Your current reading list

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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Michael » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:22 am

ktrout wrote:Yeah, might not even compare to Mao Zi Dong, though. That batshit crazy motherfucker may have snuffed up to 100 million with his policies.

The hell of it is, we'll probably never know for sure.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby ktrout » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:37 am

Michael wrote:
ktrout wrote:Yeah, might not even compare to Mao Zi Dong, though. That batshit crazy motherfucker may have snuffed up to 100 million with his policies.

The hell of it is, we'll probably never know for sure.

My Chinese ex read a biography of him which I think may have helped deprogram her a little. She was already a citizen with almost perfect English by then and was getting pretty Americanized. She still believed in a lot of crazy crap, but a little less so.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby michelle in alaska » Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:31 am

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright.
Yeah. 2006. Im a bit behind in my reading, apparently. Thoughts and/or opinions welcome. I will be slogging thru this and trying to remember the details.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby ktrout » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:39 pm

Michael wrote:The hell of it is, we'll probably never know for sure.

The real Hell of it is that it's still Hell over there. They ain't done yet.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:53 am

Image

Good, fast, semi-hard scifi read. And (as you may guess from the title) it might appeal to the board. The book was published in 1974, written by a Vietnam vet, and won every major scifi award. At first, the writing is a little bit clunky (improving about a third of the way through the book), and there's one really devastatingly cheesy plot point (designed to convince two returning vets to re-join the military after returning to Earth), but it gets awesome.

Basically, the story follows the first combatants of Earth's first interstellar war, who are subjected to relativistic "time travel" and spend centuries in space while aging only a few years. So they get to see how humanity evolves on a millennial scale. The development of military technology is extrapolated in impressive detail, and was one of the highlights of the book for me. In the meantime, they fight a silent, confused enemy but usually suffer more casualties setting up their various bases - it's supposedly a critique of Vietnam but I don't know enough about the military aspects of the war to comment further. Interesting and short - probably a seven-hour commitment for the average reader, less if you prefer to power through.

Good enough that I ordered the sequel, Forever Peace.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Fenrisco » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:25 am

By coincidence The Forever War turned up in a huge consignment of random SF paperbacks from eBay that showed up this lunchtime. Surprised I never encountered him much before, the only Haldeman I'm familiar with is his brother who occasionally collaborated with Harry Harrison.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby friendlyskies » Fri Aug 10, 2012 2:10 pm

Cool - if you read it, let me know what you think. I may have damned it with faint praise, but after reading all these insane reviews, calling Forever War "the most important military scifi book after Star Ship Troopers" (that was Neal Stephenson, author of Cryptonomicon, arguably the best military scifi evar, and by "arguably" I mean it's arguably military scifi, it's pretty much indisputably the best) I guess I was expecting perfection. Anyway, give it a chance if you don't love it right off, his writing improves exponentially after the first few chapters. It's a page turner no matter what.

Just started Forever Peace, the writing is even better. AND it starts out in Costa Rica, AND Atlanta has apparently been nuked. Something tells me I'm going to end up reading everything this dude has ever written. And maybe his brother, too, if he collaborated with the Stainless Steel Rat himself.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby kilroy » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:49 pm

forever war is awesome and far better than starship troopers imho.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby vagabond » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:21 am

Armor by John Steakley is a good complement to Forever War (though the latter is probably a superior novel). Starship Troopers def tops the mil sf stakes (and the movie is a great satire that I kept flashing back to during the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq). Old Man's War by John Scalzi is supposed to be a very good novel in the vain of all three mentioned.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Fenrisco » Sat Aug 11, 2012 6:14 pm

friendlyskies wrote:Cool - if you read it, let me know what you think.


Sure, will do!

Second-hand bookstores are pathetic here so any time I visit an English-speaking country I scour the charity shops/thrift stores and buy tons of paperbacks and luggage to carry them back in. But it's been a while and I haven't read a physical book in a year so eBay was the only option. Still worked out at about $1.25/book including shipping. It's terrific to have unread paperbacks spilling everywhere and the place smelling like a library.

Harry Harrison still owes me a drink, the old so-and-so. I was supposed to meet him in 2005 to discuss application of the Stainless Steel Rat's philosophy to real life - apparently the first person ever to want to do so, according to him - but ended up being on the wrong side of the planet. No worries though, I think slowly-slowly the world is starting to spin in Harry's direction.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby michelle in alaska » Tue Aug 14, 2012 10:48 am

Its in my job description: Collection development. All your suggestions have been duly noted. More? :)
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby vagabond » Tue Aug 14, 2012 4:43 pm

Fenrisco wrote:
friendlyskies wrote:Cool - if you read it, let me know what you think.


Sure, will do!

Second-hand bookstores are pathetic here so any time I visit an English-speaking country I scour the charity shops/thrift stores and buy tons of paperbacks and luggage to carry them back in. But it's been a while and I haven't read a physical book in a year so eBay was the only option. Still worked out at about $1.25/book including shipping. It's terrific to have unread paperbacks spilling everywhere and the place smelling like a library.

Harry Harrison still owes me a drink, the old so-and-so. I was supposed to meet him in 2005 to discuss application of the Stainless Steel Rat's philosophy to real life - apparently the first person ever to want to do so, according to him - but ended up being on the wrong side of the planet. No worries though, I think slowly-slowly the world is starting to spin in Harry's direction.


I noticed that in Malaysia as well. Maybe its a developed Asian country thing? KL had a massive Borders plus a Kinokuniya and a few other smaller chains/shops with books in a variety of languages which I thought spoke well of a healthy, literate society in general.

The only place I can think of to reliably get second hand books in SE Asia would be places where backpackers go. Those impromptu libraries will probably be dying off pretty soon w/ the rise of ebooks.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby Fenrisco » Fri Aug 17, 2012 5:06 pm

I think it might be more of a general disdain for second-hand goods in developed Asian markets. An appreciation of vintage sort-of exists but has yet to be cultivated into the same thrift-store culture one finds elsewhere.

I love both second-hand bookstores (primarily) and also thrift stores/charity shops. A good second-hand bookstore is a respite from the world*, whereas a thrift store is more of a cultural treasure-trove where you can find out all sorts of intimate things about the local populace - and also expose yourself to things you might otherwise have overlooked. For instance, I only read Boccaccio's Decameron because I found a copy in the incomparable Salvation Army store in Tamuning, Guam (great for military-tropical items). In Borders I would have passed it right by. There is no inherent romance to new books.

* When I was a kid, on summer weekends at the beach we would stop in at a secondhand bookstore in Yoxford, Suffolk, run by a terrifically mad old woman, where the cellar roof was actually held up by earth-floor-to-ceiling piles of moldering paperbacks. One had to ask for a special key to go down there; the door to the dugout was behind a curtain. Wonderful. They had a complete collection of Jerry Ahern's Survivalist novels (the UK editions with the superior cover art) that no-one ever, ever bought.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby ktrout » Sun Aug 19, 2012 2:02 am

One of my favorites is Your Inner Fish. I donated my copy to a local library but had to order a replacement.
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Re: Your current reading list

Postby TrOuBLeDbOyXD » Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:09 pm

has anyone read ÈMy Friend the Mercenary by James BrabazonÈ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNr6n6lEMgU
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