What are you reading right now?

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Count Chocula » 2009-08-18 08:11am

Flying Forts by Martin Caidin. I just finished reading Fork-Tailed Devil, about the P-38 Lightning. Yah, I'm on an aviation kick.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Eleventh Century Remnant » 2009-08-18 08:56am

Re- reading Fredric Brown's What Mad Universe between computer crashes, because it's next to the desk, but mainly J.M. Roberts' The Mythology of the Secret Societies- a very strange, completely serious history of applied craziness.
It's not primarily about Masonry, Rosicrucianism, etc, but the undergrowth that grew up around them- basically, tin foil hat wearing through the ages.
Deeply worrying, how many historically important people are cited and quoted as believing such utter nonsense, it's amazing they could function without foaming at the mouth.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby The Grim Squeaker » 2009-08-18 09:47am

Re-reading for the umpteenth time "The Malazan books of The Fallen". I started and finished "Memories of Ice" last week, i'm about 3/4 through "House of Chains" now.

Haruko wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:
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.

It's interesting, but isn't at GG&S's "level". Lots of ecology, but not much that was new (to me at least. Long term ecological damage damages a civilizations stability? Less water and salinization can cause long term population movement? Gasp!).
It's definitely worth reading though, Jared's excellent. (Try "Why is Sex fun" and "The third Chimpanzee"), you might also like Richard Dawkins if you like the latter.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Civil War Man » 2009-08-18 12:05pm

I'm reading The Drunkard's Walk. It's basically a history of probability and statistics, with sections about how random chance influences a lot of things that we normally don't consider to be random (including wine ratings, the World Series, and approving books for publication).

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby dragon » 2009-08-18 04:45pm

Emperor Mercy WH40k
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and Age of Ra a very weird book. Basically the Egyptian gods driv out the other gods and Earth is divided between them. England is Orsirs and Isis, American is Horus etc. But they are actually real gods that get their power from worship and in return give divine essence to be used in weapons. The main character is a British Paratrooper and ends up in a rebellion to drive off the gods. However what they don't know is that the Gods are just a wee bit more powerful then they suspect.

Edit just finished The Killing Ground by Graham McNeil
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby CmdrWilkens » 2009-08-18 06:15pm

Stark wrote: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. :)


So now that we've sorted that out :D

Anyway I like the sweep he makes of the conflict. I've not yet had the chance to delve into his other WW1 works but the overall history, the one I'm re-reading, is both informative and easy to work through. It blends a fair amount of overarching strategy with stories from the men in the trenches to get perspectives from both sides. The nature of the book means it cannot deal inticately with a whole host of subjects but it does an absolutely excellent job of settiping the stage and working through 1914 in paticular. The coverage of the middle years is a bit more hectic as it covers everything from the Middle Eastern theaters to the cruiser campaigns and the fighting in Africa along with the eastern and western fronts however by time 1917 and 1918 are due up the power is back in the writing.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Broomstick » 2009-08-18 06:26pm

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. A re-read, actually, first time was when it was originally published in the early 1990's.

Got three more fiction books lined up to read after it, because after working long hours at manual labor and worrying about real life shit all the time I need an escape. And TV sucks most of the time these days.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Darth Nostril » 2009-08-18 07:08pm

Working my way through a small pile of recent aquisitions, finished Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap and Matter, halfway through The Algebraist and have a rather nice Stainless Steel Rat Omnibus to finish things off.
So I stare wistfully at the Lightning for a couple of minutes. Two missiles, sharply raked razor-thin wings, a huge, pregnant belly full of fuel, and the two screamingly powerful engines that once rammed it from a cold start to a thousand miles per hour in under a minute. Life would be so much easier if our adverseries could be dealt with by supersonic death on wings - but alas, Human resources aren't so easily defeated.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Balrog » 2009-08-18 08:45pm

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie. I also just got done with her Murder on the Orient Express.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Guardsman Bass » 2009-08-18 08:52pm

Haruko wrote:
Guardsman Bass wrote:
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.


I think it's better, but different. He paints an interesting picture of the various societies he examines (I particularly liked the Greenland Morse), and overall he compares societies that did manage to prevent societal collapse and environmental collapse with those that didn't.

He also delves more into how the environment a society lived in interacts with their culture, and how they re-inforce each other into certain habits. Like I said, the part on the Greenland Norse was probably my favorite.

It was a more narrowly focused book - he focuses more on a couple of case studies, more or less, rather than his more broad examination in Guns, Germs, and Steel.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Straha » 2009-08-18 11:05pm

Just finishing Dick Davis' translation of the Shahnameh, not sure what I'm going to go on to next. Probably Abrahamian's History of Modern Iran.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Bob the Gunslinger » 2009-08-19 12:45am

dragon wrote:Emperor Mercy WH40k

How is that? I might get it if it sounds like a fun shoot-'em-up.

and Age of Ra a very weird book. Basically the Egyptian gods driv out the other gods and Earth is divided between them. England is Orsirs and Isis, American is Horus etc. But they are actually real gods that get their power from worship and in return give divine essence to be used in weapons. The main character is a British Paratrooper and ends up in a rebellion to drive off the gods. However what they don't know is that the Gods are just a wee bit more powerful then they suspect.


One of the things I love in that book, besides the senseless transformation of the big gunfight into a knife fight, is that every time you meet a character, you can pretty much tell instantly whether the main character, Westweenter, will a) kill, b) screw or c) befriend that character. That, and the romantic dialogue is cheesier than you'll find in any book whose cover features an immortal highlander suggestively cradling his sword.

