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OTF book club

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Ev_, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Ev_

    Ev_ IncGamers Member

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    OTF book club

    Read any books lately? Give us a review.

    Black,
    Red,
    White all three by Ted Dekker
    A Trilogy. I picked up Black randomly off the fiction shelf and it looked interesting. An average guys gets grazed in the head by a bullet and passes out. He wakes up in another world, but everything feels real. He soon finds out that every time he sleeps in one world, he wakes in the other. He also learns that the worlds are connected...knowledge, skills, and injuries transfer between them with him. When I went to buy Red and White, I was surprised to find them on the Christian Fiction shelf. Apparently I totally missed the religious undertones in Black. It was more obvious in Red and White, but it wasn't preachy...just some parallels between the book and some Christian beliefs. The plot of the three books is entertaining. The main character tries to stop terrorists from unleashing a nasty virus upon the entire world in one reality, while fighting a war with a rival tribe in the other. He learns how to take advantage of all the benefits that each world offers him to use in the other. Good sci-fi read.

    Revenge by Stephen Fry
    Yep, Stephen Fry the British comedian/actor. I couldn't put this one down. This is a modernization of The Count of Monte Cristo, one of my favorite stories. A prank gone wrong sends the high school boy who has it all into political exile and captivity for years until, as we all know, he returns to exact his revenge. The book is harsh and twisted throughout, but Fry injects humor all over the place, often taking stabs at British society. Excellent read, one I definitely recommend.

    Salad Days by Charles Romalotti
    One of the best books I've read in a long time, and I've read a lot of good books lately. This book is a first person story about a straight-edge, vegetarian, hardcore kid growing up in rural Kansas. It begins in his high school, and all the crap he has to deal with being the "freak" in a redneck town. The first third of the book takes us to graduation, then makes a jump to a few years later and follows his life from there. I don't want to say much else for fear of spoiling anything. This book is extremely emotional and trying. Some of the most powerful passages are the handful of present tense pages scattered about the book that detail the situation he's in while he's telling you his story. It's sad, but very very very good. Any fan of music should read this, as the main bulk of the book is his memories of the two bands he was in, playing shows, touring, practicing, and so forth.

    The Last Season by Eric Blehm
    Okay, I'm pimping my brother in law's newest book. But I'm doing so because it was amazing. It's the only book that's ever brought me to tears. A documentary account of Randy Morgenson, a Sierra Park ranger for three decades who disappeared on routine patrol in the mid 90's, and the search and rescue efforts to find him, mixed in with chapters that go back and tell Randy's past. It's not just a story for mountain junkies. I really think anybody would like this book. Eric pulled hundreds of lines from Randy's logbooks...that man had a serious way with words. Some of the most eloquent and passionate words I've ever read. Anyway, I recommend it, and not just because he's my bro.
     
  2. HaLoPhReAk

    HaLoPhReAk IncGamers Member

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    I have currently red a few books over the summer:

    1) Whispers by Dean Koontz
    2) Dreamcatcher by Stevin King
    3) To sail beyond the Sunset by Robert A. Heinlein
    4) 1/2 way then stopped through: Have space suit will travel.
    I'm almoast done with: Bag of Bones (steven king).

    I read these for pleasure, and I have liked them all, Whispers wasn't all that good, so far I like Steven King and Heinlein's books. Kind of the spooky and funny Sci-Fi ones (favorite charactar is Jubal Harshaw...wow this makes me feel :nerd:

    EDIT: omg they actually have one of those smilies!!! i was just writing that for kicks

    EDIT EDIT: will give "review" later, i don't have time to do it now, HW :undecided:
     
  3. Merick

    Merick IncGamers Member

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    I'll give short descriptions because no one cares:

    Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke
    Excellent. The mystery kept me wanting more all the time, and it gave a very interesting look at humanity and a potential relationship with aliens. Washed the taste of the Rama and 2001 series (well, all but the first of the series) out of my mouth.
    5/5

    The Peace War by Vernor Vinge
    Very good. I love Vinge, he has such intersting and non-cliche characters. The whole bobble idea is a very interesting take on an old concept. He's just so good at this stuff. But, like he does sometimes, some half detail/half important stuff never gets fully explained and it makes the story confusing in parts. Reading the sequel now and it's fantastic.
    4/5

    Dune by Frank Herbert
    It was pretty good. The story was interesting, and the political intrigue was fun to follow, even if it was too detailed in parts. I didn't like the wacky names for all sorts of things. As Asimov said in a foreword for one of his books (and I'm paraphrasing heavily): "Obviously, aliens wouldn't use the meter for measurement, but I thought it would be more comprehensible than using the term 'kyrsts' and have them equal 1.345 meters". All the jargon got tiresome The Fremen among others went from being really cool heroes of justice to bloodthirsty arbitrary killer jerks, which made it hard to root for anyone at times. I don't plan on reading any more of the series.
    4/5

    Transcendant by Stephen Baxter
    Another dual-viewpoint book by baxter. Instead of near future and Roman Empire, it's near future and millions of years in the future. The son seemed to only be in the book to be a jerk offering a different opinion. I often had to force myself to get through the near future parts, because it had so much hand-wringing about what to do about the environment, while the far future parts were adventures on grand scales.
    4/5

    Other books recently read:
    Flux by Stephen Baxter 3/5
    Ring by Stephen Baxter 3/5
    The Two Faces of Tomorrow by James Hogan 2/5
    Tatja Grimm's world by Vernor Vinge 4/5
     
  4. Beowulf

    Beowulf IncGamers Member

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    I like a lot of Baxter's work.

