What are you reading?

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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 02 Dec 2017, 22:40

Andrew wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 21:24
Painboy wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 20:55
Aaaaand that was enough for me. Oh well, maybe I just can’t handle nostalgia porn like I used to.
Based on your review, I'm glad that I've resisted the suggestions to read that one. Like you, I'm missing the nostalgia gland that allows people to enjoy such things.
99 times out of 100 I hate future-person-loves-very-specific-bit-of-historical-culture-that-just-happens-to-coincide-with-the-target-audience's-timeline. About the only one I actually appreciate is Garibaldi's Daffy Duck thing in B5. A - it predates most of the target audience at least a little bit, so it's not quite so trite. B - it surfaces maybe three times, max, in five seasons.
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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 02 Dec 2017, 23:48

lunchstealer wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 22:40
Andrew wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 21:24
Painboy wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 20:55
Aaaaand that was enough for me. Oh well, maybe I just can’t handle nostalgia porn like I used to.
Based on your review, I'm glad that I've resisted the suggestions to read that one. Like you, I'm missing the nostalgia gland that allows people to enjoy such things.
99 times out of 100 I hate future-person-loves-very-specific-bit-of-historical-culture-that-just-happens-to-coincide-with-the-target-audience's-timeline. About the only one I actually appreciate is Garibaldi's Daffy Duck thing in B5. A - it predates most of the target audience at least a little bit, so it's not quite so trite. B - it surfaces maybe three times, max, in five seasons.
So you hate Dr. Who?

(Seriously, London's great. I'd definitely take a job there, but I probably wouldn't hang out there much if I could visit any time or place in the universe.)

(I'd fuck the shit out of Peri though.)
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dbcooper
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by dbcooper » 03 Dec 2017, 00:03

London is pretty great now. People are not attractive. Easy to get laid though.

I'd live there 9 out of 12 months (in Bloomsbury).
Slip inside a sleeping bag.

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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 03 Dec 2017, 04:56

Fin Fang Foom wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 23:48
lunchstealer wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 22:40
Andrew wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 21:24
Painboy wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 20:55
Aaaaand that was enough for me. Oh well, maybe I just can’t handle nostalgia porn like I used to.
Based on your review, I'm glad that I've resisted the suggestions to read that one. Like you, I'm missing the nostalgia gland that allows people to enjoy such things.
99 times out of 100 I hate future-person-loves-very-specific-bit-of-historical-culture-that-just-happens-to-coincide-with-the-target-audience's-timeline. About the only one I actually appreciate is Garibaldi's Daffy Duck thing in B5. A - it predates most of the target audience at least a little bit, so it's not quite so trite. B - it surfaces maybe three times, max, in five seasons.
So you hate Dr. Who?

(Seriously, London's great. I'd definitely take a job there, but I probably wouldn't hang out there much if I could visit any time or place in the universe.)

(I'd fuck the shit out of Peri though.)
Who is outside the trope because the timeline is so fucked. Any sane human would fuck the shit out of Peri though.

But yeah London's pretty decent as world cities go. Just saw an HGTV* Househunters International bit where a couple was transplanting from South Carolina to London and were going for Greenwich which is where I as a person who was reared in SC ended up in my first month-long overseas work trip, and I can't say that Greenwich would suck as a place to live by any sensible measure. I spent the better part of a month there for work, as my first long-time employer was headquartered on the Isle of Dogs, and it was about as nice as a place that was home to a Pizza Express could be at the time. IIRC the local pub was a Shepard's Naeme or Bishop's Finger affiliate and had perfectly good beers by '00 London standards.

* I got addicted to this as pablum TV while I had some flu variant a few years back and now I'm ... y'know ... addicted. Don't judge me. Or do whatevs but it's my pablum tv fuck off.
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JD
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JD » 07 Dec 2017, 15:28

A few days back I saw the Drunk History episode that included the Shakespeare Riots, which was related to the Five Points neighborhood, and further reading about that led me to a mention of an 1854 book called Hot Corn: Life Scenes in New York Illustrated, which was apparently a huge best-seller when it was first published, although it quickly thereafter faded from memory. I said, "Hey, 1854, that should be in the public domain now" and sure enough it is at Project Gutenberg.

It's interesting in the sense of depicting (part of) what life in New York was like in the 1850s, but the writing style is incredibly dated and maudlin to modern eyes. Also, the whole thing is basically a prohibitionist tract: every social ill is blamed on the evil sellers of demon rum, who are portrayed remarkably similarly to a drug pusher in a bad Reagan-era afterschool special, always scheming how to get people into their clutches.

