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Old 06-11-2010, 02:14 AM   #361
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I've been slowly collecting a series of books known as The Battles of World War II, which originally required a magazine subscription (I however, have managed to get my collection for nothing - it helps knowing someone who works for a nationwide magazine distributor. ).

There are 50 books in the series going from Poland right through to Berlin. I haven't even thought about reading them in order, so have just been reading the ones i'm more interested in.

The one i'm reading at the moment is about the Anglo-Iraqi War, which is proving to be quite interesting.






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Old 06-11-2010, 07:10 AM   #362
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Im reading The Road it is the most depressing book ive ever read in my life


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Old 07-04-2010, 04:56 PM   #363
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At the moment, I'm leafing through a London Underground Tube map. From experiences in New York, Chicago, and various other cities, I have to say that the London Underground is the easiest to get around.


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Old 07-05-2010, 02:03 PM   #364
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I've finished Machiavelli's Il Principe yesterday and am now reading Voltaire's Candide, ou l'optimisme. It's a satire on Leibniz's philosophy (Earth's the best of all possible worlds). Since it's not that long, I'm probably going to begin reading either Sun Tzu's The Art of War or Cervantes' Don Quichot at the end of the week.


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Old 08-15-2010, 02:58 AM   #365
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Finished with Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? yesterday. Philip K. Dick's seminal novel reads like a blend of the sci-fi pulp fiction he wrote previously and the cyberpunk of Gibson and Stephenson that would follow him.

Compared to Blade Runner, DADoES is less grandiose and much more personal about discussing human-android relations while commenting on the fate of organised religion in a future where you may use machines to select what emotion you want to feel like, the fate of humanity left behind on a barely inhabitable Earth after a radioactive war.

Having finished with that, I've picked up Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino, which appears to be a colourful, postmodern and poetic work that has Marco Polo describing the cities he has seen in his travels to Kublai Khan. It is written with an unbridled imagination and its very creatively constructed cities are embedded with observations of our own urban culture, a drawing out of unspoken conventions and structural relations that proper postmodernism is supposed to convey.


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Old 08-15-2010, 04:04 AM   #366
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Quote:
proper postmodernism
now there's a curious arrangement of letters.

* * *

I love DADoES My avvie at another tech site is a geeky homage to it. I also thoroughly recommend the audio book version of DADoES/blade runner



As part of interviews I had to do - I recently read, and thoroughly enjoyed:

How to Mellify A Corpse: And Other Human Stories of Ancient Science and Superstition by Vicki Leon, which is an humorous but quite detailed look at scientific discoveries of the ancient world.

Caravaggio, a Life Sacred and Profane by Andrew Graham-Dixon. The most well researched and engaging book on Caravaggio I've ever read.

For my upcoming plane trip - Im also really looking forward to checking out Xenophon's March of The Ten Thousand - chiefly the audio book version read by Charlton Griffin

I thoroughly recommend audiobooks as my medium of choice - they allow you to soak things up on a long and contemplative hike - which is a bit harder to do with a tire your eyes and develop a paunch edition. I found as I have gotten older, and now working full time in a profession that requires a different type of reading and writing, sitting down to enjoy a good book is usually followed by slumber about 10 minutes.

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Old 08-25-2010, 08:31 PM   #367
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I'm making my way through Dickens's distinctly sinister final novel, Our Mutual Friend. Old Harmon's 'profitable dust heaps' are left to young John Harmon. But when Young Harmon is found dead in the River Thames, the fortune defaults to the dustman Nicodemus Boffin whose subsequent descent into miserliness and the ramifications on a London centred upon the corpse-strewn and rotting Thames the novel charts.

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In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in.

The figures in this boat were those of a strong man with ragged grizzled hair and a sun-browned face, and a dark girl of nineteen or twenty, sufficiently like him to be recognizable as his daughter. The girl rowed, pulling a pair of sculls very easily; the man, with the rudder-lines slack in his hands, and his hands loose in his waistband, kept an eager look out. He had no net, hook, or line, and he could not be a fisherman; his boat had no cushion for a sitter, no paint, no inscription, no appliance beyond a rusty boathook and a coil of rope, and he could not be a waterman; his boat was too crazy and too small to take in cargo for delivery, and he could not be a lighterman or river-carrier; there was no clue to what he looked for, but he looked for something, with a most intent and searching gaze. The tide, which had turned an hour before, was running down, and his eyes watched every little race and eddy in its broad sweep, as the boat made slight head-way against it, or drove stern foremost before it, according as he directed his daughter by a movement of his head. She watched his face as earnestly as he watched the river. But, in the intensity of her look there was a touch of dread or horror.

