What are you readioactive now(and other book related stuff)?

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Parrothead
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Parrothead » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:54 am UTC

I'm reading Le Morte d'Arthur by Thomas Malory, with modernized spelling.

Recently I became strangely fascinated by the Arthurian cycle. Earlier this year I read T.H. White's book for the first time. I felt ambivalent the whole way through, but couldn't stop thinking about it once I finished. Now, reading Malory, I'm discovering just how brilliant White's reinterpretation is, and I think I am beginning to understand why he felt the need to contribute to the legend. Malory's writing is dry and redundant ("...then Launcelot smote down x knight, then Launcelot smote down y knight, then Launcelot smote down z knight, and all were passing sore,") yet, for some reason, I can hardly tear my eyes away from it.

When I finish Malory, I plan to read The Mists of Avalon for the first time. In addition to having heard about it here and there, it was listed on the NPR fantasy/sci-fi booklist flowchart that Michael & Denise Okuda linked to on Facebook not long ago (I think it was them, anyway).

Is anyone else interested in the Arthurian legend? Do you have any speculations as to why on earth it appeals to me? :shock:

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Kewangji » Sat Nov 19, 2011 3:05 am UTC

I read the T. H. White version after declaring that I should be cooler than the kids who read LOTR. I don't remember much of it, but bits and pieces have stuck in my mind after all this time. I really like Merlin.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Gear » Sun Nov 20, 2011 6:46 am UTC

Right now I'm reading:

- Why the West Rules - For Now, by Ian Morris
- Jingo, by Terry Pratchett
- The Bible, by A Ridiculous Number of Different Authors and Translators Who Thought They Knew The Word of God (TM) Better (than everyone else in the known universe, including all the other authors and/or translators)
- Mastiff, by Tamora Pierce
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zarq » Thu Dec 01, 2011 1:08 pm UTC

Just finished Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agaency, by Douglas Adams. It was a bit different than I expected (and fuck you book cover for spoiling a lot of things), but it was not bad. Not bad at all. Might require a second reading to understand everything.

Next up: Candide, by Voltaire (John Butt translation).
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Chuff » Thu Dec 01, 2011 9:09 pm UTC

Bill Bryson's The Home. A fascinating compendium of random trivia and history of parts of the English household.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby cemper93 » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:12 pm UTC

Yesterday evening, I was given German writer Walter Moers's most recent novel "Das Labyrinth der Träumenden Bücher", which hasn't been translated to English yet (but which will probably be translated and published as The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books, considering that the predecessor "Die Stadt der Träumenden Bücher" has been published under the name The City of Dreaming Books). This morning, I stood up and started to read it, an activity I only paused twice because I had to eat; I read all the >400 pages in a single day.
The book's pretty hilarious (in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy way), but it isn't as good as some of his previous books. This may also be because it is a direct successor to one of Moers's other books, and because his books usually amuse by their rich descriptions of fictious places, people, books, foods, drinks, music, literature genres, creatures, plants, parallel universes etc. Therefore, it gets a little boring if you already know most of these. I also found that it featured less of Moers's funny nice drawings, in which he had sometimes embedded the text in artistic ways, though that still was present (example: he filled a few pages with posters advertising fictitious puppet theater plays; nice, but it didn't seemed to be as cleanly executed as the grotesque descriptions of every single cultural happening on a "common evening in Atlantis", which spun over lots of pages in The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear). On the other hand, The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books may still be better than most of the successors to the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, just as the City of Dreaming Books and the 13 1/2 Lifes of Captain Bluebear do definitely beat the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in hilarity, richness and literary quality.

And because I want to compose this list, all books of his in descending personal opinion on them:
- The City of Dreaming Books
- The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear
- Rumo & His Miraculous Adventures
- The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books (untranslated)
- The Alchemaster's Apprentice (didn't like it too much)
- Ensel & Krete (untranslated, was pretty meh as a book, but acceptable as parody)
(- A Wild Ride Through The Night (urgh - Wikipedia just told me about it - I didn't yet read it myself, but probably a good book))
Top 3 are must-have-reads, even if I fear they may have lost some of their quality in translation, because Moers's style is incredibly punny.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby jillton » Mon Jan 16, 2012 7:38 pm UTC

This evening my boss got a pile of books in the post, said I could flick through and see if I want any.

