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Last post Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 201237 times)

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #575 on: May 27, 2015, 09:06:49 AM »
dead dog slow

That's one of the reasons I like short stories. :)

I liked those of W. Somerset Maugham.  It has been so long since I read his stuff I forget the titles.

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #576 on: June 27, 2015, 02:47:38 PM »
Haven't read this yet, but it sounds neat:

Just My Type by Simon Garfield
http://www.amazon.co...-Fonts/dp/1592407463
Screenshot - 6_27_2015 , 2_46_40 PM.png

"Simon Garfield’s Just My Type presents an entertaining history of fonts, from font "pirating" dating back nearly as far as Gutenberg to the creation of Comic Sans and Ikea’s font-change controversy. With a variety of recent, news-making examples and font samples throughout, Just My Type explains how and why certain fonts can elicit emotions or gut-instinct reactions. Garfield’s humor and historical anecdotes add to his deep understanding of how something as simple as font choice can speak volumes about our cultural climate--and why it’s so easy to agonize over what font to use on a party invitation. Whether you’re already a font aficionado or can’t tell the difference between Times New Roman and Arial, this entertaining history will give you a greater appreciation of the typefaces that surround you every day. --Malissa Kent"

More info here: http://gadgetopia.com/post/9282

sword

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #577 on: July 01, 2015, 11:19:13 AM »
"The Coming Swarm" DDoS Actions, Hacktivism, and Civil Disobedience on the Internet,
by Molly Sauter, Bloomsbury Academic, 2014 ISBN PB: 978-1-6235-6456-8
Chapter seven. Against the man: State and corporate responses to DDoS actions.

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #578 on: July 02, 2015, 03:52:01 AM »
I am currently reading: the name of the wind
http://www.amazon.co...rds=name+of+the+wind
It is actually pretty amazing if you are any into fantasy. The development of characters is quite nice.

I have read it already, but didn't liked it as much as other do. I still prefer Conan ...

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #579 on: July 02, 2015, 04:26:27 AM »
I have no idea what I'm going to be reading over the next month or so, but I think "The Law" will be about at the top.

I will have a good amount of time available to read at length, and have got my mini-library ready.

While there are a few "must reads" that I want to get to, "Our Enemy, The State.pdf" just seems too tempting. :) I gotta see what that's about.

I have downloaded about 90 books from Mises.org and at this moment I am down to 42.

I have downloaded those from your list that I do not have. Thanx for posting it.

You could also look at these:

https://mises.org/li...ow-about-inflation-0
https://mises.org/li...s-and-how-resolve-it
http://www.filedropper.com/305goldwars (This is next on my list - I have uploaded it because the free download at fame.org is no longer available)

"... What you read in this book will, in all likelihood, go directly against what you have been taught by your parents and your teachers, what you have been told by the churches, the media and the government, and much of what you, your family and your friends have always believed. Nonetheless, it is the truth, as you will see if you allow yourself to consider the issue objectively. Not only is it the truth, it also may be the most important truth you will ever hear ...":
http://www.mensenrec...arken-rose-20111.pdf
« Last Edit: July 02, 2015, 04:41:39 AM by panzer »

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #580 on: July 09, 2015, 03:20:54 AM »



tomos

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #581 on: July 09, 2015, 04:34:42 AM »
^ when you're done panzer, I'd be curious to know what you think of the first two there.
Tom

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #582 on: July 13, 2015, 10:13:13 AM »
First one is very good, but has only examples from USA ...

Second one ... Well, If I remember correctly, some remarks from him about economics are not necessarily correct ... If I were you, I wouldn't believe every word he says ... Otherwise, good attempt at squeezing a human history into one book.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2015, 10:19:00 AM by panzer »

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #583 on: July 13, 2015, 10:20:03 AM »
« Last Edit: July 15, 2015, 04:28:08 AM by panzer »

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #584 on: August 07, 2015, 04:15:04 PM »
Area X: The Southern Reach Trilogy: Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance - the omnibus edition of Jeff VanderMeer's weird trilogy about the "Southern Reach" a bizarre and somewhat sinister manifestation of reality that lurks behind some sort of dimensional barrier along the southern coast of the United States. With elements of an implied eco-disaster, government cover-ups, conspiracy, psycho-drama, and surrealism, Area X is utterly unclassifiable as to story genre.

areax.jpg

From the blurb accompanying the first book Annihilation:

Quote
Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; all the members of the second expedition committed suicide; the third expedition died in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another; the members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within months of their return, all had died of aggressive cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Definitely not for everyone. Especially those who like all the mysteries they encounter in a novel either explained or tied up with a neat bow. In some respects it's almost an experimental novel - with all that implies.

I thought it was rather brilliant overall despite being flawed in a several places. Worth a read IMO. But be forewarned, my taste in fiction runs towards the eldritch, the ironic, and the metaphysical.

Here's the opening of the first book to give you an idea of the tone and style.

from Annihilation
Quote
Chapter 1

The tower, which was not supposed to be there, plunges into the earth in a place just before the black pine forest begins to give way to swamp and then the reeds and wind-gnarled trees of the marsh flats. Beyond the marsh flats and the natural canals lies the ocean and, a little farther down the coast, a derelict lighthouse. All of this part of the country had been abandoned for decades, for reasons that are not easy to relate. Our expedition was the first to enter Area X for more than two years, and much of our predecessors’ equipment had rusted, their tents and sheds little more than husks. Looking out over that untroubled landscape, I do not believe any of us could yet see the threat.

There were four of us: a biologist, an anthropologist, a surveyor, and a psychologist. I was the biologist. All of us were women this time, chosen as part of the complex set of variables that governed sending the expeditions. The psychologist, who was older than the rest of us, served as the expedition’s leader. She had put us all under hypnosis to cross the border, to make sure we remained calm. It took four days of hard hiking after crossing the border to reach the coast.

Our mission was simple: to continue the government’s investigation into the mysteries of Area X, slowly working our way out from base camp.

The expedition could last days, months, or even years, depending on various stimuli and conditions. We had supplies with us for six months, and another two years’ worth of supplies had already been stored at the base camp. We had also been assured that it was safe to live off the land if necessary. All of our foodstuffs were smoked or canned or in packets. Our most outlandish equipment consisted of a measuring device that had been issued to each of us, which hung from a strap on our belts: a small rectangle of black metal with a glass-covered hole in the middle. If the hole glowed red, we had thirty minutes to remove ourselves to “a safe place.” We were not told what the device measured or why we should be afraid should it glow red. After the first few hours, I had grown so used to it that I hadn’t looked at it again. We had been forbidden watches and compasses.

When we reached the camp, we set about replacing obsolete or damaged equipment with what we had brought and putting up our own tents. We would rebuild the sheds later, once we were sure that Area X had not affected us. The members of the last expedition had eventually drifted off, one by one. Over time, they had returned to their families, so strictly speaking they did not vanish. They simply disappeared from Area X and, by unknown means, reappeared back in the world beyond the border. They could not relate the specifics of that journey. This transference had taken place across a period of eighteen months, and it was not something that had been experienced by prior expeditions. But other phenomena could also result in “premature dissolution of expeditions,” as our superiors put it, so we needed to test our stamina for that place.

We also needed to acclimate ourselves to the environment. In the forest near base camp one might encounter black bears or coyotes. You might hear a sudden croak and watch a night heron startle from a tree branch and, distracted, step on a poisonous snake, of which there were at least six varieties. Bogs and streams hid huge aquatic reptiles, and so we were careful not to wade too deep to collect our water samples. Still, these aspects of the ecosystem did not really concern any of us. Other elements had the ability to unsettle, however. Long ago, towns had existed here, and we encountered eerie signs of human habitation: rotting cabins with sunken, red-tinged roofs, rusted wagon-wheel spokes half-buried in the dirt, and the barely seen outlines of what used to be enclosures for livestock, now mere ornament for layers of pine-needle loam.

Far worse, though, was a low, powerful moaning at dusk. The wind off the sea and the odd interior stillness dulled our ability to gauge direction, so that the sound seemed to infiltrate the black water that soaked the cypress trees. This water was so dark we could see our faces in it, and it never stirred, set like glass, reflecting the beards of gray moss that smothered the cypress trees. If you looked out through these areas, toward the ocean, all you saw was the black water, the gray of the cypress trunks, and the constant, motionless rain of moss flowing down. All you heard was the low moaning. The effect of this cannot be understood without being there. The beauty of it cannot be understood, either, and when you see beauty in desolation it changes something inside you. Desolation tries to colonize you.

As noted, we found the tower in a place just before the forest became waterlogged and then turned to salt marsh. This occurred on our fourth day after reaching base camp, by which time we had almost gotten our bearings. We did not expect to find anything there, based on both the maps that we brought with us and the water-stained, pine-dust-smeared documents our predecessors had left behind. But there it was, surrounded by a fringe of scrub grass, half-hidden by fallen moss off to the left of the trail: a circular block of some grayish stone seeming to mix cement and ground-up seashells. It measured roughly sixty feet in diameter, this circular block, and was raised from ground level by about eight inches. Nothing had been etched into or written on its surface that could in any way reveal its purpose or the identity of its makers. Starting at due north, a rectangular opening set into the surface of the block revealed stairs spiraling down into darkness. The entrance was obscured by the webs of banana spiders and debris from storms, but a cool draft came from below.

At first, only I saw it as a tower. I don’t know why the word tower came to me, given that it tunneled into the ground. I could as easily have considered it a bunker or a submerged building. Yet as soon as I saw the staircase, I remembered the lighthouse on the coast and had a sudden vision of the last expedition drifting off, one by one, and sometime thereafter the ground shifting in a uniform and preplanned way to leave the lighthouse standing where it had always been but depositing this underground part of it inland. I saw this in vast and intricate detail as we all stood there, and, looking back, I mark it as the first irrational thought I had once we had reached our destination.

“This is impossible,” said the surveyor, staring at her maps. The solid shade of late afternoon cast her in cool darkness and lent the words more urgency than they would have had otherwise. The sun was telling us soon we’d have to use our flashlights to interrogate the impossible, although I’d have been perfectly happy doing it in the dark.

“And yet there it is,” I said. “Unless we are having a mass hallucination.”

“The architectural model is hard to identify,” the anthropologist said. “The materials are ambiguous, indicating local origin but not necessarily local construction. Without going inside, we will not know if it is primitive or modern, or something in between. I’m not sure I would want to guess at how old it is, either.”

We had no way to inform our superiors about this discovery. One rule for an expedition into Area X was that we were to attempt no outside contact, for fear of some irrevocable contamination. We also took little with us that matched our current level of technology. We had no cell or satellite phones, no computers, no camcorders, no complex measuring instruments except for those strange black boxes hanging from our belts. Our cameras required a makeshift darkroom. The absence of cell phones in particular made the real world seem very far away to the others, but I had always preferred to live without them. For weapons, we had knives, a locked container of antique handguns, and one assault rifle, this last a reluctant concession to current security standards.

It was expected simply that we would keep a record, like this one, in a journal, like this one: lightweight but nearly indestructible, with waterproof paper, a flexible black-and-white cover, and the blue horizontal lines for writing and the red line to the left to mark the margin. These journals would either return with us or be recovered by the next expedition. We had been cautioned to provide maximum context, so that anyone ignorant of Area X could understand our accounts. We had also been ordered not to share our journal entries with one another. Too much shared information could skew our observations, our superiors believed. But I knew from experience how hopeless this pursuit, this attempt to weed out bias, was. Nothing that lived and breathed was truly objective—even in a vacuum, even if all that possessed the brain was a self-immolating desire for the truth.

“I’m excited by this discovery,” the psychologist interjected before we had discussed the tower much further. “Are you excited, too?” She had not asked us that particular question before. During training, she had tended to ask questions more like “How calm do you think you might be in an emergency?” Back then, I had felt as if she were a bad actor, playing a role. Now it seemed even more apparent, as if being our leader somehow made her nervous.

“It is definitely exciting . . . and unexpected,” I said, trying not to mock her and failing, a little. I was surprised to feel a sense of growing unease, mostly because in my imagination, my dreams, this discovery would have been among the more banal. In my head, before we had crossed the border, I had seen so many things: vast cities, peculiar animals, and, once, during a period of illness, an enormous monster that rose from the waves to bear down on our camp.

The surveyor, meanwhile, just shrugged and would not answer the psychologist’s question. The anthropologist nodded as if she agreed with me. The entrance to the tower leading down exerted a kind of presence, a blank surface that let us write so many things upon it. This presence manifested like a low-grade fever, pressing down on all of us.


mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #585 on: August 07, 2015, 06:13:51 PM »
A Gathering of Saints by Robert Lindsey:
Screenshot - 8_7_2015 , 6_09_17 PM.png
http://www.amazon.co...indsey/dp/0440205581

Amazing true crime book.  Robert Lindsey also wrote the book "The Falcon and the Snowman" which blew my mind as a teenager.

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #586 on: August 11, 2015, 07:31:31 AM »
Not so much a book, but worth sharing.

Arthur C. Clark's 31-word scifi story (courtesy of OpenCulture):

image.jpg

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #587 on: August 11, 2015, 01:22:08 PM »
I am reading Lies Inc by Philip K. Dick, again.  Mainly due to the lack of interesting paperback SciFi in the Library.  Small paperbacks are easier to lug around.  Of the PKD SciFi books on the shelf this is the one I have read the fewest times.  Perhaps once or twice a couple of decades ago.

I need to find a fresh SciFi author soon.  :)

Deozaan

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #588 on: August 11, 2015, 03:02:24 PM »
I just started on Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I'm only a couple pages into Chapter 1 (but I read the introduction) and it seems like it will be an interesting book.


MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #589 on: August 11, 2015, 05:28:25 PM »
I need to find a fresh SciFi author soon.

I downloaded IceCream EBook Reader and some PDK eBooks.  Yay!! :)

IainB

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #590 on: August 12, 2015, 04:31:26 AM »
I just started on Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. I'm only a couple pages into Chapter 1 (but I read the introduction) and it seems like it will be an interesting book.
_____________________________

I'd be interested in what you make of the book after reading it.
The title of the book caught my attention as it echoed what I have often said to myself and others: "Why can't people stop from talking all the time and just allow themselves to take time to think?"

I was able to form some kind of idea of what the book was about from reading the introduction and excerpts at the link (thanks for providing that). Reading the book could potentially be quite self-revealing, I suppose, or it might just be a feel-good sop pandering to the self-absorbed or the insecure/uncertain who may be concerned about whether they are extrovert/introvert - "Oh dear, maybe I'm not OK?" - like (say) one being unsure as to whether one was gay. ("Oh, I so badly want to be an extrovert and be accepted!")

I have to say that, after studying psychology, pragmatically it doesn't seem to matter a toss whether I or anyone else is extrovert/introvert. It can lead to insidious labelling. I always considered myself - and still do - to be a relative introvert (prefer to read a book than see the movie version; prefer to stay at home than go out; tend to avoid attending and wasting my time in potentially unnecessary groups/parties/meetings; tend to be quiet in groups and discussions unless there is a valid and useful point that I feel needs to be made and is being overlooked, etc.) - and yet I come out strongly labelled as an ENTJ on the Myers-Briggs psychometric tests, and so heavily skewed in the "T" that two psychologists (who were testing me for vocational aptitude) separately treated me like a peculiar lab specimen and said that I was in a small group of 4% of the population tested. It seems to be related to a strong locus of internal control and the Asperger syndrome, or something.
So, regardless of what I might know myself to be, I am forever labelled as an Extrovert by the forced dichotomy of the theoretical Myers-Briggs model, where the population distribution of introvert/extrovert is apparently around 50/50.

As a skeptic and as a student of psychology, I remind myself that psychology is arguably mostly BS - psychobabble - in a field where there seems to be little that can be scientifically proven (i.e., using scientific method) - and seems to be just lots of theory, interspersed with dollops of hokum here and there. Fortunately some of that theory has shown itself  to be potentially and remarkably useful as tools for helping us to address our own character deficiencies or personality disorders under professional guidance from a psychiatrist, so that we can better cope with Life's challenges - e.g., as outlined in The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck.
Anything that can help you to change yourself and grow arguably can't be all bad, but it could be a double-edged sword - like a divorce, which might generate developmental dissonance for one person, or destructive dissonance for another.
 
