Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reading, READing, READING!



Last night I finished Robert A Heinlein's The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. What a fantastic book! A quick writing style that made for an easy read and an infinitely quotable book that makes itself well worth reading. Then I picked up Lee Child's Killing Floor and read the first fifty pages of it. So far, so good.

What are you guys reading?

32 comments:

  1. The Cat Who Walks Through Walls is fucking spectacular. Have you read much else from Heinlein's World as Myth novels?

    Currently. I'm reading Meditations by Marcus Aruleus, for some very practical philosophical musings.

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    1. The only other thing I've read by Heinlein is Starship Troopers - which isn't nearly as good. I did pick up the rest of the WaM novels this morning though and am really looking forward to reading them!

      Meditations isn't bad, but it never felt as satisfying to me as Thus Spake Zarathustra.

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    2. There's something like fifty years between "Starship Troopers" and the WaM series, and I think he improved with age. And you get a glimpse of Barsoom in "Number Of The Beast", too! :)

      - chirine

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    3. Just added The Cat Who Walks Through Walls to my reading list, my epic, never-ending reading list. More adds than removals (by reading). Damn it! Why do I have to sleep!

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    4. @Chirine!

      Oh! Now I'm really glad that I picked up Number of the Beast.

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    5. @edchuk sockmonkey

      My reading list never seems to get any smaller, no matter how many books that I read. I kind of love that to be perfectly honest because no matter how many books I've read there are always more to get excited about!

      So what are you reading next?

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  2. Lots of Foucault, Borudieu and 2007 crisis economics stuff for the phd, but for fun I'm finishing off Orson Scott Card's Seventh Son. Booooooooooring as hell, but need something for the 4 hour daily train commute to and fro Osaka...

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    1. I've never been able to stomach Orson Scott Card. There's just something about his writing style that bothers me . . .

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  3. Just finished Batman Incorporated Deluxe Edition by Grant Morrison (graphic novel but imho still a book) and still flogging through Non-Stop by Brian Aldiss. So many books, so little time.

    And great quote by John Waters, that guy is a mad cinema genius.

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    1. Batman Incorporated is one of those overlooked comics because if you just hear the premise without understanding the backstory or knowing how well Morrison puts together a story, you might think it just sounds lame. I know I did before I actually read it.

      It's really Morrison's homage to all the old goofy Batman stuff from the late 50's and early 60's and how to integrate all that into the more current darker version of the character to have it all make sense. So many other writers just ignore all that old stuff but Morrison figured out a way to put it all together and tell a great epic story that is still a bit dark and grim but that doesn't lose the sense of fun that superhero comics should have.

      And yes, graphic novels count as "books." :)

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  4. I'm stalled at the moment, but I am in the middle of Tanith Lee's Delirium's Mistress (when I do finish it, I will also re-read Night's Sorceries). Because I never read just one thing, I am also in the middle of The Deities Are Many by Jordan Paper for a bit of philosophy and have recently begun The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake. Further, I've been working my way through an annotated version of Three Books of Occult Philosophy by Agrippa, and am almost through the first book.

    When I finish up with Lee, I think I'll read Jim Butcher's "Codex Alera" series.

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    1. I've always been meaning to read Agrippa but I've never been able to find anything in a reasonable price range. Is it worth paying full (i.e. not used bookstore prices) for?

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    2. Well, if it is a subject that interests you seriously, it is one of (if not the) foundational texts of Western occultism. It also retains a great deal of information from pre-Christian Europe (re-cast in Christian terms, of course), along with early cabala and other Middle Eastern occult practices. I recommend the edition edited by Donald Tyson (note that the e-book edition is just $6), as his annotations and included essays are well worth it. The publisher has something of a bad reputation, but not for this category of material.

      Anyway, the short answer is yes. If the subject interests you, it is required as at least a reference, and you should read it in full.

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    3. It's an interesting subject and I'm always looking for something good to read. Usually I tend to stick to the classics and post WWI philosophy texts as you don't get bogged down in discussions of terms nearly as often - unless you're reading Wittgenstein or one of his cronies . . .

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    4. Well, it's not an easy read. It was, after all, written as an encyclopedia of sorts. It is, however, an amazing collection of pre-scientific beliefs about how the world worked.

