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Quote of the Week: "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within." - Will Durant, American historian (1885-1981)

What are you reading right now?

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Kaiser Caesar
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 06:56pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2008-12-15 10:29pm
Posts: 107
What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation Of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe and some Science Fiction anthology... somehwere for me.

What are you reading right now?
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Raw Shark
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 07:23pm 

Stunt Driver / Babysitter


Joined: 2005-11-24 10:35am
Posts: 2324
Location: One Mile Up
Kaiser Caesar wrote:
What are you reading right now?


The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck, of all things, on a rec from my best friend. It's funnier than I expected.
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 07:31pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
I think I added What Hath God Wrought to my Amazon.com wish list after it came up on said website at a recommendation based on what I already read. I am wondering, though, what you think of it so far?

Anyways, I just finished reading Jon Krakauer's Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith. This book is about the history of the Mormon faith. I was somewhat surprised by how much religious violence had been going on through the 1800s up to the 1900s between Mormons and what said people refer to as "Gentiles" (aka everyone else); there were atrocities committed on both sides. The book goes back and fourth between talking about the history of the Mormons and talking about the story behind the recent murder of a wife and child carried out by Dan and Ron Lafferty, two members of a fundamentalist strand of Mormonism. I got the 2004 edition, so it includes, in the appendix, the official response to the book by the Mormon church, and Krakauer's response to the Mormon church. The book is almost 400 pages, but it is a page-turner for sure. I would say that despite how critical Krakaeur is towards Mormonism, he tries to be even-handed, making sure to distinguish between mainstream Mormons and the fundamentalist strands, and using respected sources. His very inspiration for making this book came out of his experience living amongst Mormons and wanting to learn more about the faith.

Right now, I am reading William H. McNeill's Plagues and Peoples. I found out about this book because of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond, in his "Further Readings" section of his book, refers to McNeill and his book thusly (ellipses mine): "... written by a distinguished historian rather than by a physician,...especially influential in bringing historians to recognize the impacts of disease... [p. 477]". He also ranks it one of the "Three classic accounts of disease in history [p. 476]."
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Questor
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 07:42pm 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2002-07-17 06:27pm
Posts: 1600
Location: Landover
Conqueror's Pride, by Timothy Zahn.

I found it while unpacking and realized I had never read it.
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Kaiser Caesar
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 07:43pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2008-12-15 10:29pm
Posts: 107
Quote:
I think I added What Hath God Wrought to my Amazon.com wish list after it came up on said website at a recommendation based on what I already read. I am wondering, though, what you think of it so far?


I literally just got it from the library about an hour ago, so I haven't really begun to read it yet. I'm going to read the first two-ish chapters tonight, though, so I'll get back to you about it.
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Guardsman Bass
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 08:49pm 

Cowardly Codfish


Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Posts: 8627
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea
Quote:
Right now, I am reading William H. McNeill's Plagues and Peoples. I found out about this book because of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond, in his "Further Readings" section of his book, refers to McNeill and his book thusly (ellipses mine): "... written by a distinguished historian rather than by a physician,...especially influential in bringing historians to recognize the impacts of disease... [p. 477]". He also ranks it one of the "Three classic accounts of disease in history [p. 476]."


I'm going to have to read that as well - I just finished re-reading Guns, Germs, and Steel. I might re-read Collapse as well.

Other than that, I'm out of new books. I need to make another trip to the library.

Fiction-wise, I just finished China Mieville's Iron Council (nowhere near as good as Perdido Street Station), and I'm waiting on Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 08:50pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
I'm reading you being a retard.

Oh you mean books? I just finished Churchill's WW1 expansion pack; the Eastern Front. Gallipoli ass-covering aside it's a funny book.
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Kaiser Caesar
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 08:56pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2008-12-15 10:29pm
Posts: 107
Stark wrote:
I'm reading you being a retard.



