Reading Thread/Discussion

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by RandomGeekNamedBrent »

apparently in the original Wizard of Oz, Oz is located in the middle of a desert, isolated from the rest of the world. which is why it has witches, unlike the "civilized" countries. one can only get there by flying over the vast desert in, say, a house picked up by a tornado or a pair of flying silver shoes (yes, silver. not ruby.)

this knowledge brought to you by the Wizard of Oz graphic novel I bought for 30% off at Border's last week.
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What are you reading?

Post by FowlJ »


I personally have been reading Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, and enjoying them very much - I'm currently a bit through the third book out of four.

And, one that I found in a thrift shop the other day is Robertson Davies' Debtford Trilogy - I have never heard of him before, but it certainly looks interesting.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Seth »

Can't wait for break, I have a ton of books I've bought at thrify stores and the like that I haven't had a chance to crack yet due to school.

I'm planning on getting through less than 0 by Brett Easton-Ellis (guy that wrote American Psycho) or 1984 by orwell.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Foxstar »

Re-reading the Eragon series, waiting for the library to finally get in the latest book. Still not as good with human/dragon relationships as Naomi Novik's 'Termeraire' series. Also re-reading "A Song of Fire and Ice" series again while things at work are slow and I have more time to really break down the various factions and political infighting.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Wanderer »

Currently reading: The girl who played with fire
Very interesting read! Seldom does a novel engross me.
It would probably help if I read The girl with the dragon tattoo first.
Only later I found out I was reading a sequel :(

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by TigerStryk »

I am currently reading "Romance of the Three Kingdoms", China's oldest novel.
(vol.I- 690 pages; vol.II-600-something)
It is a novel depicting the events in ancient China (approx. 220 CE) during the fall of the Han Dynasty, the Yellow Turban rebellion, and the following war between the Three Kingdoms: Wei, led by Ts'ao Ts'ao; Wu, led by Sun Chien; and Shu led by Liu Pei. It's genre is Historical Fiction, because it features sorcery. It is quite interesting, but to read it you need to have some patience, because it is slow-moving, and not really "action-packed". If you are a history buff, then you might find it to be very interesting.

Note: The names may be different depending on the version you read. Ex. Ts'ao Ts'ao- Cao Cao (same pronunciation. (pronunciation is like Sao Sao). Sun Chien- Sun Jian. Liu Pei- Liu Bei.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by GameCobra »

I haven't had time to read some books lately, but i have been buying books to prepare for a cramfest eventually. I got a good series of books about DRagonlance and hope to get "Dance with Dragons" as well since it's just collecting dust.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

I recently finished Mark Danielewski's Only Revolutions. It's nowhere near as good as House of Leaves. Still decent, though.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Ebly »

What do you guys think about non-fiction in general?

I mean, most non-fiction is not written to be interesting (textbooks, encyclopedias, cute little fifty-page things covered in pictures for children, etc), but the capacity for entertainment is definitely there and can be seen in some books. As an example that may very well be peculiar to me because of my interests (but is a worthy example nevertheless) is the book I have been reading lately – The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil. You may or may not know of the TV series of the same name and indeed the book was intended to go hand-in-hand with it. Anyway, I don't have the videos so I'm just sticking with the book.

The way it's presented is absolutely fascinating to me. It doesn't encounter the usual pitfalls of shoddy journalism like so many similar books do, and the information itself tells a story as is, without them having to superimpose some kind of daft dramatization. As it is I have read about English's journey from the Sredny Stog, Dnieper-Donets and Samara cultures (they didn't say it outright, but from what I read it certainly seems like they were using the Kurgan hypothesis), through the Angles, Saxons and Jutes, becoming Old English which then survived the Danes and the Normans, and coming out finally as Middle English. At this point I've just gotten to the Chancery Standard so next up should be Early Modern English with the glorious messed-upped-ness of the Elizabethans and particularly Shakespeare!

