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What book are you reading right now?

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Double McStab with Cheese's picture
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Would it be better to break up Gulliver's Travels and Hitchhiker's Guide to not stack the dry wit too thick?

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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I read 150 pages on my business trip. Unfortunately, Alexander Hamilton is 750 pages long. It's going to take four more business trips to finish this one...

Done. My niece had read Alexander Hamilton and gave me this tip: use the audiobook to get through the slow parts. Hamilton himself was a fascinating character and the author does a good job of separating fact from fiction. He also tries to get inside peoples' heads and convey their motivations. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone because it's so dense with details. It's not as dry as His Excellency: George Washington and yet doesn't move along like 1776 by David McCullough.

For next week's business trip I'm going with Journey Into Darkness by John Douglas. He was an FBI profiler like the guys on Criminal Minds. This is one of stabgal's favorite true crime books.

You won't even feel the blade.

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In 2017 I ended up finishing 29 books. That's a lot for me. They are listed below by category.

My favorite was Ready Player One which we've already discussed here. Now is a good time to read it before the movie comes out on March 30, 2018.

In second place was Al Franken, Giant of the Senate. It's a humorous book with insights into the dysfunction of the Senate. I read it during the repeal/replace healthcare debate which was appropriate because he wrote, "By the time you read this, Republicans may well have succeeded in repealing some or all of the Affordable Care Act. But I'm willing to bet they won't have succeeded in replacing it."

Let me know if you're interested in a review of any other books below. A few were disappointing.

Action/Adventure:
Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton

Crime/Thriller:
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

General Fiction:
We Are What We Pretend to Be by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (abridged) by Hunter S. Thompson

Literary Classics:
Lady Chatterley's Lover (abridged) by D. H. Lawrence

Science Fiction:
The Mote in God's Eye by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (BBC Radio series 1 - 3) by Douglas Adams
The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu

Biographical:
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
Mornings on Horseback by David McCullough
My Life (abridged) by Bill Clinton

Self-Help:
Getting Things Done by David Allen

Technology:
Optimized C++ by Kurt Guntheroth
React.js Essentials by Artemij Fedosejev
JavaScript for PHP Developers by Stoyan Stefanov
Teach Yourself PHP and MySQL by Julie Meloni
Java in a Nutshell by David Flanagan
CSS Web Site Design by Eric A. Meyer

Politics:
What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton

Business:
Anything You Want: 40 Lessons for a New Kind of Entrepreneur by Derek Sivers
Unscripted: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Entrepreneurship by MJ DeMarco
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

Humor:
Food: A Love Story by Jim Gaffigan
MAD About the Sixties: The Best of the Decade by The Usual Gang of Idiots

True Crime:
Journey Into Darkness by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker

You won't even feel the blade.

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Below is my reading list for 2018. Only 26 titles. I'm slipping.

The best of the bunch is Player Piano but I already knew that. It's my favorite book by my favorite author, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. In 2017 I had finished reading all of his books so in 2018 I started over from the beginning. Another really good book is Web Scraping with Python 2nd edition but that will only be of interest to those planning to scrape the web.

Therefore, my second recommendation is Artemis by Andy Weir. It's not like his more famous book The Martian but it stands well on its own as a fun, sci-fi romp set on the moon.

Biography:
Genius by James Gleick

Business:
Start Small, Stay Small by Rob Walling

Crime/Thriller:
The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson

General Fiction:
Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

History:
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Humor:
Braindroppings by George Carlin

Politics:
Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward
The Audacity of Hope (abridged) by Barack Obama

Science Fiction:
The Dark Forest by Cixin Liu
Death's End by Cixin Liu
Artemis by Andy Weir
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Contact by Carl Sagan

Self-Help:
Upgrade Your Life by Gina Trepani
Game by Roosh Valizadeh

Technology:
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out by Richard Feynman
Java 8 Lambdas by Richard Warburton
Web Scraping with Python 2nd edition by Ryan Mitchell

True Crime:
The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer
I'll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

You won't even feel the blade.

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I quite enjoyed The Martian ... maybe I'll check out Artemis if I ever have time to clear my backlog...

I'm about 60% of the way through Robinson Crusoe... I'm about 15% of the way through Fire and Blood (the A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones prequel)... and I have Gulliver's Travels on my to read.

Hear are the books I read most often in 2018 though:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Welcome Little One
Baby Touch and Feel Animals
Quantum Physics for Babies
Newtonian Physics for Babies
Rocket Science for Babies
General Relativity for Babies
Organic Chemistry for Babies
Statistical Physics for Babies
ABCs of Biology
Goodnight Moon
Goodnight Lab
Goodnight Sophie
Goodnight Biscuit
First 100 Words
Hop on Pop
Oh, The Things You Can Think
Ten Apples Up On Top
The Shape of Me
Hooray, Fish
Edward the Emu
The Little Blue Tuk-Tuk
My Alphabet Book: ABC
My Opposites Book: Big and Small
My Colors Book: Purple Hippo
My Counting Book: 123
5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
Moo, Baa, La La La
The Wonky Donkey
Possum magic
something with Peter Rabbit
something with Snugglepot and Cuddlepie
and
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

I'm sure I'm missing about 37 others.

