Author Topic: Now Reading, pt 2  (Read 15684 times)

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #40 on: February 02, 2013, 10:28:48 AM »
Dave: I'm not familiar with Boingboing. I'll take a look at that later today; thanks for the suggestion. I typically explore things that friends recommend or, in the case of The Postmortal, things that Amazon recommends based on other books I've ordered.

A friend of mine is encouraging me to explore the Wheel of Time series, but, honestly, the sheer bulk of that series looks overwhelming!

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #41 on: February 13, 2013, 04:34:06 PM »
World War Z by Max Brooks (Audible Version; abridged)
This was pretty interesting. It is designed to be an oral history of the zombie invasion and how humanity confronted the invasion. The oral history twist gives things a nice twist. And what is particularly compelling is the way in which the author weaves in the political, economic, and social elements of the war--which is emphasized much more than action, horror, and suspense that is often used in "zombie apocalypse" style stories. The Audiobook version of this is particularly good due to the use of multiple voice actors in the telling of the stories.

The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat by Dave Tomar
Nonfiction. The fascinating story of a student, Dave Tomar, who earned his living for over a decade by writing papers for college students. He makes many interesting observations about the sense of entitlement that many young people have, the ways in which many colleges have exploited Pell grants to increase revenues, and how each of these factors plays into the general problems facing the economy, the labor market, and America's stance toward education more generally. As a university professor, I found this an incredible read. I haven't fully digested it yet; I'll probably be pondering some of the issues for weeks to come--if not longer.



Seren

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #42 on: February 14, 2013, 05:27:07 AM »



Rereading this again

Not a 'new age' book - an academic examination of the political co-opting by English Kings of the Welsh stories to legtimise their own rule by expanding geographical locations from Wales to England - allowing the hijacking of the religious/spiritual traditions as a process of subjugation.

Sounds very dry but is fascinating - explores many of the stories in 'The Mabinogion' and uses the old welsh language to locate them in real geography rather than myth or wish fulfillment.

Antdude

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #43 on: February 14, 2013, 02:55:20 PM »
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

I know this will be old news to a lot of folks, but I've never read this book before. I'm about 2/3 through it and really enjoying it. Wishing I had read it while I was still in the Navy. I now see why this book is used as a training aid in military leadership classes.

Are the other books in this series worth reading, as well(Like I need to start another multi-volume book series  ??? )?
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Dave Michuda

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #44 on: February 15, 2013, 05:16:19 PM »
I love Ender's Game.  I think they are just finishing up the movie version, with Harrison Ford as Colonel Graf.



I think I read the first three books in the series and all are worthwhile, just not as special as Ender's Game.

chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2013, 03:10:47 PM »
I think I'll check out Ender's Game next. I've heard so many good things about it over the years.

Just finished:

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
This is the kind of book that some people hate and others love. I'm one of the people who loves it, but not ravenously so. This novel is a celebration of human innovation, creativity, and intellect. But it also contains a critical and thoughtful analysis of the way in which society and its various institutions function to suppress human potential. This is my second read of the book and it was just as enjoyable the second time around. I do wish, however, that the "love story" part of the novel wasn't so god awful.

14 by Peter Clines
This was incredible. If you were a fan of Lost--and if you have an appreciation for some of the strangeness of HP Lovecraft--you will absolutely love this novel. This narrative is so well constructed that is is absolutely impossible to know where the story is going next and, better yet, there is no sense that the author is bs'ing his way around to pull it all together by the end. Suspenseful, imaginative, and unsettling. Highly recommended.


hdibrell

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #46 on: March 31, 2013, 02:08:56 PM »
I've been hearing quite a bit about H.P.Lovecraft in the past year or so. I know Mike and Lena are big fans and are attending a festival where Mike is an invited guest. I have never read any Lovecraft. I was never a big horror genre reader although I did read some Poe in my youth and some Stephen King and Anne Rice in the '80's. I have been thinking about reading some recently , but never got around to it. Last week while driving home on a back road to my house I spotted a book lying in the middle of the road. Since I was all alone on the road I decided to stop and pick it up. It turns out it is a paperback copy of "The Best Of H.P.Lovecraft". I don't know if this was an omen or sign or what, but I guess it's time for me to try some. Any suggestions on what to read first? Mike? Anyone?
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mystified

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #47 on: March 31, 2013, 03:22:59 PM »
"The Dreams In The Witch House" is a favorite of mine, as well as "Herbert West: Reanimator".
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chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #48 on: March 31, 2013, 09:15:31 PM »
 I've only read a handful of his stories, but liked them a lot. "The Call of Cthulhu" and "Reanimator" stand out as highlights.

hdibrell

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #49 on: April 01, 2013, 08:26:53 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations Thomas and Chris. I'll probably start one this coming weekend.
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #50 on: April 01, 2013, 04:37:43 PM »
Sorry, I missed this until just now, Harry.

I'd say At the Mountains of Madness might be my favorite Lovecraft overall, but it's on the longer side, so you might want to start with something shorter to see if his style and subject matter interest you. He's a pulp writer with a style that's sometimes overwrought, and hard for some people to read.

I think of Lovecraft as a writer like Philip K. Dick, who is more about the concepts than the execution. In other words, Dick and Lovecraft are top-notch "idea" writers but not such great prose craftsmen much of the time. Actually both were extremely smart, and capable of writing a nice sentence, but often wrote in a hurry for need of money.