That was uncalled for right there mister. :)
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CmdrWilkens
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:19pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-06 01:24am
Posts: 9081
Location: Land of the Crabcake
The First World War by John Keagan. I've read it through before but I still find it just an engrossing read even if, by its very nature, it cannot delve deeply into the course of the war but rather treats it in larger thematic strokes.
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KroLazuxy_87
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:26pm 

Youngling


Joined: 2009-06-11 10:35pm
Posts: 114
Location: Lemuria-East
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

My friends have been trying to get me to start the Wheel of Time series forever, I finally caved in.
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Aaron
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:27pm 

Blackpowder Man


Joined: 2004-01-29 12:02am
Posts: 12033
Location: British Columbian ExPat
Kaiser Caesar wrote:
That was uncalled for right there mister. :)


Your doing it wrong, it's supposed to be VENDETTA!!!!! :lol:

I'm still slogging through The Caine Mutiny and the Deathstalker series.
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Haruko
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:28pm 

Jedi Master


Joined: 2005-03-12 05:14am
Posts: 1104
Location: California
Guardsman Bass wrote:
Quote:
Right now, I am reading William H. McNeill's Plagues and Peoples. I found out about this book because of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. Diamond, in his "Further Readings" section of his book, refers to McNeill and his book thusly (ellipses mine): "... written by a distinguished historian rather than by a physician,...especially influential in bringing historians to recognize the impacts of disease... [p. 477]". He also ranks it one of the "Three classic accounts of disease in history [p. 476]."


I'm going to have to read that as well - I just finished re-reading Guns, Germs, and Steel. I might re-read Collapse as well.

I have not read Collapse, but that is also on my wish list. How did that book compare to Guns, Germs, and Steel? Was it as eye-opening? Well written? Far reaching in its implications? Any comparative analysis you may care to provide I would be very interested in reading.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:32pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Collapse is hilarious, but may not appear so if you're looking for 'eye opening' or 'well written'.

Kendall, is Keegan's WW1 stuff any good? His tone often makes my teeth itch, but he's a good historian.
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The Romulan Republic
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:38pm 

Sith Marauder


Joined: 2008-10-15 01:37am
Posts: 4135
Location: Victoria, Canada
KroLazuxy_87 wrote:
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

My friends have been trying to get me to start the Wheel of Time series forever, I finally caved in.


Hope you like the first book, because it goes downhill from their, quality-wise.

I'm reading Machiavelli's The Prince, and Ron Paul's The Revolution.*



*No, I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, but my cousin is and he talked me into reading it. I agreed, figuring that I could better argue against Paul's positions having read his arguments firsthand. :wink:
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Aaron
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:42pm 

Blackpowder Man


Joined: 2004-01-29 12:02am
Posts: 12033
Location: British Columbian ExPat
Stark wrote:

Kendall, is Keegan's WW1 stuff any good? His tone often makes my teeth itch, but he's a good historian.


I think your confusing me with CmdrWilkens my good man.
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Stark
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:44pm 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2002-07-03 09:56pm
Posts: 36168
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Holy shit that's embarrassing. I actually thought it was Wilkens, then scrolled back up to see the first military chap and decided it must have been you. :S Damn quick reply. :)
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spaceviking
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 10:45pm 

Jedi Knight


Joined: 2008-03-20 05:54pm
Posts: 850
The Racial state Germany 1933-1945 by Michael Burleigh, I'm not sure how i feel about it yet
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TimothyC
PostPosted: 2009-08-17 11:45pm 

Of Sector 2814


Joined: 2005-03-23 06:31pm
Posts: 3192
Location: ‘Ohaio, ‘amelika hui pū ‘ia
Most of my books are in boxes right now, but The Collected Stories of Arthur C. Clarke isn't. Mostly because it lives in my bathroom.
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Bob the Gunslinger
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 02:28am 

Has not forgotten the face of his father


Joined: 2004-01-08 07:21pm
Posts: 4601
Location: Somewhere out west
Cpl Kendall wrote:
Kaiser Caesar wrote:
That was uncalled for right there mister. :)


Your doing it wrong, it's supposed to be VENDETTA!!!!! :lol:

I'm still slogging through The Caine Mutiny and the Deathstalker series.


