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    1. there have been quite a few discussions on poetry on here and more than a few people post it from time to time, but i don't think anybody's asked this question recently if at all on this site, so...

      there have been quite a few discussions on poetry on here and more than a few people post it from time to time, but i don't think anybody's asked this question recently if at all on this site, so let me be the first to do that.

      alternative/bonus question for those of you who can't pick a singular poem: who is your favorite poet in general?

      (also just to be clear, non-anglophone poetry/poets are of course welcome for the answer here. don't feel limited or obligated to confine yourself just to english poetry because most of the people here are anglophones)

      18 votes
    2. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Notes: I'm starting this a couple days earlier because I will...

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

      Notes: I'm starting this a couple days earlier because I will not be able to do it on Friday this time round. This is a one-time deviation from the usual schedule. Sorry for the inconvenience if it causes any trouble to anybody. Have a nice time!

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16 · Week #17 · Week #18 · Week #19

      18 votes
    3. Edit: #19, not 18. Sorry I messed up the title again, if someone with the chance could fix it, I'd be grateful. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language!...

      Edit: #19, not 18. Sorry I messed up the title again, if someone with the chance could fix it, I'd be grateful.

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16 · Week #17 · Week #18

      11 votes
    4. Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books, but its 50,000+ titles are intimidating in number (if not outright impenetrable). The same goes for other free ebook aggregators/feeds, of...

      Project Gutenberg is a great resource for free books, but its 50,000+ titles are intimidating in number (if not outright impenetrable). The same goes for other free ebook aggregators/feeds, of which there are many. There are also lots of authors who offer up their books for free. And, of course, there are tons of free options available in, say, the Kindle store. While it's nice to have so many choices, it hinders discoverability. Individual books get lost in all the noise.

      As such, I'd like to know: what are some standout, recommended books that are available to readers for free?

      Obvious disclaimer: I am not interested in pirated content.

      24 votes
    5. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16 · Week #17

      15 votes
    6. Top level comments should fill in the blank with some sort of descriptor identifying a kind of book you would like suggestions for. Be as generic or specific as you want. Replies can then...

      Top level comments should fill in the blank with some sort of descriptor identifying a kind of book you would like suggestions for. Be as generic or specific as you want.

      Replies can then recommend books to that individual.

      Examples of what I'm thinking for top level posts, in case my description was unclear:

      • Recommend me a book that will make me cry.
      • Recommend me a book with a great twist.
      • Recommend me a book that deals with loss.
      • Recommend me a book about the fall of the Roman Empire.
      • Recommend me a book with a main character in her 80s.
      • Recommend me a book to help me learn PHP.
      30 votes
    7. This recent topic has me thinking. On one hand, you have the whole "Death of the Author" idea that divorces the writer from their work. This makes a lot of sense, and allows for creative works of...

      This recent topic has me thinking.

      On one hand, you have the whole "Death of the Author" idea that divorces the writer from their work. This makes a lot of sense, and allows for creative works of fiction to exist entirely as fictions.

      On the other hand, you have the #OwnVoices movement which specifically prioritizes the identity of the author as a method of affirming their work. This makes a lot of sense too, befitting the longstanding principle of "nothing about us without us." Who better to write a fictionalized experience than someone who has gone through a real-life parallel?

      Then you have authors whose personal beliefs and experiences may or may not texture their work for readers. Orson Scott Card is commonly brought up in discussions like these on account of his views and public comments on homosexuality. William S. Burroughs famously shot his own wife. I can certainly see how those would be hard things to look past.

      With all this in mind, does the author matter to you when you read (particularly works of fiction)? Does knowing about them enhance/detract from your reading experience?

      16 votes
    8. Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many...

      Poland has a long history, and is an interesting blend between Eastern and Western Europe, which has probably affected its literary tradition. The country has also been divided and united in many different forms: Commonwealth, Holy Roman Empire, Prussia, Russia, German Empire, Soviet Union, and now in it's current form. Poland has produced many famous figures, such as Chopin and Marie Skłodowska Curie, and now it's time to share Poland's best authors.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Polish?

