What Are You Reading?

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What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Sun Jun 21, 2009 12:31 am

This idea was inspired by the To What Are You Listening? thread. The difference is that, because reading a book takes far longer than listening to a song, discussions may erupt concerning the books that others are reading.

Please, try to refrain from starting flame wars. It's against the board rules anyway. If someone is reading something you don't particularly enjoy, don't say, "OH! That books sucks, and you're a retard for reading and/or enjoying it!" Give an intelligent rating and review of the book. It may be biased, but at least it isn't hurtful toward others.


I am currently reading The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien. I read The Hobbit otherwise known as There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien. I intend to read The Lord of the Rings: the Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King.

In my opinion, this book is made of awesome, but I haven't given it it's due appreciation. The first time I tried to read it, it began too slowly, and the second time I read it, I ran out of time. Right now, I'm determined to read it all the way through. I'm ready for this now. My brain has matured, and I actually scoff at how I thought it started so slowly. Sure, it's not HUZZAH! ACTION! FIGHT SEQUENCE! right away, but there is so much important information in the beginning.

I really commend Tolkien for his vision.


What are you reading?

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kaito on Sun Jun 21, 2009 6:27 pm

Umm... Right now, The Zombie Survival Guide. Razz

(For the RP down in the RP section set in the universe of the Author.)

I've never read Tolkien and I probably won't do it.

Somehow, I've got an urge to refrain from reading stuff that is hyped. No Harry Potter, no Tolkien, no Twilight (ugh) etc etc.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Sun Jun 21, 2009 7:23 pm

(This is a book I just finished reading, rather than one that I'm halfway through.)

"The Great War in Africa" by Byron Farwell.

Africa was the most remote theater of WWI and therefore doesn't the sort of historical prominence that Ypres, the Somme, Verdun and Cambrai (and Jutland, at sea) have, or the flashier exploits of T.E. Lawrence in the so-called "Mesopotamian Theater" and the battle of Gallipoli (where ANZACs were thrown to the slaughter against the well-prepared troops of Mustafa Kemal.) Africa has no such great epic to tell, and there are few books on the subject to be had.

This book tries to encapsulate an entire continent's worth of warfare into about four hundred pages and does a pretty good job. It is mostly about smaller-scale engagements fought between predominantly native troops officered by colonial military officers. It isn't all military history, of course-- there's considerable discussion about the various political games afoot in South Africa itself, particularly among the Dutch-speaking Boers, and a general overview of the history of the places the fighting is actually taking place in.

It's a good book for someone -not- familiar with colonial African history, and doesn't really require a lot of knowledge of World War I to pick up. It's accessible and readable material, but at the same time well-researched.

I rate Byron Farwell highly as a historian of the late British Empire, and he has a raconteur's gift for keeping the narrative interesting by making the historical characters, like Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck and Jan Smuts, compelling in their own right.

I recommend this book to people with an interest in the region or the war, or history in general.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:07 pm

I'm currently reading The Magician, by Michael Scott, which is the sequel to The Alchemyst, if anyone hasn't heard of this series yet. The third book (The Sorceress) just came out a little while ago. Overall, I'm finding the series to be, pretty much, amazing, and it's got a few of my favorite historical figures (like Joan of Arc!) popping up now and again.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Gilbert on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:10 pm

As it happens, I'm also reading (two) Great War pieces. The first is To the Last Man by Jeff Shaara once more. I'm also reading World War One: A Political Tragedy, which I've only just started, but basically examines the Great War from a political view, and how the war was utterly unnecessary, how things snowballed, and (of course) once 1914 came to a close, no side was willing to settle for anything less than total surrender - the Germans still thinking victory attainable, and the British and French thinking it only a matter of time before the German lines were shattered and they could set things right again.

And that's about as far as I've gotten with the Political Tragedy piece. And having read Jeff Shaara's prose more than once, I won't summarise the whole thing lest I spoil it for anyone. But I will say...

Spoiler:
Raoul and Manfred die!!!
And Germany looses at the end.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:22 pm

My next book is going to be one on the Russo-Japanese war. "Rising Sun and Tumbling Bear, The Russian War with Japan" and a memoir of WWII I only got halfway through before having to return to the library, "Defeat into Victory: Battling Japan in Burma and India, 1942-1945" by Field Marshall William Slim.

