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Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 620660 times)

Roney

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Reply #60 on: March 10, 2007, 12:11:27 AM
This is probably a thread I should stay away from, for a number of reasons.  Hey, it's never stopped anyone on t'internet in t'past.

Y'all (US; Scotch: youse) seem to like Terry Pratchett: I recommend early Robert Rankin if he's available in the States.  Amargeddon: The Musical and the first three books of the Brentford Trilogy are comic-fantasy genius.  Maybe a little parochial but they should work for foreign readers in the "write of what you know" sense.

[topic switch]
Environmentalism isn't as hard as you imagine when you try it.  Live in the right place is the hardest part*.  Then don't drive, don't fly, lag your loft, switch to a renewable energy supplier and recycle what you can.  Do a bit better every week: nobody expects you to be perfect straight away.  I know that there's a lot more that I could do but I'm working on it.  Doing a little feels better than doing nothing.

I see at as much more positive than Pascal's Wager.  I always assumed that God could see right through the percentage players and would send them straight to hell.  On the environment you actually help the economy: peak oil is by many accounts already here and we have to get ourselves ready for the post-carbon economy.  Let's steal a march!  The more carbon we keep in the ground, the less climate change we all have to adapt to.

[topic switch]
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
+ some Neil Gaiman Sandman stuff: I just discovered Brighton's comic shop and I've got a lot of catching up to do.
+ the entries in the EP FlashFic contest, again and again: there are some overlooked gems in there.
+ a Joe Haldeman collection (Infinite Dreams) that I found in a second-hand bookshop: okay, but nothing thrills me so far.  The EP contest stories beat it hands down.

In my in-tray:
+ The Briar King by, uh, Greg Keyes I think: I seem to have lost the damn thing.
+ Haunted, by Chuck Palahniuk: can't go wrong there.
+ The Command of the Ocean: A Naval History of Britain 1649-1815: my wife's a naval history/Napoleonic wars fan and reckons this is a good 'un.
+ Glasshouse, by Charles Stross: I'm saving this one up as a treat in case one of the other disappoints me.
+ House of Leaves.  Again.  So I can join in the Pseudopod thread.

* Admittedly easier in the UK where the distances are less intimidating.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2007, 11:02:37 AM by Roney »



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #61 on: March 10, 2007, 12:43:44 AM
Ha, ha!  I had the WORST time trying to get around in the UK!  Of course, we were in rural Lincolnshire, with one bus passing through twice each weekday.  When you're talking about commuting, the phrase "Your Mileage May Vary" is really true.  ;)

I was also USAF while there, and they tend to keep you consuming like a Yank wherever they send you.  "Damn the cost, you need to travel 60 miles for a drug test!"  That sort of thing. 


[back to the reading topic]
You have caught me during a rare "I'm not reading anything at all" moment.  My free time (especially this week) has been spent in the car (NPR or mp3s), on the computer (doing this!), watching Boston Legal with my lovely bride (who has a strange crush on James Spader), or playing baseball on the Nintendo (my Diamondbacks are on a 7-game winning streak, thanks to Johnny Bench!), and I haven't found anything compelling at the library.

My beef with the library:  they have an excellent selection of "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" franchise novels*, book 2 of Peter Hamilton's "Naked God", and a bunch of stuff I have read already.  I can't get the "hold" feature on their website to work, and browsing has not worked.  When I asked at the info desk about the new Iain M. Banks, we had a lovely conversation about how to spell "Iain", but no joy finding the book.

*I find those books to be unreadable, even in a "light, fun" mood, which I am not in of late.  Must be the weather.

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Roney

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Reply #62 on: March 10, 2007, 01:52:02 AM
Ha, ha!  I had the WORST time trying to get around in the UK!  Of course, we were in rural Lincolnshire

Meh.  Well if you will try to cope with the Midlands...

(Speaking as a Scot living in the public transported-up South.  Which reminds me...)

Quote
When I asked at the info desk about the new Iain M. Banks, we had a lovely conversation about how to spell "Iain", but no joy finding the book.

Iain was round our way this week on a book-promotional tour for his latest non-SF (The Steep Approach To Garbadale, sounds pretty good, in The Crow Road vein) and claimed that he had his forthcoming SF book in his pocket.  He waved around a couple of USB memory sticks.  It's unusual for him to be writing while he's on the road as he's been particular about separating his writing time from his glad-handing, but the important facts are (a) the new book is Culture (b) it's ~114,000 words in and (c) it's going okay.

Hurrah.  :D



SFEley

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Reply #63 on: March 10, 2007, 03:45:52 AM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.

Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.


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Roney

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Reply #64 on: March 10, 2007, 11:01:41 AM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.

That's what I'm attempting.  I skipped the 17 years between the Long-Expected Party and Frodo leaving Bag-End, but since then I've been trying to read each day's-worth of action on the day that it took place.  It does require quite a bit of jumping around after the Breaking of the Fellowship -- the result is a more movie-style intercutting of the scenes which I'm enjoying so far.

And it's amazing how long they hang around in Rivendell and Lothlorien.  Lazy blighters.  Don't they know there's a war on?



