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Summer Reading List?


pow4ever
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With the summer/quarantine; rediscover the joy of reading books.
There is something about spend time exploring consistent/coherent idea instead bite/blog size chunk/news articles.

What are you reading?

trying to make sense of the world today:
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind 
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow
21 Lessons for the 21st Century

For fun:
A man called Ove

re-read Classic:
A brave new world
1984
Animal Farm

 

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Almost all I read is genre fiction...I read Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky recently and highly recommend it. Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel was also good. 

If you have a kid that will be applying to college in the US anytime soon, you should read "The Years that Matter Most" by Paul Tough, about the standardized testing and admissions game. It is almost guaranteed to depress you, but it might also be helpful. 

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Thank you Neil and Dan for the recommendation!

Added to the reading list.
It's great to get out of my own bubble/echo chamber and explore the literature universe a bit.

No kid here but if Harvard lower the admission bar due to Covid; i might apply lol...
I took CS50(Harvard's intro to CS) from EDX for fun and was amazed at the quality of staff/curriculum compare to what I experienced in State school from way back when.  Not that my professor are "bad" but CS50 is a different league.
Mostly likely it's just I am a bad student.  Motivation should come within and not external stimuli. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

added to the ever growing list!

Finished the good omen and i enjoyed it.  Like a cold soda pop in a hot summer day.  Not burst of nutrient but hit the spot.

Any reread recommendation?  Kinda like our favorite security blanket/that one board in the quiver.  That we always go back to as grounding rod.  Any book that you read every once in a while and it bring something different every time you reread it.  like a great friend that lost touch but reconnected; not only able to pick up where you left off but also found that you both have grow in experience and hopefully some wisdom. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks @Neil Gendzwill @Dan.  Boy am I glad to ask for recommendations.  These are hard to put down...

 

Finished Sleeping Giants, Waking Gods of the Themis files series.  Saving Only Human for "dessert" 
Reading the Ninth House right now.  with Normal People up to bat next.

Do i need to read Children of Time before Children of Ruin?

For a quick chuckle/read:
How to Fight Presidents: Defending Yourself Against the Badasses Who Ran This Country

Also dip my toe down the rabbit hole know as WarHammer 40k(the lore not the table top game)... this might be a time sink that i simply can't afford...

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I  will read an author again or not, 50 shades of grey, not, game of thrones, not, for example.

Tolkien big time, Harry Potter is intricate and better every time, love Debora Harkness a discovery of witches series to die for, yes, dune, any Michener, Catch22, Clavell

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Light relief from the darkness of reality.

Douglas Adams - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the rest.

Terry Pratchett - Discworld series

Both authors of eccentric English satire of this crazy thing called life.

Edited by SunSurfer
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7 hours ago, pow4ever said:

Thanks @Neil Gendzwill @Dan

Do i need to read Children of Time before Children of Ruin?

 

I'm glad you asked! I meant to recommend Children of Time, the first book. Children of Ruin was the sequel, which was also good, but not nearly as good as Children of Time. 

I have the 10 Thousand Doors of January,  A Man Called Ove, and The 9th House on hold at the local library...pretty long wait lists, but I'll get them eventually. 

If you like short fiction, The Pacific and Other Stories by Mark Helprin has some memorable stories. He is a New Yorker and many of his stories are set in that area or around it, which might be of interest. 

And @SunSurfer Pratchett is great! I was disconsolate when he passed a few years ago. I really wish there was a way to buy all the Discworld books as a set, instead of having to hunt for them one at a time. 

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@DanDouglas Adams died early too. A limited output but a very quirky way of seeing the world. Off to mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and ponder the question whose answer is 42, and whether the PGGB makes Vogon poetry tolerable.

And to understand what I'm writing about you'll have to read The Guide.

Edited by SunSurfer
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19 hours ago, SunSurfer said:

@DanDouglas Adams died early too. A limited output but a very quirky way of seeing the world. Off to mix a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster and ponder the question whose answer is 42, and whether the PGGB makes Vogon poetry tolerable.

And to understand what I'm writing about you'll have to read The Guide.

Oh yeah, nerds of a certain age in the US have all read the Hitchiker's Guide and maybe some of the sequels...I admit it's been quite a while since I last read it though. There was a semi-serious movement in Portland to rename SE 42nd Street to Douglas Adams St. 🙂 

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@pow4ever: warning, Normal People is considered “literature” meaning there’s no heist, murder mystery, or sf elements to it at all. Also much adult content, as is in the TV series. My wife dubbed it “Naked Irish People”. 

