[Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby Markal » Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:15 am

My current reading attention is split between David McCullough's biography on John Adams and one of Harry Turtledove's alternate-history novels, The Two Georges.
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Postby Director Black » Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:51 pm

Nearly a month and a half and I'm barely 100 pages away from finishing Imajica. I know I said I was going to read Ulysses next...but I had a gut feeling that when I heard the themes and concept of the former, I would fall in love with it.

For once, my gut was right.
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Postby Director Black » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:34 am

Well, I finally finished Imajica about half a month ago and I can safely say that this is easily the best fantasy book I've read...but, I still have plenty more to go.

Following that, I read through Brave New World (With classic dystopias on my list ('Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?' in particular)) and, perhaps not surprisingly, it's a great book that's still relevant in many different ways. Huxley is an author who I need to read more of.

And currently, I'm taking a leap of faith and attempting to read David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. When first hearing about it, it sounded like it was nearly made for me. I can't form an opinion on it since I'm only on page 60 out of 1,076, so it's going to take me a while or more to form it fully.
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Postby The Eva Monkey » Thu May 04, 2017 8:25 pm

I'm somewhat behind the times, but I just blew through The Martian. Good book, haven't been glued to a book like this in a very long time.
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Postby Mr. Tines » Fri May 05, 2017 3:50 pm

I indulged myself recently by picking up John C. Wright's Awake in the Night Land, which is essentially a set of professionally published fanfic of Hodgson's The Night Land. It's a creditable pastiche of the original, though occasionally one can hear the sound of auctorial axes being ground. And by the third piece, it has fallen to the usual fanfic vice of "spot the reference" as it seeks to fill in some of the ages between the Edwardian times of the original's opening, and the far distant future where the main story takes place.

Like most fanfic, recommended for people who liked the original and want another helping.
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Postby big_big_bozo » Sat May 06, 2017 10:30 pm

Had a friend lend me his copy of Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, heard a lot of good things from him. To hear him tell it, you'd be hardpressed to see a piece of fiction that ""challenges"" the medium in a more interesting manner, and coupled with the horror aspect, it's apparently quite the ride. Conversely, I've heard others describe it as one long parade of gimmicks, broken up by unnecessarily cryptic n' pretentious tangents, that ultimately amounts to nothing more then a shoddy experiment. Gonna try and not let either stance colour my own perception. Just sat down for an hour to give it a once over, and I can safely say it's ...... weird. But in a good way, sorta.
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Postby Director Black » Mon May 29, 2017 9:21 pm

I finally made it through Infinite Jest, and, though I may sound like a pretentious jackass, and reflecting two weeks after finishing it, it's definitely in the top 3 list of my favorite books. So much detail, story, themes, and great characters all in one. I know many people are bothered by the footnotes, but I got through them OK...so to each his/her own.

And now I'm flipping through a collection of essays/speeches by renowned writer Noam Chomsky...and yeah, he is a fantastic writer. He puts thought into his political views and pointing out the flaws of our society and government, and the fact that he's been doing this for over half a century is astounding.

And I'm currently reading one of the inspirations of Evangelion (Especially Episode 16 seeing as how the book's title is also the name of the episode): From Sickness Unto Death. I normally don't go for Christian-themed books (Me being an atheist and find a lot of what's written very farfetched and cheesy), but setting aside the religious themes, it's still a solid philisophy book; it talks about how a despair is a reflection one's self and the different types of despair that are "a sickness' that last "unto death." I plan to write a thread about how much there is to relate it to Evangelion once I'm done with it.
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Postby Tankred » Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:08 am

HOW THE WEST WAS LOST - Alexander Boot

I've been meaning to pick this book up for a good while, ever since I started following, the man's blog. I'd previously bought How The Future Worked, an autobiographical book on Mr. Boot's early life in the USSR and how it formed his way of thinking, quite humorous and terrifying. HOW THE WEST WAS LOST goes into depth regarding the Wests woes and how the Enlightenment is the most immediate cause.

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Postby Ray » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:08 am

Here's a list of what I've been reading recently.

OLD MARS and OLD VENUS both Edited by George RR Martin and Gardner Dozois.


A compilation of short stories by modern day Sci-Fi authors set on versions of Mars and Venus that wouldn't be out of place in the old pulps from the 1960's. Where Mars and Venus weren't dead desert worlds, but teeming with life and lost alien civilizations. My favorite short stories are in the Venus volume, my favorite"Pale Blue Memories" By Tobias S Buckell in the Venus volume. It's a really creepy planet of the Apes pastiche that really goes into detail about the dehumanizing (de-venusianizing?) nature of Slavery. It's in start contrast to the relatively upbeat stories in the rest of the volume.

