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Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 661465 times)

Russell Nash

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on: January 08, 2007, 12:58:52 PM
What are you reading and what is in your waiting to be read pile?

I'm reading three books right now.
1) The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
It's a look at the American food supply chain. You'll never eat at McDonald's again.

2) The Swarm
I got this one for my birthday last year and knew nothing about it. It's an English translation of a best-selling German book. The translation is a little academic, meaning no one uses any slang and the Canadians and Americans speak perfect British English. The book started out as kind of an enviromental warning story, but around page 200 of over 700 it started sliding slowly towards being SF. I don't know where it's going now.

3) A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
The silmilarities and differences of the three "linked" religions and a real look at what the three holy boooks have to say. Fascinating, but I find it can only be read 50 pages at a time. There's so much in it that you need to take a couple of weeks off every so often.

On my to be read pile I have three books
1&2) Are the first two books of the Terry Pratchet Discworld series. (What did everyone think of these?)

3) I forget the exact name of the third, but it's book one of a three part history of the Third Reich. The history of Germany leading up to the 1933 elections. I started it last year and set it aside. Hopefully I can get into it more on my second attempt.


I hope to hear what you guys are reading and maybe get some ideas of what else belongs in my pile.

Tom



scottjanssens

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Reply #1 on: January 08, 2007, 09:21:18 PM
I'm about to finish up Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories by Jean Shepherd.  After that it'll be Gaiman's latest.



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Reply #2 on: January 08, 2007, 09:24:42 PM
my readin pile is huge... well, i cant be readin for fun much lately
but im trying to read Clive Cussler's Trojan Odyssey (love them Dirk Pit novels!)

to be read:
more clive cussler
Dune
A Briefer History of Time
Nietche (spellin is bad i know)
Plato's Republic
Harry Potter 7 will be out by the time i get here
umm think thats all...

plus i have all the school readins i gotta do...

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


SFEley

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Reply #3 on: January 09, 2007, 06:31:12 AM
I just finished Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions.  That book was insane.  Entertaining, but insane.

I'm now reading:

  • Walter Wangerin's The Book of the Dun Cow (an excellent epic fantasy about barnyard animals)
  • Frank Key's Befuddled by Cormorants (selected essays from Hooting Yard on the Air, one of my favorite podcasts)
  • Agile Web Development With Rails, Second Edition
  • Cascading Style Sheets for Dummies
  • Batman: Child of Dreams (a sort of comic/manga crossover)
  • an awful lot of short fiction, some of which we'll buy for Escape Pod or Pseudopod >8->

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spycer

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Reply #4 on: January 09, 2007, 07:36:25 AM
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.

Grock!


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Reply #5 on: January 11, 2007, 09:41:59 AM
All my reading at the memoent seems to be coming from online resources.

In between other things I read one of Lovecraft's stories.  Most of the time I'm reading American Civil War related books downloaded from "Project Gutenberg".  Right now I'm reading about Teddy Roosevelts Trek through the Brazillian Jungle.

Am I the only one who reads books off a screen, I seem to be in a minority?


Russell Nash

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Reply #6 on: January 11, 2007, 01:32:32 PM
I read mostly in bed at night. The kids are asleep. The day has been put to rest. Nothing more to do until tomorrow. A book just fits in bed better than a laptop. When a really good electronic book reader comes along, maybe I'll change my mind. Maybe that can be Apple's next product line.



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Reply #7 on: January 11, 2007, 04:25:28 PM
I have a tough time reading without falling asleep, but right now I'm inching my way through Daughter of the Sun by Lonnie Ezell of The Dragon's Landing podcast.

It's a podiobook now, too, so I'm going to have a listen to what I haven't already read of the book on my upcoming automotive vacation.

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Reply #8 on: January 11, 2007, 07:56:19 PM
Daughter of the Sun by Lonnie Ezell of The Dragon's Landing podcast.

I've been listening to this at Podiobooks and so far I really like it.


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Reply #9 on: January 12, 2007, 02:18:23 AM
Maybe that can be Apple's next product line.
riiight, because apple would "stoop so low" as to actually provide meaningful technology, something that WOULDNT be loved by the masses of teens geared soley towards incredibly stupid music and pop culture.  Reading would be completely detrimental to the apple line! god forbid anyone reads!

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


jrderego

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Reply #10 on: January 12, 2007, 04:01:24 AM
What are you reading and what is in your waiting to be read pile?

I'm reading three books right now.
1) The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
It's a look at the American food supply chain. You'll never eat at McDonald's again.

2) The Swarm
I got this one for my birthday last year and knew nothing about it. It's an English translation of a best-selling German book. The translation is a little academic, meaning no one uses any slang and the Canadians and Americans speak perfect British English. The book started out as kind of an enviromental warning story, but around page 200 of over 700 it started sliding slowly towards being SF. I don't know where it's going now.

3) A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam by Karen Armstrong
The silmilarities and differences of the three "linked" religions and a real look at what the three holy boooks have to say. Fascinating, but I find it can only be read 50 pages at a time. There's so much in it that you need to take a couple of weeks off every so often.

