All Seasons Reading

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Author Topic: All Seasons Reading  (Read 100608 times)

Edhelur

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2140 on: December 08, 2014, 02:19:18 AM »

I'm more of a fantasy than a science fiction reader. And Heinlein is the least known of three. If I had to pick up a a scifi novel I would probably start with asimov as his name has been on my to read list longer and I like robots.

For a more Fantasy / Science crossover,  when you get a bit of spare "google time", check out some Piers Anthony (Incarnations of Imortality, Tarot, and Cluster Series) and Jack Chalker's Well World Sagas, if you don't already know them. :)

And/or Ken Scholes' Psalms of Isaak series. It's fantasy WITH robots. :D
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"They had tried to reach their living fellows in fabled depths of blackness they had never seen - and what had they found? ... We looked and understood what must have triumphed and survived down there in the Cyclopean water city of that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss..."

James

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2141 on: February 04, 2015, 06:12:58 PM »

I burned out last year. I went from reviewing books to barely finishing anything at all. The books I finished... well, I didn't enjoy them all that much. Eventually, I gave up and just stopped trying. There were a few books read throughout the following year, but they were sequels to what I'd already read and I struggled through them.

About a month ago I decided to get over it. I referred to it as "The Struggle" and made up some rules to follow:

1) Only physical books.

I feel as though I am not compelled to finish e-books. There is something about having a book in your hands and knowing how far you have progressed and how much is left. Unlike an e-book, which just disappears into the aether when you aren't reading, a physical book is a visual reminder that you have a story left unread. I don't romanticize books and I have been a proponent of e-books for ages, but I just don't think they work for me.

2) Only books from the library.

It gets me out of the house. I also don't have extra money to spend on books. It also means that I can choose books that I normally wouldn't because there is no fear of gambling away that extra money I don't have to spend on a shit book.

3) Only one book at a time.

If you are having trouble finishing books and dropping them, why push yourself?

4) Finish what you get.

Not a steadfast rule. I'm not pushing myself to read something terrible, but I'll try to finish things I might drop for silly reasons.

It has been a success, though things have changed a bit since the first two books, which were:

- Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami - A wonderful book marred by an ending that wasn't. I am tired of stories ending when things are most interesting. It is cheap and frustrating and I want closure.

- The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne - A not-so-wonderful book that uses unreliable narrators to undermine much of the story, robbing the story of impact for the sake of a twist. It has an annoying beginning, an interesting middle, and an ending that is spelled out chapters ahead of time by anyone able to take a hint.

After that, things went awry. For whatever reason, I decided to ignore my rule of only one book out at a time. Things still went well:

- Locke & Key,  vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill - I remember reading the first issue of this a long time ago and never picking it up again. I didn't remember much about it, not even my opinion of it, but I had heard enough praise that I decided to go ahead with this. Turns out, I just plain didn't like what I'd read. Nothing here interested me.

- The Hum and the Shiver by Alex Bledsoe - I suppose I should applaud the author for trying to write strong women... if only he hadn't turned around and made the men in the novel either submissive good guys or misogynistic, slut-shaming assholes hellbent on either giving the main character bad name or turning her into a submissive sex slave to her abusive ex. There were several points in the book where I almost dropped it because I disliked even the notion of the book attempting to go in that direction. It ended up being a decent book, but making the men cartoon villains is a bold mark against it.

- Harvest by Jim Crace - It would be easy to find this book boring, it being about the crisis surrounding a village and the march of progress away from farming toward shepherding. Unfortunate events and new ownership create chaos and that chaos breaks the village over its knee with practiced ease. It is a great read, though one would be excused for thinking different.

- These Dreams of You by Steve Erickson - Excellent. Just excellent.
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Darkon

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2142 on: February 04, 2015, 07:27:27 PM »

Slow is good. Glad to hear you're picking up an old hobby again, seeing you were always happy with it.
I have been toying with the idea for a Hall of Reviews for those with an wish to put their reviews out.  Interested?
« Last Edit: February 04, 2015, 07:43:19 PM by Darkon »
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James

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2143 on: February 04, 2015, 08:01:39 PM »

I'm pretty much avoiding reviewing as much as possible. I talk about books now, but try limiting it to a few comments.
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Darkon

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2144 on: February 04, 2015, 08:18:45 PM »

Fair enough. Despite that, do you think we would benefit from it as a forum?
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A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch

James

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2145 on: February 04, 2015, 11:22:10 PM »

That depends.

It amounts to wasted time and space if people aren't consistently posting content or reading and commenting on what is posting. I have seen it done on other forums and it never really takes off because the amount of people willing to write reviews can be counted on half a hand and the amount of people commenting can be counted on half of that half-hand. Reviews generate surprisingly little discussion. A big title might receive a few comments, but more obscure titles (especially those outside of the genre or even in the less popular subgenres) receive only silence. There aren't many people who like shouting into wind, so those few reviewers who bother eventually just wander away.

