What are you reading?

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Ellie
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What are you reading?

Post by Ellie » 03 May 2010, 10:34

David and I just finished Barbara Hambly's Dragonsbane, which was DIVINE.

We have now started Anathem, which will probably be good once it finds a plot.

Also, I'm reading The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, which was pitched as an urban fantasy version of Ocean's 11. That was misleading. It is an urban fantasy version of Ocean's 11 plus lots of maiming and torture. [sigh] I am enjoying the non-bloody parts.
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pistoffnick
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by pistoffnick » 03 May 2010, 11:45

Started Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang.

I find it interesting because I have ridden in some of the same buses she mentions, walked some of the same Guangdong streets, and wondered about those "massage parlors".
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Warren
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Warren » 03 May 2010, 12:39

I just finished "Everybody's stupid except for me". Had already seen most of it in Reason of course. Having it all collected together does lend a certain coherence to Bagge's work. It still lacks for structure and theme, but Bagge uses that to advantage in painting himself as the everyman who's just looking for some sensibility in an insane world.

I wonder about Bagge's utility as a libertarian pimp. I think he does better than most in reaching out to present libertarian ideas in a way that doesn't elicit the 'dismiss the fucknuttery fringe' reflex. Better than Stossel anyway. Of course he hasn't produced very much over the years for Reason. But I'm sure he's following the money. I've never read Hate or any of his other stuff. Maybe I'll put some on my wish list.
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Stevo Darkly
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Stevo Darkly » 04 May 2010, 03:16

Just picked up a copy of the SF novel Up Jim River by Michael Flynn. Woohoo!

It is the sequel to The January Dancer, which I have described as "a mixture of Dune, The Maltese Falcon and Firefly, as told by an Irish bard in an Indian restaurant."

I am nearly 1/4 through Up Jim River and so far I am pleased.
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Warren
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Warren » 04 May 2010, 12:49

Stevo Darkly wrote:It is the sequel to The January Dancer, which I have described as "a mixture of Dune, The Maltese Falcon and Firefly, as told by an Irish bard in an Indian restaurant."
Oh man, you got to be careful with those Indian restaurants. The food can be pretty good, but stay away from the yogurt shakes! Those things are delicious, and they are also the most powerful laxative known to man.
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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 05 May 2010, 15:17

I'm starting a story about a Russian invasion of Germany. It's called Red Storm Rising, and it is a thriller, but it presents a lot of technical details. I think this could be big.
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Lost_In_Translation
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Lost_In_Translation » 05 May 2010, 16:03

Slaves to Obsession by Anne Perry.

Probably finish up The Man from Vermont afterwards

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Hugh Akston
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Hugh Akston » 05 May 2010, 16:23

2/3 through Babbitt. I recall enjoying Lewis' Arrowsmith*, but Babbitt is considered his contribution to the canon. I wouldn't call it brilliant, but it's a bold move to write a 300 page novel with no discernable plot. The real artistry in that is combining the theme so readily with the structure. Masterfully done.


*Certainly better than his forgettable The Motley Crew, or his short story collection Of Guns and Roses.
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Number 6
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Number 6 » 05 May 2010, 16:36

Outliers by Gladwell. It's interesting, and he makes some novel points, but every time I read Gladwell, I feel like I'm getting the reader's digest version of the ideas being discussed.
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Warren
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Warren » 05 May 2010, 16:43

Hugh Akston wrote:2/3 through Babbitt. I recall enjoying Lewis' Arrowsmith*, but Babbitt is considered his contribution to the canon. I wouldn't call it brilliant, but it's a bold move to write a 300 page novel with no discernable plot. The real artistry in that is combining the theme so readily with the structure. Masterfully done.


*Certainly better than his forgettable The Motley Crew, or his short story collection Of Guns and Roses.
You know Arrowsmith was just a rewrite of Ungathered Moss with the names changed right? It was marketed under separate titles for tax purposes.
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Hugh Akston
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Hugh Akston » 05 May 2010, 16:49

Warren wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:2/3 through Babbitt. I recall enjoying Lewis' Arrowsmith*, but Babbitt is considered his contribution to the canon. I wouldn't call it brilliant, but it's a bold move to write a 300 page novel with no discernable plot. The real artistry in that is combining the theme so readily with the structure. Masterfully done.


