What are you currently reading?

Your general non-gaming entertainment thread.
keele864
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Postby keele864 » Wed Oct 19, 2005 3:32 am

School reading first: I'm reading A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain and Idylls of the King by Alfred, Lord Tennyson for Modern Arthurian Literature, which is a really fun course. I'm reading Religion, Law, and Power: The Making of Protestant Ireland: 1660-1760 by S.J. Connolly for a course on Irish history.

I'm reading Memoirs of a Shape-Shifter by Thomas Kaplan-Maxfield so I can write a book review in my school newspaper. It's actually going to be the first book review in the student paper in a year and a half. Hopefully I can make book reviews into a tradition here. I'm actually going to go interview the author, since he teaches at this school.

For pleasure, I'm reading The Murder Room by P.D. James and The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

To be brief, I've got lots of reading to do.

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lunarRPG88
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Postby lunarRPG88 » Sun Oct 23, 2005 7:01 pm

the threads

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Sonic#
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Postby Sonic# » Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:51 pm

Ah, a peruser of fate, are you?

I'm still reading The Katurran Odyssey, have started 2001, and am going to try to read Eric's musical (which he posted way back) in a day or two. >_<
Sonic#

"Than seyde Merlion, "Whethir lyke ye bettir the swerde othir the scawberde?" "I lyke bettir the swerde," seyde Arthure. "Ye ar the more unwyse, for the scawberde ys worth ten of the swerde; for whyles ye have the scawberde uppon you, ye shall lose no blood, be ye never so sore wounded. Therefore kepe well the scawberde allweyes with you." --- Le Morte Darthur, Sir Thomas Malory

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Werefrog
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Postby Werefrog » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:44 pm

lunarRPG88 wrote:the threads


Thanks for making the same joke that someone made a week ago.

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Roas Atrades
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Postby Roas Atrades » Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:10 pm

Just finished The Unseen Queen, Book 2 of the latest Star Wars series Dark Nest.

Currently working up the strength and courage to crack open the lastest Jordan book, Knife of Dreams....because I am still pissed with how crappy the last book of the series was. The guy didn't move the story at all for 700 pages! As a reader I was pissed, and as a writer I was distgusted.
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Nobiyuki77
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Postby Nobiyuki77 » Thu Nov 03, 2005 6:57 pm

Currently reading Negima 7 and Oh! My Goddess 21.

They count? XD
-Nobi

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Anordin
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Postby Anordin » Sat Nov 05, 2005 10:21 am

*grumbles* Harry Potter IV. I swore I wasn't going to read anymore of these, but seeing all the commericals for the next movie... At least she's breaking pattern with this one somewhat.

But I seriously need to do some *serious* reading soon. Granted I don't know what that is, but I know it isn't the Potter books. Anyone got any good titles to recommend? I've been in between books for a while and need something to keep the old mental gears a grinding...
Heaven does not speak. It simply showed its will by his personal conduct and his conduct of affairs.
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Rune Lai
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Postby Rune Lai » Sun Nov 06, 2005 6:52 am

Just finished <I>Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince</I> (sixth book), which I thought I was reading several months behind everybody else, but it seems there are people further behind than me! I had some issue with the handling of the titular Half-Blood Prince, but otherwise I liked this book more than the fourth and fifth installments. I don't particularly like Rowling's writing style, but she can tell a good story and she doesn't contradict herself over the course of this long-running series like I've seen other authors do. She's definitely got everything all plotted out.

Anordin, I don't know what kind of fiction you read, but if you're interested in fantasy, some books in the genre that I've enjoyed in recent years are:

Birth of the Firebringer by Meredith Ann Pierce
Wolf Moon by Charles De Lint
Vemon's Touch by Lisa Smedman
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lnrSaxon
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Postby lnrSaxon » Sun Nov 06, 2005 8:00 am

I'm reading a bit of these two: Every Young Woman's Battle and Boy Meets Girl. Just taking bits and pieces. =)

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Roas Atrades
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Postby Roas Atrades » Sun Nov 06, 2005 4:09 pm

I just picked up the new Eddings book this week, Crystal Gorge, the third book in the Dreamers series. The Eddings are two of my favorite authors, because the way they write characters was one of my major influences when I started writing. They are never much for battle scenes and super description, but they always tell a good story and have memorable and loveable characters.
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Anordin
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Postby Anordin » Mon Nov 07, 2005 8:07 am

I haven't read a good fantasy book in a long time, not since Jordan started producing those 700+ pages of non-story piles of wasted paper. He sort of burned me out of the genre. I think the last fantasy book I read, other than Potter, was...Journey to the West, the old Chinese classic. Its funny, I started in this genre, and as I've matured, I've grown out of it.

But then again, I did have a great fetish for Clive Barker. He was the author that got me into the hobby/business. But his books weren't exactly fantasy, nor were they horror either. And then there's the score of sci-fi writers that I still read.

I'm not sure where my tastes lie anymore. I have a great love of mythology of any kind. But I like the 'realistic literature' as well. Hell I just love books, to an unhealthy degree.

