Author Topic: Now reading  (Read 89926 times)

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2007, 05:29:45 PM »
I've enjoyed plenty of non-fiction books but very rarely have I felt enraptured and overwhelmed by the beauty of something non-fiction.

See, and I am almost completely the opposite, fiction almost always leave me flat and yet historical/bio non-fiction excites me, maybe it is a sort of artistic voyerism, looking into and studying peoples lives.

Although...I did forget about my favorite fiction writer, Nick Bantock, now his blend of illustration and fiction is near perfection for me.

Paul
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Seren

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2007, 05:42:29 AM »
Just finished a book called 'Inubus'. Fantasy dealing with the landscapes of Ephemera, where the deepest resonances of the human heart can change the geography or lead them inot the worlds they 'deserve'....

I was always an SF reader as a kid and young adult, might have five books on the go at once. Really enjoy the modern science stuff like 'The Whole Shebang' by Timothy ferris and others about string theory....I like seeing how much further I can get each time i read them before I know I really don't have a clue what they are talking about.

Anyone have favourite or unusual ways of reading?

As a kid I'd read a book forwards and then read it backwards prargraph by paragraph (sentences or words was too difficult) - had a similar effect to the film Memento.

I also  liked to read the last sentence and paragraph and work out as I read how the auther would get from a - z. caught me out once as I read a book completely awed by the huge (SF) historical and civilisational range it was going to be covering. Could not work out how the author was going to do it, especially as I got nearer and nearer the end....until I realised I'd read the last paragraph of an excerpt from another book. ;D

APK

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2007, 02:07:38 PM »
I actually read more non-fiction than fiction.
I even enjoy reading manuals ... odd but true.

Now reading
- Warblers of the Great Lakes Region by Chris Earley (what can I say, I like birds)
- Derrida: Margins of Philosophy (a re-read in this case. I have a doctorate in philosophy, and just can't kick the habit)
- Designing Interactions by Bill Moggridge  (a book you dip into rather than read from beginning to end. Its a fine big book on contemporary technological design, especially digital, its history and its effect)

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spunknik

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2007, 02:15:56 PM »
I'm reading:
Dr. Bob and the old-timers(nice history of early A.A.)

mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #24 on: January 14, 2008, 05:30:29 PM »
Not too long ago, finished a fun, odd little book called Geek Mafia, self-published by the author, Rick Dakan.  Dakan was one of the co-founders of the company that created City of Heroes (an MMORPG from a few years back) and the book seems to start out halfway retelling the story of how he started the company with his friend, got the business rolling, and then was fired by his former friends.  From there, the story goes off into fantasyland, with the protagonist taking revenge against his former partners, and falling in with a group of crazy hacker/geek underground con artists and taking part in all kinds of adventures.

If you're a geek, and you enjoy computer games, comic books, and messing around with computers, you'll love this.

I'd actually really recommend Geek Mafia and I believe the author has made the book available as a free, authorized PDF download..  There's this link to the book I'm talking about, and the recent sequel, here:

http://manybooks.net/series/144.html

I haven't read the sequel but probably will do so at some point.  I actually don't really love the idea of a PDF e-book, but I have a physical, paperback copy of the first book.
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sraymar

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #25 on: January 14, 2008, 06:48:04 PM »
I'm reading "The Fourth Turning:What the Cycles of History Tell Us About America's Next Rendezvous with Destiny" by William Strauss and Neil Howe.

Explains why generations differ and act like they do as well as value what they do. There are four basic generation types - Prophet, Nomad, Hero, and Artist.

* A Prophet generation grows up as increasingly indulged post-Crisis children(the lastest being Boomers), comes of age as the narcissistic young crusaders of an Awakening, cultivates principle as moralistic midlifers, and emerges as wise elders guiding to the next Crisis.

* A Nomad generation grows up as underprotected children during an Awakening(Gen X), comes of age as the alienated young adults of a post-Awakening world, melows into pragmatic midlife leaders durring a Crisis, and ages into tough post-Crisis elders.

* A Hero generation grows up as increasingly protected post-Awakening children(Gen Y, remember Baby on Board signs?), comes of age as the heroic young teamworkers of a Crisis, demonstrates hubris as energetic midlifers, and emerges as powerful elders attacked by the next Awakening.

