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Books. Let's talk books.

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3 hours ago, tspoke said:

When  started looking at this thread I started to feel bad and think that everyone reads better high minded books than me or maybe people are only admitting to reading History books or biographys or other non-fiction. Where are all the light reads and guilty pleasure books? Then some good fantasy and sci fi books started showing up. Thank good I'm not the only one. I always have good intentions of reading interesting non-fiction and  will purchase or borrow them but lately I haven't been able to get started on anything.

I actually haven't been finding much time to read with being stuck at home with a 11 month old. Any spare hour or so I can get I am catching up on TV. I'm trying to listen to Audible when I'm working when I can but that isn't even happening much right now. I'm currently listening to the one of the new Star Wars books that came out recently. I am trying to get into the books in the new timeline but the Legends books were so much better. The most recent books that I loved were the "Red Rising" series. The first book starts is very "hunger Games"-y and "Enders Game"-y. It is classified as a YA title but it gets less and less YA later. After the first book it becomes just a good sci-fi story. Ive used the description (even though it sounds dumb ) a lighter Game of Thrones in space with battling houses and politics to go along with giant space battles.  Its good fun.

Dude, as soon as grad finals are done, I can't wait to get into one of my cowboy novels and some Batman graphic novels!

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38 minutes ago, toonkee said:

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WTH!? :lol:

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Though I like to read, I feel I have little time to read.

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I'm reading some stuff right now about early urban electric streetcar systems, long-distance electricity transmission and the Financial Panic of 1907. It's not for fun. I wouldn't recommend any of it. 

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23 hours ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

What you all reading during this shit?

 

I just finished a biography on Peter the Great.  Started "Rubicon" a book about the end of the Roman republic, a time in history I was already very familiar with but the writing style is superb so far.  I have also been working my way through the Tolkien works for the 5th time, they never get old.

wow, you can read?

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1 hour ago, sactowndog said:

Tolkien’s books are one of the few where the movie is better than the book.  

VvVSmv6.gif

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22 hours ago, halfmanhalfbronco said:

That Wild West book seems amazing.

That book cover is a famous painting done by well known western artist Charles M. Russell.

I could also read that book, it's up my alley...

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Non fiction I read a few month ago, "The Storm Before the Storm," by Mike Duncan.  Exams the events in the late Roman Republic which led to the situation where Julius Caesar was able to become a dictator.  Bone-chillingly similarities to the current political/social battle in the USA.  If you don't know your Roman history, basically escalating conflicts between two rival factions lead to the erosion of established political traditions and norms in the quest to one up the other side, even if some of it is with good intentions to solve a crisis.

An entertaining non-fiction, "What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Questions," by Randall Munroe, the XCKD cartoonist.  Let's just say you will never look at a mole (the mammal) the same way once you know what having a mol of moles would be like.  And you will never have to wonder about what happens when a baseball pitcher tries to send you a pitch traveling near the speed of light.

Fiction options for those looking for guilty pleasures or light reads:

The Change/Emberverse by S.M. Stirling (there are like a dozen books in the series) evolves from a somewhat realistic look in Book 1, "Dies the Fire," at what could happen in the northwestern U.S. (mainly Oregon) when modern technology stops working worldwide for unknown reasons. It follows mainly a couple of main characters: 1. A Wiccan singer and her friends trying to establish a viable community based at a somewhat remote cabin in the foothills of the Cascades and 2.  A former Marine turned bush pilot, helping a family survive after crash landing a small plane during the change and then gathering a group of survivors as they travel from Idaho to a rural estate in western Oregon.  Book 2 and 3 continue the story years after book 1 with the story of the good guy survivors and the bad guy survivors in newly established kingdoms/states fighting a war with medieval technology but modern knowledge and tactics.  From there on out it moves to more of a classic fantasy story with the generation of people born after the "Change" and the reemergence of magical forces.  I enjoyed most of the series but some of the entries were just bloat and not enough story moving along. Possible cons: Lots of time spent exploring Wiccan religion, I don't have anything against that per say, because it is important to the world building and some of the characters, but it does get excessive in spots. And as if to make up for it, in the later parts of the series, other religions and beliefs get some screen time.  Many of the main characters are also too much overpowered Mary Sue tropes.  But overall an entertaining dive into post-apocalyptic Oregon and and other parts of the U.S. as the series progresses.  There are also many nods to Tolkien in the series.  

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  I am not sure if I can give an accurate description of this series but I really have enjoyed it!  There are currently 15 books, with #16 to release later this year.  The premise is a detective noir/fantasy mash up with the detective part fading out to an extent as the series goes on.  Sort of a Joss Whedonesque Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel to it as well.  First couple of books are trying to find their footing and aren't bad, but starting at books 3 or 4 the stories get much better.  Most of the books are pretty good, I don't remember any that I really disliked.  There are lots of entertaining or unusual twists on lots of classic monster tropes such as demons, werewolves, vampires, fairies, etc.  To be fair, most of the stories involve a monster of the book/week format, but the overall story arc gets more complex as the series goes on.  And the author seems like he has an endgame in mind that he is working towards. 

