Author Topic: What are we reading?  (Read 695706 times)

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Offline SirAndrewD

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5415 on: April 15, 2021, 12:46:05 AM »
The books my company publishes and it makes my eyes bleed and I wish I could read for pleasure again.   :'(

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5416 on: April 17, 2021, 02:26:47 PM »
Just finished a couple of books about Japan during the end of WWII.

The first, was "The Fall of Japan", by William Craig,

This book does an excellent job of covering both sides of the last days of Japanese Empire, and includes a the first few months of American occupation. The book goes into good detail on the major events that closed the war and is light on analysis...and that was OK with me. So for example there are blow by blow descriptions of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki or the various Japanese coup attempts that attempted to stop the surrender, but not much discussion about "why".

https://www.amazon.com/The-Fall-of-Japan-William-Craig-audiobook/dp/B017WF07VM/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=the+fall+of+japan&qid=1618687285&sr=8-1

The next book was "Embracing Defeat", by John Dower.

This book covers the occupation of Japan. It is a social / political history of the period 45 to 52.  The book has a bit of analysis, but puts it in some great places (like describing the various points of view about if Hirohito should have been tried as a war criminal for example). One of the most interesting things that I learned was how "hands off" MacArthur was in the managing of post war Japan. The Americans did push big ideas, but let the Japanese fend for themselves with the day to day stuff. But still, it is a fascinating story of how the entire Japanese nation moved from militarism to peaceful democracy in just a handful of years.

https://www.amazon.com/Embracing-Defeat-Japan-Wake-World/dp/0393046869/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1618689441&sr=8-1

I recommend both books to anyone interested in the subject.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5417 on: April 17, 2021, 03:48:14 PM »
Still chugging along in the Churchill's historical-super-overview-of-England series, and have entered Book 3 of World War II, which is called The Grand Alliance (because the book covers the events of 1941 when the Soviet Union and the USA get into the war).

Mostly the early part, and the late parts of Book 2, remind me that I have two games featuring Operazione E that I'd like to compare sometime.  :coolsmiley: And also a video series of Command Ops 2 I was making, where I'm defending Greece against the Italian invasion from Albania in the first mission (specifically against the Italian left-wing thrust attempting to blitz around the main defenses into the backfield to end the fight early.)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

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Offline al_infierno

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5418 on: April 17, 2021, 04:56:19 PM »
The books my company publishes and it makes my eyes bleed and I wish I could read for pleasure again.   :'(

I feel ya bud  :(
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
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If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
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I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5419 on: May 02, 2021, 11:00:18 AM »
Just started ‘Ghost Empire - A Journey to the Legendary Constantinople’ by Richard Fidler.
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Offline Toonces

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5420 on: May 03, 2021, 07:41:26 PM »
I've been making a real concerted effort to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, but....well, I was into it for a while but I'm about 400 (of 1000) pages in and, without giving away spoilers, there's this whole romance thing going on that is really starting to grate on my nerves.  If you've read the book then you know what I'm talking about.  There's only so much of the "I'm not into you, but I'm so into you being into me that it makes me into you..." bullshit I can take.  It's tiresome.

I daresay I may just bag it and move on.

I'm also reading Metro 2033 again, and Musashi, which I've now started 4 times but have yet to finish.
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Offline al_infierno

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5421 on: May 03, 2021, 08:03:10 PM »
Atlas Shrugged is by far one of the most turgid and poorly written of all well-regarded literary pieces.  I would gladly rather watch grass grow.
It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao

Offline Toonces

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5422 on: May 03, 2021, 08:41:25 PM »
^ Thank goodness, I thought it was just me.

I even went on Amazon to read reviews just to make sure I wasn't missing something. It turns out I was/am because the reviews are overwhelmingly positive and would indicate this is one of those novels everyone should read....Heh, I seem to remember the reviews of Joyce's Ulysses saying something similar.   :knuppel2:
"If you had a chance, right now, to go back in time and stop Hitler, wouldn't you do it?  I mean, I personally wouldn't stop him because I think he's awesome." - Eric Cartman

"Does a watch list mean you are being watched or is it a come on to Toonces?" - Biggs

Offline solops

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5423 on: May 03, 2021, 11:05:47 PM »
The Sheep Dragon
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5424 on: May 05, 2021, 07:52:32 PM »
For a change of pace, I'm about 2/3 through with Rich Burlew's penultimate volume of The Order of the Stick. It's amazing how a webcomic strip which started as an affectionate spoof of D&D tropes (literally Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition material, with a rules upgrade to this standard sometime during the first volume), has been developed over time into a hearty epic multi-layered action-packed story of its own merits. A serious (yet continually comedic!) artistic achievement in the fantasy genre.

The original entries can be found (in reverse order, latest 'pages' first) here: https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots.html

The paperback collections can be found here: https://www.giantitp.com/Shop.html Their plot order can be figured out from the Volume number, with the prequels being -1, 0, and 1/2. (The prequels aren't strictly necessary and contain some plot spoilers, but are well worth reading once you've caught up with the most recent volume.) The volumes also feature extra strips with some fun sideplot action, plus author commentary (which Rich puts before the sections, or "Rounds", that he's talking about, so they're super-spoilery! I have no idea why he didn't place those afterward.)