      6 votes
    9. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15 · Week #16

      26 votes
    10. I like the idea of poetry, but I almost never actually read it. My knowledge of the form is pretty much limited to a handful of popular classics that I had to read back in high school; one or two...

      I like the idea of poetry, but I almost never actually read it. My knowledge of the form is pretty much limited to a handful of popular classics that I had to read back in high school; one or two poems each from Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, Walt Whitman, and Shakespeare.

      Where do I start if I want to dip my toes into poetic waters? What are some good poems/compilations for poetry novices? I'm particularly interested in modern, contemporary voices, but I'm open to anything.

      19 votes
    11. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14 · Week #15

      21 votes
    12. This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions! Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3...

      This time I'm looking forward to some recommendations of books written in Arabic. It's a huge language, so I'm expecting some great suggestions!

      Sidenote: I can highly recommend checking out #3 Portuguese. It wasn't the most commented post, but it had some good recommendations.

      10 votes
    13. Some books are adapted to the medium of audiobooks better than others. A mediocre narrator can taint what is otherwise a great story. Likewise, an outstanding narrator can uplift what is an...

      Some books are adapted to the medium of audiobooks better than others. A mediocre narrator can taint what is otherwise a great story. Likewise, an outstanding narrator can uplift what is an average story.
      For me, His Dark Materials is the best audiobook I've listened to. It's read by the author, and has a full cast of (fantastic) voice actors for each character, it brings the story to life so wonderfully. To the point that even if I read the book now, I hear a good amount of the voice cast speaking for each character.
      If you haven't heard it, I can recommend it! Honourable mention goes to Stephen Fry reading the Harry Potter series.

      What is your favourite audiobook?

      15 votes
    14. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13 · Week #14

      16 votes
    15. I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something...

      I am currently enjoying a very thought-provoking semester of American Literature. Prior to this class, I wouldn't have considered fiction as useful in my everyday life, as opposed to something like a self-help book. What I've found is exactly the opposite, and I have found novels such as Great Expectations to be even more influential than anything I've ever read.

      So I ask you all, what is the greatest lesson you've learned from classical fiction?

      13 votes
    16. Hello ! I've been interested in reading some works from famous Beat Generation authors like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Allan Ginsberg, etc. I have yet to read any of their...

      Hello !

      I've been interested in reading some works from famous Beat Generation authors like Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, Carolyn Cassady, Allan Ginsberg, etc.

      I have yet to read any of their works but I'm not quite sure where to start. I've been thinking of 'On the Road' by Kerouac but the reviews I've been reading have been mixed. It doesn't seem like it's for everybody, especially considering the writing style. I've also been thinking of 'The Dharma Bums', also by Kerouac since it seems to be more spiritual, which is something that really resonates with me.

      Anyway, if you have any recommendations/opinions I'd be more than happy to hear them. Thanks !!!

      12 votes
    17. I'm trying to recall a short story I read about 10 years ago in English class in school. It would probably be fair to call it "sci-fi", but I'm not sure how important that is. What I remember: the...

      I'm trying to recall a short story I read about 10 years ago in English class in school. It would probably be fair to call it "sci-fi", but I'm not sure how important that is.

      What I remember: the story was set in the midst of an escalating arms race, Cold War-style, and the characters were chiefly military personnel (I think).

      At some point, a chief actor obtains technology that is designed to (from memory) "disintegrate all weapons (certain materials/metals?)" within a vicinity.

      I believe the technology is then used, and what ensues is a world-enveloping nuclear winter. I'm not sure how the weapons disintegration tech leads to a nuclear winter. It's also quite possible that I'm conflating two separate stories I read in that class.

      Anyone have any idea what short stories I could be thinking of? This would be at the very latest pre-2010 stuff, and knowing my English teacher (old bloke from Yorkshire) probably 20th century. Probably.

      7 votes
    18. What do you want to read in 2019? For me, I've not read nearly enough Terry Pratchett, so I think I'm going to devour a lot of his works. I've promised my daughter that we're going to read the...

      What do you want to read in 2019?
      For me, I've not read nearly enough Terry Pratchett, so I think I'm going to devour a lot of his works. I've promised my daughter that we're going to read the Hobbit together when we finish her current bedtime story (so excited for this). There's a lot of non-fiction in my want to read list as well, Homo Deus, and Other Minds spring instantly to mind.

      35 votes
    19. The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go. This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of...

      The last thread was pretty dead, but thanks to a encouraging message I decided to give it another go.

      This time: Portuguese. Brazilian, European and African Portuguese is welcome here (and of course other places as well =)! The only writer of Portuguese that I know by name is Paulo Coelho, so I look forwards to your recommendations.

      So, without further ado:
      What are your favourite texts originally written in Portuguese?

      15 votes
    20. I am well aware of the ongoing ebooks vs. physical books debate, and I have no interest in kindling that fire here. Instead, I am seeking recommendations for books that are arguably better in...

      I am well aware of the ongoing ebooks vs. physical books debate, and I have no interest in kindling that fire here.

      Instead, I am seeking recommendations for books that are arguably better in physical form due to their makeup. House of Leaves is a perfect example, with its textual trickery essentially requiring physical pages. Coffee table books also fit the bill, for example. Some textbooks and reference books technically do as well, though I'm not interested in recommendations in those areas unless you have something in mind that's an absolute standout.

      20 votes
    21. It's a simple question, or is it? How would you measure best? Complexity? Realism? Creativity? Detail? I think it's fairly obvious that Tolkien has set the gold standard of all worldbuilding, but...

      It's a simple question, or is it? How would you measure best? Complexity? Realism? Creativity? Detail?

      I think it's fairly obvious that Tolkien has set the gold standard of all worldbuilding, but more recent authors like GRRM, Brandon Sanderson and JKR or the late Terry Pratchett have also created beloved worlds.

      Some, like GRRM, are apparently more interested in complex worldbuilding itself rather than finishing their novels while others like JKR use the worlds more as a window dressing without keeping it fairly consistent. Is it alright if the Wizarding World is inconsistent if it serves the plot? How complex can Westeros become before it gets in the way of the story?

      I think that GRRM and JKR are both extremes on the spectrum. When reading The Song of Ice and Fire, I felt like GRRM needed a proper editor to reign him in while JKR managed to build a fantastical world in 7 books which, upon closer inspection, makes no sense. On the other hand you have Terry Pratchett, who with the Discworld was clearly more interested in creating a parody of the real world, but still managed to make it very interesting and unique.

      Thoughts?

      21 votes
    22. So I haven't read any books since my senior year, where the ones I did were for book essays. That was about 3 years ago. I was, however, a fanatical reader in my formative years, all throughout...

      So I haven't read any books since my senior year, where the ones I did were for book essays. That was about 3 years ago. I was, however, a fanatical reader in my formative years, all throughout elementary school. I read lots of Fantasy like Harry Potter, the Magyk series, Skullduggery Pleasant, Percy Jackson, stuff in that vein. As of late, my ADD addled brain has decided to let go a tad and I want to get back into reading

      This might be very vague but I'll try my best. I'm looking for books similar to (or maybe kinda detached from, if you think a tangential connection is sufficient enough to warrant an outlier) the books I mentioned earlier. I'm also very open to Sci-Fi, but I like world/race exploration the most. Interesting Alien species and odd planets/phenomena. I prefer novels where the author has a good grasp on the English language, with some wit or neat descriptors, but Tolkien-esque long-in-the-tooth verbosity wears me out after a while. I recall greatly enjoying some Halo novels as well.

      This is getting a little long in the tooth, but lastly, if there's anything even remotely comparable to the SCP Foundation collection of stories, I'm way into it. I've also been picking up and putting down House Of Leaves for a while, and it has some neat stuff, but it rambles quite often. Not so much that I want to put it down, but it makes me restless trying to get to the meat but having to wade through the writer's extraneous verbose ramblings. I don't know if this will give enough info but I'll greatly appreciate anything thrown at me!

      22 votes
    23. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Notes: I could not start the thread yesterday on Friday like...

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

      Notes: I could not start the thread yesterday on Friday like I used to, I'm sorry for the delay.

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12 · Week #13

      16 votes
    24. Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language,...

      Last time we had some discussion whether it'd be best to discuss authors from different countries, or authors writing in different languages. I think it'd be best if the focus is on the language, but I won't get mad if you post Nabokov in the thread about Russian. So, without further ado:

      What are your favourite texts originally written in Korean?

      9 votes
    25. I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good...

      I've never read Marcel Proust, and I know very little about his work. But every serious reader of literature I know absolutely gushes over him, but never seems to be able to explain what's good about it or what the books are even about.

      The scarce pop-culture references I see to his work (like in "Little Miss Sunshine") seems to cast an affection for Proust as kind of a mark of being an unmoored and depressive romantic.

      So is he worth reading? The full collection of "Remembrance of Things Past" is nearly $100, so that's not a trivial amount to invest. Is there a recommended/definitive translation or edition I should read? What should I keep in mind or be open to if I do try giving it a shot?

      By that last question I mean like, I'd have hated "Catcher In the Rye" if I wasn't told ahead of time to approach it from the mindset of a 15 year old boy. Or I kind of hated 'Madame Bovary" but when explained to me that this was Flaubert's exercise in trying to make people see themselves in an adulteress, a generally reviled archetype, and this was groundbreaking for the time lets me at least appreciate it for accomplishing what it's set out to do. Are there any literary contexts like I this should have in my head before I delve in?

      11 votes
    26. It does not need to be the most important, just a book that has truly changed you. My personal pick is Albert Camus' "The Rebel"; it provided structure for a lot of nebulous thoughts that were...

      It does not need to be the most important, just a book that has truly changed you. My personal pick is Albert Camus' "The Rebel"; it provided structure for a lot of nebulous thoughts that were floating around in my head.

      28 votes
    27. This is kind of a meta question I suppose, but I was wondering: where do folks here purchase books online? (As an aside, I check out books from the library often and I would highly recommend that...

      This is kind of a meta question I suppose, but I was wondering: where do folks here purchase books online?

      (As an aside, I check out books from the library often and I would highly recommend that you do too, but there are certain books that I want to keep, highlight, and write on. The library usually doesn’t sell these.)

      13 votes
    28. This is a general, "what books have themes or content that would make for great movies" question. Graphic novels are included here. Could have posted in ~talk or ~movies, but I'm seeking the...

      This is a general, "what books have themes or content that would make for great movies" question. Graphic novels are included here.

      Could have posted in ~talk or ~movies, but I'm seeking the opinions of dedicated readers, who've had the thought in considering a story, "I'd really like to see the visuals for this", or "a movie/series adaptation could expand on these themes".

      Also, what were your biggest disappointments in the rendering of a book into a movie/TV series?

      My picks:
      Ursula Le Guin, The Dispossessed. Can't say that it's likely to get the nuanced treatment it deserves, but an even-handed visualization of socialist vs. capitalist societies is overdue, and it's got spaceflight and FTL information transfer.
      Warren Ellis, Transmetropolitan. Not that he's ever going to grant the rights, but this one's a no-brainer for American cinema - brash, loud, splashy, violent, with bigger-than-life characters and themes.
      James Tiptree, Jr. (a/k/a Alice Sheldon), Her Smoke Rose Up Forever. I'd love to see a short series based on this collection.
      China Mieville - anything from the New Crobuzon books. The baroque ruin backgrounding the scenes, and the panoply of characters, should make for amazing cinema; a little judicious editing will be needed to make the stories work for the screen.
      [Obscure] Norman Spinrad's Bug Jack Barron, subject to timely and relevant updates for 21st Century media. There's a great theme about how selective presentation of video clips and the editor's viewpoint influences the story being told.
      K.W. Jeter, Farewell Horizontal, this one's gonna have great visuals, trust me.
      John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, remade as a story about border migration.
      Joe Haldeman, The Forever War - man, is it ever time for this one in the U.S.
      Dan Simmons, Hyperion - the World Tree, the Shrike, and plenty of other opportunities for fine visuals.
      Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Another candidate for an anthology series; perfect for animation.
      Tibor Fischer, The Thought Gang - it's a heist story, but also a comedy and a satire. Kind of amazed no one has made it into a movie before.

      Biggest recent disappointment - The adaptation of Richard Morgan's Altered Carbon. Edited to completely discard the political messaging and amplify the sex/violence. Turgid, poor special effects, and gruesome acting.

      22 votes
    29. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Notes: I could not start the thread yesterday on Friday like...

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

      Notes: I could not start the thread yesterday on Friday like I used to, I'm sorry for the delay.

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11 · Week #12

      23 votes
    30. I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original,...

      I'm learning Spanish and feel like reading is really helping me get to the next level. I've read 1984 and one part of Harry Potter in Spanish but now I'm thinking of trying some original, non-translated literature.

      What Spanish-language books would you recommend (that are not too difficult to read)?

      6 votes
    31. I've read a few novels, I think an excellent short novel is Elevation by Stephen King. It's not what you'd expect from a Stephen King novel (no horror elements), but it's a great read. I can't say...

      I've read a few novels, I think an excellent short novel is Elevation by Stephen King. It's not what you'd expect from a Stephen King novel (no horror elements), but it's a great read. I can't say too much without spoiling it, but here's the blurb:

      The latest from legendary master storyteller Stephen King, a riveting, extraordinarily eerie, and moving story about a man whose mysterious affliction brings a small town together—a timely, upbeat tale about finding common ground despite deep-rooted differences.

      It starts off a little slow, but give it a little bit of time. It's readable in an afternoon, I think I spent 5 or so hours reading it.

      7 votes
    32. I was telling someone about a psychology book I'm reading at the moment. Intending to read it themselves they messaged me later to ask for the title. And I felt a bit unsettled at sharing it!...

      I was telling someone about a psychology book I'm reading at the moment. Intending to read it themselves they messaged me later to ask for the title. And I felt a bit unsettled at sharing it!

      Whilst it's interesting and I'm enjoying it, I doubt I'll remember its lessons or claims in a year or two. Which got me thinking about books that I read years ago which still help me understand the world.

      So I thought I'd make a post asking which books other users still found helpful year(s) later.

      tldr; share books that are:

      • Non-fiction (or at least serious fiction).
      • First read over a year ago.
      • Have been helpful to you multiple times since.
      19 votes
    33. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Edit 2019-01-16: Add the link for Week #11 below. Past weeks:...

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

      Edit 2019-01-16: Add the link for Week #11 below.

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10 · Week #11

      11 votes
    34. English is my third language. Although I can read, write and speak simple english without effort but when reading any novel from the past I find the need to keep a dictionary by my side and use it...

      English is my third language. Although I can read, write and speak simple english without effort but when reading any novel from the past I find the need to keep a dictionary by my side and use it very often- almost 2 to 3 times per sentence. I know there's no shortcut other than learning those words but I was wondering if I can speed it up so I don't need to distract myself with a dictionary.

      11 votes
    35. This is my 2019 project, to gain some understanding of the subjects of income and wealth inequality. I've prepared a reading list but was just wondering if there is a proper way to go about it....