 

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3 hours ago, tspoke said:

Mist Born was entertaining. Its the only Sanderson I've ever read. I've heard I need to get into more of his series in the Costmere(sp?).

Another good series along those same lines is the Warded Man series(actually think its called the demon cycle series but warded man is the first book). Its about a world where demons(water, fire, wood, rock etc) come up from the core of the earth at night and ravage it. People are trapped in their little towns and cities behind "wards" that the demons can't cross. That is until one boy...……...you get the picture.

 

I liked the demon cycle a lot too. 

2 hours ago, sactowndog said:

Tolkien’s books are one of the few where the movie is better than the book.  He describes things in such intimate detail that they can be tedious to read.  In the movie all that detail comes to life.  

Well nobody knew what the hell an elf/orc/goblin/dwarf was supposed to look like. It's like Verne spending 50 pages to explain to the reader what time travel is, the first of an idea has to lay the groundwork of getting the basics in to the zeitgeist so subsequent works can focus on story.

8 minutes ago, AG Blue said:

Non fiction I read a few month ago, "The Storm Before the Storm," by Mike Duncan.  Exams the events in the late Roman Republic which led to the situation where Julius Caesar was able to become a dictator.  Bone-chillingly similarities to the current political/social battle in the USA.  If you don't know your Roman history, basically escalating conflicts between two rival factions lead to the erosion of established political traditions and norms in the quest to one up the other side, even if some of it is with good intentions to solve a crisis.

An entertaining non-fiction, "What if?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Questions," by Randall Munroe, the XCKD cartoonist.  Let's just say you will never look at a mole (the mammal) the same way once you know what having a mol of moles would be like.  And you will never have to wonder about what happens when a baseball pitcher tries to send you a pitch traveling near the speed of light.

Fiction options for those looking for guilty pleasures or light reads:

The Change/Emberverse by S.M. Stirling (there are like a dozen books in the series) evolves from a somewhat realistic look in Book 1, "Dies the Fire," at what could happen in the northwestern U.S. (mainly Oregon) when modern technology stops working worldwide for unknown reasons. It follows mainly a couple of main characters: 1. A Wiccan singer and her friends trying to establish a viable community based at a somewhat remote cabin in the foothills of the Cascades and 2.  A former Marine turned bush pilot, helping a family survive after crash landing a small plane during the change and then gathering a group of survivors as they travel from Idaho to a rural estate in western Oregon.  Book 2 and 3 continue the story years after book 1 with the story of the good guy survivors and the bad guy survivors in newly established kingdoms/states fighting a war with medieval technology but modern knowledge and tactics.  From there on out it moves to more of a classic fantasy story with the generation of people born after the "Change" and the reemergence of magical forces.  I enjoyed most of the series but some of the entries were just bloat and not enough story moving along. Possible cons: Lots of time spent exploring Wiccan religion, I don't have anything against that per say, because it is important to the world building and some of the characters, but it does get excessive in spots. And as if to make up for it, in the later parts of the series, other religions and beliefs get some screen time.  Many of the main characters are also too much overpowered Mary Sue tropes.  But overall an entertaining dive into post-apocalyptic Oregon and and other parts of the U.S. as the series progresses.  There are also many nods to Tolkien in the series.  

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher.  I am not sure if I can give an accurate description of this series but I really have enjoyed it!  There are currently 15 books, with #16 to release later this year.  The premise is a detective noir/fantasy mash up with the detective part fading out to an extent as the series goes on.  Sort of a Joss Whedonesque Buffy the Vampire Slayer feel to it as well.  First couple of books are trying to find their footing and aren't bad, but starting at books 3 or 4 the stories get much better.  Most of the books are pretty good, I don't remember any that I really disliked.  There are lots of entertaining or unusual twists on lots of classic monster tropes such as demons, werewolves, vampires, fairies, etc.  To be fair, most of the stories involve a monster of the book/week format, but the overall story arc gets more complex as the series goes on.  And the author seems like he has an endgame in mind that he is working towards. 

 

we are like book buddies

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3 hours ago, toonkee said:

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I only look at the pictures

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3 hours ago, smltwnrckr said:

I'm reading some stuff right now about early urban electric streetcar systems, long-distance electricity transmission and the Financial Panic of 1907. It's not for fun. I wouldn't recommend any of it. 

Sounds like a party.

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Books I always go back to:

 

The Lord of the Rings

Anything written by Kurt Vonnegut ( Sirens of Titan my favorite )

Catch-22

 

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16 hours ago, sactowndog said:

Tolkien’s books are one of the few where the movie is better than the book.  He describes things in such intimate detail that they can be tedious to read.  In the movie all that detail comes to life.  

The movies are great but I enjoy the books  better.  There is so much lore that is missed in the movies.

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Currently I'm reading 20k leagues under the sea, out loud, to my ten year old at bedtime. Yes he can read by himself but the prose is quite flowery and formal, so we go slow and stop often to talk about what the hell the words mean.

