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


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The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Movie is better than the book. Really good book, but the style of pretending that he's abridging an older book gets old after a while. The interruptions stop being humorous and just start to interrupt the flow of the story.

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Philosophy is one of the few areas of writing that I tend to steer clear of, but I've received too many recommendations of this book in the past year to ignore it any longer. Frankl is am absolutely amazing man. Reading not only what he survived in the concentration camps but how well he coped with the aftermath and how forgiving he was is really remarkable. Also, his philosophy, the second part of the book, is incredibly insightful and I frankly don't have much to argue against it. I really wish I had read this one sooner as it is truly a special book. Would recommend to anyone.

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Just finished Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell, really really enjoyed it. About to start Anathem by Neal Stephenson.

Loving Anathem so far. Couldn't get through the whole Baroque Cycle but i'm really digging this. Once you get used to his language and the parallels to Earth the story moves along at a great pace.
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Roadside Crosses by Jeffery Deaver, an ok whodunit. I've like his short story collections better, truth be told.

Just started Next Man Up by John Feinstein, who spent the 2005 season with the Baltimore Ravens. Starting off pretty good, he was given an awesome amount of access to the team's inner workings.

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Started the Road, can't get through it. I've read Blood Meridien, All the Pretty Horses so its not like Im unfamilar with McCarthy's style. I just didn't like the Road, too depressing I suppose.

I just finished The Road. Wow...Very depressing and disturbing. Two images will stay with me for a while. The Basement and when the man and the boy came up to the fire and saw what was on the spit. :shudder:

But I am glad I read it, a great book worth the read

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Blindness by Jose Saramago

This reminded me a lot of The Road, both thematically and stylistically. Both detail people's attempts at survival after a cataclysmic event. Both use relentless horror to great affect. And both authors seem rather misanthropic, but they share a basic admiration for the resolve of the individual human spirit.

In terms of style, both Saramago and McCarthy eschew punctuation and quotation, but for some reason I find McCarthy a lot easier to follow. Maybe it's the translation? They also both refrain from naming their characters, the main characters in The Road being "the man" and "the boy," while the main character in Blindness is "the doctor's wife."

The Road is definitely more accessible - a faster read and more of an emotional punch, but I'd recommend Blindness if you liked it.

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American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson

Got it and several others for Christmas.

Just finished it. I thought their would be more humor after the first chapter. I was rolling when he was describing Laura Bush's underwear as "Passion Killers" :lmao:

But that seemed to be the highlight of the humor. The rest was an unflinching look at his life and failures. Still worth the read

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Finished the Straub book. If you like Straub, you'll probably like this one. Personally, he drives me crazy - he's a fine writer regardless of genre, but I have a really hard time following him sometimes. When he goes all metaphysical, he loses me.

Anyway, just started Horns & it looks like it's gonna be a good one.

Edited by Uruk-Hai
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Just about to finish Aburdistan by Gary Shteyngart.

It is going to rank pretty high on my list of favorite books of all time.

I'm not sure I'd have it ranked quite that high, but it was a very enjoyable book.

GB "Snack Daddy"

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Just about to finish Aburdistan by Gary Shteyngart.

It is going to rank pretty high on my list of favorite books of all time.

I'm not sure I'd have it ranked quite that high, but it was a very enjoyable book.

GB "Snack Daddy"

There is something about the humor that really appeals to me.

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Just started Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro for my book club. Nice work, so far.

#5 of the last decade

BTW, where was your list in that thread?

I confess, I actually suggested the book for book club after I saw it on your decade list. I'd have posted my own list, but until recently, I hadn't read much of anything written in the last 20 years (and what few I had read I didn't care for). I have a lot of catching up to do. Edited by pantagrapher
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Just started Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro for my book club. Nice work, so far.

I started reading this, maybe got 25-30% into it and it didn't do it for me.

Am currently reading American Psycho (never seen the movie either), which is good so far but gets bogged down in all the labels and brand names of everything (which I understand has a point, but is overdone). Looking forward to the meat of the book.

Also reading Nutureshock by Bronson/Merryman about myths of childrearing. Good book so far.

Finally, doing books on CD w/ the Harry Potter series. The voice actor doing the reading is excellent, just finished book 5 (Order of the Phoenix) which wasn't very good. Obviously intended for kids, but dark story lines do something for me. The writing is not that great but the world and story she built around that world is pretty good. I've just started the Half-Blood Prince and based on my friends' feedback have higher expectations.

