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Thread: The General Book Thread

  1. #51
    resident asshole cyanide_'s Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    oh hey this thread again

    i read a lot and cba to list all i have read recently

    i would say though:

    y'all should read Wuthering Heights it's a fantastic read with a Gothic sensibility and self-enclosed spirituality with Heathcliff as a brilliant Byronic hero. It is not a traditional 'romance' story so don't be put off if you've heard that about it. It is one of the very few books I have literally cried at the ending of.

    e: probably shouldn't be read until you're about 16 though, not for adult content or w/e but it's quite a 'difficult' read in terms of fully understanding and grasping emotional aspects to truly appreciate
    Last edited by cyanide_; January 25th, 2013 at 09:45 PM.
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    Man struggled against man until the end, heaving and clawing. A single hand rose from the pile of corpses spread across the Earth, until it, too, softened and returned to the soil.


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  2. #52
    This situation calls for science! Aquinas's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Just finished The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.

    ...I need to lie down or something.

    I honestly don't care if it was plausible or not, the story it told was deeply touching. The style, which initially felt stilted and unnatural to me, quickly became captivating. And those final pages... haunting.
    You know those endings where you almost feel angry at the author? Angry for putting you through such a heartbreaking experience? And then you begrudgingly have to admit that it really was terrific writing and plotting, but you're still not sure whether it was worth it? Yeah.


    Haven't seen the film adaptation yet, but I'm not sure I want to - film adaptations of books are pretty hit-and-miss, and a bad adaptation can forever scar your mental images of the book.
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  3. #53
    hey sinnerman where you gonna run to Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    From what I've heard the movie is really great

    not sure how faithful it is to the book but if you're judging it solely by that lol
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    He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they'd hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be con-demned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay... Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.


  4. #54
    I want to line the pieces up. Yours... and mine. Luigiguy78's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Yeah I HAD to watch that movie in the 7th grade for World Cultures. It was extremely scary to me. Especially the ending, I had to think about that for weeks.

    Anyways I got the final Artemis Fowl book for my birthday back in August but never got around to reading it since I want to reread the whole series before I read the final book. I put the series down for about three months, but I picked it back up in December. I'm currently on Book #3 (The Eternity Code) and I pretty much love every character. Artemis is the coolest kid genius ever, Butler is just plain awesome and epic, Mulch is really funny and hot headed, Foaly is also funny and a smart, wise-cracking centaur is always good, and Root is just so funny to watch explode in anger every 10 pages or so. Everyone is awesome except Holly. Nobody likes Holly. Leave now Holly.


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  5. #55
    hey sinnerman where you gonna run to Forum Veteran Eruedraith's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Holly's a &&&&ing bamf

    Artemis Fowl was the best freaking book series ever for me a few years back, and I honestly think that the first three books rank somewhere towards the middle on my hypothetical top 100 book series lists because it tracks Artemis's character development so well (it basically just gets rehashed and then done with for the next eight books)

    after the first three I feel like it goes more than a little downhill but it's still enjoyable if you're in the mood for some YA popcorn
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    He were not hanged. He would not answer aye or nay to his indictment; for if he denied the charge they'd hang him surely, and auction out his property. So he stand mute, and died Christian under the law. And so his sons will have his farm. It is the law, for he could not be con-demned a wizard without he answer the indictment, aye or nay... Great stones they lay upon his chest until he plead aye or nay. They say he give them but two words. "More weight," he says. And died.


  6. #56
    I want to line the pieces up. Yours... and mine. Luigiguy78's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Yeah the first three were probably my favorites, but I can't decide which one exactly.

    I actually thought the Lost Colony was pretty interesting and cool though. I think my least favorite had to be the Time Paradox because for some odd reason it felt like a spin-off. I also liked Artemis's
    Spoiler: SPOILERS! 
    in the Atlantis Complex. I have high hopes for the Last Guardian though since it's kind of going back to the roots of the series with them trying to fight some fairies at Fowl Manor again.


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  7. #57
    I just realized that my "title" was stupid since it's april now Meta-Mind's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by luigiguy78 View Post
    Yeah I HAD to watch that movie in the 7th grade for World Cultures. It was extremely scary to me. Especially the ending, I had to think about that for weeks.