Exciting. It's not like I didn't already know that was how English came along, but I certainly wasn't aware of some of the details revealed by excerpts from the time – the cultural assimilation that occurred with the Danes and the reactions to it were really interesting, and it gave me a smile when they included an anecdote from Caxton where a merchant asked a lady for eggs and she told him she could speak no French. He became mad, because he did not know any French either, and yet she clearly could not understand his request for eggs. Finally, someone else asked for the frustrated merchant, and she sold some eggs to him. The whole thing happened merely because she only knew the term "eyren" (the word coming from Old English, more common in the south) instead of "egges" (the word coming from Old Norse, more common in the north)!

But yes I am clearly getting off track with my fascination with the subject, so ignoring all that, who besides me reads non-fiction?
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

I personally thought The Da Vinci Code was an excellent non-fiction story.

...Okay, now that Ebly is dead from a stroke, my serious response: I think sometimes non-fiction written to inform and non-fiction written to inform and entertain are fairly indistinguishable. I like to learn, so I enjoy non-fiction, but I tend to get fatigued if it's too long but not written in an entertaining way.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Dark Ocean »

I see what you did there, Sleet.

I never really liked non-fiction until we got to the non-fiction section of our books in English class this year. All of the passages in it were well written and very entertaining. In conclusion, I like non-fiction now. :3
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Wanderer »

Whoever said nonfiction has to be uninteresting? I find that it is often times more interesting than fiction itself. The hunger for knowledge is what strives me to read, that being said I don't read as extensively as I should.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Dark Ocean »

Well, it helps if it is written in a way that doesn't just state facts.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Wanderer »

It is not how it is written that matters, it is the actual information being interesting that matters. It does help if the style is not so bland.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Ebly »

Sleet wrote:I personally thought The Da Vinci Code was an excellent non-fiction story.

...Okay, now that Ebly is dead...
Actually if you took The Da Vinci Code as being non-fiction I think I would be in a world of glee

Wanderer wrote:Whoever said nonfiction has to be uninteresting? I find that it is often times more interesting than fiction itself. The hunger for knowledge is what strives me to read, that being said I don't read as extensively as I should.
Uh, well, absolutely nobody! To reword it slightly in the hopes of clarifying, I said most non-fiction is not written with the intention of being interesting. Literally speaking, academic reports, textbooks for classes, the little manuals you get with most purchases and picture books designed to teach little kids about the universe all count as non-fiction. Out of all those, only the last one would be written specifically to be interesting, and even then it's written to be interesting to a completely different audience!



A good style will save a book on a bland subject. A fascinating subject will save a book with bad writing. As an example, I think This Is Your Brain On Music has quite a terrible style and Levitin is very, very obviously not a writer. That said, the link between music and neuropsychology is endlessly fascinating and makes it a worthy read! On the other hand, modern history is a subject I find no end of distaste for, beyond being merely a bland subject for me. However, in Underground, Murakami's interviews with many people in relation to the Tokyo sarin gas attacks by Aum Shinrikyo brought the subject to life and made it a dynamic, if unnerving, read.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Seth »

Just finished re-reading the dark knight returns.
Just as great as I remember.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by McFly »

Finished reading The Natural a couple days ago. Not bad, tends to be a bit much at certain points, but not bad.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Seth »

Finally done with Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
it's a great book but reading it is sort of like punching yourself in the stomach repeatedly.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Foxstar »

Started Tom Clancy's Locked On. So far, about 200 pages in within a hour, it's pretty good. Also rereading Naomi Novrik's series and waiting to finish up the last Eragon book once I'm done with Locked On.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sansash »

I'm in the middle of a very good nonfiction, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell. I actually listened to the book on CD some years ago but felt like actually reading it. It details the, uh, details of the first three American Presidential Assassinations. The CD is good; Vowell's reading (and her writing) are both entertaining (note she voiced Violet Parr of The Incredibles); it has a cast of guest readers like Stephen King as Lincoln, Conan O'Brian as his son Robert Todd Lincoln, and Incredibles director Brad Bird as two different people, one of whom sounds pointedly like superhero costume designer Edna Mode.

I'm also in the middle of E. E. Knight's Dragon Champion, book one of the Age of Fire series. It's a dragon fantasy from the dragon point of view.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by ctcmjh »

I just picked up A Game of Thrones the other day. I've yet to read it, but it's sitting on my bed.

