What are you reading?
  • I was intending to start reading "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco but decided to read "Calculus Made Easy" by Silvanus Thompson and Martin Gardner. I'm doing some calculus courses on Coursera to improve my math skills, and I'm using this book as a supplement to improve my understanding of  material I haven't seen in years. 
  • Unrelated, but I'm subbed to emails from edX and Coursera, what's been your experience so far? Kind of toyed with the idea of them for a year or so now.
  • The Annihilation Score by Charles Stross. Pretty far in, not as good as some of the previous Laundry books. A little too goofy and not quite Cthulu enough. I love Stross, but the Laundry is a tight wire act between Lovecraft and Gervais, and this one is leaning too far to one side... so far.
  • @GoodEnoughForMe I've not done enough classes to give a fair impression. I'm planning on taking a basic computer programming course on there when it's available next month. After that I think I'll have a better idea. As of right now, I think the lack of supplementary material kind of hurts it. The information is being conveyed well, and it gives me hope for the future of online schooling, but you're still going to need books, homework, and the drive to better yourself. 
  • I have been reading ancient history. I started with around 4000BC and I'm currently at around 2000BC. I studied a lot of history in the past but that was a long time ago and the chronology of events is all out of whack in my head so I'm mainly reading to get a mental timeline happening. Plus it's always fun to read stories about ancient nutters and their "empires".
  • Currently at around 1000AD in my romp through the ages. Just dealing with the Norman conquest of England now. The Vikings were fun, but the Crusades are coming up!

  • Go Set a Watchmen - Harper Lee

    About 100 pages in - interesting take on Scout coming back to Marycomb and finding out how much of a lack of progression her hometown has undergone. Will probably finish the book this weekend since I've got the next couple days off.
  • @SpaceOfSoul

    Fuck, I forgot there was a "sequel" for To Kill A Mockingbird. Is it any good? I loved the first book, even though I was forced to read it in highschool.
  • Had a blast with Henry VIII and his fucked up family. Just finished up with King James I, and jumping back and forth across the Atlantic to see how things are going in Europe and the Americas. 
  • The Windup Girl

    A really excellent Nebula award winner. Near future dystopia, where the oil ran out and agriculture became king. Kinda infowarsy, in that Monsanto like corporations run the world. It's all about the genetics. A good good read.
  • Windup Girl is fun, quick read, at times gruesome, very biopunk.

    I just finished All My Puny Sorrows. It's a sad book with some really poignant prose and the occasional jab of humour. Which is good because it layers on the tragedy in the final third or so almost overbearingly, but then the author goes off on a funny tangent, or makes fun of something quirky about life, and it mostly redeems itself. Still think it tried a bit too hard to be depressing, but I mostly enjoyed it.
  • I ordered a Doctor Who novel from Barnes & Noble the other day. I know, I know. For those who like the show and are curious, the book is called "Engines Of War" and is about John Hurt's, War Doctor during the time of the Time War in the show's continuity.

    I'm excited.
  • @Manio 
    The book was pleasant - I probably should've reread the first one just to recall some bits of the story. 
    Though the book does well to provide little flashbacks for those who can't recall (Or for those who haven't read TKAM).
    I'd say pick it up if you're interested. 
  • I picked up the new Jonathan Franzen novel, having never read him before, but seen him mentioned as one of the great authors of the 21st century. His new book, Purity, starts well enough, Pip, the protagonist, is interesting, she's adorable one moment then gets you wanting to slam your head the next, she's not one of those predictable challenged kids who is too smart for her own good, she's really squatting with anarchists because she's stubborn and a bit greedy but friendly enough when she's not angry to easily befriend people. She's good. Yeah! Good start.

    Then page 78-79 happened.

    There's a guy in the story, his name is Andreas Wolfe, and he is part of a group that leaks crimes being committed by those in power, just like Wikileaks, except he never leaks stuff that could endanger people, it's all vetted, and he even does really small individual stuff like bank managers who are mean to their women employees, so his Feminism Card is A+, and basically everyone online loves him and adores him. Oh yeah, he was raised in East Germany and rabidly anti-state, but his parents were so connected that he never got arrested, even though he lead a sort of political rebellious group out of a church's basement. Anyways, because he was just, like, so good looking and so radical, he was, and this is a true statement in the book getting "tons of teen pussy" but thankfully, he never fucked a girl who was either abused or underage, the text states he always knew who was and he was never wrong, but man did he reel in that teen pussy. Anyways, he's adored now, in the book his name is Googled and there's not a single negative story or blurb, he even responds to your emails right away! He's just perfect! And did I mention he got lots of teen pussy? Awww yeah. Thanks, Franzen, for getting your dick in the way. Out of curiosity, I looked up the age of Franzen, and what do you fuckin' know, he's almost the exact same age as our buddy Andreas, he of the incredibly intelligent, crystal-clean, teen-pussy drowning hero of the internet. Yeah wish fulfillment characters can be fun, Batman is, Luke Skywalker is, but make them fucking human, and don't make me feel like I'm slogging through your jerk-off fantasy. 

