What are you reading?

#31
Here's one from my college late period American lit survey course:

Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle

Everybody I talk to loves this book. My entire class swooned over it, my teacher was giddy talking about it. For a brief moment Vonnegut was God, he opened our eyes and he gave us ligh...

Getting a little carried away there.

To me it was a good book, nothing more. I guess I'm just jaded.



Edit: oh, something about the book. It is about the end of the world and a there's a little person who buys a mail order bride.
 
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#33
Here's one from my college late period American lit survey course:

Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle

Everybody I talk to loves this book. My entire class swooned over it, my teacher was giddy talking about it, for a brief moment Vonnegut was God, he opened our eyes and he gave us ligh...

Getting a little carried away there.

To me it was a good book, nothing more. I guess I'm just jaded.


Edit: oh, something about the book. It is about the end of the world and a there's a little person who buys a mail order bride.
Vonnegut was the absolute rage when I was in college (early 70s). For some reason I just wasn't interested. Probably should read some of his stuff. I was actually very much into Steinbeck at the time.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#36
David Fisher - Legally Correct Fairy Tales

This here is nuts. He strips fairy tales down to court cases. Jack and Jill becomes: Jack (Doe) and Jill (Doe) v. Imperial Bucket Corporation. An outright nerdtastic lawyerfest. Hilarious. Especially for you guys and gals that run about lawyering. :)

Sorry, while I liked the idea and found some of the stories mildly funny, it really didn't do much for me. No biggie, just not quite my thing. I think Brick would get more out of it.

Did finish "Impact" by Douglas Preston tonight. I enjoy his stuff (and also books Lincoln Child as well as the ones they collaborate on). Nothing earth-shattering by any means but it was somewhat interesting and entertaining.

I think "The Winds of Dune" is next.
 
#37
Sorry, while I liked the idea and found some of the stories mildly funny, it really didn't do much for me. No biggie, just not quite my thing. I think Brick would get more out of it.

Did finish "Impact" by Douglas Preston tonight. I enjoy his stuff (and also books Lincoln Child as well as the ones they collaborate on). Nothing earth-shattering by any means but it was somewhat interesting and entertaining.

I think "The Winds of Dune" is next.
Good stuff. That fairy tale book is really filled with high brow dry humor anyway. I sometimes like that stuff, I just really thought it was a nuts approach to story telling. I have yet to pick up a Dune novel, and I'm excited to hear what you have to say about it.

I'm digging in to the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and it's some mind blowing stuff. Especially if you account for the time period (1930's). I'll give more on it later.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#38
Good stuff. That fairy tale book is really filled with high brow dry humor anyway. I sometimes like that stuff, I just really thought it was a nuts approach to story telling. I have yet to pick up a Dune novel, and I'm excited to hear what you have to say about it.

I'm digging in to the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and it's some mind blowing stuff. Especially if you account for the time period (1930's). I'll give more on it later.
The original Dune books can be a bit of a difficult read at times, but are great reading and an absolute sci-fi classic, especially the first one. The later books are written by his son and a co-author and are not written in the same vein. The stories all tie in together, but the later books are obviously written for a somewhat wider audience. I enjoy both. If you really want to start reading the Dune books, either read the originals first and then the later ones, or maybe read them in chronological order. Up to you.

Look here to help you out on that:

http://www.amazon.com/Dune-Saga-Chronological-Order/lm/1COADLEGRZEOC
 
#41
I had finished The Cat Who (series books by Lillian Jackson Braun) that I had here and started randomly pulling books from the shelves to read.

So I've recently read The Robot Who Looked Like Me by Robert Sheckley
It was more a collection of short stories by him. All interesting and entertaining and while I wasn't blown away with laughter like the back of the book proclaimed, I did enjoy reading it.

Next was This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart. Her descriptions really drew me into the world and were very vivid to me. A good solid story line with complete characters. Well worth the read.

Followed by Software by Rudy Rucker. A different sort of robots thwart the Asimov laws book, it was very intriguing and odd.

Currently reading Baker's Boy by J.V. Jones. I've already been hooked by the characters and story line. And while some have issues with going back and forth between different parts of the story, I won't mind as long as the come together at some point.
 
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Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#42
Here's one from my college late period American lit survey course:

Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle

Everybody I talk to loves this book. My entire class swooned over it, my teacher was giddy talking about it. For a brief moment Vonnegut was God, he opened our eyes and he gave us ligh...

Getting a little carried away there.

To me it was a good book, nothing more. I guess I'm just jaded.



