for years now and started that one last night. The content disturbs me, but I keep hearing it referred to as one of the greatest novels of the century. I got some serious side eye from my wife when I started reading it though. 

I had my doubts, but Lolita was better than I thought it would be. I was all set to put it down if things got a bit too pervy (which the narrator and two-sentence plot description certainly are), but the book stayed above that. From a literary perspective, the prose and wordplay are great. I don’t mind a book with an unreliable or unsympathetic narrator — you’ve just got to know whose view you are reading it from. (Some people seem to say that they started to sympathize with Humbert, but I never found that to be the case).  I do have Nabokov’s Despair sitting on my shelf too, which I think I started but did not finish many years back; I’m going to give that one a go soon.

But next one is going to be the new one from Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun.

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Did something unusual for me (I usually like offline books) and read Mother of Learning off of Royal Road.  Seriously one of the best realized stories I've read in a long, long time.  I can't recommend it highly enough.  

On to Wintersteel.  Will Wight is an instaread for me.

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20 hours ago, Don Quixote said:

I had my doubts, but Lolita was better than I thought it would be. I was all set to put it down if things got a bit too pervy (which the narrator and two-sentence plot description certainly are), but the book stayed above that. From a literary perspective, the prose and wordplay are great. I don’t mind a book with an unreliable or unsympathetic narrator — you’ve just got to know whose view you are reading it from. (Some people seem to say that they started to sympathize with Humbert, but I never found that to be the case).  I do have Nabokov’s Despair sitting on my shelf too, which I think I started but did not finish many years back; I’m going to give that one a go soon.

But next one is going to be the new one from Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun.

I did Lolita on audiobooks, and thought it was fantastic. 

 

Im not sure who the narrator was, but he had just the right touch of creep and sorrow to make Hubert hated and empathetic.

 

 

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Just read Pines. 1st in trilogy that the tv show Wayward Pines was based on. Enjoyed it. Show didn't stray far from the book. If you liked the show you'll probably like the book too.

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5 hours ago, brun said:

Just read Pines. 1st in trilogy that the tv show Wayward Pines was based on. Enjoyed it. Show didn't stray far from the book. If you liked the show you'll probably like the book too.

To be honest, I’ve never seen the show, but had the Pines trilogy on my list for a while. Had some amazon credits to use so just bought the trilogy. Looking forward to it.

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3 hours ago, MindCrime said:
8 hours ago, brun said:

Just read Pines. 1st in trilogy that the tv show Wayward Pines was based on. Enjoyed it. Show didn't stray far from the book. If you liked the show you'll probably like the book too.

To be honest, I’ve never seen the show, but had the Pines trilogy on my list for a while. Had some amazon credits to use so just bought the trilogy. Looking forward to it.

Very good trilogy.  Crouch has some other stand alone stuff that is VERY VERY good as well.  IMO the books blow the tv show out of the water (wife and I quit the show, after having already read the trilogy).

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1 hour ago, The Gator said:

The Great Hunt >>>> Eye of the World so far

really enjoying the pacing of everything in the second. 

Son and I both made it through the first three and then gave up.

:) -- :D -- :yawn: 

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37 minutes ago, facook said:

Very good trilogy.  Crouch has some other stand alone stuff that is VERY VERY good as well.  IMO the books blow the tv show out of the water (wife and I quit the show, after having already read the trilogy).

I read “Dark Matter” a few years back and enjoyed it. For some reason the Pines trilogy has not been available digitally from my library, but finally broke down and bought it.

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Finally got around to Mattis' book "Call Sign Chaos." He manages to take you back to certain points in his career and the lessons learned (mostly regarding leadership, but not limited to leadership) during them. Little bits and pieces of advice here and there. "Initiative and audacity must be supported, whether or not successful" or "The details you don't give in your orders are as important as the ones you do." Short, brief phrases that make you think permeate throughout this book. Quite critical of civilian policy in the Middle East (both R and D) as well as a lack of developing long term strategic policy in the region. Known for his reading, he leaves a list of recommended books in the appendix. Overall, well-written and informative. 5/5. 

Others recently finished:

"All Secure" by Tom Satterly. Good firsthand detail of the Blackhawk Down incident. Very personal read regarding his PTSD and insecurities as a person. 

"Reflections of a Warrior" by Franklin Miller. Vietnam Medal of Honor recipient. Talks to you like your sitting next to him. 

