Author Topic: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?  (Read 408739 times)

Bu☆ns

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2910 on: August 21, 2017, 12:29:20 am »
No, but this is the real spoiler:

Joffrey is such a cunt.

:lulz: i remember starting the first book on audiobook.  IIRC it was like listening to the book of genesis blohard stormborn begat greenapple highstep begat...

I also remember thinking, nope...can't do this shit right now lol

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2911 on: August 30, 2017, 04:24:13 am »
Finished His Master's Voice by Stanisław Lem recently, and currently wrapping up Solaris. Good shit, though I liked HMV better.

Reading Lem, I imagine us to be the same kind of cerebral doofus. His work is helping me find some of the things I want to say about life.

HMV is great because he takes the usual first contact story and really unpacks what a universal signal or the closest possible thing to it would have to be. I didn't care about the story--there almost wasn't one--but the reasoning process he sets about in reverse-engineering the supposedly intentional is some quality brain jockeying. Do recommend.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2912 on: August 30, 2017, 03:08:51 pm »
So I finished The Attention Merchants. I think it was interesting and seemingly pretty comprehensive as a history of advertising right back from the first newspapers through radio, cinema, TV and up to the internet. It could have done with a bit more of a conclusion perhaps but I guess just knowledge about what's assaulting your brain is valuable enough.

I have started trying to read Cradle to Cradle, a book about the circular economy in manufacturing. So far it's been saying the current 'harm reduction' methods introduce too much guilt and not enough action and then spends pages going on about how everything we make is slowly killing us and the planet. Pretty depressing.

Taking a break from that i've started Three Dangerous Magi which I guess you could call a primer on Crowley, Gurdjieff and Osho.. it's well written and I didn't know much about the three men before I started so i've been enjoying it.
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2913 on: September 01, 2017, 08:02:14 am »
Cainad, have you finished TUC yet?  Because I want to drop spoilers.

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2914 on: September 13, 2017, 02:33:05 pm »
Cainad, have you finished TUC yet?  Because I want to drop spoilers.

Whoops, missed this!

No, I haven't finished but I can easily avoid this thread until I do. Spoil away!

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2915 on: October 04, 2017, 12:01:52 am »
No problem.  In that case....

WHAT

THE

FUCK

JUST

HAPPENED

Everything fell logically into place, as far as I can see.  It all makes a terrifying amount of sense, the end of The Unholy Consult.  That the Consult would take Dunyain alive was incredibly foolish, but once they did, it sealed their own fate.  The tekne and the Dunyain philosophy are too close...that's assuming the Mutiliated are still Dunyain, and not Shaeonara possessing them. 

Proyas was being set-up all along.  He was the scapegoat, the fall-man designed to take the blame for the decision to eat Sranc.  His breaking was necessary, to make that step possible, and once it was done, he served the purpose of dying to redeem the Great Ordeal.

Kellhus was trying to save the world, and his plan was actually quite brilliant.  The gods could not see the threat, so he used the daimos to travel to the Outside, and made pacts with the pit.  Ajokli's summoning at the topos that is Golgotterath completely negated the advantages of the Consult and their chorae-armed skin spies, and is one of the most chilling scenes in a series full of them.

And then, Kelmomnas ruins it all, as he ruins everything.  Of course he's the No God.  No wonder the Narindar couldn't see him, couldn't react to him.  Once he was on the path to becoming the No-God, he was always the No-God, and so always invisible to the Hundred.  Ajokli intended to use the Consult as the lash to drive nations to despair, but he very conveniently abandons Kellhus at a key moment (very conveniently indeed, considering he cannot see the No-God).  Whether Kellhus had a contingency for this it's hard to say, but at the very least he is now a Ciphrang in the Outside, which means his part may not be over just yet.  And then of course, Ajokli is now also loose in the world, in the body of Cnauir, which makes a terrifying amount of sense.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2916 on: October 04, 2017, 12:13:05 am »
Anyway, I'm now reading the preview chapters for Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.

