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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
02-06-2012, 10:41 AM
  #51
weaponomega
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The Informationist



by Taylor Stevens

6.8/10

The book and the plot were ok. The story was very 24-esque and the character was similar to a female Jack Bauer. However where I felt Taylor Stevens failed is making the main character "Michael" likeable. She intends to write a series of novels involving this character and so she must do a better job at forcing the reader to enjoy the character. She adequately portrayed Michael as damaged and her behaviour in various situations indicated that. But the vulnerability, and the emotions Michael displayed felt forced and artificial as if the character is a woman and thus should feel this way. I enjoyed the book for the most part but the issues regarding the likeability of the main character will likely keep me from reading this series.

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02-06-2012, 03:35 PM
  #52
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I recently finished The Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind. The series itself was terrible, a generous 2/10. I give myself a 0/10 for finishing the series and believing it would get better or, at least, have a satisfying end.

Someone also needs to teach Goodkind and his editor the difference between 'insure' and 'ensure', as 'insure' was clearly his favourite word (he used it in almost every chapter of the series, or so it seemed) and I would be hard pressed to find an occasion where he used it correctly.

I am now 7 books into the Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson; going from the worst fantasy series I've read, to potentially the best, has been refreshing.

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02-06-2012, 09:16 PM
  #53
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I gave up on Goodkind after book 4 or 5 of that series. I found myself wondering what the hell the point was, and then I just gave up.

Recently finished Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. I'd give it an 8/10. Not much action in it, but I liked seeing Darth Sidious' beginnings and the maneuvering by the Sith leading up the prequels. It was much more enjoyable than that Fate of the Jedi garbage.

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02-07-2012, 09:18 AM
  #54
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Your Movie Sucks, Roger Ebert: 6.5/10
I like Roger Ebert, and I like reading reviews of bad movies, so I figured this would make a nice, light read. After finishing it, I reflected on a couple of things: reading a few bad reviews on Rotten Tomatoes once in a while is a nice diversion when you're bored at work, but reading a whole book of them quickly becomes a chore (unless you only read a couple a day, maybe). The other thing is that, since Ebert already has another book of his reviews of bad movies out there (I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie, released in 2000), this book only covers what didn't make it into the previous volume up until about 2007. So really you're getting about 7 years of bad movies. If you need a crash course on how bad the 00's were for mainstream movies (comedies especially), this would be useful. Otherwise I'd suggest combining the two into one volume and taking out some of the more apathetic reviews - a review where the writer tears into the film is fun, a review where the writer talks about how bored he is or what he would have done differently isn't so much.

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02-07-2012, 09:22 AM
  #55
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The Year of the Flood by Margret Atwood

7.2/10

I liked this novel more than I did Oryx and Crake. In both novels Atwood gave an excessive amount of back story versus advancing the plot further - especially in Oryx and Crake. I think that is the main reason why I prefer The Year of the Flood over Oryx and Crake - there was more progression in Year of the Flood. This is my second Atwood novel I have read, so I am not familiar with her writing style. I don't know if the back story is a characteristic of her writing style or if it is being used to set up the third book.

Overall, I liked The Year of the Flood, I thought the pacing of the story was slow at times, but the plot and premise were creative and interesting as were the two main characters. I am looking forward to reading the third book.

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02-07-2012, 10:11 PM
  #56
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Death and the Penguin, by Andrey Kurkov: When the Kiev zoo is forced to sell off animals due to cutbacks, Viktor, a wannabe writer, adopts a penguin and, some time after, lands a cushy job out of nowhere writing future obituaries of important people who have the alarming tendency of dying soon afterward. And a dubious friend leaves his young daughter for Viktor to look after for who knows how long. This is a bleak black comedy that one reviewer called "menacing" and another "wistful" and both descriptions fit perfectly. Misha the penguin is in his own silent way one of the most curious fictional characters that I have run across recently, and the book is filled with a kind of uneasy post-Soviet "well-what-happens-next" sense of foreboding that is anything but hopeful. Despite that, the novel manages to be vaguely disturbing and somewhat charming at the same time. The novel starts as light as air but picks up considerable heft as it moves forward. Kurkov has written a sequel which I will track down at the earliest opportunity. Though the novel is written by a Ukranian, I can think of two or three Romanian directors who I would love to see tackle this as a movie.

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02-10-2012, 12:26 PM
  #57
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Timescape by Gregory Benford, 3/10. Very disappointed with this book. There was way to many large chunks of useless text, boring musings of a physicist. Really, this is a 500 page book that could have been trimmed down to 150. The whole time travel, grandfather paradox has been done to death and this book offered nothing unique in that aspect. None of the characters were likable or interesting. This book won the Nebula award in 1980 or 1981, and I am dumbfounded by that. Must have been the slowest year in history for good sci-fi books. Anyone else read this? would love to hear someone else's imput.

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02-10-2012, 01:20 PM
  #58
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7.5/10

Good account of how a young peasant boy worked his way into becoming the first person in space, only to fall out of favor once Khrushchev was overthrown by Brezhnev, and eventually die in a plane crash as he was trying to accumulate flying hours so he could qualify for a new MiG 17 and become an instructor since he had only flown 78 hours total between 1960 and 1968 - none solo.

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02-13-2012, 06:32 AM
  #59
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The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester, 9/10, very entertaining book.. It's always amazing reading Sci-fi books written like 60 years ago, Bester did a pretty dang good job. It's about a guy in the future who wants to get away with murder in a world that is full of 'peepers'(people who can read thoughts)

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02-13-2012, 07:41 AM
  #60
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Lunatics by Dave Barry and Alan Zweiber

I post this only to warn: AVOID THIS BOOK. A truly terribly imagined thing that I can only imagine was published on the name of the author alone. Surely if an editor actually seen it before it went into production it would have been dismissed at once.

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02-14-2012, 02:19 PM
  #61
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Penguin Lost, by Andrei Kurkov: More like a simple continuation of Death and the Penguin than a sequel, Viktor, our hero, returns from a self-imposed but very necessary exile to find that his pet penguin Misha is now owned by a fierce Chechnyan warlord and everything else in his life has changed as well. Definitely not as much fun and, certainly, not as successful as the first novel as it takes way too long for Viktor to navigate past an array of corrupt politicians, vicious thugs and unsavory characters to get to his penguin. But like the first one, it gets better as it goes along. too, so I would still give a mild recommendation, but only if you read and liked the first one. This one makes no sense as a "stand alone" whatsoever. As it turns out, Death and the Penguin is a hard act to follow.

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02-14-2012, 02:21 PM
  #62
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So I thought I'd ask here.

Best biography or autobiography you guys have ever read?

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02-14-2012, 02:24 PM
  #63
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Originally Posted by Oilbleeder View Post
So I thought I'd ask here.

Best biography or autobiography you guys have ever read?

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02-14-2012, 02:46 PM
  #64
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So I thought I'd ask here.

Best biography or autobiography you guys have ever read?

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02-14-2012, 03:17 PM
  #65
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Moral Principles and Political Obligation by A. John Simmons

8.5 on 10.

It's essentially a sruvery of various arguments which attempt to identify the conditions under which people are obliged to obey the laws of the states under which they live. He looks at various streams such as consent theory, the principle of fair play etc. He concludes that there are essentially no strong grounds for political obligation outside of consent theory. However, since there has never been any contract situation in which people could have consented nor will there likely be such a scenario, he concludes that none of these accounts can bind us to the laws of state under which we live. He ends up siding with Philsophical Anarchist tradition and authors like Robert Paul Wolff.

Simmons is an excellent writer and it's a quick and easy read(200pages). He avoids political philosophy jargon as much as he can to make is points clear and to the point.

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02-14-2012, 03:20 PM
  #66
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Orlando by Virginia Woolf

0/10

One of the worst pieces of steaming **** I've ever read. I only finished it because I was determined to find out where it would lead. The ending made me slam my book down in rage. Useless drivel. Descriptives upon descriptives upon descriptives until the whole thing is so hazy you have no idea what the **** you're reading about anymore.

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02-14-2012, 05:11 PM
  #67
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Originally Posted by Oilbleeder View Post
So I thought I'd ask here.

Best biography or autobiography you guys have ever read?


Hate to pick something so well-known that everyone has already read, but if I'm choosing the best then that's my answer.

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02-14-2012, 05:45 PM
  #68
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So I thought I'd ask here.

Best biography or autobiography you guys have ever read?

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Old
02-14-2012, 11:02 PM
  #69
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Woah! Small world. Great pick. This is the first book I ever reviewed, early in the first "book" thread. Picked it up in the Tokyo airport, because I wanted to find our more about the culture. My pick would be, though:



Portrait of a Marriage, by Nigel Nicholson: Basically, a very different love story, that of Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicholson. They had a stormy marriage with Vita having affairs with women, most prominently Virginia Woolf, and Harold having gay dalliances though he wasn't homosexual but thought that was the only way to safeguard the marriage. Despite all this drama, they loved each other deeply. Their story is told with honesty, intelligence and affection by their son, who seems like a remarkably well-balanced and sane human being. A beautiful piece of writing.

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02-15-2012, 04:56 PM
  #70
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Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, 10/10. Absolutely brilliant, one of the best books I've read in a long time. If I didn't have responsibilities I could have read this in one sitting because it's really easy read and it's just that good. Loosely, it's mostly about an eccentric fictional noble peace prize winner who was the father of the atomic bomb, an oddly ran fictional Caribbean island, and it's fictional religion self admittedly based off of lies. It's categorized under sci-fi but really, it could just be under fiction, it's not some heavy duty, Larry Niven like science novel. 'No cat, No cradle'

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02-17-2012, 01:14 PM
  #71
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The Metamorphosis and Other Stories, Franz Kafka: 7.5/10
I enjoyed this collection, my introduction to Kafka's work. It's pretty scattershot but I really liked the "main" pieces, The Metamorphosis and In the Penal Colony (my favorite). I was a little less blown away than I'd hoped to be but still an enlightening read.


As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner: 9/10
Great and all-too-brief, I was turned on to Faulkner tracing the roots of Cormac McCarthy and the comparison is really a no-brainer to make. Jewel is a fascinating character - the whole family is in fact fascinating, despite (or owing to) how little is actually revealed of them. I wish it were longer, but I can't wait to read it again either.


Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk: 6.5/10
Fight Club is a great movie, and I always feel compelled to read the original source of a film I enjoy, even if it's sometimes out of a sense of duty as inthis case. The book was pretty much what I expected. Palahniuk's prose works better broken into staccato chunks as in the movie; it grows wearisome reading page after page. Would I have said that if I had read the book before seeing the movie? Probably not. I think I probably would have loved this book if I had read it in high school.

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02-20-2012, 03:49 PM
  #72
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I'm not much of a reader but I've been promoted to a position that is basically sitting and waiting for customers to come to you. To help pass the time, I've been reading books.

Random Thoughts from a Diseased Mind (Not for Dummies) by John L. R. Linde - 9/10

This book is actually written by a friend of mine. It's not really a book with a story line, just a book of his random thoughts and short stories that he had throughout his life. It's really funny and offensive, really for somebody who doesn't take life too seriously and likes to laugh at the stupidity of others. He mentions a few times throughout the book that if he didn't offend you yet, he apologizes There were obviously a few parts that I was kind of pissed off about but that was pretty much the point of his book. A lot of really funny and twisted stuff in there though for people with a dark sense of humor, a lot of we're thinking it but he's saying it moments in there.

The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman - 8/10

The first half was pretty slow, I'd go so far as to say the first part of the story was completely irrelevant to the story but it did have it's moments. Once they reached Atlanta and met other humans though is when it started to get entertaining. It wasn't quite as well written as the comic books but it was entertaining nevertheless. If you're a fan of the comics or TV shows, definitely give it a read.

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02-20-2012, 05:02 PM
  #73
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[img]


As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner: 9/10
Great and all-too-brief, I was turned on to Faulkner tracing the roots of Cormac McCarthy and the comparison is really a no-brainer to make. Jewel is a fascinating character - the whole family is in fact fascinating, despite (or owing to) how little is actually revealed of them. I wish it were longer, but I can't wait to read it again either.
One of the best books I've ever read in my life. Insanely good and I also can't wait to read it again.

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02-20-2012, 05:25 PM
  #74
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Back, Beethoven and the Boys, by David Barber: Another fun garage sale read. Barber is anything but a card-carrying musicologist, he just knows a lot about classical music, being himself something of a self-taught fan. He provides a down-to-earth introduction to many of the most important composers, and he makes it easy to understand the broad outlines of the various periods. A lot of what seemed previously mystifying becomes much more readily understandable as he not only supplies history but offers some informed choices as well. The insights come with a lot of common sense and a fair amount of wit. Recommended to anyone just beginning to find their way into the classical music canon.

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02-22-2012, 01:06 PM
  #75
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Eon by Greg Bear, 8/10. Another awesome book by Bear, although 500 pages of some pretty heavy reading. It's about an asteroid that enters Earth's orbit. The US/Nato allegiance ends up there first and that is the final straw for the Russians, who were already on the brink of nuclear war with the US. They discover 7 man made chambers, some with cities, and 1 when a never ending 'tunnel' or 'singularity', which extends infinitely with in infinite amount of gates that has a universe behind each 1. It goes on explaining how the asteroid was developed into what it was by humans and eventually introduces other intelligent life forms and stuff, don't want to give it way. Solid book but I'd recommend it to only the other sci fi nerds around here.

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