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I am reading the "The Twelve Kingdoms" by Fuyumi Ono
After a year of waiting the second novel has finally arrived, begging the question: why do we have to wait so long to get work of such quality when they've already been out in Japan for a while, Tokyopop? Granted, translating an entire novel is a much more involved process than translating a manga, hence a greater delay can be expected, but really, is a year in between books necessary? Still, at least they are finally coming out, and at least at a better pace than oh, say, the work of Jean Auel.
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[FONT="Comic Sans MS"]Finished [B]Brave Story[/B]. It is an excellent book and I recommend it if anyone happens to trip over it in the library or something. I do not regret the purchase. It's better than the movie by far, and I loved the movie.

I will say that it's significantly darker than the movie is, mostly because they had to remove some major plot elements due to time constraints. If I had to sum up the difference in one sentence, here it is:

I'd let my eight year old niece see the movie, but not read the book.[/FONT]
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Re-reading the Harry Potter series just 'cause. Of course, now I have the urge to grab the only good broom in the house and leap off the roof with it like an idiot.

Also, I strongly encourage everyone to pick up Douglas Adams' book [I]Last Chance to See[/I]. I've just re-read it for the 7th time and it still makes me crack up. The book is about Douglas Adams going on a series of trips in order to catch glimpses of endangered animals throughout the world. It's actually very funny and enlightening at the same time, so... Yeah. There's nothing like a doctor who answers the question "Well, then what do we do if we get bitten by something deadly?" with a condescending stare and "You die, of course. That's what deadly means!"
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[SIZE=1]Right now I'm reading The Hunger Games series. It's so good. I love it. I'm halfway through the second one, and it's so suspenseful. I really recommend anyone to read it.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=1]I just finished another book called Sold. I turned it back in to the library, and I don't recall the authors name. I believe it's Patricia McCormick, though. [/SIZE]
[SIZE=1]It's very good. About the girls with poor families in India. How when they need money, sometimes they will sell their daughters to be prostitutes. They give this girl over, and she's only thirteen years old. It is so sad, but based on many true events. Very good, and worth reading.[/SIZE]
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[FONT=Calibri]Just finished a pair of more recent books, both published shortly after the turn of the century, and I'm pretty well disgusted right now, not just with modern literature in general, but also with what seems to be passing for "award-winning" in recent years. Books are [B][U]Pattern Recognition[/U][/B] (William Gibson) and [U][B]New Spring: The Novel[/B][/U] (Robert Jordan), and although I'm not going to get into anything much about them now, suffice it to say that I expected a lot more from a successful fantasy writer (Jordan) and the 2004 winner of the fracking Mary Shelley Award for Outstanding Fiction (Gibson).

I mean, when one feels like an adolescent's personal fantasy journal and another feels like Napoleon Dynamite without idiotic dysfunctional people or twenty-minute completely dead scenes that are allowed to exist because it's an indie film and that somehow makes everything excusable....

Can you tell I'm unhappy?

I'm gonna go read some Rudyard Kipling now and cheer myself up.[/FONT]
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[font=franklin gothic medium]Funny you mention Rudyard Kipling; I only just finished reading The Jungle Book.

At the moment I'm reading a few classics. I'm about halfway through 20,000 Leagues and I've just started Flatland (I have a terrible habit of keeping a couple of books going at the same time).

I still haven't picked up The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (after having read about half by the time I got to America - um, about six months ago). I should probably finish it, just because I hate leaving books unfinished.[/font]
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[SIZE="1"]Almost halfway through [B]Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince[/B]. I haven't read it since my freshman year in high school, so it's like an entirely new book. I just blazed through the past five books in a couple of weeks, too. I'm revisiting the series so I can finally pick up [B]Deathly Hallows[/B], which I've never read.[/SIZE]
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[QUOTE=James][font=franklin gothic medium]Funny you mention Rudyard Kipling; I only just finished reading The Jungle Book.

