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What are we reading?

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Posts

  • vamenvamen Registered User regular
    I am rereading Way of Kings. I can't help myself.
    I was very surprised that so many people didn't love it. I was such a big fan of it I almost started reading it again when I first finished it (the first week it came out).

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  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    Sanderson just isn't for me on the whole, honestly.

    I can't get into any of his fight scenes and I think I only really enjoyed one of the POV characters in Way of Kings, which made it really hard for me to want to keep reading. It was one of those books I really WANTED to like, mainly because Sanderson always has really interesting ideas when it comes to world building and I could see there were some cool things going on in there, I just couldn't get into it.

  • BEAST!BEAST! Adventurer Adventure!!!!!Registered User regular
    I think the better question for you loser nerds is "WHY are we reading?". I believe the answer is "Because we're loser nerds"

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  • The Scottish UnicornThe Scottish Unicorn CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    Feast of Crows, the fourth book of Song of Ice and Fire, I'm reaching the end of the novel. So far it's been an enjoyable read, yet another well written chapter in the series. Sometimes the book can be really boring, and then suddenly, I get involved in what's going on in the story. It's hard to care about Cersei's schemes when there is so much excitement with Arya, and just about every other character.

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  • D-DocD-Doc Registered User regular
    ^You son of a bitch. I now know that both Cersei and Arya will survive a few more seasons. I demand an IP ban for this!

    Jk. I expected Arya to survive, but I thought Cersei would bite the bullet before book four at least.

  • TriiipledotTriiipledot Registered User regular
    Feast of Crows, the fourth book of Song of Ice and Fire, I'm reaching the end of the novel. So far it's been an enjoyable read, yet another well written chapter in the series. Sometimes the book can be really boring, and then suddenly, I get involved in what's going on in the story. It's hard to care about Cersei's schemes when there is so much excitement with Arya, and just about every other character.

    No spoilers! thought i finished all the books, i know some people are following the show.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I'm reading The Hunger Games because my wife is making me. It's a very weird mashing of good worldbuilding and an interesting story with some pretty bad writing. Like, did this person not have an editor? Because in addition to some just flat-out incorrect grammar, there are places where she will, for no good reason, introduce the same place or person twice. (Like, there's "...the Hob, the market near my house..." or something twice in a span of two pages. Yes, we know what it is, because you just told us.)

    I'm also noticing that there is almost no description of anything in this book, which is weird for spec fic. Katniss gets on a train. It is our first introduction to anything to do with the Capitol, and literally all we are told is that it is a train and it goes 250 miles per hour. What does it look like? Who cares! I guess!

    It just all feels so amateurish.

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  • MaulMaul Registered User
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I'm reading The Hunger Games because my wife is making me. It's a very weird mashing of good worldbuilding and an interesting story with some pretty bad writing. Like, did this person not have an editor? Because in addition to some just flat-out incorrect grammar, there are places where she will, for no good reason, introduce the same place or person twice. (Like, there's "...the Hob, the market near my house..." or something twice in a span of two pages. Yes, we know what it is, because you just told us.)

    I'm also noticing that there is almost no description of anything in this book, which is weird for spec fic. Katniss gets on a train. It is our first introduction to anything to do with the Capitol, and literally all we are told is that it is a train and it goes 250 miles per hour. What does it look like? Who cares! I guess!

    It just all feels so amateurish.

    Wow - that could have been my review of the first Twilight book when my wife made me read it. Felt like a teenage girl wrote it and then never edited it. I don't think anyone even proofread it.


  • CheeselikerCheeseliker Registered User regular
    Maul wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I'm reading The Hunger Games because my wife is making me. It's a very weird mashing of good worldbuilding and an interesting story with some pretty bad writing. Like, did this person not have an editor? Because in addition to some just flat-out incorrect grammar, there are places where she will, for no good reason, introduce the same place or person twice. (Like, there's "...the Hob, the market near my house..." or something twice in a span of two pages. Yes, we know what it is, because you just told us.)

    I'm also noticing that there is almost no description of anything in this book, which is weird for spec fic. Katniss gets on a train. It is our first introduction to anything to do with the Capitol, and literally all we are told is that it is a train and it goes 250 miles per hour. What does it look like? Who cares! I guess!

    It just all feels so amateurish.

    Wow - that could have been my review of the first Twilight book when my wife made me read it. Felt like a teenage girl wrote it and then never edited it. I don't think anyone even proofread it.