"Delta Force" by Charlie Beckwith. Describes his exchange program with the SAS and the origins of Delta Force and the slow process in which things move in the defense world. Thorough account of Operation Eagle Claw including the build-up and details of the failed rescue attempt on the ground. 

No clue what to start next. Been wanting to read more WW2 recently, but haven't gotten around to it. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/16/2021 at 7:20 PM, facook said:

Son and I both made it through the first three and then gave up.

:) -- :D -- :yawn: 

Finished The Dragon Reborn yesterday and really enjoyed it. It did have a The Wire S2 feel to the beginning with the girls, Mat, Perin and Rand all split up, but I thought it worked. Loved Mat's character development this book, especially the final quarter of the book. 

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On 3/22/2021 at 2:20 PM, Don't Toews Me said:

"All Secure" by Tom Satterly. Good firsthand detail of the Blackhawk Down incident. Very personal read regarding his PTSD and insecurities as a person. 

Added to list, thanks

 

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On 3/8/2021 at 1:43 PM, Don Quixote said:

But next one is going to be the new one from Kazuo Ishiguro, Klara and the Sun.

Klara and the Sun was solid. It has a science fiction element — the story of a girl and her robot AI friend. The writing was up to Ishiguro’s usual excellence. The emotion that I would expect from him too.  I don’t think it was as great as Remains of the Day, but an average Ishiguro novel is better than most.

I followed that up with Candice Millard’s River of Doubt, about the expedition co-lead by Teddy Roosevelt to survey the path of the River of Doubt (now named Rio Roosevelt) in the Amazon. I’ve read a lot about TR (and the expedition was covered in those), so I was not sure how much I could learn from the book, but it really was well-done and worthy of the book in its own right. I’ve also read and enjoyed Millard’s Destiny of the Republic about the Garfield assassination — as she’s now 2 for 2 for me, I’ve added Hero of the Empire about Churchill’s Boer War experience to my to-read list. 

Currently on Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. I started it maybe 15 years or so, but did not finish it. Giving it another whirl, and do enjoy it more than I did last my go-around. Smith does have a great ability to write across cultures and ages. 

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Just knocked out Later by SK. I found it to be LOL entertaining with many adolescent style jokes. It is a quick read and seems more like a novella. As the story progresses it seems like you'll have it all figured out but the curveballs come and they really fall off the table.

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i am reading the beutiful and the damned by f scotty fitzgerald and it is pretty good so far but i keep singing heres a little ditty about tony and gloria in my head like its the johnny mellencamp song whenever i pick it up take that to the bank bromigos 

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I read through 20th century ghosts by Joe Hill (King’s kid). It’s a compilation of short stories.  I’d give it a B overall, some stories are good, some are not so good, and a lot of them seemed to end rather abruptly. 

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3 hours ago, bigmarc27 said:

I read through 20th century ghosts by Joe Hill (King’s kid). It’s a compilation of short stories.  I’d give it a B overall, some stories are good, some are not so good, and a lot of them seemed to end rather abruptly. 

Good deal on Joe Hill today - 4 books for $4, including that one.

Also Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle for $3.  

Had credits - snagged both.

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4 hours ago, TheFatKid said:

I love Stephenson but does anyone reread his tomes? I’ve wanted to reread the Baroque Cycle but can’t muster the energy.

Just Cryptonomicon, but it's my favorite of his.

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15 minutes ago, facook said:

Just Cryptonomicon, but it's my favorite of his.

Cryptonomicon is the only one I’ve read, but really enjoyed it. Not quite “light reading”, but enjoyable. Which Stephenson book should be next on my list?

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26 minutes ago, MindCrime said:

Cryptonomicon is the only one I’ve read, but really enjoyed it. Not quite “light reading”, but enjoyable. Which Stephenson book should be next on my list?

imo 
 

Snow Crash

Baroque Cycle (3 books)

Anathem 

Reamde 

Fall, or Dodge in Hell

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2 hours ago, TheFatKid said:
3 hours ago, MindCrime said:

Cryptonomicon is the only one I’ve read, but really enjoyed it. Not quite “light reading”, but enjoyable. Which Stephenson book should be next on my list?

imo 
 

Snow Crash

Baroque Cycle (3 books)

Anathem 

Reamde 

Fall, or Dodge in Hell

I'd flip Anathem and Reamde, but yes.