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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Currently reading Hemingway's For whom the bell tolls. I can't help but crack up every time they curse: it's very censored. The phrase "I obscenity in the milk!" is one of my favourites.

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"Well, neither is drinking liquor, but I'm drawn to its dangers all the same."

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Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
I quite enjoyed The Martian ... maybe I'll check out Artemis if I ever have time to clear my backlog...

Artemis is less realistic and gritty than The Martian. The narrator is a young woman who lives in a colony on the moon and supplements her income by smuggling contraband. It has some science-y parts that you'd probably enjoy.

P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

Cool. There's a girl in my family who jokes with me about "J as in jojoba", so last year I designed a non-phonetic alphabet chart for her as a gift. This is the first time I've heard about this book. Another book I recommend for your infant is Go, Dog Go!

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You guys sure like to read a lot. Lately I've tried getting back into books by finishing ones I had started but never got through.

First off is The Fellowship of the Ring. I had started reading this over a decade ago, but found it to be slow paced compared to The Hobbit. Last year I borrowed it from a friend but still had trouble trying to get through it. So I made it a goal to try a page a day. Luckily the story picks up after they leave Rivendell (probably spelled that wrong, bite me).

Next off is the last Artemis Fowl book, The Last Guardian. I found the previous book a disappointment and so didn't read much of this, but after picking it back up found it redeems itself from whatever made The Atlantis Complex suck. I love the way it ends.

Now I'm getting through Inheritance, the last book of the Eragon series, actually called the Inheritance series, but you'd probably recognize Eragon more. Some really cool stuff near the end, hope I can finish before having to return to the library. Without giving anything away, the surname of the story is The Vault of Souls. Patrick's sex face

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aurllcooljay wrote:
The Fellowship of the Ring.
Artemis Fowl book, The Last Guardian.
Inheritance, the last book of the Eragon series

You must really like fantasy. Do you ever read non-fiction?

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Nah, reality is too boring.

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stabguy wrote:
Double McStab with Cheese wrote:
P Is for Pterodactyl: The Worst Alphabet Book Ever

Cool. There's a girl in my family who jokes with me about "J as in jojoba", so last year I designed a non-phonetic alphabet chart for her as a gift.

Here's the chart I designed. Keep it by the phone to confuse telemarketers!

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I just finished The Burning World, and it is one of the best written books I have read. Sequel to Warm Bodies, which when you read the plot sounds really stupid, zombie falls in love with a living girl and it brings him back to life. But the writing in it is miles beyond anything else, especially in the YA ballpark. It is so full of beautiful prose and symbolism. It takes the original symbolism of zombies as a commentary on the living death of modern society and doubles-down with exploring the question that basically boils down to "are those that 'survive' in a zombie apocalypse really still alive?" What actually separates the "Living" and the "Dead". Burning World followed that theme as well, while pulling in analysis around the various ways your past can impact your present. Really good books.

And I can't believe I missed a conversation around Artemis. Really enjoyed that book. Can't wait for news about the sequel.

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Jfighter777 wrote:
And I can't believe I missed a conversation around Artemis. Really enjoyed that book. Can't wait for news about the sequel.

There's going to be a sequel to Artemis?! I just learned that the Artemis movie got the green light.

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stabguy wrote:
Jfighter777 wrote:
And I can't believe I missed a conversation around Artemis. Really enjoyed that book. Can't wait for news about the sequel.

There's going to be a sequel to Artemis?! I just learned that the Artemis movie got the green light.

I heard about the movie briefly!

Andy Weir had a post on social media a few months ago looking for Canadian Mounties to improve the style of speech and back-story of the security guy for a sequel.

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In 2019 I finished 31 books, a personal record. Much like the previous year, the best were the four by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I'm rereading all of his novels in order and these represent the peak of his career. If you've never read Vonnegut, I recommend starting with Cat's Cradle before diving into Slaughterhouse-Five.

My surprise recommendation is The Right Stuff. The book has even more action and comedy than the 1983 movie adaptation. The Assassin's Creed book was courtesy of our own Double McStab with Cheese. Thanks again, Cheese. Big smile

Action/Adventure:
Assassin's Creed Origins: Desert Oath by Oliver Bowden

Biography:
Dirty Jokes and Beer (abridged) by Drew Carey
The Diary of a Young Girl (The Definitive Edition) by Anne Frank
Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

Crime/Thriller:
Darkly Dreaming Dexter by Jeff Lindsay

General Fiction:
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
House of Holes by Nicholson Baker
Flowers for Algernon (the novel) by Daniel Keyes
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Historical Fiction:
Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

History:
The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

Humor:
Earth by Jon Stewart

Politics:
The Truth With Jokes by Al Franken

Science Fiction:
Armada by Ernest Cline
The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov
The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov
The Naked Sun by Isaac Asimov
The Robots of Dawn by Isaac Asimov
Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Self-Help:
The Barbell Prescription by Jonathon Sullivan and Andy Baker
I Will Teach You to Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

Technology:
Effective Modern C++ by Scott Meyers
Learning Scrapy by Dimitris Kouzis-Loukas

True Crime:
The Cases That Haunt Us by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker
Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi

You won't even feel the blade.