    I think it's better than Twilight. The girl actually has a personality, for one thing.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    I've read about the first 20 pages of Twilight, and THG is a shit-ton better. Twilight is unreadable; THG is just sort of irritating.

    Maddie: "I named my feet. The left one is flip and the right one is flop. Oh, and also I named my flip-flops."

    I make tweet.
  • Curly_BraceCurly_Brace Burglar The Lonely MountainRegistered User regular
    edited May 2012
    I just finished Soul Music and I was pleased with it, as I always am with Pratchett books. I tried to get into Sex at Dawn but something about it isn't quite clicking with me. So instead I borrowed my friend's copy of Steel Beach. I am now of the opinion Varley makes everyone in his books naked so they can't make them into movies.

    My sister, whom got me into Harry Potter and thus has good tastes, is currently reading The Hunger Games. Her inital verdict is "meh."

    Curly_Brace on
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  • KrubixCubeKrubixCube Registered User
    Been reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. Pretty good so far, like most of his books there are a lot of threads that haven't come together yet though...

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  • StormwatcherStormwatcher Blegh BlughRegistered User regular
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    I'm reading The Hunger Games because my wife is making me. It's a very weird mashing of good worldbuilding and an interesting story with some pretty bad writing. Like, did this person not have an editor? Because in addition to some just flat-out incorrect grammar, there are places where she will, for no good reason, introduce the same place or person twice. (Like, there's "...the Hob, the market near my house..." or something twice in a span of two pages. Yes, we know what it is, because you just told us.)

    I'm also noticing that there is almost no description of anything in this book, which is weird for spec fic. Katniss gets on a train. It is our first introduction to anything to do with the Capitol, and literally all we are told is that it is a train and it goes 250 miles per hour. What does it look like? Who cares! I guess!

    It just all feels so amateurish.

    This same author wrote "Gregor the Overlander", which happens to be pretty good pre-YA fantasy stuff. I have no idea what happened between series, or why does the shit one get all the readers and movies and stuff.

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  • SirEtchwartsSirEtchwarts Feet First Into HellRegistered User regular
    The idea of Hunger Games having amazing world building with crap writing is exactly how I would describe it.


    Like, I sort of hated the sequels because they never go into what makes the world tick. It's just sort of more of the same "OH NOEZ TEEN ANGST AND OCCASIONAL MURDER" nonsense. It's engaging nonsense, but I want to know more about where it takes place, and you never really get that.

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  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I haven't read THG, but low amounts of description is pretty common in more kinetic forms of spec fic, like YA and urban fantasy. Or do you mean like not explaining the setting low description, as opposed to not describing the way the things in that setting look and smell and taste?

  • AustinP0027AustinP0027 Registered User regular
    vamen wrote: »
    I am rereading Way of Kings. I can't help myself.
    I was very surprised that so many people didn't love it. I was such a big fan of it I almost started reading it again when I first finished it (the first week it came out).

    So, I just found the Way of Kings book after finding a random list of books someone provided of a similar style.

    After finishing it last night, I have to agree with Vamen. I loved this book. The world is fantastic, and I can't wait to see the back story that's been hinted at.

    Then I went online to see when the next one is coming out. Late 2013....damn it all.

  • TisiphoneTisiphone Registered User
    The idea of Hunger Games having amazing world building with crap writing is exactly how I would describe it.


    Like, I sort of hated the sequels because they never go into what makes the world tick. It's just sort of more of the same "OH NOEZ TEEN ANGST AND OCCASIONAL MURDER" nonsense. It's engaging nonsense, but I want to know more about where it takes place, and you never really get that.

    I read the first Hunger Games book and thought it was "okay" based on the genre and what else is out there. I didn't run out and watch the movie or even pick up the other books.

    It IS a lot better than the Twilight books. It's readable, for one.

    Currently I am SLOWLY re-reading Bonehunters by Steven Erickson (I enjoy the Malazan books, but they're pretty dense. I usually take a break after each one).

    I just finished reading The Shining by Stephen King for the first time and was surprised by just how good the book was in the sense that the character of Jack Torrance was actually sympathetic and well written. I did not feel any sense of "generic baddie" that I sometimes get from reading King's work. Don't get me wrong, when I like his books I really like them. When they're bad however, holy hell, they're REALLY bad. (lol Dreamcatcher)


  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    I started reading The Terror the other day, but I think I'm going to have to set it aside.

