What are you reading?
  • For a couple of years I managed to read at least 3 or more books a month, usually being a combination of both novels/prose and graphic novles/comic books. I've been slacking over the last few months and have amassed two incredibly large stacks; one of comic books and the other of novels. I need to get back in the swing of things, but also realize it's important for everyone to be reading, stimulate the mind, and educate ourselves. So here in this thread I would like everyone to write about whatever books or comics they've been reading. Think of it as the "Rate the Last Movie" thread but for literature.

    Here's the last book I read:

    Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco.

    I loved this. I few months back I had read a wonderful graphic novel called Templar that was written by Jordan Mechner. In the afterword he mentioned FP as being one of his main inspirations, so I had to pick it up. This book is always high minded and is constantly challenging the reader. I often found myself stopping not because I ever wanted to put the book down, but because I wanted to find all the books and esoteric literature this novel uses as the base for its story. Wonderful stuff and highly recommended. 
    Noobied by 1FirLocke
  • I'm currently reading a sci-fi book called "Dragon's Egg" by Robert L. Forward. It's pretty hardcore. The Wiki page says it's like a physics and neutron star textbook disguised as a novel and I have to agree. The science in the book is true science fiction, not science fantasy, but the presentation isn't dry and actually a good read in addition to being educational.

    If you're into space nerd stuff you should check it out.

  • I'll give it a go @Dr Flibble , going to try and stop by Barnes and noble sometime tomorrow morning before work.
    Been meaning to buy a new book, just didn't know what. Looking forward to reading it.
  • Dragon's Egg has a great premise. I am trying get excited about Gibson's latest, The Peripheral, but it is not grabbing me. Charles Stross has been my go to guy lately. The Laundry series is just a great time, and Accelerandro is wondeous and terrifying. Vernor Vinge is my number one scifi guy all time. Fire Upon the Deep and Deepness in the Sky both made my head explode.
  • I finished reading this awhile back, and I'd say about 80% of the stories in it were good to very good. Just a few stinkers. But I gleaned some new authors to look out for, which is cool:

    image

    Now I am reading the Quran.
  • GoodEnoughForMe  No Tanith lee? I read Birthgrave when i was about 12 to 14 that was heavy.
    I am reading 40K novels and recently i started to read books about tanks and Warships, oh and i am reading the bible.
  • I wanted to like Accelerandro. I think I gave up on page 59, after our penultimate hero, the author, had mind-blowing sex 4 times in one night with the French woman who kept grabbing his dick. Furthermore, what is it with sci-fi and leather-clad women wanting to fuck the protagonist no strings attached? Do sci-fi authors secretly run a BDSM cabal? It was ok in Nueromancer because Molly was a real character. Accelerandro was all fluff terminology, cluttered sentences, vicarious sexcapades, and too smart for his own good author projecting. So much of sci-fi, particularly sci-fi by old white dudes, falls into that trap. My favourite sci-fi novel is by an old white dude. It's possible. YT was imagined onto the world of sci-fi in 1992 when third wave feminism was still the new thing. That's the standard we should expect, I'll even forgive an author if they don't want to use a vaginal dentata.

    @Epke Can't remember if there was anything by her. There were some 30+ authors.
  • I do not think you can judge a book you have not read. It takes a while to get into space and for the AI to ramp up. Scifi authors are notorious for writing out their sexual fantasies. You will be happy to know Heinlein was married to a little red head. Why do you think so many of his guys ended up with litle red heads? At least the man lived his dream.

    The Atrocity Archives starts out quick and gets where it is going. That might be a better intro to Stross. If you do not like Cthulhu meets The Office, maybe you do not like fun.

    In terms of feminist scifi, David Brin has a penis, but he did write Glory Season, which is a grown up imagining of a sustainable matriarchy.
  • Maybe Accelerando would go better if I gave it more time, but I hit points where I just can't. 59 isn't my record, The Fault in our Stars had me tossing the book against my wall I think just 20 pages or so in, John Green thinks all characters are basically talking twitter bots. Never really a Heinlein guy, Harsh Mistress didn't do much for me, Stranger in a Strange Land was a bit better if only because it was less bad pooitical theory and more interpersonal relationships. Of the sci-fi "old guard" Bradbury is probably my favourite. Maybe Philip K. Dick. But Fahrenheit is dystopia done right, Martian Chronicles is short story imagination run wild. 
  • The fact Heinlein wrote Stranger in a Strange Land ( my never to be written autobiography will be Strange in Stranger Land ) and Starship Troopers is stunning. You can like him or not, he remains an asimovian god. PKD is an odd duck. Limitless talent, but no discipline, thanks in large part to addiction. Nobody will ever get as many first drafts published as PDK. Idea after idea, rarely polished or refined. My favorite old school guy is Alfred Bester. Bester from Babylon 5 is named for him, as a homage to The Demolished Man. He also did comics. The Green Lantern oath? Alfred Bester wrote it. The Star is my Destination is a great book.
  • I finished "The Fault in Our Stars." My reaction was more or less, "I'd rather teenagers read this than read Twilight." Maybe that's not the proper way to judge a book.

