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 Post subject: What are you reading?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:37 pm 
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So, after what are you listening to threw up a few interestingly choices and certainly got me listening to music I wouldn't normally listen to, I thought I'd start a similar thread on reading.

I'm currently reading dirk gently's holistic detective agency, by Douglas Adams. I remember reading this when I was a mere boy, and this led me onto read poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, which actually dovetailed nicely with the music I was listening to at the time, iron maiden and their interpretation of rime of the ancient mariner.

Probably holistic?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2017 10:58 pm 
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I have started Gardens of the Moon, the first book of the Malazan series by Steven Erikson. It is a high fantasy setting with lots of characters, I am enjoying it so far.

P.S. I haven't read the poem but the song Rime of the Ancient Mariner rocks :twisted:

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:22 am 
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Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire :lol: (oh, and the Beastmen armybook)

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:44 am 
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Currently I'm reading the memoirs of William T. Sherman, as a lighter break from the anti-federalist papers.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 12:17 pm 
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Chracian wrote:
I'm currently reading dirk gently's holistic detective agency, by Douglas Adams.

Nice book by a much-missed author. I believe this was one he produced after one of his episodes of Writer's Block.

elendor_f wrote:
I haven't read the poem but the song Rime of the Ancient Mariner rocks

From Powerslave?

RE.Lee wrote:
Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
Gibbon?

Shannar, Sealord wrote:
William T. Sherman

For some reason the ACW is fascinating, even for non-Americans.

I've almost finished Pratchett's 'Raising Steam'. Interesting but not stunning so far. Judge after I've finished it though!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 1:55 pm 
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Quote:
From Powerslave?

Yes! I've always been impressed about how good Iron Maiden were back then at making long songs (Hallowed Be Thy Name, Rime of the Ancient Mariner, To Tame A Land, The Clansman, Fear of the Dark, etc).
Not to say their long songs now are bad, but they had a better feeling in their classic albums.

Quote:
I've almost finished Pratchett's 'Raising Steam'. Interesting but not stunning so far. Judge after I've finished it though!

Last year I finally read his last book, The Sheperd's Crown, and I felt really sad because since I discovered Discworld when I was 15 there were always more books to read. He's probably my favourite author!
I agree that the last books were not as good as the others, with some exceptions (I quite liked Unseen Academicals from the last books), but good nonetheless.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:29 pm 
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Gibbon, indeed.

Need to look into those Sherman memoirs, Shannar, I've only read Grant's. Hard to get hold of ACW literature in Poland.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 3:53 pm 
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Wrapping up "Soul on Fire - The Life and Music of Peter Steele" (as one of my favorite bands is Type O Negative)
Just starting on "Secondhand Souls" by Christopher Moore (when I first started reading his works, I found them to be hit or miss but have since found them to be a light, amusing break when other stuff I'm reading gets too heavy)

Things I've been reading to my son (11 months old):
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
The Little Giraffe Who Lost Her Spots
The Story of Peppa Pig
The Hobbit (ok ... so this one is for me more than him ... but sometimes the only way to get reading done is to hold him and read it aloud)

Recently read:
Neil Gaimen's "American Gods" and "The Graveyard Book" (looking forward to picking up his new release on Norse mythology)
"The Republic of Pirates"
Keary's "Tales of Norse Mythology"
"Band of Brothers"

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2017 6:59 pm 
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RE.Lee wrote:
Gibbon, indeed.

Need to look into those Sherman memoirs, Shannar, I've only read Grant's. Hard to get hold of ACW literature in Poland.


If you are willing to download it in 4 parts you can get the kindle version free on amazon. For anyone who likes history and or the classics there are enough free books on there to keep you busy for a lifetime.

I enjoyed Shermans writing style a lot.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:32 pm 
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elendor_f wrote:
Yes! I've always been impressed about how good Iron Maiden were back then at making long songs

I grew up with Maiden fans. Not one myself but I find them palatable and I admire the musicianship.

elendor_f wrote:
Last year I finally read his last book, The Sheperd's Crown, and I felt really sad because since I discovered Discworld when I was 15 there were always more books to read. He's probably my favourite author!
I agree that the last books were not as good as the others, with some exceptions (I quite liked Unseen Academicals from the last books), but good nonetheless.

I know what you mean elendor. There are some cracking ideas in the final books but the ones I've read didn't flow quite so easily. I've yet to read Making Money amongst others.

RE.Lee wrote:
Gibbon, indeed.

So did he really put it down to them sitting around in the bath peeling grapes while the Barbarians banged on the gates?

Duranthalis wrote:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Very addictive!

Shannar, Sealord wrote:
I enjoyed Shermans writing style a lot.

Had quite a tough reputation didn't he?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:09 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
elendor_f wrote:
Last year I finally read his last book, The Sheperd's Crown, and I felt really sad because since I discovered Discworld when I was 15 there were always more books to read. He's probably my favourite author!
I agree that the last books were not as good as the others, with some exceptions (I quite liked Unseen Academicals from the last books), but good nonetheless.

