Don't any of you bitches read?

Stuff that just doesn't fit anywhere else. (As if our other threads don't run off topic already.)
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Postby Ugluk » Wed Sep 27, 2006 2:17 pm

Heidi and I are reading, "Make Love! the Bruce Campbell way".

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Postby Gemfire » Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:00 pm

I have just started the prequel and so far it seems just as interesting.... i think i will find myself in barnes and noble buying the rest of the books by the end of the week. :D

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Postby Taramisu » Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:15 pm

I'm rereading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Its a great read especially if you like mysteries. Its about 10 strangers gathered on island each of the strangers committed a wicked secret in their pasts and now one by one they go.
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Postby Screwtape » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:31 pm

Taramisu wrote:I'm rereading And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Its a great read especially if you like mysteries. Its about 10 strangers gathered on island each of the strangers committed a wicked secret in their pasts and now one by one they go.


Sounds like "Lost" :P
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Postby Marcallo » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:51 pm

I'm still workign on the George Martin series.... I think I don't like it so it's taking forever, halfway through book 3 now... I think I still don't like it.
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"...

...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."

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Postby Kiawah » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:38 pm

Angels and Demons
by Dan Brown

This book is the prequel to Dan Brown's book The Da Vinchi Code. I got it for Christmas and read it over New Years.

All I can say about this book is Wow, this has to be the most unoriginal book plot in the history of writing. The book is a prequel to The Da Vinchi Code, which follows the same character Robert Langdon in another adventure, set before the events in the Da Vinchi Code. I'm not %100 sure whether or not the book was actually written before the Da Vinchi Code. My guess was that this book was written first, as Da Vinchi Code does make mention of the events of this book some what, so really Da Vinchi Code is the unoriginal plot.

If I had never read Da Vinchi Code or any other work by Dan Brown, I would have said this book was awesome. The book's thesis is trying to find the balance between science and religion, describing the history of these arch enemies, when they have been at war with each other, and how to have a coexistence between them. The book itself is well written, not nearly as interesting as Da Vinchi Code, but it deals with a lot of the same issues as Da Vinchi Code... which is kind of the problem.

I don't really read a lot of suspense and mystery books, so forgive me if this is a pattern I am ignorant too, but geeze, this book has an almost identical plot to Da Vinchi Code. I mean, from the looks of it, basically all Dan Brown did for Da Vinchi Code was take the exact same book, but only change the character names, the location in Europe, and the famous scientist/philosopher for which they must unravel the mystery behind this person's famous works.

Instead of Leonardo, the main character finds himself in a plot which pits him up against understanding Galileo. Also, rather than running around France and England, the main character is set in Rome and the Vatican. That's really the only place where the plot differs. Robert Langdon, the main character, is matched up with a sexy female side kick, who has her own skills and merit. Robert has to match wits with a hard nosed authority figure, and is in a race against time trying to uncover the mysterious behind Leonar..err I mean Galileo. The story is jump started by, you guessed it, a vicious and mysterious murder where Robert Langdon was called in to try to decrypt the mysterious symbols of the murder victim. Robert is also pursuing a 1-man assassin who is on a quest given to him by a mysterious villain who seems to have a lot of power. This all sounds familiar.

I'm having trouble keeping straight which book I'm reviewing, as Angels and Demons is nearly the exact same plot as Da Vinchi Code, only the characters names have changed (some of them), the location, and the 17th century scientist/philosopher. It's obvious all the work put in by the author for this book was just art history, with no thought to plot, character development, or any of those other small things that go into making a novel. If you enjoyed the Da Vinchi Code, this book is also worth reading, but my respect for Dan Brown as a writer just went to the crapper, as this book is de ja vu.

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Postby Ugluk » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:27 pm

I've read Angels and Demons, The DaVinci Code, and The Fortress. I am done reading Dan Brown books, but not because of the subject matter or any plot reuse. It's his writing style that iritates me. His end of chapter cliffhangers are annoying. You could add "we'll be right back after these messages" and it wouldn't feel out of place.

If you like stories with a lot of detail about real-world subjects, and that aren't just pulled out the author's ass, I recommend Tom Clancy's books. Of those I've only read Rainbow Six and The Hunt For Red October, but my wife has read others, including Airframe.

