What are you reading?

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gratus fermentatio

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They're my foreign language books - I've read the series once before, in German, and there's a good chance if I choose another language in the future I'll be getting a set in that language, even though I've never read them in English.
Nie homa! (Hope I got that right) I 1st discovered Asterix der Gallier (Asterix the Gaul) in German. Reading those comics really helped me to learn the language. Funny though, since the comic was originally in French.
Regards, GF.
 

FatDragon

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Nie homa! (Hope I got that right) I 1st discovered Asterix der Gallier (Asterix the Gaul) in German. Reading those comics really helped me to learn the language. Funny though, since the comic was originally in French.
Regards, GF.
His popularity in German was something my high school German teacher brought up from time to time, but she never had any books so I've never checked it out. Sadly, after eight years in China, my German is pretty much nil now. I can still read some (I get about 50% comprehension when I read Kafka in German now), but listening and writing are weak and speaking is pretty much gone. I still think I could get much of it back with a month or two of hard work (and people to talk with), but whenever I try to pick up some German again these days I end up using German words in my Chinese, which I have to use on a daily basis, and I'm too busy with other things to take the full-scale plunge to getting my German back enough to get past the "mixed languages" state.
 

DrunkleJon

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I have read Cryptonomicon by Neal Stevenson a couple times now. It is a long book. I like how it jumps back and forth between WW2 and more nowadays. It does get kinda technical though knowledge of the math is not necessary to enjoy the book. Think Enigma/codebreaking and modern Crypto. Kinda cool. I mention it because I am thinking of picking it up yet again.

I had been on a bit of a fantasy kick the past year or so. Though recently I have read the first two Doom books, and am now working on the first Halo book. Havent read Sci Fi in a while, its fresh again and I am enjoying it.
 

Barley_Bob

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As for what I'm currently reading: I'm about 15 months into Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Chinese. I've improved my reading, vocabulary, and self-expression greatly from reading the books, which I chose because they've got an engaging, easy-to-follow, familiar story that keeps me going when it feels like a slog. They're my foreign language books - I've read the series once before, in German, and there's a good chance if I choose another language in the future I'll be getting a set in that language, even though I've never read them in English.
While I obviously have pet peeves, I do think it's better for people to read something rather than nothing. Harry Potter got a generation of kids (and lots of adults) reading.

The same qualities that made them attractive for kids probably makes them a really good choice for learning a second (or third or fourth) language. I should do this for myself.
 

hunter_le five

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While I obviously have pet peeves, I do think it's better for people to read something rather than nothing. Harry Potter got a generation of kids (and lots of adults) reading.
Troo. My woman isn't much of a reader, but she will read pop-culture crap like Harry Potter, Twilight, etc. At least it's something, I guess.

I actually enjoyed Harry Potter quite a bit, though. It's not great literature by any stretch, but it was entertaining.
 

Homercidal

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The thing I liked about Harry Potter was that although they were fairly light, entertaining, and suitable for almost any age, they still contained elements of mature consideration. It wasn't always the main theme, but the whole series ended up being not just a fight against an ultimate evil, but showing how young kids grew up and were changed by that adversity.

A lot of young people grew up alongside the characters in the books.

Suitable for adults, and a great series for kids to read. The series is a great way to get kids involved in reading. They may even move from the HP books into more mature, adult literature. Kind of like how The Hobbit is more suitable for kids, but makes a great introduction to get you started on LOTR, which is a darker, more involved book.

Ofttimes a story is considered classic only because it was written in a different era. H. G. Wells, Lovecraft, Verne etc. were really just science pop fiction at that time. Today they are examples of great sci-fi. Maybe not "Classic Literature", but I've read some of that too, and it often doesn't seem that great once you get used to the unusual way people spoke in those days.
 

riderkb

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I'm near the end of Countdown to Zero Day. It is about the Stuxnet virus. When it was in the news I was wrapped up in my work life and missed it.
 

Barley_Bob

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Ofttimes a story is considered classic only because it was written in a different era. H. G. Wells, Lovecraft, Verne etc. were really just science pop fiction at that time. Today they are examples of great sci-fi. Maybe not "Classic Literature", but I've read some of that too, and it often doesn't seem that great once you get used to the unusual way people spoke in those days.
I'm half with you here. I agree that there's an element of randomness in what becomes established as a classic or as a work of art. However, HG Wells wrote incredibly compelling and engaging stories (I haven't read Lovecraft or Verne yet). Wells is actually a really good contrast to the authors I've been complaining about in that his stories are very readable. I can blast through one of his books in a day or two and end it knowing that it's changed me in some way. When I finished The Time Machine, for example, I actually felt sad that humanity had lost the time traveler.

Wells is also a really good contrast to Melville and Moby Dick. For whatever reason, Melville wrote wonderful chapters and then felt the need to end them bogging down the reader with some ridiculously dense and opaque prose. I loved the whole book except for the last two pages of each chapter. Hard to read does not equate to genius, and the best authors find a way to make their point while also keeping the reader engaged.

