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Old 06-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #136
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It really is an elegant little book. I guess I had just listened to so many debates with Harris that it really didn't present me with anything new, but that's ok; it's nice to have it all in one concise place.

I'd lend you Mortality if I could
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Old 06-19-2013, 03:55 PM   #137
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Best-selling author Vince Flynn dies at 47 | Fox News

Don't know if anyone here reads his books.

NSW, maybe?

47 is far too young.
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Old 06-19-2013, 04:52 PM   #138
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Best-selling author Vince Flynn dies at 47 | Fox News

Don't know if anyone here reads his books.

NSW, maybe?

47 is far too young.
Never heard of him. Too young indeed.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:32 PM   #139
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I'm reading Life of Pi. No, I haven't seen the movie yet. I have a feeling this isn't going to end well. He's got lots of food and water, so he's set for now, but I somehow think that it's not going to last.

Richard Parker is going to die, isn't he? Wait, don't tell me.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:12 PM   #140
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I need to read that book. I bought it. It's on my stack, but I'm very far behind. I absolutely loved the movie, though, and I'm waiting to see what the differences that everyone complained about are.


My recent read was a light one, but I finally picked up the new Lemony Snicket book series (well, book one), and it was phenomenal. I know they're just YA books, but he has such an amazing say of writing about him. Someday, I might read Daniel Handler's books he's written without a pen name, but I'm frightened that the magic won't carry on into the adult world.


Meanwhile, I finally picked up A Dance with Dragons, and, while I am only 90 pages in, being back in Westeros is making me incredibly happy.


Also, meanwhile, I'm reading the newest Stephen King: Joyland. It looks like it should be good pulpy horror fun, I'm just afraid that his desires to always write something life-altering these days might get in the way of a cheap thrills horror ride.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:44 PM   #141
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I never read the last unfortunate events. I should get around to doing that one of these days.
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Old 06-29-2013, 02:09 PM   #142
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He never quite tied everything up in a neat little bow, but that was never the point you get closure from the final, at least a little.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:12 PM   #143
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Yeah, I'd heard it doesn't resolve all neatly and answer everything, but I wouldn't expect that from that series anyway.


Just started Paul S Kemp's new book, a Discourse in Steel. It's the follow up to the novel that came out about a year and a half ago that he didn't write in a shared world (since all his other novels are either Dungeons & Dragons or Star Wars). With the exception of one of the Star Wars novels*, I've loved all of Kemp's stuff, and the other one centered around these very gray mouser-inspired characters, Egil & Nix, was pretty great.



*Riptide, I found it a little dull and overall I think this particular author does fantasy better than sci-fi, not sure if it's the particular sandboxes themselves that lend to more diverse descriptions of combat and depictions of force powers/magic and melee abilities, or what. The characters are usually interesting regardless, but there's only so many times I can read so and so Jedi "fell into the force," or launching bad guy "across the room with a force augmented kick" before I get bored with the fight scenes. Whereas I didn't run into any of that on the Erevis Cale/Twilight War trilogies. The Erevis Cale books were excellent, I'd recommend them to anyone, whether they're familiar with the setting or not. So much awesome in that series.
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Old 06-29-2013, 07:59 PM   #144
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Letter to a Christian Nation was the first book on atheism/humanism I ever read. It so efficiently erased any lingering theological beliefs I had, and it did so so beautifully and made me look at the world differently, I was expecting a tragic release and instead I came out of it feeling refreshed. So while I've read far meatier books by Harris, Dawkins, Hitchens et al since then, and I can't necessarily recommend it to someone who's already familiar with such issues, that book is always going to be very important to me.

I really, really need to read Mortality.
I think all of Harris's earlier books were just the work he needed to do before writing The Moral Landscape, which was by far the best and most complete at that time. IMO if you read that one, there's no reason to read the previous ones.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:47 PM   #145
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I started reaing Wuthering Heights for school. It's okay. I like the language.

Outside of school, I started two books that I got for my birthday- How Music Works by David Byrne and Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut. I'm only one chapter into the former and I love it. The latter isn't as intruiging. Hasn't gotten me hooked.

I also took one week to read the first three books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series, and though I got addicted to it I'm not sure if I should bother with the next two.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #146
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I never read the last unfortunate events. I should get around to doing that one of these days.
I had to quit at about #7. It was just too relentless. Amusing, but relentless.




There's no way to catch up at this point, so before I put them back on the shelf, here are the last two:

The Doing of the Thing: The Brilliant Whitewater Career of Buzz Holmstrom, by Vince Welch, Cort Conley, Brad Dimock.

It's about Buzz Holmstrom, the first guy to go down the Colorado River on his own. Interesting guy, amateur writers, but that didn't detract from the book at all.

A Room With a View, by E. M. Forster. I needed a novel after all the Lewis and Clark books, so why not this one. I liked it a lot. I was surprised how much I remembered from the movie, which I really liked and haven't seen in years.


Somewhere in the last six months was the latest Wimpy Kid book, which I liked, but not as much as the previous ones. A lot of the charm and humor of those is the insanity and plausibility of the behavior of the adults. This one fell down a little in the plausibility area.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:00 AM   #147
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I finished Life of Pi today. The ending is meant to mess with people's heads apparently. It really gave me a lot to think about this afternoon. I think the whole thing was an allegory about religion: Do we want to face the harsh and brutal world the way it is, without needing faith, or do we want a better version where God is present and miracles happen?

 
I think both versions have some truth in them and it's not an either/or situation. The first thing I thought of was that the French cook was in a separate lifeboat with Pi's mother and the injured sailor, whom he killed. The French cook then meets up with Pi while he is blind and then Pi kills him, possibly because he found out that this guy killed his mother. He did hear a voice with a French accent (which he thought was Richard Parker speaking to him in his delirium) who said he had killed a man and a woman and had eaten human flesh. When I read that part, I was stumped about the man and woman, but thought that if it was an animal talking, maybe he was referring to the hyena and orangutan, which were male and female.

I read a little online today to see what people's interpretations are about the ending(s) and apparently the movie (which I haven't seen) gives the impression that the human story is true and the animal version of the story was made up. The book, on the other hand, makes it look like Pi throws out the second story only because the Japanese guys didn't believe the first one, so he's just trying to satisfy them with something more believable. It's up to the reader to decide which one is true: the brutal and disturbing human version, or the fantastical and slightly-less-brutal animal version.

But the acidic island: what was that supposed to represent? That freaked me out.
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Old 07-02-2013, 01:21 AM   #148
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I'm reading the Crying of Lot 49. It's a strange read, to say the least, but I'm flying through it.

On the shelf, but I'll get to them: 1984, Under the Volcano, House of Leaves
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Old 07-02-2013, 02:29 AM   #149
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I saw Ashley mention Stephen King. I've been going through a bunch of his stuff lately. Most of the short-story/novella compilations. Some is very good while some is just not good at all. Read Four Past Midnight, Nightmares & Dreamscapes, and am partway through Skeleton Crew. Different Seasons is next. It's nice to get through a full story and sometimes more nearly every day at work.
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Old 07-02-2013, 04:12 PM   #150
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I am at a point with King where I am willing to say that I prefer his short stories and novellas to his actual novels, good though they may be.
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