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What Are You Readin? Last Book / Novel You've Read
#1
What was the last book or novel you read? What are you reading now? Or just share your thoughts about your favorite books here.
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison
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#2
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
by Jules Verne

[Image: 2619685.jpg]

This was my first time reading Jules Verne as an adult and I really enjoyed it. This edition contains a few color illustrations by Joseph Ciardiello. Verne gives very detailed descriptions that for modern readers may slow down the pacing of the story. Still visually he paints a vivid tapestry for the reader as he takes us on this absolutely epic underwater adventure. While there are few main characters the comradery between M. Aronnax, Ned Land and Conseil is well developed and at times very heartfelt. Few other characters in fiction are as interesting as the enigmatic Captain Nemo and his Nautilus. I'm looking forward to checking out the sequel "The Mysterious Island".
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison
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#3
Just out of interest, are there any really good really good sci-fi books that have come out recently and aren't part of some massive thirty six part series?

Preferably something that isn't a massive eight hundred page tome as well.
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#4
Stand-alone SF novels of reasonable length are very hard to find nowadays. Publishers don't want them... they're not profitable enough.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#5
Let me get back to you in a bit, a friend of mine has actually been reading a bunch of disparate standalone novels recently that he's been recommending, I'll get the names from him tonight/tomorrow.

(06-24-2015, 06:57 AM)Jesse412 Wrote:  This was my first time reading Jules Verne as an adult and I really enjoyed it. This edition contains a few color illustrations by Joseph Ciardiello. Verne gives very detailed descriptions that for modern readers may slow down the pacing of the story. Still visually he paints a vivid tapestry for the reader as he takes us on this absolutely epic underwater adventure. While there are few main characters the comradery between M. Aronnax, Ned Land and Conseil is well developed and at times very heartfelt. Few other characters in fiction are as interesting as the enigmatic Captain Nemo and his Nautilus. I'm looking forward to checking out the sequel "The Mysterious Island".

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea really does hold up well, it's a gripping adventure, but it definitely does feel bogged down in the descriptions of sea life they encounter. Not so much the panoramic descriptions that Verne gives, but the times where Aronnax in the story will spend literally page after page just listing the animals he sees (Not even describing them, just saying "I saw this, and I saw this, and then I saw this...") began to drag. Still, the novel as a whole was engaging and you really felt the tortuous hate and rage at the end. The Mysterious Island is also good, but I'm honestly not sure if I regard it as a direct sequel, it's closer to what we now know as a Shared Universe. It is a sequel in the sense that it takes place after 20,000 Leagues and explains what happened afterwards, but its own plot is unconnected and features none of the same characters except Nemo.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#6
I'm reading a book called Dreamland right now by Sam Quinones that talks about the origins of the opiate epidemic in this country, something that's sadly relevant to my job. It's extremely well written and it's cleared a lot up for me so far as far as how it got to this point, and that it wasn't just one thing but a perfect storm of things that coincided to make this way. Particularly relevant to my job was how pain got upgraded to the "fifth vital sign" in the 1980s that providers were supposed to treat with as much seriousness as the other vital signs (pulse, breathing, etc.) but how this was actually a huge mistake as pain is subjective and no two people will react the same way to it. I've seen this at my job frequently where you have some people who will scream bloody murder at a small cut and tell you it's 12/10 pain (yeah right) while you get others like this one guy who had testicular torsion and the way the nurse described it to us made me want to curl up into a ball and cry just at the mental image and made me make this face as she was telling us but he took it like a champ and we barely heard a peep out of him the entire time he was in our care.
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#7
Ah, the good ol' pain scale.





(06-24-2015, 12:59 PM)Weeto Wrote:  Just out of interest, are there any really good really good sci-fi books that have come out recently and aren't part of some massive thirty six part series?

Preferably something that isn't a massive eight hundred page tome as well.

You could actually try London Falling by Paul Cornell (Of comics/Doctor Who fame). It's not perfect, and some of its flaws come from the fact that it's clearly meant to be the start of a series and is laying groundwork for later stories, but so far it's just a single book with a very interesting story. Fascinating characters with deep backgrounds and some messed up urban fantasy.
Life is like a roller coaster.  It has its ups and downs, but if you sit back and relax you get one heck of a ride.

