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Salem
06-19-2007, 06:06 AM
I've got some book token type things to spend, and I'm looking for some good books to splash out on.

Any topic you like - just so long as you've read it and thought that was a good read.

whiteflags
06-19-2007, 06:45 AM
On my own, I tend to read novelizations of movies or TV series, especially science fiction ones such as Independence Day and the Red Dwarf series. You might want to try something like that if you're bored: some show that you love cast in the written word.

I've also read the biographies of Sammy Sosa and Mickey Mantle (he wrote his own), which were okay. Those kinds make nice light reads if you like sports at all. Since I got those books from my high school library though, I don't know how much success you would have finding books about them in particular.

If you want to dabble in fantasy a little bit I can't recommend too much for an adult. Some time after I read the previous books, a friend exposed me to the Everworld series by K.A. Applegate. It was a neat series, but I stopped reading after book four because I couldn't find the rest. So far it's been all about these teenagers who travel to the time of the vikings and back, which turned out to be more awesome than I first thought. It's for young adults, but that probably doesn't matter 'cause I still enjoy reading it. [edit]Sorry, but I had remembered the 1987 reprint of Bridge to Terabithia, and I recommend it highly. There's probably other reprints but the cover isn't going to be as good.

My friends tend to influence me a lot in literature now that I think about it; maybe you could ask some of yours as well. I really haven't done a whole lot of reading as of late.

zacs7
06-19-2007, 06:47 AM
Well the most 'advanced' book I read was: Advanced Compiler Design and Implementation by Steven Muchnick (http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/bookdescription.cws_home/677874/description#description)
Not that I understood all of it, I read it so I could understand more about compilers...

Have a browse around http://www.pdfchm.com/ if your looking for a book also ;)

As for 'normal books' goes I just finished reading Hamlet, interesting but mainly because I wanted something different, Dunno if your interested in shakespear :)

Govtcheez
06-19-2007, 06:56 AM
I'm currently reading "Into Thin Air", which is about the disaster on Everest in '96. It's amazing to see what people go through to try and climb that.

Happy_Reaper
06-19-2007, 07:18 AM
I'm currently reading "Into Thin Air", which is about the disaster on Everest in '96. It's amazing to see what people go through to try and climb that.

No kidding ? I'm currently reading "the Climb" by Anatoli Boukreev which is about the same thing. Real good stuff.

Govtcheez
06-19-2007, 07:40 AM
I didn't realize he wrote a book, too. I might have to pick that up afterwards to get another perspective on it.

QuestionC
06-19-2007, 08:47 AM
I can't really call it the best book ever written or anything, but "Soul of a New Machine" is a pretty well written, short read that's computer-pertinent.

Then there's the more esoteric suggestions...
The Beak of the Finch - Journalist documenting the work of two evolutionary scientists. I had spent a lot of time flipping through the talk-origins FAQs in my free time, yet this book still gave me a real perspective on the subject.
Gödel, Escher, Bach, an Eternal Golden Braid - I feel bad recommending this actually, because it's a huge tome, but this book is simply remarkable.
Pretty much anything off the list of Pulitzer Prize winners for non-fiction - The ones I've posted above are the best I've read, but this list has never done me wrong.

The fun reads...
Three Kingdoms - A classic. I've read a couple old Chinese novels before, and this one is simply the best. It's a fun and easy read, given its size. Don't expect to learn anything from it though, it's adventure novel.
The Children of Odin - This is a children's book. Children's stories is a format that lends itself very well to mythology though. If you are a fan of D&D, console RPGs, or Tolkien, this should give some interesting perspective.

Happy_Reaper
06-19-2007, 01:46 PM
You a climber, cheez ?

Govtcheez
06-19-2007, 02:21 PM
No, there isn't anything around here to climb at all. I'd love to, though.

I picked that book up because last spring I read "Into the Wild", by the same author. It's about this guy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Supertramp)

CornedBee
06-19-2007, 03:27 PM
If you're into Fantasy, read everything by Tad Williams. He writes everything from classic fantasy (the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series) through uncommon fantasy (Tailchaser's Song) and Amber-style parallel universes (War of the Flowers) to Fantasy/Sci-Fi mix (the Otherland series). Best plotter I know.