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Gangbusters: The Destruction of America's last Great Mafia Family

This is about the Lucchese crime family which was featured to some degree in Goodfellas. I wish they would have spent more time talking about Gaetano Lucchese because he may have been the most facinating and ingenious organized crime figure. But it did provide enough to please and the talk of Paul Vario (Paulie from Goodfellas) and what a complete crazy fat pig he was, makes this worth the read.

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Finished a re-read of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last night, reaffirming that this is easily one of my favorite novels, if not my overall favorite. Fantastic setting, great story, and the best fictional character I have ever encountered (Fermin Romero de Torres). This is one of those novels that I'll need to pick back up every five years or so.

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Finished the Straub book. If you like Straub, you'll probably like this one. Personally, he drives me crazy - he's a fine writer regardless of genre, but I have a really hard time following him sometimes. When he goes all metaphysical, he loses me.

Anyway, just started Horns & it looks like it's gonna be a good one.

Finished up Horns. 2 :thumbup: Joe Hill can write - he's got great ideas, he writes completely believable dialogue, and knows how to finish a story (unlike his dad sometimes).

On to Simmons' Black Hills. It's about a Lakota boy who's present at Little Big Horn. He touches Custer just as Custer dies (& maybe absorbs his spirit), and that connection follows him for the next 60 years.

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Just finished Daemon by Daniel Suarez

Fast paced techno thriller about a computer process designed to take over the world. Sex, violence, "hacking", what's not to like. Great entertainment but I would think this would be a tough audience to write for. You have to be a technology person to find this interesting but anyone familiar here is going to be spending a lot of time rolling their eyes.

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Finished a re-read of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last night, reaffirming that this is easily one of my favorite novels, if not my overall favorite. Fantastic setting, great story, and the best fictional character I have ever encountered (Fermin Romero de Torres). This is one of those novels that I'll need to pick back up every five years or so.

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Finished a re-read of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last night, reaffirming that this is easily one of my favorite novels, if not my overall favorite. Fantastic setting, great story, and the best fictional character I have ever encountered (Fermin Romero de Torres). This is one of those novels that I'll need to pick back up every five years or so.

You are dead on with Fermin. Everybody should read this book just so they get to know him.

I just finished Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. Both books have some really great ideas and themes. Lord of Light is really, really incredible for it's imagination and storyline. But man, it just fliiiiies past things. It's less than 300 pages and contains stories and characters that could easily stretch things to a 7-book series. Parable has the empathy enhancement thing that is very interesting to think about...but the Earthseed hokie-ness and the simplicity of the characters makes you roll your eyes once every twenty pages or so.

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Just finished Daemon by Daniel Suarez

Fast paced techno thriller about a computer process designed to take over the world. Sex, violence, "hacking", what's not to like. Great entertainment but I would think this would be a tough audience to write for. You have to be a technology person to find this interesting but anyone familiar here is going to be spending a lot of time rolling their eyes.

I thought it was a good, entertaining read. A little far-fetched, but less so than other books in this same genre.
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Just finished Daemon by Daniel Suarez

Fast paced techno thriller about a computer process designed to take over the world. Sex, violence, "hacking", what's not to like. Great entertainment but I would think this would be a tough audience to write for. You have to be a technology person to find this interesting but anyone familiar here is going to be spending a lot of time rolling their eyes.

I thought it was a good, entertaining read. A little far-fetched, but less so than other books in this same genre.
Agreed. Have you read the sequel?
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Have started One Second After because of the previous mention in this thread. Seems a lot like Lucifer's Hammer in its context so I'll probably be sufficiently entertained.

One small nitpick, however. The author consistently writes "should of," "could of," "must of," etc. when he means "should have." I let this sort of thing go on this board because I feel no need to be a richard to the good people with whom I interact here but this drives me wild when I see a professional writer do it. Are there no editors anymore?

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I am really, really into an author named Jess Walter. "The Zero" is a great noir about the aftermath of 9/11. He also has a funny book about a hood in witness relocation called "Citizen Vince." But right now I'm reading his latest book, "The Financial Lives of the Poets" and it is great. It's incredibly timely and funny, about an unemployed upper-middle class guy trying to hang on to his house and family in the face of the financial meltdown.

He reminds me of Richard Russo, but is a Gen X writer instead of a baby boomer.

