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Old 2012-05-12, 8:05 PM   #2651
Wooh
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Just finished infinite jest. Am currently reading the shock doctrine, which is depressing and terrifying. Also reading some technical books: the structure and interpretation of computer programs and programming erlang, ATM.
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Old 2012-05-13, 11:30 AM   #2652
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Just finished Speed of Dark By Elizabeth Moon earlier this week. Was forced into a late night reader after about 50 pages when I could not put it down. She writes about a high function autistic in a workplace and the struggles they go through trying to figure out normal and wanting to be normal. Was an amazing book that really gave me a new outlook on what it means to be autistic.
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Old 2012-05-13, 11:34 AM   #2653
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I'm reading THE FORGE OF CHRISTENDOM by Tom HOlland, well that's my book story
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Old 2012-05-13, 11:56 AM   #2654
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I'm reading the Peloponnesian War by Thycudides as part of my stupid quest to read more western classics. the Athenians were hard core and basically did whatever they wanted, and if people complained they said "what, you think us conquering your country is unjust? too bad, justice is for the strong bitches" and then they kill all the men and sell the women into slavery. but this strategy might not have been so good because then basically all of the peloponese hates them and joined a bigass alliance to stop em.

but for the most part its kind of confusing because there's no maps or anything and a bunch of names so I have no mental picture of what is going on where. Peloponnesian war? more like peloBLOWnesian BORE!
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Old 2012-05-13, 11:58 AM   #2655
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you need a good translation, the one by penguin classics is okay but I prefer the most recent one put out by oxford press
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Old 2012-05-13, 11:59 AM   #2656
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also some of pericles speeches are hilarious "blah blah blah well that's my speech oh yeah women keep your place, the end"
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Old 2012-05-13, 12:14 PM   #2657
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right now I have some oldass 1950's version by Crawley. I read this which recommended the Lattimore but I said, you know, I'm not sure I want the most demanding translation of an author who "uses a style that might lead a reader to think that he deliberately was putting his readers through some kind of torture."

nope fuck that, gonna read the easy version for children. So basically the Blanco translation is coming via ILL and I hope it will get here soon.
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Old 2012-05-13, 12:18 PM   #2658
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Works like thucydides, and especially (say) herodotus were certainly in the vernacular of their time so I have no problem with translations that wont towards the vernacular of OUR time. btw this is the best translation of herodotus, if you haven't read that http://www.amazon.com/The-Histories-...6929481&sr=1-1
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Old 2012-05-16, 8:22 PM   #2659
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Finished The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat yesterday. It's a pretty interesting book on neurological case studies. I enjoyed the patients' stories immensely, could have done without so much of the author's philosophical musings, and really, really wished this had been written when the level of brain scanning technology was above basic EEGs. A quick rundown of an fMRI of one of these patients' brains would have been amazingly insightful.
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Old 2012-05-17, 3:36 AM   #2660
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enforka View Post
I'm reading the Peloponnesian War by Thycudides as part of my stupid quest to read more western classics. the Athenians were hard core and basically did whatever they wanted, and if people complained they said "what, you think us conquering your country is unjust? too bad, justice is for the strong bitches" and then they kill all the men and sell the women into slavery. but this strategy might not have been so good because then basically all of the peloponese hates them and joined a bigass alliance to stop em.

but for the most part its kind of confusing because there's no maps or anything and a bunch of names so I have no mental picture of what is going on where. Peloponnesian war? more like peloBLOWnesian BORE!
Congrats, i bailed on the Iliad after the first couple of pages.
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Old 2012-05-18, 10:03 PM   #2661
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I finally got around to reading Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman. It took me a bit because I was distracted to begin with but I really loved it.
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Old 2012-05-19, 2:31 PM   #2662
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I recently finished Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald. Now I'm reading Robert Downey Jr: The Fall and Rise of the Come Back Kid by Ben Falk.
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Old 2012-05-19, 10:47 PM   #2663
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Fifty Shades of Grey, due to the insistence of my female friends. I read the hunger games books, they weren't terrible.
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Old 2012-05-19, 10:51 PM   #2664
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I'm reading the confessions of an opium eater and wowzers, opium sounds awesome. de quincy gets hella high and goes to operas and sometimes sits in his house when its raining or snowing
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Old 2012-05-19, 11:31 PM   #2665
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Opium is awesome.

And that book is awesome as well.

