10 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.

19 comments

  1. [5]
    GoingMerry
    Link
    Re-reading Dune. It gets better every time I read it. Reading the rest of the mythology also helps make the first book better. Just finished Bad Blood - a book about Theranos, a unicorn-level...

    Re-reading Dune. It gets better every time I read it. Reading the rest of the mythology also helps make the first book better.

    Just finished Bad Blood - a book about Theranos, a unicorn-level Ponzi scheme. Pretty gripping!

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      Icarus
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Dune is really awesome! I re-read it every two to three years. If you haven't, check out the audiobook. I found it to be pretty good with the voice acting sprinkled throughout.

      Dune is really awesome! I re-read it every two to three years. If you haven't, check out the audiobook. I found it to be pretty good with the voice acting sprinkled throughout.

      4 votes
      1. GoingMerry
        Link Parent
        I’m not an audiobook person, I just can’t pay attention for some reason. Besides, one of the reasons I’m reading the book is as a test of a platform I coded up. Check it out if you like (bugs...

        I’m not an audiobook person, I just can’t pay attention for some reason.

        Besides, one of the reasons I’m reading the book is as a test of a platform I coded up. Check it out if you like (bugs abound!) http://books.liberator.me/?book=Dune

        2 votes
    2. [2]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I don't think Theranos was actually a Ponzi scheme, but I get your point. It was certainly criminal but I don't think it fits the definition. A fascinating story, in any case. Does the book goes...

      I don't think Theranos was actually a Ponzi scheme, but I get your point. It was certainly criminal but I don't think it fits the definition. A fascinating story, in any case. Does the book goes deeper than the docs on YouTube?

      1 vote
      1. GoingMerry
        Link Parent
        Have not seen the docs on YouTube, but it has great internal insight from those who worked at Theranos. It was written by the journalist who originally broke the story

        Have not seen the docs on YouTube, but it has great internal insight from those who worked at Theranos. It was written by the journalist who originally broke the story

        4 votes
  2. Icarus
    Link
    I have a few books that I have been reading through. Jurassic Park I actually finished this book late last week after taking my sweet time with it. I had only seen the movie and while it is good,...

    I have a few books that I have been reading through.


    Jurassic Park

    I actually finished this book late last week after taking my sweet time with it. I had only seen the movie and while it is good, I enjoyed the prolonged story of the book quite a bit more. There were more dinosaurs and more world-building than in the movie. One thing that irked me towards the end was the Malcolm character's constant lecturing. I looked this up and found his character is apparently a bit of a trope in Michael Crichton novels. I did enjoy reading more about Chaos Theory as a result of some of his diatribes. Apparently, the whole technology going awry in the face of containing nature is apparently Michael Crichton's go-to narrative. I was sad to see that in Crichton's later years, he got a hop and skip away from being a full-blown climate change denier. That put a sour taste in my mouth once I finished the book.


    Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    I'm on a neurobiology kick lately and picked this book up after finishing Robert Sapolsky's Great Lecture series on Biology and Human Behavior (it's fascinating, you should check it out). This book is incredibly dense and I have to take my time to really slow down my reading on this. However, it is incredibly interesting and well worth the time I am spending getting through this. The gist of the book is to understanding behavior within the context of brain anatomy (e.g. this part of the brain does this, these parts of the brain project here, etc.), understanding the evolutionary perspective of this relationship, and then going on to understand sentiments and feelings related to neurobiology. It is really fascinating and fun to think that my brain is going out of its way so it can learn more about itself.


