Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 609827 times)

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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3630 on: April 25, 2017, 05:30:15 AM »
That's what she said. I think.
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Offline Sir Slash

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3631 on: April 25, 2017, 08:14:58 AM »
Thirty Years War is a tough good-read to find. Most people consider it too boring but not me. Lots of interesting characters and events. I get confused over the city and region names a lot though. Also the rulers are hard for me to keep straight( not a pun).
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3632 on: April 25, 2017, 08:40:35 AM »
^Any recommendations on the Thirty Years War? I ask this periodically and there never seems to be anything quite user friendly out there.

The Thirty Years War (Illustrated) Kindle Edition by Samuel Gardner, written in 1912. As light as it gets but no lighter O0

Schiller's book is available for free as a Kindle edition, while this one is a whopping 1.23. No reason to start with both and to see where it goes

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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3633 on: April 25, 2017, 12:29:29 PM »
Thanks!
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Offline jamus34

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3634 on: April 25, 2017, 02:41:49 PM »
Snow Crash right now.

I also have The Years of Rice and Salt on deck.

Anxiously awaiting the release of Stormlight book 3
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3635 on: April 25, 2017, 04:05:00 PM »
I read The Years of Rice and Salt a long time ago...I enjoyed it. Long book by page count but it goes by quickly.
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Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3636 on: April 25, 2017, 07:30:07 PM »
I've tried several times to get into Snow Crash. My most recent time I got up to a part where the protagonist (literally, which you'll get if you've read it, lol) had a very...long...conversation about religion with an AI. It went on and on and on for pages upon pages and just bored the crap out of me. That book really got its hooks into me early, but it went downhill from there. Does it get better, anyone that's read it?

Doesn't beat Ready Player One - that book is an absolute and total treat for anyone that's got some 80s nostalgia in them - D&D, video games, movies, music, you name it, that book is like crack.

Offline Steelgrave

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3637 on: April 25, 2017, 07:36:58 PM »
Ready Player One is probably the most fun novel I've read in some time. Not the best, simply the most fun. Of course it doesn't hurt that the 80's was totally my era   8)

Offline BanzaiCat

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3638 on: April 25, 2017, 07:38:00 PM »
Ready Player One is probably the most fun novel I've read in some time. Not the best, simply the most fun. Of course it doesn't hurt that the 80's was totally my era   8)

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Offline Martok

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3639 on: April 26, 2017, 12:13:15 AM »
Am currently re-reading The Iron Lance, the first novel in Stephen R. Lawhead's The Celtic Crusades trilogy.  His portrayal of the early/middle Medieval era feels a bit more...high-browed?...than Bernard Cornwell's take on the period, but I still really enjoy it. 




I'm just finishing one of my periodic reads of LotR, which I first read in 1967(ish). This must be at least the 12th time I've read it, but it never gets old.

Agreed about it never getting old.  I was just thinking a couple days ago that I'm about due for my annual re-reading of the trilogy (along with The Hobbit).  It's something I always look forward to. 




I've tried several times to get into Snow Crash. My most recent time I got up to a part where the protagonist (literally, which you'll get if you've read it, lol) had a very...long...conversation about religion with an AI. It went on and on and on for pages upon pages and just bored the crap out of me. That book really got its hooks into me early, but it went downhill from there. Does it get better, anyone that's read it?

Yes, it definitely gets better. 

Once you get through the slow spots (all of Stephenson's novels have them), I think you'll find it's well worth having done so.  That's admittedly not the case for all of Stephenson's books, but Snow Crash is better paced than most of his work. 



Doesn't beat Ready Player One - that book is an absolute and total treat for anyone that's got some 80s nostalgia in them - D&D, video games, movies, music, you name it, that book is like crack.

Yeah, that was a great read!  Definitely a page-turner. 

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Offline jamus34

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3640 on: April 26, 2017, 04:14:36 AM »
Ready Player One is probably the most fun novel I've read in some time. Not the best, simply the most fun. Of course it doesn't hurt that the 80's was totally my era   8)
Ready Player One is one of my go to books to read and I don't even own it, I borrow it from the library but will grab at some point.

That said you can see where Cline got a lot of his inspiration from this and Neuromancer which is still the benchmark to me.

Most younger people who have read RPO that I have talked too usually complain it's overly geeky but don't get half the references.
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Offline Crossroads

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3641 on: April 26, 2017, 06:22:44 AM »
I've tried several times to get into Snow Crash. My most recent time I got up to a part where the protagonist (literally, which you'll get if you've read it, lol) had a very...long...conversation about religion with an AI. It went on and on and on for pages upon pages and just bored the crap out of me. That book really got its hooks into me early, but it went downhill from there. Does it get better, anyone that's read it?

Doesn't beat Ready Player One - that book is an absolute and total treat for anyone that's got some 80s nostalgia in them - D&D, video games, movies, music, you name it, that book is like crack.

