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  1. #221
    ODN's Crotchety Old Man

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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Hitch-22, by Christopher Hitchens (and yes, I know he has cancer, and no, he hasn't made a deathbed confession, and yes, the deathbed is where it looks like he's heading)

  2. #222
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    I recently finished Douglas Adams' "The Long, Dark Teatime of the Soul," and have just started Steinbeck's "East of Eden."
    If I am capable of grasping God objectively, I do not believe, but precisely because I cannot do this I must believe. - Soren Kierkegaard
    **** you, I won't do what you tell me

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  3. #223
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheSparrow View Post
    Far from the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy. Mostly good, but long.
    For your fortitude in reading Hardy, I'm not sure whether to applaud you or to check your sanity. I read Tess of the d'Ubervilles and loathed every page. The man is just too depressing!

    I don't currently have any recreational reads going, but I'm reading several review books for the USMLE step 2.

    In my car, however, I'm listening to some fantasy fiction on mp3. - "A Game of Thrones" by George R. R. Martin. It's part of the Song of Fire and Ice, which is as yet incomplete. It was a long enough series that I was pretty sure I'd be able to keep listening to it for the entire duration of my road trip up to New York and back down once it's time for me to leave. Audiobooks are pretty much the only way I can pull off long haul trips, and I wanted something interesting. This fits the bill.

    The Song of Fire and Ice is interesting in that it takes a setting in which there used to be high magic and tells a very gritty, surprisingly mundane (for a fantasy setting) tale of intrigue and battle with just the barest suggestion of magic yet to come. Martin's not afraid to kill off or seriously injure even major characters you've invested emotion into, so it makes for an interesting read. Not having the implied safety of "plot protection" makes following each character a little more dynamic, in my mind. The pace continues at a pretty good clip, not getting too bogged down in minutiae but pausing long enough for you to have a very good sense of what's happening and why it's important.

    I just wish he'd come on and finish the damned series. I started reading this series back in 2004, and I stopped when I realized that book 4 - A Feast for Crows - wasn't coming out anytime in the near future. I believe he's still trying to get book 5 out, and I have no idea when it's due for release, if there is even a date set.
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  4. #224
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    For your fortitude in reading Hardy, I'm not sure whether to applaud you or to check your sanity. I read Tess of the d'Ubervilles and loathed every page. The man is just too depressing!
    I really really loved the A&E adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles........ but that was probably back when I was depressed and a depressing story didn't bother me. I went so far as to acquire the book, but haven ever have the... patience... to read it. Your statement here has convinced me that I should just keep it on the shelf.

    I'm currently reading (as I posted elsewhere) Patient Zero. 50+ chapters in, and it's a pre-zombie apocalypse book... "pre" in that their purpose is to stave off the zombie apocalypse, as opposed to dealing with it as it's happening. Not as cool as I thought... I'm thinking a weird mix of the Di Vinci Code (in style) and 24 (in content), but the terrorists are cooking up zombie viruses (or is it virii...). I'll give it a 7.

    I'm also trying to get through (and I keep forgetting to grab it) One Second After. I'm about halfway through that. This is about a rural town and what happens after an EMP attack. Interesting note: The forward is by Newt Gingrich, telling us just how real this threat is to us (the US) and just how realistic this portrayal is of how the situation would unfold. It kept me hanging on. I'd give it an 8 so far, but anticipate this will go up when I finish.

    Sensing a theme?
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  5. #225
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix View Post
    I really really loved the A&E adaptation of Tess of the d'Urbervilles........ but that was probably back when I was depressed and a depressing story didn't bother me. I went so far as to acquire the book, but haven ever have the... patience... to read it. Your statement here has convinced me that I should just keep it on the shelf.
    That's probably best... I think Thomas Hardy is a punishment to be inflicted upon only the most unruly child... no, wait... too cruel, and you don't want to turn them off of reading by using it as a punishment. Best use of that book is tinder for your next barbecue.

    Quote Originally Posted by ladyphoenix
    Sensing a theme?
    I'm a member of a facebook group, "The hardest thing about the zombie apocalypse will be pretending I'm not excited." I think that the same case exists for you.
    -=[Talthas]=-
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  6. #226
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Talthas View Post
    I'm a member of a facebook group, "The hardest thing about the zombie apocalypse will be pretending I'm not excited." I think that the same case exists for you.
    ...let's go on to see if you're correct in this assumption...

    Next books on my reading list:

    Good Omens (which I started but got too excited by a zombie book to continue)... It's all about the biblical apocalypse, complete with antichrist. I love how they introduce all the characters. I love the style.

    City of the Dead, take a wild guess what the plot of this one is... plus the twist that these zombies are possessed by demons.

    The Passage, a viral outbreak that turns everyone into vampires covering what I would consider the first two stages of crisis, which sort of rolls up into the "post-apocalyptic" stage...