NationStates: The Associated Systems of Klonor

Equality is not a loss.
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#8
I'm reading a Pathfinder (gaming) novel called The Redemption Engine, by James L. Sutter.

I've been reading a lot less lately than I used to. It's getting much harder to find books that interest me. I'm just not sure where to go now to find out what's good to read in my favored areas (mostly fantasy and SF). When I was younger I'd get recommendations from lots of places. I read most of the books listed in the appendix of the Players Handbook (or was it the DMG?) in the 1st edition D&D books. And I used to read the reviews section in Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.

There are a lot of sites out there that try to offer me recs based on what I've read before, but they don't seem to get it right very often. So, I'm pretty much reduced to picking out a few authors I know I like, and reading everything I can find by them.

And as Weeto mentioned above, it doesn't help that practically everything coming out nowadays is part 7 of a 12 part series, or something like that.

Anybody know of any good review sites that focus on fantasy and SF?
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

“Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.” --Benito Mussolini
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#9
Because I get so many posts about Game of Thrones on my Facebook feed and often bombarded with it through Entertainment Weekly I decided to give the first book a read. I think it was 800 pages on my Nook although about 600 pages or so of real story.

I got sucked in to it a lot and rather enjoyed it. There are a TON of characters but every one has their own reasons for doing what they do and very little feels like moving the plot forward for shock value or surprise. Most if not all such actions make me want to read more to find out why and who did it.

I think my only cringe worthy stuff is that several characters are very young and are subjected to sexual situations. I feel ready for the police to break in and take me away when I'm reading about how an middle aged or older man is lusting or in love with a 15 year old girl or younger. There is also some related stuff that kinda creepy but I don't want to give away plot points or spoilers.

I'm enjoying the book enough where I think I sat and read about 4 hours straight at one point. I've finished the first book and I'm now halfway through the second book Clash of Kings which is 900 pages according to my Nook. I say the books really sucked me in because I never read books this much and I only started the first book earlier this month and maybe only 2 and a half weeks ago.
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#10
I wandered into The Works earlier, a discount book store. I got three books...

1) Gollazzo! The history of Latin Anerican football.

2) Total Recall : The Arnold Schwarzanegger Story.

3) A Mexican cookery book.

Total price... £11.

£3 each for Arnie and football, £5 for Mexican cookery. Not bad.

The football book seems fun and seems heavy on Uruguayan football, which is something I have a major interest in as a man from my home town was a major driving force behind Penarol, one of the two giants in Montevideo, along with Nacional. My Facebook profile pic has me wearing the sky blue kit of La Celeste!
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#11
Murder on the Orient Express

by Agatha Christie

[Image: 79ee1152ecbccf2593079455477444341587343.jpg]

This is the first Agatha Christie novel I've read and what an incredible 'whodunit' it is. The mystery is interesting, the cast rich with colorful characters and the ending reveal was fantastic and unexpected. I am definitely interested in reading the other adventures of detective Hercule Poirot as well as more of Christie's other work.
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison
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#12
Myron Cope: Double Yoi!
by Myron Cope

[Image: 1715760.jpg]

The author is a local legend, a sports journalist, radio personality and creator of the Terrible Towel. I found his accounts of meeting famous people like Muhammad Ali, Frank Sinatra and Howard Cosell all very interesting as well as his unique takes on events, sports broadcasting and journalism. A must read for Pittsburgh sports fans.
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison
Quote
#13
I finished reading my advance copy of the Vince Flynn novel The Survivor this weekend. It was excellent. The official release is October 6th.
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#14
I started David Simon's Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (basis of the show) and even though it's over 20 years old it's sadly still relevant to the modern Baltimore. It's also interesting to see some real life situations and conversations that eventually wound up in The Wire almost verbatim.
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#15
Redwall
by Brian Jacques

[Image: 281954.jpg]

I'm not generally into fantasy but I thought this was a lot of fun. It has lots of colorful characters, swashbuckling, a mystery steeped in its own mythology and a quest for a legendary sword. The quest is genuinely exciting and the battles are tense. I felt the ending was very touching. Not sure if I should read all the sequels in the series or just cherry pick the better ones.
"It is wrong to assume that art needs the spectator in order to be. The film runs on without any eyes. The spectator cannot exist without it. It ensures his existence." -- James Douglas Morrison
Quote
#16
I finished reading the Ingrid Thoft mystery Brutality this morning.
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#17
Finished the 2nd book of Game of Thrones and currently about halfway done with book 3. They've been quite enjoyable. I usually read for an hour or so most nights before sleep and I don't want to put them down.

