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24-12-2016, 03:22 PM
Book recommendations
I got Christmas money to spend. What books have you enjoyed recently?

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24-12-2016, 03:34 PM
RE: Book recommendations
Recently?

The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow, World-Systems Analysis: An Introduction by Immanuel Wallerstein and Some Kind of Peace: A Novel by Camilla Grebe. All three are worth reading.

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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24-12-2016, 05:02 PM
RE: Book recommendations
Why recently? I have enjoyed many books through the years.

Fiction? Non fiction? What?

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Banjo.
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24-12-2016, 05:22 PM
RE: Book recommendations
(24-12-2016 05:02 PM)Banjo Wrote:  Why recently? I have enjoyed many books through the years.

Fiction? Non fiction? What?

Fiction or non-fiction. Doesn't need to be recently I guess. Tongue

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24-12-2016, 05:29 PM
RE: Book recommendations
Buy The three musketeers, by Dumas.

No movie can match this rollicking adventure. It's got everything. One of the best novels I ever read.

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24-12-2016, 05:51 PM
RE: Book recommendations
Money well spent, is spent on The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Because I get residuals for two words.


signed

Ford Prefect
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25-12-2016, 02:26 AM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2016 02:35 AM by Szuchow.)
RE: Book recommendations
If not only recent:

Science and religion:

- A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
- A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen Hawking
- The Selfish Gene and Unweaving the Rainbow: Science, Delusion and the Appetite for Wonder by Richard Dawkins
- Why Evolution is True and Faith Versus Fact: Why Science and Religion Are Incompatible by Jerry Coyne
- The Blank Slate. The Modern Denial of Human and The Better Angels of Our Nature. Why Violence Has Declined by Steven Pinker
- The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer
- Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon by Daniel Dennet
- The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values and The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason by Sam Harris
- Why We Believe in God(s): A Concise Guide to the Science of Faith by J. Anderson Thomson, Clare Aukofer
- Atheism: A Very Short Introduction by Julian Baggini

Short list of History books:

- Russia Under the Bolshevik Regime and The Russian Revolution by Richard Pipes
- Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 by Tonu Judt
- Hitler, Vol 1: 1889-1936 Hubris and Hitler, Vol 2: 1936-1945 Nemesis by Ian Kershaw
- Khrushchev: The Man and His Era by William Taubman
- The Destruction of the European Jews by Raul Hilberg
- The Second World War by Antony Beevor
- The Kolyma Tales by Varlam Shalamov
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Soviet Tragedy: A History of Socialism in Russia and History's Locomotives: Revolutions and the Making of the Modern World by Martin Malia
- Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandelstam
- Hitler's Beneficiaries: Plunder, Racial War, and the Nazi Welfare State by Götz Aly
- The Language of the Third Reich: LTI--Lingua Tertii Imperii: A Philologist's Notebook by Victor Klemperer
- Nicolae Ceausescu: Eine Biographie by Thomas Kunze
- The Opium of the Intellectuals by Raymond Aron
- "Exterminate All the Brutes": One Man's Odyssey into the Heart of Darkness and the Origins of European Genocide by Sven Lindqvist
- Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, The Sorrows of Empire: Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic and Nemesis: The Last Days of the American Republic by Chalmers Johnson

Fantasy that caught my interest:
- Silmarillion, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit: There and Back Again by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Earthsea series bu Ursula Le Guin
- Watch series by Sergei Lukyanenko
- The Kushiel's Legacy by Jacqueline Carey
- The Coldfire Trilogy by Celia Friedman
- The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski

Others:
- The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
- Life and Fate and Forever Flowing by Vasily Grossman
- The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Gulag Archipelago, August 1914, The First Circle, Cancer Ward and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
- Crime and Punishment and The House of the Dead by Fyodor Dostoevsky
- Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
- Captain of the Steppe, The Matiushin Case and Requiem for a Soldier by Oleg Pavlov
- The Captive Mind by Czesław Miłosz
- Red Sorghum by Mo Yan
- 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell

The first revolt is against the supreme tyranny of theology, of the phantom of God. As long as we have a master in heaven, we will be slaves on earth.

Mikhail Bakunin.
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25-12-2016, 02:59 AM (This post was last modified: 25-12-2016 06:36 AM by EvolutionKills.)
RE: Book recommendations
Some old favorites of mine. These books or collection are great introductions, that all open up into much larger continuities if you find yourself really hooked.



DUNE - Frank Herbert

Old school big idea science fiction, along the lines of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. Herbert authored 6 books in the Dune universe, but since his death his son Brain Herbert with co-author Kevin J. Anderson have greatly expanded the setting with another 17 books, the most recent of which was just printed in 2016. So the series is anything but dead.



