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Old 03-29-2007, 11:03 AM   #41
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Another great sci-fi book worth reading is The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke, unless someone's already mentioned it...



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Old 03-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #42
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Oh, and Foundation by Asimov.


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Old 03-29-2007, 01:25 PM   #43
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Well, I've got (that is my father's got) a fairly big collection of SF novels, so I could go on and on with SF recommendations, but right now I'm just going to mention Wargames by David Bischoff. The lesson of this book would probably be something along the lines of ''don't stick your nose where it doesn't belong.''

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:19 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other Romanticists
I'd read Shelley!
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Much Ado About Nothing and Julius Ceasar (or other Shakespeare)
I'd do that.
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Pilgrim's Progress
Sorry, no can do. That book is so transparent it's uninteresting.

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The Dragonriders of Pern series
Seconded, though its educational value is somewhat nil.

Another novelette by Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood's End. Super depressing but rather philosophical.

Just for fun books - Piers Anthony's Xanth series.
However, another of his books, On a Pale Horse, is quite good on its own (and the only one of that series really worth reading IMO). It also deals with how people react to death, so I guess it's sorta philosophical too.


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Old 03-29-2007, 08:22 PM   #45
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Oh, and Foundation by Asimov.
The whole series while you're at it (Foundation & Empire, Second Foundation). All three are excellent books. Foundation's Edge is worth reading if you really want another sequel, but the way it turned out disappointed me. Foundation and Earth was fairly well-written too but didn't have a very good ending. The last two books just got too far away from the feel of the original three IMO. (Though Foundation's Edge did introduce some interesting new details on the second Foundation)

While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.

His son Brian Herbert wrote some pretty decent prequels I enjoyed, but they're not quite as good as his father's. And on a less positive note he wrote a sequel to the original Dune series, which was terrific up until the end where he shamelessly borrowed something from the prequels he'd written and thus butchered any possibility of the eight Dune book being more interesting than a piece of preteen fan fiction.


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Old 03-29-2007, 10:02 PM   #46
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Old 03-30-2007, 04:47 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.
Please, no! Maybe I have subhuman intelligence but I'm fairly sure that Dune is not written in normal English. Every time I sat down to read the blasted thing I had to adjust my understanding of the language.
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Old 03-30-2007, 09:31 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
While we're on the subject of science fiction, I'd recommend Frank Herbert's Dune and the five sequels to it. He's one of the few authors I know of who can write that many sequels to a novel and actually make each one better than the last. All six are nothing short of superb - definitely my favorite science fiction books. I also like the pacing the books have, too. The story takes places over the course of 15,000 or so years.
I second this recommendation, Frank Herbert's Dune is definitely the best SF novel ever written (and by saying Dune I mean the sequels too). It's a must for any fan of science fiction because it's a classic, a story that will never cease to be interesting and popular.
When it comes to prequels, I have read House Atreides, but House Harkonnen and House Corrino haven't been published here yet as far as I know. As for the new sequels, they, that is the one that was published, also still hasn't been published here, so I'll have to wait a while to read that.

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Old 03-30-2007, 09:02 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Pavlos
Please, no! Maybe I have subhuman intelligence but I'm fairly sure that Dune is not written in normal English.
Weird, that happened when I got a friend of mine to read it too. Seems only half the people who pick up Dune can finish it.

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Originally Posted by igyman
When it comes to prequels, I have read House Atreides, but House Harkonnen and House Corrino haven't been published here yet as far as I know. As for the new sequels, they, that is the one that was published, also still hasn't been published here, so I'll have to wait a while to read that.
The Legends of Dune series (The Butlerian Jihad, the Machine Crusade and The Battle of Corrin) are more well-known as the prequels. They might be published in Serbia. They've been out for a while now.

Hunters of Dune was a fantastic book up until the ending. The authors butchered it right there.


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Old 03-30-2007, 10:30 PM   #50
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Given the recent interest in vampires and stuff (thanks stoffe xD), I'd recommend Twilight and its sequel New Moon, written by Stephenie Meyer. They're both excellent reads about a family of vampires trying to survive in the modern day world. As they are, both books are love stories, though Twilight has the heavier emphasis on romance while New Moon is more action-oriented. They both have that quality that just seems to draw you into reading, or at least they did for me, as I finished each one within a day of starting it.




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Old 03-31-2007, 12:45 AM   #51
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Devon, I've read Atlas Shrugged, and I have to say...Ayn Rand is undoubtedly the worst writer of the 20th century. Good idea for a story, absoloutely terrible execution and story-telling. I have all her other books but I'm pretty sure I'd rather remove my eyes with a sharp instrument than read another one of her books.
Hehehe...
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Personal taste I guess. I found Ayn Rand's writing style and the philosophies she presented to be very interesting and very different from what I usually read. Not at all like Marx.
I would hope so. Rand was about as anti-Marxist as anyone could get. Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.

