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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:22 am 
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Finished the Ripley book. Good bio overall but he was a man who never really found what he was looking for his whole life so there's a bit of emptiness at the end. Well worth reading though.

Currently Reading:

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And I'm loving it.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:53 am 
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Fast-paced, engaging read, thankfully bereft of the endless technobabble/historical shit that marred a lot of Crichton's books.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:18 pm 
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Monterey Jack wrote:
thankfully bereft of the endless technobabble/historical shit that marred a lot of Crichton's books.

That's exactly the material that sets Crichton apart from other thriller writers and is what makes him enjoyable.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:58 pm 
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You can't tell me that the WALLS of "chaos theory" shit and computer readouts in Jurassic Park or The Andromeda Strain weren't tedious as hell.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:38 pm 
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Jurassic Park was a terrible book and a terrible story, but that had nothing to do with the science stuff. It was bad because it was a bad story.

The science stuff in The Andromeda Strain is a big part of what made the book. I certainly hope you weren't reading the charts in detail. That would be weird. They're just illustrations, really.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:06 am 
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Finally read it. Fucking loved it.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 6:19 am 
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I've been meaning to read one of Hill's novels for a while, considering how much I love his Old Man's work.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 03, 2013 9:38 am 
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caryc wrote:
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Finally read it. Fucking loved it.



Yeah it was good, I liked Heart Shaped Box better and his collection of short stories 20th Century Ghosts was also pretty good. I've tried reading his new book NOS4A2 but I just couldn't get into it, I may take another crack at it someday. His comic book Locke & Key is also really good.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:09 pm 
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After living in Britain for 20 years, Bill Bryson returned to America with his English wife and moved to New England. Once there, he wrote a series of columns for an English newspaper generally about re-adapting to American life. This book collects those columns.

And they are funny, endearing, engaging and charming. Unlike The Lost Continent, Bryon's bitterness is generally left on the front stoop. Oh, he's got criticism of American life and culture -- lots of it -- but it's filled with love and humor.

Plus, since this is a collection of columns, the book lends itself to reading in short spurts. Perfect bathroom book!

:thumbs:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 9:15 pm 
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John Carter wrote:
Yeah it was good, I liked Heart Shaped Box better and his collection of short stories 20th Century Ghosts was also pretty good. I've tried reading his new book NOS4A2 but I just couldn't get into it, I may take another crack at it someday. His comic book Locke & Key is also really good.


I hadn't read anything by him except for a short story "Tweeting From The Circus of the Dead". That stuck with me for a couple of days and I just decided to start at the beginning. Heart Shaped Box is the next one I'll read by him but I have something else in between.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:59 pm 
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Not sure anybody else would be interested in a book-length deconstruction of the very misleading narrative we're being sold on our (US) education system, and why, but if you are, here it is. There are a few points in this book on which I'd disagree with Ravitch, but only a few. For the most part, she's dead right.

Short version: despite the doom and gloom of "failing schools," by objective measures, US public schools are doing better than they ever have. The misleading failure narrative is all about busting unions and extracting private profit from what is supposed to be a public good.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 5:03 pm 
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Picked these up this weekend. I already own every story in all but two of the volumes but I fell in love with the art, the layouts and the black on the page edges. There are some nice supplemental material included as well but mainly I bought them 'cuz they look pretty.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:07 am 
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Those do look awesome!

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 08, 2013 6:35 am 
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Yeah, those editions are nice. I sold the novelizations to the Universal Horror movies on eBay years ago for big bucks. They were cool as well. The coves all had great shots from the movies on them
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Too fucking cool!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 7:26 pm 
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This is all over the place...kidney-stealing crooks, then a labor dispute over coal mining, then a trio of female stripper bank robbers, then a poker tournament climax...it really plays like a short story collection that got stitched together into a novel at the last minute.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 4:04 pm 
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This collaboration by two of today's most beloved British genre writers concerns all manner of great stuff, including dry humor, the anti-christ in the form of a sweet and idealistic 11-year-old boy, and a group of wacky characters -- including an angel and demon who happen to be good buddies -- trying to avert the Apocalypse.

It was also a real bore.

At best passably funny and at worst veering into occasional incoherence, I have to assume all the 5-star reviews this book has gotten include two points just because of the names attached.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:12 pm 
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Shoe wrote:
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This collaboration by two of today's most beloved British genre writers concerns all manner of great stuff, including dry humor, the anti-christ in the form of a sweet and idealistic 11-year-old boy, and a group of wacky characters -- including an angel and demon who happen to be good buddies -- trying to avert the Apocalypse.