The Dragonriders of Pern Trilogy (Dragonflight, Dragonquest, The White Dragon) - Anne McCaffery
Harper Hall Trilogy (Dragonsong, Dragonsinger, Dragondrums) - Anne McCaffery

Good old school science-fiction masquerading as fantasy. This will makes sense if you read past the original trilogy, and continue the story with The Renegades of Pern and All The Weyrs of Pern. The Harper Hall Trilogy runs parallel to the original trilogy, and help flesh out the story and lore of the most interesting faction outside of the dragon riders themselves, the Harper Halls (read: bards). The chronology is a bit of a mess, but there is a huge pile of material to dive into, with almost another dozen books by McCaffery. This series was too good to die, and much like Herbert's DUNE, the reigns were picked up by the author's child. The series has continued with Todd McCaffery with an additional eight books.

From Wikipedia.
Weyr Search won the inaugural Hugo Award for Best Novella in 1968 and Dragonrider won the Nebula Award for Best Novella in 1969. (Both were finalists for both awards.) Dragonquest, The White Dragon, Moreta: Dragonlady of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern were among the five annual finalists for the best novel Hugo Award.



The Dark Elf Trilogy (Homeland, Exile, Sojourn) - R.A. Salvatore

Legit fantasy this time, in the vein of old-school Dungeon's & Dragons. Some of the most popular works of the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, and taking place in the mysterious and cutthroat world of the Drow (dark elves), the inhabitants and masters of many massive underground cities spread across the Underdark, a world hidden under the surface of Faerûn. Plenty of goofy proper nouns if that's your thing. That trilogy is book one through three of the Legend of Drizzt, which is up to book 33 with the release of Hero just this past October. So not only is this series far from dead, but by being a part of the much larger Forgotten Realms setting, it's possible to explore this world from the perspective of many other characters and stories told by other authors. It is quite the rabbit hole if you really want to get into it. There are few things out there like the living continuity of the Forgotten Realms.

If you end up being really fascinated with the society of the Drow, I'd recommend the War of the Spider Queen series (6 books), which had R.A. Salvatore as a supervising editor.

List of Forgotten Realms novels @ Wikipedia




The Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy (Dragons of Autumn Twilight, Dragons of Winter Night, Dragons of Spring Dawning) - Margret Weis & Tracey Hickman

More old school fantasy tied into D&D, this time the Dragonlance campaign setting. I never dived further into the series, but I always did enjoy reading the trilogy. A fantasy world similar in the broad stokes, but very different in the details, from the more popular and well known Forgotten Realms setting. Shit happens in these books, and I remember it being far more morose and somber than the other books I've listed here, although the Legend of Drizzt goes some dark places with the supporting cast in later books (they find themselves trapped in the Abyss, home of Demons and the source of chaos and evil; not everyone comes out alright).

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25-12-2016, 04:53 AM
RE: Book recommendations
(25-12-2016 02:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The Dark Elf Trilogy (Homeland, Exile, Sojourn) - R.A. Salvatore

I've translated this one into my own language (and about ten more books by Salvatore) Shy Catti-Brie used to annoy me to no ends... and then I started translating paranormal (and normal... and I use the word extremely loosely) romance bilge and now I yearn for the profound wisdom of Slavatore Drinking Beverage

This year I discovered the great Octavia Butler (Lilith's Brood and the Parable series are my favourite so far, but I haven't read all her books - I'm savouring them Rolleyes ) Also, Ted Chiang is also wonderful (and pretty much all his works can be found online, legally free). Here's his most recent one (it's a collaboration for a project)

"The Fermi paradox is sometimes known as the Great Silence. The universe ought to be a cacophony of voices, but instead it’s disconcertingly quiet.
Some humans theorize that intelligent species go extinct before they can expand into outer space. If they’re correct, then the hush of the night sky is the silence of a graveyard."


Currently reading Ursula Le Guin's Lathe of Heaven, and have had this quote on my mind quite a bit...

"I am living in a nightmare, from which from time to time I wake in sleep."

"E se non passa la tristezza con altri occhi la guarderò."
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25-12-2016, 05:22 AM
RE: Book recommendations
(25-12-2016 04:53 AM)Vera Wrote:  
(25-12-2016 02:59 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  The Dark Elf Trilogy (Homeland, Exile, Sojourn) - R.A. Salvatore

I've translated this one into my own language (and about ten more books by Salvatore) Shy Catti-Brie used to annoy me to no ends... and then I started translating paranormal (and normal... and I use the word extremely loosely) romance bilge and now I yearn for the profound wisdom of Slavatore Drinking Beverage

Drizzt and Catti-Brie always sort of struck me as the author-insert characters, so I usually gravitated towards Wulfgar. He was a big lug that did stupid shit, but he was starting to get his act together; then he got trapped in the Abyss and everything went to shit. Of the original Companions of the Hall, he's easily the most tragic. Wulfgar has, to put it colloquially, seen some shit.

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