Right now I'm reading

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JimZipCode
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by JimZipCode » Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:39 pm

Fat Cat wrote:
Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:56 pm
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Kim is wonderful.

One of my favorite science fiction novels is Lord of Light (1967) by Roger Zelazny. It's one of the big books of the "New Wave" of sf in the 1960s. Zelazny writes it in a flowery style that's supposed to evoke the Indian culture of this colonized planet. I didn't realize this until many years later, but Zelazny is aping Kipling's prose from Kim (I think), to create that "Indian" feel. It works great, though I think Kipling did it better.

So I guess I'm saying, if you liked Kim and you like sf, you might Lord of Light.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Fat Cat
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Fat Cat » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:12 pm

Thanks, I'll look into it. I remember reading some RZ sci-fi as a kid, can't recall which titles though.
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Bram
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:02 am

Finished all 1100 pages of "The Wise Man's Fear," the sequel to "The Name of the Wind." Although it was excellent, there was a good 200-250 page chunk that I found quite boring and contained a couple bizarre turns away from how the story had been progressing.

8/10

As an aside, I stepped into a game store this week and found that the game Tak (a fictional game played in "The Wise Man's Fear") has been created as a tabletop game. I was told it was a ton of fun and I think it's only 5 star reviews on Amazon for it.

For those interested:

https://www.amazon.com/Cheapass-Games-T ... B01LFA7QFK
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by JimZipCode » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:49 am

Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. I've wanted to read it for a while; for some reason, last week I pulled the trigger on reserving it at the library.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Bram
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:08 am

JimZipCode wrote:
Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:49 am
Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin. I've wanted to read it for a while; for some reason, last week I pulled the trigger on reserving it at the library.
I loved that book. It's interesting to see someone so good at chess and martial arts, combining tactics and strategies to improve and win.

Fan of the film "Searching for Bobby Fischer" about his childhood as well.
"If you live through defeat, you are not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won." - RZA

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Fat Cat » Fri Nov 16, 2018 5:51 pm

Napoleon by David G. Chandler...I wasn't up for his three volume magnum opus The Campaigns of Napoleon so opted for his briefer monograph on the same subject. It's classic history, no bullshit about gender or class warfare, but really well written with an easy to follow narrative style.
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:17 pm

Finished "Bruce Lee: A Life" by Matthew Polly. It's a long, well-researched book with pockets of too much information (a long section on the Chinese film industry in the 60's for example). But there is a ton on the formation of Bruce Lee as a philosopher, fighter and athlete that I found very intriguing.

If you were to open to one page I'd suggest 199, it's the biggest section of the book covering his training and teaching methods. I got a few people hooked on it by having them start there.

Also read "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics" - the book felt cobbled together, and the author admits as much. He was writing on deadline while dealing with his other job. That said there are a number of useful meditation tidbit's in here. I particularly liked the "do nothing" meditation. Sit, breathe and do nothing. Let your mind wander or your leg itch, or your mind focus on your leg itching.

Bruce Lee 8/10

Meditation 7/10
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Sat Feb 23, 2019 11:42 pm

"The Lies of Locke Lamora"

https://www.amazon.com/Lies-Locke-Lamor ... 055358894X

Fantasy setting meets Ocean's 11. First in a series, I've yet to start book 2 but it (and book 3) are well reviewed.

Locke Lamora lives on a fucked up hell-hole of an island, if you're poor that is, that's sort of like Venice: they speak Italian, there's canals. A prodigious thief, he's the leader of a group of other thieves who con the rich with elaborate schemes.

But all sorts of hell goes wrong.

There's some magic, some swearing, some good jokes.

Fun, well-written and a bit over-the-top.
"If you live through defeat, you are not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won." - RZA

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Tue May 14, 2019 4:04 am

Ahhh shit, been a busy year:

Red Seas Under Red Skies - sequel to Locke Lamora (reviewed above) - easy to read, pirates/fantasy/caper

Wrecked - Book 3 in the IQ series - Sherlock Holmes in the 'hood. Loved it, best book of the series

Team Human - digital philosopher talks about the downsides of social media, unchecked capitalism and what our positive options are. Enjoyable, but challenging

American Cosmic - religious studies professor looks at the UFO phenomenon through the lens of religious studies, very interesting

Lost City of the Monkey God - adventurers using NASA tech unearth city lost for 500 years in Honduras, then get incurable disease. Great read!

Zen and the Art of Surfing - short stories, lots of Jesus talk, swearing and violence. The penultimate chapter the author goes to New York right after 9/11 to volunteer with food service and take it all in, hang out with firefighters, and share the pain so many felt.
"If you live through defeat, you are not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won." - RZA

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by JimZipCode » Tue May 14, 2019 6:53 pm

The Iron King (1955) by Maurice Druon.

