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What are you reading?
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Philo Offline EXPLOSION

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5th September 2014 04:28 PM
Post: #451
Currently reading:

Homosexual Desire by Guy Hocquenghem
The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass (1891 aka "deathbed" edition) by Walt Whitman

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Paracelsus Online Properly Horse

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26th November 2014 05:04 PM
Post: #452
Been reading some Haruki Murakami lately. His books create an excellent atmosphere of everyday surreality. Like, he describes really surreal and fantastical things happening, but manages to do so in a way that makes it sound like he's describing something perfectly ordinary.

"Kafka on the Shore" in particular is a masterpiece.
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Philo Offline EXPLOSION

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4th January 2015 10:02 PM
Post: #453
Books:

The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do About It by Anat Admati and Martin Hellwig
Scientific Realism: Selected Essays of Mario Bunge by Mario Bunge, ed. Martin Mahner
Realism and Truth by Michael Devitt
Ethics, Persuasion, and Truth by J.J.C. Smart
How Asia Works by Joe Studwell

Research articles:

"The Mismeasure of Machine: Synthetic biology and the trouble with engineering metaphors" by Maarten Boudry and Massimo Pigliucci
"Nonsense and Illusions of Thought" by Herman Cappelen
"Dewey and the Subject Matter of Science" by Peter Godfrey-Smith
"Freedom in the Market" by Philip Pettit
"Truth by Convetion" by W.V.O. Quine

To-read (books):

Philosophy Without Intuitions by Herman Cappelen
Coming to Our Senses: A Naturalistic Program for Semantic Localism by Michael Devitt
Environmental Debt by Amy Larkin
The Metaphysics Within Physics by Tim Maudlin
Just Freedom by Philip Pettit

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Jarvellis Offline How adorable...

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28th January 2015 01:05 AM
Post: #454
Been reading a lot more lately. Recently read:
  • Brass Man and Polity Agent by Neal Asher
  • The History and Origins of Druidism by Lewis Spence
  • Small Gods and Mort by Terry Pratchett
  • Tsotsi by Athol Fugard (though I heavily disliked it)
  • Kaz The Minotaur by Richard A. Knaak
  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (thoroughly enjoyed this and I don't tend to do thriller novels)
  • A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby
  • Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman
  • Various Lovecraft stories (currently reading)
  • Celtic Myths by Jake Jackson (currently reading)

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14th March 2015 09:09 PM
Post: #455
As I started reading Murakami's "Norwegian Wood" a couple of days ago, I was unsure whether I'd like it, because I knew it had none of the surrealistic or supernatural elements his other works have.

Just finished reading the book, and my worries were in vain. An excellent story about isolation and alienation. Competes with "Kafka" on my list of favorite Murakami novels.
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Annoyance Offline Resident Cosplayer

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15th March 2015 12:30 AM
Post: #456
(14th March 2015 09:09 PM)Paracelsus Wrote:  As I started reading Murakami's "Norwegian Wood" a couple of days ago, I was unsure whether I'd like it, because I knew it had none of the surrealistic or supernatural elements his other works have.

Just finished reading the book, and my worries were in vain. An excellent story about isolation and alienation. Competes with "Kafka" on my list of favorite Murakami novels.
Glad you like it! I'm still a bit more than halfway.
It's an excellent representation of mental illness for its time.
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15th March 2015 12:34 AM
Post: #457
(15th March 2015 12:30 AM)Annoyance Wrote:  Glad you like it! I'm still a bit more than halfway.
It's an excellent representation of mental illness for its time.

That, too.

Really refreshing to read a novel that doesn't really focus on mental illnesses per se, yet still doesn't fall victim to the usual clichés.
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Yin Offline El Psy Congroo

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3rd July 2015 11:25 PM
Post: #458
Starting on Lord of the Flies now.

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Selene Offline I Am Not What I Am

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7th July 2015 11:09 AM
Post: #459
Currently wrapping up The Brothers Karamazov (on the Epilogue now). Overall, I found Crime and Punishment to be superior to this, even if that's seemingly opposite of the view that most hold. mlp-tshrug

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Kadae Offline Wandering Tea Salespony

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7th July 2015 11:45 AM
Post: #460
I'm currently two thirds of the way through The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and I have to say, this is easily one of the funniest books I've ever read! I can't remember the last time I cried this much due to uncontrollable laughter.

If you've ever seen The Room, I'd wholly recommend it.
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Philo Offline EXPLOSION

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7th July 2015 03:34 PM
Post: #461
Been reading a bunch of research articles. Current books:

For Work
Clark, James. Models for Ecological Data.
Foster, Mercedes S. and Bills, Gerald F. Biodiversity of Fungi.

