Author Topic: Now Reading, pt 2  (Read 22736 times)

Ein Sophistry

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #160 on: September 16, 2014, 05:27:12 PM »
I've been meaning to check those out. The only thing I've read by Simmons is Song of Kali, many, many years ago. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but parts of it have definitely stayed with me.

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #161 on: September 23, 2014, 05:35:39 PM »


Just finished "The Martian" a fun read about an astronaut that get left behind on Mars & has to try and survive on his own until a possible rescue.  The book gets very technical about things like trying to grow crops, making water, scrubbing CO2, power consumption, etc.  All the tech talk makes it feel very real, very suspenseful.  The timeframe is the near future so all the engineering & tech is current.

The main character is and engineer & a botanist and those skills come in handy as he tears apart equipment, creates new tools, seals & re-seals habitats, rovers & tents.  You really root for him throughout the ordeal.

I just finished this, Dave. It was a good read. A bit too much tech stuff, but a nice story overall. MacGyver in deep space!

Also just finished the Dragon Tattoo series recently. The first book was the best in this trio. After that point, there are too many characters, too many nonsense sidelines, and not enough editing.

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #162 on: September 23, 2014, 06:01:06 PM »
I'm reading Moby-Dick, which somehow I managed to avoid reading despite graduating with a degree in English literature.

It's quite enjoyable, more quirky and strange than I expected, though I'm not far along yet.

Just recently finished No Country for Old Men by Cormack McCarthy. That one was very good, but I consider it a lesser work by McCarthy.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Seren

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #163 on: September 24, 2014, 12:30:21 AM »
Also just finished the Dragon Tattoo series recently. The first book was the best in this trio. After that point, there are too many characters, too many nonsense sidelines, and not enough editing.

That is one of the few instances where I think the films (the Scandinavian ones, not the Hollywood crap) were better than the books - Too much detail of industrial espionage and his writing on relationships is just abysmal - why on earth would Lisbeth, given her history with men, fall for a womanising guy like Mikael????

The Hollywood version also takes out all of her complex intelligence, raw anger and steely revenge.....

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #164 on: September 24, 2014, 02:48:30 PM »
Good points. I must confess, however, that I loved the Hollywood/Fincher version of the first book. I had seen the Swedish version first, so it is hard to not feel disposed toward that one, but the Fincher version gave the story an artistic touch that, in hindsight, was missing the original film. The gray colors, the vast, cold landscapes, and the Renzor ambiance were just plain excellent. There are many ways to muck up an adaptation, and I think Fincher did a great job.

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #165 on: October 01, 2014, 03:31:02 PM »
Just finished Lock In, by John Scalzi. I listened to the audio version, which was narrated by Wil Wheaton (who is awesome, btw). The story is set in the near future: The world is recovering from the spread of a virus that has killed millions of people and left others as "lock ins"--individuals who are conscious, but have no volitional control of their bodies. After the initial containment, the government and industry develop ways for lock ins to interact in the word via remote-controlled robots or to interact in virtual communities. That is the context around which Scalzi develops a clever murder mystery. This is an excellent story--it is suspenseful, the characters are interesting, there are a few twists, and the the way the science fiction is worked out is at exactly the right depth (i.e., one step ahead of the reader and in ways that open up the possibilities in creative ways).   

Dave Michuda

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #166 on: October 02, 2014, 06:16:46 AM »
Great to see your review of Lock In.  I'm about to start it myself.  I'm reading Unlocked right now, Scalzi's novella which is an oral history of Haden's Syndrome, the disease that causes lock in.  It gives a nice background and setup for Lock in.

http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/unlocked-an-oral-history-of-hadens-syndrome-john-scalzi

thirdsystem

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #167 on: October 02, 2014, 02:37:57 PM »
Funnily enough, without seeing either of these on here, I have just finished.....

The Martian - Andy Weir. Had seen it on amazon, where a review had given away the ending  ::) or so I thought. Book sounded interesting though and when I saw it in the book shop in paperback I was going to buy it, until I saw the size of the print within..... very wee..... thus I bought it on Kindle. Thoroughly enjoyed it, very tense and addictive tale.

Also today in Waterstones noticed John Scalzi - Lock in for the first time. Sounds very interesting indeed. Good to see it recommended on here. Imminent purchase then,  :)

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #168 on: October 09, 2014, 02:54:12 PM »
Gillian Flynn - Gone Girl
This is an excellent novel. I'll try not to give too much away, but the story begins with Nick Dunne discovering that his house has been ransacked and that his wife is missing. As the days pass by, it becomes more apparent to the investigative team that Nick may have been involved in his wife's disappearance. Chapters that explain the events from Nick's point of view are interwoven with entry's from his wife's diary in the months leading up to the disappearance. The story is outstanding, but Flynn deserves some real kudos for the super clever way in which the story is told.

A film based on the novel was released earlier this week or last. My wife and I are going to see it tomorrow (she recommended the book to me) and I'm eager to see where the two converge and diverge.

