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Can't find the "Good Read" thread, so...
Been trying to understand Foucault's History of Sexuality for the nth time. No hope whatsoever lol. I just don't understand the prose of French academics. They speak in so many riddles it makes it inaccessible to the average person.
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Spent an evening reading The Weirdo Years by R. Crumb.
Hilarious stuff.
Hard to believe the FemNazis are gunning for him.
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Finished Origin by Dan Brown.

A solid C-
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(2017-12-03, 08:55 PM)Limestoner Wrote: Finished Origin by Dan Brown.

A solid C-

I think this is generous  Wink

Aren't you tired of reading pretty much the same basic script from him, book after book?

Just read Europa Journal, which was pretty bad and am currently working my way through The Atlantis Code, a Da Vinci Code wannabe.

I have Annihilation on deck and it might be brought in to pinch hit for Atlantis Code which looks like it won't amount to much.

A series I read recently and enjoyed was the Fall of Man trilogy by Rob McLean.

If you want end of the world books, The Forge of God (Greg Bear) and Lucifer's Hammer (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle) are very solid reads.

If you want an alien invasion book, Footfall (Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle) is very very good.

And Timescape (Greg Benford) is another excellent Sci-Fi read.

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell is also great.
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Any highly celebrated books, you just can't get into?

For me, The Road was bland. I just don't get the fascination. I've read so many better end-of-the-world books and post-apocalyptic books.
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The only Cormac McCarthy book that I've read was Blood Meridian, which I thought was a fantastic book, in spite of his punctuation style being somewhat awkward at first. The Road never appealed to me, so I have never attempted to read the thing, or even watch the movie.

I tried to read Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov, the highly celebrated author of Lolita, and it bored the living hell out of me so I only read about a quarter of the novel. I thought a book about a rich, incestuous family would have been more entertaining, but the overly wordy writing style was just a little too much for me to bear. Nabakov was a genius with language, clearly, but his writing often strikes me as being insufferably pretentious.
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(2017-12-03, 08:55 PM)Limestoner Wrote: Finished Origin by Dan Brown.

A solid C-

Dan Brown usually puts out only A+ type of material so this review is surprising. I haven't read it yet but I see that it's pretty new, so maybe sometime next year as I have some others I want to read first.
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(2017-12-04, 10:42 PM)Captain aHab Wrote: Any highly celebrated books, you just can't get into?

For me, The Road was bland. I just don't get the fascination. I've read so many better end-of-the-world books and post-apocalyptic books.

I can't stand any of McCarthy's books, The Road was a waste of my time.
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(2017-12-04, 10:42 PM)Captain aHab Wrote: Any highly celebrated books, you just can't get into?

For me, The Road was bland. I just don't get the fascination. I've read so many better end-of-the-world books and post-apocalyptic books.

I'm a pretty big sci-fi fan, and Neuromancer by William Gibson is consistently found in the best-of sci-fi lists out there. 

I found it to be pretty bad though. His descriptions of the environment were hard to follow, characters were pretty blah, etc. I think it's one of those books that's famous because it helped spawn a genre (cyberpunk), rather than because it's actually a fantastic book.
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I agree about Neuromancer...couldn't get into it either.

The other author I've tried and failed to like is Neal Stephenson. I really don't need to know how every piece of future tech works all the way down to nuts and bolts. It takes away from the story. I think it's in Seveneves where he describes a space elevator in excruciating details. It was completely unnecessary.
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(2017-12-04, 11:57 PM)TheNumber13 Wrote:
(2017-12-03, 08:55 PM)Limestoner Wrote: Finished Origin by Dan Brown.

A solid C-

Dan Brown usually puts out only A+ type of material so this review is surprising. I haven't read it yet but I see that it's pretty new, so maybe sometime next year as I have some others I want to read first.

Langdon + female interest + bad religious people. They might as well be like Harlequin romances, written by writer committees. There was a much better ending looking him right in the face and he whiffed badly.

At this stage, I think he's writing movie scripts published as books.
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(2017-12-05, 07:15 AM)Captain aHab Wrote: I agree about Neuromancer...couldn't get into it either.

The other author I've tried and failed to like is Neal Stephenson. I really don't need to know how every piece of future tech works all the way down to nuts and bolts. It takes away from the story. I think it's in Seveneves where he describes a space elevator in excruciating details. It was completely unnecessary.

Ha, I loved that book. Well, I'd say the first 2/3s of the book was up there as one of my top 10 or so books that I've read, and then the final 1/3 brings it down quite a bit. I like "hard sci-fi", where the author tries to be pretty realistic about how advanced technology can (and cannot) handle certain things (e.g. Forever War was the first book I've read that acknowledges it would take months to slow-down a spaceship that's going close to lightspeed). The first 2/3s of Seveneves are more "hard sci-fi", and the final 1/3 more "speculative sci-fi" where there are more fantastical types of advanced technologies.

I also like Anathem by Neil Stephenson, though that one took a good ~150-200 pages to really start to get into. It's one of those books where he creates a unique world, uses dozens of made-up words, but doesn't really explain them off the bat. So it takes a lot of time to start to figure out what he's talking about.

More recently I started Reamde by him. That one I found very slow-paced, and ultimately put it down after probably ~350 pages (I think it's an ~800-900 page book). I just couldn't get into it. I went through some reviews online after, and it seems like a fairly large % of people that read (or tried to read) this book had the same issue. I liked the other two books by him enough to give another one of his books a try, will probably do Snow Crash next.
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(2017-12-05, 07:46 AM)tmleafer Wrote:
(2017-12-05, 07:15 AM)Captain aHab Wrote: I agree about Neuromancer...couldn't get into it either.

The other author I've tried and failed to like is Neal Stephenson. I really don't need to know how every piece of future tech works all the way down to nuts and bolts. It takes away from the story. I think it's in Seveneves where he describes a space elevator in excruciating details. It was completely unnecessary.

Ha, I loved that book. Well, I'd say the first 2/3s of the book was up there as one of my top 10 or so books that I've read, and then the final 1/3 brings it down quite a bit. I like "hard sci-fi", where the author tries to be pretty realistic about how advanced technology can (and cannot) handle certain things (e.g. Forever War was the first book I've read that acknowledges it would take months to slow-down a spaceship that's going close to lightspeed). The first 2/3s of Seveneves are more "hard sci-fi", and the final 1/3 more "speculative sci-fi" where there are more fantastical types of advanced technologies.

I also like Anathem by Neil Stephenson, though that one took a good ~150-200 pages to really start to get into. It's one of those books where he creates a unique world, uses dozens of made-up words, but doesn't really explain them off the bat. So it takes a lot of time to start to figure out what he's talking about.

More recently I started Reamde by him. That one I found very slow-paced, and ultimately put it down after probably ~350 pages (I think it's a ~800-900 page book). I just couldn't get into it. I went through some reviews online after, and it seems like a fairly large % of people that read (or tried to read) this book had the same issue. I liked the other two books by him enough to give another one of his books a try, will probably do Snow Crash next.

Forever War was an excellent book. Every single one of the Stephenson books I have tried, I eventually put it down before the end. I think the one I got the furthest in is Cryptonomicon. I just find that he gets caught up way too much in accessory details.

Another sci-fi author I like a lot is Robert Charles Wilson.
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Also 2/3 of the way through the Themis files trilogy by Sylvain Neuvel. Thought the first book was very good and the second was weaker and likely only serves to set up the third which isn't published yet.

@tmleafer: who do you like as far as sci-fi authors? I've read a large chunk of the classics and always looking for new blood. There's a roboticist named Daniel H. Wilson who wrote Robopocalypse, which was really teen lit but still interesting enough that I might check out his other stuff, like The Clockwork Dynasty and The Quarantine Zone.

When this story broke, my first thought was about Rendez-Vous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.
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(2017-12-05, 08:33 AM)Captain aHab Wrote: @tmleafer: who do you like as far as sci-fi authors? I've read a large chunk of the classics and always looking for new blood. There's a roboticist named Daniel H. Wilson who wrote Robopocalypse, which was really teen lit but still interesting enough that I might check out his other stuff, like The Clockwork Dynasty and The Quarantine Zone.

When this story broke, my first thought was about Rendez-Vous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

Isaac Asimov has a few good series and standalone books. I've read the ones below, but I know he has a bunch of others (e.g. I-Robot series)
  • Foundation Series
  • The End of Eternity
  • The Gods Themselves
  • Nightfall
  • The Last Question (short-story)
Other ones I liked were:
  • Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds (which turned out to be the first in a series)
  • Hyperion by Dan Simmons (also turned out to be the first in a series)
  • The Expanse Series is a pretty good page-turner but maybe not as interesting in terms of dealing with novel concepts (James S. Corey), though I've only read three of them so far
  • Cloud Atlas + The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell (Bone Clocks is more modern fantasy-ish, also I didn't like number9dream much by this author)
  • The MaddAddam Trilogy by Margaret Atwood (particularly the first book, Oryx and Crake) - though this is more dystopian than sci-fi
  • Forever War by Joe Haldeman (didn't like Forever Peace as much)
  • Dune by Frank Herbert (haven't read the other books in this universe)
  • Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card (didn't like Speaker for the Dead as much, so stopped reading down that part of the series)
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Phillip K. Dick (I also read Ubik, which I didn't like as much)
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I've read the vast majority of Asimov's work and it's quite excellent. The original Foundation trilogy was one of my first "serious" reads as a pre-teen.

Childhood's End by him is also very good.

I've read about half of the books you suggested and started a number of the others (like Dune and Hyperion) and couldn't get into them for some reason. Alastair Reynolds is one guy I haven't read anything from so will have to check that out.

Another guy I like a lot is Stephen Baxter. The Manifold Series and Moonseed are the ones I've read but he's got a ton of other works, including a series with Arthur C. Clarke I haven't started yet. Arthur C. Clarke himself is usually a great read.
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Finished Bataille's Peak, 6/10.

Absolute trash book one what's sacred and eco sustainability, not to mention these French social theorists are completely ignoring the scientific method which really doesn't need to be "improved upon". What a waste of time.
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I've finished reading "the obstacle is the way" by Ryan Holiday - excellent book, 9/10
Also read his book 'ego is the enemy' - pretty good 7/10
currently reading Sapiens by Harari - frig what a great book, just scratching the surface on it.
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The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye
Part five of the Steig Larsson trilogy. Actually can't detect any change in the writing style between Larsson and Lagercrantz (after the English translation).
It was OK I guess.
6/10
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Part 5 of a trilogy, wtf
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