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Thread: What are you Reading?

  1. #1261
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    Ballad of the Two Tom Mores. Just started it.

    Just finished Surface Detail, by Ian M. Banks. Another of his Culture novels, though it's the first I've read. I have to say, it leaves me meh... My sci-fi and fantasy addiction is quickly waning under the lemons I've picked the last few times out.

    I still have plans to get through A Brief History of Neoliberalism by David Harvey and Luhmann Explained: Introduction to Social Systems theory (an Edited volume) in my spare time. But sometimes I like to read something which is either beatifully written or exquisite garbage. Pickings have been slim on both fronts due to time. So far the Ballad of the Two Tom Mores has been decent. I hope it continues to impress.
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  2. #1262
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    Scar Tissue, the biography of Anthony Kiedis. Pretty cool to know his live was/is. Where and how he growed up.

  3. #1263
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkosV View Post
    Scar Tissue, the biography of Anthony Kiedis. Pretty cool to know his live was/is. Where and how he growed up.
    Yeah, this book is great and his life was/maybe still is interesting.
    Enslave my mind...

  4. #1264
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    How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity by Brian Goodwin. Pretty interesting book about evolutionary biology. Comes from the structuralist persuasion that I'm generally partial to. This book is wildly unpopular among the mainstream Anglo-American scientific community because most people seem to think he's trying to refute evolution or something. He's doing nothing of the sort. He's refuting genocentrism. Not genetics, not the fact that genes are important, but the idea that they do everything. He's not the greatest writer, so he doesn't express the overarching points of his examples all that well and sometimes sounds like a broken record repeating the same phrases, but he's obviously a smart and forward-thinking mathematician and biologist and I generally think that the individual examples he provides all have merit. He essentially argues that interactions with the environment shape the structure of organisms in a hand-in-hand relationship with genetics. This falls flat beyond single-celled organisms or developmental stages of more complex organisms, because beyond that point, from the perspective of the molecules responsible for altering the structure, the organism is the environment, but then again he doesn't really ever try to say that adult complex organisms can grow thick fur coats just because it's cold or something. While I'm not familiar with Goodwin's other work, it seems to me like he's been misinterpreted because (a) his writing style sometimes lacks clarity, and (b) modern-day biologists just like to kiss Dawkins' ass because genocentrism is neat and tidy and reductive.

    The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Yep. I haven't read it since I was 11 and realized that my memory on the details of the story was foggy. I didn't even remember what Tolkien's style was like. I rather enjoy his casual, children-friendly tone in this book.

    The CIA World Factbook. OK, I'm not reading the whole thing cover to cover, but I know so many random and useless facts about countries that I figured it was high time to flesh them out with a bit of useful information. It's better organized and more concise than Wikipedia, so I think I'll retain more information than if I were just to try to make myself smarter by Wiki-surfing.
    Last edited by XYlophonetreeZ; 03-20-2012 at 11:20 AM.
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  5. #1265
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    Finished Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami and really loved it. It's rare that a book makes me feel such strong emotions and love the characters, but I did with this.

    I'm now just starting Battle Royale by Koushan Takami and A Lover's Discourse by Roland Barthes, even though I hated anything we studied by him in semiotics.

  6. #1266
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    Finally finishing Battle Royale. It was pretty good. i wish I'd had more time to read it in a shorter space of time, I think it would have been better to read it at a quick pace. At the start all the Japanese names are a bit confusing, but I managed to get used to them after a bit. Also, the translator wasn't really the best. There are a few grammar mistakes in there.

    Now going on to Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams. I liked The Hitchhiker's Guide a lot, so hopefully this will be as good.

  7. #1267
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    Arrow Mission From God

    The Holy Bible.

  8. #1268
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    Fuminori Nakamura - The Thief. Just finished this - more of a novella than a full-length book, really, but it had its moments overall. Some plodding parts but I appreciated it as a whole. Still, it suffers too much from 'indifferent Japanese male protagonist who actually isn't' syndrome.

    Brian Francis Slattery - Spaceman Blues: A Love Song. This book is slightly insane. Or at least it tries to be, and as long as you accept the writing style and the characters, it generally succeeds in being both entertaining and absurd without careening too wildly off the path. And of course, like many books set in New York, it manages to be insanely fawning and obsessed with the city - which is not a bad things in itself and actually works quite well in the slightly-surreal, ultra-detailed style Slattery uses.

    Vladimir Nabokov - The Defence. I really enjoyed this book, and it's my first real exposure to Nabokov. The writing style and the focus on perception are both very interesting, and while I never particularly empathized with the main character, I never disconnected from his story either, just trying to keep pace and be inside his head. An interesting exercise.

    Aldous Huxley - Antic Hay. I'd only read Brave New World previously, but picked this up on a whim in a used bookstore. So far it has been more than worth it - it's fiendishly clever, to the point of near unintelligibility sometimes. My only regret is that I don't know any Latin with which to complement his frequent asides. I haven't finished it yet, but I'm looking forward to the rest of the book.

    Anna Stavrianakis - Taking Aim at the Arms Trade: NGOs, Global Civil Society and the World Military Order. This is today's reading, and looks to be a sight more interesting than Mark Pythian's The Politics of British Arms Sales since 1964, which I read over the weekend. I'm writing a literature review involving the literature on arms exports, but despite the time commitment it has its upsides (in that it's actually pretty interesting).
    Last edited by T-6005; 05-07-2012 at 08:43 AM.
    Thibault's New Music Site!
    Quote Originally Posted by wheelchairman
    Those wool-headed buffoons have more pride than a Shaido with one goat.

  9. #1269


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    I've just finished Five Years in Concentration Camps by Stanisław Grzesiuk. This is the best book about concentration camps I've ever read. He's writing about entering camps like about entering the whole different universe. Generally he explains who was who in this new world, for what they could beat you(<-this concerns every year and everything though)/kill you, how he was organising food and other stuff, how he was avoiding work, about his friends and other people and how it was changing throughout the years.
    He describes it pretty well. In interesting way. And amusing. In quite chronological order. + he tells a lot of hilarious stories and scary ones as well. So it gives good sense of it all. Like it was his blog. He uses a lot of awesome slang so language is pretty simple, but with a lot of imaginativeness and is very cool to read. And he wrote it with no pathos, finally, what is pretty unique as for this kind of literature.
    And he writes about love in camps. Cause actually love was in the air. Rather unique too.

    Now I'm reading Symphony in C++ by J.Grebosz. I used it once, and it was quite helpful. Not sure if there's sense to read it all, but I'll try.
    And Biology textbook. Fascinating. Seriously.

  10. #1270
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    Jay Dobyns - No Angel (My harrowing undercover journey to the inner circle of the Hells Angels)

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