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[size=1][font=tahoma]I've started reading Betrayal..by P.C Cast...its the second book of the series and is suprisingly good. I thought it was going to be like a twilight-copy but is suprisingly unique. Everyone seems to be into the whole vampire-thing though. [/size][/font]
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I'm finishing [i]The Rise of Endymion[/i] by Dan Simmons, and have generally fallen in love with the entire series. I think now when people ask me my religious affiliation I will just say, "Choose again."

There's a whole bunch of non-fiction I've been dying to read, though. Next on my list will probably be [i]This Republic of Suffering[/i] by Drew Gilpin Faust. It's about death and the Civil War... good cheery reading for the summer. But I also couldn't help picking up [i]The Lost City of Z[/i] when it was 10% off, so no doubt I'll find my way over to that at some point.
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[size=1][color=#8B008B]About a month ago I started reading [B]I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell[/B]. It's a quite funny book that entails on the escapades of a man who finds life to revolve around beer and womanizing. The actions that he partakes in aren't all that hilarious-ensued but it's the way he tells his stories.

A lot of people who've read this have told me, numerous times, that it comes from a male's perspective. So there's a forewarning to those who want to read it.

On a side note, I've finished Stephenie Meyer's [B]Twilight[/B] saga. As far as the movies go with the book, I'm hoping [B]New Moon[/B] will be better.[/size][/color]
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[FONT=Arial]Well look-a who's back.

Been making my way through [I][U]The Early Asimov[/U][/I] by, well, Asimov. It's a collection of a large number of his short stories that weren't published in any of his ten other compilations, and which he had probably intended to bury until the outcry of the '70s sci-fi community got to him. It includes between each short a small bit on what he was doing at the time, who his influences were, what other shorts he had written and had failed miserably.

From my perspective, it's a gold mine. Especially since he was intending to go into the medical field and was initially using his writing to fund his studies. Makes me . . . makes me eager again, actually.

[SIZE=1][COLOR=Blue][B]Edit:[/B] I mean [COLOR=DarkRed]Revelation[/COLOR] is back, by the way. I forgot that I had just returned, and wasn't aware I was starting a new page with this post. Whups.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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[SIZE="1"]I'm currently reading [B]Korea's Place in The Sun[/B] by Bruce Cummings. Admittedly, this is a book for one of my courses, but I actually find it quite interesting. It covers Korean history from ancient times to the present. It's kind of wordy and has taken me a long time to get to where I am in the book, but I'm learning a lot of cool things. For example, my ancestors, as it turns out, might have actually been "Koreans" who moved from Paekche to what is now Japan after the Shilla kingdom took over what is now Korea. o.o;[/SIZE]
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I was going to read the light novel Ballad of a Shinigami (the anime for which inspired the RP Shinigami Dance which has survived very well beyond me, lol.) I only read a few pages and already found myself unable to get into it. The translation is really boring and stiff, and it just doesn't seem fun to read at all. It already has to go back to the library, so I doubt I'll finish it.

I've been doing my usual business of re-reading some of my favorite light novels and compilations (i.e. Boogiepop and Faust) with the hope of finally getting some blog posts made on the series, and volume 2 of Faust is apparently out now, which means I need it immediately.

I infinitely recommend Faust to everyone, by the way. It's truly a must-read compilation.
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[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]For some reason it's my dream to write novels, yet I hate reading one... odd.

Well the last series I have finished is the Demonata by Darren Shan, author of Cirque du Freak. The Demonata series is my favorite book series having read 4 books in under a week. I mean, the books take one day to read, but they're awesome to read over. I love Darren's style, and it's inspiring me to write better and better peices of work. So far my favorite of the series is Lord Loss, Bec and Demon Apacalypse. Blood Beast is good as well.

In fact, Cirque du Freak inspired me to write my own vampire series that will consist of four parts and a spin-off series.[/FONT]
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[quote name='Jabberwocky][FONT="Palatino Linotype"']In fact, Cirque du Freak inspired me to write my own vampire series that will consist of four parts and a spin-off series.[/FONT][/quote]
[FONT=Arial]So wait, you're spinning off yourself? Or is it just a separate angle on the same universe?[/FONT]
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[quote name='Allamorph'][FONT=Arial]So wait, you're spinning off yourself? Or is it just a separate angle on the same universe?[/FONT][/QUOTE]

[FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Well I plan on having each book be about different villains and aspects of the universe, but with the protagonists. The universe of my story consists of several races of demons on different planets. The vampires in my story are time travelers so they have the technology to reach other planets. Each book will be different and not like the orignal 4 parts of the 1st installment.

I guess you could call it a Slight Spin-off, instead of just a Spin-off :p[/FONT]
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[COLOR=SeaGreen][SIZE=1][FONT=Comic Sans MS]I just finished reading the Dresden Files, a series by Jim Butcher that begins with [I]Storm Front[/I] and currently stops at [I]Turn Coat[/I]. I probably shouldn't say finished though, since there's more to come, but I've read all that's currently published.

