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Last Book You Read and Rate It (Part II)

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Old
05-03-2012, 08:50 AM
  #201
ForzaZuffa
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http://www.amazon.ca/The-Ice-Man-Con.../dp/0312349289

Very well written, quick pacing, unbelievably story that's almost hard to believe if it weren't cemented in factual standings. 9.5/10

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05-03-2012, 07:58 PM
  #202
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I need some help finding a book to read. Ive been reading some sad/depressing books lately and need something more positive and a light read. For some reason all the books that catch my attention are really sad lol. Any suggestions?

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05-10-2012, 09:07 AM
  #203
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The Ghost of White Hart Lane by Rob White 4/5
As a casual Spurs fan in the States I'm not well acquainted with their long history. This is the story of the author trying to learn about his father, John White, a legendary Hotspur from the late 50's/early 60's, who died tragically from a lightning strike - while golfing - in the prime of his career. Extremely well, and lovingly, written, John White was an interesting character and in the author's journey of discovery of his father, I was able to discover quite a bit about the history of the Spurs, particularly their double winning side. Recommended for Spurs fans and anyone wanting an interesting read about English football in the mid 20th century.




Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson 3/5
With the theme of a robot takeover far from new this is a pretty comfortable read. Reads like the novelization of a movie (and with that lies many of the problems) with each chapter the POV of a half dozen or so characters recounting their view of the war against the robots. Pretty entertaining popcorn.

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05-10-2012, 11:00 AM
  #204
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Originally Posted by pdogfizzle View Post
I need some help finding a book to read. Ive been reading some sad/depressing books lately and need something more positive and a light read. For some reason all the books that catch my attention are really sad lol. Any suggestions?
A Confederacy of Dunces.

Read it and don't drop it till it's done.

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05-10-2012, 12:34 PM
  #205
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Animal Farm - George Orwell

Pretty simplistic but a good quick read. Rebuild the windmill. Twice.

3/5

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05-10-2012, 01:52 PM
  #206
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Dragonlance: The Annotated Chronicles 10/10


Possibly one of the best fantasy books and series ever put to paper.

A must read for any fantasy geek.

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05-10-2012, 05:23 PM
  #207
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Boomerang - Michael Lewis

This book is center around a few European countries that were greatly affected by the world wide economic disaster that came from the sub-prime mortgage boom in 2008. It's kind of a continuation of his previous best seller "the big short" which goes into detail about the sub-prime mortgage bust.


What the Dog Saw - Malcolm Gladwell

It's a collection of Gladwell's best/favorite pieces he did during his career working for the new york times. It starts off really slow, I was regretting picking this up, but once you get passed his 4-5th story the subjects he chooses to investigate are pretty interesting. Very much on par with his books outliers, tipping point, and blink.


Blink - Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell talks about the power of quick reactionary thinking. The book starts of by telling a story of a potentially highly valuable piece of art. Preliminary tests showed that the sculpture was the real deal, however, when world renowned experts in the field finally took a look at it in person they knew it was a phony within the first few seconds. This is pretty much the premise of the book, but Gladwell applies this idea of quick thinking (or thin slicing as he calls it) to a myriad of other topics examining both pros and cons of this type of analysis.


At Home: A Short History of Private Life - Bill Bryson

The book covers topics of the commerce, architecture, technology and geography that have shaped homes into what they are today, told through a series of "tours" through Bryson's Norfolk rectory that quickly digress into the history of each particular room.


The **** of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II - Iris Chang

When ever anyone thinks of WW2 the first thing that comes to mind is the Nazi's and their 'final solution'. However, in the pacific theater there were worse atrocities going on though they wouldn't come close to those performed by the nazi's with respect to numbers of casualties.

As japan pushed through china to take control they end up at a then great city called 'nanking'. Before the japanese arrived the chinese ordered a full retreat, at the same time the japanese demanded surrender in return for humane treatment of POW's and civilians. Once, the japanese took the city the almost immediately began to massacre and **** almost everyone who remained and tallied up a death toll upwards of 350,000 people of the course of 7 weeks.

