Author Topic: book recommendations  (Read 92896 times)

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Offline 8manpick

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1875 on: February 21, 2019, 07:37:14 PM »
The side threads are worth checking out too!
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Offline 8manpick

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1876 on: February 21, 2019, 07:40:41 PM »
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Offline mocat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1877 on: February 21, 2019, 08:12:57 PM »
The python rant is incredible

Offline K-S-U-Wildcats!

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1878 on: February 24, 2019, 09:41:16 PM »
I’ve turning back to one my favorite genres: apocalypse / post-apocalypse.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Nivens was really good. Can’t believe I never read that before. Comet striking the earth. The only thing I didn’t really like is that the story focused more on the post-apocalypse than the pre, and I find pre more interesting. Still really good, though.

Now I’m about halfway through Seveneves by Neil Stevenson. This book is super long, poorly written, almost spectacularly pretentious m, and generally annoying but I’m still slogging through it. It’s so bad at this point that I’m morbidly curious how much worse it can get. The moon spontaneously explodes and the earth is doomed. Except for All The Very Smartest People In The World. Follows a celebrity scientist, who is essentially Neil deGrasse Tyson, who totally figures out exactly what’s gonna happen, along with All The Other Scientists of The World. Who easily concoct a plant to same humanity aboard the ISS. And most importantly - it’s a Super Diverse and Totally #MeToo Humanity. Basically Brooklyn. Instead of good science fiction, it’s basically one cloying liberal trope after another, intermixed with various hookups between various Smart People about the ISS. The earth is almost completely ignored, except for the parts about how all The Wise Leaders perfectly govern their subjects up until the very end.

People are comparing this to The Martian. JFC people - The Martian was 100x better than this piece of crap.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, K-State fans could have beheaded the entire KU team at midcourt, and K-State fans would be celebrating it this morning.  They are the ISIS of Big 12 fanbases.

Offline steve dave

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1879 on: February 25, 2019, 07:07:03 AM »
I thought both seveneves and the martian sucked. another one that starts out strong but then eventually sucks is the James Corey Expanse books. get very heavy handed with the politics and all I want is some hot sexy human spaceship alien outerspace action.

Offline K-S-U-Wildcats!

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1880 on: February 25, 2019, 11:43:23 AM »
I thought Martian was enjoyable. Fast paced, and the science was generally explained in manner that easy to understand and didn’t ruin the flow of the narrative. Andy Weir’s followup book - Artemis - wasn’t nearly as good.

There are so many reasons to hate Seveneves, but I guess here’s my top 3: First, it is so gobsmackingly pretentious. The author genuinely seems to believe that if this catastrophe were to occur, all the nations would have a big kumbaya moment and launch all their best and brightest into space while the rest of us generally mill about like docile cows, happy that our best and brightest were chosen and peacefully resigned to our fate. Most of the folks chosen to survive are utterly callous about leaving behind spouses and loved ones - to the point that some even disregard the last tearful goodbyes of their doomed family members because they’re just too busy doing smart important stuff up in space.

Second, the stuff on Earth is almost completely ignored. I’m waaaay more interested in how the doomed people on the ground would handle their last days than the eggheads up in space. Then again, given how the author seems to view the earthlings I guess it wouldn’t have been that interesting.

Third, the science stuff is often too dense and interupts the narrative. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m skimming several pages at a time discussing orbital mechanics because I just don’t care.

I’m looking for novels on the pre-apocalypse - how people and society respond to impending doom. On The Beach is a good example, but I’ve already read that. You don’t get that much from Lucifer’s Hammer because most of the folks there pretty much assume the comet will miss up until the end. You get just a little with The Stand. World War Z was great, even with the zombie premise, although I wish he’d cut the vingettes in half and wove the remainder into a narrative.

Other suggestions?
« Last Edit: February 25, 2019, 11:46:29 AM by K-S-U-Wildcats! »
I've said it before and I'll say it again, K-State fans could have beheaded the entire KU team at midcourt, and K-State fans would be celebrating it this morning.  They are the ISIS of Big 12 fanbases.

Offline michigancat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1881 on: February 25, 2019, 11:47:44 AM »
I enjoyed the Three Body Problem series

Offline CNS

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1882 on: February 26, 2019, 02:52:59 PM »
I enjoyed the Three Body Problem series

Did it get better after the first half of the first book?  I stopped reading it.  The characters were pretty roughly written and the way the VR part was winding up was boring.  It was one of those that I didn't actively decide to stop reading, but I just put it down and didn't have an urge to pick it back up.

Offline CNS

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1883 on: February 26, 2019, 02:55:35 PM »
I’ve turning back to one my favorite genres: apocalypse / post-apocalypse.

Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Nivens was really good. Can’t believe I never read that before. Comet striking the earth. The only thing I didn’t really like is that the story focused more on the post-apocalypse than the pre, and I find pre more interesting. Still really good, though.

