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What are you reading?


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#1 SparkyCola

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 04:07 PM

Just wonderin' :)

I'm reading Tales from the Thousand and One Nights at the moment, and loving it :love: Very easy to read, I highly recommend them.

I'm also reading Pepys's Diary which is fun. I'll give you a quote I particularly liked:

Spoiler: click to show/hide
"7 February. Boys to now cry 'Kiss my Parliament!' instead of 'Kiss my arse!' so great and general a contempt is the Rump come to among all men, good and bad."


Pepys is thoroughly honest, and that is what makes him such an interesting and good diarist.

What are you reading? Would you recommend it for people who enjoy that genre?

Take care over spoilers please :) Thanks,

Sparky

Edited by SparkyCola, 19 May 2008 - 04:08 PM.

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#2 Die Walküre

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 08:48 PM

Essentials of Econometrics Third Edition by Damadar N. Gujarati. Dull material if you don't want to be a statistician.

Edited by DeltaRomeo, 19 May 2008 - 08:48 PM.

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#3 SparkyCola

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Posted 19 May 2008 - 09:22 PM

^ Fine :p If you're going to be like that I'm also reading Automata and Computability, which is dull reading even for a computer scientist... unless you really dig deterministic and non-deterministic automata.

From henceforth I decree that boring books be spoilered :p Just kidding. :hehe:

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#4 Bad Wolf

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 12:23 AM

So I recently read this book called Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith which Zoxesyr lent me.  I really really loved it.

I also recently read "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. One of the most beautiful books I've ever read.

Currently I'm reading "The Terror" by Dan Simmons.  So far it's riveting.

On the graphic novel front I've tried John Woo's Seven Brothers.  It's only okay.

Much better is "DMZ" by Brian Woods.  In fact it's really excellent.

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#5 Raeven

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 03:32 AM

I have seen with my own eyes the Sibyl hanging in a jar, and when the boys asked her "What do you want?" She answered,
"I want to die."

T S Eliot~ The Waste Land

and re-reading Hannibal :D


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#6 Alica

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 08:07 AM

I'm currently reading "One Shot", which is the 9th book in a series by Lee Child. Crime type stuff, which is what I mostly read. Really good series though, I recommend it.

I'm also reading my Fluid Mechanics notes...lovely revision.
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#7 silverwind

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:39 PM

I've been on a paleoanthropology and primatology reading kick.  Currently I'm reading Gorillas in the Mist by Dian Fossey.  I'm kind of mixed on my opinions of it.  On one hand, the work she did was incredibly important and mountain gorillas might very well be extinct by now without her.  On the other, she did some horrifically stupid things, even taking into account that European/former-colony relations were different 30-40 years ago.

But as far as her actual writing style goes, it really could have benefited from a badass editor, who made her go a bit more linearly.  Between chapters, you might get a jump of 15 years, and certain groups of gorillas being introduced to the reader two or three times, flipping back and forth between a gorilla dying and then in the next chapter being born...  It gets a bit messy at times.

Next I'm switching gears into a I-should-really-catch-up-on-classics kick.  Not really my thing, but I did one of those "highlight the books you've read" memes and realized I'm really behind on my reading. :blush:
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#8 Godeskian

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:53 AM

I'm currently reading 1634: The Baltic War by Eric Flint and David Weber. Eric Flint started a series originally titled 1632, in which a modern town of west virginia hilbillies gets dumped on it's ass in 1632, and they promptly decide to start the American revolution a hundred and fifty years early. Hilarity ensues. The Baltic War is one of the books in the ongoing series, and is actually quite riveting, even if it tries to tie far too many divergent plots together.

I'm also reading a book called the paleo diet, which proposes that humans are genetically still attuned to hunter-gather foods rather than agricultural foods as we spent about two and a half million years as HG's, and have only spent about ten thousand years as farmers. The books is filled with sloppy science and assumptions lacking evidence, but it's an intriguing concept.

Lastly and not leastly I'm reading a book by Richard Dawkins called 'The God Delusion', which contains a few interesting arguments but is primarily a good example as to why militant atheism is as much of a problem as militant theism. In his zeal to condemn everything about religion he also manages to trample on a lot of non-religious concepts that happen to be prevelant in modern religions. Frankly, he gives me the creeps.

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#9 FlatlandDan

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:20 AM

...

ExIsle?

....

:unsure:
My candle burns at both its ends;
It will not last the night;
But oh, my foes, and oh, my friends --
It gives a lovely light."
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#10 silverwind

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:53 AM

View PostGodeskian, on May 22 2008, 09:53 AM, said:

I'm currently reading 1634: The Baltic War by Eric Flint and David Weber. Eric Flint started a series originally titled 1632, in which a modern town of west virginia hilbillies gets dumped on it's ass in 1632, and they promptly decide to start the American revolution a hundred and fifty years early. Hilarity ensues. The Baltic War is one of the books in the ongoing series, and is actually quite riveting, even if it tries to tie far too many divergent plots together.