So far, Kaladin's depression is not making him repeat the same mistakes over and over again, which is nice to see after the last two books.  The depiction of Kaladin and his depression may be one of the best I've ever read, but going down that road a third time would've been completely unnecessary.

Adolin doesn't seem to be turning to the dark side or anything after his entirely justified murder of Sadeas.  It is complicating things, but thus far it doesn't seem to be causing him any major distress. 

Dalinar's flashbacks are showing just how much of a complete dick the younger Blackthorn was.  It's actually hard to believe they're the same men, the difference is that great.  The implied murder of a noble child to claim his shardplate in the wars of unification is the worst thing so far, but we've also had scenes where Sadeas appears to be picking out women to rape, with Dalinar not commenting, and an awful lot of glee taken in killing his enemies. 

Shallan's courting multiple personality disorder to not deal with the memories of killing her mother while training in using the shardblade with Adolin.  I'm sure this will have no negative repurcussions whatsoever, given Shallan's already fragile mental state. 

Voidbringers can play cards.  Who knew?

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2917 on: October 06, 2017, 08:03:10 pm »
Finished Mother Night in a little over 4 hours. It's the first time I've binge-read in longer than I can accurately estimate. I'm looking for suggestions for my next book. Fuck sake not Vonnegut again. I feel as though I have a sort of mental indigestion.

Felt good to read again though. I'll take it as a sign of recovery.  :)
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2918 on: October 07, 2017, 06:22:27 pm »
Anyway, I'm now reading the preview chapters for Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.

So far, Kaladin's depression is not making him repeat the same mistakes over and over again, which is nice to see after the last two books.  The depiction of Kaladin and his depression may be one of the best I've ever read, but going down that road a third time would've been completely unnecessary.

Adolin doesn't seem to be turning to the dark side or anything after his entirely justified murder of Sadeas.  It is complicating things, but thus far it doesn't seem to be causing him any major distress. 

Dalinar's flashbacks are showing just how much of a complete dick the younger Blackthorn was.  It's actually hard to believe they're the same men, the difference is that great.  The implied murder of a noble child to claim his shardplate in the wars of unification is the worst thing so far, but we've also had scenes where Sadeas appears to be picking out women to rape, with Dalinar not commenting, and an awful lot of glee taken in killing his enemies. 

Shallan's courting multiple personality disorder to not deal with the memories of killing her mother while training in using the shardblade with Adolin.  I'm sure this will have no negative repurcussions whatsoever, given Shallan's already fragile mental state. 

Voidbringers can play cards.  Who knew?

I've been impressed with that series so far. I'd all but given up on Sanderson after the 2nd and 3rd Mistborn books, but a friend gifted me Way of Kings and I really enjoyed it. There's still something about his style that bothers me and I can't quite put my finger on it. It's probably best exemplified in Stormlight Archive by the axehounds. You have a creature that's for all intents and purposes a dog. It acts like a dog, it's trained like a dog. It's called a fucking hound. But it has a shell. Some of those worldbuilding choices are distracting, like they're just different for the sake of being different without really adding anything. It's okay, man, you can write about dogs.

Based on this thread I started reading the Prince of Nothing books. I just started Warrior Prophet the other day. The Darkness that Comes Before was a really refreshing take on fantasy, and Bakker's writing is incredibly confident.
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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2919 on: October 08, 2017, 04:35:40 am »
Anyway, I'm now reading the preview chapters for Oathbringer, the third book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series.

So far, Kaladin's depression is not making him repeat the same mistakes over and over again, which is nice to see after the last two books.  The depiction of Kaladin and his depression may be one of the best I've ever read, but going down that road a third time would've been completely unnecessary.

Adolin doesn't seem to be turning to the dark side or anything after his entirely justified murder of Sadeas.  It is complicating things, but thus far it doesn't seem to be causing him any major distress. 

