Author Topic: Rate the last book you just read  (Read 86556 times)

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Offline Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #930 on: January 29, 2018, 03:34:39 PM »
Crash Overdrive by Zoe Quinn - 9/10

How this woman has an ounce of compassion for humanity left is beyond me.

Writing style was a little rocky at first, but I warmed up to it eventually.  Very convincing arguments that we need more socially-savvy people in the tech industry and tech-savvy people in the government and legal system.  Plus plenty of gory details about the worst of Gamergate, if you want to feel sick to your stomach.   :P

Offline Jeremy's Sea

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #931 on: January 29, 2018, 05:16:47 PM »
Empire of Imagination: Gary Gygax and the Birth of Dungeons & Dragons
2d6/10

I started playing probably a few years after Gary was ousted from TSR and I remember hearing there was some drama about him leaving the company, but I of course didn't realize how shady it actually was! I also found it startling Gary was a JW. As devoid of Christianity as the game system was and packed full of pagan and demonic creatures, I would have thought that stuff was taboo. Maybe in the end it was mostly cultural for him, but for a religion that considers xmas and halloween dangerous.
At the end of the day it did seem Gary got some bad rolls of the dice, but it also felt like he was kind of an angry nerd who didn't really want too much responsibility in life, and giving away your power away like that really does invite in the wrong sort of people. It also shows how once in a lifetime creating something like D&D is and he never recaptured that.
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Offline Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #932 on: January 29, 2018, 06:06:12 PM »
Artemis, by Andy Weir. Pretty good, distinctive style.

I hear this is his second book?

Is that sarcasm?  The Martian was his debut, and it was one of my favorite books of the decade.
Yes, it was sarcasm.  :D
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Offline Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #933 on: February 06, 2018, 10:19:20 AM »
Wyrd Sisters has now taken the crown as my favorite Discworld book so far.   :)


Offline JackAWatt

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #934 on: February 07, 2018, 12:22:59 PM »
Islam and the Future of Tolerance 9/10

I enjoy Harris' writing style, it is easy to understand while being substantive. A worthwhile book as an introduction to Islam.

Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #935 on: February 07, 2018, 12:36:26 PM »
Devil in the White City - Erik Larson

History of the Columbian Exposition of 1893 (Chicago World's Fair) and the parallel story of an early serial killer, Dr. H.H. Holmes.

I enjoyed it, and I recommend it.  It was much more a history of the time in Chicago and the World's Fair, than it was about the murders.  If you are looking a true-crime serial killer book, this is not it.


ETA: 7/10 points
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Offline Louie

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #936 on: February 11, 2018, 04:01:24 PM »
Touch by Claire North (the adult fiction pseudonym of YA-author Catherine Webb) - 9/10

Had high hopes for this one after thoroughly enjoying The End of the Day.

Kepler is a 'ghost', once a human, but now an entity that can switch from person to person by touch, taking over their bodies. It tries to take good care of its hosts, who retain no memory of being possessed for weeks, months or even years, leaving them better off than it found them. When one of its hosts is brutally and unnecessarily slain by a nebulous organisation that hunts ghosts, Kepler sets out to find out why - and to avenge her death.

Very original premise, well-handled, solid plot and beautiful, sharp and evocative writing. Tore through it in two sittings.
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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #937 on: February 13, 2018, 07:00:52 AM »
Artemis (Andy Weir) - 7/10

Pefectly fine book with some interesting exploration of what a first moon base might be like, but nothing about it really blew me away.  Certainly nothing like The Martian. Definitely would recommend it to any fan of The Martian, but it's not anything you need to put at the top of your list or anything

Offline superdave

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #938 on: February 13, 2018, 10:02:02 AM »
The Mis-education of the Negro-Carter Woodson
I read this after asking a coworker for recommendations for books on African American history and experience.  It's an interesting take on the state of education in the African American community and sadly still accurate despite being written in 1933.  It's more of a long transcribed speech than a book though.  the parts I found most interesting were discussions on the importance of teaching African American students about their own history and achievements.  He makes a very strong case for their necessity.  I also found the discussion of the role of religion interesting.  He take's a strong stand against hypocritical preachers but stresses the importance of the church as a community center and place to learn leadership.


The Lord of the Flies  -10/10
I never read this before because pop culture had spoiled the plot, but I found it fairly gripping.  The descent in savagery was much more believable than I figured it would be, and I liked how my feelings about certain characters changed as they grew with the plot.  The message is as important as ever.  I would like to see a version of this story with a more heterogeneous group but I can't fault Golding for setting things up as he did. 
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Online Neutral Milk

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #939 on: February 19, 2018, 06:48:34 PM »
Persepolis Rising - James SA Corey - 7th book of The Expanse series

7.5/10

I really enjoyed this book. Probably the book I enjoyed the most throughout the book (I find that they usually lag quite a bit in the middle section) than any other in the series besides the novellas (those benefit from being short enough that they are action-packed throughout).

It starts a whole new phase of the series a few decades after the events in the previous books with the same main characters (the ones that are still alive anyway).