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Postby PopnFresh » Tue Jan 02, 2007 2:48 pm

I originally thought A&D was written after TDC, but wikipedia just proved me wrong. Angels in 2000, DaVinci in 2003.

We listened to the audio book for Angels and Demons when driving to and from southern CA, but didn't come close to finishing it. I think we were slightly more than half way through. So my response is based only on as far as we got into it.

SPOILER wrote:


We left off not long after the second Cardinal was killed using the air element


I actually thought the book was mostly utter shit. I never read or saw The DaVinci Code, but have always been somewhat interested in checking it out and just never got around to it. If it's really that similar to A&D though, then the limited desire I had is gone.

I actually thought the general story seemed solid. The plot was a cool idea.

But Jesus, the characters are so annoying and the story telling is so bad. Did Brown just not have an editor? With the amount of useless crap that couldI've been cut out of what I read (heard), I wouldI've been able to finish the story on just the drive down.

The dynamic duo was the source of most of my problems. Here, let me give you a run down of just about all of their important dialog in any situation where there was a mystery (which happens often):

Robert: Oh, I understand *insert whatever they're currently stumped about*
*Narration then goes on to basically give us, the readers, the answer without actually spelling it out. At this point, the scene should be over. But...*
Scientist girl: I don't understand, explain.
Robert: OK, so...*explains part of the solution, now making it blatantly obvious what the entire solution is*
Scientist girl: Yeah? And?
Robert: And then *explains more of the solution. At this point, Scott and I were yelling "JESUS CHRIST, YOU IDIOTS" at the radio*
Scientist girl: OK! But that doesn't solve *random complication that the original solution easily solves*
Robert: Oh, you're a wise one! But actually, that IS solved by *explains connection*
Scientist girl: Oh yeah, I see now. But what about *another stupid question that has pretty much already been spelled out*?
Robert: Right...that's a stumper...but maybe if *spells it out again*
Scientist girl: So it's sort of like *explains the entire fucking solution AGAIN, basically repeating it but using synonyms so it sounds different*
Robert: Exactly! And that happens because *explains everything again*

It was maddening. It wasn't the scientist girl's fault, per se, because there were plenty of similar scenes where Robert was the one confused. He is supposed to be a published, intelligent professor and she is from a cabal of the most brilliant scientists on earth and yet they seemed to have the problem solving abilities of a fourth grade stoner.

There were also plenty of blatantly pointless scenes. Do we really need an entire flashback sequence devoted to explaining what terrorism is and how the main character learned that? Or another flashback that couldI've been summed up through narration by saying "most religions borrow their concepts from other religions"?

Maybe my frustrations come with the fact that the major characters in the book are all billed in one way or another as being brilliant. Aside from the two main characters, there's also the head of the scientist group that the girl works for, the commander of the Vatican's elite agents (explained to be some of the best trained special forces in the world), and the priest that is the interim pope (the story takes place during a period of time where the pope has died and they're electing a new one).

All of these characters showed exceptional retardation multiple times in the story. Here's a hint for authors everywhere: if you're going out of your way to say that some of your characters are the best at what they do in the world then there shouldn't be multiple occasions where a reader of average intelligence can beat them to the punch. Shit, most of the time I was at the punch before they were even dressed and showered to head over to the party. I really wish I could say that, in actuality, I am smarter and more skilled than a Harvard professor, a marine biologist, an elite spec ops agent, and the pope's right hand man combined but in reality it's just terrible writing and character design.

In retrospect, I'll probably watch the movie when it comes out. Because seriously, the 10 hours or so that we listened to (again, getting what felt like just beyond the 50% mark) couldI've been summed up in an hour of film without losing anything important, so maybe a two hour flick will actually be entertaining.
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Postby skuppy » Wed Feb 28, 2007 3:41 pm

Still reading Discworld novels.

Done with Wyrd Sisters, Pyramids, Guards! Guards!, Eric, Moving Pictures, and I have 20 pages left of Witches Abroad. Then it's off to Reaper Man or Small Gods, which I have waiting on my shelf.
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Postby Trede » Wed May 02, 2007 8:40 am

Yes, this book recommendation will seem very dry to all you fiction readers, but I read the first chapter of it last night and I'm already calling it "perspective-changing."

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Chip Heath and Dan Heath

It approaches communicating ideas effectively not from the standpoint of how to give a presentation but how to craft your message to be understood, remembered, and have a lasting impact. Though in the business section, I think it has implications for other professions (think of teachers trying to deliver memorable lessons, etc.).

