what are you reading?

Pinga

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On the room for all thread we sometimes talk about a book someone has recently found to be fabulous or even just a perfect mindless read
 

ChemGal

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I rarely read books anymore. When I did it was mostly junk stuff, I've enjoyed medical thrillers from a fairly young age. Sadly, when I've grabbed some old ones off my shelf and reread them I couldn't believe how bad some of them were! It's funny, I don't feel like I've gained fundamental skills the same way I did from K-12 and a few early university courses like when picking up math concepts that can be applied to so many things. Apparently my critical thinking has expanded since then though!

So more on topic - I would love any medical thriller suggestions!
 

Seeler

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Right now I'm reading 'Mercy' by Jodi Picoult. It's about a mercy killing, but in my opinion it is poorly constructed, poorly written. The only reasons I'm continuing is because I started it and don't like to quit and because I've got nothing else to read right now. Book Club (which does a novel each month) and Seekers Group (which studies a theological book for a season) both start soon after the summer off.
 

Pinga

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Just finished reading "the sandman" by Larks kepler: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3105995.Lars_Kepler

Quite an excellent read -- it's the 4th in the series (didn't know when i picked it up). It stands alone, but think I will now try to read the rest of the series. Hitting the used book store on Friday night when I leave town.
 

Inannawhimsey

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a while ago i fell across a way of reading novel-length works in bits -- i read multiple books at once and not necessarily all the way through

here is a current list of stuff that i'm tackling:

The Physics Book by Clifford Pickover -- a fun picture book
Elemental Mind: Human Consciousness & the New Physics by Nick Herbert (one of the hippies who saved physics)

How the Hippies Saved Physics by David Kaiser

Speaking with the Enemy by Scott Atran -- a new set of perspectacles for coming to grok with fullness such things as the ME, terrorism, religion, sacredness, the power law of war, Palestine, the falling apart of old ways of life, the relatively new invention of human rights, in-tribe out-tribe relations, morality & the silly new mutant strain of atheism that some followers follow...

Starfish, Maelstrom & Behemoth by Peter Watts -- Hard SF taking place around the Pacific Northwet, aboot an ancient form of life that gets released and outcompetes our life. and his Blindsight book -- a really neet alien contact story. All 4 books released under a creative commons license (much like g_d did with Its creation dontchaknow)

i'm still working at the online course 'the theoretical minimum' by Leonard Susskind, working through the basics necessary to grok physics --- i want to grok more myself the Language of Reality. its also a book. he's a good teacher. i'm looking forward to the aspects of reality that will become apparent, the many new connexions i will make after i finish the course.
 
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Hilary

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In the car, I'm reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
For book club, I just finished All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews (which deals with the topic of assisted suicide).
At home, I'm reading Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan.
And I just received my copy of The Observer, so that's on my breakfast table.
 

Mendalla

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Need to find something that engages me to start reading again. Mostly just read magazines (Scientific American for science, The Economist for world affairs) these days. Grabbed a Patrick Rothfuss novel based on another thread and we'll see how that goes.

Starfish, Maelstrom & Behemoth by Peter Watts -- Hard SF taking place around the Pacific Northwet, aboot an ancient form of life that gets released and outcompetes our life. and his Blindsight book -- a really neet alien contact story.


Blindsight is the kind of s-f I need to find more of. Exploration, first contact, mysteries of the cosmos is what I love about s-f. I am quite sick of social s-f. Do Watts' other novels fill that bill?
 

Inannawhimsey

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Blindsight is the kind of s-f I need to find more of. Exploration, first contact, mysteries of the cosmos is what I love about s-f. I am quite sick of social s-f. Do Watts' other novels fill that bill?


Here's a link to the section of his website where you can d/l his creative commons works, including the 4 novels I mentioned

(i do wish Netflix would adopt this model instead of practices that led to Mozilla deciding to make a DRM version of Firefox, which will, of course, be dangerous for us users--hackers etc will be able to exploit it without us being able to do anything aboot it without breaking the law...)

He also has a fun little riff on 'the Thing' where he writes from the Thing's pov...its called The Things...you can view it on youtube (y)

Another hard sf-novel i adored was Stephen Baxter's Raft, which takes place in a universe where the force of gravity is just a little stronger and Stephen Baxter extrapolates the results

Umm, Larry Niven's The Integral Trees is a novel aboot what would life be like in a gas torus around a neutron star.

Gregory Benford's Galactic Centre series I really enjoyed -- he's really good at not only showing Big Picture ideas (cosmic conflict between mechanical life & biological life changing the structure of the galaxy, a mining operation on a planet via a COSMIC STRING, etc) but also showing gnubes like me what it is really like to be a scientist...the series starts out small (Earth, scientists discover strange alien artefacts, hilarity ensues) through to utter vastness (descendents of original scientists partly mechanical, having multiple selves, living in solid and manipulable space-time...). If you like mysteries, check out his Artifact.

Umm, Greg Bear's The Forge of God, aboot first contact. Eon, his version of Arthur C. Clarke's Rendevouz with Rama. Blood Music, his trippy hard sf exploration of a singularity transhumanism rapture event.

