What are you reading?
  • Currently reading "The 33 Strategies of War" which is by the same chap who wrote "The 48 Laws of Power". It's layout is exactly the same only the anecdotes relate to war and lessons that can be learned from them.

    Art of the Deal was interesting. It gave me an insight into the US (and more specifically New York) property markets in the late 70's and 80's, which is not something I generally care about. The Donald's life through these times was also interesting. Even things that didn't go his way eventually turned out beneficial to him.

    I also am jumping in and out of a book about Japanese monsters, because I like monsters, and the illustrations are pretty cool. The dude who wrote GeGeGe no Kitaro, Shigeru Mizuki (RIP), wrote/illustrated it.
  • Last month I went through Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson, What art is by Arthur Danto, and Treasure Island by Robert Stevenson.

    Reading through Cryptonomicon was similar to my experience with Foucault's Pendulum; it simply makes me want to read more. My only gripe with the book is that I felt a couple of things were left unsettled, but with a book this expansive I can forgive and chalk it up as a minor quibble. The best parts of the book are when they're talking about the more refined elements of Crptoanalysis, the very mathematics behind it.

    What art is, while significantly shorter, was not bereft of the intellectual depth that you'd come across in Cryptonomicon. Danto managed to convey a lot of prudent information in as short and concise a way as one can. This book is really pushing me towards reading more aesthetic philosophy, as well as forcing me to be even more aware of imagery and symbology in all the media I consume. 

    Lastly, I needed to consume something fun and childish as a reprieve. Treasure Island seemed like the perfect escape, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 

    This month my main goal is to read through Asimov's "Understanding Physics" which is a compendium of three volumes of physics that he wrote at various points in his life. I have some of Feynman's text that I can peruse, but my obsession with all things Asimov compels me to consume as much of his work as humanly possible. Alongside this monolith I will also dabble in varying other novels and comics, so long as I finish "Understanding Physics" by the end of the month.
    Noobied by 18drawt
  • If you liked Cryptonomicon, then the Baroque Cycle beckons. My man, Robert Hooke!
  • @westsw I intend to read the Baroque Cycle by the end of this year. I have copies sitting in my Amazon queue. Before that I intend to read Anathem.
  • I never got into Anathem. I love Stephenson, but since his early success, he needs a fucking editor. He is always better concise.

    About 80% done with SevenEves. It's good, not stunning. Most of it is the stress and disasters leading to the said seven Eves. That part is rather good. Like Apollo 13 with 1500 people. Since we got to the other side of the story, dissapointment.

    With the title, you would expect female characters to be a focus. Tons of strong women, but they sure do not feel particularly female. Probably because survival is the sole focus, the one drive that supercedes sex drive. Like if The Martian starred a woman, it would not really be a different film. Matt Damon having a penis has fuck all to do with the story.
  • So far I've completed the first volume in Asimov's Understanding Physics as well as Umberto Eco's "Book of Legendary Lands." If I continue at the pace I'm going I'll have the rest of Understanding Physics done well before the end of the month and will attempt to not only start, but finish all of Lucifer by Mike Carey.
  • Never managed to get around to reading Lucifer last month so that's my goal for this month, along with reading "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco. Eco passed away recently and I intend to go through as much of his work as I can this year. Amazing writer and academic; everyone should read at least one thing by Umberto Eco.

    By the way: fuck Cancer.
  • I read quite a bit since my last post so I'll list what I remember.

    Ponzi Planet - A bit dated now but still a good read about the death of the Lehmann Bros and the financial world in the 3 years after. Nothing really new here if you've been paying attention to the news, but it's interesting to compare the predictions he was making to what is coming to pass.

    Tao Te Ching - It's Tao.

    Chess - A history of chess and encyclopedia of famous moves and where they came from. If you're a chess nerd, you might enjoy this.

    What Every Body Is Saying - A book about body language.