    The Killing Zone: How & Why Pilots Die

    I live near a municipal airport and recently got the bright idea that I should look into getting a private pilot's license (PPL). In my research on planes, licensing, and accident rates, I found this book that goes into detail on pilot error and why there are so many crashes in general aviation (GA). I'm sure at some point in your life you may have heard the saying that you are more likely to die on the drive to the airport than you are on the plane ride itself. This is true in commercial aviation but not GA. GA has an incredibly high accident rate compared to other forms of transportation, making it in the same league as motorcycles. In context, between 2000-2009, the accident rate per 100 million miles flown in GA was 23.2, while for driving it was 1.41. In GA, student pilots receive their certification to fly solo and without instruction at ~60 hours of flight hours (minimum time is 40 hours). The largest representation of fatal accidents occurs between 50 and 250 flight hours, where many GA pilots are overconfident in their abilities and are also working to get the flight time in so they can get their instrument flying rating, allowing them to fly in more inclement weather. When you first receive your solo flight certification, you can only fly under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) which is generally bright, sunny skies with little wind. Many accidents occur because new pilots with experience only in VFR get disoriented under instrument flight conditions (clouds, rain, etc.) because they don't have a horizon to look towards to know which way is up and down. Anyways, I won't bore you with the details of this book, but I am trying to further assess risk in flying and understanding better what I would be getting in to.

    7 votes
  3. [7]
    thewrightmatt
    Link
    Just finishing up the first book of The Expanse. I read it a year or two ago and got all caught up on all the released books at the time (I don't recall if that includes Tiamat's Wrath or not...)....

    Just finishing up the first book of The Expanse.

    I read it a year or two ago and got all caught up on all the released books at the time (I don't recall if that includes Tiamat's Wrath or not...). The game plan is to re-read all the books (and hopefully the last book whenever it comes out this year!) before the last season of the TV Show airs. I'm hoping I finish all of them before Dune releases as that's another book I'd like to re-read. The book series really helped me get back into reading again after a long break.

    This isn't reading exactly, but I got two books from the Audible settlement, one of them being We Are Legion (We are Bob). It's a fun book and reminds me a bit of Ready Player One due to the nostalgia/geek aspect. I'm enjoying it so far.

    4 votes
    1. [6]
      kilroy
      Link Parent
      Did you like the books or the TV show more when it comes to the Expanse?

      Did you like the books or the TV show more when it comes to the Expanse?

      3 votes
      1. thewrightmatt
        Link Parent
        I would say I like the books more, but that's almost always the case (the main exception Children of Men). As streblo mentioned, they are faithful to the books. There's just a lot of details that...

        I would say I like the books more, but that's almost always the case (the main exception Children of Men). As streblo mentioned, they are faithful to the books. There's just a lot of details that can't be fit into the show due to either technical or time constraints.

        One of the nice things about the TV show is the 'aftershow' with Ty Franck and Wes Chatham that give a little bit more insight into the show and some decisions that are made on the adaption.

        3 votes
      2. [4]
        streblo
        Link Parent
        The TV show is a pretty faithful adaption of the books that I have liked — but I enjoyed the books more even if mostly because it was my first experience with the story.

        The TV show is a pretty faithful adaption of the books that I have liked — but I enjoyed the books more even if mostly because it was my first experience with the story.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          I suppose the book has less cheasy melodrama, contrived dialogue and wooden acting? Cause that's what turned off from the show.

          I suppose the book has less cheasy melodrama, contrived dialogue and wooden acting? Cause that's what turned off from the show.

          1. [2]
            hungariantoast
            Link Parent
            There's something ironic about the idea of a book having less wooden acting...

            There's something ironic about the idea of a book having less wooden acting...

            1. mrbig
              Link Parent
              And at the same time entirely logical since there's no acting at all :P

              And at the same time entirely logical since there's no acting at all :P

  4. vegai
    (edited )
    Link
    Just finished "Eternal Husband" by Dostoevsky. It's slightly comedic (in the way a 1800s Russian book can be) and like is apparently typical for his books, describes internal struggles of people...

    Just finished "Eternal Husband" by Dostoevsky. It's slightly comedic (in the way a 1800s Russian book can be) and like is apparently typical for his books, describes internal struggles of people really well.

