What are you reading?

A place to discuss your favorite authors and poets, Christian and secular

Re: What are you reading?

Postby Makachop^^128 » Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:05 pm

Right now I'm reading The Bradbury chronicles, a biography about Ray Bradbury and I love it :)
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ClaecElric4God » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:07 pm

The Thief - by Fuminori Nakamura. I like the idea and story, but there's some content I'm not too crazy about.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:04 am

The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien - Oh maaaan, I always forget how much I love the last couple chapters of this book <3
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby yukoxholic » Fri Mar 22, 2013 12:40 pm

Just finished Because I Am Furniture by Thalia Chaltas and onto The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater audiobook.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SierraLea » Sat Mar 23, 2013 2:02 am

I reread one of my favorites, "Surviving the Applewhites". I would love to see this get turned into a manga, it has a lot of potential, especially with what could possibly happen after the book's completed story arc. I feel there could be more where that came from.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Atria35 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:30 am

Turn Right At Macchu Picchu - This is a great travelogue. This guy decides to get to Macchu Picchu via the route of the original guy who discovered it - NOT the overpopulated Inca Trail - and it's full of funny stories about the trip, really awesome history, and just is generally lots of fun.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby ich1990 » Tue Mar 26, 2013 11:09 pm

“A Hat full of Sky” by Terry Pratchett

The problem with reading a Discworld book is that you realize that all of your free time, from now on, is best spent reading more Discworld. Sure, other books are great and you should spend time hanging out with friends and such, but deep down you know that every second you are not reading Discworld is just another second that isn’t living up to its full potential.

“A Hat full of Sky” is another Tiffany Aching book, and as such is less directly humorous than Pratchet’s other works. I kind of like that. He leaves more room for direct philosophy. More room for life lessons. You get that in his humor books too, but in a breezy way. It is less intense and piercing. Not so with this one. At times I wonder if kids (or "Young Adults") won’t like it, because it is too serious. Then I remember that it is adults who don’t take things seriously. Kids know the world is in desperate need of saving and are prepared to fight dragons to do it.

Really it is quite easy to go on and on about how great Pratchett is and how excellent these unassumingly deep Young Adult novels are, but I will save you the trouble. Mostly because I am wasting time typing this when I could be reading the next one. 9/10

“Wintersmith” by Terry Pratchett

While it goes without saying that this is more Discworld greatness and therefore by default some of the best fantasy to be created, I didn't like “Wintersmith” nearly as much as the other Tiffany Aching books. I thought the villain took second stage to the menial tasks of everyday witch life. That was probably the point, but I didn't like it. There was no urgency and no fear.

In the end, however, the moments of everyday magic, incidental humor, and fantastic characters being fantastic more than made up for the overarching weaknesses. It is just a little frustrating when you know that Pratchet can do all of that and add a brilliant plot on top. And yet he didn't. It is like watching fireworks. After a while, you stop seeing the normal white sparkly ones and look only for the deep reds or the ones that hang in the air forever. The normal ones are still beautiful and amazing, but the others are so much better that it is hard to appreciate a less spectacular display. 7/10
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SierraLea » Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:40 pm

The Ranger's Apprentice, book 8, the Kings Of Clonmel. This author knows how to write humor, but there's a lot in this book that is serious, more so than the other ones. Will is like a cross between a ninja and a woodsman.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Thu Apr 04, 2013 6:18 pm

China Boy by Gus Lee - This was a great read, a semi-autobiographical story about a son of Chinese immigrants to the U.S. who grows up as the only Asian kid in a black ghetto. It has quite a bit of language in it, and deals with very cruel bullying and abusive parenting, but is a tremendously hopeful story. It's all about how the main character finds hope, meaning, and inner strength in learning how to box. There are some wonderfully redemptive relationships in this poor boy's life, and after listening to an interview of Lee, I think it's obvious that those relationships led Lee to forgiveness through the love of Christ.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby GeneD » Fri Apr 05, 2013 3:18 am

Finished Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere yesterday.

I'm not sure what to read now, I'm considering Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Ender's Game or one of Tolkien's shorter non-LotR works. What should I read next?
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby uc pseudonym » Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:42 pm

GeneD wrote:I'm not sure what to read now, I'm considering Harry Potter, the Hunger Games, Ender's Game or one of Tolkien's shorter non-LotR works. What should I read next?

