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  1. - Top - End - #811
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell

    Well written and very captivating; the method used for the audiobook was worth a second "read" or listen.

  2. - Top - End - #812
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Just finished This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab. Overall enjoyed it a lot, with a unique and detailed premise and two complex, likeable leads in August and Kate, who were both extremely sympathetic while never really allowing the reader to forget that neither is a completely good person (the lack of romance between them was also refreshing, coming from a YA book).

    The expository segments felt a little heavy-handed, but there's a lot of important details in the setting to comb through, so I'll give it a pass. My only real complaint was that the ending felt a bit rushed, and also like it was backpedaling on details of the plot's high-concept elements introduced earlier. Looking forward to reading the sequel in the future.

  3. - Top - End - #813
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    So thanks to the holidays and gifts and gift cards, I've gotten myself hugely distracted from finishing The Neutrino Alchemist (its now my at work lunch book just so I can keep making progress on it). However I have read and finished the following:

    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker - Was a nice quick read, reminded me a lot of Coraline, but was written 14 years beforehand. Fantastic magical land with a dark secret that feeds upon children.

    Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee - A bit of a prequel to the Thor movie. Takes place in victorian London, where Loki is investigating a string of magical murders as punishment for shenanigans. Overall decent, but some of the fan pandering was obnoxious. Loki did not need to be the one suggesting to the human organization to call themselves S.H.E.I.L.D. As per usual poor communication kills.

    I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Klaus by S. G. Browne - A quirky romp with Zombies where they are still sentient. Main character is a Zombie escaped from a lab at Christmas time, and dresses up as a Santa to go unnoticed. While trying to free his still captive friends he runs across a little girl in need of a Christmas miracle who reminds him of his own kiddo. Surprisingly heartwarming overall, if a bit dodgy on the morality side of things, protagonist centered morality is in full effect.

    Neon Genesis Evangelion: Campus Apocalypse by Ming Ming - An alternate take on NGE where the main characters all have magical weaponry they use to fight off mysterious beings for the sake of preserving the world. Gets almost as mind screwy as the original, but in new and interesting ways.

    Hiker Trash: Notes, Sketches, and Other Detritus from the Appalachian Trail by Sarah Kaizar - A nonfiction book with pictures of and logbook notes from the Appalachian Trail. An interesting look into the culture of backpack hiking.

    The Book of Nod by Sam Chupp - A lore book for Vampire the Masquerade, kind of a vampire bible. Details early vampire lore and history along with having prophecy regarding vampire end times.

    And currently reading Rage by Jonathan Maberry - Its the newest Joe Ledger novel where they're trying to deal with a hate plague, ala 28 days later, or at least that's the impression I've got so far. Nice interesting romp so far, looking forward to seeing if my speculation on who the enemy players are pan out.
    Last edited by Wookieetank; 2020-01-08 at 10:38 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  4. - Top - End - #814
    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Dodger by Terry Pratchett, I have two weeks to read a book in English and I happened to have that one lying on a shelf for years. I don't think much of it for now but I've only read the first couple chapters.
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    the Vector Legion [is the IFCC's new pawns], mark my words. Way too much unfinished business there and they already know about the Gates.
    I'll take that bet.

  5. - Top - End - #815
    Ettin in the Playground
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    It being the time of year when not much else is going on, I decided to try something a bit meatier and got out Mayer's The Crusades, which I picked up at a yard sale a few years ago for a quarter. So far, I'm not sure I didn't overpay.

  6. - Top - End - #816
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    The One Right Way: Fredrick Winslow Taylor and the Enigma of Efficiency.

    It's a surprisingly present book. There was an awful lot of misinformation, political histrionics, and open-handed manipulation of American voters in the early 1900s too. It's really quite disturbing how deeply similar the politics of 1920 are to the politics of 2020.

    It's also fascinating how something as small as the size of a shovel head can dramatically influence the amount of labor a single person can produce in a given amount of time.

    For those curious - Taylor was the business tycoon who devised the modern system of management. He's the one who proposed that the 5-day, 8-hour workday was the peak efficiency for human labor. He's also the guy who first suggested a minimum wage, rotating shifts and specialized equipment for each step of a manufacturing process.