I am however, sorry, EmpDev, but I have to agree with Fish.Stapler. Atlas Shrugged is a wonderful story that is absolutely ruined by Rand's out-of-control metaphorical meanderings. It's a truly excruciating read. Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10. I'm on or around page 750 and can go no further for now. I'll finish it -someday.
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Any poetry by the Brownings, Keats, Shelley, other Romanticists
Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.


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Old 03-31-2007, 01:30 AM   #52
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If you're talking adventure stories, then, add in any of Clancy's novels that involve Jack Ryan or Grisham's more adventure-based novels. His book "The Brethren" is just plain wicked.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 03-31-2007, 01:56 AM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
Add Coleridge to that list. He's my favorite. Has anyone ever read The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Christabel? I enthusiastically recommend both.
Ancient Mariner was required reading in HS. I agree that it is a very good read.

Speaking of required reading that worth reading again, how about Milton's Paradise Lost?
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Old 03-31-2007, 04:59 PM   #54
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Douglas Adams The Hitchikers 5 book trilogy are great books.

1. The Hitchikers Guide to the galaxy.

2. The Restaurant at the End of the Universe

3.Life, the Universe and Everything

4.So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

and 5. Mostly Harmless

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Old 04-01-2007, 12:43 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qliveur
Her anti-socialist arguments as expressed in Atlas Shrugged are compelling, as well as correct, IMO.
Far from it. The economic anarchy she advocates would never work. You can't simply turn the gov't into nothing more than a police force and let corporations grab all the power they can get. Not to mention how disastrous having no public works at all would be.

The philosophical parts of Objectivism I disagree with just as much. Selfishness is not a virtue and kindness is not a sin.

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Rand was undoubtedly brilliant, but it took her 100 words to say what Orwell could in 10.
Definitely. That was one of my favorite things about the book.

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Douglas Adams The Hitchikers 5 book trilogy are great books.
Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books.


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Old 04-01-2007, 03:01 AM   #56
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Quote:
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The philosophical parts of Objectivism I disagree with just as much.
I guess that I should have stated that while I agree with her anti-socialist views, I do not agree with her Objectivist philosophy, which seems to be the extreme opposite of socialism. My bad.
Quote:
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Selfishness is not a virtue and kindness is not a sin.
Agreed. One must be extremely careful with kindness, however, because it can be a real liability when dealing with unscrupulous types. This may sound harsh, but kindness should be reserved for those who deserve it, not those who exploit it.
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Speaking of required reading that worth reading again, how about Milton's Paradise Lost?
Seconded!


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Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:09 AM   #57
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How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-01-2007, 03:47 AM   #58
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I guess that I should have stated that while I agree with her anti-socialist views, I do not agree with her Objectivist philosophy, which seems to be the extreme opposite of socialism. My bad.
Ah, that's a relief. You had me worried you were a real Objectivist there for a second.

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Originally Posted by Qliveur
This may sound harsh, but kindness should be reserved for those who deserve it, not those who exploit it.
I agree. Exploiting kindness goes completely against the nature of it; in my opinion it's just as bed as petty thievery.

Ayn Rand, though, advocates thinking about yourself and yourself only. The idea of organized charities, financial support for those in need, or simply giving someone a helping hand goes completely against what Objectivism stands for.

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Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.
Excellent idea. It's been a few years since I read Inferno, though I've not yet tried out Paradise Lost. It could make for some good discussion.

If anyone's interested, here's the complete text of the Inferno. It's excellent stuff.


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Old 04-01-2007, 06:48 AM   #59
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How do you guys feel about a Paradise Lost/Dante's Inferno compare and contrast thing? Obviously that would take us longer, but i think it might be an interesting discussion.
Alright, I'm up for that.
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Old 04-01-2007, 07:59 AM   #60
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just done reading a great book Darth bane path of destruction it was a great story right up the the last page


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Old 04-01-2007, 04:00 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Albeit very simple ones. I prefer more serious/educational/advanced books.
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read .

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:16 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED. Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel. Yes, I do derive pleasure from the thought that the author may have meant more than the literal with his use of metaphor or simile but I don't believe that is the only reason a person should read .

I'm about to commit the ultimate sin for one looking to join an online book club but: I enjoy reading Harry Potter, travel books by Bill Bryson and so forth - unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
Even though I hate Those Books for their sickly-sweet icky saccharine innocence, QFT/E.



