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#1 2014-05-10 12:19:32

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

What do you read?

Although I am a Linux hobbyist, I have never intended to make career out of IT. My first loves are literature and horror fiction, and my greatest inclination is to become an English/Literature instructor preferably at the college level. The most inspiring teacher I ever had taught me English composition at my local community college. I had a 7:00 A.M class, and I would arrive early to speak with him every morning. He was intelligent, encouraging, and willing to converse with me and answer all of my questions. Also, just to chit-chat and share differing viewpoints, etc. I'm always in awe of my professors at the university I attend, though many of them will state outright that they are not there to be your friends. This guy was friendly with me and it counted. Whenever I consider why I want to do what I want to do, he is the first person that comes to mind. This is also why I would rather work at a community college as opposed to a university. Research is fine and all, and I certainly appreciate those who do it, but I want to work more closely with the students, cultivate interest in the subject, and be an inspiration to others such as Mr. Shafer was to myself.

In any case, that's enough about me. I know most of you guys live busy lives, but surely you get the opportunity to read a book every once in a while? And if so, what kind of book do you prefer?

One of my favorite writers by far is Alexandre Dumas, known for The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, and many other pieces of historical fiction. I love Dostoevsky. Picked up "Rasskazy: New Fiction from a New Russia" just the other day. As far as the classics are concerned, I dig just about everything. Voltaire? Check!  big_smile

Aside from lit, I am in love with horror (as mentioned above). I subscribe to Cemetery Dance and Shock Totem magazines, and have about 150 ebooks on my Nook. As far as actual paper-books are concerned, about forty or fifty. Robert McCammon is one of my favorite writers. Jack Ketchum, Graham Masterton, Brian Keene, and Tim Lebbon are rather good.

One I just recently discovered is Lee Thompson. Fantastic and stirring poetical writing. He has a story published on his site I HIGHLY recommend. Even if you do not like horror, you should give it a read. It's not horror as you might think of it. It's psychological. It involves autism. And it will make you tear up. And just soo beautifully written: http://www.leethompsonfiction.com/?page_id=2263

In any case, what do you guys read?

Last edited by jdonaghy (2014-05-10 12:21:05)


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#2 2014-05-10 12:46:59

Alad
Software Satan
Registered: 2014-02-20
Posts: 1,512

Re: What do you read?

Right now I read lots of SPAM posts.  8.(

On a more serious note, I too enjoy psychological/horror themes. One of my favourite English writers is Emily Brontë, not only for her novels we all know and love, but her poems as well. I'll definitely take a look at the story you linked.

You could name many more famous names, but "no-name" literature (i.e. hobby writers) can be just as good in my opinion. The style may not always be up there, but the ideas certainly are.

Last edited by Alad (2014-05-10 12:47:42)

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#3 2014-05-10 15:11:28

twoion
Emerald Caffeine
From: 星界
Registered: 2012-05-11
Posts: 1,648

Re: What do you read?

jdonaghy wrote:

In any case, that's enough about me. I know most of you guys live busy lives, but surely you get the opportunity to read a book every once in a while? And if so, what kind of book do you prefer?

I prefer good books; which means I don't have a preference but high standards. Obviously, standards that apply to fiction are different from the set of standards that apply to a good science, philosophy or every other book. It's rather difficult for me to answer your question as I wouldn't want to limit myself in my selection of books, but I'll use your stated preference for literary works (as opposed to any other types of books) in my attempt to answer.

I prefer complex, difficult and engaging books; I regard reading literary work as a mental exercise where I try to comprehend and expand as many of the abstract concepts the author is conferring as pos, sible – thought provoking, one might say. I detest shallow storytelling which unfortunately constitutes the contents of most of contemporary literary work, I hate it and read books of people who are already dead (or, in several cases, commited suicide, a fact which in the context of this sentence might suggest that this was due to the effects that ignorant literature had on them – a funny thought). Another fundamental preference of mine is that I  read the original texts, no translations (if possible).

