11 votes

What are you reading these days?

What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction or poetry, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk about it a bit.

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23 comments

  1. scissortail
    Link
    I've just started Ivan Illich's Tools for Conviviality, which seems to be about de-scaling technology in a way that prioritizes the autonomy and creativity of its users. It's a fascinating read so...

    I've just started Ivan Illich's Tools for Conviviality, which seems to be about de-scaling technology in a way that prioritizes the autonomy and creativity of its users. It's a fascinating read so far, and I think Illich would be pretty demoralized by the developments since his death in 2002.

    5 votes
  2. [5]
    tomf
    Link
    I just started Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by retired FBI agent John E. Douglas and his co-author Mark Olshaker. This is the book the Netflix series is based on. They used...

    I just started Mindhunter: Inside the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit by retired FBI agent John E. Douglas and his co-author Mark Olshaker.

    This is the book the Netflix series is based on. They used a lot of the same stories, etc, as expected. If you're not comfortable with gruesome details, read something else.

    Douglas is really funny and has a great sense of humor.

    I tried to finish Yates' The Mind Illuminated, but it was just too boring. This is the fourth or so meditation book I've stopped. These books feel like they're either selling other books, courses, or are written for people who can't read a list. Meditation isn't difficult and shouldn't take a few hundred pages to break down.

    I'm also going through some good ol' Raymond Chandler. I finished The High Window the other day. I love Chandler... not much else to say on that. Nobody writes pulp better.

    5 votes
    1. [4]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I had no idea the Netflix series was based on a book. Would you say the book is sufficiently better, or has enough to differentiate it, to justify reading it even after having watched the series...

      I had no idea the Netflix series was based on a book. Would you say the book is sufficiently better, or has enough to differentiate it, to justify reading it even after having watched the series already?

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        tomf
        Link Parent
        Yeah, the book is mainly about the development and Douglas’ career. It’s a straight autobiography. I really like it. It’s a great balance between being funny, interesting, while not glossing over...

        Yeah, the book is mainly about the development and Douglas’ career. It’s a straight autobiography.

        I really like it. It’s a great balance between being funny, interesting, while not glossing over the gritty context.

        2 votes
        1. [2]
          cfabbro
          Link Parent
          I'm not usually one for autobiographies, but I will add it to my reading list nonetheless, since I did very much enjoy the series and it's an interesting subject, for sure. Thanks.

          I'm not usually one for autobiographies, but I will add it to my reading list nonetheless, since I did very much enjoy the series and it's an interesting subject, for sure. Thanks.

          2 votes
          1. tomf
            Link Parent
            It’s cool to get some details about popular serial killers from a profiler’s perspective, too. I assumed it would be more clinical, but it isn’t at all.

            It’s cool to get some details about popular serial killers from a profiler’s perspective, too.

            I assumed it would be more clinical, but it isn’t at all.

            2 votes
  3. CALICO
    (edited )
    Link
    Some of the soldiers here finished up their deployment, and after raiding their old desks I've accumulated a respectable pile of assorted paperbacks. The first I've read was Saucer by Stephen...

    Some of the soldiers here finished up their deployment, and after raiding their old desks I've accumulated a respectable pile of assorted paperbacks.

    The first I've read was Saucer by Stephen Coonts. The premise is that a survey crew finds a 140,000 year old flying saucer embedded in sandstone, and the powers that be want it for their own selfish gain.
    Less of a sci-fi and more of a thriller, it was a pretty light read. Not bad, not great. It was fun, but rather shallow. Something of a discount-bin kind of book. I guess it's the first of a series, but it's self-contained, and I didn't love it quite enough to care to find the others.

    Today I started Sphere, by Michael Crichton. The gist of this one being a spacecraft being found in the middle of the ocean, and a team of academics try to find out its secrets.
    Something of an oversight on my part, as a fan of science-fiction, that this is the first of his novels I've picked up. The writing is captivating, the plot is keeping me guessing, and the dialogue reminds me very much of how people actually talk. I read a little over half of it today, and I anticipate finishing it tomorrow. I'm anxious to see how everything pans out, it's definitely something special & different.

    Day-Later Edit: I finished it today. Jesus. I went in expecting a pure science fiction, but shit went really psychological-thriller towards the end. Completely subverted my expectations, I was guessing right up until the end; thought I had it all worked out too. I absolutely loved it, and it's been a long time since I've felt so satisfied with a work of sci-fi.
    10/10

    5 votes
  4. JoylessAubergine
    Link
    Destiny's crucible by Olaf Thorensen. Books 1 and 2. Loved book 1 (Cast Under an Alien Sun), enjoyed most of book 2 until it got bogged down in described tactics (The Pen and the Sword),...