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dhex
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by dhex » 07 Dec 2017, 16:21

They used rum like fentanyl back then tho.
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Gold Pony Boy
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Gold Pony Boy » 16 Dec 2017, 00:25

I apologize in advance for repeating any statements/ideas. No time for kickin' back through 5-7 years of posts.

So, I've decided to milk my newbieness (while hopefully hiding behind the protection of the Great Ellie) and say:

Dean Koontz > Stephen King

Koontz creeps me out in a way that no other author does, and I think his narratives are great. Just finished What the Night Knows.

*braces for backlash because he has no idea the opinions of anyone on this forum yet*

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Ellie
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Ellie » 16 Dec 2017, 00:28

Koontz also knows how to actually write an ending.
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 16 Dec 2017, 11:28

[*]
Ellie wrote:
16 Dec 2017, 00:28
Koontz also knows how to actually write an ending.
I haven't read Koontz, but yeah, this is the problem in most of the King novels I have read (which to be fair isn't that many).

I may have to pick up something by Koontz.
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Ellie
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Ellie » 16 Dec 2017, 11:43

Intensity is his best standalone.

Fear Nothing / Seize the Night are his best by far, but he hasn't written the third book in the trilogy even though it's been TWENTY YEARS since the last one WTF
I should have listened to Warren. He was right again as usual.

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Jennifer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jennifer » 16 Dec 2017, 11:50

Koontz's early stuff is very good, but his later work is badly weakened by his "angry right-wing" author bias coming through. The last new-to-me Koontz book I read was "The Face," whose two main non-supernatural protagonists are Typical Admirable Heroic Cops whose jobs protecting the innocent are made MUCH harder and more dangerous than they need to be, thanks to cop-hating asshole liberals (and atheists, and anarchists, and liberal-arts college professors) who have sticks up their asses about things like "search warrants" and "due process" and whatnot.

Though even in his bitter-right-wing phase books, Koontz is VERY good at writing characters generating strong emotions in the reader: the protagonists are super-wonderful (especially if they're children, or adults who are in any way disabled), and his villains are thoroughly despicable.

Koontz is indeed better than King at writing endings (though that's IMO a pretty low bar to pass), but King is much better at selling the movie rights of his books to people who DON'T utterly fuck them up. I've read a lot of good Koontz books, but have never watched a good Koontz movie.
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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 22 Dec 2017, 21:20

I'm reading Galileo's last book, _Two New Sciences_. Like many of his other works it is constructed as a discussion among three people, and on the first page we learn that his discussion of the strength of materials is motivated by interactions with the military's Top. Men. ("Proti", translated as "Key Men", but same idea.)

If they move their discussion to a giant warehouse I'm going to have to check to see if The Matrix is glitching.

Also, one of his characters (Salviati) says he will discuss Galileo's ideas, which are way better than Aristotle's. Good self esteem there.
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pistoffnick
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by pistoffnick » 26 Dec 2017, 19:23

I finished Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Well done but a little slow.

Started Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty but only got through the 1st chapter. Pretty boring for for all that radicalism. Does it get better?

Instead I got halfway through How to Talk Dirty and Influence People by Lenny Bruce. He seems like he was an interesting fellow.
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Warren
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Warren » 26 Dec 2017, 22:35

pistoffnick wrote:
26 Dec 2017, 19:23
Started Radicals for Capitalism by Brian Doherty but only got through the 1st chapter. Pretty boring for for all that radicalism. Does it get better?
:shock: !? Maybe not. I couldn't put the thing down. Probably because it hit the sweet spot of being about twenty percent what I knew already. There's tons of stuff I never even heard about. I kept thinking "Damn, Brian must party with a lot of extreme characters to get these great stories".
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Kwix
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Kwix » 27 Dec 2017, 19:49

lunchstealer wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 22:40
99 times out of 100 I hate future-person-loves-very-specific-bit-of-historical-culture-that-just-happens-to-coincide-with-the-target-audience's-timeline.
This, so much. My most recent pet peeve are the incessant references to late 20th century video culture in "The Orville". Sure, totally believable that everyone has the exact same hobby of watching ancient movies and does so often enough that they get quotes tossed out by random guy.
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Jennifer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jennifer » 27 Dec 2017, 21:32