I read the blurb on all of them, the first 2 were trashy novels, but the one I got is "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand, who, according to the cover, wrote Seabiscuit.

It's the true story of Louis Zamperini - who I had never heard of before - and I guess how awesome he was/is (?)

I started reading it on the way home, I'm one chapter in and already hooked!!

It's a good proper long book too which is always good, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" was the last book I read, one of my all time favourites, but it doesn't really cut it when you've an hour train journey...
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Microscopic cog » Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:46 pm UTC

Just finished reading J.M. Coetzee's Disgrace, really liked it. One of the best books I've ever read.

Now reading Alice in Wonderland, very enjoyable.

Next up: Mark Twain - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Zarq » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:31 pm UTC

Started The Star's Tennis Balls, by Stephen Fry. I like his style of writing, and I've laughed a couple of times, but I don't expect the story to interest me.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Plasmic-Turtle » Sun Jan 22, 2012 9:42 am UTC

I've just finished reading:
Emergency Sex and other desperate measures, a book describing the experiences by the authors in different war zones with the U.N. during the 90's, by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait & Andrew Thomson. I found it to be a very enjoyable read.

and The Shipping News by Annie Proulx, which was pretty good, and I think probably would have been a lot more enjoyable if I'd have been able to get into it properly without the constant talking of my dear father...

Hoping to read Momo or some more Disc World next, if I can find my library card, or whatever else I come across in the house if not!

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby delfts » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:12 pm UTC

Currently reading Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. I love it -- it might just make it onto my "favorites" list. I'm about half-way through it, and Pirsig seems to tackle every major taboo problem in the world (well, a good amount of them, anyway).
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby emceng » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

Reading Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight. Not really getting into it much. Wolfe's writing can be erratic. Some of it is really good, some pretty mediocre. I'm having a hard time staying interested in this book right now.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby ahammel » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:20 am UTC

Just finished:
Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, which features steampunk zombies and is therefore fantastic.

Currently reading:
The Uplift War by David Brin. It's the weakest of the series if you ask me, but it's still quite enjoyable to see the chims in a starring role.
Eon by Greg Bear. So far, it reads like a gritty reboot of Rendezvous with Rama only with cold war politics and physically impossible stuff and time travel and possibly an alternate history where Ralph Nader takes over the world.
And, now that I think of it, I think I'll go knock off the last few chapters of 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami.

Up Next:
A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. I know nothing about this book except that the first page is a scale for converting metric time ('kiloseconds', etc.) into standard.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Frenetic Pony » Thu Feb 16, 2012 4:32 am UTC

After trying, and failing, to find "Ready Player One" anything more than a pale, meme laden copy of Snow Crash I bought "A Scanner Darkly" because I enjoyed the movie and I usually really enjoy Philip K. Dick. A few pages in and I can tell that this is one of his good ones, the man might have enjoyed cheesy 50's sci-fi concepts too much but no one has ever beaten the man on giving a strange perspective things.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Laserdan » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:32 pm UTC

At home, I'm reading Anathem (can't concentrate terribly well somewhere else).

When I'm riding public transport or wait for something somewhere, the first book from the Prince of Nothing series.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Metaphysician » Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Re-reading The Song of Ice and Fire series. I have a real job now so soon I will be able to buy Dance of Dragons and I want the series fresh in my mind as I haven't read it in a few years.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Sprocket » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:47 pm UTC

There was this creepy book I loved as a kid, the premise was basically this kid with fairy parents being left with humans because his/her parents died, and this cat who was his/her guardian, and in the house there are these gold wind up toys, and at the end when the kid has settled into life in this human house the cat licks all it's fur smooth and then turns into a gold wind-up cat with emerald eyes. I think I read it in 3rd or 4th grade?
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby casualevils » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:36 pm UTC

^I've read that! Ages ago. Don't remember the title though...