    Flash Boys - Pretty good novel about high frequency traders and how they screw the little guys. By the same man who wrote Moneyball and The Big Short, which were both also very good (and apparently The Big Short is a decent movie from what I've heard).
  • Read through "Freedom and Self-Creation: Anselmian Libertarianism" by Katherin Rogers and I'm working through "In the Name of the Rose." If I can utilize proper time management I'll have "In the Name of the Rose" finished by the end of the week, and then I can focus the rest of the month on finishing Lucifer. 
  • Just finished Steve Coogan's autobiography. It had extra relevance to me as he grew up in the same town I did.
  • I read the Wisdom of Crowds; a non-fiction title by James Surowiecki, and with all of the research, details, and arguments given throughout the passages, there is no doubt that this book has shown me an excellent breakdown of how crowds that influence stock markets, voting, riots, probable guesses, researching on where the Scorpion possibly sank, and much more. And in a nutshell it has taught me a lot.

    Now I am reading Ghost Gifts by Laura Spinella provided for free by Amazon Prime.
  • Didn't even get around to Lucifer. I've been working so much I've barely had time for anything. I'm just going to set that aside and look towards other books.

    This month my focus is on Anathem by Neal Stephenson. If I finish that before the month is over I'll start on Inventing the enemy by Umberto Eco.
  • I'm reading a book called "Mastery" which has so far been a very long winded version of Shia LeBoof's "Just Do It" motivational nightmare.

    Other than that, I've been reading Dark Souls 3 item descriptions. I've probably put more time into the latter.
  • Read Tekkon Kinkreet, a short 3 volume manga that was recommended to me. It turned out to be more interesting than I initially thought it would be.

    I also read through Ugetsu Monogatari which is a book of 18th century ghost stories.
  • Started Anathem and essentially though "Nope, not feeling it." I don't think it's bad, but I wasn't pulled in strongly enough to continue reading, for now. Instead I went ahead and read Language, Madness, and Desire: On Literature by Michel Foucault. After that I read Inventing the Enemy by Umberto Eco, and tomorrow I will be finishing The Martian by Andy Weir.

    Michel Foucault's Philosophy centers on a myriad of theme's; power being the most prominent and his views on institutional structure, education, and literature all stem from that. In "On Literature" we get a series of cognitive digressions surrounding the concept of literature, what is conveyed that creates literature, and what is the language used to implement that creation. His perception is very reminiscent of Umberto Eco's theories of the histories of language. I don't think it's as well composed or conveyed as Eco, but nonetheless it's an insightful read. I'm far more fascinated with his polemic essays on varying Government and Academic institutions; it's Nietzschian, and I absolutely adore that stuff.

    Eco's Inventing the Enemy was a very different kind of read from his other works because it wasn't a novel, nor was it an extrapolation of one idea; it's a collection of essays that are all structured around two or three main ideas. In correlation with his other work(s), it covers semiotics, history, and symbology. Throughout the essays he deconstructs society, myth, and the literary form all in the attempt of creating a greater understanding of who we are and why we do the things we do. Not every essay was riveting, nor did all of them leave me to ruminate for hours [or days] on end. What each essay did do was give me more insight into this brilliant man who I'm come to appreciate tremendously over this past year.

    The Martian: why did no one tell me how fucking funny this book is? I love hard science fiction, but this is so much more! It's as if Douglas Adams and Robert Heinlein had a book baby; it's awesome and I can't wait to finish it after work tomorrow. I will give some negative feedback regarding the novel: it's less a novel in the classic sense and more of a really fleshed out screen play. That doesn't diminish the reading experience, but it's a trend I've noticed with a lot of books; many or written with the intent of being turned into a movie and I'd don't really like that. It's great when a good book can be translated to the screen so the masses can consume (Lord of the Rings) but I still want books to be in prose. More character driven, less plot, and structured so that I don't feel the cascade of dialogue (even when it's really funny) viciously assaulting me. I noticed it in Ready Player One (which I also loved) but would simply prefer it didn't happen so often. Then again, maybe a well written screen-novel-play is better than poorly written, overly contrived, teen fuck schlock that waterboards bookstores across America.