This series really piqued my Interest in my old Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars Books, So I read through those again too.

A Princess Of Mars and Gods Of Mars By Edgar Rice Burroughs,

It was a joy to revisit Barsoom after all these years away. Especially today with all this cynical modern day talk of colonizing a Mars where there aren't any sexy pink alien princesses, or green four armed men, or ancient crumbling medieval cities.

I also picked up this one and I'm enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would, given its a kind of alternate history sci-fi story that has been done to DEATH.



UNITED STATES OF Japan by Peter Tieryas

It's basically a Wolfenstein the New Order fanfic, but with the Japanese Empire instead of the Nazis. It's part genuinely unnerving political espionage drama, but it also not so serious it can't have Imperial Japan with fucking EVANGELIONS.

Speaking of Evangelion, there's a lot of easter eggs here for fans of various anime series if you know where to look. For example, there's a Red haired half-Japanese Half-German girl named Tiffany (Asuka's English VA). . . . and the process by which the Japanese Empire makes their giant machine technology is really inhumane, bringing to mind the worst horrors of things like Unit 731. Though I will say the writing style may be a bit too 'everyman' for some people who expect this book to take the topic as seriously as something like Schindlers list. . . You're gonna have a bad time.
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Re: [Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby Chuckman » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:02 pm

Currently re-reading through Michael Crichton's works. I had occasion to be on a plane and picked up Jurassic Park and the Lost World, and gobbled up Sphere the night I got back from my trip. I find Sphere is the deepest and most complex of his books and is much more subtle and difficult to pick apart than the rest of his works, which feature a pretty simple plotting technique to keep the tension flowing.

SPOILER: Show
Specifically: On re-reading it becomes clear that the spacecraft isn't really an American spaceship from the future that traveled through time, opening the Sphere is not necessarily to use the Sphere's power (only to consciously use it), only proximity, and at the end the characters do not erase everything that happened, the simply erase their own knowledge of how they got their power and erase all evidence that contradicts it. It's clear from the last couple of paragraphs that they're still altering reality, they just don't realize it.
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Postby Guy Nacks » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:19 am

View Original PostChuckman wrote:Currently re-reading through Michael Crichton's works. I had occasion to be on a plane and picked up Jurassic Park and the Lost World, and gobbled up Sphere the night I got back from my trip. I find Sphere is the deepest and most complex of his books and is much more subtle and difficult to pick apart than the rest of his works, which feature a pretty simple plotting technique to keep the tension flowing.


I remember loving the 1998 film adaptation of Sphere as a kid when I would catch it on HBO. Only nearly a decade later did I read the book and reassess my view of the film. I haven't read/seen either in a number of years, but I remember coming away from my most recent viewing of the film thinking that it's more flawed having read the book and also of the opinion that, given his body of work, Barry Levinson was most assuredly not the right director for this type of project. But I do love the tense atmosphere, mystery, and Samuel L Jackson (AKA Black Ian Malcolm) saying cryptic, foreboding things

In the intervening years, I've also become sure that Crichton had probably seen Forbidden Planet quite a few times because he reuses a plot element from that film.

I'll have to put this on my to-read list.
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Re: [Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby Chuckman » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:28 pm

The similarities to Forbidden Planet don’t end with that one element, I think. Sphere is almost like Crichton decided the backstory of that movie made a better story than the movie itself and decided to write it.
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Re: [Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby movieartman » Mon Jan 01, 2018 9:41 pm

Plan to try & start this soon.
SPOILER: Show
Image

It's a anthology book with Predator stories in different eras with different characters each chapter.

View Original PostRay wrote:UNITED STATES OF Japan by Peter Tieryas

It's basically a Wolfenstein the New Order fanfic, but with the Japanese Empire instead of the Nazis. It's part genuinely unnerving political espionage drama, but it also not so serious it can't have Imperial Japan with fucking EVANGELIONS.

Speaking of Evangelion, there's a lot of easter eggs here for fans of various anime series if you know where to look. For example, there's a Red haired half-Japanese Half-German girl named Tiffany (Asuka's English VA). . . . and the process by which the Japanese Empire makes their giant machine technology is really inhumane, bringing to mind the worst horrors of things like Unit 731. Though I will say the writing style may be a bit too 'everyman' for some people who expect this book to take the topic as seriously as something like Schindlers list. . . You're gonna have a bad time.

