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  1. #2241
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Fumarole's Avatar
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    Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown. While some of the humor is a little forced, the insights into Brown's antics are pretty enjoyable. If just half the populace read the chapter on how easily our minds can deceive us we'd be living in a vastly better world.
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  2. #2242
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Got around to reading the second and third books in Westerfeld's Leviathan series because a girl I have a thing for loved them. Still love the world (alternate WWI with steampunk Germany vs biopunk Britain), still not huge on the characters. That being said, the plot remained interesting and I enjoyed the books, even if they aren't particularly good.

    Following that, I found out Mike Carey (in comic land, he did Lucifer. In book land, he did the Felix Castor series) released a book recently: The Girl with All The Gifts. Not gonna spoil anything, but it is actually an interesting book on what matters about humanity. And, as expected, it is creepy as hell. Preferred the Felix Castor books, but I still liked it a lot.

    And now I am back to finishing the Nightside series, since I found out I only had 3 left and they are fairly short reads.
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  3. #2243
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Got around to reading the second and third books in Westerfeld's Leviathan series because a girl I have a thing for loved them. Still love the world (alternate WWI with steampunk Germany vs biopunk Britain), still not huge on the characters. That being said, the plot remained interesting and I enjoyed the books, even if they aren't particularly good.
    Nah, I'd say they were good, just not great. Westerfeld's a solid writer and his stuff's generally fun to read - but he lacks the... spark he needs to push him up alongside the really quality YA stuff (Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Holly Black, Julianna Baggott et al). I never did buy Leviathan #3, though I've got the first arc of the Uglies books - which hit a similar tone. Worthy and interesting and all but just a bit flat. I'm sure they keep teenagers happy, though, so eh; I'm way past the target market.
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  4. #2244
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gundato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    Nah, I'd say they were good, just not great. Westerfeld's a solid writer and his stuff's generally fun to read - but he lacks the... spark he needs to push him up alongside the really quality YA stuff (Philip Reeve, Patrick Ness, Holly Black, Julianna Baggott et al). I never did buy Leviathan #3, though I've got the first arc of the Uglies books - which hit a similar tone. Worthy and interesting and all but just a bit flat. I'm sure they keep teenagers happy, though, so eh; I'm way past the target market.
    Yeah, that was definitely a factor, but I am generally a fairly immature person so I don't think it matters TOO much.

    Also, the ending has made me realize that I read WAY too much "fucked up shit". Some people say "There is always gonna be a happy ending because of patterns and tropes". I apparently assume disfigurement and death...
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  5. #2245
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    Quote Originally Posted by gundato View Post
    Yeah, that was definitely a factor, but I am generally a fairly immature person so I don't think it matters TOO much.
    Well, I'm pretty much a manchild myself, so that might have something to do with my appreciating the genre, but I maintain the better YA novels are simply Good Books - great books, even - that happen to be written well enough pretty much anyone in their teens and up can get into them. All those four I mentioned are really, really good authors, to my way of thinking. Black's the weakest, maybe, she goes a little overboard on tortured, brooding protagonists for no apparent reason other than the genre demands them, but she's still way more inspired than Westerfeld (who still stamps all over dross like The Hunger Games books, mind). But universal appeal or not, none of these things are aimed at me, obviously, so it just feels weird debating their merits sometimes when most of their intended audience are probably waving every "flaw" away with an OMG SO AWESOME. :)
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  6. #2246
    Moderator Anthile's Avatar
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    I'm currently reading Paradise Lost, the original. Not bad for Bible fanfiction. Will I ever read something that's not a couple hundred years old ever again? Only time can tell.
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    to wound the autumnal city.

  7. #2247
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    I just finished reading Age of Ambition by Evan Osnos. I've been reading a lot of nonfiction lately since I'm about to incorporate and want to get insight on management styles and running a company. I'm probably going to read a book on Apple corporate culture and/or the way Steve Jobs handled things within Apple, if there is such a book.

  8. #2248
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    More Star Wars. Took me about three weeks to drag myself through The Phantom Menace, but then I had another week in my parents' house and got back up to speed; 24 novels read in that week (a good few of them were only 100-160 pages, though).
    The series also mostly got back up to speed.
    The Boba Fett books are pretty meh, sort of feel like they're written for kids, by people who underestimate the intelligence of kids, but that was kind of as bad as it got.

    Some highlights:
    Outbound Flight, prequel to the Thrawn trilogy (and a bit better, I thought).
    Shatterpoint, one of the very few places in the SW mythos were Mace Windu isn't just an arrogant dick with no real role to play. It's actually rather good, especially the Heart Of Darkness type of story it starts out as.
    Dark Rendezvous was actually pretty funny, which I didn't expect.
    The Clone Wars was surprisingly enjoyable too, despite it having to follow an existing story from the animated movie (which I like, but books based on specific movies generally suffer badly), but it is written by Karen Traviss and she manages to give the characters even more depth.