I also recently read the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Awesome stuff, but a really screwed up ending if you ask me. I mean, WTF?!

I haven't decided what's next on my list to read. Might read Butcher's Codex Alera series, or start on the Wheel of Time series. Or I might re-read (for like the 4th or 5th time) the Thomas Covenant series.
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  • 3 months later...
Let's see: I'm reading a book called "Moo" by Jane Smiley.
It was an impulse buy because it had to do with cows and Ms. Smiley looks like quite the character. (Her picture on the back almost made me shoot coffee out of my nose) Plus, it's fiction so I figured why not. I've only read the first couple chapters (Which are really short) so I don't have much to say about it just yet, but I like what I've read so far.

I'm also reading "Neuromancer" by William Gibson. I've read one of Gibson's newer books and liked it a lot. And I was speaking to one of my professors the other day and she told me that I [I]had[/I] to read Neuromancer. I've read the first chapter. It's not bad, but I can't get into dystopian future kinda books unless they're in space or on another planet... We'll see though since I haven't really gotten to the virtual reality aspect.

"Naked" by David Sedaris. It's a collection of short, auto-biographical stories. They're wildly entertaining and full of all types of comedy. I pick it up and read a story any time I need a de-stresser.

Lastly, "Survivor" by Chuck Pahlaniuk. He's my favorite author and this was the next book in line to read after Choke. I've been picking it up and putting it down for several months now. Don't get me wrong. It's great so far, but I'm trying to balance reading all three of these books, plus a couple of novels required for a class.
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Just started reading Robert Jordan's [b]The Wheel of Time[/b] series. Finished [b]The Great Hunt[/b] a little over a week back, and am working my way through [b]The Dragon Reborn[/b] at the moment. I'm very much enjoying these novels, since I've been looking to get into a nice long series for a while now, and the WoT books meet my requirements perfectly.

Other books I've read recently, or am waiting for follow-ups in the series on are

[b]The Twelve Kingdoms [/b] (Fuyumi Ono) - [b]The Vast Spread of the Seas[/b]. This is the third novel in the series, out of six, but I have to wait for it to come to the US. It'll probably be a while before I can finish this series since the books need to be translated, but I'm looking forward to it.

[b]Harry Potter[/b] (J.K. Rowling - books 5-7) - I finished the last few just before I started on WoT, and really enjoyed the read.
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[FONT="Tahoma"]I am reading [B][U]Native Speaker[/U][/B] by Chang Rae Lee for my Asian-American Lit class. It is a fun contemporary read so far, lot of nice tidbits to read between the lines off concerning themes like immigration and cultural details. Though I suppose that is one of the points to having it assigned for class.

I am looking for some new books to get into. I still have to pick up a couple from the great Chinese classic collection and I am looking for some good graphic novels to read, but haven't been dedicating a lot of time to that lately.
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[font=franklin gothic medium]At the moment I'm reading [b]90 Day Geisha[/b] by Chelsea Haywood and [b]The Lost Symbol[/b] by Dan Brown.

90 Day Geisha is essentially an autobiographical book about a young Canadian girl's experiences while performing a "hostess" role in Japan (specifically Roppongi in Tokyo).

It's a pretty fascinating book, mostly because I've already read [b]Geisha of Gion[/b] by Mineko Iwasaki (easily the most famous Geisha in the 20th century) and it's interesting to compare traditional Geisha with the new "international hostess" business.

On some level the Geisha culture survives in this way, but there's no doubt that the hostess business is far less glamorous - it certainly isn't the art form that Geisha was.

Still, it's a fascinating read, especially for anyone who is interested in the strange rituals in Japan's entertainment districts.

And in terms of The Lost Symbol, that's the follow up to The Da Vinci Code. I really enjoyed both Angels & Demons as well as Da Vinci Code, but it's pretty clear that The Lost Symbol is sticking to a formula and isn't really branching out into new territory.

Yes, it's interesting, particularly because it delves into the Masonic history of America (and particularly Washington D.C.), but the actual characters are typically dry and two dimensional (I say typically because I think Dan Brown excels with history and detail, but his characters lack real personality or warmth).

So far I'm enjoying it, but I'm not nearly as drawn in as I was on the previous two novels. Hopefully it'll keep improving as time goes on.[/font]
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[SIZE="4"][FONT="System"]Currently I am reading [b]THE BOOK THIEF[/b] by Markus Zusack.

I've been wanting to read it ever since I read its blurb in a book shop just around three quarters of a year ago. I think it would be hard for anyone not to be intrigued by the words on the back of that book.

Essentially, it is narrated by Death. He is no ordinary depiction of Death, however.