I know what you mean elendor. There are some cracking ideas in the final books but the ones I've read didn't flow quite so easily. I've yet to read Making Money amongst others.

I think his middle books are his best. The first few still have him getting his style just right. And the latter books, although they are great stories, are less funny and go more towards generic fantasy almost. Still better then many fantasy books I've read. But not as brilliant as some of the middle ones. I haven't read any of the last few books of him. I still need to pick them up. Most people I've heard about them seem to share the opinion that especially the last one is not that great.

Which are your favorite Pratchett books?

I'm currently reading non-fiction: Thinking, fast and slow. It's about how your mind processes incoming information and the difference between intuition (and what that means) and deep thinking.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:36 pm 
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SpellArcher wrote:
I grew up with Maiden fans. Not one myself but I find them palatable and I admire the musicianship.

That's pretty cool :D . I grew up listening to metal myself, but I don't know a lot of non-metal fans who like some metal from time to time.

SpellArcher wrote:
I know what you mean elendor. There are some cracking ideas in the final books but the ones I've read didn't flow quite so easily. I've yet to read Making Money amongst others.

Making Money has a very good plot but the execution is not as good as other books. It was entertaining though, and it has some good ideas.

Prince of Spires wrote:
I think his middle books are his best. The first few still have him getting his style just right. And the latter books, although they are great stories, are less funny and go more towards generic fantasy almost. Still better then many fantasy books I've read. But not as brilliant as some of the middle ones. I haven't read any of the last few books of him. I still need to pick them up. Most people I've heard about them seem to share the opinion that especially the last one is not that great.

Which are your favorite Pratchett books?

Too many to count! But if I had to select ones:
Witches Abroad, Feet of Clay, Hogfather, The Truth, Going Postal and Thud! (oh and Night Watch and Thief of Time!).
From the first books Guards! Guards!, Mort and Wyrd Sisters are the ones I like the most.
From the last ones I think Unseen Academicals and I Shall Wear Midnight.
I ended up with too many books I think :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:11 pm 
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Oh, I loved both Going Postal and Making Money - great storylines and very insightful writing. :)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 7:22 pm 
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They were great stories. Very nice storyline, lovely twists and something any fantasy writer could be proud of. But for me they lacked the absolute humoristic brilliance of some of the others. Thief of time is definitely one of them (and also the first Terry Pratchett book I read). Others that come to mind are Guards Guards! and Witches Abroad. Then again, I've read so many that I've forgotten which is which. Time to start re-reading ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:22 pm 
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Might be time to go back and read some Terry Pratchett. I agree, the earlier ones, while humerous in their own weird fantastical setting and characters, aren't as funny as the middle ones, probably getting into his office around about Pyramids and Guards. There are so many good characters though.

I think I enjoyed unseen academicals, but that was the last of his books I've read.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:24 pm 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
I think his middle books are his best. The first few still have him getting his style just right. And the latter books, although they are great stories, are less funny and go more towards generic fantasy almost. Still better then many fantasy books I've read. But not as brilliant as some of the middle ones. I haven't read any of the last few books of him. I still need to pick them up. Most people I've heard about them seem to share the opinion that especially the last one is not that great.

I read a book about Pratchett whose author preferred the early books (including the pre-Discworld ones like Strata) for their wild invention. It's true that his emphasis kind of shifted in the later books to a kind of social and human critique. The last book had some very fine ideas but as I said, I think it's (understandably) a bit disjointed.

elendor_f wrote:
Hogfather

I read this every Christmas!

elendor_f wrote:
Night Watch

Grim and powerful.

elendor_f wrote:
I Shall Wear Midnight.

Wonderful, the Tiffany books are very strong in general.

Carpe Jugulum is a cracker.

elendor_f wrote:
That's pretty cool . I grew up listening to metal myself, but I don't know a lot of non-metal fans who like some metal from time to time.

As I mentioned on the music thread I really liked early Metallica.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:09 pm 
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I am reading Self defence for gentlemen and ladies by Colonel Thomas Hoyer Monstery

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:17 pm 
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Sounds intriguing - do they explain what to do if the assailant has a banana? :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2017 11:21 am 
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The good colonel has answer for everything!

If you are unarmed you strike him with a straight punsch at the nose.

A lady packing a parasoll should either stab his face or groin as you would with a rapier.

As a gentleman really should go nowhere without his cane he could make good use of it and, to quote Toad from "The wind in the willow", whack him, and whack him and WHACK HIM!

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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 7:30 am 
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Started a next book: "The intelligent investor" by Benjamin Graham.

The writer, Benjamin Graham was one of the great investors between 1920 and 1975 or so and is seen as the father of value investing by many people. And the book has been called 'the best book on investing' by Warren Buffet. With those two things in mind I started reading. I'm about half way through now. And I must say it lives up to the reputation. It really is a must read for anyone who wants to do some investing in stocks or bonds. It gives a good insight into how markets work and why most people underperform the market. And what you should do to try and get good returns. And despite the fact that it's almost 50 years old (and the first version almost 80) it's an easy read. The only thing that should be noted is that you need to know a bit of basic information about investing. The book assumes that you know what stocks, bonds, bear markets etc are. It's not a beginners book in that sense, but it does cover a lot of ground otherwise.