At the moment I'm reading a few classics. I'm about halfway through 20,000 Leagues and I've just started Flatland (I have a terrible habit of keeping a couple of books going at the same time).[/font][/QUOTE]
[FONT=Calibri][B]The Jungle Book[/B] is exactly what I retreated to, funnily enough. One of my permanent favorites.

I find it amusing that after I read something fairly awful I tend to dig back through my library and gorge myself on books I know are good. After Kipling, I blazed through several of the Jim Butcher books that I own (books six, seven, and four, in order of reading), and then read some more of that Asimov book I mentioned a while back.

Incidentally, I highly recommend [B]The Dresden Files[/B] for light reading. Definite strong fantasy vein (since it's occult fiction), but Jim Butcher writes with an amazing sense of humor combined with a fairly deep lore behind it?although some of the more intense occult/mythology buffs may find it a bit squirrelly at times. Plot revolves around the misadventures of Chicago's only Yellow Book wizard as he . . . runs away a lot. Sometimes he blows things up, but, and I quote, "discretion is the better part of not getting exsanguinated."

Anyway, next trip to the library (at least, when I actually check something out) will probably see me coming back with some Anne McCaffrey, Robert Ludlum ([B]The Bourne Supremacy[/B] is up next) and probably either [B]The Count of Monte Cristo[/B] or [B]Les Misérables[/B], as well as a Mercedes Lackey to test out and hopefully restore my faith in the fantasy genre. Probably [I]By The Sword[/I], since it seems on a quick preread to have a strong female lead who isn't a skin-leather-bound in-the-closet whore, and I am [I]so[/I] tired of pansy women and sex bombs both.

Fun times.[/FONT]
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[font="Times New Roman"][color="#9932cc"] Because I am a snarkaloopy bonkermonker and really really like political satire, I picked up Christopher Buckley's [u]Boomsday[/u]. It changed. My. Life. Actually it really didn't but it was still good, hilarious, and made me wish I had a least a smattering of French. Having read most of his other novels, this one did not disappoint and was up to par with his usual standards of creativity, intelligence, and general sarcasm that can not be called stinging so much as it can be called Jesus Christ Pre Crucifixion Flogging.

Quote Me. [/color][/font] Edited by Raiha
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[font="Calibri"]Visited the library yesterday, picked up six books. For some reason the library held neither [b]The Count of Monte Cristo [/b](although they had four unique copies of [b]The Three Musketeers [/b]for whatever reason) or [b]A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy[/b], which upset me, but I did return with:

[list][*][b]The Hunchback of Notre Dame[/b], Victor Hugo;[*][b]The Dead Zone[/b], Stephen King;[*][b]By The Sword[/b], Mercedes Lackey;[*][b]Dragonsdawn[/b], Anne McCaffrey (I never get tired of reading this book);[*][b]Turn Coat[/b], Jim Butcher; and[*][b]The Bourne Supremacy[/b], Robert Ludlum[/list]
Hopefully this will keep me occupied for at least a couple of weeks.[/font] Edited by Allamorph
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[font="Garamond"][size="2"][color="#708090"][b]Currently reading: The Cult Film Reader/Ernest Mathijs & Xavier Mendik[/b]

This book was borrowed from my buddy who's into filming and taking courses in that field. It's a pretty interesting book that draws together various traditions and key writings of the like. It gives you an in-depth look into old films and where most got their inspiration from. They even had an Anime section, since most films have Anime references of the like.[/color][/size][/font] [font="Garamond"][size="2"][color="#708090"]I could go on and on, but I'll stop there.[/color][/size][/font]
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[quote name='Lady Shy' date='02 June 2010 - 05:15 PM' timestamp='1275513309' post='694299']
I've been trying to read Joyce's [i]Ulysses[/i] for ages now, but it just won't work.
[/quote]

[size="1"][font="Verdana"]This is how I am with most books. Most of my reading is done for school, but even if my grade depends on it I won't read a book if I just don't want to. The following are books I was supposed to read for a class but abandoned well before finishing:
[list]
[*]A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest T. Gaines
[*]Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
[*]Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
[*]Macbeth by Shakespeare
[*]Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
[*]Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
[*]Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
[*]Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald[/list]

Remarkably I still passed every class with a pretty good grade. Maybe I'm skilled at BSing.