I'm currently rereading The Cat Who Walks Through Walls by Heinlein. Its such a good book for the first two thirds, a real space adventure kind of thing, but then it takes a turn for the strange and I still can't quite figure out what happens. So that's why I'm trying again.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby aydee » Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:41 am UTC

Reading: Forensic Casebook - N. E. Genge
The Dollhouse murders - Mauriello

Forensic Casebook: Not a bad book. This is reasonably good forensics. An excellent overview which is mostly accurate. (A little aged, but not hugely so). It does mean that watching CSI: <whatever> gets a little difficult to watch as you go "That's bad science". But an enjoyable read.. Especially amusing to see the job adverts in the book. (Serious.. <so and so county> is looking for <Forensic science area specialist>. Must have <qualification> <Experience> Pay: <Payscale.. Which reading now is woefully bad.. $30k/year for a professional scientist? I think not)

Dollhouse murders: A must read for anyone that loves murder mysteries. Doesn't matter if it's serious or not. This is a great book. A book about just looking and paying attention. Nothing more. Not super serious. Summary: Each chapter is a different crime. It's preface by a photo.. A 'dollhouse' sized photo of a crimescene. A brief description and a description of interviews. All followed by 'the investigation' by a fictional detective. You'll find yourself turning back to the first photo and looking again and seeing things you missed before.

Both excellent books. But if anything. Dollhouse murders. It deserves to live on EVERY bookshelf. (And tip: Not everything in the book is murder....)

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby piwakawaka42 » Fri Apr 06, 2012 5:14 am UTC

Recently fininshed Ian McDonalds Necroville. I cannot reccommend it enough to any cyberpunk/post-cyberpunk fans. Its the second book by him that I read-the first was Cyberabad days(short story collection), which was good, but Necroville blows it away (well, the last story from Cyberabad can compete-McDonald seems to be best when colliding cyberpunk with transhumanism).
Next thing I'll read is probably Anansi Boys
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Laserdan » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:23 am UTC

Henry Jacobi - Game of Thrones and Philosophy

Very interesting so far! Gives you a new perspective on some major points of A Song of Ice and Fire, and I think I can recommend it to anyone who's a little depressed by the fact that the next book of the series won't come out in the near future.
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Postby Sprocket » Sat Apr 21, 2012 5:12 am UTC

lanicita wrote:
thefiddler wrote: blames his lack of a love life on John Cusack. :)


A LOT of guys could do that. Basically, any guy who is not John Cusack and has no love life.

I love John Cusack.

I mean, come on guys, just be John Cusack...what is so difficult about this concept?
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby thefiddler » Wed Apr 25, 2012 1:04 am UTC

I have pretty much just picked up As a Driven Leaf by Milton Steinberg. My friend assured me that it is a very interesting read, and I rather hope she's right.

Recently, however, I did complete the entire Canterbury Tales in Middle English. That was a fun (and challenging) read.

I followed that with Sun Tzu's The Art of War. It is an interesting book, if you enjoy strategy and the like. I think I will have to reread it this summer when I can devote more time to it.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Laserdan » Sat May 05, 2012 3:16 pm UTC

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. It's a great eye opener about our decision making process and I can wholeheartedly recommend it. For the general idea, you can watch his
TEDtalk.

It's a genius book, really. And he's an actual scientist, not a Gladwellian one.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby serhina » Thu May 10, 2012 4:05 am UTC

Sprocket wrote:There was this creepy book I loved as a kid, the premise was basically this kid with fairy parents being left with humans because his/her parents died, and this cat who was his/her guardian, and in the house there are these gold wind up toys, and at the end when the kid has settled into life in this human house the cat licks all it's fur smooth and then turns into a gold wind-up cat with emerald eyes. I think I read it in 3rd or 4th grade?