Dalinar's flashbacks are showing just how much of a complete dick the younger Blackthorn was.  It's actually hard to believe they're the same men, the difference is that great.  The implied murder of a noble child to claim his shardplate in the wars of unification is the worst thing so far, but we've also had scenes where Sadeas appears to be picking out women to rape, with Dalinar not commenting, and an awful lot of glee taken in killing his enemies. 

Shallan's courting multiple personality disorder to not deal with the memories of killing her mother while training in using the shardblade with Adolin.  I'm sure this will have no negative repurcussions whatsoever, given Shallan's already fragile mental state. 

Voidbringers can play cards.  Who knew?

This is the book I'm waiting for. I recently finished books 1 & 2. I didn't expect to care that much, I picked them up because someone mentioned it to me and I had nothing else to read at the moment (I'm still delaying TUC for some reason).  My main anxiety about Oathbringer is that I really, really hate flashbacks. I want to know what happens next, I don't give a shit what happened 20 years earlier. That probably makes me a bad reader or whatever, but it just isn't compelling for me. I'll probably still read it anyway, though.


I've been impressed with that series so far. I'd all but given up on Sanderson after the 2nd and 3rd Mistborn books, but a friend gifted me Way of Kings and I really enjoyed it. There's still something about his style that bothers me and I can't quite put my finger on it. It's probably best exemplified in Stormlight Archive by the axehounds. You have a creature that's for all intents and purposes a dog. It acts like a dog, it's trained like a dog. It's called a fucking hound. But it has a shell. Some of those worldbuilding choices are distracting, like they're just different for the sake of being different without really adding anything. It's okay, man, you can write about dogs.

Based on this thread I started reading the Prince of Nothing books. I just started Warrior Prophet the other day. The Darkness that Comes Before was a really refreshing take on fantasy, and Bakker's writing is incredibly confident.

100% agree on Sanderson doing shit to be weird for weirdness' sake. Grass that retreats if you walk too close to it is another example. Horses still eat it so what's the difference? Just weird for no real reason at all. It doesn't bother me too much though, except when he goes off on some weird tangent for half a page explaining the behavior or history of some completely unimportant odd thing. Overall, his worldbuilding is enormous and ambitious, and those are both points in his favor. He just spends too much time shading in the areas I don't care about sometimes.
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Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2920 on: October 10, 2017, 08:30:39 pm »
In that specific case, it's meant to show that humans are not native to Roshar.  Which I suspect will tie into the plot somehow, other than other Cosmere characters popping up constantly (human invaders caused the Parshendi to side with Odium?), but it is kinda clunky, yeah. 

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2921 on: October 22, 2017, 01:34:51 am »
Having finished the third of David Wong's John Dies At the End books & noting that that trilogy is a good candidate for a more modern equivalent to The Illuminatus Trilogy (having the same mix of heady psychological and philosophical ideas, crude humor, and genuine empathy), I acquired the one Robert Anton Wilson trilogy I haven't read yet (the Historical Illuminatus Chronicles). I just finished the first two books & need a break from immersion in that headspace, but I have to say that this series is almost as underrated as Masks of the Illuminati. Aside from the constant references to his other books, the first book feels more like a cross between Foucault's Pendulum and The Baroque Cycle than a normal RAW book; the second is a good follow-up but is a little more indulgent, with a lot of references to the P-2 conspiracy that RAW got obsessed with in the 80s and seemingly remained obsessed with through the turn of the century.

Also reading Scott Alexander's Unsong, which is simultaneously intellectually stimulating and hilarious. It can be read as a political and religious farce or as a satire about silicon valley or as a source of genuinely interesting kaballistic connections. The premise: Apollo astronauts trying to go to the moon instead collide with the celestial spheres, proving that medieval religious cosmology is literally true and causing reality to begin glitching out; fifty years later, the world is run by a handful of megacorporations dealing in the sale of DRM-protected names of god (magic spells based on hermetic associations) and political and economic life has been warped by the existence of literal hell, fallen angels who are confused about how time works and can't imagine anybody ever saying anything that wasn't absolutely true, and the archangel Uriel in the center of a permanent hurricane playing the frustrated sysadmin and trying to prevent people from boiling goats in their mother's milk lest he need to restore new zealand from backups again.


