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ITT: What did you read?/Books thread

Illuminati_Comrade

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Been getting lots of notifications for this thread, so imma post.
Just dug through my books for Orscar Wilde's A Picture of Dorian Gray. gonna reread
 

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lonerpose

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this is my first post here (after lurking for awhile!) so i hope i do things right...

house of leaves by mark z danielewski was my favorite fiction book in high school. it's quite long and a little self indulgent at times but the story genuinely kept me up at night and made me think a little differently.

short reads i liked would include i have no mouth and i must scream by harlan ellison, and the play no exit by jean paul sartre is a classic.

non fiction is really my favorite though. i thoroughly enjoyed weird scenes inside the canyon by david mcgowan, it's about the music artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s and their many military and intelligence connections.
both a supposedly fun thing i'll never do again and consider the lobster by david foster wallace are probably my favorite collection of essays.
speaking of DFW, i'd like to read his fiction magnum opus infinite jest next but i also want to give it the attention it deserves and life is unusually busy right now.

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7Pebbles

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The Shannara Series, The First King Of Shannara all the way through The Last Druid. Don't watch the TV show, they mangled it all up.
This one is book 3 (or book 2 depending where you start) and most people agree that its the best of the early books. The later ones were really good though, if you ask me.
th
 
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Jade

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The Shannara Series, The First King Of Shannara all the way through The Last Druid. Don't watch the TV show, they mangled it all up.
This one is book 3 (or book 2 depending where you start) and most people agree that its the best of the early books. The later ones were really good though, if you ask me.
th
Oh man, I remember there was this blogger who ran a site called BestFantasyBooks who absolutely hated this series. The site seems to have been shut down now but he had it at I think #3 on his worst fantasy book series list. His criticism was that the main character was basically goku from dragon ball where he keeps powering up to save the day, but without any of goku charm or dragon balls breathtaking fight choreography. He also said that it was extremely preachy and that the main character had a very holier-than-thou personality.
I've never read Shannera myself so I dunno how true any of that is but he described it so vividly I remember I kept coming back to the site just to reread his blurbs on it.
 
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eve

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The last book i read was actually a clockwork orange, and im currently reading gallant by v.e. schwab, and itz pretty good so far :SataniaThumbsUp:
 
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Boxerdog

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I Finished reading Notes from the underground couple weeks ago, it feels strangely eerie but also comforting to know that there is still people like the underground man out there, we just know more about them because they're on the internet now. He was basically the hikkomori of its day.
 

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Lunedgy

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I read The Bullet Journal Method, Building a Second Brain and Dopamine Nation recently. Since I needed to detach from my bad habits, I chose books that helped me analyse my situation and replace my questionable behaviour.

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-SteampunkTraveler-

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I know, I know, reading books is antiquated but for those who still do, what was the last book you read?

I'll start. I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and "In the Miso Soup" by Ryu Murakami in the past few weeks. I'm currently 2/4ths through "The Elephant Vanishes" by Haruki Murakami. I'm probably going to start "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera once I'm done that.

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Oh, and as an afterthought, a few of my favourite books I've ever read are "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson, and "American Psycho" by Brett Easton Ellis.

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So, what do you guys read?
Alot of good books there. I personly read Valis By PKD I havent read the second book tho (kinda sad) but yeah
 
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-SteampunkTraveler-

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I Finished reading Notes from the underground couple weeks ago, it feels strangely eerie but also comforting to know that there is still people like the underground man out there, we just know more about them because they're on the internet now. He was basically the hikkomori of its day.
I agree. Still in the process of reading it /listening to it Its a good book
 
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7Pebbles

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Oh man, I remember there was this blogger who ran a site called BestFantasyBooks who absolutely hated this series. The site seems to have been shut down now but he had it at I think #3 on his worst fantasy book series list. His criticism was that the main character was basically goku from dragon ball where he keeps powering up to save the day, but without any of goku charm or dragon balls breathtaking fight choreography. He also said that it was extremely preachy and that the main character had a very holier-than-thou personality.
I've never read Shannera myself so I dunno how true any of that is but he described it so vividly I remember I kept coming back to the site just to reread his blurbs on it.
That is very interesting. The series only concluded a few years ago, and it doesn't follow one character, so I don't know which character that guy deemed to be "main". He probably just picked one of the books and picked that one apart. I will say again, that the best books were later in the series, although the early ones had their charm.

There is something to that though. The series follows a family tree over about 3000 years. The family genetically passes down a powerful magic every couple of generations. Said magic is essentially the most powerful magic around, so it can seem like the characters can't possibly face a serious threat. The defense against this that the series employs is that the use of magic has a price. Because magic is unpredictable, the price is different from case to case, but generally speaking, giving in to primal desires for power will physically corrupt you and turn you into a demon.

