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Old 06-25-2010, 02:15 PM   #1
Loki
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Meowth The "Books I recently read" thread

I read books in addition to watching movies and TV. Some are pretty interesting.

My most recent book is The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman. Written in 1974, he writes about how a futuristic man has started an intergalactic war against an alien race and the world government forces a human draft of their best and brightest. After a few skirmishes, due to near-light speed travel, his one year of experience has become several decades and the world has greatly changed. He keeps serving tours of duty and every time he comes back, humanity keeps changing until he feels they are just as alien as the actual aliens.

Essentially it was a easily spotted reference to the author's own experiences in the Vietnam War and the "Future Shock" soldiers experienced when they came back.

Good book.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:51 PM   #2
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All of wheel of time. In like 4 months.
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Old 06-25-2010, 02:53 PM   #3
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The last book I read was The Great Gatsby for English class.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:15 PM   #4
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That's too bad. Books kick ass.
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Old 06-25-2010, 03:21 PM   #5
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The Great Gatsby. What a way to go out on reading. >_< What an awful, awful book.

I'm not much of a reader. I have several books that are currently in halfway-read status. These include Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Dune, The Brain That Changes Itself (medical non-fiction), and my second re-read through of Chingbirok: The Book of Corrections. I also haven't read any manga recently (read: within the last calendar year).

Probably the last manga I read and finished was the Phoenix Wright Case Files Vol.1. Title may be incorrect, but it's basically a collection of doujinshi by different authors that they wrapped into a single tankoubon and sold as a manga. When I found out that's what it was, my interest waned in buying Vol.2. I had been hoping that it would be comics done by the cartoonists at Capcom.

Probably the last book I read from start to finish was ... Fahrenheit 451, maybe? I read that back in 2008. It was an okay book. Overrated IMO. I had forgotten why I hate Ray Bradbury's books: because he writes too much like me, repeating the same idea five different ways. For example, "the car exploded into a ball of fire, showering orange tears of rain down on George, knocking him over as the embers lit the night sky, surprising him with the sudden gust of wind, stunning him with--" ALRIGHT, ALRIGHT! We get it! There was a big explosion and he fell over. Get on with it!

EDIT: add to that list two books by Richard Dawkins. One is the infamous The God Delusion, the other is The Greatest Show on Earth, a wonderful book which talks about evolution at all levels (micro-, macro-, and in between ;p) and provides great logical arguments against anti-evolutionists.
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Old 06-25-2010, 06:14 PM   #6
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>The Great Gatsby. What a way to go out on reading. >_< What an awful, awful book.

The Great Gatsby is an awesome book :O I haven't read it in two years though.

Started Brave New World the other day, only like 50 pages in though.
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Old 06-25-2010, 07:02 PM   #7
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Now that's a good book. The Great Gatsby, though? BLAGH. Next thing I know you'll be telling me you liked The Old Man and the Sea.

And I will personally plea with Kuno to ban you should you tell me you liked Willa Cather's My Antonia, the worst book I have ever, ever had to read for school. (j/k..................... or am I?)
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Old 06-25-2010, 08:03 PM   #8
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I remember Brave New World, one of the few books High School had me read and I didn't dislike.
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Old 06-25-2010, 10:19 PM   #9
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Graveler

I liked Gatsby.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:33 AM   #10
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I agree with Talon on Gatsby and the Old Man and the Sea being absolute shit.

I also agree with Loki that Brave New World was good, but I didn't have to read it for school. I read it in school, but only because I'd already finished King Lear while the rest of the class was plugging along with it.

My most hated school assigned reading though- Their Eyes Were Watching God. I can't imagine anyone has anything good to say about this book if they read it. If they didn't read it though, it just adds further credence to my claim that my English Teacher was batshit for putting so much stock into it.
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Old 06-26-2010, 10:34 AM   #11
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I read it. It wasn't terrible but I had a lot of trouble with the dialect at the start. Did anyone else have to read Native Son for English? I know for a fact that my teacher was batshit crazy (in a good way), though.
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Old 06-26-2010, 11:39 AM   #12
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Nope, never even heard of it. Same for Muyo's thumbs-downed book.
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Old 06-26-2010, 02:30 PM   #13
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I "read" Their Eyes Were Watching God. I read the first few pages, didn't like it, and didn't even bother to Sparknote it because my teacher was falling behind on the curriculum, so we had to read The Awakening at the same time. I chose to Sparknote that instead (dunno why, it was equally bad if not worse) and used that as my essay topic instead of Zora's book.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:47 PM   #14
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Bump. I know visual novels aren't exactly high literature, but ...

I recently read the first two paths of the visual novel Fate / Stay Night, the one being "Fate" and the other being "Unlimited Blade Works." Both were enjoyable, but not without their frustrations. The premise is far superior to the execution, imo, but oh well: it's still one hell of a premise.

I was looking forward to being able to read books in PDF format on my iPhone 3G, but the 3G's chipset is way too backwards to support fluid reading of PDFs. They load very slowly, and they load the graphics only 50% of the way and then enter a second load cycle where they load the remaining 50% of the graphics every time I zoom in. So it's like, I see super-fuzz, followed 10 seconds later by fuzz, followed 10 seconds later by clarity. Makes me want an iPad v.2.0 all the more, but unfortunately there's no such thing as an iPad v.2.0 yet.
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Old 08-03-2010, 07:00 PM   #15
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Oh forgot. Finished Brave New World quite some time ago, liked it but I like Nineteen Eighty-Four better personally. I want to start reading Dracula here soon.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:51 PM   #16
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Gatsby was great, what is wrong with you? xD Old Man and the Sea was absolute shit, I will admit.

The Awakening was also good, although a little short for my tastes. 1984 was also good (but of course it was, it's a goddam classic).

I just got finished with Catch-22, which I'm still mulling over. It's either really amazing, or total bullshit, I'm not quite sure yet.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talon87 View Post
And I will personally plea with Kuno to ban you should you tell me you liked Willa Cather's My Antonia, the worst book I have ever, ever had to read for school. (j/k..................... or am I?)
I read Cather's Death Comes for the Archbishop as part of the Academic Decathlon curriculum and really liked it. I even made an RPG Maker 2000 game based around it (of which I have the CD, but cannot run -_-). Supposedly My Antonia is better than DCftA, I'm surprised you suggest there's something foul about it (perhaps the ending?).

Speaking of coincidental puns, I've been trying to track down a book called Artemis Fowl after it was casually mentioned by a friend on AP.

Also coincidentally, said friend recently admitted being put on the waiting list for a breast reduction. Shock like that is more effective at waking someone up in the morning than a cup of joe, especially when joe turns out to be a jane. o_o
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:49 PM   #18
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Talon the dude says, "Breast reduction is a crime against humanity. D:"

Talon the medical dude says, *grumble grumble*

My complaint with My Antonia is everything. Characters are terrible (in all aspects). Plot is boring. Writing style itself is boring. It's just a really boring book. I mean, for real, both of my paternal grandparents had waaaaaay more exciting lives than My Antonia and my maternal grandfather had a slightly more exciting life than My Antonia. Maybe I just have really awesome grandparents? But I think it's more likely the case that Cather's idea of a gripping romance is Snooze City.
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Old 08-03-2010, 09:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doppleganger View Post
Speaking of coincidental puns, I've been trying to track down a book called Artemis Fowl after it was casually mentioned by a friend on AP.
I read that quite a while back, 5 years ago probably. It's part of a series; only the first three were around when I read them, I understand there are more now. I definitely enjoyed it; I might make a library run sometime and pick up a copy of a few of them.
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Old 08-05-2010, 05:08 AM   #20
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Muyo undergoes Twilight so you don't have to.

So, in order to attempt to properly understand the Twilight phenomenon, I did what any good scientist would do and subjected myself to the experience of the audio version of the book.

Now I think I understand the appeal for the specific demographic that it's going for (young girls, young at heart girls, gay guys). Bella is described as average/plain/typical high school student with very little extra detail in terms of physical features or personality that would get in the way of a thousand freshly pubescent teens slipping into her role.. In five minutes of book, she is asked out by three guys and has the hottest guy in school's attention on her.

And that hottest guy in school? He's a supernatural being, "dangerous" in the sense that he's powerful and theoretically has an edge, but at the same time is not sexually threatening. He's fine just cuddling in a field all day while you look at his beauteous flawless perfect beauty, and he's not interested in doing anything beyond kissing. Oh, right. Unlike with Bella, Meyer takes great care in describing Edward each and every time he enters a room/performs a dramatic action/laughs/smiles/looks at Bella. Again, there's nothing substantial to the description like "he had a small, cute nose" or anything like that, because that would get in the way of the fantasy. The descriptions are all of the "perfect" or "Flawless" or "beautiful" variety. They're repeated ad nauseum, specifically to get the "tinglies" that Mickey Mouse talks about in the Jonas Bros. ep of South Park to rise in girls. He's perfect, so that can be whatever your mind makes it. In this area, Meyer is a genius.

Now there's the matter of the parts of the book which aren't describing how great Edward looks. To be fair, I would in all honesty and seriousness estimate that Bella describing Edward is more than half of the content in the book, but there is plot/some other characters who turn up. Sadly, the actual plot/conflict doesn't kick in until hour 9 or so of the book, before that it's just typical bad romance novel sterotype- "Oh, the good looking guy is such a douche. We squabble constantly. I love him." And then it's pretty much resolved:
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They get together

so they're left with just waiting for the conflict of the book to kick in for about an hour, and it's fully resolved in about an hour and a half, leaving a whole lot of post-plot description of how beautiful Edward is. Give the people what they want, I suppose. Meyer isn't really much for making the characters she makes us spend the majority of the book with interesting though, which makes the occasional glimpse of someone who seems to have an interesting personality/a quirk or two seem all the more interesting. Jacob is in the book for all of about 15-20 minutes total, but if I liked Bella enough to want to see her happy, I'dve been on his team.

Summing it all up- Yeah, it was bad, I was expecting it to be worse, but it wasn't the worst book I've read/experienced. The characters are fairly uninteresting, and if the notion of a guy being described as perfect for 10 hours doesn't appeal to you, I'd advise you don't read it, even for the lulz. If you're a young girl or a young gay, however, go nuts. Jeri, I'm looking at you.
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Old 08-05-2010, 06:13 AM   #21
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That was quite an interesting read itself.

Nick Muyo - as his alter ego Miles Edgeworth - describes Twilight!

Somehow, it feels so wright, yet so wrong. XO
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Old 08-05-2010, 10:42 AM   #22
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Ehhh, saying I have to read Twilight in order to fairly judge it rather than being allowed to rely upon the verdicts of others is akin to saying I have to slip into the shoes of a meth addict for 10 years rather than being allowed to rely upon--

You get my point.

But thanks, anyway, for taking one for the team, Muyo.
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Old 08-05-2010, 07:02 PM   #23
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The series gets much worse, Muyo. The first one is semi-passable considering the second. The third picks up a a bit compared to the second, then the fourth is just downright disturbing. On a related note, I was tempted to eat my own arm when the girl I was seeing dragged me to see Eclipse in order to distract myself. Thankfully she found it cringeworthy too, or I'd have been tempted to ditch her right there.

On another note, recently finished Stephen Kings The Talisman, and Terry Pratchett's Feet of Clay. Good fun, although there are other Pratchett books I prefer.

>Talon.

To me it seems more like you not knowing whether you considered Inception good enough to skip a meal to see it until you saw it, tbh, but whatever analogy floats your boat.
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Old 08-06-2010, 07:28 PM   #24
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>Brave New World

Great book. Not quite Nineteen Eighty-Four, but quite good.

>Jeri, I'm looking at you.

I have at the very least read the first chapter of this book and have had trouble getting much further. From a literary perspective, she's a horrid writer.

But I am not having that devate right now.

>Their Eyes Were Watching God.

I am kind of extremely sick of African American literature (though I really do love some of it - Maya Angelou's short stories are some of the best-written American stories), and this book made me feel no better about it. I thought it was very beautifully written, but augh was it hard to read. The dialect was nearly unreadable and the story was relatively bland. There was a total of one dynamic character (who was the main one), and she barely changed; she just got grumpier as the book went on.

The last book I finished was The Things They Carried. It's a fantastic book. It's real, human, and extremely gripping. It's a bit scatterbrained, but it pulls together beautifully in the end in a way that you can really believe and understand. I am not a war book person, but it's really not a war book. It's about what war does to you.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:25 PM   #25
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Just finished reading Dune. Good book, but not sure if I'm going to read the sequels.

Before that (a couple months or so ago), finished His Majesty's Dragon (Napoleonic wars with dragons, fuck yeah) after seeing the series recommended on Penny Arcade. Liked it and need to track down the rest of the series when I can be arsed.

Still have several Discworld novels I own but haven't read, mostly ones starring Rincewind and the Witches. Honestly, the City Watch-centered novels are the high point of the Discworld series, and Rincewind didn't interest me much as a character in The Color of Magic.
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