Kwix wrote:
27 Dec 2017, 19:49
lunchstealer wrote:
02 Dec 2017, 22:40
99 times out of 100 I hate future-person-loves-very-specific-bit-of-historical-culture-that-just-happens-to-coincide-with-the-target-audience's-timeline.
This, so much. My most recent pet peeve are the incessant references to late 20th century video culture in "The Orville". Sure, totally believable that everyone has the exact same hobby of watching ancient movies and does so often enough that they get quotes tossed out by random guy.
What made it especially disappointing with The Orville is that (seeing how it's supposedly a comedy anyway), they could've had lots of fun creating some in-universe pop culture references, with the various aliens asking for clarification and being shown the originals. (FWIW, I like the way they used Rudolph clips to teach that alien dad a valuable lesson -- but it would've been even better if that came after they'd already shown other clips of future-to-us cultural touchstones.)
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Eric the .5b
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Eric the .5b » 02 Jan 2018, 20:28

Did some light reading, breaking in the Kindle—urban fantasy and crime fiction.

1) The first was Pocket Apocalypse, book 4 of Seanan McGuire's InCryptid series. The series might best be described as "secret wildlife management", about various members of the extended Price family who make up a secret society that studies, protect, and helps hide all the weird folkloric critters (including intelligent creatures) that the public is unaware of. This installment, zoologist Alex Price's girlfriend asks him to come to Australia to help the secret society she works for deal with a outbreak of werewolves, since he has experience and knowledge they don't have on the subject. Naturally, none of them even want him around, and the outbreak is worse than expected.

Short, fun, and often funny, though, it being series stuff...well, it took a paragraph to unpack the setup and premise for this volume. Mildly challenging going if you're one of those people who jumps into a random series in a middle volume.

2) "Dead Pig Collector" by Warren Ellis. A strange, sharp, and blackly humorous little story. A very meticulous hitman and body-disposer flies into LA and goes about a job, only to face a remarkable wrinkle.
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dhex
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by dhex » 08 Jan 2018, 16:50

fire and fury. for flight. usual caveats apply to the author, but this is a super entertaining trainwreck of a read. nothing has been so outre that it isn't at least somewhat plausible.
"I like you, but you are a film moron." - db

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dhex
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by dhex » 11 Jan 2018, 21:13

Update - Fire and Fury is hilarious
"I like you, but you are a film moron." - db

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Andrew
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Andrew » 14 Jan 2018, 08:10

I read a pirated copy of Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher. It's only 86 pages, so it's a pretty quick read.

Some of the complaints would be familiar around here: impenetrable bureaucracies, diffusion of responsibility, metrics that encourage working towards (or gaming) the metric rather than addressing what the metric is supposedly measuring, the absurdity of public relations, and the prioritizing of inner belief over external behavior. It's relatively free of Marxist jargon, and while some passing knowledge of Zizek, Lacan, Deleuze, etc. wouldn't hurt, he does a good job of summarizing their arguments when he relies on them to make a point. He was a professor, so some of the points about higher education aren't too different from those expressed around these parts.

One point I think is particularly good is that the bureaucracies, diffusion, metrics, etc. can't be waved away as deviations from "True Capitalism" since they seem to show up over and over again. Another one is that the current system rewards the path of least resistance too well when some resistance is probably necessary for individuals flourishing.

All the weaknesses are pretty much what you'd expect. Capitalist realism at least gets defined and explained, but neoliberal does not. He doesn't propose many solutions, and even the inferred solutions (based upon his criticisms) would founder hard on the question of who pays for it.
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nicole
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by nicole » 14 Jan 2018, 09:28

I thought he proposed his solution last year.
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Andrew
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Andrew » 14 Jan 2018, 10:19

nicole wrote:
14 Jan 2018, 09:28
I thought he proposed his solution last year.
Harsh. But I laughed.
We live in the fucked age. Get used to it. - dhex

holy shit there will never be an end until the sweet release of death (as dictated by the death panels, natch) - lunch

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dhex
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by dhex » 15 Jan 2018, 10:27

zing!

despite agreeing with him 25% of the time at best i always enjoyed reading fisher's writings on music and life and all that
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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » Yesterday, 11:46

Does anyone have an opinion on whether an Audible subscription is worth it as opposed to just buying what you listen to?

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nicole
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by nicole » Yesterday, 11:49

Wouldn't it just depend on how much different stuff you want to listen to and whether you want to re-listen to it?
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