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Freeway
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#1 Posted on 2.12.04 0141.57
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0142.16
Since the Zims were cool enough to spring for this new board, let's get some activity going.

I just read Barry Glassner's The Culture of Fear (it was mentioned in Michael Moore's Bowling for Columbine and my Urban Studies class) and it's an excellent read. Great examination of the media and the ways they fuel fears.

Seriously, 95% of the stuff in Bowling for Columbine was taken from the book, which in turn was taken from a frighteningly large amount of articles and studies. For a wannabe-intellectual such as myself, it's a great read.
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El Nastio
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#2 Posted on 2.12.04 0253.18
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0255.19
The most current book I'm reading right now is "Crossing the Threshhold of Hope" by some polish guy who wears a cool hat. Vittorio Messori had the pleasure of asking some questions, he got the answers. And that's the book.

On deck: Going on a C.S. Lewis binge, starting with The Chronicles of Narnia. Failing that, I'm going to re-read Clancy's newest, and also re-read "Survivor's Quest" by Tim Zahn. Anf of course, I do need to start catching up with John Grishm (sp?)

In the future: It is a goal of mine to read "An Essay on Christian Docterine" by Blessed John Henry Newman.
AWArulz
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#3 Posted on 2.12.04 0632.48
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0634.05
I must admit, my most recent reads are all eye candy. I am reading through Johnathan Kellerman's books right now - currently, it's Time Bomb, but I have ready maybe 10 from him recently. My Favorite, perhaps because it doesn't have his usual cast of characters, was The Butcher's Theatre. After I finish up with Johnathan, assuming that there's nothing new available from any of my existing favorite authors (Clancy, Webb, Patrick Robinson, Steven Coontz, Robert Parker), I plan to give Kellerman's wife's book a chance and see what they're like. Then I have Grisham on my list to try.

I've read most of the older fiction stuff, but next year, I hope to go back and select an older author to read through the year. I am thinking Hawthorne. I read some older stuff this year - Walden and Civic Disobedience, for example, and enjoyed the challenge of the longer sentence structures, as well as the ideas (although I disagree with most of Henry T's ideas).

In serious books, I am reading When Skeptics ask by Norman Geisler right now, but it's slow going.
dunkndollaz
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#4 Posted on 2.12.04 0656.13
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0659.01
When I used to travel for work I read everything I could get hands on during my many flights. Now that I work close to home and virtually don't travel at all my reading time has all but disappeared. I did however get a chance to blow through the latest Ed McBain novel 2 weekends ago and I just ordered the latest James Lee Burke and Ridley Pearson novels. And I know that I will receive at Xmas, the latest Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler adventure featuring Dirk Pitt and his kids. I am sure that it will be a painful formulaic read but after reading the first 16 books in the series I feel obligated to read # 17.
tarnish
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#5 Posted on 2.12.04 0833.29
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0833.41
I recently finished Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle". I'd like to recommend it, but I'm not sure everyone would appreciate all 3000 pages, especially when many quit the first of the three books before reaching halfway. If you've read and enjoyed his Cryptonomicon, you stand a chance, otherwise probably best to move along.

I also just finished Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" which is an excellent Gibson-esque cyberpunk novel that non-cyberpunk readers would probably enjoy.

I also finally just finished Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" series. I was introduced to it through the "like Harry Potter, only darker" recommendation. I don't know whether I believe it's still a young readers series by book three, but it's an excellent ride.

I own the DaVinci code, but I refuse to read it on principle. I keep trying to give it away but everyone I know has either read it or wants no part of it.
Teapot
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#6 Posted on 2.12.04 0918.10
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0918.16
Some recently read books that I really enjoyed:

Positively Fifth Street by James McManus. Harper's sent McManus to Vegas in 2000 to cover the World Series of Poker, as well as the death of Ted Binion and the subsequent murder trial. McManus ended up sinking his advance into trying to play in the WSoP himself.

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich. The story of the "MIT Blackjack Team," who used advanced card-counting techniques to milk Vegas for millions.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon. A first-person narrative chronicling an autistic boy's attempt to find out who killed a neighbor's dog.

Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. In 1984, a pair of "Mormon Fundamentalists," claiming to be acting upon a commandment from God, killed a woman and her infant daughter. The book delves into the case, as well as a great deal of history of the early Mormon church and the "Mormon Fundamentalist" movement (the separatist branch that still believes in polygamy).