There's usually a reason a book is considered a classic, but that does not mean it's perfect, that it's for everyone, or that there aren't excellent books not considered "classic."
 

FatDragon

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I'm half with you here. I agree that there's an element of randomness in what becomes established as a classic or as a work of art. However, HG Wells wrote incredibly compelling and engaging stories (I haven't read Lovecraft or Verne yet). Wells is actually a really good contrast to the authors I've been complaining about in that his stories are very readable. I can blast through one of his books in a day or two and end it knowing that it's changed me in some way. When I finished The Time Machine, for example, I actually felt sad that humanity had lost the time traveler.

Wells is also a really good contrast to Melville and Moby Dick. For whatever reason, Melville wrote wonderful chapters and then felt the need to end them bogging down the reader with some ridiculously dense and opaque prose. I loved the whole book except for the last two pages of each chapter. Hard to read does not equate to genius, and the best authors find a way to make their point while also keeping the reader engaged.

There's usually a reason a book is considered a classic, but that does not mean it's perfect, that it's for everyone, or that there aren't excellent books not considered "classic."
I never understood what's supposed to be so difficult about Moby Dick. I've read it twice and just breezed through it both times with nary a difficulty. Sure, the technical chapters could be considered dry (though I found them interesting and engaging), but nothing about the novel was that hard to follow by my recollection. Now "Ulysses", on the other hand...
 

Curtis2010

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Currently on Fool, by Christopher Moore. It's hilarious! Kind of dirty, so be warned. I just liked his previous stories, but this one is the best so far. If you think you would like randy tales of of a court jester, you might want to check it out. (**Note that it's not Porn or anything, just a funny story based around a fictional Britain about King Lear's time (King Lear is in it and are his 3 daughters...)
I should read more Christopher Moore. His book "Lamb" is one of my all time favorites!

http://www.chrismoore.com/books/lamb/
 

Ridire

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I never understood what's supposed to be so difficult about Moby Dick. I've read it twice and just breezed through it both times with nary a difficulty. Sure, the technical chapters could be considered dry (though I found them interesting and engaging), but nothing about the novel was that hard to follow by my recollection. Now "Ulysses", on the other hand...
I started Ulysses and decided I need notes to explain to me what I just read. I am yet to dive back into it with the notes.

Moby Dick wasn't difficult to follow, it just had too much unnecessary biology that made the story kind of drag. I'm glad I read it, but it's not on my list of books to re-read.
 

FatDragon

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I started Ulysses and decided I need notes to explain to me what I just read. I am yet to dive back into it with the notes.

Moby Dick wasn't difficult to follow, it just had too much unnecessary biology that made the story kind of drag. I'm glad I read it, but it's not on my list of books to re-read.
Linguistically and stylistically, Ulysses is bipolar and schizophrenic and psychotic and drunk and high and low and ambiguous and just generally a difficult read.

And as for content, so much of it is essentially locked out against those of us who aren't intimately acquainted with the economical, socio-political climate of ~1910 Dubiln, so even if you can navigate the quagmire of language, you run up against a wall of cultural comprehension.

I spent months reading Ulysses, and my takeaway was this: "Life's too short". I enjoy punishing myself through difficult books. My favorite author is Thomas Pynchon, if you need evidence. Ulysses, like Proust, just isn't worth the pain.
 

Barley_Bob

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I've been so busy, I've barely had time to read (excuses, excuses). Someone tell me about a book so I can live vicariously.
 

Zekk

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I should read more Christopher Moore. His book "Lamb" is one of my all time favorites!

http://www.chrismoore.com/books/lamb/
Love Christopher Moore, "A Dirty Job" is probably my favorite of his. Just good funny books.

I'm working on "Speaker for the Dead" by Card. Really liked Enders Game and this one is also pretty good.
 

Curtis2010

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"Incidents of Travel in Central America" by Stevenson. Historically interesting, and interesting to me because I live in Central America, but the writing style, which is typical of the era (1841), is really tedious. This is my book of choice to fall asleep too. I usually only make it thru a few pages before nodding off. Its a 2 volume set so I should have sleepy time reading for at least a year.
 

yeahfairly

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American Sour Beers by Tonsmeire.... Looking forward to trying my first Sour!!!!
 

DrunkleJon

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Read a third of my way through yeast while on the plane from VA to Boston and then to Cancun. I wish cells and how they work was explained the same way in high school add they are in this book. I understand how the individual parts work now.
 

Barley_Bob

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The origin of Species and the Voyage of the Beagle, by Charles Darwin
I should have read this a long time ago. I'll have to officially put it on my reading list.

Read a third of my way through yeast while on the plane from VA to Boston and then to Cancun. I wish cells and how they work was explained the same way in high school add they are in this book. I understand how the individual parts work now.
Science!
 

