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  1. #1761
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Berzee's Avatar
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    I am reading two books:

    Jamestown: The Buried Truth (which is about palisade walls and skellingtons and I guess I haven't gotten to the part with Grandmother Willow yet) and Essential Irish Grammar: A Teach Yourself Guide (which is a sci-fi thriller wait I mean a book of Irish Grammar). Both of these I am enjoying, both of them I'm reading very slowly, and both of them are weird because it's been a long time since I really devoted myself to reading any book that contains no wizards and no sarcastic child protagonists.

    (My reading Essential Irish Grammar coincidentally comes at the same time that I've begun Crusader Kings II with an Irish campaign, so as I do the exercises I can roughly place some of the geographical names, and feel like I have knowledge).
    Last edited by Berzee; 30-10-2013 at 02:27 PM.
    Support for my all-pepperjack-cheese food bank charity drive has been lukewarm at best.

  2. #1762
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Jockie's Avatar
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    Curious as to whether anyone here has read the (Booker Prize winning & Booker of Bookers nominated) Regeneration Trilogy by Pat Barker? Recently discovered I have a Booker Prize winning author living in my street and intellectual guilt suggests I should read it, but it probably isn't my cup of tea.
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  3. #1763
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    I just finished Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut. It's just superb, excellent, brilliant and all the other superlatives. All the wry wit and observations have made me want to read Catch-22 again. Also I got a vibe of Wes Anderson having ripped this off at some point from it, though far less saccharine than what Wes Anderson would do.

    Anyway now reading The Drowned World by JG Ballard, which is oppressive and claustrophobic. But brilliant for it, the prose is great.

  4. #1764
    Re-reading Orlando by Virginia Woolf
    "Oh, evolution. It wasn't meant for everyone."

  5. #1765
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stense View Post
    Thanks for the support guys. I really appreciate it, hope you enjoy the book. If I can push my luck further and be more annoying, my first book (a dark comedy fantasy novel) is also available for a free download until Friday. http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Gatekeep...3134436&sr=1-2 I'll shut up now and never speak again. Ta.
    I'll certainly take a look. And please do keep self-promoting. When I'm busy posting everywhere trying to get my own book noticed (nearly there, just need a cover and a good blurb, all the writing was done months ago) I don't want to feel guilty being the only one clamouring for attention :D

  6. #1766
    Network Hub Gerbick's Avatar
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    Thanks Stense, both books queued-up to read!

  7. #1767
    Activated Node Mollusc Infestation's Avatar
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    Irrational shyness has prevented me from jumping into this thread sooner, but the promise of some sci-fi talk is tempting enough to quash my neuroses.

    I'm reading Brightness Reef, the fourth book of David Brin's Uplift Saga. I thoroughly enjoyed The Postman, as an antidote to the many depressing post-apocalyptic stories in existence, but i'm finding myself enjoying each book in Uplift slightly less than the previous one. I love the grand, galactic political overtones to the general story arc, but each book seems to be more concerned with smaller scale stories. I'm sure i'll get through all of them, but i feel a bit like i'm waiting for them to escalate into exciting actiony excitement and intrigue.
    Steam: Android Surgeon-General Kraken
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  8. #1768
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mollusc Infestation View Post
    Irrational shyness has prevented me from jumping into this thread sooner, but the promise of some sci-fi talk is tempting enough to quash my neuroses.
    Welcome! It's endearing to see someone who is shy on the internet and in something as innocuous as the book thread to boot. I recommend you get stuck in to the politics thread and be as obnoxious as possible just to balance out this harmless character trait.

    So you recommend the Postman? Always intrigued me as a concept but 20 minutes of Kevin Costner glimpsed as a teenager put me off it (ps I like Costner actually but he should steer clear of SF).


    I've been mostly reading Scott Lynch's Republic of Thieves. First locke lamora book I've read rather than listened to, hard to make the adjustment - keep confusing Locke and Jean in print as I'm so used to them having such different voices. In print their language is so close there's less distinction.

  9. #1769
    Activated Node Mollusc Infestation's Avatar
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    My politics are basically "I wish people were nicer to one another". Although i'm sure even that would prompt a good argument in the right hands.

