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What Are You Reading?: January 2008

deadbeef

Member
I just picked up three books tonight at the book store:


The Magus, John Fowler - I heard about this somewhere (SA?) and it sounded interesting.

The Bureau and the Mole: The Unmasking of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History, David A. Vise - I love spy stories, especially real ones.

Oil!, Upton Sinclair - When I found out this was the inspiration for There Will Be Blood I had to get it to see if it shed more insight on the film.
 

Lo-Volt

Member
 

gdt

Member
[\QUOTE]Started this yesterday...


About 50 pages in, and I'm intrigued. I know virtually nothing about the science which is talked about in this book, so I have had to plough through those sections just a little bit, to get to the character-driven conflicts of human egos. I figure, as long as I have the basics of the science and know what the end result means, I'll be fine. Enjoying it, and Asimov continues to climb the charts as one of my favourite authors.[/QUOTE]

Great book. The middle section is what carries it. It will blow you away, so much so, that the last section will feel like a letdown.

Just finished In Joy Still Felt, the second autobiography by Isaac Asimov. Not as good as the first, but still awesome.

Reading The Complete Stories Vol 1 (Asimov) and Childhoods End (Arthur C. Clarke).
 

Eric P

Member
A Game of Thrones

I'm giving it another go.

last time i made it to page 20 before i got bored

last night i made it up to page 40

so i've already doubled my reading
 

Forsete

Member
Reading some of the books that comes with the newspaper Expressen.

Right now: Markurells i Wadköping (English: God's Orchid, 1919)
 

npm0925

Member
I finished On Blue's Waters by Gene Wolfe and am confused on a few points.

Did Horn die when he fell into the pit, in a fashion similar to Severian's death in The Urth of the New Sun? If so, who resurrected him?

Why did Horn rape Seawrack?

Is Blue Urth thousands or millions of years in the future?

If these questions are answered in the next two volumes, then please don't spoil.
 

thomaser

Member
Dice Man said:
The Magus, John Fowler - I heard about this somewhere (SA?) and it sounded interesting.

So very, very good... It takes a long while to get going, though, so don't give up if it seems boring to start with. The end might be disappointing to many as well. But in between the beginning and the end, you'll find a unique and riveting experience. Like nothing else.

Oh, and East of Eden by Steinbeck, which I'm close to finishing, is simply beautiful. Great characters and the kind of simple, easy prose that says a lot with very little. John Steinbeck is an awesome author.
 

BlueTsunami

there is joy in sucking dick
Eric P said:
A Game of Thrones

I'm giving it another go.

last time i made it to page 20 before i got bored

last night i made it up to page 40

so i've already doubled my reading

RR Martin likes to fill up the pages with superfluous information as far as names and details. It sets the scenes nicely lots of the time but others its a bit of a chore to wade through. But stick with it Eric P! The main characters in the series are fantastic.
 

deadbeef

Member
The Bureau and the Mole: The Unmasking of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History, David A. Vise - I love spy stories, especially real ones.


Okay so I made quick work of this. I can't say that it was written particularly well or anything, but the subject matter made it interesting. I suppose I thought I was just going to be entertained by this book, but about halfway through I really began to hate Robert Hanssen - what a despicable disgusting man. The amount of damage that he did to this country had more of an effect on me than I expected it to.

If you don't already know what happened, Robert Hanssen began voluntarily providing the KGB reams and reams of secrets starting in the mid 1980s. He wasn't grossly compensated for these secrets, $10K here $20K there. This continued until he was caught in February 2001.

The details of tradecraft of the spies and counterspies is interesting, but it is ultimately a disturbing look at the actions of a traitor.

A quick one day read.
 
After getting the chance to watch the first two and a half hours of the forthcoming HBO adaptation (amazing stuff, featuring a future Emmy-winning slam-dunk performance by Paul Giamatti), I went and started this one, which is really quite the stunner:

 

deadbeef

Member
andrewjnyc said:
After getting the chance to watch the first two and a half hours of the forthcoming HBO adaptation (amazing stuff, featuring a future Emmy-winning slam-dunk performance by Paul Giamatti), I went and started this one, which is really quite the stunner:

http://www.achievement.org/library/bookcovers/JohnAdams_0.jpg

I had that in my hands yesterday and almost bought it, but didn't at the last minute. I am really looking forward to the HBO miniseries. I would like to read it before watching the shows, or I never will. :/
 


Just started reading this with a group of close buddies. This sucker was written in the good ol' 1600s! Kind of a difficult writing style since it was more or less a collection of sermons.
 