It generally functions as a weapon or tool, and so that makes them a unique but powerful player in the political climate of their time. They can't stop a corrupt government from invading its neighbor using only their magic and its potential for destruction. They have to negotiate, travel, fight monsters, get creative, fight in wars, invent new technologies, and all that good stuff.

I don't know which parts seemed preachy, but I can guess. Another running theme of the series (which I love) is that the wizards (called druids), manipulate and play games with people to achieve their ends. Some later books have the main character become a druid even though he hates the manipulation that the role requires of him. The (debateably) first druid of the series, Allanon, is notorious for this, and routinely lords it over those he has recruited to help him. He always knows best but refuses to elaborate and I can definitely see that coming off as holier than thou or preachy. I love it though, it makes him into a legend that lasts all the way to the end of the series, and introduces internal conflic that the characters have to overcome.

Anyway, that is a lot of extra detail that you didn't ask for, but I love the series so I took the chance to talk about it.
 
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Jade

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That is very interesting. The series only concluded a few years ago, and it doesn't follow one character, so I don't know which character that guy deemed to be "main". He probably just picked one of the books and picked that one apart. I will say again, that the best books were later in the series, although the early ones had their charm.

There is something to that though. The series follows a family tree over about 3000 years. The family genetically passes down a powerful magic every couple of generations. Said magic is essentially the most powerful magic around, so it can seem like the characters can't possibly face a serious threat. The defense against this that the series employs is that the use of magic has a price. Because magic is unpredictable, the price is different from case to case, but generally speaking, giving in to primal desires for power will physically corrupt you and turn you into a demon.

It generally functions as a weapon or tool, and so that makes them a unique but powerful player in the political climate of their time. They can't stop a corrupt government from invading its neighbor using only their magic and its potential for destruction. They have to negotiate, travel, fight monsters, get creative, fight in wars, invent new technologies, and all that good stuff.

I don't know which parts seemed preachy, but I can guess. Another running theme of the series (which I love) is that the wizards (called druids), manipulate and play games with people to achieve their ends. Some later books have the main character become a druid even though he hates the manipulation that the role requires of him. The (debateably) first druid of the series, Allanon, is notorious for this, and routinely lords it over those he has recruited to help him. He always knows best but refuses to elaborate and I can definitely see that coming off as holier than thou or preachy. I love it though, it makes him into a legend that lasts all the way to the end of the series, and introduces internal conflic that the characters have to overcome.

Anyway, that is a lot of extra detail that you didn't ask for, but I love the series so I took the chance to talk about it.
I scrolled through the wayback machine, and I found a snapshot! Turns out I was mixing up his comments on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series with his comments on Shannara. However his actual comments on Shannera aren't much better - he put it at #7 on the list (also lol he pointed out the elfstones book you read as the best in the series)
Falls in the Overrated Books With Undeserved Hype, Books That Were Good When You Were Young /New to Fantasy andBooks That Don't Age Well categories of bad. Triple Kill!!

I'm not a big fan of the Shannara series at all. I've been getting email after email wondering why Brooks is not on the Top 25 Fantasy list. Let me state it right here: he's not on the list because he hasn't written any books that are good enough to be there.

Shannara was Brook's attempt to milk the whole Tolkien craze during the 80s. He "generously borrowed" Tolkien's mythology (which isn't a bad thing, as quite a few other people did as well), but committed the cardinal sin of not doing anything new at all over his 20+ years writing fantasy books. Brooks is the literary version of the band Nickleback: both have sold out all creativity and churn out the same sort of crap over and over.

Commercially successful? Yes. Intellectually stimulating? About as much as watching Bevis and Butthead reruns. There is a marketing concept called first-mover advantage. This basically means that the person/company that does something first has a competitive advantage. Brooks with his (bad) rewrite of Lord of the Rings did just this. As far as I'm concerned, Brooks is a hack writer who made it big because he was in the Tolkien Clone market first.

If you've read one Shannara book, you've read all twenty of them, or thirty (I can't remember the exact number as Brooks churns them out like a Chinese noodle factory does noodle boxes).

One Shannara book is the same as the rest of them. Hell for me would be being locked into a room with an infinite supply of Shannara books to read. I'd start puking my eyes out around book 20, and by book 40, I'd probably bite my own throat out.

I beg you Terry Brooks, stop writing new Shanara books. If someone points a gun to your head and forces you to read a Shannara novel, perhaps Elfstones is the best of the bunch. But then again, that's like asking which limb you want broken. The correct answer is "none of them."