The book's style is very readable, it tells a good story rather than droning in business-speak. I also find the descriptions of psychological experiments about how people perceive communication very interesting. In one example, a group of people were divided into "listeners" and "tappers." The tappers were to tap out the rhythm of a common song (like "Happy Birthday") and the listeners were supposed to guess the song. The listeners only guessed right 3 times out of 120 tries; however, the tappers predicted that the listeners would guess right 50% of the time. In other words, there was a big disconnect with the tappers perception of their ability to communicate the song vs. reality, and this is because the tappers knew the song, were singing it in their heads as they tapped, and were not cognizant that their inside knowledge greatly affected their perception of the communication. I can immediately apply that scenario to my company president implementing a reorganization that he clearly understands in his head but is not cognizant of how that knowledge affects his effectiveness in communicating the plan. I also happen to be working on my company's strategic plan for internal technology development, and can apply this book's lessons immediately there as well.

Anyway, I am loving this book. That is all. :smile:

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Postby Marcallo » Wed May 02, 2007 10:31 am

I just finished the final book in Sarah Douglass' Wayfarer Redemtion series. it's 6 books and it's finished now I highly reccommend picking it up. It's a fantastic story in a very richly detailed world.
Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen it's true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout "Save us!"...

...and I'll look down, and whisper "no."

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Postby Sord » Wed May 02, 2007 1:29 pm

The Symphony of Ages

Excellent series. I won't go into detail cause I wouldn't do any justice to how good these books truly are.
Bye space sword!

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Postby Tamayo » Wed May 02, 2007 2:05 pm

Sord wrote:The Symphony of Ages

Excellent series. I won't go into detail cause I wouldn't do any justice to how good these books truly are.


:o someone actually read those, I wrote a review of those a few pages back. :D
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Postby Waits » Wed May 02, 2007 2:17 pm

Trede wrote:Yes, this book recommendation will seem very dry to all you fiction readers, but I read the first chapter of it last night and I'm already calling it "perspective-changing."

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
Chip Heath and Dan Heath

It approaches communicating ideas effectively not from the standpoint of how to give a presentation but how to craft your message to be understood, remembered, and have a lasting impact. Though in the business section, I think it has implications for other professions (think of teachers trying to deliver memorable lessons, etc.).

The book's style is very readable, it tells a good story rather than droning in business-speak. I also find the descriptions of psychological experiments about how people perceive communication very interesting. In one example, a group of people were divided into "listeners" and "tappers." The tappers were to tap out the rhythm of a common song (like "Happy Birthday") and the listeners were supposed to guess the song. The listeners only guessed right 3 times out of 120 tries; however, the tappers predicted that the listeners would guess right 50% of the time. In other words, there was a big disconnect with the tappers perception of their ability to communicate the song vs. reality, and this is because the tappers knew the song, were singing it in their heads as they tapped, and were not cognizant that their inside knowledge greatly affected their perception of the communication. I can immediately apply that scenario to my company president implementing a reorganization that he clearly understands in his head but is not cognizant of how that knowledge affects his effectiveness in communicating the plan. I also happen to be working on my company's strategic plan for internal technology development, and can apply this book's lessons immediately there as well.

Anyway, I am loving this book. That is all. :smile:


I was told I should this book by the designer I work with. Two people suggesting it is a good thing.

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Postby skuppy » Fri May 11, 2007 12:58 pm

Shadows over Baker Street
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Sherlock Holmes takes on Cthulu and other Old Ones in a series of short stories. Fans of Arthur Conan Doyle and/or HP Lovecraft should definitely pick this one up, it's a lot fun.

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Postby Sord » Fri Jun 15, 2007 2:00 am

I had more written but like an idiot, I didn't copy first and when I went to post, I timed out and lost what I had. Anyhow, a good series I've been reading is written by Jacquelin Carey, the Kushiel's Legacy series.

No matter how many times I write this damn paragraph, I delete it because I can't do the story any justice when I try to explain it or why I think its so great.