    In his time he was hated by pretty much everyone. Competing "Robber Barons" considered him a socialist sympathizer and too willing to excuse laziness. Union bosses and organized laborers saw him as a soulless, ruthless enemy of the working-class. Other sociologists saw him as a utpoian idealist with no rational understanding of the human condition.

    Bear in mind, prior to Taylor's system of efficiency the average worker worked 6 days a week at 12 hours without shifts. Wages were barely enough to pay for housing unless the worker signed their apartment or home to their employer. Actual output was also completely scattered. The vast majority of businesses both big and small were producing at just under half their potential output.
    Last edited by Hagashager; 2020-01-09 at 03:17 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #817
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Fiction - I've just started Ursula K Le Guin's The Dispossessed. It's been in my to-read pile for way too long. So far, I can see why it's considered a classic of the genre.

    Non-fiction - Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. Without going into details, let's just say that it's extremely relevant at the moment.
    Only an animal does useful things. An animal gets food, finds a place to sleep, tries to keep comfortable. But I wanted to do something that was not useful, not like an animal at all. Something only a human being would do.
    - Gerard díAboville

  8. - Top - End - #818
    Nerdomancer in the Playground Moderator
     
    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    reading back thru the entire wheel of time series. haven't done that in years. i'm in the middle of book 5, Lord of Chaos atm.
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  9. - Top - End - #819
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Malcolm Gladdwell "Talking to Strangers" burned through it a few times in a row....it honestly is becoming less interesting as I go through. Gladwell's style is wearing on me I thing.

    rereading "The Plague" by Albert Camus
    Rather interesting how I view the book differently at 18, 28, and 38

  10. - Top - End - #820
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Jack London's "Martin Eden", rereading "War and Peace" by Tolstoj. Awesome books, both )

  11. - Top - End - #821
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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Just finished Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman, on the forum's recommendation. It's a good read overall, Grossman has a strong understanding of comic-book cliches and how to pull apart and stretch them into new shapes, and his prose is smooth and breezy throughout, but sometimes it's too smooth and breezy. Fight scenes are so fast it's hard to tell what's happening sometimes, some plot-important conversations get summed up as paragraph blocks while other, less-relevant ones get detailed in full, and the constant cutting between Dr. Impossible's past and present felt unnecessary when it wasn't just confusing. I enjoyed it, but it definitely could've benefited from another round or two with an editor.

  12. - Top - End - #822
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    2D8HP's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I've read and re-read some of Robert E. Howard's Conan stories, plus the Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman which is #6 in The Invisible Library series, like the others there's Dragons, Fae, Librarians, a Sherlock Holmes-ish character (not the lead POV one though), if I had known that it would be a six book (and counting!) series I likely wouldn't have picked up the first book in the series, but I'm glad I did as it's still a "page-turner", and I've also been reading a lot of free on-line amateur fiction.
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  13. - Top - End - #823
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Currently reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. It's been surprisingly engaging and I like it a lot.

  14. - Top - End - #824
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Right now I'm reading a manga version of Emma by Jane Austen because I'm participating in a book discussion group and didn't want to read the real thing. Gonna see if I can fake my way through it on Wednesday.
    Last edited by Velaryon; 2020-02-22 at 03:26 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  15. - Top - End - #825
    Titan in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velaryon View Post
    Right now I'm reading a manga version of Emma by Jane Austen because I'm participating in a book discussion group and didn't want to read the real thing. Gonna see if I can fake my way through it on Wednesday.
    Having attempted Jabe Austen on a number of occassions, I can definitely understand that approach.

    Just finished my Valentine's reread of Tanith Lee's The Silver Metal Lover, which remains simply superb in the revisit. It's definitely one of Lee's easier works, both in the sense that the story is straightforward and the writing is lush, but not the baroque tone poem that some of her work can be, but it's still a really excellent little novel.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  16. - Top - End - #826
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I am about 2/3 through a reread of The Wandering Inn webserial.
    The end of what Son? The story? There is no end. There's just the point where the storytellers stop talking.

