I reread Lord of the Rings after buying a special edition from Barnes and Noble. How would you rate the last book you read?
I finished The Gunslinger, which I wouldn't give more than 3/5. Its kinda dull frankly, until the last 30 pages that made me really excited with its really crazy concepts. I started The Drawing of the Three though and 200 pages in I already like it more than the entire Gunslinger, so its all good.
Before that I read Blindsight by Peter Watts, which I loved. 4/5.
A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin - 4/5
I can see how some people may have been put off by this one. Especially after A Storm of Swords was so action packed and was(to me) the best in the series up to that point. AFfC is the shortest of the books and the slowest in terms of plot progression. I liked this however. It served as a good cool down from the climactic acts of ASoS, but by its end established that things in Westeros are going to get far worse before they get any better. It got me hype.
My favorite parts were the adventures of Brienne and Pod in the war ravaged Riverlands. Jaime's growing disillusionment towards Cersei and courtly life was interesting too. Hell, even the tedious Dorne and Samwell subplots I found intriguing. I'm reading A Dance with Dragons now. It's a bit weird having to backtracking to stuff on The Wall and in the East when I just want to know what happens next.
The Diary of a Young Girl - Anne Frank
It felt very intrusive at times, especially knowing Otto Frank had chosen to omit some of the parts about her sexuality when he first published it, and it is hard to know how much has been altered in translation. Those contextual qualms aside, it is a wonderful diary to read, not just from a historical perspective but reflecting but on herself as a teenager and becoming aware of the world around her. Most people have likely read it but I very much recommend it! 5/5
Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl - Carrie Brownstein
Another book that comes to mind that I read last month and has stuck with me. I am a big Sleater Kinney fan, and interested in the riot grrl scene, so the reflections Carrie had on those parts were great to read. What I loved the most though was Carrie's writing style, I read it in one sitting simply because the memoir flowed so well and kept me hooked. My favourite book I read last year for sure. 5/5
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
I would recommend this to pretty much anyone who likes reading. It has a reputation for being difficult, but I found I couldn't put the book down. It's definitely the saddest book that I have ever read, but also one of my favorites now.
The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson. 4/5. Don't really have that much to say about it though, so I'll add the book I read before that as well.
The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson. 5/5. His 6th book in the Mistborn series, and the third in the industrial revolution era cycle. Sanderson is a fantastic and incredibly consistent writer in general, and Mistborn is arguably the most consistent and solid thing he's got going, not to mention rather groundbreaking. I'm not aware of another fantasy author who's taken his fantasy world from medieval period to industrial period, much less one that plans to do an 80s era and then turn it into a space opera eventually to cap it off. It's always got great action, likable characters, enough moral quandaries to chew on, and consistently doles out new and startling revelations about the world, its secret history, and how the magical elements actually work behind the scenes. Can't recommend it enough.
Is this strictly fiction? If not, then "The Algorithm Design Manual" by Steven Skiena. It's somewhere midway between a beginner's guide to algorithm and an algorithm reference manual. Started reading it to bone up on concepts for job interviews. Didn't understand much of it, but that it probably because I read too quickly. Needs time to be studied and processed. Dynamic Programming in particular is a subject that goes ever my head no matter how often I read about it.
Old Man's War by John Scalzi
I thought it was ok, but I feel like there was a way deeper, more thought provoking story that could have been told with that concept. Maybe he gets into it more in the later books in that universe.
I also just started reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon.
Finished Lemmy's autobiography, "White Line Fever," last week. I really enjoyed it. If I wasn't laughing out loud, I had a stupid grin on my face most of the time. It gives an interesting look into one of metal's most iconic figures and the history of his band. It's a shame I didn't read this before his passing late last year. 5/5
Currently reading Scott Ian's autobiography, "I'm the Man."
The last book I read (last month) was Fahrenheit 451. Like most literary significant books from the 20th century, it took me about 50 pages or so to get into it, but once I did I liked it. So, I guess I'd give it 5/5. There was nothing I outright disliked about it and (like 1984) is gave me an important perspective on our own modern society. Right now I'm halfway through the first Dark Tower book The Gunslinger.
Just read "The Martian". I haven't seen the movie yet. Book was good, 4/5. My rating shouldn't mean much, as this was the first fiction I've read in probably 6 or 7 years. I don't generally enjoy reading fiction but thought this was quite good. I want to find more books like that. It felt like sci-fi grounded in reality. I'd read more fiction about space travel that doesn't have straight up magic tech.
I just started "Metro 2033" solely because I love the games and figured it would be easy to jump into since I'm familiar with its world. It's weird stepping back into fiction, so I'm taking baby steps. I'll check back in when I'm done.
Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicine by Roy Porter. Concise and readable, but sometimes a little list like. At times it has the feeling of this happened (year) then this happened (year) and so on, where really good history gets a bit more personal and has fun with the details and puts them in a useful context. Overall, does the job, decent read, mostly satisfied my interest.
Salem's Lot - 4/5: It has a really strong start and middle, but it's ending doesn't meet expectations. I really like the King sticks to the old-school vampire lore and rules while still making a compelling story. It's loosely, but not really, tied to Jerusalem's Lot(short story by King). I really wish he tied it more with that some how, but that's alright. The short story actually came as part of the Kindle version of Salem, so that was cool
A Monster Calls - 5/5: I picked this up as a pallet cleanser of sorts. Salem's Lot took me a few weeks to read, so I wanted something I could burn through in under a week. This met that mark and exceeded by expectations by just being a fantastic book. I highly recommend it if you are looking for something short, but will still pack a punch.
I am now reading through It. I am really enjoying it, but I fucked up by not looking at the length(A little over 1300 pages!). I try to read between 30 mins to an hour a night, so I will be working on this for weeks to come.
Bands of Mourning (Mistborn series) by Brandon Sanderson: 5/5. I am a Brandon Sanderson fanboy, and books like this are why. This might have been my favorite book of his in a while. Completely agree with what @davidh219 said about it.
The Black Prism by Brent Weeks: 3/5. Pretty good, but not quite great. I still have hopes for this series, so I'll read the next one in it sooner or later.
The last book I read was Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. I'd give it a 4 out of 5.
It's all about the establishment of an overseeing government agency in San Francisco after a terrorist attack and a group of people who fight back against the restrictions on freedom and personal liberty (POLICE STATE). My favorite part of the book is how in-depth it goes into computer security and subverting online observation, explaining things thoroughly but being easily understood at the same time. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, or a couple of the characters, but it's a pretty well-written example of a potential future of government control.
I haven't finished it yet, but after the Tested guys kept talking about I've been moving through Seveneves, Neal Stephenson's latest novel. Holy shit this thing is crazy. Easiest way to describe it is The Martian on steroids mixed with Asimov's The Foundation. The science talk in it is dense, like really dense. I'm glad I have a very strong grasp on orbital mechanics and find it interesting, because this book focuses on it in a big way. The bit I wasn't expecting is it's dark. Like really dark. I've never felt so crushed reading a book as I did at the start of the second part. It's for a reason the reader knows is coming, and it's still brutal because of how Stephenson depicts it. If you like hard sci fi stuff, this is about as hard as it gets to my knowledge. So far 5/5, but I'm worried that the ending may not hold up to the earlier story, so there is still some room to drop a point.
Ready Player One was the last book I read. Parts were fun and it was an entertaining escape but the characters seemed juvenile and were poorly written. Reminded me of the types of books I read in middle school.
Now I'm reading old X-Men. Currently on the "dark phoenix saga" storyline. It's fantastic.
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