Probably for this reason, many of the stories of  Lovecraft and Dick have been made into movies, and many of the people who consider themselves fans of these authors don't actually read them a lot! This includes some of the "Lovecraftian" authors I know. I'm as much a fan of films like From Beyond and The Reanimator as I am Lovecraft's stories (though I really adored the stories when I was younger). You can ask twenty people for Lovecraft story recommendations and get twenty different stories suggested.

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon you mentioned, where I'll be a guest in about a month, is a great example of this crossover appeal. Lovecraft was a prose writer, but this event is about movies, books, video games, board games, comics, art, t-shirts and all kinds of associated stuff.
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mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #51 on: April 01, 2013, 04:49:43 PM »
I find myself with a hankerin' to re-read Dreams in the Witch House and also Shadow Out of Time.
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chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #52 on: April 01, 2013, 05:34:49 PM »
Sorry, I missed this until just now, Harry.

I'd say At the Mountains of Madness might be my favorite Lovecraft overall, but it's on the longer side, so you might want to start with something shorter to see if his style and subject matter interest you. He's a pulp writer with a style that's sometimes overwrought, and hard for some people to read.

I think of Lovecraft as a writer like Philip K. Dick, who is more about the concepts than the execution. In other words, Dick and Lovecraft are top-notch "idea" writers but not such great prose craftsmen much of the time. Actually both were extremely smart, and capable of writing a nice sentence, but often wrote in a hurry for need of money.

Probably for this reason, many of the stories of  Lovecraft and Dick have been made into movies, and many of the people who consider themselves fans of these authors don't actually read them a lot! This includes some of the "Lovecraftian" authors I know. I'm as much a fan of films like From Beyond and The Reanimator as I am Lovecraft's stories (though I really adored the stories when I was younger). You can ask twenty people for Lovecraft story recommendations and get twenty different stories suggested.

The HP Lovecraft Film Festival and CthulhuCon you mentioned, where I'll be a guest in about a month, is a great example of this crossover appeal. Lovecraft was a prose writer, but this event is about movies, books, video games, board games, comics, art, t-shirts and all kinds of associated stuff.

Great points. What I like about Lovecraft is he pushes the boundaries of my imagination. Moreover, I find myself preoccupied by the images and ideas he writes about for days after reading some of his stories. The prose, however, isn't particularly noteworthy on its own.

I would describe myself as someone who was Late to Lovecraft. I only started reading some of his work in the last few years. Part of what I enjoy about reading it, however, is seeing the way in which his ideas have permeated popular culture. I used to be an avid World of Warcraft player, for example, and, in hindsight, I now have a better appreciation for some of the ideas that inspired the monsters, concepts, and architecture of that game.

 
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 05:38:28 PM by chris23 »

hdibrell

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #53 on: April 01, 2013, 08:54:10 PM »
Thanks for the info Mike and Chris. I'm looking forward to staring to read this. It sounds like I'm in for some interesting reading.
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chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #54 on: April 02, 2013, 07:58:58 PM »
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
I finally got around to reading this. What an amazing story! I absolutely loved this book and feel somewhat ashamed for not having read it until 20 years after its original publication.

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
I'm not sure how I feel about this book. On the one hand, there are some big ideas here. For example, a significant portion of the story is concerned with the parallels between viruses, human cultures, language, and religion in man and machines. Stephenson explores brilliantly the ways in which principles we might use to understand language at one level of analysis (e.g., binary code in machines) might be relevant at another level of analysis (e.g., universal grammar in human languages). On the other hand, a large part of the narrative is simply cheesy and reminds me of the worst of Hollywood. I can't tell if this aspect of the narrative is supposed to be gimmicky or not. But it detracts from the quality of the whole, in my opinion.

SunDummy

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #55 on: April 03, 2013, 02:43:29 PM »
I'm a huge Lovecraft fan; his early works are kinda cheesy, but he has written some true classics.  "At the Mountains of Madness" is a real standout for me. HIGHLY recommended.
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chris23

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #56 on: April 16, 2013, 08:49:39 PM »
Fight for your Long Day by Alex Kudera
A sad day in the life of an adjunct college professor. Although it is a work of fiction, Kudera does an excellent job at documenting the challenges faced by adjunct instructors in N. American universities.

mgriffin

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2013, 01:01:33 PM »
Recently saw this "Rookie's Guide to Lovecraft" which I consider a pretty good overview and starting point for anyone interested in learning about H.P. Lovecraft:

http://www.sundriesshack.com/2013/04/02/the-rookies-guide-to-h-p-lovecraft-in-1500-words-or-less/
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Antdude

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2013, 01:50:38 PM »
Recently saw this "Rookie's Guide to Lovecraft" which I consider a pretty good overview and starting point for anyone interested in learning about H.P. Lovecraft:

http://www.sundriesshack.com/2013/04/02/the-rookies-guide-to-h-p-lovecraft-in-1500-words-or-less/


I second this site, as the linked e-book of Lovecraft stories is very well edited, as well as free.
I was just in my office and I heard a ruckus.

hdibrell

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Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2013, 01:36:37 PM »
Recently saw this "Rookie's Guide to Lovecraft" which I consider a pretty good overview and starting point for anyone interested in learning about H.P. Lovecraft:

http://www.sundriesshack.com/2013/04/02/the-rookies-guide-to-h-p-lovecraft-in-1500-words-or-less/
Interesting site. Lot's of good info.
Never regret money spent on old books, old dogs or old friends.