Recommend a book

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby I <3 Shadows » Wed Jul 02, 2008 3:47 pm UTC

I just read the book Choke on an airplane coming from Canada to the US, and I was impressed. The book warns you not to read it, but it's a book I didn't think I would enjoy but did. After you get past some of the more vivid discriptions, the books characters are what hold the story up.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby danteshepherd » Thu Jul 03, 2008 5:41 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:
The Condensed Collected Works of Dean Koontz does not instill great faith in the quality of his work.



Well, I didn't say his plots were all that excellent of late. But his dialogue, if spoken aloud, seems like it would be a nice steady stream of back and forth of comedy.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby McCaber » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:05 pm UTC

I'm going to keep on recommending We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It turns out 1984 isn't as original as we thought.
Spoiler:
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Jorpho » Mon Jul 07, 2008 2:31 am UTC

Just finished Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light. It's hard to go wrong with Hugo winners.

It's a lot like the Amber chronicles (which are probably his better-known work), but the prose is a lot more lyrical, in a good way. It's also quite painfully slow at the start, but it picks up nicely. Neil Gaiman has a gushing blurb on the back of this particular edition, and it does indeed beat American Gods hands down, in my opinion.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Mercurius » Mon Jul 07, 2008 4:27 pm UTC

I cannot recommend Nassim Nicholas Taleb's Black Swan as a book highly enough. If you're intereested in empiricism, randomness, philosophy or economics, then that's a bonus. Taleb's a very engaging writer who likes taking shots at certain sacred cows, while proving things we take for granted may not be as concrete as we thought - and educating the reader along the way.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby CafeEileen » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:44 am UTC

You Shall Know Our Velocity by Dave Eggers.

To me, it seems like this book is a great summer read.

Or if all else fails, Jane Austen is great for summer boredom. It is also on the other end of the literary style spectrum.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby CafeEileen » Wed Jul 09, 2008 7:46 am UTC

McCaber wrote:I'm going to keep on recommending We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. It turns out 1984 isn't as original as we thought.

This is a great book, especially if you like books about dystopias. This book totally started it all...

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby GCM » Thu Jul 10, 2008 8:11 am UTC

Ooh, ooh, I know! Deep Economy by Bill McKibben. The university sent it out to us as summer reading material, and it is freakin' deep, much more so that the initial impression I got. He'll counter everything that could come up as an argument, but the thing that got me most (for me, no doubt) is the environmental argument. And I'm like, "Why haven't I heard of this guy before?".

Seriously, maybe I'm just out of touch with the world, but these are really fine points. I'm kind of inspired to do engineering so I can help with alternative fuel.


Other than that, I dunno, Wuthering Heights? It's my favorite of all my literature course books, mainly because it's against conventions so much. If I had to jab it, it's because of the supernatural elements, which, while I love, I also hate because it reminds me of Silent Hill 4 (long, different story. And I don't know if anyone wants to hear it). But that's it. A trivial little detail about a very compelling story which I can relate to.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby DarkKnightJared » Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:39 am UTC

I recommend the Joe Pitt Casebook, which is three books (with the forth coming out in September) titled Already Dead, No Dominion, and Half the Blood of Brooklyn, by Charlie Huston.

The books are, as you can guess, about a guy named Joe Pitt. He's your regular guy--your traditional smartass who does the odd job here and there while trying to get in time with his girlfriend. He's also a Vampyre.

Basically, imagine if Raymond Chandler smoked Brad Stroker's remains, drowned it in whiskey, and went on a wild writing bender, and something like this would be the result. I have all three, intend on getting the forth, and, I'm not kidding, they're so hard to put down I finish them in a day or less.

Get them.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Allium Cepa » Sat Jul 12, 2008 8:58 pm UTC

I just read In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It is superbly written and extremely captivating. Most people have heard about it, but if you haven't, it's about a family in Kansas that gets murdered, and then the investigation, capture, and trial of the killers. It amazes me how well he was able to reconstruct everything together.

Also if you've seen the miniseries (or not) I also recommend Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose. It is also a very good book.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby simdude » Sun Jul 13, 2008 6:28 pm UTC

xenuphobia wrote:House of Leaves, by Mark Z. Danielewski
...
You will not regret it.

seconded or thirded or n'ed (whatever the count may be at)

I was recomended this book by a good friend, though who knows how she came to it.

Let me just say. Wow. What a book. It might be the slowest I've ever read just because I find myself actually analyzing the symbolism and parallels and holding the book up to a mirror to read the reversed text. But wow is it ever good.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby NuclearWinter » Sun Jul 13, 2008 7:00 pm UTC

The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein

Awesome book about anarchy, rebellion and humanity
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~ R. A. Heinlein

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Sasha » Sun Jul 13, 2008 8:50 pm UTC

A few (Read: perhaps six?) books, most of which are the start of a series.