ChaosEngine
06-19-2007, 05:01 PM
I've recently enjoyed the following, YMMV:

sci-fi: the Culture novels by Iain M. Banks
fantasy: anything by Neil Gaiman (although Neverwhere is definitely a favourite)
crime: anything by James Ellroy (esp. American Tabloid)

Mad_guy
06-19-2007, 05:30 PM
I second Godel, Escher, Bach. The book is absolutely amazing.

1984 is a must read if you have not already. Ditto with Catcher in the Rye.

'The things they carry' is also a really, really good book.

MacGyver
06-19-2007, 05:56 PM
Without a Badge.... by Jerry Speziale.

Autobiography of a NY Cop going undercover among the drug cartels, busting entire shipments of drugs at a time. Less grand view of undercover operations and espionage than you'd read in a fictional novel, but a true story.

Fordy
06-21-2007, 09:49 PM
Books by Simon Singh are usually worth a read

divineleft
06-22-2007, 06:15 AM
the dune series by frank herbert is very awesome science fiction / philosophy

Govtcheez
06-22-2007, 06:55 AM
You a climber, cheez ?
So I finished Into Thin Air last night, and Krakauer spends about 15-20 pages ripping on DeWalt and saying that a lot of the stuff he wrote about was fabricated. From what I gather, DeWalt seems really interested in defending Boukreev by any means necessary, even if it means butchering quotes from people and paiting Krakauer as some sort of a hit artist (something I didn't get from Into Thin Air at all). I'm not sure I want to read The Climb because of it, but I probably will in the interest of seeing (DeWalt's version of ) Boukreev's story.

For now I am moving on to Baseball Between the Numbers (http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp?z=y&EAN=9780641823800&itm=1). After that I'd like to try and tackle Morris's biographies of Teddy Roosevelt again. I read half of the first one last summer, couldn't put it down for a week, and then just stopped. I don't know why.

Happy_Reaper
06-22-2007, 07:21 AM
So I finished Into Thin Air last night, and Krakauer spends about 15-20 pages ripping on DeWalt and saying that a lot of the stuff he wrote about was fabricated. From what I gather, DeWalt seems really interested in defending Boukreev by any means necessary, even if it means butchering quotes from people and paiting Krakauer as some sort of a hit artist (something I didn't get from Into Thin Air at all). I'm not sure I want to read The Climb because of it, but I probably will in the interest of seeing (DeWalt's version of ) Boukreev's story.

Well I haven't finished the whole thing yet, but I haven't seen DeWalt particularly rip into Krakauer yet. It does portray him as a typical media type, though, thinking that the guides would lead him safely to the top without him having to do any effort. But from what Boukreev said, that was the general feeling for many of the expedition members. Boukreev, I think, never really felt comfortable with the expedition.

I would agree, as well, that he does seem to defend Boukreev quite a bit, often times almost to a fault. But considering what he did, it's hard to really push guilt onto him.

What did Krakauer think of Boukreev ?

Govtcheez
06-22-2007, 07:45 AM
He questions Boukreev going down before the group and says that in general he stayed too far away from the people he was supposed to be guiding. He also criticized him for not using supplemental oxygen as a guide (there are a lot of quotes from other guides saying basically the same thing).

However, he does say that Anatoli was basically singlehandedly responsible for rescuing the people stuck on the South Col.

He doesn't particularly blame Boukreev for anything, but he does make it sound like Boukreev's actions weren't particularly "guidelike" and that there are quite a few holes in his story. There's plenty of blame to go around, and Anatoli's not singled out for any more of it than Fischer or Hall or Lopsang or anyone. The only people he really rips into are the Taiwanese and South African expeditions.

This is the only thing I've read about the events, so I'm looking at it through Krakauer's eyes, but it does seem weird that DeWalt is so quick to jump all over Krakauer as a "typical media type" when Krakauer was an accomplished climber and DeWalt wasn't even there.

Happy_Reaper
06-22-2007, 09:10 AM
It's probably because he sees it through Boukreev's eyes. Krakauer, if I remember correctly, was at first supposed to go with Boukreev and Fischer's expedition, but at some point, the mag he was writing for (Outdoors, I think) decided to switch into Rob Hall's expedition. Whether that was Krakauer's decision or not, I don't know, but he left their expedition for a more "famous" one, so to Fischer and his team, it probably looked like he was going for show.