The books are sometimes hard to follow but also sometimes very easy. The reason is the author has taken a part of our world and rewritten it. All the lands in the books are based on European countries and then expands down to Africa and over into Russia and the Middle East. One thing that drives me nuts in other fantasy series is I'm always flipping to the front of the book to consult the maps to see where they are at. Its easy to follow here because you can associate one country with another. For example, a lot of the story takes place in Terra D'Ange which is roughly where France is at. Another area, Alba, is Britain and so forth. Often the people are the same as what you'd expect them back in those days as well. The D'Angelines are the fair skinned and pretty people of the world. Albans are described kind of what you'd think of Scottish and Irish would be, people from Skaldia, remind me of Nordic people, etc.

Also she has rewritten and adapted many religious stories into her own. You can see very large similarities in the story to Christianity, Judiasm, Roman gods/goddesses, Paganism and more. When making the connections between what she has written and what I know of these religions, its a lot easier to follow.

There is one somewhat shocking and interesting aspect of the series and it is in the matters of love. All forms of love. To take a quote from a wiki entry:

This results in the fact that love and physical pleasure is a central aspect of society in Terre D'Ange. Although marriage exists in Terre D'Ange, it is viewed equally with other forms of love, including dalliance, taking a lover or consort, etc. It likewise engendered an acceptance of any form of love, be it reverent or harsh, heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual.


As a matter of fact, Phedre, the main character in the first three books is masochist. Oddly enough though its written really tastefully. Its graphic but its not like reading a Penthouse magazine or anything like that. She is raised as a courtesan and scholar, taught the arts of covertsey. Basically a spy that uses her body to get information if needed, which often times it is. Politics, treason, scandal, sensuality, brutality. You name it, its in the series.

The next set of books focuses on her foster son, Imriel. Trouble follows him like a moth to a flame they say, and it does. The latest book, Kushiel's Justice evoked some pretty hard emotions from me. Its not often I get sad while reading a book but I gotta say, parts of this one really tugged on the old heart strings.

Here's a wiki summary of the first book that helps explain the setting for the books a bit better than I did in this post. Click

Anyhow, I've butchered her work enough. Great reads here!
Bye space sword!

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Postby skuppy » Fri Jul 20, 2007 10:50 am

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I finished Woken Furies, book three of the Takeshi Kovacs novels. By far one of the best far-future sci-fi series I've read.

Right now I'm half-way through Noir, a collection of three early Richard Matheson novels written somewhat in the style of hard boiled Raymond Chandlier or Dashiell Hammett stories. Matheson really knows how to write, up till now I've only read his horror stuff, I didn't even know he wrote outside the genre.

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Postby skuppy » Fri Jul 27, 2007 10:46 am

I just finished Vonnegut's Time Quake. I love his writing so much. He writes sentences like this. He loves exclamation points! Last night I went through my entire collection of books to find all the novels I own by him. I know there are a few I haven't read but I'm not sure which ones, some that I read were library books so I don't have them on my shelves. I'm going to read Bagombo Snuff Box. Fuck the Stephen King book I just bought, it can wait.

I was sick, but I am better now, and there's work to do.
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Postby skuppy » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:00 pm

Does no one read in the summer anymore?

I'm about half way through the Dark Tower series by Steven King. I've read a few of his other books and I like how he references some of his works like Eye of the Dragon and The Stand. So far I'm impressed with the series. Roland's world is a strange and interesting place to visit.
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Postby Tamayo » Thu Aug 16, 2007 3:13 pm

I have been a little bit, I polished off The Illiad and The Odyssey, Star Wars Dark Lord Rise of Darth Vader, and I'm currently reading the first Foundation novel
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Postby OverloadUT » Thu Aug 16, 2007 6:52 pm

Does listening to audiobooks count? It's my preferred method of enjoying a book.

Since last October when I got my iPod, I have listened to:
Ender's Game x 3
I fucking love this book. It's sci-fi at its best. I'm too lazy to read this whole thread but I wouldn't doubt if there's already a review.

Speaker for the Dead x 3
The sequel to Ender's Game, this book is even better. It deals with more important and "adult" themes and it's really just spectacular. Basically it's about how mankind deals with meeting another sentient species that is much more primitive than them. Plus Ender.

Xenocide x 2
The sequel to Speaker. It's certainly not as good as the first two in the saga, but I still recommend it if you liked the others. It picks up where Speaker leaves off which I can't say or it'll ruin that book.