    I recently read "Fury Max: My War Gone By." Garth Ennis is and will always be one of the best writers in all of comics. The man makes characters come alive. He's one of the few writers in comics to actually understand the medium well enough to know how to actually pace a book; I've actually laughed at the parts that are supposed to be funny. I can only think of a couple other writers in comics that can manage that. Also, Ennis love America and veterans more than any other writer I think I've ever come across. He makes America sound like poetry.

    I'm going to be starting "A mind for numbers" by Barbara Oakley. Math was always that subject that when I wanted an A or a B in school, I actually had to work hard for it. It's something I've never applied myself to and wanting to go and get my Master's in a couple of years I've decided to start taking mathematics much more seriously. Hopefully this book will be the first step that leads to better mathematical literacy.
  • I'm currently finishing out the Wheel of Time series.  Brandon Sanderson is not doing too bad a job of wrapping it all up, although I've fairly sure some of it would have been very different had Robert Jordan lived to write it himself.  Not sure whether it was originally planned this way or not, but there's certainly a lot of Ex Machina events in this last book that undeniably add to the tension, but I'm not sure where they've come from.

    Some interesting-sounding recommendations in this thread, shall definitely be coming back to some of these.
  • @Littleg WoT? Guess we know who the masochist here is. :P
  • I'm trying to motivate myself to dive into the Discworld series, but I find I'm more easily drawn in by comic books at the moment. I've taken a break from the Marvel and DC farce and moved over to Image and Vertigo comics, some old stuff, some newer stuff. Walking Dead I'm catching up on, Fables, Y: The Last Man I'm getting into. Just finished reading the last volume of Saga which is so awesome it makes me want to cry that it will never go any wider than the comic book community. 

    I also started reading the graphic version of The Hedge Knight, and that's really cool, if anyone is into the Song of Ice and Fire series thats something that needs to be checked out. Its a little bit lighter, both in size and in tone, but it's a really good look into where the families in the series came from.

    @laphamking Just wondering, is TFIOS the first John Green book you've read? Or have you read his earlier stuff? If you haven't read it already, his first book, Looking for Alaska, is also really good.
  • @Orion. I've only read TFIOS. I've heard about his other books and have actually planned on reading "Looking for Alaska." It appears to be aimed at a slightly older demographic.

    I just bought the most recent deluxe edition of Fables and have yet to crack it open. That series tends to be really hit or miss for me.

    Y: The Last Man is my all time favorite comic book. I go back and reread it at least once a year. It's Brian Vaughan's best and most consistent work. "Did you know Elvis had a twin brother?"
  • @laphamking
    I don't know if I'd say it's aimed at an older demographic, I'd say they're aimed about the same. The main characters are about the same age, the subject material is about as serious, if not a little more childish.

    I haven't read much of Y, I got through volume 1 and I've got 2 sat on my shelf, but so far id say I like Saga better. If you haven't read any of that, it's another Brian K Vaughan series that's mindblowing
  • @GoodEnoughForMe, yyyyeeeeaah I kind of started down this road a long time ago and now I just feel I have to get through it.  It's not too bad, all things considered.

  • @Orion. I've read nearly everything Brian Vaughan has written. Saga is good, really good, but it still has a ways to go before I'd say I like it better than Y. For me his work goes Y, Runaways, Saga, Pride of Bagdad, The Escapists, and then Ex Machina. 
  • @laphamking
    Have to say I've not read as much as I probably should of his. I've been sucked in by Marvel and DC for years, but recently I've lost patience with it. It's not that the stuff I was reading was particularly bad, I just got tired of the cyclical nature of it. They're always changing writers and artists in series that I like, which bugs the crap out of me. 

    Started getting into Image and Vertigo comics about a year ago, which seem to be a lot more linear and a lot more finite in the stories they have. Will have to check out Runaways if you say it's better than Saga.
  • @Orion
    Saga has the potential to be better, but Brian and Fiona just haven't had the time to build it up to that level yet. With his other stories he spent three, four, and fives years developing characters and interweaving plot lines. 

    I love superheroes, but Marvel and DC have become far too dependent upon formula, and never allow for any real consequence to happen with their characters. The best thing to ever happen in Superheroes was StarMan by James Robinson. That series had a beginning, middle, and an end. Robinson had a story with a particular character he wanted to tell,  interwove him with the rest of the DC universe, and created a long lasting StarMan legacy. That's the biggest advantage DC has over Marvel. They've spent decades creating families with their characters and have the opportunity to have new individuals dawning the capes of heroes who came before them. We don't always need to have Bruce Wayne as Batman. He can retire, and we can get our Terry McGinnis. They need to let  heroes grow old, move on, and build new characters with new stories for future generations. 