*Certainly better than his forgettable The Motley Crew, or his short story collection Of Guns and Roses.
You know Arrowsmith was just a rewrite of Ungathered Moss** with the names changed right? It was marketed under separate titles for tax purposes.
I didn't know that, nor did I know there was an Ungathered Moss. Makes me wonder what else in this world I do not know.

But, according to the Oracle at Wikipedia, Arrowsmith did afford Lewis the opportunity to write the winningest letter ever to the Pulizter Committee:
"I wish to acknowledge your choice of my novel Arrowsmith for the Pulitzer Prize. That prize I must refuse, and my refusal would be meaningless unless I explained the reasons.

All prizes, like all titles, are dangerous. The seekers for prizes tend to labor not for inherent excellence but for alien rewards; they tend to write this, or timorously to avoid writing that, in order to tickle the prejudices of a haphazard committee. And the Pulitzer Prize for Novels is peculiarly objectionable because the terms of it have been constantly and grievously misrepresented.

Those terms are that the prize shall be given "for the American novel published during the year which shall best present the wholesome atmosphere of American life, and the highest standard of American manners and manhood." This phrase, if it means anything whatsoever, would appear to mean that the appraisal of the novels shall be made not according to their actual literary merit but in obedience to whatever code of Good Form may chance to be popular at the moment."
**Waitaminnit. I just got that.
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Warren
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Warren » 05 May 2010, 16:56

Hugh Akston wrote:
Warren wrote:
Hugh Akston wrote:2/3 through Babbitt. I recall enjoying Lewis' Arrowsmith*, but Babbitt is considered his contribution to the canon. I wouldn't call it brilliant, but it's a bold move to write a 300 page novel with no discernable plot. The real artistry in that is combining the theme so readily with the structure. Masterfully done.


*Certainly better than his forgettable The Motley Crew, or his short story collection Of Guns and Roses.
You know Arrowsmith was just a rewrite of Ungathered Moss** with the names changed right? It was marketed under separate titles for tax purposes.
I didn't know that, nor did I know there was an Ungathered Moss. Makes me wonder what else in this world I do not know.
Oh Crap! All these animated emoticons to chose from and I forgot to include the ;)
Fraid I was too suBtle for you there Hugh

EDIT
Ah. Good sport
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J sub D
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by J sub D » 05 May 2010, 19:30

Just finished "Coming of Age in Mississippi" by Anne Moody. It forcefully drives home the total fuckedupedness of the south in the middle of twentieth century.
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Jadagul
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Jadagul » 05 May 2010, 21:20

I'm most of the way through the Atlantic's fiction supplement, which is actually really good, although not at all my usual thing. I'm really happy with my subscription.

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Pham Nuwen
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Pham Nuwen » 05 May 2010, 21:40

lunchstealer wrote:I'm starting a story about a Russian invasion of Germany. It's called Red Storm Rising, and it is a thriller, but it presents a lot of technical details. I think this could be big.
It's awesome. Allegedly, Clancy was briefed by the White House itself which is how he was so knowledgable about the technical details.
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Fin Fang Foom
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Fin Fang Foom » 05 May 2010, 23:00

A
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Number 6
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Number 6 » 05 May 2010, 23:38

J sub D wrote:Just finished "Coming of Age in Mississippi" by Anne Moody. It forcefully drives home the total fuckedupedness of the south in the middle of twentieth century.
That's a good one if you want to be moved to wall-punching, human-species denouncing anger.