Some japanese soldiers were said to have ***** pregnant woman only to then kill her and cut the fetus out of her abdomen and watch it squirm in amusement.

Chang talks about how the japanese became capable of such acts and talks about the long and difficult process of getting the japanese nation to recognize their mutilation of the chinese and a select group of foreigners who saved hundreds of thousands of chinese in a self made 'safe zone'.

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05-15-2012, 02:17 AM
  #208
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To break up the serious books ...




It's 332 pages in the hardcover version, but it really ends on 290, w/ the rest an index and rundown of all the people mentioned in the book. Ortved's actual writing probably takes up a combined 75 pages, mostly in the very beginning and very end. It's a mass of quotes from old interviews w/ bridges written by Ortved to keep it going into a certain direction. Almost none of the quotes are dated when they appear, only in the back credits, so unless you're constantly flipping back and forth, it's hard to tell if the quote is from 1989, 2007, or anywhere in between.

It's obvious early on that the author no longer likes the show. It's too popular and not as important to him as when he was in junior high, so it must be awful. There's a lot of "this writer's a genius," but pretty only for the people who worked on the show in the early years.

It reads like a long magazine article that was padded out w/ triple the quotes and Ortved's personal feelings (which, technically, it is -- he wrote a piece for Vanity Fair that led to the book). There are plenty of typos -- it even says Simspons at one point. There's a reason this is unauthorized, and it's not (only) because people are insulted: it's because the writers (even from the "bad" seasons) would want to rewrite this multiple times so it didn't look like it was put together in a month.

The first page (if you ignore the foreword by Douglas Coupland) is about Freaks and Geeks, not The Simpsons. There is very little about the actual episodes; I knew it wasn't going to be much like the episode guide books, but I thought there would be a little more background on where the ideas came from, and less about the room they were writing in (examples: Swartzwelder smoked and wrote in coffee shops, then bought a booth when public smoking was banned; Conan threw a slice of pizza at the ceiling and the stain stayed for years) or the people they had to deal w/.

He tries to take as much credit away from Matt Groening as possible, making MG appear as if he was only in for the money pretty much from the very beginning. Sam Simon, George Meyer, John Swartzwelder, and Conan O'Brien get more credit than everyone else combined, it seems. The voice actors are mentioned, but never given much time; I think Nancy Cartwright gets more attention for her Scientology donations than being Bart's voice. Hank Azaria might be the only voice actor quoted; most of them are former writers and staff, as well as Rupert Murdoch, Seth McFarlane, Matt Stone, Ricky Gervais, Tom Wolfe, Robert Pinsky, and Stan Lee.

There's almost nothing about why characters were named the way they are (except for the family, which were named after Groening's own family, as well as Colonel Hap Hapablap). No mentions of Oregon and all the things that are based on and named after places there. You know, history and background of the actual show.

The first half of the book is the buildup, before any half hour show ever airs. In between the praising of the early writers, there's some good background info about animation studios, rewrites, and the lack of network interference, but the second half is thrown together and jumps around, w/ Ortved continually repeating that the show isn't the same anymore. He becomes Comic Book Guy, only w/out the store. He also hates celebrities doing voices, unless they were in episodes he liked, in which case they are genius moves. He also hates Family Guy (except for Adam West) and American Dad.

Some people here might like it. All you have to do is think Conan O'Brien is the greatest person ever and that no TV show should ever make it past 100 episodes. It's pretty much a book to read once, then pull down to read one random chapter every once in a while.

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05-18-2012, 11:53 PM
  #209
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Infinite Jest - 10/10

Seriously.

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05-19-2012, 04:42 PM
  #210
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Southern Comfort - 8/10

First book based on the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. video game series, which I love. It reads similar to what you'd expect from the game. I thought it was a really good book and a lot of it had me turning the page to see what was next. The only part I didn't really like is when Tarasov meets Nooria and pretty much the rest of the book minus the last 2 or 3 chapters. Thankfully, that wasn't too much of the book. It ended well though and it went along well with the video game series. If you like the games, I'd recommend it.

