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What books are you reading?
Genejoke at 11:42PM, June 17, 2011
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I going to re read that soon, the tv series has been great and made me want to revisit the series. that and I haven't read feast of crows yet and the new one is either just out or out very soon. After a 6 or 7 year gap since feast of crows.

Hopefully doing the tv series has inspired him to get on and actually finish the series.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ozoneocean at 5:38AM, June 18, 2011
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“Tuf Voyaging” is the only book by him that I've read.
It's about a huge (about 7 feet tall), overweight, completely hairless, pasty skinned, thoughtful, philosophical man named “Tuf” who comes into possessions of a multi-mile long ancient biological-warfare battleship and how he uses it…
It's really interesting. It was originally written as a bunch of short stories featuring the same character and they were collected together for that novel- so you get a lot of chapters that are beautifully self contained stories in their own right, very tight and well constructed, but they're connected by one overarching theme which is Tuf's personality and his aims and objectives.
Te stories concern ideas of environmentalism, overpopulation, warfare… etc. Overall it's exciting (especially the first story of how he gets the ship), very thoughtful, very entertaining, touching, and even pretty funny (at times).
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Genejoke at 5:44AM, June 18, 2011
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Sounds interesting, will look it up.
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:34PM
ozoneocean at 9:45AM, June 22, 2011
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Well it's my fave at least :)
I got it new in a remaindered book sale back in the early 90's when they still sold decent books that way. I'd never heard of George R R Martin before then. That was a great way to find new cool authors!
————-

Reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
Been meaning to read that since I was a teen when I first saw it in the library, but I always procrastinated because there was always something more interesting. So I got it free via Amazon Kindle now, reading it on my phone and tablet.
It's really not that interesting afterall. It's just political advice to long dead Italian princes based on the exploits of long dead European historical figures.
It has SOME application to today, but the relationship is more philosophical and esoteric than direct because the world has changed so much.
To top it all off his reputation as an evil genius is all a myth (was just a decent civil servant, not even that successful) and his writing, although sort of from experience is more wishful thinking… More like political advice than solid wise council.

At least that's what I'm getting from it so far.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Dodgy at 5:17AM, June 23, 2011
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i am readin the readers digest complete book of diy. its heavy goin in parts but thanks to this book my pipes are tottaly clear

pq me for your psychic tarot reading - only 20 bucks
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:13PM
Ally Haert at 7:31AM, June 23, 2011
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ozoneocean
Reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
Been meaning to read that since I was a teen when I first saw it in the library, but I always procrastinated because there was always something more interesting. So I got it free via Amazon Kindle now, reading it on my phone and tablet.
It's really not that interesting afterall. It's just political advice to long dead Italian princes based on the exploits of long dead European historical figures.
It has SOME application to today, but the relationship is more philosophical and esoteric than direct because the world has changed so much.
To top it all off his reputation as an evil genius is all a myth (was just a decent civil servant, not even that successful) and his writing, although sort of from experience is more wishful thinking… More like political advice than solid wise council.

At least that's what I'm getting from it so far.

You obviously haven't reached the chapter on puppy kicking yet.
“No one can go back to start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending,” Maria Ross.
last edited on July 14, 2011 10:49AM
Gunwallace at 9:48PM, June 24, 2011
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ozoneocean
Reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
… To top it all off his reputation as an evil genius is all a myth (was just a decent civil servant, not even that successful) and his writing, although sort of from experience is more wishful thinking…


That's why he was an evil genius. He told people to say one thing and do another in an age where EVERYBODY was supposed to be god-fearingly honest. He also said to expect that EVERYBODY else would be lying about their intentions as well. It may seem obvious now, but it was a game changer back then. It's like de Sade's Justine, a book that seems almost tame now-a-days, but challenged the Christian ideal that everybody out there was a nice person behaving nicely, and being good would get you your just reward. Machiavelli is saying a ‘Prince’ should behave in a non-Christian manner in an age when all the lip service was just the opposite. Try reading (or skimming) The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione for the accepted style of advice of the time for a comparison.

(as you can probably guess I studied this sort of stuff)

Anyway, I'm currently reading Gene Wolfe's The Sorcerer's House.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
ozoneocean at 3:39AM, June 25, 2011
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Gunwallace
ozoneocean
Reading The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli.
… To top it all off his reputation as an evil genius is all a myth (was just a decent civil servant, not even that successful) and his writing, although sort of from experience is more wishful thinking…


That's why he was an evil genius. He told people to say one thing and do another in an age where EVERYBODY was supposed to be god-fearingly honest. He also said to expect that EVERYBODY else would be lying about their intentions as well. It may seem obvious now, but it was a game changer back then. It's like de Sade's Justine, a book that seems almost tame now-a-days, but challenged the Christian ideal that everybody out there was a nice person behaving nicely, and being good would get you your just reward. Machiavelli is saying a ‘Prince’ should behave in a non-Christian manner in an age when all the lip service was just the opposite. Try reading (or skimming) The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione for the accepted style of advice of the time for a comparison.

I see what you're saying, but so far he hasn't said anything like that. The most subversive thing is simply that he's very open and honest in his advice, like saying that when you take a city you wish to rule you should exterminate the powerful nobels who're in opposition to you, along with their families so that they can never challenge you… So far he hasn't advocated duplicity, in fact his strongest advice so far is that a ruler should be loved by his people because they're the his real strength, not greedy nobels. He disapproves of duplicity in what I've read so far, but he gives two examples of it anyway. I'll learn more as I read. :)
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Gunwallace at 1:06PM, June 25, 2011
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ozoneocean
He disapproves of duplicity in what I've read so far, but he gives two examples of it anyway. I'll learn more as I read. :)

That's his style. He adopts the ‘standard morality’ but then gives examples of how the Prince may actually want to act immorally. He may say he disapproves of duplicity, etc., but his point is that a ‘good’ Prince may have to resort to such an immorality to remain in power and gain an advantage over his rivals. ‘Old Nick’ gave us modern political thinking … smile and nod and talk with a honeyed tongue while lying and stabbing your rivals in the back … but in many ways all he was doing was reporting on what he saw all around him.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
ozoneocean at 1:53PM, June 25, 2011
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Gunwallace
That's his style. He adopts the ‘standard morality’ but then gives examples of how the Prince may actually want to act immorally.
No… that wasn't what he was doing in this instance (though he may in others, I haven't read that far).
Basically he was listing and then expanding on a few of the ways someone could become a “new prince”. There were about 3 or four ways listed, the last one was the bad one- through treachery. He was definitely NOT focussing heavily on it or pointing that one out above the others.
The thing that got most attention was “be loved by the people”, which was a theme he returned to in all of them.

For the last one, which was bad, one example was of some guy in ancient Syracuse who rose from nothing as a soldier, became an officer, got the senate together to discusses important matters and then killed them all with his men, taking power. That act was described as being pretty foul and treacherous, but on the other hand the mad had made himself, which was to be admired, and did rule well, keeping the people on side, which was why he was able to hold onto power.

The other was a contemporary account and a man who was orphaned, bought up by a noble uncle, sent off to war, rose high, became an officer, then organised a glorious home coming with his uncle and the town nobles… Then had his uncle and all the men killed.
It was described as a foul act and he was described as an especially bad example since he didn't bother to win the support of the people and he only lasted in power a year because of that…

Honestly, you may be right and that sort of thing might come up later, but so far it's all been 100% straight forward stuff. It's shaping up to be more like an academic treatise on 14th Century politics, following the old format of discussing a subject, breaking it down, giving examples, citing references etc.
-never immoral, moral, or duplicitous, more sort of academically scientific and sightly detached (on occasion).
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:38PM
Salsa at 2:38PM, June 25, 2011
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Well, I'm not reading anything at the moment, but I've read a good bit in the past year.

-The first two books of the Troy Rising series by John Ringo. Funny, although thinner skinned liberals might want to avoid some of it.
-Reread the first three books of the Legend of Drizzt. I need to start looking for book 4.
-And the entire main series of the Honorverse. That took a little while.


I've read 1984, I can see how it's considered a classic, but I felt hollow after finishing it. I depress myself enough as it is, I don't need to give my overly-pessimistic imagination more fuel.
RAGE!
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:19PM
Gunwallace at 2:44PM, June 25, 2011
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ozoneocean
It's shaping up to be more like an academic treatise on 14th Century politics, following the old format of discussing a subject, breaking it down, giving examples, citing references etc.
-never immoral, moral, or duplicitous, more sort of academically scientific and sightly detached (on occasion).

16th C … keep going, he gets there. My copy is in a box somewhere, as we are renovating at the moment, but from memory he posits things like: is it better to be feared or loved, O Prince? Loved of course, and gives examples, but then the tone changes and by the end of the section you realize he's suggested that being feared is both easier and better than being loved (if you have to pick one) …

There are a lot of examples from ‘antiquity’ in The Prince, as that was the Renaissance style … looking back to the Romans and Greeks as moral example. But usually these examples were framed within a Christian moral framework. Mac goes outside that. His Discourses on Livy is a fun (if heavier) read than the Prince.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
last edited on July 14, 2011 12:40PM
mlai at 7:37PM, June 27, 2011
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Just bought The Last Of The Mohicans. Haven't started reading it yet.
I hear it's very different from the movie, which made the “white Indian” the star. Anyone read the book? How was it? Supposed to be a classic for schoolkids.

FIGHT current chapter: Filling In The Gaps
FIGHT_2 current chapter: Light Years of Gold
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:07PM
Dave7 at 9:54PM, July 15, 2011
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Picked up “The Strain” by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan just 5 days ago, and I'm already about halfway through it.  Great read!
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ayesinback at 4:06PM, July 17, 2011
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The Martian Chronicles

it's about time  :-)
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Luminous at 6:43PM, July 19, 2011
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I'm re-reading Sabriel by Garth Nix - one of my favorite books. It's been a long time since I've read it - or any book in the Abhorsen series - so I figured it's about time to re-read them all.

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Dave7 at 7:42PM, July 19, 2011
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Already finished Guiellmo del Torro and Chuck Hogan's “The Strain” (from my last post like 2-3 days ago).  Excellent for a modern, high-tech vampire novel.
Just started reading “A Short History of Nearly Everything” by Bill Bryson (basically a history of different fields of science such as biology, geology, astronomy and physics, and how our knowledge in those fields have changed over the past several centuries).  So far, a very informative- and even entertaining- read.
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ayesinback at 11:15AM, July 22, 2011
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 I'm reading “I Heard The Owl Call My Name”

edit—
finished it, and really liked it.  Very slim, very quiet story – rather puts things into perspective.
Now on to a big book, that I've heard about for a long time:  The Tale of Genji
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finnicky at 7:46PM, July 29, 2011
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I'm currently in the middle of reading Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, myself.
Genejoke at 1:14AM, July 30, 2011
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Now on the second game of thrones book a clash of kings.
Chernobog at 6:21PM, July 30, 2011
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'Tanks: From World War 1 to Present Day'
 
(Borders was having a going out of business sale, I couldn't resist.)
 
 
“You tell yourself to just
enjoy the process,” he added. “That whether you succeed or fail, win or
lose, it will be fine. You pretend to be Zen. You adopt detachment, and
ironic humor, while secretly praying for a miracle.”
ayesinback at 8:40AM, July 31, 2011
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finnicky wrote:
I'm currently in the middle of reading Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, myself.
!!!

that's on the nightstand for “next”, but Genji is so huge, I'm thinking I'll have to dip into Peregrine soon just for a break.

Do you like it?   (the pictures are fun)
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ozoneocean at 8:23PM, Aug. 18, 2011
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Gunwallace wrote:
 

It's shaping up to be more like an academic treatise on 14th Century politics, following the old format of discussing a subject, breaking it down, giving examples, citing references etc.
-never immoral, moral, or duplicitous, more sort of academically scientific and sightly detached (on occasion).

 
16th C … keep going, he gets there. My copy is in a box somewhere, as we are renovating at the moment, but from memory he posits things like: is it better to be feared or loved, O Prince? Loved of course, and gives examples, but then the tone changes and by the end of the section you realize he's suggested that being feared is both easier and better than being loved (if you have to pick one) …

There are a lot of examples from ‘antiquity’ in The Prince, as that was the Renaissance style … looking back to the Romans and Greeks as moral example. But usually these examples were framed within a Christian moral framework. Mac goes outside that. His Discourses on Livy is a fun (if heavier) read than the Prince.
From what I read the “feard” thing has only to do specifically with other political rivals. With the population in general his advice is to have them on your side if possible and get any nasty stuff out of the way fast. Also- don't always “try” to be loved, just try not to be hated.



I recently read “The man who knew too much” by GK Chesterten.
It was an interesting book, made up of lots of fun and pithy little stories that illustrate the deeper complexities behind seemingly straight forward events. Pretty much what I'm aall about :)
Like, a story would be about a murder and it would seem a bit mysterious, but fairly obvious what had happened in the end, but because the lead character Hoarne Fischer knew so much he'd explain just what really happened and it would be quite a LOT more complicated and interesting than was readily apparent.
This book approached the idea in a basic way, but it's a theme that sums up my approach to things very well as well as the dificulties involved in explaining those complexities to those who just aren't aware of them: ie, in the end you usually can't.
 
ozoneocean at 4:01AM, Aug. 26, 2011
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Currently reading Pride and Prejudice- just because it was another one of those free e-books through Amazon :)
 
I never had to read it for school thankfully and I avoided movies or TV series about it so the book is fresh and entertaining to me! I like it, so far… It started out very much as a satire of its subjects and the whole thing about how ladies of a certain age and status are expected to behave, the whole courting ritual etc… Lots of subtle humour all through it, but it's also pretty bloody gossipy.
 
Anyway, so far its living up to its title! That's the basic theme: Pride and prejudice.
 
bravo1102 at 5:59AM, Aug. 26, 2011
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The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory.  It's about Robert Dudley and Elizabeth I.
 
After reading Tudor history I decided to read some  fiction about these scandalous types.
I Am The 1337 Master at 8:03AM, Aug. 26, 2011
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I'm rereading through A Series of Unfortunate events and trying to finally get through the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.
Also, I'm reading this book by Eric Idle but also haven't gotten very far into it.
Genejoke at 9:08AM, Aug. 26, 2011
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Still reading a song of ice and fire by george rr martin, now on the second book of book two…
book two was seperated into two books but was numbered separately.  I've read these before, well up to the end of the one i'm on, the next two will be virgin reading.
Byth1 at 10:12PM, Aug. 29, 2011
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The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan
Seems pretty good so far.
Updated every friday!
Updated every monday!
Genejoke at 2:03PM, Aug. 30, 2011
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The eye of the world…
It's a very good book but it is the beginning of a mammoth series, one which meanders somewhat later on.  That said i have read them all several times and they are better when you aren't rushing through trying to find out what happens next.  Also the long delay between books is frustrating.  or was as the final one comes out in november.  Take your time and enjoy them.
I'm not on A feast for crows by george rr martin.
El Cid at 5:30PM, Aug. 30, 2011
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I'm reading “The Peloponnesian War” by Donald Keegan and “A War Like No Other” by Victor Davis Hanson. It's good to read them together. No practical reason why you'd ever want to read them though, but it's fascinating stuff.

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