I'm also looking for something good on Pinochet or the Nicaraguan civil war, or something in the Carribean that isn't Cuba (I've done enough Cuba reading for a while.)

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Aesalon on Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:57 pm

I am impressed with all the Geo-Poli-Historical reading guys...I tell people that I was a History major in college and they always look at me like I am a lunatic. I with I could recommend some more for you in the 20th century, but my era has always been Civil War.

I am currently reading The Lord of The Rings trilogy - Again (I have read it once every two or so years since I was 8.) Tolkein's world is so deep that I still find new things each time that I read it.

After I finish that I will do a refresh read on George RR Martin's "The Song of Ice and Fire" series (Supposedly the next book is being released soon...but we have heard that before, it is notoriously slow.)
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Eternity on Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:22 pm

I'm currently reading "The Graveyard Book", which is odd, but good.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:23 am

Hrm… I think I’ve heard about The Zombie Survival Guide. I think I’ll add it to my “To Read” list on Good Reads.

Kail, I think you’re really limiting yourself by not reading something just because a lot of other people enjoy it. You should read things and enjoy them because they’re interesting and well-written. You shouldn’t decide, “Well, that book isn’t worth anything just because millions enjoy it and talk about it.” It’s really sad.

Heyseuss, I haven’t read a lot of historical books, but I’ve found that they can be unexpectedly interesting. I’m more of a fiction fan, but I do enjoy the occasional non-fiction book. I think I’ll add that to my list, too.

Lara, I heard about those books on Gaia, and I thought they would be interesting reads. I’ve just been so busy that I keep forgetting about them.

Neil Gaiman is great, Eternity. I love his style. You should read American Gods if you haven’t already. It’s my favorite by him that I’ve read.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:29 am

Speaking of Gaiman...

I also just finished "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman; I found it to be absolutely hilarious, but one has to have a gallows sense of humor and not be too entirely hungup on religion that one can't take a good joke about it.

Other than that, it's a fabulous book.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:48 am

Oooh. That sounds like it's pretty much right up my ally. I'll add it to the list.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by ShadowPhoenix0307 on Wed Jun 24, 2009 7:45 pm

Oh History, how that is so not my subject... My bf is a HUGE history buff and it's his major in college and he's pretty reads nothing but non-fiction books. While he covers that, I'm a huge fiction fan.

I'm currently re-reading the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I good comparison I've heard to this book that I greatly agree with is: "It's a literary twinky. Light, sweet, and fluffy. However, all in all not too filling." I personally don't feel you can get much more accurate about that one.

I really want to read the Lord of the Rings series, but I don't own them and I still have a crap load of other books that I'm trying to get to and read.

To list a few:
House of Night Series by P.C. Cast
Eragon Series by Christopher Paolini (I met him by the way. Had by books signed.)
Dark-Hunter Series by Sherlyn Kenyon
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by ImmortalSin on Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:07 pm

ShadowPhoenix0307 wrote:
I'm currently re-reading the Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. I good comparison I've heard to this book that I greatly agree with is: "It's a literary twinky. Light, sweet, and fluffy. However, all in all not too filling." I personally don't feel you can get much more accurate about that one.

That would have to be the best comparison I've heard so far.

I just finished reading "Skinned" by Robin Wasserman. It's the first book in her new trilogy and I thoroughly enjoyed it. She writes in first person and does a great job of it too. It's a futuristic and realistic glance at what society might be like later on in life. The main reason I liked it so much was because of how blunt she is.

I'm just a little sad to hear that the second book won't be out until September here, but hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

At the moment I've started reading "Fell", the sequel to the book "The Sight". Both were written by David Clement-Davies and are definitely worth checking out. It's based on a pack of wolves in Transylvania (fantasy based), but some of the stuff it addresses is very relevant to our lives today. A deep and worthwhile read. I've read "The Sight" three times now, each at least a year apart and every time I learn or pick up on something different.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Squall Reyes on Wed Jun 24, 2009 9:17 pm

I'm reading World War Z for probably the 10th time.

There's a good reason for that. The book somehow makes you skin crawl, makes you disgusted at the society we live in now, and somehow inspire you at the end.

The world is just recovering from the world wide devastation of World War Z. And zombie expert Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, had taken it upon himself to document eye witness accounts from the various survivors of the conflict.

He not only talks to world leaders, but to the common solider, the stay at home mom. He explains this simply as World War Z was something that effected every ones life and so he needed every ones story.