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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2922 on: October 23, 2017, 02:56:03 pm »
No problem.  In that case....

WHAT

THE

FUCK

JUST

HAPPENED

Everything fell logically into place, as far as I can see.  It all makes a terrifying amount of sense, the end of The Unholy Consult.  That the Consult would take Dunyain alive was incredibly foolish, but once they did, it sealed their own fate.  The tekne and the Dunyain philosophy are too close...that's assuming the Mutiliated are still Dunyain, and not Shaeonara possessing them. 

Proyas was being set-up all along.  He was the scapegoat, the fall-man designed to take the blame for the decision to eat Sranc.  His breaking was necessary, to make that step possible, and once it was done, he served the purpose of dying to redeem the Great Ordeal.

Kellhus was trying to save the world, and his plan was actually quite brilliant.  The gods could not see the threat, so he used the daimos to travel to the Outside, and made pacts with the pit.  Ajokli's summoning at the topos that is Golgotterath completely negated the advantages of the Consult and their chorae-armed skin spies, and is one of the most chilling scenes in a series full of them.

And then, Kelmomnas ruins it all, as he ruins everything.  Of course he's the No God.  No wonder the Narindar couldn't see him, couldn't react to him.  Once he was on the path to becoming the No-God, he was always the No-God, and so always invisible to the Hundred.  Ajokli intended to use the Consult as the lash to drive nations to despair, but he very conveniently abandons Kellhus at a key moment (very conveniently indeed, considering he cannot see the No-God).  Whether Kellhus had a contingency for this it's hard to say, but at the very least he is now a Ciphrang in the Outside, which means his part may not be over just yet.  And then of course, Ajokli is now also loose in the world, in the body of Cnauir, which makes a terrifying amount of sense.

Finished. The appendices tricked me into thinking I had farther to go than I did.

So, in conclusion


Um.


what?


So What Comes After always did rule What Comes Before. But if Mog-Pharau does its work and the goal of Ark/The Consult is realized, then that will cease to be true once the World is shut against the Outside... I think?

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2923 on: October 23, 2017, 05:29:33 pm »
Khellus grasped the Gnosis, literally a knowing of the Divine. He assumed it could all fall within the scope of the Logos, that the Dunyain were not fundamentally wrong about Cause and Effect, merely lacking the necessary knowledge to grasp it in totality. He worked on the assumption that the Outside could be manipulated by intellect, the same way that the World could be. That the Outside could be made to “walk Conditioned ground,” as they say. But I think that in gaining the perspective of the Gods, he gained their very same blindness: he couldn’t perceive the No-God.

Up until the end I had assumed that Kelmomas and his dickery was the work of Ajokli. Oops.

I read the first book back in high school, I think the same year it was published. 2005-ish? I’m 27 now. R.S. Bakker is a sonovabitch and I think I love him.

Cain

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Re: Unofficial What are you Reading Thread?
« Reply #2924 on: October 24, 2017, 12:47:03 am »
You're right, the No-God essentially collapses all metaphysical categories. You can even see hints of that in how even before becoming the No-God, he couldn't be seen by the Hundred...what comes after should not affect what becomes before, but that's just one of the many rules the No-God breaks.

It was amazing ending though.  Kellhus had already apprehended the Inverse Fire and outplayed the Consult's trump card from the very start.  He took advantage of Golgotterath's unique situation as a topos to remove the "Dunsult" advantage and make them walk Ajokli's conditioned ground.  They were completely negated, every move anticipated...except for Ajokli's betrayal and the No-God himself.

And I think everyone assumed that Kelmomas and Ajokli were linked, after that beetle scene.  I know I did.  But upon re-reading, the hints were there.  Even in The Warrior Prophet, Kellhus had visions of a "horned being" while upon the Circumfix.  How much of the Empire was built on the works of a daimotic pact?