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Books and Comics

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  • 117 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • dumps said:

    What are you reading?

    I've been reading a lot lately but my current book is the fun and enjoyable "Off To Be The Wizard" by Scott Meyer. I think you guys would enjoy it. Quick read, funny asides, nerd-becomes-hero amongst other nerds, etc. But this quote might just clinch it:

    “The guys from Norway, Magnus and Magnus, had little bits of fur on their robes as trim, which wasn’t necessary, as the shell made sure they were never cold. They were from the late nineties, and had both chosen their names to honor the world’s strongest man, Magnus Ver Magnusson. Their interests included Vikings, heavy metal, and fulfilling stereotypes.”
  • That's very Douglas Adams/Terry Pratchett-ish (and probably deliberately so).  I like it.
  • A lot of the fun asides and tongue-in-cheek stuff reminded me a lot of Adams, for sure. Finished the first book today - two more left in the series. It's a fun read.
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    OK Dumps (or anyone else who has read these guys): Where do I start with the following authors?

    Gaiman
    Scalzi
    Lovecraft
    Post edited by MattyDoo at 2016-03-05 23:07:23
  • I LOVED "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman.  I've been thinking of rereading it actually (I read it when I first moved to Chicago).
  • TheLion said:

    I LOVED "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman.  I've been thinking of rereading it actually (I read it when I first moved to Chicago).

    A co-worker mentioned that one as a "must-read." I've got a few books to chew through in the next couple of months, including the conclusion of Stephen King's trilogy that started with "Mr. Mercedes" when it comes out in June, but hopefully I'll get to these authors before the end of summer.
  • As far as I'm concerned, despite the wide variety of Neil's work, American Gods is at the fucking top.  Maybe his best, hard to say.  Do yourself a favor and make sure you get the "author's preferred text" or what not.  It's quite a bit longer than the original release.  

    If you want to laugh at your family, Anansi Boys is always fucking beautiful.  If you want a novelette or whatever it's called, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is infectious and short.  Quintessentially Gaiman.  

    There's also, always the fucking Sandman.  Still can't make it through it without tearing up at the end.  I'm not entirely ashamed to say that that book has had a fucking profound effect on my life.  


    Lovecraft is tough, because he's period.  The only thing more terrifying than Lovecraft's beasties, are brown people.  If you can take that with a huge grain of salt, then I'd just borrow/loan a collection of short stories.  I have all of the above if you want a loan.  Some are even autographed by Neil.  

    That said, if you're aiming for a car ride on your usual MO, I know Anansi Boys has a version narrated by Lenny Henry that's fucking top notch.  Can't do Sandman in the car.  Let me know if you find cool versions of the others.  I also have a great version of Neverwhere with James McAvoy and Christopher Lee, Bandersnatch Ottermink, etc. I can burn you.  
  • edited March 2016 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Dumps pretty much stated exactly what I was going to say on both Gaiman and Lovecraft. 

    For Gaiman, American God's and Sandman are a must (of course Sandman won't work on your drive). I'd also give a recommendation for Coraline - it is a "young adult" novel, but don't let that throw you. Very imaginative and very creepy.

    Lovecraft is definitely worth reading, if just for seeing the roots of modern horror and many of its tropes. It is period and you definitely have to go in knowing that (I am encountering the same thing with reading through the original Conan stories).

    Sadly, I have yet to read any Scalzi, although I keep meaning to. I'll say that Redshirts sounds like a fun one, I think that is what I'll start with.
    Post edited by BakaKuma at 2016-03-08 13:07:03
  • I can't believe I forgot about this, but I have An Evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer (double-autographed  :x ) with all the extra materials.  So if you're interested, I actually have Neil himself reading poetry and some of his short stories.  

    And, of course, singing.  
    :D
  • I'm on the third (and most recent) Scott Meyer book, "An Unwelcome Quest." It's my favorite of the three by far, which is saying something given how amusing the first two were.

    I still so very highly recommend this series, especially the payoff in the third book, which is just hilarious. This book series' characters are totally us.

    And while no one quite has the same amount of time that I do to listen to books, I would recommend the audio version of the third book, performed by the very excellent Luke Daniels. He adds to the experience in the book and makes certain sequences funnier just on his narrations alone.

    Anyway, you need to read these books. Or listen to them. Or both. That is all.
  • dumps said:

    What are you reading?

    I have only really gushed over a few books/book series in the past couple of years (Scott Meyer's "Magic 2.0" series, "Ready Player One," "11-22-63," and "The Martian" are all at the top of my list of must-read books that I know you guys would enjoy, too), but I absolutely must recommend with all my heart and soul the "Remembrance of Earth's Past" series of books by Liu Cixin, which have been translated to English in the past few years. The three books are: "The Three-Body Problem," "Dark Forest" and "Death's End." From a science-fiction perspective, these three books (and definitely the last two in particular) were among the most intelligent books I've read in terms of the imaginings of space travel, alternative species, the fate of humanity and the science of universal physics and physical laws.