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Humour/sci-fi package, a classic.
Dirk Gently's Wholistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams, lesser-known than Hitchhiker's.
Otherland by Tad Williams. A four-volume long sci-fi book.
Phule's Company by Robert Asprin. More sci-fi.
Another Fine Myth by Robert Asprin. Yay fantasy!

Here ya go, and there's my two cents.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby damigeinc » Tue Jul 15, 2008 1:53 pm UTC

I recommend Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. I think it is his best book that he as written so far. I enjoyed every moment of it and I have probably read it more than a dozen times. Each time I come away with a new thought / idea that was said / discussed in the book.

I would also recommend Me of Little Faith by Lewis Black. If you enjoy his comedy and his thoughts you will enjoy his life's religious experience. There where moments when Black was funny and other moments when he was very serious. He has had a lot of different religious experiences and he discusses them as well as what he thinks about religion as a whole.
"If you could be God's worst enemy or nothing, which would you choose?" - Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby odles22 » Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:19 pm UTC

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.

read it, please :(

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Boxcar Aldous Huxley » Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:36 pm UTC

The Areas of My Expertise by John Hodgeman. Wonderfully strange fake almanac. Among many other things, it has a list of 700 hobo names, one of which is my username. There's a sequel coming out soon, as well- More Information Than You Require- which I'm eagerly anticipating.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby sz5 » Thu Jul 17, 2008 11:32 pm UTC

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It deals with a man who has an unfortunate genetic chrono disability that makes him jump back and force to the past, present and future. Somehow though, the book never seems too out there or sci-fi like. It's a very interesting read.

I also second whoever said The Things They Carried. That's one of my favorite books ever, esp the passage about the little girl dancing.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby odles22 » Fri Jul 18, 2008 7:41 pm UTC

sz5 wrote:The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. It deals with a man who has an unfortunate genetic chrono disability that makes him jump back and force to the past, present and future. Somehow though, the book never seems too out there or sci-fi like. It's a very interesting read.

I also second whoever said The Things They Carried. That's one of my favorite books ever, esp the passage about the little girl dancing.


I'm really glad someone else thinks so. I'm going to post one of my favorite passages from it (it should only take ~5 min to read, maybe less), spoilerized for length.

From a chapter titled "How to Tell a True War Story".

Spoiler:
This is true.


I had a buddy in Vietnam. His name was Bob Kiley, but everybody called him Rat.

A friend of his gets killed, so about a week later Rat sits down and writes a letter to the guy's sister. Rat tells her what a great brother she had, how strack the guy was, a number one pal and comrade. A real soldier's soldier, Rat says. Then he tells a few stories to make the point, how her brother would always volunteer for stuff nobody else would volunteer for in a million years, dangerous stuff, like doing recon or going out on these really badass night patrols. Stainless steel balls, Rat tells her. They guy was a little crazy, for sure, but crazy in a good way, a real daredevil, because he like the challenge of it, he liked testing himself, just man against gook. A great, great guy, Rat says.

Anyway, it's a terrific letter, very personal and touching. Rat almost bawls writing it. He gets all teary telling about the good times they had together, how her brother made the war seem almost fun, always raising hell and lighting up villes and bringing smoke to bear every which way. A great sense of humor, too. Like the time at this river when he went fishing with a whole damn crate of hand grenades. Probably the funniest thing in world history, Rat says, all that gore, about twenty zillion dead gook fish. Her brother, he had the right attitude. He knew how to have a good time. On Halloween, this real hot spooky night, the dude paints up his body all different colors and puts on this weird mask and goes out on ambush almost stark naked, just boots and balls and an M-16. A tremendous human being, Rat says. Pretty nutso sometimes, but you could trust him with your life.

And then the letter gets very sad and serious. Rat pours his heart out. He says he loved the guy. He says the guy was his best friend in the world. They were like soul mates, he says, like twins or something, they had a whole lot in common. He tells the guy's sister he'll look her up when the war's over.

So what happens?

Rat mails the letter. He waits two months. The dumb cooze never writes back.


Spoiler:
It comes down to gut instinct. A true war story, if truly told, makes the stomach believe.


This one does it for me. I've told it before - many times, many versions - but here's what actually happened.

We crossed that river and marched west into the mountains. On the third day, my friend Curt Lemon stepped on a boobytrapped artillery round. He was playing catch with Rat Kiley, laughing, and then he was dead. The trees were thick; it took nearly an hour to cut an LZ for the dustoff.