And then the way it is written, well it is rich, like a thick chocolate gateuax or a New York cheesecake; Zusack revels in wordplay, colours, character and detail. It is clear that he takes great care to mention the things that people never really notice, like taking your shoes off by using one toe of one foot on the heel of the shoe on the other - little gems like this make it a thoroughly enjoyable read.

What I don't particularly enjoy, or rather, what is actually a little bit irritating at times is the character of Death. It is so obviously put across that he is 'different' from the very start, and blatant shows like this don't sit very well with me. I can, however, appreciate what he has done here, and like I said, the book's fantastic. If I were all of you I would read it if I got the chance.[/FONT][/SIZE]
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[I]Conversations with Don Juan: A Separate Reality[/I] by Carlos Castenada. It's supposedly a work of non-fiction, but I don't really belive that at all. First off, the main character is just so stupid. At one point he opens a glass bottle by [I]hitting it[/I] with a small metal bar, for example.

The character of Don Juan, though, is very neat. He is a sorcerer, and he lives by the philosophy of a warrior. He considers the peyote cactus to be his ally, as well as what he calls "little smoke," which is a combination of Psilocybine mushrooms and other herbs.

The author, who narrates, is an anthropologist who supposedly went to Mexico, where he met Don Juan. This is the second book. There are more than just two.

Overall, a really interesting book. Mainly I enjoy what it has to say about sorcery, and sacred psychedelics. At the very least, not being "true," it is at best a combination of something true and not; and really, the line between the two is so blurry in actuality, and is in all kinds of grayness. So I feel the author's main intent was the reader: he uses the narration of himself in order to try and keep the reader interested, for the main purposes of teaching/ opening mind.

[I]Blasphemy[/I] by Douglas Preston. It is about Isabella, a state-of-the-art atom smasher that is so powerful it recreates the big bang. In this novel, the seeming separation of religion and science hit head on. I don't want to say much more, because that would be giving it away.

Preston reminds me of Dean Koontz meets Stephen King meets Micheal Crichton. There is the crazy, religious right-wing nut [I]a la[/I] King; there is the almost poetic, one of the people involved with Isabella, who sees it as a woman visually. Then there is that Crichton sense of wishing to reveal what is obvious, but seems so steeped and hidden.

[I]Childhood's End[/I] by Arthur C. Clarke. It is about aliens who come to Earth and save mankind. Sci-fi. Clarke is well-known, so I don't think I have to say much else. Recommended.

[I]The Holy Books of Thelema[/I] by Aleister Crowley. It is some of the libers, or books, of Crowley's religion, Thelema. Here Crowley is channeling entities, and they are writing through him. They have this quality of improving and growing on you after extended re-read throughs. The prose is often poetic, there is a lot of symbology and visualness.

[I]The Lives of a Cell[/I] is a collection of small essays by a biologist. It is full of interesting, perceptive thoughts to get your thinking going. Actually, the biologist who wrote it is since dead. If you're interested in biology, check it out.

[I]The Way of the Cell[/I] was written by an Emeritus professor. It is much more technical than the prior mentioned book. It reads like a college text. It is so crammed with information that I had to re-read many of the chapters over again, and plan to again since it's been so long since I've read it. Lots to learn in this book. It's crammed full of that.
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[font=helvetica][url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Thief_%281996_novel%29]Megan Whalen Turner (wikipedia link)[/url]makes me happy to be reading again.

She currently has three books that feature "the Queen's Thief." They're full of politics and adventure and clever, flawed characters that make me grin with anticipation and delight.

I read the third one, then the first one, and have finally laid my paws on the second. I've read them completely, tumbled-up-and-down out of order, but they're lovely and inviting and easy to follow, and I am super excited for the next one to come out in 2010.[/font]
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[SIZE=1]Finished the final book Sergei Lukyanenko's Watch series, fittingly titled [B]Last Watch[/B] (or Final Watch depending on the publisher) an enjoyable enough ending to the series, although a tad predictable in some parts.

I have to say based on the title I was hoping for a little more than what occurred, given the events that seemed to be building up from the previous books leading towards [spoiler]an inevitable final conflict despite the zero-sum game both Watches and the Inquisition seemed determined to maintain[/spoiler], heck the ending blatantly [spoiler]ensures the Status Quo is God[/spoiler]. Given the promise the series started with, I'm a bit disappointed to tell the truth, although there is rumour of further sequels. [/SIZE]
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[FONT="Arial"][SIZE="1"]
Just finished quite a few books, seeing as I am fresh off of a long and relaxing vacation full of reading and other sorts of wonderment.

A Wrinkle in Time. A wonderful book, I have read it many times in the past. I have not finished all of the sequels yet, and I presume that will be my next choice.

Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. I read this book right after The Lost Symbol, which was much more exciting in my opinion. I agree with James, however, in regard to the characters. I feel as though, having read three books containing the same main protagonist, I should feel more attached to him. Angels and Demons was still certainly still worthy of a thumbs-up, I actually learned some interesting facts as well.

Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony by Eoin Colfer. Great book, not my favorite in the series. Very excited about reading book number six, the Time Paradox, but I seem to have misplaced it among the odds and ends around my house.

While lazily refusing to locate my lost novel, I am happily trickling my free time away re-reading the Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide.
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[font=franklin gothic medium]I've just finished reading [b]God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything[/b] by Christopher Hitchens. Fascinating book, although a bit too dry at times.

I'm still in the middle of [b]The Lost Symbol[/b] by Dan Brown, too. It's not bad, but very formulaic - almost moreso than the previous two novels in the series.

Lately I have been thinking of reading [b]Lord of the Flies[/b]. It's one classic novel that I've never read. Has anyone here read this one and if so, what did you think of it?[/font]
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[quote name='James'][font=franklin gothic medium]
I'm still in the middle of [b]The Lost Symbol[/b] by Dan Brown, too. It's not bad, but very formulaic - almost moreso than the previous two novels in the series.

Lately I have been thinking of reading [b]Lord of the Flies[/b]. It's one classic novel that I've never read. Has anyone here read this one and if so, what did you think of it?[/font][/QUOTE]

With the exception of the wonderful descriptions of Washington DC I detested [b]The Lost Symbol[/b], [spoiler]the end of the book was just too ridiculous and far-fetched, more so than Angles and Demons and The DaVinci Code[/spoiler].

I think you'll like [b]Lord of the Flies[/b] quite a bit. Not so much for the story, which is good, but for the subtext. It is one of those books that you can enjoy for the surface and love because it is incredibly thought provoking.

Edit: Oops, forgot to mention what I am reading! I am currently enjoying [b]Bangkok 8[/b]. It is a great murder mystery told from the perspective of a Thai (well, half-Thai) detective. It s definitely a refreshing take on the mystery genre.
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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Not really reading at the moment, but I'll hopefully be able to get my hands on [B]Brave Story[/B] within the next week or so. It's the source material of one of my favorite movies of all time, so I'm looking forward to finally getting to read the original novel. Just need a couple more bucks and I'll be bearing down on Borders like a large... thing that bears down upon something else.[/FONT]
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[quote name='chibi-master']I am currently reading [u]Eragon[/u]. I'm not that far into it, so I'm not sure how I feel about it yet... I don't know exactly what, but something's been bugging me about it whenever I read it... Like there's something I really dislike about the story or something, but I just don't know...[/quote][i]
[/i][font="Calibri"][i][u]Eragon[/u][/i], and really [I]The Inheritance [s]Trilogy[/s] Series[/font][font="Calibri"][/I], is a story that was published far too soon for the author's maturity to handle. Although Christopher Paolini has a pretty engaging universe set up, the story itself is rife with far too many trite phrases and easy-to-use, predictable 'twists', and really just a load of material that had he come back to it a few years later he might have noticed how much of it felt like unsatisfactory convenient rubbish and done a lot of much-needed revisions.

A friend of mine who has read the first three said to me that in each book there was the phrase "a single tear glistened on her cheek" or sommat like thatâ??it's been so long since we had the conversation I can't remember the specifics.

But his parents apparently own a publishing company, so I assume the logic there was to get the story done and make money and make a name, which he seems to have done since he did expand the intended trilogy beyond the third book.

So yeah, fairly decent potential for a good story, just published way too soon. And pay no mind to the self-absorbed crowd who go on about Paolini ripping from Star Wars and Tolkien. All prose builds itself on the work of previous authors. It's how we learn to write better. And also I'm not sure who would call anything after Episode VI part of standard film repertoire; it's entirely possible that George Lucas wrote the first wildly popular self-insertion fanfiction, and that's coming from a fan of the first three movies.

Speaking of movies, though, the film adaptation for [u]Eragon[/u] completely trashed the universe set down in the book. Paolini might not have done a spectacular job, but after watching it in theaters I felt offended for him at the amount of crap they pulled.


[color="DarkRed"]James[/color], go for [u]Lord of the Flies[/u], absolutely. It's a great allegoric tale, and possibly the only bright spot in my tenth-grade reading list. ([u]Bless Me, Ultima[/u] was such a waste of time, sheesh.)[/font] Edited by Allamorph
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Yeah... I finally realized about halfway through the book that the thing that bothered me was that everything was so generic. Poor kid gains magical abilities and is the chosen one that saves a kingdom, gets the girl and is tutored by an old guy that eventually dies. Just, no.

As for the movie, I only watched the trailers. I refused to even rent the thing because Saphira's wings were feathery and the book said they were supposed to be "like dried parchment". I may be wrong, but I'm pretty sure that dried parchment is not feathery.
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