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jsorense 25-02-2015 23:14:01

See my comments at #1056.
I would now add "magical realism" to that review.

jsorense 11-03-2015 04:35:28

:gasmaske_mad: Grrrrrrrr! I just wrote a long, insightful and almost poetic review and the damn site lost it. :gasmaske_mad:
Anyway I read Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. It the first of a planned trilogy.
3/5 or 5/10
Too bad you missed my brilliant summary. :tizzy:

Funko 12-03-2015 08:27:57

It can't be 3/5 or 6/10 it has to be 2.5/5 and 5/10 or 3/5 and 6/10

You're just trying to annoy us right? :mad:

zmama 12-03-2015 15:35:52

I will be re-reading all of Terry Pratchett.

jsorense 12-03-2015 17:14:55

I have not read any of his books yet. Where should I start?

zmama 12-03-2015 21:14:37

Hard to say. My first Pratchett was Small Gods, but probably not where to begin. Here's a chart

zmama 12-03-2015 21:16:03

With your sense of humor I think maybe the Death novels a good place to start. ;)

Oh and don't skip the footnotes!

jsorense 12-03-2015 23:37:53

zmama, the chart is hugely useful thank you, thank you, thank you.
Whadya mean, my sense of humor? I ain't got one.

jsorense 26-03-2015 09:05:43

Last Stand At Khe Sahn: The US Marines' Finest Hour In Vietnam. By
Gregg Jones (2014)
I got this book because I am basically ignorant of the strategy and tactics used by the different sides during this long war. While the book does shed light on the US side But it does a poor job describing or explaining the North Vietnamese.
Some of the descriptions of the various ambushes, skirmishes and battles can be harrowing but the fact that these took place in tall grass or at night leaves only confuses images. Which, I know, is how the combatants experienced them.
The narrative is also hindered by the author's decision to present mini-profiles of everyone KIA, wounded or otherwise intensely involved.
If this was the marines' finest hour I can understand why we won battles but lost the war.
Overall I cannot recommend this book unless you are intensely interested in the "American War."

mr_G 04-04-2015 20:25:57

paddington 9-10

The Mad Monk 04-04-2015 22:04:31

"On The Slowness Of God To Punish", Plutarch, Essays, Penguin Classics.

Just got past the introduction, and first thing he gives Epicurus a slap. 'Cuz Epicurus don't buy into Providence.

Funko 05-04-2015 18:30:15

Ender's Game, somehow this passed me by. On book 3 now. Really good, as everyone and all awards committees have known forever.

jsorense 12-04-2015 04:21:34

I picked up The Martian by Andy Weir (2014) in an airport the other day when I was desperate. It is about an astronaut who is marooned on Mars and his fights for survival. Its an engineers view on how men can do things.
I enjoyed the first half of the book but all of near death calamities got to be boring. One thing really missing from the book is the presence of Mars. Except for the lack of atmosphere the story could have taken place on Earth, IMHO.
I'll only give it a 2/5 but I didn't like Ender's Game either. :p

MOBIUS 27-04-2015 10:35:18

Finished the last GoT book a few weeks back - had to cos the TV series has now caught up!

MOBIUS 27-04-2015 10:36:00

Oh and still remember the first Pratchett books coming out... :beer:

Funko 28-04-2015 08:00:32

I missed the Pratchett chart...

Don't start with the first two Rincewind books, they were the first two but they aren't the best, and he does get better and better.

I started with Equal Rites, maybe that then Mort then Guards Guards then see where you want to go.

zmama 29-04-2015 22:04:26

I started with Small Gods, maybe not the place to start but I was hooked.

No longer Trippin 01-05-2015 01:11:06

Do research papers on PDC whirl count?

