What have you just READ?

Talk about films, television programs or a good read you'd like to share.

Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Wed Sep 26, 2012 10:29 pm

I've been reading like a machine lately. In the last month I've read:

  • Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
    - Go watch the trailer to the film. Looks amazing, right? Go read the book before you see the movie!
  • The Red Hourglass by Gordon Grice
    - Pop sci / nature writing about predatory animals
  • The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh
    - Interesting almost dreamlike memoirs of the Vietnam war by a Vietcong veteran
  • Born to Run - Christopher McDougall
    - Really inspirational pop-sci/gonzo journalism piece about long-distance running and the Tarahumara indians.
  • Future Science by Max Brockman
    - Meh. A few good essays but an awful lot of crap and waaaaay to focused on neuroscience/psychology for a book thats meant to broadly cover science as a whole.
  • Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
    - A pop science book about the research done using human cadavers and the history of that work. Sounds weird and a bit dry but the author maintains a wry humour throughout and makes it very interesting. A very easy read given the subject matter.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:05 pm

Book thread resurrection time!

I've been on a little bit of a sci-fi kick lately with The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks and Startide Rising by David Brin (this features space dolphins so it's a little on the goofy side but still a lot of fun).

A couple of stand out books from the last couple of months:

  • Help! A Bear is Eating Me! by Mykle Hansen
    A short book narrated entirely by a disgusting yuppie trapped underneath his SUV in Alaska with nothing but beer and designer pills for company and a bear eating his feet. The story is told in a stream of consciousness from the yuppie speaking to an imaginary would-be rescuer, explaining how he came to be in his current predicament. Bits of the story start to fall apart at the edges and he alters his story to cover for the discrepancies, all the while the effects of the drugs and alcohol begin to exert their own influence.

  • A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century by Barbara W. Tuchman
    It's a narrative history of Europe in the 14th century, loosely revolving around the life of a particular French nobleman with strong ties to England. If you enjoyed a Game of Thrones, many of the events in this book influence the plot and setting of that world. It's got war, backstabbing, poisoning, plagues, crusades, whole cities put to the sword, torture, kidnapped kings, pogroms, revolts, antipopes, flagellants and roving bands of mercenaries pillaging the countryside. Seriously f***ed up stuff which actually happened. The parallels with the horrors of the 20th Century are also very interesting.

So, what've you been reading guys?
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby coldandtired on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:25 pm

Currently reading The Naked Ape, which I've never read before.

The kids have totally removed any time and energy I had for reading :(

Although to be accurate I've read many, many Postman Pat/Bob the Builder/assorted fairy tales recently.

On that note I can recommend The Bear Snores On and The Bear Feels Scared to any parent who needs something new to read to their offspring (no sarcasm).
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Shiho on Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:48 am

I've just finished reading Halo: Cryptum, the first novel of the Forerunner trilogy.
And I'm currently reading Halo: Primordium, sequel of Halo: Cryptum.
It was so long to wait for Halo's 4 release, and I was very curious about Forerunners.
Because from Halo CE to Halo 3, we've only known about monitors and agressor Sentinels :)
I got interested in reading SF novels through the Halo ones.
I'd like also to get the novels of Kilo-Five trilogy.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby re# Skilgannon on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:03 am

Meeting Mr Write by Cassie Lewis (amazon download only)

first book and surprisingly touching
for she is the Cat that walks by herself, and all places are alike to her

no matter how many times I put together the great jigsaw of life there is always the same integral piece missing that prevents the picture from being complete Annabel Rose Hardwick
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby jihn on Wed Jan 02, 2013 5:34 pm

Been reading a fair bit lately :)

Gaiman:
Good Omens
American Gods
Coraline
Anansi Boys
The Graveyard Book
Neverwhere
Smoke and Mirrors

Jack McDevitt:
Deepsix

Dan Simmons
Hyperion
The Fall of Hyperion

Hugh Howey
Wool Omnibus edition(wool 1-5)
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Synaphix on Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:01 pm

I've been reading through the James Patterson books again for Alex Cross :D
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Aceo on Fri Jan 04, 2013 4:01 pm

Peter Brett - Demon Cycle 1&2.


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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Lurker on Fri Jan 18, 2013 4:57 am

Uncle Borio - Onre De Balzac
Not sure if it's spell correctly since i'm translating.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:35 pm

Dancing in the Glory of Monsters by Jason Stearns

It's all about the civil war(s) in the Congo. To say it's complicated would be an understatement. It's really interesting; the politics involved and the moves the different forces take are pure Macchiavelli. But ultimately it's the everyday non-combatant people that suffer. The second Congolese civil war is reckoned to have killed 5.4 million people mainly through starvation and disease. The lack of interest from the first world in doing anything about the most deadly war since WW2 is properly sickening.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Dauntless on Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:32 am

Managing My Life: My Autobiography by Alex Ferguson, Hugh McIlvanney.

The book takes his life from birth to 1999/2000.

There are 3 reasons why I love this book. Firstly, yes I am a Man Utd supporter, thats the first reason done. Secondly, it fits well with my current managment development at work and Thirdly, I have never read an autobiography that has kept me enthralled from start to finish like this one did, in fact I believe it may be the first one I have finished!

"1999 was an outstanding year for Alex Ferguson, not only did he lead Manchester United to a unique and outstanding treble triumph, but he was also awarded the highest honour for his sporting achievements?a Knighthood from the Queen. Universally respected for his tough but caring managerial style, Ferguson is an intelligent man with a fascinating life story. Covering his tough Govan upbringing through to his playing days and onto his shift into management, Managing My Life is told with a fine balance of biting controversy and human sensitivity."
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby jihn on Fri Mar 15, 2013 9:01 pm

World War Z - Max Brooks
A must read for all zombie fans, talks about the scams, the scares, the ignorance and the fight related to the walking dead roaming the earth. Its written as a collection of stories from all over the globe spanning from the beginning of the infection and onwards, all written in a chronological order.