Also, mad props for all the modelling and tabletop gaming references. It takes a real ham to fit his Warhammer hobby into a torture scene. I still don't know whether the author was in on the joke or not. He's either the John Carpenter of military sci-fi or he's the Uwe Bol. I think I'll have to finish the book to find out.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Bob the Gunslinger » 2009-08-19 12:47am

Darth Nostril wrote:Working my way through a small pile of recent aquisitions, finished Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap and Matter, halfway through The Algebraist and have a rather nice Stainless Steel Rat Omnibus to finish things off.


I suggest you spread out the Stainless Steel Rat stories so that they don't get old too quickly. Unfortunately, I tried to read the omnibus straight through and just kind of fizzled on him.

You might also like Keith Laumer's character, Retief.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby loomer » 2009-08-19 01:53am

I'm reading Hallucinogens and Shamanism right now as part of my research for my tribal setting and my Nevadan Vampire stories, and I'm also reading a few other books on the same subject. It is time to introduce entheogens to the setting!
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby dragon » 2009-08-19 04:03am

Bob the Gunslinger wrote:
dragon wrote:Emperor Mercy WH40k

How is that? I might get it if it sounds like a fun shoot-'em-up.

It's pretty decent. The imperial guard battles for control of a couple of planets with only a force of 400k or so versus 7 plus million of Chaos and that's just the tip the invasion.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby DesertFly » 2009-08-19 06:07am

1633 by David Weber and Eric Flint. It's decent so far. The action's been missing, but it definitely seems to be building up to a nice battle. It's also nice to have some of the characters more rounded out: Simpson isn't a complete asshole who knows nothing and is only there to hold racist, small-minded viewpoints that make Mike Stearns look better, although Stearns is still amazing and somehow right on everything he has an opinion on. That's a bit frustrating.

I just finished The Dark Glory War, the prequel to The DragonCrown War series by Michael Stackpole, and am starting Fortress Draconis. I really liked Stackpole's take on the Rogues, so I'm looking forward to reading some more of his work.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Cairber » 2009-08-19 08:00am

Just finished The Shadow of the Wind by Zafron.

Starting The Thief's Gamble by Juliet E McKenna
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby [R_H] » 2009-08-19 12:42pm

I'm reading Ubuntu Linux - Bible and I'm also reading Force Heretic II.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Guardsman Bass » 2009-08-19 12:46pm

DesertFly wrote:1633 by David Weber and Eric Flint. It's decent so far. The action's been missing, but it definitely seems to be building up to a nice battle. It's also nice to have some of the characters more rounded out: Simpson isn't a complete asshole who knows nothing and is only there to hold racist, small-minded viewpoints that make Mike Stearns look better, although Stearns is still amazing and somehow right on everything he has an opinion on. That's a bit frustrating.

I just finished The Dark Glory War, the prequel to The DragonCrown War series by Michael Stackpole, and am starting Fortress Draconis. I really liked Stackpole's take on the Rogues, so I'm looking forward to reading some more of his work.


Personally, I found the Dark Glory War to be the best of the series, and even it tapered off a bit near the end. The rest of the books kind of declined in quality as time went on, and the final book had a massive case of "wrap-up-every-possible-loose-end"-itis.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Alferd Packer » 2009-08-19 12:52pm

I just finished World Made by Hand by James Kunstler. It's basically the novel analogue to his The Long Emergency, and it's quite good.

Right now, I'm re-reading Asimov's Robots and Empire.
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Narkis » 2009-08-19 02:48pm

The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud. Second book in an entertaining trilogy about a "modern" world where the magicians dominate the muggles, something that I wanted to see ever since I read Harry Potter.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby Vendetta » 2009-08-19 05:14pm

Currently reading Out, by Natsuo Kirino.

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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby CmdrWilkens » 2009-08-19 05:34pm

DesertFly wrote:1633 by David Weber and Eric Flint. It's decent so far. The action's been missing, but it definitely seems to be building up to a nice battle. It's also nice to have some of the characters more rounded out: Simpson isn't a complete asshole who knows nothing and is only there to hold racist, small-minded viewpoints that make Mike Stearns look better, although Stearns is still amazing and somehow right on everything he has an opinion on. That's a bit frustrating.

I just finished The Dark Glory War, the prequel to The DragonCrown War series by Michael Stackpole, and am starting Fortress Draconis. I really liked Stackpole's take on the Rogues, so I'm looking forward to reading some more of his work.


The 163X series as a whole is rather interesting. You can really ell that 1632 was a whole bunch of "America Fuck Yeah" rolled into the 30 years war. The series AFTER that point really starts building into a full alternate history. The series of stories in Italy dealing with the Papal situation balanced against the Spanish dominance in Italy is rather fascinating as are the works on the crises of the Hapsburgs (both Spanish and Austrian) during this period. 1633 is honestly a prelude to the real series and thus has a LOT of exposition and doesn't even really dig into the meat of the issue (that will wait until you get to 1634: The Baltic War).
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby fgalkin » 2009-08-19 05:34pm

Ник Перумов. "Семь зверей Райлега: Алиедора"
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Postby The Yosemite Bear » 2009-08-20 02:07am

Gotrek and Felix Omnibus I - King
(does Felix get laid in every book?)

The Right to Arm Bears-Dickson

Rough Justice-Hillerman

The Overlook- Connelly

so as usual the bear is mixing it up with fantasy/Sci fi and suspense/bloody murder.
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