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Kimmie

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(Originally posted on: 09-01-08 05:25:39 PM)
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So...now that school has started back, I will be spending most of my time avoiding homework. I feel as though I need to be more intellectual with what little free time I have, so what are your recommendations? It can be any type of book.
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Reply 1 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 05:41:46 PM)
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Ohhhhh man there are so many good books! What are you into? Fiction? Mysteries? Classics?
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Kimmie

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Reply 2 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 05:54:52 PM)
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not classics...too many big words...fiction and mysteries are good. I also like a good non-fiction title from time to time.
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Reply 3 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 05:56:11 PM)
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I think Ety should suggest some books for her...
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Reply 4 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 05:59:29 PM)
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Well, without having any idea what you're into, here's what I've been reading/have read lately:

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. - It's a book about logical mistakes people fall prey to when making decisions. Admittedly, some of his points he reaches a little beyond what the research shows to make, but by and large it's an interesting book and very entertainingly written.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy - A tale of the relationship between a single dad and his young son set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic America. Civilization has effectively burned to the ground, and the main characters (known only as "the man" and "the boy") are heading south to escape the harsh climate. Both touching and incredibly frickin' bleak. They're releasing a film version of it this fall, so I wanted to have read the book before that happens.

Foundation by Isaac Asimov - First in a series by one of science fiction's greatest writers, this is the story of a visionary professor's attempt to ensure that the knowledge of galactic civilization survives its collapse. It's got the elemenets of a great space opera, but with much more political intrigue. I haven't yet gotten around to reading the sequels, though. I'm also presently reading The Caves of Steel, which is the first of a different series of Asimov's. That one's about a human detective who reluctantly teams up with a robot detective to solve a murder.

True Enough by Farhad Manjoo - I haven't quite finished this one, but it deals with the issue of "truthiness," which is to say the increasing tendency in politics and media for people to construct "reality" around subjective beliefs instead of impartial facts. Sometimes it's a little preachy, but it's a good topic.

Those are a few ideas to get you started. I've also been reading some comics, but I think we have another thread somewhere about good comics to read.
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Reply 5 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:00:39 PM)
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OK. Brain-Wise by Patricia Churchland.
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Reply 6 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:05:21 PM)
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I guess your tentacle-sex animated comics are only reserved for me.
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Reply 7 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:05:38 PM)
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Naked Lunch
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Reply 8 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:08:00 PM)
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No no, lunch is reserved for me too.
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Reply 9 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:13:25 PM)
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I can think of at least two things wrong with that title.
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Reply 10 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:31:05 PM)
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I just finished Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, both of which are spectacular.
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Reply 11 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:31:24 PM)
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Quoted from Kimmie:
not classics...too many big words...fiction and mysteries are good. I also like a good non-fiction title from time to time.

Hahahaha, got it. One of my favourite books is Middlesex, by Jeffrey Eugenides. It's about the family history of a man raised as a woman. It sounds weirder than it is. It's an amazing novel.

I recently read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, which is one of the top banned books in the nation (something that makes Spiff happy for some reason). If you're looking for something somber that would be a good choice.

I also recently read Persepolis, a graphic novel in two volumes by Marjane Satrapi. It's also pretty somber, but very beautifully drawn and an interesting story of the author's life in Iran during the Iranian Revolution.

Um...pretty much anything Kurt Vonnegut, if you're into kind of twisted humour. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater is my favourite book by him, and Breakfast of Champions is second. I wouldn't read BoC without reading God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater first, because it includes some backstory on one of the major characters in BoC.

I've read some classic mysteries and my favourite has always been Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. You can't go wrong with Poirot.

Non-fiction, David Sedaris is rather amusing, although I've only read one book by him, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. It's a bunch of short stories about his life. I've heard nothing but good about his other works.

Or you can just go to the library and browse. That usually works for me i'm a serial-killer :)
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Reply 12 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:41:54 PM)
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Quoted from British Agent:
I just finished Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, both of which are spectacular.
I just read Slaughterhouse-Five recently and I have to say that it was incredible. Cat's Cradle too.

Pretty much anything by Chuck Palahniuk is good. I prefer his older books over his newer ones, but they're all worth checking out. Choke and Invisible Monsters are my personal favorites, though Survivor is noteworthy as well.

If you've never read it, the original I Am Legend is a fantastic read, quite quick too. If you want non-fiction, try reading The Things They Carried which is about soldiers in Vietnam, some true, some fabricated, all worthwhile reading. Oh, it may not be your thing, but Lolita is surprisingly good, though if you're afraid of "big words" you'll want to steer clear of it.