* An Artist generation grows up as overprotected children during a Crisis(Yet to be born), comes of age as the sensitive young adults of a post-Crisis world, breaks free as indecisive midlife leaders during an Awakening, and ages into empathic post-Awakening elders.

This cycle repeats over and over each millennia.

Steve


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jkn

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2008, 08:41:42 AM »
Recently picked up Children of Hurin by Tolkien (collected and arranged by his son Christopher and I guess his grandson Adam was also involved.)    I've read most of Tolkien's stuff so I'm really looking forward to this.

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9dragons

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2008, 12:58:44 AM »

9Dragons, have you ever tried out William Hope Hodgson?  Judging by your enjoyment of Dunsany and the rest, I'm sure you'd like him also.  I have been picking up the new volumes of Clark Ashton Smith's work, finally a complete edition of his fantasies.  I have always thought he was underrated so it's nice to see him get first class treatment.


I've been wanting to pick up some William Hope Hodgson recently, as the urge to read weird fantasy continues apace. What do you recommend as a good starter? Also, have to compliment your good taste in picking up those new Smith volumes. I really want to pick up volume three: Vintage From Atlantis I think it's called, mainly in order to read Demon of the Flower and The Double Shadow in definitive form (as many of Smith's tales were cut down or dumbed down for publication in Weird Tales). I really like the fact that CAS is getting the fine editing treatment he deserves. Though I find his work uneven, when it is good it is sooooo mind blowingly weird and great (like Garden of Adompha, or Voyage to Sfanomoe).

Infraction

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2008, 11:35:05 AM »


Staying Up Much Too Late (Edward Hopper's Nighthawks and the Dark Side of the American Psyche) by Gordon Theisen


This one caught my eye.  How is it Paul? 

I'm a big fan of Hopper's paintings.  I've been in school the last 3 years, so any casual reading has been shelved - literally, so now I find that I have the time to jump back into reading.  Fiction or non-fiction - doesn't matter to me.  I'm just happy to be able to read what I want instead of what I need.  :)



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Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2008, 06:59:25 AM »
I've been wanting to pick up some William Hope Hodgson recently, as the urge to read weird fantasy continues apace. What do you recommend as a good starter?

Night Shade Books (the guys doing the Smith collections) put out a five volume set of Hodgson's work a few years back, but I suspect many of the volumes might be out of print.  Frankly, I think a little Hodgson goes a long way, as with so much of the over-written, purple Weird Tales kind of fantasy.  I'd recommend his novels The Boats of the Glen Carrig and The House on the Borderlands, which you ought to be able to find as used paperbacks here and there.  He wrote beautifully creepy nautical horror short stories as well, which were recently collected in a paperback that is also worth looking out for, if you like tales of the sea as much as I do.

Currently reading: Nova by Samuel R. Delany
Terrific, showy space opera from the late sixties.  Reads like it was written yesterday.

mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #30 on: January 22, 2008, 10:51:05 AM »
Anybody (especially Brian) know anything about Altered Carbon and the rest of that series by Richard Morgan?  It sounds interesting to me, and while it's filed in "science fiction" it sounds almost like a suspense/thriller story with sci-fi elements.

Right now I'm about halfway through another go at Lord of the Rings and enjoying it enormously, more than ever. This is my first time reading the books since seeing the movies.
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APK

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #31 on: January 22, 2008, 12:06:40 PM »
Anybody (especially Brian) know anything about Altered Carbon and the rest of that series by Richard Morgan?  It sounds interesting to me, and while it's filed in "science fiction" it sounds almost like a suspense/thriller story with sci-fi elements.

Right now I'm about halfway through another go at Lord of the Rings and enjoying it enormously, more than ever. This is my first time reading the books since seeing the movies.


I read Altered Carbon ... quite a while ago. Seem to remember finishing it (which I don't do if I don't like a book enuf) and enjoying it. Struck me as very much a detective novel in sci-fi garb. If that's your thing, its worth a look.
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SiF

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #32 on: January 22, 2008, 01:16:00 PM »
Just finished reading Stephen Kings "Dead Zone".

I'm a King Fanatic, and of course i enjoyed every Minute
while reading.

jblock

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #33 on: January 22, 2008, 01:59:17 PM »
I've been reading Moondust: In Search of The Men Who Fell To Earth (by Andrew Smith), which my daughter bought me for the holidays. An interesting read with interviews with many of the moon walkers on the direction their lives have taken since they came back. Some of them are extremely candid.
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Re: Now reading
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2008, 02:09:19 PM »
Dividing my reading time between R.A. Salvatore's 'War of the Spider Queen' series, and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin seafaring novels. I need to find time to read Tolkien's 'The Children of Hurin'.