    The Road, a post-apocalyptic story about a father and his very young son trying to survive in fear of cannibals... not unlike "Book of Eli" which I have thought about reading and decided not to, at least not now. The Road was recently made into a movie which didn't make it to our local "A" theater, though I do think it made it to our Independent Film theater. Hubs saw the movie, thinks it was after some sort of nuclear holocaust.

    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, Mansfield Park and Mummies, Emma and the Warewolves... Some interesting twists Jane Austin...

    World War Z, a collection of first-hand accounts (like a collection of short-stories) of the zombie apocalypse. Hubs owns the book, but I'm far too busy for REAL books.

    These are all loaded currently on my Droid. I will listen to them while I'm at work.

    There are certainly parts that I would be excited about, though admittedly, the Zombies wouldn't be one of them. I'd probably be happier if it were something that could potentially end or be localized. Zombie apocalypse would never reach stage three, at least not in my life time. I've got enough to worry about dealing with other humans, let's not add blood-thirsty ex-humans.
    "And that, my lord, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped." ~ Monty Python


  7. #227
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Freakonomics, by Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt.

    It is an amazing look at some challenging questions viewed through the basic economic principle of incentive. The authors have come up with some extraordinarily unorthodox answers to some weird questions, like "If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live in their parents' basement?", which addresses the top-down approach to black-market economies, and "How are teachers like Sumo Wrestlers," which explores corruption in performance-based systems. They even explain the reduction in crime in the '90s as being a result of a Dallas-native taking umbrage with a specific law in 1970.

    I read this book for the first time when I was deployed in 2005, but I like to reread books every few years and see if I come to the same conclusions now that I did then.
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  8. #228
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, by Phillip Kindred Dick.

    The subject material for the famous movie Blade Runner, directed by Scott Ridley.

    A little summary of the plot from wikipedia (half spoiler half not spoiler):

    The novel follows bounty hunter Rick Deckard through one day of his life, as he tracks down renegade androids who have assumed human identities.
    Despite his marriage, he falls for and sleeps with Rachael Rosen, a beautiful female android he initially believes to be human and who attempts to turn him away from bounty hunting. Deckard becomes confused about humanity, morality and empathy. He is arrested after attempting to retire the second android, but escapes with fellow bounty hunter Phil Resch after encountering an android posing as police chief. His moral quandary deepens after working briefly with Phil Resch, who turns out to be a particularly callous fellow bounty hunter.
    Deckard's story is paralleled by that of J.R. Isidore, a driver for an animal repair shop who cannot qualify to leave Earth and so lives alone, with little outside contact other than his Empathy Box. Pris Stratton moves into the building and the lonely Isidore attempts to befriend her. Pris proves to be a runaway android, identical in appearance to Rachael Rosen.
    Deckard eventually retires all of the illegal androids, earning him a citation for the record number of kills in one day. He returns home to discover that Rachael Rosen killed his (real) pet goat by pushing it off the roof. He understands that Rachael was taking revenge, and is thankful that the loss is financial; the android could instead have killed his wife.
    He travels to an isolated desert to meditate and has an epiphany. He also finds a toad, thought to be extinct and considered to be Mercer's favorite animal. Deckard brings it home, where his wife discovers that the toad is in fact synthetic. Deckard is not glad but "prefers" to know the toad is artificial.
    Here are some of the best quotes from it, displaying the genius, Frank Herbert like, novel language and format of Phillip Kindred Dick:

    Quotes from Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    "My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression."

    "So I left the TV sound off and I sat down at my mood organ and I experimented. And I finally found a setting for despair…So I put it on my schedule for twice a month; I think that's a reasonable amount of time to feel hopeless about everything..."

    "I can't stand TV before breakfast."
    "Dial 888…The desire to watch TV, no matter what's on it."

    'Emigrate or degenerate! The choice is yours!'

    …it had been a costly war despite the valiant predictions of the Pentagon…In addition, no-one today remembered why the war had come about or who, if anyone, had won.

    Empathy, he once had decided, must be limited to herbivores or anyhow ominvores who could depart from a meat diet. Because, ultimately, the empathic gift blurred the boundaries between hunter and victim, between the successful and the defeated.

    The tyranny of an object, he thought. It doesn't know I exist.

    "The population is small enough now; everyone, sooner or later, runs into a random checkpoint."

    "Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers of yesterday's homeopape. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself. For instance, if you go to bed leaving any kipplpe around your apartment, when you wake up next morning there's twice as much of it. It always gets more and more."

    "There's the First Law of Kipple…'Kipple drives out nonkipple'."

    What kind of world is it, he asked himself, when an android phones up a bounty hunter and offers him assistance?

    "Don't you know, Deckard, that in the colonies they have android mistresses?"
    "It's illegal," Rick said, knowing the law about that.
    "Sure it's illegal. But most variations in sex are illegal. But people do it anyhow."

    Isidore, then, had a momentary, strange hallucination; he saw briefly a frame of metal, a platform of pullies and circuits and batteries and turrets and gears - and then the slovenly shape of Roy Baty faded back into view.

