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Author Topic: What books are you reading?  (Read 90925 times)
kyrathaba
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« Reply #200 on: January 11, 2011, 02:35:41 PM »

I finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  Overall, I'd give the book 4.5/5.0 stars.  Well worth the read.
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« Reply #201 on: January 11, 2011, 02:44:12 PM »

Enough fiction, let's get some tech books! :p

Currently digging through Jon Skeet's C# in Depth, 2nd edition, which I'm quite liking so far - getting to page 201 (the section about C# 2 iterator blocks) has taken two days. His writing style and tastefully applied humor works pretty well for me. It hasn't provided me with much new knowledge yet, but there's been some good "oooh, I see" moments, and Jon provides some nice insights along the way.

And I expect a fair amount of new knowledge when reaching the C# 3 and 4 parts; I've used a decent bit of LINQ here and there, but mostly regarded it as a black box of magic. Jon is the kind of guy who really likes playing with language features, and he's even done a blog series on Reimplementing LINQ to Objects.

PS: for those unfamiliar with Amazon's URL structure, the 10-digit number in the URL is the book's ISBN-10, not a referral link.
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Stephen66515
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« Reply #202 on: January 12, 2011, 09:39:56 AM »



Quote
In British military intelligence, deniable operations is the most dangerous tightrope you can walk. Ex-SAS man, Nick Stone, has no choice in the matter. He may be tough, resourceful, ruthless, highly trained, but he still must do what his masters want, whatever that might be.

Sarah Greenwood is beautiful, steel-willed, intelligent, cunning - the only woman Stone has ever let under his guard. And now he's been sent to hunt her down...

As the pair are pursued through the backwoods of the American South, Stone's mission becomes a deadly game of cat and mouse, and a journey to the heart of a terrifying conspiracy to which only Sarah holds the key. And as the tension builds to breaking point, the two are led to a confrontation that echoes our worst nightmares.

Only about 4 pages into it, but as always, Andy starts with some good humour, which is always fun, and grips you into the story as much as all his other books smiley

**edit**
Forgot to upload ther picture lol
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« Reply #203 on: January 15, 2011, 03:51:54 PM »

Well, I now feel like an abused puppy...

The book was pretty awesome, but it felt like he got bored towards the end and tried to wrap it all up in 4 pages for no apparent reason.

Nice plot turn but felt a little rushed in places.

Being fiction, and going off his own memory, I guess it would be hard to recall every single event, but he managed to get 300+ pages out of it, so im sure he could have made the ending feel you suddenly got shot in the eye  huh
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« Reply #204 on: January 15, 2011, 09:09:35 PM »

Being fiction, and going off his own memory, I guess it would be hard to recall every single event...

Do you mean it's fiction or non-fiction? Or is it a fictionalization of real events? I read Andy McNabb's first couple of books and enjoyed them, but never got the impression that they were factual.
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« Reply #205 on: January 16, 2011, 09:37:26 AM »

Being fiction, and going off his own memory, I guess it would be hard to recall every single event...

Do you mean it's fiction or non-fiction? Or is it a fictionalization of real events? I read Andy McNabb's first couple of books and enjoyed them, but never got the impression that they were factual.

Well, according to him, everything in the book actually happened, so i am somewhat inclined to believe him, although some of the stuff in the book makes you wonder whether he would be allowed to publish under the Secrets Act.

Who knows  huh

And yeah, I meant non-fiction...always get that the wrong way around (non-fiction being based on actual events)
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« Reply #206 on: January 16, 2011, 01:38:55 PM »

Just finished "Forbidden Knowledge", the second in Stephen R. Donaldson's 5-book "Gap" series.  Pretty entertaining.  Now reading Book III: "A Dark and Hungry God Arises".
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« Reply #207 on: January 17, 2011, 07:52:56 AM »

Being fiction, and going off his own memory, I guess it would be hard to recall every single event...

Do you mean it's fiction or non-fiction? Or is it a fictionalization of real events? I read Andy McNabb's first couple of books and enjoyed them, but never got the impression that they were factual.

Well, according to him, everything in the book actually happened, so i am somewhat inclined to believe him, although some of the stuff in the book makes you wonder whether he would be allowed to publish under the Secrets Act.

Who knows  huh

And yeah, I meant non-fiction...always get that the wrong way around (non-fiction being based on actual events)

Heh, heh - no worries! I still get "secular" and "non-secular" backwards (but don't often have occasion to use either in any context, mind you).
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40hz
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« Reply #208 on: January 17, 2011, 04:16:27 PM »

About half way through The Art of 3-D Computer Animation and Effects, 4th Edition, 2009 by Isaac Victor Kaplow.



