Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 716844 times)

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2820 on: February 17, 2017, 04:46:50 pm »
Going back to The Great Ordeal:

So, I was looking up something completely unrelated when I came across this extraordinary segment in The Thousandfold Thought, when Kellhus finally confronts his father:

Quote
For the Dűnyain, it was axiomatic: what was compliant had to be isolated from what was unruly and intractable. Kellhus had seen it many times, wandering the labyrinth of possibilities that was the Thousandfold Thought: The Warrior-Prophet’s assassination. The rise of Anasűrimbor Moënghus to take his place. The apocalyptic conspiracies. The counterfeit war against Golgotterath. The accumulation of premeditated disasters. The sacrifice of whole nations to the gluttony of the Sranc. The Three Seas crashing into char and ruin. The Gods baying like wolves at a silent gate.

Bakker, R. Scott. The Thousandfold Thought (The Prince of Nothing Book Three) (Kindle Locations 8351-8355). Little, Brown Book Group. Kindle Edition.

Which is exactly what has happened with Kellhus as Aspect Emperor.  The only thing that hasn't occured thus far is the Three Seas falling into complete ruin, and that's only because Kellhus returned in the nick of time to defeat Meppa and the Bandit Pandirajah.

So, I suppose the question is, what is Kellhus up to?  Does he accept the Consult's aims and wants to avoid being one of the Damned?  Is he perpetrating some kind of grand deception on them, to make them think he is with them, only to betray them (perhaps to obtain the Heron Spear and/or knowledge of the No God).  Or is something else entirely going on?

I need to log into this damn forum more than once a month and actually read shit.

If I'm understanding this correctly, The Thousandfold Thought means Khellus knew the Narindar would be a thing, even though Yatwer's gift to Sorweel was explicitly to make him invisible to Khellus?

So who is outwitting who? I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2821 on: February 17, 2017, 04:50:59 pm »
Since my current job task requires about as much work from me as a deli-counter ticket dispenser, I've been tearing through (relative to my usual reading speed) Malazan Book 5, Midnight Tides.

Lots more Weird Sex Stuff in this book than the previous ones.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2822 on: February 17, 2017, 06:25:01 pm »
Maybe not the Narindar specifically, but he knew the gods would intervene.  And he may have even realised that since the Gods exist outside the Logos, indeed Outside reality, that he could not predict their methods, even if he could count on their oppostion.

And yeah, Midnight Tides is a bit of a weird one.  In addition to the weird sex stuff, you may get the impression that Erikson isn't a fan of the Iraq War.  Just maybe.  A little, tiny bit.  But it's necessary, because it's the next one, The Bonehunters, where things really start happening, and everything starts to come together.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2823 on: February 25, 2017, 03:14:34 am »
Nothing fantastic to report.  I was looking forward to Foggs Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, reading it however failed to provide traction.  Maybe cause not fully committed to read (skimming), or the fact that it was written in '02 makes approach feel dated w.r.t. current applications of said technology.  Blah.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2824 on: February 25, 2017, 05:05:29 am »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

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Cainad (dec.)

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2825 on: February 25, 2017, 01:31:27 pm »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2826 on: February 25, 2017, 03:01:38 pm »
I was just gifted a delightful-looking book my the outgoing PhD in my lab, called "Promiscuity".
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2827 on: February 25, 2017, 03:07:30 pm »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

Vonnegut's writing is beautiful. I was having a conversation about the difference between a competent and a good writer the other day, and Vonnegut was one of my examples of a good writer. Stephen King describes himself as a solid example of a competent one.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2828 on: February 25, 2017, 05:05:12 pm »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

Vonnegut's writing is beautiful. I was having a conversation about the difference between a competent and a good writer the other day, and Vonnegut was one of my examples of a good writer. Stephen King describes himself as a solid example of a competent one.

In this particular book he does a great job of messing with perspective on causation just by simply and clearly describing how certain characters came to be involved. I'm about 1/10th through by page number. He also has a certain taste for mindfuckery with equally simple description of the setting as "a million years ago in 1986" and the narrator's occasional asides leaving you unsure of where in that time range the story is being related from.