[FONT=Open Sans, sans-serif]And, of course, there is always a special place in my heart for any berserker-related story..."are you good life or badlife?" Including that awesome ST:tOS episode with the murderous space brandy snap. o_O

Thanks to Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End, where I became consciously aware of something called 'science fiction', my reading life changed for the better...
[/FONT]
 

Hilary

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Right now I'm reading 'Mercy' by Jodi Picoult. It's about a mercy killing, but in my opinion it is poorly constructed, poorly written. The only reasons I'm continuing is because I started it and don't like to quit and because I've got nothing else to read right now.
I haven't read this one but don't generally like Jodi Picoult. I think the topics that she chooses are interesting, but I don't think that they're well executed. I start out thinking that I'm going to read something great (House Rules about an autistic kid who helps solve a crime) and end up feeling like I've wasted my time on "fluff".
 

Inannawhimsey

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Having trouble deciding on a new book to read?

Let Felicia Day and her friends help you

"Forum for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club hosted by Felicia Day, Veronica Belmont, Kiala Kazebee and Bonnie Burton.

This is a book club for romance genre books with strong female lead characters. Examples would be Outlander, or the Anita Blake series.

The last Tuesday of every month, on the YouTube channel Geek and Sundry, the four hosts get together to discuss the month's books in a Google Hangout. We also have tons of discussion on the forums in between!"

-- https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/62938-vaginal-fantasy-book-club

Here is their first episode

 

Mendalla

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Here's a link to the section of his website where you can d/l his creative commons works, including the 4 novels I mentioned



Oh, I know it. Where do you think I got Blindsight? :cool:



Blood Music, his trippy hard sf exploration of a singularity transhumanism rapture event.


Read it back in the day. Can't say it's a favorite but it is good and it was one of the first novels to tackle nano-tech.


Thanks to Arthur C Clarke's Childhood's End, where I became consciously aware of something called 'science fiction', my reading life changed for the better...
I actually got into S-F through Trek and then the "classics" (Verne, Wells, early Asimov) but Clarke at his prime, which includes Rendezvous With Rama and Childhood's End, was one of my all-time favorite s-f writers. Not so much his later years when he developed a bad case of sequelitis.
 

Inannawhimsey

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Mendalla,

would you call Blindsight an idea-dense book?

One thing I loved was being surprised -- I couldn't predict the aliens

I'm looking forward to humanity becoming aliens
 

Mendalla

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Mendalla,

would you call Blindsight an idea-dense book?
I'd say so, but it's a relative thing. If I put my mind to it, I'm sure I could come up with denser ones.

EDIT: Put my mind to it. Pretty much anything by Umberto Eco. The only thing denser than the number of ideas in Foucault's Pendulum is the language.
 
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Seeler

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Hilary, I loved "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". Our book club read it last winter and most of us were very excited about it and found lots of depth and interesting characters to discuss. I used a quote from it as a sermon starter. I'd recommend it any day.
 

Hilary

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I'm enjoying it very much. The audio book is read by actor Jim Broadbent.
 
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I just read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - (there are some modern parallels in there re: artificial/ human created intelligence and the morality/ possible consequences of it). And then they found the Franklin ships in the arctic a few days after I finished the book, which I found interesting because the story is set/ narrated by someone on an arctic sailing expedition. My husband is reading Mark Twain's autobiography and I have no idea what compelled him to get it from the library but it inspired me to start Huckleberry Finn (I downloaded a classic book collection on my phone last year - I prefer real books but the words are the same).
 
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Mendalla

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I love Frankenstein and wish that more adaptations would include that framing story about Robert Walton's Arctic expedition (Kenneth Branagh's version from the 1990s featuring Branagh as Victor and Robert De Niro as The Creature did but can't think of any others). The parallels to Franklin are intriguing but the novel actually predates him so I'm not sure what inspired that part of the story.

As for Frankenstein and AI, it is considered to be one of the first true s-f novels and could arguably be the first transhuman s-f novel, given that is about humans creating an intelligence that matches/exceeds (the monster is quite intelligent in the book) our own.
 
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I love Frankenstein and wish that more adaptations would include that framing story about Robert Walton's Arctic expedition (Kenneth Branagh's version from the 1990s featuring Branagh as Victor and Robert De Niro as The Creature did but can't think of any others). The parallels to Franklin are intriguing but the novel actually predates him so I'm not sure what inspired that part of the story.

As for Frankenstein and AI, it is considered to be one of the first true s-f novels and could arguably be the first transhuman s-f novel, given that is about humans creating an intelligence that matches/exceeds (the monster is quite intelligent in the book) our own.
Yeah, the book predates the Franklin expedition (sorry reverse order - I think they were close to the same time?) by a little bit (the book was set in 1700-something but was written in the 1800s). Perhaps it was all about exploring new frontiers of various sorts (the inspiration, I mean) that was going on at the time, and on Shelley's mind (just a guess).
 
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