Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 73731 times)

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Offline superdave

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #840 on: June 29, 2017, 07:21:15 PM »
The Handmaid's Tale

I should probably wait a day or two to write this, having just finished it today.  But my initial thought is that I liked the overall store, hated the writing style.  There were a lot of interesting themes such as, what is the minimum amount of things a person needs to feel free and happy, how easily our comfortable lives could be disrupted, how people can turn a blind eye to suffering if their circumstances are fine, and how people will always resist tyranny and slavery.

I felt a really strong connection between this book and Holocaust writings.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2017, 07:29:58 PM by superdave »

Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #841 on: August 11, 2017, 10:09:49 AM »
The Handmaid's Tale

I should probably wait a day or two to write this, having just finished it today.  But my initial thought is that I liked the overall store, hated the writing style.  There were a lot of interesting themes such as, what is the minimum amount of things a person needs to feel free and happy, how easily our comfortable lives could be disrupted, how people can turn a blind eye to suffering if their circumstances are fine, and how people will always resist tyranny and slavery.

I felt a really strong connection between this book and Holocaust writings.

This is my daughter's English lit set work for the second half of the year. She's in her penultimate year of school. She's just started it. I read it so long ago I can't remember any detail except that I loved it.I actually can't think of a single Atwood I haven't loved but the Oryx and Crake trilogy was my favourite.

Offline petrolpetal

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #842 on: August 11, 2017, 10:25:34 AM »
I get a bit lazy about choosing books so I often just go for award winners. Which is how I've come to be reading "A horse walked into a bar" by David Grossman. It won the 2017 Man Booker international prize. It was translated from Hebrew and is short. I usually avoid short books because books are expensive and I read fast.

Anyway it's not a comic book but its about a stand up comic giving a performance to which he's invited an old boyhood friend, a retired judge. He wants a judgement delivered. The performance turns out to reveal much uncomfortable stuff and his jokes are pretty edgy. It becomes clear that the judgement he wants is about his life not his show.

So the whole time, because so much painful truth is being revealed amongst the jokes, people are walking out and the boyhood friend is also contemplating leaving almost from the get go.

I am contemplating walking out of Grossman's 'show'. The book is disappointing. I don't get why it won. I hardly ever fail to finish a book but this one I might abandon. It just doesn't work.

Offline MikeHz

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #843 on: August 11, 2017, 10:27:37 AM »
Listened to Handmaids Tale last month, and loved the writing. Right now, I'm reading Ready Player One, which is also very good. I believe it's coming out as a movie next year.
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Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #844 on: August 11, 2017, 01:37:42 PM »
Listened to Handmaids Tale last month, and loved the writing. Right now, I'm reading Ready Player One, which is also very good. I believe it's coming out as a movie next year.

As an 80's teenager, Ready Player One completed me.
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Offline Drunken Idaho

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #845 on: August 11, 2017, 05:34:36 PM »
Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman - 9/10

I could scarcely have enjoyed this book any more: a bunch of entertaining Norse myths told with Gaiman's wit and skills of prose.

I knew almost all of the stories from the Myths and Legends podcast (retelling myths and legends in modern English is exactly what Jason Weiser does), which on one hand was awesome, since I could focus on the style of the storytelling, and the little differences Gaiman chose--and on the other hand kind of a bummer, because some of the stories take really interesting or hilarious turns, and it would have been fun to experience them for the first time coming from Gaiman instead of already knowing the punchline. 
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Offline superdave

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #846 on: August 14, 2017, 11:21:51 AM »
Thinking Fast and Slow

Hard to rate,  it was very informative and had a lot of useful tips for skeptics, but the writing was repetitive and stilted and sometimes the train of thought was hard to follow.  It might be more useful to find summaries or videos of the ideas in the book than to read the book itself. 


Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #847 on: August 14, 2017, 12:59:23 PM »
Thinking Fast and Slow

Hard to rate,  it was very informative and had a lot of useful tips for skeptics, but the writing was repetitive and stilted and sometimes the train of thought was hard to follow.  It might be more useful to find summaries or videos of the ideas in the book than to read the book itself.

Agreed. It was a struggle.
"When one has a limited ability or desire to think, one must fiercely defend the thoughts already had. You never know when the next one will come." Andrew Bridges

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #848 on: August 14, 2017, 01:40:57 PM »
Thinking Fast and Slow

Hard to rate,  it was very informative and had a lot of useful tips for skeptics, but the writing was repetitive and stilted and sometimes the train of thought was hard to follow.  It might be more useful to find summaries or videos of the ideas in the book than to read the book itself.

Agreed. It was a struggle.

I found it a great read, very informative.
"Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but, rather, to get out of trouble rapidly an have progeny."  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #849 on: August 14, 2017, 01:47:16 PM »
Thinking Fast and Slow

Hard to rate,  it was very informative and had a lot of useful tips for skeptics, but the writing was repetitive and stilted and sometimes the train of thought was hard to follow.  It might be more useful to find summaries or videos of the ideas in the book than to read the book itself.

Agreed. It was a struggle.

I found it a great read, very informative.

Me too, was genuinely shocked at times, but was just a slog for me.
"When one has a limited ability or desire to think, one must fiercely defend the thoughts already had. You never know when the next one will come." Andrew Bridges

Offline superdave

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #850 on: August 14, 2017, 02:01:40 PM »
I'd recommend it, but with the asterisk that it is more like a textbook than a novel.  You really need to read it in small chunks to digest the material.

Offline Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #851 on: August 15, 2017, 12:37:00 AM »
Did someone say more like a textbook than a novel? .....

Anathem by Neal Stephenson - 7/10

Essentially 900 pages of cosmology, philosophy, math, linguistics, and religion with a fun little sci fi story sprinkled on top.  I will admit this was the least thrilling of all Stephenson books I've read, but probably the most intricate.  World building sort of reminded me of later Dune books, especially with how powerful language and myth are at shaping human perception of the world around them.  I would NOT recommend this as anyone's first Stephenson book, but if you like his meandering approach to scientific topics it's worth checking out.  There were at least two "mind blown" moments, one of which has to do with a legitimate intersection between cosmology and the study of consciousness that I'd never heard about before.

Offline Ah.hell

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #852 on: August 15, 2017, 09:25:24 AM »
Text book wrapped in a novel, is why I gave up reading Tom Clancy, some time in the 90s.  Whichever book it was, 500 pages on physics and engineering of nuclear weapons and about 150 pages of plot. 

Offline Harry Black

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #853 on: August 27, 2017, 03:02:24 PM »
The Tower Crown by Michael J Sullivan 9/10

Just really solid high fantasy with a really basic plot.
Its a prequel to Theft of Swords but doesnt spoil anything, its about how the two main characters meet and is a really easy and compelling read full of interesting and clever characters, great action and a novel perspective on certain fantasy tropes.
It wont change your life but its definitely worth your time.

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #854 on: August 28, 2017, 03:40:33 PM »
Welcome to Nightvale: A Novel
7/10 for fans of the podcast
5/10 for cold readers

It expands Nightvale mythology only a little bit, but it does have all of the fun, quirky weirdness the podcast has.
The biggest issue I can see is it took nearly half the book to start the story as they just kept getting bogged down in repetitious weirdness that often felt weird for the sake of being weird. I know it's their bread and butter, but it's usually so clever on the podcast that it felt clunky here. Plus occasionally you get a sentence that's so difficult to parse you have to re-read it to catch the meaning. Just kind of clunky and really just means they lacked a good editor.
If you like the podcast and can borrow a copy from a friend it could be a quick enjoyable read. Not recommended at all if you want to get into Nightvale.
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