Allied to the bottom of the river rather than the surface, by reason of the slime and ooze with which it was covered, and its sodden state, this boat and the two figures in it obviously were doing something that they often did, and were seeking what they often sought. Half savage as the man showed, with no covering on his matted head, with his brown arms bare to between the elbow and the shoulder, with the loose knot of a looser kerchief lying low on his bare breast in a wilderness of beard and whisker, with such dress as he wore seeming to be made out of the mud that begrimed his boat, still there was a business-like usage in his steady gaze. So with every lithe action of the girl, with every turn of her wrist, perhaps most of all with her look of dread or horror; they were things of usage.
Like so many of Dickens's later novels, Our Mutual Friend is filled with those spectral hands that reach out from the past to push and prod events in our present (that 'witch of the place' Miss Havisham springs to mind) and how later generations are shaped by what has gone before.


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Old 08-25-2010, 09:13 PM   #368
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I'm reading The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910. The series just keeps getting better, which means I can't wait for the next issue to be released. I'm also planning to read Artemis Fowl: The Atlantis Complex after I finish the League issue.


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Old 08-25-2010, 10:15 PM   #369
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Right now I'm reading my way through the Flashman series by George MacDonald Fraser. I read the first years and years ago, but didn't realize that it was a series until recently (I have a really old edition so it doesn't have a series list on the inside cover). I reread the first, since it's been a long time, and now I'm almost done with the 2nd, Royal Flash, which I'm enjoying a lot.



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Old 08-26-2010, 11:29 AM   #370
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Just finished reading "Eldest" again.
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Old 08-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #371
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as of this past saturday, ive been reading Dead Space: Martyr, StarCraft: Heaven's Devils, and Diablo: Legacy of Blood (which ive been on for some odd 6 months)
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Old 08-27-2010, 05:36 AM   #372
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I'm almost done with the 2nd, Royal Flash, which I'm enjoying a lot.
I love the series, especially Royal Flash, although I really need to get into gear and finish reading the series.

As for my own reading material, I'm currently reading the Fate of the Jedi series (I'm a glutton for punishment, it seems, but at least Traviss isn't involved).






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Old 08-27-2010, 08:19 AM   #373
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As for my own reading material, I'm currently reading the Fate of the Jedi series (I'm a glutton for punishment, it seems, but at least Traviss isn't involved).
I'm what some would call an illiterate ****bird, with no idea of what a good writer is... but I am thoroughly enjoying the Fate of the Jedi series, Book one is a bit slow, but once you get an idea of what the "Crazy Jedi" stuff actually means, it's great

I would suggest at least checking wookieepedia for a run down of the NJO-LOTF cast and happenings before getting too far into it though.


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Old 08-27-2010, 08:58 AM   #374
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I've started Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil", which requires more concentration from me than most books I've read so far. Phew. I'm also starting Dante's "La Divina Commedia".


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Old 08-27-2010, 09:22 AM   #375
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I've started Nietzsche's "Beyond Good and Evil", which requires more concentration from me than most books I've read so far. Phew. I'm also starting Dante's "La Divina Commedia".
Just a bit of light bedtime reading, then?

Botticelli's sketches for the Comedy are worth a look at if your edition includes them; I know the Allen Mandelbaum (English) translation in the Everyman Library does.


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Old 08-27-2010, 10:21 AM   #376
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Botticelli's sketches for the Comedy are worth a look at if your edition includes them; I know the Allen Mandelbaum (English) translation in the Everyman Library does.
It's a Dutch translation (from the same author, actually, as the translated edition of "Il Principe" I read), but it doesn't have Botticelli's marvelous illustrations, sadly.

And yeah, it's not the easiest of books I'm taking on, but I'm on a mission to read as much of the classics as possible in the coming months: Cervantes, Tolstoj, Dostojevski, Euripides. Plus some of the great philosopher's: Spinoza, Aquinas, Epicurus, Cicero. I have a lot of catching up to do.

