Whatcha readin?

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reddan
Keymaster
#

Along the lines of the Introductions and Hobbies/Interests threads:

What are you reading now?

What’s on your “to be read” list?

What’s on your favorites list?

Me:

I’m currently reading some old Janny Wurts fantasy, The Boys graphic novels, Ringworld’s Children, and some mind-numbingly dull tomes about Windows CE.

To be read: Pollan’s works on food, the next Song of Ice and Fire (if R.R. Martin ever finishes it), and probably something on WordPress admin/customization.

Favorites:

-Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, and Baroque Cycle.

-Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series.

-Richard Adams’ Watership Down.

-Robert Jordan(& collaborator Sanderson)’s Wheel of Time saga.

-All of Robin Hobb’s fantasy works.

-Heinlein. Even the young adult stuff.

-Neil Gaiman. Pretty much everything he’s done or collaborated on.


dwillen
Participant
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I’m reading Stones into Schools, the sequel to Three Cups of Tea. I recommend both of them.

I am also brushing up on my PHP, CSS, javascript, etc. Lots of new functions since I last did web stuff, ten years ago. Very excited about the project I’m working on (unrelated to bikes). Stay tuned!


helen s
Participant
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Just read “Shop class as Soulcraft: an inquiry into the value of work” by Matthew

Crawford. I would think a lot of bikers can relate to this as he talks about the intellectual challenge of manual labor and fixing things.

Now working on Frankenstein: Lost Souls by Dean Koontz, which is fluff.


myddrin
Participant
#

Reading a book on the history of the anti-vax movement. It is fascinating.

Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All by Paul A. Offit

Could be opening a can of worms, but the books is really good.


edmonds59
Participant
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Trying to get into “The Spirit Level” by Wilkinson and Pickett, very research and fact based, not something easily picked up and read in bits, but important.

Next, badly need to get to some W.E.B. DuBois, as thehistorian recommended recently.

I also need to find something to read about the recent organic “Green revolution” in Cuba.

To read – “Shop class as Soulcraft: an inquiry into the value of work” by Matthew

Crawford. Oooh, yes that also, thanks.


Pseudacris
Participant
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Recently read: “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” + “American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain.” The former is really pleasurable to read and interesting. I’m Currently slogging through a bunch of academic papers for an upcoming project.

I don’t get around to reading much fiction, but some favorite authors include Flannery O’Connor, Cormac Macarthy, Joan Didion, Jorge Borges. When I’m in the mood for poetry, I read and reread Francis Ponge, Wallace Stevens.

When traveling, I indulge in my travel partner’s hand-me-down Patricia Cornwall crime novels. I should really read a lot more crap like this: its fun.

[edit] I am not a Barbara Kingsolver fan and I don’t know why. All the females in my family love her and give me the books, and I seldom finish them. So, if there are any Kingsolver fans out there, I can hook you up.


Mick
Participant
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“A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East ” David Fromkin.

WWI with a focus on Britain and the Middle East.

Fascinating.

Like watching a 300 car pile up on a freeway.

Just when you think the participants couldn’t possibly do something more foolish…

Biggest lesson: Although WWI was long and bloody partly due to the technolgy of trench warfare, another thing was this: when one side started winning, the nations on that side would start fighting eachother over the spoils of victory. Like “fighting” as in warfare, killing, and such, not just arguing.


brian j
Participant
#

Currently:

* Christian Anarchy by Vernard Eller

* Paul Among the People by Sarah Ruden

* Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas

In the queue:

* Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (thanks, Dan)

* Wild Comfort by Kathleen Dean Moore

(and at least five other books that I don’t know about yet)

Favorites? Hmmm…that’s a tough one. Favorite authors include: Jacques Ellul, Jack Kerouac, Rebecca Solnit, Wendell Berry, Michael Pollan.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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man, how do you people read more than one book at a time? i’ve tried in the past, but i really just need to charge through one to get to the next one.

i just finished reading lord of the rings. heck of a story, of course, but i’m just not a fan of tolkien’s writing. i’m wondering if i should go and get the silmarillion.

i’m sort of in a fiction slump right now. i’ve got a discworld book to read, but i have my doubts as to how much i’ll enjoy it. i could use some solid science fiction, but to me the key is just good writing.

on that note, my favorites include anything ever written by pg wodehouse, and also anything written by douglas adams. wodehouse stories are all basically light-hearted romantic comedies (though the romance is all very family-friendly). but they are told in such a way as to keep a smile pasted on my face for the duration of the story. douglas adams has that down too, but he also has better and smarter stories to tell.


myddrin
Participant
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@hiddenvariable — I just read the Silmarillion. It’s even more Tolkien-y than LOTR. It’s worth reading. There is some beautiful mythology there. But keep your finger in the index because I swear everyone has at least 20 different names.