  17. - Top - End - #827
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Gorbad Ironclaw's Avatar

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Right now, I'm close to finishing the first Powdermage book. It's an interesting concept, and overall a pretty good book. Unfortunately, I've had like no time to read it because of school, work, and other commitments.
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  18. - Top - End - #828
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    Having attempted Jabe Austen on a number of occassions, I can definitely understand that approach.
    Dodging a book I have absolutely no interest in while also advocating for graphic novels means it's win/win as far as I'm concerned.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

  19. - Top - End - #829
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Currently working through Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry which is a very emotional take on zombies. It comes across as more of a tragedy than horror story, and does so in a very convincing manner. It also takes place years after the outbreak, and does a rather interesting take on how society evolved thanks to zombies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  20. - Top - End - #830
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Couple hours left in the last Dark Tower book. Kinda interesting series, I have to say, not sure if I'd recommend it but certainly don't regret listening. Haven't read any other Stephen King books, so can't say if this is different or not.

    New Peter Grant book False Value just came out, so think I'll get started with that soon.

  21. - Top - End - #831
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Majin View Post
    Couple hours left in the last Dark Tower book. Kinda interesting series, I have to say, not sure if I'd recommend it but certainly don't regret listening. Haven't read any other Stephen King books, so can't say if this is different or not.
    Dark Tower gets a lot more interesting if you've read a lot of King's other works, with how it references them, and ties them all together. Personally I find King to have a quite varied style, so no two works are overly similar, other than Dark Tower being weird west throughout. Even The Shining and Doctor Sleep are vastly different books, and they're technically a duology. Probably helps that his writing style changed a bit once he was hit by a car, his stories became a lot more focused with less wandering through character's backstories.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  22. - Top - End - #832
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wookieetank View Post
    Dark Tower gets a lot more interesting if you've read a lot of King's other works, with how it references them, and ties them all together. Personally I find King to have a quite varied style, so no two works are overly similar, other than Dark Tower being weird west throughout. Even The Shining and Doctor Sleep are vastly different books, and they're technically a duology. Probably helps that his writing style changed a bit once he was hit by a car, his stories became a lot more focused with less wandering through character's backstories.
    Getting hit by a car didn't change his writing style very much, except for being responsible for the creation of Dreamcatcher (a book King hates). What really shifted King's style was that he was on pretty much all the drugs for much of his earlier career, to the point where he famously doesn't even remember writing Cujo. The long wandering you're talking about was (according to King) a symptom of the manic energy cocaine gave him. This is also why Dreamcatcher wasn't very good - after his accident he was on (perscription) drugs for awhile, which brought back most of his worst writing vices.

  23. - Top - End - #833
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnoman View Post
    Getting hit by a car didn't change his writing style very much, except for being responsible for the creation of Dreamcatcher (a book King hates). What really shifted King's style was that he was on pretty much all the drugs for much of his earlier career, to the point where he famously doesn't even remember writing Cujo. The long wandering you're talking about was (according to King) a symptom of the manic energy cocaine gave him. This is also why Dreamcatcher wasn't very good - after his accident he was on (perscription) drugs for awhile, which brought back most of his worst writing vices.
    Ah, I had always figured the car accident was part of what got him off drugs.

    Just about done with Rot and Ruin, and I have a feeling the author was either horrifically depressed or off their meds while writing it. Still enjoying it, but not every zombie story needs to be one horrifyingly long trauma conga line for the main characters.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    Dwarf Fortress would like to have a word with you. The word is decorated with bands of microcline and meanaces with spikes of rose gold. On the word is an image of the word in cinnabar.
    Quote Originally Posted by kpenguin View Post
    This is an image of Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses engraved in sandstone. Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses is leaving Trotknives. Trotknives is on fire and full of goblins. This image refers to the destruction of Trotknives in late winter of 109 by Wookietank the Destroyer of Fortresses.

  24. - Top - End - #834
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    King got off drugs following an intervention from his family, as I recall. The car accident actually made him resolve to stop or severely cut down his writing because of severe pain, but King being King that did not exactly happen (I cobbled together a short author bio page about King for work a while ago).

    Anyway, I am currently reading The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber and really enjoying it. I especially like the narrative style where it mimics the Dickensian kind of author that is much more of a presence in the story, with a clear attitude to the events being described. It also sometimes uses the second person perspective, addressing the reader directly. I would actually recommend checking out the first couple of pages as a Kindle sample or whatever, because this is really a book that pulls the reader in in a more literal way than usual.