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Old 04-01-2007, 04:56 PM   #63
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Quote:
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You're limiting your reading experience by sticking to "advanced books," ED.
Perhaps I wasn't clear enough I used that term. By 'advanced' I meant something moreso than, say, a book meant for high schoolers (HGG in this case). Plot-wise, concept-wise and in pretty much all respects they're fairly simple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
Not all books exist to educate, or provide some sort of moral insight into the world. Pure entertainment is often an excellent reason to read a novel.
Education and moral insights are pure entertainment to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlos
unless I've missed something, I don't think Harry Potter has something to say about the state of society. It is entertainment; that is why it works.
It has some messages if you look, (albeit simple ones) mainly being loyal to friends, standing up for yourself, not always going with the herd, etc. It's not very common to find a book that has no type of underlying idea or reasons for why that idea is a good one.


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Old 04-04-2007, 01:31 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Education and moral insights are pure entertainment to me.
Then where's your sense of adventure man?

Jae the idea with Infero and Paradise Lost is a good idea. I have read the Inferno and have taunted mach to name the quote, particularly the line about what is written over the gates of hell. The Inferno I thought was interesting in regards to the ranking of sin. It reflects on how we rank crime today if you think about it. The worst crime is usually murder and treason and in the modern world, we have the harshest punishment for capital murder and treason...death. I haven't read Paradise Lost so that is one more on my ever growing reading list.

On another note, I have been reading my research materials again since I will be presenting some time in May and I came across my book Tales of the Plumed Serpent. For those who like tales of other cultures then this is a good book. It has all the tales of Mesoamerica and the Peruvian Incas that have been recovered through oral tradition and codices, the picture books. My personal favorites are the Tales of the creation, especially The Fifth Sun and The Birth of Huitzilopochtli. The reason I could tell you these stories is because they relate to my research...Aztec Human sacrifice. yes these are Aztecan tales but the book also has Mayan, Olmec and Inca. Easy to read along with insights of specific culture things like the calendar round. Good book.

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Old 04-04-2007, 02:06 PM   #65
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@ED: That's the beauty of the Guide - it has no didactic undertones, no hidden messages, no further meanings. It's refreshingly simplistic, I find

In a similar vein, and @everyone, The Diary of a Nobody is well, well worth reading. I would in fact go so far as to say that it's absolutely brilliant, in fact.

David Rohl's A Test of Time is an interesting alternative timeline for those with an egyptological interest, though it should be brought into consideration that David's theories make a mess of Hittite history, and should not be taken as the whole truth.

Island of the Blessed by Harry Thurston is a fascinating look at the Egyptian oasis of Dakhla, and very easy to read.

Finally, I would recommend to all Christians, Catholics included, certainly, and to all interested in Christianity generall, Mere Catholicism by Fr. Ian Ker, who is, co-incidentally, the leading authority on John Henry Newman. This slim volume really is well worth reading.



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Old 04-04-2007, 06:57 PM   #66
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Quote:
@ED: That's the beauty of the Guide - it has no didactic undertones, no hidden messages, no further meanings. It's refreshingly simplistic, I find
Well, there was a lot of hidden messages within the Guide. The absurdity of it all made fun of real science fiction stories that have meaning behind it. It claims people read stories for fun, not to learn life's lesson, and it was a very damning critique of the seriousness of sci-fi stories.

That is a very hidden meaning, a secret message.


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"The Cambodian government has established many exciting-sounding 're-education camps' where both intellectuals and everyday citizens can be sent at any time," Day said. Well, we at Barnes & Noble have always supported re-education in America, and we intend to extend this policy to our new customers." For every hardcover book sold, Barnes & Noble will donate a dollar to the Cambodian government to help re-educate local children.
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Old 04-05-2007, 01:21 AM   #67
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Mere Christianity by CS Lewis is terrific. His Chronicles of Narnia are good books, too.

Seems like a number of us are interested in The Inferno and Paradise Lost. Anyone have an preferences on which one to do first? I figured we could do one at a time and discuss each seperately, and then have a bit of discussion on compare/contrast.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:04 PM   #68
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I would very much enjoy the discussions we could have here. I also think that most, if not all, of the books mentioned here are valid ideas for future reading (or re-reading, as the case may be).

I concur with the idea of a Dante/Milton read.
If this is was intended to start in April, then we should get started soon, hmm?

And if we want to be chronological, then Paradise Lost would seem to be the place to start.

I'll wait for the go-ahead.