For Fun
Harman, Gilbert and Kulkarni, Sanjeev. Reliable Reasoning
Jackendoff, Ray. A User's Guide to Thought and Meaning
White, Edmund. Caracole

Some good papers I read recently

Ellis et al. "Character displacement and the evolution of niche complementarity in a model biofilm community"
Gigerenzer, Gerd and Gaissmaier, Wolfgang. "Heuristic Decision Making."
Sun, Ron. "Theoretical status of computational cognitive modeling."

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(This post was last modified: 7th July 2015 03:41 PM by Philo.)
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Yin Offline El Psy Congroo

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7th July 2015 07:10 PM
Post: #462
(3rd July 2015 11:25 PM)Chaos Wrote:  Starting on Lord of the Flies now.

I finished this Saturday. Now I'm reading The Catcher in the Rye.

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7th July 2015 09:47 PM
Post: #463
Been reading some Camus lately. "L'Etranger" is pretty magnificent, though "La Peste" doesn't seem to bad so far either.
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Shade Offline

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10th August 2015 08:54 PM
Post: #464
I'm (regrettably slowly due to other hobbies) making my way through four different fantasy series.

Discworld: Currently at book #5. I am in love with Pratchett's writing style, which I might have mentioned before, but it will never not be relevant.

Wheel of Time: A friend got me into this. Beforehand, I'd written it off as generic, but after reading three books, the characters and the world has really grown on me.

A Song of Ice and Fire: I had to keep up with this in some way, after all. Sa-v I think I just finished book six or something, but the nearby bookstore and library has this really weird thing with dividing each book into several smaller books, so I'm honestly not quite sure how far I am.

The Bartimaeus Trilogy: I read the first one waaay back when and I really liked it. I have now gotten the rest and I'm somewhere early on in the second book.

I also recently finished what books there are in The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. They're amazing, I'd recommend them to anyone.
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10th August 2015 10:00 PM
Post: #465
Been gettin' into "The Dresden Files" lately.

I don't want to say anything hasty since I'm only just finishing up the fourth book, but this might be among by top three most favorite fantasy series.
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Sith_Dreamer Offline I made room for the cupcakes!

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11th August 2015 08:14 AM
Post: #466
I just finished "The Scarlet Gospels" by Clive Barker, aka his farewell to the Pinhead character from the Hellbound Heart/ Hellraiser films. It wasn't bad, but it was much more anticlimactic than I thought it would be. Still, it had an extremely epic battle I was not expecting, and that alone made the climax of the book awesome.
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Kadae Offline Wandering Tea Salespony

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11th August 2015 08:32 AM
Post: #467
(7th July 2015 11:45 AM)Kadae Wrote:  I'm currently two thirds of the way through The Disaster Artist by Greg Sestero and I have to say, this is easily one of the funniest books I've ever read! I can't remember the last time I cried this much due to uncontrollable laughter.

Finished this a little while ago. My overall thoughts on it remain unchanged.

I'm going to start re-reading Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy very soon, so that'll be a bunch of fun! After that, I might read Lolita again.

mlp-tbob
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Nina Offline

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11th September 2015 12:24 PM
Post: #468
I got The Silmarillion for my birthday so I'm reading it again. I'm really enjoying it.

I feel like this is the book that my love for anything with overly detailed lore stems from
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Jarvellis Offline How adorable...

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10th October 2015 05:08 PM
Post: #469
Been doing a lot of reading lately, especially while on holiday:
  • Reaper Man and Soul Music by Terry Pratchett
  • Line War by Neal Asher (finally finished this series of his, great ending to it)
  • Egyptian Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Goddesses and Traditions of Ancient Egypt by Geraldine Pinch
  • The Book of the Dead translated by Sir E.A. Wallis Budge
  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Damiano, Damiano's Lute, and Raphael by R.A. Macavoy
  • The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R.L. Stevenson
  • The Woman in Black by Susan Hill (awfully written book, film adaptation is probably better)
  • Fear of De Sade by Bernardo Carvalho
  • Bête by Adam Roberts
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
  • Valhalla by Ari Bach
  • Horns by Joe Hill (Currently reading)

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10th October 2015 05:11 PM
Post: #470
(10th October 2015 05:08 PM)Jarvellis Wrote:  [*]Horns by Joe Hill (Currently reading)

I really like that book, and Hill's works in general.

His way of making supernatural horror stories that are more about the protagonists' struggling with themselves and growing as people than the ghouls and ghastlies appeals to me.
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Xinder Online CORRECTION COUNTER: 82

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10th October 2015 09:04 PM
Post: #471
I actually finished Brave New World finally. I have to say, I very much enjoyed that book.