I just don't like reading, I guess. Too often there are other things I would rather be doing, and if the story doesn't absolutely enthrall me I will constantly zone out while reading and eventually just give it up in favor of those other things. I don't know how to fix this because I can't just force myself to read something...that never works.[/font][/size] Edited by Tonks
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I'm currently reading "The Complete Collection of Sherlock Holmes" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Great read and not only does the element of mystery appeal to me quite a bit, but the glance into the background of the criminals is rather interesting, as are the changes you see in Watson's character. Sherlock's wit is also incredibly amusing to read, and Holmes is an admirable character, to me at least.

I'm also reading "The Arabian Nights" by numerous authors. I won't refer to it as a book, cuz it isn't, its a collection. From what I've read its very interesting though. The stories may be a little far-fetched in nature, with mythical ideas and stuff, but they make for a fascinating read and it gives a wonderful glimpse into the Arabian culture, especially in today's fairly homogeneous world.
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[font="Times New Roman"][size="3"][color="#9932cc"]I finally got my act together and to celebrate my induction into the United States Navy, I bought and read [u]Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters[/u].


My first impression was, "Sweet Jesus this language is dense." My second impression was, "Oh look a harpoon in a fish!"

All in all, if you can wade through the muck of extremely awkward English as brought on by a non English major author trying to whip together something vaguely resembling the ocean AND a miserable love story, you'll like it. Also it helps to like fish. FISH FISH FISH ON EVERY FREAKING PAGE. Fish or monster fish, or crustaceans, or sea slugs. Sea Horses too.

But not a single mention of sushi anywhere. I checked.
[/color][/size][/font]
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[font="Palatino Linotype"]I've done my usual thing and jumped to a new book when I haven't even finished reading other stuff. I've just bought Hitch-22, which is the name of Christopher Hitchens' memoirs. It is a little too early to comment much on it, but it's one of those rare books I [i]know [/i]I'm going to like. Apart from the fact that Hitchens pretty much echoes all my own thoughts (and does so with far greater eloquence), it is also true that he's had an incredibly interesting life. So I'm looking forward to getting deeper into this one.[/font]
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[font="Tahoma"][size="2"]Finished Gene Brewer's K-PAX trilogy a couple of days ago, and I must admit I quite enjoyed them. While the film adaptation is one of my guilty pleasures of cinema, I must admit I much preferred the books in how much more of a story is developed, even in just the first novel on which the movie was based. I would've preferred if the [spoiler]question as to whether prot is an alien, or just another persona of Porter's[/spoiler] wasn't answered in so clear-cut a manner as it was, which seemed to take a little mystery out of the series. Decent little sci-fi/mystery trilogy, I found it hard to stop reading it for no other reason I suppose than I wanted to see how thing progressed.[/size][/font]
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[font="Calibri"]H'okay, reading list update.

[b]Turn Coat[/b] was, as I anticipated, rather enjoyable. Not much else to be said there; regardless of the skill with which it was constructed, it is a book (and series) for pleasure and not for profundity, so I won't prate on about it. Plus it's book Eleven in the series, so saying too much of anything could tick people off. ^ ^

Concerning [b]The Dead Zone[/b]: This being the third book by him which I have read, I have come to believe firmly that Stephen King is a man unsatisfied with merely creating characters that live and breathe, but who insists on making them as real as your best friend. I came to this thought after reading only [b]Duma Key[/b], but after [b]The Green Mile[/b] and now this book I am certain of it. I have not once come across a spoke line or internal thought or action which felt to me deliberately placed to move the story in the 'proper' directionâ??at which point I usually mutter irritable phrases like "oh come on" or "are you serious" or "okay okay enough already". And in addition to that, of the three that I've read only [b]Duma Key[/b] came the closest to what might be called a happy ending, and oddly enough I count it the weakest of the three, although that's somewhat like saying Beethoven's 2nd Symphony is his weakest; it's still fracking Beethoven.



