Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 192603 times)

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #195 on: February 26, 2016, 11:53:57 PM »
Also, how many of us are on GoodReads? Come friend me, I friend back: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/51856402-laura-briskin

There's a link to my goodreads profile in my sig.
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constructacon

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #196 on: March 01, 2016, 12:25:05 AM »
i am Currently plowing through Monster Hunter International series and am struck by how similar it is to Delta Green but without the sanity mechanic. now i find myself chomping at the bit for DG to release

Tim

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #197 on: March 01, 2016, 01:23:41 AM »
I am close to getting done with Madness on the Orient Express. Some of the stories seem to stretch the theme a bit but overall recommended. High point for me is Ken Hite's story that mashed up the Orient Express, The Phantom of the Opera, the King in Yellow, and fandom.

Alethea

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #198 on: March 01, 2016, 05:40:27 PM »
Finally started Perdido Street Station
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ethan_dawe

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #199 on: March 02, 2016, 10:10:13 AM »
Currently reading Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War. Harrowing story.

Thorn

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #200 on: March 04, 2016, 10:12:03 PM »
A friend of mine was a Black Hawk pilot on that mission.  He was friends with that other pilot that was famously shot down.

SynapticError

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #201 on: March 07, 2016, 02:24:25 PM »
Because you could throw a rock and hit a used bookstore in my area, occasionally the family will buy an armload of older books for cheap.  Because it isn't uncommon to get books from the early 20th century to the early 18th century, I like to collect them for historical interests.  Bible and religious texts are the most common, often gifts judging by the inscriptions you'll find, as are books of poetry and anthologies.  I recently came into possession of a very old copy of the Malleus Maleficarum, which I found wedged between the endless shelves of used bibles in the religion section.  It was basically falling apart, so I got it for cheap.  Because it was falling apart, I couldn't tell the date it was printed, but I was told by the owner it was some time in the 1700's.  What interested me was that there were notes written by some type of theologian or something nitpicking every aspect of the book.  His handwriting was really, really, bad though, so I'm going by the number of exclamation points he used.  He seemed to hate the section about the interrogation methods the most.  After have read it, I can safely say the Malleus Maleficarum is the most misogynistic, paranoid, and illogical book I have ever read.  Fascinating, though.           
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CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #202 on: March 07, 2016, 04:13:59 PM »
Read Brave New World Revisited a little while ago.  It's a bunch of essays by Aldous Huxley about the themes explored in his 1932 dystopian novel Brave New World, 25 years later.  Brave New World Revisited is rather dated itself now, but an interesting look at mid-century fears of the future.  Some of the more outdated or just plain wrong even at the time bits were:

Overpopulation was a big fear back then, and Huxley expends a lot of words anticipating the horrors of a world in which the growing human population outstrips the world's agricultural capacity.  He also indulges in a bit of racism when he complains about people in the third world benefiting from the technology (penicillin, DDT*, clean water) of "our" (i.e. white) society without adopting our more enlightened ways (such as birth control).

Subliminal messaging also gets a chapter, titled "Subconscious Persuasion".  For those not in the know, subliminal messaging is a now-debunked theory that you can change a person's  behaviour by flashing visual and auditory messages at them below the threshold of conscious perception.  No, really, people thought this quackery actually worked.  And Huxley did basically admit in this chapter that there was no credible evidence to support the idea.

Another theme that I found more than a little unpleasant was Huxley's championing of eugenics, a mere dozen years after the end of the second world war.  He worries quite a bit about modern medicine allowing physically and mentally "inferior" people to live to breeding age, and bringing down the I.Q. of the general population of future generations.

And rather hilariously, in the chapter "Education for Freedom", Huxley gives us a full-throated defense of the "Great Man" theory of history.  Criticism of the great man theory is cast as an attack on "human freedom" and the "uniqueness of individuals" by authoritarian dictators and technocrats.  Huxley also ties the great man theory into eugenics as well by insisting that heredity has more to do with a person's physical and intellectual endowments than the environment they grow up in.