Yeah, I was just thinking "Vendetta!!!"... by Peter David. It's a pretty good book.

So, how are the Deathstalker and Caine Mutiny series? I'm thinking of getting them eventually.

Right now, I'm jumping around between Something from the Nightside by Simon Green, Shadow and Claw by Gene Wolfe, Deadhouse Gates by Erickson (Malazan won my recent "what should I read?" poll, but I still have trouble getting into it), Dragonslayer by William King (re-reading for some laughs, actually), Sperm Wars by Robin Baker (nonfiction, but still very disturbing :wink: ), and Age of Ra by somebody or other. The only reason I'm still picking up Age of Ra every now and then is because it is so bad that it's hilarious, like a Steven Seagal movie. Imagine if Dale Brown wrote some bad Stargate fanfiction, and you'd be pretty close.

I also plan to add The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein pretty soon. Also, The Big Cats and their Fossil Relatives by Mauricio Anton. His book about the evolutionary history of dogs was amazing, so I want to read more. Also, I plan to buy Space Hulk: the Novel just for shits and giggles.

Because of my schedule and where I work, I tend to have books stashed away in different places so that I can read anywhere I get bored.
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Memnon
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 03:57am 

Padawan Learner


Joined: 2009-06-08 08:23pm
Posts: 211
Just finished Wicked and am probably going to start reading To Kill a Mockingbird on a recommendation from a friend.
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Gandalf
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 04:18am 

SD.net White Wizard


Joined: 2002-09-16 11:13pm
Posts: 12810
Location: A video store in Sydney, Australia
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Edi
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 04:44am 

Dragonlord


Joined: 2002-07-11 12:27am
Posts: 11646
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Deadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson, that being the second in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series.
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Aaron
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 06:19am 

Blackpowder Man


Joined: 2004-01-29 12:02am
Posts: 12033
Location: British Columbian ExPat
Bob the Gunslinger wrote:


Yeah, I was just thinking "Vendetta!!!"... by Peter David. It's a pretty good book.

So, how are the Deathstalker and Caine Mutiny series? I'm thinking of getting them eventually.


The Caine Mutiny is excellent if a tad boring at times, if Wouk's intention was to portray the sheer boredom and tedium of military life then he succeeded. It's also a good look at how the Navy operates, I'm told most of it is still relevant today.

The Deathstalker series is good for pulp sci-fi/fantasy. Green seems to suffer from a lack of imagination when writing combat scenes though, practically everyone of them has the lines "fought back to back" and you can predict the outcome in advance, "the Rebels use their Maze given gifts to win the day". It's still entertaining though.
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Crazedwraith
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 06:59am 

Emperor's Hand


Joined: 2003-04-10 03:45pm
Posts: 8174
Location: Cheshire, England
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (Translated by Lord Sudley) Oddly enough the only people with muskets are the servants.
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thejester
PostPosted: 2009-08-18 07:59am 

Jedi Council Member


Joined: 2005-06-10 07:16pm
Posts: 1811
Location: Richard Nixon's Secret Tapes Club Band
Pretty sure I've read some trashy crime novels since, but the last books I read and actually savored were Guy Rundle's Down at the Crossroads and Don Watson'sAmerican Journeys. Rundle wrote for a variety of Australian media outlets on the US election (mainly Crikey) and it's a collection of that work. It can get a tad repetitive at times but there's a lot of energy in the writing and he paints some pretty tragic pictures at times. If nothing else I enjoyed it for the contrast it provided to here, where I got most of my election commentary. Rundle was actually pretty scathing of the way Obama handled the contest, which was about the polar opposite of opinion here.

It was good reading American Journeys in tandem with it; Watson's take is far more thoughtful and probably more powerful, existing as it does outside election hysteria. Reading them at the same time was also well worth it, because the same imagery and ideas on American life kept on cropping up in both. I'd recommend them to readers in the US for that reason alone, in their own way both are pretty scathing commentaries on modern America.
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