As for the supplemental oxygen, the Mountain Madness expedition was extremely lacking in oxygen canisters even before their bid for the top. They'd started with a very tight supply at the outset, and then one of their Sherpa's had gone down with HEMA at camp 2 and had used a couple there. Then one of their clients, Pete Schoeling, came down with the same thing. Once they reached camp 4, there was barely enough for the clients. There's even a quote from Boukreev saying that, although he was intending to go without supplemental, that he'd asked Fischer for 2 "just in case" canisters. Fischer only nodded and said "we'll see" (or something along those lines).
Although he ended up getting the canisters he wanted, both Boukreev and Beidelman (the other guide) went up with no Os. Even Fischer (who was already in pretty bad shape), had to be convinced to take some with him. In the end, Boukreev never really used the oxygen. He ended up giving one to Beidelman, and then one to Pittman, I believe.

That being said, I do agree that Boukreev seemed in quite a bit of a rush to get back. I remember him supplying a reason for that, but I also remember thinking that it wasn't really all that good.

And again, I see these things through Boukreev's eyes, so its hard to get an unbiased position.

Govtcheez
06-22-2007, 09:40 AM
> Krakauer, if I remember correctly, was at first supposed to go with Boukreev and Fischer's expedition, but at some point, the mag he was writing for (Outdoors, I think) decided to switch into Rob Hall's expedition.

Yeah, if I remember right they put him in Hall's because of the extra publicity.

> I remember him supplying a reason for that, but I also remember thinking that it wasn't really all that good.

Supposedly he had a conversation with Fischer where Fischer told him to go down, but no one else witnessed it. DeWalt claims Fischer told the Base Camp Manager about it, but she says he made brief mention of it a couple weeks before the ascent and no one brought it up after that.

I don't remember the stuff about where supplemental oxygen was doled out, but I've probably just forgotten. I'll check and see later

> And again, I see these things through Boukreev's eyes, so its hard to get an unbiased position.

Likewise.

Rashakil Fol
06-22-2007, 02:24 PM
Jennifer Government by Max Barry. It's just enjoyable to read.

Utopus
06-25-2007, 08:47 PM
I like reading classic Russian literatures, such as works by Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoevsky.
And I like Tolstoy's "War and Peace" most; however, I suggest watching the movie of it first by Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda, then read the novel.

Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is a fine novel, too. It depicts about a man who have lost his meaning of life, and then in the end he'd find the meaning of life was to...

Also, Thomas More's "Utopia", I loved it.

axon
06-25-2007, 10:00 PM
I like reading classic Russian literatures, such as works by Leo Tolstoy and Feodor Dostoevsky.
And I like Tolstoy's "War and Peace" most; however, I suggest watching the movie of it first by Audrey Hepburn and Henry Fonda, then read the novel.

Dostoevsky's "Crime and Punishment" is a fine novel, too. It depicts about a man who have lost his meaning of life, and then in the end he'd find the meaning of life was to...

Also, Thomas More's "Utopia", I loved it.

that's my kind of reading! Dosto is my all time favorite author.

But if anyone wants to read the best 20th century American novel read The Invisible Man (http://www.amazon.com/Invisible-Man-Ralph-Ellison/dp/0679732764/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-1859281-8538215?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182830207&sr=8-2) by Ellison. BTW the book is heavily inspired by Dostoevsky - especially Notes from the Underground. If anyone wants to talk about the above, let me know.

Also, Jeremy recommended a book a few months ago that was great - Into the Wild (http://www.amazon.com/Into-Wild-Jon-Krakauer/dp/0385486804/ref=pd_bbs_2/103-1859281-8538215?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182830347&sr=8-2) by Krakauer. The book isn't written particularly well but the topic is fantastic, and I'm certain that many people on this board would benefit from reading it.

ooops posted before reading the whole thread. I see that he mentioned it above :o

brewbuck
06-25-2007, 10:43 PM
No kidding ? I'm currently reading "the Climb" by Anatoli Boukreev which is about the same thing. Real good stuff.

