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Thread: What are you reading?

  1. #1291
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    It was intentional, Grant, and I will. So far, I think they're a little sweeping in some of their judgements--just because studies show most people do something, it doesn't mean everyone should.

    And, in fact, I don't read as quickly or as much as I used to. It's all the time I spend online, I suspect. But when I was in high school, I ended up in the not-gifted English class for a semester. We were assigned I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou, which I read overnight. I went up to the teacher and informed him of such. He believed me, because he goes to my mom's church and has known me since I was an infant. So his only response was "read it again." The next day, I went in and told him that I had finished it. Again. He took back my copy so it didn't get lost or damaged, then told me I was excused from all the in-class busy work intended to make people read the book. And if my classmates complained, he told them to watch me for a few days to see what book I was reading in class each day. He figured once they noticed that it was a different book every day, they'd get the point.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  2. #1292
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    And, in fact, I don't read as quickly or as much as I used to. It's all the time I spend online, I suspect.
    Tell me about it. Between increased Internet access and university, my reading declined precipituously in the early naughties. It's recovered some since, but I don't expect I'll ever again read as much as I did in my teens.

  3. #1293
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    To be fair, I do also read a lot online. I'm slowly but surely making my way through TV Tropes, and I read Roger Ebert's reviews and blogs regularly. But books? Not as many as I used to. Fall quarter of my senior year in college, I read 115 of them for class. Those days were a long time ago!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  4. #1294
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    I've had the weird experience of sitting in the bus reading and have a stranger come up and talk to me about it because he'd noticed how fast I was turning the pages and he couldn't understand how anyone could read at that speed.
    __________________________________________________
    Reductionist and proud of it.

    Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn. Benjamin Franklin
    Chase after the truth like all hell and you'll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails. Clarence Darrow
    A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. Mark Twain

  5. #1295
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It was intentional, Grant, and I will. So far, I think they're a little sweeping in some of their judgements--just because studies show most people do something, it doesn't mean everyone should.
    Yes, everything happens because of our efforts to resolve cognitive dissonance, it seems.

    Grant Hutchison

  6. #1296
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    It is, alas, a constant failing of a certain kind of nonfiction, to make its main conclusions universal. The last book I read was talking about certain attitudes in reporting over the last few years. The only "Stewart" listed in the credits was Jimmy, who was used once in a contrast to John Wayne's war service. No analysis of American journalism of the last ten years can consider itself in any way thorough without mentioning Comedy Central.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  7. #1297
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    We were without power all day today. I'm supposed to be working from home, but should also be resting to get healthier. The power outage was a blessing, forcing me to rest and giving me the idea to start reading The Strangest Man, a Paul Dirac biography which I think mike alexander mentioned previously.

    Fantastic book so far! Can't understand how I waited so long to start it, been struggling to get through a fiction book for a while now - much prefer a good biography.

  8. #1298
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    It is, alas, a constant failing of a certain kind of nonfiction, to make its main conclusions universal.
    Many years ago I read a nice book on the origins of pidgins and creoles. It reviewed each of the main theories and pointed out the problems with each; all the while hinting they had a better explanation. When I got to the final chapter, their explanation was "a bit of all of them" which, to me, sounded eminently sensible.

  9. #1299
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    The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell. Yet another action-filled historical novel by one of my favorite authors of the genre. Although I enjoyed Agincourt more, this one had much to enjoy as well, including a creative use of honey bees in siege warfare. My struggles with this novel included the main character switching loyalties repeatedly, making the overall plot harder to follow, and lots of similar (and unpronounceable) character names. Roll call: AEthelwulf, AEthelstan, AEthelbert, Alfred, AEthelbald, AEthelred, AEthelflaed, AEthelgifu, AElfthryth, AElfthryth the Second, and AEthelstan. Oh, and Howard the AEthling. This is no ding against Cornwell, of course; you can't re-name historical individuals Tom, Dick, and Harry.