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. When Henry meets Clare for the first time, he is 28 and she is 20. When she meets him for the first time, she is 6 and he is 36. An outstanding book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, and The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde. I haven't gotten around to the fourth book, Something Rotten, yet. Thursday Next is a Jurisfiction agent, working alongside Miss Havisham and the Cheshire Cat, patrolling inside books to make sure nothing fishy goes on. A delightfully wacky series.

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Two stories - one of Daniel Burnham, the architect behind Chicago's 1983 World's Fair, and the other of H.H. Holmes, who used the popularity of the fair to become perhaps America's first serial killer.

I'm about halfway through The System of the World by Neal Stephenson right now (book three in tarnish's Baroque Cycle). I would definitely see if you like Cryptonomicon first before trying this series.

(edited by Teapot on 2.12.04 1019)
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#7 Posted on 2.12.04 0936.17
Reposted on: 2.12.11 0937.20
    Originally posted by teapot
    Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer. In 1984, a pair of "Mormon Fundamentalists," claiming to be acting upon a commandment from God, killed a woman and her infant daughter. The book delves into the case, as well as a great deal of history of the early Mormon church and the "Mormon Fundamentalist" movement (the separatist branch that still believes in polygamy).


I just finished it...it's easily one of the best books I'd ever read. I'm fascinated by religious studies, and in turn, the Mormon church.

Speaking of which, I'm working my way through the Book of Mormon, the Doctorine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price, from the LDS church.

Fascinating stuff.

(edited by SOK on 2.12.04 0839)
bash91
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#8 Posted on 2.12.04 1135.58
Reposted on: 2.12.11 1136.16
My latest reading has been a real mix of eye candy and serious stuff. On the fun side, I recently finished Robert Aspirin and Jody Lyn Nye's Myth Alliances and a reissue of some of Keith Laumer's stuff called Legions of Space. I'll soon (read as soon as I have a chance to go back and reread the earlier books in the series) be picking up the latest book in Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series. I'm also anxiously awaiting the last book in the Belisarius series by David Drake and Eric Flint as well as for David Weber's new Norfressa book, Windrider's Oath, to come out in paperback.

On the more serious side, I've been rereading several of Kenneth Burke's books for a paper on political apologia that I'm trying to write. I'm also working my way through Warren Wiersbe's commentary and exposition on Ecclesiastes. Finally, I recently finished rereading some of Stefan Possony's older work for another paper that I'm trying to write on perceptions of technology and violence.

Tim
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#9 Posted on 2.12.04 1149.13
Reposted on: 2.12.11 1153.37
The book of Mormon, I liked it better when it was called Lord of the Rings.

I have a friend who lived in Provo, Utah for a year, and when he came back, he had these insane stories about the Mormons... but I don't normally rag on others religous beliefs unless they start in on me first, so I'll just say that having tried to read thier book, SOMEONE was smoking some wacky weed back then.

-----

A great set of new books to look out for are from Disinformation, or www.Disinfo.com . The first one I found was called EVERYTHING YOU KNOW IS WRONG, then I picked up the first book YOU ARE BEING LIED TO: THE DISINFORMATION GUIED TO MEDIA DISTORTION, HISTORICAL WHITEWASHES, AND CULTURAL MYTHS. Barnes and Noble also has other such books from the company like 50 THINGS YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO KNOW and THE DISINFORMATION BOOK OF LISTS.

Highly recomended to EVERYONE who frequents the Political Forum here...
spf
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#10 Posted on 2.12.04 1158.32
Reposted on: 2.12.11 1159.01
Because of my graduate study and just because of where my taste is leaning these days almost everything I read is modern or contemporary poetry. I wonder if there's anyone else out here on the board who reads poetry beyond the few classics (Frost, Whitman, Dickinson).

To that end, I just picked up "Hurdygurdy" by Tim Seibles which is awesome (sex poems by Boris and Natasha to each other are involved) combining pop culture, a jazz sensibility, and some interesting commentary on race. I'm also working through "Origami Bridge" by Diane Ackerman, "The Shape of the Journey" by Jim Harrison and I just finished "Satan Says" the first book Sharon Olds published.

I have a sense I might be alone on this one, but if anyone else out there is reading anything good, let me know, I'm always on the lookout for new poets to check out.
Dutchie
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#11 Posted on 2.12.04 2051.54
Reposted on: 2.12.11 2052.32
    Originally posted by AWArulz
    ...I plan to give Kellerman's wife's book a chance and see what they're like.


