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Reading Ender's Game (once again) for my English class. I can already feel myself getting super excited about it.


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This morning I started reading Norwegian Wood. I want to see whether all the fuss about Murakami is justified.



"Imagine yourself surrounded by the most horrible cripples and maniacs it is possible to conceive, and you may understand a little of my feelings with these grotesque caricatures of humanity about me."

- H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

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Just finished up Foundation and Empire. On to the third in the trilogy. Great albeit sometimes cringingly outdated science fiction so far. Apparently everyone still smokes in the future. And we'll watch movies through projectors.


noobs crowding hill giants? not on my watch

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I'm still only 1/3 the way through the far shorter Norwegian Wood, and I have to say I'm a bit disappointed by Murakami. I read it right after finishing Lermontov's A Hero of our Time, which pretty much established the psychological formula for later Russian novelists like Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. By comparion, Murakami's bland characters appear one dimensional; I'm also struggling with the idea that Naoko's psychological breakdown stems from her inability to get wet for her late boyfriend Kizuki. Maybe she'll make sense later on in the book.



"Imagine yourself surrounded by the most horrible cripples and maniacs it is possible to conceive, and you may understand a little of my feelings with these grotesque caricatures of humanity about me."

- H.G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau

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So I started and finished Ender's Shadow today. It's the "companion" novel to Ender's Game, told during a similar timeline but through the perspective of a different character, Bean. I'll hide by thoughts on it since it will contain some spoilers no doubt. I'm hoping someone here has already read it and can tell me what they thought.

 

[hide]

In short, I didn't enjoy this book much. And honestly, I'm not too excited to finish the next three books in the Shadow Saga. I'm a HUUUUUGE fan of Ender. He's probably my favorite protagonist in any book I've ever read. I knew it was going to be different hearing similar events told through the perspective of Bean. But Bean's character really annoyed me throughout the book. Of course, his genes were genetically modified to make him superior in intelligence to Ender. Although I always liked thinking of Ender as being the smartest, I decided to accept this fact, especially since it was made clear that Ender was a far superior leader and possessed other traits that made the other children adore, respect, and love him. But I hated the way Bean was always (at least early on) thinking of Ender as not knowing what the hell he was doing. This novel portrayed Ender as extremely helpless, and Bean as the one who actually did everything and who was the genius behind everything. Ender seemed to be only a "good leader" and nothing more. And this really ticked me off, because you get so much of a different vibe from Ender's Game. I was going to be furious if for some reason Card decided to make Bean be the person who actually commanded the final battle. I was still a little pissed when Bean told his ship a different order than what Ender had told him at the very last moment.

 

I guess I'm not fond of Bean at all. He seems pretty arrogant and full of himself. And I hate that attitude. Ender is much more likable, being nearly as smart as Bean (without any direct genetic modification) but never really manipulating people and displaying his power.

 

Another thing about this book is that there wasn't really a climax. The climax in Ender's Game, which hits extremely hard and is mind boggling for a reader who is truly invested in the story, is obvious and impactful. In Ender's Shadow, through Bean's thoughts and speculations you get hints that the simulations aren't really simulations, and then certain events make you start to realize they probably are real, and then Bean figures out for sure they are real, but decides not to tell everyone. I dunno, I just felt that there wasn't a clear climax.

 

The last thing I'll say is that I don't think I would have been too disappointed if I hadn't decided to read this book. In a way, I feel as if it ruined Ender's Game for me. I feel like I have to go and reread Ender's Game to try and ingrain in my mind Ender's perspective, which I enjoyed a lot more. But I know that I'll always be thinking while rereading Ender's Game about what crap Bean is thinking throughout everything.

 

Of course, this is all probably because I'm a fanboy of Ender. But, oh well. [/hide]

 

Rating: 5/10.

 

Maybe I'll hold off on the other three books in the Shadow Saga. Not super interested in what happens next.


