The General Book Thread

Max Takeshi

Great Teacher
Doing well with Spice and Wolf: Volume 2.

The series is an engaging read, and this one more so than the first book... but I think that's down to the fact that the second story with Norah and the gold smuggling is more engaging.

The build up is better than the manga (haven't seen the anime, so can't compare), really allowing the desperation of Lawrence to show. The city, too, also feels more alive.
 

-Danielle-

Death Scythe
Eugh, you guys can't even begin to know the book slump I was in over at Neo. I have now finally purchased 2 books I'm looking forward to reading.

The Silver Linings Playbook and Me Before You.

I've seen the film version of the former first and laughed and cried at it so I immediately wanted to book for more details. As for the latter, it was genuinely recommended on Amazon after I added the other to my cart. My cousin read it and loved it so I thought why not :)

Still wanting to get something by Chuck Palanuik (sp?) but I just can't get into the mindframe/mood for that sort of book yet sadly.
 

ilmaestro

State Alchemist
Been reading the Mistborn series by that Brandon Sanderson guy, very enjoyable. Vin's moe level is quite high. Apart from that, I thought about starting Guin Saga, but, you know, lol that sounds like a bad idea. Have continued to read Sasami-san@Ganbaranai instead. Moe levels also obviously off the charts.
 

Tigle

Brigade Leader
Phillip Zimbado- the lucifer effect. A very good read in to what makes what we consider normal every day people do horrible things in life, and how social conditioning is a very powerful tool.
 

Amon81

Student Council President
I've recently been rewatching Legend of the seeker, so I've just put the first couple of books on my mp3 player to listen to at work.
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Just Finished A Game of Thrones. As much as I enjoyed the first season of the TV show, I think the book is much better. Just able to get so much more of the details and, if I'm honest, it makes it a lot easier to remember all the characters and connections. I actually found myself caring a bit more for characters from the book than I did the show (Sandor Clegane for one). I've not seen any of the show since the first season so will be going into the 2nd book completely blind this time, but won't be reading that for a bit as up next I'm doing The Hunger Games Trilogy.
 

Rivaan

Completely Average High School Student
Currently reading Sword of Shannara, by Terry Brooks. I've read the first three Shannara books before, but now have them as ebooks. I plan to read through the entire collection, so I decided to start from the beginning.
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Finished The Hunger Games last night. Absolutely flew through it, at least compared to A Game of Thrones (but one is a sprint and the other a marathon, two entirely different beasts). It's a very brisk and easy read, but that's not to say it doesn't hold your attention, it's actually so quick and easy because it does that. You eagerly want to get to the next part and find out what happens (even if, like I, you've already seen the film). I preferred the book to the film as it allowed for more detail on things that I thought was lacking in the book (the roles of the Districts, the structure and history of Panem, reminding us that Gale exists outside of the first 5 minutes!). In contrast though, I felt that some of the details given felt tacked on and only mentioned when it was suddenly relevant to move the plot forward (kind of like an "oh, by the way..." moment). I found some things to be extremely silly too, like the origin of the Mockingjay or the "mutts" having human like traits...At first anyway, when they reveal that they're actually the deceased tributes it's interesting but still seems a bit silly and wanting to be "twisty". The relationship between Katniss/Peeta/Gale is done a lot better, as I said earlier, you're reminded of Gale throughout whereas when I saw the film I, and Katniss, seemed to forget about him for the rest of the story. I really liked that Katniss and Peeta's relationship is actually very up in the air at the end. She's still not sure and now he's doubting her too. At the end they might actually be further away from where they even started. I actually thought Katniss was a little smug and self centred quite often in the book. She seems to think about everything only from the perspective of relating to her and doesn't always consider the feelings of others. I think she's at her absolute worst when she imagines that the cameras are watching her that very second and so she better give them a smile so that she looks cool and strong. She literally thinks the world revolves around her and that everyone is watching and talking about her. Now, I suppose one can look into that as possibly being a commentary on how from a very young age these days kids are extremely savvy and self aware when it comes to dealing with the media. People will do things deliberately when they know they're being filmed or will film things themselves so that their actions can be seen around the world, and it kinda ties in with the general thought that all teens do think they're the centre of the universe and everything revolves around them. At the end of course things are seen to have all been about her...but only because she won. If another tribute had won then it would've been all about them and none of Katniss' looks or smiles would've been remembered, only the few seconds of her death in replay.

I probably shouldn't be too hard on it, it's a YA book. It's not supposed to be densely and delicately plotted, or have particularly deep characters. It's supposed to be a fun read that keeps things going at good pace. And it is! I did enjoy reading it, even if it doesn't sound like it, and I'm going to start Catching Fire tonight because I really want to know what happens next.
 
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Rivaan

Completely Average High School Student
As well as Sword of Shannara, mentioned above, I am reading Beginning Visual C# 2010. Only read 26 pages, but it's very enjoyable so far. :)
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
When I first watched The Hunger Games I thought to myself during it that they would try and escape the arena and start running from and fighting the Capitol. Well, I was wrong at that point but having now read Catching Fire it turns out I was right, but just a little early. And while reading this I totally called Plutarch and the Mockingjay rebels from the moment he appeared.

While I enjoyed it, it does kinda feel like an "inbetween" book and seems like retreading some of the same stuff from the first one. I thought the touring was actually going to take up a large part of the story, that we were going to have them in all the different districts and meeting with past winners from there, but that was quickly brushed away and it was clear we were heading for another set of games. I thought the smart thing to do would've been to have Haymitch go in with Katniss that way you could explore him killing people he really knows and he could actually be killed off during it. But it was Katniss and Peeta...again. The second they brought up the forcefields though, and that Haymitch had looked for an end to the arena before meant it was fairly obvious that they'd be trying to escape this time.