Edit: oh, something about the book. It is about the end of the world and a there's a little person who buys a mail order bride.
I personally preferred Slaughterhouse Five more.
 
#43
The French Lieutenant's Woman, by John Fowles, which I should really get on with, since I'm having a course on it. Neo-Victorianism and steampunk and stuff. Quite interesting really, but I'm kind of burned out on books after the last two months. In that time, I've read:

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte:
One of the most annoying books I've ever had the misfortune of reading. Not a single character that didn't go on my nerves very quickly. Everybody is always ill and complaining and all that I wished was for them to just snuff it and let me get on with my life. Took me the better part of two weeks to get through, despite being rather thin in comparison to other books I've read in the following weeks.

The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde:
Much better. Incredibly fun read that I could even continue after having my nasal septum removed. Just some light fun and really good if you know the books referenced (I was stupid enough to not have read Jane Eyre beforehand and just knew the story, would warrant a re-read, had I but time).

Jane Eyre - Emily Bronte:
Also very good. I can't to this day quite grasp how the two sisters could produce works that hit my tastes in literature so differently. Jane Eyre, at any rate, has, quite instantly, become one of my favourite Victorian-era books.

Wide Sargasso Sea - Jean Rhys:
Pleased me by being short. Also not the worst of all reads and brings up some interesting perspectives. I especially liked how the feeling of the setting was transmitted. It's a kind of prequel or re-writing of Jane Eyre, telling the backstory of Bertha, her marriage to Rochester and how she got mad, for those that didn't know.

Jack Maggs - Peter Carey:
Another re-writing, this time from Great Expectations. Mostly concentrated on Magwich's time in London and what he had to endure there. Especially interesting for me, since I love Dickens and this book highlights everything that lacks in Dickens that is, the real realism. When Pip becomes a Dorian Grayish character and one of the main characters makes a living performing abortions, you know you're reading an excellent book.
 
#44
The Call of Cthulhu, from the Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. - H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft's paramount achievement in elongated prose. His language is dense, dripping with importance. You skip a sentence, you miss everything. It would not be hard to extrapolate a deeper meaning from this story.

An amateur stab: WW 1 just ended, the "no war for oil" movement was gaining steam (as evidenced by the preeminence of "Beat" generation ideologies which sprung to the fore just before WW 2, then shaped all of popular culture forever), Cthulhu could be conceived as the madness inspired by this thing which springs up from the ocean.

If you haven't read Lovecraft, read it. It's different from what D&D fanatics and the fanboys convey. His stories read like poetically inspired anthropological journal entries. Fascinating, surreal, suspenseful, mystery driven stuff.



4 out of 5 stars.
 
#45
I'm tearing into Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. lots of switching between situations, it's a book that forces you to remember that a paragraph doesn't necessarily have to be related to the previous one.

I'm only 57 pages in, and I don't think I've pinned down the main character yet.

I just visited the Wiki, and at a cursory glance I am pleased to have read Shakespeare's The Tempest before reading this. I knew that they had to be related.
 
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Tetsujin

The Game Thread Dude
#46
Just finished Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go. I think the best way to describe it is as a modern day Gothic novel with some scifi thrown in for good measure. Pretty good, not pretentious, and has a pessimistic ending to boot.
 
#47
LOL man I'm glad to see that I'm not the only one to toggle between books.

Currently reading-

1) Uncle Tom's Cabin - Stowe

2) My Life - Clinton

3) A Man In Full - Wolfe


Who knows what I'll add to that and when, but who knows when one will be crossed off the list too.
 
#48
The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell

An incredibly fascinating study on epidemics. This is Gladwell's theory on how things like Paul Revere's message spread like wildfire, how hushpuppies came back into vogue, how sesame street became so wildly successful, and how incidences of viruses and diseases suddenly grow out of control. I've read 100 pages in two hours, I can't put it down.


 

VF21

#KingsFansForever
Staff member
#49
^^^

VF21 grabs notebook and writes down author and title

That sounds interesting, ryan. How many pages? In other words, is this light reading or a treatise?

;)
 
#50
^^^

VF21 grabs notebook and writes down author and title

That sounds interesting, ryan. How many pages? In other words, is this light reading or a treatise?

;)

281 pgs of actual story. Gladwell is an economist; fortunately that rarely ever comes through. It is information heavy, but the language and structure is pretty simple. I'd say it's middle of the road type reading. It's just a pretty freakin' cool book, especially if you like to throw around facts to sound smart at parties and stuff. :)
 
#51
Another economist you should probably give a read to:

Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

This is the book that taught me the economics of drug dealing, how teachers and Sumo wrestlers are similar, how the KKK and realtors similarly control information, and the socioeconomic patterns of how children are named. This book is a pretty fun read too. Definitely read it in snippets though, to savor the information.