Can it work? Sure, but you need effort from readers and writers if it is to go anywhere.
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Darkon

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2146 on: February 05, 2015, 06:51:36 AM »

*nods*

I agree with you. I wonder though whether reviews also have a different kind of impact. A good review with a good topic (a review of lord of the rings by jrr tolkien) may be a hook that draws in readers through Google who stumble upon it in search results. But as a poster you only notice the replies. Personally I am pro to the idea as this current thread may not draw in as many guests as each review uniquely would do. I also understood that anything you post becomes quickly buried after a new page starts because many people do not look much further in a thread.  So, threads per review in its own section would make it more visible.

What are your thoughts on that? Also interested in hearing from other people.
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A nation is a group of people united by a mistaken view about the past and a hatred of their neighbours. - Karl Deutsch

Edhelur

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2147 on: April 21, 2015, 07:32:00 PM »

Most of my reading lately has been academic in nature: i.e. journal articles, hunts for "mentor texts" and appropriate short stories and poetry, pedagogical advice from expert teachers (Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements, anyone?). If anyone here is a secondary language arts/ English teacher, lemme know. Have I got a pile of books for you!  :knight: a big pile.
And I work as a writing tutor, so I read a shit-tonne of uni student writing, both good and bad. It kind of sucks that I have to read editorially, looking for what can be better rather than what is good. Good writing gets better, but I, as a reader, lose touch with why I read.

So while it's fascinating, I kind of miss reading for fun. I have trouble getting out of that mindset. A couple of days ago, I grabbed a humorous sci-fi thing, Bill, The Galactic Hero. It's kind of funny, in a cheap shot sort of way.



James: good job, dude.
Libraries are awesome.
& I agree that a review forum would likely not find its legs.
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"They had tried to reach their living fellows in fabled depths of blackness they had never seen - and what had they found? ... We looked and understood what must have triumphed and survived down there in the Cyclopean water city of that nighted, penguin-fringed abyss..."

Bacchus

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2148 on: August 05, 2015, 02:41:14 PM »

Read Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey. Was a bit of a cliche, but liked it nevertheless. will pick up the next in the series as well.

Finally have some time to read up on some fantasy. Haven't read any fantasy in over a year I guess. Last book I read was the latest WoT novel, and finished that in the summer of previous year.

Started reading Phillip K. Dick's The Man in the High Castle.

Will read the latest Gibson next.
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James

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2149 on: September 09, 2015, 08:23:36 AM »

I finished Naomi Novik's Uprooted a couple days ago and have been trying to figure out what to read next (hence why I defaulted to the below collection). I hadn't read anything by Novik before since dragons aren't really my thing, but I've seen so much praise backing Uprooted that I decided to give it a go. I'm glad that I did, as it grabbed my attention right away and was really, really good all the way through. My only (minor) quibble was that the romance felt clumsy. It gets a point for the corrupted reminding me of Deadites.

I have The Fifth Season by NK Jemisin, but I'm hesitant to start it as I now remember how hard I bounced off of The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms.
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Aurian

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2150 on: January 10, 2016, 11:09:55 PM »

I've started finding time to read again. Who has good titles that I need to look at?
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Bacchus

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2151 on: March 06, 2016, 09:05:27 PM »

Started reading the second James S Cory novel. Liked Leviathan Wakes, so decided to give it a go.
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"If nobody comes down here and buys a car in the next hour, I'm gonna club this baby seal. That's right! I'm gonna club this seal to make a better deal. You know I'll do it, too, cause I'm crazy."

- Crazy Ernie

Ellia

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Re: All Seasons Reading
« Reply #2152 on: March 09, 2016, 05:01:10 AM »

Recently read Marcus Aurelius's Meditations, which I found to be quite good although repetitive in some senses. This all the more reflects the ongoing thoughts of this emperor.

One of my favorites of his Meditations is the following:

"Either there is a fatal necessity and invincible order, or a kind Providence, or a confusion without a purpose and without a director (Book IV). If then there is an invincible necessity, why dost thou resist? But if there is a Providence which allows itself to be propitiated, make thyself worthy of the help of the divinity. But if there is a confusion without governor, be content that in such a tempest thou hast in thyself a certain ruling intelligence. And even if the tempest carry thee away, let it carry away the poor flesh, the poor breath, everything else; for the intelligence at least it will not carry away."

Currently reading Philosophy of Mind by Edward Feser. A good beginner's guide to the philosophy of mind so far as he presents both sides of the dominant view of reality in dualism and materialism. However, from reading another book of his and having some knowledge of his stance on reality, I can see some biases leaning towards dualism. This will be a slower read than Marcus Aurelius, unfortunately, but nonetheless interesting and encourages thinking.
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