It was also a real bore.

At best passably funny and at worst veering into occasional incoherence, I have to assume all the 5-star reviews this book has gotten include two points just because of the names attached.



It's been a six or so years since I read this but I remember it fondly.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 5:25 pm 
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You're not alone. LOTS of people love it.

Also, in the 1940s ten million Germans loved the Holocaust.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 6:49 pm 
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I remember nothing about Good Omens except having enjoyed it. Not even sure how long ago I've read it.

Of course, I can remember the plot to shit I read in grade school. Not remembering it is, in itself, sort of damning. I get the feeling I've got it sort of re-recorded over by the plot of Kevin Smith's Dogma.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:17 pm 
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Hard to believe there was a time when a King novel could come in at just under 250 pages...nowadays that'd just be the opening prologue to one of his tombstone-sized hardcovers.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 8:47 am 
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An enjoyable look at a seemingly boring topic -- the periodic table -- that gets into how it was created, what makes certain elements special, the politics of science and discovery, and more. I have no idea how this became a NYT best seller, but I'm delighted it did. It manages to make (most of) its science (mostly) accessible, gets into some fun, fascinating stuff, and aside from a handful of overly dry stretches (which are always mercifully brief) manages to be engaging throughout. Good stuff.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:02 am 
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Read

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:06 pm 
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Really good one.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:57 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:59 pm 
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Eh. Wheel-spinning to the extreme. And the third is supposed to be worse?

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:36 pm 
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Read the Hunger Games books because pretty much all of the rapidly shrinking portion of my students who read (or who can) have read them. The problem with all three is that nothing feels real; the characters seem to be reciting lines put into their mouths, and the setting seems like the old Hollywood sets, with facades but no world behind it. The author never disappears.

That problem gets progressively worse through the series, yes.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:33 pm 
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I thought the first was terrific. The second is as Eric describes; exciting climax, I suppose, but ultimately soulless, failing to deliver on the glimpses of the world we get in the first book. The third is absolutely wretched, a genuinely bad book that meanders without focus, is poorly written, and which commits the worst sin of all: it's painfully boring. Nobody should ever read it.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:46 pm 
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Completist sucker that I am, I'll probably read the third book at some point (although not until I can get it real cheap), but agreed that the second book bungles its attempts to expand the dystopian world set up in tantalizing glimpses in the first...Suzanne Collins is simply not a very good writer. Plus, whereas the first only had fleeting bits of the typical "choosing boyfriends" love triangle shit that swamps most of these YA books (and what was included almost seemed like a deliberate satire of the manipulation of Twilight-style triangles for the sheer purpose of driving up viewership of the Games/selling more books), the second just wallows in it, with Katniss going on and on in tortuous inner monologues about which boy is right for her and blahdy-blah-blah. That's one thing I liked about the Harry Potter books/movies...J.K Rowling could have easily set up a Harry/Hermione/Ron love triangle, but she early on made it clear that Ron and Hermione were destined to end up together, and never once had Harry show any romantic interest in her. Catching Fire isn't awful (I still managed to read it in five days), but it's fairly mercenary in how it recycles the first book almost beat-for-beat, only lamer and tamer. We didn't need a sequel to Battle Royale, and we didn't need a sequel to The Hunger Games (and the fact that they're cutting the third book in half to make two ticket-extorting movies out of it makes it even more of a shameless cash grab).

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:56 pm 
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Currently alternating after each story:

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That last one is an anthology that is surprisingly strong. Especially the section rooted in the middle ages. There's an inquisition story told through diary entries that is fantastic as well as a story about monks in the New World that stuck with me for days.

I'll be rotating through these for pretty much the remainder of the year.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:31 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:48 am 
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caryc wrote:
Currently alternating after each story:

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:thumbs:

I read The Tell Tale Heart to my son the other night, mostly because he got out of his room and said he couldn't sleep, so I gave him a choice, either go back in and go to sleep or I'd come in and read him a scary story. He called my out and went with the story. So I broke out this book...
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... and read him the first Poe story I had ever heard. After an outstanding performance reading on my part, I looked over and he was asleep. His loss.

I was thinking of going with The Call of Cthulhu (from a digital file on my phone), but it's a bit long for a bedtime story. Maybe a 2 - 3 night thing.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:16 am 
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Well done sir.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 27, 2013 8:36 am 
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