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Thread: Books!

  1. #1
    Human Computer
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    Books!

    Video URL: http://www.youtube.com/v/DyIHOTx7zxM


    Tell us what you're currently reading & what you've recently read.

    • 'C++ Primer Plus', Prata, Stephen
    • 'French for Dummies', Various
    • 'Guns, Germs & Steel: The Fates of Human Societies', Diamond, Jared
    • 'Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course', Ramsay, Gordon
    • 'A Clockwork Orange', Burgess, Anthony
    • 'The Signal & The Noise: Why Most Predictions Fail But Some Don't', Silver, Nate
    • 'Second Foundation', Asimov, Isaac
    • 'Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business', Meyer, Danny
    • 'The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined', Pinker, Steven
    • 'Foundation & Empire', Asimov, Isaac
    • 'Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media', Chomsky, Noam & Herman, Edward
    • 'Fahrenheit 451', Bradbury, Ray
    • 'Outliers: The Story of Success', Gladwell, Malcolm
    • 'Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions', Abbott, Edwin Abbott
    • 'Mortality', Hitchens, Christopher
    • '1492: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus', Mann, Charles C.
    • 'The God Argument', Grayling, A.C.
    • 'Letters to A Young Contrarian', Hitchens, Christopher
    • 'Lying', Harris, Sam
    • 'Free Will', Harris, Sam
    • 'End This Depression Now!', Krugman, Paul
    • 'Foundation', Asimov, Isaac
    • 'A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing', Krauss, Lawrence M.
    • 'How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, & the Hidden Power of Character', Tough, Paul

    Note: I often rotate back & forth between fiction & non-fiction.
    Last edited by Mentat; 11-10-2013 at 06:25 AM.
    ? :)

  2. #2
    The Bride Stripped Bare, Nikki Gemmell.
    The Gentleman in the Parlour: A Record of a Journey From Rangoon to Haiphong, W. Somerset Maugham.
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  3. #3
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:22 AM.

  4. #4
    This Is How You Die: Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable Machine of Death

    Finished up Ender's Game again a month or two ago, read the second book of the prequel trilogy thats been/being released, Earth Afire, and just random other Battletech books.
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  5. #5
    I'm reading The Big U right now. Just finished Old Man's War and Caliban's War. Up next I've got Abbadon's Gate, Code of the Lifemaker and The Long Earth. Yeah, I read a lot of scifi.
    And when the moment is right, I'm gonna fly a kite.

  6. #6
    Doesn't know that mice use holes.
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    Old Man's War is probably my favorite Scalzi book.

    And I just got my copy of This is How You Die in the mail last week. Excitement, since I loved the first one hard.

    Currently actually just finished The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbarts which is probably the most vulgar book I've ever read. Not that I didn't enjoy it.
    Also just finished (again), the Gormenghast trilogy.

    Reading now:
    A Universe From Nothing
    Shriek: An Afterward
    Charles Jessold: Considered as a Murderer
    The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human
    Queen and Country volume 2
    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

  7. #7
    Human Computer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    How is it so far?
    I'm enjoying it as much as one can given the depressing nature of the subject matter. It's honestly a bit less dry than I had imagined. I would recommend getting a recent copy in order to take advantage of the relatively new introduction by the authors.
    ? :)

  8. #8
    Human Computer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dormouse View Post
    A Universe From Nothing
    I read this recently as well & really enjoyed it. It was quite accessible to those of us that have little understanding of physics.
    ? :)

  9. #9
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Is the 2002 republish the newest? Is that what you're reading?
    There was a new introduction in 2002 (by Chomsky & Herman) & a new afterword in 2008 (by Herman alone). I haven't read the afterword yet so I can't comment on its quality.
    ? :)

  11. #11
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:22 AM.

  12. #12
    Reading this article on Amazon's acquisition of Goodreads, I was shocked to see that almost half of Americans don't read a single book in a year. So, my goal has been to read 16 books this year and I'm on track:

    http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/951951

    I'm currently reading "The New Digital Age" by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.

    Next on my list:
    - The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon (I like nonfiction adventure tales)
    - Changing How The World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success -- The Inside Story (I was intrigued when I read on Quora that, when FedEx was almost bankrupt as a startup, the founder literally went to Vegas with the remaining cash and won big time jut to make payroll)
    Cordially,
    Lord Tiberius Grismath
    1473 for '1337' posts.

  13. #13
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    I'm currently reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin.

  14. #14
    Zulenglashernbracker
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    This summer, I have read:

    Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut
    Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
    A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess

    Trying to read Catch-22, and I'm enjoying it, but for some reason I'm having difficulties sitting down and actually committing to this book.
    I had a blog. It sucked.