Are the Game of Thrones books worth reading? I won't get pissed off in the end and feel gyped, will I? I need to read something that isn't work in a bad way.

jsorense 01-05-2015 17:17:13

Sorry Trip, I can't help you. I have a low tolerance for fantasy outside LotR. :violin:

jsorense 09-05-2015 05:05:14

One more 'ho hum' space opera. This snore fest is titled Off Armageddon Reef by David Weber (2007). It is the first installment of a series of at least 5 more volumes (Safehold Series).
Let's see, Earth meets an advanced civ and loses the war. Survivors hold out in a far off planet hiding behind pre industrial tech. It is mostly a sea world so most of the action is around oar and wind driven navies. It is as if Weber wants to be Patrick O'Brian.
Anyway, it was a waste of my time. 1/5

No longer Trippin 15-05-2015 05:12:51

I remember readimg a series of books by some schizophrenia authornabout lizarf people. It was seeimg wjat batshit insanity doesm to ones logic ocer seven booksm

jsorense 16-05-2015 20:54:27

Philip K. Dick?

jsorense 17-05-2015 23:36:59


Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1059760)
I have read "The Long Earth.". Some interesting concepts. But not interesting enough for me to continue. I guess I am too jaded. :violin:

I am going to revise my opinion. I have read The Long War (2013) while lounging next to the pool in Kaua'i. �� The book is entertaining and full of interesting ideas. In fact maybe too many. It seems to me that Pratchett (RIP) and Baxter strung a bunch of short story ideas on the prop of infinite Earths. Still, a good read and I will give it a generous 4/5. How can one be mean in Hawai'i? I will take The Long Mars with me on the red eye home.
Time for more sun block, a G & T, and to turn over.

jsorense 17-05-2015 23:44:57

Oh, BTW, The Ultimate Kaua'i Guidebook is excellent!

C.G.B. Spender 01-06-2015 21:23:40

I read a book. Can't remember the name, but it's good. Cool writer btw.

jsorense 02-06-2015 03:28:08

I read that one too. It was rubbish and it was in German. :gasmaske_disc:

Funko 02-06-2015 07:04:54


Originally Posted by jsorense (Post 1062867)
I am going to revise my opinion. I have read The Long War (2013) while lounging next to the pool in Kaua'i. �� The book is entertaining and full of interesting ideas. In fact maybe too many. It seems to me that Pratchett (RIP) and Baxter strung a bunch of short story ideas on the prop of infinite Earths.

Yeah, I think that's both a strength and weakness of the series.

zmama 02-06-2015 13:24:34

I stopped at the Long Earth. Didn't like it. I'll probably read the others sometime since I hear they are a bit better.

JM^3 02-06-2015 16:30:57


Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1062273)
I started with Small Gods, maybe not the place to start but I was hooked.

Pretty sure that is his best book so not a bad place to start.


jsorense 05-06-2015 03:13:03

Well, folks, I'm looking for a good SciFi read. Please help. Also, it needs to be in English, no French, Dutch or German or Chinese either.

JM^3 06-06-2015 17:12:47

Fluency was fun.
Ancillary Justice was very good (Ancillary Sword was good).

I am also reading
Born for Love: Why Empathy is Essential
The Shack
Capital in the 21st Century
The Road to Reality


MOBIUS 09-06-2015 12:11:33

I finished the last GoT book just before they started mangling it on TV

jsorense 01-07-2015 23:18:11

Reading nothing but news papers lately, lazy git.

jsorense 12-07-2015 17:58:02

Just saw "Jurassic World."
It was OK, just what you would expect. No surprises or thrills. I would give it a 6/10.
If you haven't seen the first three then it would be terrific.

jsorense 23-07-2015 00:30:36

Back to reading real books: West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776 by Claudio Saunt (2014). it contains a number of vignettes describing events that took place in the year 1776 in other places of North America other than the East Coast. Most of the topics involve European and U.S. contact with Native Americans. An interesting volume for those of us steeped in the issues wrapped up with the transformation of the 13 colonies into the U.S.

jsorense 16-09-2015 04:39:08

:violin: Independence Lost: Lives on the Edge of the American Revolution by Kathleen DuVal (2015)
Well, it is fairly well written for an academic work. I did learn a lot about the competing plans of the Americans, Native Americans, British, French and Spanish. It is just that it was a trial to wade through. I couldn't shake the feeling I was going to be tested on what I read every night. Not a pleasant reminder of college daze.
If I were to rate it I would give it 3/10 just because the author deserves something for writing it.