My favourite English-language books are those of David F. Wallace, Infinite Jest and Broom of the System, and Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow (I'm not an English native speaker). I also enjoy Shakespeare very much as well as Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (maybe a sentimental attachment). Orwell. Wilde. In German, I love Robert Musil's The Man Without Properties ("Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften"), Thomas Mann's Dr. Faustus, Hermann Hesse's Das Glasperlenspiel (superb author altogether), all the other works of these authors and thousands of other books (too many have been read). Nietzsche (Also sprach Zarathustra <- favourite), Kant (Kritik der reinen Vernunft, Zum ewigen Frieden,…), Goethe (Faust,…), Schiller (ballades and prose,…),  Brecht (wrote really funny stuff). In French I haven't read much, I like Sartre and Camus AND FRENCH COMICS (Spirou et Fantasio, Yoko Tsuno, Gaston, …). In Japanese, Abe Kobo's works. In Latin, Virgil's Aeneid (epic!) and Seneca's writings. Oh and I like Don Rosa's Duck comics, leading with The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck – one of the few Western comic works that I consider real good literature. …

I see this turned into a meaningless, incomplete enumeration of interests. Seems like I'm no good at having preferences.

Last edited by twoion (2014-05-10 15:12:55)


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#4 2014-05-10 16:56:10

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: What do you read?

Alad wrote:

On a more serious note, I too enjoy psychological/horror themes. One of my favourite English writers is Emily Brontë, not only for her novels we all know and love, but her poems as well. I'll definitely take a look at the story you linked.

I also enjoy Bronte. No coward soul is mine. big_smile

I agree with what you say about the "no-names". I've found some of the most unknown writers to be some of the best writers. I also tend to like a lot of niche stuff...




twoion wrote:

I see this turned into a meaningless, incomplete enumeration of interests. Seems like I'm no good at having preferences.

tongue

That's quite alright. I have the same problem when folks ask me "what I like to read."  I'm just glad that we do have some readers around here. I didn't really have much to post in the TV/Movies thead, so I wanted to see if I could find some appreciation for the written word. Reading only the original texts - very admirable. And I can understand why. If you only read translations, you'll never know. Nor will you ever be able to judge the translations.


I forgot to mention one of my absolute favorites (stylistically if nothing else) - Nabokov!

Last edited by jdonaghy (2014-05-10 16:59:36)


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#5 2014-05-10 17:00:54

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2012-05-22
Posts: 2,205

Re: What do you read?

I prefer good books; which means I don't have a preference but high standards.

...but i still want to be entertained.
but i really NEED some mental challenge - an intelligent and many-faceted plot, a rich vision of a different world, daring craziness...
so my literary preferences are in a hard-to-define area - sometimes i go too far towards (cheap) entertainment (the vampire novels - what was her name again - nevermind...), only to recoil after a while.
usually, when i find a good author, i try to read everything they wrote before moving on.

i love a good sci-fi or fantasy or detective story.

just some i remember:

Stanislaw Lem
Carl Hiaasen
Ursula Le Guin
Raymond Chandler
Iain M Banks

...and right now, what i would call science fiction, but what others are calling sci-fi-fantasy (probably because it's mostly NOT about space craft and weapons and intergalactic war, and because women play important roles):

=============
Gwyneth Jones
=============

ps: @twoion: did you read R.M. Rilke's "Die Aufzeichnungen des Malte Laurids Brigge"?

Last edited by ohnonot (2014-05-10 17:04:19)

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#6 2014-05-10 17:25:24

Sector11
#!'er to BL'er
From: SR11 Cockpit
Registered: 2010-05-05
Posts: 15,667
Website

Re: What do you read?

I want to work more closely with the students, cultivate interest in the subject, and be an inspiration to others such as Mr. Shafer was to myself.

@ jdonaghy - wonderful tribute to Mr. Shafer, I think you'll do just fine.

What do I read: Anything I can get my hands on ... from horror, sci-fi, fantasy, action, mystery, biography and more ...

Imagine a s sci-fi horror fantasy action mystery all in one ... big_smile


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#7 2014-05-10 18:41:38

jeffreyC
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2010-09-02
Posts: 596

Re: What do you read?

Some of what is classified as science fiction is really fantasy, as an example Star Wars, the force is like magic not science.


There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

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#8 2014-05-10 21:41:10

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: What do you read?

jeffreyC wrote:

Some of what is classified as science fiction is really fantasy, as an example Star Wars, the force is like magic not science.

Arthur C. Clarke wrote:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

smile

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#9 2014-05-10 22:30:36

jeffreyC
#! Die Hard
Registered: 2010-09-02
Posts: 596

Re: What do you read?

Head_on_a_Stick wrote:
jeffreyC wrote:

Some of what is classified as science fiction is really fantasy, as an example Star Wars, the force is like magic not science.

Arthur C. Clarke wrote:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

smile

Where is the advanced science in the force ?


