What are you reading?

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

Post by Eric the .5b » 13 Oct 2018, 01:17

Jadagul wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 22:13
Eric the .5b wrote:
12 Oct 2018, 21:48
I've read a lot of more novels in the last four years or so than in the decade prior, thanks to ebooks on my phone and tablet, and, eventually, Kindle.

A lot of them have ended up series fiction, mainly because I decided to do urban fantasy for one NaNoWriMo and decided to do a survey of the better-rated works of the genre (and have been working down those purchases ever since). So, I hit a few novels by Seanan McGuire and started working through those series.

Series. The woman has eight distinct series of novels, two under another name on the basis that they're more horror-oriented. She's written 30 novels in the last 9 years and just hit age 40. The fuck. At the rate she's going, she'll actually pass Isaac Asimov on novels written by the time she's 50. (Mind, she's not writing a slew of nonfiction, like he was.)

Which got me wondering what writers put out the most novels, specifically, but that's an oddly hard thing to look up, since every list of prolific writers I look at includes all works.
And then you also get into questions of wordcount.

Sanderson puts out 1-2 novels a year, but that underrates his prolixity: often one of them will be 300-400k words.
Excellent point.

And then, you get the writers who enjoy minimal editing and so can spew long, messy manuscripts....so, this is fraught.
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Andrew
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Andrew » 27 Nov 2018, 22:30

I finished a collection of short stories by Chekhov. They tended to put me to sleep. Not because they were dull or boring, but there was something dusty or airless about them. Hard to describe. As incredibly bleak slices of life from Imperial Russia, they were fascinating to read, but it didn't feel like there was actually anything there. It was a translation by Pevear and Volokhonsky, which might be the issue. I gather their translations are not always favored.

I'm now 15 stories into a collection of the complete Nabokov. These are still his early works from the 1920s, and they're still some of the best things I've ever read. As with Lolita, I'm utterly stunned at his command of language.

So when I finish these stories, what novels of his should be next? I've read Lolita and Pale Fire, and the latter was long enough ago that I might need to reread it.
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Tuco
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Tuco » 28 Nov 2018, 07:25

Ada. It's one of those I've read a number of times, and I still feel like there's something still lurking there I can't quite get hold of, maybe next time. Also Nabokov's Butterflies. Find a copy with the drawings.

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nicole
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by nicole » 28 Nov 2018, 09:25

Ada is pretty much the greatest novel. It can be some work.

For something less intense but still awesome I recommend The Luzhin Defense, Invitation to a Beheading, and King, Queen, Knave. People love Pnin but I haven’t read it.

Might go spend the day re-reading Ada now.
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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » 29 Jan 2019, 11:45

and by reading I mean audible

Woo Haidt's Happiness Hypothesis from 2006 is embarrassing to read in 2019. Makes very serious arguments about the nature of your animal brain by citing almost every study implicated in the reproduction crisis literature. Actually references the Dennis / Dentist thing. It's awful.

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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 29 Jan 2019, 11:51

Pop psychology and the replication crisis seem to have been part of a collective (emergent, not organized) effort to promote a certain world-view. To his credit, Haidt now seems to regret his participation in that.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » 29 Jan 2019, 13:04

Agree.

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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 29 Jan 2019, 13:56

Hypothesis: TED is partly to blame for the replication crisis, because they gave people a forum from which to get fame for non-replicable results that push a certain world-view.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » 29 Jan 2019, 14:06

I love how I keep calling it the reproduction crisis. I can’t stop doing that.

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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 29 Jan 2019, 14:38

I like this essay on the analogies between sorcery and many non-replicable results:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog ... logy-magic
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » 29 Jan 2019, 14:51

I like it too, but I am far more cynical. This doesn’t look like people seeking truth even in the mystical sense. This looks like activism.

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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 29 Jan 2019, 16:01

JasonL wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 14:51
I like it too, but I am far more cynical. This doesn’t look like people seeking truth even in the mystical sense. This looks like activism.
I think it's both. There are a lot of activists, but there are also a lot of people who didn't try to manipulate anything but were really excited by what seemed to be true and ran with it. They allowed themselves to be fooled.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

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JasonL
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by JasonL » 29 Jan 2019, 16:31

Along with a whole lot of "you aren't anti science are you? Seems like you don't want to believe truths that challenge your world view. Are you politically motivated?" I don't think these guys really understand the role of credibility and how it works.