But be prepared for Baroque.  It's a marathon.

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11 hours ago, facook said:

I'd flip Anathem and Reamde, but yes.

But be prepared for Baroque.  It's a marathon.

I usually don’t see Anathem as highly ranked but as a Catholic I’m a sucker for anything monk like.

other Monk oriented reads I liked include

A Canticle for Leibovitz which is post apocalypse science fiction https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Canticle_for_Leibowitz

and 

In The Name of the Rose which is historical fiction murder mystery 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Name_of_the_Rose

 

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16 hours ago, TheFatKid said:

imo 
 

Snow Crash

Baroque Cycle (3 books)

Anathem 

Reamde 

Fall, or Dodge in Hell

Snow Crash is #1 for me, but Diamond Age is spectacular, IMO.

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Hitting some more bucket list type books. Currently reading Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. I’m not sure why or how I’ve gone this long without reading it, but, my God, this is great. Compact, epic story with everything full of meaning and life.

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Finished a couple good non-fiction books recently:

1. Hidden Valley Road - True story of a family of twelve kids, 6 of whom developed serious mental illnesses. Weaves the stories of the family with the scientists trying to determine why and how people develop schizophrenia. Got a little long - the last 100 pages or so dragged for me, but a page turner before that.

 

2. One of Us. Exceptionally detailed journalistic work about the mass murder in Norway a decade ago. Wove the killer's story in with a couple of those who were killed. 

 

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Finished Those Across the River.   Pretty decent horror book.  I liked the setting and the main characters.   Not many decent books about these type of familiar monsters.  Not sure where I found that one, but I have a small stack at home that I got off of the Bram Stoker award winners and nominees list to mix in with other stuff.  I think I have:  The Hunger, The Missing, Ararat, NOS4A2, Bag of Bones, and Swan Song.   Maybe a couple others that I can't think of too.   

Now I am working on Remains of the Day.  

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On 4/2/2021 at 12:05 PM, Sand said:

Good deal on Joe Hill today - 4 books for $4, including that one.

Also Neil Stephenson's Baroque Cycle for $3.  

Had credits - snagged both.

Thanks. I had all but one in each set already but still worth the cheap price.

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Finished "The Bitcoin Standard" recently. Author definitely comes from the Austrian School of economics and the book was presented from such a perspective. Filled in some gaps in my knowledge on BTC regarding how it works and operates. Quite a bit of economic history in it too. 

Also finished "Eagle Down: The Last Special Forces Fighting the Forever War." Good book on Special Forces in Afghanistan from 2015-2020. Definitely makes one re-think the idea that there was just "training and advising" going on during that period. 

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I mentioned reading Candice Millard's River of Doubt recently. After finishing that, Amazon Kindle sent me a discount for her Hero of the Empire, about Winston Churchill in the Boer War. I do love Millard's stuff and this is great so far. Pretty action-packed, and interesting to read a bit more deeply about one of Churchill's formative experiences.

I just started P.G. Wodehouse's Code of the Woosters. I've never read any Wodehouse; this one commonly gets cited as the best of the Jeeves and Wooster novels. I figured I may as well start there. 

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6 hours ago, Don Quixote said:

I just started P.G. Wodehouse's Code of the Woosters. I've never read any Wodehouse; this one commonly gets cited as the best of the Jeeves and Wooster novels. I figured I may as well start there. 

I've also just introduced myself to Wodehouse the past few months and didn't realize how dashed empty my life had been up to that point. 

The good news about the Bertie/Jeeves books is that Wodehouse's style didn't change much at all from the first to the last (whether this is a compliment or an indictment probably depends on who you ask, but I'm a big fan of the consistency). In other words, if you start with a later book, you aren't encountering characters who have changed dramatically over the series nor a writer whose style has "elevated" to a different reading experience.

However, there are recurring characters that become slightly more meaningful if you've read the series from the beginning (and Bertie will sometimes refer to past events and how they've shaped his outlook in whatever unusual circumstance he now finds himself in).

Whether you start with the first couple of books (which are set up as short stories) or the later novels (like Code of the Woosters, which actually maintains a novel-length narrative told in chapters), you're going to have a great time.