I keep seeing that book in the bookstore and keep picking it up, reading the back, and putting it back.  If I follow my usual pattern, I'll actually get around to reading it in about 2 years. :lol:

Anyway, I finished Gorillas yesterday (okay, I cheated and skipped the back of the book with all the icky parasite research).  Now I brought my Rick Steves' Germany guidebook to look through.  I sort of have a bad habit of buying guide books even if I'm not planning on traveling to a place right away...  And I love his books.  (I've got ones on Croatia and Slovenia, Great Britain, and Germany now.  Expensive habit. :p)
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#11 Paul

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 02:06 PM

Currently reading "Dreadnought/Castles of Steel" by Massie...not being overly impressed by it.
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#12 Julianus

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 04:17 PM

Presently reading Mary Renault's The Bull from the Sea - Theseus tells his story. I'm a big fan of Ms Renault and am enjoying this book.
Also reading Samuel Eliot Morrison's The European Discovery of America: the Northern Voyages. The author provides extensive notes and citations that I am just skimming. When you look at the old maps they made and relied on you wonder how they ever got anywhere, or if they were trying to hide the best areas for cod fishing. :)

#13 offworlder

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 01:07 PM

actually, I bought castles of steel, paperback, and thrilled with it; explains so much and I love the ships and the captains and admirals, and behind the scenes in admiralty and gov depts., and the Fisher/Churchill stuff ; he's in my all time fave list of nonfiction 'readable' authors; his Peter the Great is the illuminating example of high biography.

I've been reading Elizabeth George, now it's Well Schooled Murder but before that it's the one takes place out at Walton le Naze on Essex coast by Clacton, Deception on his Mind, and before that, In pursuit of the proper sinner, and Traitor to Memory;
then I'll read Presence of the enemy, and No one as Witness ............ she is wordy and goes (to me) overlong on descriptions, red herrings, and scenes that seem unneeded to me, her books are all over 400 or 450 or more long; but she's great at details, questions, dialogs, and eventually gets you around to a satisfying big picture and story. She's an American ex-teacher from California but as she's made this a huge career spends mucho time all over England, personally scouts all her locations and details, if it's there she was there; she recently moved up to a Puget Sound island with her new husband; but has a flat in west London burbs for her location missions.

I highly recommend her; also like the two I've read so far from an American in Texas doing all England mysteries, Deb Crombie, she's fantastic with her superintendent Kincaid books with sergeant Gemma too; I'm in Water Like a Stone now , it's at the canals of western England in Cheshire, by Nantwich. lucious locations with superb details and expert characterizations and some irony, red herrings, everything everyone loves; they are each their main rivals in this.
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#14 SparkyCola

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 05:36 PM

^ Have you ever read Georgette Heyer or Dorothy L. Sayers? You might like those authors. I've read the former and she's very easy reading. My mum is a fan of both -though it's really historical mysteries she likes the best.

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#15 Paul

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:49 AM

View Postoffworlder, on May 24 2008, 08:07 PM, said:

actually, I bought castles of steel, paperback, and thrilled with it; explains so much and I love the ships and the captains and admirals, and behind the scenes in admiralty and gov depts., and the Fisher/Churchill stuff ; he's in my all time fave list of nonfiction 'readable' authors; his Peter the Great is the illuminating example of high biography.

Yes, I agree that his prose is excellent. However, most of what he writes has been published already. For example, the section on the Navy Scare is almost identical to the one of Woodward and Padfield. So if one is already well-versed in the topic at hand, the book is wasted because everything has been written in much more detail already.

Also, he accepts some stories as facts when the facts are in dispute or cannot be ascertained - and he fails to list the secondary opinion. So I wouldn't advise the book to anyone who wants to be a historian or tries to debate the subject seriously. I agree that to the general market, the book is well suited.

Edited by Paul, 25 May 2008 - 10:51 AM.

"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#16 offworlder

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 02:36 PM

Yes, I agree that his prose is excellent. However, most of what he writes has been published already. For example, the section on the Navy Scare is almost identical to the one of Woodward and Padfield. So if one is already well-versed in the topic at hand, the book is wasted because everything has been written in much more detail already  
yes, I hear that sometimes, 'wrote what has been published' ; but, does everything have to have 100 pct stuff never before published? this was not a phd dissertation; this was not even a Yale University publication; Castle of Steele was a mainstream release primarily intended for those readers who had not read the other published journals and research and 'university' books and such; for general readers who can learn new things;
in fact I learned things I had not known, such as the shelling of English towns; I had not though any English town was bombarded in WWI; I was wrong; the Scarborough raid, and the Yarmouth and Folkestone raids; towns shelled by heavy cruisers; and some cruiser skirmishes he relayed I had not known about; many of us only read about Jutland and Dogger Bank, not all that about Heligoland Bight skirmishes and the shellings of English towns; also many had not yet read about the ins and outs of the admiralty during that time; so it was very illuminating and helpful, to a wide audience, more than to the indepth experienced buffs who'd already read everything; AND it was thus a Bestseller, which was one of the intentions ;)