zmama 25-10-2015 14:51:47

Unfaithful Music And Disappearing Ink, Elvis Costello

jsorense 16-01-2016 03:42:55

2313 Kim Stanley Robinson (2012)
This was a total disappointment.:tizzy: The story, what there is of it, takes place 300 years in the future. The solar system is now populated by humans and maybe what can be characterized as post-humans both physically and socially. To me it seemed the book was just an excuse for KSR to speculate on what the solar system would look like if current trends continue. No aliens, no star drives, now significant new technologies at all. Just a lot of scooting around between planets in a post-shortage universe. I give it only a 4/10. Do we really need a city on Mercury that rolls on rails?

jsorense 16-01-2016 03:55:34

Leviathan Wakes the team of James S. A. Corey (2011)
Yes, this is the first of a series if books that explores the space opera that belongs in the Expanse universe. And, yes, it is now a SciFy channel series (which I have not seen). It is pretty good. Lots of action and a series of likable characters. It all takes place in our solar system in the near future (2312?) where there is political friction among The Belters, Mars and good old Earth. A shooting war breaks out that may, or may not, involve alien technology.
This was OK light reading. I am not too impressed. I will not go out and buy the sequels, alt least not right away. I guess my quest for a satisfying space opera has been tarnished by reading the likes of Herbert, Banks and Vinge.

MOBIUS 26-01-2016 14:21:20

I've been reading The Lazy Project Manager by Peter Taylor. Quite informative and interesting. I particularly liked the bit where he assumes you've skipped to the end :D

jsorense 30-01-2016 03:26:49

Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell (2014)
The author is well known as the creator of the "Sharpe's Rifles" series of historical novels and TV shows (Sean Bean before he got famous). I was, therefore, expecting something exciting and illuminatingly fresh about this famous battle. I was disappointed. This would be a good book as an introduction to the battle and it's immediate military context. But if you are at all familiar with its history and hunger for more insight into the tactics of the period then this volume is not for you, IMHO.

The Mad Monk 30-01-2016 04:01:46

Voltaire's notes on Rousseau's notes on Rousseau's Discourse On Inequality.

Summary: Voltaire rips Rousseau several new ones.

zmama 30-01-2016 21:08:11

Ulysses, James Joyce. Figured it was time to tackle it, but it is fun reading. :D

The Mad Monk 31-01-2016 17:07:07

I read some of Finnegan's Wake in a bookstore.


Then I put it in the Occult section afterward because it was obviously an incantation to summon a demon or some shit like that.

jsorense 01-02-2016 15:27:38

:nervous:No, I have not entered those dark realms.

jsorense 18-04-2016 12:49:22

Anathem by Neal Stephenson (2008)
:confused:Well, I really wanted to like this book. There is a nice little space opera in there but, for me, all of the dialogs on philosophy and cosmology were distractions. I started to skip over those parts. Does that make me a shallow person?
Maybe The Mad Monk would appreciate it more than I did?

zmama 18-04-2016 13:48:23

I might like it because I'm bored with space operas anymore. ;)

jsorense 18-04-2016 15:29:03


Originally Posted by zmama (Post 1069885)
I might like it because I'm bored with space operas anymore. ;)

I think the recent space operas have gotten boring too. If you pick up Anathem make sure you consult the Glossary in the back. I didn't see it until I was half way through. :o

zmama 12-05-2016 13:53:47

I've graduated to Finnegans Wake. It was extremely hard going until instead of just reading, I pronounce the words in my head. Many puns and other funnies that way.

jsorense 25-05-2016 19:19:10

Wolf Hall, by Hillary Mantel (2009). If you didn't already know this is a novelized treatment of the political/religious struggles during Henry VIII's reign during the 1530's. It focuses on the interactions and personalities of Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn and Henry. I struggled for weeks to get this novel. Granted, it is a historical period that doesn't interest me but I thought that this award winning treatment would draw me in and educate me. It did not. It's unique style that jumps around in time and interweaves thought and conversation just kept me confused and bored. From my point of view I could not recommend this book. :(

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