*this book was written before The Silent Spring was published, and DDT is presented as an unalloyed benefit to the world.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2016, 07:01:36 PM by CADmonkey »
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Adam_Autist

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #203 on: April 04, 2016, 09:38:34 AM »
Listening to: First Southern Reach book, Amy Poehler Yes Please.

Consumed the first bit of Flex which is about magic/ reality warping powered by obsession. (Good prep for unknown armies.)

Contemplating spending my current audible credit on David Nickle's Rasputin's Bastards. Who doesn't like Russian psychic soldiers.

Adam_Autist

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #204 on: April 10, 2016, 06:23:33 AM »
Taking a break to read Warren Ellis' Cunning Plans. Good Stuff.

I managed to catch one of the talks featured. There's a lot of gamable stuff in them.

The Lost Carol

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #205 on: April 17, 2016, 11:01:40 PM »
As has become my annual tradition when Baseball season comes I read a Baseball book. For the second year in a row it's my Christmas present. The Betrayal, by Charles Fountain is about the 1919 Black Sox scandal that led to the creation of a commissioner in the MLB, which has shaped not just the MLB but all leagues. Thus far I'm not far enough in to have a firm opinion, but it's a good book.
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constructacon

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #206 on: April 18, 2016, 03:16:01 AM »
on the recomendation of caleb's red markets i thought i would try the ex-heroes series. i'm about 1/2 way through book one and am hooked.

Adam_Autist

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #207 on: April 18, 2016, 04:59:45 AM »
Started reading Iain M. Banks The Business. About a mega corp essentially that is part cult. It's interesting becausec of the way it plays with expectations and turns the tropes upside down.

Twisting H

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #208 on: April 20, 2016, 04:05:29 PM »
I ordered and finished Weird Tales of a Bangalorean by Jayaprakash Satyamurthy.  This dude owns. I do recommend him. 

Had to wait for snail mail from Lulu to get this 80 page book.

http://www.lulu.com/us/en/shop/jayaprakash-satyamurthy/weird-tales-of-a-bangalorean-2nd-edition/paperback/product-22467724.html

He needs more polish to get to the level of Barron's/Ligotti's best; but he has his own distinctive voice: 

Quote
A slum, I discovered, is not made by the people in it -- instead, it makes them, shaping and moulding them until they fit its emould. It is a container that lends its shape to the sad human fluid poured within

...

It was just a place I had heard of, a seaside honey pot, a trap snaring tourists and locals alike in a joyless phantasmagoria of picture-postcard tableaux, narcotic stupors, terpsichorean excesses and paper-thin multiculturalism.

...

I like bars. They are reassuring places, containing the basics of human nature: the need for oblivion and the instinct to exploit.

...

It seemed to me that the city was like an old videotape which has been recorded over too many times on a crummy old VCR, and sometimes the old pictures shows through. These were echoes of people and things from long ago. It was just ethereal playback, that was all.

...

Inside, the atmosphere was cold -- not just the lush, cushioned coolness of expensive air conditioning, but a molecular chill, entropy's leavings.

...

There are places in Bangalore that are not Bangalore


For $7 plus shipping and handling you get five stories and three poems. Stories are below

Come Tomorrow
My Saints are Down
Dancer of the Dying
The Song of The Eukarya
A Threshold Hypothesis

The only one that didn't knock my socks off was "Dancer of the Dying" and that was only because it is short. It sets up "The Song of The Eukarya" so read those in sequence. 

"Come Tomorrow" feels a little bit like a tale of the Arabian Nights gone horribly horribly wrong.  "The Song of the Eukarya" has elements of the Music of Erich Zann and The Colour Out of Space while being wholly unique.

"A Threshold Hypothesis" does the excellent job of tying the seemingly disparate stories into a cohesive mythos.  Call it Satyamurthy's  Bangalorean Cycle perhaps.

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clockworkjoe

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #209 on: April 20, 2016, 05:53:53 PM »
There's no ebook version?