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #65 on: March 10, 2007, 03:10:35 PM
I'm reading:
+ The Lord of the Rings in real-time: a project I've been intending to tackle for years, but I didn't plan it properly and I'm falling behind.
Out of curiosity, what does this mean?  You take precisely as long to read it as the characters took from leaving the Shire to returning to it?  I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how to interpret this.

That's what I'm attempting.  I skipped the 17 years between the Long-Expected Party and Frodo leaving Bag-End, but since then I've been trying to read each day's-worth of action on the day that it took place.  It does require quite a bit of jumping around after the Breaking of the Fellowship -- the result is a more movie-style intercutting of the scenes which I'm enjoying so far.

And it's amazing how long they hang around in Rivendell and Lothlorien.  Lazy blighters.  Don't they know there's a war on?

Dude, YOU are totally hard core.

I told my wife about your project, and we both want to know, did you figure out the pacing yourself, or is there a published "LOTR day by day" outline somewhere?  I've seen the "Bible in 365", so it wouldn't surprise me either way.

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I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


Roney

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Reply #66 on: March 10, 2007, 05:55:07 PM
I told my wife about your project, and we both want to know, did you figure out the pacing yourself, or is there a published "LOTR day by day" outline somewhere?  I've seen the "Bible in 365", so it wouldn't surprise me either way.

I've been winging it.  I thought about trying to work out a schedule in advance but I thought that might take the fun out of it.  I'm beginning to regret my decision now, because I've been going badly wrong since the start.

Once I've finished I'm thinking of going back through and making a plan for next time, in case I ever get the urge to do it again.  If I do I'll put my notes up on the web.



fiveyearwinter

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Reply #67 on: March 12, 2007, 04:44:29 PM
I just started Stephen King's Cell, I'm getting ready to finish Atlas Shrugged (yes, it takes time to prepare), I've begun Pale Fire, and I desperately want to read House of Leaves.



Thaurismunths

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Reply #68 on: March 12, 2007, 05:48:53 PM
At the risk of sounding like a slacker, I only have a couple books on the stack right now:
-Uncivilized Beasts and Shameless Hellions: Travels With an NPR Correspondent
-Several picture books of shiny metal bits from 200ad ~ 600ad
-"The Last Continent" by Terry Pratchett

I'm thinking of picking up "Armageddon: The Musical" on Roney's recommendation

How do you fight a bully that can un-make history?


Planish

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Reply #69 on: March 16, 2007, 05:21:35 AM
I just finished Stephen King's Cell. Before that was Harry Turtledove's Days of Infamy and Beginning of the End.

Now I've begun Douglas Coupland's jPod. It's a hoot, so far.  :D If you like Microserfs you'd like jPod.

Finished LoTR a few weeks ago, for, like, the fifth time.

I feed The Pod.
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Roney

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Reply #70 on: March 17, 2007, 09:25:50 PM
My reading in-tray has just been disrupted by the publication of Hal Duncan's Ink, the second (and, I believe, final) part of The Book of all HoursVellum blew me away and I can't wait to get started.



sayeth

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Reply #71 on: March 20, 2007, 12:28:13 PM
Four sets of reading:

1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman. I was at first turned off by the horrid cover design (at least in my copy), but I eventually read The Golden Compass (aka The Northern Lights elsewhere) and found it to be an excellent fantasy/steampunk adventure. So, now I'm on the sequel.

2. Real book, for work-related reading: Learning to Smell by Don Wilson.  I'm a neuroscientist studying how certain pathways in the brain change during olfactory learning, so this is right up my alley, and well-written to boot.

3. Ebook, for bus reading: The People of the Black Circle by R.E. Howard. I've found that pulp novels work best for the piecemeal reading I do on the bus, so I'm working my way through the Conan stories. The writing is much better than I would have thought it would be.

4. Audiobook, for walking and lab chores: The Extraordinary Adventures of Arsene Lupin by Maurice LeBlanc. I picked this one up from LibriVox.org. Not all their books are read especially well, but this one has had competent enough readers to be enjoyable. Lord Jim, which I just finished, was better than some professional audiobooks I've heard.

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Roney

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Reply #72 on: March 24, 2007, 11:08:50 PM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?



Tango Alpha Delta

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Reply #73 on: March 25, 2007, 03:28:41 AM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?

More Guiness, my friend.... more Guiness.

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I finally published my book - Tad's Happy Funtime is on Amazon!


ClintMemo

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Reply #74 on: March 25, 2007, 04:18:20 AM
1. Real book, for at home light reading: The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman.

You have such a treat in store.  I envy you.  Why has nobody yet invented the device that wipes books from my memory so that I can enjoy them again?

It's called "age"

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lowky

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Reply #75 on: March 26, 2007, 02:06:16 PM
Aas always, I'm in the middle of 3 or 9 diffrent books, but the one that I've been sticking to lately has been Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming by Rodger Zelazny (of Amber fame) and Robert Sheckley.  So far it's well writen, entertaining, and most of all FUN.
That was an awesome series, IIRC there were 3 books in that, I know there were at least two.  I loved those stories.  If you like that you would probably like the Myth series by Robert Aspirin.  All of the titles are bad puns using Myth in the title.  Like Mythnomers and Impervections


lowky

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Reply #76 on: March 26, 2007, 02:57:38 PM
Currently reading Christopher Moore's Island of the Sequined Love Nun  If you like satire I strongly recommend Christopher Moore. 