Now I’m about halfway through Seveneves by Neil Stevenson. This book is super long, poorly written, almost spectacularly pretentious m, and generally annoying but I’m still slogging through it. It’s so bad at this point that I’m morbidly curious how much worse it can get. The moon spontaneously explodes and the earth is doomed. Except for All The Very Smartest People In The World. Follows a celebrity scientist, who is essentially Neil deGrasse Tyson, who totally figures out exactly what’s gonna happen, along with All The Other Scientists of The World. Who easily concoct a plant to same humanity aboard the ISS. And most importantly - it’s a Super Diverse and Totally #MeToo Humanity. Basically Brooklyn. Instead of good science fiction, it’s basically one cloying liberal trope after another, intermixed with various hookups between various Smart People about the ISS. The earth is almost completely ignored, except for the parts about how all The Wise Leaders perfectly govern their subjects up until the very end.

People are comparing this to The Martian. JFC people - The Martian was 100x better than this piece of crap.

You may not like it, but Anathem was enjoyable and was kinda what you are asking about, although kinda not.  It isn't our world, though.  Also, it is written by the Seveneves guy, so if you disliked Seveneves, you may not like it.

Full disclosure: I liked Seveneves.

Offline ben ji

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1884 on: February 26, 2019, 04:38:34 PM »
I thought Martian was enjoyable. Fast paced, and the science was generally explained in manner that easy to understand and didn’t ruin the flow of the narrative. Andy Weir’s followup book - Artemis - wasn’t nearly as good.

There are so many reasons to hate Seveneves, but I guess here’s my top 3: First, it is so gobsmackingly pretentious. The author genuinely seems to believe that if this catastrophe were to occur, all the nations would have a big kumbaya moment and launch all their best and brightest into space while the rest of us generally mill about like docile cows, happy that our best and brightest were chosen and peacefully resigned to our fate. Most of the folks chosen to survive are utterly callous about leaving behind spouses and loved ones - to the point that some even disregard the last tearful goodbyes of their doomed family members because they’re just too busy doing smart important stuff up in space.

Second, the stuff on Earth is almost completely ignored. I’m waaaay more interested in how the doomed people on the ground would handle their last days than the eggheads up in space. Then again, given how the author seems to view the earthlings I guess it wouldn’t have been that interesting.

Third, the science stuff is often too dense and interupts the narrative. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m skimming several pages at a time discussing orbital mechanics because I just don’t care.

I’m looking for novels on the pre-apocalypse - how people and society respond to impending doom. On The Beach is a good example, but I’ve already read that. You don’t get that much from Lucifer’s Hammer because most of the folks there pretty much assume the comet will miss up until the end. You get just a little with The Stand. World War Z was great, even with the zombie premise, although I wish he’d cut the vingettes in half and wove the remainder into a narrative.

Other suggestions?

I'm a huge sucker for end of the world/post apocalypse books. Off the top of my head some of my favorites are

2 old classics

Alas Babylon
Earth Abides

Some newer one-

Patriot Novels (Super right wing but if you ignore the bible verses and politics its good, very technical)
One Second After / One Year After
World Made By Hand (Series of 4)
New Madrid Run
Breakers (There are like 10, kind of goofy with Aliens but quick reads)

Picking up Out of the Ashes from the Library today.
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Offline Chingon

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1885 on: February 26, 2019, 06:35:04 PM »
I really enjoyed The Rook.

Offline steve dave

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1886 on: February 26, 2019, 06:35:54 PM »
I really enjoyed The Rook.

Yeah, fun read


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Offline Chingon

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1887 on: February 26, 2019, 06:36:49 PM »
I really enjoyed The Rook.

Yeah, fun read


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Offline michigancat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1888 on: February 26, 2019, 06:40:50 PM »
I enjoyed the Three Body Problem series

Did it get better after the first half of the first book?  I stopped reading it.  The characters were pretty roughly written and the way the VR part was winding up was boring.  It was one of those that I didn't actively decide to stop reading, but I just put it down and didn't have an urge to pick it back up.

yes it got way better. Agree the VR part is kinda slow and boring. I thought the third book was one of the more mind-blowing reading experiences.

Offline K-S-U-Wildcats!

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1889 on: February 28, 2019, 08:53:37 PM »
I thought Martian was enjoyable. Fast paced, and the science was generally explained in manner that easy to understand and didn’t ruin the flow of the narrative. Andy Weir’s followup book - Artemis - wasn’t nearly as good.

There are so many reasons to hate Seveneves, but I guess here’s my top 3: First, it is so gobsmackingly pretentious. The author genuinely seems to believe that if this catastrophe were to occur, all the nations would have a big kumbaya moment and launch all their best and brightest into space while the rest of us generally mill about like docile cows, happy that our best and brightest were chosen and peacefully resigned to our fate. Most of the folks chosen to survive are utterly callous about leaving behind spouses and loved ones - to the point that some even disregard the last tearful goodbyes of their doomed family members because they’re just too busy doing smart important stuff up in space.

Second, the stuff on Earth is almost completely ignored. I’m waaaay more interested in how the doomed people on the ground would handle their last days than the eggheads up in space. Then again, given how the author seems to view the earthlings I guess it wouldn’t have been that interesting.

Third, the science stuff is often too dense and interupts the narrative. I’ve gotten to the point where I’m skimming several pages at a time discussing orbital mechanics because I just don’t care.