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05-19-2012, 04:54 PM
  #211
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Infinite Jest - 10/10

Seriously.
Definitely a 10. I need to reread that monster. So worth the time.

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05-19-2012, 08:18 PM
  #212
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The **** of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of World War II - Iris Chang

When ever anyone thinks of WW2 the first thing that comes to mind is the Nazi's and their 'final solution'. However, in the pacific theater there were worse atrocities going on though they wouldn't come close to those performed by the nazi's with respect to numbers of casualties.

As japan pushed through china to take control they end up at a then great city called 'nanking'. Before the japanese arrived the chinese ordered a full retreat, at the same time the japanese demanded surrender in return for humane treatment of POW's and civilians. Once, the japanese took the city the almost immediately began to massacre and **** almost everyone who remained and tallied up a death toll upwards of 350,000 people of the course of 7 weeks.

Some japanese soldiers were said to have ***** pregnant woman only to then kill her and cut the fetus out of her abdomen and watch it squirm in amusement.

Chang talks about how the japanese became capable of such acts and talks about the long and difficult process of getting the japanese nation to recognize their mutilation of the chinese and a select group of foreigners who saved hundreds of thousands of chinese in a self made 'safe zone'.
There are two recent movies out about what happened in Nanking, one of which is worth going out of your way to find. The weaker one, The Flowers of War with Christian Bale, is pure Hollywood-style malarkey and should be avoided at all costs.

However, there is an excellent Chinese film called City of Life and Death (2009), directed by Chaun Lu, that presents a very believable and harrowing account of the **** of Nanking. It is appropriately shot in black and white and was easily one of the better films of 2009 as well as being one of the most powerful.


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05-19-2012, 10:30 PM
  #213
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There are two recent movies out about what happened in Nanking, one of which is worth going out of your way to find. The weaker one, The Flowers of War with Christian Bale, is pure Hollywood-style malarkey and should be avoided at all costs.

However, there is an excellent Chinese film called City of Life and Death (2009), directed by Chaun Lu, that presents a very believable and harrowing account of the **** of Nanking. It is appropriately shot in black and white and was easily one of the better films of 2009 as well as being one of the most powerful.
I'll definitely look into those, thanks for the suggestions. In the near future I'm going get a hold of a book about Unit 731, which was used for biological and chemical testing on Chinese prisoners by the Japanese army.

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05-21-2012, 09:01 AM
  #214
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War and Peace, written by Leo Tolstoy: It took me two days short of a month, but I finally completed War and Peace, all 1600+ pages, the closest thing to a marathon that I know of in literature. The novel focuses on a few aristocratic Russian families in the time of the Napoleonic Wars during which Napoleon got as far as Moscow only to find in doing so that he had sowed the seeds for the destruction of his army and his empire. The characters--Pierre, Prince Andrew, Nicholas, Natasha and on and on--are very vividly drawn and the sweep of the novel is immense. There are dull stretches, especially in the beginning when the aristocracy is preparing for war with Napoleon and at the end in the final appendix when Tolstoy goes into his dry philosophy of history mode. But Tolstoy's grasp of the psychology of his characters, his way of showing their hopes and flaws, his convincing description of battles, all make for a narrative that is full of life and meaning. The novel can be a grueling experience but everyone should tackle it at least once. Certainly nothing else is quite like it.

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05-25-2012, 11:50 AM
  #215
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Probably a little late to the party on this one. Since I haven't read fiction in probably close to 3 years, it took me a while to be able to understand and comprehend the writing style and blending of reality and the world of "The Combine" in the Chief's head. As the effect of McMurphy on the ward and the nurse built up, I got more and more into the book. The final handful of pages are just awesome. Hoping this restarts my reading itch.

8/10

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05-25-2012, 02:03 PM
  #216
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8/10 - Took a little while to draw me in but I began to love all the characters on their own. Impressive book.

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05-25-2012, 10:53 PM
  #217
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Day Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko

The second book of the popular pentalogy of Russian Horror-Fantasy, Day Watch continues in the chronicling of the battle between the forces of good (The Night Watch/Light Ones) and the forces of darkness (The Day Watch/ Dark Ones). Beyond an interesting take on the difference of Light vs. Dark, vivid action scenes and subtle machinations are also quickly evident. A very good book, one of the few complaints that I can offer is that the translation has several gaping holes- some grammatical mistakes that disrupt the flow of conversation/ who said what, as well as more serious missteps that misconstrue important plot details.

Read the Night Watch first, though it is not required. I highly recommend this book.

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05-25-2012, 11:12 PM
  #218
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Animal Farm - George Orwell

Pretty simplistic but a good quick read. Rebuild the windmill. Twice.

3/5
Loved that book.

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05-25-2012, 11:29 PM
  #219
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Just read Franny and am mid-way through Zooey. Franny is so well written it makes me feel like a gigantic schlub and a hack of a writer.

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05-26-2012, 02:03 PM
  #220
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Just finished reading The Maze Runner trilogy



A Dystopian future where a man-made disease called "the flare" is slowly killing off the human race. Certain people are naturally immune to this disease, and a foundation is developed by the world government to run "tests" on these individuals with the goal on creating a cure. These people's memory's are erased just before they're placed into a small habitual area surrounded by a giant labyrinth. Book 1 takes place 2 years later, when the last boy is sent into the maze. Book 2 follows the events after the maze, and book 3 wraps it all up. My only critique with book 3 is that there is still a lot of questions (though the author is now releasing a prequel). There were also a lot of unnecessary deaths in book 3 which were kind of depressing.

Book#1: The Maze Runner 4/5
Book #2: The Scorch Trials 4/5
Book #3: The Death Cure: 2/5

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05-27-2012, 09:46 PM
  #221
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Catch-22
by Joseph Heller

Read it for the first time, probably the funniest book I've ever read, as well as the most horrifying. Definitely is up there among my favorites

10/10

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05-29-2012, 12:03 PM
  #222
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The Floating Opera, by John Barth: Barth's first novel and quite different than his later tour de force extravaganzas. Set in the 30's, it's about Todd Andrews, a bachelor Maryland lawyer involved in a semi-kinky menage a trois, who has decided to commit suicide. Barth plays around with existentialism here, often amusingly. Todd is quite happy to discover that nothing has any intrinsic meaning; he takes him awhile to figure out the implications of that, though. Meanwhile, he alternately pleases and irritates his friends, Harrison and Jane, the latter of whom he has an off and on affair with. Some good, devious lawyer stories thrown in for good measure. A well-executed novel about a complex and borderline likable guy.

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05-29-2012, 12:19 PM
  #223
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Dragonlance: The Annotated Legends



10/10

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05-29-2012, 09:47 PM
  #224
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Has anyone seen or read any of those Jo Nesbo books that are popping up in bookstores? Supposedly the next "Stieg Larsson".

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05-29-2012, 10:51 PM
  #225
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Twilight Watch is the third book in the Watch series, after Night Watch and Day Watch. We return to the hero of the first book Anton Gorodetsky, Light Magician of the 2nd class (7th being the weakest, 0 and "Beyond Classification" the strongest, though 0 is stronger than "Beyond Classification") as he fights the forces of evil and their own force, the Day Watch.

The focus of the three stories (Prolouge, 7 chapters and Epilouge) is whether or not human beings can become Others (what magical beings are called), something which is supposedly impossible. A person is born an Other, and while there is a legend of a way to change people into Other's, it is disregarded as a myth.

Much more fast paced than Day Watch, which focused more on tying all of the events of the book together. The evolution of the hero Anton is very well done, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that he served as an imperfect narrator (for example, he shares a seething hatred of the Dark Ones, and will never let anyone- Light or Dark- forget that). It's a nice touch to see that despite the ability to turn vampires to ash instantaneously and influence any person he desires, he still is a human being.

If you enjoy any fantasy, horror, action or detective novels than Twilight Watch (and the Watch series) offers a great taste of all of the above. 9/10

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