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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #851
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Our Mathematical Universe by Max Tegmark - I'm not won over by the hypothesis so far. It seems metaphysical and not about physics (other than the first half which talks about recent cosmology).

  2. #852
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Altered Carbon is just ok. A noir fiction with cyberpunk backdrop. Reads pulpy but does it well.

    Finally getting through Against The Day.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  3. #853
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    I am reading mostly easy to read rubbish at the moment, mostly as I a busy with my work and reading as I get my 9 month old back to sleep (normally in the middle of the night where my cognitive ability will not handle anything too difficult). At the moment I am cycling back through the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series (mid way through book four) which are entertaining enough I suppose.

    The last proper book I read was Everything Flows by Vassily Grossman. An excellent and somewhat harrowing novel, unfinished (or at least was never completely edited before his death) but nether the less still up to his usual high standards. Grossman's magnum opus was Life and Fate (which I thoroughly recommend), but in many ways this book is equal to it. For anyone wanting to understand what life in the Soviet Union was like during the Stalinist purges.

  4. #854
    Gassy ~ A 'torm is brew'n Catoptric's Avatar
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    The Fate of Africa: A History of the Continent Since Independence by Meredith, Martin

    I was supposed to start on this though ended up buying Assassins Creed Origins Gold edition (a new expansion will be coming out next month, and I decided to go ahead and get started on it.)

  5. #855
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    Cat's Cradle - Vonnegut

    It's pretty ordinary. I read Slaughterhouse Five a few years ago by him, and also thought that was very ordinary. I don't really get what he does. I feel like he's a cheap version of Philip K. Dick, sort of. He tries to write some kind of parody of our world, but it's just not very interesting. It feels like the kind of book an english professor/teacher makes you read and makes his students analyse it and inculcates them to believe it's a great novel, and therefore they go on to repeat that, when really it's just average. I laughed a few times. It was good that it wasn't too long.

    Guns, Germs, and Steel

    This book changed how I view the world, and therefore it's good. It's about why some groups of people conquered other groups of people and not the other way around. He goes into a nice scientific analysis, looking at dispersion of animals/plants for agriculture, what caused those ideas to be able to spread faster on Eurasia, dispersion of writing, etc.

    I'd already had some general ideas that some groups of people couldn't form civilisations because it was impossible for them to form agriculture and therefore cities. But this book provided much more analysis and insight into these sort of things.

    Blue World - Jack Vance

    I love this author. Just fun, imaginative science fiction.

  6. #856
    schlemiel Faust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scarydoor View Post
    Cat's Cradle - Vonnegut

    It's pretty ordinary. I read Slaughterhouse Five a few years ago by him, and also thought that was very ordinary. I don't really get what he does. I feel like he's a cheap version of Philip K. Dick, sort of. He tries to write some kind of parody of our world, but it's just not very interesting. It feels like the kind of book an english professor/teacher makes you read and makes his students analyse it and inculcates them to believe it's a great novel, and therefore they go on to repeat that, when really it's just average. I laughed a few times. It was good that it wasn't too long.
    I found it to be thoroughly amusing satire, which frankly is hard to come by. Didn't quite appreciate Slaughterhouse Five as much myself.
    "All my heroes are dead" - John Zorn

    "It's not selfish if you hate yourself"

  7. #857
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    The Tell Tale Brain - Ramachandran 2011

    Non-fiction. I was looking for something to give me a little more insight into brain mechanics. In general, this book, by a distinguished outside the box thinking neurologist delivered. The three main areas of discussion I remember deal with amputated limbs and synesthesia (blending of senses), artistic sensibilities, and sentience. Ramachandran tries to explain how various problems - many of them quite fascinating such as a rare condition where a person believes they are dead - are linked to damage in one or more of the hundred or so specialized processing centers of the brain or communication between them. For good measure he throws in 'just so' evolutionary explanations as to why these centers might have evolved.

    A good portion of the book is based on established science and a large part on he speculations based on what he knows. Be careful to distinguish the two as a lot of different ideas are discussed and it's easy to get a bit lost.

    This is a popular science sort of book with enough technical giblets to be satisfying.

  8. #858
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    Currently reading 'A Prayer For Owen Meany' by John Irving. It is one of those well rated books that I have never got around to reading, and I am thus far enjoying it. Like the author I am a fan of Gunther Grass, and there are clearly touchstones with 'The Tin Drum' in this novel. Whilst Irving is not of the quality of Grass as a writer, it is nether the less a well written novel with an interesting structure. I suspect it would resonate more were I an American, but having grown up in a somewhat less religious country with irreligious parents I find it hard to understand the attachment to the characters to their various flavours of christianity (the nuances between them all seem rather asinine to me).

  9. #859
    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    Brave New World - Aldous Huxley

    This is a book I thought I read a long time ago but didn't. Looking Backward, yes, 1984 yes, Animal Farm, yes, but not this one. And I'm glad I bothered because it's a nice pure book that's dystopian or is it just the best we can do after all? Hopefully not.

  10. #860
    Colymbosathon ecplecticos BarIII's Avatar
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    Old comics.

    I will accept no further friend requests. This doesn't mean I don't love you or anything so don't be offended.

    "You look late twenties" - LordLatch

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