    Not only is the story steeped in science fiction that could easily become reality, but the story itself jumps from one plot thread to another in such a way that each new story twist comes with a shocking revelation and then the response to that shock among the people it affects in the story. I can get into specifics if anyone's interested, but the basic crux of the first novel involves attempting to broadcast a signal to get the attention of other civilizations. The results, of course, are intermixed into the first story and set the stage for the next two novels. It's a gripping read, especially the second and the third novels, and I'm so eager to talk with someone about these books that I beg of you to read them ASAP!

    So far on the year I've read 31 books. The list is available here:

    https://www.goodreads.com/user_challenges/3748137
  • edited October 2016 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    Matty, at 31 books, you just surpassed my number for probably the last 10 years lol. I just can't stay focused enough to read a book unless I REALLY like it. It also doesn't help that my three favorite authors are Crichton (dead), Thomas Harris (doesn't write fiction anymore) and Rowling (is supposedly "done" with my favorite series of all time).

    I am still reading and enjoying Rebirth. Superman, Detective Comics and All Star Batman and Robin have been my three favorites. I highly recommend them. I am also enjoying Aquaman, Flash and Wonder Woman. Batman hasn't been very good, sadly, but I'll keep going with it. I dropped the Lantern titles - they weren't doing it for me. I plan on getting Nightwing and Green Arrow in trades when they are available.

    For games, I am still slowly working my way through Ocarina of Time on my 3DS. I have been leveling up the Hoopa I got for free this month on Mystery Gift in Pokémon too. Definitely planning on getting Pokémon Moon next month.

    C
    Post edited by SuperCDad at 2016-10-11 17:08:37
  • I only have the time because of my commute. Not "reading" but listening to audio books, but it's been great. I've read so many things I might not have otherwise.
  • "leveling up the Hoopa I got for free this month on Mystery Gift in Pokémon too"

    I'm sad that I don't know what this means.
  • dumps said:

    "leveling up the Hoopa I got for free this month on Mystery Gift in Pokémon too"


    I'm sad that I don't know what this means.



    New Pokémon games coming out this November....perfect opportunity to pick up a new hobby with the kids :) :)

    C
  • That sci-fi series sounds pretty cool Matt, I will have to check it out sometime. Right now I am still slogging through the Song of Fire and Ice series (aka Game of Thrones). I am about half way through book 3. Definitely really enjoyable read they are just seriously long.
  • We don't play nintendos in this house!
  • I stopped by Books Galore the other day to pick up my subscriptions, and there are a shitload of #1s from Marvel on the shelves right now.  I guess we're right at the point where all the new series post-Civil War II are picking up--so if you're interested in jumping into a comic, now is a great time.  
  • edited January 14 Posts: 0Vote Up0Vote Down
    The two most recent books I've read that I rated highly are as follows:

    "Dark Matter" by Blake Crouch - This was a great book! An excellent sci-fi adventure, centering on life and all of the possible choices you make and how they lead you down your life's path. But what if you made a different choice? What are the outcomes of those choices, and how are they realized? Well worth the read if you like the philosophy of those kinds of questions mixed into a sci-fi drama. Very fun read.

    "The Hike" by Drew MagaryI LOVED this book. It's the strangest, most tripped-out read I've had in a long time. It's basically "Alice in Wonderland" for the modern age, but even more perplexingly weird and satisfying. Not to mention somehow reflective of my own place in life, as the protagonist is a 38-year-old man with a wife and family and it initially takes place in Pennsylvania. But that's really where the parallels end, and I don't think I can even begin to discuss the things that happen in this book without getting too spoilery. Because the key to success in this book is constantly thinking you've got something figured out, and then the author takes you on a tangent you never saw coming, because there's virtually no way you could ever see any of the plot twists and tangles coming in advance. And to top it off, they nail you with one of the best endings I've ever read, which I absolutely won't spoil but I had to listen to it about five times after the initial listen just to soak in the magnitude of it.

    Also...

    "American Gods" by Neil Gaiman - Currently in the middle of my second read of this book, in advance of a book club meeting in a couple of weeks. Enjoying it much, much more the second time around. Picking up a lot of the subtle inferences this time that I missed on first reading. Love this story.
    Post edited by MattyDoo at 2017-01-14 15:23:33
  • AG is annoyingly deep.  I don't see how the comic or show will hold up.  

    If you want some more gods, but don't need anything serious--Anansi Boys has Mr. Nancy in it.  Completely unrelated to AG, he's just in it.  It's a story about family, and how much we hate them.  And it's wonderful.  
  • I'll second Anansi Boys as a very fun read.

    I'm currently reading through the Rogue One adaptation, since who knows when I will see the film. And it's been tradition - I've rad every Star Wars novelization before seeing the movie starting with TPM. I think that is one reason I enjoyed the prequels a lot more than the Internet did ...

    Additionally, I am making my way through the audio book version of The Hero of Ages (third book in Sanderson's Mistborn series).