I would have given the book an 8 or even 8.5 but it didn't conclude as solidly as I would have liked. Like I said it's the first book in what is clearly a new phase that will probably be the last of the series, but I still felt like the end was a bit of a disappointment. Fine, but not great.

Offline Sawyer

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #940 on: February 27, 2018, 04:55:47 PM »
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland - 6/10

First, the good stuff.  This is prototypical Stephenson.  It takes seemingly disparate ideas in hard science, scif-fi, history, psychology, economics, and in this case fantasy and weaves them all together into a coherent plot.  Once you understand and accept the rules of whatever crazy technology is being built/discovered/manipulated, it is exciting to try to guess where things or going next.  Or in the case of this book, when things are going next.  I don't think pairing Neal with another author really helps him flesh out characters or dialogue any better, but at least it's not a hindrance (although looking at Mongoloid reviews I'm unsure why anyone thinks author collaborations in this genre are a good idea).

The fun aspects of the book are balanced out by two things I found absolutely infuriating.  The first is the depiction of military bureaucracy and incompetence, which somehow occupies an uncanny valley I did not even know existed.  I would have been fine with some completely over-the-top, shoot first ask questions later type characters, or perhaps encountering Catch-22/Strangelove scenarios where strategic logic is distorted to the absurd.  You get neither here.  Just a handful of generals with zero creativity or strategic vision who were lucky enough to green-light the most amazing piece of technology ever invented and will now ignore every piece of data possible on how it works.  There's a lieutenant-colonel that was so terrible at communicating with the research team that I seriously wondered if he was supposed to be autistic, but instead was just suppose to be a disposable buffoon.  What I think were allusions to questioning atomic scientists and planning the war in Iraq felt shoehorned in rather than a natural consequence of military culture.

The other problem is the
(click to show/hide)

I guess read it if you're a Stephenson addict, but be prepared to be annoyed.

Offline Swagomatic

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #941 on: February 27, 2018, 06:31:03 PM »
The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland - 6/10

First, the good stuff.  This is prototypical Stephenson.  It takes seemingly disparate ideas in hard science, scif-fi, history, psychology, economics, and in this case fantasy and weaves them all together into a coherent plot.  Once you understand and accept the rules of whatever crazy technology is being built/discovered/manipulated, it is exciting to try to guess where things or going next.  Or in the case of this book, when things are going next.  I don't think pairing Neal with another author really helps him flesh out characters or dialogue any better, but at least it's not a hindrance (although looking at Mongoloid reviews I'm unsure why anyone thinks author collaborations in this genre are a good idea).

The fun aspects of the book are balanced out by two things I found absolutely infuriating.  The first is the depiction of military bureaucracy and incompetence, which somehow occupies an uncanny valley I did not even know existed.  I would have been fine with some completely over-the-top, shoot first ask questions later type characters, or perhaps encountering Catch-22/Strangelove scenarios where strategic logic is distorted to the absurd.  You get neither here.  Just a handful of generals with zero creativity or strategic vision who were lucky enough to green-light the most amazing piece of technology ever invented and will now ignore every piece of data possible on how it works.  There's a lieutenant-colonel that was so terrible at communicating with the research team that I seriously wondered if he was supposed to be autistic, but instead was just suppose to be a disposable buffoon.  What I think were allusions to questioning atomic scientists and planning the war in Iraq felt shoehorned in rather than a natural consequence of military culture.

The other problem is the
(click to show/hide)

I guess read it if you're a Stephenson addict, but be prepared to be annoyed.
Agreed, I enjoyed it, but the inconsistency was a problem.
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Offline drwfishesman

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #942 on: February 28, 2018, 11:46:19 AM »
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. 8/10

A classic and interesting, but would it have killed him to put a female character other than the shrew wife in the first book? I guess it was 1951 when written, but still.

Premise is great, and how he shows the evolution of the Foundation is really interesting when you look at empires from history.

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Offline SQ the ΣΛ/IGMд

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #943 on: March 01, 2018, 11:02:57 AM »
The Lord of the Flies  -10/10
I never read this before because pop culture had spoiled the plot, but I found it fairly gripping.  The descent in savagery was much more believable than I figured it would be, and I liked how my feelings about certain characters changed as they grew with the plot.  The message is as important as ever.  I would like to see a version of this story with a more heterogeneous group but I can't fault Golding for setting things up as he did.

I read this book many many years ago and forgot how good it was. I'll have to read it again.
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Online Ah.hell

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Re: Rate the last book you just read
« Reply #944 on: March 01, 2018, 11:41:44 AM »
The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. 8/10

A classic and interesting, but would it have killed him to put a female character other than the shrew wife in the first book? I guess it was 1951 when written, but still.

Premise is great, and how he shows the evolution of the Foundation is really interesting when you look at empires from history.


My first exposure to Sci-fi was my grandfather's from the 30-50s.  Its amazing how much blatant sexism I just didn't notice as a 12 year old.  I've tried reading the Lensmen series as an adult, yeesh.  I didn't notice the racism because typically weren't any non white characters.

 

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