Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 38695 times)

Adam_Autist

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #300 on: February 12, 2017, 08:01:22 PM »
www.dccomics.com/comics/the-wild-storm-2017/the-wild-storm-1

http://comicsalliance.com/dc-wildstorm-warren-ellis-pop-up-imprint/

Don't know if this goes here but I have been obsessing over the the character designs for the Wildstorm superhero universe reboot by Warren Ellis The Wild Storm.

Also I'm about half way through my second reading of planetary.

Edit: On a more highbrow note Audible informs me that John Darnielle book is out too.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2017, 08:12:58 PM by Adam_Autist »

TRNSHMN

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #301 on: March 01, 2017, 06:14:06 AM »
Just finished Big Machine last night. Have mixed feelings about it. Some parts I was completely sucked in by, others I appreciated on a more distant level, but the core plot was somewhat...thin, I guess? And a lot of build-up for not too much, and a vague ending. The semi-autobiographical nature shows, because the parts inspired by real life are much more powerful, while the the rest feel less thought through. Overall, worth a read, but not going in my favorites.

Anyone got an interesting recent urban fantasy/horror recommendation?

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #302 on: March 12, 2017, 07:05:47 PM »
Couple of books I've recently read:

Sarah Hyndman's Why Fonts Matter, a book about fonts directed at the general public rather than graphic designers.  Hyndman looks at peoples' emotional responses to fonts, using the language of feeling, taste, texture, sound, etc. to describe fonts.  It's an accessible book for "font consumers" to think about how they interact with the fonts that typically surround them every day; and for graphic designers, a useful exercise in walking in the shoes of the general public.

Juan Williams' Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965, the companion book for a 1980's PBS documentary of the same name.  Williams looks at a specific and rather monumental period in the American civil rights movement, from the Brown v. the Board of Education case to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.  I was broadly familiar with the history before reading this book, but getting the details laid out in chronological order was quite helpful.  And it was rather ironic --today-- to be reading a book about the American civil rights movement that ends with the signing of the Voting Rights Act.
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CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #303 on: March 12, 2017, 07:55:39 PM »
IQ and the medical model basically save my life.

I am very seriously dyslexic.

Having a metric like IQ that can be broken down internally, meant that educational psychologists where able to demonstrate that I was not just dumb.

Being able to say look there very significant difference between his actual IQ and the IQ he would have if his reading and writing skills sat at the same level as the rest of the elements that make up IQ.

That evidence  forced the local education authority to pay for special needs schooling, which is basically the only reason we can have this little chat.

IQ is a useful tool.   

Well, again, that sort of testing is not what Gould was arguing against.  Gould was very much in favour of educators identifying students who need help, and getting them the help they need.  What The Mismeasure of Man argues against is the idea that a person's intellectual worth can be measured with a single number (called "I.Q.", "General Intelligence" & "G" by various people) and that that number is inherent and not affected by environment or educational circumstances.  This concept of intelligence has been, and continues to be, used to dismiss individuals and groups of people as inherently "unintelligent" and undeserving of the basic opportunities to succeed that others are granted without question.

Here's another example of the inequities that this concept of "intelligence" has been used to justify:  For decades in Britain, children were tested at the age of 11 for "General Intelligence" and on the results of those tests they were sent on to either grammar school (to prepare them for a university), technical school (to learn a trade) or modern school (to prepare for a life in the service industry).  The grammar schools received more funding per student than the other schools, and their students typically went on the university and much more prestigious, high-paying jobs.  Trade & modern school students weren't offered the classes required for university entrance, and had to work harder than grammar school students to get into university.  In addition, when the baby boom generation began to enter secondary schools, the requirements to enter grammar school were raised in order to keep budgets down, increasing the inequity of the British education system.

Now, under that sort of regime, how do you think you would have fared?  Do you think that you would have gotten the help you needed? or do you think you would have been told that you were "just dumb" and sent on to a life in the trades or service industry?
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constructacon

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #304 on: March 15, 2017, 04:12:50 AM »
i just finished listening to Super Powered on Audible, it's a great superhero inspired game that gets you thinking about the side effects and other sides of being someone with powers. it's got a large cast of main characters so be prepared for that but all in all if your running anything with superpowers its good fodder for ideas in addition to being an all around good book. anywho buring the lead here, i found out that it started life as a web novel so i thought i would share the link here for all to enjoy.

http://www.drewhayesnovels.com/superpowereds/

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #305 on: March 16, 2017, 02:47:01 AM »
Working my way through Universal Harvester So far, so good.

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #306 on: March 19, 2017, 05:11:24 PM »
Sarah Hyndman's Why Fonts Matter, a book about fonts directed at the general public rather than graphic designers.  Hyndman looks at peoples' emotional responses to fonts, using the language of feeling, taste, texture, sound, etc. to describe fonts.  It's an accessible book for "font consumers" to think about how they interact with the fonts that typically surround them every day; and for graphic designers, a useful exercise in walking in the shoes of the general public.

Oh, and I've got a bit of a font anecdote:  Hyndman talked about the fonts on consumer products a lot, and their role in conveying the product's identity and invoking feelings in consumers.  In the late seventies, Canada's biggest grocery store chain decided to create a line of low-price, generic, "non-brand" products in response to consumer complaints about rising food prices.  The brand was called "no name" and featured very simple packaging that went against the consumer product design trends of the time: plain yellow packages with black, lowercase lettering for the product name.  And the font? Helvetica, of course.  Within a decade of it's launch, no name became the most popular brand of groceries and household products in Canada.  The line was recently re-launched with a return to the original packaging style in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, and I realized while I was reading Hyndman's book that a lot of the products in my kitchen are no name brand.
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CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #307 on: April 30, 2017, 04:49:39 PM »
Found these at the 'Buck-a-Book Sale' at All Saints' Anglican Church Westboro*.