I look forward to seeing what Mockinjay will now bring and how this is all going to end.
 
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Kite

Magical Girl
Finished the book of billy connolly's route 66 series.

It was a good read, but like the long way around/down books the ending goes on a faster pace.

Also last night I read the "James May's Man Lab" book which came out for the first series, good read to pass the time sitting behind an empty bar.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
20thCenturyBoy said:
When I first watched The Hunger Games I thought to myself during it that they would try and escape the arena and start running from and fighting the Capitol. Well, I was wrong at that point but having now read Catching Fire it turns out I was right, but just a little early. And while reading this I totally called Plutarch and the Mockingjay rebels from the moment he appeared.

While I enjoyed it, it does kinda feel like an "inbetween" book and seems like retreading some of the same stuff from the first one. I thought the touring was actually going to take up a large part of the story, that we were going to have them in all the different districts and meeting with past winners from there, but that was quickly brushed away and it was clear we were heading for another set of games. I thought the smart thing to do would've been to have Haymitch go in with Katniss that way you could explore him killing people he really knows and he could actually be killed off during it. But it was Katniss and Peeta...again. The second they brought up the forcefields though, and that Haymitch had looked for an end to the arena before meant it was fairly obvious that they'd be trying to escape this time.

I look forward to seeing what Mockinjay will now bring and how this is all going to end.
I really wanted the Catching Fire games to be with Haymitch and Katniss. Frankly, I didn't really give a damn about Peeta (or Gale). Also, Haymitch dying would have actually been a way to give him a happy ending.
 
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20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Joshawott said:
Also, Haymitch dying would have actually been a way to give him a happy ending.
Hmm, now I'm thinking of what horrible ways he might be dealt with as I begin to make my way through Mockingjay. But yeah, I think
Haymitch/Katniss would've worked a lot better for the Quell, especially since it would've tied into his own previous attempts to escape, that Peeta could've then been protected (but still taken by the Capitol as he would've been well within their reach as a mentor in the Capitol whilst the games are happening) and allowed Haymitch a final bit of "redemption" almost for being a bit of a dick at times
.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
20thCenturyBoy said:
Joshawott said:
Also, Haymitch dying would have actually been a way to give him a happy ending.
Hmm, now I'm thinking of what horrible ways he might be dealt with as I begin to make my way through Mockingjay. But yeah, I think
Haymitch/Katniss would've worked a lot better for the Quell, especially since it would've tied into his own previous attempts to escape, that Peeta could've then been protected (but still taken by the Capitol as he would've been well within their reach as a mentor in the Capitol whilst the games are happening) and allowed Haymitch a final bit of "redemption" almost for being a bit of a dick at times
.
It certainly would have created an interesting dynamic seeing Peeta take on a mentoring role, especially as Haymitch was actually pretty open about favouring Katniss in the first Games. Like maybe Haymitch could have been killed because Peeta was too focused on getting provisions and such for Katniss, which would earn him a lot of hate from Katniss, then be revealed to have been Haymitch's plan all along or something. Or maybe the Capitol getting an idea of what is about to happen and taking Peeta hostage, leaving Katniss and Haymitch to fend for themselves.
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Agreed. There were a lot more opportunities to do something more and different, but as happens too often it was a case of "safety first sequel".
 

20thCenturyBoy

Thousand Master
Mockingjay is just a steaming pile of crap.

Like, seriously bad.

I hate the fact that the majority of it is spent in 13, making the plot as grey and lifeless as the place itself. People are killed off quite randomly, and it happens practically off page a lot of the time: Katniss turns around and, oh look, Finnick is dead...let's move on. He's not even given a noble death, she just turns around to see him eaten by lizard things and that's it, not really any time spent mourning this character they've given us for near enough two books. Then Prim dies, because that was totally worth it in the end, wasn't it?. Probably the most galling thing of all was when the entire overthrow of the capitol and capture of Snow happened OFF PAGE!

No, seriously. This is what you've been building to this entire time and then it's just cut away from?! Horrible, horrible writing.

I came out of this pretty much hating every character (with the exception of Peeta, the only one who ever speaks any sense and is there to do any good. The only rational amongst a house full of crazies. Though, the plot tries its best to ruin him too). Katniss is just a terrible, self centred, narcissistic, obnoxious egomaniac. A completely dislikeable main character. That's fine when people are supposed to be but we're clearly meant to feel for her and support her, which I think is just wrong.

I seriously hope the films change a lot of what's to come.
 
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Kite

Magical Girl
Last book I finished tonight was danny Wallace's friends like these

Passed the time.

Next up is Charley boormans book he did when he travelled across Canada
 

-Danielle-

Death Scythe
I've been reading Me Before You. I'm liking it but not gettin frequent chances to read it properly although reading on the plane next week will fix that. I have a feeling I might cry at it as it's a lovely interesting read so far :)
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Re:

vashdaman said:
It was from this website http://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/publications ... rsMain.htm if anyones intersted. Seem to be quite a few interesting pieces that are free to read.
Trawling through this excellent site again. I need to do a presentation on (ideally something contentious about) Japan (tomorrow! I'm beyond awful). I was initially going to try and give it on the whole "fictional depiction of under-age pornography, should it be legal?" thing that's always a hot topic. But had second thoughts, and wasn't really in the mood for dealing with such a topic. I'm now thinking I want to do maybe something about Japanese Christianity or Buddhism. And this website is an absolutely invaluable for info on anything involving Japanese religion, thanks to access to the various excellent journals. It might be harder to find some other sources to reference though, depending on exactly what topic I settle on. Wish me luck, I'll need it.
 
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