Later, higher in the mountains, we came across a baby VC water buffalo. What it was doing there I don't know - no farms, no paddies—but we chased it down and, got a rope around it and led it along to a deserted village where we set up for the night. After supper Rat Kiley went over and stroked its nose.

He opened up a can of C rations, pork and beans, but the baby buffalo wasn't interested.

Rat shrugged.

He stepped back and shot it through the right front knee.

The animal did not make a sound. It went down hard, then got up again, and Rat took careful aim and shot off an ear. He shot it in the hindquarters and in the little hump at its back. He shot it twice in the flanks. It wasn't to kill; it was to hurt. He put the rifle muzzle up against the mouth and shot the mouth away. Nobody said much. The whole platoon stood there watching, feeling all kinds of things, but there wasn't a great deal of pity for the baby water buffalo. Curt Lemon was dead. Rat Kiley had lost his best friend in the world. Later in the week Rat would write a long personal letter to the guy's sister, who would not write back, but for now, it was simply a question of pain. He shot off the tail. He shot away—chunks of meat below the ribs. All around us there was the smell of smoke and filth and greenery, and the evening was humid and very hot. Rat went to automatic. He shot randomly, almost casually, quick little spurts in the belly. Then he reloaded, squatted down, and shot it in the left front knee. Again the animal fell hard and tried to get up, but this time it couldn't quite make it. It wobbled and went down sideways. Rat shot it in the nose. He bent forward and whispered something, as if talking to a pet, then he shot it in the throat. All the while the baby water buffalo was silent, or almost silent, just a little bubbling sound where the nose had been. It lay very still. Nothing moved except the eyes, which were enormous, the pupils shiny black and dumb.

Rat Kiley was crying. He tried to say something, but them cradled his rifle and went off by himself.

The rest of us stood in a ragged circle around the baby buffalo. For a long time no one spoke. We had witnessed something essential, something brand-new and profound, a piece of the world so startling there was not yet a word for it.

Somebody kicked the baby buffalo.

It was still alive, though just barely, just in the eyes. "Amazing," Dave Jensen said. "My whole life, I never seen anything like it."

"Never?" "Not hardly. Not once."

Kiowa and Mitchell Sanders picked up the baby buffalo. They hauled it across the open square, hoisted it up, and dumped it in the village well.

Afterward, we sat waiting for Rat to get himself together.

"Amazing," Dave Jensen kept saying. "A new wrinkle. I never seen it before."

Mitchell Sanders took out his yo-yo. "Well, that's Nam,' he said. "Garden of Evil. Over here, man, every sin's ret fresh and original."


Spoiler:
Now and then, when I tell this story, someone will come up to me afterward and say she liked it. It's always a woman. Usually it's an older woman of kindly temperament and humane politics. She'll explain that as a rule she hates war stories; she can't understand why people want to wallow in all the blood and gore. But this one she liked. The poor baby buffalo, it made her sad. Sometimes, even, there are little tears. What I should do, she'll say, is put it all behind me. Find new stories to tell.

I won't say it but I'll think it.

I'll picture Rat Kiley's face, his grief, and I'll think, You dumb cooze.

Because she wasn't listening.

It wasn't a war story. It was a love story.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Daemon » Sun Jul 20, 2008 11:33 am UTC

"Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell. Not sure about the intellectual quality and all that, but I enjoyed it. And the whole setting out of the book is interesting. Its made up of 6 interrelated stories, all set in different time periods and different characters. The stories interrupt each other, then continue later. Confusing and hard to explain. like this:

Story 1 (1st half)
Story 2 (1st half)
Story 3 (1st half)
Story 4 (1st half)
Story 5 (1st half)
Story 6
Story 5 (2nd half)
Story 4 (2nd half)
Story 3 (2nd half)
Story 2 (2nd half)
Story 1 (2nd half)

Anyways.
I liked it.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Menagerie » Mon Jul 21, 2008 3:37 pm UTC

Sex and Death in Television Town. It's one strange and wild ride. From the first sentence you know this is *not* going to be an even reasonably normal book. It's all a large metaphor for the Hollywood take on sex and death.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby hyrrn » Wed Jul 23, 2008 3:03 pm UTC

Wyrm by Mark Fabi. I picked it at random off a shelf when the bookstore didn't have Timeline (which was new at the time). As far as I can tell, he's done nothing else exceptional, and this book killed itself with its own summary, which is both melodramatic and openly about Y2K. If you don't mind the fact that it tangentially revolves around Y2K, it's an extremely fun book, and has become one of my favorites ever.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby SteveM17 » Fri Jul 25, 2008 10:15 am UTC

"If On A Winter's Night A Traveller" by Italo Calvino. Great book if you're into how stories are constructed.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby studyinserendipity » Sat Jul 26, 2008 7:06 am UTC

Thirded for The Things They Carried, followed by the suggestion of Chickenhawk for the war through the eyes of a Huey pilot.
Seconded for The Time Traveler's Wife - it's a fabulous book that actually deals with time traveling in a (at least, I think) realistic and probable way.

