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  1. #481
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    Yea, A Feast of Crows is good and has a lot of good writing in it. It's just that I, for one, found it to be more a filler without much happening. And Catelyn turning into a zombie just elicits a WTF.

    A Dance with Dragons is shit though, I can't believe how Martin has fucked up the series after writing four stellar books.

  2. #482
    Network Hub corbain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanban View Post
    Just started reading Consider Phlebas. Really enjoying it!
    If this is your first Culture novel, then you've got a lot of the best SciFi writing ahead of you. Consider Phlebas is one of my all time favorites, and its counterpoint Look to Windward is also fantastic, although not a direct sequel it deals with the aftermath of the war.
    Last edited by corbain; 19-01-2012 at 09:55 AM.

  3. #483
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    Cruel Bank by Mr. Egami Gou, I've read 1 out of 7 chapters of this Japanese Financial thriller.

    The protagonist worked in a city bank's audit department as one of principal auditor. The department was responsible for ratifying issuance of loans. This placed protagonist's office in frequent tension with the bank's branches which were eager to improvement business performance by issuing more loans. In the first chapter, the bank was going to merger with another much more powerful city bank, and downsizing was pretty much unavoidable. His best friend, who was once considered an elite, didnt escape the fate and was transferred to a newly established department call "Human Talent Development Office", in true nature was a concentration camp for all who were not wanted anymore, any were therefore given two choices: either accept "early retirement" with compensation merely enough to support life till another job (yes, the truth is the bank doesnt care if you retire or not, they just want you to retire from their office), or rotten in this so called office. This poor friend could not accept this cruel fate and committed suicide by jumping rail. The protagonist started to plan for seeking justice for his friend.

    City bank is a component of Japanese banking industry, the kind of bank capable of doing business in nation-wide. I dont know if this classification is unique in Japan. I think in the US there are also classification of banks as local community banks and nation-wide bank.

    This is the sixth Japanese financial thriller I read. And Mr. Egami is the third writer I am coming across. It seems the Japanese banking industry is facing a very serious bad debt issue, left behind by the financial bubble in the 1980s, and two decades later there is no light the problem will go away. Almost all banks need capital injection by the government, effectively facing the whole banking industry under the strong government influence, and political corruption therefore became the direct result of the bad debt issuance.

  4. #484
    Activated Node Auspex's Avatar
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    My New Year's Resolution this year was to read more so I'm going to start posting here quite frequently (hopefully). So far I have read:

    The Magicians by Lev Grossman: I loved the idea behind this - people discovering a fantasy world where the characters are aware, or even obsessed with, Harry Potter or CS Lewis type books. I found the main character utterly unlikeable though and I never got the feeling it knew where it was going - when I finished it I realised it didn't! It does have a great desciption of someone laughing at something "exactly as if it were funny" which I loved.

    American on Purpose by Craig Ferguson: I don't usually read autobiographies but I quite like Craig Ferguson and as a fellow Protestant (well people who still care about such things would regard me as such anyway) who grew up just outside of Glasgow I could relate to a lot of what he said. The bits about his alcoholism were interesting and he's pretty honest about how awful he was at times. Could have done with a bit less name-dropping though and a much less awful cover. My favourite line was
    “We’d been taught from an early age that sex was shameful and bad, that men wanted it all the time because they were slaves to their appetites, and that women were good, they didn’t like or want sex but would allow it in order to have babies, or because they were drunk, or English.”

    Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: I tried to read this when I was much younger but bounced off it having found Holden far too irritating. Probably had something to do with how irritating I was at the time come to think of it. Obviously excellent and I agree with Holden when he says “The trouble with me is, I like it when somebody digresses. It’s more interesting and all.” Probably why I like Rum Doings so much.


    The Chrysalids by John Wyndham: for one year of my life when I was 11/12 I think I only read Wyndham books but I somehow missed this one. I really enjoyed it; I think the way that Wyndham builds up your understanding of the world is excellent.

    Currently reading: I'm about half way through The Princess Bride, S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. I've seen the film but I'm only now realising what a good job Goldman did of the adaption - I bet he knows that book better than the author did!
    I'm also reading Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain. I'm enjoying it but I'm slightly dubious of how true any of it is. It's very much a product of its time though with comments such as:
    "I have caught a glimpse of the faces of several Moorish women (for they are only human, and will expose their faces for the admiration of a ChristianDog when no male Moor is by), and I am full of veneration for the wisdom that leads them to cover up such atrocious ugliness."

    Looking forward to reading right through this thread and contributing more in the future.
    Last edited by Auspex; 20-01-2012 at 08:05 PM.

  5. #485
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    This book makes Bulletstorm seem as if it's adverse to swearing.


  6. #486
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Gore Vidal's Creation.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  7. #487
    Lesser Hivemind Node DigitalSignalX's Avatar
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    Just started 11.22.63 and wow. Such a well written story so far. However, like a complete idiot, I went to the SK Wiki to check if some of the characters I was was reading about were cross-overs from other Stephen King books. I dutifully skip the synopsis to avoid spoilers, but right there in the "cross over characters" section is a huge fat spoiler I can't unread. Now I know something is going to happen and it will be completely unsurprising. Still, it will be worth the journey.
    All times I have enjoyed greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those that loved me, and alone.