    Simmons is great at creating a compelling and haunting atmosphere, but I just can't stand the fact that there will be PAGES or even CHAPTERS where he just sits me down and tells at me. Endlessly. About things and people I don't even care about yet.

    I wasn't able to get into Hyperion either, so I guess he's just not for me.

  • DirewolfDirewolf Registered User regular
    vamen wrote: »
    I am rereading Way of Kings. I can't help myself.
    I was very surprised that so many people didn't love it. I was such a big fan of it I almost started reading it again when I first finished it (the first week it came out).

    Definitely on my to-read list. Right next to 'Alloy of Law'. But, as @AustinP0027 pointed out the release date for #2, not in a huge rush.

    I just finished 'Tigana' and loved it. A bit of fantasy and intrigue, but moves with a decent pace.
    Looking forward to starting 'Ready Player One' sometime tomorrow.

    Spoiler:
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  • liquiddarkliquiddark Odd magpie St. John's, NLRegistered User regular
    I just finished Douglas Hofstadter's I Am A Strange Loop, finally. Beautiful, beautiful book. So many things that matter to me right at the moment, particularly the notion of consciousness and the way that it bleeds between individuals.

    Also finished Warren Hammond's KOP Killer and John Scalzi's Redshirts. Both pretty readable, although I felt like Redshirts was a very good book and KOP Killer was more of a guilty pleasure.

    Currently reading Bukowski's Ham on Rye, which I got from a friend with considerably more literate tastes. Incredibly readable prose, and every bit as ugly and beautiful as people say it is. Also reading Scalzi's You're Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop: Scalzi on Writing as part of a general Scalzi blitz in the past month. Definitely in his voice, not really sure what else to say about it so far.

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  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I started reading The Terror the other day, but I think I'm going to have to set it aside.

    Simmons is great at creating a compelling and haunting atmosphere, but I just can't stand the fact that there will be PAGES or even CHAPTERS where he just sits me down and tells at me. Endlessly. About things and people I don't even care about yet.

    I wasn't able to get into Hyperion either, so I guess he's just not for me.

    Yeah, I finished The Terror and mostly liked it, but there are some parts that are seriously tough to trudge through. I really didn't care for the ending much either.

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    Currently listening to Lucifer's Hammer (which is great so far), and reading The Stars My Destination. Gully Foyle is awesome. He's like an unstoppable force of nature.

  • VanityPantsVanityPants Gokai Red! Registered User regular
    Honestly, by the second chapter I was ready to put it down. I soldiered through but by the one-hundred page count I realized it wasn't worth the slog for me.

    I always always feel guilty putting books down like that, but there's so many good books out there and only so much time!

  • AresProphetAresProphet take the weakest thing in you and then beat the bastards with itRegistered User regular
    I started reading The Terror the other day, but I think I'm going to have to set it aside.

    Simmons is great at creating a compelling and haunting atmosphere, but I just can't stand the fact that there will be PAGES or even CHAPTERS where he just sits me down and tells at me. Endlessly. About things and people I don't even care about yet.

    I wasn't able to get into Hyperion either, so I guess he's just not for me.

    He does this, and Drood was worse about it, but after reading a couple of Simmons' books I think he's pretty self-aware. Drood is self-consciously painting its narrator in a specific way, The Terror is about men who are obsessed with one goal to the point of throwing their lives away for it (and also, it's a nod to Moby Dick), Ilium is a bunch of foreplay for Classics nerds before the surrealist punch to the nuts that is Olympos.

    Simmons doesn't seem to give a damn about his readers' preferences and I sort of go for that kind of abuse. I finally start on Hyperion tomorrow night and it'll be interesting, as I have some inklings of what to expect. I despise sterotypical sci-fi. I loathe space opera. If there are starships, I don't want to be on one. Intergalactic intrigue is universally uninteresting.

    We'll see how this goes.

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  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    The Stars My Destination is possibly one of my favorite novels ever. Gully is a fantastic character and his journey goes some places.

  • KilnagaKilnaga Registered User regular
    The Stars My Destination has been on my reading list forever and I still haven't managed to get down to it. I think I'll kick it up higher in my queue. I'm currently re-reading White's The Once and Future King because I haven't read it in forever. How can one not love Arthur and his knights?