Children of the Mind
The weakest of the four. I still enjoyed it but it's one you could probably skip, unless Xenocide left you dying to hear more of the story. I liked the story, it just wasn't as captivating as the others.

To Kill a Mockingbird
Didn't everybody read this in high school? It's quite good. It's about um... lots of stuff, like racism.

And I am now half way through both Snowcrash and Harry Potter 7

I physically read:
Ender's Shadow
This is the story of Ender's Game through the eyes of a different character: Bean. I really liked it a lot. I would rank it right below Ender's Game (so Speaker > Ender's Game > Ender's Shadow) - it's really fun to see the story through the eyes of a different character, and Bean himself turns out to be possibly a more interesting character than Ender himself.

And I just bought Shadow of the Hegemon, but haven't read it yet.

Edit: Oh yeah, I also listened to:
The DaVinci Code
What a steaming pike of shit. Okay that's a little harsh. It was a decent non-stop action book, but there were several things that bothered me. Here's a tiny spoiler: At one point the MAN WHO HAS DEDICATED HIS LIFE TO SYMBOLOGY and the "professional treasure hunter/clue solver" are agonizing over a cryptic code written on something. They say that it's in an alphabet theyI've never seen before and don't recognize a single letter. Well when the stupid woman solves it for them you find out that it's JUST ENGLISH WRITTEN IN REVERSE LIKE IF YOU LOOKED AT WRITING IN A MIRROR OR ON THE OTHER SIDE OF A WINDOW HOLY SHIT EVERY ENGLISH SPEAKING PERSON IN THE WORLD WOULD RECOGNIZE BACKWARDS ENGLISH. There were lots of stupid things like that that just totally ruined it for me. I mean, this was supposed to be the greatest secret in the history of mankind and the clues were as retarded as that. I don't even remember how the book ends. That's how little of an impact it left on me.
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Postby PopnFresh » Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:08 pm

Greg, read Angels and Demons next. I never read The DaVinci Code, but it sounds like it has the same amazing comedy that A&D had (that is, the unintentional variety).

Also, I go Game > Shadow > Speaker. Speaker was excellent, but the Piggies bugged me. If I met them in real life, I would probably avoid them because they're so weird. And they have such strange culture.

What? No, I didn't miss the point of the book at all!

When is the damn movie coming out?
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Postby Niralica » Fri Aug 17, 2007 3:48 pm

I love that series. :) My cats are named Ender and Valentine. :P

There are 2 other books after shadow that were pretty good as well.

Incase you like to go grab other books by an author you know you like, I wouldn't bother with Card's "The Tales of Alvin Maker." It's a fantasy series, each book was good, there are 7 of them. But like most series even though each book has an ending its working up to a bigger climax. Well the bigger climax was a total dud. It was getting really exciting in the 7th book and things were coming together, and then it just ended, and I was going, 'wait... THAT'S IT???' Considering how much I loved Children of the Mind and how everything fit together in a spectacular ending, I was rather dissappointed. I think he needs to stick to SciFi.

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Postby skuppy » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:05 pm

PopnFresh wrote:Greg, read Angels and Demons next. I never read The DaVinci Code, but it sounds like it has the same amazing comedy that A&D had (that is, the unintentional variety).

Also, I go Game > Shadow > Speaker. Speaker was excellent, but the Piggies bugged me. If I met them in real life, I would probably avoid them because they're so weird. And they have such strange culture.

What? No, I didn't miss the point of the book at all!

When is the damn movie coming out?


I read the series up until Speaker. Did not like speaker at all and stopped halfway through. Although recently I found a kid's version of Ender's Game. It has a story about Ender's grandparents, another about his parents and an excerpt from Ender's Game. The last short story is about what happens right before Speaker starts, where he finds his accounting software with the sophisticated AI. I actually really liked the last story and I was thinking about giving Speaker another chance.

First Meetings in Ender's Universe
http://www.amazon.com/First-Meetings-En ... 173&sr=8-4
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Postby skuppy » Fri Aug 17, 2007 4:08 pm

OverloadUT wrote:Does listening to audiobooks count? It's my preferred method of enjoying a book.


I just started listening to audio books with my new Jiggerbug account. It's nice but I really don't think it compares to actual reading. It's not the same experience for me, I get much more caught up in the story when I read. Vonnegut wrote about this a bit in Time Quake, comparing stories to radio, and I have to agree with him.
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