Someday i hope to read a single book that isn't a part of a vast series....
I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.

hdibrell

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2008, 02:25:05 PM »
I've just finished re-reading T.R. Fehrenbach's  "Comanches: The Destruction of a People". I read it many years ago and decided to read it again recently. This is a great book for those that enjoy history. Fehrenbach keeps it very interesting and not dry as so many history books can be. This is the most balanced telling of the Native Americans story I have ever read. The author doesn't assign blame on the "whites" or the Comanche, just tells the story of how the clash between cultures and eventual destruction of the Comanche was inevitable. It explains how the Comanche were almost single handedly resposible for the halt of the Spanish and later Mexican expansion into Texas and other parts of the Southwest. A great read.   Harry
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jkn

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2008, 02:25:17 PM »
Dividing my reading time between R.A. Salvatore's 'War of the Spider Queen' series, and Patrick O'Brian's Aubrey/Maturin seafaring novels. I need to find time to read Tolkien's 'The Children of Hurin'.

Someday i hope to read a single book that isn't a part of a vast series....

I read the Spider Queen series a couple months ago.   Good stuff through most of it.   Not great, but not bad, enjoyable...

I started Hurin, but haven't gotten in the mood for it yet so haven't gotten very far.
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9dragons

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #37 on: January 23, 2008, 12:47:40 AM »
Anybody (especially Brian) know anything about Altered Carbon and the rest of that series by Richard Morgan?  It sounds interesting to me, and while it's filed in "science fiction" it sounds almost like a suspense/thriller story with sci-fi elements.

Richard K. Morgan is a very enjoyable writer. I'm not usually of fan of hard sci-fi, but his writing, when dealing with the tech aspect, is wonderful. It strikes a balance between well researched believability and intriguing fantasy. His writing can be beautiful, psychedelic - the combat is well-described, seeming to be from someone with martial training, he indulges in way over the top and cheesy yet surprisingly well done sex scenes, something I think most other sci-fi writers can't manage. Altered Carbon has a cool noir edge, interesting locations like future San Francisco, and is a great read. The second in the series, Broken Angels, is more space ship and military oriented; I found it to be quite flat, poorly paced, anti-climactic, and barely finishable. The third in the series, Woken Furies, has to be the finest; it combines all the best elements of his writing with just an amazing flow with travelogue amounts of movement, lushly described. His most recent book Thirteen I couldn't even finish. Lame cop procedural, weak free-falling plot, no character flow. So check out Altered Carbon, and if you like that, skip over Woken Furies (I don't think there is anything significant in the way of story development that you will miss out on by not reading Broken Angels, though I'm not entirely sure.)

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #38 on: January 29, 2008, 01:09:41 PM »
I'll be finishing Interview with the Vampire and starting The Vampire Lestat during the next few evenings. I read the Vampire Chronicles 10-12 years ago, but am now re-reading the entire series.

When I'm not reading fiction, I'm also studying Spanish on my own out of the Playas series of textbooks, as well as reading my synth manuals.  :)

mgriffin

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Re: Now reading
« Reply #39 on: March 27, 2008, 11:37:55 AM »
Mike, I think writers like Greg Bear and Greg Benford are extremely important because there are fewer and fewer real "hard" SF authors who really get their hands dirty with the scientific aspects of their books.  These two are certainly titans from that perspective.  Unfortunately (especially for those of us in the business who edit science fiction and not fantasy) it would seem the more rigorous kinds of SF are somewhat out of fashion in favor of other things.  I would highly recommend the recent books of Robert Charles Wilson and Robert Sawyer to you, if you're looking for cool concepts and interesting science (not to mention deft storytelling).

Brian, I just wanted to follow-up your recommendation by saying I'm halfway into my first Robert J. Sawyer (Frameshift) and enjoying it very much.  This is exactly the sort of thing I enjoy most -- a fun and easy read, that isn't too "lite" but instead gives you plenty of interesting ideas to chew on, while being carried along by the story.  And I'm a sucker for stories set in a university environment for some reason -- maybe I miss college. 

Anyway, thanks again Brian.
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