[b]The Hunchback of Notre Dame[/b] is an extremely tough nut to crack. First off it was published about six years before the beginning of the Victorian era, which succored my nemesis Charles Dickens, and it is accordingly pithy. I mean, [i]ventre Dieu![/i], it does go on. As I was telling [color="#da00ad"]Kei[/color] just last night (I think), it seems to be the style of that time period to hide whatever story might exist in the author's mind inside a myriad of intellectually stimulating but completely unnecessary dissertations about, for instance, a garbage pile in the street gutter, which is only important because one of the characters leaned against it in order to feign a drunken stupor and is never seen nor heard (nor smelt) from again. Victor Hugo devoted an entire chapter (eight pages of small-print) to describing every facet of the cathedral of Notre Dame which had not been previously explored a hundred pages ago when he first took a half hour in introducing the reader to itâ??and then devoted another chapter (twenty-five pages) to a detailed description of 15[sup]th[/sup] Century Paris.

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. I mean, if I ever want to know anything about 15[sup]th[/sup] Century Paris, I know which book I'll start my referencing with. According to the appendix (which was cut off, to my great displeasure), Hugo spent three years researching the physical setting for his novel, and afterwards was basically The Authority on the matter, so intensely did he hound after the material. But, for the love of Godâ??and this is nearly the same issue I had with Dickensâ??I just wanted the story! =P

Thankfully, when Hugo [i]did[/i] get around to storytelling, and rather unlike Dickens, I feel, he was magnificent. [spoiler]It also wasn't a happy ending by any means, and reminded me very much of Shakespeare's tragedies, except more poetic.[/spoiler] The degree of intricacy to which Hugo wove elements together was quite clever, and although I feel his verbosity made a few points here and there somewhat transparent and would have benefited much from a less Victorian approach, but it never really detracted from the machinations of the story itself, which rather impressed me.

The book was a ridiculous undertaking. All told, I think it took me three, maybe four days to finish. But it was decidedly worth the endeavor. My only regret about it is that the last part of the appendix, containing the last two pages of the afterword and the entire bibliography (in which I was quite interested when I spied it in the chapter listings) was missing from the book.

I don't imagine the remaining three will take me nearly as long to complete. Plus I don't have a week utterly consumed by first my grandmother (who deserved the attention) and then Bonnaroo (which was very very hot) preventing me from reading. =P[/font]
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[quote name='Allamorph' date='15 June 2010 - 12:43 AM' timestamp='1276577033' post='695312']
[font="Calibri"]Concerning [b]The Dead Zone[/b]: This being the third book by him which I have read, I have come to believe firmly that Stephen King is a man unsatisfied with merely creating characters that live and breathe, but who insists on making them as real as your best friend. I came to this thought after reading only [b]Duma Key[/b], but after [b]The Green Mile[/b] and now this book I am certain of it. I have not once come across a spoke line or internal thought or action which felt to me deliberately placed to move the story in the 'proper' directionâ??at which point I usually mutter irritable phrases like "oh come on" or "are you serious" or "okay okay enough already". And in addition to that, of the three that I've read only [b]Duma Key[/b] came the closest to what might be called a happy ending, and oddly enough I count it the weakest of the three, although that's somewhat like saying Beethoven's 2nd Symphony is his weakest; it's still fracking Beethoven.[/font][/quote]

If you haven't already, you should read his book [b]On Writing[/b]. It's a "memoir of the craft," which means its a memoir of his life plus a lot of great writing tips.
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[quote name='Allamorph' date='17 June 2010 - 11:24 AM' timestamp='1276788263' post='695470']
[FONT=Calibri]It's on my To-Buy listâ??if only just to see what he has to say.[/FONT]
[/quote]

I really liked it. I had to read it for my AP English Language class a few years ago, but I read it a second time a while later just for fun. I'm not sure if I really got much out of it as a writer. I remember that King really hates adverbs, but I can't recall much else from the "craft" part of the memoir. Edited by Tonks
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