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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 200884 times)

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #500 on: December 03, 2013, 03:54:22 PM »
ok...40hz...what is the source of that awesome Cthulhu illustration?

Google! :)

I've seen it called either Office Space Cthulhu or "Chtulhu wants you to use a spell check."

 8)

superboyac

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #501 on: December 03, 2013, 04:36:50 PM »
Office Space Cthulhu
Hmm...I'd like to know who the artist is, it's a really nice piece of art.

[edit]
Ah!  You can see it on the bottom if you zoom in.  Michael Dashow.
Cthulhu-OfficeSpace.jpg~original.jpgWhat books are you reading?

more...
He's great!
http://www.michaelda...om/illustration.html

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #502 on: December 04, 2013, 09:05:44 AM »
Black Wings of Cthulhu - 21 Tales of Lovecraftian Horror edited by S.T. Joshi.

cth.jpg

Once again a compendium of modern writing inspired by the characters and themes of H.P. Lovecraft. (I'm on a Mythos binge lately in case nobody's noticed.)

And once again a mixed bag of offerings. Of the twenty-one tales Caitlin Kiernan's Pickman's Other Model (1929) is easily the best of the lot, closely followed by Howling in the Dark by Darrell Schweitzer; and Tempting Providence by Jonathan Thomas.

Less successful (purely as Mythos-inspired tales) but still enjoyable are Ramsey Campbell's The Correspondence of Cameron Thaddeus Nash; and Passing Spirits by Sam Gafford.

Norman Partridge's Lesser Demons, a PA/Mythos mashup, didn't work for me at all. If you pulled out the one tiny allusion to the Mythos found in Lesser Demons, it would read just like any other 'PA narrated from a lone survivor perspective' yarn.

Another flop (IMO) was scifi master Brian Stableford's The Truth About Pickman. Not because it wasn't well written. (It was.) Not because it didn't have a good premise and a solid plot. (It did.) But despite all that, it still missed the boat because Mssr. Stableford makes the mistake far too many writers do when tackling a Lovecraft-type story: They explain far too much!

The real joy of Lovecraft is how he leaves you with a sense of awe and mystery. And always wanting just a little more. Unexplained bumps in the night go largely unexplained. Mysterious texts are alluded to (sometimes even briefly quoted from) but never shown in full. And although Lovecraft may drop dots all over the landscape, he never explicitly connects them. Or gives his reader every dot to work with.

It's a subtle art - giving the reader just enough to go on - but not enough to completely work things out. And that sort of literary miracle working is Lovecraft's art and legacy. Modern horror writers could learn something here if they could just stop hoping for a movie deal long enough to write a good horror novel rather than something that's merely ok but can easily be adapted to film. Film is all about 'visual' whereas Lovecraft and the classic horror genre (as opposed to splatter-shock) is largely about things largely left unseen.

Good book overall. Worth a read if you're an H.P. fan. And the short story format is perfect for trips or when stuck at boring gatherings.

cthu.png

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #503 on: December 08, 2013, 04:40:18 PM »
"Do I Bother You At Night?" by Troy Ratliff.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #504 on: December 17, 2013, 03:36:59 AM »

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #505 on: December 17, 2013, 12:44:38 PM »
For those of you into the Cthulhu mythos, there is a really good new board game set in that world, Eldritch Horror:

http://www.boardgame...6021/eldritch-horror
pic1754060.png

Redhat

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #506 on: December 17, 2013, 02:11:28 PM »
I don't know how much non-fiction is appreciated around here, but I'm just starting this...  :Thmbsup:

Civilisation - Niall Ferguson
Quote
Winner of the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize 2013 Niall Ferguson's Civilization: The Six Killer Apps of Western Power is a vital, brilliant look at the winning tools of power. In 1412, Europe was a miserable backwater ravaged by plague, bad sanitation and incessant war, while the Orient was home to dazzling civilizations. So how did the West come to dominate the Rest? In this vital, brilliant book, selected as a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year, Niall Ferguson reveals the 'killer applications' that did it: competition - How Europe's small, piratical states built modern capitalism; science - How innovation gave the West the military edge; property rights - How the laws of private property built the United States; medicine - How colonialism transformed the world's health; the consumer society - How shopping made the industrial revolution; and the work ethic - How Western religious ideas brought it all together. But has the West now lost its monopoly on these six things? Or is this the end of Western ascendancy? "A dazzling history of Western ideas ...epic". (Economist). "Vivid and fascinating". (Daily Telegraph). "Superb ...brings history alive ...dazzling".