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    5. Okay, you've sold me on it. Now I just have to find a copy with a cover I like . . .

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  5. H. Beam Piper

    I had been given a few of his "Fuzzy" books back in the early 80's, but then George Lucas forever ruined the whole idea of 3' tall cute furry aliens, so I never went on to discover that, like Heinlein, or possibly even earlier, Piper had come up with the idea of "future history" and that he had a Terran Federation that collapsed (reducing much of the galaxy to feudalism and worse) and was succeeded by a series of empires that eventually found many of the lost worlds over the course of several thousand years.

    Currently I'm about 6 pages into Uller Uprising. Too soon to say anything. But I can highly recommend that two short story collections called Federation and Empire

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    1. I've never heard of H. Beam Piper before! I'm going to have to look more into these books. Thank you so much for telling me about them!

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    2. Dude! You're in for a real treat. Piper's Federation novels were a huge inspiration for Traveller, and damn good fun into the bargain. I'm particularly fond of The Cosmic Computer. My heroes have always been traders.

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    3. Really?

      I had no idea that he was one of the major influences for Traveller. For some reason I always assumed that it had the be the Hubbard, Heinlein, Asimov connection. I have no idea why that is either.

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    4. Aside from Piper, the only other generally agreed upon source/influence for Traveller is E.C. Tubb's Dumarest series. (I also count Andre Norton as a major influence, but a lot of Traveller players seem to disagree with me). There are also a lot of similarities to C.J. Cherryh's Alliance & Union universe, but those are either purely coincidental or Cherry was influenced by Traveller as her similar works were mostly published 2-3 years later.

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    5. I absolutely agree with you on Norton, tom... in particular the the Solar Queen (I just love Sargasso of Space) and Forerunner novels.

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  6. Latest good read was Lester Del Rey's "The sky is falling". Somewhat bizarre and surreal but played straight and really entertaining. Del Rey seems to be underappreciated IMO. Everyone knows his name as an imprint of pulp sci-fi but he was a great writer. The other writer I recommend unreservedly is Avram Davidson.
    You're welcome.

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    1. I never realized Del Rey actually wrote anything. I'll have to look him and Avram Davidson up!

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    2. Donald A. Wollheim (mostly known as the publisher of the ACE and DAW imprints) also wrote some decent SF. Most of his novels (some of my favorites were The Secret of Saturn's Rings and The Secret of the Martian Moons) target teen readers, and I haven't read them since I was about 10-12 so I can't say how they would hold up by adult standards. He does have some good short stories if you can find them scattered across various pulps and anthologies.

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  7. Guess I should actually comment on what I'm reading.

    Obviously there are a bunch of comics. I've culled my monthly pull-list down to about 32 titles, which is pretty much DC and a bunch of independents. But I recently shifted a few of my Independent titles (Manifest Destiny and Rat Queens being the two most recent) over to trade formats so I'll be waiting on those later this year. I killed off a bunch of DC titles completely, which ended up being okay since a bunch of those later got canceled anyway.

    I'm still reading Beer in America - the Early Years: 1587-1840 which is really a fun and fascinating read, but it's very scholarly in nature with a ton of footnotes, so it's not a quick read. It demands a slower, more studious reading than a typical work of fiction.

    I'm also reading The Cocktail Lab just to sharpen my amateur bartending skills, and continuing to read By the Balls, a hard-boiled detective type story with some quirky humor thrown in for good measure.

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    1. Man, I keep forgetting to thank you for introducing me to Rat Queens. That is sigularly the best comic I've read in years!

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    2. You're welcome! I'm glad that some of my comics related posts actually got read by some gamers. :)

      And Rat Queens is definitely awesome. The only reason I moved it to trade is because somehow my shop got shorted on an issue, and I couldn't find it anywhere, so it just made since to move to trade format.

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    3. Seconding thanks on Rat Queens, which I also ordered at the bookstore after reading your post, Martin.

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  8. I real alto of nonfiction history, odd considering my mind is usually 90% occupied with creating non-historical fiction.

    Just finished "Bloody Mohawk"
    http://www.amazon.com/Bloody-Mohawk-American-Revolution-Frontier/dp/1883789664


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