Does anyone have any suggestions for any books or book series? I prefer medium to heavy reading, and I love all genres of books.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

My own weirdo recommendation is House of Leaves. It's pretty far towards the heavy side of the spectrum. :D
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Coatl_Ruu »

Oh, you got A Game of Thrones? Awesome! A Song of Ice and Fire is very quickly becoming one of my favorite book series. I just finished A Clash of Kings, and I've got A Storm of Swords reserved at the library.

Tyrion the dwarf (not a fantasy dwarf. He was born with dwarfism =P) is my favorite character. Once you start reading in earnest, I think you'll know why. x3

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

I like him from what I've seen of the TV show so far. Aside from his vices, that is.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Coatl_Ruu »

Well, there's that, but if you ask me, he's likeable enough that you can overlook it.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Seth »

Sleet wrote:My own weirdo recommendation is House of Leaves. It's pretty far towards the heavy side of the spectrum. :D

I've heard really good things about that.
Maybe I'll have time to read it this summer....
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by MilesKingford »

Has anyone heard the big fuss over Amazon Kindle Publishing? A friend of mine gave me an article over how amataur authors, who would not be able to publish their books through the more traditional routes, are opting to self publish to be bought on those Kindle book pads. It is becoming a big thing in Britain and I thought I should mention it here in case anyone is interested in looking that up sometime.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

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MilesKingford wrote:Has anyone heard the big fuss over Amazon Kindle Publishing? A friend of mine gave me an article over how amataur authors, who would not be able to publish their books through the more traditional routes, are opting to self publish to be bought on those Kindle book pads. It is becoming a big thing in Britain and I thought I should mention it here in case anyone is interested in looking that up sometime.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Foxstar »

Finished up Locked On. Wrapped up like I expected, but there's a cliffhanger in the end which I guess will be dealt with in the next book.
Guess I'll start on the final book in the Eragon series tomorrow.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by MilesKingford »

Sleet wrote:
MilesKingford wrote:Has anyone heard the big fuss over Amazon Kindle Publishing? A friend of mine gave me an article over how amataur authors, who would not be able to publish their books through the more traditional routes, are opting to self publish to be bought on those Kindle book pads. It is becoming a big thing in Britain and I thought I should mention it here in case anyone is interested in looking that up sometime.
Like Rick?
That depends, if he wants to publish something then yes. It costs nothing to publish (since all the costs are taken from their share of the royalties) but I would not recommend it for someone who wants to make money, its meant to be for those writers who create something and prefer to have it read rather than left at the bottom of their drew.
If he wants to buy books then I wouldn't know. The books are dirt cheap but they are all written by amateurs, just don't expect to come across a masterpiece or anything like that.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

MilesKingford wrote:
Sleet wrote:
MilesKingford wrote:Has anyone heard the big fuss over Amazon Kindle Publishing? A friend of mine gave me an article over how amataur authors, who would not be able to publish their books through the more traditional routes, are opting to self publish to be bought on those Kindle book pads. It is becoming a big thing in Britain and I thought I should mention it here in case anyone is interested in looking that up sometime.
Like Rick?
That depends, if he wants to publish something then yes. It costs nothing to publish (since all the costs are taken from their share of the royalties) but I would not recommend it for someone who wants to make money, its meant to be for those writers who create something and prefer to have it read rather than left at the bottom of their drew.
If he wants to buy books then I wouldn't know. The books are dirt cheap but they are all written by amateurs, just don't expect to come across a masterpiece or anything like that.
He has published something, and he's working on a second published story.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Wanderer »

Something I read about tragedies:
"In the sense of having been initiated by the hero himself, the tale always reveals what has been called his 'tragic flaw,' a failing that is not peculiar to grand or elevated characters. Nor is it necessarily a weakness. The flaw, or crack in the characters, is really nothing-and need be nothing, but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status. Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are 'flawless.'"

So we should accept everything wrong about ourselves and remain passive instead of acting against what degrades us...

