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Books: a literary discussion

posted by Rather Dashing on - last edited - Viewed by 2.6K users

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So I've been eying and lusting after a nook and its fancy new 1.3 firmware even though I know I can't afford one. And all that looking at something meant to read books made me think about...BOOKS.

Let's talk about books. Anybody read anything recent that was really good? Have an obscure old favorite?

Where do you read books? When do you read them? What books do you read? How do you read books?

Etc and so forth.

If it involves books, say it. I'd like some good recommendations on recently published books and currently running ongoing series, too.

My favorite book of all time is Dumas's "Count of Monte Cristo"(or at least the unabridged English translation), though I of course love the geek standbys as well(Hitchhiker's Guide, Neuromancer, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, et all). I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Also, this isn't the thread about pictures of boobs. There shouldn't be pictures of boobs in this thread.

...unless it's a picture of a book that just HAPPENS to contain boobs. Because then it's absolutely on-topic and worthy of discussion.

...

SO.

BOOKS.

268 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • @Will said: Also, I suppose it's worth noting that I recently got a Kindle. I freakin' love it. Now if it's something by an author I really care about, I'll go and buy the physical copy. Terry Pratchett is an instabuy in the physical book category. But the kindle is amazing for everything else. I've probably read 10 new books since Christmas on it. Normally I will only read one or two new ones in this time period and the rest will just be re-reads. It is just so much easier to finish a book and then immediately buy the next one from bed.


    When it comes to e-readers, I'm 50/50 between the Kindle 2 and the Barnes and Noble nook for awhile now, though recently I've been leaning toward the nook. My main issue with the Amazon reader is formatting. I know I can take any non-DRM'd eBook and convert it for use on Kindle using Calibre, but I would prefer native support for ePub and PDF, and I'd like my in-device store to sell books in an open, widely supported format. I don't like feeling like my books are "chained" to a device.

    The Kindle definitely has its pluses, though, enough to give me pause when thinking about grabbing an e-reader.

  • Currently rereading some bukowski's poems. I just love that guy.

    Another big favourite of mine is John Fante.
    Only recently read the grapes of wrath and decided Steinbeck ruled too.

    And there's a lot of other guys too that i'm too lazy to think of right now.

    I also have Star Wars books as somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

    Hehe, i used to love the x-wing series. Reread those a year ago during a bored period, they're actually not THAT bad compared to some others :eek:

  • A book thread?! Now you've done it ...

    Where to start ... :confused:

    This is what my collection looked like two years ago:

    attachment.php?attachmentid=1414&stc=1&d

    It has grown since.

    Books I've read this year are:
    "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand
    "Under the Dome" by Stephen King
    "Dark Rivers of the Heart" and "Intensity" by Dean Koontz
    "Pirate Latitudes" by Michael Crichton
    "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card

    Currently I'm reading "Strange Highways" by Dean Koontz.

  • @taumel said:
    Wasn't there a book thread already?

    Yeah. Mine. Rather Dashing is a baby stealer.


    Now i have to name at least one good book as well. I would recommend reading Patrick Süskind's The Perfume. Different kind of story, at least for the time it was beeing released, and a wonderful well written prosa, dunno how good the translations are. Moreover i read it when i was in Saint-Germain in Paris which made it a very special experience.

    Perfume is excellent.

    The English prose is very good, though I have no idea how it compares to the original German.

    It was one of those books I bought on a whim and ended-up loving completely. For the angry, isolated teen in you, this is a breath of nihilistic, pessimistic fresh air. It's one of the best books I've ever read.
    @taumel said: I'd give Wild Sheep's Chase a try then. That and it's sequel Dance, Dance, Dance are a really good place to start for getting into Murakami. They should give you a pretty good idea of his style.

    I should add that A Wild Sheep Chase is crazy, in both good and bad ways. I don't know if it's for everyone; probably not. It's weird and crazy and random; there's a character called The Rat, a girl with "erotic ears" (??) and an obsession with time that all relates to a sheep with a red star on it.

    Needless to say I found it memorable, but I don't know if it's pleasant.

    Edit: Heh, found a post of mine discussing A Wild Sheep Chase on the other thread.

  • I'm currently reading The Guns of Navarone, having sort of finished reading For Your Eyes Only. I just can't seem to get into the later Fleming books anymore, they just don't grab me in the same way the absolutely awesome classic that is From Russia With Love does. I've got Bernard Cornwell's The Winter King, Iain Gale's Four Days in June, Jack Whyte's Knights of the Black & White and Len Deighton's The IPCRESS File ready for when I'm done with that.