That and he illustrates the undue power opinion has over reality thanks to our over engineered "big brains". It feels at this point like he's leading up to something like Idiocracy, but entirely different in satiric style... we'll see. I have a nice quiet day today and a pot of coffee. Going to try getting to halfway without diverting to the Internet or other easy distractions.
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

"You program the controller to do the thing, only it doesn't do the thing.  It does something else entirely, or nothing at all.  It's like voting."
- Billy, Aug 21st, 2019

"It's not even chaos anymore. It's BANAL."
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2829 on: February 26, 2017, 01:35:34 am »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

Vonnegut's writing is beautiful. I was having a conversation about the difference between a competent and a good writer the other day, and Vonnegut was one of my examples of a good writer. Stephen King describes himself as a solid example of a competent one.

In this particular book he does a great job of messing with perspective on causation just by simply and clearly describing how certain characters came to be involved. I'm about 1/10th through by page number. He also has a certain taste for mindfuckery with equally simple description of the setting as "a million years ago in 1986" and the narrator's occasional asides leaving you unsure of where in that time range the story is being related from.

That and he illustrates the undue power opinion has over reality thanks to our over engineered "big brains". It feels at this point like he's leading up to something like Idiocracy, but entirely different in satiric style... we'll see. I have a nice quiet day today and a pot of coffee. Going to try getting to halfway without diverting to the Internet or other easy distractions.

If you haven't read Mother Night yet, I recommend it after you finish Galapagos.
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2830 on: February 26, 2017, 02:05:59 am »
Galapagos by Vonnegut. I'm not very far into it, and woefully ignorant of the author, but it's really awesome writing! He manages to be concise without sacrificing one bit of wit.

I'm also becoming painfully aware of how out of the habit of reading actual books I've fallen. I take it as a sign that I will have quite the challenge getting into school after so many years. I kind of just also realized that my problem with writing goes deeper than just discomfort. I'm in for quite the struggle to recondition my mind and body both. One step at a time I guess.

If you find you can't get back into the groove, find an easy page-turner that requires minimal brain effort to follow along. I read a pulpy short novel recently, and that seems to have been a good warm-up for reading things that require more conscious attention.

Also, Vonnegut's novels, in my experience, translate very well into audiobook format. Breakfast of Champions in particular was a delight to listen to.

Vonnegut's writing is beautiful. I was having a conversation about the difference between a competent and a good writer the other day, and Vonnegut was one of my examples of a good writer. Stephen King describes himself as a solid example of a competent one.

In this particular book he does a great job of messing with perspective on causation just by simply and clearly describing how certain characters came to be involved. I'm about 1/10th through by page number. He also has a certain taste for mindfuckery with equally simple description of the setting as "a million years ago in 1986" and the narrator's occasional asides leaving you unsure of where in that time range the story is being related from.

That and he illustrates the undue power opinion has over reality thanks to our over engineered "big brains". It feels at this point like he's leading up to something like Idiocracy, but entirely different in satiric style... we'll see. I have a nice quiet day today and a pot of coffee. Going to try getting to halfway without diverting to the Internet or other easy distractions.

If you haven't read Mother Night yet, I recommend it after you finish Galapagos.

I'm something like a quarter through Galapagos after about a 3-4 hour stint. This isn't so much because it's a hard read, though my attention span needs improvement. It's because every few paragraphs I find myself THINKING about the story and its implications as he yanks my cognition around.

I do believe I shall in fact get me this Mother Night after I manage to finish this off.  I was just handed this to read by one of my friends like it was some nice, entertaining Harry Potter or some shit. Though I remain a nominal theist, I take the cosmos as exactly as old as it would appear and natural selection for one of it's laws of nature. It's messing with me as such in addition to the more obvious social commentary. The good news is I like that shit! :)

... so I mentioned this to my friend before I posted this. Not only does she have a copy of Mother Night she's behaving rather excitedly and recommending Cat's Cradle and has showcased to me her considerable collection before just now heading upstairs to find more. I kind of don't blame her, though I'm not quite so enthusiastic. I suspect I shall be reading him quite a lot in my time here in LaX. I have Mother Night in hand and it's next on muh list!
You can't get out backward.  You have to go forward to go back.. better press on! - Willie Wonka, PBUH

Life can be seen as a game with no reset button, no extra lives, and if the power goes out there is no restarting.  If that's all you see life as you are not long for this world, and never will get it.

