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Old 03-14-2017, 08:50 AM   #16151
mrcmcklwht
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

^They're all great imo, but I would avoid the last one, Playback, or at least read the other ones a couple of times first. I would also skip the short stories
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Old 03-14-2017, 10:29 AM   #16152
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm reading Your Favorite Band is Killing Me by Steven Hyden, about pop music rivalries. I'm finding this surprisingly entertaining and informative. Usually I have little use for this type of pop culture mining, can't stand that ****ing Chuck Klosterman guy for instance. But Hyden has really won me over somehow. The first essay is Oasis vs. Blur, and I ended up involved by his passion even though I've never liked Oasis and barely know who Blur is/are/were.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:30 AM   #16153
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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I'm reading Your Favorite Band is Killing Me by Steven Hyden, about pop music rivalries. I'm finding this surprisingly entertaining and informative. Usually I have little use for this type of pop culture mining, can't stand that ****ing Chuck Klosterman guy for instance. But Hyden has really won me over somehow. The first essay is Oasis vs. Blur, and I ended up involved by his passion even though I've never liked Oasis and barely know who Blur is/are/were.
Interesting. I'll check it out.
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Old 03-14-2017, 11:35 PM   #16154
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I'm trying to get into Cryptonomicron. I'm about 15% into the book right now but just don't get why this is so popular. Is this just not for me and should I give up or keep on plugging on?

I feel there is a big disconnect between the storylines and each story-line itself also doesn't really seem to move forward/anywhere.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:00 AM   #16155
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

It's a generational connection which does have some bearing on the plot. You've basically got the Bobby Shaftoe and Lawrence Waterhouse and Goto Dengo storylines in WWII, along with some other peripheral ones like Enoch Root, then the Doug & Amy Shaftoes blended into the Randy Waterhouse storyline in present day. They do intersect down the line, and some revelations are made, but I wouldn't say that that aspect of the book is earthshattering. I also found it especially difficult with all the headhopping early on, but it does resolve into (basically) the structure I mentioned above.

It's not a particularly well put together book, what with the sprawling plot and unimportant character traits -- Bobby's haikus are way underutilized, and his drug addiction is completely superfluous, for example. Sometimes characters are there mainly for the purpose of menace or contrivance, like the Dentist. And it takes too long sometimes to get where it's going, then when it does get there it doesn't wholly deliver.

But I think the over-the-top descriptions are worth the price of entry alone. And I like Stephenson's cinematic viewpoints, even if he frequently goes off the rails / doesn't pace correctly / underdelivers on plot promises / etc.

I'd say if you get around 1/3 of the way through and you're still not feeling it, it's not worth continuing. He definitely asks you to forgive a lot for the sake of his maximalist style, though.
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Old 03-15-2017, 05:17 AM   #16156
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Regarding Chandler, Farewell My Lovely was the first of three Marlowe mysteries I've read (I think there are seven novels altogether), and though the other two were really good, I don't think either measure up to FML with its barebones yet somehow purple prose. Or it could just be a case of it being the first I read and me holding it highest for that reason.
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Old 03-15-2017, 11:22 AM   #16157
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The Little Sister was the first one I read, and remains my favourite 25 years later.
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Old 03-15-2017, 08:52 PM   #16158
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Reading The Nix now, it's fantastic. Like a cross between a great John Irving novel and a great Jonathan Franzen novel, but for these times.
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Old 03-16-2017, 12:25 AM   #16159
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Originally Posted by ChaseNutley26 View Post
It's a generational connection which does have some bearing on the plot. You've basically got the Bobby Shaftoe and Lawrence Waterhouse and Goto Dengo storylines in WWII, along with some other peripheral ones like Enoch Root, then the Doug & Amy Shaftoes blended into the Randy Waterhouse storyline in present day. They do intersect down the line, and some revelations are made, but I wouldn't say that that aspect of the book is earthshattering. I also found it especially difficult with all the headhopping early on, but it does resolve into (basically) the structure I mentioned above.

It's not a particularly well put together book, what with the sprawling plot and unimportant character traits -- Bobby's haikus are way underutilized, and his drug addiction is completely superfluous, for example. Sometimes characters are there mainly for the purpose of menace or contrivance, like the Dentist. And it takes too long sometimes to get where it's going, then when it does get there it doesn't wholly deliver.

But I think the over-the-top descriptions are worth the price of entry alone. And I like Stephenson's cinematic viewpoints, even if he frequently goes off the rails / doesn't pace correctly / underdelivers on plot promises / etc.