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16 hours ago, NVGiant said:

Sounds like a party.

I live life in the red.

 

 

 

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 Veteran science fiction and fantasy reader here. I generally get enough daily non-fiction (and fiction—Fake News!) reading in on the daily as I scroll my news feed, deep dive into a random topic (often inspired by something I read on this forum) and read the daily local paper, which admittedly has less and less news in it as local print media continues to lose money and prune away its staff. Anyway, I almost always choose escapism when I pick up a book rather than something that requires real focus and force of will to read (feeling for you, @smltwnrckr). With that in mind, here are a couple of titles to not miss. 
 

Senlin Ascends. This was initially a self published book, but garnered such acclaim that it was later picked up and published by Orbit. It’s difficult to describe the story, which is an atypical take on the hero’s journey in a completely unique setting. It’s also extremely well written. It’s the first of a planned four book series, three of which are published with the 4th due in 2021.

 

SenlinAscends_TP-p2[2].jpg
 

The second recommendation is a book I read years ago that I’m still trying to forget enough of to go back for a second helping. It’s as unique in its own world building as Senlin Ascends. Perdido Street Station. If you ‘Murica types can get past the fact it’s written by (an extremely talented) communist, China Miéville, you ought to enjoy all the macabre weirdness inside. There are two additional books in this universe, also quite good, but the stories and characters are completely independent.

image.jpeg.7f8fc06c0de2c494f0d22a3d85b6ff76.jpeg


I’ve recommended Iain M. Banks, RIP, in past book threads. Any/all of his Culture novels are very good, some are great. He writes with that unique British humor too, always a bonus for me. The books are all self contained, but do reference past events, so starting from the beginning is probably the best option. Consider Phlebas is book #1, and probably my favorite, but that’s a tough call.

image.jpeg.ed3e5e0265859f080a6176dc99d1a7e1.jpeg
 

Hmmm. I keep thinking of other peculiar but well written works to add. My final recommendation. Don’t bother reading it if you’re an avowed climate change denier @Bob. In that arena, it’s a book before it’s time, as it was first published in 1987. Rumors of Spring, by Richard Grant. May be difficult to find new, but Amazon has lots of used copies.

image.jpeg.2267125062401d0710008063b4faf47f.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Posturedoc said:

it if you’re an avowed climate change denier @Bob.

It's not surprising you are an avid science fiction reader, after all, you apparently believe in global warming lmao.

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1 hour ago, Posturedoc said:

 Veteran science fiction and fantasy reader here. I generally get enough daily non-fiction (and fiction—Fake News!) reading in on the daily as I scroll my news feed, deep dive into a random topic (often inspired by something I read on this forum) and read the daily local paper, which admittedly has less and less news in it as local print media continues to lose money and prune away its staff. Anyway, I almost always choose escapism when I pick up a book rather than something that requires real focus and force of will to read (feeling for you, @smltwnrckr). With that in mind, here are a couple of titles to not miss. 
 

Senlin Ascends. This was initially a self published book, but garnered such acclaim that it was later picked up and published by Orbit. It’s difficult to describe the story, which is an atypical take on the hero’s journey in a completely unique setting. It’s also extremely well written. It’s the first of a planned four book series, three of which are published with the 4th due in 2021.

 

SenlinAscends_TP-p2[2].jpg
 

The second recommendation is a book I read years ago that I’m still trying to forget enough of to go back for a second helping. It’s as unique in its own world building as Senlin Ascends. Perdido Street Station. If you ‘Murica types can get past the fact it’s written by (an extremely talented) communist, China Miéville, you ought to enjoy all the macabre weirdness inside. There are two additional books in this universe, also quite good, but the stories and characters are completely independent.

image.jpeg.7f8fc06c0de2c494f0d22a3d85b6ff76.jpeg


I’ve recommended Iain M. Banks, RIP, in past book threads. Any/all of his Culture novels are very good, some are great. He writes with that unique British humor too, always a bonus for me. The books are all self contained, but do reference past events, so starting from the beginning is probably the best option. Consider Phlebas is book #1, and probably my favorite, but that’s a tough call.

image.jpeg.ed3e5e0265859f080a6176dc99d1a7e1.jpeg
 

Hmmm. I keep thinking of other peculiar but well written works to add. My final recommendation. Don’t bother reading it if you’re an avowed climate change denier @Bob. In that arena, it’s a book before it’s time, as it was first published in 1987. Rumors of Spring, by Richard Grant. May be difficult to find new, but Amazon has lots of used copies.

image.jpeg.2267125062401d0710008063b4faf47f.jpeg

Have you read The Windup Girl?

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9 minutes ago, Bob said:

It's not surprising you are an avid science fiction reader, after all, you apparently believe in global warming lmao.

Bob you can't even keep your story straight. Is global warming a myth? Is it part of natural cycles? Is it impossible to separate natural cycles from manmade inputs? Are the changes so small that the damage to man with curbing emissions is worse than any climate change we're causing?

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