Author Topic: What books are we reading at the moment ?  (Read 480202 times)

Eccentrica Gallumbits

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #550 on: April 28, 2009, 12:53:51 pm »
More Trees to Climb by the excellent and very nice man Ben Moor and I can't recommend it highly enough, or his plays.
My feminist marxist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.


bikenerd

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #551 on: April 28, 2009, 01:08:22 pm »
Fiction : The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick.
Non fiction : Bicycle Design by Mike Burrows (revised 2008 edition).

I recommend the latter to anyone interested in how a bicycle works and what works for a bicycle design.  There's no maths in it and Mike's somewhat rambling style is easy to read.  Mike is highly opinionated and a lot of his opinions have been reached by experience and not scientific rigour.  So, you may disagree with some things! :)

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #552 on: April 28, 2009, 01:23:41 pm »
The Dumas Club by Arturo Perez Reverte. Brilliant stuff. I also like his The Fencing Master (El maestro de esgrima) and The Nautical Chart (La carta esferica).


PaulF

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #553 on: April 28, 2009, 03:27:46 pm »
Just finished "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. The best book that I've read in ages. Also probably the bleakest ???

(click to show/hide)


but beautifully written.

αdαmsκι

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #554 on: April 29, 2009, 09:12:18 am »
I am currently reading From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium by William Dalrymple in which he traces the demise of Christianity in the Near East since its peak during the 6th century until the problems in the 20th with things such as the Armenian, erm, genocide and the issues brought about due to the creation of Israel. It's very well written and extremely interesting, but it's also pretty dense and takes some effort to read it. It's not the best book to read in small goes, which is what I'm attempting to do at the moment.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

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Rhys W

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #555 on: April 29, 2009, 10:00:32 am »
Just finished "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy. The best book that I've read in ages. Also probably the bleakest ???

(click to show/hide)


but beautifully written.

 Hey I just finished this a couple of weeks ago. Actually I finished it in three sittings - the reviews are right, it's pretty gripping. The Thinking Man's DaVinci Code. I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic scenarios anyway.

 Now I'm on to a 2nd hand copy of Charles Shaar Murray's Crosstown Traffic.

ChrisO

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #556 on: April 29, 2009, 02:55:30 pm »
Thanks to the several recommendations for The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which I've just finished - enjoyed it very much.

Currently reading  John Macnab by John Buchan.

I didn't realise Buchan became Governor General of Canada.

Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #557 on: April 30, 2009, 11:52:58 am »
The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich ~ William Shirer

Should keep me occupied for a day or two.
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Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

clarion

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #558 on: April 30, 2009, 11:57:25 am »
He dies in the end. </spoiler> ;D
Getting there...

Wascally Weasel

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #559 on: April 30, 2009, 12:05:42 pm »
Rereading 'Forge of God' by Greg Bear

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #560 on: April 30, 2009, 09:22:04 pm »
Just wanted to say:

I read another recommended book on this thread, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  Absolutely fantastic stuff.  Thanks.  I can't wait to read the second in the trilogy, "The Girl who Played with Fire" which the reviews say is even better.

Mr Larrington

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #561 on: May 01, 2009, 01:20:27 pm »
Just wanted to say:

I read another recommended book on this thread, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".  Absolutely fantastic stuff.  Thanks.  I can't wait to read the second in the trilogy, "The Girl who Played with Fire" which the reviews say is even better.

Is good and available from a Several of supermarkets for about a tenner in hardback.

Last time I spoke to Dr Larrington she was reading The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (in German) and she reckoned it was a bit slow at the start.  I hope it dun't stay that way :-\
External Transparent Wall Inspection Operative & Mayor of Mortagne-au-Perche
Satisfying the Bloodlust of the Masses in Peacetime

Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #562 on: May 01, 2009, 03:56:20 pm »
I am reading Postsingularity by Rudy Rucker, a Californian mathematician, sf author and breeder of jellfish. If you know anything about Rudy Rucker you will know what to expect. If you don't you might wonder what the hell this odd combination of quantum physics and happy hippy stuff is and whether he is serious...

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #563 on: May 05, 2009, 10:51:14 am »
I am reading Postsingularity by Rudy Rucker, a Californian mathematician, sf author and breeder of jellfish. If you know anything about Rudy Rucker you will know what to expect. If you don't you might wonder what the hell this odd combination of quantum physics and happy hippy stuff is and whether he is serious...

Incidently, that's available for free (under creative commons license) here:

Postsingular by Rudy Rucker - Free eBook

Free books rock.

I'm mainly reading three titles at the moment:

Engineering Mathmatics - KA Stroud. This is wonderful and exciting, and then confusing and depressing, in equal measure. I'm pretty sure that's my fault though, not the author's.