    Anyways I got the final Artemis Fowl book for my birthday back in August but never got around to reading it since I want to reread the whole series before I read the final book. I put the series down for about three months, but I picked it back up in December. I'm currently on Book #3 (The Eternity Code) and I pretty much love every character. Artemis is the coolest kid genius ever, Butler is just plain awesome and epic, Mulch is really funny and hot headed, Foaly is also funny and a smart, wise-cracking centaur is always good, and Root is just so funny to watch explode in anger every 10 pages or so.
    Aha, more or less! Not to mention that Butler and his entire family are literal Battle Butlers. :P
    Everyone is awesome
    ...Ye -
    except Holly. Nobody likes Holly. Leave now Holly.
    >:C

    You know, this reminds me: I never did pick up the last book in the series. I'll have to go back and do that sometime.

  8. #58
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Eruedraith View Post
    From what I've heard the movie is really great

    not sure how faithful it is to the book but if you're judging it solely by that lol
    A good movie is a good movie, regardless of what it's based on. An adaptation that takes significant liberties with the text can still be a good movie: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is easily the least faithful of the Narnia films, but for my money it's also the best. On the other hand, an adaptation that follows the source material religiously - even if it's really outstanding source material - can still make for a terrible movie: from what I remember, Where the Red Fern Grows stuck pretty close to the original novel (which I loved) but failed as entertaining cinema.
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  9. #59
    I want to line the pieces up. Yours... and mine. Luigiguy78's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    *le gasp* You LIKE Holly?!

    Oh well, I just thought she was kind of annoying a lot. She has a lot of confidence for someone who got outsmarted by a Mud Boy 12 year old boy. I just can't get around the "I'm all that and a bag of chips" attitude.


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  10. #60
    Acta est fabula, plaudite! Twisted Roselia's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    So my Twihard friend convinced me to read Twilight... I haven't read very much of it yet, but so far I'm not really liking it (for some reason Stephenie Meyer feels the need to describe everything Bella sees). Apparently it gets better later on though. I just hope Bella and Edward's romance isn't as creepy as it sounds like.


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  11. #61
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I gave the first Artemis Fowl book a try a while back. Thought it was alright but wasn't interested in reading the rest of the series. You know what's a good book though? The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

  12. #62
    Skullo Dream Forum Veteran Ark's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by cyanide_ View Post
    y'all should read Wuthering Heights it's a fantastic read with a Gothic sensibility and self-enclosed spirituality with Heathcliff as a brilliant Byronic hero. It is not a traditional 'romance' story so don't be put off if you've heard that about it. It is one of the very few books I have literally cried at the ending of.

    e: probably shouldn't be read until you're about 16 though, not for adult content or w/e but it's quite a 'difficult' read in terms of fully understanding and grasping emotional aspects to truly appreciate
    This is way late, but hey, I finished reading Wuthering Heights earlier this month, and it managed to become one of my favorite books. When I first got it, I was whinging over the fact that I had been assigned to read a silly romance novel and that I had to read YET ANOTHER Victorian era novel... even thought the last (and only) one I read, Great Expectations, was around four years ago (beginning of high school, ninth grade, etc.), so that was by and large an unfair criticism of both books and Victorian literature as a whole.

    But yeah, I was surprised at how amazing this book is. I don't even know how to put into words how brilliant of a character Heathcliff is, but I can say that he has illuminated my love of tragedies.
    Last edited by Ark; March 20th, 2013 at 03:14 PM.

  13. #63
    resident asshole cyanide_'s Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    if you love tragedies you should read Jude the Obscure

    also Waiting for Godot for tragicomedy

    Shakespeare as well of course (King Lear, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Ceasar, Othello) ranked in order of best to worst (they're all great)

    things fall apart by achebe is great for postcolonial tragedy too

    a doll's house by ibsen is another classic

    but there's loads of great tragedy those are really good ones off the top of my head
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    Man struggled against man until the end, heaving and clawing. A single hand rose from the pile of corpses spread across the Earth, until it, too, softened and returned to the soil.