  10. #1300
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    Many years ago I read a nice book on the origins of pidgins and creoles. It reviewed each of the main theories and pointed out the problems with each; all the while hinting they had a better explanation. When I got to the final chapter, their explanation was "a bit of all of them" which, to me, sounded eminently sensible.
    Yes. This book, in the last chapter I read, has given two people's descriptions of a fight they had and said, "Oh, you can see how cognitive dissonance means blah blah blah," and all I could think was, "No, actually, she's crazy and in the wrong." The guy could've been a bit more communicative, but that doesn't actually excuse her preventing him from sleeping to the point that he locked himself in the guest room.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamesabrown View Post
    The Burning Land by Bernard Cornwell. Yet another action-filled historical novel by one of my favorite authors of the genre. Although I enjoyed Agincourt more, this one had much to enjoy as well, including a creative use of honey bees in siege warfare. My struggles with this novel included the main character switching loyalties repeatedly, making the overall plot harder to follow, and lots of similar (and unpronounceable) character names. Roll call: AEthelwulf, AEthelstan, AEthelbert, Alfred, AEthelbald, AEthelred, AEthelflaed, AEthelgifu, AElfthryth, AElfthryth the Second, and AEthelstan. Oh, and Howard the AEthling. This is no ding against Cornwell, of course; you can't re-name historical individuals Tom, Dick, and Harry.
    Elizabethan history gets that confusing, and everyone already knows all those names. I mean, Henry VIII's wives have three names among them. The Tudors only gave him one sister, because his other sister had the same name as one of his daughters. (Though one of his mistresses had the same first name as that sister and daughter, and another had the name of his other daughter.) There were a dozen names in all of England at the time, it seems, and people changed titles like their socks in some cases.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  11. #1301
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    Yes. This book, in the last chapter I read, has given two people's descriptions of a fight they had and said, "Oh, you can see how cognitive dissonance means blah blah blah," and all I could think was, "No, actually, she's crazy and in the wrong." The guy could've been a bit more communicative, but that doesn't actually excuse her preventing him from sleeping to the point that he locked himself in the guest room.
    Chapter 6! That's where they lost my attention.

    Grant Hutchison

  12. #1302
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    I'm going to finish it, but yeah, it bothered me.

    Oh--and I asked Graham what percentage of the housework he thinks he does, and our percentages actually add up to less than one hundred percent!
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  13. #1303
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren;1751466Oh--and I asked Graham what percentage of the housework he thinks he does, and our percentages actually add up to [i
    less[/i] than one hundred percent!
    I assume you are not really surprised. It's like those surveys where 90% of people rate their driving skills "above average".

    Ob. Book: Underground: The Tokyo Gas Attack and the Japanese Psyche by Haruki Murakami.

  14. #1304
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    Quote Originally Posted by Strange View Post
    I assume you are not really surprised. It's like those surveys where 90% of people rate their driving skills "above average".
    To conform with that statistic, Graham and Gillian would need to sum to more than 100%, which is also what Tavris and Aronson report as being common experience: most spouses think they do more than half the work.

    Grant Hutchison

  15. #1305
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    Right. Now, to be fair, my figure includes "cause to have done," because I have friends who will come over and clean for me (hey, if you're in the mood to clean, I'm not standing in your way!), but I figure I do somewhere around 70 or 80%. Graham figures he does 10%. So I guess the cat is doing the rest.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  16. #1306
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    I estimate--very roughly--that I own 600-650 books, not including a considerable science magazine collection. That's a little more than I expected, but I have a ways to go before I catch up with Larry McMurtry, who by his own admission owns well over 10,000 (not counting the ones he sells through his bookstore).

  17. #1307
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    Naked Empire by Terry Goodkind (The Sword of Truth series)

    Parallel Worlds by Michio Kaku

    The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway

  18. #1308
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    Inside the Wicker Man didn't add much to the story that I didn't know already, in particular from the DVD extras in the "Collector's Edition". Brown's humour sometimes gets a bit effortful. There's a hilarious review of the 2006 remake: "... the remake conformed to the pattern that bedevilled the life of the original; it represented the worst thing that could happen in the circumstances." And the truly awful text of Schaffer's outline for a sequel, in which Segeant Howie is rescued as the first film ends, recovers from his burns, and returns to Summerisle (at Halloween!) to arrest Lord Summerisle.

    On now to Guy Deutscher's Through The Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World. I enjoyed his The Unfolding Of Language, and have high hopes for this one.