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Jennifer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jennifer » 29 Jan 2019, 16:51

Here's something I found mildly amusing in a "how things change" kind of way: I recently read Black Fire, a Star Trek TOS novel. (I do read lots of TOS and TNG novels, which I consider kind of the intellectual equivalent of potato chips -- no nutritional value, definitely don't treat them like a staple, but they're tasty and fun once in awhile.)

This was one of the very early TOS novels -- #8 according to the original numbering system -- but even if I had not noticed the number and copyright date and similar things I still would've known this was an older novel -- I can't quite identify what it is, but something about the "feel" of this novel differs from later ones. The novel has an introduction written by Theodore Sturgeon in 1981. And here is a quote now rather dated:

[After discussing the notion of "fans" and "fandom" in general, and how the word "fan" comes from "fanatic," before seguing into Star Trek fandom in particular]: "Well, there's one species of fan in whose light all others fade to the status of mild interest, and that's the Trekkie. It's the Trekkie who has kept Star Trek on the tube all over the world for (at this writing) thirteen years after network cancellation -- something achieved by no other show in the history of television. I know a Trekkie so ardent that she has taped all 73 Star Trek episodes...."


Ooooh! Imagine liking a TV show so much that you have copies of EVERY EPISODE! [Side-eyes DVD collection]
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thoreau
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by thoreau » 29 Jan 2019, 17:55

JasonL wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 16:31
Along with a whole lot of "you aren't anti science are you? Seems like you don't want to believe truths that challenge your world view. Are you politically motivated?" I don't think these guys really understand the role of credibility and how it works.
Credibility or credulity? I think that the Replication Crisis involved (in part) a whole bunch of ideas that people were primed* to want to believe, and then the preliminary evidence for one claim further increased their willingness to believe the next one.

Of course, the credulous rapidly lose credibility.

*To steal a word from non-replicable work.
"They were basically like D&D min maxers, but instead of pissing off their DM, they destroyed the global economy. Also, instead of their DM making a level 7 paladin fight a beholder as punishment, he got a +3 sword of turning."
--Mo

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Jadagul
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jadagul » 29 Jan 2019, 19:43

I admire the way Kahneman wrote in Thinking Fast and Slow that priming was so well established that you couldn't deny its truth, and then two years later made a public statement that was basically, "Wow, I fucked up when I said that."

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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 29 Jan 2019, 21:03

JasonL wrote:
29 Jan 2019, 14:06
I love how I keep calling it the reproduction crisis. I can’t stop doing that.
You're of a certain age and your biological clock is ticking loud.
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Andrew
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Andrew » 24 Feb 2019, 13:44

Andrew wrote:
09 May 2018, 17:24
Finished Crash today. I'm about 900 pages (of 1200) into the complete short stories of Ballard as well.

Crash is definitely the most Ballardian of Ballard's books that I've read, but I think High Rise is the better book. Crash feels like it would've worked better at half its length, which isn't too surprising since the concepts started as short stories in The Atrocity Exhibition.

However, the chapter near the end where he describes the acid trip might be some of Ballard's best writing. I have no idea if it's an accurate representation of an acid trip, but the language is gorgeous.
I went back and finished the rest of The Complete Stories of JG Ballard. With a few exceptions, the quality starts to drop dramatically in the late 70s. A book blog I read cut down the whole thing to an essential 23 stories. I don't necessarily agree with all of the choices/omissions, but reading the whole thing is probably unnecessary. 1963 to 1975 or so has the most important stories, so those along with The Atrocity Exhibition (which is not present in its entirety in this collection despite it being the "complete" stories) would be all the Ballard short stories one needs.
We live in the fucked age. Get used to it. - dhex

The sun only shines when a woman is being sexually abused. - Warren

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Andrew
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Andrew » 03 Mar 2019, 12:43

I'm 90 pages into The Tunnel by Gass. It supposedly took him 30 years to write. It might take me that long to read. For every 2 pages of utterly amazing writing about childhood and the Midwest, there are 2 pages of ranting and utterly dense, almost-unreadable allusions. Talk about slow going.
We live in the fucked age. Get used to it. - dhex

The sun only shines when a woman is being sexually abused. - Warren

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