This thread reminds me just how little I actually read, I need to read more.
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Reply 13 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:43:22 PM)
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Middlesex was definitely a great book. I read it when I was like 15, back in the day, and loved it.
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Reply 14 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:45:31 PM)
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Quoted from British Agent:
I just finished Cat's Cradle and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, both of which are spectacular.


Cat's Cradle was the worst piece of shit I've ever read. The characters were wooden, the plot ludicrous, and the story convoluted. It felt like a first year english students' work.

I'd recommend anything by Edward Rutherford. It's historical fiction if you're into that. Another decent work is the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. If you're into sci-fi read Dune by Frank Herbert or Ringworld by Larry Niven.

Almost forgot: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, by Ken Kesey.
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Reply 15 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:48:51 PM)
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Quoted from Snook:
Cat's Cradle was the worst piece of shit I've ever read. The characters were wooden, the plot ludicrous, and the story convoluted. It felt like a first year english students' work.
This is nothing short of blasphemy, sir.
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Reply 16 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:51:23 PM)
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Part of it may be that I had to read it for class last year, but ever since I've been hearing nothing but praise for it from everyone but the people on my campus. Everyone except the profs here hate it.

I just felt like Kurt kept wanting to leap out of the page and scream "Look how pretentious and cool I am! Bask in the glow that is my indecipherable language!"
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Reply 17 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:54:43 PM)
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More like, "hey assholes, be more responsible with your scientific research."
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Reply 18 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:56:02 PM)
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Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson. In addition to being a good read, it will take you FOREVER to get through.
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Reply 19 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:56:17 PM)
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Oh please, we beat that subject to death in class. He could have presented it in a much more believable and interesting fashion; the way he did it he made any scientist feel like a douchebag. At least that was the general consensus.
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Reply 20 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:56:59 PM)
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Quoted from Snook:
Cat's Cradle was the worst piece of shit I've ever read. The characters were wooden, the plot ludicrous, and the story convoluted. It felt like a first year english students' work.


I feel like you may have missed something then; because the themes and socio-religious commentary at work in that novel are absolute genius.

I actually just bought and started one of his earlier books, The Sirens of Titan, which Douglas Adams said inspired him to write Hitchhiker's.
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Reply 21 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 06:58:35 PM)
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Quoted from Snook:
The way he did it he made any scientist feel like a douchebag.
That's kinda the point.

edit: well, that in combination of the ignorant religious leadership that ultimately gets their hands on the technology. It's meant to be a meditation on the potentially dangerous combination of ignorance and technology.

edit2: need to get my facts straight, been a while since I read the book. It's not the religious leader, it's the dictator.
This reply was last edited on 09-01-08 07:09:24 PM by Air Bud.
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Reply 22 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 07:02:14 PM)
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Quoted from British Agent:
I feel like you may have missed something then; because the themes and socio-religious commentary at work in that novel are absolute genius.


Whatever genius there is I seem to have missed it by a wide margin; at any rate I'm not going to rush back and try to glean this from the book.

Quoted from Sandamnit:
Quoted from Snook:
The way he did it he made any scientist feel like a douchebag.
That's kinda the point.


Yes, the best way to win an argument is ad hominem! I understand people aren't very happy about some of the scientific research going on but personally I fear that it's mostly thanks to your average person not understanding what it is being researched. It's like the idiots who think that a black hole is going to be created at the new lab they made (forget the name.)
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Reply 23 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 07:11:20 PM)
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It's a commentary on the creation of the atomic bomb written right after they dropped it(/them). The idea was that, like the real scientists he interviewed, they didn't really care what their discoveries were used for. It's a 'tssk-tssk' for those who invent dangerous devices and don't bother to keep those devices in check when they're finished - not a slap in the face of all science or anything.
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Reply 24 of 72 (Originally posted on: 09-01-08 07:30:21 PM)
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Read Lawrence & Holloman, Vigil, and Girl in the Goldfish Bowl by Morris Panych. They're very good and funny plays.

Also, pick up classic Peanuts comics. The 1950s/60s ones are funny, dark, poignant and touching. Schulz seems to have gotten soft during the 70s, but early Charlie Brown is fantastic. They're quick and fun reads, too.

The Bone series by Jeff Smith makes for fast and good reading, too. They're assigning it as class reading for grade 4/5 around here now, but it's a fun read for everyone, I think. I didn't first pick it up until I was 16 or so.

Henri Cueco's Conversations with my Gardener is an easy read, and remarkably interesting. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was adapted into a movie at some point, but I've never seen it. I only knew about the book first, and the book is great. After reading it, I can see why they'd want to make it a movie. I think it would make a great stage show, too, but either way, my parents and I enjoyed reading this one. It rotated through pretty quick.
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