Does anyone have any suggestions on which tragedies to read? I would like to read a few.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Sleet »

Wanderer wrote:So we should accept everything wrong about ourselves and remain passive instead of acting against what degrades us...
I think it's writing about the well-writtenness of fictional characters more than the goodness of an actual person.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

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Wanderer wrote:Something I read about tragedies:
"In the sense of having been initiated by the hero himself, the tale always reveals what has been called his 'tragic flaw,' a failing that is not peculiar to grand or elevated characters. Nor is it necessarily a weakness. The flaw, or crack in the characters, is really nothing-and need be nothing, but his inherent unwillingness to remain passive in the face of what he conceives to be a challenge to his dignity, his image of his rightful status. Only the passive, only those who accept their lot without active retaliation, are 'flawless.'"

So we should accept everything wrong about ourselves and remain passive instead of acting against what degrades us...

Does anyone have any suggestions on which tragedies to read? I would like to read a few.
Antigone
Othello
Oedipus Rex
I had to read those for various classes in the last couple years and they were pretty good


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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Wanderer »

Well I know a tragedy is about a fictional character but isn't it supposed to "enlighten" the reader somehow by creating a sorrowful situation that they can sympathise to?

I don't think I am interpreting that paragraphy correctly...

Will definitely read Dracula! Sounds very interesting.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by CaptainPea »

If we held fictional characters to the same standards of likability as real people, stories would get really boring.

While not a classical tragedy, I think Dorian Gray is worth a read, even though it wasn't my favorite. I maintain that it reads like a draft, but when you brush aside Wilde's tendency for irrelevant tangents and awkward pacing, the heart of the story is quite interesting.

Also feel free to skip Chapter 11
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Ebly »

Wanderer wrote:Well I know a tragedy is about a fictional character but isn't it supposed to "enlighten" the reader somehow by creating a sorrowful situation that they can sympathise to?
A tragedy is a tragedy. Antigone dies. So does Haemon and Creon's wife. In fact, probably the most successful person in that family after the events of Antigone is Creon, of all people, by virtue of being the only one left alive. (Edit: oops i realised i am in a reading thread giving out spoilers without hiding them, herp derp)

The basis of pretty much any play is to entertain you; I have no idea where you would have gotten the idea that a tragedy is supposed to "enlighten" you or have a situation that is sympathetic to the reader. I know that I certainly can't relate to angering the classical Greek gods and having my whole family killed off in divine retribution!
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Foxstar »

Finished up the final book in the Eragon series. There's a nice curveball at the end that i'm sure would upset some shippers. Overall, a good fantasy book, but still has some issues towards the end that bring it down. No spoilers from me, read the book yourself, heh.

Restarted on the Termeraire series for like my..fourth time. I can't remember the last time I re-read a series so often within a year's span. Briefly paused it to read the latest W.E.B Griffin novel in his Presidentail Agent series, Covert Warriors. It's pretty good, but by this point in the series, you love or hate the characters and the storyflow.

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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by Radio Blue Heart »

I just recently finished "Cheetah" by Katherine and Karl Ammann" and "The Sticks" by Andy Deane. I have just started "Ancient Egyptian Myths and Legends" by Lewis Spence.
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Re: Reading Thread/Discussion

Post by KJOokami »

Ebly wrote:I know that I certainly can't relate to angering the classical Greek gods and having my whole family killed off in divine retribution!
I don't think that's what most people mean when they say they "relate" to a character in a fictional work... you certainly can't relate to angering fictional gods/goddesses, but you probably can relate to the fear of staring death in the face (or at least death in general), or the sorrow of losing a loved one, or something along those lines.

Much like I relate to King in Housepets! without ever having had a blue griffon appear out of nowhere, transform me into a corgi, change my name, and make me his "pet".

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As for the topic, I honestly haven't read much of anything recently. Which is pretty sad. I started reading a collection of lore behind WoW, and have been slowly chugging through that over the last couple months, but I still haven't finished it. Not for a lack of quality content in the book; I've just been incredibly distracted lately.

I also started reading Dune, though I'd like to finish the WoW book before I continue delving any further into that.
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