I'd say if you get around 1/3 of the way through and you're still not feeling it, it's not worth continuing. He definitely asks you to forgive a lot for the sake of his maximalist style, though.
Thanks! Will try it a bit longer but Stephenson might not be for me if I can't get into it. I definitely have a lot of trouble with him jumping all over the place.
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Old 03-16-2017, 08:16 AM   #16160
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

The Nix looks pretty good. Added to list.

vv8, I'd say if you're not at all enjoying Stephenson's whacko descriptions, you may as well pack it in. The viewpoint problem does mostly resolve itself though once you get used to it. I'm not much a fan of multigenerational stuff (hated 100 Years of Solitude) where it's just one family and they've got similar traits, but Randy and Lawrence do eventually distinguish themselves. You definitely get a ton of stuff thrown at you in the beginning that doesn't help.

Just started Peter Hamilton's Pandora's Star and I'm liking it a lot so far. If it pans out well it could be one helluva space opera.
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Old 03-16-2017, 09:20 AM   #16161
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Ulysses by James Joyce, Ch.17 (The Q&A), one of the most entertaining chapters and easily read as a stand-alone section.
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Old 03-16-2017, 11:45 AM   #16162
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Chase, how do you listen to so many audiobooks? Do you listen at work?
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Old 03-16-2017, 02:29 PM   #16163
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Originally Posted by ChaseNutley26 View Post

vv8, I'd say if you're not at all enjoying Stephenson's whacko descriptions, you may as well pack it in. The viewpoint problem does mostly resolve itself though once you get used to it. I'm not much a fan of multigenerational stuff (hated 100 Years of Solitude) where it's just one family and they've got similar traits, but Randy and Lawrence do eventually distinguish themselves. You definitely get a ton of stuff thrown at you in the beginning that doesn't help.
Yeah I quit at page 200 today. Just didn't get it and his descriptions didn't do too much for me.
Thanks!
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:22 AM   #16164
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Chase, how do you listen to so many audiobooks? Do you listen at work?
One of the few benefits of my crappy job!
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:27 PM   #16165
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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One of the few benefits of my crappy job!
Hey, that's a pretty good benefit.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:07 PM   #16166
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Nice write up about cryptonomicon. Summed up the reasons I am enjoying it (it's not particularly due to the plot). I can understand a lot of people not liking it though.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:33 PM   #16167
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Do any of you guys still physically buy books anymore? I have been downloading books to tablet for the last 8 years or so and have no complaints. But my wife thinks I should start physically buying books again so my 5 year old son sees my physically reading books instaed of just being on the tablet all the time.

I understand the argument, but the thought of having to deal with normal books again is so depressing. Once you get used to tablets, especially on demand downloading, it is so hard to go back IMO.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:30 PM   #16168
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

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Do any of you guys still physically buy books anymore? I have been downloading books to tablet for the last 8 years or so and have no complaints. But my wife thinks I should start physically buying books again so my 5 year old son sees my physically reading books instaed of just being on the tablet all the time.

I understand the argument, but the thought of having to deal with normal books again is so depressing. Once you get used to tablets, especially on demand downloading, it is so hard to go back IMO.
The biggest pita about actual books is storing them. I have several bookshelves filled to the gills with books I will never read again. I asked the local library if they wanted them and they said no I too have been on a kindle for years and except for reference and technical type stuff I revisit often I am never going back.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:36 PM   #16169
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Mostly I physically drive to the library and check out actual physical books, cause I'm old school that way, baby!
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:32 PM   #16170
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Had the exact same conversation with my wife. Solution was every week or so I take the kids down to the library, they check out their books from the young reader section then they help me hunt down a book I want to read. Still do 80% of my reading from an ipad, but there's worse habits to get them into than visiting a library.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:32 PM   #16171
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Even with "night mode" and other tech-y features, I find that reading a physical book better helps me wind down right before bed.
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Old 03-20-2017, 07:13 PM   #16172
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I mix 50:50 based on price and the sense that some books I feel I might want a physical copy of, others I'm likely to want to read on the road.

Shelves heaving and space at dangerously low levels, obviously.

I just got two books about octopus brains.
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Old 03-20-2017, 10:29 PM   #16173
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I go to the physical library for physical books for almost anything they have or can get for me. For rarer items I buy.

I don't think I would feel as accomplished reading digitally, and obviously I like the idea of a physical book. Probably less disruptive to sleep, eyes, and brain too.

If walking to the library was a burden I would probably just buy more rather than use a device.
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:20 PM   #16174
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

I love my kindle, read 95% of the books on there. Never want to go back. (have the paperwhite with no backlight)
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Old 03-21-2017, 01:21 AM   #16175
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Re: Books: What are you reading tonight?

Finished Saints of the Shadow Bible by Ian Rankin. It's a Detective Rebus novel and a good one. Rankin writes as good a detective novel as is being written today. He does excellent dialogue and description though it sometimes begins to feel stylistic or formulaic. The plot and structure are well done. If you're looking for a contemporary police procedural, it would be difficult to find a better one.
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