I'm also planning on reading some more recent stuff, "I, Lucifer" from G. Duncan and Saramago's "The Gospel According to Jesus Christ" are on top of my list.


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Old 08-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #377
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I have about ~50 pages left on Raptor Red by Robert T. Bakker. After that I'm gonna move on to Carl Sagan's Contact. =)

Lately, I've probably invested about $80 on books alone

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Old 08-27-2010, 12:58 PM   #378
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Euripides
Not sure if I've mentioned it previously, but I read Hippolytus and the Bacchae about a month ago, translated by Gilbert Murray. Not half bad, both of them, and I especially liked Hippolytus. Quite the crafty Athenian playwright he was.


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Old 08-27-2010, 01:13 PM   #379
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Not sure if I've mentioned it previously, but I read Hippolytus and the Bacchae about a month ago, translated by Gilbert Murray. Not half bad, both of them, and I especially liked Hippolytus. Quite the crafty Athenian playwright he was.
I think I read part of the Bacchae in Ancient Greek back in school, crazy stuff. I was actually thinking of Medea when mentioning Euripides, but yeah, that's a guy who made a lot of great plays.


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Old 08-27-2010, 03:21 PM   #380
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I think I read part of the Bacchae in Ancient Greek back in school, crazy stuff. I was actually thinking of Medea when mentioning Euripides, but yeah, that's a guy who made a lot of great plays.
*cough* Shakespeare *cough*


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Old 08-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #381
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Been stalling as much as I can my read of James Joyce's Dubliners short tale collection. With college on again it seems I won't be able to read for pleasure for a while...


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Old 08-27-2010, 03:27 PM   #382
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Don't worry, Pav. I consider our friend William one of the greats as well.


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Old 08-27-2010, 07:13 PM   #383
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Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch thee.
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind, a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest; I see thee still,
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before. There's no such thing:
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes. Now o'er the one halfworld
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtain'd sleep; witchcraft celebrates
Pale Hecate's offerings, and wither'd murder,
Alarum'd by his sentinel, the wolf,
Whose howl's his watch, thus with his stealthy pace.
With Tarquin's ravishing strides, towards his design
Moves like a ghost. Thou sure and firm-set earth,
Hear not my steps, which way they walk, for fear
Thy very stones prate of my whereabout,
And take the present horror from the time,
Which now suits with it. Whiles I threat, he lives:
Words to the heat of deeds too cold breath gives.
[A bell rings]
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me.
Hear it not, Duncan; for it is a knell
That summons thee to heaven or to hell.



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Old 08-27-2010, 09:21 PM   #384
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I've been assign to read Swiss Family Robinson for school purposes. It's a good little story no doubt, however I feel like I'm reading a children's book...

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Old 08-28-2010, 11:17 AM   #385
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I'm what some would call an illiterate ****bird, with no idea of what a good writer is... but I am thoroughly enjoying the Fate of the Jedi series, Book one is a bit slow, but once you get an idea of what the "Crazy Jedi" stuff actually means, it's great
Yeah, I know what you're getting at with the first book. It was interesting, but the pacing wasn't too good. I'm already enjoying the second book a lot more.

Although, a few of the events of both LotF and FoJ had me saying WTF? (Daala as GA Chief took some getting used to) But for the most part, I can live with them. I just want to see how things progress from now to the Legacy comics (although I still need to catch up on all the TPBs since The Hidden Temple to be up to date with that series!)

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I would suggest at least checking wookieepedia for a run down of the NJO-LOTF cast and happenings before getting too far into it though.
^ This is a very good suggestion if you're not familiar with the characters of setting of the NJO.

I knew most of the characters already, but needed to do some reading on what happened to them between the points i'd read (the Swarm War, for instance), but once I've got through this series I plan on catching up with those chapters properly.






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Old 09-01-2010, 08:55 AM   #386
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Im currently working through the bond books. Just finished Diamonds are Forver.
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:40 PM   #387
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I read quite a bit a few years ago. Nowadays i find my vocabulary, or rather the use of it, not what it used to be. So ive decided to get back into active reading.

I just finished Ted Dekker's The Circle Trilogy.
Ive never read Christian fiction before, and didnt know what to expect. But if this trilogy is an appropriate representation of the genre, then its not bad at all. I enjoyed it thoroughly and experienced being engrossed in a story for the first time in years.