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Lately I haven't had as much time to read as I would like so only recently did I finish these books that I received for Christmas:

The Book of Basketball by Bill Simmons - Would have been better with a little more focus. Seems like he covered the same points at multiple times. We get it -- Russell is way better than Chamberlain. Plus, his use of nicknames or last names only for some of the older players sometimes had me flipping back through the book to remember who he was talking about.

Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman - Liked it, didn't love it. If you haven't read Klosterman before I'd start with Fargo Rock City, Killing Yourself to Live and Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs first as those are all better.

Superfreakonomics by Levitt and Dubner - I found both this and the original entertaining even if I don't always agree 100% with the methodology or interpretation. Unlike most of the public debate we see today, at least these guys are using logic to reach their conclusions.

What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell - These are reprints of his work for the New Yorker, but since I don't read that publication most of these were new to me.

Overall, I was a little disappointed by this set of books as I had read all of these authors previously and had liked their other work. I think I'm going to go back to fiction for awhile starting with The Taking by Dean Koontz. It doesn't get great reviews but since I already have it I'll give it a shot.

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Finished a re-read of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last night, reaffirming that this is easily one of my favorite novels, if not my overall favorite. Fantastic setting, great story, and the best fictional character I have ever encountered (Fermin Romero de Torres). This is one of those novels that I'll need to pick back up every five years or so.

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Has anyone here ever heard of an author named Robert Stanek? Do yourself a favor & take 20 minutes or so to read this. The things this guy apparently did (according to the author of the linked piece) to sell his books are unbelievable. And for a topping, here're some customer reviews from Amazon that allude to the same sort of thing.

This guy seems to be delusional.

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On a plane last week I ended up finishing "A Fire upon the Deep" from Vernor Vinge, "Windhaven" from George R.R. Martin, and "You Suck: A Love Story" from Christopher Moore. The VV book was a pretty unique sci-fi book set partly in some very advanced worlds and partly with some children marooned on a very primitive planet inhabited by intelligent dog-like characters. The key to saving the majority of the known universe from a sort of high-tech plague lands with the children and most of the book is a struggle to reach the planet in time as well as the struggles of the children themselves. Very well written with great characters.

The Martin book was one of his early novels predating the Song of Fire and Ice books, and while not as intense and thought provoking as those books, was a solid page turner for reading in-flight. Hadn't heard of it until getting it for Chrismtas from my sister, whom I'd gotten into the SoFaI books a couple of years ago. Book is a fantasy tale about this group of islands that communicate amongst themselves via a bunch of flyers, who use these glider-like wings to glide between islands. Definitely worth picking up if you are a Martin fan.

Third was one I picked up at the airport since I had finished my other two books I had along and needed something for my next leg. I hadn't read any of his books but had heard good things about his writing in here for books like "Lamb", "Practical Demonkeeping", or the "Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" and this one happened to be available in one of the bookstores there. Must say that I really enjoyed his writing and found his humor really appealed to me as I found myself literally LOL on many occasions when reading the book. Don't know if the author intended this to be a spoof on all of the vampire novels that are so popular out there right now but it was hilarious nonetheless. Will definitely be picking up some of his other books to add to my short list of authors with a similar witty humor like Tom Robbins or Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels that I read when I want to laugh and read something on the lighter side. Perfect summer reading.

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On a plane last week I ended up finishing "A Fire upon the Deep" from Vernor Vinge, "Windhaven" from George R.R. Martin, and "You Suck: A Love Story" from Christopher Moore.

I like just about everything that Vernor Vinge has ever written. Try "A Deepness in the Sky" next if you haven't read it. It's just about as good as "A Fire upon the Deep."
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I put down Blood Meridian last week to read "Game Change." Excellent political book but it feels a little "incomplete." THey pretty much villianize everyone in both parties and spend an extraordinary amount of time talking about HIllary and Bill, going so far as to suggest in the game's final pages that the real "Game Change" of the 2008 election was Obama's ability to get HIllary to take the Sec of State position.

Definitely a good read, and it goes fast. For such a big event in history, its a nice chronicle of the people who were involved. But like I said, it feels a little skin-deep at times.

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Finished a re-read of The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon last night, reaffirming that this is easily one of my favorite novels, if not my overall favorite. Fantastic setting, great story, and the best fictional character I have ever encountered (Fermin Romero de Torres). This is one of those novels that I'll need to pick back up every five years or so.