@ursle I read A Discovery of Witches but kind of lost patience near the end. Is the second book ok?

@SunSurfer I know very few people who haven’t read Douglas Adams.  

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lol @Neil Gendzwill There isn't a word in that sentence i didn't like 😉 My typically reading material are much drier and humdrum like me.

Agreed that Hitcher Hiker's guide is pretty main stream and a must read.  If you have not heard the radio show or read the book at the minimum go see the movie.  It does warrant a revisit.

@ursle 
I heard great thing on Catch-22 and will add it to the growing list.
Great point on author re-readability. 

I never realized it but now that I think about it I don't tend to follow particular author/musician/band(there are always exception).
For a long time i tend to just "ingest" without discrimination toward any genre... 
At best jack of all trade and master of none, and at worse all over the place without a central theme to tie things together.
"bunch of noise/conflict thoughts and conscienceless loosely held together"; don't belong anywhere but also everywhere...
Maybe now i finally start to develop some taste/semi original thoughts of my own...

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@Neil Gendzwill

oof.... Going in with zero expectation on Normal People and was just blown away.

this quote hits hard:  it wasn't consequential to the story line but spoiler alert. 
breaking the 4th wall-ish:  a writer writing about a writer that have opinion on other writer.

"It was culture as class performance, literature fetishized for its ability to take educated people on false emotional journeys, so that they might afterward feel superior to the uneducated people whose emotional journeys they liked to read about. Even if the writer himself was a good person, and even if his book really was insightful, all books were ultimately marketed as status symbols, and all writers participated to some degree in this marketing. Presumably this was how the industry made money…"

Ninth house is also excellent.  Like a darker American adult version of Harry Potter.

Time for me to go back to picture books lol....  too much feel

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 7/7/2020 at 3:51 AM, Dan said:

f you have a kid that will be applying to college in the US anytime soon, you should read "The Years that Matter Most" by Paul Tough, about the standardized testing and admissions game. It is almost guaranteed to depress you, but it might also be helpful. 

Tangent: due to covid, many schools are eschewing the SAT. All my son’s favorites have, but he doesn’t know yet. Shhh!

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  • 1 month later...
On 11/1/2020 at 5:04 PM, bigwavedave said:

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
A perfect quarantine read as the nights grow longer. The story of a man that spends 30 years under house arrest in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow after the Russian revolution. Masterfully written and a delightful read.
 

I read that last summer! It's great, I 100% agree that he's an amazing prose stylist. The characters and their dialogue are incredibly charming. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

thank you all once again for the awesome recommending list.
Rediscovering the joy of reading is a beautiful thing.

I believed I read all the books that was listed and more.  Except catch-22.
Really want to get into it as I hear tons of great thing about it.  One problem i notice is character names...  feel like i need a white board to keep track who is who.  I will get back to it eventually.

Moscow by Amor Towles. <-- going to start this one soon; can't wait.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 11/1/2020 at 8:04 PM, bigwavedave said:

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.
A perfect quarantine read as the nights grow longer. The story of a man that spends 30 years under house arrest in the Hotel Metropol in Moscow after the Russian revolution. Masterfully written and a delightful read.
 

thank you @bigwavedave for the recommendation! 

lots of reference to music, history, Russian culture, so many books....  
Great read; I had to open a dictionary and wikipedia to "get" the full literature artistry.
I typically hate doing that as it disturb the flow(went down too many rat hole) but totally make the enjoyment much more.
I enjoyed the detour/taking the scenic route.

“if a man does not master his circumstances then he is bound to be mastered by them.”  <-- this apply quite apt to our sport of choice.

 

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Some great books referenced above!

Over the last years I have been reading mostly science fiction and fantasy, craving escapism more than intellectual input.

Patrick Rothfuss: The Name of the Wind is a relatively unknown fantasy book and author of note.  Beware the 3rd book in the trilogy has still not been released, many years after it was expected 😞

Vernor Vinge is an excellent SF author. A fire upon the deep is a good start.

Roald Dahl, better known for children’s books, also has a very quirky set of adult short stories, each with a unique dark twist and great reading.  

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  • 7 months later...

recent books that i found interesting:

self help-ish:
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

Business:
beyond entrepreneurship 2.0, from good to great by Jim collins

they seems to be unrelated but i find them quite complementary and both give me something to think about for the up and coming winter season.

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