      This is my 2019 project, to gain some understanding of the subjects of income and wealth inequality. I've prepared a reading list but was just wondering if there is a proper way to go about it. I'm from a third world country and didn't go to college, if that's of any help.

      19 votes
    36. I buy a bunch of books each year, but it seems less than half of them get read. Sometimes I'm just satisfied by the notion that I will eventually read the book and never get around to it. However,...

      I buy a bunch of books each year, but it seems less than half of them get read.

      Sometimes I'm just satisfied by the notion that I will eventually read the book and never get around to it.
      However, I do actually go back to some of these books. For instance I bought Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer/Sword of the Lictor back in 2015 but recently finished it back in summer of 2018.

      Some have sat on the shelf for much longer.

      Orson Scott Card's Xenocide comes to mind. I read Ender's Game back in 2013, read the sequel some time in 2014, and told myself I'd get around to the third book (Xenocide) but I never have.

      Another one I picked up last year that I've been meaning to read is The Confessions of Saint Augustine.

      So, what are some books you've been neglecting? Write them down here to put them to rest, or even better, to motivate yourself to actually read them!!

      12 votes
    37. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9 · Week #10

      14 votes
    38. I'm an audio engineer, and I spend many hours a day consuming music. I could talk your ear off about genres, sub-genres, vocal styles, rhythms, and exactly what combinations of those I really...

      I'm an audio engineer, and I spend many hours a day consuming music. I could talk your ear off about genres, sub-genres, vocal styles, rhythms, and exactly what combinations of those I really enjoy. Technology, recommendations, and websites like everynoise.com have really enhanced how accurate my recommendations are, and I'm constantly consuming music that I absolutely love.

      But when it comes to books... I'm so lost. Literature genres are like the equivalent of listing what instruments play on an album. Okay, this book is "sci-fi," so I know it's probably got futuristic technology, may be set in space, and could have some aliens. But that doesn't tell me anything about the writing style.

      I know enough to know that I can't go just by good reviews on sites like amazon. How do I learn to quantify what I enjoy and curate my recommendations more effectively?

      15 votes
    39. as in the title. Be it textbooks, bios or anything else. Somewhere I've heard that a couple of books in a given subject can give you quite a good understanding of it. It does not have to be a...

      as in the title. Be it textbooks, bios or anything else. Somewhere I've heard that a couple of books in a given subject can give you quite a good understanding of it.
      It does not have to be a niche either; I am interested in hearing about your favourite general psychology or biotechnology books just as well; I hope we can exchange recommendations about how to dive into a given field.

      For me, I'd say that to get a taste of Computer Science from the metal to high level concepts, I'd go with:

      • Introduction to Algorithms by Cormen et al. - for many it's bible of algorithms designs, I also enjoyed it very much (and I like to think that it was not only because of widespread aclaim)
      • CODE by Petzhold - for people who like to understand every part of the system they build; it goes through the process of building a computer, starting with logic gates and ending with fully working Turing machine.
      22 votes
    40. In 1977, Stephen King published a novel about a school shooting called Rage. It is somewhat infamous, as it has been connected to instances of real-life school shootings. King, in response,...

      In 1977, Stephen King published a novel about a school shooting called Rage. It is somewhat infamous, as it has been connected to instances of real-life school shootings. King, in response, allowed the story to fall out of print and has never reissued it. The novel has a lot in common with other YA stories and tropes: a disaffected protagonist, meddling/out of touch adults, and newfound social connection with peers. While the main character is undoubtedly disturbed, the novel feels somewhat uncritical (or potentially even supportive) of his actions.

      Certainly fiction is a space where authors are free to explore any point of view or theme they wish. The beauty of fiction is that it is limitless and consequence-free. No people are harmed in Rage because there are no people in it. Its characters are merely names and ideas--they are a fiction.

      Nevertheless, Rage addresses a real-world phenomenon, and the beauty of fiction is that it doesn't live as a lie. As Ursula K. Le Guin writes,

      "In reading a novel, any novel, we have to know perfectly well that the whole thing is nonsense, and then, while reading, believe every word of it. Finally, when we're done with it, we may find - if it's a good novel - that we're a bit different from what we were before we read it, that we have changed a little..."