    Now I'm on the second book in the Clone wars series and if nothing else it's nice to read about Ahsoka and Ventress (even if that does also mean having to put up with Palpatine, Anakin and Padme).


    I had actually planned to spend the week reading Battletech novels, but I guess I'm not done with Star Wars yet.

  9. #2249
    Obscure Node Amazingpunk's Avatar
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    I've actually just read Ransom Riggs Miss Peregrine's home for peculiar children. I do like the use of images in this book , he has taken old photographs and turned them into the characters from the book! It took me by surprise actually, I really enjoyed it!

  10. #2250
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    I just finished Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian, and I think that it's something I'll have to consider for a while before coming to a conclusion on. There were parts in which I absolutely hated the novel and genuinely considered stopping; at other points, it was brilliant, and in the end I'm not sure if that wasn't the point. In any case, I think that I'll read something lighter next as a palette cleanser. Maybe I'll finally finish up the Hunger Games series given that the next movie is coming out in the fall.

  11. #2251
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    I picked up Half a King, by Joe Abercrombie.

    I'm glad I stuck with this author. It's not quite hitting the same highs for me as Red Country, but it's a good book - it's certainly the easiest of his to read, given that I got about 200 something pages in (or a little over half) in a sitting, and felt I had to tear myself away. The characters are sturdy enough, but feel they'll have plenty of room to grow in subsequent books, and the author's talent for creating crapsack worlds is on full display, save that this time, it feels positively optimistic for Abercrombie. People are almost reasonable, and offer help, and are generally more willing to sheathe their swords than in other stories of his. Yeah. Enjoying it. After this? The Prefect, by Alastair Reynolds.

  12. #2252
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    And that's it done. I think I said it all in the previous post though. I greatly enjoyed the conclusion, and I'm looking forward to the next book in that series :)

  13. #2253
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Ancient Persia - A concise history of the Achaemenid empire. I'm a riot at parties.

  14. #2254
    Lesser Hivemind Node Bobtree's Avatar
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    I read Blindsight, by Peter Watts, for the 5th time, in anticipation of the sequel coming out next week. It can't be as gripping as the first read of course, but I still love this book. The writing is so smart and engaging that even having worn out the story and grown aware of its flaws, I remain in awe of it. I also read The Colonel ($1 on Amazon), a short story connecting the first book to the next, and enjoyed the ideas but don't think it's essential. Lastly, Beyond The Rift is a good collection by Watts, including The Things and The Island, both of which I'd read previously but still liked revisiting. My hardback copy of Echopraxia is pre-ordered, and while I doubt it can eclipse Blindsight as my favorite book, the reviews are interesting and I'm greatly anticipating it.

  15. #2255
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    Quote Originally Posted by eRa View Post
    Ancient Persia - A concise history of the Achaemenid empire. I'm a riot at parties.
    Hardly a bad choice! I've been reading up a little of Achaemenid Persia too, though mine has just been more lightweight wikipedia surfing through Cyrus, Darius I, that sort of thing. They're a fascinating ancient culture that's completely underexplored in the west!

  16. #2256
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    So, because I don't play by the rules and I'm a loose cannon, instead of starting The Prefect after finishing Half a King, I've instead started Thief's Magic, by Trudi Canavan. It's an interesting retake on the magic/steampunk thing, where it's a lot more like indiana jones meets tin-tin by way of wizarding. It's not grimdark, and there's a little joke about people wearing goggles even when they're not flying. It starts out with a sorcerer-archaeologist robbing a tomb (replete with upset locals and fleeing onto an aerial escape), and tonally keeps that in the hundred-ish pages I've read so far. Which makes it very different to her other books in terms of setting, even if they are still easy to read, brisk, and fun. Which are words often meant in faintly condemning terms, and that is not how I mean them.

  17. #2257
    Lesser Hivemind Node eRa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serenegoose View Post
    Hardly a bad choice! I've been reading up a little of Achaemenid Persia too, though mine has just been more lightweight wikipedia surfing through Cyrus, Darius I, that sort of thing. They're a fascinating ancient culture that's completely underexplored in the west!
    My words exactly. Unfortunately any historical account is going to rely a lot on foreign sources. There's a dearth of direct written sources when it comes to these people.

  18. #2258
    The maze runner, 2 States - by chetan bhagat, the half girlfriend :)

  19. #2259
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Zephro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthile View Post
    I'm currently reading Paradise Lost, the original. Not bad for Bible fanfiction. Will I ever read something that's not a couple hundred years old ever again? Only time can tell.
    Paradise Lost is great, though it did take me a while to get into it. Though I had read the World Turned Upside Down just before so had a whole Milton as a dialogue with the radicals in my head.

  20. #2260
    Network Hub DeekyFun's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to get through the Wheel of Time. I've nearly finished book 5, and I think I need a break.

    The pacing from the first few books has slowed down over the last few, and it feels there's quite a lot of chapters where very little happens, until everything comes together at the end, and I find myself enjoying it again. I'm really not sure how I feel about the series so far, and am interested in how it concludes, but there's so much to get through.
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