  15. #15
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:22 AM.

  16. #16
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    After ~15ish years we're all still here. we must have similar interests.
    My girlfriend paid a lot of money for that tv; I want to watch ALL OF IT. - JM

  17. #17
    Yikes. Guys, I just talked with my cousin, a teacher, and she says she averages two books a *week* during the summer and 60-70 a year! I don't feel as good about my 16 book goal...
    Cordially,
    Lord Tiberius Grismath
    1473 for '1337' posts.

  18. #18
    Prefered by 80% of Doctors
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    I'm currently reading "The Wolf's Tooth: Keystone Predators, Trophic Cascades and Biodiversity" by Cristina Eisenberg. So far it's mainly a recap of work done in the 50s on the impacts of predator removal interspersed with anecdotes from surveying in wolf country. She's got a nature writer's style while first and foremost being a scientist - I quite like it.

    My goodreads is here: http://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/622620

    Quote Originally Posted by Grismath View Post
    Yikes. Guys, I just talked with my cousin, a teacher, and she says she averages two books a *week* during the summer and 60-70 a year! I don't feel as good about my 16 book goal...
    I started tracking my reading a few years ago in order to make a habit out of it. Before I was probably reading half a dozen books a year and I've slowly crawled up since then. I managed 37 last year and I'm on track for about 40 books this year. As you make time for it more often you end up reading a lot more. Also, a lot of the people I know reading >52 books a year read quite a lot of pulpy short novels - Star Wars novels, YA stuff, erotic lit, Discworld, Dresden Files etc.

  19. #19
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Is anyone else finding it a little odd that many Massassians read, and seem to have similar interests?
    Uh, no. Why the hell would it be odd that a bunch of nerds who congregated on a website due to a similar interest would read and have similar interests?
    >>untie shoes

  20. #20
    This thread prompted me to think about books as a medium, and how with the same content, consuming the content via reading would seem to be more worthy than playing via a game or watching as a video. I understand, of course, that the unspoken assumption is that the material read is something that provokes thought, if for no other reason than it takes more effort to interpret (reading as a skill and the necessary faculties for imagination).

    With that said, the last book I read was Ender's Game a few months ago, and I have a few I should pick up on and haven't yet, including one I admit I picked up solely for the title: Apocalypse Cow.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grismath View Post
    Changing How The World Does Business: FedEx's Incredible Journey to Success -- The Inside Story (I was intrigued when I read on Quora that, when FedEx was almost bankrupt as a startup, the founder literally went to Vegas with the remaining cash and won big time jut to make payroll)
    I've got this on my long list of things to read as well. I believe that I first learned about it via Bill Gates' recommended book list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Antony View Post
    I'm currently reading A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin.
    I was introduced to 'A Song of Ice & Fire' years ago by Massassians & still think it's one of my favorite fantasy series'.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zloc_Vergo View Post
    This summer, I have read: Breakfast of Champions, by Kurt Vonnegut, Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess. Trying to read Catch-22, and I'm enjoying it, but for some reason I'm having difficulties sitting down and actually committing to this book.
    I really enjoyed 'Brave New World' & have all of those other books on my long list. I've included Modern Library's '100 best novels' & have made some decent headway. 'Ulysses' (#1) is probably going to be last because it's a damn difficult read (tried once for a week on my metro commute & kept falling asleep).

    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Is anyone else finding it a little odd that many Massassians read, and seem to have similar interests?
    I can't speak for anyone else & at the risk of appearing a bit impressionable, some of what I've read over the years was actually very much "shaped" by Massassi. This is how I became interested in atheism, biology, physics, etc. Sadly, these weren't things that were introduced to me in the cult-like atmoshphere that I was raised in.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grismath View Post
    Yikes. Guys, I just talked with my cousin, a teacher, and she says she averages two books a *week* during the summer and 60-70 a year! I don't feel as good about my 16 book goal...
    My sister-in-law averages a book every 1-2 days, year-round. When I first met her, she was working customer service for a national furniture chain & apparently it wasn't so busy that she couldn't spend her entire days reading.

    I'm currently reading 150-200 pages per day (leisure) & at least a chapter a day of my flavor-of-the-month programming book (currently: 'Beginning C++ Game Programming', Dawson, Michael) & French book ('French for Dummies', misc.). However, I tend to go through a few months each year where I won't read anything at all & will knock out seasons of a television show (e.g. I knocked out every generation/season of Star Trek last year).
    Last edited by Mentat; 08-11-2013 at 02:29 AM.
    ? :)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentat View Post
    I was introduced to 'A Song of Ice & Fire' years ago by Massassians & still think it's one of my favorite fantasy series'.
    I'm actually starting to think that GRRM is kind of like George Lucas in the fact that he has a really great idea for an overall world, and has the concept of a great story and what needs to happen in it, but is pretty awful at the actual writing aspect of anything other than the "badass" moments. A lot of the more personal scenes in the series, and the sex scenes in particular, are really cringeworthy.