On my to read pile:
Stephen King Lisey's Story
Michael Gruber Valley of Bonesand Tropic of Night
Kim Harrison Every Which Way but Dead
Carol O'Connell The Man Who Cast Two Shadows

The last 4 were recent finds at one of those discount booksellers.  The Kim Harrison looks like it may be about book 4 in an Anita Blake Vampire Hunter sort of clone series.  Carol O'Connell I have read before and enjoyed.    Their scifi selection sucked, so I wound up mostly with thrillers this time *shrug*.  Discount booksellers it's always a gamble what you will find, but it's a good way to try different authors, given that most paperbacks are about $6.50-$7.00 anymore here in the US.  And I live about a 5 mile walk from my closest library.  Now that it's warming up, won't be so bad, but...


Bdoomed

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Reply #77 on: March 28, 2007, 04:39:58 AM
i might pick up the Simarillion again soon.  ive tried to read it 3 times... cant get too far because all the different names overwhelm me... but i have a feeling it would be fun... (and i hope one day to be able to speak elvish)

I'd like to hear my options, so I could weigh them, what do you say?
Five pounds?  Six pounds? Seven pounds?


sayeth

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Reply #78 on: March 28, 2007, 12:26:34 PM
i might pick up the Simarillion again soon.  ive tried to read it 3 times... cant get too far because all the different names overwhelm me... but i have a feeling it would be fun... (and i hope one day to be able to speak elvish)

You do know that The Children of Hurin is being published next month? Christopher Tolkien cobbled together the book from his father's writings. It'll be a regular novel, not the disjointed notes of History of Middle Earth. If you're planning on reading The Simarillion, I would read up to "Of Turin Turinbar" and then read the new book.

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Alasdair5000

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Reply #79 on: March 28, 2007, 12:45:20 PM
Currently reading Christopher Moore's Island of the Sequined Love Nun  If you like satire I strongly recommend Christopher Moore. 

On my to read pile:
Stephen King Lisey's Story
Michael Gruber Valley of Bonesand Tropic of Night
Kim Harrison Every Which Way but Dead
Carol O'Connell The Man Who Cast Two Shadows

The last 4 were recent finds at one of those discount booksellers.  The Kim Harrison looks like it may be about book 4 in an Anita Blake Vampire Hunter sort of clone series.  Carol O'Connell I have read before and enjoyed.    Their scifi selection sucked, so I wound up mostly with thrillers this time *shrug*.  Discount booksellers it's always a gamble what you will find, but it's a good way to try different authors, given that most paperbacks are about $6.50-$7.00 anymore here in the US.  And I live about a 5 mile walk from my closest library.  Now that it's warming up, won't be so bad, but...

   That Kim Harrison series is quite fun.  It's a slightly more scientific approach than the Anita Blake one (In this case, the supernaturals are very public and have whole neighbourhoods and police forces of their own) and works a little better, at least for me.

   Been reading a lot of graphic novels recently, if nothing else because I've borrowed a lot from a friend of mine:)

-The Alan Moore run on Captain Britain is both interesting and arguably the weakest thing Moore has ever written.  There's a lot to enjoy in it (And some early indications of his fascination with Miracleman) but the end of the story honestly feels like an issue is missing.  However, the alternate Captain Britains are great fun, especially Kapitan Englander and Captain Airstrip One ('It'sdoubleplussgoodtomeetyou!')

-The Jame Delano run on Captain Britain.  Going very slowly with this one.  It's good but it's dated horribly and the central concept is a bit too cosmic, a bit too weird after getting nothing but cosmic and weird in the Moore run.  Having said that, it's nice to see an early appearance by Dai Thomas, who would go on to become the lead character in the superb, and criminally under-rated Knights of Pendragon.

-Hellblazer-Setting SunThe second collection of Warren Ellis' truncated run on the title and effectively a short story anthology.  Some of Ellis' best work is in here, especially 'One Last Love Song', one of Ellis' best riffs on the idea of Constantine being haunted by London.

-Hellblazer-Rare Cuts  A collection of some of the most unusual and least well known stories in the title's history and one with some real gems in it.  The two part Grant Morrison story in here, which takes in secret weaponry, pagan festivals and the US Listening Post at Menwith Hill somehow got reprinted in a newstand comic over here in the early '90s.  Scared the bejeesus out of me then and now:)

-Storming Heavin-The Frazer Irving Collection-A splendid collection of the work Irving has done for 2000AD.  The artist on Necronauts(He's Charles Fort!  He's Harry Houdini!  They fight Cthulu!), Irving's work is staggeringly impressive and he's teamed with some great writers on this.  The stand out is 'Storming Heaven', a '70s hippie superhero story that, oddly, could stand a sequel.

   Meanwhile, over on the prose file we have:
  • Eyes of Amber by Joan Vinge
    Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
    The Forever Omnibus by Joe Haldem
an