Stevo- I'm getting the January Dancer based solely on your description. And I'm going to add a plug for another book that your description brought to mind: Sewer, Gas, and Electric by Matt Ruff. I don't remember much of the plot, but it involves a Volkswagen possessed by the spirit of Abbie Hoffman and a lamp containing the soul of Ayn Rand. It's just as odd as is sounds, and very entertaining.
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mk
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by mk » 06 May 2010, 13:28

I finally got around to reading Bill Bruford's Heat which my brother sent me. Having spent a year or so as an apprentice chef, I was not immediately drawn to a book about high-pressure kitchens, but I enjoyed the book very much. I even managed to pull out some pleasant memories from my own experience by reading it. I had pretty much decided to write the whole experience off previously.

I also read Hitchen's little bio on Jefferson. It was pretty good.

Still reading Norman Davies' Europe. I made good progress on it during my Census work (or non-work). At this rate I may end up finishing it in the next Census.

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rana
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by rana » 06 May 2010, 14:13

Number 6 wrote:Outliers by Gladwell. It's interesting, and he makes some novel points, but every time I read Gladwell, I feel like I'm getting the reader's digest version of the ideas being discussed.
I'm having my sister in law bring me this book this summer.
Reader's Digest version you say? well, then it's perfect for us! (and by that I mean that non-native English speakers may find it easier to read).

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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 06 May 2010, 17:34

Pham Nuwen wrote:
lunchstealer wrote:I'm starting a story about a Russian invasion of Germany. It's called Red Storm Rising, and it is a thriller, but it presents a lot of technical details. I think this could be big.
It's awesome. Allegedly, Clancy was briefed by the White House itself which is how he was so knowledgable about the technical details.
:mrgreen: Yeah, I think this is my 4th time reading it. My copy of The Hunt for Red October (the pre-movie grey paperback cover) has probably been read over somewhere between 8 and 15 times between my re-readings and loans to friends.

I need to find a copy of Team Yankee too. That was a fun read.
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Kolohe
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Kolohe » 08 May 2010, 05:28

Fwiw the clancey white house 'debrief' was for hunt for red October not red storm rising. That's why the movie starts out with the dramatic 'both washington and Moscow deny this ever happened'

Also fwiw, the techincal accumen and accuracy of both those books is significantly overrated.
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J sub D
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by J sub D » 08 May 2010, 09:37

Kolohe wrote:Also fwiw, the techincal accumen and accuracy of both those books is significantly overrated.
Oh yes. Clancy's novels are fun, rip roaring fiction but hardly an accurate depiction of the capabilitiess and limitations of the weapons systems I worked with.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Timothy » 08 May 2010, 14:22

I just started If On A Winter's Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino. A few chapters in it's fricking excellent.
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lunchstealer
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by lunchstealer » 10 May 2010, 14:05

J sub D wrote:
Kolohe wrote:Also fwiw, the techincal accumen and accuracy of both those books is significantly overrated.
Oh yes. Clancy's novels are fun, rip roaring fiction but hardly an accurate depiction of the capabilitiess and limitations of the weapons systems I worked with.
I had to stifle some chortling at his "F-19 Frisbee" sequence.
"The constitution is more of a BDSM agreement with a safe word." - Sandy

"Neoliberalism. Austerity. Booga booga!!!!" - JasonL

"We can't confirm rumors that Lynndie England is in the running to be Gina Haspel's personal aide." - DAR

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Stevo Darkly
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by Stevo Darkly » 11 May 2010, 18:44

Stevo Darkly wrote:Just picked up a copy of the SF novel Up Jim River by Michael Flynn. Woohoo!

It is the sequel to The January Dancer, which I have described as "a mixture of Dune, The Maltese Falcon and Firefly, as told by an Irish bard in an Indian restaurant."

I am nearly 1/4 through Up Jim River and so far I am pleased.
Number 6 wrote:Stevo- I'm getting the January Dancer based solely on your description.
Heh heh! It turns out that the author (when I repeated it on his blog) liked that description too, and pronounced it "apt":

http://m-francis.livejournal.com/150487 ... 55#t701655

And I just recently finished the sequel, Up Jim River. The 2nd book has very much a cliffhanger ending, though, so now I have to wait for the author to finish writing the trequel, In the Lion's Mouth. Publication is probably a year or more away.
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