The Martian - Andy Weir
What can i say, it was right up my alley, sci-fi with humor!
I had a good few laughs while reading, my other half looked at me strangely quite often while i was reading in the sack :P

"I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I'm dead. I'm in a Hab designed to last 31 days. If the Oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. So yeah. I'm f----d." - Mark Watney
"The rover batteries have 18kwh of juice. The oxygenator alone uses 44.1kwh per sol. See my problem?
You know what? "Kilowatt-hours per sol" is a pain in the ass to say. I'm gonna invent a new scientific unit name.
One kilowatt-hour per sol is... it can be anything.. um...I suck at this ... oh FK it. I'll call it a "pirate-ninja".
All told, the Big Three need 69.9pn, most of that going to the Oxygenator and Atmospheric regulator."
-Mark Watney 'The Martian'
If you want something done, select a busy person‚ for the other kind has no time. - based on Elbert Hubbard
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Templar+ on Sat Mar 16, 2013 7:04 am

Bradley Wiggins: My Time.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Gh0st.IRE on Sun Mar 17, 2013 12:09 pm

Walking Dead P1 graphic novel/comic book thing.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Bobbobthebob on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:58 pm

I've read a bunch lately:

  • Don't Lets Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller
    - A woman's memoirs of growing up in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe (during the civil war), Malawi and Zambia. A crazy time and place and a crazy family to match it.

  • Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class by Owen Jones
    - A really worthwhile book and I wish more people could internalise the main points of this book when looking at the state of the working class in Britain.

  • The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
    - It's basically an anti-war fantasy war novel. I really enjoyed this and thought it was a heck of a lot better than his previous standalone novel, Best Served Cold. I think the fact that the entire story revolves around one battle helps to keep the narrative tight and focused, whereas BSC with its revenge plot got rather episodic as the protagonist went down her list of targets. That said, there were bits and pieces that didn’t really add much to the story other than to contribute another bit-piece in the overarching “war is hell and pointless” theme. For example,

    Stranger-come-knocking and the prototype cannon

    are both built up as if they’ll have an important impact upon the story later on but then practically disappear as far as this book’s plot is concerned. I can only guess that they’ll be appearing in later books.

  • Don’t Sleep There Are Snakes by Daniel Everett
    - A really interesting book. The first two thirds cover the village life and culture of the Pirahã (a remote tribe in the Amazon), the author’s life as an embedded linguist and missionary and a bit about the lives of the other peoples in the area; particularly the Caboclos and river-traders. The Pirahã have a cultural stricture that causes them to basically discount almost anything that has not been directly experienced (i.e. they will believe an eyewitnesses account of something but will not believe a story related from an earlier time) which became very problematic for a missionary trying to get them to believe in tales of a man who lived thousands of miles away thousands of years ago. This “living in the now” culture and lifestyle means that they have few cultural artifacts of their own. They do not build their own dugout canoes, even when shown how to; they do not store food like nearly every other culture in the area; they don’t have any creation myths. They’re also resistant to the influence of other cultures due to some cultural chauvinism on their part. The Pirahã do things a certain way and aren’t particularly interested in the Brazilian or American way of doing things. They’re happy to use certain items when they get hold of them, they regularly trade for machetes, shotguns, dug-out canoes, liquor etc but they’re not interested in changing their way of life in order to make these items themselves.

    The final third is a fairly hardcore explanation of what the author believes the Pirahã language says about Noam Chomsky’s theory of natural grammar which has been a cornerstone of linguistics for several decades. If I’ve understood the author correctly, he makes a compelling argument for a “messier” view of language, culture and human nature than perhaps natural grammar allows for. I was however really conscious of the fact that the author is essentially a bit of a maverick in the world of linguistics and I don’t have any grounding in the subject to allow me to spot if he’s ignoring inconvenient facts or glossing over any counter-arguments. It might have been better, given that this is a book written for lay-people, if he’d spent a few pages explaining the ideas behind and evidence for natural grammar before using the Pirahã language to attack it.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby SaintStrongbow on Tue Jul 16, 2013 5:57 pm

Trudie Canavan's The Rogue was the last book I read, finally got The Traitor Queen (paperback) on pre-order as missus complains if I buy hardback books rather than paperback :roll:
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby Aceo on Tue Jul 16, 2013 6:47 pm

^ That second trilogy is really good. I enjoyed them.

I've just read Jam by Yahtzee Croshaw. Was an interesting read...


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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby SaintStrongbow on Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:03 am

Finished reading Traitor Queen, another enjoyable ending to a trilogy from Trudi Canavan. Was a bit disappointed with Cery's storyline in this book but doesn't really detract from the book too much!

Joe Abercrombie's Red Country just popped through my door, so that's next on the reading agenda! :D
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby The Ninja Pirate on Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:44 am

I've just finished reading the latest book from A Song of Ice and Fire -series. Can't wait for last two books to be published!
Hopefully George R. Martin won't kick the bucket before he finishes them.

I started reading "Elves" by Graham McNeill. It's based on Warhammer universe and it contains three different books and couple of shorter stories.
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Re: What have you just READ?

Postby SaintStrongbow on Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:56 am

Finished reading a novella called Legion by Brandon Sanderson; was a good read and easily potential there for a proper series of books to be written with that story!

Didn't get chance to read the second novella in the book, Emperor's Soul, yet. Might leave it for another time as Steelheart (same author) just got delivered so might end up reading that first. Got Way of the Kings to read by Brandon yet too!
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