This is the update to his previous The Art of 3-D : Computer Animation and Imaging, 2nd Edition, 2000 and The Art of 3-D Computer Animation and Imaging (Design & Graphic Design), 1996  both of which I've read and own.
            

Very good introduction to the theory and techniques behind digital composition. Not too much in the way of how-tos for specific software or platforms. This book is more about the "theory of cooking" and "understanding the ingredients" than it is a cookbook. If you want step-by-step instructions for individual CGI apps, you'll have to go elsewhere. However, if you want to understand how all those complex CGI programs actually work, you'd do well to start with this book.

Well written, very understandable, and nicely illustrated. In many respects, you can find almost as much inspiration as information in this book. This edition joins its elder siblings in my main bookcase.

If you're interested in CGI and animation - and you want to understand what you're being told (or just stop bluffing about it to other people) give this book a read.

Note: since this is the 4th edition, I must have missed one somewhere along the line. But if so, Amazon doesn't list it. huh

It's amazing how much has changed for CGI since 1996. And even more amazing - sometimes how littleGrin Cool
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 04:34:30 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #209 on: January 17, 2011, 04:34:56 PM »

nice one, 40hz.  I want to read, but I have to resist.  I need to finish my work!!  I've always wondered how they get it done...
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« Reply #210 on: January 18, 2011, 01:29:24 AM »

Currently reading Harry Turtledove's Southern Victory series. I'm currently on the second book (first book of the Great War Trilogy) American Front. It's an alternate history series that starts with the Confederacy winning the American Civil War and seceeding from the Union resulting in an ongoing power struggle in North America. I'm about a third of the way through the American Front which sees the USA allied with Germany and the CSA with Britain and France in the First World War...
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« Reply #211 on: January 25, 2011, 10:46:44 PM »

I've read a bunch of books on web frameworks cover to cover in last week or twoy:


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« Reply #212 on: January 27, 2011, 10:52:12 AM »

I'm done now with the German edition of that one:



Quote
"Delete" looks at the surprising phenomenon of perfect remembering in the digital age, and reveals why we must reintroduce our capacity to forget. Digital technology empowers us as never before, yet it has unforeseen consequences as well. Potentially humiliating content on Facebook is enshrined in cyberspace for future employers to see. Google remembers everything we've searched for and when. The digital realm remembers what is sometimes better forgotten, and this has profound implications for us all. In "Delete", Viktor Mayer-Schonberger traces the important role that forgetting has played throughout human history, from the ability to make sound decisions unencumbered by the past to the possibility of second chances. The written word made it possible for humans to remember across generations and time, yet now digital technology and global networks are overriding our natural ability to forget - the past is ever present, ready to be called up at the click of a mouse. Mayer-Schonberger examines the technology that's facilitating the end of forgetting - digitization, cheap storage and easy retrieval, global access, and increasingly powerful software - and describes the dangers of everlasting digital memory, whether it's outdated information taken out of context or compromising photos the Web won't let us forget. He explains why information privacy rights and other fixes can't help us, and proposes an ingeniously simple solution - expiration dates on information - that may. "Delete" is an eye-opening book that will help us remember how to forget in the digital age.

 smiley
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« Reply #213 on: January 29, 2011, 10:46:59 PM »

"Learned Pigs and Fireproof Women" by Ricky Jay.

Jim

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kyrathaba
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« Reply #214 on: April 06, 2011, 08:58:30 PM »



The most recent trilogy I've enjoyed has been the one that begins with "The Blade Itself".  Highly recommended!
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« Reply #215 on: April 06, 2011, 11:14:37 PM »

Just finished The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success by Wayne Breitbarth.



Probably the best book I've seen for LinkedIn. Down to earth and very practical advice for using what is becoming the way to promote and manage your career if you're working (or planning on working) for someone.

And since most of us (including those who own their own businesses) work for someone, it's well worth the short time it takes to read this little book. Especially in these economically unstable times where all that separates many people from foreclosure is three paychecks.

I used to be a little skeptical of LinkedIn. I had seen far too many "professional networking opportunities" serve as nothing but an excuse for somebody to try and sell you something. And just as many networking "events" or "organizations" eventually degenerate into little more than an excuse to go out drinking and shoot the breeze. But I had a buddy, who was one of the early adopters, sing its praises. And he's a pretty savvy guy with as much tolerance for pointless conversation and alcohol-fueled socializing as I have. So on his recommendation I joined up, but neglected to stay on top of it. And I now suspect that was very much to my detriment. Because I'm just now discovering how useful a resource LinkedIn can be. And I've also started seeing some of its advertised benefits now that I'm actually using it.