Anyone read the latest trilogy by that guy (being so specific here..) and is it any good. He wrote Snow Crash and Cryptomioncon(I didn't actually read this one). I keep forgotting, I buy books I don't read, and I don't know why. I should browse my piles...*shakes head* Too much to read, not enough time.
Heaven does not speak. It simply showed its will by his personal conduct and his conduct of affairs.

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Postby Angelalex242 » Mon Nov 07, 2005 10:10 am

Books I often find myself rereading:

Jonathan Barret, Gentleman Vampire (P.N. Elrod)
The Complete Book of Swords and sequels (Fred Saberhagen)
ElvenBane series (Andre Norton and Mercedes Lackey)
Sword of Bedwyr (R.A. Salvatore)
By the Sword (Mercedes Lackey)
Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Patricia C. Wrede)
Prydian Chronicles (Lloyd Alexander)
Support Your Local Wizard (Diane Duane)
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keele864
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Postby keele864 » Mon Nov 21, 2005 4:22 am

Anyone read the latest trilogy by that guy (being so specific here..) and is it any good. He wrote Snow Crash and Cryptomioncon(I didn't actually read this one). I keep forgotting, I buy books I don't read, and I don't know why. I should browse my piles...*shakes head* Too much to read, not enough time.


Neal Stephenson. I started Quicksilver, but I've yet to finish it. If you like Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, I highly suggest An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears.

I'm currently reading The Queen of the Swords by Michael Moorcock and War in Heaven by Charles Williams. Both are very good.

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Anordin
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Postby Anordin » Tue Nov 22, 2005 6:34 am

Is Quicksilver good? I haven't started yet. I'm not sure if I'm a Stephenson fan yet... Anyways, I caught myself in a series of articles and persuing some other texts.

Just finished the fifth Potter book...and well, I'm just glad there's only two more left. I thought things would have been different after the pivotal fourth, but silly me...we can still recycle things over and over.

In case I didn't mention it: The Dune Series (solely the original versions, mind you) continually rock my world. Everyone should read those books.
Heaven does not speak. It simply showed its will by his personal conduct and his conduct of affairs.

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Rune Lai
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Postby Rune Lai » Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:26 am

Siege of Darkness by R.A. Salvatore

Yeah, I'm know I'm bloody late reading this in comparision to everyone else who reads R.A. Salvatore, but despite the fact I really like Drizzt and Catti-brie, Salvatore tends to read like he's regurgitating the same stuff over and over again so I can only take one of his books every year or two or I OD on them. Thankfully he's aware of the problem (there really is only so much you can throw at Drizzt before it just gets ridiculous), but that comment came from an interview regarding a later book some six books down the line, so it may be a while before I see any of that in action.
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But I will not forget the beauty of life itself.

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Roas Atrades
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Postby Roas Atrades » Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:29 pm

Rune Lai wrote:Siege of Darkness by R.A. Salvatore

Yeah, I'm know I'm bloody late reading this in comparision to everyone else who reads R.A. Salvatore, but despite the fact I really like Drizzt and Catti-brie, Salvatore tends to read like he's regurgitating the same stuff over and over again so I can only take one of his books every year or two or I OD on them. Thankfully he's aware of the problem (there really is only so much you can throw at Drizzt before it just gets ridiculous), but that comment came from an interview regarding a later book some six books down the line, so it may be a while before I see any of that in action.


I am sooooooooo behind on reading this series it's not even funny. Someday I will have to plow through it, but you're right. R.A. has the regurgitation flaw, and the feeling of his writing crosses series. When he wrote the first book of the New Jedi Order series, Vector Prime, it had a certain feeling to it that you could not ignore. It was good, but it was not even close to being the best of that series.
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Rune Lai
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Postby Rune Lai » Sun Dec 11, 2005 4:29 am

I finished Siege of Darkness (been sick the past couple days, which helped my reading if anything else). If I didn't like Drizzt and Catti-brie so much I would've quit a long time ago. The way he was obligated to handle the Time of Troubles (since he was writing this book after all the other authors were done with it) was--meh... It could've been better.

[spoiler]Given the state of Menzoberranzan at the end of the story though, I think I can see where the War of the Spider Queen series has its genesis. I admit I'm somewhat tempted to read that one now, knowing that Matron Baenre is dead and the power struggle wide open, and that the series is not written by R.A. Salvatore.[/spoiler]

I took a look at how many books left I have to "catch up" and it's mindboggling. I just finished his ninth and I have another nine to go (possibly ten if I can figure out whether or not the first book of the Sellswords Trilogy is the same book as an earlier one in the Paths of Darkness series since they have the same title :P).
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Roas Atrades
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Postby Roas Atrades » Sun Dec 11, 2005 7:33 am

Rune Lai wrote:I finished Siege of Darkness (been sick the past couple days, which helped my reading if anything else). If I didn't like Drizzt and Catti-brie so much I would've quit a long time ago. The way he was obligated to handle the Time of Troubles (since he was writing this book after all the other authors were done with it) was--meh... It could've been better.

[spoiler]Given the state of Menzoberranzan at the end of the story though, I think I can see where the War of the Spider Queen series has its genesis. I admit I'm somewhat tempted to read that one now, knowing that Matron Baenre is dead and the power struggle wide open, and that the series is not written by R.A. Salvatore.[/spoiler]

I took a look at how many books left I have to "catch up" and it's mindboggling. I just finished his ninth and I have another nine to go (possibly ten if I can figure out whether or not the first book of the Sellswords Trilogy is the same book as an earlier one in the Paths of Darkness series since they have the same title :P).



Time of Troubles is so hard to compile accurately, because it was written, if I am not mistaken, right as TSR was being taken over by Wizards of the Coast. Therefore, it was just a giant mess to get a clear picture of what was going on.

Fortunetely for me, I had picked up the Elminster Trilogy centered during the ToT, so that was pretty good at giving me a good over-view of the entire affair.

[spoiler] As for War of the Spider Queen, I cheated and looked at the end of the final book to see the fate of Lloth, since you were the one that informed me she was indisposed when I was working on CoE. Now that I know her current condition....I can happily use her once more :D [/spoiler]
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Rune Lai
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Postby Rune Lai » Mon Dec 12, 2005 7:13 am

You cheater! Well, I guess I find out later--or not. ^^ War of the Spider Queen sounds interesting from the author interviews I've read about it, but since it's been written by six different authors taking turns with the same characters I'm a little concerned of how well the continuity holds. I read the Cloakmaster Cycle for the Spelljammer series and that had five authors for six books (Nigel Findley did two) and I got the feeling that some of the authors totally did not respect the side characters introduced by previous authors, which is why the supporting cast from earlier books often got sidelined right at the beginning of the next book. >_<

I think WotSQ uses an ensemble cast to begin with, so there are probably less supporting players to sideline (whereas the Cloakmaster Cycle needed just Teldin and everyone else was expendable), but I'd still be concerned about schtizo characters.
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Rune Lai
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Postby Rune Lai » Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:38 am

I must read a lot or something... >_> <_< Or maybe I just need to stop getting sick so I'm not posting again two weeks later in the same topic before anyone else does.

But... I've been sick the past few days so I did a lot of reading. I decided to reread the Pools Trilogy (based in the D&D Forgotten Realms setting), and perhaps because I was sick I decided to read it in reverse. I started with the third book, worked my way back to the second, and am ending with the first (still reading it).

In an unusual step for a Forgotten Realms series set in contemporary times, each of the books takes place a decade or more apart. The final book of the series hasn't even happened yet according to the current FR timeline (which moves one year forward for every one year of real time), but the Pools series was started back in earlier days, possibly before the editorial team got organized and decided that they wanted to give direction to the FR novel line instead of just writing about any old topic/location.

The first book, Pool of Radiance, was based on an old computer game, which is why I bought it. I played that computer game. (Whee.) And for a novelization of a computer game, it actually reads fairly well. There's quite a bit of playing fast and lose with the D&D ruleset, but non-D&D players probably won't notice since they won't know spell levels off the top of their heads and be able to guestimate whether or not the characters would really be able to cast such spells (or be rules lawyers saying humans can't dual-class ranger to thief and back to ranger again--this was First Edition D&D). It's basically a fun adventure story involving three heroes who didn't know each other at the start of the book but become trusted friends by the end of it. Not very deep, but it didn't have to be.

The second book, Pools of Darkness was based on the fourth computer game in the SSI Forgotten Realms series. I never played this one, but the book says it's based on it. Pools of Darkness feels a lot less gamey though, so I have a feeling the authors had a little more editorial freedom with this one. The heroes don't all meet up at the start of the book and proceed to the end. Instead there are a few separate starts, a couple more picked up along the way, and because two of the heroes from the first book are trapped in the captured city the other heroes are trying to save, there are actually two points of views running simultaneously throughout the book (the outside party and the inside party) and everyone doesn't get together again until the final battle scene. I remember being a bit miffed when I first read this one because one of the coauthors from the first book left, and since one of my favorite side characters from the first book was reduced to about one line of text, I naturally attributed it to her departure.

Then there's the third book Pool of Twilight which crazily enough is a sequel to two books based on games, but is not based on a game itself. Not only that, but it's the furthest book in the official Forgotten Realms timeline (and it has been for over ten years now). I sometimes wonder if there's an editor cursing over this book blocking some future scheme. Eh, probably not. They could always retcon it out if they wanted to badly enough. This one I have mixed feelings about. It's half watching the next generation at work (two of the heroes from the first book now have a grown child) and half watching half of the older cast do its thing. The younger characters feel like they fell out of a stereotypical Japanese console RPG (which is really weird coming out of American writers) with the older characters being more interesting, particularly Evaine and Miltiades, who were introduced in the second book.

Though this was definite fluff reading (because fluff is good while sick), I think I enjoyed them better than the more recent R. A. Salvatore book I read a few weeks ago. Though the good guys do have their heroic moments, particularly in the second book when their city is captured and under siege, they do get banged around a lot; broken bones and the like (nothing permanent in a world with healing magic, but it's the thought that counts). That kind of danger just hasn't materialized in the last few Drizzt books I've read.
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But I will not forget the beauty of life itself.

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