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It's about that time...The "What Are You Reading?/Book Recommendation" Thread

SpeedingUptoStop

will totally Facebook friend you! *giggle* *LOL*
So, what books are keeping GAF away from the computer these days? Right now I'm close to finishing Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Another fantastic book, Gladwell is such an intelligent writer, yet he never talks over your head. The conclusions he comes to are all very sensible
and cool
, it's always a pleasure reading his books. Are there any other writers like him that cover about the same subject (Social Science/Sociology) with a down to earth writing style? I gotta have more stuff like this.
 

Chairman Yang

if he talks about books, you better damn well listen
Iamthegamer said:
So, what books are keeping GAF away from the computer these days? Right now I'm close to finishing Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Another fantastic book, Gladwell is such an intelligent writer, yet he never talks over your head. The conclusions he comes to are all very sensible
and cool
, it's always a pleasure reading his books. Are there any other writers like him that cover about the same subject (Social Science/Sociology) with a down to earth writing style? I gotta have more stuff like this.

Check out "The 48 Laws of Power" by Greene. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0140280197/?tag=neogaf0e-20)

It's not of much practical usefulness, but it's immensely entertaining and gives lots of insight into social dynamics.
 
 

OnkelC

Hail to the Chef
I just finished "Lunar Park" by Bret Easton Ellis, and was quite nice. Its hard to tell about the story without giving away too much. It is NOT comparable to American Psycho or Glamorama, though.
 

Nerevar

they call me "Man Gravy".

I find the historical information and alternative perspective on the subject pretty fascinating.
 

Eric P

Member
current reading list

Fiction:
Tailor, Tinker, Soldier, Spy - John LeCarre

Non-fiction:
Dance of Days- Two Decades of Punk in the Nation's Capital

Weight Training for Dummies

Optimum Sport Nutrition

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Washington DC- Paul Elliot

Recently Finished:
Terrorist - Updike
Memoirs of a Mangy Lover - Groucho Marx
Reduced Shakespeare - Reed Martin and Ausitn Tichenor
The Serial Killer's Club - Jeff Povey
 

calder

Member
Non-fiction:
Now reading "The One Percent Doctrine" by Ron Suskind
Just finished "Cobra II : the inside story of the invasion and occupation of Iraq" by Gordon and Trainor

Both excellent and very interesting. I recently finally got around to Freakanomics, and it was ok but frankly rather slight and not nearly as good as I had hoped. It had some compelling ideas but seemed a bit brief to me.


Fiction:
Just finished "In the Garden of Iden" by Kage Baker. It was alright, I probably would have liked it more if it didn't remind me so much of the much, much better Connie Willis novel "To Say Nothing of the Dog".

Next on my list I have "Blood Meridian" by Cormac McCarthy or "Layer Cake" by JJ Connolly (never did see the movie in theatres and I can't find the DVD) sitting here. Don't know which one I'll read first, I'll probably read the first few pages of both like I normally do and whichever one makes me keep reading gets done first.
 

KingGondo

Banned
Just finished:

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Soooo sad. :(

I'd like to read Never Let Me Go next, but maybe I need a change of tone for a while. I'm also working on Haruki Murakami's Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. Alternately hilarious and pastoral--great stuff. Studying Murakami so much made be forget how much I enjoyed just reading him.
 

FnordChan

Member


Despite being a huge fan of her science fiction writing (go, Miles, go!), it took me five years to finally get around to reading the first of Lois Bujold's current series of fantasy novels, The Curse of Chalion. I'm kicking myself for waiting so long, 'cause this is terrific, with wonderful characters (as expected of Bujold), detailed worldbuilding, and an engrossing plot. When our long-suffering hero finds a safe haven after several years of suffering, little does he imagine he's about to find himself caught up in dangerous politics and a rather more dangerous curse. While it's going to be hard to top Miles as a character, Cazaril, the lead in Chalion, is definately giving the little bastard a run for his money. I'm currently halfway through the book and the shit is being thrown at the fan by the double handful. I'm dying to just sit down and plow through the rest as soon as possible.

Eric P, I love Le Carre, particularly his Smiley novels. Be sure to see the miniseries adaptations of Tinker Tailor and Smiley's People after reading the books; Alec Guiness is utterly brilliant in both.

FnordChan
 
one percent doctrine, by ron suskind. best passage so far would have to be dick cheney sitting down the FBI and CIA in the aftermath of the 9/11 and saying "let me blunt, you all better start sharing information. you all don't cooperate for shit and i'll be damned if that continues!"
 

Cosmic Bus

pristine morning snow
I'm pretty curious about The Ruins, aparisi, so if you enjoy it, let us know. The summary on the jacket doesn't exactly strike me as enthralling, but the buzz has my attention. Plus, the guy wrote A Simple Plan, so he's got merit.