First in a seven-book series of French historical novels collectively called The Accursed Kings (“Les Rois Maudits”). Translated by some guy with the unlikely name "Humphrey Hare". The first six books came out from 1955 to 1960, the seventh in 1977. Capets vs Plantagenets and the beginnings of the Hundred Years War. Intrigue, revenge, betrayal, mayhem. Initially crossed my radar as one of the inspirations for the Game of Thrones series; George RR Martin wrote an intro to the new editions in 2013. ("This is the original Game of Thrones!")

I'm about a third or so into it. It's good. The Game of Thrones similarities are there: alternating third-person chapters from different viewpoints, vivid medieval setting, a zillion characters. Intelligently written; doesn't pander at all. There's the occasional old fashioned touch. Like once or twice a "Little did they know – !" sort of sentence. Also the nobility are sometimes referred to by name, sometimes by title, sometimes by their lands – like in Shakespeare – so you have to slow down a little when the reference changes, to sort out who they're talking to or about. So, a couple allowances for age: but it's good.



The book is interesting by itself, just the story. It's also interesting for the setting: the characters are walking around downtown Paris, the Ile de Cite and in front of Notre Dame etc, and my wife & I were there not very long ago (also that area's been in the news recently). And also because of tie-ins: for example the Isabella in chapter one is the same historical character that Sophie Marceau played in Braveheart. Her husband was the gay son in that movie; now king of England in this book.

I know NOTHING, zilch about this era of European history. This book, while a potboiler, also appears to be ridiculously well-researched. Not that I could identify any historical errors he makes; but just because so many of the characters are actual historical figures. There's also about 30 footnotes in the back (for example one about the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar), and those are fun & informative.
“War is the remedy our enemies have chosen. Other simple remedies were within their choice. You know it and they know it, but they wanted war, and I say let us give them all they want.”
― William Tecumseh Sherman

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Bram » Sat Jun 08, 2019 3:34 pm

Smugglers Cove - a book on the history of Tiki culture in America, how to make 100 different cocktails (including creating about a dozen different homemade simple syrups), how to create a Tiki party and space in your home. 10/10 - wonderful book

Dark Horse - non-fiction book by some Harvard researchers. Looks at anomalous business successes (e.g., a high school dropout/fast-food chef who became the most acclaimed amateur astronomer of the past 200 years) and how you can utilize your own, unique interests into making your life richer and more rewarding. Half-way through, but enjoyable.

10 Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now - funny, well-written, and makes plenty of sense. Fucking up journalism, making people into assholes, undermining truth, and losing your free will are some of his take on the ill effects.
"If you live through defeat, you are not defeated. If you are beaten but acquire wisdom, you have won." - RZA

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Wild Bill
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Wild Bill » Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:38 pm

Started "Soldier of the mist" by Gene Wolfe.

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by nafod » Sun Jun 16, 2019 7:29 pm

Wild Bill wrote:
Sun Jun 16, 2019 6:38 pm
Started "Soldier of the mist" by Gene Wolfe.
I’d never heard of Gene Wolfe until he passed away recently, and got steered to his books. Currently reading Shadow and Claw, which is a combination of two books. He is great, and I regret not taking him up sooner. Predict I’ll read more from him.
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by beefheart » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:35 am

Time reading Gene Wolfe is time well spent.
ab g-d wrote:I can't understand how, given the training they did, the cavemen beat the dinosaurs.

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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by Schlegel » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:53 am

I know i posted about Wolfe before. He's fantastic. The fact that SF and fantasy are literary ghettos IMO is a major factor in making him severely underappreciated. If there is any justice he will be remembered for generations. In a time obsessed with grunge and cybertech, Wolfe poured out mythic poetry as intoxicating as any honeyed wine.
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Re: Right now I'm reading

Post by beefheart » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:52 am

"Of the nature of Death and the Dead we may enumerate twelve kinds.
First there are those who become new gods, for whom new universes are born.
Second those who praise.
Third those who fight as soldiers in the unending war with evil.
Fourth those who amuse themselves among flowers and sweet springs with sports.
Fifth those who dwell in gardens of bliss, or are tortured.
Sixth those who continue as in life.
Seventh those who turn the wheel of the universe.
Eighth those who find in their graves their mothers' wombs and in one life circle forever. Ninth ghosts.
Tenth those born again as men in their grandsons' time.
Eleventh those who return as beasts or trees.
And last those who sleep."

I hope Mr. Wolfe sleeps in peace.
ab g-d wrote:I can't understand how, given the training they did, the cavemen beat the dinosaurs.

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