    Well, that's what I would like to be reading at the moment. Its got a bookmark in it for about chapter 2. I'm kind of limited to reading textbooks at the moment, due to exams next week. Generally the works of Geoffrey Parker, Jeremy Black, Frank Stenton, Christopher Hibbert and David Carpenter.

    @Astro Gnocci said: Hehe, i used to love the x-wing series. Reread those a year ago during a bored period, they're actually not THAT bad compared to some others :eek:

    I quite like the Republic Commando series actually, mainly because its not a very Star Wars-ish approach (I don't read Star Wars books usually), given its focus on the gritty warfare of a single squad. Alas Karen Traviss won't be writing any more in that series due to complications with Lucasfilm, so any further books are likely to just butcher the great approach she had to it.

  • Im reading NEXT by Michael Crichton. It is his last published book before he died, although two more are being published posthumously. It is basically about genetic alterations and greedy villains. I read constantly, mostly scifi, thrillers and the occasional autobiography. You should read Ulysses S. Grants autobiography. It was published in two volumes and co-written by mark twain. I'm pretty sure it is public domain now and can be found on the net.

  • Choosing my favourite books is quite hard. At the moment, I'd have to say these are up there but this is by no means a definitive list (and I know some are series of books but I can't separate them all):

    Red Storm Rising - Tom Clancy
    Jack Ryan series - Tom Clancy
    Odd Thomas series - Dean Koontz
    From The Corner Of His Eye - Dean Koontz
    The Stand - Stephen King
    Dark Tower series - Stephen King
    Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis (Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favourite of the series)
    Lord of the Rings series - J.R.R. Tolkien
    Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Millennium trilogy - Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
    Star Trek "Shatnerverse" series - William Shatner with Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
    K-Pax - Gene Brewer
    Neither Here Nor There - Bill Bryson
    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series - Douglas Adams
    Discworld series - Terry Pratchett (though I've only just started the 15th book in the series)
    Ubik - Philip K. Dick
    High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
    Jurassic Park - Michael Crichton
    Lost World - Michael Crichton


    That'll do I think. There's probably a load more, in fact probably most of the books I own could have been included because I don't own books I don't like. I'll do my top 3 authors as well:

    1) Dean Koontz
    2) Terry Pratchett
    3) Nick Hornby or Bill Bryson (can't choose between them)

  • @GuybrushWilco said: Im reading NEXT by Michael Crichton. It is his last published book before he died, although two more are being published posthumously. It is basically about genetic alterations and greedy villains.

    NEXT is a great one. :D

    I won't do a list of my favorite books, as I'd be making alterations to it constantly as I remember more and more, so I'll just leave it at my favorite book at the moment: John Dies At The End, by David Wong.

    It's almost everything I could want in a novel: Horror, humor, surrealism, you name it. It can be a bit immature and simply written at times, but it's like Stephen King met HP Lovecraft and Dave Barry at a party (yes, I know King and Barry are friends in real life), and they sired an unholy offspring and named him David Wong.

  • @Will said: I'm totally just cut and pasting this from my guild forum, but it's still applicable:
    Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami
    Surrealism without being overly pretentious or obtuse. The reality in Murakami's worlds all seem paper-thin: you can see shadows of things moving around on the other side, but you only ever get glimpses. I really cannot recommend his writing enough, though this is my favorite of his. I also heartily suggest A Wild Sheep Chase if you like the surreal, or Norwegian Wood if you want something a little more human.

    On the completely other end of the spectrum:
    Yotsuba& by Azuma Kiyohiko
    This is like the comic version of a pile of puppies. No matter how many times I read it, it always always makes my day better. By the same guy who did Azumanga Daioh, but it's actually better. I've gotten a couple of people in the office totally hooked on this.

    Fables written by Bill Willingham
    Epic graphic novel series about various fables living in the modern day world in secret. I can't think of a way to describe this series that actually does it justice, but trust me it is worth the read. The first book is mostly just a neat story, but they get increasingly better from there.

    Oh, and Discworld. Discworld, Discworld, Discworld. Have you read any Discworld yet? Because seriously, go read Discworld.

    Oh man, I love Yotsuba&! And Fables! AND Discworld! I've never heard of Hardboiled Wonderland but I might have to check that one out.

    I just finished reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I admit I'm a terrible person and laughed when she decided to quit school after trying to read Finnegans Wake, because really, what college student hasn't felt that way after reading that book?

  • I just realised that i've had the Unseen Academicals in my backpack for months and i'd forgotten all about it. That'll be me sorted for this evening :)

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