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  14. #64
    DarkruLegioSquallant Bias Mendicant Bias's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I just finished reading The Odyssey, by Homer. Fantastic read. I love Greek mythology in general, but The Odyssey is definitely my favorite piece of ancient Greek literature to date.
    The real heroes.

  15. #65
    I want to line the pieces up. Yours... and mine. Luigiguy78's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Funny, I just finished reading the Oddysey for my English class and had to give a test on a certain section.


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  16. #66
    Skullo Dream Forum Veteran Ark's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by cyanide_ View Post
    but there's loads of great tragedy those are really good ones off the top of my head
    Thanks for the suggestions! I haven't read Jude the Obscure, Waiting for Godot (kicking myself for not doing this sooner since I do have the book lying around somewhere), or A Doll's House so I'll be sure to get to that. King Lear is something that I should have read by now, so I'll be sure to get to that too

    Things Fall Apart is a favorite of mine too, especially because before I read it, I didn't really give much of a damn for the cultures and societies destroyed by colonization. They were just the people who lost out, and that train of thought doesn't make me all that happy looking back.

  17. #67
    resident asshole cyanide_'s Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    yeah i'm pretty big on the whole postcolonial side of things, but i've always been really sympathetic to otherised groups general plights and in my my formative literary years (12-16) when i started reading 'proper' novels i was drawn to generally realist texts that dealt with the poor, other racial groups etc such as germinal by zola or native son by richard wright

    on postcolonial stuff anything by salman rushdie is worth a read, also god of small things by arundhati roy is really good, one hundred years of solitude by marquez is fantastic, ngugi wa thiong'o is a great author too, wole soyinka, coetzee as well

    derek walcott and aime cesaire are two fantastic poets in similar themes as well

    and if anyone is interested in the more theoretical sides of colonialism and race then Frantz Fanon, Edward Said and Khomi Bhabha are the big 3. If you look into it Spivak will be mentioned too and her theory on the subaltern is worthwhile but she's a pain in the ass to read.

    recently have gone away from that type of stuff though (well, cesaire fits in) have read some surrealism, paris peasant and hebdomeros

    have also waded through ulysses by james joyce, quite possibly the best text i've ever read, only advisable to be read by an experienced reader though (i know that sounds pretentious, but it's knowingly difficult and as someone who's nearly finished his BA in english lit i'd hope to be an experienced reader)
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    Man struggled against man until the end, heaving and clawing. A single hand rose from the pile of corpses spread across the Earth, until it, too, softened and returned to the soil.


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  18. #68
    resident asshole cyanide_'s Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    achebe died today ):
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    Man struggled against man until the end, heaving and clawing. A single hand rose from the pile of corpses spread across the Earth, until it, too, softened and returned to the soil.


    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwnkFlVRCZc&feature=fvw

  19. #69
    Skullo Dream Forum Veteran Ark's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    Wow, that's uh, quite the coincidence. :<

    At least at 82, he lived a pretty full life. Sad to see such a great writer go though.

  20. #70
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    So uh right now I'm just gonna throw out there and say that I've been book juggling as of late and right now I'm in the middle of reading World War Z by Max Brooks, and so far out of the rather (few) zombie books I've read, this one is definitely the most interesting. I definitely like the format it is written in, too. Can't say much, but as of now I've recently reached
    The Blame
    and I'm definitely anticipating the next time I get some free time to pick up and read from where I left off.

    And because I'm book juggling, I had to take a break in the Hitchhiker's series (about to start the fourth one) and House of Leaves (I plan to use up my summer reading that book - it's pretty lengthy and hard to not put down for me). It is a bad habit of mine to do this, mostly because when I'm in the middle of a book, I also end up discovering new books in the process. Hopefully by the time summer starts I'll be having some relaxing reading days.

  21. #71
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I've just started to read Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates by David Wootton. It's a rather controversial history of medicine. The argument is that until the nineteenth century, the medical profession used treatments that were better at harming and killing people than treating conditions, with some exceptions.

    From what I've seen this far the book places slightly too much focus on progress, at the expense of contextualisation and seems to ask the question "why didn't they think in our way?" more than one should, though he isn't an old-fashioned Whig and let's face it, it makes no sense to dispose of progress altogether in science and technology. It seems nonetheless a good book and it's an easy read.