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Old 04-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #69
Jae Onasi
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Getting started on that is fine by me.
Other pairings I thought might be interesting after we finish these first 2 books:
Achilles' suggestion of Beyond Oil along with Gore's An Inconvenient Truth
Obama's The Audacity of Hope with O'Reilly's Culture Warrior


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Old 04-05-2007, 09:20 PM   #70
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ugh...O'Reilly?! I'll do it, but you have to promise no Ann Coulter, ever (!!!).
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Old 04-05-2007, 09:26 PM   #71
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Ugh. Ann Coulter drives me up a wall. Only Rush is worse. I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-05-2007, 11:54 PM   #72
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@Jae: I was going to reply to your Milton/Dante suggestion a couple of days ago, but I forgot. Anywho, I'm all for it. There are some sharp minds here and a fresh perspective or two would be welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Ugh. Ann Coulter drives me up a wall. Only Rush is worse. I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones.
Not to mention the fact that she could use about three Big Macs a day, each with fries and a shake. I can't decide whether to call her "Right-Wing Barbie," or "Anorexic Barbie." The fact that she dresses provacatively doesn't help, either, as it only accentuates her gauntness. She really needs to eat something.


"They should rename the team to the Washington Government Sucks. Put Obama on the helmet. Line the entire walls of the stadium with the actual text of the ACA.
Fix their home team score on the board to the debt clock, they can win every game 17,000,000,000,000 to 24. Losing team gets taxed by the IRS 100%, then droned."
-Toker

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Old 04-06-2007, 02:05 AM   #73
Jae Onasi
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I think she may have had cancer at one point and had chemo/radiation for it, which would explain her gaunt look. Even after treatments it can take awhile for someone to bounce back to a more normal weight.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-06-2007, 03:29 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
I dislike ultra-conservative harpies just as much as ultra-liberal ones.
Err...what do you consider O'Reilly then? Calling oneself fair and balanced does not make it true.
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Old 04-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #75
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Are we going to make a plan or a structure for reading?

I would very much dislike spoiling something for someone who is reading at a different pace, or on the same note, someone doing the same to me.

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Old 04-06-2007, 09:56 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Err...what do you consider O'Reilly then? Calling oneself fair and balanced does not make it true.
He's conservative, just not nutsoid like Anne or Rush. I thought his conservatism would make an interesting counterpoint to Obama's liberal views (which I don't necessarily consider ultra-liberal, either.). I was hoping to find something somewhat less polarized than Hannity and Colmes.

If we wait a couple months, hopefully Obama's book will be out in paperback so it'll be less expensive if people want to buy it.

Dante's Inferno--there are any number of translations. Let me know if anyone has a particular version in mind, otherwise any version should be fine.


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-18-2007, 12:27 PM   #77
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Is the consensus to read Paradise Lost first, then? If so, how much time do you all need to read it before we start the discussion? I can read very quickly, but most people don't read as fast as I do, and I didn't want to make a due date too short. Does 3 weeks sound like adequate time or do some people need more time?


From MST3K's spoof of "Hercules Unchained"--heard as Roman medic soldiers carry off an unconscious Greek Hercules on a 1950's Army green canvas stretcher: "Hi, we're IX-I-I. Did somebody dial IX-I-I?"

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Old 04-18-2007, 01:35 PM   #78
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Sounds good. i have to head to the library to get it since I have no copy of my own.

For some food for thought, I recently starting rereading Stephen Jay Gould's The Mismeasure of Man. It delves into some of the justifications, albeit ridiculous ones, of race such as Broca's hypothesis that smart people's brains weigh more and are more convoluted. Another is on Sam Morton's measuring of the cranium cavity with buckshot. It goes into Yerkes and the so called IQ tests. Good read and certainly a lot of laughs at least on my part.

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Old 04-18-2007, 11:13 PM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Is the consensus to read Paradise Lost first, then? If so, how much time do you all need to read it before we start the discussion? I can read very quickly, but most people don't read as fast as I do, and I didn't want to make a due date too short. Does 3 weeks sound like adequate time or do some people need more time?
I think that that should be good, at least on my end.

Do you think that the members who are most definitely participating in this should post and actually commit? Because I think that if we get into this and then it is two or three of us it might get boring. Maybe make a tentative master list and say that anyone who is interested may join?

Dates are a little... iffy because of the time zones. Did we decide on May 9th? (EST)

_EW_



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Old 09-15-2007, 07:05 PM   #80
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I thought we should resurrect this thread - it's a nice idea and I don't think it ever really got off to a good start. Rather than starting with Paradise Lost and The Inferno - both of which, I feel, are a little extravagant for internet debate - why don't we have our first book as being something more approachable?

So we have to come to some sort of consensus as to what book we're going to pick to discuss. I recommend Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick - it's simply written but it leaves ideas and thoughts bouncing around the inside of your head (like a lot of K. Dick's stuff); I mean, what is human? Anyway, I think we should gather some preferences and then we can vote on them - listing them in preference so... an example might be:

1. Hamlet
2. Frankenstein
3. Great Expectations
4. The Life of Pi

We tally up the positions each book gets and the book with the lowest count (that has been placed near the top of the list the most) goes first, then the second lowest, and so on. Sound good?


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