Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 64351 times)

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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Rate the last book you just read
« on: October 12, 2011, 12:55:25 AM »
Inspired by the similar movie thread which I think is awesome... in a few words, rate (by quality, enjoyment factor, whatever) the most recent book you've finished.

I had fallen off reading for a very long time, (dissertation withdrawal, I think) but a Borders near me went out of business, and I picked up over a hundred bucks worth of deeply discounted books. I started reading again, and couldn't be happier. Since books may not be as well known as movies, I recommend linking to Amazon for further info and reviews of the book. I finished 3 books in rapid succession, so I'll start the thread off with them:

--------------------------------------------------------

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Nonfiction, chronicles the history of human civilization, addresses questions of racial and societal dominance
10/10
You've probably read this already. Took me a long time to get through it; I read the following books during "breaks" from GG&S. It's very dry writing, and there is an incomprehensible amount of information in it. That said... I felt like each sentence I read was a window into the past, and I gained SO much knowledge from this book (even if I could only absorb a fraction of what was contained within) and such a better big picture of the history of humanity that I loved every second of it. Everybody in the world should read this book.

One Second After by William Forstchen
Fiction, modern post-apocalyptic scenario.
7/10
Was a very fast read. My favorite non-zombie post apocalyptic tale.

True Grit by Charles Portis
Fiction, western
8/10
The Coen movie (saw it first) followed this story VERY closely. The book was a quick read, and a true pleasure. Uniquely matter-o-fact perspective in an adventure story.

**bonus**

I Am America, and So Can You by Stephen Colbert
Fiction, satire
6/10
Listened to it on audiobook on a very recent (very) long drive. It was funny, with the whole thing read very well by Colbert completely in his TV show's character along with some excellent interludes by random folks (celebs, his mother, random folks). I think I might have enjoyed it more in book form, and in short snippets... I got a little tired of his character by the end after listening to it straight through. I did enjoy it all the way through, though, and I'm glad I listened to it.

...I just started a very very long nonfiction that will probably take me a while to get through, though I might throw a couple short fictions into my reading diet here and there. What have YOU read lately?
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Offline moj

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2011, 04:57:35 AM »
moonwalking with Einstein  9/10 fucking fascinating! It took me way to long to read because I keep getting side tracked with other books. Not that this one was bad, it was great, it's just a little slow in some places and I normally read more then one book at a time. I highly recommend. It's all about memory and the people who compete in memory competitions.

apathy and other small victories 9/10 I'm not finished yet but 86% done. This book is fucking hilarious. It's a fast paced fictional book about a jaded 20something who drink's a lot of cheap beer. Yes this could be any 20something but made me LOL a lot.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2011, 11:44:24 AM »
Almost picked up Moonwalking with Einstein at the aforementioned Borders, but it wasn't so discounted and I was already spending a bunch of cash... will have to when I make it through my current pile.
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Offline MikeHz

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2011, 04:04:37 PM »
Wilbur Smith's "Birds of Prey." Outstanding historical novel, as is just about everything the guy's ever written.
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2011, 04:15:20 PM »
Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey

8.5/10

Blurb:
Quote
Welcome to the future. Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer, Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

This was a perfect melding of detective story and space opera.  I liked it a lot (and ended up staying up past my bedtime reading more than once).
Big Mike
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2011, 04:31:23 PM »
Leviathan Wakes by James SA Corey

8.5/10

Blurb:
Quote
Welcome to the future. Humanity has colonized the solar system – Mars, the Moon, the Asteroid Belt and beyond – but the stars are still out of our reach.

Jim Holden is XO of an ice miner making runs from the rings of Saturn to the mining stations of the Belt. When he and his crew stumble upon a derelict ship, The Scopuli, they find themselves in possession of a secret they never wanted. A secret that someone is willing to kill for – and kill on a scale unfathomable to Jim and his crew. War is brewing in the system unless he can find out who left the ship and why.

Detective Miller is looking for a girl. One girl in a system of billions, but her parents have money and money talks. When the trail leads him to The Scopuli and rebel sympathizer, Holden, he realizes that this girl may be the key to everything.

Holden and Miller must thread the needle between the Earth government, the Outer Planet revolutionaries, and secretive corporations – and the odds are against them. But out in the Belt, the rules are different, and one small ship can change the fate of the universe.

This was a perfect melding of detective story and space opera.  I liked it a lot (and ended up staying up past my bedtime reading more than once).

Adding to the list, that sounds awesome!!
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Offline T.A.P.O.R.

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 06:41:31 PM »
Uriel's Machine: Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas 2/10 (2 because it has some pictures of rocks).

Steaming turd disguised as a science book.

Ancient aliens = angels from the bible.
Their evidence was based on accounts of the biblical character Enoch.

The into to the book starts with complaints about people rejecting the book with "you can't do science this way" comments.

Well it's not scientific at all.
Makes wild claims of simultaneous technological adaptations world wide eg: irrigation and farming.
We all know that there were plenty of hunter gatherer societies in recent history, but they claim it all happened 15k years ago, oh and stone tools from 2 million years ago.

Hogwash!

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 11:39:02 PM »
Uriel's Machine: Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas 2/10 (2 because it has some pictures of rocks).

Steaming turd disguised as a science book.

Ancient aliens = angels from the bible.
Their evidence was based on accounts of the biblical character Enoch.

The into to the book starts with complaints about people rejecting the book with "you can't do science this way" comments.