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 7:09 am 
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Next book: The stand, by Stephen King.

The book starts off with a super virus escaping from a secret government facility, which subsequently wipes out 99.9% of the world population. Of course, as always with big numbers and statistics, that still leaves people who have to start rebuilding their world. The book is about them. They basically divide in two camps, one with the followers of a prophet like old lady and one with her evil counter part. And the book is about how people start over after such a disaster and about the struggle between good and evil.

By fans and critics this one has been called the best book Stephen King has written. I've read a few books from his hand. Though, considering how many books he's written, not a lot of them. And I do like this one. Books I've read from him vary from weird and not very good to great page turners and must read books. This one is definitely one of the good ones. A lot of different, well portrayed characters. A lot of different view points which are all different to read. And it's a great combination of realism and fantasy.

Some criticisms, it's not a small book. I think it's 1200+ pages or so. So don't pick it up if you don't like long books. It has a good pace throughout, so if you don't mind longer books it keeps you turning pages. But it's not for everyone. And it's a bit dated. I think it's set around the end of the 80's. Which is reflected in the technology people run into for instance. Doesn't play a big role in the story. But you need to keep that in mind when reading it. After all, a lot has changed in the past 25+ years since the books was written.

Rod

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Please try to remember that, no matter how 'official' the source seems, rumours are basically just a dictionary combined with a random number generator

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PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 11:55 am 
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Endymion - Dan Simmons

I love the 2 book bundle, a great writer and an 900 page book. Never ending reading!

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:21 pm 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
After all, a lot has changed in the past 25+ years

I've been watching a lot of Bond films lately and you really feel this with the technology.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:36 am 
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Just finished re - reading the magician trilogy

Also anything by Brandon Sanderson really like his work not so much for the plots themselves but for the insane level of world building detail he goes into.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:13 am 
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SpellArcher wrote:
Prince of Spires wrote:
After all, a lot has changed in the past 25+ years

I've been watching a lot of Bond films lately and you really feel this with the technology.

Indeed. Way back, it was pretty amazing what James Bond could do with watches and cars and other assorted gadgets. Now, the real world is sometimes more amazing then what they thought up (except for the missiles being launched by cars, haven't seen any of those around yet).

I agree on Brandon Sanderson. I've read a few of his books. And they contain an amazing amount of world building detail. And, what's more, they're all different as well. The mistborn books are set in a very different world then the stormlight archive (at least, I think that's their names...). Which is pretty amazing given the level of detail he puts in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:45 am 
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Prince of Spires wrote:
Indeed. Way back, it was pretty amazing what James Bond could do with watches and cars and other assorted gadgets. Now, the real world is sometimes more amazing then what they thought up (except for the missiles being launched by cars, haven't seen any of those around yet).

Here's a piece from Daring Fireball. There's a good point in the middle about how this is playing out with Smartwatches.

https://daringfireball.net/2017/05/moor ... o_loved_me

"That opening scene in The Spy Who Loved Me is also the one where Bond is wearing a digital Seiko watch that can receive secure text messages from MI6 — at the time, sheer fantasy; today, a feature many of you reading this now have on your own watch. (Albeit without the ticker tape.)"

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I've got a couple books on the go, Stalingrad by Antony Beevor (I tell you what I feel for any poor sod who was caught up in that battle!) and Sword of Truth by Terry Goodkind which I'm quite enjoying. First book of his i've read.

Huge reader myself and love historical fiction and fantasy as my main genres and have read shed loads over the years. Robin Hobb my fave author, Tad Williams not far behind, big fan of the Game of Thrones books (been reading them since about 1998!) but far too many other faves to mention.

I dont think I've ever read a bad Terry Pratchett book and lucky enough to still have somewhere in the region of the last 10 of his that I havent read. Will get round to them at some point!

I've got the next Robin Hobb book unread waiting for me when i've finished this one. Cant wait!


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:00 pm 
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Gandalf_82 wrote:
I dont think I've ever read a bad Terry Pratchett book and lucky enough to still have somewhere in the region of the last 10 of his that I havent read. Will get round to them at some point!

So many of us must have grown up with Terry.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 7:04 am 
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Gandalf_82 wrote:
I dont think I've ever read a bad Terry Pratchett book and lucky enough to still have somewhere in the region of the last 10 of his that I havent read. Will get round to them at some point!

No indeed. Though some are definitely better then others.

I really like Robin Hobb. The Farseer trilogy books are some real gems. Good of you to mention that there's a new one. I'll add it to my birthday list (which is only for December, but I have a good pile of books left to read).

Rod

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2017 6:28 pm 
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Gandalf_82 wrote:
big fan of the Game of Thrones books (been reading them since about 1998!)


Same, but I stopped reading them a few books ago, and won't start again until he finishes the series. I do not want another wheel of time situation.

I actually picked up the first one in the mall for $5. A couple years ago I realized it was a first edition, first printing. I sold it, and don't regret it.


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