"Ayn Rand never swung a hammer in her life and had serious dominance issues" - The Fountainhead

"World domination is such an ugly phrase. I prefer to call it world optimisation."
 - Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality :lulz:

"You program the controller to do the thing, only it doesn't do the thing.  It does something else entirely, or nothing at all.  It's like voting."
- Billy, Aug 21st, 2019

"It's not even chaos anymore. It's BANAL."
- Doktor Hamish Howl

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2831 on: February 26, 2017, 02:27:15 am »
Oh yeah, Vonnegut is not light entertainment reading. :lol: It's definitely pretty thinky. I recommend giving it a year or so, and then giving it another read-through; you'll be surprised at what you see the second time around. I don't usually read books more than once, but for Vonnegut I'll make an exception. Enjoy!
“I’m guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk,” Charles Wick said. “It was very complicated.”


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2832 on: February 26, 2017, 07:17:02 pm »
Recently read The Russian Cosmists by George Young, on account of Warren Ellis mentioning it in a newsletter months ago. It's a bit dry but worth reading if you have an interest in modern Russian philosophy, nineteenth century western occult movements, or transhumanism. It ties together all the people conventionally considered cosmists (with brief biographical sketches), along with De Chardin, Scriabin, Tolstoy, Steiner, & others whose ideas are similar but whose connection seemed historically tenuous, by showing how the ideas of Federov circulated and mutated within late 19th century Russian intellectual circles. It makes the case that there's a characteristically Russian stance toward philosophy that privileges community, praxis, and the rehabilitation of unpopular ideas, and that this position better represents cosmist thought than any particular details (which would change between thinkers). It also indirectly makes an argument for the potential for librarians (and other intellectual gatekeepers) to have an out-sized influence on history.

Also recently read Track Changes by Matthew Kirschenbaum, a literary history of word processing. Lots of interesting details in it. Mostly it focuses on the cultural impact that the mechanisms behind word processors had on the way literary authors thought of themselves and their own work (as opposed to distant readings of how the use of word processors might have concretely caused stylistic changes). Unexpectedly, there are almost as many evocative passages and turns of phrase in here as in The Russian Cosmists.

Finally, today I finished Transreal Cyberpunk, a collection of short stories co-written by Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker. Despite the name, it doesn't contain much that would be called cyberpunk. It's mostly gonzo/bizarro fiction. I had read many of the pieces previously, but because this collects all of the pieces the two co-wrote in chronological order (and because it contains explanations by each of the authors about how each story was composed), I found this collection much more enjoyable than the individual stories within it. This collection contains some of the strangest stories I've ever read -- and I take care to seek out and read particularly strange stories. If you read and liked Semiotext(e) SF, this is a good companion piece. Also, if you're interested in Grant Morrison's concept of the hypersigil, transreal SF will probably be of interest: Rucker believes that by combining arbitrary particulars of one's own life with "SF power chords", he can produce significantly more gnarly & interesting stories. (I'm not sure to what degree I agree; Rucker is usually too daffy for me, though in this collection Sterling reigns him in.)


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2833 on: March 02, 2017, 05:04:10 pm »
I’ve finished The Antichrist by F. W. Nietzsche, and found it to be an enlightening read. Now, I’m moving on to his Thus Spake Zarathustra - A Book for All and None.

I started reading this book years ago, but had to set it aside because of hellacious working hours, and other IRL commitments. So, I’ve started it again, from the beginning, and intend to finish it this time around. 

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2834 on: March 02, 2017, 05:21:53 pm »
I just finished reading The Conjure Man Dies, which is the first published detective novel written by a black man, Rudolph Fisher.

It's awful. It was written in 1932, so it is naturally rough since that genre hadn't quite had time to mature. It is certainly very interesting, especially from a cultural perspective. The plot itself is relatively interesting, if hackneyed and weird.

The problem with the book is shit like the scene where a woman is dancing in a club and the narrator points out that, "this young lady was proving beyond question the error of reserving legs for mere locomotion"

BLECH.

Fisher was a doctor, and his book reads like it. He uses way too many $10 dollar words where a $0.10 word will do, and he really likes to show off his keen intellect. It just comes off showboaty, especially for genre fiction. It was painful to read and I am glad I am done. Fisher might have gotten somewhere with a lot more time and effort, but he died from a botched stomach surgery two years after publishing.

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