Author Topic: What Are You Reading?  (Read 6413 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
on: August 12, 2016, 05:18:58 PM
I don't have an original title. Sue me.

Thread about literature books.

I'm also open to the idea of reading books together. I don't know what people like, but I'm assuming the vast majority would only really be open to sci-fi or fantasy. In any case, that's just an off handed idea.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2020, 06:52:19 PM by Loopy »

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."


theColonel

  • Guest
Reply #1 on: August 12, 2016, 06:05:08 PM
Nothing at the moment.

Do you have any recommendations? I'll read fantasy, sci-fi, or even boring old economic and software books.



Loopy

  • False Prime
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • I'm Loooooopy!
    • My Fanfic @ tumblr
Reply #2 on: August 12, 2016, 07:17:50 PM
I'm rereading my Full Metal Alchemist manga. I've never done a full end-to-end run before.

After that, my To Read list has Stephen King's "On Writing" and "A Kim Jong-Il Production: The Extraordinary True Story of a Kidnapped Filmmaker, His Star Actress, and a Young Dictator's Rise to Power" on it.



Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
Reply #3 on: August 12, 2016, 07:32:52 PM
Nothing at the moment.

Do you have any recommendations? I'll read fantasy, sci-fi, or even boring old economic and software books.
Have you read Dan Simmon's Hyperion? It's pretty much my go-to sci-fi recommendation after Ender's Game or Dune just because it has a great narrative structure and fantastic characters. It also doesn't hurt that Keats is one of my favorite poets and there's an abundance of homage and reference to him.

Something particularly for you would probably be A Canticle for Leibowitz. The story is about sects of Catholic priests in the wake of a nuclear apocalypse. It's a riveting read and I think for someone of your background it'd be perfect. Here's the plot summary:

Quote
In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, and tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 07:36:23 PM by Guy »

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."


theColonel

  • Guest
Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 07:39:18 PM
I remember when I read the foot notes for that book (or the first chapter) and thought that was the novel itself! :D

I'll check the first book out. I have a friend who recommended the Ender's Game and Dune, so if it's another one of those great sci-fi books than it might be worth reading.



Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 07:44:07 PM
I remember when I read the foot notes for that book (or the first chapter) and thought that was the novel itself! :D

I'll check the first book out. I have a friend who recommended the Ender's Game and Dune, so if it's another one of those great sci-fi books than it might be worth reading.
Ender's Game might be great pick for you as well. Orson Scott Card is sort of known as someone very strange in sci-fi authorship, namely because while he's made his positions very clear on topics of religion and his anti-homosexual beliefs, all of his novels showcase a very high level of sensibility and compassion to both the alien and human condition that seems diametrically opposed to his real life socially conservative positions.

In any case, thought that might be a good pickup for you as well.

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."


theColonel

  • Guest
Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 07:48:48 PM
...:D I have no idea how to react to that, but I'll take it as being friendly. 

This is more a question for Loopy, but have you read "Debug it" by Paul Butcher? The reviews for the book are mostly good, but I was wondering, since you work in the industry, if you ever read it and found it's advice good.



Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 07:53:00 PM
Just giving context. Card is well known for his conservative writings, but his fiction writing takes on a completely different personality. In general, I never shy away from recommending Ender's Game because it's such a great sci-fi classic, but I think knowing Card's background really helps to contextualize the difference in his messages.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 07:56:08 PM by Guy »

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."


SC

  • 157% Piandaoist
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 178
    • piandao.love
Reply #8 on: August 13, 2016, 03:07:06 PM
After that, my To Read list has Stephen King's "On Writing"

I think you're going to love "On Writing".  Some good humor in it.

I'n ot much on reading fiction.  I find I don't have the attention spam for novels.  Plus, I tend to forget details easily.  I mostly confine myself to reading articles of interest for IT-related stuff, design, and privacy advocacy.

However, I wouldn't mind recs for short stories and poetry.  I'm a huge fan of Intertext, but they stopped publishing stories back on 2004.  I like collections from a single author, or works from a munber of different authors.  I've already gone through the Writer's Harvest collections.  I'd love to find more contemporary collections like those.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 03:19:41 AM by SC »



Loopy

  • False Prime
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 247
  • I'm Loooooopy!
    • My Fanfic @ tumblr
Reply #9 on: August 14, 2016, 08:21:17 PM
This is more a question for Loopy, but have you read "Debug it" by Paul Butcher? The reviews for the book are mostly good, but I was wondering, since you work in the industry, if you ever read it and found it's advice good.

Nope, never read it. It's been a long time since I read an actual book about programming, honestly. Online tutorials are the way to go now, as there's always something good and free out there. Debugging itself is something that people new to professional programming could stand to get some real education about, as they don't teach it in college, but after ten years I don't feel the need to seek it out myself. I've lived what this guy probably wrote about, but for those who haven't, it certainly can't hurt to read about examples from the real world.


However, I wouldn't mind recs for short stories and poetry.

A Blink of the Screen is Terry Pratchett's collected short stories. He's one of the best humorists of the modern era, IMO, and this collection is a nice way to sample his style and worlds. It even includes stuff he wrote as a teenager (which is way better than most other teens could write), so it has a nice progression in terms of his development.

I do recall recommending this once before on ASN, so apologies if it was to you again and I don't remember. :D



Kyatto

  • Posts: 7
  • It's lit
    • See my website bros
Reply #10 on: August 15, 2016, 01:57:25 AM
I'm reading Death at Seaworld by David Kirby.