This was one of my favorite books when I was younger! I re-read it so many times. Still have my copy of it in a box somewhere... It's called No Flying in the House, by Betty Brock (little bit of a late response, yeah, but hey, better late than never, right? :P)

As for me, I'm finally getting around to reading the Wheel of Time series. On book 2 now, and I'm really enjoying it so far.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby raike » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:41 pm UTC

I'm currently working through the 'Wheel of Time' series; it's a bit slow going, though an enjoyable read so far. I just finished the fifth book, and plan to start the sixth sometime soon.

Whenever I get through WoT, I think I'll try 'A Song of Fire and Ice' next; I've heard good things about it.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby ArchaicHipster » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:07 pm UTC

Wheel of Time is amazing, and so is Song of Ice and Fire - very different types of fantasy, almost at opposite ends of the spectrum (high and low) but, in my opinion, both masterful.

I'm reading Titus Groan, the first book of the Gormenghast trilogy, and really enjoying it - it's delightfully verbose in its Gothicness, which is really cool but does require some concentration - sort of the same way Neal Stephenson does.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby poleapple » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:07 pm UTC

Anyone read Mistborn series before by Brandon Sanderson? I've read two of the three so far - the second book is quite exciting in the second half with a lot of action and epicness. Recommend it!

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby emceng » Fri Jul 06, 2012 1:56 pm UTC

I recently read Orson Scott Card's The Lost Gate. I had sworn off Card's books because they had gotten incredibly crappy and preachy(see politics thread in this forum).

I was pleasantly surprised. It was by no means a good book, but it was an enjoyable read.

It really felt more like a first novel by a new author. Kind of unfocused, and random things happened. It would make me want to read the next in the series, but hope the writing(or editing) gets better.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby jawdisorder » Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:40 pm UTC

I've just started reading The Return of the King. The last time I tried reading the series I was 11 or 12 and Tolkien's writing was a bit over my head so I didn't really find the books all too enjoyable.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Pjotr » Sat Jul 14, 2012 9:50 am UTC

Currently rereading (for the umpteenth time) Lord of the Rings. After that, I have the Edda lined up, and a friend's been recommending Azure Bonds.

Parrothead wrote:Is anyone else interested in the Arthurian legend? Do you have any speculations as to why on earth it appeals to me? :shock:

It's a fascinating story. I've read The Mists of Avalon and really loved it; have not yet read either Malory or White, though.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Chuff » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:05 am UTC

I just read Moby-Dick and then The Memory of Old Jack.

Moby-Dick was basically what I expected it to be. It was very dramatic, tragic, and, in some ways, cliche. I imagine when it came out it was very, very original in the way it took greek tragedy and put it in a new situation, but it whale-hunting is itself a thing of the past, to me, so it loses some of that. The anatomy/art/etc chapters about whales... I understand why they're there, but gosh, they aren't very interesting. Still, a good book. Glad I finally got around to reading it.

The Memory of Old Jack was amazing. I loved it, and I loved Jack. I'm not sure if I want to read any other Port William stories, though; I kind of don't want to warp Jack's memory in my own head. But I probably will anyway.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby ahammel » Tue Jul 17, 2012 6:34 pm UTC

Pjotr wrote:It's a fascinating story. I've read The Mists of Avalon and really loved it; have not yet read either Malory or White, though.

Reading The Sword in the Stone will make you angry at just how badly Disney screwed it up.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby mercutio_stencil » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:12 am UTC

I just finished Reamde, Neal Stephenson's latest tome; I liked it, quite a bit actually, but had a few reservations. First of all, it took me about a hundred pages to figure out that it was reaMDe, not the expected reaDMe, which, for some reason, mildly annoyed me. Also, I managed to finish all thousand pages of it in the span of three days, which meant I wasn't very productive. Aside from that, it was a great book, it had a lot of Stephenson's great characters, a lot of his signature geek style, and a lot more action that one would reasonable expect.