There is/was a very large controversy around the events of that year. Boukreev and Krakauer's accounts differ in some very important ways. Much of the purpose of both books, just my opinion, was to assuage the respective writers' guilt over their roles in the event. In my opinion you absolutely have to read both, and even then, I don't think anybody who wasn't there themselves will ever have a completely accurate picture of what happened.

<sometimes mountain climber>

nvoigt
06-26-2007, 09:11 AM
Fatherland by Robert Harris. (http://www.amazon.com/Fatherland-Robert-Harris/dp/0061006629/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-6130163-1020857?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182869767&sr=8-1)



It is twenty years after Nazi Germany's triumphant victory in World War II and the entire country is preparing for the grand celebration of the FÜhrer's seventy-fifth birthday, as well as the imminent peacemaking visit from President Kennedy.

Meanwhile, Berlin Detective Xavier March -- a disillusioned but talented investigation of a corpse washed up on the shore of a lake. When a dead man turns out to be a high-ranking Nazi commander, the Gestapo orders March off the case immediately. Suddenly other unrelated deaths are anything but routine.

Now obsessed by the case, March teams up with a beautiful, young American journalist and starts asking questions...dangerous questions. What they uncover is a terrifying and long-concealed conspiracy of such astonding and mind-numbing terror that is it certain to spell the end of the Third Reich -- if they can live long enough to tell the world about it.


The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (http://www.amazon.com/Eyre-Affair-Jasper-Fforde/dp/0142001805/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/002-6130163-1020857?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182869934&sr=1-1) plus it's 3 sequels



A combination of fantasy, comedy, science fiction, Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, Lewis Carroll, Monty Python and even 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'.


This one is hard to describe. Hilarious. Fascinating. Great. You cannot really describe that firework of ideas, you just have to read it.

joeprogrammer
06-28-2007, 04:46 PM
Plague Maker (http://www.amazon.com/Plague-Maker-Tim-Downs/dp/1595540229) by Tim Downs. An evil scientist is trying to kill the world's population by using the bubonic plague. :)

[edit] And poor Salem is going to have to choose from this ever-growing list. Let's hope that the token is worth a lot. ;-)

Kennedy
06-29-2007, 10:30 AM
I've got some book token type things to spend, and I'm looking for some good books to splash out on.

Any topic you like - just so long as you've read it and thought that was a good read.

Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Very good story of conspiracy and how one person can make a difference. . . and quite sexy. The series is 6 or 8 books long (I think she's writing number 7 right now).

g4j31a5
07-04-2007, 02:30 AM
the dune series by frank herbert is very awesome science fiction / philosophy

I agree.

Some books / novels that I've read and recommend are:
1. Dune (Frank Herbert): Where sci-fi meets philosophy. Been a fan for anything Dune. :D
2. Taiko & Musashi (Eiji Yoshikawa): Semi biographical books on 2 Japanese figure. One is about Toyotomi Hideyoshi , and the other about Miyamoto Musashi
3. Dark Elf Trilogy (R.A. Salvatore): I just like the anti hero type of character like Drizzt Do'urden.

David.Joseph
07-07-2007, 11:00 PM
I'm a big fan of Goethe and Mann. But I really don't know you personally so it would be hard to make a decent recommendation. If German literature isn't your cup of tea, or if you just want something less dense, I'd try Nabokov.

jEssYcAt
07-08-2007, 05:14 AM
The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher is a good series. There are 9 books in the series so far (I'm on #8 now, "Proven Guilty"). The first book is "Storm Front" if you want to start at the beginning. It's a very cowboy-ish storyline, centered around a modern day wizard trying to make a living as a Private Eye. The magic/mythos is excellently done, and Dresden deals with so many different things, from werewolves to demons, faerie, vampires, and a whole lot more. If you've seen the Dresden Files on Sci-Fi, it is very much like the Harry Potter movies vs. the books, but the tv show had some plotlines that weren't in the books thus far. Dresden is also very tongue-in-cheek. There have been some one-liners within the context of the stories that made me drop the books from the laughter.

I liked the Kusheil's series a lot as well. Kushiel's Dart took me a bit to get into, but once I did and became familiar with the characters, I couldn't put the books down.