 
#52
I 've been thinking, and I would like to pose a question:

What books have you ever read that have absolutely changed a part of your outlook on life?

Recently I have had the pleasure of reading this little gem, and I need to tell you about it:

Jack Kerouac -On the Road



If I would have been handed this book when I was 15, I would probably be a professional camper / urban survivalist right now (that's code for homeless wanderer :D). Seriously. I have one heck of a case of wanderlust that needs to be satiated every two years or so, and this book kicked me into high gear. This masterpiece is littered with drugs, adventure, dysfunctional relationships, a portrayal of bi-polar disorder (which is what I'm convinced Dean has), and countless failed attempts to find the elusive IT. This is a historic story, one that inspired the beat generation and changed the face of pop culture forever. Just don't let your kids read it. :)

potential novel spoiler

If anything, this novel made me realize that life is what you make it. Make it good, or you could end up chewed up and spit out like Dean Moriarty.
 
#53
Turned 40 not long ago, had the expected mid life crisis/realization of my mortality etc. Went on a tear trying to gain insight from the minds of the past. Turns out they don't know much either. Anyway I guess I could point to a few books and passages from that period but I'll go with The Unbearable Lightness Of Being.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#54
Just finished a couple books:

Chess for Juniors
Battling the Inland Sea

I got the chess book for my little guy but it is still too much for him at this point. It will go on the shelf for a few years. I used to play chess with my dad and find that all the information and tactics he told me are pretty much reflected in this book. I need to take a chess set and work through some of the examples though to cement the ideas presented.

Battling the Inland Sea is an interesting book about the history of levee construction in the Sacramento Valley. It starts with early efforts by the first European settlers in the area and follows the politics, personalities, and national events that influence the governmental action and individual efforts to construct levees. I found the descriptions of political party beliefs throughout the last 150+ years, various ideas of flood control, impact of mining in the Sierra Nevadas, and general history of flooding to be particularly interesting. For those that didn't know, an "inland sea" about a hundred miles long and as wide as the valley would form during winter high-water flows. The current system of levees was ultimately created in an effort to make the fertile lands of the central valley usable by farmers.
 

Warhawk

The cake is a lie.
Staff member
#56
The Call of Cthulhu, from the Fiction of H.P. Lovecraft. - H.P. Lovecraft.

Lovecraft's paramount achievement in elongated prose. His language is dense, dripping with importance. You skip a sentence, you miss everything. It would not be hard to extrapolate a deeper meaning from this story.

An amateur stab: WW 1 just ended, the "no war for oil" movement was gaining steam (as evidenced by the preeminence of "Beat" generation ideologies which sprung to the fore just before WW 2, then shaped all of popular culture forever), Cthulhu could be conceived as the madness inspired by this thing which springs up from the ocean.

If you haven't read Lovecraft, read it. It's different from what D&D fanatics and the fanboys convey. His stories read like poetically inspired anthropological journal entries. Fascinating, surreal, suspenseful, mystery driven stuff.



4 out of 5 stars.
Just read it. Was an entertaining story, but I rarely have the desire to try to fit a book into the time it was written to look for deeper meaning. Just don't think that way. Maybe I just don't want to think that hard about a book I look to for entertainment. Short book, only 52 pages, and a fast read. Bought it because of your recommendation and did enjoy it. One of those you have heard about and I had just never gotten around to reading before.
 
#60
Read Chuck Palahniuk's newest, Tell All, on the plane a few days ago. As a fan of his writing I found it enjoyable, though it's certainly not his best. He remains my favorite travel author, however -- at 177 pages long, I was able to cover-to-cover while killing time in airports and planes between New Orleans and St. Louis.

On the way back home, I started Bret Easton Ellis' American Psycho. I read it years ago, but had it handy since the aunt who borrowed it gave it back to me over Christmas. Don't know if I'll finish it this time around, just because I have so little time for recreational reading that I don't really want to waste it on something I've already read, but it remains a delightfully twisted novel. Even more so than the film, which is one of my favorites of the last ten years.

Also, I've finally bought the last three volumes of Preacher and will probably finish it by tomorrow. Finally. Sad that I've got my nose so buried in academic reading that it takes me a full year to get through one run of comics, but this one has been worth it.

That's all I've got on tap right now, but I'm hoping to get through at least a couple more books before classes start back up in January.