Side note, you'll also find yourself wanting to use "dashed" and "rummy" and "what?" with considerably more frequency than before you read these books. :lol:

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On 2/5/2021 at 8:43 AM, Vegas Trip said:

Oh man, was I supposed to read that already?

Lord of the Rings?  Um, no.  If you didn't by now...you're good.  The movies are horrible, so don't waste your time there either. :stirspot:

On 4/2/2021 at 8:32 PM, TheFatKid said:

imo 
 

Snow Crash

Baroque Cycle (3 books)

Anathem 

Reamde 

Fall, or Dodge in Hell

Attempted Seveneves years ago (enjoyed it but didn't finish).  May give Snow Crash a chance, it's now on my list.

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I have almost no interest in reading semi-truthful autobiographies or warmed over celebrity profiles or political memoirs.  Would anyone else prefer two threads...one for fiction and one for non-fiction?  Or are there so few FBGs that contribute to this thread that it would result in two much less valuable threads instead of one where half of the suggestions are immediately ignored.  Thoughts?

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4 hours ago, trader jake said:

I have almost no interest in reading semi-truthful autobiographies or warmed over celebrity profiles or political memoirs.  Would anyone else prefer two threads...one for fiction and one for non-fiction?  Or are there so few FBGs that contribute to this thread that it would result in two much less valuable threads instead of one where half of the suggestions are immediately ignored.  Thoughts?

Speaking of semi-truthful autobiographies....I just finished Sing Backwards and Weep by Mark Lanegan. My lord, what a life. Covers his life up until around '98 or so. So many amazing stories - Lanegan was close to some of the grunge icons of the 90s. And then turned into a homeless guy selling and stealing drugs. Some of his stories about trying to score - on the Lollapalooza tour (which I saw him on) in '96 and in Europe later - were amazing. Liam Gallagher being a #####. His weird meeting with Anthony Kiedis' dad in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

The stories were amazing, but I was kind of surprised at how well it was written, too. Deeply honest stuff.

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Remains of the Day was damn good.  Only have read 2 of Ishiguro's novels and both have been great, so I should seek out more.  I think I liked Never Let Me Go a little more just because it's in that sci-fi/dystopian wheelhouse that I love.  Any recommendations on the next of his I should try?

Yesterday I stared reading The Underground Railroad.  

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I get how Swan Song seems like a knock off of the Stand. I read them back to back, and he was obviously very much influenced by the Stand. Still thought both were phenomenal. 

Good Omens is positively brilliant. I'm not much of a comedy reader, but holy smokes that was absolutely amazing. 

On to Lucifer's Hammer. 

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6 hours ago, trader jake said:

I have almost no interest in reading semi-truthful autobiographies or warmed over celebrity profiles or political memoirs.  Would anyone else prefer two threads...one for fiction and one for non-fiction?  Or are there so few FBGs that contribute to this thread that it would result in two much less valuable threads instead of one where half of the suggestions are immediately ignored.  Thoughts?

I'm with you. I very rarely read non fiction except for the occasional autobiography of which I think I have read all of maybe 4 in my life. The best was Drew Carey's just for the big dick jokes. But I also think there are so few people here that if you went that route, there would be very few comments.

So if you split them you just need to get Joe to allow the yoga pants and who's hottest posts again. I very much wish you good luck in that. 

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13 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Remains of the Day was damn good.  Only have read 2 of Ishiguro's novels and both have been great, so I should seek out more.  I think I liked Never Let Me Go a little more just because it's in that sci-fi/dystopian wheelhouse that I love.  Any recommendations on the next of his I should try?

Yesterday I stared reading The Underground Railroad.  

Honestly you've hit by far my two favorites from him.  The Unconsoled would be my third recommendation, though not at the same level of the other two.  Also, if you haven't watched, The Remains of the Day is one of the few movies I think were as good as the novels they were based upon.

And if you're feeling weird, he also wrote the screenplay to The Saddest Music in the World, a weird and wonderful movie by Guy Maddin.

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Just now, krista4 said:

Honestly you've hit by far my two favorites from him.  The Unconsoled would be my third recommendation, though not at the same level of the other two.  Also, if you haven't watched, The Remains of the Day is one of the few movies I think were as good as the novels they were based upon.

And if you're feeling weird, he also wrote the screenplay to The Saddest Music in the World, a weird and wonderful movie by Guy Maddin.

Have you read his newest one?  Seems like that concept would interest me a bit.  

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