    I only discovered that there's a film of The Postman after i finished the book. From what i've heard of it, i stumbled upon the two versions in the preferred order. I'd recently been scarred by Cormac McCarthy's The Road, so the fact the The Postman is in a similar setting but tonally opposite was an interesting contrast. It's a bit feel-good and perhaps a bit light hearted, but as someone who was disenfranchised with DayZ the third time i was brutally murdered when hesitating to think "But what if he's friendly-", i feel like it's a nice alternative take on the post-apocalyptic.

    The name "Gentlemen Bastards Sequence" is enough to get my attention. I need some decent fantasy, after the longform anticlimax of The Wheel of Time. It probably would have been a pretty good trilogy.
    Steam: Android Surgeon-General Kraken
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  10. #1770
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Finished Scott Lynch's "Republic of Thieves". Flawed, but I enjoyed it.

    Mostly spoiler free: As has been known for years, this one is very much about Locke and Sabetha. And I think that is where the book failed. I absolutely loved reading about the adventures and felt they had a good rivalry, but Sabetha never felt like a real character. Even worse, Locke's obsession with her just felt strained and awkward and I never really saw any redeeming quality in Sabetha other than "she is pretty and she is a talented thief". Lynch puts far too much emphasis on such a weak part of the book. Also, Jean might as well have not been in this book and Lynch managed to turn the Sanzas into very unlikable characters.

    Spoilery: I am not sure how I feel about the revelation that Locke was a bodysnatched little boy. The revelation definitely had a pretty high Holy Shit Quotient, but I preferred Locke as just a normal, highly intelligent, person with questionable judgement and an addiction to games with a high degree of complexity. Now he is a reborn super-mage. Although, I definitely give Lynch massive points for having Patience use that and Sabetha's insecurity to really twist the knife in the eye of the man who maimed her son. Both scenes involving Patience, Locke, and his past were spectacularly well done. Personally, I think it would have been MUCH better if we never had the interlude of other bondsmagi confirming that Locke was the reincarnation and instead left it in a vague state of "Was she just fucking with him or is it true?".

    Both heists in the book were rather well done and enjoyable, but neither had any particularly high stakes. But I think this is the problem of any ongoing series. Overall, I definitely enjoyed the book as a whole, but I just don't like what it did for the overall mythos and canon. And there are parts of it that make it feel like one huge shaggy dog story, which would have worked if the Locke and Sabetha stuff were better actualized or if it had focused more on "Jean and Locke hanging out". Because Lynch can definitely write great Locke and Jean scenes, and he could have salvaged a lot of it by focusing on the two of those with Sabetha being more of a motivation and catalyst, possibly even remaining The Unseen as in previous books. Would be slightly awkward, but I think Lynch would have handled it a lot better.
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  11. #1771
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    Rereading American Tabloid by James Ellroy. It's a very well written book that is oddly hard to read. I'm not quite sure why, but part of it is probably that pretty much every single person in it is either an asshole or pathetic (or both), and perhaps because it feels a little too true. I guess you could say the same about most of Ellroy's books, though.
    There is also a lot of slang in it that is a bit undecipherable, but that generally just makes it more interesting.

    Always wonder how it was received in the US, what with the weird pedestal the Kennedys and others have been put on there.

  12. #1772
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Kadayi's Avatar
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    Flitting between paperbacks of Peter Ackroyds 'The History of England Vol1' Nassim Talebs 'The Black Swan' (nothing to do with the film) and listening to Hilary Mantels 'Bring up the bodies' via Audible. Must admit wasn't sure whether audiobooks would be something I could get into (I generally listen to podcasts when I work), but I'm finding I'm quite enjoying it. Love reading, but infinite distractions and limited time mean multi-tasking is the only way to pack everything in.
    Why yes you're right I'm deliciously evil

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  13. #1773
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    Derelict Dreams, the companion book to Ring Runner, was a lot of fun. It's out on the space-wizards end of scifi, and is an entertaining romp that feels like a mashup of StarWars, Dune, and John Carter. Light fare, but good, and I hope there are a couple sequels in the works. The game is also quite good.