I won't say anything about it really because i think there are already hundreds of high school book reports on it.

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10th October 2015 09:08 PM
Post: #472
(10th October 2015 09:04 PM)Xinder Wrote:  I actually finished Brave New World finally. I have to say, I very much enjoyed that book.

I won't say anything about it really because i think there are already hundreds of high school book reports on it.

Even so, the one thing I want to ask you is: did you see the society portrayed in the book as more of a dystopia, or as more of a utopia?
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10th October 2015 09:15 PM
Post: #473
(10th October 2015 09:08 PM)Paracelsus Wrote:  Even so, the one thing I want to ask you is: did you see the society portrayed in the book as more of a dystopia, or as more of a utopia?

i think that really depends on your point of view, and the book did a good job showing that. there's no suffering and everything is as efficient as possible, but it's also a world completely lacking in passion.

so personally, i'd say it's a dystopia. but one of the more acceptable ones i guess?

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10th October 2015 09:21 PM
Post: #474
(10th October 2015 09:15 PM)Xinder Wrote:  i think that really depends on your point of view, and the book did a good job showing that. there's no suffering and everything is as efficient as possible, but it's also a world completely lacking in passion.

so personally, i'd say it's a dystopia. but one of the more acceptable ones i guess?

I am still a bit unsure how to think of it. On one hand, it sort of lacks in personal freedoms, which I value greatly. But on the other hand, those personal freedoms are just tools with which to find your personal happiness, so if everyone in the society is happy (in a way), freedoms are a bit irrelevant.
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Xinder Online CORRECTION COUNTER: 82

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10th October 2015 09:22 PM
Post: #475
i don't know how one can be truly happy without passion, though. you need to care about something or someone. i feel like there's more to happiness than not being unhappy. their society is built around preventing anyone from feeling strongly about anything or anyone, which just feels sad to me.

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10th October 2015 09:31 PM
Post: #476
(10th October 2015 09:22 PM)Xinder Wrote:  i don't know how one can be truly happy without passion, though. you need to care about something or someone. i feel like there's more to happiness than not being unhappy. their society is built around preventing anyone from feeling strongly about anything or anyone, which just feels sad to me.

Feeling strongly about things makes you despair or feel enraged or such too, though. Also, it makes people hate one another.

While in ordinary conditions I wholeheartedly accept these as the unfortunate but minor side effects of a free society, in a situation where a miracle drug would make everyone feel a content, it makes me uncertain.
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10th October 2015 09:37 PM
Post: #477
(10th October 2015 09:31 PM)Paracelsus Wrote:  Feeling strongly about things makes you despair or feel enraged or such too, though. Also, it makes people hate one another.

While in ordinary conditions I wholeheartedly accept these as the unfortunate but minor side effects of a free society, in a situation where a miracle drug would make everyone feel a content, it makes me uncertain.

Despair, rage and hatred are all part of the human condition though. Forcibly removing them makes people less than human, in my opinion. Miracle drugs to make you content also just bother me on an intrinsic level. Even without side effects, it feels like having your emotions neutered.

From my perspective, the value of being yourself, flaws and all, is more important to maintaining humanity than making sure nobody is unhappy. Happiness that you "earn" (as opposed to tricking your brain) is more powerful than mere contentedness.

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Jarvellis Offline How adorable...

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18th December 2015 08:58 PM
Post: #478
(10th October 2015 05:08 PM)Jarvellis Wrote:  The Woman in Black[/i] by Susan Hill (awfully written book, film adaptation is probably better)

Saw the film and I was right, I'd suggest anyone interested in the book just watches the film, it has a much more solid plot and there are actual dangers rather than just "spooky things happen".

Quote:Horns [/i]by Joe Hill (Currently reading)

Also finished reading this, really enjoyed it. It also has a good film adaptation.
I thought that this time maybe I should give a brief synopsis and opinion on the book I've read rather than just listing them:

The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals by Anton Szandor LaVey
The books that contain the philosophies of LaVeyian Satanism and some of the workings of The Church of Satan. I found it to raise a lot of interesting and though provoking questions, especially on the modernisation of religions, even if I didn't necessarily agree with them all.

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A dystopian novel set in future Britain during a time of high levels of criminal activity amongst youths. The story follows one of these criminals, Alex, who narrates his life and his forceful rehabilitation. A very interesting satire put across through the world-building of the dystopia it's set in, however I found that due to the narrator speaking in heavy slang throughout the entire novel made it rather hard to read.