There are characters you will grow to despise, characters you'll grow to pity and characters you wish could come from the pages and lead our own world today. What's even more amazing is the story of the average joe. People who you may start to hate until you realize that you know someone just like them. Maybe you are the character itself.

It's a book that is a must read for zombie and even non zombie fans. Max Brooks makes the classic zombie scary again. Not only that but he makes you look at our world and ourselves while he's at it.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by ShadowPhoenix0307 on Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:31 pm

ImmortalSin wrote:
At the moment I've started reading "Fell", the sequel to the book "The Sight".

Are you freaking serious?! I had no freakin' clue. I'm in love with that book and I cry every flippin' time I read it... Now I have to go back and re-read "The Sight"... then get that book! Now I'm really excited. You have officially made my night with that statement. Thank you. Smile
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:00 pm

Phoenix, that is the second best- but most relatable- explanation I've heard. Stephen King had the best explanation, though it was more in depth than the Twinkie one.

I would recommend you read the shortest series first, and work your way to the longest. That way, you'll cover more series in less time.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by ShadowPhoenix0307 on Wed Jun 24, 2009 11:30 pm

Ha, I'll have to look his up then.

The only problem is that I've read the series' but the Dark-Hunter books come out very quickly. Very quick reads but nonetheless. I'm just a very unorganized person who likes to re-read books I enjoy and I don't give myself time to start something new.

Although, once I do force myself to start a new book, I can quickly read the entire thing (no matter the size really) in no less then a week.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by ImmortalSin on Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:11 am

ShadowPhoenix0307 wrote:
Are you freaking serious?! I had no freakin' clue. I'm in love with that book and I cry every flippin' time I read it... Now I have to go back and re-read "The Sight"... then get that book! Now I'm really excited. You have officially made my night with that statement. Thank you. Smile

Hehe, you're welcome. I finished re-reading "The Sight" about a month ago in preparation for the new one. I wouldn't have known about it either but I entered some contest on David Clement-Davies website and he emailed me a reply. We talked for a bit and he let me know about the new one, "Fell". So thank him!

I haven't read much of it yet because of all of the exams and assignments I've had, but now that I've got some free time I'm planning on finishing it. All I really know is that it's based on Fell's journey after he leaves the rest of the pack. So hopefully he's one of your preferred characters. Aww
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Thu Jun 25, 2009 8:10 am

I am currently reading the original novel of 'The Journey to the West'. A friend of mine got it from her travels around the world. It is truly a wonderful art of literature! Very Happy

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 02, 2009 5:34 pm

I'm currently finishing up "The African Dream" by Che Guevara.

I lied when I said I was tired of Cuban reading, but this is more an account of the failures of Laurent Kabila's attempted communist insurgency during the Congolese civil war of the 1960's. Che Guevara and a group of Cuban advisors tried to go and fire up the Congolese to fight only to encounter considerable difficulties in getting Kabila's guys to work together, to say nothing of dealing with Tshombe's mercenaries.

I'm probably going to move back in a bit and finally read "King Leopold's Ghost" but I already know the story of the corporate colonization (and brutality) in the Congo by the Belgian King and the mismanagement of the country.

Mind you, I am not a Che worshiper. I think he's a bit of an egotist, and I'm not particularly in love with his portrayal in this country as a T-shir icon. But it was worth reading his diaries.

I still have a couple other books on standby that I'll start up once I have this one out of the way.

I also have "War Dogs" by A.J. Venter on the way, an account of Executive Outcomes, a notorious mercenary company of apartheid-era South African military veterans (white and black) who were involved in the 1990's conflicts in Sierra Leone and Angola (fighting their old allies, at the behest of their old enemies.)

I have a long-standing interest in African post-colonial history. Unfortunately, there's all too much of it. Recently, attention has been paid to the rate of rape in the Congo (1 in 4 women, and that's only the reported statistic) and the continual instability in the region.

It's pretty grim stuff, but interesting.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Twoface_ecafowT on Thu Jul 02, 2009 11:45 pm

I just picked up "House of Leaves" the other day. I've gotten some of the way through, and while it's brilliant, its without doubt the strangest book I've ever read. It's basically a horror story when you boil it down, but it's told in a completely unique way. Some pages have only a few words on them, while others will be broken up or typed in weird shapes that add something to what the writer is trying to get across. It's pure genius, and I'm loving it so far.