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Just finished Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut today. I enjoyed it more than Slaughterhouse 5, but less than Cat's Cradle. I forgot how much I loved Vonnegut's style and characterization. Like all of his books, it certainly leaves you with a lot to think about; this one brushes on free will, the meaning of life, and how irrelevant they actually are to think about. However, it stays very easy to read, and Vonnegut keeps the story humorous along the way. I definitely would recommend it (unless you haven't read Cat's Cradle in which case do that asap).

 

I think I'm going to read Mother Night next, then Breakfast of Champions. just waiting on Amazon giving me my gift card credit for selling my textbooks back ;_;

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Just finished Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut today. I enjoyed it more than Slaughterhouse 5, but less than Cat's Cradle. I forgot how much I loved Vonnegut's style and characterization. Like all of his books, it certainly leaves you with a lot to think about; this one brushes on free will, the meaning of life, and how irrelevant they actually are to think about. However, it stays very easy to read, and Vonnegut keeps the story humorous along the way. I definitely would recommend it (unless you haven't read Cat's Cradle in which case do that asap).

 

I think I'm going to read Mother Earth next, then Breakfast of Champions. just waiting on Amazon giving me my gift card credit for selling my textbooks back ;_;

I enjoyed Slaughterhouse five. Haven't read anything else by Vonnegut.

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Just finished reading The Millionaire Fastlane. 10/10, should be required reading for every human being.

 

Notes/summary here. PDF here.

 

Just started this book when you posted this and already finished it last night. Coming from someone who has just started working their first full time job, it really hit home on pretty much all the doubts I had in the back of my mind about the path that it was leading to. I can't second this suggestion enough.

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The Sackett Brand, love the western books.


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Just finished reading The Millionaire Fastlane. 10/10, should be required reading for every human being.

 

Notes/summary here. PDF here.

PDF is broken :-w

Yeah someone illegally uploaded it, it was only a matter of time before it got taken down


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If I have time I might read Replay by Ken Grimwood again.  It's been a long time and it was rather fun to read.


"Fight for what you believe in, and believe in what you're fighting for." Can games be art?

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This week I read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. Both fairly enjoyable books, I'd say strong three / weak four for both.


TANSTAAFL

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Half a King by Joe Abercrombie.

 

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I think this is unofficially geared more towards a YA audience, so there is less (though still a lot!) violence/gore, sex/nudity, and gratuitous profanity than his other work, but I'm still really enjoying it. Sadly the book is a lot shorter than his other work, too, so it's almost done. :(


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Reread Jurassic Park on a whim, since Crichton basically dominated my high school years and I've only barely touched him since.

[spoiler=rant]

I'm not sure what changed since then, but this time I found myself rooting for the dinosaurs. I liked Ian Malcolm at 17, at 22 I want to punch him... His character essentially spends the first half of the book saying "I don't know how or when it's going to fail and I can't tell you how to prevent it, but it's painfully obvious that it will." to saying I-told-you-so while he's about to be eaten by raptors. I can't even really say that he's the kind of character who gets away with being a dick because he's right, because nothing he says has any value. He's just smug.

 

I mean, the moral he so eloquently delivers is supposed to be "just because you can doesn't mean you should"... But basically all of the problems are presented as being easily preventable, or the result of active sabotage. A better message would be "If you're going to do something big, don't half-ass it" or, even better, "let that team of experts you hired do their jobs."

 

It's kind of interesting to see that his habit of making later books a vehicle for the message at the expense of plot goes back this far.

 

 

 

 

Thinking of getting into Terry Pratchett. Anything I should know/what should I start with?

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Thinking of getting into Terry Pratchett. Anything I should know/what should I start with?

yes me pick me pick me

 

basically the first couple of discworld books are straight fantasy parody/satire. it's pretty funny, but also pretty simple and can get a bit tired. about five books in is where it starts getting good, the world gets developed, gets its quirks and idiosyncrasies, etc. Bolded are books I think are particularly standout. I'd say there are about 4 main groups of characters/settings the series mostly follows, though they cross over pretty frequently. Death in particularly usually shows up every book, for the obvious reason.