Ender's Game will give you the most bang for your reading buck. There are multiple attached books, but it really isn't a series in the conventional sense. The Ender's Shadow series is fun if you want more of the same, but not a necessary component. I also recommend Speaker for the Dead if you like old-school SF, but otherwise I think it's best to pretend the rest of the series doesn't exist.

Hunger Games is worth reading if you don't have a lot of better books on your pile. Harry Potter is the global phenomenon that it is, but the question is if you want to start on 1 000 000+ words. And of course, there's a certain other novel you could be reading...
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby GeneD » Sun Apr 07, 2013 11:30 am

Well, I started reading Hunger Games, mostly because I wanted something that reads easily and since I've seen the movie I think I could live with not going directly into the next book if I feel like a change. So I wouldn't say I don't have better books on my pile, just that they might not be better for right now. As for the other one, I am reading it, too slowly though.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:11 am

Black Rain by Masuji Ibuse - A really interesting, tragic read about survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. It follows a man trying to find a husband for his niece, and is failing because she was in Hiroshima at the time and no one wants to marry someone who has a chance of radiation sickness. It's mostly just an excuse to give a bunch of firsthand accounts of what the aftermath of the bomb was like, but I found it very helpful to get a real Japanese perspective on what that time was like, which I think is very important for an American.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Makachop^^128 » Fri Apr 12, 2013 12:59 pm

Going to start reading Hitch hikers guide to the galaxy :)
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Thu Apr 18, 2013 6:44 pm

An Unquiet Mind by Kay Redfield Jamison, which is her autobiography of how she developed bipolar disorder, the havoc it wreaked on her life, and how she came to terms with it. An interesting book, and valuable for understanding what it's like to be bipolar.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Kaori » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:52 am

Finished rereading Mary Shelley's Frankenstein . . . ten years after reading it the first time, I can now really tell it was written by a nineteen-year-old. Her expressive vocabulary is stunning and I am terribly envious of it. However, there are all sorts of plot holes like SPOILER: Highlight text to read: how the creature recognizes Victor as its creator when its sensations were so indistinct in its early days (according to it), why the old man in the cottage doesn’t say anything to change his son’s mind (when Felix is driving away the creature after the creature tells his story to the father), why Victor is worried about the creatures multiplying and filling the earth when they’re made of corpses and he could easily make the female infertile, why he needs to go to England for more medical knowledge to make a female creature when he already had perfectly sufficient knowledge to make the male, and where the creature intends to get firewood for his pyre in the north pole. Also the extreme histrionic emotion present throughout the book is not appealing to me in the least.

Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart. Watered-down pop psychology; the author makes assertions and expects readers to take her word on them without her backing up her assertions through any kind of argument or evidence. The writing style is cliché-ridden and overly popular. Was able to glean a few things from it, but overall it was not very good.

Masks of Melancholy by John White was a welcome change from the above. Like Wild at Heart or Strong Women, Soft Hearts this book is also a book by a Christian author about a psychological topic; however, unlike Rinehart, White does thoroughly and carefully cite the studies that demonstrate the facts and ideas he asserts. I appreciate White’s scholarly, rather than popular, approach, and especially his acknowledgment of the complexities of his subject and of the fact that depression manifests itself in many different ways and that there are many different factors that can be causes or risk factors. He doesn’t make the mistake of generalizing and assuming that everyone’s experience is the same, which is a huge mistake made both by Eldredge and Paula Rinehart.

The subject of the book is riveting for me personally, and I greatly appreciated White’s careful, scholarly style; it’s just a shame that the book is so dated (1982). I wish more Christian authors wrote like this.

The Musician’s Quest (abridged version of Robert Falconer by George MacDonald): Has some good thoughts about the necessity and importance of following Christ by doing concrete things to serve and help people around you. Also, apparently MacDonald doesn’t believe in hell. Overall a pretty slow read even in the abridgment, though abridged versions do tend to be much plainer and more generic in their writing style than the original, so perhaps the colorlessness of the book is partly owing to the fact that it is abridged.

Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard: Pretty much this entire book strongly evoked that sweet sense of longing that C.S. Lewis calls “joy.” Extremely emotional read for me. The story isn’t necessarily universal—the specific sins and faults that Much-Afraid struggles with are not going to be the same sins and faults that everyone struggles with, and there will be many that other people struggle with that do not appear in the book. But still there are some amazing lessons in the book, particularly the song of the waterfalls and streams that rejoice in always seeking lower places and pouring themselves out in love.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Fri Apr 19, 2013 9:54 pm

A couple weeks ago I burned through Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, which was about as good as I expected it to be. It was more terrifying than the first book (one part managed to be one of the few times a book has actually scared me) and more satisfying in some ways, but I think other aspects of the first book that are missing here makes it about the same. Eagerly awaiting checking out the third book when I get some stuff off my plate.

Following that, I went through Mistborn in the following two and a half weeks or so. I'm actually really glad I read Elantris first, because it was very noticeable to me in a lot of ways how Sanderson grew from Elantris into this. It takes a much bigger (and darker) approach and I think it turned out really excellently! I liked pretty much all the characters (though the gender ratio could've been more even, I suppose). Vin and Kelsier are both character types that highly irritate me but I ended up liking both of them a lot and switching between their POVs worked excellently. Watching everyone work together as a trained group of specialists was a lot of fun. Actually, the whole book was far more fun than it had any right to be, considering how dark the world it's set in is. Still, Sanderson's best quality is his marvelously good pacing, which never gets bogged down by boat-rides (Something he avoids, thankfully, as I am fairly certain a chapter involving boat-travel has never succeeding at not being boring) or endless description of dresses. The plot keeps churning at this very pleasant place, with stuff of consequence continually happening but unlike Elantris, it didn't have a jarringly different climax, though I did think the final twist about the Final Emperor's identity was kind of disappointing.

Actually the highlight was probably how AWESOME the magic system was. The basic concepts are fairly simple and easy-to-understand but there is a ton of applications and watching Sanderson explore those applications is so much fun! Allomancy was the cleverest system I've seen in a long time and it was so great to see people have balanced powers even when they were supposed to be super special, and it was nice that being a Mistborn didn't make you inherently superior to a Misting. This is the most fun I've had reading a book in a long time.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Atria35 » Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:34 pm

Wizard of Oz series (yeah, I've read up through volume 5) - Umm. Well. It's dated. I mean, if you were a kid when this was written, well, there wasn't a whole lot of children's literature back then and this would have been superb.

We've come a long way since then. Even if you're going for 1st to 2nd graders, they'd be able to pull a lot of issues with these stories and the characters and assumptions made in them, and I am even more critical as an adult. In the 4th book, Dorothy and Zeb fall into a crevasse during an earthquake. Does anyone scream or anything? Nope. Dorothy even bothers to correct something Zeb said. I mean, really? I like the kitten though. Eureka is perhaps the most chaotic evil creature I've ever read and more literature needs characters like her.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SierraLea » Mon Apr 22, 2013 11:19 am

I started reading Playing with Fire. A very sweary, sexy book that, if it doesn't prove its worth in the next twenty pages, I'm tossing out the car window on my way home.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:22 pm

Reread The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, an autobiographical novel about her experiences with depression, attempted suicide, admittance to an insane asylum, and return to society. Plath really had a gift with words (which makes sense, since she was a poet). Before, I'd actually listened to the audiobook because all copies in the library were checked out, so I got to hear the beautiful words spoken with the smooth voice of Maggie Gyllenhaal ^_^ But it was good to read it for myself, because when I listen to a book I find it all too easy to get caught up in the sounds of the words rather than the plot, especially when the words are as beautiful as this book. I remember some of the sexual elements of the book were rather shocking to me when I encountered them before; now they seem tamer than I remembered them, but I still wish they weren't included...or that Plath herself had made different choices in her life, I guess. But all in all, this is a beautiful, at times whimsical, read that really gives a great perspective on depression.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby yukoxholic » Fri Apr 26, 2013 5:44 am

Reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver and listening to the audiobook Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Kaori » Fri Apr 26, 2013 7:20 am

Finished off a couple of books today that I'd started a little while ago:

True Vine: Meditations for a Month on John 15:1-16 by Andrew Murray. Like other things Murray has written, this book mostly centers around complete surrender of the self and reliance on Christ. Someone inclined to be critical of this book could point out its repetitiousness, as Murray often repeats himself and circles back to the same ideas—much like Jesus does—making the structure come across as more Eastern than Western. I'm not inclined to complain, however, as I found the concepts that Murray expounds to be worth repeated, slow reflection. It's a book that's good in the sense that it is good thing if the reader can put these concepts into practice.