Im currently going through The One Thousand and One Nights.
Ive always had a liking for fairy tales and similar stories, and this caters to that - Its a large collection of eastern tales and myths.
Recurring elements include kings, princes, princesses, jinn (genies/angels/demons), enchantment, riches beyond measure, and women beautiful beyond imagination. (there are quite a few of those :P ).
Its all from an Islamic perspective, which i find very interesting. Altogether a good read.

Ive also acquired The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Collection, which is waiting to be read.

Anyone read any of the above mentioned books?



mfw I read the Revan novel

it is not a cry of joy.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:22 PM   #388
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Im currently going through The One Thousand and One Nights.
I used to have a copy which I read quite a lot. It was illustrated strangely too; It's too bad I can't find it. I did like the stories.

Quote:
Ive also acquired The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Collection, which is waiting to be read.
The only one that was particularly interesting to me in the collection was The Abolition of Man. The others are more or less applicable only to someone with a Christian viewpoint. Either they're devotionals, or he simply repeats what others have said before him.

As for myself, I'm going through Labyrinths by Borges. A collection of short stories with really convoluted or just plain odd plots; thanks, Sabre.


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Old 11-02-2010, 11:47 PM   #389
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I just finished Haruki Murakami's wonderful Norwegian Wood and loved it (though not quite as much as Wind-Up Bird Chronicle). Strangely, this one work felt the shortest of all Murakami books I've read, including After Dark.

The book's protagonist recommended The Great Gatsby, which is what I'm reading right now. I'm also reading (slowly) Martin Amis' Time's Arrow on Pavlos' recommendation, which is rather mind-twisting and smug with its language, but very unique and nice in a mind-twisting way.


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Old 11-03-2010, 02:12 AM   #390
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At the moment I'm still halfway through White Fang by Jack London, hoping to finish off Contact by Carl Sagan after.

My Amazon.com wishlist ain't getting any shorter either...probably have about 200€ worth of books that I really want but can't seem to find the time to read up on the ones I still haven't finished I seem to have trouble with my short attention span when reading nowadays, before I could just read for hours at a time but not so much anymore

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Old 11-03-2010, 06:59 AM   #391
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Martin Amis [...] is rather [...] smug[.]
Sounds right, yes. Thing is, he deserves to be.

I'm reading David Copperfield myself, Dickens's enduringly famous novel of a young man's journey from his unhappy childhood -- abused by his step-father and his sister, the ominously named Murdstones -- and school years to finding his calling as a novelist. This is the book which produced such vivid characters as the impecunious Mr. Micawber and the 'umble' Uriah Heep. How exciting.


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Old 11-03-2010, 07:23 AM   #392
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I just recently finished reading Nineteen Eighty-Four. It, oddly, was refreshingly bleak after the typically heroic endings to the Patrick O'Brian novels I had been reading before. Now I'm trying to trudge through Blair's A Journey, bought for me on my birthday as a joke by my grandparents. What I love about it so far are the repeated cries of his having no experience in government and being intimidated by actually having to run the country after winning the 1997 election. I'm about 60 pages through and already losing the will to go on, and from what I've heard the bit on Northern Ireland will see it launched from the bedroom window, so we'll see whether or not it'll get finished.


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Old 11-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #393
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Now I'm trying to trudge through Blair's A Journey, bought for me on my birthday as a joke by my grandparents
Are you sure it wasn't a punishment?

The review in the LRB pointed out that he basically justifies everything by his feeling 'afraid' of it; which I find somewhat worrying in a Prime Minister, myself.


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Old 11-03-2010, 12:49 PM   #394
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I'm reading Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil for the fifth time. I just can't put it down.


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Old 11-04-2010, 01:50 PM   #395
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Im actually reading prose voluntarily for the first time in years, havent had time to read anything besides school stuff. I borrowed Necronomicon (some sort of a complete works of H.P.Lovecraft) from the library and im kind of addicted to it.


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Old 11-05-2010, 03:24 AM   #396
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Star Wars The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance.



I am now curious to see this Darth Howl on the emperor's dark council. I'm in the middle so forgive me that this is not a complete summary.

So far this has been interesting. It is set some time later on when Satele Shan is a bit older and is a master of the Jedi council.