So my suggestion would be to disregard the unproven (yet apparently "well-researched"!    :o   ) premise of the book that the world is made up of introverts/extroverts and that this is somehow very important, and avoid reading oneself as a self-deduced introvert/extrovert into the book. Take it with a pinch of salt, and then get an arguably more important and entirely rational perspective by reading I'm OK, You're OK by the late Thomas Harris, who was a Navy psychiatrist and a professor at the University of Arkansas. He practiced psychiatry in Sacramento, California and directed the Transactional Analysis Association.
Quote
I'm OK, You're OK by Thomas Anthony Harris is one of the best selling self-help books ever published. It is a practical guide to Transactional Analysis as a method for solving problems in life. From its first publication during 1969, the popularity of I'm OK, You're OK gradually increased until, during 1972, its name made the New York Times Best Seller list and remained there for almost two years. It is estimated by the publisher to have sold over 15 million copies to date and to have been translated into over a dozen languages. -
Wikipedia
____________________________________

I'm OK, You're OK was required reading for my studies, since when the theory has been extensively developed in greater detail by academics. Not only did it give me a good grounding in the theory of TA (transactional analysis), but also, when I applied it to myself and my interactions with others, it transformed my outlook on life (for the better). I still use it (TA), and I have taught it to my 13½ y/o daughter, who readily grasped the concepts. It's not complicated, and it can be amazingly effective.
I have even explained the TA theory to others who have been having difficulty in coping with their social interrelationships (e.g., in marriage), and watched in awe as comprehension dawns, the lights come on, and they go off and fix up their own problems.
"Thank you so much for telling me about and showing me that book", as one recently-wed boss of mine said, when I explained that a recurring pointless argumentative dialogue she described having with her new husband fitted the definition of a script in TA theory, and was potentially damaging to the relationship and was avoidable.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2015, 04:38:51 AM by IainB »

f0dder

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #591 on: August 12, 2015, 03:51:13 PM »
I'm currently reading reamde. As other stuff by Neal Stephenson, it's pretty great, and even at page 380/1044 I'm not entirely sure exactly what the story is about, or how it's going to unfold - and that in a positive sense. It also features at least one shootout scene, which I'm not usually too big a fan of in books... but it's great in this one.

reamde.jpg
Quote
Richard Forthrast, a multi-millionaire marijuana smuggler, has parlayed his wealth into an empire by developing T'Rain, a billion-dollar online role-playing game with legions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold, unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe - and Richard is caught in the crossfire. Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho, Reamde traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which computer hackers and mobsters, entrepreneurs and religious fundamentalists face off in a battle for survival, Reamde is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century.
- carpe noctem

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #592 on: August 12, 2015, 04:08:57 PM »
I read The Variable Man by Philip K. Dick today.  A nice read that may be completed in one sitting.  Also it has the advantage of being a free download, in several formats, from Project Gutenberg.


MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #593 on: August 24, 2015, 07:19:17 PM »
I have kind of read out the SciFi section in the city library.  Due to the desire for a small, light, paperback with easy to read dark print I have resorted to reading The Time Machine by H. G. Wells yet again.  Oh well.  It is a short read and it has been awhile since the last time.

Edit: It is nice to have the eBooks by PKD but it is not always convenient to plug in the Laptop and all that business.  With hard copy I can enjoy sitting on a bench and reading.


panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #594 on: September 08, 2015, 05:12:37 AM »

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #595 on: September 08, 2015, 01:17:28 PM »
I'm currently reading reamde. As other stuff by Neal Stephenson, it's pretty great, and even at page 380/1044 I'm not entirely sure exactly what the story is about, or how it's going to unfold - and that in a positive sense. It also features at least one shootout scene, which I'm not usually too big a fan of in books... but it's great in this one.

***
Quote
Richard Forthrast, a multi-millionaire marijuana smuggler, has parlayed his wealth into an empire by developing T'Rain, a billion-dollar online role-playing game with legions of fans around the world.

But T'Rain's success has also made it a target. Hackers have struck gold, unleashing REAMDE, a virus that encrypts all of a player's electronic files and holds them for ransom. They have also unwittingly triggered a deadly war beyond the boundaries of the game's virtual universe - and Richard is caught in the crossfire. Racing around the globe from the Pacific Northwest to China to the wilds of northern Idaho, Reamde traverses worlds virtual and real. Filled with unexpected twists and turns in which computer hackers and mobsters, entrepreneurs and religious fundamentalists face off in a battle for survival, Reamde is a brilliant refraction of the twenty-first century.


