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    • CommentAuthorGordon
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2012
     (10422.121)
    @MartinSheen

    The Strain is fun but not exactly groundbreaking. If you want to switch your brain off and enjoy some horror action then go for it.
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      CommentAuthorMShades
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2012
     (10422.122)
    Finished "Blood Meridian" and now I feel like taking up smoking again. And murder.

    Moving on to "Ender's Shadow," seeing as how I've never read it and I just finished teaching "Ender's Game" to my students.
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      CommentAuthorJaredRules
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2012
     (10422.123)
    Finished The Grifters by Jim Thompson

    A decent crime novel about people screwing each other over. I feel like it took a while to get juicy, but the last few chapters nailed it.
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      CommentAuthorPaprika
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2012
     (10422.124)
    Just snagged- Curating Consciousness: Mysticism and the Modern Museum by Marcia Brennan.

    Yes I know.
  1.  (10422.125)
    @mercer finn RE: Schismatrix Plus

    Absolutely loved that book - had to buy a copy for a friend too as soon as I finished it. I like to describe it as Dune for the Cyberpunk generation because it manages to feel that epic, whilst still being as intimate as cyberpunk stories tend to be.

    As for my current reading - I have so many untouched books at home it makes me sad. For my trip I have a collection of 5 Dick novels bound into one book, printed on bible paper (how apt), and Burroughs' Naked Lunch for re-reading. Finished Dick's Martian Time Slip, which was better than I remember it being.
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      CommentAuthornigredo
    • CommentTimeFeb 7th 2012
     (10422.126)
    SCHISMATRIX is one of my favourite pieces of fiction ever. Love the shaper/Mechanist short stories too. Wonderful stuff.
  2.  (10422.127)
    @Gordon

    Thanks for the info. Unfortunately the bulk of my reading over the next couple of months must consist of psych textbooks, so, I don't think I'll dive into The Strain books without a heartier recommendation... But I understand what you mean:) Cheers.

    I do have a copy of Nick Cave's 'The Death of Bunny Munro' around here somewhere that I really should jump into.

    The last book I read was Horns, by Stephen Kings son Joe Hill. Did anyone else find Hill's writing style to be almost identical to his Pops??

    The flow and feel was really familiar, which is a massive compliment. S.K.'s stories might be hit and miss but at least his actual writing is always reliable.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2012 edited
     (10422.128)
    @Corey Waits
    Yeah, yr right, I think Dune is the only thing I can really compare it to in terms of epic-ness. In fact, I think it might be better, in that Sterling has thought about the world and his ideas more. Really LOVE LOVE LOVE. It's one of those books I can't really talk about because I'm constantly aware of how much smarter it is than me.

    I've given up on The Dispossessed. The speech by the guy from the 'communist' society I think was the point at which I thought enough was enough. Right now am 2/3 the way through Wuthering Heights, which I read as a teenager and barely understood. Now I get it, and it's brilliant. I think the best way to look at it is as a very very very very BLACK satire. It is truly sadistic when it comes to love, familial and romantic.
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2012
     (10422.129)
    Schizmatrix was a bracing antidote to the triumphalist, gloppy comfort-food space colonization SF of the 70s and 80s.

    READING:
    Various hobby magazines, including MAKE
    "What Einstein Told His Cook" Essays about food and cooking from a scientific perspective.
    "Songs of the Dying Earth". Wonderful short stories set in Jack Vance's Dying Earth setting.

    Listening to: "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo."
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      CommentAuthorWaxPoetic
    • CommentTimeFeb 8th 2012
     (10422.130)
    @Paprika - *gurgledroolz* that looks deliciously cerebral...

    Brought home Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. Extra Virginity is wonderful, though I'm having to slow myself down - feel like I'm not getting enough info, just chomping away. Haven't cracked Embassytown yet, even though I do lurve Mr. M.
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      CommentAuthorStoto
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012
     (10422.131)
    Don't see a lot of chat about self-help books around here, but I have to recommend the book I just finished.

    The User's Guide to the Human Mind: Why Our Brains Make Us Unhappy, Anxious, and Neurotic and What We Can Do about It by Shawn T. Smith

    I recently fell out of love with mindfulness and this guy's orientation fills the gaps where mindfulness seemed lacking.
    Last year I struggled through Jon Kabat-Zinn's 500 page 'Full Catastrophe Living' and gleaned far less advice on how to accept negative thoughts than this 200 page gem.
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th 2012
     (10422.132)
    Accepting negative thoughts, eh? You should just read some Bataille.