And dammit, let's get into the Shannara's continuing use of "The Elfstones", a name that itself is borrowed directly from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Man, these Elfstones are simply an outrageous naked plot device that Brooks recycles over and over for more plot fodder, with each additional book having new powers associated with them. After book 20, I still don't think even Brooks knows what the hell these things actually do. In the first book, they help you find stuff, act as a nice magical flashlight and come in handy when battling magical demon types, and even work as a sort of "demon alarm system" if there are, like, nasty demons loafing around. But hey, use the stones too much and your descendents gain special freaking powers that have NOTHING at all to do with the origional Elfstone powers. Talk about no internal rules of magic here. About the only things you can't do with these special stones are your tax forms and your college homework.

I'm not insulting Terry Brooks as an author. Ok, well I kinda am. But the man's not THAT bad of a writer -- Brooks did write a few NON-Shannara books that I found entertaining: Magic Kingdom For Sale was a light, entertaining series, and his Void series is pretty good, even though he ends up tying it to the whole Shannara universe (big mistake).

So yes, Brooks writes some decent books (And God knows he's had enough practice over the years with the dozens of books he's churned out), but just avoid anything with the word Shannara in the title and you'll probably be OK.
Here's the link if you wanna see the whole list or browse the the site -
 
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Outer Heaven

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I know, I know, reading books is antiquated but for those who still do, what was the last book you read?

I'll start. I read "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick and "In the Miso Soup" by Ryu Murakami in the past few weeks. I'm currently 2/4ths through "The Elephant Vanishes" by Haruki Murakami. I'm probably going to start "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" by Milan Kundera once I'm done that.

1300033784.0.x.jpg
220px-In_the_Miso_Soup_Cover.jpg
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View attachment 10687

Oh, and as an afterthought, a few of my favourite books I've ever read are "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" by Hunter S. Thompson, and "American Psycho" by Brett Easton Ellis.

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9781447277705.jpg


So, what do you guys read?
Damn Im super late to this but I have to appreciate a fellow Murakami enjoyer. Ive read most of his stuff and I love his style. It is a shame that he can only write 2 kinds of stories: middle age man with weirdo teen girl sidekick and whatever the hell Kafka on the shore is. If you haven't already, read Kafka on the shore, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, and the one chapter from The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle where a guy gets skinned alive. Everything else is good but not as good. I do have a soft spot for Dance Dance Dance though, which is a part of the hard to find rat trilogy. Its a standalone book so you dont have to read the other books if you cant find them.
 
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7Pebbles

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I scrolled through the wayback machine, and I found a snapshot! Turns out I was mixing up his comments on Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series with his comments on Shannara. However his actual comments on Shannera aren't much better - he put it at #7 on the list (also lol he pointed out the elfstones book you read as the best in the series)

Here's the link if you wanna see the whole list or browse the the site -
Gonna be honest, I find this to be a garbage take. The first book of the series that he wrote is definitely a little too close to the LOTR books for my taste, and The Wishsong of Shannara isn't particularly great either, but I found the rest of the series to get steadily better and better. Everything from "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Isle Witch" to the last book is somewhere safely between "good" and "amazing" if you ask me. If anyone ever wants to argue that with me, you're welcome to, but for now I'll spare you all the pointless arguments. "Magic Kingdom for Sale" and it's sequels were pretty solid as well, although Ben Holiday (the main character) is a little plain. I actually really dislike the "Word and Void" series, although I can't give a good reason. I started reading the first one and just didn't enjoy it. Its been a while since I gave it a shot, so maybe I should reevaluate it sometime.
 
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Jade

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Gonna be honest, I find this to be a garbage take. The first book of the series that he wrote is definitely a little too close to the LOTR books for my taste, and The Wishsong of Shannara isn't particularly great either, but I found the rest of the series to get steadily better and better. Everything from "The Voyage of the Jerle Shannara: Isle Witch" to the last book is somewhere safely between "good" and "amazing" if you ask me. If anyone ever wants to argue that with me, you're welcome to, but for now I'll spare you all the pointless arguments. "Magic Kingdom for Sale" and it's sequels were pretty solid as well, although Ben Holiday (the main character) is a little plain. I actually really dislike the "Word and Void" series, although I can't give a good reason. I started reading the first one and just didn't enjoy it. Its been a while since I gave it a shot, so maybe I should reevaluate it sometime.
Can't say anything for or against Shannara since I haven't read it, but coming back to the webpage I did notice that the tone of his writing seemed kinda bitter. Like he took a perverse joy in disliking the series and tearing it apart, which is a theme that propagates for his comments on every single series on his worst list. It's like the AVGN if AVGN was played 100% seriously, which a lot channels inspired by him did.
 
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