http://www.foyles.co...rguson-9780141044583

tomos

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #507 on: December 17, 2013, 03:58:53 PM »
Civilisation - Niall Ferguson

sounds very interesting - would be great to hear what you think of it when you get through it!
Tom

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #508 on: December 17, 2013, 04:53:40 PM »
I played Cthulhu some in college. Loved it.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #509 on: December 28, 2013, 02:18:34 AM »
Moyes: Me Before You
Boyne: The Terrible Thing That Happened to Barnaby Brocket

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #510 on: December 28, 2013, 09:35:46 AM »
I'm reading Tagged: The Apocalypse, by Joseph Chiron. Actually,  proofreading it.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #511 on: February 28, 2014, 03:51:23 PM »
Looks like Meg Russof's book How I Live Now, which I previously recommended here, is coming to the screen:



Be interesting to see how closely it follows the book - no that there's any reason why it can't. The movie Elizabeth looks a little healthier than I imagined the book character to be. (In the book, she doesn't care to eat beyond absolute necessity for two reasons: (1) it drives her parents crazy; (2) she "kinda likes" the sensation of feeling very hungry.)

Could be worth seeing...

kyrathaba

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #512 on: February 28, 2014, 10:03:37 PM »
I recently read "Irrefutable Proof" by Abby Vandiver. I don't recommend it.

I'm currently reading The Towers of the Sunset by L. E. Modesett, Jr.

skwire

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #513 on: February 28, 2014, 10:24:46 PM »
I'm currently reading The Towers of the Sunset by L. E. Modesett, Jr.

Nice!  I loved The Saga of Recluce series.  Wonderful books.   :Thmbsup:

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #514 on: February 28, 2014, 10:59:02 PM »
Just finishing up: "Biological Learning and Control: How the Brain Builds Representations, Predicts Events, and Makes Decisions" By Reza Shadmehr and Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi

Not as good as I hoped from the table of contents -- nothing really new.  At least it moves the ball forward slightly in terms of identifying control topics that need addressing.

http://mitpress.mit....learning-and-control

9780262016964.jpg
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 09:31:44 AM by mouser »

skwire

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #515 on: February 28, 2014, 11:41:23 PM »
Just finishing up: "Biological Learning and Control: How the Brain Builds Representations, Predicts Events, and Makes Decisions" By Reza Shadmehr and Sandro Mussa-Ivaldi

So, mouser, when are you going to graduate from reading kiddie books and get into some good sci-fi or fantasy?    :P

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #516 on: March 04, 2014, 12:00:40 PM »
I'm happy to be done with "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed" by Ray Kurzweil

Screenshot - 3_7_2014 , 9_30_41 AM.png

You can file this one away as another famous narcissist with money getting more famous with a self-indulgent book that is mostly empty of insight and full of self promotion. Blech. Terrible.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 09:30:49 AM by mouser »

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #517 on: March 04, 2014, 01:27:03 PM »
I'm happy to be done with "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed" by Ray Kurzweil

You can file this one away as another famous narcissist with money getting more famous with a self-indulgent book that is mostly empty of insight and full of self promotion. Blech. Terrible.

Blech?

Terrible?

You're far too kind. For some reason the phrase "sucks out loud" keeps popping into my head every time I think back on reading that book.
 ;D

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #518 on: March 04, 2014, 01:54:03 PM »
Mysteries of the Middle Ages: And the Beginning of the Modern World by Thomas Cahill.

cahill.jpg

It's a very literate and personal examination of the people, places and things in the middle ages that had a profound and lasting impact on the subsequent social and intellectual development of Western Europe. Chatty in places, and quite funny at times, it goes a long way towards helping people get some insight into the medieval mindset. Important because the people of that period's minds worked and interpreted their world very differently than the minds of today. In some respects, until you can get into their heads, very little of the Middle Ages makes much sense or appears very civilized. However, once you do get your head around where these people were coming from, and their reasons for doing things, you can then see the Middle Ages as an extremely sophisticated and vibrant culture. One that has a far greater continuing influence on our world than our modern weltanschauung's bias towards the Renaissance and The Enlightenment would care to admit.