    "If I get them I'm going to buy a sheep."
    "You have a sheep. You've had one as long as I've known you."
    "It's electric."

    "You will be required to do wrong no matter where you go. It is the basic condition of life, to be required to violate your own identity."

    "Mercer isn't a fake…Uinless reality is a fake."

    "Sometimes it's better to do something wrong than right."
    Basically, it is about everything going mechanical, even emotions. People can use a sort of radio to dial into the emotions they choose, and cloning is a reality. It is an examination of what is and isn't human, through demonstration.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  9. #229
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    HUGE fan of Phillip K. Dick. Me and a friend of mine drove 50 miles to see A Scanner Darkly on opening day. Besides us two, nobody else had even heard of the movie, let alone the book, let alone the author. I mean, Blade Runner was Ridley Scott, wasn't it???
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  10. #230
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    I feel completely lame. I'm currently reading a 400 page training document. On how to use McAfee. Sometimes, I hate my job.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

  11. #231
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Don't feel bad, Jamie. I'm currently reading Economy for Today, 6th Edition, Human Resource Management, 11th Edition, and MKT 201 - Principles of Marketing. Used, they only cost $504.56, but they're real page-turners! Especially Econ, let me tell ya...
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  12. #232
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Eeeee! Expensive! Aren't there new websites to rent books? I think I'm more upset with figuring out how to train all 400 pages in a one hour class. Just for those people to teach it to others. With 38 hours to go before the class. It's so pretty out; all I can think about is grabbing the bottle of booze on top of my fridge and sitting outside.

    Enjoy you're reading and I will enjoy mine, hopefully tipsy reading, in a few.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

  13. #233
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    The Econ book was $185 by itself, and that's the used price. It just so happens they officially switched to the 6th edition just this semester, so all of our used books came from national booksellers. I've heard 7th edition is ready to go for spring (thus, not letting me use this one for Micro-econ next semester). The online rent-a-book price? $167. Great savings, for a file that is programmed to expire, right?

    College books are such a scam.
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  14. #234
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Just finished Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. A story about a British SAS team's experience during the first Gulf War. Juevos gentlemen, juevos.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  15. #235
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    Just finished Bravo Two Zero by Andy McNab. A story about a British SAS team's experience during the first Gulf War. Juevos gentlemen, juevos.
    Was that the one where they were hunkered down in that ditch, and called in danger-close arty on their own position?
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  16. #236
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo
    Was that the one where they were hunkered down in that ditch, and called in danger-close arty on their own position?
    I recall that story, I think it was an American SF team further south. This involves a lot of evasion technique (they move 85K the first night) and then a hell of a lot of beatings.
    "Suffering lies not with inequality, but with dependence." -Voltaire
    "Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.” -G.K. Chesterton
    Also, if you think I've overlooked your post please shoot me a PM, I'm not intentionally ignoring you.


  17. #237
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squatch347 View Post
    I recall that story, I think it was an American SF team further south. This involves a lot of evasion technique (they move 85K the first night) and then a hell of a lot of beatings.
    Oh, that's right. I know what you're talking about now. The story I was confusing it with was actually either Force Recon or Seals, and it was either calling in JDAMS or 105mms from an AC-130, like, 20 feet from their ditch. Definitely American, though.
    The Signature Religion is the one true religion. I know this is true, because it says so right here in this signature.

  18. #238
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Gonzo View Post
    HUGE fan of Phillip K. Dick. Me and a friend of mine drove 50 miles to see A Scanner Darkly on opening day. Besides us two, nobody else had even heard of the movie, let alone the book, let alone the author. I mean, Blade Runner was Ridley Scott, wasn't it???
    Yes, Ridley Scott directed Blade Runner. However, David Peoples rewrote the script of a novel made screenplay named Blade Runner (a little loosely based on Dick's work). So, Blade Runner wasn't much of a carbon copy of Dick's work at all. You probably noticed yourself in the movie that the dialogue didn't possess that same acid wit and satiric humor that Dick used in his novel.

    With that said, they still did the book justice, and most of the philosophical premise behind it was left intact. And amazingly, Roy Batty's (actor by the name of Rutger Hauer) lines during his death scene were completely improvised: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTzA_xesrL8 Compared to other movie renditions of a literary classic, this one had quite a grip on the emotional undercurrent of the novel.
    There is no wealth like knowledge, no poverty like ignorance.
    Nahj ul-Balāgha by Ali bin Abu-Talib

  19. #239
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    I just finished 'Under the Dome' by Stephen King last night. I tell you; that book kept me on my toes the whole time.
    There is no path. Beyond the scope of light - beyond the reach of dark - what could possibly await us?
    And yet we seek it insatiably. Such is our fate.

  20. #240
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    Re: What are you reading right now?

    I read "Who Moved My Cheese?", by Spencer Johnson while on lunch. I'm not sure if I liked it.
    "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." ~Bertrand Russell

 

 
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