You have on the republic side: Satelle Shan's Padawan, and an elite trooper.

You have wildcards like the mandalorians and a scoundrel smuggler with his crew of un-reputable "scum and villainy". The Hutts of course are controlling a certain prize to their benefit. And this prize supposedly is such a big thing it might be dangerous enough to where the two sides have to coexist.

You have on the Empire's side: a Sith Apprentice determined to get back at the mandalorian who has goteen the better of her, and her master Darth Crattis (presumably that's him on the cover). Also an agent keeping an eye on things, who has infiltrated some of the highest seats in the republic as a politician. (Wow, who'd have thought? ) His role is probably the most complex and detailed.

The intrigue of the plot is probably one of the high points--it certainly has kept me coming back to keep reading more.

There are several main characters but no one 'star' of the whole story. Unlike The Phantom Menace, however, the details are fleshed out for all characters (unlike in a movie or the comics where just the main points are conveyed) and done so in a balanced manner. You can actually choose whichever character you want to follow--or so it seems. There is so much depth and development even in just the little bits and chunks so far only 10 chapters into it.


Quote:
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I'm reading Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil for the fifth time. I just can't put it down.
IMO The best part (besides the last fight between master and apprentice) was Bane going to Prakith to storm the pyramid of Darth Andeddu.

I also enjoyed that fight between the iktotchi huntress and Set Harth.


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Old 03-12-2011, 07:30 PM   #397
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The End of Mr. Y, by Scarlett Thomas
IF YOU KNEW A BOOK WAS CURSED, WOULD YOU READ IT? When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She's read about its author before, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, and this is his most notorious, and rarest, book. It is also believed to hold a curse. Anyone who's ever read it, including Lumas, has disappeared without trace. With Mr Y under her arm, Ariel is thrust into an adventure of faith, physics, love, death, and everything in between.

I think I saw this book when it came out, and I've come close to buying it several times, if only for the title. In the end I got it on Kindle for iTouch, chiefly because it was there and it was relatively modern.

I can't say a great deal about this, since I only just started reading it. It's a fairly lengthy book, and I'm very close to the beginning. So far it's quite amusing, but not a lot has happened to date. Although I was amused that the book begins with a building sinking into the ground. It's well-written so far.

The Young Visiters by Daisy Ashford
Mr Salteena and Ethel Monticue go up to town, where he becomes a Gentleman and she gets married. And people change their clothes a lot.

A brief novel by a nine-year-old girl, this book is brilliant if nothing else because it's so utterly childish. The spelling is off, the descriptions repetitive (most things are either costly or "sumpshous"), and the characters, like the book, belong to a world with an attention span of about 30 seconds. It's also very, very funny.



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Old 03-12-2011, 08:44 PM   #398
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth InSidious View Post
The End of Mr. Y, by Scarlett Thomas
IF YOU KNEW A BOOK WAS CURSED, WOULD YOU READ IT? When Ariel Manto uncovers a copy of The End of Mr Y in a second-hand bookshop, she can't believe her eyes. She's read about its author before, the outlandish Victorian scientist Thomas Lumas, and this is his most notorious, and rarest, book. It is also believed to hold a curse. Anyone who's ever read it, including Lumas, has disappeared without trace. With Mr Y under her arm, Ariel is thrust into an adventure of faith, physics, love, death, and everything in between.
A book about a book. Coincidentally, I just finished The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón a few weeks ago, which was about uncovering the secrets and fate of the author of the book The Shadow of the Wind. Which I enjoyed reading a lot.


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Old 03-12-2011, 08:51 PM   #399
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Getting into some Manchurian Candidate, for a couple reasons, the chief one being that the Cold War era (for those who want to argue what the 'era' is, I personally consider it the entire time between the end of World War 2, and about the year - or year before - the Soviet Union dissolved). Not very far in it, as I am not used to the pace the book is set to, which is somewhat slower than the generic action novels being produced at breakneck speeds by authors today. I finally got to the part where they are being conditioned by the scientists... which if you've read it is about 3 chapters in.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:12 AM   #400
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I haven't found a book I've enjoyed for a long time. The last one was Stone Cold by Robert Swindells. An OK book but it seems that the author strings it together in odd ways just to make a social commentary.

I've been reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu, but that's more research than leisurely reading.


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