On my to be read pile I have three books
1&2) Are the first two books of the Terry Pratchet Discworld series. (What did everyone think of these?)

3) I forget the exact name of the third, but it's book one of a three part history of the Third Reich. The history of Germany leading up to the 1933 elections. I started it last year and set it aside. Hopefully I can get into it more on my second attempt.


I hope to hear what you guys are reading and maybe get some ideas of what else belongs in my pile.

Tom


I am not reading anything. I never read fiction when I am writing it, and for the last two years or so that's all I've done with my spare time. I do have two weeks pencilled out in February to take a keyboard hiatus and scream through a little stack of books I've had recommended by some friends and family as well as reread the only two books I've ever reread - Wells' The War of the Worlds and Heinlein's Starship Troopers.

Then it's back to nonfiction while I work through another bunch of shorts (provided my shorts don't bunch!!! thank you very much I'll be here all week, don't forget to tip your server).


"Happiness consists of getting enough sleep." Robert A. Heinlein
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Russell Nash

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Reply #11 on: January 12, 2007, 09:01:36 AM
Maybe that can be Apple's next product line.
riiight, because apple would "stoop so low" as to actually provide meaningful technology, something that WOULDNT be loved by the masses of teens geared soley towards incredibly stupid music and pop culture.  Reading would be completely detrimental to the apple line! god forbid anyone reads!

I chose Apple only because there stuff is always elegant and simple to use. You don't have to be a total tech head to use it. Which is why they have 75% of the MP3 player market and have over 90% of the market for MP3 users over 35.

The problem with the ebook readers now is they don't really work well.



madjo

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Reply #12 on: January 12, 2007, 10:35:27 AM
I have a huge stack of 'to-be-read' books, but sadly I lack the time to read (aside from studybooks)
Instead I listen to Podiobooks and Escapepods. (and a lot of other podcasts)

The Podiobooks I'm currently into are "Prophecy of Swords" by M.H. Bonham, and "The Immortals" by Tracy (and Laura) Hickman.
Sadly I've listened to nearly all episodes available, I have one or two episodes of Prophecy of swords waiting for me when I get home.
But they trickle in so slowly. :(


I do have a book on the top of the stack, in which I've already started in, and that's called "The Traveller" by John Twelve Hawks. It's an interesting story, but it paints a scary picture for the future. A Big-Brotherian future.



Russell Nash

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Reply #13 on: January 12, 2007, 11:50:14 AM
The Podiobooks I'm currently into are "Prophecy of Swords" by M.H. Bonham, and "The Immortals" by Tracy (and Laura) Hickman.   ....   But they trickle in so slowly. :(

This is a problem I have with Podiobooks. If a book isn't finished when I sign up for it, I won't start it until I get the "it's over" file.



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Reply #14 on: January 12, 2007, 12:19:36 PM
Maybe that can be Apple's next product line.
riiight, because apple would "stoop so low" as to actually provide meaningful technology, something that WOULDNT be loved by the masses of teens geared soley towards incredibly stupid music and pop culture.  Reading would be completely detrimental to the apple line! god forbid anyone reads!

Unless of course they paired the release with the release of Harry Potter 7... each reader would have it already downloaded.... then they would sell faster than popcorn for an HP movie. And maybe even get used more than once. Maybe. Personally, I'd love to have a reader device - I love to read but rarely seem to have enough time to read what I really want to read.

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Reply #15 on: January 12, 2007, 09:08:47 PM
I think it would be fairly easy to incorporate a reader into the iPod.  I think the publishing company's grimace at the thought of best sellers so easy to copy and distribute, so there is no big market driver for the technology.



madjo

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Reply #16 on: January 12, 2007, 10:03:00 PM
This is a problem I have with Podiobooks. If a book isn't finished when I sign up for it, I won't start it until I get the "it's over" file.
Heh, well I have enough content to listen to.
There are the Scott Sigler stories :) 
Silent Universe (when they update),
Children of the Gods (again when they update)

And a lot of other (non-story) podcasts to listen to...
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 12:03:33 AM by madjo »



Russell Nash

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Reply #17 on: January 12, 2007, 10:17:37 PM
I think it would be fairly easy to incorporate a reader into the iPod.  I think the publishing company's grimace at the thought of best sellers so easy to copy and distribute, so there is no big market driver for the technology.

You can put a couple different text forms into the iPod. It's just that the screen isn't right for extended reading. Slate's Explainer podcast has the full text and sometimes when the subway is too loud I read along instead of blowing out my ears and it just isn't comfortable.

There are a few different companies working on "electronic paper" or "e-ink" which really has the look of real paper, but they mess it up with the size/weight and the Sony Librie was perfect, but then they crippled it with stupid DRM. It sold only for a while in Japan and then Sony pulled it. According to Make magazine you can find these on eBay and Make has a crack for it.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 12:16:01 AM by Russell Nash »



madjo

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Reply #18 on: January 13, 2007, 11:10:42 PM
on E-readers... I would like to get the Iliad.
But I may be biased, it's developed here in The Netherlands ;) (it's just a tad too expensive for me to right out buy) :)
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007, 11:12:54 PM by Russell Nash »



Jonathan C. Gillespie

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Reply #19 on: January 16, 2007, 12:10:34 AM
I don't know if it's like this with all iPods, but my 2G Nano seems to have a hard word-limit on parsing text files when I copy them over.  It seems to be around 1,000 words.  So I can never e-read anything on my Nano.