  14. #1774
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Plutocrats: the Rise of the New Global Super Rich by Ms. Chrystia Freeland, the one sold by Amazon.com has its title extended by this phrase "and the Fall of Everyone Else".

    The first time I read the term Plutocrat but I immediately associated it with the great Greek scholar Pluto, so I immediately wiki it. Turns out Plutocracy refers to a social system in which society is dominated by a small group of elites. This elite group is comprised of members not by inheritance by through their great capabilities to build a great society for everyone - except that usually they build a system in which they keep all the goodies to themselves. This book's thesis is that contemporary societies around the world are now dominated by those talented new entrepreneurs who built the new economy, and are seriously widening the income-gap, so wide considering the poor class (sadly, I am one of those underdogs) simply don't benefit from this economic growth and social progression at all. I just discovered this book a few days ago and I am expecting that this will be a great buy.

    I first noticed this book by its Chinese translated version. I understand this book was out just late last year. This is one of a very few foreign books to be translated here less than 1 year after the original version is out. This book must be something.

  15. #1775
    Network Hub Koobazaur's Avatar
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    Just started on Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley and so far it's quite a different fantasy book, focusing more on the higher-end Thanes doings, politics and the world, rather than slaying orcs and dragons. Reminds me of old Polish history books :p


    Enjoying the change of pace from the typical fantasy fare, but also having a wee bit hard time keeping track of the multitude of ("bloods"), races, cities and their relations. Just a matter of getting used to it I guess; at least the book provides a map + cast of characters upfront which is nice!
    Postmortem: one must die- Political narrative-adventure game playing an Agent of Death who must take ONE life that could change the fate of a conflict-torn Nation!

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  16. #1776
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus L_No's Avatar
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    Finished The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde last night, must've been the third time I've read the book. I can recommend it to everyone, the writing is stellar. Almost every other sentence is so good I want to quote it to everyone I meet.

    Will be moving on to the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes novels and stories, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

  17. #1777
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Xercies's Avatar
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    Having a bit of a change of pace and reading Notes on a Small Island by Bill Bryson, it is not going to change the world and its not about heavy themes but it is probably the most funny and entertaining read I've read in awhile i always have a smile reading it as the man walks around Britain and gives you anecdotes that are so god damn true. Also makes me want to walk around some of the pretty areas he goes around.

  18. #1778
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    I am nearing the end of Stone of Farewell by Tad Williams.Really enjoying the story be it a typical fantasy saga that promises to be very different. Waiting for the big revelatory twist that I keep expecting.I enjoy Tad Williams' work, always brings up great imagery in my head. Especially while reading the Otherworld series.

  19. #1779
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    I am reading many books, because I basically pick a whole bunch from the various Kindle sales month in month out. Probably the one that's most impressing me right now is Catherynne M. Valente's Deathless, which is basically the best deconstruction of/loving homage to a fairytale or mythos I've read in ages. It's set in early twentieth century Russia, where a girl waits for an emissary from fairyland/sorta general Russian myth and legend to take her away as his bride - after she's seen the same thing happen to her sisters - only the man who comes to get her is something far more strange and horrifying than she ever imagined. She goes from terror, to acceptance, to love, to growing tired of her life in this weird shadow existence he lives in, to running away, and then goes kinda-sorta-but-not-really full circle to realising you can't go home again and that her understanding of the world has ended up forever changed.

    It's dark, it's seriously unnerving - it is so good to find a writer who can wring horror out of more than blood and guts - and it's fantastically adult for real, as in when it uses sex and sensuality it's doing it for much more than shock value or cheap thrills. And it is seriously amazing writing, phenomenally eloquent and evocative, and able to use both a brilliant turn of phrase and a downhome, earthy joke just as effectively. I'm working on a short(-ish) fantasy story set in a vaguely imperial Russian setting myself and it is both inspiring and wildly frustrating reading this at the same time, because I'm reasonably confident I'm a fairly good writer, but I know I'm not nearly this good.

  20. #1780
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Neuromancer by William Gibson. Someone just sold 3 megabytes of hot RAM. Little did the 80's know how hilarious that sounds now. The book is very enjoyable so far though, it evokes a great cyberpunk atmosphere.

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