Snow Crash is one of those paperbacks I've kept around, it was really quite something when it came along, so ahead of the time then. It's been a good few years since I've read it. IIRC it does have its slow moments, but is worth the read. One of the better Neal Stephenson novels imho :)
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3642 on: April 27, 2017, 06:45:48 PM »
Just about to start The Witcher novel Time of Contempt by Andrej Sapkowski, at the same exact time I am almost done with the main quest in The Witcher 3.
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Offline MetalDog

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3643 on: April 27, 2017, 08:32:56 PM »
@bob&Martok:

I used to do an annual reading of LotR.  It stopped when I got married.  I don't think I've read them since.  My daughter did The Hobbit and Fellowship for the first time.  Was disappointed in the movies, just like her old man (at least she knows what I am talking about now).  I think it's about time again.

RPO was...sublime.  I was especially stoked with the inclusion of Tomb Of Horrors and Adventure.  I owned and played both and to see them used like they were was a total nerdgasm!

A book I am hoping to be able to recommend soon (once I actually crack it open for the first time), is Kings of the Wylde by Nicholas Eames.  It's a marriage of rock n roll and mercenaries.  I'll report back when finished.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #3644 on: May 02, 2017, 07:51:48 AM »
Just got finished reading D DAY Through German Eyes - The Hidden Story of June 6th 1944 by Holger Eckhertz -- volume 1, not vol 2 yet (both are combined in a paperback edition). WW2 Axis memoirs (or Allied for that matter) are a new genre for me, but while I enjoyed this entry a lot the experience has been unfortunately mired in strong suspicions about the publisher Sprech Media forging or hoaxing much or all of their material, including from Eckhertz as their latest entries. (A 3rd book from HE is on the way.) It doesn't help that Sprech Media has definitely had cheaty publishing practices in their prior series "SS Panzer SS Voices" where, even if their material was one hundred percent legitimate, the publisher has misled readers about which books in the set feature which content, in an effort to milk as much money as possible from rebuying the same material -- when all of it together would make one solid book. (There are signs of similar problems in this series, as the publisher reported the book I bought running around 330 pages, which is frankly impossible, although both books together might run that. On the Kindle page counts are notoriously iffy.)

Some recent research by an Amazon reviewer suggests that this might be material repackaged from a German pulp magazine "Der Landser", whose contributors were (per the German wikipedia page on the magazine) former Nazis with journalism and propaganda backgrounds -- exactly the background of the (supposed) grandfather of the author (who is more like an editor really, collating his grandfather's interview notes... supposedly.) No one has been able to confirm yet that Dieter Eckhertz (the grandfather) even existed, much less that he visited the Atlantic Wall to write a series of interview / propaganda articles for "Der Wehrmacht" magazine. (Was there such a magazine?) Much much less that he then went back 10 years later to re-interview a number of survivors, especially including people he originally interviewed before Overlord. Der Landser was (supposedly??? per the German Wiki) shut down in 2013 after complaints from the Simon Wiesenthal Center. It's plausible that someone is repackaging the material, but more study needs doing.

The books themselves thus feature an interesting case study in why informal historiography should be avoided: because it's difficult to tell legitimate informal material like this from hoaxes. And yet, informal historiography does happen, and can be very legitimate. And yet again, informal historiography, but formal, too, runs into the constraints of memory; and into redaction processes with an editor touching up material to run more smoothly than the interviews themselves; and how far these and other factors can create historical fiction even with intentions otherwise. Or, is an author using verisimilitude to just create historical fiction from the outset?

(This naturally has bearing on historical religious studies and evaluating any ancient texts historically, and detecting modern or relatively modern forgeries, so I've run into these problems often before -- but it's interesting to see them in the context of modern events.)

I will say that, to me, the presentation of the material rings ideologically true, in that the veterans present plausible mental recollections of how people believed and acted at the time, and that there seems to be no attempt at making the Wehrmacht and/or SS heroes retroactively, or at lauding or demonizing the Allies. The atrocities committed on both sides during fighting, and the compassion (generally) of the Allies after fighting, fits the historical scenarios elsewhere reported. That the imagery seems "cinematic" also rings true to the devastating power of the weapons involved and the clarity with which such scenes can be burned into memory (though also perhaps redacted a bit for narrative convenience). If the material is legitimate, then we have some firsthand accounts of attempts at German wonder-weapons which operate plausibly, warts and all -- like the wire-controlled tracked bombs which seemed like a great idea until actually put into action, or (in Vol 2) the attempt at taking early fuel-air-explosive weapon technology (definitely used by the Germans in Poland and the Crimea) and converting it to artillery shells (which ends inconclusively).

The most serious problems so far seem to be the reported presence of StuGs in a unit that, reportedly, didn't have them; and a pilot being part of a flying group which should have been a different flying group for the area. Historical clarification, or hoax goof?

Anyway, reader beware that this may be some kind of scam.  :-\ But one way or another I found it interesting.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2017, 07:55:15 AM by JasonPratt »
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