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Old 09-10-2009, 07:00 AM   #181
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Read "This Is Not A Game" by Walter Jon Williams during the 5 1/2" downpour that was my Outer Banks vacation. I didn't expect much, and can't exactly say why, but it grabbed my attention
I read that one recently also. Like you, I just randomly picked it up (at the library) based on the cover blurbs. I though it was a good read with some fun ideas.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:01 PM   #182
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I just finished "Feersum Endjinn" by Ian M. Banks. What a very odd book. Some parts were fairly difficult to read, as they are in the 'voice' of a dyslexic person writing phonetically.
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:16 PM   #183
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Old 09-10-2009, 08:12 PM   #184
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Keeping with the numbers theme - Fahrenheit 451.

Re-read actually, which added a whole new dimension. It was assigned reading for my daughter this summer, and I enjoyed it when I read it ~ 1970, so decided to re-read it.

Written in 1950 about the not-too-distant future, I read it the first time 20 years after it was written, so a glimpse of that future had come to pass. Now I re-read it almost 40 years later, and it's really interesting to think about these progressions into the future, and reflect on my thoughts at the time.

Some of his views of technology were incredibly accurate, which was interesting. And there are also interviews with Bradbury ~ 2000. What really struck me with this reading was that the book really isn't about censorship at all. I got some of that as a teenager, but it really sunk in this time. In the story, people just stopped reading books on their own. They got immersed in "instant gratification" entertainment with no substance at all (sounds like prime time today?). But occasionally, someone would read a book, and things would get "confused", so they viewed book burning as just keeping things peaceful.

BTW, do not watch the movie of this unless you have read the book. The movie is just plain weird. But the scene where "Linda" (Mildred) gets to take part in that evening's "story" is actually better in the movie than the book. And Julie Christie is cute.

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Old 09-10-2009, 08:26 PM   #185
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:52 PM   #186
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Just finished Thomas Pynchon's new novel, Inherent Vice. I don't generally like Pynchon (except one of them either V or Lot 49 - can't remember which), just too dense and boring. I read a review of this one that said it is much more accesible than his other works so I ordered up a copy from the library. Sooo - the good: it is kind of an homage to noir, so that is fun; it is set in 1970 LA, the protagonist is a hippy/doper private investigator, so lots of psychedelia and arcane music references; The characters are a trip and the humor is light and nonstop. The bad: it is still dense, way to many endless descriptions and digressions; no real plot; no real conclusion. For some reason I read all the way through and sort of enjoyed it but I can't really recommend it. If you don't mind rambling endlessly around in a comical send up of hard boiled noir PI stories, set in Mansonesque LA, you may enjoy this thing like I did. Otherwise steer clear.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:46 PM   #187
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Several people on this thread mentioned Daniel Silva. I got two of his books, An Unlikely Spy, and Secret Servant. Secret Servant is a part of the Gabriel Allon series; I thought it was OK but no more. But An Unlikely Spy is superb! I think he wrote it, and then thought, Oh Damn, I can’t easily do sequels to this because all the characters are real with typically complex human motivations and feelings. But that isn't what I can make into a repeatable formula.

I was so disappointed when I realized that an Unlikely Spy was this first book, and that he had veered away from writing real novels that happen to be about wartime and spies.

Ha
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:21 AM   #188
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Just finished Catcher in the Rye for the first time. A little depressing. I didn't really care for the little twist at the end (or it at least didn't add much to the book). Overall a very melancholy book. Although a classic, I didn't really like it as much as other classics I have read recently.
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Old 09-15-2009, 10:46 AM   #189
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I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school to see what all of the fuss was about, and I think I was too young to really understand it. I ought to read it again.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:32 AM   #190
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I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in high school to see what all of the fuss was about, and I think I was too young to really understand it. I ought to read it again.
Maybe I'm not old enough to understand it yet.

The best thing I can say about it is that it is short and entertaining. Also a neat historical glimpse into the world of 1940's NYC and the upper middle class life.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:57 PM   #191
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Several people on this thread mentioned Daniel Silva. I got two of his books, An Unlikely Spy, and Secret Servant. Secret Servant is a part of the Gabriel Allon series; I thought it was OK but no more. But An Unlikely Spy is superb! I think he wrote it, and then thought, Oh Damn, I can’t easily do sequels to this because all the characters are real with typically complex human motivations and feelings. But that isn't what I can make into a repeatable formula.

I was so disappointed when I realized that an Unlikely Spy was this first book, and that he had veered away from writing real novels that happen to be about wartime and spies.

Ha
Though I read all his stuff I do find that each book is not quite as good as the last.
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Old 09-15-2009, 02:57 PM   #192
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I just read Boneman's Daughters by Ted Dekker (library book). It truly sucked. Just a normal suspense thriller, but with absolutely no character development, no sense of reality, no suspense, no thrill, not even a good idea of who the good guy was. When faced with a character who might have had to be worked on a little, he just killed them off instead. How did this guy get a publisher? I read books by Robert Parker and James Patterson, guys who are just phoning it in these days, and they are far more riveting than this was. I seriously have read better written (but less professionally edited) fiction on free online literary sites. Two thumbs down.
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Old 09-16-2009, 05:31 PM   #193
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I recently finished Easy Prey and one or two other Prey novels by John Sandford. I enjoyed it and got two more Sandford books out of the library. The problem with these is that the titles are not that specific to the plot, and I can never remember which ones I've already read.

I also read Grand Obsession and The Piano Shop on the West Bank, which are only good if you are really into pianos.

I read half of Zen in the Art of Archery, and got too bored.

I'm halfway through The Insomnia Answer which seems quite good.




I only have insomnia once in a while, and I think this book will help.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:01 PM   #194
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Awwww.....so CUTE!
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:12 PM   #195
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...(snip)... I'm halfway through The Insomnia Answer which seems quite good.
I only have insomnia once in a while, and I think this book will help.
Sounds like a great book Al, but who's that guy asleep at the wheel?
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Old 09-17-2009, 06:23 AM   #196
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I too like Sandford´s Prey series and have the same problem as Trombone identifying the novels I´ve read.
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Old 09-17-2009, 07:11 AM   #197
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Going retro with free Kindle books...
Call of the Wild by Jack London.
Next up is White Fang...
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Old 09-19-2009, 02:41 AM   #198
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Since we are living in China right now, reading is limited to paperbacks that other ex-pats have, or bringing a bunch back during our home leave trips. Mostly fiction that we can buy at the used book store for $1/book - need lots of them, because we both read quickly. Mainly murder mysteries, legal thrillers, spy stories. Authors we have read recently: Larry Bond, Mary Higgins Clark, Nora Roberts, John Leschroart, Scott Turow, William Dietrich, Michael Crichton, Patricia Cornwell, Scott Smith, Iris Hohansen, David Baldacci, James Grippando. As you can see, this is pretty light reading - no Pulitzer prizes here. But then, you don't often find fine literature on the $1 stand at the used bookstore.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:53 AM   #199
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Mainly murder mysteries, legal thrillers, spy stories.
I would have figured you for a sci fi fan.
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Old 09-19-2009, 11:46 AM   #200
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I was the last on my block to read "The Da Vinci Code." Started the new one Tuesday, "The Lost Symbol" but keep finding distractions. Anyone else playing the game? :

http://www.thelostsymbol.com/symbolquest/index.php
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