Within and Without (dramatic poem from The Complete Poetical Works of George MacDonald, vol. 1): I thought at first that maybe this was going to be the story of Saint Julian—apparently there are several of these, though I don't know anything about any of them—but apparently not. The poem starts out digging into the thoughts and prayer life of a monk, Julian, as he struggles earnestly with seeking God in prayer and not being able to sense his presence, which is all well and good and which I personally found quite riveting. I was rather shocked, however when he ran away from his monastery (breaking his monastic oaths), killed a man in order to rescue the woman he was in love with, got married, and had a child. Then in the middle of the poem the story became one of those obnoxious dramas where all the characters' problems (misunderstandings) would be totally solved if only they talked to each other normally and told each other what they were thinking. However, the view into Julian's prayer life, which is what drew me into the story in the first place, never totally ceases; although I didn't find the rest of the story as fascinating as its beginning, there are still some admirable things about the sense of childlike trust that Julian learns to have in God, and the ending is beautiful, all the more so for its moments of sadness.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Jingo Jaden » Fri Apr 26, 2013 10:17 am

Deadwood by Pete Dexter

This is one of the few times I pity the phillistines who've yet to read this amazing piece of litterature.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Lynna » Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:23 pm

I'm reading A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and LOVING it.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Mr. Hat'n'Clogs » Wed May 01, 2013 5:25 pm

idk how I haven't commented on this yet but GoT is like my favoritest book ever and you should share more now that the very nice thread we had was deleted
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby the_wolfs_howl » Fri May 03, 2013 8:05 pm

Hiroshima by John Hersey - An interesting collection of first-hand accounts of survivors of the Hiroshima bombing. It didn't really go in-depth into the personal thoughts and feelings, but was a good overview of the sort of things survivors had to go through. I liked Black Rain better, though.

The Waiting Years by Fumiko Enchi - A very sad story of a domineering man with too many concubines, and the dynamics of the women of the household living together even when they know that they've all had intimate relations with him. The problem is that this is set in the Meiji era, so they're all virtually powerless to protect themselves.

Deep River by Shusaku Endo - This is a really intriguing interwoven story of several different people who are all searching for something spiritual, and they all end up going on a tourist trip to India on their search. There isn't really much of a conclusion to any of the distinct stories, but it was more about the journey anyway.

Teaching Cross-Culturally - What it says on the tin. I didn't really find this book very helpful; it outlined the issues teachers might face when teaching in a cross-cultural setting, but didn't really go into any kind of detail about how to actually, practically, address those issues.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby rocklobster » Sat May 04, 2013 5:09 am

Starting the grand finale of Harry Potter on Sunday.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Sheenar » Sat May 04, 2013 11:16 am

Kaori wrote:Hind’s Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard: Pretty much this entire book strongly evoked that sweet sense of longing that C.S. Lewis calls “joy.” Extremely emotional read for me. The story isn’t necessarily universal—the specific sins and faults that Much-Afraid struggles with are not going to be the same sins and faults that everyone struggles with, and there will be many that other people struggle with that do not appear in the book. But still there are some amazing lessons in the book, particularly the song of the waterfalls and streams that rejoice in always seeking lower places and pouring themselves out in love.


One of my favorites! :D

Still reading When God Weeps: Why Our Sufferings Matter to the Almighty. Am a little over halfway through (I've struggled with reading in recent months --I get distracted easily). Very good book --I highly recommend it. Really gives a hard look at the topic of suffering. The chapters titled "The Suffering God", "The Best Answer We Have", and "Making Sense of Suffering" especially hit home. I have gleaned lots from this book so far. Will be sharing on the new blog when I finish.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

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Re: What are you reading?

Postby Xeno » Mon May 06, 2013 12:23 am

Borrowed Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power by Rachel Maddow from my uncle. I'm a pretty big Maddow fan to begin with and my uncle found the book to be very interesting, so it should turn out to be a good read.
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Re: What are you reading?

Postby SierraLea » Thu May 09, 2013 7:24 pm

Started Samurai Kids, White Crane, a story about a samurai in training who only has one leg. I'm really enjoying it.
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