Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Snowlilly, Aug 21, 2012.
I'm taking a break from Prized and reading Virus by Graham Watkins.
Finished the third Colossus novel last night.
This one, at least, had some comments on the frequent use of alcohol in the trilogy.
BTW: Should you ever want to read Colossus; don't bother with the second and third novel.
A Nice Little Place on the North Side by George F. Will about Wrigley Field, the Chicago Cubs, and sweet home Chicago.
Awake in the Dark by Roger Ebert.
War of the Worlds
I bought the War of the worlds: Goliath DVD (it came out last week. Not bad at all. If you like anime and steampunk, you should watch it) and became curious about the original story. Not an easy read - many words I never heard before - but quite thrilling
Like with most things I read, having liked the screen version I'll invest my time in reading the source material.
I'm reading The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg.
A Darkling Sea by James Cambias.
The Wind, the Road, and the Way by Jenny L. Cote, unless I decide to break in and read something else.
The Ice Schooner by Michael Moorcock
I finally got around to buying some new stuff for the Kindle - started reading The Martian last night (just the first few pages but I'm quite liking it already), and I have Wool ready to go when that one's done.
I've given up on Looking Backward at 85% done (thanks, Kindle app). I have no idea how I had the patience to read all that dense "men talking at each other" stuff back in high school. Maybe because I was kind of a communist then? I don't know.
I finished The Martian last week. Excellent book.
I have also fiished an audiobook, The Potato Factory by Bryce Courtenay. I love the fact that two-thirds of the book is set in my home town and that one of the main characters loves The Mountain (Mt Wellington - shown below) as much as I do.
As soon as I finished The Potato Factory I started listening to Tommo and Hawk, the second book in the Potato Factory trilogy.
My dead tree read is Virus by Graham Watkins.
I'm working my way through a world mythology book. Amazing how many similarities there are between them.
Last week I read Paradise Lost..I have to be honest, it gave me a headache.
It's been a couple of months since I last had time to drop in here (*waves to everyone*), so I've gotten through quite a few books over the last little while. Since I don't remember what I posted about and what I hadn't, I'll mention the ones I know I have read more recently than my last visit:
Red Planet Blues, by Robert J. Sawyer: the cover says, "Murder on the mean streets of Mars." Indeed. Heavily influenced by film noir - Rob is a huge Maltese Falcon fan - it's a quick yet engrossing read. I chatted with Rob a couple of weeks ago at a local convention and asked him if he was planning on revisiting that particular universe, and he said it's sold very well, and he enjoyed writing it, so it's not the last we've seen of Alex Lomax.
Century Rain, Alastair Reynolds: how had I not read any Reynolds before this? I loved this book. It also has a mystery component, and film noir influence - large portions of the book are set in 1940s Paris (or so the character thinks ). (It's okay, that's not really a spoiler - it's stated, straight out, in the back-cover blurb.) I found myself caring a great deal about what these characters were experiencing.
When H.A.R.L.I.E. Was One - Version 2.0 - I'd read the original many years ago, but for some reason had never gotten around to version 2.0. (Nobody tell on me, okay? ) It's interesting to look back sometimes, and see where we thought artificial intelligence would be by now. As a programmer myself, albeit not one who's ever done that level of research, I can imagine just how difficult a problem it is; programming something like Siri, which is essentially Google with a voice recognition interface, is one thing, but something that can pass the Turing test is probably an order of magnitude harder.
The Long Earth, Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter: as a long-time avid reader of both authors, I somehow expected this to be a little lighter than it was. It read like Baxter wrote the first draft, and then Pratchett went over it later (though I did spot a few of his influences). Essentially, people discover the ability to jump into parallel Earths. Some need technology to do it, but our protagonist can do it without the tech. He travels from one Earth to the next, to the next, to the next, etc. with an A.I. for company. It was good, but I suspect that the meat of the story is going to be in its sequel (which is already out in hardcover, but I haven't gotten it yet).
And I've just started In the Presence of Mine Enemies, by Harry Turtledove, in which Germany won WWII and has conquered most of the world. The story is told from the POV of a Jewish man who has to hide what he is from the government. (I'm only about 30 pages in.) So far, I'm finding that this book lacks one of Turtledove's signature writing techniques, which is actually a good thing - he tends to repeat certain turns of phrase a lot. Again, though, I'm only 30 pages in.
On a related note, it was announced a few months ago that World's Biggest Bookstore (which wasn't, at least for the past several years, but it might have been at one point) was closing as their lease was coming to an end and the property had been sold to developers (like Toronto needs any more condos). So over their last month, they were having a massive sale: everything in the store was 50% off. Except for bargain books, which were 75% off the already-bargain price. So right now, I have 55 books piled on my dining room table waiting for me to find space for them. Some people have To-Be-Read lists; I have a To-Be-Read bookcase. (Or, at least, I will once those books are shelved.) I really ought to take a photo and post it in the photo thread.
Most are SF, of course, though I did pick up a slew of Robert Asprin books (I don't read a lot of fantasy, but what fantasy I do read must be light), four or five computer programming reference books, Crazy Town by Robyn Doolittle (about the joke known as Rob Ford), An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield, Magnificent Desolation by Buzz Aldrin, More by John Hodgman, and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie (because I'd always been curious about it, and hey, 50% off).
I also picked up a new collection of James Tiptree, Jr. short stories yesterday (I've never read her, and I really should have), and found the two Behemoth novels by Peter Watts at the same convention I mentioned earlier (I'd never seen either in print before, though I think Peter has them available on his website for download), so I snapped those up. I think that the best way to describe Peter's work is: imagine if H.P. Lovecraft had had a hard-science background.
I know what you mean about a to-read bookcase. I have a couple of those too! I love to read. When I see a book I think I'll be interested in reading, I will buy it if the price is right.
I just finished My Beautiful Failure. I'm still working on The Wind, The Road, and The Way.
Interesting that you've posted this today, as I actually started this last night. Although, I'm very early into it and I'm already not liking it very much. I'm familiar with Terry Pratchett, never read Stephen Baxter, yet I was really hoping for something good out of this, but I can't get past the prose. It really feels all over the place, making it a harder read than it should be, not to mention confusing, due to all the jumps. It's aggravating because I've really wanted to like this.
Love Robert Sawyer, as you know, so I'll likely be checking out Red Planet Blues
I just picked up The Forever Engine by Frank Chadwick, a steampunk story that promises to be good rollicking fun.
Sad to hear about the World's Biggest Bookstore is closing. Never been there, but I know it's been an iconic place, perhaps just as iconic as Sam The Record Man was.
"Sinatra - The Life" by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan
The further adventures of Halley's comet-John Calvin Batchelor
Looked it up, found two novels with that title, since they both looked interesting I ordered the one that was free for Kindle right away
Reading the Reeves-Stevens' Search: A Novel of Forbidden History.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Separate names with a comma.