Book Haul by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

*That's a neighbourhood in Ottawa, no connection to that church.
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Alethea

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #308 on: May 01, 2017, 05:52:45 PM »
Bad Days in History: A Gleefully Grim Chronicle of Misfortune, Mayhem, and Misery for Every Day of the Year

And you thought you were having a bad day.
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Telivan

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #309 on: May 08, 2017, 02:29:24 PM »
Recently finished reading through the web serial Worm by Wildbow. Fantastic story about a teenage girl becoming a supervillain.

comfortN01se

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #310 on: June 14, 2017, 11:30:56 PM »
Stolze's "YOU" and Harris & Maymi's "All in one CISSP Exam Guide" (It's riveting....)

CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #311 on: June 18, 2017, 07:32:42 PM »
Just finished Killer in the Rain, a collection of Raymond Chandler's short stories originally published in pulp magazines like Black Mask, and never republished in his lifetime.  An interesting book for fans of Chandler and the hardboiled genre in general.

Unlike the stories reprinted in The Simple Art of Murder, Chandler had "cannibalized" the stories in Killer in the Rain for plots and characters which he re-used in full-length novels like The Big Sleep, Farewell, My Lovely and The Lady in the Lake.  Chandler felt uneasy about allowing stories he had "cannibalized" see the light of day again, and so they weren't republished until after his death in 1959.

Comparing these short stories to his novels gives an interesting look at Chandler's technique.  Chandler combined the plots from multiple short stories into each novel and "blew up" many passages (the description of the orchid house in The Curtain is 42 words long, while in The Big Sleep it's 82 words), and the results are much more verbose & convoluted.  The comparison is an interesting counterpoint to Dashiell Hammett's novelization of The Maltese Falcon; in that case, Hammett took his original serialized story and pared it down to the core, removing scenes and entire characters which don't meaningfully contribute to the story.

And though it's been a few years since I read them, I honestly don't recall there being as much racism in Chandler's novels as there is in these short stories, Try the Girl and Mandarin's Jade are particularly bad.  And I also discovered that Chandler did write a story with German & Japanese spies in it (awful stories featuring Japanese spies were a staple of American pulps during the war).
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Twisting H

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #312 on: June 18, 2017, 08:49:34 PM »
Cthulhu Lies Dreaming: Twenty-three Tales of the Weird and Cosmic is being advertised on Ken Hite's twitter as just ONE FREAKING DOLLAR on Amazon Kindle.

https://www.amazon.com/Cthulhu-Lies-Dreaming-Twenty-three-Cosmic-ebook/dp/B01C1LCTZY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1497631607&sr=8-1&keywords=cthulhu+lies+dreaming

So I'm taking the plunge. That cheap cheap plunge.

trinite

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #313 on: June 19, 2017, 10:41:54 PM »
Speaking of horror anthologies, in the course of our move I rediscovered American Fantastic Tales: Terror and the Uncanny, Volume 2: 1940-today.

Read a couple stories in there that I hadn't before, a Jeff VanderMeer piece called "The General Who is Dead" and a Joyce Carol Oates tale called "Family" that was...just extremely weird and unsettling in its narrative opacity. Highly recommended. I really need to get Volume 1, though I suspect I'll have read more of the stories from that period before.
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CADmonkey

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #314 on: July 31, 2017, 06:44:28 PM »
Just finished Chelsea Vowel's Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Issues in Canada, a collection of essays about issues between Indigenous peoples and Settlers* in Canada.  This book is basically a primer on the many issues that Indigenous peoples in Canada have to deal with every day, rather than an exhaustive study of Indigenous issues.  These issues are organized into five categories: The Terminology of Relationships; Culture and Identity; Myth-Busting; State Violence; and Land, Learning, Law, and Treaties.  There have been volumes of in-depth analysis of the issues touched on in Indigenous Writes written, and Chelsea Vowel provides copious notes for anyone interested in further reading on these subjects.  For readers new to this discussion, this book is an excellent starting point; and through the bibliographical notes, it's a great jumping off point for more in-depth reading.  If you've been following Canadian media lately you may have heard something about issues like: residential schools; missing and murdered Indigenous women; Indigenous land rights; cultural appropriation; and others.  These issues aren't going to go away (anymore than Indigenous peoples are) so I urge my fellow Settlers to start reading up on the subject if you haven't already.

And in the latest episode of After Hours, Adam Scott Glancy mentioned Libya's war with Chad and the "Toyota War", which reminded me of a book I read a while ago: Arabs at War: Military Effectiveness, 1948-1991.  Written by a former CIA analyst, this book is an analysis of the conventional military forces** of six Arab countries, including Libya.  The chapter on Libya is particularly fascinating: the entire chapter is 67 pages long, and the section The War for Chad, 1978-87 is 38 pages of that!  Not counting analysis & conclusions, it's broken down into five parts: The First Libyan Intervention, 1978; The Second Libyan Intervention, 1979; The Third Libyan Intervention, 1980-81; The Fourth Libyan Intervention, 1983-86; and Libya's Defeat, 1986-87 (this is the Toyota War).  The book is an interesting look at warfare in the Arab world during the cold war era and if you're writing say, an RPG or wargame scenario set in that time and place, I'd recommend it for research material.

*a term covered in the first part of the book: Terminology of Relationships
**the author specifically points out that Arab terrorist and insurgent forces are outside of the scope of this book
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