 

There's the Rincewind/wizard books which started the earliest so they're the most derivative of other fantasy stuff. Probably worth leaving off until you're into it more. Basically about a terrible wizard who somehow ends up becoming the hero constantly even though he hates it. Reading order: Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Sourcery, Faust (Eric), Interesting Times, The Last Continent, The Last Hero, Unseen Academicals.

 

The Witch books, which focus on a trio of witches. Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat Garlick. the first book in the series is a pretty funny hamlet parody, so if you're big into Hamlet it could be a good starting point. these books generally explore stereotypical fantasy stuff compared to how they were portrayed in actual folklore/how they're are in the Discworld universe. If you like stuff deconstructing fantasy creatures and cliches, I'd recommend starting here. Reading order: Equal Rites, Wyrd Sisters, Witches Abroad, Lords and Ladies, Maskerade, Carpe Jugulum. There are also some young adult novels set in the same area with these characters as support which are good, these are The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky and I Shall Wear Midnight.

 

The Death books, which are about the personification of Death, and my personal recommendation on a starting point. Might be my favourite series of Discworld. Reading order: Mort, Reaper Man, Soul Music, Hogfather, Thief of Time. 

 

And finally, the City Watch novels. Mostly set in Ankh-Morpork, think medieval London turned to 11. Definitely the recommendation if you're into like crime novels and mysteries and stuff, but that's obviously not essential. Focuses mainly on a cop called Sam Vimes who has to get the City Watch up to code in a city that's pretty overwhelming. I know it's a cliche to say this, but Ankh-Morpork is almost another character when it's a setting of a book. Probably one of the best fantasy cities thought up, very unique. Reading order: Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, Snuff. Also very good, my secondmost recommendation.

 

Of course these aren't concrete recommendations. You can easily pick and mix between these and you won't really be lost. I'd recommend getting maybe the first two of a series that catches your eye and starting there. Most books have a theme or a target they're working towards, like "oh this one is about elves", "this one is about christmas (it's equivalent)", "this one is about war politics". There are a lot more shorter series and one offs, too, but I figured just give you the basics and if you're hooked you'll find them out yourself. A lot of those deal with technological advances and their effects on the world. Though, if you want to start with a one off, I would recommend Small Gods, one of the few books of his I think are good enough to stand against the classics and shit.

 

A final note is that the world definitely progresses, there are events you won't really get and character beats you won't appreciate/enjoy as much if you, for example, jump all the way to The Last Continent, for example. 

 

I always like a good opportunity to sperg out over Discworld, it is probably my favourite fantasy universe, and I hope this helps out and isn't too wordy or overwhelming (it totally is). PM me if you need more (haha) information or suggestions. This is probably the most effort I've put into anything on this forum in like 4 years haha.


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Finished The Afghan Campaign by Pressfield and The Martian by Andy Weir. Both fairly decent but nothing spectacular.


TANSTAAFL

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African Safari Papers, by Robert Sedlack. Extremely entertaining novel!


More old-school than you know...
 

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Proud Member of The Slayer's Guild since April 7th 2009.
Skill Total Goal Complete: 2500 - November 12th 2014.
Goal Total Experience: 338,895,206 - Goal complete November 2nd 2014.
Next Goal Experience: 1,000,000,000 -
Personal Kalphite Queen Guide
Follow My PoP Blog!

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Started reading the Hunger Games books, and I'm enjoying them way more than I probably should

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Started reading the Hunger Games books, and I'm enjoying them way more than I probably should

Said most of America's youth circa 2010

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I was reading Roadside Picnic, but I got sidetracked ~75% through. I recently picked up The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, and am really glad that I did.


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In a state of tranquillity, wealth, and luxury, our descendants would forget the arts of war and the noble activity and zeal which made their ancestors invincible. ~Samuel Adams; 1 August, 1776
There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters. ~Daniel Webster; 15 March, 1837

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