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    Currently Reading:
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  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    The Stars My Destination is possibly one of my favorite novels ever. Gully is a fantastic character and his journey goes some places.

    Yup, I actually finished it later last night. Really amazing book, especially considering how well it's held up fifty years later. Besfer wrote cyberpunk before anyone knew what cyberpunk was! Gully Foyle has to be one of the most interesting characters I've ever read, but all of them were interesting honestly. It baffles me that he could fit so much story into a 300 page book. Any author today trying to write the same story would no doubt have made it a 7-volume, 4000 page tome and beat me over the head with all the fluff that Bester knew well enough to leave out. I wish we had more crisp, clean writing like that today.

  • chiasaur11chiasaur11 Never doubt a raccoon. Registered User regular
    Big Dookie wrote: »
    The Stars My Destination is possibly one of my favorite novels ever. Gully is a fantastic character and his journey goes some places.

    Yup, I actually finished it later last night. Really amazing book, especially considering how well it's held up fifty years later. Besfer wrote cyberpunk before anyone knew what cyberpunk was! Gully Foyle has to be one of the most interesting characters I've ever read, but all of them were interesting honestly. It baffles me that he could fit so much story into a 300 page book. Any author today trying to write the same story would no doubt have made it a 7-volume, 4000 page tome and beat me over the head with all the fluff that Bester knew well enough to leave out. I wish we had more crisp, clean writing like that today.

    Ever read The Demolished Man, Bester's other novel?

    It's different, but also excellent. Some neat tricks, haunting imagery, and a brilliantly constructed world that's really different from The Stars My Destination.

    Man, Bester was amazing.

  • Big DookieBig Dookie Smells great! Houston, TXRegistered User regular
    I haven't read it yet, but it has certainly moved up a few spaces on my backlog.

  • GotrGotr Ms. St Louis, MORegistered User regular
    Currently re-reading Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Great writing, an interesting story about the man's life, and the only successful attempt I've ever seen at writing a philosophical treatise around a plot -- and you have to read it as a philosophical treatise, because otherwise it seems like a novel where the man's whining and pushing his worldview down your throat. He is whining and pushing his worldview down your throat, of course, but that's alright because it's a novel second.

    I don't even agree with his philosophy, but if you want an engaging world in which to grapple with ideas about rationality, quality, and the battle between intellectuals and romanticists, definitely worth a read.

    Spoiler:
    [/spoiler]
  • thursdaynextthursdaynext Registered User
    I've been trying to read Game of Thrones, and I'm just not as excited about the book as I was the show. Same characters, same story, but George Martin's style of writing...just feels too prose..y...for it's own good.

    I also attempted to read a Dean Koontz novel. "What the Night Knows." Every new page seems worse than the previous one.

  • GotrGotr Ms. St Louis, MORegistered User regular
    @thursdaynext From what I've heard, he's a lot like Tolkien in all the wrong ways.

    Spoiler:
    [/spoiler]
  • azith28azith28 Registered User regular
    vamen wrote: »
    I am rereading Way of Kings. I can't help myself.
    I was very surprised that so many people didn't love it. I was such a big fan of it I almost started reading it again when I first finished it (the first week it came out).

    So, I just found the Way of Kings book after finding a random list of books someone provided of a similar style.

    After finishing it last night, I have to agree with Vamen. I loved this book. The world is fantastic, and I can't wait to see the back story that's been hinted at.

    Then I went online to see when the next one is coming out. Late 2013....damn it all.

    If your completely new to brandon sanderson, go grab his other stuff. The Mistborn series is excellent, elantris is good, warbreaker is good.

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  • 3kingdomsman3kingdomsman Registered User
    I remember reading A Game of Rap...err Thrones not long after it came out. I just could not get in to it. The amount of abuse and descriptions of rape in that book...I threw the book out (only book I have done that to)...I threw the book out in disgust and picked up Gardens of The Moon by Steven Erickson. My god what a fantastic series the Malazan Book of The Fallen has been. I am up to the last book in the series now.

    I have also been reading the Romance of The Three Kingdom books of lae. Talk about hard to read. But they are well worth the effort.

  • ratzofftoyaratzofftoya Registered User regular
    Currently making my way through Pnin by Nabokov. Any recommendations in the same vein?

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    My most recent compulsion has been HP Lovecraft -- I re-read The Colour out of Space after a recent Arkham Horror weekend and basically just kept going.

