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Re: What are you READING right now?

Wed Sep 20, 2017 12:57 pm

Just picked up Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. My first book of his, assuming I like it there's quite a few more I'll have to check out, in particular Doors of Perception.
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:15 pm

Just picked up a Stephen King I'd missed somehow, called Revival. Mint hardcover for 2$, couldn't say no.
Last edited by Forge on Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:18 pm

Oh, I read this after finding it via Stephen King notes, a few years ago. Safely outside of copyright, enjoy: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/389
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:35 pm

Know, sisters of the Boni Maroni, that any study of the life of Mauve’Bib demands the subtlest attention to details of place. Can you truly understand why a man is a thing, if you neglect to understand where he is that thing that he is?

Commence, then, with the fact that it is on the planet Coybowdan that Mauve’Bib spent his childhood -- yet it is on Arruckus, the planet known as Doon, that he fulfilled his destiny. It is Doon that is his homeworld, Doon that is his place of truimph, Doon that is forever his principle mailing address.

Send therefore to Doon your requests for recipes or reprints – or send them not at all.

-- from “The Making of the Messiah, 10,193,” by the Princess Serutan

If that sounds somewhat familiar to the sci-fi readers here, a new treasure hit my mailbox today, namely a pristine copy of National Lampoon's Doon. It'll sit proudly on the shelf next to Bored of the RIngs and my Dune first edition.


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Re: What are you READING right now?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:34 am

Finally getting around to working my way through the Dirk Pitt series. On book #....10? I think.
The other last interesting ones were "Death by Meeting" (not what I first thought it was going, it was actually very useful and I've implemented some stuff since), and then before that was probably Neal Stephenson's most recent Seven Eves. Highly recommend.
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:20 am

Captain Ned wrote:
If that sounds somewhat familiar to the sci-fi readers here, a new treasure hit my mailbox today, namely a pristine copy of National Lampoon's Doon. It'll sit proudly on the shelf next to Bored of the RIngs and my Dune first edition.
Excellent find! To this day, I still use the term "Kumquat Häagen-Dazs" to describe getting a meal together with proper timing.

My latest has been the "Bobiverse" trilogy, starting with We are Legion (We are Bob). A tech entrepreneur named Bob ends up being installed as an AI in an exploration starship 300 years into the future. As he goes exploring, he duplicates himself and each new version of himself gets a name from nerd culture. Good adventure tale, not terribly complicated and enough speculative science to keep you interested.

Prior to that, I read Cork Dork. A tech reporter decided to become a wine sommelier and it chronicles her journey to becoming a certified wine expert in 18 months. Fascinating look into a world I thought might be kind of fun to try. It's also a kind of neat unintentional peek into the mindset of Manhattan residents. Note: I no longer have any desire to become a sommelier.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:15 am

Darkmage wrote:
Prior to that, I read Cork Dork. A tech reporter decided to become a wine sommelier and it chronicles her journey to becoming a certified wine expert in 18 months. Fascinating look into a world I thought might be kind of fun to try. It's also a kind of neat unintentional peek into the mindset of Manhattan residents. Note: I no longer have any desire to become a sommelier.

I've always imagined it to be kind of like the craft beer scene, but snobbier and a lot more expensive.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:00 pm

I've been reading my way through The Three-Body Problem series and am currently in the middle of "The Dark Forest". I'm also trying to learn a bit more about home brewing so I've been reading "Designing Great Beers".

I think I am going to need to take a day off of work and just sit and read. My backlog of books that I want to get through this year is far too long.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:10 pm

general_tux wrote:
I'm also trying to learn a bit more about home brewing so I've been reading "Designing Great Beers".

That's a great book. I had a much better handle on beer recipe formulation after reading it.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:40 pm

TR obviously!!
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:00 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I've always imagined it to be kind of like the craft beer scene, but snobbier and a lot more expensive.
I dunno. Is there an expensive test you can take to be certified as a craft brew expert (with a 60% failure rate!)? Where you can spend $150 on an aroma identification kit to help you study? These wine people are off the hook.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:15 pm

Darkmage wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
I've always imagined it to be kind of like the craft beer scene, but snobbier and a lot more expensive.

I dunno. Is there an expensive test you can take to be certified as a craft brew expert (with a 60% failure rate!)?

$10 for the online qualifying exam, $40 for the practical/written, $15 for re-takes. So I guess it depends on your definition of "expensive"? :lol: (I'm guessing the wine one costs a lot more...)

Darkmage wrote:
Where you can spend $150 on an aroma identification kit to help you study? These wine people are off the hook.

Yes, there are study aids like that for beer judging too; AFAICT most beer judges don't use them.

I know someone who runs classes for people who want to take the beer judge exam. Mostly he just buys commercial beers that illustrate the various desirable flavors, and collects bad entries from homebrew competitions (brewers typically submit two bottles, but the second one only gets used if you advance to the Best Of Show round) to demonstrate the off flavors.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:11 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Yes, there are study aids like that for beer judging too; AFAICT most beer judges don't use them.
I wasn't clear. Part of the certification exam is a blind tasting. You have to identify the winery, style and year of five wines based on sight, smell and taste. This isn't how to judge wines, this is how to identify wines based upon your senses. Hell, I'd be lucky to get the continent right. One dude was off by 500 meters and didn't pass. There's also a practical exam, where you serve wine to the judges. The practical exam is full of weird traditions that barely make sense, but also a "I want a good red to go with my pork loin and keep it under $80" questions. And yeah, the test is nearly $600 to attempt. Like I said, fascinating world to peer into. It doesn't hurt that the author has a very easy going and playful writing style. Full of self-deprecating moments, too. I recommend it if you are looking for a serious look at a strange subculture.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:55 pm

Darkmage wrote:
I wasn't clear. Part of the certification exam is a blind tasting. You have to identify the winery, style and year of five wines based on sight, smell and taste. This isn't how to judge wines, this is how to identify wines based upon your senses. Hell, I'd be lucky to get the continent right. One dude was off by 500 meters and didn't pass. There's also a practical exam, where you serve wine to the judges. The practical exam is full of weird traditions that barely make sense, but also a "I want a good red to go with my pork loin and keep it under $80" questions. And yeah, the test is nearly $600 to attempt. Like I said, fascinating world to peer into. It doesn't hurt that the author has a very easy going and playful writing style. Full of self-deprecating moments, too. I recommend it if you are looking for a serious look at a strange subculture.

