Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 645866 times)

Aucoq

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2370 on: March 10, 2013, 05:48:58 am »
I'm currently reading Ernest Hemingway On Writing.  Hemingway himself didn't believe in teaching others how to write, but he did leave little comments of how he viewed writing and his methods in his works and other written material.  So Larry W. Phillips, the man who created the book, went through literally everything Hemingway ever wrote or contributed to (his short stories, novels, interviews, personal letters, etc) and took out every little gem of knowledge on writing Hemingway had written/said.  It's a pretty good book if you're into writing or like Hemingway.
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2371 on: March 10, 2013, 10:15:28 am »
I still haven't read Bitter Seeds, but now I'm looking forward to it even more.

In regards to Sondra London...well, based on my personal interaction with her, she can be a bit....strange.  Lady does like to date serial killers after all.  Sends odd emails at times.  I haven't read that either, though, so perhaps I shouldn't comment.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2372 on: March 11, 2013, 03:50:30 am »
I'm currently reading several manuals on suggestion and hypnosis.

I love the Illuminatus! Trilogy so much.

Juana

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2373 on: March 11, 2013, 06:10:50 pm »
Inventing the enemy: Denunciation and Terror in Stalin's Russia by Wendy Z. Goldman. It's assigned class reading, but I love the shit out of it.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2374 on: March 14, 2013, 04:04:35 pm »


Finished The Prankster and the Conspiracy (and I'm probably the last guy on this forum to do so). Is there something going on between Adam Gorightly and Sondra London that I'm missing? He dedicated practically a whole chapter (albeit at the end) to how she wouldn't return his emails.


I don't exactly remember devoting a whole chapter to Sondra's lack of emails, but nowadays we have good relations. She and I chat on facebook now and then. Interesting lady and my view of her has changed drastically since I penned the Prankster.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2375 on: March 14, 2013, 10:58:38 pm »


Finished The Prankster and the Conspiracy (and I'm probably the last guy on this forum to do so). Is there something going on between Adam Gorightly and Sondra London that I'm missing? He dedicated practically a whole chapter (albeit at the end) to how she wouldn't return his emails.


I don't exactly remember devoting a whole chapter to Sondra's lack of emails, but nowadays we have good relations. She and I chat on facebook now and then. Interesting lady and my view of her has changed drastically since I penned the Prankster.

It was a bit of an exaggeration. I think being frustrated when writing a book is a sufficient explanation.

In other news, I finished Hallucinations, which was very rewarding and my recommendation of it stands. The Cyberiad is a lot sillier than I had expected it to be (the humour is reminiscent of Douglas Adams, but closer to Young Zaphod Plays it Safe level than Resturant at the End of the Universe level), and Sleight of Mind is a lot looser and more hyperbolic than I expected from a pair of actual neuroscientists.

I've been reading Hacking the Xbox, and it is everything people say it is. Bunnie has recently released it free, and I strongly recommend downloading it. It's a wonderful introduction to hardware hacking, and manages to cover a lot of topics I inexplicably missed during my years of experience plugging random things into PC motherboards.

I've also been reading A Field Guide to Genetic Programming, which is also released free, and is also very good. (As a clarificaiton, 'genetic programming' refers to using genetic algorithms to write pieces of code, as opposed to composing novel sequences of DNA or RNA, which is also done but is called something else.)

Since I've been having terrible luck with fiction recently (the last four fiction books I started were The Unincorporated Man (which was written in such an awkward way that I had to stop reading it), Bitter Seeds (which was far too bleak for me), The Cyberiad (which works as light humorous fare but can't compete with Goats for narrative coherence or emotional catharsis), and At the Mountains of Madness (which was characteristically Lovecraftian in its bleakness but uncharacteristically not very scary)), the next book I'll probably start is The Art of Electronics.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2013, 11:13:29 pm by Phosphatidylserine »


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2376 on: March 15, 2013, 04:18:49 am »
Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey, dude. Read it. The protagonist is like Ash from Army of Darkness had a baby with a punk rock goddess, and the kid is on permanent godmode. Four books are out, number five is due in June, and he's working on number six already.
"I dispose of obsolete meat machines.  Not because I hate them (I do) and not because they deserve it (they do), but because they are in the way and those older ones don't meet emissions codes.  They emit too much.  You don't like them and I don't like them, so spare me the hysteria."

Lenin McCarthy

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2377 on: March 20, 2013, 08:48:06 pm »
If I get to the library in time, I'll be reading the new Norwegian translation of Ibn Khaldun's 14th century work Al-Muqaddimah over Easter break. This should be exciting. I've seen him being described as the Arab Machiavelli, the Arab Descartes and the founder of umpteen social scientific disciplines.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2378 on: March 20, 2013, 08:57:37 pm »
He did define government as "an institution which prevents injustice other than such as it commits itself", so he cannot have been all bad.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2379 on: March 20, 2013, 11:19:05 pm »
That's probably one of the better definitions I've read.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2380 on: March 21, 2013, 01:25:52 pm »
Reading Gianfranco Sanguinetti's On Terrorism and the State.  Interesting, how hobbies and professional interests can overlap. Sanguinetti was a member of the Situationist International, which as you know are an ongoing interest of mine.

In 1975, Sanguinetti wrote a mischevious tract claiming to be the work of a powerful Italian industralist, explaining how the strategy of tension in Italy was devised to maintain the status quo against Communist subversion through a campaign of false flag attacks and bombings.  This phamplet was mailed to powerful Italian business and political leaders, who praised its contents and made many attempts to guess at the identity of its author.

When his true identity was revealed, they were...not so impressed.

Sanguinetti then wrote this tract as a followup.  It's not an easy book to find.  My copy was printed in 1982, and pretty delicate besides.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2381 on: June 07, 2013, 02:49:11 pm »
My nightly reading at the moment is The Rise and the Fall of the Third Reich by Shirer.

I've never actually managed to finish this book.  Not because it's a bad book, but because it's about 2000 pages long.  At the moment, I've made it up to 1939, the dissolution of Czechoslovakia and the crisis over Danzig.  I think that's the 40% point, according to Kindle.  Also interesting to read alongside Cadogan's diary, for the inside scoop at the Foreign Office 

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2382 on: June 07, 2013, 03:00:05 pm »
"Haunted" by Chuck Palahniuk. I finished all my school reading for the term, time for something light!

This book is fucking disturbing as fuck.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2383 on: June 07, 2013, 03:08:32 pm »
Recently finished We Can Build You by Philip K Dick (which I consider far better than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, which he wrote around the same time), and Confessions of a Crap Artist, which was not as bad as I expected.

I also read Pratchett's The Color of Magic, which confirmed my gut instinct that I consider Pratchett to be a little overrated -- I've read six of the Diskworld books now, and although they're not bad books (I find them amusing), I don't find them to be significantly better than an episode of Star Trek TNG chosen at random (TNG fans will know what I mean by this), or a random episode of the new Doctor Who. In other words, I consider them worth reading, and worth buying at second-hand prices, but not worth fanning about.


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2384 on: June 07, 2013, 03:16:58 pm »
It's a bit unfair to judge Pratchett on The Colour of Magic - it was his first Discworld novel, and lots of things in the setting were not really thought out except as cheap gags or to progress the plot, such that it is.

I would judge him more from Wyrd Sisters onwards, and in particular on the Ankh-Morpork Watch series of books (Guards Guards, Men at Arms, Feet of Clay, Jingo, The Fifth Elephant, Night Watch, Thud!, Snuff).  He tends to save his more polished writing and more serious themes for those particular novels.