I'm also reading a scenario for Pathfinder role-playing game titled Rise of the Runelords. While not a book, I suppose, it has an ongoing story-line linking chapters together and is a monstrous 380+ pages of things that can happen to the players. Then there's another hundred or so pages of appendixes detailing places, characters, magic items and maps.
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#18
(07-25-2015, 04:05 PM)DungeonmasterJim Wrote:  Finished the 2nd book of Game of Thrones and currently about halfway done with book 3. They've been quite enjoyable. I usually read for an hour or so most nights before sleep and I don't want to put them down.

I'm also reading a scenario for Pathfinder role-playing game titled Rise of the Runelords. While not a book, I suppose, it has an ongoing story-line linking chapters together and is a monstrous 380+ pages of things that can happen to the players. Then there's another hundred or so pages of appendixes detailing places, characters, magic items and maps.

I also have that Rise of the Runelords compilation. It's very very good. I would use it to introduce people to playing RPG's. It has somewhat classical tropes but twisted enough to be very entertaining. Some of Paizo's adventure path have become really classics.

As for me and what I'm reading, I'm switching between the Harry Dresden books (about a modern day detective who also happens to be a wizard) and going back to Stephen King's Dark Tower opus (Seven novels). I've read the Dark Tower stuff before and going back to it, loving how epic it can be.

If you don't know about the Dark Tower series, it's about Roland, a gunslinger from a planet Earth that has "moved on" (Meaning post apocalyptic basically). Gunslingers are like Arthurian Knights but instead of holy swords, they have holy six shooters. Roland tries to catch the Man in Black, a wizard and finding him only starts a quest of going into parallel universes (Basically, a whole bunch of other King novels), stopping a plot to kill Stephen King himself and prevent the Dark Tower, the nexus of every multiverses to crumble and destroy everything ever created.

At one point, the gunslinger and his group fight actual Dr. Doom Doombots that are weilding Star Wars lightsabers and Harry Potter grenades.
Always be true to yourself.

Being transgender is beautiful.
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#19
(06-24-2015, 12:59 PM)Weeto Wrote:  Just out of interest, are there any really good really good sci-fi books that have come out recently and aren't part of some massive thirty six part series?

Preferably something that isn't a massive eight hundred page tome as well.

I enjoyed Starship Grifters (A Rex Nihilo Adventure). It isn't a serious novel, if that's what you're looking to read. But it is a fun little page-turner.

-----------

Right now, I'm about 3/5th of the way through Cold Days, Book 14 of "The Dresden Files." Jim Butcher gets better and better with each new Harry Dresden adventure. I'll probably jump right in to #15 after I finish this one.
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#20
(07-25-2015, 06:55 PM)Lady_Hawkeye Wrote:  If you don't know about the Dark Tower series, it's about Roland, a gunslinger from a planet Earth that has "moved on" (Meaning post apocalyptic basically). Gunslingers are like Arthurian Knights but instead of holy swords, they have holy six shooters. Roland tries to catch the Man in Black, a wizard and finding him only starts a quest of going into parallel universes (Basically, a whole bunch of other King novels), stopping a plot to kill Stephen King himself and prevent the Dark Tower, the nexus of every multiverses to crumble and destroy everything ever created.

At one point, the gunslinger and his group fight actual Dr. Doom Doombots that are weilding Star Wars lightsabers and Harry Potter grenades.

One of these days I want to give The Dark Tower another shot. I read The Gunslinger years ago, when my mom was sick. I was preoccupied with mom so I was kind of just turning pages more than reading so I didn't really get much of the story. Then I never read any of the other novels.

Just more to add to the To Read pile.
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