    Put the book away and twice convinced myself to pick it up, only to realize life is too short to read a guy jerk off onto his 6000000 page novel repeatedly.
  • 1700's now. The convicts have arrived in Oz, the yanks are rebelling, the 7 Year's War has ended, French heads are rolling, and Catherine is The Great in Russia. Bring on the 1800's!
  • Alias by Brian Bendis.

    The next Marvel series about Jessica Jones is coming soon and I wanted to read the book it's based off of. It's heralded as one of the great comic series of its time, and the best thing Bendis has ever written. So far, it's really good.
  • Station Eleven. Good, not great. Reviews called it great. It's a fun enough read, quick, well-realized. Still falls short of a really important sci-fi/fantasy work, although I'm only halfway through. Also throws an absolute shit ton of characters at you at all times. Post-apocalyptic genre is pretty well-worn at this point. I feel like it needs a re-imagining in the internet-laden world we're in. I don't know. There are some genre standbys I like and some I don't. I will always be up for cyber-noir, so maybe it's just me. Anyways, it's good, like I said. But I can't see it really staying with me.
  • Got to the mid 1800's in my romp through time and decided to take a break and instead read a book on etymology that goes by the same name which was pretty fun. Most etymology and historical linguistics books tend to be fairly dry but this one was written in a more engaging way. The writer starts with a single word, which was "book" iirc and then just sets out on a journey from there until he exhausts himself.
  • Infinite Jest. Finally? Stereotypically? Perhaps both? What a behemoth. 981 pages of text and 96 pages of footnotes and citations. How does one even write such a thing? I am early into it. It has had a few funny lines. I would not say that I am loving it. I'm still just amazed someone could write such a thing.
  • Just re-reading Jurassic Park. This book is so good. It makes me really wish we got to see some of these sequences in the finished film. Some of the stuff did sort of carry over to this year's Jurassic World which was something nice.

  • Finally finished my tour through world history. I got to the late 90's and early 2000's which I figure is more current events than history and stopped.

    I have no idea what to read next.
  • A Software Engineer Learns HTML5, Javascript, and jQuery by Dane Cameron

    So I've been using various online tools to learn computer programming. It started with a class on Coursera and has moved to a website called "freecodecamp" and the far more well known "codeacademy." I'm currently stock on a project at fcc and I'm using codeacademy to practice and better understand how javascript works. With that said, the lack of an actual teacher to properly explain the complexities of programming, I'm spending long periods of time simply staring at my computer trying to figure out how everything works. I'm learning and getting better, but need another stimuls; hence my new reading material. 

    I've only just bought this book and haven't completely delved in, but from what I've read thus far the book has two main functions. One: properly explain what these various languages mean, do, and function. Second: teach the reader how to use them. Between my daily coding exercises and this book I should be able to complete the 1000 hours of training offered by fcc and finally learn a skill I've had interest in for quite some time. 
  • I'm reading Middlesex. Ripping right along, very flowing and readable and tight prose, too early to make anything more than a kind of snap judgment. I would say that the first 50 pages of the novel are the most fun I've had with a novel since Puny Sorrows, so a couple months.
  • Latham, have you read "Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software" by Charles Petzold?

    If not, then I recommend it. It won't teach you to code, but instead it goes more into the logic and structure of the idea of codes and coding. The book starts with things like Braille and Morse code and then gradually goes into more complex ideas. It might help put you in a better mindset for learning whatever language it is you're working with.

    Noobied by 1sloth
  • @Dr Flibble

    Actually that's a book I've been planning on purchasing. I came across it after I found another book called "Think Like a Programmer" by Anton Spraul. It's interesting how many different kinds of books there are on the subject. The one you've mentioned however seems to have a really ardent group of supporters from what I'm noticed. Definitely excited to purchase that.
    Noobied by 1sloth

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