Hogfather (Discworld) - Terry Pratchett. Silly fun, but not as amusing as some of the others in the series.

Blink - Malclom Gladwell. Just started this after it was referenced in a podcast I recently listened to, on the subject of choice, free will and unconscious decision making. It's all about the almost instantaneous decisions our brains seem to constantly make for us, and the mechanisms and influences that might be at work there.

The original "radio" show/podcast is here, if anyone is interested (I enjoyed it):

WNYC - Radiolab: Choice (November 14, 2008)


Flying_Monkey

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #564 on: May 07, 2009, 10:41:06 am »
I am reading Postsingularity by Rudy Rucker, a Californian mathematician, sf author and breeder of jellfish. If you know anything about Rudy Rucker you will know what to expect. If you don't you might wonder what the hell this odd combination of quantum physics and happy hippy stuff is and whether he is serious...

Incidently, that's available for free (under creative commons license) here:

Postsingular by Rudy Rucker - Free eBook

Free books rock.

They do, but I like paper - perhaps it being available free is why it was 1.99 in the bargain bin at Forbidden Planet!

I just finished Yellow Blue Tibia by Adam Roberts. It didn't really do much for me, but it was nicely written.

Anyway, in complete contrast, I am now dipping into the absolutely wonderful George Mackay Brown's collected poems, which I picked up last week in Scotland.

αdαmsκι

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #565 on: May 07, 2009, 12:11:20 pm »
Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron.
What on earth am I doing here on this beautiful day?! This is the only life I've got!!

https://tyredandhungry.wordpress.com/

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #566 on: May 17, 2009, 05:17:51 am »

Incidently, that's available for free (under creative commons license) here:

Postsingular by Rudy Rucker - Free eBook

Free books rock.

They do, but I like paper


Ah, have you tried one of the e-ink hardware readers (Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader etc)? I love mine to bits. As many books as you can imagine, all in one dinky convenient bundle, ready to take aywhere, or even just read in bed.

One of the things I most love is the almost instant availability of books that I see recomended or reviewed. If something sounds interesting then a couple of minutes later I can usually have it downloaded and on the reader ready to go.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #567 on: May 17, 2009, 09:27:28 am »

Incidently, that's available for free (under creative commons license) here:

Postsingular by Rudy Rucker - Free eBook

Free books rock.

They do, but I like paper


Ah, have you tried one of the e-ink hardware readers (Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader etc)? I love mine to bits. As many books as you can imagine, all in one dinky convenient bundle, ready to take aywhere, or even just read in bed.

One of the things I most love is the almost instant availability of books that I see recomended or reviewed. If something sounds interesting then a couple of minutes later I can usually have it downloaded and on the reader ready to go.
This sounds interesting Gruff
Can you do me a link and tell me more about yours, please?

Cheers
Never knowingly under caffeinated

David Martin

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #568 on: May 17, 2009, 09:33:51 am »
Eventually made my way through a couple of topical books.

Who runs britain - Robert Peston
The Storm - Vince Cable

Now picking interesting bits from 'The Railways of Dundee' by Peter Marshall for a ride I am leading in a few weeks.

..d   
"By creating we think. By living we learn" - Patrick Geddes

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #569 on: May 17, 2009, 06:19:02 pm »
Can you do me a link and tell me more about yours, please?


Gladly...

I have Sony Reader (2nd gen 505 model), which you can see here:

Sony Reader Digital Book PRS-505 (silver) E-Book reader reviews - CNET Reviews

Sony have a web page for it, of course, but it's infested with irritating flash so up to you if you want to take a look:

Reader eBook : Sony

There are others, like the Amazon Kindle, Bookeen Cybook and Irex Iliad but I've never seen those in the flesh so can't comment on them.

I wanted a dedicated ebook reader since I first read about the e-ink screens in development a few years ago, but it seemed to take an age for devices to appear that were practical and sensibly priced (some of them are still very expensive in my view).

The main component of these devices is the e-ink screen, which is unlike the displays you have on your laptop, mobile phone, ipod etc. The e-ink technology is designed to mimic paper, so it is matt, "flat", and very easy on the eyes.

I normally avoid Sony products like the plague, having found them over priced and over hyped in the past, and almost always disappointing. However, at the time I made my choice the 505 seemed the pick of the bunch for my needs - I'm impressed with it and very happy to recommend it. A caveat would be that the price seems to have increased since I bought mine, and now looks a little expensive again. No doubt the weakness of Sterling has contributed to that.