Finally, I know we mainly read literature and not children's books, but I'm taking a class that exposes me to a great deal of children's lit., so if you can find these books, read them:
Don't Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus or There's a Bird on Your Head by Mo WIllems
A Kick in the Head illustrated by Chris Raschka - this is a guide to poetic forms, so it's not only a great book of poetry and illustration, it's an awesome book to let you know about the different poetic forms and structures that exist.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby ewige » Mon Jul 28, 2008 8:38 pm UTC

MetaJoke wrote:Jhereg (first book in the vlad taltos series) by Stephen Brust


Agreed. I just picked up Jhegaala (the latest in the series) yesterday and finished it today at lunch. They are like tasty tasty candy reading.

As for my recommendation, I would echo House of Leaves, but above it I would place infinite jest. I do so adore that slab of book.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Narsil » Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:13 am UTC

ewige wrote:As for my recommendation, I would echo House of Leaves, but above it I would place infinite jest. I do so adore that slab of book.

:D I like you. Everyone I meet runs from those books.
Spoiler:
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby The Rumpled Academic » Sat Aug 02, 2008 1:39 pm UTC

SteveM17 wrote:"If On A Winter's Night A Traveller" by Italo Calvino. Great book if you're into how stories are constructed.


Very cool book.
Cleverness you can enjoy.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Leah » Sun Aug 03, 2008 11:33 pm UTC

I just finished reading The Time Traveller's Wife again. I recommend it if you want something light, but not airport material. It's deep in parts and combines some complicated issues with a quite beautiful love story.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Marbas » Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:08 am UTC

I would recommend The Town That Forgot How to Breathe. It's fun and spooky.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Mercurius » Mon Aug 18, 2008 11:12 am UTC

I just finished The Pirate's Dilemma: How Youth Culture is Reinventing Capitalism.

This is truly a book for everyone. Programmers and open source enthusiasts, copyright law activists, musicians, punks, hip-hop fans, graffiti artists and those fascinated by modern marketing, are among some of the people who will find this book useful and interesting.

In short, the book involves two main themes. Copyright violation, and what the writer, Matt Mason, calls Punk Capitalism. Piracy is a problem of inefficiency in a business model, pirates only arise to take over when things are going horribly wrong, as they are today. Punk capitalism is the modus operandi of the modern pirate, marrying a workable business model with ethical ideals and practices - turning consumerism into activism. The book explores these two themes through the topics I mentioned above, delving into the history of copyright violation, turntables, disco and Linux, among others. Mason makes the case for pirates saving the system, as well as lives and culture, by turning fundmental ideas about capitalism on its head, and making it work for us, instead of the other way around.

Its really a great book and if any of the above topics interest you, I suggest grabbing a copy.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby AntonGarou » Mon Aug 18, 2008 1:26 pm UTC

The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross- a book that's one part secret history, one part Lovecraftian horror and one part cold-war thriller.

The world seems rather normal, doesn't it?What you don't know is that there are creatures "out there" who would make Lovecraft wake up in screams, and if you solve the wrong mathematical theorem you attract their attention to yourself.Bob Howard isn't a James Bond type, he's just a programming geek sucked into working for the covert British government agency because it was either that or checking out how the underside of a gravestone looks like.this is his story.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Arpy » Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:06 am UTC

Well, the Hitchhiker's trilogy (or at least the first three books therein) should be a prerequisite for all remotely geeky people. It took me a couple readings to get Mr. Adam's quirky brand of humor, but I then proceeded to devour the rest of them and have been a huge fan ever since.
Being a frequent peruser of our library's "young adult" section has resulted in my finding a couple of gems here and there. Scott Westerfeld's Midnighters trilogy is a nice piece of work. The concept, execution, and overall plot is very well done, though I have an inkling that it may not be cerebral enough for some of you. Still, a very fun read. I would also recommend Chris Wooding as another "YA" author. (I put YA in quotation marks because there's often little distinction between young adult and adult literature at our library.) I've read two of his books, both of which had good solid plots, interesting concepts, and action, and were very enjoyable reads throughout.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby aeiss » Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:38 am UTC

His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman; Northern Lights, Subtle Knife, and Amber Spyglass.
I first read this when I was like twelve. Each time I've gone and re-read through it I've gotten so much more from it. Didn't really get the religious undertones when I was that young, hey.
To me it was just a jolly good fantasy/adventure story.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Bustercloud » Mon Aug 25, 2008 9:24 am UTC

Angelene wrote:The Road by Cormac McCarthy because you will read it in one sitting and will want to read it again.


Had to read this one for school, I suppose two years ago now. I found it wonderful. It keeps you thinking long after you put it down. It makes no attempts to have a complicated story. It throws out a giant concept in a very simple way. It reads more as a journal, and lets you fill in the back story yourself.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Arcanior » Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:52 am UTC

I'm surprised this one isn't here yet:

In the Hand of Dante, by Nick Tosches.

Marvellous book, with multiple intertwining storylines, revolving around Dante Alighieri's Divina Commedia. The author expresses his opinion on literature, poetry and modern publishing in a very interesting way, which, due to my English, which, being Belgian, is only at an average level, is hard to explain. Anyway, a must-read.
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby CogDissident » Thu Aug 28, 2008 2:08 pm UTC

Goblin Quest: A goblin goes about his everyday life refilling muck-torches in his clan's cave. One day, he is found by a group of adventurers while in one of the nearby tunnels, and they force him to become their "guide". All told from the point-of-view of the goblin. More comedy-based than anything, but also a good reversal of the typical "swords and sorcery" type books

Dragon's Egg: Not a fantasy story, despite the title. It is about a race of creatures that live on a neutron star. Some things about their physiology and how life "could" exist in an environment with gravity several hundred thousand times stronger than earth.

Ex: They have no concept of things "falling". If something would fall, it simply disappears and reappears already having impacted the ground.

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Re: Recommend a book

Postby Narsil » Fri Aug 29, 2008 12:15 am UTC

Bustercloud wrote:
Angelene wrote:The Road by Cormac McCarthy because you will read it in one sitting and will want to read it again.


Had to read this one for school, I suppose two years ago now. I found it wonderful. It keeps you thinking long after you put it down. It makes no attempts to have a complicated story. It throws out a giant concept in a very simple way. It reads more as a journal, and lets you fill in the back story yourself.
Interesting. I just finished McCarthy's Child of God, and I can't say I'd recommend it.

Don't get me wrong, he's a fantastic writer and all, but this book taps into the same dark world of hurt and pain that Palauhnik's Haunted does. Really, it's the kind of book you'll only have to read once and then your nightmares will keep it fresh in your mind after that.

It still gives me a cold slimy feeling thinking about it.
Spoiler:
EsotericWombat wrote:MORE JUNK THAN YOUR BODY HAS ROOM FOR

Mother Superior wrote:What's he got that I dont?
*sees Narsil's sig*
Oh... that.

darwinwins
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby darwinwins » Mon Sep 01, 2008 1:43 am UTC

haruki murakami. everything and anything written by him is pretty much golden.

start with Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. then work your way to everything else.
"if you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking. that's the world of hicks and slobs. " - haruki murakami

motoron
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby motoron » Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:20 am UTC

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Pulitzer prize winner, Awesome vocabulary,

AND ABOUT COMIC BOOKS!

Frankly, this book is amazing. Just pure amazing, condensed with words you never thought you'd see outside of the OED (for those of us who actually look inside the OED, that is)

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robinberghuys
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby robinberghuys » Mon Sep 01, 2008 7:15 pm UTC

I would like to recommend some non-fiction:

House to House by David Bellavia, which I would like to make required reading for anyone who is going to say anything about the war in Iraq, 'supporting the troops' and such. It's written by a Staff Sergeant who was part of the second battle of Fallujah. A lot of things you will probably not agree with and it might not sound very interesting to you, but that's why you need to read it. Most people only read things that they think is going to be interesting and that they will agree with (liberals reading the New York Times), thus ending up with a very one-sided view of the world. I probably would not have read it, had I not been bored and had it not been laying around. It's a good thing that the guy is a good writer, I finished it in one day. The story is pretty thrilling. During and afterwards I was like :shock:

I also read the Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, but I suppose a lot of you have already read it, so I won't try to recommend that one.
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g33k stinkbr3@th
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Re: Recommend a book

Postby g33k stinkbr3@th » Wed Sep 03, 2008 8:04 am UTC

Bernard Cornwell's Saxon series telling the stories of Uhtred, a fictional Saxon Lord in Alfred's times.
Great series, first four books are

The Last Kingdom
The Pale Horseman
Lords of the North
Sword Song

Brilliant works, spellbinding writing style and a master storyteller of the highest order, as well as very historically acurate in regards to the campaigns of the time


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