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Reply #20 on: January 17, 2007, 12:45:51 PM
What are you reading and what is in your waiting to be read pile?

1&2) Are the first two books of the Terry Pratchet Discworld series. (What did everyone think of these?)

I'm a fan of Pratchet, but I can't quite figure out why. The disc world has many enjoyable characters and fun plots, some sapient pearwood, and Pratchet has an interesting view of his world. I can't say any of his books are very meaty, and they're all a bit satirical, but a good "young adult" fiction with a lot of inside jokes.

Currently: Uncivilized Beats and Shameless Hellions; Travels with and NPR Correspondent

On deck: A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson

Huh... so much for the fiction.

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Brian Reilly

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Reply #21 on: January 17, 2007, 02:03:31 PM

On my to be read pile I have three books
1&2) Are the first two books of the Terry Pratchet Discworld series. (What did everyone think of these?)

I find them a bit lacking, compared to his later stuff. They are deliberate parodies of the fantasy genre, and the joke kind of wears thin. I am almost alone among my friends (I'm British, so I have lots of friends who have read Pratchett) in thinking that his stuff just keeps on getting better (most of my aforementioned Pratchett-reading freinds have discworld fatigue. He is a wee bit prolific). His latest stuff has better characterisation, it's darker and it has more to say about society and less about obscure pulp fantasy books I have never and will never read.

I've read the first two, they are for those of us who have to read the full set.

Currently i am reading a popular science book- A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. I've just read Armed Madhouse by Greg Palast, one of the best political books I have ever read, in a combative American attacking-the-oppressors way.

The last fiction I read was Glasshouse by Charles Stross. A brilliant piece of Post-Singularity SF. Less idea-dense than its predecessor Accelerando, this novel trades long jargon-filled exploration of future technology for a rather good futuristic mystery story.

The 21st Century is when it all changes, and you’ve gotta be ready- Captain Jack, Torchwood.


SFEley

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Reply #22 on: January 17, 2007, 05:46:04 PM
I find them a bit lacking, compared to his later stuff. They are deliberate parodies of the fantasy genre, and the joke kind of wears thin. I am almost alone among my friends (I'm British, so I have lots of friends who have read Pratchett) in thinking that his stuff just keeps on getting better (most of my aforementioned Pratchett-reading freinds have discworld fatigue. He is a wee bit prolific). His latest stuff has better characterisation, it's darker and it has more to say about society and less about obscure pulp fantasy books I have never and will never read.

I'm with you on that.  The Discworld series started as pure parody and nothing else -- and I personally found the first two books very funny as a teenager.  (The first one in particular; I still remember the scene where Twoflower tries to pay his tab at the seedy tavern with pure gold.)  I haven't tried to read them since.

His parody gradually spread out, picking more diverse targets.  He had a lot of one-gag books like Moving Pictures (the fantasy world invents Hollywood) and Soul Music ("sex, drugs, and music with rocks in.")  Even at their shallowest they were still pretty funny, or at least funnier than a lot of the other stuff out there, but they didn't stick with me.

Then I read Small Gods.  That book stuck.  It's the first time I felt that his satire was trying to say something really interesting -- in this case about religion, and how gods need believers more than believers need gods.  On a side note, it's also the first Discworld book I pushed on Anna that she liked.

Since then he's been all over the map.  Some books are still silly satire, and there are some that just plain aren't good (Jingo and Thief of Time did nothing for me), but sometimes he gets deep.  Really deep.  And the jokes are always there, but sometimes the jokes are serious.  I'd put Night Watch up against just about any other fantasy novel for complexity, character depth, and capacity to astonish.  And Wee Free Men is one of the best YA novels I'd read in a very long time.

So yeah, the series has definitely gotten better with age.  Not with total consistency -- like wine or whisky, some barrels just don't come out right -- but on the whole.

And if you're just starting Discworld now, and you intend to read it through, man, are you going to stay busy for a while.  >8->

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Russell Nash

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Reply #23 on: January 17, 2007, 07:24:42 PM
And if you're just starting Discworld now, and you intend to read it through, man, are you going to stay busy for a while.  >8->

A friend forced the first two on me and they've been sitting there for a year now. She has the full series and seems to expect me to read it. I was just wondering if I should start the fight or run.



SFEley

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Reply #24 on: January 17, 2007, 07:52:50 PM
A friend forced the first two on me and they've been sitting there for a year now. She has the full series and seems to expect me to read it. I was just wondering if I should start the fight or run.

1.) Do you deeply enjoy fantasy?

2.) Are your reading sensibilities such that an entertaining style and humor will get you through sections (or entire books) of weak plot, until the plot picks back up again and becomes strong?

3.) Is she cute?


(One has to weigh all the factors.)

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