It's similar in size to a paperback, but thinner, and so is very transportable. With a decent cover on you can confidently throw it in a bag, pocket or pannier in the same way you could a conventional book. The difference is that with the Reader you are effectively carrying ALL your books. The built in memory is good for perhaps 150 titles, and with a cheap 1 or 2gb SD card you could store, well... thousands.

I've heard that the menu system does slow down and become clumsy if you load that many titles, but I've not tried it so can't comment, it may or may not be true. I have a few hundred books in mine and it works great.

If you travel a lot, or work away from home, or just don't want to lug an armful of books on a holiday (bike tour!), then it's just the ticket. Of course, you don't have to be leaving the house to use one, mine is now my default choice for reading in bed, on the sofa etc. It's genuinely a pleasure to read from and use. It's quite a surprise really, a modern tech device that does, simply, what it's supposed to do, with no drama or complication.

Battery life is very practical, and I comfortably get a couple of weeks or more between charges. Sony claim 7500 page turns, or until the battery discharges itself over time.

I mentioned this in my previous post, but, in addition to being a really convenient package for an entire library of books, one of the things I most love about the Reader it is just how easy and fast sourcing books becomes. For example, when I browsed my way into this thread, the latest few posters were raving about The Road and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. About three minutes later I had both titles downloaded and on my Reader (The Road btw, wow, great book!).

Books need to be converted to a particular .lrf format for use on the Sony Reader, but excellent, free, open source software exists for this purpose (Calibre), which automates the task and uploads to the device. Calibre will competently handle just about any text or ebook format you'll encounter. I strongly suggest avoiding the Sony provided software. I've never tried it myself but the crap they forced me to use with one of their minidisc players several years ago was so hideous it chafes my nuts to this day even to think about it.

There is a vast and growing collection of legitimately free titles online, such as out of copyright classics and also ones that the author has simply released to free distribution. Of course you can also purchase ebook format copies of loads of contemporary titles from stores such as Amazon, and take immediate delivery by download or email.

One thing that does irritate me is the current pricing of ebooks, which frequently are no cheaper, and even sometimes more expensive, that their traditional printed counterparts. This seems crackers to me. There must be a significant saving in not having to physically print, distribute, store and then manually post a book to consumers, but that often doesn't seem to be reflected in the price. Still, that's their choice, isn't it.

Some may disapprove of my mentioning this but I think it's relevant to discussion of ebook innovation, so I will... ebooks are available online in essentially the same way that mp3 music is. If you can find a music CD for sale at Amazon or similar, you can generally find it quickly and simply for free download too, via google, bit torrent or usenet. The same is true for ebooks, whether an individual wishes to use that method is a choice for them, and I'll leave that there.

Understand that these devices aren't like handheld computers or smart phones. They don't do flashy menus with instant response, colourful graphics, mini applications and the like. They display a printed paper book-like image, and have a simple menu to navigate through your collection, make bookmarks etc.

I'll also point out that these devices aren't really suitable for reference titles, such as technical documents or manuals. Anything that has lots of diagrams or charts, or content that you need to search back and forth through for data or information will not work well on a hardware ebook reader (with the possible exception of the very new Kindle DX).

However, for plain old reading of novels or non fiction works this thing is the bee's knees. You can instantly grab almost anything that interests you, take your whole library anywhere you wish, and read very enjoyably on a device that's effortless to use.

There are lots of options now other than the brand and model I have, and this new one looks interesting:

Interead's COOL-ER claims to be the 'iPod moment' for e-readers

HTH (sorry for the length).


Zoidburg

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #570 on: May 17, 2009, 06:36:20 pm »
No Country For Old Men.

Which I suddenly realised I had read before about ten years ago.

Still good though.

Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #571 on: May 17, 2009, 06:42:40 pm »
First Among Sequels, Jasper Fforde.
The Appeal, John Grisham.


Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #572 on: May 17, 2009, 06:46:44 pm »

HTH (sorry for the length).


Thank you, an excellent post.
Never knowingly under caffeinated

Mike J

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #573 on: May 17, 2009, 07:21:58 pm »
Currently reading The Lords of the North by Bernard Cornwell

her_welshness

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Re: What books are we reading at the moment ?
« Reply #574 on: May 17, 2009, 07:59:09 pm »
I am currently reading From the Holy Mountain: A Journey in the Shadow of Byzantium by William Dalrymple in which he traces the demise of Christianity in the Near East since its peak during the 6th century until the problems in the 20th with things such as the Armenian, erm, genocide and the issues brought about due to the creation of Israel. It's very well written and extremely interesting, but it's also pretty dense and takes some effort to read it. It's not the best book to read in small goes, which is what I'm attempting to do at the moment.

That is a brilliant book - there are some books which stay with you for the rest of your life and this is one  :thumbsup: