Author Topic: What are you reading?  (Read 65599 times)

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Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #15 on: March 03, 2008, 11:32:26 am »
Just finish Sea of Silver Light - book four in Tad Williams's Otherland series. Pretty cool VR future stuff, but at 1200 pages I think he could have done with a good editor. Several, in fact.

Is that the one where they adventure through all sorts of VR places? If so, I thought it was quite enjoyable but a bit long. Still, an interesting vision. Just wait for the end, it gets a little weird there (end of the series that is).

I'm reading 6/12 by Ilkka Remes, which is shaping up to some sort of Serbian plot to take the President of Finland hostage. Otherwise nice, but the writer really doesn't seem to like Swedes (at least judging from the first few chapters).

Other than that I've been reading through my collection of Carl Hiaasen (Sick Puppy, Double Whammy and the likes). The man has a flair for books about florida, and even though the themes eventually become too recurring, they are amazing in a destructive sort of way.
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Offline Eth

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #16 on: March 04, 2008, 01:23:23 am »
  Well, I just finished Matter a few minutes ago.  Boy, was I surprised at the ending!  Things were starting to build toward a predicable conclusion, when WHAM!  A bunch of seemingly insignificant plot threads suddenly meshed together and sent things into a completely different, and ACTION PACKED, direction!  It managed to be completely over-the-top and witty, all at the same time.  Great stuff, great stuff!

Offline Bleeding Star

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #17 on: March 04, 2008, 01:43:23 am »
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Eth says:
I read Foundation, and, even at a young age (10?) I found psychohistory to be completely unbelievable.

I love the concept, but never really decided whether I thought it could work or not. Can't you just let it slide, for the sake of enjoying the books?

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Well, I just finished Matter a few minutes ago.  Boy, was I surprised at the ending!  Things were starting to build toward a predicable conclusion, when WHAM!  A bunch of seemingly insignificant plot threads suddenly meshed together and sent things into a completely different, and ACTION PACKED, direction!  It managed to be completely over-the-top and witty, all at the same time.  Great stuff, great stuff!

Will have to read it... I love Banks.

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Lukipela says:
Just wait for the end, it gets a little weird there

Yeah, it did. Some unnecessary elements, I thought. And maybe I've watched too many Hollywood movies, but I did really expect the bad guy to pop up again with the standard - "I'm not dead yet, bitches!" at the end.

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Otherwise nice, but the writer really doesn't seem to like Swedes

How uncharacteristic. I've certainly never heard any other Finns make disparaging comments about Swedes.


Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 09:22:19 am »
I love the concept, but never really decided whether I thought it could work or not. Can't you just let it slide, for the sake of enjoying the books?

Some people are unable to do that to varying degrees. You should check out the cloning discussion over at UQM if you want a prime example of someone who can't suspend disbelief for a second.

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Well, I just finished Matter a few minutes ago.  Boy, was I surprised at the ending!  Things were starting to build toward a predicable conclusion, when WHAM!  A bunch of seemingly insignificant plot threads suddenly meshed together and sent things into a completely different, and ACTION PACKED, direction!  It managed to be completely over-the-top and witty, all at the same time.  Great stuff, great stuff!

Banks writes some amazing Sci-fi. I've ever read his regular books, anyone know what they are like?

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Yeah, it did. Some unnecessary elements, I thought. And maybe I've watched too many Hollywood movies, but I did really expect the bad guy to pop up again with the standard - "I'm not dead yet, bitches!" at the end.

Wait, it's only four books in English? Over here it's like 8 or so. It really is annoying when the greedy book publishers split a series like that to make more money. No wonder some of them seemed to end in an anticlimax!

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How uncharacteristic. I've certainly never heard any other Finns make disparaging comments about Swedes.

My ethnicity allows me to badmouth Swedes all I want. It's like how black people can call each other the n-word. Also, even though I badmouth Swedes, I do really like and respect them. I doubt Remes does. A lot of Finns hate Swedes for the most amazing reasons. There was a show back where they asked Swedes what they thought about Finnish preconceptions, and they just seemed really confused. Then again, how would you react to "In our country, most people think you are fancy shallow poofster weaklings".
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Offline Bleeding Star

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2008, 02:07:11 am »
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"In our country, most people think you are fancy shallow poofster weaklings".