    I am also working on the Audiobook for "Ready, Player One" ... I am enjoying it, but honestly not as much as I anticipated.
  • Anansi Boys is on my list. I was sold on Gaiman with American Gods and especially Graveyard Book, both of which were fantastic.

    Rogue One's novelization might be one I get later but I don't know if I need the backstory or silent thoughts of the characters as much as I did for TFA.

    I appreciated "Ready Player One" for the 80s references more than the actual story, but it was still enjoyable. I once lauded Wil Wheaton for his performance of the book but now that I've listened to about 60 or so audiobooks I think he's one of the weakest narrators I've heard. Having a great narrator (as in the narrator for the audio version of "The Martian" or anything narrated by Luke Daniels) makes a good book great and a great book amazing.
  • Reviews for the Mistborn series is off the charts. Gonna have to give that a try. Audio version good?
  • dumps said:

    What are you reading?

    Been awhile. Read a handful of books through the beginning of summer but then got bogged down with podcasts.

    I'm currently re-reading "It" by Stephen King, in advance of the movie. I read it the first time when I was a freshman in high school, or even perhaps eighth grade, so it's been interesting to read it from roughly the same time/life perspectives of the characters (middle school kids, then adults in their late 30s).

    What stands out to me is the racist/homophobic language in the book. It was pretty raw by 1980s standards but in today's society the things said/depicted would be downright savage and pretty difficult to imagine finding a mainstream audience. That said, I find that the use of the language is still historically accurate and the savagery of those words in 2017 America only further deepens the divide between good and evil in the book, so in that way it almost makes the book even better.

    That aside, it's a phenomenal book and still one of my all-time favorite books. I cannot wait to see the movie.

  • And when I can sit down at a computer, I need to let you know what I read the first six months of the year because there are some real gems in there. Of the 100 or so books I've read since starting at the clinic, I'd say at least 1/3 of them are "must-reads," or at least ones that I'm sure you guys would enjoy.
  • And here's what I've read recently:

    "The Case Against Sugar" by Gary Taubes (B+): Solid review of issues related to the "western diet" and the outrageous spike in type-2 diabetes and other pervasive ailments, specifically the role of sugar in those afflictions. It's likely a bit of a stretch to assume that sugar is responsible for every major ailment, but the presentation of information does give one pause when considering their own dietary habits.

    "Borne" by Jeff VanderMeer (B+): Noted to be the latest in a subgenre referred to as "new weird," this dystopian novel features a post-apocalyptic world, interdimensional travel, the titular organism and a giant, flying bear named Mord. It's fun in a weird way. 

    "Dead Men Can't Complain" by Peter Clines (B+): Short-story anthology. If you like this author, you'll appreciate his weirdness.

    "The Wrong Unit" (B+) and "Where The Hell Is Tesla?" (B-) by Rob Dircks: Decent stories by an independent sci-fi author. The former tackles AI in a dystopian future while the latter involves Tesla, interdimensional portals and wise-cracking sidekicks.

    "Fight and Flight" by Scott Meyer (A-): The fourth of the "Magic 2.0" series is fun, taking the characters established in the first three books on a search-and-destroy mission to eliminate an unintended dragon threat. I still highly recommend the entire series to you guys because it's hilarious (especially if you can get the audio versions narrated by the incomparable Luke Daniels), and the series is definitely still worth a few laughs after four books. 

    "We Are Legion (We Are Bob)" (A) and "For We Are Many" (A) by Dennis E. Taylor: Nerdy computer programmer has his mind downloaded into intergalactic ships set to save the Earth by colonizing other areas of the galaxy. The original then creates copies of itself, each with their own personalities. A nice mix of sarcastic humor, intergalactic intrigue and suspense, I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series and look forward to reading the recently released third book in the near future (once I finish "It").

    "Sleeping Giants" (A) and "Waking Gods" (B+) by Sylvain Neuvel: There are pieces of an alien technology scattered all over the Earth, and the implications of its reconstruction lead down a path of danger and doom for the planet. Told from the perspective of interviews, diary entries and conversations with the main characters, it's an interesting take on the genre. Not sure how well this would work when you're just reading the book, but the voice actors in the audio presentation are fantastic.

    "John Dies At The End" by David Wong (B+): It's a great book but wasn't my favorite, although I appreciate the weirdness of the monsters and the story. Definitely read the book; I found the movie to be less enjoyable overall.
  • I am super psyched for "It."  Haven't been reading much, but I did just cave and finally started reading Game of Thrones.
  • I am currently on reading the Harry Potter series (just started "The half blood Prince"). As the like the only person in the world who didn't read the books, I Always enjoyed but didn't love the movies. Reading the books though (unsurprisingly) gives me a lot more appreciation for the story. The movies are always acclaimed for being such faithful renditions of the books that it never really occurred to me how much more context the books provide. Probably a stupid assumption on my part in hindsight but glad I am reading them now. Especially since I will be at Harry Potter World this time next week!!!

    Mike, can't wait to get your take on the GoT books. Some of the storylines I like better in the books but I also think some the streamlining done in the show is better too.
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