There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people.

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#10 2014-05-10 22:51:59

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: What do you read?

There is often a distinction made between "hard science fiction" and "soft science fiction." Past a certain extent, I suppose a lot of the latter might as well be called fantasy. After a while, it's all useless classification anyway (IMO). When I contemplate the dividing lines for sci-fi, it brings to mind writers like Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child whom are generally not classified as science-fiction writers and yet whom are known for incorporating within their work a hefty amount of hard science. What does it all mean? I don't know. But I like Roger Zelazny.


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#11 2014-05-10 23:18:36

Head_on_a_Stick
CatMod
From: A world of pure imagination
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 4,797

Re: What do you read?

@jeffreyC --- I was just trying to make a more general point about the blurred line between the genres of science-fiction & fantasy, I did not mean to contradict your second point wink

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#12 2014-05-11 11:34:52

ratcheer
#! Junkie
From: central Alabama
Registered: 2013-07-23
Posts: 338

Re: What do you read?

I enjoy historical fiction and tamer types of science fiction and fantasy. Several of my favorite authors are Dan Simmons, Larry McMurtry, Cormac McCarthy, Anne Rice, J R R Tolkein, Colleen McCullough, Stephen King, Patrick O'Brian, ... The list could go on and on.

Tim

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#13 2014-05-11 14:51:07

dot|not
#! Junkie
From: /dev/null
Registered: 2013-09-05
Posts: 371

Re: What do you read?

Every single time I read a posting written by twoion I feel incredibly uneducated. (In other words: I love reading the stuff you write.)

On the given topic: I am not very picky what I read anymore. Since I've lost a long way to work at the beginning of the year I don't have my one hour bus journey in the morning and the evening which has significantly reduced the time I spent reading. When I am not reading technical articles, journals or books I am into Science Fiction and Fantasy. I recently discovered a huge interest in cyberpunk and books about alternative realities (Neuromancer - Trilogy, books by Cory Doctorow, Hunger Games - Trilogy) but also even lighter stuff such as novels from the Warhammer-universe.

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#14 2014-05-11 16:07:39

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: What do you read?

twoion mentioned David Foster Wallace. Also one of my favorites. And this is a lovely commencement address:

"This is Water"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CrOL-ydFMI


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#15 2014-05-11 16:35:26

MALsPa
#! Member
From: albuquerque
Registered: 2013-09-30
Posts: 78

Re: What do you read?

For me, it's mostly history, biographies, autobiographies, historical novels... but I've put the books down for the last couple of months to try to catch up on a huge stack of National Geographic magazines that had been piling up here.

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#16 2014-05-11 17:06:14

twoion
Emerald Caffeine
From: 星界
Registered: 2012-05-11
Posts: 1,648

Re: What do you read?

dot|not wrote:

Every single time I read a posting written by twoion I feel incredibly uneducated. (In other words: I love reading the stuff you write.)

You're giving me too much credit I think … and not enough to my parents ;-) I was lucky to be raised in an environment where I was always being pushed forward in educational (and self-disciplinary) matters and where there were no unnecessary distractions (television – I've never owned one and can't actually believe that people are willing to pay with money and their lifetime for this crap). Many a silent curse was uttered, but ultimately I became able to always put aside time to spend on reading and self-education as it's just depressing to know that there'll always be so much you'll never have the chance to think or even know of.

Onto my smartphone home screen, I've put a widget called "morbid meter". It displays a progress bar with your current age (or a countdown up to the resolution of 1 second) as it progresses towards your statistically probable EOL. The motiviation I get every time I look on the time I've left to learn and be creative is hard to put into words :-D It's the most gruesome and shocking thing to realize, especially when you've just finished reading about Astronomy and local groups and super clusters of galaxies and Physics and have been put into this kind of mood where you start thinking how strange but funny it is that you actually exist.

So noir. Yes I'm a dark character.

Last edited by twoion (2014-05-11 17:11:21)


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#17 2014-05-11 17:28:09

photonucleon
Quantum Geek
From: Hogwarts
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 952

Re: What do you read?

twoion wrote:

(television – I've never owned one and can't actually believe that people are willing to pay with money and their lifetime for this crap).

It seems I'm not alone then big_smile

As for my reading - the list is endless (almost). I really like C.S. Lewis's books, though - especially the Cosmic Trilogy (which I guess qualifies as Sci-Fi?) and also the Redwall books by Brian Jacques. And, as quoted in my signature, The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton is brilliant!