I’m looking for novels on the pre-apocalypse - how people and society respond to impending doom. On The Beach is a good example, but I’ve already read that. You don’t get that much from Lucifer’s Hammer because most of the folks there pretty much assume the comet will miss up until the end. You get just a little with The Stand. World War Z was great, even with the zombie premise, although I wish he’d cut the vingettes in half and wove the remainder into a narrative.

Other suggestions?

I'm a huge sucker for end of the world/post apocalypse books. Off the top of my head some of my favorites are

2 old classics

Alas Babylon
Earth Abides

Some newer one-

Patriot Novels (Super right wing but if you ignore the bible verses and politics its good, very technical)
One Second After / One Year After
World Made By Hand (Series of 4)
New Madrid Run
Breakers (There are like 10, kind of goofy with Aliens but quick reads)

Picking up Out of the Ashes from the Library today.

Thanks for these. I’ll start picking them up. I’m nearly certain I’ve read Alas Babylon (great title) but it was long ago.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, K-State fans could have beheaded the entire KU team at midcourt, and K-State fans would be celebrating it this morning.  They are the ISIS of Big 12 fanbases.

Offline K-S-U-Wildcats!

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1890 on: March 01, 2019, 01:48:49 PM »
I'm about a quarter of the way into The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker. Great book. A pre-apocalypse told through the eyes of a 6th grade girl. The disaster (disclosed at the very beginning) is that the earth's rotation starts to slow down. Days and nights become longer and that's just the start. Fascinating stuff. I think this has already been optioned as a movie or TV miniseries.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, K-State fans could have beheaded the entire KU team at midcourt, and K-State fans would be celebrating it this morning.  They are the ISIS of Big 12 fanbases.

Offline steve dave

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1891 on: March 01, 2019, 04:08:44 PM »
ksu-dub, have you read The Passage? they have made it into a tv show now or some crap. was a decent book though. it may be up your alley. it's got kinda like vampires but not really vampires in it. kinda hard to explain.

Offline michigancat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1892 on: April 15, 2019, 09:45:11 PM »
recent reads:

Rosewater: cool alien invasion crap set in Nigeria. I'll read the second book in the series but the third isn't out yet
A Walk in the Woods: This was for my company's book club. they bought it for us so whatever. Didn't know Bill Bryson before but seriously eff that guy
Bad Blood: I think chum1 recommended this and holy crap what a read. Only about 1/3 through but it's great.

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1893 on: April 15, 2019, 09:58:06 PM »
I actually liked A Walk in the Woods. I like that commune with nature crap, though. I'm not looking to read anything else by that author.

Offline michigancat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1894 on: April 15, 2019, 10:22:21 PM »
I actually liked A Walk in the Woods. I like that commune with nature crap, though. I'm not looking to read anything else by that author.
I didn't care for how he described/looked down on.... literally everyone he encountered.

It coincided nicely with my vision quest trip and she if the hiking and nature descriptions were ok, but man, what an ass

Offline 8manpick

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1895 on: April 16, 2019, 06:31:28 AM »
I recently read “A Season on the Brink”... what a great book! Also, basketball before 3-pointers, lol.
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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1896 on: April 16, 2019, 07:27:12 AM »
I actually liked A Walk in the Woods. I like that commune with nature crap, though. I'm not looking to read anything else by that author.
I didn't care for how he described/looked down on.... literally everyone he encountered.

It coincided nicely with my vision quest trip and she if the hiking and nature descriptions were ok, but man, what an ass

I read it as lighthearted humor from a fussy New Englander, with no actual contempt intended. A couple parts were legit funny. He did have remorse over ditching (which I don't think is a big deal) the super annoying woman. I could be totally wrong about him, though.

I agree that the nature descriptions were mediocre. I like thinking about the logistics and gear and overall concept of communing with nature for an extended period. Much of what I enjoyed about it I also enjoyed about Wild, which is probably an unusual point of view. I would not (and did not) recommend.

Offline michigancat

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1897 on: April 16, 2019, 08:14:11 AM »
I actually liked A Walk in the Woods. I like that commune with nature crap, though. I'm not looking to read anything else by that author.
I didn't care for how he described/looked down on.... literally everyone he encountered.

It coincided nicely with my vision quest trip and she if the hiking and nature descriptions were ok, but man, what an ass

I read it as lighthearted humor from a fussy New Englander, with no actual contempt intended. A couple parts were legit funny. He did have remorse over ditching (which I don't think is a big deal) the super annoying woman. I could be totally wrong about him, though.

yeah as a humble kansan I tend to get bothered by people who look down on other people, and I felt he "punched down" a lot even if it was somewhat lighthearted. Maybe I just hate all New Englanders.

Offline Cartierfor3

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1898 on: April 16, 2019, 11:51:49 AM »
michigancat, I know what you mean about Bryson. He's a bit smug. However his book "1927 One Summer" is a great snapshot of America 90+ years ago and I loved it.

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Re: book recommendations
« Reply #1899 on: April 18, 2019, 09:28:14 AM »
Bill Bryson sucks.  THe olds love that 1927 book.