    EDIT: Having said that, I still love the series.
    >>untie shoes

  23. #23
    Human Computer
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    'Foundation & Empire', Asimov, Isaac
    ? :)

  24. #24
    Human Computer
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    'The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined', Pinker, Steven
    ? :)

  25. #25
    (Re)reading the Full Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle really was a brilliant writer.
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  26. #26
    RAGNA ANGARY
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    Need to read more. All I have time for these days is WSJ, The Economist, and the HBR. I keep "The Back of the Napkin" in my laptop bag but haven't really gone into it yet.
    Last edited by ragna; 08-22-2013 at 10:59 AM.

  27. #27
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragna View Post
    Need to read more. All I have time for these days is WSJ, The Economist, and the HBR. I keep "The Back of the Napkin" in my laptop bag but haven't really gone into it yet.
    g2k you're throwing yourself head-first into the echo chamber

  28. #28
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    I am currently reading the most difficult, boring, and intellectual book, written by an author who we all pass off as being a controversial or obscure academic but is actually very popular among ordinary people.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    I am currently reading the most difficult, boring, and intellectual book, written by an author who we all pass off as being a controversial or obscure academic but is actually very popular among ordinary people.
    I think that might be on my wishlist actually...
    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

  30. #30
    RAGNA ANGARY
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    g2k you're throwing yourself head-first into the echo chamber

  31. #31
    (Still) On 13 week vacation
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    How dare you. That indian is sacred around these parts.
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  32. #32
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    I recently finished reading Orange is the New Black and re-read a bunch of Michael Crichton books (A Case of Need, Timeline, Sphere, The Great Train Robbery.) I'm now re-reading the Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy. The writing in the Dragonlance books can be painful at times, but I love them nonetheless.
    "Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by roxima View Post
    I recently finished reading Orange is the New Black and re-read a bunch of Michael Crichton books (A Case of Need, Timeline, Sphere, The Great Train Robbery.) I'm now re-reading the Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy. The writing in the Dragonlance books can be painful at times, but I love them nonetheless.
    Have you read the Chaos Gate series by Hickman and Weis? They're one of my embarrassing vices. I read them back in high school for the first time and picked up a set from ebay last year on a whim. They've aged surprisingly well.
    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

  34. #34
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:23 AM.

  35. #35
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    Last edited by Reid; 08-05-2015 at 12:23 AM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dormouse View Post
    Have you read the Chaos Gate series by Hickman and Weis? They're one of my embarrassing vices. I read them back in high school for the first time and picked up a set from ebay last year on a whim. They've aged surprisingly well.
    I never strayed beyond their Dragonlance books but I might have to check them out. I love their characters, but there is only so much "resplendent armor" and "sardonic smiles" I can take!
    "Ford, you're turning into a penguin. Stop it."

  37. #37
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    • 'Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business', Meyer, Danny
    • 'French for Dummies', Various
    • 'C++ Primer Plus', Prata, Stephen
    ? :)

  38. #38
    Admiral of Awesome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mentat View Post
    • 'C++ Primer Plus', Prata, Stephen
    Is it any good? I've been looking for a new beginner book to recommend.

  39. #39
    Human Computer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Is it any good? I've been looking for a new beginner book to recommend.
    It's not as thorough as something like 'The C Programming Language' but it's quite good so far. As a relative beginner, I'd certainly recommend it. I've read other C/C++ books in the past & while I grasp the basic concepts & am already familiar with much of the syntax, it's the first book that didn't make me facepalm when reading about various topics.

    I grabbed it because I wanted to review the very little that I learned in college (with the hope of expanding upon that) & based my decision on the following list.

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/3...guide-and-list

    I've read there & other places that 'Accelerated C++' is also quite good if the person you're recommending it to is in a hurry.
    Last edited by Mentat; 09-10-2013 at 05:43 AM.
    ? :)

  40. #40
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    Finished "This is how you die" on vacation last week and, while there were some stories that really stood out, I think I preferred "Machine of Death" more overall.

    Cyberabad Days: Ian McDonald (collection of shorts set in the same period as River of Gods)
    Myths of Origin: Four Short Novels, Catharine M Valente.

    I started attempting to read Lancelot and the Wolf but the writing is kind of terribad so I took a break.
    Also, I can kill you with my brain.

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