What are you currently reading?

General discussion that doesn't fit in the other boards.
User avatar
Shadowman
The Posty Baby
Posts: 1463
Joined: Sep 3rd, 2007, 04:14
Location: MapEdit
Contact:

Post by Shadowman » May 20th, 2008, 00:50

Image
Also in the recently purchased thread.
Image
Achievement Unlocked: <3*
(Since returned to Daedalus.)
Achievement Unlocked: Kickass Chaos Avatar by Ella.

Achievement Unlocked: Best Insult Ever

User avatar
wangho
Well Done
Posts: 1217
Joined: Oct 31st, 2006, 06:30
Location: Over here, over there, yonder, aways, sometimes nowhere.

Post by wangho » May 20th, 2008, 01:01

i cant read a book to save my life. I can read about 50 pages then I throw it aside. I hate reading. I'd rather watch Raiders Of The Lost Ark for the 50th time or something

User avatar
NAto
Well Done
Posts: 1958
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2005, 16:32

Post by NAto » May 22nd, 2008, 16:46

Well, I never post any of my comulsory reading, maybe this can spark some discussion...

The latest Microeconomics book written by Gregory Mankiw, but with European context. Make my skin crawl to learn about capitalist profit maximisation.

A collection of Hofstede's works about values in organisations, speaking about cultural relativism in organisations. The great thing about Hofstede's works is that he breaks away from the American-centric sociological and anthropological theories and even disproves them in anything but the US context (and proves it very empirically).

Various readings on development and poverty theories, with regard to modernism, neo-liberalism, dependency theory etc. The final article was one on the rise of the far east, confounding western development academics, and how US tried to cripple the far east economically. Fuck I hate capitalism and those sick ideals, the US will pay dearly one day. (I'm sorry if any US posty members get caught in the collateral of my rage, as in my heart Posty members are somehow exempt. Feel free to put forth a defence though :D)

A collection of readings regarding theories of social deviance. Some are sub-culture theory, Marxist theory (I <3 Marx), anomy etc. Interesting stuff actually, a valuable insight into crime and deviance.

Next semester I'm doing industrial sociology, which is nice because it's more relevent to my business centered degree, but its nice to have extra stuff to know :D also going to be studying macroeconomics in more detail, with regard to Keynesian vs classic economics. And of course for the main part of my degree I'll be doing a lot on business and organisational studies.

All in all this is a long shot, but if anyone has comments on anything go right ahead... start a new thread if you must.

User avatar
Umnir
Half-homie
Posts: 4547
Joined: Jul 9th, 2007, 17:26
Contact:

Post by Umnir » May 22nd, 2008, 22:30

Image

Hagakure (parts of it) by Yamamoto Tsunetomo

Samurai philosophy, thoughts, stories etc.. Haven't readed much yet, but Im so excited!
LOL HI!

User avatar
Krypto
Well Done
Posts: 1874
Joined: Sep 14th, 2006, 18:24
Contact:

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Krypto » Aug 17th, 2010, 23:25

What happened to Man's limitless desire for the richs of knowledge beyond the mere material? Transmit knowledge into your minds you lazy bastards!

By coincidence an Australian friend of mine (not you Dan :wink:) recommended Hagakure - Hidden by the Leaves, a philosophical piece which transformed his perception towards life.

The Nameless City

A deeply articulate thought train from an eccentric visonary of horror writing. Why I have not plummeted into the macabre depths of his insatiable works until now is troubling

User avatar
Jerry
Still Kicking
Posts: 121
Joined: Jan 1st, 2010, 23:25
Location: Czech Republic
Contact:

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Jerry » Aug 19th, 2010, 01:04

I am reading a book from C.G.Jung Grundfragen zur Praxis and my head is going to explode :stick:
I have to read one page twice before I unterstand it. But it is worth. I have discovered many interesting things there :twisted:
I want Jo-Jo! I want Jo-Jo! Jo-Jo! JO-JOOOO!

User avatar
Le Babe
Well Done
Posts: 1745
Joined: Dec 3rd, 2008, 17:23
Location: FRANCE

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Le Babe » Aug 22nd, 2010, 21:45

I'm going through the first tome of Marc-Edouard Nabe's diary these days.
"I'm here to donate some blood...someone else's..." - Caleb
Image

User avatar
Panoptic Blur
Well Done
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sep 6th, 2010, 02:44

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Panoptic Blur » Sep 27th, 2010, 03:56

I have just finished reading A Canticle For Leibowitz. A very good novel, but good in the way that Taxi Driver was a good movie, or The Jesus Incident was a good book.

Having finished it, I saw passages of obvious meaning and brilliance, and passages of hidden meaning and obvious brilliance, and finally passages of hidden meaning and uncertain brilliance. I'm left with a sense that I'd have to deeply analyze the book (or movie) in order for it to live up to its reputation, and I'm not entirely sure I have enough skill, patience, or guidance to do so.

Still, if you're interested in post-apocalyptic sci fi which focuses on the painstaking preservation of knowledge, then it's a good book to read.
"All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can."

User avatar
Panoptic Blur
Well Done
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sep 6th, 2010, 02:44

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Panoptic Blur » Oct 4th, 2010, 05:26

Now reading Consider Phlebas, the first book in Iain M. Banks' "The Culture" sci-fi novel series.

Good, interesting stuff, but with a lot of the interpersonal romance tropes that have no real place in otherwise thriller-style writing. When your male lead is being chased across the galaxy by various people who want to kill him, it makes much more sense for him to not sleep with random women until AFTER he's gotten away safely.

Other than that, some of the concepts are good. Nothing hugely original here, but he uses several staples of sci-fi and he uses them well - which is a good skill in itself.
"All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can."

User avatar
Panoptic Blur
Well Done
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sep 6th, 2010, 02:44

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Panoptic Blur » Oct 7th, 2010, 20:32

Just finished The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John le Carré. Good book - very similar to the rest of his works in that the specialized spycraft vocabulary is quite dense at first. Also not much emphasis on the usual James Bond gadgets and shootouts - the book is much more about careful deduction and reasoning, and plots within plots.

I read it in one night. Insomnia does wonders for the reading list.
"All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can."

User avatar
NAto
Well Done
Posts: 1958
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2005, 16:32

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by NAto » Oct 7th, 2010, 20:44

I never actually got into the whole sci-fi thing, which is actually a pity considering that I've heard good things about it. PotB, maybe you can suggest some good ones to me?

Reading my post above, I'm quite amazed how my views have changed over the last 3 years. Interesting how things work out like that.

Anyways, so at the moment I'm reading Three Years War by Christiaan de Wet. He was a general in the South African Boer war (1899 - 1902) and a leader in the rebellion later in 1914. He was considered one of the greatest generals in the world at his time, possible one of the best ever. He lead what were probably one of the greatest warriors of that time: The Boer. To put things into perspective, in the one battle they captured 700 English soldiers with just 90 Boers :lol: The direct translation of "Boer" is "Farmer". The law of the Boer nations (there were two) was that if war broke out, each man was expected to provide himself with a gun, ammo, a horse and 8 days of rations. So they had no training, but were incredibly skilled warriors. If you met a real Boer here in South Africa, you'd understand this ;) The concept of "Boer" actually has a strange mix of racial, political, religious and lingual connotations, making it incredibly hard to explain, but what I wrote above will have to do :D

Anyways so General de Wet relates his experiences of the threes years of the Anglo-Boer war in this book, and it's some entertaining as well as informative reading.

Here are some links if you're interested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christiaan_de_Wet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boer_war
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boer

User avatar
Panoptic Blur
Well Done
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sep 6th, 2010, 02:44

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by Panoptic Blur » Oct 14th, 2010, 04:14

NAto wrote:I never actually got into the whole sci-fi thing, which is actually a pity considering that I've heard good things about it. PotB, maybe you can suggest some good ones to me?
Sure. The "big three" writers of sci-fi's golden age were Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke. Respectively, their strengths and weaknesses (for me, at least) were:

Heinlein: Strengths include really excellent characterizations, lots of fun snappy dialogue, and sharp social satire. Downsides: Political views seem somewhat dated today, plots are usually secondary to the interaction between characters, and has a mean streak about some things. Good novels to start with: Starship Troopers (very different from the movie), Glory Road (fantasy sci-fi), and Stranger in a Strange Land (examination of religion, society, and what it means to be human).

Asimov: Long held to be the greatest sci-fi writer, and a polymath who achieved rare expertise in many different doctrines. Strengths: epic plots with much resting on single actors, lots of quirky conceptual experiments, and generally good-natured tone. Downsides: characters are secondary to the plot, several clear patterns of characters emerge. Good novels to start with: The End of Eternity (time travel and the consequences of meddling with the past), the Foundation series (what if sociology could predict exactly how people would behave en masse?), and I Robot (collection of short stories regarding the three laws of robotics).

Clarke: Hard sci-fi. This man knows his science, and he writes about the science first and the people who do it second. Strengths: very deeply researched and profoundly knowledgeable about exact distances, masses, dimensions, and so forth. It is said that he predicted how the Moon Landing would be done, mechanically, in a book published two years before NASA actually put a man on the Moon. Downsides: very strong focus on the exact science, and not much interest in interpersonal relations. Good novels to start with: 2001 - A Space Odyssey (iconic hard sci-fi about first contact with an alien race... and their startling influence on human development), Rendezvous with Rama (an alien artifact arrives in the Solar System, and Earth scrambles a welcome party).

Others I've enjoyed:
James Blish - A Case of Conscience. (What role does the Catholic religion play in the first contact with an alien species?)
Iain M. Banks - Consider Phlebas, first novel of the Culture series. (A species of humans is conquering the galaxy, and its secret weapon is computers, each thousands of times more sophisticated than the human brain that designed it. What role is left for humans once their servitor computers surpass them in every way?)
Philip K. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep. (Earth is a slowly degenerating wasteland, with desperate survivors refusing to go offplanet. Deckard is a policeman assigned to hunt down and kill Replicants who come back to Earth. As he confronts them, he is faced with the question of how human is human, and whether he himself has been comprised to the machine.)
Timothy Zahn - Heir to the Empire, first novel of the Thrawn trilogy of Star Wars novels. (Superb Star Wars novels, avoiding the "superweapons and supervillains" of the movies and other books - Zahn paints the dying Empire as a semi-believable dictatorship, with one last effective strategic ruler at its head, and aspirations of regaining the initiative against the Rebellion. One of the few books that have taken the "bad guys" side and written it to be subversively sympathetic.)

Enjoy!
"All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can."

User avatar
NAto
Well Done
Posts: 1958
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2005, 16:32

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by NAto » Oct 14th, 2010, 14:12

Thanks PotB, next time I get to the book store I'll see if they have any of these :)

User avatar
Panoptic Blur
Well Done
Posts: 1178
Joined: Sep 6th, 2010, 02:44

Re:

Post by Panoptic Blur » Oct 15th, 2010, 19:59

NAto wrote:The latest Microeconomics book written by Gregory Mankiw, but with European context. Make my skin crawl to learn about capitalist profit maximisation.
I have the 2004 editions of his three introductory books on economics. I've made various efforts to read through them but I always had too much going on to give them the proper attention they need.

Mankiw's a good writer but his text is very dense. Each sentence and paragraph needs my full attention and thought or I won't understand it.

I should get back to finishing them.
"All right, I'm going to ask you a series of questions. Just relax and answer them as simply as you can."

User avatar
NAto
Well Done
Posts: 1958
Joined: Jun 3rd, 2005, 16:32

Re: What are you currently reading?

Post by NAto » Oct 15th, 2010, 20:35

I was forced to read them at university; knowing you have to write a test on something is good incentive to read it :D
NAto wrote:Marxist theory (I <3 Marx)
Geez did I actually say that? :roll: Someone should delete that post...

Post Reply