Lyle
Participant
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Cryptonomicon is must read for anyone who was involved with the cpunx email lists in the early 90s. It’s pretty clear where he got the concepts…

I’m a big fan of Connie Willis, and just finished her two most recent novels, Blackout and All Clear. She has a knack for conveying a sense of chaos, and developing likable, even admirable realistic female characters.


dmtroyer
Participant
#

Just Finished:

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Cross-cultural tragic coming of age)

Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

Currently:

The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Fiction! Woo!)

The Bullpen Gospels: A Non-Prospect’s Pursuit of the Major Leagues and the Meaning of Life by Dirk Hayhurst

Queue:

Rework by Jason Fried

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Favorites:

Chaim Potok

Wendell Berry

Hermann Hesse

Jon Krakauer

Margaret Atwood


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Recent reads:

Frances Perkins bio by Kirsten Downey. Very detailed description of how social reform came to be, starting about 100 years ago. Amazing how entrenched the GOP anti-reform movement has been, even since the 1930s.

For a Toastmasters speech, reciting some Elbert Hubbard essays aloud.

For fun, book 8 of L.A. Meyer’s “Bloody Jack” series.

@dmtroyer – I read “Outliers” about a year ago, and “Blink” a year before that. +1 on both.

The queue: Piles of software books and websites. I am sooo out of date, technically.


rsprake
Participant
#

Recently finished “Glamorama” and “Into the Wild.” Currently reading “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo.”

As I was typing this I realized how it was that everyone is listing the author as well as the book title. No one says “I just watched Inception by Christopher Nolan.” :)


ejwme
Participant
#

Recent (re)reads:

House Thinking: A room-by-room look at how we live, by winifred gallagher

Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes (first new fiction I’ve been able to finish in about 6 years!)

Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew

In the queue:

Back to the Source edited by Barry Holtz (reading guide to classic Jewish texts, which after reading, I realized I was missing a few centuries of information, hopefully this will clear that up)

That shop/soulcraft book mentioned earlier, thank you!

Favorites:

Anything by Jane Austin (I reread Emma and S&S like twice a year, and I love the new spoofs that just came out)

Anything by CS Lewis (I even like his grownup books without talking animals)

Anything by Dumas (english but I prefer to do my own abridging)

Anything by Salman Rushdie. His stuff is like a multi-layered bollywood dream written down. Awesome.


Erica
Participant
#

Working on finishing the works of Michael Pollan and the 5th Harry Potter book.

Favorites:

Heat by Bill Buford

The Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White

White Heat by Marco Pierre White

Alice Waters and Chez Panisse by Thomas McNamee

I need to read 1984 and Brave New World in a bad way.


racedoug
Participant
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Recent:

The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

Pedaling Revolution by Jeff Mapes

Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne

Current:

Full dark, no stars by Stephen King

The Lost Cyclist by David V. Herlihy

Horns by Joe Hill (Stephen King’s son)

In the queue:

Great Bridge by David McCullough

uh oh!!! I only have one book in my queue!! This is not good, must get more books this weekend!!!


Ahlir
Participant
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Currently reading:

Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel — Gary Shteyngart

War Dances — Sherman Alexie

Of previously posted books, I like (among others) Buford’s Heat and Atwood’s Oryx and Craik.


Erica
Participant
#

also, I’ve always loved the books by Christopher Lloyd, since I was a kid. The Black Cauldron, The Iron Ring, they all have a good old nostalgic place in my heart (Sigh).

Also, I really loved Nadeem Aslam’s Maps for Lost Lovers

Also, also also also also. I seem to begin every sentence that way.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
#

Now:

A Peace to End All Peace (Fromkin)

Return of the King

Hitler and Stalin

Birth of the Modern (Paul Johnson)

Berlitz Essential German

Prisoner of Azkaban (with my 7 year-old)

Shark vs. Train (with my 5-year-old)

Recently:

Pittsburgh Memoranda (Haniel Long)

Hansel and Gretl (Louise Murphy)

Dirty Work (Christopher Moore)

Ghost Soldiers

Two Towers

Chamber of Secrets

Highly Recommend:

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Foer)

Oil!


salty
Participant
#

I’m not quite sure why I’ve never read the Hitchhiker’s Guides until now – but I just finished the original and plan to read all five.

Recently read “A Visit From The Goon Squad”. I decided I needed to read more fiction (especially newish stuff) and picked it at random and/or because there was a guitar on the cover. It was entertaining.

Also just finished “The People of the Abyss” which was not so entertaining.

Now, I’m reading “The Shock Doctrine” and, to bring some bike-related content to this thread, “An Uncommon Passage”.


Boazo
Participant
#

Mason and Dixon by thomas pynchon, you’ll want to read it real slow !


dbacklover
Participant
#

Just Finished

Entire Share series by Nathan Lowell

you can listen to them free at podiobooks.com

currently reading

Joy of homebrewing by Charlie papazian

and

The Starter by Scott Sigler


thehistorian
Participant
#

“I’m reading Stones into Schools, the sequel to Three Cups of Tea. I recommend both of them.”

Have you moved them from the “non-fiction” to the “fiction” shelf yet?


thehistorian
Participant
#

“Next, badly need to get to some W.E.B. DuBois, as thehistorian recommended recently.”

I think it was Frederic Douglass, not the socialist DuBois.


thehistorian
Participant
#

My usual eclectic list of current reading:

Toscanini by Harvey Sachs, the definitive biography of the conductor.

Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg.

Philip Richardson by John Hilbert. A biography of a minor 19th century American chess player.

Essays on Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson, one of dozens of books I downloaded for free for Kindle. RLS, even though he wrote for money, advises budding writers that scribbling for cash isn’t a reward, it’s the opportunity to do good in the world that’s the payment. I didn’t expect to see that idea from this author.


ejwme
Participant
#

This reminds me – somehow my queue never has anything to do with the actual books I read next, because Doris Lessing’s Golden Notebook is now on my shelf. Highly recommend her, apparently she’s required reading for school children in South Africa, but nobody here’s heard of her. Another surprising modern(ish) fiction that I can actualy get through.


thehistorian
Participant
#

Oh, and this will sound vain but here goes, I’m reading some of my own work for potential republication as a Kindle e-book or within paper covers. I’ve come to three conclusions:

1. I really need to proofread more carefully.

2. I’m damned good at what I do.

3. I’m better now than I was then.

See my articles in the newsletter of the Pennsylvania State Chess Federation in the Spring 2006, and Winter and Spring 2008 issues for examples of my work. (Free downloading, so this is non-commercial, and the PSCF is headquartered in Pittsburgh.)


helen s
Participant
#

Currently skimming through “Dictionary of Imaginary Places.”

I have certainly heard of Doris Lessing, but don’t remember what I have read by her.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

Nose is still in a pile of software books.

For fun, I read Graceling, by Kristin Cashore. Mythical bronze-age people with different color eyes have super(ior) powers, some for good, some for evil, some you can’t tell. Young Adult fiction.

In the queue:

* “Little Journeys to the Homes of Great Musicians” by Elbert Hubbard.

* “Bird by Bird”, Anne Lamott.

* Various short stories by Poe, since I just listened to the Alan Parsons Project “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” LP.

* I own a Koran but haven’t gotten very far into it.


Erica
Participant
#

I have a line of books to read now

Currently reading “Lies My Teacher Told Me” by James Loewen

Next up is “Deterring Democracy” by Noam Chomsky, “Black Flame” by Michael Schmidt and Lucien van der Walt, “Making Stuff and Doing Things” by various, and “Food Not Lawns” by HC Flores.

Working at the Big Idea has rekindled my love of reading.


frisbee
Participant
#

Last book completed: Between a Rock and a Hard Place (now called 127 hours, after the movie deal) by Aron Ralston.

Currently reading: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. on page 900 or so of close to 1200 and it is awful. Figured I would read it with all the mentions it gets now, and the fact that it is always on top books of all times lists. I think the people who say it is a top book have never read any other books.

Next up: A Game of Thrones. I have owned it for a while but never got around to it. With all the good reviews for the series, I want to read it so I can watch it.


thehistorian
Participant
#

“Currently reading: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. on page 900 or so of close to 1200 and it is awful. Figured I would read it with all the mentions it gets now, and the fact that it is always on top books of all times lists. I think the people who say it is a top book have never read any other books.”

Is it “awful” because of prose style or some technical aspect of writing, or because you don’t agree with Rand’s philosophy or politics? I’ve not read Atlas, but I’ve enjoyed The Fountainhead because it’s well-written and thought-provoking. (I named my bike “Roark” after the hero of the latter novel.)


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
#

“I’ve not read Atlas,”

Me neither, so I have no opinion of it. Because I haven’t read it. So what does it matter what I think. Or the rationale of someone else, who HAS read it. I respect their opinion.

By the way, anyone who reads 1200 pages between two covers deserves a trophy or medal or something.


thehistorian
Participant
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“So what does it matter what I think. Or the rationale of someone else, who HAS read it. I respect their opinion.”

Shame you don’t respect my wanting to understand why the poster thought the book “awful.”


HiddenVariable
Participant
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oh, don’t get me started on ayn rand. while every would-be philosopher still maturing their world view finds something to grab onto in her stuff, in the end, she’s just a hateful curmudgeon, and her works nothing more than flimsy justification to hate poor people. and that’s on top of her being a lousy writer.

dag, looks like you got me started!


HiddenVariable
Participant
#

Essays on Writing by Robert Louis Stevenson, one of dozens of books I downloaded for free for Kindle. RLS, even though he wrote for money, advises budding writers that scribbling for cash isn’t a reward, it’s the opportunity to do good in the world that’s the payment. I didn’t expect to see that idea from this author.

pg wodehouse also wrote for money, and unabashedly. but he is undoubtedly one of the best writers of modern english that the world has known. perhaps context is required to see why these quotes are marvelous, but here’s a few:

“He spoke with a certain what-is-it in his voice, and I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.”

“He felt like a man who, chasing rainbows, has had one of them suddenly turn and bite him in the leg.”

“It is no use telling me there are bad aunts and good aunts. At the core, they are all alike. Sooner or later, out pops the cloven hoof.”

” ‘Have you ever seen Spode eat asparagus?’

‘No.’

‘Revolting. It alters one’s whole conception of Man as Nature’s last word.’ “

” ‘Man and boy, Jeeves, I have been in some tough spots in my time, but this one takes the mottled oyster.’

‘Certainly a somewhat sharp crisis in your affair would appear to have precipitated, sir.’ “

“Whatever may be said in favour of the Victorians, it is pretty generally admitted that few of them were to be trusted within reach of a trowel and a pile of bricks.”

“Boyhood, like measles, is one of those complaints which a man should catch young and have done with, for when it comes in middle life it is apt to be serious.”

“The situation in Germany had come up for discussion in the bar parlour of the Angler’s Rest, and it was generally agreed that Hitler was standing at the crossroads and soon would be compelled to do something definite. His present policy, said a Whisky and Splash, was mere shilly-shallying.

” ‘He’ll have to let it grow or shave it off,’ said the Whisky and Splash. ‘He can’t go on sitting on the fence like this. Either a man has a moustache, or he has not. There can be no middle course.’ “

“He found speech, if you could call making a noise like a buffalo taking its foot out of a swamp finding speech.”


pinky
Participant
#

Just finished The Pale King, last unfinished novel by David Foster Wallace. It makes me sad that we won’t get any more, so I’m kind of between books.

Before that I read The Samurai’s Garden by Gayle something, the Hunger Games trilogy (amazing), a book called The Wee Free Men (YA fantasy), and the Bingo Palace by Louise Erdrich.

Probably going to start Ines, Forever (or whatever it’s called) by Isabel Allende soon since I picked it up at a Borders liquidation sale.


rsprake
Participant
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Currently reading, “The Organic Lawn Care Manual A Natural, Low-Maintenance System for a Beautiful, Safe Lawn”, “Under the Banner of Heaven A Story of Violent Faith.”

Just finished some lighter pulp crime novels, “The Blonde” and “To the Devil, My Regards.”

I keep track of my reading at Readernaut should anyone want to take a look.


rsprake
Participant
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Also attempted to collect the books here.

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