    Note that although it takes place in Victorian times and takes a lot of inspiration from Dickens, unlike the actual Victorian authors Faber is not exactly shy about describing the more intimate details of his characters' lives. Fair warning that there is definitely some NSFW content there.

  25. - Top - End - #835
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Haruspex_Pariah's Avatar

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    I started reading Hobbes's Leviathan, expecting a political treatise in the same vein as The Prince (which is admittedly a much shorter work), but the first part of the book deals with senses, dreams, and words. It's interesting, but not really what I expected. I'll stick with it though, I'm guessing that the author is laying the groundwork for the rest of the book.
    Awesome OOTS-style Fallout New Vegas avatar by Ceika.

    Casual Magic Arena and Raid Shadow Legends player. But I'll talk about anything really.

  26. - Top - End - #836
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedSorcererGirl

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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    I am trying to find good webcomics to read.

    So I am kinda inbetween readings of books which are weird. I don't have much time for reading sadly.
    Ohoj fellow sailors
    Co-creator on a webcomic called Wayfinders: Off Course, based around our own DnD campaign

  27. - Top - End - #837
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    We have an extensive list of webcomics (with links) a couple forums down. You should be able to find something you like, whatever your tastes.

  28. - Top - End - #838
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default What are you reading right now?

    Weíve had several threads in this vein over the past few years, but the last one seems to have been lost during the Long Dark.

    So, with an early spring comes a new thread on the books weíre currently reading. I have several Iím going through, most recently Pocahontas and the English Boys, about the cross-cultural role of adolescents in early colonial Virginia. Itís extremely poorly written, but the topic is intriguing.

    Iím also working my way through the Penguin Classics edition of Ibn Fadlanís Land of Darkness, which is absolutely fascinating. One scene in particular has caught popular imagination in recent years, and versions of it have appeared in "The Thirteenth Warrior" and an episode of Vikings, and probably elsewhere as well.

    So, what is everyone else reading?

  29. - Top - End - #839
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    Kitten Champion's Avatar

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    Default Re: What Books Are You Reading Right Now?

    It's funny that someone mentioned NPCs by Drew Hayes in the recommendation thread, as I just started Split the Party which is the direct sequel. I can't speak to it thus far but I did like the first novel quite a bit.

    It's difficult to do humour within fantasy without coming off as... lame, I guess. I don't have a deeply-considered thesis as to why beyond Sturgeon's Law, but I think much of it is if you're making fun of the shallow nature of a lot of fantasy it's easy to - ironically - come off as pretty one-dimensional yourself. Where Hayes succeeds is mostly in making his characters likeable beyond just the initial joke in subverting the cliches they represent - they're NPCs in a TTRPG who become the de facto adventuring party after all the actual PCs TPKO in the starter tavern, and they all end up taking a Class that's the opposite to the expected - so when there are actual stakes or dramatic moments you're still invested in the narrative. It's also got more of a light touch, as in the intended humour isn't drowned out by the author throwing the kitchen sink at you or being overly assured that the premise itself is enough to get him through.

    Basically, there aren't many comedic fantasy novel I've enjoyed outside of Pratchett, so I'm happy to have a series with some promise.

  30. - Top - End - #840
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: What are you reading right now?

    My Goodreads page has 5 books labeled as "currently reading," though none of them have been picked up in awhile:

    1. The Lincoln-Douglas Debates. I was listening to these in audio format last summer, made it through the first 4 debates before I decided I needed a break, and haven't gone back to them yet.

    2. Dracula by Bram Stoker. It's not bad, but I already know what happens and the pace is a bit slow, and I'm just having trouble sitting down and actually digging into it.

    3. The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming. I started this for a nonfiction book talk at my local schools, stopped when I found out the school librarian had already picked it as her book to talk about, but held onto it to read anyway. Haven't gotten to it.

    4. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren, which is a memoir by a geobiologist. My library is doing this for our annual Big Read event next month so I need to read it and be prepared to discuss it, but I just gave my copy away this afternoon so I'll need to obtain another one.

    5. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir, sequel to An Ember in the Ashes. This is my current audiobook. I had some issues with the first book (holy double love triangles, Batman!) but something about it was interesting enough that I decided to pick up the second one. So far it's okay but I'm not loving it.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2D8HP View Post
    Work is the scourge of the gaming classes!

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