i ran a src, and it seems nobody was reading Tree of Smoke. (dennis johnson)

for those who don't know... its the winner of the 07 national book award. its basically about vietnam, but if you read between the lines you can see johnson drawing parallels between iraq and 'nam, the blur of disinformation and how it passes down through intelligence hierarchies. (thus the title, "tree of smoke")

at 300 pgs it didn't quite "take off" like i thought it would, but i just got done reading the part concerning the tet offensive', and with about 300 more pgs to go i'm guessing the best is yet to come

also worth noting is johnson's stylish writing. he's one of those writers where the prose sizzles throughout the whole book
 

Nekobo

Member
I just finished After Dark, by Haruki Murakami. Now I'm gonna dive into one of his denser titles, Kafka on the Shore.

I'm also reading through Stephen Colbert's I Am America (So Can You!). Funny stuff.
 
Nekobo said:
I just finished After Dark, by Haruki Murakami. Now I'm gonna dive into one of his denser titles, Kafka on the Shore.

Did you like After Dark? I bought it a couple of months ago, but I've been reading other things.

I just finished reading H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine". It's a short, yet interesting read.

Also leafing through "The Elephant Vanishes" by Murakami. Good stuff.
 

Guileless

Temp Banned for Remedial Purposes
FnordChan, you've convinced me on Flashman but I guess the author's death caused a run on his books and Amazon is all sold out right now.

eznark said:
Re-reading

Father and Son - Larry Brown
very Faulkner-esque. It's an excellent read.

Excellent choice, Dirty Work is also good but don't read it if you are depressed. Brown was a nightly fixture at the bars in the town where I went to college. Unfortunately that probably led to his premature death.

I'm reading


The author talks about the politically correct biases among academics who try to explain away how warlike early humans actually were. For example, one researcher notes that his grant application to study a "fortification" was denied, but when he changed it to "structure" it was approved. And artifacts that are almost certainly primitive weapons are given any other function, no matter how implausible.
 

Xater

Member
Ah my favorite thread of the month. I always find something interesting that I might read some day. At the momente I cant do any "fun" reading because I have to learn alot of stuff so I am pretty much only reading stuff about sociology.

But next up for me is I am Legend and World War Z made my list of will buy soon. :D
 

FnordChan

Member
Guileless said:
FnordChan, you've convinced me on Flashman but I guess the author's death caused a run on his books and Amazon is all sold out right now.

Doh! Well, keep checking because Flashy is worth the wait. And, if you can't wait, AbeBooks has you covered.

As for my own reading, I'm still off enjoying magic noir fluff with the second book in Eileen Wilks' werewolf romance series, Mortal Danger. It's fun.

FnordChan
 

Tamanon

Banned
Dice Man said:
The Bureau and the Mole: The Unmasking of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Dangerous Double Agent in FBI History, David A. Vise - I love spy stories, especially real ones.


Okay so I made quick work of this. I can't say that it was written particularly well or anything, but the subject matter made it interesting. I suppose I thought I was just going to be entertained by this book, but about halfway through I really began to hate Robert Hanssen - what a despicable disgusting man. The amount of damage that he did to this country had more of an effect on me than I expected it to.

If you don't already know what happened, Robert Hanssen began voluntarily providing the KGB reams and reams of secrets starting in the mid 1980s. He wasn't grossly compensated for these secrets, $10K here $20K there. This continued until he was caught in February 2001.

The details of tradecraft of the spies and counterspies is interesting, but it is ultimately a disturbing look at the actions of a traitor.

A quick one day read.

Yeah the book was kinda weird. I liked the subject and material, but the presentation was pretty bizarre. Kept delving into his sex-life and stuff. I'd suggest if you haven't read it yet, to read See No Evil by Robert Baer. He was a CIA operative and it basically detailed what he did in the field, his problems with the way the program was handled and even some small political stuff. Was a great read, apparently he was the base character for Syriana.
 
Finished The Road this week, after seeing many recs on GAF... GREAT book. It was my first of his, though, and the sentence fragment parade really threw me at first, but I got into it. Finished the second half in one sitting.
 

Eric P

Member
re: a game of thrones

ok, NOW i get the hype

I'm on page 67 or so and i just want to devour this entire book in one impossible sitting
 

Alucard

Banned
Finished The Gods Themselves, and started this a couple of days ago...



I find myself labouring through it a little bit, despite it only being 150 pages. It's somewhat interesting, but nothing really stands out. The author brings up the fact that humans are now immortal, and does not explain at all why or how it happened. He basically glazes over it. I still have about 90 pages to go, so that might change, but so far I'm finding this to be a fairly mediocre experience.
 
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