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I don't think I could read that much if my life depended on it. Tongue

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Every year I read a book with an embarrassing title. In 2019 it was I Will Teach You to Be Rich. It's a New York Times Bestseller about personal finance, which is good information but I contend it will not make you rich. You won't become a multi-millionaire by working a day job and investing in index funds. If you want to learn how to be rich I suggest The Millionaire Fastlane by MJ DeMarco, another good book with an embarrassing title. Shy

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I need to track what books I read. What I can remember:

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
The New Hunger by Isaac Marion
The Burning World by Isaac Marion
The Living by Isaac Marion
First one has some great exploration of zombies as the metaphor of living without purpose, and a stark comparison of how even the "living" aren't more than shells. That's at least the theme I enjoyed digging through the most. The 2nd book has some interesting stuff, but is mostly a bridge into the 3rd and 4th. Those double down on the initial themes while also exploring different ways to move beyond ones past or succumb to it (which the first book toyed with a bit as well). Great books, The Living is only published indie, so have to order direct from the author or ebook.

The entire Awaken Online series by Travis Bagwell (its like 8 indie books). It is a LitRPG where a true AI is in charge of the online game world and is trying to understand humans to fulfill his primary purpose of getting people to play longer. It goes into a lot of interesting philosophy as the magic system reflects what it has identified as major aspects of personality. For instance dark magic is desire, light is confidence, earth is peace, fire is passion, water is "acceptance", and I can't remember air, its a weirder one that the series is probably going to dive into more. But it gets especially philosophical in the second one, where the AI is molding the main character into the "villain" of the online game and showing the contradictory aspects of humanity. Its really good because most of the dark characters (villains) are good people, while a fair number of the light characters (good guys) are the true villains.

Storm Front by Jim Butcher. First book in Dresden Files series. I am quite late to this series, quite a bit of fun. I bought the rest of the series, and I need to loop back to them.

Scythe by Neal Shusterman. Interesting dilemma about a future without death except by a special group called the Scythes.

Thrawn: Treason by Timothy Zahn. It's Star Wars, and its Thrawn. What more is there to say?

There were a few others that I can't recall. I want to say a second Star Wars book was in there.

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I just started reading a sci-fi book call The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov. In chapter 1 the main character is introduced as Rik and I'm going, "All right! The hero's name is Rick." A few sentences later:

They called him Rik because it meant something like "moron" in the slang of the kyrt mills.

Aww.... Crying

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Wait until you find out Mont doesn't mean mountainous or imposing but instead means incompetent. Wink Tongue

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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stabguy wrote:
I just started reading a sci-fi book call The Currents of Space by Isaac Asimov. In chapter 1 the main character is introduced as Rik and I'm going, "All right! The hero's name is Rick." A few sentences later:

They called him Rik because it meant something like "moron" in the slang of the kyrt mills.

Aww.... Crying

Goddammit that's my actual name

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"Betraying the Assassins is never good for one's health."
"Well, neither is drinking liquor, but I'm drawn to its dangers all the same."

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I have a 3-month audible subscription to activate. 1 book/month + 2 audible originals/month. Any recommendations for what books to get with it?

It's been in my inbox since February, but since pandemic hit, i'm not in my car ever to really take advantage of it. May as well look into it now.

Thanks in advance (Stabguy)!

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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Assassin's Creed Gold. Get and listen to Assassin's Creed Gold. It's so incredibly good, you will not regret it. I literally created an Audible account just to experience it, and it was well worth it. Ideal conditions for listening to it are lying down with your eyes closed, but it's great in any context.

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I hadn't even considered AC books. How many does audible have? I've only read 2 - Forsaken, and the Egypt one before Origins came out (Oath something?)

Anyone know if Audible has the Witcher books, actually?

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus

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The best audio book I've ever read is The Martian narrated by R. C. Bray (not Wil Wheaton).

If you like non-fiction about astronauts, try The Right Stuff narrated by Dennis Quaid or Endurance narrated by the author, Scott Kelly.

In fairness to Wil Wheaton, his narration of Ready Player One is quite good.

Mixing politics and comedy, Al Franken: Giant of the Senate read by the author was another favorite.

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Assassin's Creed Gold is technically an Audio-Drama, which means it has a suite of voice-actors, music, sound-effects, immersive 3D audio, it's more like an evolved form of an audiobook, which is part of why I recommend it. I think it's also the current latest blip on the AC timeline as far as Present Day is concerned.

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I read The Martian, and loved it. Ready Player One is a fantastic idea, since it's been on my reading list for a while. Thanks!

“Force has no place where there is need of skill." Herodotus