They're not bad. I went the opposite way, having picked up Jupiter's Bones in a used bookstoore a few years back. After that one, I had read quite a few of Faye Kellerman's books, but out of sequence. I think I may have gotten more into the whole Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus subplots if I had gone in order. Most of the time, the family subplots are kept pretty much as background filler, but there was one in which the family life was sort of tied into the case, and it just drove me crazy.

On dunkndollaz' word a couple of months (a year?) ago, I had picked up some books by Evan Hunter/Ed McBain from the 87th Precinct series. I must have read The Pusher about 10 times near the end of grad school.

Right now I'm rereading William Diehl's Show of Evil. It's the second book in his Primal Fear trilogy - PF, SoE, and Reign in Hell. The book is definitely better than the movie, and the second and third ones aren't too shabby either. I think I've read his entire collection, and have never been disappointed by any of them.
Roy.
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#12 Posted on 2.12.04 2146.24
Reposted on: 2.12.11 2146.37
I finished Why Courage Matters by John McCain a week ago. It's not a bad book, though different from his first two books.

I'm always re-reading Super System by Doyle Brunson in a vain attempt to win at my weekly poker game.

Currently, I'm reading a book called Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets by David Simon. It's highly recommended, and it was the basis for the (sadly) late television series of the same name on NBC. Simon is also the guy who produces and writes "The Wire" on HBO (a show I've just now started watching). It's a bit true-crime-ish, but it's definately not written that way.
Oliver
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#13 Posted on 3.12.04 2336.23
Reposted on: 3.12.11 2337.12
    Originally posted by Cerebus
    ... but I don't normally rag on others religous beliefs unless they start in on me first, so I'll just say that having tried to read thier book, SOMEONE was smoking some wacky weed back then.
TO each their own, but the Book of Mormon, the DOctorine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price...as well, the Mormon religion, makes a lot of sense to me. I've grown to really enjoy my studies into it.
rinberg
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#14 Posted on 4.12.04 0931.42
Reposted on: 4.12.11 0931.48
I'm anxiously awaiting the last two books in the Wheel of Time series of books. I'm also thrilled to hear that there is going to be a third "Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever" trilogy. The first two trilogies were awesome, IMHO. Finally, I am a strong believer in any of Isaac Asimov's SciFi: Caves of Steel, Foundation Series, and too many others to list!

Of course, Tolkein goes without saying! ;)
Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#15 Posted on 4.12.04 1421.32
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1423.30
    Originally posted by tarnish
    I recently finished Neal Stephenson's "Baroque Cycle". I'd like to recommend it, but I'm not sure everyone would appreciate all 3000 pages, especially when many quit the first of the three books before reaching halfway. If you've read and enjoyed his Cryptonomicon, you stand a chance, otherwise probably best to move along.

    I also just finished Stephenson's "The Diamond Age" which is an excellent Gibson-esque cyberpunk novel that non-cyberpunk readers would probably enjoy.

Here's my question about the Baroque Cycle and its relation to Cryptonomicon: is there a satisfying end? I really enjoy the first 90% of all of Stephenson's books. They're rich and fascinating and just laden with all kinds of wonderfully abstruse concepts. And then they hit the last 50 pages and fizzle. They don't seem to end; they just seem to capitulate. He marshals these ideas and people and manages to have them meet in one place for a conceptual/actual clash, but the inertia never seems to be enough. It's very conceptually deflating for me. (Actually, probably the best way of explaining it is that it doesn't pass the "and" test. Stephenson says, "Here are all these neat ideas," and as a reader you say, "Yeah, and?" And it's as if Stephenson says, "I don't know. Just, uh, think about all that.")

So I'm wondering if the intellectual heft (as well as the physical heft) is enough to keep the ending from seeming like a letdown. I figured that the sheer scope of the books would be enough to build so much inertia that even Stephenson couldn't have the ending stall out. I do want to read these books, but I don't want to pay for them. (And I'm one of those people who needs to own books, so the library's out.) Unfortunately, all the online reviews I've found have been written by big Stephenson fans. They've been uncritical of all his previous work, so I tend to doubt that everything about The Baroque Cycle is perfect.



    I own the DaVinci code, but I refuse to read it on principle. I keep trying to give it away but everyone I know has either read it or wants no part of it.