    Some of the stuff is dated at best and colored by his intense and judgmental worldview, but man he was good at weird, creepy and horrific

  • WybornWyborn GET EQUIPPED Registered User regular
    My most recent compulsion has been HP Lovecraft -- I re-read The Colour out of Space after a recent Arkham Horror weekend and basically just kept going.

    Some of the stuff is dated at best and colored by his intense and judgmental worldview, but man he was good at weird, creepy and horrific

    The Rats in the Walls is still maybe his best story while simultaneously parading his racism as clearly as it was possible to do so

    I always had a soft spot for Dagon and The Dunwich Horror, too

  • tapeslingertapeslinger Space Unicorn Slush Ranger Social Justice Rebel ScumRegistered User regular
    Dude was even racist against most other white people
    a true xenophobe

    but yeah, Dunwich Horror is one of my favorite pieces of cosmic horror, possibly ever

    like I can envision that smell and that voice and ugggggh my skin is crawling

  • YogoYogo Registered User regular
    Just finished the Mistborn trilogy as part of a birthday present. I must say that I really enjoy the world and the history which Brandon Sanderson has endowed in the books. I read Book One in a matter of days and finished Book 2 and 3 within the same week.

    Overall I enjoyed the small tidbits left at each chapter as to explain what was going on behind the scenes. It helped relief the stress of trying to understand how different characters and magic systems worked. Everything flowed naturally and my lust for searching the net for answers was quelled all the time.

    However, Brandon Sanderson has consistently showed a particular flaw throughout all of the books. He writes and writes, showing the tension, the dilemma and the problem of a given situation. It never feels like it drags on at all. Yet suddenly Sanderson must have realized that the story had to end as each book is suddenly resolved within approximately 100 pages or so. The ending and epilogue do not feel rushed, but leaves one bereft of catharsis as both never lets the reader soak up the events and see how the events change the situation. It just... happens. Bum, done, finished. No long aftermath, no contemplation of what transpired and how it changed the world. I could understand this approach to the first two books as it is a trilogy, but the ending of the third used the same approach much to my dismay.

    I wanted the characters to express their feelings concerning the events and not just a single sentence telling me that everything worked out fine. Goddamnit, it didn't! A lot of important characters were sacrificed to achieve this ending and not letting those sacrifices linger and allow the viewer to soak them up just leaves you feeling... empty. It is the same feeling as the one I felt after the original Mass Effect 3 ending. No catharsis because the ending is too damn short.

    Overall I can recommend the books though the ending, while positive, was not sufficient enough in my opinion.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Yogo wrote: »
    Just finished the Mistborn trilogy as part of a birthday present. I must say that I really enjoy the world and the history which Brandon Sanderson has endowed in the books. I read Book One in a matter of days and finished Book 2 and 3 within the same week.

    Overall I enjoyed the small tidbits left at each chapter as to explain what was going on behind the scenes. It helped relief the stress of trying to understand how different characters and magic systems worked. Everything flowed naturally and my lust for searching the net for answers was quelled all the time.

    However, Brandon Sanderson has consistently showed a particular flaw throughout all of the books. He writes and writes, showing the tension, the dilemma and the problem of a given situation. It never feels like it drags on at all. Yet suddenly Sanderson must have realized that the story had to end as each book is suddenly resolved within approximately 100 pages or so. The ending and epilogue do not feel rushed, but leaves one bereft of catharsis as both never lets the reader soak up the events and see how the events change the situation. It just... happens. Bum, done, finished. No long aftermath, no contemplation of what transpired and how it changed the world. I could understand this approach to the first two books as it is a trilogy, but the ending of the third used the same approach much to my dismay.

    I wanted the characters to express their feelings concerning the events and not just a single sentence telling me that everything worked out fine. Goddamnit, it didn't! A lot of important characters were sacrificed to achieve this ending and not letting those sacrifices linger and allow the viewer to soak them up just leaves you feeling... empty. It is the same feeling as the one I felt after the original Mass Effect 3 ending. No catharsis because the ending is too damn short.

    Overall I can recommend the books though the ending, while positive, was not sufficient enough in my opinion.

    Brandon Sanderson's actually talked on Writing Excuses and his college lectures (you can find the 2012 classes online) about the "Brandon Avalanche" as something he's been taking pains to get away from because he knows it's a major flaw of his.

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