      We like fiction because it resonates with us, exposing us to themes that can affirm, shape, or challenge our mindsets.

      With this dichotomy in mind, I'm torn between whether authors should be free to explore anything they wish from the safety of make-believe, or whether they have a social responsibility because their words carry messages and ideas that directly impact lives. I'm not sure what to think, and I can come up with great arguments for both sides. What's your take? What social responsibilities do fiction authors have (if any)?

      20 votes
    41. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8 · Week #9

      14 votes
    42. Edit: #9, not #8; sorry for messing the title up. Would be glad if someone can fix it for me, I can't edit it apparently. Thanks a lot, Deimos, for fixing it up! What are you reading currently?...

      Edit: #9, not #8; sorry for messing the title up. Would be glad if someone can fix it for me, I can't edit it apparently. Thanks a lot, Deimos, for fixing it up!

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7 · Week #8

      12 votes
    43. I always say that most of the challenges we're facing today require deep thoughts, and the only way to get to that level is by reading. Podcasts, videos and articles are fine, but they don't give...

      I always say that most of the challenges we're facing today require deep thoughts, and the only way to get to that level is by reading. Podcasts, videos and articles are fine, but they don't give you the depth of a book.

      So since Christmas is almost here, I thought it would be interesting to give you a few books to get started (and I hope you recommend some books back!) By the way, I'm not going to recommend the latest books, but the books I think are timely for the situation we're living.

      1. 21 lessons for the 21st century. My favorite book of 2018. This is a must read.

      2. The filter bubble. Indispensable to understand the digital world we live in.

      3. Adcreep. If you want to get a wide picture of where advertising comes from and where it's going, this is a great book.

      4. Free will. Short book but I think it's fundamental to start acknowledging that we might not be the authors of our own thoughts.

      5. Conspiracy. Intriguing and entertaining book on how Peter Thiel took over Gawker media. I think this book is great to have a better picture of what goes on behind the scenes and understand power structures and communications processes.

      I hope you find this useful.

      Please, share your recommendations

      25 votes
    44. I was browsing a second hand bookshop the other day and I was rather excited as a Tolkien fan to find a first edition print of The Silmarillion from 1977. Unfortunately I did not have the money to...

      I was browsing a second hand bookshop the other day and I was rather excited as a Tolkien fan to find a first edition print of The Silmarillion from 1977. Unfortunately I did not have the money to purchase the book which was in rather decent condition but it got me thinking. What’s the oldest book you own personally, and how did it end up in your possession?

      12 votes
    45. What are you reading currently? Fiction or non-fiction, any genre, any language! Tell us what you're reading, and talk a bit about it. Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 ·...

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

      Past weeks: Week #1 · Week #2 · Week #3 · Week #4 · Week #5 · Week #6 · Week #7

      17 votes
    46. I ask because I have several physical books that I would love to have digital copies of. Most of the services out there are destructive, so you lose the book when you send it in to scan. I'm fine...

      I ask because I have several physical books that I would love to have digital copies of.

      Most of the services out there are destructive, so you lose the book when you send it in to scan. I'm fine with this in theory, except for the fact that I'd hate to lose the physical book and have it replaced with a crappy digital copy. I've not had terribly great luck with my own attempts at OCR with documents (but I'm also not a professional).

      Additionally, some of the books I want to scan have extensive footnotes. The ideal would be that the book gets scanned and edited to have these footnotes hyperlinked in the resulting ebook, but I don't know if anyone offers that kind of service. I'd even be okay with the footnotes just being eliminated if it's too much trouble. What I don't want is them just being flowed into the main text of the document.

      There are a lot of different options out there, and I'm more than willing to pay for a good job. Has anyone used one of these services and can speak to their quality?

      7 votes