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Media => Books => Topic started by: pandamonium on January 04, 2012, 10:12:12 PM

Title: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on January 04, 2012, 10:12:12 PM
For books that you want to talk about, but not necessarily make a new thread for. List thread is right here. (http://sguforums.com/index.php/topic,39681.0.html)
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Calinthalus on January 05, 2012, 07:51:28 AM
Thanks Panda.

This year, I'm going to move forward on my quest to read the entire Discworld series in order.  Likewise, in honor of the passing of Anne McCaffrey, I'm re-reading the Brains & Brawn series and might go on to re-read the Dragonriders of Pern this year.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: stonesean on January 05, 2012, 09:34:43 AM
Holy Crap!

Anne McCaffrey died!?   :'(

So, the last living female  Grand Master  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damon_Knight_Memorial_Grand_Master_Award) is Ursula K. Le Guin?
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on January 14, 2012, 08:04:50 PM
By far my latest start date.  :(

A1. Stranger in a Strange Land
Excellent choice, Skeptress. It's really interesting.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: stonesean on January 15, 2012, 08:14:16 AM
So last week I read "Bossypants" by Tina Fey, and "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" by Mindy Kaling.

My wife got em on her kindle, and I snagged it from her.

Fey's book is interesting to me as a long time fan of Second City and Saturday Night Live.  (of which she was a large part the last couple decades) Kaling's book is more just sort of a set of funny essays, some which deal with "The Office" and some which are just funny stories.

I highly recommend "Bossypants" and if you are bored and looking for a laugh, you could do far worse than "Is Everyone Hanging Out......"
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Guillermo on January 27, 2012, 10:56:27 AM
I want to make a list, but I have limited reading time, and on top of that I am a slow reader. :(
My sights are now on Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan. I was going to read Through the Looking Glass, but I am no longer interested after being disappointment with Alice in Wonderland.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Avarice on January 27, 2012, 03:39:58 PM
I'm listening to Hitch-22 on tape right now. It's 15 glorious disks long.

I always liked Christopher Hitchens, but he lived a much more depressing life than I realized. That stuff about how his mother died was rough IMO.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on January 28, 2012, 08:04:45 PM
I'm listening to Hitch-22 on tape right now. It's 15 glorious disks long.
They still make those?
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Avarice on January 28, 2012, 08:27:22 PM
I meant on CD.

I'm just used to calling audiobooks "books on tape". Must be a midwestern thing.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on January 29, 2012, 03:08:54 AM
ah. i called them that up until a couple years ago. i actually have several books on audicassette. i haven't listened to them all, but i should.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: stretcher on January 29, 2012, 04:37:02 AM
I randomly purchased The Woman In Black because I wanted a ghost story. Later I saw Daniel Radcliffe on some talk show promoting the film adaptation. So, cool, I thought - first I can finish the book then see the movie with one of my favorite actors. Booyaakasha.

The Discworld series is something I want to get started on but it's intimidating. And since I'm a completionist it scares me - all those books. The writing style and humor, is it similar to Pratchett's other works like Good Omens?
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Guillermo on January 29, 2012, 07:57:55 AM
The writing style and humor, is it similar to Pratchett's other works like Good Omens?

After reading two books from discworld and the sandman series. I have noticed that Good Omen combines both styles. You can barely notice the contribution of both authors. I think the styles are slightly different.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: David E. on January 29, 2012, 08:52:48 PM
I randomly purchased The Woman In Black because I wanted a ghost story. Later I saw Daniel Radcliffe on some talk show promoting the film adaptation. So, cool, I thought - first I can finish the book then see the movie with one of my favorite actors. Booyaakasha.


Oh, I will have to check that book out.  The movie trailer looked very good.  Old House Horror always gets to me. 
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Calinthalus on February 08, 2012, 01:59:07 PM
I just finished Superfreakonomics.  I didn't like it as well as the first one...except:
(click to show/hide)
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Calinthalus on February 16, 2012, 03:18:12 PM
Just finished Breakfast of Champions by Vonnegut.

To quote Simon Tam, "This must be what going mad feels like."
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Stella456 on February 26, 2012, 03:05:50 AM
decided to re-read "The Missionary Position" as a personal tribute and just started "Arguably" also by Hitchens. Listened to Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation" and "The Atheist Guide to Christmas" on audiobook. Really enjoyed both of them - they made a 12 hour drive quite pleasant.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on February 26, 2012, 11:23:55 PM
I need to read The Missionary Position.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: wastrel on April 16, 2012, 02:36:17 PM
I was a voracious reader through HS, but I sorta stopped reading since I've entered the real world.

I know have roughyl 3 hours a day on public transit, and so I bought a Kindle to pass the time.

I forgot how much I loved reading.  So I'm giving the 50 books thing a go this year.

Last week I read the Hunger Games Trilogy.  Decent reads, even if I wasn't the target demo.  A good story and characters you could root for.

Currently rereading the HP series.  Almost done with book 1.

I figure I'll tackle some of the longer series I love or want to read, like Song of Fire and Ice series, the Wheel of Time, etc.

I'll dribble in some other one offs, probably stick to some of the new PRatchett books I've fallen behind on, or maybe a novel here or there.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Grimner on April 18, 2012, 06:03:23 PM
Just finished 'Why we get sick: the new science of darwinian medicine'.

Good read, perhaps because I have a weak spot for well-founded speculation aka hard philosophy. The authors are making a pretty good argument for considering medicine in the light of evolution which apparently is not done much today. I found it of special interest when they suggested that psychiatry might benefit from such an approach. Looking at feelings from an evolutionary angle is bound to have a few surprises - if it where to happen.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Guillermo on April 19, 2012, 09:09:07 AM
I just finished listening to GRRM's A Game of Thrones. Pretty good read (Listen). I love the changing POV style. The messed up houses are fun to root for and follow. Can't wait to finish the series.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: wastrel on April 30, 2012, 01:50:24 PM
I was able to blow through the Hunger Games trilogy and the HP series this month, but most of the books were pretty short.

I've decided to give WoT another go.  I am re-reading the last book I read/listened to, and will try to complete out the series over the next eight or so weeks.  I know they get bogged down around book five, but I'm hoping I'll be able to complete them by mid to late June.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 03, 2012, 12:48:59 AM
I've been considering giving WoT another go. The problem is that I had them on one of the computers which died and so I'd have to actually buy them this time. :P I'm considering it, though.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 24, 2012, 03:22:18 AM
I've just started reading Black Swan by Nassim Taleb. I'm a little bothered by his ego, and his overgeneralization, but the idea that some things are fundamentally unpredictable is compelling (this isn't my first encounter with the idea-I've read several pop sci books on quantum mechanics and half of one on chaos theory). I'm willing to wade through Taleb's pompousity to glean more information about uncertainty.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 24, 2012, 06:51:30 PM
I've been reading The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett.  How long do you think it will take for me to get caught up with all the Discworld books?
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: wastrel on May 24, 2012, 10:25:51 PM
I've been reading The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett.  How long do you think it will take for me to get caught up with all the Discworld books?

They are quick reads. You can get through them quickly
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: WC on May 25, 2012, 01:27:14 AM
Year of the Flood currently. I have a stack right here, quarter through. Will highlight recommends and mehs when I get around to it... So sleepy. Oh, and also have to work tomorrow... Hey, it's Towel Day!
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 25, 2012, 12:27:50 PM


They are quick reads. You can get through them quickly
I wish they would make a Discworld TV series.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: WC on May 25, 2012, 08:34:06 PM
I'm listening to Hitch-22 on tape right now. It's 15 glorious disks long.

I always liked Christopher Hitchens, but he lived a much more depressing life than I realized. That stuff about how his mother died was rough IMO.
Hitch-22 (audiobook) is tremendous.

God is not Great (audiobook) is also awesome. Chapter 11 is my favorite (specifically tracks 63, 64, 65, and 66 on the CDs. A brutally accurate history of Peep Stone Joe's woolgathering, and a touching nod to Fawn Brodie and her work).
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 25, 2012, 08:50:36 PM
I'm listening to Hitch-22 on tape right now. It's 15 glorious disks long.

I always liked Christopher Hitchens, but he lived a much more depressing life than I realized. That stuff about how his mother died was rough IMO.
Hitch-22 (audiobook) is tremendous.

God is not Great (audiobook) is also awesome. Chapter 11 is my favorite (specifically tracks 63, 64, 65, and 66 on the CDs. A brutally accurate history of Peep Stone Joe's woolgathering, and a touching nod to Fawn Brodie and her work).
I had a digital copy of Hitch-22, but didn't get through it. I'll have to check out the audiobook. New credits should be here.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: WC on May 26, 2012, 12:52:05 AM
Holy crap, why does Atwood end books the way she does? Not cool man, not cool.

Grrrrr. freaking Canadian liberal with her mumble burble grrr
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Johnny Slick on May 26, 2012, 02:24:42 AM
I was able to blow through the Hunger Games trilogy and the HP series this month, but most of the books were pretty short.

I've decided to give WoT another go.  I am re-reading the last book I read/listened to, and will try to complete out the series over the next eight or so weeks.  I know they get bogged down around book five, but I'm hoping I'll be able to complete them by mid to late June.
I just started Hunger Games. It's f'ing awesome! I wish books were this cool when I was a kid. :(
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 26, 2012, 02:44:05 PM
I was able to blow through the Hunger Games trilogy and the HP series this month, but most of the books were pretty short.

I've decided to give WoT another go.  I am re-reading the last book I read/listened to, and will try to complete out the series over the next eight or so weeks.  I know they get bogged down around book five, but I'm hoping I'll be able to complete them by mid to late June.
I just started Hunger Games. It's f'ing awesome! I wish books were this cool when I was a kid. :(
The first twenty or so books of KA Applegate's Animorph series were pretty awesome. :P They dealt with heavy moral issues and stuff. Also they turned into animals. :D
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 26, 2012, 04:09:18 PM
Don't forget the Goosebump books.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 26, 2012, 05:27:59 PM
Don't forget the Goosebump books.
I had the whole collection, and they were donated (with my permission) to a cousin of mine. I hope his spine was tingled.

What's the name of that series that retold urban legends/campfire tales? It was illustrated, and the covers were typically predominantly black and white with red trim? Those are the best.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Caffiene on May 26, 2012, 07:17:54 PM
Don't forget the Goosebump books.
I had the whole collection, and they were donated (with my permission) to a cousin of mine. I hope his spine was tingled.

I rescued my collection just the other month from my dad's place. :D
Theyre all sitting in a box now... I think Ive got about 20 or 30 of them.

Might also be 1 or 2 animorphs books in there somewhere.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 28, 2012, 09:36:34 PM
Other books I own but haven't gotten around to reading yet that I need to are Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 28, 2012, 11:29:14 PM
Other books I own but haven't gotten around to reading yet that I need to are Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire and The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
You for definitely need to read Out of Oz! I rated it almost as a good as Wicked and it made me want to reread the series.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 29, 2012, 12:02:46 AM
I don't understand why so many Wicked fans despise Son of a Witch.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 29, 2012, 02:58:56 AM
I don't understand why so many Wicked fans despise Son of a Witch.
If I remember correctly, I felt that there were some big issues with continuity between the first and second books... but maybe it's just because there was such a big gap between my reading of each book. I didn't hate the book, but I didn't really care about any of the characters, or what happened to them. Granted, this was years ago and I might feel differently after a second read.

Son of a Witch is pretty different from Wicked, too. I don't remember it continuing much of the politics that Maguire set up in Wicked. Honestly, you don't really get any loose ends tied up until Out of Oz. Of course, Maguire makes sure to create more loose ends as he's tying up ones from previous books, the clever bastard. I definitely felt more for the characters in this book than in the previous two books.

A Lion Among Men was decent, but I listened to the audiobook with half an ear and I think I missed a lot of the key parts.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 29, 2012, 03:37:09 AM
I personally enjoyed Son of a Witch a lot and in some ways I felt like it was an improvement over Wicked as blasphemous as that may be for me to say.  I liked Liir's character and seeing Maguire tackle an original character of his own creation and I liked Liir's journey to find his purpose and seeing how he matures throughout the story.  I also liked that Maguire actually explored Liir's bisexuality in the novel with the introduction of Trism.  While Wicked lightly touched on homoerotic themes, it always felt like it was there more for shock value and fanservice rather than treated as a serious relationship outside of some possible femslash implications between Elphaba and Galinda for one whole paragraph.  I also thought the nun characters in the Saint Aelphaba church were very funny and clever characters and I felt like Son of a Witch had better pacing than Wicked did.  Wicked was good for Maguire's first novel but it felt like he was jumping around a lot between different points in Elphaba's life and it seemed like they were always told from the perspective of people who knew Elphaba rather than Elphaba herself.  With Son of a Witch though, the pacing seems more refined and focused and we actually see the story following Liir rather than people who know Liir.  Another aspect about Son of a Witch I liked was that he had more references to Baum's canon such as a brief cameo of Tip and Mombi in one scene.  Have you read Maguire's new book, The Next Queen of Heaven?
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 29, 2012, 04:32:52 AM
I haven't. *googles*

Free sample for Kindle ftw. To be honest, though, I have a huge backlog of books I want to read. I think I'll tackle them on my weekend (Wed/Thurs).
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: MikeHz on May 29, 2012, 10:27:27 AM
I'm not usually a King fan, but I'm enjoying the hell out of "11/22/63."
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Neon Genesis on May 29, 2012, 12:41:27 PM
For my non-fiction books, I'm reading Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman and Re-Claiming the Bible For A Non-Religious World by Bishop Spong.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on May 29, 2012, 03:24:32 PM
I haven't touched Black Swan in a week; maybe I'll switch between Wicked and Black Swan on my days off. I don't have anything better to do, really. :P
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Grimner on June 26, 2012, 12:33:00 PM
Wicked - great read, thanks Discussion Thread

Nailed - just when you thought Jesus could not be buried deeper and an inspiration to seek out some really ancient writers.

The gods themselves by Issac Asimov: amazing run of the dirty laundery behind science. Pretty sure it is based on historic events. Nasty when you replace "electron pump" with "global warming". Lovely aliens. One of the older sci-fi books that feels modern.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: wastrel on June 26, 2012, 01:01:51 PM
Reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (about 65% through), and it is enjoyable I guess.....but I'm just not all impressed.  So far 6/10.  I hope the ending is awesome.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on June 26, 2012, 10:03:45 PM
Reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (about 65% through), and it is enjoyable I guess.....but I'm just not all impressed.  So far 6/10.  I hope the ending is awesome.
Your opinions are worthless to me. >:( >:( >:(

The ending is pretty awesome, imo. But I've only read the book, oh, five or six times.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: wastrel on June 29, 2012, 12:03:47 PM
Reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (about 65% through), and it is enjoyable I guess.....but I'm just not all impressed.  So far 6/10.  I hope the ending is awesome.
Your opinions are worthless to me. >:( >:( >:(

The ending is pretty awesome, imo. But I've only read the book, oh, five or six times.

So I'll rate it 8/10 after finishing.

It is a good story, and had a lot of clever bits (though I felt like the cleverness and wit was lacking when compared to Pratchett or Adams), but there was so many gaps in understanding the world I felt a bit unfulfilled.

I'm sure the intention was to make London Below seem mysterious and magical, but making stuff weird just so it's weird with no real explanation of mechanics just isn't my cuppa.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on June 29, 2012, 10:09:29 PM
Iirc, Gaiman pulled a lot from English lore. So if you knew more about English mythology, you'd have gotten more out of it. He did something similar in Stardust.

Honestly, I like that he didn't spell out everything. The reader was as clueless as the protagonist, and Gaiman did it without having to resort to first person perspective--I liked that.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: Gaffer on July 17, 2012, 09:47:31 AM
I wouldn't bother with The Power of Habit. I was hesitant to even read the thing and I was vindicated. It's another one of those "Yeah, but..." pop psy books with a simple theme, lots of anecdotes, and a handful of limited studies. I don't even understand how his discussing Rosa Parks was relevant to anything in the book. Even the author says it's a bit of a stretch to apply that section to his thesis. A lot of the notes seemed apologetic, repeatedly admonishing how things are far more complex blah blah blah. I felt the same way about Gladwell's terrible Blink.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: pandamonium on July 31, 2012, 05:36:33 AM
So, I listen to several short story podcasts--one of which is PodCastle. They feature Tim Pratt quite frequently, and I've always been ambivalent about the stories of his that they feature. He's not terrible, but they seem to go on about him a bit too much in my opinion. I feel the same way about Cory Doctorow, actually--not a bad writer, and he comes up with some really great ideas... but I don't think they're developed thoroughly enough. Their stories always seem shallow to me.

Anyway, I picked up Pratt's "The Nex" for free on my Kindle. I'm about 70% done with it, and I'm feeling fairly 'meh' about it. Again, the general idea of the story is great--and many of the sci-fi elements are really interesting. But the execution just doesn't do it for me. I think part of the problem is that the main protagonist is supposed to be a teenaged girl... but I can't really buy it. I don't know why, exactly. And I don't get the motivations behind what the other two main protagonists are doing. *spoiler* They're kind of fighting against this maybe bad guy, but it's not very clear why he's bad, and they don't really give any compelling reason why they're revolting; it is revealed later that the bad guy did do some bad guy stuff--but again, I don't really have any reason to care.

I think this book was written for a pre-teen/teen audience, but that's no excuse. Harry Potter is a kids' book and I find it more believable than "The Nex." I think it's a difference in style.
Title: Re: Books for 2012 - Discussion Thread
Post by: stretcher on August 21, 2012, 06:00:01 PM
I'm starting The Lost Memory of Skin, which I picked up on a whim, after eating my green eggs and never mind. The synopsis sounded interesting (and possibly challenging) and I liked the writing style after reading several pages. I have nothing going on Sunday so I'm going to try and cover about half of it in the afternoon.