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The Book Thread
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Thu, 23 Jun 2011 07:51:40
Foolz said:




Oops. Well, hope you like it!



Not as many lols as usual, but I liked the tapestry format and also the rhythm.


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Thu, 23 Jun 2011 10:56:07
aspro said:




Not as many lols as usual, but I liked the tapestry format and also the rhythm.

I don't do it for the lols. Cool

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
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Thu, 30 Jun 2011 14:21:09
How are you doing on the Hunger Games, Leo.  I enjoyed the second book as much, but felt the premise was a slight cop out. I like the direction they're going and think I'll be able to check out the third one this weekend.  President Snow has to go!

Anyone else interested in the Hunger Games series?

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Sat, 02 Jul 2011 09:18:10

Just finished Michael Lewis' NEXT. Not bad, certainly an enjoyable read. Covers some of the early years of the internet.


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Sat, 02 Jul 2011 11:25:30

I was wondering, what is your most treasured book, the book you feel proud to own?

Mine is the Art of Spirited Away

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Sun, 24 Jul 2011 10:30:17

Like last summer, in fact even more so this year, I read an awful lot while on the boat.  What I read was the following:  

The Informers by Bret Easton Ellis.  

I probably wouldn't have finished this if I hadn't been stuck on a boat without any decent bookshops or libraries for many (nautical) miles.  While I am very fond of Bret Easton Ellis's brand of caustic satire of modern society and have enjoyed American Psycho immensely, I couldn't get into this one properly.  I think it may be due to its lack of one single cohesive narrative throughout.  One line which I thought was very powerful though, which I will remember (and possibly quote) is "LA is full of vampires" (in a completely non-metaphisical context.)

The second book I read was J D Salinger's classic "Catcher in the Rye".

I was aware of this book's status as a classic of sorts.  It was rather underwhelming.  I imagine it must have been ground breaking and shocking even back when it was written, but it hasn't stood the test of time as the manifesto of teenage rebellion it is supposed to be.

The third book I read was Irvine Welsh's "If you liked school, you'll love work".

I must say that Irvine Welsh is one of my favourite writers and for a long time I read every book of his as it was published.  For the last few years though I didn't do it (even though I bought them), so I had a couple of his to read, and this boat trip was a perfect chance to bring myself back up to date with this son of Leith's particular brand of Scotsploitation (and drugsploitation).  Anyway, this is a collection of some short stories and two novellas.  Most of which aren't very good unfortunately.  However, one of the novellas "Kingdom of Fife", the one saved for last, is incredible and makes it all worth it,  Really great stuff.

The fourth book I read, was the another one by Irvine Welsh.  A collection of mostly old short stories which appeared in magazines and periodicals throughout the years appropriately named "Reheated Cabbage"

These are mostly great stuff.  Very potent and energetic.  Very human but with some genuine laugh-out-loud moments (especially if one is familiar with Irvine Welsh's cast of characters and their histories from other novels).  There is also a brand new novella "I am Miami", which strangely and despite what I thought,  is Not about DVader!  Despite this disappointment though, it's a really good story.  Loved it and enjoyed it thoroughly.

The fifth book I read was Daniel Tammet's "Born on a Blue Day"

As the subtitle says, this is the memoirs of a savant (someone similar to Dustin Hoffman's character in Rainman - who was modelled after real life savant Kim Peek) who is also on the autistic scale (namely an Asperger's syndrome sufferer) and also an epileptic.  Before saying anything else, I beg you to get a copy of this book and read it immediately.  This is incredible stuff.  As far as I know, this is the only savant who (through immense determination and endless amount of hard work and struggle) has managed to gain some self-awareness into his gift/condition and has also managed to communicate about it and describe it.  Daniel became known about five years ago when he recited from memory the number pi to over 25 000 digits for a charity and awareness event for epilepsy sufferers.  This book brought tears to my eyes many times during my read.  The humility, humanity, and directness (asperger's sufferers do not understand metaphor, irony or idioms etc as they take everything literally) is incredible.  I feel a better person for having read this and feel it's something everyone needs to read.  This book is a treasure.

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Sun, 24 Jul 2011 11:41:52

Short story collections are a trap. People just don't know how to write them properly.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Sun, 24 Jul 2011 11:58:36
Foolz said:

Short story collections are a trap. People just don't know how to write them properly.