Finns would describe themselves as salt-of the earth deep extremely hypermasculine strongmen?

I knew a few Swedes (though not in Sweden) and I can see elements of the description applying, but it seems pretty harsh. On the other hand, the only Finn I remember wore horrible rainbow pants... hardly a reassuring sign of non-poofterness.

Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2008, 10:27:58 am »
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"In our country, most people think you are fancy shallow poofster weaklings".

Finns would describe themselves as salt-of the earth deep extremely hypermasculine strongmen?

I knew a few Swedes (though not in Sweden) and I can see elements of the description applying, but it seems pretty harsh. On the other hand, the only Finn I remember wore horrible rainbow pants... hardly a reassuring sign of non-poofterness.

Yeah, Finns have some very strong preconceptions. Well obviously not everyone, but still. The Finns stereotype of themselves is almost exactly what you describe.  Hard working, down-to earth, masculine. Which translated would bee antisocial shy drunkards who scoff at any suggestion of "manners".

As for the swedes, they are "softer" than finns in that they are happier, talk more, and dress better (again, generalising).  Thus obviously they are weak and metrosexual. If you want to hear more, I suppose we should start a "stereotypes" thread or something.

Anyway, to bring this back on topic, I finished the book. It was surprisingly good, with a twist ending. No I'll have to hunt for a new book to read on the bus. I'll be sure to let you know what's next.
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Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2008, 10:03:53 am »
So during Easter holiday I went travelling, and naturally picked up a couple of paperbacks. Unfortunately I got hit with a serious fu, so I didn't get to do much reading, and thus haven't quite finished them yet.

The first one is by Tim Hartford, "The undercover economist". I've previously read "Freaconomics" by the same author, which was quite interesting, and this one seems to be as well. He has some interesting ideas about health insurance and driving, among other things.

The other book is by Stephen Clarke and called "Merde happens". It's the third in a series detailing the adventures of a brit in france. Excpet now he is in the US. With a French atheist feminist who despises the US and everything it stands for. It's quite an amusing read, although perhaps not as good as the previous ones.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2008, 11:30:04 am by Lukipela »
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Offline Eth

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2008, 11:07:54 am »
  I thought "Freakonomics" was written by some guy named Levitt.  [/book nerd]

Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #23 on: March 26, 2008, 11:29:29 am »
Whoops, you're right. Don't know how I mixed them up. The book seems to be in the same vein though, although not quite as off beat.
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Offline Rider

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2008, 11:57:50 pm »
Hmm, I've considered picking up reading again (to broaden my scope of 'things-that-interest-me' and 'topics-I-know-about')... so do any of you have any suggestions on anything dealing with psychology?
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Offline Lukipela

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2008, 09:39:24 am »
Eths the resident philosophy buff, which is the closest to psychology I think you'll get here.
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Offline Eth

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2008, 12:25:50 pm »
  Yeah, I'm afraid psychology's not my line of country. 

Offline Rider

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #27 on: March 28, 2008, 06:04:51 am »
Guess I'll have to get suggestions on that from another corner of my social circle. So what about philosophy then?
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Offline Eth

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #28 on: March 28, 2008, 10:02:42 am »
  I've been reading Bertrand Russell lately.  He's a sensible, down-to-earth sort of philosopher, with a dry-as-dust British sense of humor.  A few good ones of his are: In Praise of Idleness, Why I am Not a Christian, and The History of Western Philosophy. 

Offline Bleeding Star

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Re: What are you reading?
« Reply #29 on: March 29, 2008, 08:01:57 am »
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anything dealing with psychology?

I like "The Man Who Mistook his Wife was a Hat" by Oliver Sacks, though that's more neurology than psychology. Lots of interesting anecdotes about patients with crazy conditions.

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The History of Western Philosophy

I think I read that once. Pretty dry, but readable. I think I gave up at about Kant though - the modern philosophers are a bit too wierd for me to even try and understand what they're on about.