OK, that's just freakin' insane.

The beer judge exam has a written component and a tasting component. The written component is a series of questions covering knowledge of beer ingredients, styles, brewing process, off flavors, and proper judging procedures. For the tasting component you're presented with 6 beer samples, and a stated beer style for each; the stated style may be incorrect, and you're expected to identify the mis-categorized beer(s) and explain why they aren't "to style". There are typically also one or two beers which -- while nominally to style -- have an obvious fault, which you're expected to identify. Three experienced judges evaluate the same beers as the examinees, and you are graded on how closely your comments and numerical score (on a 50 point scale - 12 for aroma, 3 for appearance, 20 for flavor, 5 for mouthfeel, and 10 for overall impression) matches that of the experienced judges.

You're expected to be able to taste a beer and identify the style ("this isn't a German-style Pilsner, it's an American-style Amber Ale"), but you're not expected to identify the brewery that a beer came from. Fault identification is focused on spotting common brewing mistakes, like off flavors caused by stressed yeast, sub-par sanitation, or improper handling (excessive exposure to light or oxygen).
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Mon Oct 16, 2017 9:14 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Halfway through the 8-book saga known as Worldwar by Harry Turtledove.

It's easy reading, practically trash-novel actually, but it's a fun alternative history set towards the end of WWII where aliens invade with the intent to colonise and enslave mankind.

I have already exhausted all the obvious sci-fi sources (Ian M Banks, Asimov, Frank Herbert, Arthur C Clarke and read all the sci-fi must-reads from HG Wells, Ray Bradbury, Alduous Huxley, William Gibson) so Turtledove is filling a void that other fiction can't.

When I'm done with Worldwar, Can anyone comment on Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons or Verner Vinge? They're all Hugo winners but a Hugo list can still be a bit hit-and-miss


Agree with about Hugo award winner lists. Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun is a good series. Dan Simmons Hyperion is classic from my perspective. His Ilium/Olympos set is interesting. For Vernor Vinge, I did like A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky. There is also Glen Cook's The Black Company series, if you are interested in military/fantasy (been waiting for the movies/board game/video game versions for ages).

As for my reading list, just finished Volume 9 of David Weber's Safehold series, At the Sign of Triumph. Working on Eric Flint's 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught. Up next is Charles Stross The Nightmare Stacks, part of his Laundry Files series
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:40 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Can anyone comment on Gene Wolfe, Dan Simmons or Verner Vinge? They're all Hugo winners but a Hugo list can still be a bit hit-and-miss

I did not care for Gene Wolfe's stuff. I liked Dan Simmons' Hyperion series, though it got progressively weirder for me as it went on.

I'm enjoying James S. A. Corey's The Expanse quite a bit.
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:18 am

Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and Ilium/Olympos are mainstays in my library, as is Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series.

If you like your sci-fi harder, he may not have won a Hugo, but Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space universe is a good one.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:47 am

Hawkwing74 wrote:
I'm enjoying James S. A. Corey's The Expanse quite a bit.
I have also really enjoyed The Expanse. I took a break after Leviathan Wakes to read The Three-Body Problem after my wife finished that series and highly recommended them. My goal is to finish up both that series and Caliban's War before Season 3 of the tv show airs. I fear I am falling a bit behind...
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 12:32 pm

Currently reading the last book of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun quadrilogy, and Jeff Vandermeer's Southern Reach Trilogy. BotNS is overrated imo - little known words and obtuse prose doesn't mean good writing. The Southern Reach trilogy was started because my sister wanted me to vet it as she was a little peturbed by the blurbs on the back from Stephen King et al praising how creepy and fantastical it was. Well, my overwhelming emotion has been boredom and I'm over 3/4rs done. Characters going mad based on things that aren't defined or explicitly talked about is fine if done well, but it isn't here.
I am SO looking forward to whatever comes next on my list - anything to cleanse those two from my mind. I bought Knaussgaard's first book in My Struggle yesterday so I might be starting that. I read the first few pages in the store, and it immediately grabbed me.
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:28 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
Simmons' Hyperion Cantos and Ilium/Olympos are mainstays in my library, as is Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series.

If you like your sci-fi harder, he may not have won a Hugo, but Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space universe is a good one.


There was a whole bunch of UK authors that popped up on the bookshelves with Alistair Reynolds at the same time - Richard K Morgan (Cyberpunk), Peter F Hamilton (space opera), China Mieville (gothic fantasy). Enjoyed them all. Can't forget about Iain M. Banks in terms of science fiction.
 
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:58 pm

touchandgo wrote:
Can't forget about Iain M. Banks in terms of science fiction.
Definitely not. The Culture books are fascinating and great reads.
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Re: What are you READING right now?

Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:42 pm

Just finished Tales of Demons & Gods.
Now reading things about blockchain. Got to hand it with the new software techs. The explanation is as confusing as neural networks :)

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