Nicely illustrated with faux-illuminated chapter pages, maps, and famous artworks. And the superb typography and paper quality are an unexpected surprise in this era of expensive (albeit cheaply made) trade paperbacks.

Some examples here if anybody cares to see:

Screenshot from 2014-03-04 14:49:15.pngWhat books are you reading?     Screenshot from 2014-03-04 14:50:01.pngWhat books are you reading?     Screenshot from 2014-03-04 14:50:29.pngWhat books are you reading?

A fun and interesting read. Recommended! :Thmbsup:


x16wda

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #519 on: March 04, 2014, 09:06:31 PM »
Just reread The Demolished Man (Alfred Bester)... it was shorter than I remembered. Next will be The Werewolf Principle (Clifford Simak) and then Neuromancer (William Gibson), and then the Ray Feist series that starts with Magician: Apprentice and runs through A Darkness At Sethanon.

(I had a hankering to reread Neuromancer, and stumbled across a box of oldies in the attic. Treasure -- it also contained some of my Dad's old Ace Doubles that me and my brothers found in his attic lo these many years ago!)

After these I'll start a Neal Stephenson series (Quicksilver is book 1)... I was looking for Snow Crash but found this instead.
vi vi vi - editor of the beast

TaoPhoenix

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #520 on: March 05, 2014, 03:59:11 AM »
I'm happy to be done with "How to Create a Mind: The Secret of Human Thought Revealed" by Ray Kurzweil

You can file this one away as another famous narcissist with money getting more famous with a self-indulgent book that is mostly empty of insight and full of self promotion. Blech. Terrible.

Blech?

Terrible?

You're far too kind. For some reason the phrase "sucks out loud" keeps popping into my head every time I think back on reading that book.
 ;D

I dunno. Even books that "repeat" stuff have value for me. Let's say you begin to suspect that it's like that ... then just skim it. Then you can just learn the few new nuances.  Going sideways this is the true key to that old "Library vs Purchase" discussion - you borrow the Kurzweil book, make your ten pages of new notes, and then give it back. For a really good book, you buy it because you plan to want to look at it for a long time!




mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #521 on: March 07, 2014, 09:29:00 AM »
Just finished Les Valiant's book "Probably Approximately Correct: Nature’s Algorithms for Learning and Prospering in a Complex World".
Sorry to say, another crap book almost devoid of useful content.  Could be boiled down to a 5 page paper without loss.

pac.jpg

Valiant's past contribution to machine learning was a useful way of formalizing some guarantees about a class of "Probably, Approximately Correct (PAC)" algorithms.  His attempt at branding that as a theory of intelligence falls painfully short.

allen

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #522 on: March 07, 2014, 03:24:22 PM »
Just finished Tread Lightly: Form, Footwear, and the Quest for Injury-Free Running, it was pretty interesting. Although it was rather inconclusive, it did dispel some things I'd taken for granted.

I may not finish The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing -- there's a ton of great info in here, but he's extraordinarily long winded and repetitive and I'm starting to think I've gleaned all I'm gonna...  as with your book there mouser, I feel like it could have been boiled down to a few pages. (Actually, it has. By the same author. )

Finally, I'm reading Ancillary Justice and it's a bit mind blowing. I haven't enjoyed a sci-fi book so much in a very long time.

Vurbal

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #523 on: March 07, 2014, 04:02:52 PM »
Valiant's past contribution to machine learning was a useful way of formalizing some guarantees about a class of "Probably, Approximately Correct (PAC)" algorithms.  His attempt at branding that as a theory of intelligence falls painfully short.

Intelligence is such a difficult thing to put your finger on. In a lot of ways I think I understand it better than most so-called experts, as if there really was such a thing. The problem is I can't really explain what I think I've figured out for the same reason I was able to figure it out - because it's so complex.
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mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #524 on: March 13, 2014, 04:37:03 PM »
Just finished "The Code Book" by Simon Singh:
Screenshot - 3_13_2014 , 4_36_01 PM.png

Good stuff. Gives a nice history of cryptography up to the present.