I remember hearing in an interview somewhere (Citation Needed) that Neal Stephenson had given up on making his books into movies because they were just too long. He said, though that he would be amenable to a 'Game of Thrones' style miniseries. He then coughed suggestively. I would totally watch this miniseries.

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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby ahammel » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:39 pm UTC

I started enjoying Reamde a lot more when I realized that it's pretty much Snow Crash set in the real world. We live in the Snow Crash universe you guys!

I'm reading The Mongoliad (print version) at the moment. Not sure if that's the correct way to consume it, but I can't stomach reading books from my iPhone. Mongoliad is to medieval weapons as Reamde is to guns.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby mercutio_stencil » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:42 am UTC

ahammel wrote:I started enjoying Reamde a lot more when I realized that it's pretty much Snow Crash set in the real world. We live in the Snow Crash universe you guys!


I've always thought of Stephenson's sci-fi to be more classic futurist sci-fi, and Reamde was a William Gibson-esque 10 minutes into the future sci-fi. It's Snow Crash minus some of the fantasy, or a Gibson novel with a lot more action. Either way it's a very good thing.

[quote="ahammel"I'm reading The Mongoliad (print version) at the moment. Not sure if that's the correct way to consume it, but I can't stomach reading books from my iPhone. Mongoliad is to medieval weapons as Reamde is to guns.[/quote]
I just might have to give it a try, but I'm note exactly sure what medium to approach it in. Print seems wrong, and I can't stand LCD screen either.

I also just finished Solaris by Stanislaw Lem; the book is pretty cool, although sort of a strange set-up for a book. The conflict is epic in scale, and there isn't any real resolution at the end, not even any hope of a solution. I can't exactly blame the movie for mucking with it so much, although I am disappointed.

Chuff
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Chuff » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:41 am UTC

Reading Dorothy Allison's Trash. It's basically Bastard Out of Carolina in short story form, so far. More raw, in some ways, I think. Powerful.
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addams wrote:How human of him. "If, they can do it, then, I can do it." Humans. Pfft. Poor us.

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ahammel
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby ahammel » Fri Aug 10, 2012 5:01 pm UTC

mercutio_stencil wrote:I just might have to give it a try, but I'm note exactly sure what medium to approach it in. Print seems wrong, and I can't stand LCD screen either.

If you do go the print route, be warned: Mongoliad: Book 1 has no ending. I suspect executive interference :evil:

On the other hand, in what I was probably an attempt to become the quote on the the tvtropes Awesome McCoolname page, there's a character who answers to Zugaikotsu no Yama (lit: "mountain of skulls").

Now reading:
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban, which is as good a post-apocalyptic novel as I've ever read. Trubba is dat iz spossa be ritten by the pertaginist an the hol ting is rit dis way wit terrble spelin an no commas or nuthin so its perwel impossble to reed at firs.

Existence by David Brin. In the future: everybody will have awesome augmented reality glasses! Also: something about aliens!
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Metaphysician » Sat Aug 11, 2012 4:44 am UTC

I have been reading "god is Not Great" by Christopher Hitchens. It's pretty good. I like Hitchens' rhetorical style. I have found a few situations though where I feel like he's glossing over the complexity of certain examples he uses. For instance, he makes it out to be that the Orthodox Christian church was supportive of the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia. When in reality, while a great many of the people involved were associated with that sect, the hierarchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church condemned the actions. So yeah there is definitely a lot of bias in the way that information is presented, but he also has a lot of very interesting, poignant things to say. Well reasoned, if not objective. But when dealing with these discussions objectivity isn't realistically attainable.
What should young people do with their lives today? Many things, obviously. But the most daring thing is to create stable communities in which the terrible disease of loneliness can be cured.
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Re: What are you readioactive now(and other book related stu

Postby Laserdan » Thu Aug 16, 2012 9:08 am UTC

I started reading Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I mean.. dude..

How can a book be so fucking good and so frustrating at the same time? I feel the book actually speaks to me in a way because I can identify with Hal so much (somewhat intelligent, highly educated but kind of empty and lonely no matter how many people are around).
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