  8. #488
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    Reread Michael Herr's Dispatches, for the nth time, partly because Rii's post some pages back reminded me of it and partly because I've reached the part of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 where things start to get really bleak.

    Now I'm rereading G.H. Turley's The Easter Offensive, about the North Vietnamese offensive in March-April 1972. The background is the offensive and the author's role in it, but the book is also much about the last American advisors in Vietnam (of whom the author was one).
    It's a pretty sober book, not too gung-ho, but you do need to have the stomach for tons of military acronyms on each page.

  9. #489
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    About it finish reading The Lord of the Rings for the second time. I read it for the first time when I was around ten and a lot of the narrative had gone over my head. I can better appreciate it now. There are a lot of things that didn't really sit well with me such as the idealized characters as well as the people in general, or the good vs evil theme. The world-building is of course awesome though not as detailed as I thought it would be withing the book though the appendixes are two fucking hundred pages long.

  10. #490
    As usual i like to read each book and novel.... Many people have interest in reading books, so i also have a lot interest in it.Right now i am reading History of old buildings...Thanks.
    Last edited by Komila; 21-01-2012 at 12:26 PM.

  11. #491
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus squirrel's Avatar
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    The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilzation's Northern Future by Mr. Laurence C. Smith

    I recently bought the Taiwan translated version, but it's originally written in English. As the title suggests, it predicts that northern nations would, due to climatic changes, do much better than southern nations, or strictly speaking nations close to northern pole would do better than nations close to the equator. I just started reading it, Mr. Smith seems to strongly believe in global warming. For whatever reason the debate on whether global warming or global cooling taking place become hotter and hotter. I am generally educated in formal education that global warming is prevailing, due to CO2 emission. Now more and more people start to yell out that global warming is the greatest lie in the 20th century. I dont know who is right and who's wrong.

  12. #492
    Network Hub Rakysh's Avatar
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    The way I see it, what do people who concur with most of the science gaining? Maybe a bit if they're solar panel producers or whatnot, but most aren't. What do those who disagree gain? Well, they can continue to make profit without having to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. It seems clear who has the most to gain from lying.

    Edit: oshit yeah the thread. I'm reading Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxson, a distinctly disturbing non fiction book about offshore tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions. Not good.

  13. #493
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrel View Post
    Now more and more people start to yell out that global warming is the greatest lie in the 20th century. I dont know who is right and who's wrong.
    What people?

    Always - always - consider the source.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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  14. #494
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Althea's Avatar
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    Climate change (and, by extension, global warming) is a natural phenomenon that would have happened regardless of our presence, as we are currently in the tail end of an ice age. The ice caps would melt, the sea level would rise, creatures would become extinct, low-lying land would be covered in water, flooding would increase and so on - we cannot stop it, and to do so would be an affront to nature and evolution.

    However, our love of burning shit and felling trees has really not helped the situation and has contributed a lot to the acceleration and/or more severe effects, such as smog and pollutants in the air/soil/water.


  15. #495
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Nalano's Avatar
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    Janet Chen's Guilty of Indigence and John Burdett's Vulture Peak.
    Nalano H. Wildmoon
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    "His lack of education is more than compensated for by his keenly developed moral bankruptcy." - Woody Allen

  16. #496
    Lesser Hivemind Node westyfield's Avatar
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    Still reading Murakami's 1Q84, because a) it's huge, and b) I have no time for reading. Once exams are over I'm going home for the weekend, I plan to just sit and read as much as possible.

  17. #497
    Obscure Node Bison's Avatar
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    Roma: The Novel of Ancient Rome, by Steven Saylor.

  18. #498
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Similar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Similar View Post
    Now I'm rereading G.H. Turley's The Easter Offensive, about the North Vietnamese offensive in March-April 1972. The background is the offensive and the author's role in it, but the book is also much about the last American advisors in Vietnam (of whom the author was one).
    It's a pretty sober book, not too gung-ho, but you do need to have the stomach for tons of military acronyms on each page.
    Slight correction; the latter half does get a bit much 'ultimate sacrifice/highest price'-ish, but I think it's mainly because the author ran out of other ways to describe his admiration for the people he worked with.


    Keeping to the theme (I got this book because it's mentioned in Michael Herr's Dispatches), I've started rereading Bernard Fall's Hell in a Very Small Place which is about Dien Bien Phu. It's based both on official French documents (as many as had been declassified at the time; the book was first published in 1966 and since the author died the year after, while working as a correspondent in Vietnam, he couldn't revise the book as more got declassified) and interviews with survivors from both sides and from many different countries (the French used soldiers of many different nationalities).
    Very good book, and pleasantly objective too.

    While reading it I sometimes look in Histoire des Parachutistes Franšais, Volume 1, which I dragged home from Paris some 20 years ago. I don't read much French, but the book has a lot of maps and photos showing places and battles described in Fall's book.

  19. #499
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    Salmon of Doubt by Douglas Adams. Definitely one of my heros

  20. #500
    Network Hub MD!'s Avatar
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    I've never read Virginia Woolf before, so I decided to start with Mrs Dalloway. I like Woolf's style, so far.

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