Dave Michuda

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #169 on: October 17, 2014, 06:01:26 AM »
Just finished Lock In by John Scalzi.  It was a fast paced, enjoyable read.  I don't think I've ever read a book with so much dialog in it.  Because of that style it's easy to just breeze through the book very quickly.  Like Chris said earlier, it's well done & exciting.  Apparently Scalzi has three different TV series in the works, all based on his books, including Lock In.  The other two series are based on Old Man's War and Redshirts.  I hope at least one of the three will be good.

Next up is Exo by Steven Gould, the next book in the Jumper series.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2014, 06:14:39 AM by Dave Michuda »

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #170 on: October 17, 2014, 08:23:02 AM »
Scalzi is pretty entertaining for sure. And I figure any writing can be considered to have "made it" if he has a New York Times bestselling book, and 3 TV/movie deals happening, all in the same year. Kudos to him. Also, his blog is a very entertaining daily read: http://whatever.scalzi.com/
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Dave Michuda

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #171 on: November 09, 2014, 08:03:11 AM »


Just finished Exo, the fourth book in the Jumper series.  I have enjoyed every book in this universe and this one is no different.  The lead character, Cent, is a teenage girl.  She and her parents, can teleport.  Which in past novels has lead to all sorts of action & intrigue.  In this one it leads to space.  Cent figures out how to teleport herself to orbit and begins her own little space program.  There is an awful lot of technical detail is this story about her spacesuit, orbital mechanics, etc.  At times the technical stuff can get to be a bit much, I just skipped through some if it got boring.

Over I had a good time with this book.  Definitely one of my favorite series.

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #172 on: November 11, 2014, 06:25:58 PM »
Gillian Flynn - Dark Places
Such an awesome and disturbing book about Libby Day--a woman whose mother and sisters were murdered when Libby was a little girl. A local club of people who research crimes and collect murder-related items (the "kill club") hire Libby to share some information about her family's murder. Some of them are convinced that her older brother, Ben, who was arrested for the crime, is innocent, and they offer her money to visit people from her past and to learn more about what really took place that night. The narrative goes back and forth from the present to the past, culminating in the night of the murder when all is revealed. Great story writing. Super suspenseful and creepy.

Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning - Brown, Roediger, and McDaniel
Nonfiction. A nice book on learning and memory full of summaries of cool research. What makes this a particularly fascinating read is the discussion of discrepancies between the intuitions many of us have about learning and practice and the kinds of strategies that actually maximize long-term learning. For example, we often encourage people to practice a skill (e.g., 3 pt shots, performing a piece of music, learning a poem) repeatedly until they perfect it. But, holding study/practice time constant, intermixing that with other activities--activities that disrupt the practice--actually leads to better performance in the long-term.

Embers Below Zero

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #173 on: April 23, 2015, 06:58:21 AM »
"Annihilation", Jeff Vandermeer's first part of Southern Reach trilogy. Wow, it's so different than his Ambergris related works, it's more like a sci-fi influenced by Lem, Strugacki brothers... perhaps even "Lost" series a bit :), yet from time to time I can feel the similar atmospheres like in some parts of "City of Saints and Madmen". Today I'm going to start the second part, hopefully as good as "Annihilation".

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #174 on: April 23, 2015, 11:13:31 AM »
I really loved Annihilation too, and also felt some similarities with Lost.


Looking forward to the next 2 books.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

Seren

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #175 on: Yesterday at 12:52:39 PM »
I have ben reading and re-reading the first few culture novels by Iain M Banks - also got the Hydrogen Sonata.

I really like these - curious and complex, interesting twists and concepts.....

Antdude

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #176 on: Today at 12:51:04 AM »
Just picked up The Thicket by Joe R. Lansdale. I've never read any of his works, although I'm sure some of you are familiar with his horror novels.  It's an Old Western story of kidnap and revenge, and written in quite a raw and funny style, featuring lots of motley characters. I was interested after hearing that it is being developed as a feature film to star Peter Dinklage.

Any other Lansdale recommendations?
There is no spoon. Which sucks because I have a pudding cup.

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #177 on: Today at 09:12:39 AM »
I just picked up a new one from Joe R. Lansdale, Prisoner 489, but I haven't read it yet.


I also have his earlier story collection, By Bizarre Hands, which was recommended to me by a bunch of Lansdale enthusiasts.


Others I see recommended a lot are The Bottoms (which won a bunch of mystery/suspense awards) and the "Hap & Leonard" series (about to become a movie) -- the first Hap and Leonard book is Savage Season.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #178 on: Today at 09:20:22 AM »

I just started reading Vermilion by Molly Tanzer. It's very fun and engagingly strange... here's the way the main character is described by the publisher:


"Gunslinging, chain smoking, Stetson-wearing Taoist psychopomp, Elouise “Lou” Merriwether might not be a normal 19-year-old, but she’s too busy keeping San Francisco safe from ghosts, shades, and geung si to care much about that. It’s an important job, though most folks consider it downright spooky. Some have even accused Lou of being more comfortable with the dead than the living, and, well… they’re not wrong."




I'm seeing the book get a lot of great reviews everywhere from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal to NPR, and I keep thinking "this book needs to be a movie!" I'd really recommend it.
[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions