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Old 09-02-2007, 06:47 AM   #76
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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~1/3 of the way through Moby Dick.

Can I safely skip the innumerable chapters detailing the technical intricacies of whaling, cetology and whale lore?
Skipping anything written by melville is a mistake, have a look at Bartleby the Scrivener
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:27 AM   #77
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I just finished "The World Without Us". Its a really good book and definitely worth reading. It talks about what the world would be like if Humans were suddenly gone from Earth.

It goes through all sorts of consequences from our actions, some of which are pretty scary/sad. Its not a global warming/doomsday book though. If anything its kind of optimistic as it talks about how life on Earth would adapt to messes we've caused and correct most of them.
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Old 09-02-2007, 09:37 AM   #78
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm just finishing up the short story collection, "Fragile Things" by Neil Gaiman. I started a few months ago as it was highly recommended by my dad and sister, and actually posted about it in a lounge thread then. Well, I misplaced it somehow but recently found it, luckily enough, and have one story to go.

After hearing that Gaiman wrote a 'graphic novel' years ago I always considered him a pulp writer and showed no interest in him. Ridiculous bias, seeing as I never read any of his work. Big mistake, and I recommend it to anybody as it was recommended to me.


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Old 09-02-2007, 12:35 PM   #79
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Speaker for the dead - orson card

I loved ender's game, it's the sequel. looking forward to a great read
I loved Speaker for the Dead. I liked it more than Ender's Game (although I realize I am in the minority on this one and it might be because I read Ender's a long time ago).
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:11 PM   #80
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I finished Morris Berman's "Twilight of American Culture" (anyone else read this) and "Pride and Prejudice".

Currently reading "Incompleteness" a biography of Kurt Godel, and very slowly making my way through "A New Kind of Science" by Stephen Wolfram.
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Old 09-05-2007, 04:17 PM   #81
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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I'm reading Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" for a philosophy class. It's wonderful so far.
I loved this book when I read it in University. I think I'll pick it up again.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:26 PM   #82
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Angela Carter is fantastic.
Thanks for flagging that up - I just finished The Magic Toyshop, and really enjoyed it. Think I'll need to read it again sometime soon tho, so I can properly appreciate all the symbolism.
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Old 09-08-2007, 02:49 AM   #83
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm reading Anthony Kiedes' autobio, "Scar Tissue." As expected, so far it's been almost entirely about his drug use.
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Old 09-08-2007, 03:36 PM   #84
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

clublife by rob the bouncer..
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Old 09-08-2007, 05:26 PM   #85
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Just started "Collapse" by Jared Diamond
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Old 09-08-2007, 08:04 PM   #86
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

a mixture of the fountainhead, crime and punishment and airframe if i ever remove myself from here.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:32 AM   #87
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Everybody in the Lounge quit reading or what?

I listened to an audiobook version (from the guttenberg project online) of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I liked it, but didn't think it was amazingly incredible. It definitely was better than the new movie version, which I, unfortunately, saw before reading the book. I enjoyed it a lot and think it's worth a reread at some point.

I'm currently reading To Kill a Mockingbird for class. Yes, I'm a 22 year old senior and this is the first time I've been assigned TKaM. Amazingly, this is the first I've really ever picked it up. It was a slow starter for me, but it's growing on me bit by bit. (I have the Gregory Peck movie coming from Netflix in a few days, so I will be able to compare after I read the book).

What else ya'll readin Lounge?
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:43 AM   #88
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

TKaM is a fine book. Too bad she doesnt write anything else.

Edit: Forgot to add reading Plato's "The Republic" for another philosophy class.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:00 AM   #89
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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What else ya'll readin Lounge?
I am finishing up on Criptonomicon. It is pretty long, so far I am on page 880 (out of ~1150).
I read some books while taking a break from reading Criptonomicon they were:
The Game by Neil Strauss. Interesting book about the community of pick up artists.

America Misunderstood by Sivakumar. A compilation of news editorials from around the world concerning the election of
Bush in 2004. It was a very interesting read.

Kill Phil by Blair Rodman and Lee Nelson. I didn't like it that much, although it does give good ranges of hands for short stack play.

The Making of a Poker Player by Matt Matros. I liked this a lot, as it has a story structure instead of an education structure as a poker book. I enjoyed it a lot, I think the chapter on heads up play was really good. It was also made more interesting by the fact that I read it parallel to "The Game" and both are storied about guys who work very hard and study hard to become great in a specialized community. Interesting connections.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:17 AM   #90
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

ender's game orson scott card
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Old 09-26-2007, 06:17 AM   #91
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The Cryptonomicon is the setup for Stephenson's magnum opus trilogy of Quicksilver, The Confusion, and System of the World. Each is 1000 or so pages and well worth the effort. Dude did a psychotic amount of research and tells a great story.


I never thought of The Game and The Making of a Poker Player in those terms, but you're spot on. I've always liked books on/by people who were really passionate about something. Tracy Kidder writes books about people like that, and I always find them very interesting.
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Old 09-26-2007, 08:16 AM   #92
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Catch Me if You Can

It goes into much more detail than the movie. Very inspiring. A really great read.
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:33 AM   #93
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Just finished Breakfast of Champions, it was my first run-in with Vonnegut and I was really disappointed. There were moments here and there that were funny and intriguing, but the majority was dull, slow, and contained uninteresting asides. At the end there is a line, I think from the narrator, that gave me the idea that he purposely included these dull details throughout in response to other works, or to make the point that it's unimportant, but its a poor excuse and ruine dthe novel imo.

Also just finished God is Not Great by Chirstopher Hitchens. Fantastic, interesting read. Though Hitchens is Hitchens and goes on and on as he tends to do, but nonetheless I loved it.

Next up for non-fiction I'll be reading At Canaan's Edge by Taylor Branch. It's an exhaustive book about Martin Luther King's last years. I've been wanting to read it for a while now and am quite excited to finally get to it.

Not sure what fiction book I'll read next. I think it's between Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard, Catch-22, or something to coordinate with Halloween(Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, etc.). Any thoughts?
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Old 09-26-2007, 10:53 AM   #94
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I started Foop last night. I picked it up because Christopher Moore and Tony Vigorito (two of my favorite authors) appeared on the jacket copy. So far, it's a pretty funny absurdist tale of a travel agent - a time travel agent - tasked with preventing villains from preventing the birth of the agent's boss. Clearly inspired by Vonnegut, pre-Katrina New Orleans plays a central role. Only got through 7 chapters last night before the sandman got me, but it's amusing enough.

Champs is my favorite KV book, btw. Don't give up on my boy yet. Slaughterhouse 5, Sirens of Titan, and Cat's Cradle are strange, but more accessible than Champs.

KV's naive narrators are brilliant, IMO. He coerces the reader to read between the lines. Rabo Karabekian - Bluebeard's narrator - busts me up.

I can appreciate that KV isn't for everyone. His humanism can slap the reader around at times, and if you're opposed to the tenets of that doctrine I'm sure it can leave a sour taste.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:14 AM   #95
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Champs is my favorite KV book, btw. Don't give up on my boy yet. Slaughterhouse 5, Sirens of Titan, and Cat's Cradle are strange, but more accessible than Champs.

KV's naive narrators are brilliant, IMO. He coerces the reader to read between the lines. Rabo Karabekian - Bluebeard's narrator - busts me up.

I can appreciate that KV isn't for everyone. His humanism can slap the reader around at times, and if you're opposed to the tenets of that doctrine I'm sure it can leave a sour taste.
His beliefs had nothing to do with my enjoyment, as I mostly agree with him, but can you explain some of the finer points of it that I may have missed. For example, I never read Bluebeard, so I missed that reference.

Also, what exactly was the point of telling everyone's penis size, and the asides that told of someone's family history to a documentary level?
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:32 AM   #96
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Penis size, like many other things, is an absurd concept. It's totally out of our control whether we're blessed with a big unit or cursed with a winky, yet males in our culture are always compensating and competing to see who has the bigger one (figuratively speaking). He's having fun with that concept, because the narrator, as a device, has access to "facts" that we the reader and other characters have no access to. I forget the character, but someone has a big one and the narrator says something like, "you never know" who's packing heat down yonder.

That's a fundamental problem we as humans face when confronted by others. We have no way of knowing the other's intentions, their penis size, their make-up. We make social judgements that are only half informed.

Note the narrative style of Champs. It's written as though the audience (the reader) is from another planet. We need illustrations to understand routine concepts (like


and wide open beavers, AJAX trucks, etc.). Signs, symbols, signifiers are all culturally contexted. The context is further mired in the individual versus the Other relationship - the battle of wills and agendas.

Think about the cross-dressing car salesman and how his expectations are crushed.

There;s obviously a lot more going on in Champs than these couple of issues, and I thoroughly enjoy the playfulness of the narration throughout.
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Old 09-26-2007, 11:40 AM   #97
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm in a non-fiction mode right now.

I just finished "The Island at the Center of the World," which is about the Dutch influence on New York City. Very interesting.

Now I'm reading "The Terror Presidency," which is a critical account from a conservative who worked at the Justice Dept for a few years.

Next up is a new biography of Thomas Paine, which is supposed to be quite good.

Then, I have to return to fiction for a while.
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Old 09-26-2007, 12:09 PM   #98
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I tend to read a few things at a time too, especially when they don't grip me, or when they're non-fiction.

Currently I'm part way through Mirror Worlds, by David Gerlernter. Now about 15 years old, it deals with a lot of his research on representing large-scale, complex data sets - such as cities, companies, hospitals, and similar - using computers. It's not particularly technical, more concerned with the philosophical reasons, the uses for them, and the big problems in their development. For any of you who have read Snow Crash, this is the research on which the Earth program was based. Despite being 15 years old, it's still far and away the most prescient and influential book about computers and networks I know of. I've read it more than 20 times so far.

Also part way through Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad. Appreciation, rather than enjoyment, might be the best description for my feelings. Despite it being very short, I've taken almost a month to get halfway through, and I'm the fastest reader I know.

Also rereading Reuben & Ciaffone's Pot Limit & No Limit Poker, because I've been playing more Omaha lately, and Arturo Perez-Reverte's The Sun Over Breda, because I refuse to believe that the man who wrote The Fencing Master can continue to turn out unreadable dreck (unfortunately I'm wrong, he can).

Notable recent reads are The Grifters, by Jim Thompson, because Dominic reminded me how good it was, and Spook Country, by William Gibson. I'm not so much a fan of his cyberpunk stuff, but I've come to really like his stuff set today. Spook Country is as good as Pattern Recognition.

Bartman, are you limiting yourself to classics for Halloween? If not, check out Anno Dracula, by Kim Newman. Set a few years after Dracula finishes, it's premise is Dracula won, and proceeded on to effectively take over England, he and his get turning half the population, and thus gaining de facto acceptance. It's sort of an homage to the vampire genre, and lots of famous vampires make an appearance, either explicitly if out of copyright, or implicitly if not.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:29 PM   #99
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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or something to coordinate with Halloween(Frankenstein, Dracula, The Invisible Man, etc.). Any thoughts?
I found Frankenstein and Dracula to both be interesting reads on late nights. I was in high school though, so I don't know if I would still really enjoy them. I mean, I used to think Critters was a brilliant horror movie in high school (and uhhhh I still love them, but brilliant? Haha).

Anyway, I haven't read Invisible Man so I can't comment.
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Old 09-26-2007, 01:39 PM   #100
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Right now I'm reading A Pickpockets Tale about the life of a NYC pickpocket during the mid to late 1800's. It's an interesting book.

I think the next book I'm going to read is A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. It's been recommended to me by a bunch of people, I think I've even seen it mentioned here in the forums several times.
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