What are you reading?

Anything not about Mac emulation.

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ClockWise
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What are you reading?

Post by ClockWise »

Hey, so I've been reading a lot lately. The main reason for this is that I've finally figured out how to get books delivered to me here in China.

My current read? David Sedaris's "Naked." Sedaris is well-known for his short autobiographical stories, many of which he has read on public radio (in America). I read his collection "Me Talk Pretty One Day" some years ago, and am enjoying "Naked" as much as I loved that one. Both are the same sort of book: hilarious stories about his childhood (strange family) and early adulthood (hard drug addition and aimless drifting). Funny, funny stuff. Very, very American.

So what are you guys reading?
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Post by Silent Flamer »

Not much . Does programming manuals count?
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Post by 24bit »

Does CBA count?
http://www.consciousbeingalliance.com/2 ... -cover-up/
As a non native English speaker, hard to read material.
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Post by ClockWise »

Recently read Paul Theroux's "The Mosquito Coast," a wonderful work of fiction about a very obsessed man who relocates his family to South America to get away from all he hates about modern society. The character is intended to be obsessed, strange... psychopathic... but one can't help but identify with him because of his hatred of modern society. We ALL really hate the world sometimes.

I know Theroux mostly for his travel memoirs, but he is also a prolific writer of fiction!
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Post by Cat_7 »

-The Dutch Republic, by Jonathan Israel. A great read for those interested in Dutch republican history and golden age between rivaling kingdoms and emperors.
-Radical Enlightenment by the same author, giving a great insight into the development of the enlightenment and the large (initial) role the Dutch played in it. The author is English but spent considerable time in Holland to research these rather scholarly books.
-The Cemetery of Prague, by Umberto Eco. I just started it, but already it steals my heart by him allowing the main person to describe Germans, the French, Italians and Jews with a taste of vinegar in his mouth that mesmerizes...They are all bad..

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Post by Ambassador »

Star Trek: The Next Generation - Vendetta
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Post by ClockWise »

I read that one when I was in highschool, Ambassador! It is my all-time favorite Trek tie-in novel. Was it written by Peter David?

Loved that one, though haven't read it in years.

I haven't read a Trek book in ages. Do you know anything about the DS9 "relaunch" books? Your post makes me think that maybe I should order up the first of that series.
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Post by kikkoman »

Super Chevy (and other muscle car-related) magazines.... mostly. News headlines on Google... that's pretty much it. =\

Novels never really were my kind of thing as I find them a bit too drawn-out/long-winded. I prefer stuff that is short, to the point, and where potential benefits from reading said material are quickly acquired... like self-help books, encyclopedias, almanacs. Sure, they don't really leave much room to exercise the brain by forcing the reader to visualize and imagine the world that's being described in text....... but I guess I'm just too impatient these days.
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Post by Ambassador »

I read that one when I was in highschool, Ambassador! It is my all-time favorite Trek tie-in novel. Was it written by Peter David?

Loved that one, though haven't read it in years.
Yeah, it's a Peter David one. I like his take on the Borg in this book; it strikes me a lot more true the original concept of the Borg. Not always sure of his tendency to add spiritual elements though, but overall definitely one of the more "out there" and uninhibited Trek authors.
I haven't read a Trek book in ages. Do you know anything about the DS9 "relaunch" books? Your post makes me think that maybe I should order up the first of that series.
Unfortunately, I'm still in the TOS/TNG era; haven't moved into the DS9 era yet. I'm way behind in my reading so it will be awhile before I get new books. Based on the review I've seen, they are good additions to the DS9 storyline.
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Post by ClockWise »

I read "A Canticle for Leibowitz," the great Catholic SF novel. It won the Hugo award in 1961, and holds up pretty well. A lot better that some other prominent novels from that era.

Set in a post-apocalyptic USA, it tells the story of a monastery that protects scraps of scientific knowledge that survived the nuclear war and the anti-science fervor that followed it.

Every so often I consult wikipedia and order up a Hugo winner. It's a nice shortcut to good SF.

Next up in my queue? Another Paul Theroeux travelogue. This one is about China! I wonder if he makes it to Shenyang. Somehow I doubt it.
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Post by Stephen Coates »

Nothing really. I just tend to look at factual books such as electronic/computing etc now and then.
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Post by ClockWise »

He did go to Shenyang! He called it "a nightmare." Ha ha. The book title was Riding the Iron Rooster.