Saw this at B&N the other day, planning to try and read it in the coming year also.

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Re: [Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby imprimatur13 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:52 am

Currently reading an old copy of Haruki Murakami's The Windup Bird Chronicle.

I should've read this a long time ago, but after reading 5 of his other books, I decided to read this. It's the longest one of his I've read, and it's quite enjoyable. The whole thing is basically an existentialist harem anime. Basically Evangelion.

You get things like a "prostitute of the mind" who invades the dreams of our protagonist to have sex with him, and you also get things like several chapters of flashbacks to war on the Mongolian front in WW2. And running through that is the ordinary story of a man whose wife had an affair, and he's just trying to get her back. Highly, highly recommended, especially for anyone who enjoyed NGE.

In fact, if Hideaki Anno were to become a novelist, I think he'd write books like this.

Based on another Murakami book: Kafka on the Shore  SPOILER: Show
Image

(Idea by me, and Photoshop work by Zeruss)


(By the way, I should probably read United States of Japan at one point...)
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Re: [Literature] Currently Reading (discussion)

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Postby Joy Evangelion » Tue Jan 02, 2018 6:57 pm

imprimatur13 wrote:Currently reading an old copy of Haruki Murakami's The Windup Bird Chronicle.

I should've read this a long time ago, but after reading 5 of his other books, I decided to read this. It's the longest one of his I've read, and it's quite enjoyable. The whole thing is basically an existentialist harem anime. Basically Evangelion.


I'm glad you're enjoying it. When I read it back in 2013(and wrote about it in this very thread, haha) I didn't see too many similarities to Eva though, and that was when my Eva fandom was at its wildest. But we all get different things out of different works, I guess. The novel(or any other ficitonal work) that reminds me the most of good old NGE is David Foster Wallace's wonderful Infinite Jest.

Wind-Up Bird is super good though, and a lot of Evageeks have talked about liking it on this forum, so it seems to resonate with Eva fans. It's definitely my favorite of his works that I've read. The other four would be, in order of how much I dug them, Norwegian Wood, 1Q84, Hardboiled Wonderland and Kafka on the Shore. I'm due for a rereading of Wind-Up Bird, for sure.
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Postby VUX » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:03 pm

I've read most of the mammoth trilogy by Steven Baxter and I will soon read the original Jurassic Park novels
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Postby Blue Monday » Thu Apr 26, 2018 6:20 am

Bought myself my first e-reader earlier in the year, and it's definitely been one of the better decisions in my life of recent years. Initially, I tested out using my SO's old second gen Kindle late-last year. However, the battery on it was on the way out, so I needed to get something new. After a long while of research and deliberation, I decided on the Pocketbook Touch HD 2. Mainly because it is one of the few readers on the market that still has click-buttons to change pages - which I enjoyed massively on the old Kindle, something they've long since shed on newer models (I seriously hate touchscreen) - but also because it isn't Amazon brand nor bound by their DRM malarkey.

Pocketbook Touch HD 2  SPOILER: Show
Image

I'm reading the most I have in my entire life. Before, I'd read maybe three to five books a year, sometimes more. This year, on the reader, I've almost hit 20 so far, and also haven't paid a cent for any of them :nyao:


Currently reading: Revisiting the first three books/trilogy in Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles and working my way through the gargantuan Che Guevara by Jon Lee Anderson.
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Postby Princess Asuka » Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:36 pm

So, I recently read Armada by Ernest Cline and Arena by Holly Jennings. I loved Armada though the ending kinda sucked. I recently picked up some books from the library and a copy of Ready Player One from Half Price Books. I'll be buying a copy of Armada from Half Price Books this weekend.
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Postby kuribo-04 » Fri May 11, 2018 4:16 am

Currently reading Hamlet.
My second try. The first time it was too hard for me.
This time I understand it well.
It's the yalebooks version. Annotated and all.
Currently reading act IV (of 5).
I like it a lot.
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Postby Blue Monday » Sun May 20, 2018 5:56 am

About a quart of the way into The Brothers Karamazov and it's pretty comfy so far. Although the story and characters are already foretelling the impending tragedy, and I'm not really ready/in the mood for any agony. Will have to see how I go. Alyosha is very chill but Mitya is an absolute madman.
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