I finished Life of Pi a few weeks ago (was alright, nothing special) and haven't gotten around to anything new since. I'm probably going to continue with the cooking memoirs after reading a number of them earlier this year; Buford's Heat seems the likely candidate.

Aside from that, Stuart: A Life Backwards is intriguing.
 
I'm reading:

The Grande Armee



Critics have called this 544-page study the tour de force of books on Napoleon's army. Early in his career, the author actually interviewed aging veterans and survivors of the Napoleonic wars. Retrace each step of the Emperor's Grande Armee. Rare combat prints, drawings, and sketches accurately depict military apparel and weaponry, while charts, theater of operations, maps, casualty lists and statistics add to this chronicle's clarity and value.

Has a bad review on BarnesandNoble.com but I honestly think this is one of the best books about the napoleonic french army ive ever read. I think there have been a few liberties taken, but some of the stories told are awesome.

For example one of Napoleons trusted aides invited him to rabbit hunt on his property. However his property lacked rabbits, so he purchased 1000 rabbits for the hunt. The day of the hunt they went outside and were assaulted by the rabbits who thought it was feeding time. Apparently the guy bought TAME rabbits lolz. Napoleon lol'ed.

Additionally the insights into the key people within the army is awesome, and the revelations regarding missed opportunities n such (chance for the french to have the first submarine for example) are awesome.


La Belle France



This is less fun and more historically accurate re-telling of the brutal early ages of france, as well as I assume the napoleonic era...I mean his pictures on the front. Still dicking around with the pre-revolution in the book tho.



The Pirate Queen



Honestly dont know if id recommend this one. Im sure there are better written books on Omalley. To quote an amazon reader review:

Sjoholm talks more about herself than her supposed subjects




Also, Im a big battle freak so i'd recommend this book too, finished it a month ago:



This new and valuable history of the 1815 French defeat begins with a minimum of background for the non-Napoleonic student, but does superlatively well once Wellington and Napoleon have arrayed their armies for battle (and does not forget the Prussians waiting in the wings). The narrative is unusually accessible, and as experienced readers march on, they will find some novel insights and analyses. For Barbero, cavalry was not on the whole effective, but it could usefully suppress artillery, a welcome change from the usual denigration of everybody's equine forces (even the British are given credit for superior horses). The role of the Prussians, and also of German allied troops in Wellington's ranks, is studied in much more detail than in more Anglocentric accounts, and that many of the Prussians were half-trained militia is emphasized. Finally, Napoleon's army did not go off completely thrashed and in disarray, but substantially maintained order and discipline for several days. The author also does a better job than many popular historians in dealing with factors such as rate of fire, accurate range and the sights, sounds and smells of a Napoleonic battlefield. And while rejecting certain "patriotic myths," he supports the concept of Waterloo as a battle of unusual intensity. (July)
 

iapetus

Scary Euro Man
Recently finished Blink - very interesting stuff.

Just finished a Jasper Fforde binge:



Amusing, though the second one gets a little self-referential at times, in a way that's slightly more cringeworthy than actually funny. They're set in Reading in a world where characters from nursery rhymes - or Persons of Dubious Reality as they're called - exist, and fit into the world in strange ways. DI Jack Spratt and his new assistant Mary Mary deal with crimes in this alternate reality, including the murder of Humpty Dumpty, domestic disputes between Punch and Judy, and the is-he-cake-or-is-he-biscuit serial killer the Gingerbread man.

Now reading What We Believe But Cannot Prove - a series of very short essays on what a number of leading scientists and thinkers believe, but cannot prove.



It's an intriguing concept, and although there are some slightly dull and predictable entries (God exists, God doesn't exist, and far too many occurrences of there is life on other planets) there are some which are more thought provoking or original. That neutrinos exist. That if there is intelligent life out there, it will be familiar with the concept of numerical counting. That there is a future that is better than the present. That we write computer software the wrong way. That there is no power of 2 that when written backwards in base 10 is a power of 5. That electrons exist (and if you disagree, the author has a high-voltage cattle prod that he'd like to show you - electrons speak for themselves).
 

SpeedingUptoStop

will totally Facebook friend you! *giggle* *LOL*
I was also thinking about picking up this book too:

I was skimming through it in the bookstore the other day and it was pretty intriguing. What worried me though is that I couldn't find anything about Sonic Youth in this book. Maybe I was looking at the wrong pages, but how you can you talk about the history of Alternative Music without mentioning Sonic Youth!?

Anyways, has anybody read this? Is it any good? Are there better books on the subject (This one seems to cover a wide range of stuff, from R.E.M. all the way to MF Doom, so prefferably something that does about the same would be nice)?