    Finished Reaper's Gale. Dang. That bit where the dragon-lady gets attacked by the two bears, and the last paragraph in the fight scene is just something like "All was left was a bit of occipital plate and a flap of scalp, dangling limply from the neck."? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaang. There's always so much more I want to quote from those books, all those great sexy bits about blowing shit up and ruining societies and oh man then there's Karsa Orlong and he's all "Witness."? Daa....

    Then I scrumbled my way through Ghost Brigades, expecting more rollicking adventures a la Old Man's War. Not so. Too dry, maybe too politicized. Oh well.
    Now I'm reading Nausea by Sartre and am equally unimpressed. Its aimlessness isn't really jiving with my own utter uselessness these days. Oh well x2.
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      CommentAuthorStoto
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
     (10422.133)
    @allana

    A cursory wikipedia check = "Whaaaa?!"
    Anything in particular I should check out?
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      CommentAuthorallana
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
     (10422.134)
    I almost regret saying it: from what I know of you (Tumblr, music tastes, etc.) I feel like maybe you're too ... pure? for Bataille? At the very least I imagine you're looking for a more serene treatise on the topic than Bataille ever really offers. Most of his work is the narrative of him trying to exorcise some demon or another, in a typically manic way. It jives much more with the existential than the Buddhist, that is, it's more about sublimation of negativity into joy than it is about renunciation of urges or worries.
    That said, if you want to read some for kicks, I'd say Inner Experience might be a good starting point.
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      CommentAuthoroldhat
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012 edited
     (10422.135)
    Finished Blood, Bones and Butter and...man. I think that book could have been shorter. Last half of it was devoted to how much she loves Italy and how much she hates her husband. Was relieved to find that they did eventually divorce (which happened shortly after the book was published), but JESUS. She hated that guy.

    Figuring out what to read next. In the meantime I have the Too Much Coffee Man Omnibus, which is wonderful.
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      CommentAuthorscs
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
     (10422.136)
    @Martin Sheen: The Strain trilogy started good, but by the end of book 2 it was 1.5 books of awful. I received the third volume for Christmas, and thus far it continues going downhill.

    @Si: @Timbo recommended Guns, Germs and Steel by Jarod Diamond. I'll second that and also recommend Diamond's Collapse. Both books are fascinating.

    I've read about a dozen books so far this year, but my hands-down favorite is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. The reviews do not lie. I was very, very sorry to see it end. Yes, it has some flaws, but the good parts were so damned good I simply don't care about the flaws.
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      CommentAuthorStoto
    • CommentTimeFeb 13th 2012
     (10422.137)
    @allana

    No doubt I'll get tired of ACT sometime in the future, so I'll keep your book in mind.
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeFeb 14th 2012
     (10422.138)
    @Si (had to backtrack to find original request for non-fiction): I'm ploughing through The Origins of Political Order, which could be read as something of an anti-Diamond -- if he's about how societies end, Fukuyama is about how states begin. Just don't mention The End of History.
  3.  (10422.139)
    Brain-dumped A LOT about Wuthering Heights over here. It's sadistic and horrifying and bleak and EXTREMELY well thought out about THE EVIL THAT WE DO. It's a deconstruction of romantic myths, a searing critique of social structures, and (this needs emphasising) more gripping than a lot of airport novel thrillers. Emily Brontë is the shit, basically.

    Now on to Un Lun Dun by China Miéville, well-respected by many of you here. This is for teenagers, and it's ok. My thing with Miéville is that, well duh, maestro at weird urban landscapes! Gives good wackiness as well (chemical-suffused smog turns sentient -- sure! Also -- that's a lot of S sounds!) But can't escape the feeling that it's all a bit of an intellectual exercise for him. I dunno... a bit bloodless. All affect, no throbbing pulsating mucky uncomfortable FEELING in it.

    Fun tho. Still plan to read Embassytown at some point. Sounds intriguingly clever...
  4.  (10422.140)
    Finished The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard. It was okay. Basic story in an odd setting with a really interesting idea that didn't really go anywhere.
    Now I'm picking up the second book in the Song of Ice and Fire series again.