    And just started reading "He eivät tiedä mitä tekevät" (They don't know what they're doing) by Jussi Valtonen. A Finnish book that won the local Finlandia award in 2014. So far, it's been describing the relationship between a slightly disturbed young Finnish woman who meets an American academic during a seminar and they start a family.

    4 votes
  5. reifyresonance
    Link
    I've been listening to the audiobook of Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake (what a name!). It's a fascinating tour of the fungal kingdom that aims to make us look at the world differently,...

    I've been listening to the audiobook of Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake (what a name!). It's a fascinating tour of the fungal kingdom that aims to make us look at the world differently, dissolving some of the boundaries of "this is this and that is that", in favor of an entangled web. It talks about how plants were symbiotic with fungi before they evolved roots, the role of horizontal gene transfer and how it breaks down ideas about how we think evolution works, and also is full of genuinely amazing fungus facts. Did you know we think there used to be 2-story tall fungal spires, before animals with backbones came on land? Or that some fungi are not only radiation tolerant (and may help clean up nuclear waste sites in the future) but actually grow toward radiation sources and appear to be able to harness that energy? I highly recommend bumping this book to the top of your list, if it's already on it, and if not, adding it to your list. This is the first time I've listened to an audiobook, and I'm quite impressed and will continue to do so. Unlike written books, I can listen while folding laundry, doing dishes, or other simple chores. I haven't had any trouble understanding what is being said, and I haven't needed to rewind to re-listen to a piece (two reasons I've been avoiding audiobooks.)

    I've also been reading Glitch Feminism: A Manifesto by Legacy Russell. It's, as far as I can tell, about the idea of Glitch as a wrench in the gears of binary gender (and other rigid structures), and also talks about how the online self is not this fake persona, but as real as the offline one, useful for experimenting with identity, etc. It is quite eloquent, but I'm having trouble refining insights from it. I don't think I'd recommend this one unless the ideas above really pull you in.

    3 votes
  6. tomf
    (edited )
    Link
    I just started Hemingway's Nick Adams stories --- quick, well-written vignettes. After this I'm either moving to The Count of Monte Cristo or some more Hemingway. I've also been alternating...

    I just started Hemingway's Nick Adams stories --- quick, well-written vignettes. After this I'm either moving to The Count of Monte Cristo or some more Hemingway.

    I've also been alternating between Bond books. They're so much better than the goofy movies. I don't understand why they'd change them instead of building off of them for time. At times like the Bourne series, the movie has barely anything in common with the book.

    Anybody have any recommendations that are similar to The Orchid Thief by Susan Orlean?

    edit: I started The Count of Monte Cristo and its AMAZING!

    3 votes
  7. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    I finished reading Player of Games, the second book of Ian M. Bank’s Culture series, and started on Use of Weapons. It’s pretty good far-future science fiction but somehow not that memorable? I’ve...

    I finished reading Player of Games, the second book of Ian M. Bank’s Culture series, and started on Use of Weapons.

    It’s pretty good far-future science fiction but somehow not that memorable? I’ve read the first book already but I forgot what happened, and I expect this one to fade too.

    The scope is so vast that planets and even interstellar empires are just backdrops, and the technology is so advanced that overwhelming forces could be called in whenever needed, so the protagonists need to somehow be cut off from help for there to be any adventure. (Also, the assumption is made that interfering with less-advanced empires is a delicate business.)

    I think the most fun part is the Culture ship names.

    2 votes
    1. kilroy
      Link Parent
      Player of Games is fantastic. The entire Culture Series is something I come back to time and time again for inspiration on how to world build.

      Player of Games is fantastic. The entire Culture Series is something I come back to time and time again for inspiration on how to world build.

      3 votes
  8. imperialismus
    Link
    Currently reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It's amazing to me that Cornwell managed to write a series about King Arthur in which Arthur is genuinely the least interesting character.

    Currently reading the Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell. It's amazing to me that Cornwell managed to write a series about King Arthur in which Arthur is genuinely the least interesting character.