Elaborate on what you mean by a trap.  Are you just saying that you are trapped into buying a lot of filler thrown in with some good 'uns?  I think so long as one accepts and understands that and doesn't expect them all to be winners then it's OK.

Personally I found some of the most compelling, memorable and affecting reading in short stories and I wouldn't risk missing out on that so I always buy them if I care for a particular writer.  I also enjoy the format a lot.  I think it allows writers to experiment, or play out ideas they have without having to spend too long trying to flesh it out into a full story.  They are also more uncompromised (thanks to the experimental nature and) because they can be as long (or as short) as they need without having to suffer from forced filler.  Even the ones that don't work, at least you can look at those as sort of failed experiments.  Better than wasting time and money on bad full novels

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Sun, 24 Jul 2011 12:44:39

What I meant was the majority of short stories are absolutely terrible because the majority of writers have no idea how to use the medium effectively.

I don't mean there aren't some great short stories going around. There's many I love also.

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Mon, 25 Jul 2011 10:13:12

I'm reading Barry Goldwater's autobiography.  He had a co-writer, which means he's either dumb or lazy (or both).

In any case, he comes off a pompous jerk-off.  The value of the book is in demonstrating just how F'd up Washington DC is and always has been.  He goes over the same types of issues that still plague the city, most of them derived from self-interest.  This was not his intent of course.  His intent seems to have been to inflate his impact on the nation and just how f'n awesome he is in every way.


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Thu, 28 Jul 2011 14:11:01

Is anyone considering reading the Daniel Tammet book I talked about?  I urge all of you to do so.  This is not something I do often but I feel you guys would get a lot out of reading it.  I'm sure it's very widely available at all your local libraries or it can be purchased very cheaply online.  I avoid recommending things very highly these days (too much hassle and responsibility) but in this case I feel I almost have to.

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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 20:58:41
bugsonglass said:

Is anyone considering reading the Daniel Tammet book I talked about?  I urge all of you to do so.  This is not something I do often but I feel you guys would get a lot out of reading it.  I'm sure it's very widely available at all your local libraries or it can be purchased very cheaply online.  I avoid recommending things very highly these days (too much hassle and responsibility) but in this case I feel I almost have to.

I'm thinking of ordering it online. I just discovered a neat bookstore that ships all over my country. This few days I have spent away from work and stress have made me realize I can do so much more with my life outside work than just sitting on my ass playing games on my scarce free time. I'm working on a schedule that will allow me to start reading again, as well as taking guitar lessons.

In the meantime, I just picked up a couple books (I need to consider that my book backlog is at least as sizeable as my games one):

Starting it tonight.

and this one as well:

Very much looking forward to both of them.

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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:08:06

Thanks Steel, I appreciate it.  If amazon marketplace does not try to rape you on postage, you can buy it for next to nothing.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1416549013/ref=sr_1_1_up_1_main_olp?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1312057649&sr=1-1&condition=used

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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:12:00

Thanks for the link, but international shipping fees are almost 13 bucks, lol. That's about the price of the new book over here. I'm making an account at that bookstore and will probably order it this coming week, since shipping is free on weekdays. Capitalism, ho!

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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:19:59

amazon is just ridiculous with shipping.  i can only buy things from them while i'm in the UK otherwise the postage is always much more expensive than the product i want to buy

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Sat, 30 Jul 2011 21:21:27
bugsonglass said:

amazon is just ridiculous with shipping.  i can only buy things from them while i'm in the UK otherwise the postage is always much more expensive than the product i want to buy

This always cracks me up. I envy both US and UK peeps who enjoy amazon shit without restrictions.

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Sun, 31 Jul 2011 03:32:32

They even get free postage on some things. Sad

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Sun, 31 Jul 2011 03:46:50
Foolz said:

They even get free postage on some things. Sad

Some things? We get free shipping on everything Amazon sells, even HDTVs. Free super saver shipping, FTW!  lol

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Sun, 31 Jul 2011 03:52:41
Ravenprose said:

Some things? We get free shipping on everything Amazon sells, even HDTVs. Free super saver shipping, FTW!  lol

:'(

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere  
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst  
Are full of passionate intensity.
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Sun, 31 Jul 2011 03:53:42

He's just rubbing salt on the wound now. LOL

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