Some of the paperbacks are sold out, and resells on Amazon etc. are chancy, but the collections can also be bought on pdf from Gumroad (for which there are links at the GitP store page.)

Or you can just read the whole story (aside from the optional prequel and side extension strips) for free at the first link above, bottom to top! -- though keep in mind he's still working on the final volume which will probably take another few years.


If you prefer to get an idea of quality from TVTropes, here's the main entry: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick There are tons of spoilers, as you may expect, so proceed at your own risk.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2021, 08:01:14 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Toonces

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5425 on: May 06, 2021, 07:50:46 AM »
Sigh.

I picked up Atlas Shrugged again and am still slogging through it.  I finally got to one of the four-page long "speeches" by one of the main characters that I read about in the Amazon reviews.  Very Gordon Gecko-ish.

I'm virtually halfway through, so at this point I'll probably just finish it.  I don't have any other really pressing new reading I'm looking to get into at the moment, and Atlas is just interesting enough to keep me reading...for now anyway.
"If you had a chance, right now, to go back in time and stop Hitler, wouldn't you do it?  I mean, I personally wouldn't stop him because I think he's awesome." - Eric Cartman

"Does a watch list mean you are being watched or is it a come on to Toonces?" - Biggs

Offline nobodyjune61944

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5426 on: May 06, 2021, 09:59:29 AM »
For a change of pace, I'm about 2/3 through with Rich Burlew's penultimate volume of The Order of the Stick. It's amazing how a webcomic strip which started as an affectionate spoof of D&D tropes (literally Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 edition material, with a rules upgrade to this standard sometime during the first volume), has been developed over time into a hearty epic multi-layered action-packed story of its own merits. A serious (yet continually comedic!) artistic achievement in the fantasy genre.

The original entries can be found (in reverse order, latest 'pages' first) here: https://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots.html

The paperback collections can be found here: https://www.giantitp.com/Shop.html Their plot order can be figured out from the Volume number, with the prequels being -1, 0, and 1/2. (The prequels aren't strictly necessary and contain some plot spoilers, but are well worth reading once you've caught up with the most recent volume.) The volumes also feature extra strips with some fun sideplot action, plus author commentary (which Rich puts before the sections, or "Rounds", that he's talking about, so they're super-spoilery! I have no idea why he didn't place those afterward.)

Some of the paperbacks are sold out, and resells on Amazon etc. are chancy, but the collections can also be bought on pdf from Gumroad (for which there are links at the GitP store page.)

Or you can just read the whole story (aside from the optional prequel and side extension strips) for free at the first link above, bottom to top! -- though keep in mind he's still working on the final volume which will probably take another few years.


If you prefer to get an idea of quality from TVTropes, here's the main entry: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick There are tons of spoilers, as you may expect, so proceed at your own risk.

How does this compare to Knights of the Kitchen Table?

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5427 on: May 06, 2021, 10:47:38 AM »
I haven't read that, but from what little I know about it, one big difference is that unlike KotDT (or Darths and Droids, for another very long-running and high-quality RPG strip that I do know quite a bit about), there are no meta-level fictional characters playing the story's characters. On the contrary, there's an in-story explanation (sort of) revealed in volume 6 (of the planned 7 main volumes) for why the OOtS world runs on memes and tropes and AD&D rules (without calling it that specifically) -- and so far it has nothing to do with a meta-level 'gamer' reality beyond the story per se.

Unlike OOtS (or Darths and Droids per se), KotDT has the players playing different campaigns in different game systems, too.

(Technically that's true of Darths&Droids, as I recall: the player-characters haven't only ever played their homebrew system, and they do other things between the main installments (each of which correspond to a Star Wars film), but the strip only ever shows us what they're doing for their creation of some-approximation-of the Star Wars stories, the concept being 'What if Star Wars was a story being created on the fly by a DM and his players', using footage snapshots from the films -- and then seeing how far off beam the players might go while sticking with the films for source snapshots.)

The gif attached below is the first ever entry (aside from some test strips Rich made beforehand for Dragon magazine, if I recall). It's a fair sample of the comedy and plot mechanics (NOT of the plot itself! -- the bare bones of which get introduced in #13 (pun totally intended)), which shows the party being upgraded to AD&D 3.5 rules and the fan backlash for rangers being nerfed thereby. (I thought this happened somewhat later in the first story.)


Edited to add strip #13. (Some of the events from the intervening strips will come back later, though, so don't start here.) (And now you see my pun. ;) )

The eventual story is much, much, MUCH bigger than this. But it's a very basic start for what's going on at the beginning.
« Last Edit: May 06, 2021, 10:56:44 AM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline GDS_Starfury

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5428 on: May 10, 2021, 06:17:40 PM »
ya know Toonces, sometimes its ok to not finish the book.
I know that we have some serious readers here.  theres also a lot out there to read.
once in a while we get a book thats just painful to read through and finish.
for me it was Glantz's Leningrad tome.  very well researched, as currently accurate as can be and some of the driest most boring reading ever.
how in the actual fuck can you write about Leningrad and be boring!
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Offline Gusington

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Re: What are we reading?
« Reply #5429 on: May 10, 2021, 06:49:42 PM »
When I get disappointed with a book a just skim it (read the first sentence of each paragraph). It's got to be truly horrible for me to just toss it. I can't remember the last time I did that. OCD helps on that front.
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