    Destiny's crucible by Olaf Thorensen. Books 1 and 2. Loved book 1 (Cast Under an Alien Sun), enjoyed most of book 2 until it got bogged down in described tactics (The Pen and the Sword), apparently book 3 is similar so i stopped reading after the prologue.

    Essentially a guy with a PHD in Chemistry's flight is clipped by an alien spaceship, they rescue him from the crash but they obviously cannot put him back on earth because he has seen aliens but they can put him on another planet that happens to have humans on it who were transplanted there by some other power at some other time. They are developmentally around 1700. Guy with PHD in Chemistry has to survive and thrive. I really enjoyed book one because the protag is aware of how his actions and inventions could cause him and the society trouble so he is careful about what he gives out.

    I enjoy this sort of fiction because every history fan has thought about it. However as a genre it tends to be pretty terrible, usually developing into the author simply obsessing about their interests without considering how realistic it would be to implement and what sort of societal effects it would have or whether it makes a good story. This author is a fan of battle tactics and cannons about which he devotes many pages. Apparently in book 4 he gets into a polygamous relationship which also seems to be a feature of the subgenre. Thankfully it cant be as bad as Conrad Stargard book 3 where he opens a stripclub in medieval Poland.

    Modern South India: A History from the 17th Century to Our Times by Rajmohan Gandhi. I'm about 50% through and it's a very enlightening book about a region i know nothing about. I've tried reading general histories on India before but they are generally overwhelming. This being more focused and on an era and place the UK has significant historical ties with means there are names and places i recognise (if only vaguely, and mostly from fiction and games) means i'm getting much more from the book.

    4 votes
  5. crdpa
    Link
    One Hundred Years of Solitude (I'm Brazilian, so the translation of his works are wonderful). I'm enjoying it so far. I loved all the books i read from him.

    One Hundred Years of Solitude (I'm Brazilian, so the translation of his works are wonderful). I'm enjoying it so far. I loved all the books i read from him.

    4 votes
  6. kfwyre
    (edited )
    Link
    I haven't been updating these threads as often as I should to keep up with my "alphabet challenge", but that doesn't mean I haven't been diligently listening to audiobooks on my commute. I won't...

    I haven't been updating these threads as often as I should to keep up with my "alphabet challenge", but that doesn't mean I haven't been diligently listening to audiobooks on my commute. I won't recap all of the ones I've finished but will say that I thought that Rachel Maddow's Blowout was fantastically written and deeply compelling.

    I will also say that I've yet to start my print books habit up like I intended to. I really need to get on that...


    Current Alphabet Challenge Scorecards

    Print Books

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    Comics/Graphic Novels

    A:
    B:
    C:
    D: Drawing Power: Women's Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival (Various Authors)
    E:
    F: Fies, Brian - A Fire Story
    G:
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    Q: Queer: A Graphic History (Meg-John Barker; Julia Scheele)
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    Audiobooks

    A:
    B: Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth (Rachel Maddow)
    C: Cottom, Tressie McMillan - Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy
    D:
    E: Edward Snowden - Permanent Record
    F:
    G: Gladwell, Malcolm - Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know
    H:
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    J: Jodi Kantor; Megan Twohey - She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
    K:
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    N: Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia (Peter Pomerantsev)
    O:
    P: Pollan, Michael - In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
    Q:
    R: Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice (Bill Browder)
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    W: Witt, Margaret; Tim Connor - Tell: Love, Defiance, and the Military Trial at the Tipping Point for Gay Rights
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    4 votes
  7. ffmike
    Link
    My usual medley: Tmux 2: Productive Mouse-Free Development - Just brushing up here Thinking in Bets - Just started this one. I try to have at least one leadership/management book going most of the...

    My usual medley:

    • Tmux 2: Productive Mouse-Free Development - Just brushing up here
    • Thinking in Bets - Just started this one. I try to have at least one leadership/management book going most of the time
    • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt - Slowly working my way through this one. Rather amused that $10M used to be enough to make you overwhelmingly wealthy.
    • Dover Beach - Moderately interesting post-apocalpytic PI novel, though maybe not good enough for me to go on to the rest of the series.
    • Bleak House - Reading this one with my home-schooled teen.
    • The Radium Girls - Very interesting slice of history (though also pretty depressing).
    4 votes
  8. [2]
    sandaltree
    Link
    I started reading キノの旅 (Kino no Tabi/Kino's Journey), which is my second book in Japanese. I'm finding this a bit easier than the first one; maybe it is simpler grammatically or it's possible my...

    I started reading キノの旅 (Kino no Tabi/Kino's Journey), which is my second book in Japanese. I'm finding this a bit easier than the first one; maybe it is simpler grammatically or it's possible my reading comprehension is actually improving! It is a light novel with stand alone chapters, so the repetition is pretty nice for encountering new words more than few times.