If you live in any big city with an asian district go to the flower shops there and buy poppy pods, you can definitely make opium tea from them.
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Old 2012-05-20, 5:41 AM   #2666
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Old 2012-05-23, 7:06 PM   #2667
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I mostly liked Rachel Maddow's new book, Drift, but I have some reservations about parts of recent history she glossed over to possibly make the book seem nonpartisan (the quote from Roger Ailes on the back isn't there to attract sales to Lefties).

The gist of the book is that military spending has exploded while military oversight by Congress, specifically it's Constitutional powers to solely be able to declare war, has dwindled. She does a good job of explaining the history of these escalations for the most part. Johnson's expansion of ground forces in Vietnam and Reagan's invasion of Grenada (I had no idea it was such a sham crisis), not to mention the whole Iran-Contra affair, were good examples of an overreaching executive ignoring Congress to unilaterally decide foreign policy. The big omissions though were the authorizations of use of force in Iraq (which passed with a good majority in Congress) and the complete failure of Congress to vote either way on the recent intervention in Libya (they didn't put direct authorization to a vote, but they voted down a bill restricting funding of the mission).

What irked me the most was how Maddow never really gives Obama credit for actually pursuing what she argues for in the book. She doesn't mention Patreus' and the administration's efforts to kill expensive and unnecessary weapons programs or their general aim of reducing defense spending even as the GOP doubles down on trying to increase defense spending. She blows off Obama's role in the end of the Iraq war. And even though the last chapter is devoted to how stupid our nuclear arsenal is, she only gives Obama marginal credit for signing the New START treaty, instead devoting more space to complaining about the 10% increase in expenses for modernizing and repairing our nuclear arsenal. I understand she was trying to go for a more historical review than a contemporary political piece, but it really felt like she was forcing nonpartisanship into the book by putting Obama and the Democrats in general on the same level as the GOP.
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Old 2012-05-27, 5:55 PM   #2668
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I just finished "The Magician King" by Lev Grossman. I actually liked it a lot more than "The Magicians"; I think that's down to Julia's story. To me, that's what magic should be: anarchic, cobbled together, a testament to sheer drive as much as knowledge. The cobbled together feel actually made me think quite a bit about Mieville's "The Kraken", which I similarly enjoyed.

Now it's time to embark upon Kavalier and Clay.
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Old 2012-05-29, 11:12 AM   #2669
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Currently reading the following 2 books:
Mary Roach - Bonk
Anthony Bourdain - Kitchen Confidential


After Kitchen Confidential, I'll be reading Medium Raw
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Old 2012-05-29, 11:37 AM   #2670
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Railsea owns, Mieville owns

Medium Raw owns as well. I love Bourdain's conversational style, and there are few smarter cats I've read.
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Old 2012-05-29, 12:00 PM   #2671
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I just finished Vonnegut's Jailbird and Breakfast of Champions. Which means I guess I'm done with Vonnegut...

Probably going to try and finish off what Kafka I have left.
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Old 2012-05-29, 1:42 PM   #2672
Miles Standoffish
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Anthony Bourdain fukkken owns.

I'm reading THE FORGE OF CHRISTENDOM by Tom Holland, who owns. I just bought his new book, IN THE SHADOW OF THE SWORD, about the rise of Islam, so that's next.
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Old 2012-05-30, 6:59 AM   #2673
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Read my way through the Vorkosigan saga by Lois McMaster Bujold (well, except the first two Miles-less books, which are next). Great fun, really good books with very well-done characters. Miles managed to ursurp Tyrion as my favourite undersized too-clever-for-his-own-good Lordling.

PS: The whole Vorkosigan saga is available legally free from the Baen Free Library. Which I only discovered after I bought 2/3 of the books for the Kindle (but supporting a good writer does make it sting less of course).

Both Railsea and In the Shadows of the Sword are on my Kindle already, too many books, not enough time. Loved The Forge of Christendom and Rubicon, but found Persian Fire rather boring (maybe the subject is too much removed from my usual interests).

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Old 2012-05-30, 8:26 AM   #2674
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decius View Post
PS: The whole Vorkosigan saga is available legally free from the Baen Free Library. Which I only discovered after I bought 2/3 of the books for the Kindle (but supporting a good writer does make it sting less of course).
They're all available through Baen's website, but they're not all free. (Still worth reading, of course.)
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Old 2012-05-30, 8:34 AM   #2675
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I've been going back through The War for Late Night, just because. It really is mind-boggling how badly NBC mishandled the situation from the very beginning. Making decisions without the knowledge of either host, negotiating with one while keeping the other out of the loop, and exploiting both men's loyalty to NBC.
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