- Ai! Aníron Undómiel. -
- Some things are certain. -
- Et Eärello Endorenna utúlien. Sinome maruvan ar Hildinyar tenn' Ambar-metta. -

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#18 2014-05-11 17:29:05

gutterslob
#! Resident Bum
Registered: 2009-11-03
Posts: 3,207

Re: What do you read?

MALsPa wrote:

For me, it's mostly history, biographies, autobiographies, historical novels... but I've put the books down for the last couple of months to try to catch up on a huge stack of National Geographic magazines that had been piling up here.

I'm similar, to some extent. Started reading NatGeo since around the age of 12 or 13 (in my mid 30s now), partly because I always liked the photography, and partly to wash off the stench of all that corny Reader's Digest crap my mom made me read as a kid.

Most of the stuff I've been reading these last few years (though sporadic) has been non-fiction. Usually books to do with astronomy, design/art, geography, engineering, or sport/motorsport. Last one I finished was The Secret Race (about Pharmstrong era doping in cycling).

Haven't read much fiction lately. Murakami's 1Q84 was purchased months ago, and it's still sitting on my desk untouched. I did re-read James Joyce's Ulysses last month though.

Apart from that, Bill Watterson's Calvin & Hobbes always saves my sanity when novels put me in a TL;DR mood. Also read a bit of manga from time to time, if that counts.


Point & Squirt

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#19 2014-05-11 18:22:27

#!_828
#! Tinfoil Hat
From: Ohio, U. S. of A.
Registered: 2013-09-19
Posts: 1,244

Re: What do you read?

Alad wrote:

Right now I read lots of SPAM posts

That,
As well as, lately, a bit of Rand & Glenn Beck. I've also been re-reading bits of Greg Gutfeld's The Joy of Hate


Those who would trade essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither
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#20 2014-05-11 19:39:11

jdonaghy
The Manatee Whisperer
Registered: 2014-03-12
Posts: 925

Re: What do you read?

Currently reading Richard Yates' Disturbing the Peace


"If you can't control your peanut butter, you can't expect to control your life."
    --Bill Watterson

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#21 2014-05-11 19:53:47

1002richards
#! CrunchBanger
From: Sussex, UK.
Registered: 2009-08-17
Posts: 135

Re: What do you read?

For me - if reading fiction my top author is Tom Clancy and the Jack Ryan series. Not into the ops centre ones.

Non-fiction - '39 - '45 - authors such as Antony Beevor and Max Hastings.
Particular interest ... Eastern Front '41-45. Many books, varied authors.

Last edited by 1002richards (2014-05-11 19:54:35)

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#22 2014-05-13 10:42:21

oupsemma
#! Junkie
From: Cumbria / UK
Registered: 2008-12-06
Posts: 319

Re: What do you read?

Closed Horizon
Everyone living in the UK should read it!


#Linux user 482038, eeepc 901 with #!, freed 901Go with Trisquel & gNewSense,
901 with Manjaro & ArchBang

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#23 2014-05-13 14:51:10

g33zr
#! Die Hard
From: Never Never Land
Registered: 2013-02-19
Posts: 635

Re: What do you read?

I read all sorts of books and usually have more than one next to my reading chair. For light reading, I lean toward European detective/crime novels, some of which I read in German, but am currently reading What the River Washed Away by Muriel Mharie Macleod. With a house full of books, I no longer buy them. The newer titles I read, I borrow from the public library.  big_smile


It's never too late to learn something new! wink

OHCG | LXer

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#24 2014-05-13 16:07:21

Parzzix
New Member
Registered: 2014-05-13
Posts: 7
Website

Re: What do you read?

As long as I am entertained I don't lean in any specific direction. But most seem to be science fiction. I also tend to do Audio books due to limited time, it makes for good driving entertainment. I highly recommend the last two I read.

"Ready Player One" by Earnest Cline and "The Martian" by Andy Weir

Parzzix


Kindest Regards,
Parzzix

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#25 2014-05-14 12:53:39

Aaron_ON
Member
Registered: 2014-02-23
Posts: 47

Re: What do you read?

I have the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel but when something sparks my interest for more than a few seconds the first thing I'll do is go out and find a book on the subject so what I read tends to be anything and everything and usually random. It's just the way I've always been unless something interests me I can't even fake caring about it but if I want to know more I have to know EVERYTHING about it. Someday if I ever get on Jeopardy I'm going to clean up.

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