    I'm still surprised almost 30% of the books vocabulary (about 4500 unique words) are words appearing only one time, so they are probably not going to stick. Shows how a huge vocab knowledge you really need.. Hopefully I can get there at some point.

    4 votes
  9. chungkng
    Link
    Last week I finished my second reading of The Stranger. I realized it was a thousand times better than I remembered, which made me pick up The Myth of Sisyphus. Can't say I'm used to such heavy...

    Last week I finished my second reading of The Stranger. I realized it was a thousand times better than I remembered, which made me pick up The Myth of Sisyphus. Can't say I'm used to such heavy philosophical works but I'm liking it a lot so far. Had to read a couple of chapters two or three times but it was worth it.

    3 votes
  10. xstresedg
    Link
    I'd like to preface this that I don't know much about Jordan Peterson beyond him being a controversial figure, but I've heard interesting things about one of his books, so I've started reading 12...

    I'd like to preface this that I don't know much about Jordan Peterson beyond him being a controversial figure, but I've heard interesting things about one of his books, so I've started reading 12 Rules for Life, and I'm holding back any negative judgement of the man while I read it. I'm only through the first "rule," and I understand the point of view he has with it.

    For fiction, I'm reading the Dragon Ball Super manga as it comes out monthly, and occasionally catching up on the recent BOOM! comics run of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (the Shattered Grid series's). Also for fiction, I'm part ways into The Shining but I have not finished it yet. I put it down a few months ago so I need to pick it back up.

    Any book recommendations are always appreciated, both fiction and non-fiction alike.

    3 votes
  11. cardigan
    Link
    I'm reading a book by George Rudé on the French Revolution. There's no reason I chose him in particular. But a few weeks ago I realized I knew nothing about the Revolution, to the point where I've...

    I'm reading a book by George Rudé on the French Revolution. There's no reason I chose him in particular. But a few weeks ago I realized I knew nothing about the Revolution, to the point where I've had to look up very basic terms and people that are used in historical discussions of it: sans-culottes, assignats, and just about every important surname. It was the French Republican calendar that got me interested in it. I really admired the day and month names sourced from the natural world.

    3 votes
  12. [6]
    wundumguy
    Link
    Wheel of Time book 2

    Wheel of Time book 2

    3 votes
    1. [5]
      TheRtRevKaiser
      Link Parent
      Oooh, WoT is one of my all-time favorite series! I realize that it's pretty divisive, though. How are you finding it so far?

      Oooh, WoT is one of my all-time favorite series! I realize that it's pretty divisive, though. How are you finding it so far?

      3 votes
      1. [4]
        wundumguy
        Link Parent
        Middle of book 2 and I'm loving it. It's funny how large these books are, yet not a whole lot seems to be happening so far

        Middle of book 2 and I'm loving it. It's funny how large these books are, yet not a whole lot seems to be happening so far

        3 votes
        1. [3]
          xstresedg
          Link Parent
          Robert Jordan was good at that type of writing lol

          Robert Jordan was good at that type of writing lol

          2 votes
          1. [2]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Yeah, "lot's of pages but not much happening" is Robert Jordan in a nutshell, and it unfortunately holds true throughout most of the series until Sanderson takes over, @wundumguy. The last time I...

            Yeah, "lot's of pages but not much happening" is Robert Jordan in a nutshell, and it unfortunately holds true throughout most of the series until Sanderson takes over, @wundumguy. The last time I reread them I probably skipped about 30% of the chapters Jordan wrote because of that, and honestly don't feel like I missed much by doing that. Although with that said, don't get me wrong, I still love the series (esp the amazing cast of characters) and wholeheartedly recommend reading it all the way through (at least the first time), but my God could Jordan ramble on endlessly about pointless details and events that go nowhere.

            2 votes
            1. wundumguy
              Link Parent
              Haha no worries, I plan on reading every word, since I don't know what's ok to skip! And it IS enjoyable so I'm gonna keep at it

              Haha no worries, I plan on reading every word, since I don't know what's ok to skip! And it IS enjoyable so I'm gonna keep at it

              1 vote
  13. mrbig
    Link
    I just read two screenplays by Todd Solondz: Happiness and Storytelling. Solondz is kind of a master in depicting uncomfortable/painful/messed-up situations and relationships. I love it for some...

    I just read two screenplays by Todd Solondz: Happiness and Storytelling.
    Solondz is kind of a master in depicting uncomfortable/painful/messed-up situations and relationships. I love it for some reason.

    Now I'm reading Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris. A wonderful story that makes great use of fantasy to study our tendency to romanticize the past.

    3 votes