    Grant Hutchison

  19. #1309
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillianren View Post
    So I guess the cat is doing the rest.
    Can I borrow your cat?

  20. #1310
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romanus View Post
    I estimate--very roughly--that I own 600-650 books, not including a considerable science magazine collection. That's a little more than I expected, but I have a ways to go before I catch up with Larry McMurtry, who by his own admission owns well over 10,000 (not counting the ones he sells through his bookstore).
    Glancing around my library, that estimate would match my own, I think (600-650, not 10,000). The 'to be read' shelves hold over fifty books.

  21. #1311
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    To conform with that statistic, Graham and Gillian would need to sum to more than 100%, which is also what Tavris and Aronson report as being common experience: most spouses think they do more than half the work.
    My mistake. I assumed that would be the usual case and misread Gillian's post.

  22. #1312
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    Quote Originally Posted by grant hutchison View Post
    Inside the Wicker Man didn't add much to the story that I didn't know already, in particular from the DVD extras in the "Collector's Edition". Brown's humour sometimes gets a bit effortful. There's a hilarious review of the 2006 remake: "... the remake conformed to the pattern that bedevilled the life of the original; it represented the worst thing that could happen in the circumstances." And the truly awful text of Schaffer's outline for a sequel, in which Segeant Howie is rescued as the first film ends, recovers from his burns, and returns to Summerisle (at Halloween!) to arrest Lord Summerisle.
    Wow. That sounds really, really terrible. And I mean, the remake is terrible, but it would probably be better than that!

    On now to Guy Deutscher's Through The Language Glass: How Words Colour Your World. I enjoyed his The Unfolding Of Language, and have high hopes for this one.
    That does sound interesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Can I borrow your cat?
    Mind, I'm only guessing it's him. It's possible that we actually have elves, and the reason that they don't do more cleaning is that he chases them away. That would be more in character.

    Last night, I read the companion book to Alton Brown's Feasting on Asphalt: The River Run. It's a quick read--a handful of recipes, a lot of pictures, and some of the basics of his trip from Louisiana up to the headwaters of the Mississippi.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  23. #1313
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    I've preordered Niven's Betrayer of Worlds, the fourth book of the Fleet of Worlds trilogy. Expected release: October 2010. It kind of had to be planned at least, since Destroyer of Worlds ended with a few unraveled threads hanging. I'm already trying to speculate what can happen, to make it consistent with the first three AND without breaking consistency with the yet-to-happen 4 books of the Ringworld trilogy.

  24. #1314
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    Finished the Habsburg book, begun Dollingers Die Hanse.

  25. #1315
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    Just read Alastair Reynold's novel 2008 'House of Suns',recommended by a couple of members on this forum. A good read, as usual.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Suns

    Right at the end they encounter a 'god-like' civilisation, accessed through a wormhole; one of the structures built by the civilisation is a set of concentric regular solids, centred around a star.
    Sounds a little like this
    http://www.orionsarm.com/eg-article/4670a60a449d5

    Interesting that this artifact crops up in a book by someone who has influenced OA quite a lot.

  26. #1316
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    Reread the Dune series recently. I'm trying to get through the non-FH prequels/postquels, but it's kind of a struggle. I can see why there's flamewars over canonicity.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  27. #1317
    The Science of Doctor Who
    From the wilderness into the cosmos.
    You can not be afraid of the wind, Enterprise: Broken Bow.
    https://davidsuniverse.wordpress.com/

  28. #1318
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    Ring, by Stephen Baxter.

    Interesting premise, I'll give it that, and a pretty solid story.

  29. #1319
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    Monday at nearby-city Barnes & Noble picked up [contrast!]:

    Thomas Jefferson: His Essential Wisdom, edited by Carol Kelly-Gangi [2010]. Have already read most of it [a book of quotes].

    Book of Days '60s: A Day-by-Day Look at the Pop Culture Momentum that Made History, by Harvey Solomon & Rich Appel [2009]. This book is a collection of 1960's trivia with tons of color pics. Each day of the calendar year lists anything of note which occurred in any year of the decade.

  30. #1320
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    I'm starting Revolutionaries: A New History of the Invention of America, by Jack Rakove. It's another recent Daily Show guest's book.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

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