    Anyway, after I finish The Martian my next venture will be back out of finish and into something much more academic: The Principia
    Noobied by 18drawt
  • @laphamking I really do admire what you get through dude and the material that you go for. I would go for it, hitting on all classical reads and contemporary, but I am on top wallop meds (for epilepsy) that fuck with my synapses so that much fewer connections are produced (trust me i have gone through the gamete of meds over a few years) , it makes studying around 5x harder (In my opinion). So I am less inclined to read a lot knowing my brain is making very little attempt to commit anything to memory. But without them i would be having seizures left and right even more than I do now which is relatively few, panic attacks also set in if i stop as epilepsy and anxiety neurologically are pretty closely linked it seems. Hence fuck you god for dealing me a duff hand but we all have to deal with shit. (Sorry for winging) , 

    Again fuck you God.

    And thank God for Jim Fucking Sterling Son.
  • I have a bit strange habit to read books multiple times, or to keep reading random parts from these on and on - for years after initial read. Treating novels as poetry, one might say.

    I am currently messing with Proust (basically, anything from him should do) and Stranger.
  • All I do is read endless short stories and critique them as part of communities of people trying to get published. There are some fantastic gems, but that's about 1/15. The other 14 trend anywhere from "meh" to total slog. Ugh. But I must press on.
  • Still pressing through The Principia. Probably not going to finish it until some time in June, and I'm fine with that. The beginning is incredibly informative regarding Newton's findings and the impetus for his work. 

    I took a break from reading it to reread DC's The New Frontier in remembrance of the late Darwyn Cooke. He was a man who truly understood the value of heroes and had one of the most deceptively simple and captivating art styles. I can't watch anything DC related without thinking of him and his influence in some way. I said this when I talked about losing Umberto Eco this year: fuck cancer.
  • Still working slowly through The Principia. Actually haven't touched Newton's work as the first few hundred pages are solely dedicated to understanding the history and structure of his three volumes. Each chapter is long, dense, and informative; I try to read a chapter all at once and if I can't I postpone my reading until I have the time to do so. I've been keeping note and mental lists and things for retention.

    I'm currently on my trip Chicago for my race and am finishing up Christopher Hitchen's "Thomas Jefferson: Author of America." It's a must read. 
  • From memory over the past few months; I read World War Z, which was OK. I also read Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen) which was interesting. It's a manga series about a boy who survives the bombing of Hiroshima. Then I read The Martian (in Japanese this time, it's called Kasei no hito in Japanese). I'm now reading Worthless, which is about college degrees in the US, but also applicable to any other country. A bit late for the advice within to be of any use to me though.
  • Read that new Harry Potter book which is actually a script for the play they're doing in England, and it was literal dogshit. It reads like a teenager wrote a really shitty HP fanfiction in their room. Not good at all. I'm a huge Potter fan so this entire thing was just a big ole pile of "what the fuck?"

    The way these characters behave goes against everything about how they were as characters in the previous seven novels. They really do come off as fanficton, and the author (who wasn't JK Rowling) seems to not know anything about the characters as a whole.

    I'd give it like a 4/10, because there's some nice tender moments in it.
  • Read Metro 2033 recently, it's very Russian, wonderful and horrible, sad and sweet.

    Reading the Whispering Swarm by Michael Moorcock. We should all crave Moorcock.


  • I have been recently reading The Vampire Lestat.  Good book.  By the way, here is a link to a fucked up short story that you might want to read:  http://hicklespickler.deviantart.com/art/The-evil-children-655761138
  • In the last week I have read Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, by Diane Williams. It was not very good. Aimless and unemotional, lacking any distinct narrative, voice, or connecting ideas.

    I also read What is Not Yours Is Not Yours, by Helen Oyeyemi, which was a good read, a collection of short stories tied together by a common theme. Some were stronger than others, but the entire package was pretty darn solid.

    I'm reading some book now that analyzes Confucianism and how it has influenced Chinese society over the centuries but its name escapes me.

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