So if you're just starting out as a recent college grad, you'll definitely want to look into LinkedIn. Ditto if you're looking to switch jobs.

An acquaintance of mine who handles corporate recruiting (i.e. a 'headhunter') told me that she's seeing the best and most interesting positions being offered/found through LinkedIn. As she put it: Nowadays pretty much any position you'd want to get will show up on LinkedIn first. Many of the big companies are doing the bulk of their recruiting and matchmaking through it. A few now exclusively go through LinkedIn for that purpose. If you want to do business with those companies, you'd better be a member.

Same goes for if you're looking to hire talent. Some of the best and brightest hang out their shingle on LinkedIn - and sometimes no place else.

If you do read the book, check out Chapter 19, which offers a roadmap for action that takes approximately two hours a week to do, and six weeks to complete.

Less than $12 from Amazon. Read it.

Note: If you're out of work - or totally broke - go sneak a skim-through in one of B&N's coffee shops. It's only 176 very fast-reading pages.

Just don't blow it and drop $4 on their overpriced coffee if you're trying to save money. Wink

« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 10:22:12 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #216 on: April 21, 2011, 09:28:50 PM »

Just finished Book I of the KingKiller trilogy, The Name of the Wind.

If this is any indication of the quality of the next two books, I'll not be getting much sleep anytime soon!



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« Reply #217 on: April 21, 2011, 10:40:22 PM »

Just finished Book I of the KingKiller trilogy, The Name of the Wind.

I'm about two-thirds of the way through it and loving it.  Great read so far.
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« Reply #218 on: April 22, 2011, 12:13:04 AM »

My most recent books have been:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Stevenson (reread)
Huckleberry Finn - Twain (reread)
Flowers for Algernon - Keyes
The Stranger - Camus (reread)
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I feel rather out of place in this thread...
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« Reply #219 on: April 22, 2011, 07:29:59 AM »

My most recent books have been:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Stevenson (reread)
Huckleberry Finn - Twain (reread)
Flowers for Algernon - Keyes
The Stranger - Camus (reread)
and
Toddler 411



I feel rather out of place in this thread...

You shouldn't.

A few years ago I sat down and started to reread (or sometime just read) all those books they gave us in High School that I didn't really care about. (I was so much more "into technology" at the time.)

And guess what?

I discovered they were all very good books. OK, maybe I wasn't too crazy about Wuthering Heights, but that was the sole exception.

Since books can't change (unless you're living in Ocenia under Ingsoc) the only thing that could have was me.

So I guess I just needed to mature enough - and broaden my interests enough - to be open to what these books were about.

Glad I took the time to do it. Because some of these authors (Dickens, Twain, and Melville in particular) are far too good to pass up.

 Thmbsup

« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 07:32:47 AM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #220 on: April 22, 2011, 09:28:02 AM »

My most recent books have been:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Stevenson (reread)
Huckleberry Finn - Twain (reread)
Flowers for Algernon - Keyes
The Stranger - Camus (reread)
and
Toddler 411



I feel rather out of place in this thread...

You shouldn't.

A few years ago I sat down and started to reread (or sometime just read) all those books they gave us in High School that I didn't really care about. (I was so much more "into technology" at the time.)

And guess what?

I discovered they were all very good books. OK, maybe I wasn't too crazy about Wuthering Heights, but that was the sole exception.

Since books can't change (unless you're living in Ocenia under Ingsoc) the only thing that could have was me.

So I guess I just needed to mature enough - and broaden my interests enough - to be open to what these books were about.

Glad I took the time to do it. Because some of these authors (Dickens, Twain, and Melville in particular) are far too good to pass up.

 Thmbsup


Just recently, I also was thinking about reading my old high school literature class books.  True, it was a chore at the time.  You know, I've never read Catcher in the Rye?!  I still remember...there were two literature classes, and the one I took skipped that book and read something else like Lord of the Flies.  So I have to read Catcher.  Oh!  And what was that story about the guy who had a friend who was like really gifted in certain ways, or something like that?  Shit, that's the worst possible explanation ever!  But I remember one scene: the friends go to a swimming pool, and the guy swims and breaks the record, but nobody other than the friend witnesses it.  Then there was a scene with the guy falling out of a tree and breaking his arm or something.  What was that book?
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« Reply #221 on: April 22, 2011, 09:57:09 AM »

Quote
Oh!  And what was that story about the guy who had a friend who was like really gifted in certain ways, or something like that?  ****, that's the worst possible explanation ever!  But I remember one scene: the friends go to a swimming pool, and the guy swims and breaks the record, but nobody other than the friend witnesses it.  Then there was a scene with the guy falling out of a tree and breaking his arm or something.  What was that book?