Well it's not scientific at all.
Makes wild claims of simultaneous technological adaptations world wide eg: irrigation and farming.
We all know that there were plenty of hunter gatherer societies in recent history, but they claim it all happened 15k years ago, oh and stone tools from 2 million years ago.

Hogwash!

ugh. Did you actually make it all the way through?
Strange women lying in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government.

Offline T.A.P.O.R.

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 11:45:56 PM »
Uriel's Machine: Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas 2/10 (2 because it has some pictures of rocks).

Steaming turd disguised as a science book.

Ancient aliens = angels from the bible.
Their evidence was based on accounts of the biblical character Enoch.

The into to the book starts with complaints about people rejecting the book with "you can't do science this way" comments.

Well it's not scientific at all.
Makes wild claims of simultaneous technological adaptations world wide eg: irrigation and farming.
We all know that there were plenty of hunter gatherer societies in recent history, but they claim it all happened 15k years ago, oh and stone tools from 2 million years ago.

Hogwash!

ugh. Did you actually make it all the way through?

No. Since each chapter had a summary/conclusion, I just ended up reading them and going back a few pages for those WTF?! moments. I spent the whole time sliding between disbelief and anger at the stupidity.

Did I mention that I bought it at a closing down book store?
It was one of the last books left in the science section. For a reason.

Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2011, 11:55:02 PM »
Did I mention that I bought it at a closing down book store?
It was one of the last books left in the science section. For a reason.

That it was one of the last books left brings me a small amount of joy.  :D
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Offline T.A.P.O.R.

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 12:05:11 AM »
Did I mention that I bought it at a closing down book store?
It was one of the last books left in the science section. For a reason.

That it was one of the last books left brings me a small amount of joy.  :D

The other was a book on dog grooming.
I should've been more suspicious.

Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2011, 04:04:41 PM »
I'm going to include AudioBooks

Orcs by Stan Nicholls, read by John Lee

7.5/10

Blurb:
Quote
Combining the acclaimed trilogy of books, Bodyguard of Lightning, Legion of Thunder, and Warriors of the Tempest, plus a new short story previously only available in a small press anthology, this is the entire story of Struke and his band of Orcs. Fantasy's bad guys finally their own say in this fast moving, action packed, tongue-in-cheek tale of Orc valor and human treachery.

I enjoyed this one.  It's a very straighforward Macguffin-based quest story, which isn't a bad thing.  Entertaining action scenes, a nice mix of sterotypes and unique characters, and a world that is gradually revealed to be more complicated than you thought at first.  Also, F-bombs!

It is pretty simple, and isn't going to expand your mind.  Pure fluff, but good fluff.  I liked it, and don't begrudge the credit I spent on it (which is my standard for success).

The narrator is one of the very good ones.  He's the same guy that reads Peter Hamilton's Commonwealth books, so I've heard him before in a very different setting.
Big Mike
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Offline amysrevenge

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2011, 04:16:10 PM »
I'm also going to include graphic novels

The Life Eaters by David Brin, art by Scott Hampton

4.5/10

Publishers Weekly review (this is what you get at Amazon):
Quote
In 1986, science fiction writer Brin (Startide Rising; The Kiln People) published a novella, "Thor Meets Captain America," an alternate-history story in which the Nazis win WWII by enlisting the aid of the Norse gods (except for Loki, who assists the American resistance). With an understandable title change, this graphic novel expands on that story and presents a sequel to it. There are lots of imaginative details here: battles between jet fighters and gigantic Norse birds; a submarine carrying a crew of mythological dwarfs; and some clever speculation on the way that history might have turned in the past 60 years (e.g., the "Khmer Bleu"?). But there's also a certain amount of heavy-handed preachiness: an inappropriately clunky vision of ash-induced global warming; a dreadfully sappy scene in which leaders of every religion put aside their differences to defend the planet; and a climactic scene in which a human is tempted by divine power that's straight out of a mid-1960s superhero comic. Fantasy artist Hampton is at his best when he gets to illustrate larger-than-life images (such as the gods or Yggdrasil, the World Treeor even the devastation of the Asian killing fields), if a bit less adept at the book's punch-'em-up action scenes and talking-heads sequences.

I grabbed this one from the local public library.  It was OK at best.  The idea was kind of neat, but it didn't quite work for me the way it could have.  I agree with the above review of the artwork especially - sometimes marvelous, sometimes just messy.

I'm glad I didn't spend my own money on it.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 04:18:24 PM by amysrevenge »
Big Mike
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Offline pandamonium

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2011, 04:19:27 PM »
Thud! - Terry Pratchett. Can I give it an 11 out of 10? :P I'd give that to most of the Discworld series, though.

The book I'm currently reading is Divided Allegiance by Elizabeth Moon. It's interesting in that the female protagonist is a soldier. There's no girling her up or anything. I like it. The story is fairly standard medivalish fantasy, with some interesting politics going on. The politics are from the perspective of a soldier who has no investment in them, so Moon only gives you glimpses of what's going on in the larger world. It's an interesting method. Right now, I'm giving it a B-.
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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2011, 04:26:47 PM »
Sword of Truth series
(currently on book 6 of 11)
7/10

I've read all of these before, and recently decided to reread them.  It is solid fantasy, with a pretty rich world built with functioning political structure and a working (albeit sparesly detailed) magical system.

Too often the story falls back on the hero just "knowing" what to do with no real explanation why, but all in all it is a good fantasy.

About midway through the series, the story kind of becomes heavy handed propaganda on the superiority of capitalism over communism, but whatevs.  I still like it

 

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