Books/What are you reading?

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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby gbruin » Thu Mar 28, 2019 4:27 am

Working my way through Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. It's written by Robert Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology and a primatologist at Stanford. The book attempts to explain how and why any particular behavior occurs. Take for example a person holding a gun who pulls the trigger. This action can be either heroic or malignant or frightened or impulsive depending on circumstances and the makeup of the person holding the gun. Sapolsky looks into the numerous factors that create behavior, from genes to hormones to brain development to reflexive actions to learned responses to societal influences, and how those come together to trigger a particular action or inaction. While it is an incredibly dense topic, Sapolsky's writing is smooth and easy to follow and frequently hilarious and makes it a very easy and enjoyable and extremely informative read. I've been a lot easier on my teenagers' behavior, and quite a bit harder on mine, since getting into this book. It's a super great read for anyone interested in the biological and social components of why humans do both the awesome and terrible things we do and the implications on us as individuals and as a society and species. And even if this topic doesn't sound even remotely attractive, I'd still tell anyone to start it and give it a chance. It's that good and that important.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby One Drew Remains » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:10 pm

Stephen King - Revival
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Dan Dando » Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:21 pm

One Drew Remains wrote:Stephen King - Revival

Nice! I listened to the audiobook not too long ago. It's narrated by David Morse, who has a very cool voice.

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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby One Drew Remains » Wed Apr 24, 2019 2:05 pm

That's cool. I just started it.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Fish Tacos » Tue May 07, 2019 5:55 pm

I decided to get more into reading recently and finished about 6 books in as many weeks.

The first 3 were the main Mistborn trilogy and my first introduction to the author Brandon Sanderson. Fantastic magic system, consistent and plausible reveals throughout all three books and a really good culmination to all the buildup. Highly recommend.

I also read some Star Wars books too: Master and Apprentice and Dooku: Jedi Lost. The former is worth a read if you're a die hard Kenobi or Qui-Gon fan as it shows their interaction before Episode 1. The story itself is somewhat lackluster and the author uses juxtaposition as her main method of generating character arc. For instance, we know Obi-Wan hates flying, but at the beginning of this book he loves it, therefore giving her an excuse to show you why. It's kind of a meh technique which I don't necessarily mind too much if she hadn't done it several times simply as a means to give herself room for drama. The book does have some redeeming qualities though. Although most of the supporting cast is extremely two-dimensional and don't actually have arcs themselves, there is one guy that has a pretty fun backstory having been raised by protocol droids and basically adopted their mannerisms. The book also explores the impotence of the Jedi Council and Qui-Gon's frustration with them as well as why he places so much stock in Anakin's prophecy. The latter book was considerably shorter (only a 6 hour audiobook to give you a feel) and I thought would explore Dooku's fall to the dark side. I also thought based on flashbacks between Qui-Gon and Dooku when they were teacher and pupil in M&A that this book would expand on Dooku's dark obsession with Jedi prophecies since the books were released within 2 weeks of one another and while it was teased in the first novel was mostly left unexplored. Unfortunately, neither assumption was true and the books are more or less unconnected sans the characters themselves. Wasn't really sure what the point of this one was if it didn't focus on his fall.

The final book I read was Assassin's Apprentice and is the first in the Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. There's something like 15 of these books comprised of several standalone trilogies mostly with the same character. This series gets raving review but I couldn't stand it and intentionally not reading the rest of the trilogy. Kinda sad because they were a gift to me from my ex-gf and I really wanted to like them due to the sentimental value but I can't remember a book causing me to suffer so much and just begging for the end. The magic system was vague and somewhat lame, the book gave copious amounts of extraneous detail that did nothing for the plot, the character was often ineffectual and reacted extremely poorly to it, the world setting was pretty bland and the plot moved painfully slowly until the very end at which point I was already mentally checked out. Definitely do not recommend.

I've been starting to read the Wheel of Time series but so far it hasn't really engaged me. Then again I'm only on the 3rd chapter of the first book. Trying to decide if I should stick with it or go back to Brandon Sanderson.

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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Andy92 » Wed May 08, 2019 12:56 pm

I highly recommend The Stormlight Archive if you enjoyed Mistborn. There are also some Mistborn sequels out there in more of a western/steampunk setting. Stormlight is his crown gem though, but it’s an in-progress series. He’s writing the 4th book currently.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Fish Tacos » Thu May 09, 2019 1:52 pm

Mistborn had a bit of young adult flavoring, particularly in the second book with all the will she / won't she romance stuff that I didn't particularly care for, but it really came through as an overall experience.

His website says "If you’re a younger reader or want something humorous and lighthearted, try Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians. If you’re looking something that will appeal to young adults, try Steelheart, Mistborn, or The Rithmatist." Do you think all of these are worth reading or are there some that are probably best left for teenagers?