I could hug you. I also could punch Dan Brown. I read one of his books, and I couldn't decide whether it was history or literature that he was trying to take a great big shit on. Fortunately, I have a friend who lives waaaaaay out in county property, in the boonies. He likes to fire off guns at night to blow off steam, like Hunter Thompson. Someone bought him a copy of The Da Vinci Code, and he couldn't give it away either. He asked me if I wanted it, and I said, "Hell no!" He said, "Man, I don't want it either." For whatever reason, I said, "Make it your shootin' book." Apparently, he did. Now I'm sort of secretly hoping that someone gives me a copy of it for Christmas, so I can drive down to his house and blow a copy apart. I think it would be very therapeutic.
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#16 Posted on 4.12.04 1440.35
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1443.08

The one thing I really hate about the DaVinci Code is has spawned all of those dopey Freemason/Rosacrucian/Knights Templar books. While I admit to having read many of their ilk when I was a teenager and an undergrad, I can't believe what a cottage industry it has become. You can't walk through BN without seeing at least one table full of them, let along the reems of them that they have as remainders.
tarnish
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#17 Posted on 4.12.04 1535.59
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1537.29
    Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson Lund
    Here's my question about the Baroque Cycle and its relation to Cryptonomicon: is there a satisfying end?



In a word, No.

Stephenson doesn't appear to believe in endings where everything gets all sewn up nicely. Some might go so far as to say he doesn't believe in endings...

But in a lot of ways, "The System of the World" wasn't satisfying at all until I let go of wanting it to be more like "The Confusion". "Quicksilver," for me, falls into the category of "necessary backstory that wasn't expected to have an ending as such."

The ending of The Baroque Cycle is better than the ending of the Diamond Age. But if you thought the Cryptonomicon had a truly shitty ending, I wouldn't bother with The Baroque Cycle.

Me, I love the way the man writes and the way he challenges the reader to try to learn a little about the world and get a little smarter. So I enjoy the (loooong) ride either way and don't get hung up on endings.
Roy.
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#18 Posted on 4.12.04 1548.17
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1553.32
    Originally posted by odessasteps

    The one thing I really hate about the DaVinci Code is has spawned all of those dopey Freemason/Rosacrucian/Knights Templar books.


My favorite are the books now debunking the Da Vinci Code. I saw at least 3 last night at Barnes and Noble, and a brand new one debunking Angels and Demons, the book that took place before DVC. It's fiction people!

Of course, I'm also a little appalled that they're reissueing all of Dan Brown's old books on hardback. People (stupidly) think he's churning out new books left and right.
Wolfram J. Paulovich
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#19 Posted on 4.12.04 1617.10
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1617.21
    Originally posted by odessasteps

    The one thing I really hate about the DaVinci Code is has spawned all of those dopey Freemason/Rosacrucian/Knights Templar books. While I admit to having read many of their ilk when I was a teenager and an undergrad, I can't believe what a cottage industry it has become.


What bugged me when reading Angels and Demons (apart from the fact that I'd noticed a lot of historical errors in the first 20 pages) was how much it was ripping off those dopey Freemason/Rosicrucian/Templar (fiction) books. It felt like most of the conspiratorial twists had been lifted from the Illuminatus! trilogy. Say what you will about Wilson and his co-author being crazy acid heads, but at least when they told you the dates of historical events, they were not only not off by a century, they were usually accurate. And that's what makes the conceit work so much better; they tied in so many things that actually happened that it got sort of creepy.

The other book I was reminded of was Unberto Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. I haven't read it in a long time, so I can't tell you if there was any specific lifting from it, but I couldn't shake that feeling. Of course, I'll forgive Brown all his sins if his books get people interested in similar books and get readers to try reading Pendulum. Hell, getting people to read anything is a plus. I suppose we have to thank him for getting people to read, but please excuse me when I say that I really don't want to.
AWArulz
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#20 Posted on 4.12.04 1832.42
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1832.48
    Originally posted by rinberg
    I'm also thrilled to hear that there is going to be a third "Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever" trilogy.


There is???!? Wow, do you know when? I'd have to say it is in my top four or five series of book ever (along with LOTR, Foundation, Belgarad/Mallareon, Ringworld and Dragons of Pern. (maybe that's 5 or 6)

I loved the concept of the helpless impotentperson getting all that power and the imagry of the second series and the cult like nature of the people bending the sun to their will through the sacrifice of their own bodies.
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