    I've started reading "A Mind for Numbers" and while not that far in, I am appreciating the book and what it's attempting to do. It's explaining how we think and how our behavior effects the way in which we think. The author explains the importance of pacing your studies and intersecting small moments of procrastination in order to put your mind at ease and better retain information. It's interesting that I've come across this book after my past year of weight lifting as a lot of the advice in here is directly correlated to what I've learned lifting. We all grow at an individual pace and in particular ways. It's always best to find personal methods of learning and avoid comparing yourself to others. I look forward to seeing what else this book has to offer.
  • Finished up Dragon's Egg which I thoroughly enjoyed. I might even grab the sequel.

    Now reading Deadland Rising by Rachael Aukes, which is the 3rd book in a series that was advertised as being a re-imagining of Dante's Inferno told as a woman's survival of a zombie holocaust. What it really is is run of the mill zombie trash fiction. It's The Walking Dead for people with low standards and without access to TVs.

  • Had time to sit and finish "A Mind for Numbers" today. It's not really a book specifically designed to help better understand math and science, but rather how to effectively study for any general subject (particularly math and science). It does an excellent job at explaining how the brain works and in doing so shows how to use your brain advantageously. It lists out all the proper ways to study, and assaults all the mistakes most people make (myself included) when it comes to study habits. It's filled with positive reinforcement, and has tons of examples of supposedly brilliant mathematicians who struggled just like everyone else. If you're in school, going back for another degree, or know someone working towards a degree, this book could be very beneficial.

    Now I'm looking at my stack of both books and comics. I want to read Don Quixote next, but I've got thousands of pages of comics to get through. I'll update when I've decided what I'm reading next.
  • Started reading Laurell K Hammilton's Anita Blake novels again the first books are quite good but the later ones become more and more pornographic, i don't have a problem with that but it is supposed to be a horror series and the last few books i read she was humping every new vampire she met.
  • I decided to start reading through my stack of comics/graphic novels. I'm currently half-way through "Fables Deluxe Edition book #9." I first got into the Deluxe hardcover format about 5 years ago when I purchased Y The Last Man in hardcover. Fables is one of the books I picked up shortly after and have been reading the hardcovers ever since. So far there are only 9 hardcovers out (soon to be 10), and the series overall has been hit and miss. 

    Conceptually it's brilliant. Takes all the old fairy tale creatures, set them in the modern world, and have them all interact with each other. Out of this you get very basic yet nuanced ideas such as the "Prince Charming" you always hear about actually being just one single guy who ends up marrying multiple Princesses. Or the Big Bad Wolf that blows down the pigs houses is the same guy who attacks Red Riding Hood. There's a lot of well thought out ideas, and some really wonderful interpretations of characters we've already grown to love. 

    The series isn't perfect though (as previously mentioned) as it tends expand itself into area's it doesn't need to go, and also has some pretty lame ideas. There's a character known as "The Adversary" and when you find out who that character is, it's a major letdown. It's somewhat overwritten as well. It's not overwritten in the way old comics use to be, but overwritten in that it tries to hard to cover to many fictional characters and stuff them into the universe; not everything ends up working.

    When it's good, it's some of the best comic book writing and storytelling a reader can come across. When it's bad, it's just boring. With all of that said, this most recent compendium has been really good and entertaining. There's currently a war going on between the Fables and the Adversary. The last deluxe book was just one giant comeback piece for the Fables, and here we get to see how it empowers them, and possibly makes them somewhat overconfident against their opponent. 
  • Deadland Rising was an eye-rolling hodge podge of cliche, fairly generic shite.

    Next up I might read "Er ist wieder da" ("Look who's back" in English) which is a German novel about Hitler returning to modern society and how he'd react to it.
  • I finished Fables Deluxe book 9 a couple of days ago. This series continues to leave me feeling conflicted. The good moments in the book are some of the best I've ever come across in any form of art/entertainment. There's a conversation between Boy Blue and Rose Red which is so human, so relatable and enlightening that I can't help but be engrossed. Before we get to that there's this "war" between the Fables and the Adversary that ends up feeling somewhat anti-climactic. Overall it was good and sets up a lot that I'll get to read in future collections. 

    I'm starting on Don Quixote today and I'm very excited to read it. It's a book I've never read but heard tons about, and I'm glad I'm finally taking the time to (hopefully) enjoy it. I was turned onto reading it after seeing it being paralleled in the film "Robot and Frank" and after watching that movie I knew I had to read it. It's a long one, so expect period updates on how my Journey with the Knight and Squire goes. 

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