~ all right, now back to books everyone' reading, enjoying, and why ;)
SO, who's reading Laurie King? on 'Mary Russell' (mrs shirlock holmes) ??
"(Do you read what they say online?) I check out all these scandalous rumours about me and Elijah Wood having beautiful sex with each other ... (are they true?) About Elijah and me being boyfriend and boyfriend? Absolutely true. We've been together for about nine years. I wooed him. No I just like a lot of stuff - I like that someone says one thing and it becomes fact. It's kind of fun." --Dominic Monaghan in a phone interview with Newsweek while buying DVDs at the store. :D

#17 Paul

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:39 PM

View Postoffworlder, on May 25 2008, 09:36 PM, said:

yes, I hear that sometimes, 'wrote what has been published' ; but, does everything have to have 100 pct stuff never before published? this was not a phd dissertation; this was not even a Yale University publication; Castle of Steele was a mainstream release primarily intended for those readers who had not read the other published journals and research and 'university' books and such; for general readers who can learn new things;

The book was advertised as "an important work full of new insights", "with voluminous research" and being his "finest achievement as a historian" (*compiler* would be a more apt description). So please do not try to tell me it was not intended to also target the historical community.  So forgive me if I am a bit disappointed when I found out that the book is largely nothing but an abbreviated version of Marder's famous work. What is even worse, it is also sloppy work - some times it is so badly footnoted that it is not possible to find the real source of a statement, or at least not until you have waded through a lot of other secondary works.

If you truly are interested in the subject at hand, I advise you to pick up Marder, "From the Dreadnought to Scapa Flow: the Royal Navy in the Fisher era, 1904-1919 (5 vol.)" and "Fear God and dread nought : the correspondence of Admiral of the Fleet Lord Fisher of Kilverstone".  

Quote

in fact I learned things I had not known, such as the shelling of English towns; I had not though any English town was bombarded in WWI; I was wrong; the Scarborough raid, and the Yarmouth and Folkestone raids; towns shelled by heavy cruisers; and some cruiser skirmishes he relayed I had not known about; many of us only read about Jutland and Dogger Bank, not all that about Heligoland Bight skirmishes and the shellings of English towns; also many had not yet read about the ins and outs of the admiralty during that time; so it was very illuminating and helpful, to a wide audience, more than to the indepth experienced buffs who'd already read everything; AND it was thus a Bestseller, which was one of the intentions ;)

True, I am not disputing that as a general source of superficial knowledge it is excellent.
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#18 Nonny

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:37 PM

View PostSparkyCola, on May 24 2008, 03:36 PM, said:

^ Have you ever read Georgette Heyer or Dorothy L. Sayers? You might like those authors. I've read the former and she's very easy reading. My mum is a fan of both -though it's really historical mysteries she likes the best.

Sparky
It's been a while since I read and enjoyed both.    :)   Back in 1975, newly discharged from the Air Force, accompanying the dh back to the same base I had recently left, not fitting in well at the Officers' Wives Club  :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:   I was at loose ends until one of the other renegade wives led me to the base library and the shelf holding the entire Heyer collection.    :happy:   Bless Georgette Heyer, the savior of bored military wives!    :happy: :happy:  

Lately I've taken to visiting libraries on the bases where I shop, and yep, they still feature full collections of the original hardcovers.    :cool:

I have taken time off from Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco series to read Susan Hubbard's The Year of Disappearances, the sequel to the excellent The Society of S.    :)
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#19 Paul

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:05 PM

View PostNonny, on May 26 2008, 02:37 AM, said:

I have taken time off from Lindsey Davis's Marcus Didius Falco series to read Susan Hubbard's The Year of Disappearances, the sequel to the excellent The Society of S.    :)

Falco....the fourth-best historical novel (series) about Rome I have had the pleasure of reading. You have good taste.
"All Religions are equal and good, if only the people that practice them are honest people; and if Turks and heathens came and wanted to live here in this country, we would build them mosques and churches."
- Frederick II, King of Prussia, evil liberal™
~~~~~~
Cameron: "His wife arranged it for an anniversary present. And if you ask me, if two people really trust each other, a threesome once every seven years might actually help a marriage."
House: "Okay, I say we stop the DDX and discuss that comment."
~~~~~~
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave-it-to-Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.' No more." - Bruno Gianelli

#20 Zoxesyr

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 06:17 PM

I am still on my quest to read all PK Dick award winners, so here is where I am:  

I just finished "Only Forward" by  Michael Marshall Smith
- Truly twisted post-cyberpunk plot that only a mad genius could think up.  PKD would have loved this one, especially the implied question hanging over the last chapter.

I am now reading "Headcrash" by Bruce Bethke
- He has some of the best descriptions of what life is like in the IT department of a large corporation.

I recommend both of them...

My next book is "Warsurf" by M. M. Buckner

Here is what I have read so far:
http://www.zoxesyrba...ning_novels.htm
www.zoxesyrbautie.com




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