Recently I read the first four books of the "Deep Space Nine" relaunch, as mentioned above. I liked them. Not great literature, but reading about those characters and places is somewhat... comforting.

Meanwhile, I'm reading a Harry Turtledove alternate history title. It's part of a long series.
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Post by Ambassador »

Recently I read the first four books of the "Deep Space Nine" relaunch, as mentioned above. I liked them. Not great literature, but reading about those characters and places is somewhat... comforting.
I'll have to check them out in the future, once I get through my backlog. :P
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Post by ClockWise »

There is an Omnibus of the first four available called "Twist of Faith." That makes it a bit easier to get started!
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Post by ClockWise »

Recent reads include:

The Harry Turtledove book mentioned above, called "Blood and Iron" which is the fifth book in a long series that re-imagines the late nineteenth to mid twentieth century, as if the south had won the American Civil war. "Blood and Iron" focuses on the early 1920s.

And another Turtledove book, "Household Gods," a science-fiction book that finds a 1990s American woman inhabiting the life (and body) of an inn-keeper living towards the tail-end of the Roman Empire.

Unfortunately, China Post has caught on, and have stopped delivering books that I have ordered from America. Getting books abroad by mail is frowned upon by the government here. For the remainder of my time here, I'll have to read the odds and ends that I have sitting around the house rather than stuff I really want to read. Sad.
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Post by ClockWise »

I read "Pops," which is a lovely biography of Louis Armstrong by the critic and musician Terry Teachout. It's the first biography of Armstrong that makes use of the many letters, manuscripts and home recordings made by Armstrong during his life that are now collected by the Armstrong foundation. Cool.
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Post by ClockWise »

I read "The Traveller" by John Twelve Hawks. It's not a travelogue or a travel book of any sort, but rather a science-fiction book about people who can "travel" to other worlds/dimensions and the shadowy government agency that seeks to kill them (to prevent them from spreading any heretical ideas). Fun, trashy stuff.
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Post by ClockWise »

During vacation I read:

The first in George R. R. Martin's "Song of Fire and Ice" series, "A Game of Thrones." I dug it. Not usually a fan of the Fantasy genre (though lord help me, I have tried to be), but the story was well-written and epic. I find it tough to care about "epic" fantasy unless the characters are compelling, and almost all of the characters in Martin's book were. Good for him. I understand that HBO has produced a very good TV series based on this first book. I like that... it's the way we always say that this sort of thing should be adapted - one TV season for each book. I look forward to watching.

Poul Anderson's "Starfarers." I'm not a big Fantasy fan... but I am a fan of Science Fiction! Anderson wrote wonderful hard SF. This book was no exception, but as usual his characterization is bad, bad, bad. Oh Christ, his characters made me cringe. That failing was pretty common in SF from that generation (though "Starfarers" was a later book, Anderson was an early star in the genre).
Last edited by ClockWise on Mon Sep 12, 2011 6:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by ClockWise »

Oh wow, the Podcast edition of CBC's "Writers and Company" is presently featuring an archival interview (from 1993) with SF legend Ursula K. Leguin.

http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Dir ... cast/30141

Look for the August 28 episode.
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Post by ClockWise »

Margaret Atwood has just published a book of essays... about Science Fiction.

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/205858/ ... ret-atwood

How interesting. Atwood has, of course, published three very nice SF novels herself: The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and Year of the Flood.

Atwood is often called our (Canada's) best living writer. She is certainly our best hope for a Nobel Prize, considering her international audience.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by ClockWise »

My latest book orders have been interrupted by another black hole. China Post hasn't delivered anything in a month. Eeep.

But I did manage to receive (and read) James Blish's "A Case of Conscience." It's another early Hugo winner for Best Novel. Originally published as a novella, it is divided into two parts. The first, which comprised the original novella, is wonderful and the second is rather dreadful.

The story concerns a Jesuit priest who travels on an expeditionary mission to an alien planet to determine if the planet is suitable for colonisation/trade/exploitation. A much better Catholic SF story is "A Canticle for Leibowitz" which I mentioned earlier in this thread.

Embarrassingly, I also read a further FOUR Deep Space Nine books. No more SF for me.
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Re: What are you reading?

Post by ClockWise »

I read Atwood's third book, "Lady Oracle."

It's a funny book about a young woman who struggles to overcome a poor relationship with her mother and her own low self-esteem. The humour comes from her struggles to hide her past from the steady streem of oddballs and idiots she encounters in Canada and England.
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