  22. #72
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    O I forgot about this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Villerar View Post
    I've just started to read Bad Medicine: Doctors Doing Harm Since Hippocrates by David Wootton. It's a rather controversial history of medicine. The argument is that until the nineteenth century, the medical profession used treatments that were better at harming and killing people than treating conditions, with some exceptions.

    From what I've seen this far the book places slightly too much focus on progress, at the expense of contextualisation and seems to ask the question "why didn't they think in our way?" more than one should, though he isn't an old-fashioned Whig and let's face it, it makes no sense to dispose of progress altogether in science and technology. It seems nonetheless a good book and it's an easy read.
    Well I've completed the book for some time now and the impression in the above post still holds. I think the author did a very good job in arguing his case that until well into the nineteenth century medical knowledge was more poised to harm than to heal. And he is also capable in showing it took even longer for medical practice to catch up, sometimes out of pure conservatism as in England (where doctors long refused to use antiseptics for sterilising instruments out of tradition).

    His idea of progress (or maybe Progress) isn't starry-eyed, but it is a little simplistic. It is that Progress to our current state of knowledge is not inevitable but should have happened (in the ethical sense). Doing so he takes position against both earlier modernists (who had an extremely simplistic idea of Progress) and post-Foucauldean history of science (who take a very relativistic, ethnographic stance that denies any Progress), so he avoids some extremes. But I also think the author's acceptance of a narrative of Progress makes him jump to conclusions that a reader can't accept out of ignorance. An example is that he quickly claims that the germ theory of disease should have been accepted in the late seventeenth or early eighteenth century but doesn't lay the intellectual defence of spontaneous generation out. A non-expert then simply lacks the information to make a judgment. This isn't true of the entire book though. He does do such an exposition for the early nineteenth century and that really helped.

    The book also suffers sometimes from bad examples (he gives more credit to Galileo where in fact Kepler and Newton deserve it) that don't harm his overall case but do show the same (imo conservative) Progressive bias.

  23. #73
    To vex the world rather than divert it. Villerar's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I just got started with Karl Popper's The Open Society and Its Enemies. Its content is, in a nutshell, a denunciation of totalitarianism and a defence of democracy combined with a trenchant criticism of the idea that history has some sort of inherent goal, and up to that point I'm all sympathetic to his argument about all of that. But he also ties it in with his theory of how science works (falsificationism) and how the social sciences should be. That view is widely rejected now and I wonder how his book will still hold up (I'm also less sympathetic to some other things in it).

    This will give you an idea of what Popper offers to the social sciences (page 30 in the 2011 paperback, omitting end notes):

    As indicated by our example, methodological nominalism is nowadays fairly generally accepted in the natural sciences. The problems of the social sciences, on the other hand, are still for the most part treated by essentialist methods. This is, in my opinion, one of the main reasons for their backwardness. But many who have noticed this situation judge it differently. They believe that the difference in method is necessary, and that it reflects an 'essential' difference between the 'natures' of these two fields of research.


    This is going to be fun.

  24. #74
    Skullo Dream Forum Veteran Ark's Avatar
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I finished Gone Girl earlier today. It's about the dynamics of Nick and Amy Dunne's crumbling relationship with the big mystery being whether or not Nick is guilty of killing his wife.

    I rarely read mystery/crime/psychological thriller novels, not because I have some sort of aversion to them, but because I'm usually stuck in other genres.

    It was difficult to put down, so yeah, I recommend it.

  25. #75
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    Re: The General Book Thread

    I got the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (or, more specifically, the first five novels in one convenient book). It is pleasant. I'm not too far in-I'm currently on chapter 15-but the characters' banter with each other is enjoyable, and the dialogue of the titular Guide is great. I can't help but wish that Arthur had a bit more to do, because it's felt as though Ford has been doing everything. Granted, I wouldn't normally complain about this issue, being that Arthur knows nothing about aliens and their ways, but at the same time, he did almost talk their way out of hearing Vogon poetry.

    Either way, the book is enjoyable enough that I will finish it.

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