The Darkening by Stephen M. Irwin
A horror novel about a man named Nick who returns from England to his home country of Australia after the sudden death of his wife. This recent tragedy also brings fresh to mind how 30 years ago his childhood friend was murdered in the woods near his home. Shortly after his return, another child is murdered in the woods that bares very similar details to the death of his friend. A very chilling novel that can really paint a good picture. There were quite a few times it really got to me, as Nick has a couple phobias in common with me.

Tea with the Black Dragon by R.A. MacAvoy
A modern day (for the time of writing) fantasy novel about a woman named Martha searching for her missing daughter, Elizabeth, a computer programmer. Before going to investigate, she meets a man named Mayland in the hotel she's staying in, who claims to have lived previously as a Chinese dragon for over 2000 years, and is skilled in languages. He decides to put this skill to use in understanding computer programming in order to assist her. A very charming novel with equally charming characters, most of my favourite parts was when the two protagonists just got a chance to talk with each other.

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill
A horror novel about an ageing rock star named Judas Coyne, who spends his retirement as a collector of the macabre, such as occult artefacts, genuine bones, and even a real snuff film. He is directed to an online auction of a dead man's suit who the seller claims is tied to a ghost, which he immediately buys, not realising the ghost is in fact real and very hostile. This author might be becoming a favourite of mine. A very well written plot that has more layers than the synopsis suggests with some really interesting and complex characters that make me care for them all the more.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness & Siobhan Dowd
A children's fantasy novel about a 13 year old boy called Conor who has started to suffer nightmares of a monster ever since his mother was diagnosed with cancer. The novel begins when Conor begins to experience the nightmare again, but this time a different monster comes to visit him. This monster wants to tell him three stories, and in return asks that Conor tells him one back, which he only refers to as "the truth". I didn't actually realise this was designed as a children's novel until after I had read it, I think it's still a good read for older audiences. It seems to get across very well how it can be frustrating to deal with things such as terminal illnesses in the family at a young age.

The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
The fictional memoirs of a young man who has developed a mental illness (the specific one is only hinted at at first) after witnessing the death of his older brother as a child. A very interesting character that seems to accurately portray how one can manage with certain mental illnesses. It's heartfelt without romanticising it or skipping over the parts that show him as rather cynical at times.

Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
The fourth Death novel in the Discworld series, the story follows Death as he takes over the Hogfather's (Discworld's Santa) job after he disappears. Probably my favourite so far of the Death novels, I found the plot to be really clever and it introduced a lot of very funny characters.

Aliens: The Labyrinth by S.D. Perry
A horror sci-fi novel in the Alien series which follows Dr. Crespi, a military scientist, who desires to work for Dr. Church, a fellow scientist who has made remarkable discoveries after insanely dangerous experimentations on Xenomorph subjects. I was unsure at first how much I was going to enjoy this because I had no idea of the common opinion of the quality of the Alien novels, but I found it to be one of the most unpredictable books I've read, kept me guessing until the very end.

The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
A series of dystopian action novels about the lower class citizens of the country of Panem being forced to submit a selection of their children to large scale gladiatorial events. All I really have to say is that they are definitely deserving of their reputation. I'm glad I finally got around to reading them.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
A transgressive and satirical novel narrated by the protagonist Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street businessman and psychopathic serial killer, following his day-to-day life in his mid twenties. A highly interesting read if you're interested in viewing how his mental health effects his thinking, or in the satire on yuppie culture, but it is a rather dense novel that might bore people who are not. If the general concept interests you still, I'd recommend the film which is a classic in it's own rights too.

My Sweet Satan by Peter Cawdron
A horror sci-fi novel about a future manned NASA mission to investigate a moon that orbits Saturn in a very unusual way, and one that caused the destruction of a passing by probe. The story follows an astronaut named Jasmine who suffers severe amnesia after her emerging from deep-sleep. Her and the other 5 astronauts are informed upon awakening that their mission is cancelled after NASA managed to recover a signal that was transmitted from the moon to the probe before it was destroyed. The only part that can be made out is a serpentine voice that says "Here's to my sweet Satan. I... I want to live and die for you, my glorious Satan". I really liked the concept of this novel because it reminded me of nightmares I've actually had so it was pretty chilling for me, and it had a couple of very well written characters that made me feel instantly attached to them.

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Annoyance Offline Resident Cosplayer

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24th December 2015 11:35 AM
Post: #479
I recently finished 1Q84 and I'm so proud of myself. That book was sometimes a challenge to get through but it was so enjoyable and rewarding. Tamaru is my fave babe.
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