I'm also reading "Blood Meridian" which is great as well. The bloodiest book I've ever ready by far, and while the writing style takes some getting used to, it's a really fantastic read.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:00 am

Oh wow, House of Leaves? I had a friend who tried for ages to convince me to read it... I even took it out of the library, but for some reason I never started it. I've been considering taking it out again recently, though, so I might pick it up, myself.

Currently, I'm reading a Nancy Drew book that I found while organizing my books earlier. I want to see if it's the one I've been looking for, since I once read one of the books and absolutely loved parts of it, but I have yet to find the book again. >.>
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Loki on Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:31 am

Squall Reyes wrote:I'm reading World War Z for probably the 10th time.

There's a good reason for that. The book somehow makes you skin crawl, makes you disgusted at the society we live in now, and somehow inspire you at the end.

The world is just recovering from the world wide devastation of World War Z. And zombie expert Max Brooks, son of Mel Brooks, had taken it upon himself to document eye witness accounts from the various survivors of the conflict.

He not only talks to world leaders, but to the common solider, the stay at home mom. He explains this simply as World War Z was something that effected every ones life and so he needed every ones story.

There are characters you will grow to despise, characters you'll grow to pity and characters you wish could come from the pages and lead our own world today. What's even more amazing is the story of the average joe. People who you may start to hate until you realize that you know someone just like them. Maybe you are the character itself.

It's a book that is a must read for zombie and even non zombie fans. Max Brooks makes the classic zombie scary again. Not only that but he makes you look at our world and ourselves while he's at it.

Strongly agreed. It is written so well that there were several times I had to pull myself away from the book and remind myself that it is in fact fiction and never happened...... yet.

I read the entire Twilight series last semester (Half of the plot points were given away to me by my brother and girlfriend so I figured what the hell?).

I recently finished Cesar Millan's Be The Pack Leader and will start Cesar's Way on my 6 hour drive to and from my grandparents this weekend.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Dio the Awesome on Fri Jul 03, 2009 7:52 am

Wow, I thought I was the only 20 year old male on the planet who's read the Twilight series.

I enjoyed it. I have one complaint ONE *CENSORED* COMPLAINT!

It wasn't about vampires. I almost went and fire bombed Meyers' house when I read the sparkling in the field part. But I pushed through it, and decided to enjoy it. At the very least, she picked up my desire to right when i was in a slump.

---

Anyways, [/rant].

I am currently read the Elenium series by David Eddings. I finished The Diamond Throne, The Ruby Knight, and need to find The Sapphire Rose, hopefully in hard back. I may need to Ebay it, cuz the printings have been discontinued.

As far an manga goes, I just finished off the Death Note series, and need another good read. Suggestions?
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kaito on Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:01 am

@Squall:





AAnd, right now, I've read a bit of Terry Pratchett, Discworld 6: Wyrd Sisters. I'm loving his style. He's like.. making fun of all the habits and cliches of fantasy and their writers, while still writing a serious story..
worth a read Very Happy
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Kathryn Lacey on Fri Jul 03, 2009 11:35 am

That picture used the wrong "you're"...

I've heard a lot of good things about Terry Pratchett. I may have to give him a read when I've finished tLotR and this book I won on GoodReads.com called Dismantled by Jennifer McMahon.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Dio the Awesome on Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:29 pm

+1 rep for Terry Pratchett. I love Disc World, though I don't actually own any of the books, just borrowed 'em.
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 09, 2009 11:36 pm

Just finished "Corporate Warriors; The Rise of the Privatized Military Industry" by P. W. Singer, who is a Brookings Fellow now. The book's gotten a lot of traction as it was highly prophetic in regards to the employment of mercenaries (call a spade a spade) across the globe and the development of modern corporate entities that sell military firepower and support services.

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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by Lara on Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:45 am

I just finished Degrees of Separation, by Sue Henry. She writes Alaskan mysteries, and I love her books to death. Especially her Jessie Arnold series.

Now that I've finished that one, I'm considering starting Murder on the Yukon Quest, also by Sue Henry... but I might start a different one instead, depending on what strikes my fancy. I have an Iris Johansen book that has been begging to be read...
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Re: What Are You Reading?

Post by LunarScorpio on Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:42 am

I just saw the movie Inkheart not too long ago, so I figured I would go ahead and read the book too. So, that's what I'm currently reading and so far there are a few differences from the movie, but that's to be expected.
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