All I read anymore is nonfiction and humor books.  I started the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and got super bored. Didn't help that it's a screenplay. 3/10 would not recommend. I know so many people who were like "hell yeah it's gonna be a tight af book" and then it's not a book. It's a stage play script. Published as a book. I knew that going into it but apparently a lot of people weren't aware. I feel bad.




Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
Reply #11 on: August 15, 2016, 07:11:33 PM
However, I wouldn't mind recs for short stories and poetry.  I'm a huge fan of Intertext, but they stopped publishing stories back on 2004.  I like collections from a single author, or works from a munber of different authors.  I've already gone through the Writer's Harvest collections.  I'd love to find more contemporary collections like those.
Some of my favorite short story writers:

Jorge Luis Borges (Collected Fictions)
James Joyce (Dubliners)
Italo Calvino (Cosmicomics, Invisible Cities)
Thomas Mann (Death in Venice, Tonio Kruger, Felix Krull)

Of all those, Calvino's probably the most contemporary and easy to read, namely because he has a very witty/comical style. The two collections are very interesting; the first is essentially sci-fi fantasy about personified elements of space (the moon, the primordial soup, etc. etc) while the second one are basically beautiful descriptions of cities that Marco Polo sees as he journeys around the world. He visits Genghis Khan occasionally and they smoke and talk about these cities.

After that, I'd recommend Borges's collection of short stories. He's probably my favorite example of an author who writes tremendously powerful ideas, and doesn't rely on characters or plot to really create something fantastic. Reading Borges is like staring into the deep well of infinite knowledge, there's just no limit to how phenomenal his understanding of the world can be.

I'd recommend poetry, but unfortunately, I wouldn't be much help in that department because I'd essentially just give you the English romantics + Shakespeare + TS Eliot.

That being said, I'd probably recommend Adonais by Shelley, which was an ode to the death of John Keats, which stands out as one of my favorite poems. If you can read the original language, you might want to check out the collections of Pablo Neruda and Octavio Paz (Spanish). Both won the Nobel Prize and were known for very beautiful poetry. There's also a Swedish Nobel Laureate, who isn't that bad, by the name of Tomas Transtromer.

Interestingly enough there's a Swedish epic sci-fi poem, which is one of the only piece of "genre" fiction that has really been known to win the Nobel, by the name of Aniara. That being said, good luck finding a version of it that's not like $100 because it's out of print. ;_;
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 07:36:43 PM by Guy »

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."


SC

  • 157% Piandaoist
  • Administrator
  • ***
  • Posts: 178
    • piandao.love
Reply #12 on: August 15, 2016, 07:32:23 PM
A Blink of the Screen is Terry Pratchett's collected short stories. He's one of the best humorists of the modern era, IMO, and this collection is a nice way to sample his style and worlds. It even includes stuff he wrote as a teenager (which is way better than most other teens could write), so it has a nice progression in terms of his development.

I do recall recommending this once before on ASN, so apologies if it was to you again and I don't remember. :D

I don't remember looking for recs over there so I never saw this.  I just picked it up last night and I'm loving it.  I'd write something about it but, honestly, I'm a bit rushed for time.

And while I was fooling around last night, I was watching an episode of The Next Generation where an entire colony of people go missing.  The crew discovers they have been infected with a virus that changed them into a completely different species and then I remembered reading a Ray Bradbury short with the same basic plot back in high school.  I think it was called "Here There Be Tigers"?  So I'm thinking about picking up his collection of shorts because I remember loving that story.

Thanks for all the recs, Guy.  I'll have to check them out. I already have Joyce's "Dubliners".  As for poetry, I have the collected works of Shakespeare, Poe, Emily Dickenson, and Maya Angelou that I read from time to time.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2016, 07:34:38 PM by SC »



skybison

  • Guest
Reply #13 on: August 16, 2016, 12:48:44 AM
Ah, Orson Scott Card.  I grew up on that guys books.  Everybody loves Ender's game, but I also loved it's sequel series, Pastwatch, Alvin Maker and Homecoming, especially the last book Earthborn.  I remember when I found out he supports an armed insurrection against the US government over gay marriage and that Michelle Obama is planning to take over the country with her secret army of gang bangers and was just completely stunned this was the same person.  Anti-bigotry seemed like one of his central themes I was just baffled.

Anyway right now I'm reading Mistborn series which i am quite enjoying.  Good characters, great world building and fun action scenes.  Everything I want in a Fantasy series.



Guy

  • The Resident Toxicologist
  • Posts: 20
Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 06:36:45 AM
Ah, Orson Scott Card.  I grew up on that guys books.  Everybody loves Ender's game, but I also loved it's sequel series, Pastwatch, Alvin Maker and Homecoming, especially the last book Earthborn.  I remember when I found out he supports an armed insurrection against the US government over gay marriage and that Michelle Obama is planning to take over the country with her secret army of gang bangers and was just completely stunned this was the same person.  Anti-bigotry seemed like one of his central themes I was just baffled.

Anyway right now I'm reading Mistborn series which i am quite enjoying.  Good characters, great world building and fun action scenes.  Everything I want in a Fantasy series.
Right? I think it makes me appreciate his novels more, to be quite honest.

And yeah, I think his sequels were much better than Ender's Game, namely Speaker for the Dead. If I recall correctly, Card basically wanted to write Speaker, and so he wrote Ender's Game to sort of set up the backstory for it. I also think the parallel Shadow series with Bean was better than Ender's Game.

"As he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the Milky Way flowed down inside him with a roar."