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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Andy92 » Thu May 09, 2019 5:04 pm

Those other books are mostly Brandon’s YA series. The only YA book of his I’ve ever read is the newest one, Skyward. Mistborn is actually part of an interconnected universe that his YA books aren’t part of. The other Sanderson books I would recommend are The Stormlight Archive books, the second era of Mistborn sequels, and Warbreaker. That last one is actually a free book on his website if you don’t mind reading electronic versions. There are also some pretty cool Warbreaker cameos in the 2nd and 3rd Stormlight books that you’ll catch if you’ve read Warbreaker first.

There’s another novel called Elantris that’s a standalone book within the universe. It’s his first published novel and imo it’s weaker than the ones I mentioned above. But if you really get into the whole interconnected Cosmere after reading more, Elantris is worth checking out eventually.
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Re: props to the coolest cool boy I know, Andy92.

Postby zazthespaz » Fri May 10, 2019 9:04 pm

Mark Tremonti personally told me to read Mistborn so if you wanna be cool, you should read it.

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Re: One of these days...

Postby Andy92 » Sat May 11, 2019 1:28 pm

zazthespaz wrote:Mark Tremonti personally told me to read Mistborn so if you wanna be cool, you should read it.

He also told you he never got around to finishing all the Dark Tower books so I have that in common with him too.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby One Drew Remains » Sun May 26, 2019 8:49 am

You really should.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Andy92 » Sun May 26, 2019 10:15 am

One of these days...I have a bad habit of buying too many books at once lol
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Fish Tacos » Sun May 26, 2019 11:22 pm

Gave up on Wheel of Time for now. Felt like i was reading the part of LOTR where The Hobbits need to make it to the Prancing Pony except it went on for ages and I got to hear every last thought that went through their heads. Might go back to it later but for now I started reading Gardens of the Moon in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. Bout a quarter of the way through it so far, really enjoying it.

Any of you have GoodReads accounts to track what you read/like?

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Andy92
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Andy92 » Tue May 28, 2019 9:29 pm

I started book 6 of WoT a few weeks ago and have been struggling to get back into it. I like the series but I usually read something else in between each book so I don’t get too burnt out.

I need to make a goodreads account. If I get around to it soon I’ll post mine here.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby One Drew Remains » Thu Jun 27, 2019 3:24 pm

Just picked up,

The Girl In The Ice by Robert Brendza
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Ubik » Mon Sep 09, 2019 4:27 pm

Ubik wrote:I've had Dune on my bookshelf with a mental "to read" note attached to it for years but still haven't got round to it. I will commit here to it being in my next five to read!

Well, the "next five reads" bit was a complete lie but I finally got round to Dune and it was bloody awesome. Can't wait for the film next year, will be as epic as an Alter Bridge album closer.
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Re: One of these days...

Postby mitch103 » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:14 am

Andy92 wrote:
zazthespaz wrote:Mark Tremonti personally told me to read Mistborn so if you wanna be cool, you should read it.

He also told you he never got around to finishing all the Dark Tower books so I have that in common with him too.

Man.. I burned through the dark tower series and loved it so much I reread it all the way through again as soon as I finished the last book haha.

Just started a series called The Broken Earth Trilogy. All three books won the Hugo award.
Half way through book one The 5th Season and I can see why. So into the story!

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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby gbruin » Wed Mar 18, 2020 6:24 pm

Just finished the new (Audible ebook version) Erik Larson history, The Splendid and The Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz. Like all of his works, it is fantastic. The history is very well researched and presented, but still written in such an easy conversational manner that it is more like listening to a story than an academic endeavor.

What the people in the UK, and especially in London, had to endure from spring 1940 to summer 1941 is pretty unimaginable, but, like much of our world's history, it also offers a lot of lessons for what our own world is having to endure right now with COVID-19. Their story of the Britons' resilience and courage and spirit is inspiring. The British lived in daily worry for their own lives, for their future, for the well being of their neighborhoods and country, and were forced to change how they lived and make difficult daily sacrifices in order to endure, yet still found ways to maintain their lives and hope, while contributing everything they could to the efforts to oppose the mortal threat. No one demonstrated this more profoundly than PM Churchill (prob my favorite and most admired historical person), which also shows how hampered we are right now by the weakness and lack of character in our own leadership.

It's a great book. Get it to help pass the time.

Also, if you want a great historical reference that is directly applicable to what we are facing with CVOID, get The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M Barry. I read this several years ago and felt pretty worried, given our far more connected and relatively small world, were something like this to come along again.

Hang in there, my peeps. :hug
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby Micky » Wed Mar 18, 2020 8:24 pm

Currently reading Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

We were assigned to read it for my Mystery Stories class, but then coronavirus happened so it never actually get read, so I'm currently reading it. Love it.
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Re: Books/What are you reading?

Postby MaraCarr » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:56 pm

Im still working on Origin by Dan Brown. I am at the point in the book where a man is killed because he was about to reveal the secret of life and in doing so is going to upset major religious sects in the world. He was shot right before the worldwide announcement and now Langdon is on the case to discover what the secret is. :)
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