What are you reading?


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Aquila ka-Hecate
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Aquila ka-Hecate »

distrans wrote:the unpleasant profession of Johnathon houge


my storage
found it near the top


sublime...
Love that one.
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SadisticCynic
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by SadisticCynic »

A couple I've read recently.

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak. The story is about the contrast between having a history and feeling the weight of the past and having no past and longing for a history to call your own, and she does this by examining the intimate daily lives of two families, Armenian and Turkish,and how the spectre of the Armenian genocide overshadows those lives, often without the people involved being conscious of the fact. It's a really beautiful novel; I read the last 150 or so pages in one sitting. I'm quite sure I'll try and read through Shafak's bibliography.

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. I guess this one is famous so people know the main ideas, so I'll just say I really enjoyed it. In particular, I liked that it wasn't a simple 'tribe good, colonist bad' scenario, but just showed people and societies interacting and the effects they produce. I especially enjoyed the portrayal of how Christianity is (was?) used to undermine the structure of a foreign society by exploiting it's flaws, only to replace it with something much worse.

On Fire: The Burning Case for a Green New Deal by Naomi Klein. I love reading Naomi's work. It's rare to find something that makes me hope again.
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distrans
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by distrans »

city of inmates

conquest, rebellion, and the rise
of human caging in los angeles
1771-1956

Kelly lytle hernandez
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DuckAtreides
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by DuckAtreides »

Reading Dune again. Also Titus Alone, third in Mervyn Peake's satirical fantasy novel trilogy. Wonderful poetry: "A mule at prayer. Ignore him. Turn to me \ Until the gold contraption of our love \ rattles its seven biscuit boxes and the sea \ withdraws its combers from the rhubarb grove."
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Tom Servo
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Tom Servo »

Besides my Dune reading I'm also reading Philip K. Dick's "The Man In The High Castle". I should probably read more of his stuff, this is only the second novel of his I've read, having read "Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep" years ago and I've read 2-3 collections of his short story collections over the years. It's all been good so I don't know why I don't read more of his stuff. I think it's usually because his stories/novels never sound as interesting as they actually turn out to be and it's just hard to get me to start one.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Serkanner »

Tom Servo wrote: I think it's usually because his stories/novels never sound as interesting as they actually turn out to be and it's just hard to get me to start one.
I had the same experience and still have, every time I pick up another Dick novel. Almost all his novels and short stories are really worth reading and fortunately he has written quite an oeuvre.
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DuckAtreides
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by DuckAtreides »

Serkanner wrote:
Tom Servo wrote: I think it's usually because his stories/novels never sound as interesting as they actually turn out to be and it's just hard to get me to start one.
I had the same experience and still have, every time I pick up another Dick novel. Almost all his novels and short stories are really worth reading and fortunately he has written quite an oeuvre.
I haven't got nearly enough PKD. I took me watching Bladerunner though, to start reading him. And Bladerunner's not nearly as interesting as Do Android Dream of Electric Sheep? He's also one of the funniest writers I've read, though some of his jokes are so subtle it takes repeated reading to understand the punchline.
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Tom Servo
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Tom Servo »

DuckAtreides wrote: He's also one of the funniest writers I've read, though some of his jokes are so subtle it takes repeated reading to understand the punchline.
Definitely. "We Can Remember It For You Wholesale" (aka Total Recall) might be the hardest I've ever laughed while reading. It's not his more subtle comedy though, the story almost feel like the premise for a Kids In The Hall sketch.
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Naib
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Naib »

Currently reading In Conquest Born by C. S. Friedman. It's an interesting space opera first published in the mid-80s. It's got a very big feel to it much the Dune has, but not nearly as intricate. I can see influences from many science fiction stories at work here. I'm not finished yet, but I would certainly recommend it for a Dune-ish experience.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by georgiedenbro »

I just finished reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I mostly chose to pick it up because I had assumed the connection between what T.E. Lawrence wrote and Dune would be interesting. By and large it's a very slow read, with the entries almost being the equivalent of meditative journal entries on the events of WWI in the Arabian peninsula. Much of it is also play-by-play, including meals, quiet nights, as well as the more exciting adventures.