BGBC

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Read a third of my way through yeast while on the plane from VA to Boston and then to Cancun. I wish cells and how they work was explained the same way in high school add they are in this book. I understand how the individual parts work now.

Motivation is different now.
 

Barley_Bob

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Currently:
Storey's Guide to Raising Dairy Goats
and
An Introduction to Heritage Breeds: Saving and Raising Rare-Breed Livestock and Poultry
I have a few of Storey's Guides laying around my house. Not the one on raising dairy goats, through. As much as I like goat cheese, I have no desire to sit and milk a goat. Are you thinking of getting some? Or do you have dairy goats now?
 

Subsailor

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Yes, I posted on the Homestead forum that we got a farm in AZ. I am looking primarily at meat goats but recently my Wife, MIL and oldest Daughter have started trying to talk me into some dairy goats as well. Not set up for it yet. We just finished the chicken coop and pen with overhead bird netting. We have 12 laying hens and 18 meat chickens to start. Also 12 Pekin ducks. We have some turkeys, geese and more ducks and chickens to be delivered.
We now have 3 Nigerian Dwarf Wethers (we used the elastrator method to wether them). Finally, we have 7 Alpacas which are getting sheared in about a month.

Back on topic, I have nearly every Storey's Guide out there simply because I am kind of anal about keeping information on hand for whatever I may be doing.
 

brewcephus

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Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, first book of Stormlight Archives. Have Words of Radiance already for when I finish Way of Kings
 

hunter_le five

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Just finished "Under the Skin" by Michael Faber. A good read, if maybe a bit overrated. Author is clearly talented when it comes to composing sentences, but the plot became less compelling as the the book went on and mysteries were revealed, leaving only the author's heavy-handed message. I still think it's worth a read (it's fairly short), but not as brilliant or compelling as some of the reviews led me to believe. The first third of the book is great though.

I watched the film adaptation as soon as I finished. Nowhere near as good. Apart from a few scenes that stood out from a purely cinematographic standpoint (and a few more scenes that stood out from a purely naked-Scarlett-Johannson standpoint), it was forgettable. The movie barely resembled the novel other than A) the setting (Scotland) and B) general plot (strange female who abducts random males, later has a change of heart). The movie seemed to largely miss the point of the novel, becoming more of a standard horror flick (though relying more on general creepiness than gore) instead of an allegory with actual identifiable empathetic characters.
 

ArkotRamathorn

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Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, first book of Stormlight Archives. Have Words of Radiance already for when I finish Way of Kings
How did you like Words of Radiance? I just finished it and wishing I had another book to read from the series but sadly they are not out for awhile. Need to start another book series to distract from waiting for Winds of Winter.
 

Homercidal

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Into book 3 of the Mistborn Trilogy by Sanderson. Really good sci-fi book. Well, more of a fantasy series I guess.

I like his writing style, although there are times where I have to read a sentence a couple of times to get the meaning. Small issue, I know, but I do think it's usually possible to rearrange a sentence for easier understanding.
 

Bowtiebrewery

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Currently into book three of A.G. Riddle's trilogy of books. This one is called the Atlantis World... Fairly intriguing... I like how it has evolved from what would be considered a terrorist style conflict, to a genomic evolutionary event on a global scale, to now a potential alien attack. I like sci-fi thrillers!
 

Psylocide

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I'll probably start working my way through Lovecraft's complete works or possibly the Divine Comedy again... Hyperion is kind of calling my name again though.
 

DrunkleJon

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Into book 3 of the Mistborn Trilogy by Sanderson. Really good sci-fi book. Well, more of a fantasy series I guess.

I like his writing style, although there are times where I have to read a sentence a couple of times to get the meaning. Small issue, I know, but I do think it's usually possible to rearrange a sentence for easier understanding.
Good trilogy. The 4th? book in the series is not really part of the series. It is like the decades down the line reboot. It goes from more feudal times to the wild west. Its different but still good. he says he is planning more stories/couple book series in the same world.

The Infinity Blade books are good as well. He is a pretty decent world builder.
 

hunter_le five

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How did you like Words of Radiance? I just finished it and wishing I had another book to read from the series but sadly they are not out for awhile. Need to start another book series to distract from waiting for Winds of Winter.
Words was fantastic. I finished that one recently as well. Too bad there won't be another for a while.

I need to stop reading incomplete series until they are finished. :cross: The waiting drives me crazy.

Into book 3 of the Mistborn Trilogy by Sanderson. Really good sci-fi book. Well, more of a fantasy series I guess.

I like his writing style, although there are times where I have to read a sentence a couple of times to get the meaning. Small issue, I know, but I do think it's usually possible to rearrange a sentence for easier understanding.
I thought Mistborn trilogy was okay, but honestly they were my least favorite Sanderson books I've read so far. Stormlight Archive was/is awesome so far, if a bit slow at points.

Hyperion is kind of calling my name again though.
This.
 
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