Give his book Cryptonomicon a try after you finish readme. Excellent read. His The Diamond Age is also pretty good. :Thmbsup:

40hz

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #596 on: September 08, 2015, 01:55:29 PM »
Just finished The Islanders by Christopher Priest.

islanders.jpg

Odd meta-novel. Part gazette, part almanac, part semi-linked short story/essay collection that hangs together particularly well, although in a very peculiar way. Another one of those books I personally like that you'll either love or hate. Hard to classify as to subject or style. For lack of a better word, I'd call it "experimental."

On the surface it's a guidebook to the Dream Archipelago, a vast collection of islands located in the Midway Sea, on an unnamed earth-like world. This archipelago has some unusual features such as being generally impossible to map or catalog. It also displays temporal and spatial contractions and discontinuities in seemingly random fashion.

To the north is an unnamed super-continent which is home to approximately 60 nations, several of which are constantly in a state of war with each other. To the south is another mostly arctic super-continent named Sudmaieure. Sudmaieure is uninhabited. It's only use is to serve as a battleground for various warring northern nations who would prefer to conduct their hostilities with each other outside their geographic borders in order to avoid civilian casualties and damage to their infrastructure and cities. One feature of the Dream Archipelago is the constant coming and goings of warships and troop transports shuttling young military forces and frightening warmaking technologies to the hot wars being conducted in the southern continent. It is generally believed that the troops who are sent there seldom return - although even that, like everything else in this book, is not an established fact.

The Archipelago is officially neutral by covenant, and remains out of the northern conflicts. Although that doesn't stop various northern nations from occupying, annexing, or establishing bases at will wherever they feel the need - something the island nations protest vehemently but basically have no power to prevent - any more than they can the mysterious drone flights (ostensibly for mapping purposes) that are seen everywhere in the archipelago - although nobody really knows what they're up there for.

Inside this framework, anything and everything goes. Some sections read like a tour guide for a particular island. Several are disjointed pieces of larger tales that straddle various islands or characters the reader meets along the way. All in all, a crazy jigsaw puzzle of impressions, narrative, and character development.

I don't know whether this book is an allegory, simply brilliant, or just Christopher Priest using up his collection of snippets and story pieces which he never expanded into full novels. But whatever it is, I found it a really enjoyable albeit different sort of book. And I was actually disappointed when I reached the end. First, because I really enjoyed the journey the book took me on. And second, because I still had so many intriguing questions left unanswered.

If you're the sort who demands closure and a general 'tidying up' by the end of a book you'll really be annoyed by this one.

Publisher's Weekly had this to say:

Quote
British novelist Priest (The Prestige) creates a mind-bending, head-scratching book (already much lauded in the U.K.) that pretends to be a gazetteer of the Dream Archipelago, uncountable islands spread around a world whose temporal and spatial anomalies make such a project futile. The dispassionate descriptions of separate islands include odd references out of which it's possible to begin assembling a cast of characters: maniac artists, social reformers, murderers, scientific researchers, and passionate lovers. Some of these categories overlap, and all the actors are maddeningly fragmented, apt to fade away or flash intensely to life. Interpolated bits of directly personal narratives sometimes clarify and sometimes muddy the story (or stories), while uncanny events struggle to escape the gazetteers' avowedly objective control and Priest's elegant, cool prose. The result is wonderfully fascinating, if occasionally frustrating, and entirely unforgettable.[

Not for everyone. But highly recommended.  8)
« Last Edit: September 08, 2015, 02:08:21 PM by 40hz »

panzer

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #597 on: September 14, 2015, 05:44:49 AM »

MilesAhead

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #598 on: September 14, 2015, 06:49:34 AM »

mouser

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Re: What books are you reading?
« Reply #599 on: October 05, 2015, 08:11:45 AM »
Just read "The Golden Ticket: P, NP, and the Search for the Impossible", by Lance Fortnow 2013

Screenshot - 10_5_2015 , 8_06_19 AM_thumb001.png
http://www.amazon.co...ssible/dp/0691156492

It's a book that discusses the P vs NP problem -- a very important problem in computer science and mathematics, having to do with how easy or hard it is to solve certain algorithmic problems (see wikipedia page here)..

I disliked the book thoroughly -- felt very lazy and unserious to me.  Early on the author blithely says he chooses not to define the problem of P vs NP and then spends 20 or 30 pages making up fiction about how cool it would be in a world where P = NP.  Just a lot of silly and very little substance.  I expected more and better historical background.