Overall the strong correlations to Dune seem to involve (a) the untapped energy and fighting spirit of the Bedouins (Fremen), and (b) the seemingly awe-inspiring leadership of T.E. Lawrence (Muad'dib). Now the parallels are not quite clean, because for instance the Bedouin were depicted as wild, unruly, chaotic, and very individualistic, which is a strong contrast with the well-ordered and disciplined Fremen. Lawrence also had a complex about being seen as a great leader while seeing himself as a liar and a fraud, so this is common to Paul's sense that by going along with the Fremen victory he was betraying the human race by putting the Atreides banner on the jihad. But on the other hand Paul seems to have desired to an extent to use his great abilities, despite knowing the long-term cost, while Lawrence was more of a fish out of water, a non-military agent serving as a de facto general (and having to keep actual generals at bay). So whereas Paul was bred for the role (like it or not), Lawrence was almost a hapless bystander who became a nexus for the entire Arab movement just because he was the only one to see the potential of the Arabs.

In short I'm not sure whether to recommend the book or not. I certainly don't regret it, but it's not quite what I had expected. Rather than a philosophical text sprung out of WWI, it's really a war-story that has passages of reflection peppered here and there. But if you like real-life adventure stories this is definitely one to pick up.
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distrans
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by distrans »

im closing in on the finish of "Requiem"
neal stephenson

i really dug snowcrash and diamond age but after that i found his other works didnt hold me to point and i didnt finish any of them. this time around i hit the same wall but found i could relax enough to not care so much and as result was able to muddle through. muddle's the wrong word; my relax allowed me to just ignore my repulse and i could keep reading

the book isnt an easy read. was tempted to google it but knew that wouldnt help. not for me and how i like things. but a couple hundred pages later i did and found a youtube of neal at google on the subject. figuring the first couple minutes couldnt hurt so i started watching. hadnt expected him to be so socially awkward. he monologued extensively and mentioned hes known for ending his books poorly. interesting. been along time since i read his others and i dont remember getting that. i didnt watch past that and went back to reading the book un affected

its not at all an easy book to read. its not that it gets bogged down but more HE bogs down in how he chooses to paint dialogue as he proceeds.

900pages and a bit. and as i closed into the last 200 i found his mock of himself wasnt even close to correct. and now in the last 100 the story is insanely captivating.

im sharp on physics and i enjoy him being so and how he dips into describing story elements that he illistrates knowing them

obviously hes no herbert but nonetheless id say this book is well worth the attempt


hope your well,
sincerely
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Mr. Teg
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Mr. Teg »

georgiedenbro wrote: 11 Jun 2021 19:27 I just finished reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom. I mostly chose to pick it up because I had assumed the connection between what T.E. Lawrence wrote and Dune would be interesting. By and large it's a very slow read, with the entries almost being the equivalent of meditative journal entries on the events of WWI in the Arabian peninsula. Much of it is also play-by-play, including meals, quiet nights, as well as the more exciting adventures.

Overall the strong correlations to Dune seem to involve (a) the untapped energy and fighting spirit of the Bedouins (Fremen), and (b) the seemingly awe-inspiring leadership of T.E. Lawrence (Muad'dib). Now the parallels are not quite clean, because for instance the Bedouin were depicted as wild, unruly, chaotic, and very individualistic, which is a strong contrast with the well-ordered and disciplined Fremen. Lawrence also had a complex about being seen as a great leader while seeing himself as a liar and a fraud, so this is common to Paul's sense that by going along with the Fremen victory he was betraying the human race by putting the Atreides banner on the jihad. But on the other hand Paul seems to have desired to an extent to use his great abilities, despite knowing the long-term cost, while Lawrence was more of a fish out of water, a non-military agent serving as a de facto general (and having to keep actual generals at bay). So whereas Paul was bred for the role (like it or not), Lawrence was almost a hapless bystander who became a nexus for the entire Arab movement just because he was the only one to see the potential of the Arabs.

In short I'm not sure whether to recommend the book or not. I certainly don't regret it, but it's not quite what I had expected. Rather than a philosophical text sprung out of WWI, it's really a war-story that has passages of reflection peppered here and there. But if you like real-life adventure stories this is definitely one to pick up.
It's also known in the military community as a book regarding guerilla warfare.
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