And thanks for the 48 Rules and World is flat reccommendations, I'll be checking those out soon. What We Believe But Cannot Prove seems pretty good too.
 
I have to add to the Cormac McCarthy love in this thread. I'm currently reading this:



It's awesome. I have the entire Border Trilogy, so I'll move on to The Crossing later.
 

Nicodimas

Banned
i just read the davinchi code..awesome..i thought because it was so mainstream...it wouldnt but was i suprised..

im currently reading Elantris..So far its also awesome..


But i! also need suggestions for fantasy style..something fun yet not tacky.
 

Musashi Wins!

FLAWLESS VICTOLY!


Freud's Requiem. About mourning, an essay "On Transience" that Freud wrote later in life and his relationship with Rilke and Lou Andreas-Salome.
 

bluemax

Banned


Good book, different from what I went in expecting but still awesome. It's weird in that I'm like 300 pages in and there doesn't feel like any sort of central conflict, yet I keep reading because I want to know what's happening next.
 

Musashi Wins!

FLAWLESS VICTOLY!
Oh, I'm also reading, "Getting Things Done".



Sort of the Stephen Covey of the moment? I swore I would avoid books like this, but I admit I need organization help to improve my job. And life. It seems to have a large geek following online, which is helpful.
 
I should write books about common sense and I can pose on the cover with my tie resting on my midsection as I throw a smarmy smile out to my fans.
 
AlanHemberger said:
We have a thread waiting for you

lol if this is about the ACTUAL world being FLAT, than hell no. No flat world society shiett!!! although, I have to admit it is funny......the book I read is about the world being economically flat haha :D
 

Prospero

Member
Yesterday I finished Mark Bowden's new book Guests of the Ayatollah--it wasn't as fast a read as Black Hawk Down (which I think I finished in a single day), but it's a good crash course in U.S./Iran relations.

Today I started Nietzche's Human, All Too Human, and in my to-read stack are Kokoro by Natsume Soseki; A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; and Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go (which I'm reading for a book club I'm in).
 

Flynn

Member
Currently reading:



This series is so great.

The high concept logline "Lord of the Rings meets Deadwood" isn't too far off base.

I dig that the series really gets into the dirt and dispair of dark ages living. But mostly how it handles grey areas. Good guys do evil. Bad guys do good. Similar to Miyazaki's approach to action in Princess Mononoke.

Recently finished:



My ex-boss' auto bio about working at Hustler. It's a fun read that gives a nice alternate history to the Flynt empire. Tons of drugs and Los Angeles punk stuff too. Allan is a witty writer.



The fourth in the Aubrey / Maturin series -- the books that Master and Commander was based on. It makes me sad that we'll never see these other stories on the big screen. If you love Star Trek you'll dig these books. Seriously.
 

Timbuktu

Member


I'm reading this at the moment and since I'm not American, I didn't know that much about the American Revolution. What do you guys think of this book? Basically, the premise is that during the revolutionary war, African-American slaves were on the side of the British, fleeing plantations because they believed it was the British rather than the Patriots who provided the surest path to freedom. And he argues that Britain's promise to free American slaves loyal to the crown or to arm them against their white masters—may have mobilized Southern colonies to join the War of Independence.

also reading Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, really enjoying that too.
 

Musashi Wins!

FLAWLESS VICTOLY!
MrAngryFace said:
I should write books about common sense and I can pose on the cover with my tie resting on my midsection as I throw a smarmy smile out to my fans.

heh, yea, that's the business section.
 

Mifune

Mehmber
I'm still polishing off Neal Stephenson's The System of the World. I think it's the best book of the series.
 

Nick

Junior Member

Body-for-Life

This book is amazing at whipping you into shape if you're lazy and unmotivated. Half of the book focuses on getting you to enjoy working out, rather then tackling the gym as a chore.

I reccommend anyone wanting to get fit pick up this book. Immediately.
 

Brian Fellows

Pete Carroll Owns Me



Reading it through for the second time. Who knows. I might get through it a third time before A Dance With Dragons is out.
 

Eric P

Member
bluemax said:


Good book, different from what I went in expecting but still awesome. It's weird in that I'm like 300 pages in and there doesn't feel like any sort of central conflict, yet I keep reading because I want to know what's happening next.

stephenson books don't end.

they stop.
 

alaria

Member
"The Language of Threads" by Gail Tsukiyama.
Quick read, and really heartfelt, as well as very interesting if you are into East Asian history (takes place before and after Japan took over Hong Kong in the 40's).
 

Started reading this over the weekend. Pretty interesting so far. A perfect complementary book to George Jonas' Vengeance.


My bathroom reading material. It's been in there for months.
 
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