Books you've read in 2011

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DaveF, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,512
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Just finished the new Charlane Harris Sookie book.. it's not bad; not great; not bad. Finished Game of Throwns; to be honest, fairly confusing all the way through - I like the characters, but I found myself backtracking a lot, and keeping track of who's who is a thing - I did like some of the characters a great deal and will finish the series. (Join me in the group that thought all the Starks should probably be wiped out as fast as possible; and bring on the dragons..)
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I took a break and bought Butcher's "Fool Moon", the second of the Harry Dresden series. Halfway through, and it's fun.
     
  3. Walter C

    Walter C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    60
    Real Name:
    Walter
    I just finished reading "The First Commandment" by Brad Thor, part of the Scot Harvath series. So far, I've read his first 6 books and enjoyed them all.


    This was the first book I've read in a few years. I don't know why, but my reading interest just waxes and then wanes for a few years.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    I put GoT on my wishlist...but then heard it's a seven book series, each 1000 pages, involving tens or hundreds of characters. I think I'm going to remove it from my wishlist and forget I ever heard about it. I don't have time or attention for such an undertaking. Maybe I'll just get the HBO series when it's on disc. :)




    Finished Books 3 & 4 of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files: "Fool Moon" and "Summer Knight". They were very fun. These are not the tightest-written fantasy books I've read. Summer Knight had to devote two sections of character exposition to explain the convoluted evil plan -- which I consider a sign of literary weakness to properly explain the story it through the greater narrative. Regardless, these are more than fun enough -- good guys fighting bad guys in a weird, contemporary world of magic in downtown Chicago -- to make up for such literary deficiencies.




    I've been listening to "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand on audiobook for the past several months. It's a 64 hr book, and I'm around hour 25. It's a slog. I can't figure how people can "love" her writing; she's not very good (never met an argument not worth repeating ten times...). I wouldn't bother, except that Rand has been so much of the national mood the past couple years and clearly informs some national leaders. I'll try and stick it out, maybe finish by year's end.
     
  5. Walter C

    Walter C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    60
    Real Name:
    Walter

    No way I will read another series with each book being that long, after going through most of the Harry Potter series. I couldn't even finish the final HP book, as it was so long and a bit repetitious, not to mention, it was too much of a chore. I may try again sometime down the road.
     
  6. Walter C

    Walter C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Messages:
    2,284
    Likes Received:
    60
    Real Name:
    Walter
    Just finished reading 2 more books.


    Heat Wave by Richard Castle - yes, the one from the Castle TV series. Basically a whodunit book, kind of like an episode stretched into 200 pages. But a fun read, and definitely worth it for anyone who likes the TV show.


    The Last Patriot by Brad Thor - another in the Scot Harvath series. This one has been nicknamed the "Da Vinci Code of Islam", which is somewhat fitting. But it's also an action packed as well. I went through this in 4 days.
     
  7. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,512
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt

    I admit, I've read "Atlas Shrugged" twice in my life, and while I enjoyed it both times, I often think it's a book that is meant to be read, it would be very hard to listen though. The reason for this is that while arguments are circulated several times, it's not that they aren't repeated, the whole build of the book is to establish that several characters keep having to "retread" because no one really listens. But I don't have much desire to go back through it.


    About to finish "Sword of Storms"... probably today or tomorrow.


    I will probably read something else and then grab the next book in the GoT set, so I can finish it near the release of the new book on the 12th.


    And despite Kindle lovers, damnit, give me a book in hardback ;)
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer

    If implicit in "meant to be read" is the understanding of "easily skip pointless repetition" -- in the same way I "read" "Les Miserable" (twice now), enjoying the story but skipping the chapters on sewers-as-political-allegory -- then I could see that very well being the case. :)




    I've got Girl With Dragon Tattoo waiting to be read. And a history on the CIA. And a handful of children's lit books to read with my wife. But I've had a hard time concentrating on reading the past couple weeks. Maybe I'll start a new book next week, on vacation.
     
  9. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,690
    Likes Received:
    159
    After I got my Android, I put quite a few classic novels on it. The first one I read was Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita. Compelling and very well written account of a man's destructive fascination with young girls, and one in particular. That was followed by The Count of Monte Cristo. While I did find some of the novel to be "literary fat" (ie unnecessary details about Paris and some of the characters), the meat of the story is thrilling, grand romantic literature. I finished it with a sense of sadness at having to bid adieu to Edmond Dantes and those around him.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,879
    Likes Received:
    1,651
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    John Scalzi's Fuzzy Nation is very much what you would expect from a Scalzi novel, wrapped in the window dressing of a 1962 science fiction novel by H. Beam Piper. The main character has the same name and background, the premise is the same, the setup is mostly the same, but everything else comes from Scalzi. Tonally, this is much closer to The Android's Dream and Agent of the Stars than it is the more serious Old Man's War series. The main character is a brilliant but obnoxious man who lives a solitary existence mostly because nobody else can stand to be around him for very long. One of the driving forces of the novel is the constant question of whether Jack Holloway is driven by moral impulses. The answer to that question has a profound impact on the how things play out. Not my favorite work from Scalzi, but very enjoyable.
     
