Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 64350 times)

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Offline Johnny Slick

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #825 on: March 30, 2017, 10:46:01 AM »


As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride by Cary Elwes - 8ish/10.
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I own this book, but have yet to read it. This made me a little more excited to move it up my list.

Likewise. I have it on audiobook.
I "read" it on audiobook myself and I think it might be the best way to "read" it. Cary Elwes does his own reading, with various other castmembers as well as William Goldman chiming in from time to time.
Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.

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Online Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #826 on: March 31, 2017, 10:35:19 PM »
I'm a little over halfway through The Song of the Dodo:  Island Biogeography in the Age of Extinction  by David Quammen, who is becoming one of my favorite science writers.  Despite being almost 20 years old it holds up very well.  Although it should be an obvious lesson to anyone familiar with story of Galapagos finches, studying island populations is basically a huge cheat sheet for learning the mechanisms that drive evolution.  Quammen points out how people get the lesson of the Galapagos completely backwards:  its scientific value does not come from it's uniqueness, but from the fact it is a typical representation of archipelago islands.  I was also unaware how the finch story itself has slowly evolved into mythology.  Darwin's work on honeycreepers was apparently a much greater influence on this theories.  But enough about the Galapagos, as it's only one of dozens of islands discussed.  There's species of lemur on Madagascar that can tolerate cyanide in bamboo, which ends up telling us a tremendous amount about both their migration history and their evolution.  I was reminded of the fact that there were no mosquitoes on Hawaii until some jackass European dumped out a cask of old drinking water.  The question of why some species become giants and some become pygmies is looked at closely.  The titular extinction of dodos is briefly mentioned, although the more interesting aspect is how it's extinction did/did not influence other species' distributions on Mauritius.  There's some stuff about Aborigine tribes is Tasmania that was heartbreaking.

Quammen travels to virtually every location he writes about, in some cases multiple times.  He's almost mauled by a komodo dragon, gets roped into the grunt work for some field ecologists, and puts cryptozooligists to shame by making honest attempts to locate some extinct species.  I think National Geographic and Outside magazine are funding most of his trips, and I get a sinking feeling when I wonder if journalists will still be able to afford these excursions in 20 years.  I'm sure the only way to really appreciate the beauty and scientific lessons of remote islands is to go there yourself, but getting information from a competent writer that has been there is the next best thing.

9/10 for now, maybe higher if there are some profound insights later in the book.

Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #827 on: April 01, 2017, 09:30:08 AM »
Age of Myth: Book One of The Legends of the First Empire by Michael J. Sullivan  8/10

What I thought would be a throw-away fantasy novel turned into an interesting page-turner. It hooked me. I read an article about the author, he has an interesting writing style. He writes the whole series of his stories before he releases them to the publisher, so every book is already written. It allows him to make connections between stories that give a depth to them.

I recommend, it scratches that itch.
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Offline Harry Black

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #828 on: April 22, 2017, 03:59:09 PM »
The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss 7/10
Rothfuss has a way of keeping you reading through sheer force of prose.
His writting is always enjoyable and some bits warrant immediate rereading due to their sheer beauty.
But.
Its not really a story as such. He says so himself and apologises before and after. Its a very short book (less than 150 pages), and was meant to be a short story, but nothing really happens in it.
The main character is Auri, a bit character from The Kingkiller Chronicle, and its a look into her mind and priorities as she goes about discovering and naming things in the sewer in which she lives.
If you have an afternoon and are bored of standard narrative then give it a go. I found it enjoyable but ultimately unsatisfying.

 

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