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Thanks. I've added this to my Amazon cart.
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Finished Nutureshock which takes a closer look at child rearing topics such as racial relations, testing for giftedness at an early age, the inverse power of praise, effects of siblings and so on. I thought it was mostly interesting with a few nuggets I'll use as a parent, but nothing really earth shattering. I thought a quick and light read for those that like the subject matter.

Other than that, still working on American Pyscho, though I've been mostly reading Brazilian Jiu Jitsu books such as Mastering the Rubber Guard (Eddie Bravo) and Jiu Jitsu University (Ribiero) which are both great instructional books for those who practice MMA or BJJ. The Rubber Guard especially is unique with great photos.

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I put down Blood Meridian last week to read "Game Change." Excellent political book but it feels a little "incomplete." THey pretty much villianize everyone in both parties and spend an extraordinary amount of time talking about HIllary and Bill, going so far as to suggest in the game's final pages that the real "Game Change" of the 2008 election was Obama's ability to get HIllary to take the Sec of State position. Definitely a good read, and it goes fast. For such a big event in history, its a nice chronicle of the people who were involved. But like I said, it feels a little skin-deep at times.

I've heard the same criticism on this one. I still want to read it but I've heard it's more sensationalistic than truly informative.
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On a plane last week I ended up finishing "A Fire upon the Deep" from Vernor Vinge, "Windhaven" from George R.R. Martin, and "You Suck: A Love Story" from Christopher Moore.

I like just about everything that Vernor Vinge has ever written. Try "A Deepness in the Sky" next if you haven't read it. It's just about as good as "A Fire upon the Deep."
A Deepness is on my list. Those two were listed quite a while back in an "Essential works of sci-fi" thread here that I'm slowly working my way through. Will definitely seek out more of his work.
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Finished Never Let Me Go. I liked it. I'll concede that it could be one of those books that I'll appreciate more as time goes by and it has a chance to sink in. But my first impression is that it's not a great book. Maybe my expectations were too high. Maybe it has to bounce around in the back of my mind for a while.

Edited by pantagrapher
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Just started Drood by Dan Simmons after waiting a year for it to hit paperback. If it's close to as good as The Terror, I'll be a very happy reader for the next 6 weeks or so.

Really liked this one. Some reviews said it was slow, but I didn't think so.
Finished Drood March 26. My estimate on time it took to read was accurate. :unsure: I would have to say that I found it a little slow at points. But overall I really enjoyed trying to understand the motivations of the narrator, and the last 25% of the book was pretty epic, imo. I'd recommend it.Now on to Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, one of my favorites.
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Just started Drood by Dan Simmons after waiting a year for it to hit paperback. If it's close to as good as The Terror, I'll be a very happy reader for the next 6 weeks or so.

Really liked this one. Some reviews said it was slow, but I didn't think so.
Finished Drood March 26. My estimate on time it took to read was accurate. :football:

I would have to say that I found it a little slow at points. But overall I really enjoyed trying to understand the motivations of the narrator, and the last 25% of the book was pretty epic, imo. I'd recommend it.

Now on to Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, one of my favorites.

Ok, I'll keep going. Slogging through it, about halfway right now. It's really hard to stay interested. Didn't realize it was the Terror author when I started. Slogged through that one as well. hoping for the payoff.
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Just started Drood by Dan Simmons after waiting a year for it to hit paperback. If it's close to as good as The Terror, I'll be a very happy reader for the next 6 weeks or so.

Really liked this one. Some reviews said it was slow, but I didn't think so.
Finished Drood March 26. My estimate on time it took to read was accurate. :lmao:

I would have to say that I found it a little slow at points. But overall I really enjoyed trying to understand the motivations of the narrator, and the last 25% of the book was pretty epic, imo. I'd recommend it.

Now on to Rain Gods by James Lee Burke, one of my favorites.

Ok, I'll keep going. Slogging through it, about halfway right now. It's really hard to stay interested. Didn't realize it was the Terror author when I started. Slogged through that one as well. hoping for the payoff.
:goodposting: Hmm...Well, I LOVED The Terror, so I thought it paid off from page 1. Drood would agree was a "slog" until the last quarter. Then I got into it and really enjoyed it, particularly the development of Collins and his relationship to Dickens.
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The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. A dazzling display of writing. It is as if Mraki can chronicle those strange/surreal/incredible thoughts the moments between being awake and being asleep and weaves a stunning narrative of those moments. I am still processing the book but mostly highly recommend it.
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