  11. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,512
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Just finished "Feast For Crows" I enjoyed it more then expected. It has a few chapters that wander; and GRR tends to latch onto a phrase and then over use it (The first three books "and X bit her lip" in this book "Words are Wind" and so on)


    But, I now have a nice hardback of DwD waiting at Border's for me tomorrow.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer

    Good to know. Being a paperback reader, I'm still waiting to read God Engines and Fuzzy Nation. But I downloaded the original Little Fuzzy in the Kindle app and am slowly working through it on my iPhone. It has aged well, not really feeling like a 1960's sci-fi novel to me. It will be interesting to compare this with Scalzi's take. (And if you've not read his blog, he has a nice essay on how Fuzzy Nation came to be.)
     
  13. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2001
    Messages:
    16,879
    Likes Received:
    1,651
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    Resurrecting this one because I just finished 11/22/63, and it's perhaps the best time travel novel I've ever read. Most works in the genre use time travel as a device to make historical or philosophical point. The pulse of the book runs on the turning of a major historical event, but the focus is entirely on the human consequences of time travel; what it does to you as an individual, and what it does to the people you interact with. It's much more the Shawkshank Stephen King than the horror Stephen King, though of course horrific things happen. But also wonderful things.
     
  14. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
    Reviewer

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    10,512
    Likes Received:
    385
    Location:
    Overland Park, KS
    Real Name:
    Matt
    Good resurrect! A few of our Local (read: NON-CHAIN) bookstores are doing special sales on Saturday, and since I want to stay pretty committed to supporting small business, I was eager to find out there are a ton of author-signed books available to grab. Looks like quite a bit of Christopher Moore's collection will find it's way in my direction in hardcover.
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    Alright! I've been meaning to make some updates :) Here's a recap, likely with repetitions of what I've posted before.


    The Dresden Files, through #6.

    Jim Butcher is a very fun fantasy author and his Harry Dresden books so far do a great job of being conventional stories, while still advancing the character and his situation with every book. This isn't deep reading, but it's wholly enjoyable.


    Eragon. Meh. I'm halfway through #2 and I don't think I'll finish it. The first is fast, taut. But the books overall feel like they were written by a kid who knows the tropes of fantasy but doesn't really understand writing. These aren't Harry Potter. I suspect they are popular because they're popular.


    Nudge. Non-fiction "Big Idea" book. Enjoyable with a good concept: we can affect people's behavior through the presentation of their choices without restricting freedoms. But it's not enough to sustain a full book and slumps in the middle, getting bogged down on retirement finances that are better covered elsewhere. The start and finish I found very enjoyable.

    Xanth series. I'm re-reading Piers Anthony, and have done Spell for Chameleon and The Source of Magic. I read almost everything by Anthony as a teen. As an adult, he's still fun, but I recognize now a misogynistic strain I didn't see as a kid. I'll probably keep reading his light fantasy, but will not revisit his harder, later work (Bio of Space Tyrant, or his anthologies, which had a lot of garbage.)


    Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Ran. Not recommended unless you specifically want to read "classics" or books that have influence current politics and social trends.


    The Road by Cormac MacCarthy. Halfway through and I'm bored. Not sure I'll finish it, but I'm trying.


    A Canticle for Liebowitz. A '60s classic. Weird, trippy. Slow start but a good read in the end.


    Green by Ted Dekker. I'm halfway through this fantasy on audiobook and love it. A good reading of an unexpected fantasy / sci-fi book. It "steals" the Old Testament and New Testament stories to construct its alternate future of Earth, mixed in with a time-travel scheme. I'm completely enthralled, fascinated with the emerging mythology its building, and hope it ends as well as it starts.


    Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman. A collection of anecdotes of Richard Feynman, as told to the author over some series of interviews. It's great for bite-size reading, or if you have interest in science or the history of science. Feynman is a marvel, to put it lightly, and a polymath for sure.
     
  16. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2001
    Messages:
    17,256
    Likes Received:
    1,300
    Location:
    One Loudoun, Ashburn, VA
    Real Name:
    David Fischer
    The Road by Cormac MacCarthy.


    I'm not sure what that was about. It might be I have mundane tastes presently, but it was a dull affair from start to stop.
     
  17. Stephen Wight

    Stephen Wight Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2005
    Messages:
    483
    Likes Received:
    5
    Real Name:
    Stephen
    I'm wondering if anyone is familiar with any of the books on the Three Stooges. Specifically, The Three Stooges by David J Hogan and The Complete Three Stooges by Jon Solomon. Both books were released this past October. I'm going to ask for one for Christmas,but am not sure which one.
     

Share This Page