    Most recent read is Count Zero from William Gibson the master of cyberpunk and the true creater of the Matrix. 4.5/5
     
  5. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    Haven't had time to read in AGES...
     
  6. mhl12

    mhl12 IncGamers Member

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    my summer reading:

    Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu
    i figured the second most published book in the world was worth reading.. even though the translation was pretty bad

    Killer Angels - Michael Shaara
    pretty accurate historical fiction recount of Gettysburg. The 1993 movie was based off of the this book.

    All the Kings Men - Robert Penn Warren
    There's a lot of stuff in this book. Either way it was pretty confusing to read at first because the story doesn't move forward.. it kinda goes backwards.
     
  7. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    I checked.

    You read 72 threads today.

    So there.
     
  8. Yaboosh

    Yaboosh IncGamers Member

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    Well lets see, I am halfway through Wayward Puritans by Kai Erikson, which is a sociological/criminological/historical study of the Puritans and the 3 "crimewaves" they experienced. It seems to support Durkheim's idea that crime is not only inevitable, but it is necessary to the existence of society.

    I am also halfway through A Primer in Theory Construction by Reynolds, which is basically an introduction to just that, theory construction. It is not specific to a field of science, but just simply science in general. Much of the book has been research methods and defining terminology such as concepts, theories, axioms, hypotheses blah blah blah. The class for which this is for is going to be quite difficult.

    I don't read much for pleasure. Though I am soon to read a book that puts forth the argument that it is not the threat of punishment that keeps us from committing crime, but it is whether or not we view the law as legitimate. This sounds fairly interesting and could have much application to my research interests.
     
  9. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    I should have mentioned that I re-read Touching the Void by Joe Simpson. Very, very powerful. For whatever reason, it hit me harder the second time around. Guy broke his leg/knee while climbing about about 22,000 feet. 5 or 6 days of hell. Yet he lived.

    Currently reading Between a Rock and a Hard Place. Story about the guy who cut his own arm off when he got trapped while hiking in Utah.
     
  10. Ev_

    Ev_ IncGamers Member

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    That just made my list of books to buy. Fantastic movie, and the Civil War is the point in American history that interests me the most.

    That story was beyond amazing.
    If I may mention my bro's book again, he got Aron Ralston (Between a Rock and a Hard Place) to pre-read the book and provide a jacket quote. If I had to pick one person in the OTF to read it, you'd be the one, Amra.
     
  11. Jigga-Scrooge

    Jigga-Scrooge IncGamers Member

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    i read here and there of the ninja book by rober hamberger. its pretty neat.
     
  12. Xenon[XoA]

    Xenon[XoA] Banned

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    I don't read books that often =/
    Just lots've essays online, or in pdf form.

    Most recent was an interesting essay on Stenography, by 'Harlequin' of +Ma's Reversing.
     
  13. Dondrei

    Dondrei IncGamers Member

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    I meant anything literate.
     
  14. Sir EvilFreeSmeg

    Sir EvilFreeSmeg Banned

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    Go Dog Go
    Green Eggs and Ham
    Pokey Little Puppy
    And damned near every other Little Golden Book out there

    Reading for myself consists of trade publications lately. The last real book I read was Night of the Silver Stars. That was 4 months ago.
     
  15. thejdawg2

    thejdawg2 IncGamers Member

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    Just finished Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond.
    A look at why Eurasian, then largely European societies developed technology, society, etc. at an accelerated rate versus societies from other locales. Critically acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize, yadda yadda. Good, but really rather repetititve.

    Starting Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. If on a winter's night a traveler... turned me into a fan of his, and I don't think I'll be disappointed.
     
  16. Craboy

    Craboy IncGamers Member

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    That Guy in Utah was just plain idiotic. One doesnt go into the wilderness without telling someone where he is going, and what time he is planning on getting home. He deserved to lose an arm over that stupid blunder.

    Even a first year boyscout knows enough to aviod this situation, let alone an "experienced mountaineer." Good riddance.
     
  17. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    Agreed. The movie is good too. The dvd has some interesting, if at times repetative, features.


    Thanks. This is nice of you to say.

    Can you get me a free copy? :wink2:


    That sounds a bit like Krakauer's "Into the Wild", which I very much enjoyed.
     
  18. Ev_

    Ev_ IncGamers Member

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    Haha, sorry. I'd be handing out free copies all over the place if I could get them. Alas, I only got one for myself. :)
     
  19. Amra

    Amra IncGamers Member

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    Nerts. Well I tried. Now I guess I have to buy it Ev_.

    I will reserve judgement until I finish the book and then form my own thoughts.

    At first glace this does seem a bit of a freak accident though.

    Look at it this way, at least he now always has a can opener on hand.
     
  20. FirsTimer

    FirsTimer IncGamers Member

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    Riding the bus provides plenty of reading time :grin:

    In the past month I've gotten through these:

    The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
    Blink - Gladwell
    The FairTax Boox - Neil Boortz & John Linder
    101 people that are screwing up America and Al Franken is #37 - Bernard Goldberg
    Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs - Chuck Klosterman
    The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
    Government in the Future - Chomsky

    Some good, some bad, some funny, some sad, and some disturbing. I can provide reviews upon request, but suffice it to say, any of these would be worth your time (except maybe Chomsky).

    I, like thejdawg, am working on Guns, Germs and Steel. I've got Collapse anxiously sitting on my nightstand waiting for me to finish.
     

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