The book you are talking about is called A Separate Peace by John Knowles.  It's a great book.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 10:17:19 AM by cthorpe » Logged
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« Reply #222 on: April 22, 2011, 12:59:28 PM »

Quote
Oh!  And what was that story about the guy who had a friend who was like really gifted in certain ways, or something like that?  ****, that's the worst possible explanation ever!  But I remember one scene: the friends go to a swimming pool, and the guy swims and breaks the record, but nobody other than the friend witnesses it.  Then there was a scene with the guy falling out of a tree and breaking his arm or something.  What was that book?

The book you are talking about is called A Separate Peace by John Knowles.  It's a great book.
There you go!  Yeas, I'm going to reread that.
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« Reply #223 on: April 23, 2011, 07:43:39 AM »

Reading Zoo City, which appeared about 10 times in Locus' 2010 Recommended book lists. http://angryrobotbooks.co...rs/laurenbeukes/zoo-city/ It is modern/future urban fantasy in a South African setting

It is certainly unique and intriguing so far, but I am not quite halfway through.

Note: I have bought several books (ebooks) from Angry Robot and it is certainly publishing some very interesting authors and titles if you are into various kinds of speculative fiction
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 07:59:43 AM by iphigenie » Logged
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« Reply #224 on: May 24, 2011, 02:31:50 AM »

I recently read an essay entitled The Law by Frederic Bastiat. It's in the public domain so you should be able to find it for free or cheap somewhere. In fact it's even part of a collection of Bastiat's Essays on Political Economy on Librivox.org if you prefer an Audiobook edition. The basic premise of the essay is to explain the purpose of governmentmental law. A few select quotes:

"If every person has the right to defend--even by force-- his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right--its reason for existing, its lawfulness--is based on individual right."

He explains an idea of how government sometimes is corrupted from its natural and rightful purpose to protect life, liberty, and property to denying those very things from some people using a system he calls Legal Plunder:

"When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it--without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud--to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed...
"How is the legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime..."

It's a relatively short read (perhaps 50 pages?) compared to what I'd consider a "normal" length (novel-sized) book, as I suppose essays typically are. But I found the concepts in it enlightening I, for one, agreed with Bastiat.



Additionally I just read another related book entitled The Proper Role of Government (which appears to also be released under the title The Proper Role & Improper Role of Government) by Ezra Taft Benson.

This one is even shorter than The Law; the edition I read was only 32 pages. In this pamphlet(?) Benson talks of the principles on which government should be formed, the basic function of government, the source of governmental power, the proper role and functions of government, things the government should not do, the basic error of Marxism, the real cause of American prosperity, as well as consequences for disregarding the principles, and suggestions on how to return to basic concepts and principles in government. Benson even quotes Bastiat's The Law a number of times throughout the book. A couple select quotes from the book:

"This means, then, that the proper function of government is limited only to those spheres of activity within which the individual citizen has the right to act. By deriving its just powers from the governed, government becomes primarily a mechanism for defense against bodily harm, theft and involuntary servitude. It cannot claim the power to redistribute the wealth or force reluctant citizens to perform acts of charity against their will. Government is created by man. No man possesses such power to delegate. The creature cannot exceed the creator."

"There is one simple test. Do I as an individual have a right to use force upon my neighbor to accomplish this goal? If I do have such a right, then I may delegate that power to my government to exercise on my behalf. If I do not have that right as an individual, then I cannot delegate it to government, and I cannot ask my government to perform the act for me."


And while I'm on the topic, I'm about to get started on The Five Thousand Year Leap by W. Cleon Skousen. The Amazon page describes it as follows:

Quote
In The 5000 Year Leap: A Miracle That Changed the World, Discover the 28 Principles of Freedom our Founding Fathers said must be understood and perpetuated by every people who desire peace, prosperity, and freedom. Learn how adherence to these beliefs during the past 200 years has brought about more progress than was made in the previous 5000 years. These 28 Principles include The Genius of Natural Law, Virtuous and Moral Leaders, Equal Rights--Not Equal Things, and Avoiding the Burden of Debt.
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